Michael Albee (Ensemble) has been performing/choreographing all over the metroplex for the past 14 years. Recently, he has had the opportunity to work on Fire + Blood (World Premier), original choreography of Garland Civic Theatre’s production of Cabaret, was the dance specialist at the JCC’s Camp StarQuest, and directed a stage reading of a new children’s musical “If a Frog Had Wings”. Some of his professional credits include: Broadway Our Way 2011 (co-choreographer), the US Premiere of Closer to Heaven, Victor/Victoria, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Life, Aida, Cabaret, Pippin, How to Succeed in Business, Peter Pan, Phantom - The Musical, and the unforgettable Wild Party. Michael started working in musical theatre after college where he was a two time National Collegiate Cheerleading Champion. He has worked in theatre, TV, film, music videos, and various industrials melding his strong movement technique with acrobatic skills, to be a recognizable force at any audition around the Metroplex.
Barbara Blanchette, Co-Director Children’s Division, The Campbell Agency
Barbara started in the film business in 1981 as a casting assistant and extras coordinator for “Dallas” and “Places in the Heart”. Her casting and coordinating resume includes “Necessary Roughness”, “Dangerous Curves”, “Dr T and the Women”, “Walker Texas Ranger”. Or as we like to call them — basically every film or tv project shot here in the last 25 years. If someone appeared on a show in our area, Barbara most likely had something to do with it. Due to her work on “Walker”, she dealt with many children through the show’s affiliations with Kick Drugs out of America, the Special Olympics and the Texas Youth Commission. She also cast commercials as well, giving her a great perspective on how to get our littlest clients ready for the cameras. In addition to her professional life, Barbara has raised two daughters and is still raising one husband.
JohnErich de la Torre
JohnErich de la Torre has been working in theatre and the performing arts for over 15 years. From acting to directing or stage hand to designer JohnErich has taken on various roles in the art form. Working with such companies as The Pearl, Columbia University, Envelope Ensemble, Perridance Dance, The Westwood School and his childhood theatre Creative Arts Theatre & School(CATS). Most recently JohnErich worked as the Production Manager for CATS production of What Andy Warhol Never Told Me. He has always had a passion for theatre/performing arts and the education of theatre arts in young minds.
Madelyn Brené Fortner
Madelyn Brené Fortner is a versatile teaching artist, vocalist, and actress from Dallas, TX. Her repertoire includes opera, jazz, musical theatre, and commercial work. She has performed various roles in U.S. and European cities and has graced such stages as The Dallas Opera, Amarillo Opera, Amalfi Music Festival in Naples, Italy, Theatre Three and the Vocal Arts Symposium in Colorado Springs, Co. Some of her commercial credits include Hillcrest Medical Center, Purina Puppy Chow and TGIF Fridays. She has received numerous awards and honors including the Bruce Foote scholarship award and the Shivers Foundation award.
In addition to an excelling performing career Madelyn serves as the principal music instructor at the esteemed Winston School, Music Director for the Jewish Community Center, owner of the MBF Vocal Studio and the creator of the Musically Madelyn Concert Series. Ms. Fortner is also an associate member of the Grammy Recording Academy, Texas Chapter and a graduate of Southern Methodist University.
Pam Holcomb-McLain has been a music director, accompanist and vocal coach in DFW for 15 years. Favorite credits and venues include: Pippin, Wild Oats, Bloody, and Bloody Andrew Jackson, at Theatre Three; The Pirates of Penzance at Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas; All Shook Up at Garland Civic Theatre; Hair and Grey Gardens at Greater Lewisville Civic Theatre; Assassins and Into the Woods at Theatre Coppell. Teaching and children’s theatre venues include the JCC, Dallas Children’s Theater, Park Cities Studios, Dallas Summer Musicals Academy and KD Studios Imagination Players. She also enjoys helping prepare actors for musical auditions and playing solo gigs at weddings, parties, restaurants and wineries. Pam is passionate about the healing properties of music and believes with Berthold Auerbach that, “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Byron Holder has over thirty years of teaching, performing, and directing experience. Byron has music-directed large productions such as Les Miserable, Phantom, Sweeney Todd, and Into The Woods. As a Theatre Director, some of Byron's favorites are Move Over Mrs. Markham, Crimes of the Heart, The Butler Did It, Love, Loss and What I Wore, and Dixie Swim Club. As a performer, Byron has performed in U.S. touring shows, U.S.O. productions, on and off Broadway musicals and has been a featured performer in numerous nightclubs. Byron is well known as a private voice, drama, and audition coach. Byron believes that we are what we repeatedly do; therefore excellence is not as act, but a habit.
Born in 1969, the same year as the Woodstock music festival, Eric has spent his life immersed in art and music. He started piano at 4, picked up the guitar at 14 and found his singing voice while attending music school at The University of North Texas. When he graduated in 1995 he founded the electric rock band Riddle Me This and toured the college, regional and national music scene until gaining the confidence to go solo in 2004. In the last two decades Eric has played thousands of gigs all over the planet. Including but not limited to: The Viper Room in Los Angeles, The Saxon Pub in Austin, and The Elbo Room in Chicago. He regularly performs throughout the United States and just released his sixth full-length album “Back in Blue.” When not touring and performing Eric spends his time working privately with select musicians who are highly motivated to develop strengths in their musical art and quickly move forward with their career.In Eric you not only have a teacher who instills confidence but you have a performer who is doing it as well. Eric’s unique individual approach to the guitar and voice encompasses all styles of music and is life changing.
Linda has been a long-time friend and artistic contributor to the JCC creative community, having directed and choreographed more than 30 shows over the last 12 years. Linda has worked as a professional director, choreographer, actor, singer, dancer and teacher in Dallas, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and around the country for the past 35 years.
Linda also teaches in the Career Acting and Musical Theatre Degree program at KD College and Actors Conservatory, Page Parkes Learning Center and is the director for Casa Kids at Casa Manana. She has a BFA in Theatre and an Associate Degree in Psychology from Marian College in addition to an Associate Degree from Butler University in Dance. Several other school affiliations include TCU, TWU, OCU, OU, IU and Denison Universities. She has also been an AEA/SAG/AFTRA member for over 30 years.
Her favorite performances include Aurora/Spiderwoman in her recent revival of the title role of Kiss of The Spiderwoman for Uptown Players, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie for CitiRep on OKC, Eliie (among others) in Hal Prince's tour of Showboat and Jellylorum and Grizabella in the National and German companies of Cats. Linda is seen frequently on commercials and feature films and teaches workshops and coaches privately in her spare time. Linda is dedicated to the process of creativity and positive development of young artists to become all they can dream...
Dan Servetnick may look familiar as he recently appeared as Captain E.J. Smith in The J Players production of Titanic, The Musical.
Dan grew up in Philadelphia where he began performing at a very early age. He began is vocal training at the Settlement School of Music at age 12 under Margaret Stefano. Dan earned a scholarship to attend the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, where he studied under Viviane Wagner. From Philadelphia, Dan moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he performed for the next three years as part of the Country Music, U.S.A and Showboat shows at Opryland U.S.A., and has been performing ever since. He eventually moved to Dallas where he intends to remain.
As Musical Director for the Henderson County Performing Arts Center, Dan began working with the local performers to improve their skills. It was here that he discovered his joy of teaching.
Dan's focus is to develop technique that will stay with performers the rest of their lives. Singing is not only about making sound, but understanding how the sound is produced and sustained. Additionally, students will work on ear training and music theory, all of which are important to a well-rounded understanding of music.
Ryan Matthieu Smith
Ryan Matthieu Smith is an award-winning Director and Designer working in film, television, and theatre in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas. He has designed for theaters all over the metroplex for the past 14 years but is most happy to be a part of the JCC family. Favorite past shows designed for the J include Titanic, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Guys and Dolls, and Annie! Other regional children's show credits include work for Garland Civic Theatre, Theatre Three, The Dallas Theatre Center, KD Studios, CATS, and Cara Mia. Ryan is a multiple recipient of awards including DFW Critics Forum Awards and Column Awards. Ryan would like to thank the JCC, Ashley, Alise, and all of you for the opportunity to create magic and memories!
If you have any questions, please contact Alise Robinson, Manager J Performing Arts at 214-239-7140 or email at [email protected].