TADA! employs close to 50 professional Teaching Artists each year. Here are a few of our Teaching Artists’ bios. For a full list, see below.
Naomi Avadanei, Director/Choreographer, Naomi has been singing, dancing, and acting with TADA! since 2010. She is currently the theater teacher at P.S. 52 in Sheepshead Bay where she works primarily with students in grades 1-5. Naomi has been singing, dancing, and acting since she was 3 years old and she hasn’t stopped since. While in college, Naomi founded and was president of Lamplighters: New York University’s first student centered and run Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) club focused in creating, developing, and exploring new and innovative TYA. Naomi has a B.S. in Educational Theatre with New York State certification in theatre (K-12) and a minor in Dramatic Literature from New York University and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree at City College of New York.
Christopher Bell, Director/Choreographer, Chris Bell is originally from San Antonio, Texas but lives and works in NYC. He attended Case Western Reserve University on a fully funded graduate fellowship, earning a MFA in Contemporary Dance. He did his undergraduate work at Texas Christian University and Lamar University earning degrees in Dance (BFA) and Geology (BS). He also attended the American Dance Festival (4-time full scholarship recipient) and performed works by Merce Cunningham, Hanya Holm, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp. He is curently choreographic and directorial assistant to Mark Dendy as well as a member of Mark Dendy Projects. He also serves as Rehearsal Director for Gaspard&Dancers and performs with Ben Munisteri Projects. He was the resident choreographer for the American Theater of Harlem (13-14), and The Mather Dance Collective (10-11) which brought people aged 8-80 (and beyond) of various skill level and socioeconomic status together to create and perform new dances. In addition to working with TADA! Youth Theaters he also teaches for Pascal Rioult Dance NY. Here and there he creates, performs, and teaches his own work as ChrisBellDances.
Stacey Bone-Gleason, Director/Choreographer, studied drama at NYU/Stella Adler Studio of Acting and in 2015 completed her Master’s in Education Theater at City College. Held the position of Education Programs Manager at TADA! in 2014-2015. Prior to coming to TADA! she spent six years on the administration team at Stella Adler Studio of Acting as the Administrative Coordinator and has served as the Conference Coordinator for Face to Face Conference sponsored by NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. In addition to her administrative work she has been a Teaching Artist for numerous cultural organizations including the Center for the Arts Education, Arc Stages in Pleasantville, NY, the Stella Adler Outreach Division, Stagecoach Theater in Brooklyn and has even taught pre-show lessons internationally in Istanbul with the Tempest Ladies (a theater company she performs with). Stacey is also an actress who has performed Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally in shows ranging from classical to contemporary and musical theater.
Miriam Daly, Music Director, Miriam Daly is a music director at TADA! and is also a composer! When she is not writing music she might by playing piano at various venues, or music directing a TheatreWorks USA tour. She loves cultivating her students musical abilities! She is a graduate of Eastman School of Music and NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Kimberly Hale, Director/Choreographer, Kimberly Hale grew up in Iowa where she studied Performing Arts & Musical Theatre at Iowa State University. After moving to New York, she worked on the business side of the industry while working with Dodgers Theatricals on several major Broadway shows. She is a proud member of the New York Deaf Theatre company where she enjoys combining her love of theatre and American Sign Language. Kimberly has been a Teaching Artist at TADA! for the last 4 years, and she is thrilled to be sharing her love of Musical Theatre with her TADA! students again this fall!
Virgina Jimenez, Director/Choreographer, Virginia Jimenez is originally from Colorado, where she learned to dance before she could talk. She studied Theater and Math Education at the University of Northern Colorado. She works with various theater companies as a teaching artist in NYC. Her work ranges from arts-integrated curricula to skills building in drama and musical theater. Alongside her work in arts education, Virginia is a writer, dancer and theatre maker. Her work places an emphasis on the importance of emotional education. Virginia is currently a Teaching Artist in addition to Education Assistant at TADA! She is very excited to share her passion for theatre with TADA! students.
Lauren Meyer, Director/Choreographer, Lauren Meyer has been a teaching artist for over 7 years. Originally from California, she has worked for a dozen theater companies and schools directing, choreographing, and teaching classes. She founded a theater training organization as a resource for students who aimed to improve and expand their theatre skills outside of school. Lauren is also a private audition and performance coach; she loves the way theater can help students accomplish their goals. Lauren has directed multiple performing groups that reach into the community by serving senior citizens. She completed an internship with New York Theatre Workshop and most recently finished an apprenticeship with New Victory Theater. Lauren holds a degree in Theater with a minor in Marketing from Azusa Pacific University.
Lawrence Rush, Music Director, Lawrence Rush, composer, lyricist and singer, has been a teaching artist with TADA! since 2002. His Pride & Prejudice-the Musical (Richard Rodgers Award finalist) received readings in Philadelphia (Main Street Musicals) and Chicago (FWD Theatre Project). He co-composed Under the Influence (Outwright Festival, Portland, OR) and Rules for Girls (Promenade Actor’s Studio, Odyssey Theatre, L.A.). His choral works, cabaret and art songs have been performed around the world, and his Transitions for piano debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2013. As a singer, Lawrence has performed many roles in opera and musical theater. He was a member of the San Francisco Opera chorus, where he also covered and performed small roles, the famous Young Americans, and the Gregg Smith Singers. He is an arranger, musical director, stage director, actor, and is the chef and owner of Cooking A Cappella, where he teaches cooking classes and corporate events combined with singing!
Matt Patrick Walsh, Music Director, Matt Patrick Walsh studied musical theatre at Marymount Manhattan College as well as composition at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. He is currently finishing up his Masters in music education at CUNY Hunter College. His original works have been produced and featured in festivals, readings in NYC and more! His original musical, The Coincidentals (libretto: Emma Jeszke) was produced at The Pitch at the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. Also, his ten-minute musical Jealous Husband… (lyrics: Nathan Brisby) was featured in the Sound Bites Theatre Festival. Before TADA!, Matt taught percussion to visually impaired teens at the Lighthouse Guild in Manhattan. He is also a very accomplished songwriter and performs around the city with his long-time collaborator, Daniel Palese in their group, Terryweather. His private music studio (to which he teaches voice, guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, and mandolin) contains over 25 students! He resides in Brooklyn.
TADA! Teaching Artists not only teach on-site classes and camps, but also go into the schools for TADA!’s In-School and After-School Residencies around the Tri-State area.