Workshops & Guest Artists

Keynote Speakers

Melody Herzfeld has been the theatre teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S. since 2003. She was honored with The Tony Award from Carnegie Mellon University, Theatre Educator of the Year, 2018. As part of the International Thespian Society, she has been the District 7 Chairperson, and now Co-Chair of Broward County since 2012. As a South Florida Cappies Mentor for the past 15 years she continues to support the love and respect she has for the arts through her students with participating in this national organization that applauds youth. Cappies was founded in the wake of the Columbine High School massacre in 1990 as an effort to bring more positive attention to teenagers engaged in the creative pursuit of the arts and to celebrate their achievements as a form of healing in the face of adversity and trauma. This has now become very personal to her and her students.

Dr. Diane Carr is an experienced and dynamic leader focusing on developing strategies for sustainable growth, managing business operations, advancing volunteer, mentor and outreach service programs, defining community relationship development and leading educational program development. She also holds a Masters in Education, a Masters in English, and an MBA. She works to demonstrate servant leadership in all that she does and believes in the core value that “People Matter.” #drservantleader.

Workshops and Guest Artists


Puppetry 101 – Puppets have been used to tell stories since theatre began, and can be found in performance from stage to screen and everywhere in between. Puppetry celebrates all aspects of the theatre arts and is a “must-have” skill on every resume! Learn about puppet theatre traditions from all over the world, dive into actor-to-puppeteer exercises and have a blast in a puppet skills boot camp!

Building Puppets / Building Ensemble – Puppetry is the perfect exploration and celebration of theatrical collaboration! After building simple and effective Bunraku-inspired puppets, we’ll put them into ensemble performance and enjoy playful discovery of breath, gravity, and focus – the basic of good puppet theatre and ALL great theatre stories.

Presenter – Aretta Lynne Baumgartner is a performer/teaching artist specializing in puppetry, mask and movement. She’s been a professional puppeteer since 1992, and is proud to be the Education Director of the world-renowned Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA—the largest non-profit organization dedicated to the art of puppetry in the United States ( In addition to puppeteering and acting, Aretta sings with two bands, has presented at over 50 arts education events, and serves as the Vice President of the Puppeteers of America.


Makeup Color Matching 101 – We will cover basic color theory and what goes into color matching, principles of basic stage makeup including creating dimension and structure. The interactive component will be addressed by having a few volunteers up to the front, where we will ask the others what they see in each model, and why, and we will go into basic application. Towards the end of the session, students will pair up and color match each other.

Makeup Through the Decades – We will go over makeup trends through the decades, more advanced highlight and contour techniques, and how to create strong looks for stage – including going over various makeup brands and application techniques.

Presenter – Meghan Leigh Bernstein has been a freelance media makeup artist and educator for over 15 years. After obtaining her degree in public relations, she pursued a career in makeup, with her work featured in multiple fashion publications, TV, editorial, and commercial print. In addition, she is also a beauty buyer and general manager for a national theatrical supplier. She enjoys consulting and product development projects, as well as participating in educational endeavors. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA.


Impulses through Viewpoints – During this workshop we will explore the Viewpoints theory, as created by Mary Overlie, and its influence on deconstructing characterization. We will start with the basics of Viewpoints – specifically kinesthetic response, spatial relationship, and tempo – to discover the body’s natural impulses, both internal and external. We will combine Viewpoints with the exploration of levels and body centers while working on an open scene. Through this workshop you will also begin to understand how your physicality is what makes you unique.

Discovery Through Physical Chaos – This workshop will be dedicated to the physical acting techniques of Contact & Structural Improvisation, and its application with intimacy work, & the Jerzy Grotowski technique. This type of work relies on the artist’s awareness, trust of one’s own physicality and discovering organic physical action. The key towards discovering the actor’s creative nature exists through the body. By listening to your own impulses and being open to receive those from your ensemble, you become ready to live in the moment. And as a result, such intangible moments become tangible. *Previous physical theatre experience/knowledge recommended

Presenter – Erin Carr is currently working as a professional actor, physical theatre creator & theatre activist out of Cincinnati, OH. She has studied physical theatre at NYU-Tisch’s Experimental Theatre Wing and ArtsOasis – International Residency for Performers in Italy, among other programs throughout the states. In addition, she is the Co-Artistic Director of the feminist-centric theatre company, ReVamp Collective, based in Philadelphia, PA, as well as the Co-Founder of Solasta Theatre Lab in Cincinnati, OH. Additional information:


The 12 Step Program – Musical theatre dance is made up of the same basic dance steps, done in a different order with a different arm. Learn the basics of musical theatre dance that you can incorporate into your programs and musicals. Be prepared (not scared) to move and come with a willingness to participate. In this interactive class, you will learn the basics of musical theatre dance that can be configured in a multitude of ways.

The 12 Step Program – Advanced – Intermediate/advanced level musical theatre dance doesn’t have to mean difficult/demanding. In this class we will explore taking the basics of musical theatre choreography and “stepping-up” their levels, all while creating routines that aren’t overly challenging for student dancers. Be prepared (NOT SCARED) to move and come with a willingness to participate. In this interactive class, you will learn how to up the level of basic musical theatre dance.

Presenter – Brian Curl is a professional teaching artist /actor /director /choreographer from New York City, who has sat on the Educational Theatre Association’s Board of Directors. Since 2008, Brian has been traveling the United States teaching musical theatre based workshops at festivals, conferences, high schools, and colleges. Brian is currently collaborating with a few Broadway productions to develop branded workshops furthering the importance of theatre education. In 2018, Brian was invited to participate in the EdTA & NEA Model Curriculum Framework project, where standards-based curricular units in Musical Theatre were created by theatre professionals from across the United States.

Set Design

You Want Me To Design A Set? – You have your script but now what do you do? Learn tips and techniques used to analyze the script that you are to design and how the script provides clues as to what the play needs to be performed. Participants will be given a short script and will collectively design the play in small groups and share and discuss their creations.

Model Building – Learn the purpose of a scenic model and investigate the different types of models used in theater. Participants will learn tips and tricks that will take their future set models to the next level including different tools and resources used by professional scenic designers. Participants will have the opportunity to create a basic model of their own to take home with them.

Presenter – Christopher Dills holds a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology from Columbus State University and a MFA in Scenic Design from Boston University. Christopher has taught, worked, managed, and/or designed professionally across the country. He currently teaches technical theatre at Hillgrove High School and works as a freelance scenic designer in the Metropolitan Atlanta area.

Curriculum Planning

Tech Tools You Can Use In Your Classroom Today – Learn how to incorporate web 2.0 tools into your theatre classroom today. This workshop will provide you with a variety of free tools that are fun and easy to use. Please bring your laptop to the workshop.

Advanced Google Tools For Teachers and Students – Learn how to use the advanced hidden features in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This workshop will provide you with variety of free add-ons that you that are fun and easy to use. Please bring your laptop to the workshop.

Presenter – Dean Feldman was the Teacher of the Year at Meadowcreeek, Collins Hill, and Peachtree Ridge High School. He has been inducted into the GA Thespian and International Thespian Hall Of Fame. In the Spring of 2015, Mr. Feldman retired from teaching theatre after 27 years. Currently, Mr. Feldman is in his 31st year in public education and his 4th year as the Tech Coach at Peachtree Ridge.

Curriculum Planning

Middle School Curriculum Support Materials – Overview of the newly released curriculum support materials recently developed by the GaDOE for all middle school theatre course numbers.

High School Curriculum Support Materials – Overview of the newly released curriculum support materials recently developed by the GaDOE for high school theatre course numbers including Fundamentals of Theatre, Advanced Drama, Musical Theatre, and Technical Theatre.

Presenter – Paul McClain is a Georgia Thespian alumni, a Georgia Theatre Educator and the Fine Arts Program Specialist with the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at the Georgia Department of Education.

Curriculum Planning/Advocacy

Advocacy 101 and Beyond – The presenter will address federal and state legislation, policies, and regulations that may impact theatre education in Georgia and facilitate an open discussion on how to build grassroots advocacy for theatre education at the building and district level.

Advocacy: Strategies for Success – The presenter guide participants through a SWOT analysis that will serve as the foundation for a personal advocacy plan addressing short- and long-term strategies and goals that can help improve, expand or maintain theatre education opportunities in the advocate’s school and/or district.

Presenter – Jim Palmarini is the Educational Theatre Association Director of Educational Policy. Jim serves on the Arts Education Partnership Advisory Board; the Washington D.C.-based Arts Education Working Group; the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Leadership committee; and manages EdTA’s Advocacy Leadership Network. He just completed management of the association’s NEA grant, the Model Curriculum Framework Project.

Curriculum Planning

Set the Stage for Student Written Monologues – Have you tried to incorporate monologue units into the classroom with less than satisfactory results? Professional Playwright and Theatre Educator Lindsay Price will show you the 5 steps to ensure students are ready to write their first monologue. A practical workshop with exercises you can take into the classroom immediately.

Writing Impactful Monologues – A fantastic cross-curricular monologue writing project! Using picture prompts to show the effect Globalization on working conditions as the source, participants will explore a framework to inspire students through pre-writing strategies, generating source material, ending with monologue writing. Engage students toward writing an impactful monologue.

Presenter – Lindsay Price is the Vice President of Theatrefolk Inc. and the co-creator of the Drama Teacher Academy. She has been a professional playwright for 24 years with over 80 published plays which have been presented all over the world and 15 drama resources for the classroom. She writes specifically for schools and student performers.

Curriculum Planning

Jokers Belong With Batman – Using the rules of improvisation (and yes, there are “rules”), is not only vital to creating spontaneous theatre, problem solving in the moment, and building confidence in imaginative storytelling, but can be invaluable in all aspects of life. If you are allowing improv to only be related to comedy, or using it as a “reward”, then you aren’t using it to its full potential. This highly interactive workshop will challenge and inspire you with ways to engage today’s 21st Century learners by turning value-based learning into a social experience.

How to Find the Funny: Directing Comedy isn’t all laughs. – Using tools that make up the world of comedy will not only enhance your productions, but give way to better script analysis, character development, and storytelling. This workshop breaks down how to “land” a joke by teaching comedy techniques such as the parallel conversation, the workings of physical comedy, and the conclusion leap, just to name a few. We’ll map out how to direct a farce in order to heighten all aspects of the script; and we’ll walk step by step through “jokes” to derive where the plot indicates that the comedy is actually being set up – all this in order to enhance the audience’s capability for laughter.

Presenter – Missy Whitis taught public and private school music and drama for over 15 years. She is a four-time honoree into Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers, recognized in Who’s Who Among American Professional Women, and has even served as the principal of a charter school. A highly sought-after speaker, Missy is on faculty at the University of Cincinnati, where she teaches Improv, Screenwriting, and Television.


Everything You Need to Know About Licensing and Resources – Learn everything you need to know in order to make your next MTI show painless, fun and affordable. We’ll address a number of frequently asked questions about the process in a candid and supportive environment. MTI’s licensing experts will also provide important tips on lowering your royalties, managing your account, understanding restrictions, and utilizing new resources. This is an invaluable workshop, regardless of your experience level. Stick around for the RehearScore Challenge to win cool prizes, including a Free Standard Rental Certificate for your next MTI show!

Understanding Copyright: Do’s and Don’ts – This workshop will address the pitfalls of replicating elements from the original production of a show. Direction, choreography, and designs are the intellectual property of the original creative team, and the right to use these elements are generally not included in a performance license. Learn how to avoid infringing copyrighted elements while identifying ideas that are free to use. Stick around for the RehearScore Challenge to win cool prizes, including a Free Standard Rental Certificate for your next MTI show!

Presenter – John Prignano is the COO & Director of Education and Development at Music Theater International (MTI), the world’s leading licensing company for musicals. John has been with MTI for over 20 years. Prior to MTI John toured the world as a performer. He is proud to be a part of MTI and focuses his time on theater education.


The Wonder World of Worbla – In this beginner’s class, we will explore popular modelling materials for creating costumes, armor and props using thermoformable plastic and foam sheets. This is a beginners class designed to introduce the basic techniques of forming Worbla. Attendees will learn the ‘how to’ for heating and using Worbla along with other similar thermoplastic sheets to design and create basic patterns. We’ll also touch on how to use Worbla to compliment XLPE (EVA) foam designs.

Worbla meets XLPE (EVA) – In this intermediate/advanced class, attendees work on building an actual costume piece. Attendees will use lightweight EVA materials that can easily be cut, carved, and heat shaped to create interesting forms. Expect to use Worbla, XLPE (EVA), scissors, exacto knives, contact cement, and heat guns.

Presenters – Sawyer Gosnell & Joshua Bohn (Bios coming soon)