ArtPlay Administrative Staff
Kimberly came to the Alys Stephens Center in 2002 and became Director of Education and Outreach in 2005. An Alabama native, she graduated from Indian Springs School and has a B.M. in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami and a M.A. in Arts Administration from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. Kimberly, a recent nominee for the Children’s Advocate’s “Friend of Children” Award, makes it her mission to foster creativity in everyone through the programming of ArtPlay. She is an active actress in Birmingham’s theatre community and a mother of two.
Heath is an actor, director and songwriter who has worked with children and youth for over twenty years. He now has the opportunity to combine his love for the arts with his passion for education. He served as program coordinator for five summers at Camp Sumatanga, served on various youth and theatre related boards in the Birmingham area, as well as serving for many years as project manager for Shelby County’s Economic Development Authority. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in public relations and has completed continuing education courses with an emphasis on teaching theatre.
JENNY HAYES – EDUCATION COORDINATOR
ARTPLAY TEACHING ARTISTS
Alicia Johnson is an actress, director, producer and teacher. Alicia has a MFA in Theatre Management and has served as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. She has been an Arts Mentor for Alys Stephens Center Educational Programs and an Audience Development Consultant for both the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Birmingham Museum of Art. She is currently an advisor to the President of Miles College.
Amanda Miller was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She commenced her professional training at the North Carolina School of the Arts/UNCSA, having received the first Terry Sanford Scholarship. She continued her studies in New York while she danced for the Chicago Lyrical Opera Ballet, the Deutschen Oper Berlin and other independent events. In 1984 William Forsythe invited her to Ballett Frankfurt as a dancer and soon thereafter she became resident choreographer .
In 1992 Amanda Miller founded Pretty Ugly Dance Company. An inter-disciplinary performing ensemble. From 1997 until 2004 creating a unique collaboration with the civic theatre in Freiburg (Baden-Württemberg) Ballett Freiburg Pretty Ugly was founded. Alongside her work with her own company, Amanda Miller created ballets for renowned ensembles and founded in 2000 the improvisational dance group, ” Yummydance” in Matsuyama, Japan. Increasingly she has addressed herself to training others in her work method/process and is active worldwide as a teacher. In 2004 till 2008, she launched the aid organisation “Art for Tibet”, which supported Tibetans in exile in India.
Amanda Miller has won numerous awards. In 1993, she was awarded the Wexner Center Prize and created the production “Night by Itself”. In 1994, the production received three prizes at the ‘Rencontres Chorégraphiques International de Bagnolet’. In 2004 for her work ‘Four for Nothing’ she received the leading Dutch accolade for choreography ‘The Golden Swan’.
From January 2005 until May 2009 Amanda Miller was artistic director of “Pretty Ugly tanz köln”, again a collaboration with the theater and city of Koln. In May 2009 she directed her first Opera “Orpheo ed Euridice” at the civic theatre in Ulm.
In summer of 2009, she returned to her home North Carolina. She has been on the faculty for ADF, artist in residence at Duke, Palucca Hochshule, Germany and taught master classes at UNC. She continues to work as a free-lance choreographer, opera director, instructor, performer, and offers improvisational workshops. Her most recent work was “Field Days” premiered 2011 with Netherlands Dans Theater.
In 2012 she married Mark Fasshauer and now lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She continues to choreograph contemporary ballets in Germany and Europe. The film “Places of Otherness” by Michael Maurrisens, revealing her choreographic process with the Ballet am Rhein, Dusseldorf, Germany. It was released in October 2013. The work “The Liberated Accident” was premiered with the Core Performance Company in Atlanta and Houston. For the Alabama Dance Festival 2014, she was a guest faculty member, and “The Homeless Garden” was premiered with Core at The New Works Concert 2014. She performed the solo “Water” at the Children’s Dance Foundation (CDF), and has given previous workshops at both CDF and ArtPlay.
Ashley Booker is an authentic, Southern-fried Bama girl with a dash of sass and hips that don’t lie. Her non-traditional background in dance has given her the unique perspective and distinct vision to create a class for adults that lack formal training, but still have a sincere enthusiasm for dance. Ashley has a creative and quirky nature that will add instant fun+k to every class. She is the kind who is terribly suspicious of people that don’t like cheese, no longer sees the point of iceberg lettuce, and will spontaneously burst into cabbage patch and sing the song that relates to the sentence you just said.
Recognized by The PULSE on Tour & Dance Teacher Magazine, Ashley has participated in dance intensives with Brian Friedman, Tyce Diorio and Lorianne Gibson. She is looking forward to harnessing their tremendous inspiration along with her rump-shaking nature, and working it out on the dance floor with you!
Bo is a Birmingham native. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a Minor in Art History from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2005.
He has exhibited locally and nationally and has been published in various publications such as New American Paintings. His film about Birmingham’s downtown urban landscape, “Benching: The Art of Watching Trains” was awarded best short documentary in 2005 while he attended UAB. His approach to art making is interdisciplinary. He believes that synthesizing various methods, mediums, and thought processes is beneficial in producing art and creative problem solving. He has worked as a graphic designer, animator, illustrator, exhibit fabricator at a science museum. He is now currently freelancing as a muralist and commercial sign painter.
Prior to moving to Birmingham in early 2011, Brian Barrett spent over five years as an improviser at New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. He was a founding member of Bastian, the longest-running house team in UCB history, and taught introductory improv through the UCBT training program. He has also appeared in national advertising campaigns for Vizio, Hot Pockets, and Johnnie Walker, as well as a handful of poorly thought-out online comedy videos. By day, Brian is currently the Managing Editor of Gizmodo–a leading tech blog–and has also written for a few magazines. He’s delighted to make your acquaintance.
Carlos Pino is a Jazz guitarist, composer and educator. A graduate from the University of Alabama (B.A.) and Rutgers University (M.M. in Jazz Studies), Carlos has shared the stage with Ellis Marsalis, Claudio Roditi, Oteil Burbridge, Col. Bruce Hampton and Bill Kruetzmann. He spends much of his time in musical theatre performing regularly with Red Mountain Theatre and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. In addition to performing, Carlos has been teaching guitar lessons privately for over a decade and is adjunct faculty (jazz guitar) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Carrie McGrann has been a teaching artist at Simmons Middle School in Hoover for over 10 years, previously having worked for the Education Department at the Birmingham Museum of Art. She earned her Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of Montevallo and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She enjoys working in many forms of art with children at ArtPlay and encourages her students to explore the creative process.
Charles Tortorici is a teaching artist, musician, and songwriter living in Birmingham. He was formerly a special education teacher in both public and private schools. He has been a performer and teaching artist for over a decade. Charles is currently a teaching artist working with ArtPlay’s ‘Teaching Artists on the Road’ program, which he has been involved with for over five years now. He also works through the Cultural Alliance and the Shelby County Arts Council in various programs in the Birmingham City and Shelby County school systems. Charles received a Fellowship Grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in Performing Arts/Music during the 2007 calendar year. He has a 2007 children’s CD release, Thicket Dweller Tales, which contains poems and songs about nature and the literary arts.