Director & Owner
Tamara Solum is delighted to be the director and owner of this wonderful drama program here on the Suncoast. Tamara holds a degree in Theatre from Occidental College in California. She also studied theatre at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. She has been seen locally in many theatrical productions in Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice. Her background also includes 7 years of social work and early-childhood education with the Child Development Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Coalition for Families and Children. Prior to moving to Florida, Tamara met her husband, Mike, in the Peace Corps in Cameroun, West Africa, where she was a Community Development Volunteer. Together they have raised two lovely daughters, Kari and Lilianna Solum. Both grew up attending Drama Kids. Lilianna received her BFA in Music Theatre from Florida State and Kari earned her BA in English from New College of Florida.
Assistant Director & Drama Teacher
Michelle Leon is so grateful to Tamara for promoting her to Assistant Director. She was our director of Drama Kids Online during the 2020-2021 school year, where she was also responsible for editing and producing two online plays and two online musicals. Michelle’s oldest son was a Drama Kid before Michelle joined as a teacher, and she was so impressed with the program that when a teaching position became available, she jumped at the chance to be a part of it. Michelle has been dancing and performing since she could walk. In college, she studied vocal jazz and film, which helped with our online program. Michelle is a wife and mom to two boys ages 9 and 5, a bonus mom to a daughter age 14, and a fur mom to a dog, 2 cats, and 2 guinea pigs. Michelle is also a certified yoga teacher, a dance fitness instructor, a princess with Sarasota Princess Parties, and the founder of Goat Yoga SRQ. When Michelle is not teaching Drama Kids, she enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, roller skating, practicing yoga, reading, volunteering, or baking in her kitchen.
Julie Rohr McHugh
Take 2 Musical Director
Julie Rohr McHugh is joining Drama Kids this year as our Musical Director for our Take 2 program. Julie was born in North Carolina but moved to Sarasota when she was seven years old. Julie attended Phillippi Shores Elementary, Brookside Jr. High, and Riverview High. After graduation, she attended the University of Miami where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance. While at the university, she had the opportunity to go on USO tours with the U of M show choir to Europe and Asia. She also performed hundreds of shows on Miami Beach and in the state of Florida, recorded commercials sang for two seasons on the Jackie Gleason Show, and performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, The Mike Douglas Show, the Miss USA, and Universe Pageants, and the Orange Bowl Parade. After her marriage to Mike McHugh in 1969, she taught middle school music and theater in the Broward County Public School System for 6 years. They moved back to Sarasota in 1976 where Julie owned, operated, and taught musical theater at Julie Rohr Academy for 45 years. During this time, she also raised five boys who now range in age from 29 to 48, taught show choir and chorus for twelve years at Sarasota High School, taught show choir at Sarasota Military Academy for seven years, taught musical theater at Sarasota Academy of the Arts for seven years, and was musical director for four Sarasota Players productions. Julie is very happy to be able to continue to teach part-time. When not teaching, she thoroughly enjoys time with her six grandchildren, her sons and their wives, her youngest and only single son Mitchell, and her two German Shepherds. She also loves to travel and attends as many Broadway shows as possible! Musical theater and show choir have always been and always will be her passion!
Drama Kids is pleased to have Zack Fitzpatrick as part of our teaching staff. This is Zack’s fourth year teaching for Drama Kids!. Zack is an expert in Drama Kids as he has completed 13 years of Drama Kids classes, having started when he was in Kindergarten! Zack presently attends State College of Florida where he is planning on pursuing a degree in nursing. Zack is a graduate of Sarasota Military Academy where he was a Regimental Sergeant Major and lead bagpiper in the Academy Pipe Band. He was also a Cadet Drill Instructor for the Arts’ U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Zach has been a camp counselor with Drama Kids for five years and volunteers each year at production time assisting with backstage tech. His favorite Drama Kids activities are the end-of-year plays and our Acting Academy Improv Olympics!
Claire holds a degree in theatre from Hollins University. Claire has worked as an education program assistant instructing children at the Cleveland Playhouse in Ohio and has been a production assistant with The American Shakespeare Center in Virginia. She also has spent time working with children in a Montessori school as part of her education classes. Claire has both directed and performed in several productions as well in Virginia.
Remy Katz is excited to join Drama Kids of Manasota! They are a student, having already received an associates’ degree in the Dramatic Arts and are currently attending New College of Florida. They have worked in theater and in theatre for 3 years, but have been around the stage since they were a child. They have an immense amount of experience in stage tech, costuming, acting, and directing. Acting is one of their passions, and they are excited to share it with their students in Drama Kids and the world!
Ethan Mosser studied drama and acting throughout his education, attending after-school drama/music and dance classes as well as performing in multiple productions at the prestigious Blake High School for the Performing Arts in Tampa. He was a member of the Florida District Thespian Society, where he received Superior Awards. Ethan has also studied theatre, dance and voice with Broadway Artists Alliance in New York. Some of his favorite roles include Donkey in “Shrek,” The King in “Big River” and Hot Blades Harry in “Urinetown.” Ethan is very excited to be a part of Drama Kids and share his love of theatre with the next generation of performers!
Kelsie Burnard joined Drama Kids of Manasota as an Assistant Teacher in February after residing in Upstate New York. Burnard grew up with her local acting troupe Upstate Broadway, performing in numerous plays before becoming a character performer for Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland through Six Flags Great Escape. She hopes to continue to share her love of acting with her new local community. Burnard can often be found reading or writing poetry in her spare time and has even won the ‘Editor’s Choice Award’ through her local SUNY college for her work. She can’t wait to continue to grow with Drama Kids of Manasota over the following years and is beyond thankful for this exciting new experience in the Sunshine State!
Kathleen assists Ms. Tamara remotely from Pennsylvania, where she and hubby, Ian, are lovingly restoring their turn-of-the-century craftsman bungalow. Kathleen has worked for Drama Kids of Montgomery County and Drama Kids of Manasota for many years, and she particularly enjoyed being our resident “Craft Fairy” before returning to Pennsylvania. She has her BFA from Kutztown University, PA, and loves leaving a trail of glitter wherever she goes!
Kinsey is a Sarasota native who has studied and practiced Theatre since middle school alongside Film and Art. She loves to play video games and paint in her free time. Kinsey is currently a Senior at Riverview High School studying Theatre in the IB Program and plans to go to college to study Film and Theatre Arts. Kinsey had been a Drama Kids student in elementary school and part of our Acting Academy program last year. Kinsey also enjoyed being a camp counselor at our “Superheroes Assemble” summer camp. She is excited to return to the program as a Drama Kids teacher and class assistant, where she can encourage the creativity of all of her students and help them explore their creative potential.
Julya is a Riverview IB senior soon to graduate following the 4-year long theatre program track. She has had previous experience with Drama Kids in her youth and is now a teen assistant for the after-school program. Julya has experience in many facets of the general arts including theatre, chorus, artwork, and dancing. Creative freedom and expression is a fundamental part of growing up to Julya, so being able to help children develop themselves creatively is an amazing journey to be a part of.
Brianna is excited to be a teaching assistant for Drama Kids. She is a recent graduate from Homelife Academy and is working towards her goal of having a career in theater. Hers hobbies include skating, painting, and gaming.
Sarah Poulos Bikos
Ms. Sarah has been teaching with Drama Kids since 2009 and is our Social Media expert. With a passion and love for the arts, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Florida State University, and has worked professionally as a dancer and backup singer for multiple internationally-touring bands. While not performing, Sarah can be found as the Head Trainer and Captain of our local roller derby team, The Bradentucky Bombers, and works for Dealers United as their Performance Manager.