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RLT Adult Education Program Instructors

Chasta Hamilton CalhounChasta Hamilton Calhoun is the Owner/ Artistic Director of Stage Door Dance Productions and the Founder/Editor of The Dance Exec. A 2007 Park Scholar Alumna of NC State, Chasta graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Arts Applications/Administration (Emphasis: Theatre). Her choreography has appeared at Raleigh Little Theatre, Deep Dish Theater, North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre, Theatre In The Park, Athens Drive High School (2014 Triangle Rising Star Award), and Clayton Youth Theater. Upcoming projects include: Choreographing the 41st Production of A Christmas Carol, Choreographing Sweeney Todd at Raleigh Little Theatre, and Directing/Choreographing The Wedding Singer at North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre. In 2012, Chasta received the Goodman Award for Regional Leadership Excellence in the Area of the Arts, and in 2014, Chasta was named to the Triangle Business Journal's 40 Under 40.

David HendersonDavid Henderson is a Morehead Scholar graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. Most recently he played appeared as Ulysses in Honest Pint Theatre Company’s production of Annapurna. As a director, he led the inaugural production of Twelfth Night at Koka Booth as well as the following year’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most recently he directed Rent for NRACT and Desire Under the Elms for Raleigh Little Theatre. For the past 20 years, he had the pleasure of playing  Jacob Marley in Theatre in the Park’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. He is the founder and artistic director of Honest Pint Theatre Company.

Barbette HunterBarbette Hunter holds a BA in Speech/Communications from NC State University and did graduate work in acting at UNC-Greensboro. She has earned three performance awards and two technical theatre awards from RLT. As a professional actress, she has performed with numerous companies in the Triangle including the Justice Theatre Project, Raleigh Ensemble Players and Theatre in the Park. Barbette has been working with the RLT Education Program for ten years.

Jim McManusJim McManus is the author of a great number plays that have been developed and performed at many theatres throughout the world, including The Kennedy Center, Cornerstone Theater Company and Glass Umbrella Creative in Sydney. Awards include the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting for Cherry Smoke, which is published by Samuel French and the 2013 Helen Merrill Award. He received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists.  

Vicki OlsonVicki Olson has been sewing for at least 40 years. She has designed costumes for RLT for 17 years. Vicki has an MFA in costume design from UNC-G and became RLT’s first professional costume designer in 1985. She has 2 children and 4 grandchildren and a very supportive theatre-loving husband.  

Jerry SippJerry Sipp has enjoyed a varied 30 year career as a professional director, actor, playwright, producer, fight director and teacher. He has directed over 100 plays and musicals and performed in another 100+ shows. Jerry has served as Producing Artistic Director for four North Carolina-based theatre companies. He has taught theatre classes for The ArtsCenter, Temple Theatre, The Playhouse Theatre, NC Visiting Artist Program, Blowing Rock Stage Company, Nebraska Theatre Caravan, Nashville Children's Theatre, and many others.

Amy SawyersAmy Sawyers is a professional interactive/applied theatre artist and arts educator who has been working in the arts field for nearly a decade. Originally from Chicago, Amy has also lived and worked in Madison, WI (BA Theatre UW Madison), New York City, Raleigh, and Kigali, Rwanda. In NYC, she earned her MA in Applied Theatre from CUNY, was a teaching artist for Story Pirates and the NYC Children's Theatre, and worked in the education office at Broadway's New Victory Theatre. Amy has co-created and devised 6 original shows and workshops with diverse communities that have been featured locally and nationally. She oversees Arts Outreach at Arts NC State, where she devises theatre with students around issues like sexual violence prevention.

Heather StricklandHeather J. Strickland has worked in the triangle area for nearly 15 years as a director, actor, and dance/fight choreographer. Her most recent project was directing Bare Theatre’s all-female production of Titus Andronicus. She has worked with Bare Theatre on numerous other productions in many capacities, including: Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Tempest, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Taming of the Shrew, A Winter’s TaleThe Crucible, Cymbeline, and As You Like It. She has worked with many schools and performance groups as a performer and teacher, including Raleigh Little Theatre, Deep Dish Theatre Company, Burning Coal, Ghost and Spice Productions, Cary Players, The Nickel Shakespeare Girls, Duke University, Durham School of the Arts, and Franklin Academy. Heather has a degree in Theatre Arts from Flagler College in Florida and is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors.

Patrick TorresPatrick Torres is RLT's Artistic Director and has more than a decade of experience as a professional director and theatre educator. His work as a freelance director has been seen at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Southwest Shakespeare Festival, Round House Theatre, The Source Festival, and the Hangar Theatre among others. In 2003, he was selected as a Drama League Directing Fellow and in 2005 was named a Young Leader of Color by the Theatre Communications Group. He has an MFA in Directing from the University of Southern Mississippi.

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