Kimberly Godfrey received her Bachelor of Music in musical theater from the nationally-renowned musical theater program at Baldwin-Wallace University’s Conservatory of Music. Kimberly studied musical theater under director Victoria Bussert and studied voice under Joan Ellison. She has been musically directing children’s choirs, orchestras, and musicals along with choreographing musicals and award-winning show choirs since the age of seventeen. Since 2008 Kimberly has served as an adjudicator for high school choirs and show choirs across northeastern Ohio. She has performed as an actress and soloist in musicals and concerts from Southern Ohio to New York City. She is the current director of theater and music at the Ashtabula Arts Center and directs its Arts Center Singers, Starlight Singers, and The Showoffs. Kimberly’s recent students that she has mentored are being accepted into the top musical theater schools in the country, such as Boston Conservatory of Music, Syracuse University, and Baldwin-Wallace University.
Emily Meranda is a graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England, and holds a master’s degree in drama education in the community. During her graduate work, she trained and studied with the National Theater, Frantic Assembly, and the Globe Theater, all in London. In the U.S., she has taught across grade levels in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and Appleton, Wisconsin. Her classroom work focuses on using theater as a tool to investigate and expand state and common core curriculum standards in history, literature, and social sciences. In addition to teaching at the arts center, she is an artist-educator with the Progressive Arts Alliance and facilitates four classroom residencies in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. At the arts center, she teaches primarily for elementary and middle school students and utilizes improvisation, devising, and physical theater to find interesting ways to retell classic stories as well as create original work inspired by the students.
Caitlin Rose grew up in Madison in a musical family, playing in band and singing in show choir. From the age of 8, she was bit by the performing bug. She has since performed at venues across Northeast Ohio, including Canton Players Guild, The Akron Symphony Orchestra, and area favorites like the Ashtabula Arts Center, Beck Center for the Arts, and Rabbit Run Theatre. She studied voice through the Rabbit Run Community Arts Association along with Bob Godfrey before taking off to Kent State University to work on her degree in musical theatre. Caitlin studied voice under one of the great tenor soloists of the Ohio area, Timothy Culver, and Dr. Jay White, member of the two-time Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer ensemble, and soloist and ensemble performer of international venues. Caitlin graduated in 2013, moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, where she performed with the professional theatre group Broadway Southern Reparatory. Her passions in the arts include teaching voice, musical theater, music directing, and coaching audition techniques.
Following in the footsteps of her parents, Christy Seymour has been active at the arts center all her life. As a child, she was involved in plays here, and was an apprentice dancer with Ballet Theatre Ashtabula. By age fourteen, she was stage managing shows. Her directorial debut was Bye Bye, Birdie for Straw Hat in the late 80’s. Today she is a teacher at Jefferson Area Junior High School, and the stage manager for the arts center dance department.
Marisha Sullivan received her Bachelor’s in Theater from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OH. She has been a theater educator since 2008, teaching primarily middle and high school on the west side of Cleveland. Her specialties include Shakespeare, modern Irish theater, and early 20th Century plays of the British Isles; however she most enjoys a good dark comedy. Some of her favorite roles include “Mrs Gibbs” in Our Town, “Juliet” in Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, and “Virginia” in Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grille. Her directing experience is quite varied, ranging from new works to classics to children’s shows. She can often be found curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.