Studio East Teaching Artists

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Aimee Hong

Aimee Hong, since 2014
Aimee is thrilled to be teaching with Studio East! Previous teaching artist experiences have been through the Seattle Opera, Seattle Symphony, and Village Kidstage. Aimee is an Adjunct Music Professor at Bellevue College, working with both the Vocal and Musical Theatre departments. She has Music Directed at Renton Civic Theatre, SecondStory Rep, and Bainbridge Performing Arts, to name a few.

At Studio East she has enjoyed strengthening singing voices and bringing out characters through song and dance. Aimee loves Studio East’s positive environment and continuous support to both students and staff!

Allan Batchelder

Allan Batchelder, since 1995
Allan Batchelder has been with the Studio since its second year, which makes him feel really, really old. It’s funny that while he looks every day of those many years, Lani hasn’t aged a minute. Well, life isn’t fair. Allan has worked with students from pre-K through retirement, teaching classes ranging from Play Analysis to Stage Combat, and from Mask to Shakespeare. He has also directed over sixty plays in various schools around the Seattle area (and two or three here at Studio East). Allan is a former member of Actors’ Equity Association, a former stand-up comedian, and former owner of a lustrous head of hair. He has two Master’s degrees, two dogs, a cat, an impossibly patient wife, an alarmingly normal son, and a bum knee. As Steven Wright once said, “you can’t have everything…where would you put it?”

Ashley Rose Klimper, since 2020
Ashley (she/her) is excited to be back at the Studio, this time as a teaching artist. She has spent the last four years in New York City attending Circle in the Square Theater School where she graduated with a certificate in musical theater; as well as being a teaching artist for local public schools. This previous year Ashley has been teaching in over 5 states and 20 cities bringing theater to all communities with Missoula Children’s Theater. Being a pacific northwest native she is thrilled to be back in the Seattle area doing what she loves most!

Brad Walker (he/him), since 2018
Seattle born and raised, Brad is a proud AAPI actor, director, teaching artist, and an alumnus of the University of Washington. Notable acting credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Harlequin Productions), Above Between Below (Seattle Children’s Theatre), The MatchmakerA Charlie Brown Christmas (Taproot Theatre), and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Village Theatre). Brad has also performed with Book-It Repertory, Seattle Public Theatre, and StoryBook Theater. Off stage, Brad has directed many school plays at Sacajawea Elementary, Bryant Elementary, and St. Francis of Assisi Middle School, and he teaches with Studio East and Seattle Theatre Group. Along with being a full-time theatre artist, Brad is also a professional Dungeon Master, and runs games of Dungeons & Dragons for students and adults alike. www.walkerbrad.com

Buddy Todd, since 2014
Buddy has been acting and directing for over twenty years. Some of his directing favorites have included Fiddler on the RoofA Child’s Christmas in WalesThe Fantastiks, and The Game’s Afoot. As a performer, Buddy has enjoyed such roles as “Charlie Brown” in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, “The Fairy Godmother” in Cinderella, “Simon” in Hayfever, “Jack” in Into the Woods, and “Sylvia St. Croix” in Ruthless! The Musical. In addition to working at Studio East, Buddy teaches with Stone Soup Theatre and Edmonds Community College.

Candace Dahne

Candace Marie James, since 2014
Candace has been onstage, backstage, and all around the stage her entire life. The daughter of a dancer and a musician, she began dancing at the age of 3 and eventually found her way to theatre and music at age 10. In 2011, she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Florida Atlantic University and quickly discovered teaching theatre to be her true calling. Her passion for teaching stems from watching the “light bulb moment” – the moment a student realizes they can achieve a thing that once seemed too difficult. Candace is also a trained stage combatant with over 10 years of training in 9 weapon styles.

Candace has worked extensively with students of all ages in Florida, Tennessee, Washington, and internationally in Florence and Pistoia, Italy. She has choreographed combat for middle-school and high-school productions, developed preschool drama programming, and inspired students in the studies of Shakespeare, dance, acting and improvisation. Candace is proud to be a member of the Studio East faculty because Studio East strives to give every student a chance to find their truth in theatre.

Cassie Fitzgerald, since 2017
Cassie is ecstatic to be joining the Studio East’s Education Program. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a B.A. in Theatre and History and is currently pursuing her Masters in Arts and Culture Management through University of Denver. She is a freelance stage manager in the Greater Seattle Area and has worked at Taproot Theatre, Second Story Rep, Fifth Ave, Seattle Musical Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre. She has been stage managing various mainstage productions for nearly 4 years. Her favorite productions include: ‘Twas, Once on this Island, Peter Pan, and Seussical. She loves the Studio and everything it does and teaches kids. She was an assistant preschool teacher at Shoreline Covenant Preschool for 1.5 years focusing on teaching art. She can’t wait to work with “littles” again and have fun with drama, music, and art!

David Duvall

David Duvall, since 1999
David has been a musical director/composer/pianist in the Seattle area for 30+ years, working on a great many Equity, non-Equity and scholastic productions with such companies as SCT, ACT, Tacoma Little Theatre, CenterStage, Montana Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Theatre Northwest Group and here at Studio East. Besides teaching privately at Studio East, David has taught at Cornish College, SCT, TLT, been a guest artist at many area high schools, and has been a faculty member of Studio East’s YAPI program for 14 years. He has received two Emmy nominations for his television scores, and frequently performs as a singer/songwriter.

David Dryfoos, since 2019
David Dryfoos is a multi-faceted professional musician. He recently graduated from University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition. In addition to being a composer, he is a theatrical music director, piano accompanist for choir, solo voice, and solo instrument, sound designer, and Foley artist.

Emily Beckley, since 2017
Emily is thrilled to be part of the teaching team at Studio East. She has worked in Early Childhood Education since 2005 and was a dance teacher for several years before that. Emily is a seasoned performer and has been on stage at many local theaters, including Seattle Musical Theater, Renton Civic Theater, Burien Actor’s Theater, and Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater. Originally from Southeast Texas, she now lives in Renton with her husband, Brian.

Gilly Kelleher, since 2019
Gilly Kelleher (she/her) is a teaching artist, actor, director, designer, dialect coach, and writer. She graduated from the (no longer existing) Foothill Theatre Conservatory before completing her BA degrees in Drama and English (with a Creative Writing Emphasis) at the University of California, Irvine. She grew up in England & the Bay Area, giving her unique preparation for the weather in the Pacific Northwest. She can be seen teaching and performing all around the Seattle area. Favorite roles include Dromio of Ephesus in Comedy of Errors (Last Leaf Productions), Romaine Patterson in the South Bay reading of the global premiere of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (City Lights Theater Co.), and, most recently, King Henry in Last Leaf’s Henry VIII. Gilly often finds that her interests in writing, language and theater intersect in working with young artists, and she delights in working with students of all ages on exploring their creativity. Offstage she can often be found reading, drinking coffee/tea, or playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Helen Roundhill, since 2018 (Studio Alum)
Helen Roundhill is a Seattle based theatre artist who self identifies as a Jack of all Trades.  Subsequently she loves everything to do with theatre. Musicals, Shakespeare, Cabaret and Drag, she’s seen it, tried it, loved it and come back for more. On-stage, off-stage, and back-stage, doesn’t matter. Before settling in Seattle she performed and costumed her way through London and Las Vegas. Previous to that she spent four years in Indiana earning her theatre degree from University of Evansville. Previous even to that…She was a Studio East kid. She is a dinosaur enthusiast and would love to see your impressions.

Isaac Levin-Delson, since 2021
Isaac is a Studio East alum and YAPI graduate, and he is overjoyed to join the team as a teaching artist. Isaac’s deep love of theater was cultivated from a young age at Studio East by many of the current and past faculty, so he is eager to pass on the inspiration he received to the next generation of Studio East students. Isaac has developed leadership and mentoring skills through internships with Studio East and the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s youth program, as well as Seattle Opera’s Teen Vocal Studio. Isaac’s performance credits include productions with Studio East, Seattle Opera, and Seattle Historical Arts for Kids, as well as numerous school productions. He has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, Berkeley Festival of Early Music, and Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall.

Jacq Babb, since 2021
Jacq is an actor, singer, writer, and transmedia artist whose passions include coaching budding actors and facilitating the success of their fellow creatives. A California native who now calls the Seattle area home, Jacq obtained their BA in Theatre Arts from CSU Fresno and their MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from UW Bothell. Jacq enjoys the intermingling of artistic disciplines and hopes to instill such multidisciplinary mindsets into the next generation of creatives while imparting the practical and impacting ways in which arts education makes for a well-rounded, self-empowered, compassionate individual and community member. Jacq is thrilled to be working with the Studio East faculty who, themselves, model these traits admirably.

Jasmine Francis, since 2020
Jasmine is a recent graduate of Western Washington University and is so excited to be back at Studio East! She holds a BA in Theatre with concentrations in Acting and Playwriting and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. Her biggest passions are theatre and music. Jasmine has been playing piano for 14 years and fell in love with music direction and accompaniment during her time at WWU. She had the privilege to accompany and be in the orchestra for both A Christmas Carol, and Peter and the Starcatcher on the WWU mainstage. Past performing credits include 1776, Love/Sick, Sweeney Todd, Legally Blonde: The Musical, and Julius Caesar.

Jayne Ava, since 2019
Hailing from Alberta, Canada, Jayne Ava always knew she wanted to perform. She attended Victoria School for the Performing and Visual Arts and danced competitively for 12 years as well as teaching competitive dance classes.  Her love for the stage led to her acceptance into the prestigious musical theatre program at Sheridan Institute in Toronto, Ontario. After receiving a degree in theater and performing in multiple professional shows, Jayne moved to Los Angeles to pursue writing and performing alternative-pop music. She has performed at many esteemed venues all around LA and Canada. She is currently working on her second studio album and continues to write for a multitude of artists in Canada and Los Angeles. For the past 5 years she has also helped run a theater company that puts up professional productions for children ages 8-18 at various schools in Los Angeles.

Jessica Hamilton, since 2021
Jessica is so thrilled to be teaching with Studio East. She is a graduate of Central Washington University where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre. She loves all aspects of theatre and performing and has a huge passion for tap dancing and song writing. She has performed and directed with the Missoula Children’s Theatre, and worked on other various performing arts projects around the PNW. She discovered her love for teaching with the Village Theatre Kidstage after spending several years as a student herself in the program, and then completing their Arts Education Internship program. She is so grateful for the impact theatre had on her life and would nothing more than to strive to pass that same impact and inspiration onto future students that she teaches!

Julia Gorordo, since 2017 (Studio East Alum)
A passionate Studio kid of over a decade, Julia is thrilled to be working as a Teaching Artist! She was raised in Snohomish, WA, and now teaches Choir at Monroe High School and Park Place Middle School. Julia studied Music Education and Classical Voice at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, graduating with a BM in 2020. When it comes to theater she’s done everything from performing to running tech to stage managing and more, but her true calling is teaching and music directing. Her teaching is often inspired by Orff Schulwerk, and the concept that students learn how they play. She tries to incorporate this into every teaching position she has, bringing the natural process of playing and having fun into learning.

Julie Grant
Julie Grant – MFA, MAP, MSW: In her 23-year career as a professional Equity actor, Julie performed at major regional theatres throughout the West Coast and Midwest, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A Contemporary Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre, American Player’s Theatre, Group Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Bathhouse Theatre, and Pioneer Square Theatre. As a freelance teacher, director, and coach since 1985, she has worked with young actors from grade school through college, focusing primarily on Shakespeare, Vocal Production, and Musical Theatre, including 11 summers with the Studio East YAPI program, and 4 years with Core Theatrics. As a mental health professional, (Masters Degrees in Psychotherapeutic Psychology and Social Work) Julie is committed to the holistic wellbeing of young artists, and has developed and implemented programs specifically designed to cultivate and strengthen emotional and psychological resilience in young adults.

Kaysy Ostrom

Kaysy Ostrom (she/her), since 2015 (Education Director)
Kaysy is an actor, playwright, director, and teaching artist from Seattle, Washington and she is the Education Director at Studio East! She is an alumni of Studio East, a graduate of SMU with a BFA in Theatre Studies (with an emphasis on acting, playwriting, and directing), and a graduate of Seattle Children’s Theatre’s TAT Lab: a teaching artist training program. You may have seen Kaysy acting around town with StoryBook Theater, Secondstory Repertory, Hello Earth Productions and more. Her plays have been produced in Boise, Dallas, and New York City and she regular directs Studio East Mainstage shows. But, her favorite thing to do is teach theater. She is passionate about arts education and inspiring the next generation to be creative, confident, and compassionate through training in the performing arts. Whether a student ends up on Broadway or chooses a different career, Kaysy believes that theater education is an enriching experience for every student to explore the arts, learn important life skills, grow as humans, and make amazing memories.

Kim Douthit

Kim Douthit, since 2011
Kim was born and raised in Redmond, Washington. She relocated to New York for school, attending Hofstra University and receiving her BFA in Theatre Arts with a specialization in performance. After working professionally in NYC for a number of years as an actor, director and playwright, Kim attended LAMDA to study Classical Acting and Shakespeare. She started working as a teaching artist in 2009 and discovered a new love of educating children in the arts. She loves working at Studio East. It is a privilege to work with other artists and educators who are so passionate about theatre and to help students on their artistic journey. In her spare time she also works as a Paranormal Investigator and loves learning about history and hanging with ghosts.

Lani Brockman

Lani Brockman, Founder
Lani is the Executive Artistic Director of Studio East and holds degrees in Children’s Theater and Theater Performance. In addition to her artistic duties, Lani directs for the Studio Mainstage as well as writes and directs for StoryBook Theater, the Studio’s popular series of musicals for young audiences. She and her writing partner, Susan Bardsley, recently won a national award for their musical Emperor’s New Clothes. Favorite productions she has directed include Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Little Women, I Never Saw Another Butterfly and Quilters.

Margie Slovan, since 2014
There’s nothing like the feeling a teacher gets when she sees the light bulb go off in kids’ heads when they realize that acting is the best thing ever. That’s why Margie Slovan loves teaching at Studio East, and is so happy to be returning after two years away for graduate school. A writer and director as well as a teaching artist, Margie has directed several plays with children including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Pan, The Hobbit and Robin Hood. She is also a filmmaker and a commissioned playwright. A native New Yorker, Margie attended LaGuardia High School and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and worked as an actor before transitioning into a career as a reporter and editor. But theatre is her first love, and when the field of journalism imploded several years ago, Margie knew she still had a home here. Thank you all for keeping the drama alive!

Matthew Triplett, since 2019 (Studio alum)
Matthew has been performing in musicals since he was seven years old and spent 7 years performing with the Studio. His favorite roles with the Studio include playing Jean Valjean (Les Miserable), Gaston (Beauty and the Beast), and Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). He is currently a history major at Whitman College but he has continued his theater education into college, performing in several of Checkov’s farces as well as playing Clotaldo in Calderón de la Barca’s Life is a Dream. He is also on the Whitman College Improv team and is skilled in clowning and comedy. Matthew has been a teaching assistant for the Studio summer camps for 4 years now and is thrilled to be in a teaching role this summer. The only thing better than falling in love with theater is seeing other people fall in love with theater and he is extremely excited to help the next generation of Studio Rats discover how wonderful performing really is.

Megan Connell

Megan Connell, since 2018 (Studio alum)
Megan is a proud Studio Alum who just recently made her way back to the Pacific Northwest! She’s experienced first hand how arts training has not only helped her with her acting career, but other aspects of her life as well and is honored to get to pass that down to new generations. Megan received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in their Stage and Screen Acting program. She’s spent the past 5 1/2 years in Las Vegas performing in theater on The Strip and in film projects around the area.

Melissa Gollofon, since 2016 (Studio alum)
Melissa is always delighted to return to Studio East every summer. She’s participated in numerous SE programs since 2003 as a teen and young adult, and is honored to be on staff as a teaching artist. Melissa taught second grade and coached competitive High School Speech and Drama in eastern Montana. Since 2016, she has been back in the PNW teaching second grade in Sammamish and continues to spend her summers sharing her love of theater with students in the greater Seattle area. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms. The most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

Savannah Lynn

Savannah Lynn, since 2018 (Studio alum)
Savannah found a home in the theatre at a young age and later achieved her BFA in musical theatre at Central Washington University. While adding the necessary tools to her tool box in her CWU classes, Savannah  taught once a week with PlayEd, a non-profit educational theatre experience for young actors in Ellensburg, Washington. The 10 week program worked towards a final performance of musical numbers and consisted of valuable lessons regarding teamwork, focus, acting, singing, some dance, and, most of all, fun! Savannah is incredibly passionate about youth theatre. She cherishes the life long lessons it taught her as a child, that inevitably helped her rise to the occasion in both school, and in the professional world. Theatre gave her the confidence to own her space and be bold! She believes that the theatre can prepare you for any task at hand, and teaches you to color with every crayon in the box, expanding your mind to creative freedom! Savannah’s mentors in theatre were huge influences on her growing up. They inspired her to be herself, and to trust in her gut. If she can be that inspiration to even one student, Savannah would be over the moon.

Simon Pringle

Simon Pringle, since 2010
Simon is a professional actor and a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Simon emigrated to America in February 2010. Theater credits include King Lear and Beowulf at The Arches Theater, Jackie or The Submission at The Tron Theater, San Diego, What The Butler Saw, Medea, Beauty And The Beast, Hurlyburly, and Uncle Vanya at The New Athenaeum Theater, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Oslo, Norway and The Beams Are Creaking and An Ideal Husband at Seattle’s own Taproot Theatre Company.


Film credits include Leverage, Zig Zag Love, Sweet Fanny Adams in Hyperspace Eden and Taggart. Voice credits include Time For Drama at BBC Scotland and The Company of Heaven at Pacific Lutheran University.  Simon holds a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of St Andrews and has worked extensively for the Shakespeare Schools Festival in the United Kingdom. Simon is on faculty for Studio East’s Young Actor’s Professional Intensive program and directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth for the Teen Ensemble. Simon is married to local girl Anna Lee who grew up in Issaquah. They have two sons, Alasdair Caleb and new arrival Francis James.

VJ Orduna

Vincent J. Orduña, since 2016
After receiving a BA in theatre, VJ did his post-graduate work at The National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York City and he is thrilled to be the new Educational Outreach Manager here at Studio East. Previously he worked as the Theatre Manager at the Mountlake Terrace High School Performing Art Center; before that he spent 14 years as Cultural Arts Coordinator for the City of Renton where he also Managed the Carco Theatre and ran their Annual Summer Teen Musical Program and he is currently the Executive Director for Seattle STAGERight Theatre (2015 Gregory Award Winner for Outstanding Muscial).

As an actor VJ has performed with theaters in town such as Village Theatre, Bellevue Civic Theatre, Showtunes, Seattle Musical Theatre, Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Seattle STAGERight among others; and his Directing resume includes several regional and area theatres including SecondStory Repertory, Renton Civic Theatre, and Seattle Musical Theatre.