AMY FRANKLIN LEONARDS | B.A. Performing Arts & M.S. Education
Director of Ballet
Originally from Louisiana, Amy Franklin Leonards graduated with a BA in Performing Arts from Centenary College of Louisiana. Upon graduating, Amy moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the arts. After spending a few years in L.A., Amy moved to the Bay Area where she finished her teaching credential and MA in Education. Amy is currently a Credentialed Teacher with Visions in Education and is the Director of Ballet at Lamorinda Performing Academy. She also maintains a professional performing career. Some of her favorite stage roles include Cheryl in THE TAFFETAS (Altarena Playhouse & Diablo Actors Ensemble), Ariel in FOOTLOOSE! THE MUSICAL (CCCT), Lady Larken in ONCE UPON A MATTRESS (The Playhouse, San Anselmo), Jellylorum in CATS (Woodminster), Maggie in A CHORUS LINE (PCRT), Marian in THE MUSIC MAN (PCRT), Rose in the World Premier of ENCHANTED APRIL (PCRT), and most recently Hope in ANYTHING GOES (PCRT). Amy has international, national, and regional commercial and print credits including Ford, LegalZoom, LeapFrog, Salesforce, Rodney Strong Winery, and Silver Oak Winery to name a few. Along with being a professional actor, singer, dancer, and educator, Amy is also a devoted wife and a mother.
A Los Angeles native, Allison has been teaching many styles of dance and musical theatre all over Los Angeles County and Orange County since 2001. She has been teaching, choreographing, and directing in the East Bay since 2014. East Bay choreography and director credits include Seussical (DTC), Spring Awakening (DTC) and Peter Pan (DTC). Some performance credits include: Oklahoma (MTW), Hairspray (MTW), Hello! My Baby – world premier! (Rubicon Theater Co.), Carousel (Reprise!), Meet Me in St Louis (MTW), Long Beach Orchestra Holiday Celebration, Kiss Me Kate (CCPA), and Smokey Joe’s Café (CCPA). She has performed for many great causes such as: Help Is On The Way (REAF), S.T.A.G.E. (AIDS benefit), Broadway In The Park (MTW), Broadway Under the Stars (Reprise!), Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and St Jude’s. She has been fortunate enough to work alongside talented artists such as Lee Martino, Florence Henderson, Patrick Cassidy, Bruce Vilanch, Valerie Pettiford, Jason Alexander, Carole Cook and George Wendt. When Allison is not teaching or performing she’s growing her own business, Images Imagined Photography, specializing in headshots, theatre and dance photography.
ANNETTE BROWN | B.A. Dance
Annette first stepped into the dance studio when she was seven years old in her hometown of Moraga, CA. Over the next 10 years she studied, competed and performed dances in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern & several other world dance traditions while dancing at the California Academy of Performing Arts. Annette went onto Stephens College in Columbia, MO as a dance major where she studied under one of the world’s greatest women in Tap – Roxane Butterfly. In 2001, Annette was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which forced her to part with her tap shoes long enough to obtain a B.S. in Journalism from San Jose State University and recover physically. Once better, Annette traveled the world, taking and teaching dance classes throughout Europe & Australia. Annette currently lives in Walnut Creek, CA with her husband, Dave, & her son, Sam, who was born in 2013. Outside of the studio, Annette works as a freelance writer, plays the fiddle & has recently taken-up clogging. Annette’s teaching style reflects all that she has learned & come to love through her many years of dance. In addition to teaching fundamentals, her students will be exposed to different dance traditions and histories from around the world while also building self-confidence through improvisational dance & choreographed performance. Above all else, Annette hopes to instill an appreciation for music & dance, & the life skills and relationships that are acquired in the studio. Annette is grateful to be welcomed into the Lamorinda Theater Academy family!
CARMEN LESSA | B.A. Dance
Production and Shop Manager
Carmen recently graduated San Francisco State University Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Musical Theatre. A Fairfield native, she began studying ballet at age four with Solano Civic Ballet. She trained vigorously there for nine years, later dancing with the Benicia Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and Ballet Wichita. In high school, Carmen took taking tap and jazz at Dance Direction, headed by Lisa Clark, whose Lisa Clark Dancers reached the quarter-finals in America’s Got Talent. Carmen has also attended the esteemed Actor Training Program at Solano College where she performed in HOW TO SUCCEED… and THE PRODUCERS as well as leading roles in ROMEO AND JULIET and EURYDICE. Carmen has been seen all over the bay area in various shows including: THE MUSIC MAN and OKLAHOMA! (CCMT), SINGIN IN THE RAIN (DTC), SPAMALOT and THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (TVRT), ANNIE (Berkeley Playhouse), CHICAGO (PCRT), and A CHORUS LINE (DMT).
JACQUE WILSON | M.S. Opera Performance
Jacque is hailed as a “passionate singer with beautiful warm tones”. She has more than ten years of teaching experience including three years spent as a musical theater voice faculty at the University of Southern Maine. She is a California native who spent the last decade performing and teaching on the east coast. Jacque holds a Master’s degree in opera performance from The Boston Conservatory and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge. She was the alto soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, under conductor Bernard Haitink. Favorite opera roles include: Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), LaCiesca (Gianni Schicchi), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), and Lola (Cavalleria Rusticana). Favorite Musical Theatre roles include: Julie Jordan (Carousel), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), and Pitti Sing(The Mikado).
CHELSEA BROWN | B.A. in Dance
is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, nature-enthusiast, and activist who recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Maryland. She received a dual degree in Dance and Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Chelsea has worked with PearsonWidrig DanceTheater, Heart Stück Bernie, and creates her own work. In addition, Chelsea has been in works by Stephanie Miracle, Adriane Fang, Christopher K. Morgan, and Chris Aiken & Angie Hauser. Chelsea teaches modern and ballet at multiple studios in the Bay Area, in addition to teaching dance in the public school system. In Maryland, Chelsea worked for Anne Arundel County’s Performance and Visual Arts Magnet Program (PVA) teaching high school students across many disciplines, including music, theater, creative writing, and dance.
MADISON GENOVESE | B.A. in Music
studied theatre at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, and graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a Bachelor’s in Music Degree, focus on Vocal Performance. She believes music, dance, and acting are important tools in developing young minds. She has been teaching voice/music for 10 years both through kid’s camps and private lessons. Madison also performs locally. Recent credits include Jerusha in DADDY LONG LEGS (Main Stage West), Ellen in BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (Tri Valley Rep Theatre), Clara in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (Altarena Playhouse), Nellie in SOUTH PACIFIC (Foothill Music Theatre), and Mary Poppins in MARY POPPINS (Missouri Street Theatre).
MARY KATHERINE PATTERSON | B.A. in Dance
began her dance and theater training in Orange County California with West Coast Performing Arts and received her B.A. from Arizona State University. She has a Master of Arts From University of Illinois. She was a company member of Scottsdale Arizona Jazz Ensemble and Desert Dance Theater. Mary Katherine performed with Alight Dance Theater in Washington DC, Amy Lewis Dance Project, and is currently working with choreographer Stephanie Unger. She’s taught and choreographed for various schools and studios and is certified in Pilates. Recently relocating back to the bay area, Mary Katherine has enjoyed returning to the wonderful artistic community here and bringing her love of dance to students.
JACQUIE DUCKWORTH | B.A. from UCLA
Jacquie is a Bay Area actress who recently appeared as Annette in Town Hall Theatre’s God of Carnage and the San Francisco Bay One Acts. Favorite roles include Mrs. Boyle in Mousetrap (Altarena), Dame Van Tassel in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (SF Shakespeare Festival) and King Edward in Henry VI, Part III (Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley). In addition to stage work, Jacquie has appeared on-camera for commercials (Blue Shield, Youthful Gold), industrials (Safeway, AAA), television (I Almost Got Away With It), and film (The Game, Who Wants to Go to Heaven). As a performer and educator, Jacquie toured schools throughout the state bringing history to life with Live Oakes Educational Theater’s Complete Condensed History of California and Coyote Tales. She has directed student productions and taught acting and improvisational performance for San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Town Hall Theatre, Girls Evolve and Adventure Theater. As a guest lecturer at City College of San Francisco she taught improvisation, creative thinking, and team collaboration. Jacquie is a graduate of UCLA and studied directing, British dialects, and audition techniques at Berkeley Rep and acting Shakespeare with Cal Shakes.
LIZ WHITNEY | MS.S Music
Liz received her Masters Degree in Music with a Vocal Performance Concentration from the University of Northern Colorado in 2006 and has since owned and operated a thriving voice studio catering to elementary school aged through adult students. Liz’s teaching, as well as her singing, places an emphasis on Body Mapping, which is the study of our mental representation of our body’s size, structure, and function. She is deeply inspired by Body Mapping because it teaches singers to become educated about and think independently about their bodies and voices and helps singers avoid injury. Liz teaches a wide variety of genres but places an emphasis on musical theatre as she feels that it is an accessible hybrid between classical and pop that is a cornerstone in developing technique. In addition to teaching technique, Liz aids students in learning to sight read, understand music theory, refine stage presence, overcome performance anxiety, learn new repertoire, & prepare for vocal competitions/auditions. She prides herself on her ability to work with singers at differing ability levels & with differing personality types.
SIERRA DEE | B.A. Piano Performance & Music Education
Sierra Dee found her passion for musical theatre at the age of 16. She was called in to accompany her first show, “The King and I,” and immediately fell in love with the music, the people and the experience of theatre. Since then she has worked her way up from accompanist to a Musical and Vocal Director working in the Bay Area. She works with many different companies including Contra Costa Civic Theatre, Douglas Morrison Theatre, Tri-Valley Reparatory Theatre, and Pacific Coast Reparatory Theatre. Beyond working as a Musical and Vocal Director for theatre companies, she also is the Musical Director for Cal State East Bay – she plays and directs the musical theatre classes while also musically directing their winter musical each year. As the oldest of five, she has always had a soft spot for children and truly feels that teaching music to children is the greatest gift someone can give. She enjoys giving her students a basis for understanding music whether it is for piano, voice, or musical theatre. While she majored in classical piano performance at Cal State East Bay, she soon realized that teaching music to all ages was what she wanted to do. She recently decided to go back to school and is attending San Francisco State University to get her Bachelors of Music in Music Education to have a degree that better suits her career.
ALYSSA COVER | B.A. Dance Pedagogy
is thrilled to be part of the team at Lamorinda Performing Academy. She received her Bachelor’s degree in American Dance Pedagogy from Oklahoma City University. Recently, she moved to the Bay Area with her fiancé and their sweet dog, Ghost. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in arts and theology at the Pacific School of Religion. She is fascinated with understanding how dance intersects with all aspects in life including spiritually and religion. Beyond her academic studies, Alyssa has had the opportunity to teach creative movement, ballet, tap, and jazz to a wide variety of dancers. She loves to share her knowledge and passion for dance with her students, and seeks to bring joy into their lives though dance.
EMILY RADOSEVICH | B.F.A. Drama
is a Lafayette native and is thrilled to back in her hometown teaching acting at LTA! She’s a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she received her BFA in Drama. At NYU, Emily worked on various film and TV projects including the quirky web series “Dorm Therapy” and was seen as Mary 1/Elsa in Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play. After graduating, Emily spent much of her time on the East Coast creating roles in new works such as Clare in The Upper Room (IRT @ The New Ohio), Clarice in These Bodies are Garbage (The Shop Theatre), and Jennie in Island Girls (Theatre for a New City). Since moving back to the Bay Area in November, Emily has worked with A.C.T., The Playwrights Foundation, Indigo Films, and Novato Theatre Company.
DANIELLE AVERSA | BFA Acting
has been lifelong performer, singer and dancer. Originally from Boston, MA Danielle studied at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art before moving to New York to pursue a career in theatre, film and television. In New York Danielle studied voice with an apprentice of Cornelius Reid, a well-known vocal pedagogue specialist in the bel canto technique. Her theatre credits include originating the roles of Jenny in MUSE at the Manhattan Repertory Theater, Mildred in HAIRY APE at the Boston Center for the Arts, television episodes of Brain Games and On the Case with Paula Zahn and a national commercial for Verizon Fios. After moving to the Bay Area a few months ago, Danielle was thrilled to find Lamorinda Performing Academy and is looking forward to inspiring the next generation of performers. As a teacher she strives to create a fun and dynamic environment to help students develop their confidence in a supportive and nurturing space. In addition to her performing experience, Danielle also draws off her experience as a 200hr Yoga Alliance certified instructor and in January she began an Alexander Technique teacher-training program at the Alexander Educational Center in Berkeley.
JAQ DALZIEL | M.F.A. Dance
grew up in Florida as a ballerina but upon moving to Alaska, all that changed to modern dance and musicals! Jaq has been teaching dance and choreographing since 2008. Jaq started choreographing professionally with Alaska Theatre of Youth’s production of Alice in Wonderland and teaching dance intensives at their Summer Conservatory. Since then, Jaq has choreographed with Palo Alto’s Children’s Theatre, Wild Berry Productions, OutNorth Theatre, Cyrano’s Playhouse, Bay Area Children’s Theatre and now, Lamorinda Theatre Academy! Jaq obtained an MFA in Dance from Mills College after spending a year in Chicago performing with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble. Currently, Jaq is a resident artist at SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts, dance program creator and lead at Brave Trails Camp and is a teaching artist at multiple East Bay schools and studios.