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Meet the Teachers

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Carrie Sue Avyar (Master Storyteller)

Connecting curriculum, people, languages and cultures in both English and Spanish for over thirty years, nationally renowned master storyteller, Carrie Sue Ayvar, is a Chautauqua scholar and Kennedy Center and Wolftrap trained artist in education who believes, as her grandfather taught her, that “If you don’t know the trees you may be lost in the forest, but if you don’t know the stories you may be lost in life.” Long active as an advocate for the art of storytelling and arts education she is the recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Award for Service and Leadership, the “Sun Award” for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through the Arts, the National Parenting Publications Honors Award, an iParenting Award for her Cuentame Un Cuento/Tell Me A Story CD and the Broward Teaching Artist Recognition ArtsEd Forever Award.

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Jessica Biano Borbone (Music Theater/Vocal Coach)

Jessica Bianco Borbone earned her Masters of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory and Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University, both in voice performance. She is a previous winner of the Ben DeBolt Memorial Award and of the National Federation of Music Clubs Jeannie Competition. She has appeared as a soloist with both the Master Chorale of South Florida and Miami Lyric Opera

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Nina Felice (Music Theater)

Following a career as a professional actress, Nina Felice founded The Performance Project School of the Arts to nurture young talent and encourage the pursuit of their creative dreams. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a master’s degree in Child/Family Psychology, Nina incorporates the two disciplines into her teaching techniques to guide and motivate young performers. For almost two decades, she has directed and produced more than 15 shows each year. Nina has choreographed and directed several high-caliber professional productions at the Broward Center during their annual summer theater camp.

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Gail S. Garrisan (Acting)

Gail Garrisan is the founding Artistic Director of City Theatre and currently serves as the Director of Special Projects.  She has directed at theaters throughout South Florida as well as regionally. In addition, she has been teaching acting for over 25 years.  She also has a three tier private coaching practice for professional actors, for students preparing for High School and College auditions and for business professionals seeking presentation techniques.  Her workshops on Audition Techniques, Breath and Body Exploration and Monologue Building have been presented nationally.   She currently teaches Advanced Acting and Scenes and Songs at the Broward Center's Rose Miniaci Art's Education Center.

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Alexandra Grant (Dance)

Alexandra Grant has trained in all genres of dance at Ballet Etudes School of South Florida, New World School of the Arts, the University Center for the Performing Arts and Florida International University. She has been featured in television commercials and recently was a principal dancer and choreographer for the prestigious Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant, an Emmy-winning televised production.

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Ronald J. Hoffman (Workshops)

Ron Hoffman is a dancer, acrobat and professional clown who toured with the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus. Ronald holds a Dance Teacher Certificate from City Center’s Teaching Artist Training Program. He has developed and conducted many curriculum-based workshops and programs using circus skills, performance techniques and dance movements. Ron also performs with The Big Apple Circus Care Program entertaining chronically ill children and their families.

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Tammy Holder (Music Theater/Vocal Coach/Director Broward Center Spotlights)

Tammy Holder is the Artist-In-Residence at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts following a 20 year career as a vocal coach/music director/teaching artist based in New York City. Tammy worked as a teaching artist for organizations such as TADA!, City Center and Disney Theatricals and has music directed for the French Woods Festival of Performing Arts. She worked with Camp Broadway to teach the vocals for the opening number of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and has appeared on public television’s Sesame Street. Tammy has toured here in the U.S. and around the world, and has worked as a vocal director for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Jean Ann Ryan productions. Tammy maintains an active vocal coaching studio and currently has students in Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, national tours and cruise ships all over the world.

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Ron Hutchins (Dance)

Ron Hutchins is an internationally acclaimed choreographer who has recently been involved with productions at Sevenages Productions, The Actors Playhouse, Wick Theatre and The Boca Raton Theatre Guild. His awards include two Carbonell Awards, a Silver Palm Award and two Broadway World Awards.  His work has been featured in Cirque Productions, Hard Rock Cafe, Goodman Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Fords Theatre and Trump Taj Mahal. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, Vanderbilt University, Columbia College, Roosevelt University and Morehead State University. Ron is the founding artistic director of Destined to Dance and facilitates the Joe Killilea Dance Shoe Fund that has provided hundreds of dance shoes to students and not-for-profits all around the country. 

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Stephen Kaiser (Acting)

Stephen Kaiser is an actor, director and teaching artist. Recent stage/television credits include: The Project Theatre, Miami Theater Center, MadCat Theatre Company, Broward Stage Door Theatre and Iggy in the STARZ Original Series MAGIC CITY. Stephen has worked with children and adults at leading cultural institutions all over South Florida including Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Miami Theatre Center, Mater Performing Arts and Entertainment Academy and the Miami Institute of Contemporary Art. Stephen attended New World School of the Arts and received his BFA in Acting from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. He is currently perusing his master’s degree in Acting at Florida Atlantic University.

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Tara Lima (Dance/Musical Theater)

Tara Lima has been dancing for over 30 years and teaching for over 20 years. Tara’s professional career started at the age of 16 with Body and Soul Dance Theatre, Broward County's first contemporary dance company.  Tara graduated with a BFA in Dance from New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. She continues to teach all over South Florida and her dancers have moved on to work professionally on Broadway, Cirque Du Soleil, Disney World, commercials and music videos as well as train in prestigious college dance programs all over the country.  

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Desiree Parkman (Choreography)

Desiree Parkman is a teacher and choreographer who has trained with organizations such as Alvin Ailey and Broadway Dance Center. She has a MS and a BFA in Musical Theater. Desiree has performed in Broadway’s Annie Get Your Gun, toured as a Radio City Rockette, performed in productions such as Dreamgirls and has choreographed numerous shows.  She has taught at various schools throughout the nation and served as an adjudicator for national dance competitions.  

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DARIUS DAUGHTRY (PLAYWRITING & SPOKEN WORD)

Darius Daughtry is an accomplished poet, playwright, director and educator with 15+ years of experience in South Florida and beyond.  He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Art Prevails Project, a performing arts organization dedicated to expanding cultural conversation through theatrical performance, arts education, and community engagement. Darius has spearheaded literacy initiatives with NFL Hall-of-Famer Jason Taylor and with poet and actor, Omari Hardwick and has been commissioned to write, perform, and conduct creative writing and performance workshops for various organizations such as The Poetry Foundation, O, Miami, City of Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade Schools, Broward Schools and more. He has written and directed performances for Broward Cultural Division, ArtServe, Broward Cultural Division, Old Dillard Museum and The World Aids Museum. 

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Greg Philippi (Comedy/Improv)

As an Improviser in Los Angeles, Greg Philippi trained with organizations such as Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade. Greg is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory as well as NYU Tish School of the Arts. In addition to his work in Improv, he has experience as a network television executive, music business executive and as an Indie music supervisor.​

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Amanda Cohen (DANCE & CHOREOGRAPHY)

Amanda Cohen is a seasoned educational theater director and choreographer. A New Jersey native, Amanda has served elementary, middle, and high school aged students in both private and public schools across her home state. She comes to us from her most recent project serving 400 students in the city of Newark. Professional theater credits include the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Stagedoor Manor, the University of Michigan, and Theatreworks Colorado.

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Jennifer Morton (PERFORMANCE PROJECT SCHOOL OF THE ARTS)

Jennifer Morton is the Performance Project's new Artistic Director. Jennifer earned a B.F.A. in Theater at Florida Atlantic University where she studied modern dance, performance and choreography. She began her career in 2009 and joined the Performance Project at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in 2014. She developed the Drama program at RISE Academy in Margate, FL where she has directed and choreographed shows for young children since 2010.  

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Michael Stanek (Guest Choreographer)

Michael Stanek is an artistic director, director/choreographer and arts educator.  He is currently the Choreographer for The RIDE NYC!  Other credits include 70, Girls, 70 starring Olympia Dukakis, (New York City Center Encores!) and Associate Director/Choreographer for Annie (KJK Production NYC).  Michael served as an Artistic Director for Broadway Kidz Wisconzin, Kids With Heart (NYC), The Broadway Theatre and Wohlfahrt Haus Theatre, directing/choreographing over 100 productions.  As an Arts Educator, Stanek is a Lead Teaching Artist on staff at TADA!, Together in Dance and  Showstoppers and Superstars. Michael has performed internationally with 42nd Street and Sophisticated Sing and Swing starring Mercedes Ellington.  After graduating the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michael worked for the Walt Disney Company as a staging assistant, dance captain and performer in various productions including the original Prince in Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage. Stanek is a 25 year Member of Actors' Equity Association and 7 year Associate Member of The Society for Stage Directors and Choreographer.

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Arianna Rose (MUSCIAL THEATER)

Arianna Rose is founding Artistic Director of Miami New Musicals, Theatre Professor at Broward College and an award-winning lyricist. She holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and her plays and musicals have been presented at Theatre Lab @FAU, Microtheater Miami, Naked Angels, and many NYC venues. Arianna has been teaching musical theatre performance, playwriting, and acting for over 20 years. She has successfully coached many students to acceptance at the nation’s top performing arts schools such as the Metropolitan Opera Guild, PBS, TADA! Youth Theatre, The Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and Actor’s Playhouse @ Miracle Mile.  

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JILL LUSTIG (MUSICAL THEATER, IMPROV)

Jill Lustig is an actress, writer and teacher in south Florida and has worked in arts education for over 20 years. Jill holds a degree in musical theater from Emerson College and studied at the famed Second City Training Center. Jill toured nationally and internationally as an actress and has had her award-winning original TYA productions produced throughout the tristate area. Jill currently helms the theatre department at two schools in south Florida and has been the lead teacher for the Performance Project’s summer camp at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for nine years and was a part of the inaugural staff to open the Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center 5 years ago. Jill counts the hundreds of children she has taught and cultivated relationships with throughout south Florida to be among her greatest accomplishments.  “I found my island, I’ve been on it this whole time. I’m home!"

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ERIN DAHLGREN (THEATER, EARLY CHILDHOOD)

Erin grew up in Melbourne, Australia and studied Musical Theatre at The Victorian College of the Arts, as well as Stage Acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts before coming to Florida to sing on Royal Caribbean Cruise ships. Erin then moved to London where she worked extensively in Film, TV, and in West End Shows and Touring Theaters around the UK and Europe before making her home in Florida.