ARTPLAY TEACHING ARTISTS
Darrell Revel began his acting career at age eight when he was discovered in a Christmas play by theatre mogul Bill Ozier. He has appeared in numerous films and commercials and has over 600 stage, television and radio credits. A graduate of the University of Montevallo, Darrell has a BFA in Speech & Theatre and an MED with a teacher’s license to teach pre-school through 12th grade. He is currently the drama teacher at Phillips Academy and is thrilled to be returning to the Martin Hames Arts Mentoring Program as the lead mentor.
David Roby is an actor, playwright and director. He holds a BFA in Acting from North Carolina School of the Arts and an MFA in Acting from Illinois State University. He has worked as an actor at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, About Face Theatre, Boho Theatre and Theater Wit in Chicago. He was the 2010-2012 Tennessee Williams Playwright-in-Residence at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he wrote and directed his full-length drama Mercy Me. In addition, Roby’s playwriting and acting credits include sometimes there’s God so quickly, a 90minute one-man show in which Roby plays 16 different characters, all of whom knew Tennessee Williams . He teaches acting, directing and playwriting at Miles College.
Diane McNaron has appeared in recital, cabaret, oratorio and opera throughout the US and in Germany, Austria, Italy and Australia. She produces and appears with two Cabaret troupes and has directed over 40 opera, cabaret and musical theatre productions. Diane earned an M.M. from Florida State University and did post graduate work at Indiana University. Now based in Birmingham, AL, she has received grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Lowder Foundation and is a member of the National Association of Teachers Singing.
Elizabeth Vander Kamp hails from Alabama, but spent nearly 20 years in the Northeast, writing and performing. Her one woman show, “The Babe’s Back” about the world’s greatest female athlete, Babe Didikson Zaharias, received critical acclaim across the United States and Canada. Now, Elizabeth tells stories back home in Alabama and works at Lakeshore Foundation in Homewood.
Eric produced and recorded his debut album as a solo artist in 1988 for Nova Records called
“First Impressions” and five years later received a bachelor’s degree in Music Production and Engineering from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College Of Music. In 2000, while signed to Warner Brother’s subsidiary, Zebra Records, Eric decided to explore the soul, R&B, gospel, and country music that he grew up listening to in his home state of Alabama. Over the past 25 years and 15 solo albums later, Eric has toured the world with his own group and many others including Peabo Bryson and Ronnie Laws. He also continues to record extensively both on his own label (Essential Recordings/EMI) and for a host of others making music that moves.
Helene Knowlton Taylor
Helene Taylor has always worked with children. She was pre-school teacher for 10 years, led a parent-infant group, and taught in many after-school programs, including her own Art in the Park- a community art program in Avondale. Taylor would walk into the Avondale Library acting like the pied piper carrying buckets of paint asking, “who wants to paint today?” Helene manages her husband, Trés Taylor’s, art career but is most fulfilled when she is teaching art to kids.
Jennifer Salvant is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and The Educational Theatre Association. At Louisiana State University where she received her M.F.A., Jennifer performed with Swine Palace, the professional theatre on campus, while teaching undergraduate acting and movement classes. In Chicago, Jennifer trained and completed Second City’s Conservatory Program and worked for The Improv Kitchen. Currently, Jennifer is the drama coach at Bumpus Middle School and continues to audition for local and regional professional companies.
Jerry D. Sims
Jerry D. Sims is a born storyteller. His resume includes performing or directing in more than one hundred plays, producing original works, and appearing in several feature films. As a director, playwright, performer, instructor and the ASC’s General House Events Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Jerry has developed many original theatrical performances for children at the ASC including Yuletide in Dogtown, Down the Yellow Brick Road, Alice’s EVEN BIGGER Tea Party and Christmas Comes to Mugwumpville, among others.
After thirteen wonderfully happy and successful years as programming and marketing director at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Jessica decided to make a life change and become an independent consultant. She now works with the ASC as an artistic programming consultant planning each season and curating arts experiences for our audiences. This change has opened up a whole new world and allowed her time to explore the passions of art-making and travel. Through her extensive travels, Jessica has been able to experience the beautiful art of mosaic around the world. At home, she goes through prolific phases – when her husband says she’ll put tile on anything that sits still too long – followed by not so prolific phases. She’s looking forward to sharing the art of mosaic and making new “tiling” friends who can keep each other motivated to produce new pieces.
John Lytle Wilson not only paints animals, but also robots. After growing up in Rock Hill, South Carolina, John honed his techniques at Birmingham-Southern College and Florida State University. He has a national exhibition record and has been featured in numerous publications – New American Paintings in 2009, and in in 2012 as one of Oxford American’s 100 Under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art. John is Director of Art Folk Gallery and an adjunct instructor of art at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Karen Payne Krekelberg
Karen Payne Krekelberg earned a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Montevallo. While there, she received the Elizabeth Francis Young Award in pedagogy. Karen has enjoyed teaching private piano lessons for more than 25 years to students of all ages. A mother of two, she serves the organist and Associate Director of Music at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church and often accompanies various musical groups and theatre productions around Birmingham.
Kim McKenzie received her bachelor’s degree in Studio Art at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Kim leads classes and workshops that use art making as a vehicle for achieving psychological insight, spiritual growth and creative freedom for people of all artistic ability. Kim firmly believes that the creative process can be deeply healing and restorative, allowing one to connect to their heart where true wisdom lies, and life can be informed by the voice of the soul. Trained as a sculptor, her own work in bronze, iron and ceramic is figurative and focuses on her inner world and spiritual growth. She has been leading workshops in process art since 2001.
LaVondia Bryant Square is the artistic director of Nathifa Dance Company & Outreach Inc., an education/outreach program that instructs classes, workshops and performances throughout the city of Birmingham and surrounding areas in African, Jazz, Modern, Praise Dance Ministry. While living in Brooklyn LaVondia studied dance at the Restoration Dance Theatre located in the Bedford-Styvesant area under the instruction of the late Charles Moore. She later received a scholarship with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, located at the Manhattan Community College. After graduating from Mabel Dean Bacon Vocational High School in NY, she later moved to Birmingham to continue her studies in Business Education at Booker T. Washington Jr. College of Business where she received her Associate Degree in Applied Science, 1988. She then began studying Modern dance at Southern Dance Works with Mary Foshee and at Sculpture Essence Dance Company with Donna Edwards Todd. She continued her African & Caribbean Dance under the directorship of King Sundiata Keite of the Omowale Afrikan Dancers and Cultural Society based in Detroit, Michigan and Birmingham African Dance Coalition under the directorship of Ife Balams. She has also performed and studied modern dance with Southern Dance Works’ Terry Weksler. She currently attends numerous workshops with the Fa’Neye Fa’dance conference, Atlanta, GA., classes with the Uhuru Dancers, Inc. of Decatur, Ga. and the Giwayen Mata of Atlanta, Ga. She attends the annual Conferences presented by the Kankouran West African Dance Company in Washington, D.C. In 2004 she received the Fellowship Grant from the State Council on the Arts. September 2007 she was granted the Individual Grant through the Cultural Arts Alliance of the Medici Society Mr. & Mrs. Richard Ireland Pigford.
Lillis Taylor is co-founder and principal designer of Tré Lilli, a clothing line inspired by her father’s artwork. Taylor earned her BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Washington and worked as a toy designer for such clients as Disney, Chronicle Books, and Scholastic. Taylor taught English in China, earned an MA in China Studies, and has experience teaching students of all ages–from kindergarten to college. She brings her love of textiles, fiber arts, quilting and clothing design to ArtPlay and looks forward to working with children and adults alike.
Lisa Plowman Dolensky, has conducted visual and language arts enrichment activities for the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the UAB Children’s Creative Learning Center, Childcare Resources educator conferences and area libraries. Lisa’s creative nonfiction has appeared in national magazines and award winning anthologies published by the Chicken Soup For The Soul series, Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books and Tyndale House. She’s also a literary reviewer for www.newpages.com and the Southern Early Childhood Association. Lisa is a University of Alabama graduate and recipient of a 2009 UA School of Education Longleaf Writing Project Fellowship.