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Our Teaching Artists

Kelie Miley, Artistic Director & Founder (2004-Present)
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Kelie has worked in children’s theatre for the past forty years, first as a child, then as a professional. She received her BFA in Theatre from California State in Los Angeles, and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts West. Kelie has worked with numerous theatre companies as a performer and a director – she even played Woody Woodpecker, but that’s another story. Previously, she was the Artistic Director for Youth of the Monrovia Centre Theatre in California. She returned to Savannah as Artistic Director for the City of Savannah’s theatre program for eleven years before launching SCT. As a teacher, she promotes experience-based learning inspired by the works of Viola Spolin, bringing her respect for children to the very center of Savannah Children’s Theatre. When founding SCT in 2004, Kelie said it was her goal to “meet every child where they are,” leading them through the theatrical process with a little bit of dignity and a whole lot of fun.

Jenn Doubleday, Associate Director (2004-Present) 
A founding member of SCT, Jenn has been with Savannah Children’s Theatre since its debut in 2004, directing and choreographing more than 60 productions during that time.  With a background heavy in modern and jazz dance, she has provided choreography for most SCT musicals, including Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Crazy for You, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, and many more.  Jenn oversees SCT’s highly successful field trip program, Let’s Put on a Play, which has hosted over 115,000 children since its inception.  An aerialist as well, she founded and directs SCT’s Aerial Arts program, teaching aerial silks, hammock, and lyra.  In her spare moments, Jenn also enjoys performing as a dancer and aerialist at The Historic Savannah Theatre on Bull Street, and teaching at Savannah Cirque.

Cynthia Holmen, Creative Adventures Director, Stage Manager (2004-Present)
Cynthia holds a B.S in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in Instructional Technology, and is certified by the State of Georgia to teach PreK – 5th grades.  She teaches 2nd grade, Gifted Program, and directs drama at a local Savannah-Chatham County Public School.  Cynthia developed and created SCT’s Creative Adventures program, which focuses on creative play while introducing elementary theatre concepts to our youngest artists.  In addition to this valuable work, she is the Stage Manager for many of SCT’s larger productions, coordinating both rehearsals and performances. Having been involved with theatre in Savannah for the past 18 years, she has served as Assistant Stage Manager and Stage Manager for the City of Savannah Leisure Services, The Little Theatre and The Shakespeare Festival.

Laura Wild, Creative Dramatics II & Field Trip Director (2013-Present)
Laura Keena Wild is a Savannah native who returned home in 2012. She was directed by none other than the incomparable Kelie Miley in her first-ever show at the age of 7. The theatre bug bit, and she went on to receive her degree in Musical Theatre from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. After performing professionally in the D.C. and New York area, she decided to head south with her then-fiance, now-husband to share her passion for performing arts education with the next generation. Professional credits include The Diary of Anne Frank, A Year with Frog & Toad, Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Review, The Phantom of the Opera, Company, Tarzan, and more.

Carmel Cowart, Creative Dramatics I Director (2007-Present)
A native of Savannah, Carmel started performing at age eight through her school’s drama troupe, where she quickly discovered her passion for the performing arts. As she got older, she also discovered that she was equally as passionate about teaching children. With abundant love for her large southern family and beautiful hometown, she chose to stay in Savannah to obtain her B.F.A. in Theatre at ASU.  During her last year of college, she heard that Kelie Miley had started a children’s theatre, and Carmel knew that SCT was the perfect place for her to combine her two passions. Now– ten years, one wonderful husband, two adorable children, dozens of fun shows, and hundreds of awesome “theatre children” later — Carmel says that teaching at SCT is still her dream job, and she couldn’t imagine her life without this amazing place and her glitter-loving theatre family. She is so thankful that God has blessed her with such an honoring role to play.

Keena Charbonneau, Musical Director (2004-Present)
Keena has a degree in Music with a concentration in Music Therapy. She also has a degree in Radiologic Technology. She began her theatre career in college, but her first show in Savannah – which is how she met Kelie Miley – was in 1999. In 2004, Keena helped launch Savannah Children’s Theatre as a Musical Director and Field Trip Instructor, and worked closely with the first high school theatre classes offered by SCT. After a few years’ hiatus, she is excited to be back home!

Warren Heilman, Musical Director (2014-Present)
A native of Chicago, IL, Warren is a retired public school band director and long-time Savannah resident. He has degrees in Music Education from Kent State University and Georgia Southern University. He has been active as a musical director in most of the theatres in Savannah and Bluffton for many years.  Some favorite shows that he has worked on are Aida, Rent, Once on This Island, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Spring Awakening, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Young Frankenstein.

Wesley Pridgin, Field Trip Instructor (2015-Present) Wesley Pridgen received his B.A. in Theatre Performance from Barton College, located in his home town of Wilson, NC. Prior to graduating in 2012, Wesley worked as an apprentice for both Theatre Raleigh (Raleigh,NC) and The Barter Theatre (Abingdon,VA) before moving to Savannah in pursuit of co-founding Savannah Stage Company. Through both the City of Savannah’s Cultural Affairs and the Park’s and Recreational department, Wesley has had the opportunity to teach theatre to hundreds of kids ranging from 4 years old up to 15 years old. Wesley could not be more thrilled to be a part of the Savannah Children’s Theatre field trip program and looks forward to inspiring, educating and entertaining alongside the wonderful people at SCT.

Kendra Norwood, Choreographer & Field Trip Instructor (2008-Present) A singer-songwriter born and raised in Savannah, Kendra has been directing and choreographing for a decade following her graduation from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where she received a degree in performing arts. In addition to her extensive work at SCT, she was the drama teacher for Studio 11 Films, where she was also an on-set coach for independent films. Since 2012, Kendra has toured with the Emerald Empire Band, singing all over the southeast, including Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, and many regional stages performing for special events and industrial shows. She says that “teaching has taught me so much and has fulfilled me in ways I never imagined.”    

Gloria Rigsbee, Field Trip Instructor (2014-Present) A regular on the SCT stage, Gloria was born and raised in South Florida where she was very active and involved in the theatre community, in and outside of school. Upon graduation she attended college for secondary education with endorsements for theatre at DePaul University, where she met her husband Jason. They, along with three daughters (Taylor, Braidyn and Madison), have made Savannah their home for over 12 years. Gloria is also the Director of Advancement for Savannah Stage Company and you can find her working with productions at Savannah Country Day School. Outside of theatre, she is very involved with the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia as a Girl Scout troop leader and Service Area Manager.

Ellen Sherrod, Musical Director (2019 – present) An actor-musician-teacher raised in Atlanta, Ellen is forever grateful to have found her way to the beautiful city of Savannah with her husband, Allen. Ellen started taking piano lessons at 7 years old and immediately fell in love; she also dabbles in ukulele and guitar! She graduated from the University of Georgia with her B.S. Ed. in World Language Education (Spanish concentration). She taught PreK-12th Spanish for five years, then took a leap of faith to follow her passion of teaching, performing and music directing. She has most recently performed as the title role of SCT’s Peter Pan, and performs locally with many other arts organizations and schools.

Caroline Donica, Choreographer (2019 – present) Caroline is a multidisciplinary artist – an actress, director, choreographer, writer, and more. Her work values collaboration, courage and honesty. Caroline hopes to build a future of art that embraces innovation and diversity. Caroline is currently pursuing her MFA in Performing Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Some of her past favorite shows include Dinner with Friends, Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise, Seussical the Musical, Eurydice, The 39 Steps, Pride and Prejudice and Beauty and the Beast. Caroline received two Bachelor Degrees in Theatre Performance and History. She also trained in Shakespeare at the Kim Tobin Acting Studio while completing an acting internship with the Equity theater A.D. Players. During her time in Houston, she worked with several theatres in the area including: Main Street Theatre, Horse Head Theatre, Wordsmyth and the Majestic Performance Company. Men on Boats at Main Street Theater, in which Caroline played the role of Bradley, was nominated for Best Ensemble Cast and won Best Play/Production of 2018 with Houston Press Awards. Caroline enjoys working at the Savannah Children’s Theatre as a choreographer. www.carolinedonica.com

Jojo Ward Field Trip Instructor, Choreographer (2019-Present)  JoJo Ward is a Savannah native with a constant hunger for both food and stage. A graduate of Armstrong State University as a Theatre Performance major, JoJo continues to enjoy entertaining through stage, screen, and behind the scenes. Most recently, he has graced Savannah stages as Trunchbull in SCT’s Matilda the Musical, Woof in BST’s Hair, and Theo Maske in The Underpants with CFTE. As a child, the arts gave JoJo the extra boost of confidence he needed to discover acceptance, individuality, and thinking outside of the box. He firmly believes that education continues beyond days in the classroom; that every day is a chance to learn something new, to grow from experience, and that all children should be exposed to the atmosphere of the theatre.

Skyler Lanier, Stage Manager/Field Trip Instructor (2018-Present)
Skyler was born and raised right here in Savannah, and grew up at SCT. She was very active in our theatre community here as a student at the Savannah Children’s Theatre for 7 years until she graduated high school. She attended college for Theatre Production with a concentration in Stage Management at Valdosta State University. Skyler loves to work children, and is thrilled to now join the SCT production team.

David I. L. Poole (Scenic Designer, 2010-Present)
David began his theatre career in upstate New York in the early 1990s. He is a founding member of The Collective Face Theatre Ensemble and has directed/designed several of their productions. Some of his favorite works that he has directed and or designed include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeDark of the MoonA Midwinter Night’s DreamBig LoveAugust: Osage County,The Great GatsbyJesus Christ SuperstarCat on a Hot Tin RoofCalendar GirlsDeath of a SalesmanThe Little PrinceGrey GardensThe Trip to BountifulFool for LoveEQUUSSuddenly Last SummerNo ExitAngels in America Part I, and The Glass Menagerie (Collective Face); The Conference of the BirdsThe Marie PlaysAgamemnonFlight, and Frankenstein (Savannah State University); Poof!Through the Lookingglass (SCAD); ’night, Mother and Agnes of God (Cardinal Rep); Barnum and Into the Woods (Asbury Memorial Theatre); and The Rocky Horror Show Live! (Bay Street Theatre). He has designed many productions at Savannah Children’s Theatre and loves the opportunities that SCT makes possible to create magical, whimsical, and fantastical creatures, puppets, costumes, sets and props.  David is a recent recipient of NEH Summer Fellowship at Grambling State University’s 2014 Summer Institute in Greek Drama and Connect Savannah’s 2014, 2015 and 2016 Best Director. He is a professor of theatre at Savannah State University. B.A. Drama Studies, Purchase College; M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College. David is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.