Faculty & Staff 

Facility

Located on the 8th floor of Penn Avenue Place (formerly the Lazarus / Horne’s building), the Academy contains four spacious and well-equipped dance studios, two acting studios, two private voice studios, a student practice room, a student/teacher library, a student lounge and a comfortable waiting area for parents accompanying students to the Academy.  In addition, the Charles Gray Auditorium offers the Academy a theater in which to showcase the accomplishments and achievements of its student body.

Anyone wishing to take a tour of the facility may do so during regular class hours. If there is a particular class that you would like to observe, please call (412) 281-2234.

Education Staff

The CLO Academy is justifiably proud of its instructors. Our faculty represents some of the best teaching artists in our region and includes instructors from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Duquesne University, and Point Park University, among other fine institutions. The CLO Academy’s students could not be in more competent and caring hands.

Education DirectorKiesha Lalama
Education Programs Manager — Michael J. Cerchiaro
Academy Principal — Patty Maloney
Admissions Coordinator — Catherine Kolos
Education & Outreach CoordinatorJim Scriven
Receptionist — Angel Joos

Acting and Musical Theater Instructors

image descriptionLaura Riesberg Daniels 

Laura is a Pittsburgh native and has a varied background as a musician, teacher and actress. She has music directed and taught musical theater for more than 30 years, with the last 10 at CLO Academy. Laura is co-music director of Temple Sinai’s Mostly Musical Shabbat and is glad to be part of the Gateway to the Arts program. She enthusiastically enjoys working in many different styles including klezmer, jazz, folk, rock, pop, musical theater, Latin, Hawaiin and gospel, and has   Laura performed at the City Winery in New York City with trumpet player Lew Soloff of Blood, Sweat and Tears as well as with The Hot Matzohs, Algo Latino, The Bridge, Cayenne, Brass Impact, The Holidays, The Mystics, Mike Stout, Imaginarium, Elite Showband, Kim Alexander band, Hooligan Brothers, Klezlectic, Tuika’s Polynesian Review and John Puckett. She has also played in the orchestra pit for musicals and performing solo piano/ vocal, and has sung back-up vocals for John McDonald as well as Mark Milovats’s Children’s Miracle Network Christmas shows. Laura recorded the piano tracks for cabaret versions of songs by John Hayes, including I’m a Song, which she co-wrote.  She is a member of MTAP (Musical Theater Artists of Pittsburgh), a group of artists who collaborate to write new musicals. At the CLO Academy, Laura teaches musical theater, voice, piano, and for the New Horizons program.

daina michelle griffithDaina Michelle Griffith

Daina Michelle Griffith recently received the honor of being named Performer of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 2013 and was nominated for the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award in 2015. An actress on stage, big screen, small screen, print ads and radio commercials, she's originally from Southern Ohio and received her BFA in Musical Theater from Point Park University. Regional/NYC: Gateway Playhouse, Kansas City Starlight, Oxford Village Playhouse, heXtc NYC, Human Race Theatre, NYC International Fringe, among others. Locally: Pittsburgh Public Theater, City Theatre, PICT Classic Theatre, Quantum, The REP, Off The Wall, barebones, No Name Players, Bricolage, Prime Stage, Carrnivale Theatrics, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, and Jewish Theatre of Pittsburgh. Films: The Dark Knight Rises (Foley's wife), Hollidaysburg (Angela), Love and Other Drugs, Civilians (Tilly) and the upcoming Pittsburgh Dad short film, Street Light Stories (Deb). Television: "Guiding Light" (CBS), "Munhall" starring George Wendt (lawyer), webseries "I'll Call You" (Christine), STARZ "The Chair" and WGN's "Outsiders" (Ricki, recurring Season 1). Also numerous regional and national commercials (Exxon Gas, Armstrong Cable, PA Lottery, UPMC, The Stork), radio and television voiceovers (UPMC, Vocelli's Pizza, Dree's Homes, Armstrong Cable) and national and regional print work (Joann's Fabric, Dick's Sporting Goods, Sheetz, Armstrong Cable, Highmark, among others). www.dainamichellegriffith.com                           

rob jamesRob James 

 Rob is a Crafton, PA resident, graduate of Grove City College (Communications, Literature and Secondary Education), and is president of Stage 62 in Carnegie. He has helmed Spotlight Theatre Company’s Drowsy Chaperone for Duquesne University and will also direct their upcoming production of Company.  For Stage 62, he's directed the critically acclaimed and nationally recognized production of Sweeney Todd, Yo Vikings!, Side Show, Dora's Pirate Adventure, Company, Kiss Me Kate, Into the Woods and Brigadoon. Performance credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), Avenue Q (Trekkie Monster), The Producers (Roger Debris), The Full Monty (Dave) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Durdles) for Stage 62; The Civil War (The Confederate General) for ACFL & MH; The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney) for Little Lake Theater, A New Brain (Richard) for The Bald Theater Company and Into the Woods (The Mysterious Man) for The Old Schoolhouse Players. In addition to directing over 30 productions at Carlynton High School, Rob enjoys teaching both at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy and for CLO's Creative Vision Outreach Program.

kristiann menotiadesKristiann Menotiades

Kristiann Menotiades is currently the Director of Fox Chapel High Schools Fall Drama, Choreographer of Riverview High Schools Spring Musical and an instructor at The Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater. She just finished working as the Associate Director/Choreographer for the world premier of 21: The Roberto Clemente Musical at the Pittsburgh Playhouse with Mr. Richard Sabellico. Most recent credits: SCARRIE: the musical as Coach and Mama at Bricolage, Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (PICT) and Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead (T.A.C.T.). Kristiann has performed in numerous CLO Cabaret shows over the past several years and in various theaters in Pittsburgh and NYC.

nancy mimlessNancy Mimless

A Pittsburgh native and avid Pittsburgh Pirate fan, Nancy Mimless earned her BA in Theater Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. Nancy has worked in theater, television and films for over 30 years, and has appeared in Pittsburgh productions with Bricolage (BUS 6), No Name Players (SWAN DAY), Pittsburgh Playwrights, Carlow, CCAC, South Park, Theatre Factory, Prime Stage, and McKeesport Little Theater–just to name a few. She has recorded numerous voice-overs, commercials and television/film projects, performed in stage productions in Pittsburgh, West Virginia and California, and has appeared on The Weakest Link and The Gong Show. Nancy has also performed in several improv companies including Amish Monkeys, Latshaw Production’s Tony and Tina’s Wedding, and for several Los Angeles-area improv troupes. After spending years in LA working for Barris Industries, Guber Peters Entertainment, and in production on The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, she returned to pursue a career in Pittsburgh. She can be seen in the films The Umbrella Man, Gearheads and Sofia for Now.

As a performing arts educator, Nancy has coached preschoolers through adults in acting, improv, and musical theater performance, and has toured schools with Gateway to the Arts (On the Wing Theatre and Pittsburgh CLO).
Nancy is proud and excited to be returning to the CLO Academy for her 9th year. www.nancymimless.com

missy morenoMissy Moreno

Missy Moreno is a performer, comedian, writer, host and former Digital Video Creator for the 4the412 crew of WTAE.  She is a graduate of Point Park University's Conservatory for Performing Arts and has studied and performed at the legendary Second City in Chicago, the Annoyance Theater and iO (formerly improv Olympic). While In Chicago, Missy was part of the Jeff Award-Winning production of The Original Grease (American Theater Company) under the creative team of Jim Jacobs (Grease writer) and PJ Paparelli. As a musical comedian, Missy has been seen all over the country with her original acts RESET LIST: Improv Rock Band and babyGRAND. Missy is a member of the Leadership Board at Arcade Comedy Theater in Pittsburgh where she writes, produces and performs monthly. Through Arcade she was honored to perform alongside Laura Hall of Who's Line Is it Anyway?. Missy is a teaching artist for the Pittsburgh CLO Academy and as well as a guest artist at many schools around the city. Credits include Bricolage, City Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, the REP, No Name Players and St. Vincent Summer Theater. She has emceed events for NextPittsburgh, National MS Society, American Heart Association, Howard Hannah and coordinated Social Media for the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival and Next3Days Festival. Missy's adventures can be followed online at www.missymoreno.com.

image descriptionColleen Nesbitt

Colleen Nesbitt holds a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University and has been a member of the CLO Academy faculty for over a decade. Ms. Nesbitt is an accomplished choreographer and dance instucter who has extensive experience providing enriching perfroming arts opportunities to students with Special Needs. At the CLO, she has focused her talents on children and adults in the New Horizons Program.  Her acting class was featured on WQED's Pittsburgh 360 and demonstrates how children on the Autism Spectrum can improve their social skills through participation in theater exercises.  Ms. Nesbitt firmly believes that the quality of life can be improved through exposure to the perfroming arts, and that the theraputic benfits of that exposure are immeasurable.

image descriptionQuinn Patrick Shannon

Quinn Patrick Shannon has been a regional artist in New York, Pittsburgh and Central PA. He most recently appeared as the title role in Pittsburgh Musical Theater's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Other favorites: Guys and Dolls (Nicely Nicely Johnson) for the Pittsburgh Public, Plaid Tidings (Frankie) and The Toxic Avenger (White Dude) for the Pittsburgh CLO, Forever Plaid (Frankie) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (Watson) for the Mountain Playhouse, as well as Young Frankenstein (Igor) and Grease (Roger) for PMT.

jason a. shaversJason A. Shavers

Jason A. Shavers is a born and raised Pittsburgh native and proud of it! Raised in Wilkinsburg, he graduated from Point Park University in 2004. Since then, Jason has had the pleasure of working with many local companies, with some favorite past credits being Headmaster Morrow in The REP's Choir Boy, Roger in A New Brain, The Observer in Putting It Together, Robbins in Porgy & Bess, many different fun characters in Midnight Radio Jr. and Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar. Jason has also spent 9 years performing in schools in the Western Pennsylvania region through Pittsburgh CLO's Gallery of Heroes educational musical program and is a teacher at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater. Film credits included Not Cool and Fathers and Daughters.

Dance Instructors

image description Mark Burrell

Mark Burrell, a Michigan native, is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Point Park University. He served as the Assistant Director, Associate Choreographer, Dance Captain, and Swing for the First National Tour of Pippin. He made his Broadway debut in the First National Tour of Fosse. Mark was also the Assistant Choreographer for Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes for 10 years. Mark is featured in the motion picture, The Producers: A Movie Musical. His performance experience is extensive throughout the United States and internationally, including engagements in Israel, Japan, Zambia, Peru, and South Africa. Other theatrical
productions include: CATS, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Broadway for Hilary, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Television credits include: CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman and NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien.  Mark is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City, where was on the faculty as a summer instructor, master teacher, and choreographer. He has also engaged in the classical and contemporary works of Chet Walker with his company WalkerDance as a principle dancer, Lar Lubovich, Paul Taylor, Jiri Kylian, Lila York, and David Parker and The Bang Group where he is an honorary guest artist. Mark is also accredited with joining the jazz faculty at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Mark has taught in many studios across the nation as well as internationally at Tokyo Ballet, Broadway Dance Center in Japan, The Institute for the Blind, and Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano (ICPNA). He also has staged, choreographed, and artistically consulted several high school productions for The Barbara Ingram School of the Arts including Legally Blonde, Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast.

image descriptionHeather Carpenter

Heather Goelz-Carpenter is a native of Pittsburgh, were she resides in the South Hills with her husband and two children.  Heather is an alum of the dance program at Point Park and currently teaches tap and jazz there. Performance credits include Civic Light Opera, American Music Theater, Celebrity Cruises and performances as a Radio City Rockette in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC and on the national tour.  Heather teaches and mentors young dancers all over the country for companies including Carpelz Center for the Arts LLC (co-owner), Dance Masters of America, Dance Educators of America, American Dance Awards, StarQuest International, North American Dance Championships, Point Park International Summer Dance, and Broadway Dance Center, where she served as assistant to Andy Blankenbuehler. She was among the first to teach The Rockette Experience at Radio City Music Hall and is certified to to teach ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics She has served on the board of directors for Dance Masters of PA, chapter 10, and is licensed to adjudicated internationally in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern by the International Dance Organization (IDO). Heather choreographs all over the tri-state area, and has received the Diamond Award for outstanding choreography for her jazz work Black Coffee. Her tap work Sing & Swing was featured in Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Connections show.  "Inspire a fire!"

image descriptionMarissa Guthrie

Marissa Guthrie graduated cum laude from The Ohio State University in 2010 with a dual degree in Dance Performance and Journalism.  She has trained and performed under the direction of Bebe Miller, Susan Hadley, Susan Van Pelt, Karl Rogers and Victoria Uris.  She is a former CLO Academy student and Pittsburgh CLO Mini Star.  In addition, she has trained at Point Park University, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.  Melissa has performed at the The Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Capitol Theater, Bates Dance Festival and The Pittsburgh Fringe Festival.  She is a Principal Dancer for both Slava Dance Company and The Mary Miller Dance Company.  She will be performing her choreography at the upcoming Charrette Series at Pearlarts Studios in August of 2015.  She teaches Moving for Life classes for the Community College of Allegheny County and is a certified yoga instructor.  Marissa will be teaching ballet, tap, jazz and musical theatre for the Pre-Teen Musical Theatre Program.

image descriptionCharles Hall

Charles Hall is a percussionist, bassist, vocalist and composer with experience in and a love for dance accompaniment. Moving to Los Angeles, Charles worked with bands and artists in a variety of genre; but not until later would his talents find a new life in the field of dance. He started by accompanying jazz and modern dance classes at Regina's and the California Dance Center, and was soon found at LA Contemporary Dance, Universal Dance, Debbie Reynolds Dance, Moro Landus Dance, Main Street and Dancers Home dance studios. Charles also worked as accompanist with Loretta Livingston and Dancers, The Kin Dance Co., Whinafred Harris' Between Lines, The Pacific Dance Ensemble and could be found regularly accompanying dance at UCLA, Loyla Marymount University, Plaza De La Raza and the California Institute of the Arts. Returning to Pittsburgh, Charles has worked for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Point Park University, Dance Alloy, Mary Miller Dance Co, Expressions Contemporary Dance Co, LABCO and Attack Theatre. Charles has also worked as an artist and educator for Gateway to the Arts and the Pennsylvania Governer's school for the Arts, and is proud to be on the staff of the Pittsburgh CLO Academy. 

image descriptionDanny Herman

Mr. Herman has appeared on Broadway in Contact, A Chorus Line (Mike), Leader of the Pack, Song and Dance (First National Tour), Big Bad Burlesque (Off-Broadway), Die Soldaten (NYC Opera) and was the associate choreographer for Michael Bennett's Pre-Broadway Workshops of Scandal. Mr. Herman has directed and/or choreographed World Premier musicals at the Goodman (Chicago), Long Wharf (New Haven), Zipper Theater (NYC), Ford's Theater (Washington, D.C.), City Theatre (Pittsburgh), Playwrights Horizons (NYC). George Street Playhouse (New Brunswick, NJ) Directors Company (NYC), Theaterfest (Upper Montclair, NJ), Bottom Line (NYC), The Rep (Nashville), LA Children's Theater, Naked Angels Theater Company (NYC) as well as dozens of other Broadway Musical Classics all over the country. Mr. Herman choreographed George Lucas Super Live Adventure (Japanese Tour), Jane Fonda Workouts (Designed by Theoni Aldredge, Shubert Theater, NYC), Tabaluga and Lilli  (2 European Tours) and the 1987 national tour of Dreamgirls. Mr Herman directed and choreographed Madhattan (New York, New York Hotel & Casino, Vegas), Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus (3 International Editions), Rugrats, A Live Adventure (2 World Tours) and the acclaimed Dreamgirls - the 20th Anniversary Benefit Concert for The Actors' Fund.

image descriptionBella Khanis

Born in Kishinev, Moldova, Bella Khanis is a graduate of Special School of Music for gifted children and of Music Conservatory, majoring in Piano Performance. Her mother was a renown piano teacher and Bella's first teacher, she was the one who instilled appreciation and love of classical music during Bella's upbringing. Bella started piano lessons when she was 5 and very quickly showed the signs of musical talent. As a child, she was selected to participate in various competitions for young gifted musicians and demonstrated superb virtuoso technique coupled with melodic soft and expressive tone.  During her years at the Music Conservatory she continued to excel in her studies and was participant of various important competitions and festivals where she was awarded prizes for her professionalism and excellence. During her career she excelled as an accompanist to vocalists, folk, string and brass performers. In Pittsburgh she successfully worked for 16 years for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Point Park University and Carnegie Mellon University. Multiple times she had been featured as a creative, bright and experienced accompanist.

image descriptionAlex Manalo

Alex Manalo is a recent Musical Theater graduate of Point Park University's Conservatory of the Performing Arts. She has worked with several theater companies throughout the city, including Pittsburgh CLO, Carrnivale Theatrics, No Name Players, Pittsburgh Playhouse, RetroRed Productions, City Theater Young Playwrights Festival, Stage RIght, and the Pittsburgh New Works Festival.  Favorite credits include Brewed (Colette), Luna (Soledad), Tink (Tiger Lily), and South Pacific (Liat). A former CLO Academy Student and Mini Star, Alex is thrilled to be teaching the next generation of artists!

image description

Kristiann Menotiades

Kristiann Menotiades is currently the Director of Fox Chapel High Schools Fall Drama, Choreographer of Riverview High Schools Spring Musical and an instructor at The Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater. Shewas the Associate Director/Choreographer for the world premier of 21: The Roberto Clemente Musical at the Pittsburgh Playhouse with Mr. Richard Sabellico. Most recent credits: SCARRIE: the musical as Coach and Mama at Bricolage, Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (PICT) and Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead (T.A.C.T.). Kristiann has performed in numerous CLO Cabaret shows over the past several years and in various theaters in Pittsburgh and NYC.

image descriptionSarah Misko

A forever-student of ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, Pointe and acrobatics, Sarah has been dancing since the age of three, and performing on the musical theatre stage since six. Sarah studied at Shenandoah Conservatory with a focus in musical theatre performance and a minor in dance, specializing in jazz and tap. Upon graduation, Sarah spent two years with the National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof and has performed in nearly all 50 states with this and several other regional theatre and dance companies. Always having a strong connection with little ones, Sarah has served as a trusted nanny to the elite of NYC and the Greater Pittsburgh area. A self-proclaimed “yogi,” Sarah hopes to bring light and joy to your children and plans to use her real-world experience to enhance their overall journey as they learn to grow, interact and express themselves through the world of theatre, music, and dance.

image descriptionKamille Neely

Kamille began dancing at the young age of 3 and began her training in classical ballet until the age of 16. She participated in over 14 years of Nutcracker performances, Gizelle, and a variety of community performances. When she was 7 years old she explored avenues of Jazz, Hip-hop, Contemporary, Tap, ect. After competing throughout her adolescence in various competitions and winning two national titles, countless awards and recognitions, she furthered her dance career into the collegiate level where she would graduate from Point Park University, Magna Cum Laude, in 2017 with a double Bachelors in Dance as well as Sports, Arts, and Entertainment management. During her college years she auditioned for season 12 of So You Think You Can Dance making it to the final stages of Vegas week, performed in the Sugarbowl during the halftime show, and appeared as a soloist during the Indian Film Awards. She has taught and choreographed many routines from Chicago to Pittsburgh and has recently been selected as a faculty member of Millennium Dance Complex and Pittsburgh CLO. Kamille has had the pleasure in her lifetime of working for and under some of the most well-known dancers/instructors in the industry and hopes to continue to further her career in a professional atmosphere.

image descriptionSvetlana Novodran

Svetlana Novodran is an experienced teacher of ballet technique, point technique, variations, and character dance.  Ms. Novodran danced for fifteen years as a soloist and principal dancer in several European ballet companies including Perm State Opera/Ballet Theater (Russia), Odessa State Opera/Ballet Theater (Ukraine), and the National Opera of Poland in Warsaw.  Ms. Novodran toured extensively, performing in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Finland, Germany, Israel, Japan and Spain. She moved to the United States in 1995 and is honored to be a long-time faculty member at the CLO Academy.

alivia owenAlivia Owen

Alivia received her B.A. in Dance from Point Park University. She has been an instructor, director and choreographer for the CLO Academy for the past ten years. In addition, Alivia has been a dance instructor for Carnegie Mellon University, Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh and Regional Dance America. She has choreographed for Stage 62, South Park Theatre, Keystone Oaks and Baldwin High School. Alivia has performed throughout the Pittsburgh area for the Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Playhouse and West Virginia Public Theater. This summer, Alivia had the amazing opportunity to choreograph The Spitfire Grille and Floyd Collins for Front Porch Theatricals. 

image descriptionTaylor Robinson

Taylor Robinson is a native of Pittsburgh who grew up dancing in the suburbs of the great Steel City. A graduate of Point Park University (BFA, Jazz dance), he appeared in original works choreographed by Ron Tassone, Garfield Lemonius, Nicholas Petrov, and Kiesha Lalama, most notably The Bench. Taylor was also fortunate to be cast by guest choreographers in pieces such as Journey by Randy Duncan, Enemy Behind the Gates by Christopher Huggins, and Rush Hour by Robert Battle. Professional credits include work with Texture Contemporary Ballet, In the Heights with Carrnivale Theatrics, Lifetime's Dance Moms and the new WGN series The Outsiders. Taylor is very excited to join the faculty of the Pittsburgh CLO Academy and work with its eager, multi-faceted students.

image descriptionRocker Verastique

Rocker Verastique appeared in the original Broadway companies of Contact, Chicago, Victor/Victoria and Carousel. Mr. Verastique's other Broadway credits include Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera and The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, as well as the world premiere productions of Hearts Desire, Jekyll and Hyde, Spirit and the Broadway workshop of Fosse. Rocker's other credits include Paul in A Chorus Line (Pittsburgh Musical Theater), Konstantine Morrisine in On Your Toes (Gateway Playhouse.NY), Sophisticated Ladies (Drury Lane, Chicago), Feld Ballet, Los Angeles Chamber Ballet, danced six years with artistic director Mikhail Baryshinikov in American Ballet Theatre, In Los Angeles, he spent four years on the television series Fame and was the male lead in the award winning music video "Nasty" opposite Janet Jackson. Mr Verastique choreographed Miss Saigon (Pittsburgh Musical Theater), Leader Of The Pack, Dreamgirls and Beehive (Pittsburgh Playhouse), Five Guys Named Moe and Little Me (Candlelight, Chicago), A Chorus Line (Geva, Rochester NY) and co-choreographed Rugrats, A Live Adventure (2 World Tours).

jodi welchJodi Welch

Jodi Welch received her B.A. degree in Dance with honors from Butler University in Indianapolis. She was Professor in the Conservatory of Performing Arts Department at Point Park University where she taught jazz and advanced tap. Her performance credits include over thirty musicals with Pittsburgh’s Civic Light Opera, Kenley Players, Indianapolis Starlight Musicals and various dinner theater productions throughout the United States. Jodi also taught and was the artistic director at Vella Dance Studio in Bridgeville for 32 years. A member and former President of Dance Masters of PA, Chapter 10, her students have won many awards on both the local and national level as well as her having won the Choreography Award at the Dance Masters Performing Arts Competition numerous times. She has taught Master Classes in jazz, tap and musical theater across the country as well as being an adjudicator for many dance competitions. Pittsburgh CLO has always held a special place in her heart and it is a joy to return as a teacher.

Voice and Piano Instructors

image descriptionDebbie Boughner

Debbie Boughner grew up in the Mon Valley.  Mrs. Boughner holds a M.Ed. in Education from Duquesne University and studied voice and piano performance at Carnegie Mellon University.  Debbie currently serves as Voice/Piano instructor at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy, and is the Music Director at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church (Elizabeth Township). Debbie has taught for over 40 years both publicly and privately, as well as directed many musical productions at Thomas Jefferson High School, Serra Catholic High School and West Mifflin Area High School. She has also music directed many shows at local theaters including The Grand Theater  (Elizabeth), South Park Theater (South Park), as well as performing in many local productions including these theaters, McKeesport Little Theatre, Station Square Theater, among others.  Debbie was a member of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and Pittsburgh.
 

image descriptionCatie Brown

Catie Brown is a native of Butler, PA.  She holds a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati and B.M. in Music Education from Slippery Rock University.  Catie currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Voice at Robert Morris University, an Assistant Professor and Accompanist in the Conservatory of the Performing Arts at Point Park University, and as an Accompanist for Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.  She is also the Music Director at St. Fidelis Parish in Butler, PA.  At the CLO Academy, Catie teaches private and group voice, private piano, audition techniques, and musical theater classes.  Her public school classroom teaching, music directing, and accompaniment experience is extensive, having most recently performed for engagements with the Pittsburgh CLO, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, R.W.S. and Associates, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the rock band Kansas, West Virginia Public Theater, Keystone State Music Theater, The Pittsburgh Playhouse, New Castle Playhouse, and Slippery Rock University. She’s grateful for the opportunity to work with the fantastic students at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy.   

roseanna irwinRoseanna Irwin

Roseanna Irwin, Associate Teaching Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, holds both a B.S. in Music Education and an M.M. from Duquesne University, where she taught piano and was administrative assistant to the dean. She teaches voice and piano at the CLO Academy and was the Music Director of the CLO Mini Stars for 19 years. Roseanna was formerly head of the voice department at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and was rehearsal and show pianist for the Civic Light Opera's main stage summer season. She was a core member of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and has sung roles in several Tuesday Musical Club operas. She has performed, musically directed and accompanied book shows and musical revues in the Pittsburgh area, Naples, Florida, and the Royal Viking Cruise Lines.
 

stephen totterStephen Totter

Stephen Totter (BFA, MFA in Vocal Performance) has been on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University since 1994 and the Pittsburgh CLO Academy of Musical Theater since 1991. He is an active performer, clinician and teacher throughout the United States and abroad. Stephen made his professional operatic debut with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in The Barber of Seville and has gone on to perform leading roles in Opera, Musical Theater and Oratorio as well as recitals, symphony concerts and cabaret performances. Operatic roles include: Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La boheme, the title role in Gianni Schicci, and Frank Maurrant in Street Scene. Musical Theater roles include Frederik Egermann in A Little Night Music, Lancelot in Camelot and Harry in Company. Stephen has been teaching voice in the Pittsburgh area since 1990 and his students have gone on to every major conservatory in the country as well as Broadway and opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera. Stephen is an active member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing and served for 8 years as President of the Tri-States Chapter. His international teaching credits include teaching at the National Conservatory of Mexico.

Creative Vision Faculty

image descriptionJulianne Avolio

Julianne Avolio is a Pittsburgh born and bred actor and teaching artist.  She is the Artistic Director of a brand new Theatre for Young Audiences called In Between Theatre, focusing on programming for young adults. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh where she earned a degree in Theatre Arts and a Certificate in Children’s Literature with a focus on Theatre for Young Audiences. Over the years, she has developed her craft in TYA not only as a performer, but as an educator, facilitator, and administrator.  After touring with Shakespeare-in-the-Schools for two seasons in Tomato Plant Girl, Julianne went on to teach at numerous summer camps, art schools, and theatre programs, including Pittsburgh Public Theatre's Creative Dramatics, City Theatre's Young Playwrights Program, Chatham Music and Arts Day Camp, Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Summer Dreamers Academy, and Bricolage's Midnight Radio Jr. She worked for the Florida Repertory Theatre for a year where she taught for their education program and performed in their TYA touring productions that traveled to schools in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas.  Currently, Julianne is a working actor in Pittsburgh.  Some of her most recent projects have included the Steeltown Film Factory’s winning short "My Date with Adam," Girls Only with the CLO Cabaret, SCarrie: The Musical with Bricolage, and Evil Dead: The Musical with No Name Players. www.julianneavolio.com

image descriptionSandra Dowe

Although singing with local groups and big bands is her first love, Ms. Dowe has also enjoyed featured roles in such theater productions as Ain't Misbehavin', Sophisticated Ladies, Jelly's Last Jam, Beehive, Blues in the Night, One Mo' Time, The Crawford Grill Presents Billie Holiday and most recently played the role of Rose in August Wilson's Fences. Sandra also enjoys teaching musical theater, art, poetry, percussion, and private jazz voice lessons in the Pittsburgh area. She has recorded a CD entitled Sandra Dowe and the George W. Russell, Jr. Trio, Live in Concert and is featured on her father Al Dowe's CD A Tribute to Dowe's on 9th with special guest Slide Hampton. Ms. Dowe is a long time member of Covenant Church of Pittsburgh where she has served as a member of the choir, worship team, ensemble vocal group, and a worship leader and with whom she has traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Seoul Korea. Sandra loves being an artist but her greatest joy is knowing God.

image descriptionRob James

Rob is a Crafton, PA resident, graduate of Grove City College (Communications, Literature and Secondary Education), and is president of Stage 62 in Carnegie. He has helmed Spotlight Theatre Company’s Drowsy Chaperone for Duquesne University and will also direct their upcoming production of Company.  For Stage 62, he's directed the critically acclaimed and nationally recognized production of Sweeney Todd, Yo Vikings!, Side Show, Dora's Pirate Adventure, Company, Kiss Me Kate, Into the Woods and Brigadoon. Performance credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), Avenue Q (Trekkie Monster), The Producers (Roger Debris), The Full Monty (Dave) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Durdles) for Stage 62; The Civil War (The Confederate General) for ACFL & MH; The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney) for Little Lake Theater, A New Brain (Richard) for The Bald Theater Company and Into the Woods (The Mysterious Man) for The Old Schoolhouse Players. In addition to directing over 30 productions at Carlynton High School, Rob enjoys teaching both at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy and for CLO's Creative Vision Outreach Program.

image descriptionAlivia Owen

Alivia received her B.A. in Dance from Point Park University. She has been an instructor, director and choreographer for the CLO Academy for the past ten years. In addition, Alivia has been a dance instructor for Carnegie Mellon University, Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh and Regional Dance America. She has choreographed for Stage 62, South Park Theatre, Keystone Oaks and Baldwin High School. Alivia has performed throughout the Pittsburgh area for the Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Playhouse and West Virginia Public Theater. This summer, Alivia had the amazing opportunity to choreograph The Spitfire Grille and Floyd Collins for Front Porch Theatricals. 

image descriptionStephen Santa

Stephen Santa is a director, actor, and teaching artist based in Pittsburgh, PA. He has staged over 30 productions, ranging from educational shows to professional productions seen around the country. He was the assistant director of the Flashdance National Tour, the North American premiere of The Monster in the Hall and POP! A new musical starring Anthony Rapp at City Theatre. In New York he directed workshops of UNCHARTED: The Music of Anna K. Jacobs and TEETH: a New Musical at the famed Ars Nova Theatre. In 2013, he was named one of the top directors in Pittsburgh by CBS Local On-line. Since 2008 Stephen as served as a teaching artist for The Pittsburgh CLO Creative Vision Program which aims to build self-confidence, empower self-expression and model positive behavior for elementary and middle school students while engaging them in musical theater disciplines. In addition, for 15 summers Stephen has worked as the Music Director for the YMCA's Camp AIM, a summer camp for children and young adults who have physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and communication challenges. Stephen is the artistic director of Jumping Jack Theater, a new children's theater company that creates original works for audiences that would benefit from sensory and autism-friendly strategies. He shares his passion and experience in the arts with over 1,500 students every year. Stephen is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

image descriptionJim Scriven

Jim has been working with the Pittsburgh CLO since 2004.  He started as an intern and since has performed with the Gallery of Heroes, has directed summer camps, was on faculty at the CLO Academy, a teacher with the Creative Vision program and was the director of the All-Academy Musical. Now as the Education and Outreach Programs Coordinator, he looks forward to continuing the work of introducing theater to students around the Pittsburgh area. Jim is a 2005 graduate of Allegheny College. He has performed with Pittsburgh CLO, City Theatre, The Company of Pittsburgh, Cleveland Playhouse Square, Split Stage Productions, Gemini Theater, Pittsburgh New Works Festival (2010 Outstanding Lead Actor), Apple Hill Playhouse, and Frog Prince Theatricals among others.