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M. Ed. Curriculum & Instruction; B.A. Communication; A.A. Theater and Speech
Founder & Executive Director
An Idaho native, Autumn was bitten by the theater bug at age 10, performing as Gladys the Giggling Goblin in the 6th grade play. Since then, she has performed on stages in Idaho, Utah and Florida. Autumn has been directing and teaching young actors for nearly 20 years. She finds no greater joy in life than the imagination of a child. As a young performer herself, Autumn personally benefitted from the incredible gifts theater arts offers a young person: confidence, creativity, goal setting, working with others, academic and intellectual benefit, ambition, and the understanding that through hard work, and a lot of love, you really can do anything!
JULIA PACHOUD BENNETT
Ph.D. Performance Studies and M.F.A. Theatre Arts
Artistic Director, Theater for Young Audiences
Julia has been playing around on and offstage for years. That playful spirit led her to pursue her B.A. and M.F.A. in theater from the University of Kentucky and Southern Illinois University, respectively, as well as her Ph.D. in Performance Studies (SIU-Carbondale). Not content to leave school (because we’re always learning!), Julia spent many years teaching on the Theatre Department faculty at Augustana College (SD) and producing independent theatre. Julia has directed, acted in, designed or produced over 100 productions, many of them for young audiences. Julia is honored to join the TVCT team and make wonderful things happen both on and off stage for years to come. Carpe Diem!
MARY C. JENSEN
B.A. Theatre Arts and Secondary Ed.
Artistic Director, Theater for Young Performers
As a child, Mary’s dream was to put on plays in her back yard and fill them with neighborhood kids. Now she is, “living the dream!” Her life is filled with three beautiful children of her own, all of whom have an authentic appreciation for wacky improvisation, intricate costumes, and stage combat. In her spare time she promotes the arts and arts education in her community as the chair-person of the Meridian Arts Commission. Mary has spent over 15 years perfecting and refining her teaching techniques by working with organizations such as, The YMCA, McCall Arts and Humanities Council, Missoula Children’s Theatre, and Meridian Parks and Rec. She lives by the words, “What’ere thou art, act well thy part” and hopes to inspire the children that she works with to do the same.
Allison Terenzio Ruiz
ALLISON TERENZIO RUIZ, M.Ed. Curriculm & Instruction
Allison received her early theater training at Youth Theater Northwest. Along with acting, Allison studied oboe and English horn and was a member of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. She received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Seattle University, where she focused her studies on Children’s Literature, Playwriting, and Shakespearean Performance. Allison went on to study at New York University and received her Master’s in Education. While living in Manhattan, her passion for teaching through the arts and multiculturalism was born. She teaches that theater can be used as a bridge to connect diverse groups of young people from different ethnicities, ages, and genders. Allison also owns and operates “Allison’s Storybook Tea Parties,” a princess and adventure-themed character encounter business. Allison believes that theater education and exposure can motivate, engage and enlighten youth towards becoming leaders of our community.
B.A. English, Secondary Education; A.A. Theatre, Music and Dance
Music Education Director
Melissa has been performing on both stage and screen since 1989. She was cast in “Minor Adjustments,” a teen written and directed television show as well as cast as a FOX Kids Club Host during morning and afternoon cartoons her freshman year of high school. Some of her favorite stage roles include Miss Hannigan in Annie, Rita La Porta in Lucky Stiff, and Bloody Mary in South Pacific. Melissa directed educational theatre programs at several Denver area high schools for ten years and taught drama camp for nine summers with the Evergreen Players. She especially loves sharing the stage and her love of theatre with young performers. She lives by the maxim that she’ll not ask anyone to do something that she’s unwilling to do herself. She is hopeful her students will be brave and take risks while revelling in participating in something bigger than themselves. She’s thrilled to be working with Treasure Valley Children’s Theater!
M. Commerce: Accounting and Finance & General Management
Business Development Manager
Archana is an astute & result oriented professional with 15+ years cross functional experience from Mumbai, India in variety areas of Education Management , Administration, Teaching, Human Resource, Program Management & Coordination, Leadership, Event Management and Public Relations.
While living in India, she was closely connected with NGO’s working in education for underprivileged children. While working as a Course Coordinator in various colleges she was also passionately involved in extra and co-curricular activities.
After moving to Boise 6 years ago, Archana decided to continue her education and is currently pursuing a Certification in Digital Media Studies from Boise State University. She is also a proud business owner trying to revive the weaves of India, and excited to support Treasure Valley Children’s Theater’s mission to change the world one theater kid at a time.
JeNeale Hill Gunnell
JeNEALE HILL GUNNELL
Artist Educator: Musical Theater
JeNeale has been singing and truly living music for as long as she can remember; started playing the piano at eight, picked up a couple more instruments along the way, and learned to direct music when she was a teenager. Musical theatre has become a passion because she gets to teach people how to sing properly as they learn the music, and she gets to direct them in amazing musicals. Her BA in English is valuable in teaching people how lyrics can further the stories playing out on stage, and it’s very handy when serving as a dramaturge for other shows around the valley. JeNeale is busy almost every weeknight of the year teaching and directing shows all over the valley for different theatre companies and recently loved directing TVCT’s production of HONK!, Jr. She has also music-directed the last two annual shows for Boise Music Week (Mary Poppins played to 10,000 people!) and is looking forward to her next one in 2019. JeNeale especially loves teaching kids with the philosophy that musical theatre can not only inspire them to change the world, but it can also teach them the skills to do so. Having four children and nine grandchildren of her own, she has the life experience to recognize and understand the importance of learning to respect others and have courage, as well as growing the skills to interact and effectively communicate as a team player in work and social situations. JeNeale strongly believes in the programs and values at TVCT, and she loves being part of the team!
JARED & NICHOLE STULL
Resident Actors; Artist Educators: Improvisation, Special Topics
Jared started his acting journey in junior high and found a love of improv while studying theater in college. Nichole found both acting and improv in college. They began teaching improv to other actors and performers almost 10 years ago. They also use the principles and skills of improv in corporate training and team building engagements. And they find improv particularly wonderful in teaching and raising their four daughters. There are lessons that improv can teach that every child, every person, should learn and they love that they get to help people discover it all.
Artist Educator: Acting, Stage Combat, Special Topics
Noah couldn’t be happier to be part of the TVCT family and is beyond excited to find out what the future holds for this beautiful company. He has actively been involved in theater for 15 years, and has worked professionally for the past 9. He has acted and been an educator for Idaho Shakespeare Festival; been in shows at Boise State University and Southern Oregon University. Noah is the proud co-author of an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky” which was produced by ISF’s Idaho Theatre for Youth and will be produced by Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland next Spring. Acting, teaching, and writing are Noah’s greatest passions in life and he is thankful and blessed to be sharing said passions with Treasure Valley Children’s Theater.
Artist Educator: Improvisation
Manda fell in love with the theater when she saw her first play and began studying and performing in junior high school. When she met and fell in love with her husband several years later, she took a break from the stage to focus on raising and homeschooling their four children.
It was actually her brother who got Manda involved in the arts again. Having joined a local improv troupe, he pestered her to audition. She did and fell in love all over again. Since that time, Manda has regularly performed improv around Treasure Valley, traveled to perform in other states, and recently co-founded a new troupe.
Manda has taught improv primarily to children. She firmly believes that skills used in improv – such as respect, confidence, decision making, listening, and teamwork – are life skills. Manda is thrilled to be part of the TVCT team and helping kids discover the elevating power of the arts.
Josh has been on the road touring since 2005. A graduate of Casper College, Josh has toured internationally as a technical director, including stops in Australia and New Zealand. Favorites shows include: Dirty Dancing, Moving Out, Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil. Josh has made Boise his home since 2002, working at theaters across the Valley, including the Morrison Center and Idaho Shakespeare Festival. When he’s not traveling, rigging or directing tech on tour, Josh loves to spend time with Katie and her two boys. He is an avid outdoorsman, Highland heavy thrower and proud kilt-wearer. He is excited to join the TVCT family and thanks God for the ability to do what he does, and his family and friends for supporting his antics.
B.A. Communication and Theatre
Resident Actor; Artist Educator: Special Topics
Mike earned his Degree from Cal State University, Hayward. He was a founding member/actor/writer for the Sunol Valley Cabaret Theatre before moving to Boise in ’93. He has served in the local theatre and film community as an actor, director, writer, instructor, stage manager and theatre board member. Professional credits include local/national TV commercials, as well as stage productions at Alley Rep, BCT, Funny Business Comedy Improv Troupe, The New Heritage Theatre (resident actor) and Treasure Valley Children’s Theatre (resident actor). Other credits include stage productions at BLT, Daisy’s Madhouse and SCT, as well as roles in independent film productions. Currently, he co-leads Suzuki/Viewpoints training with Actor’s Training Boise.
Treasure Valley Children’s Theater strives to locate the Valley’s most talented artist educators, directors and actors. Minimum requirements to work with TVCT include a college degree in theater, music, dance, or related performance field (preferred) – or equivalent experience. Artist Educators must have worked with children for at least 2 years and pass a background and reference check.
If you are interested in working with TVCT please send your resume including three references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Resident Actors and Guest Artists:
- Kami Carpentier, Guest Artist (‘Witches Night Out’ and ‘Villains at the Village’)
- Stephanie Cooper, Resident (‘Tomato Plant Girl,’ Summer Tour)
- Mike Cronen, Resident
- Eric Ellis, Guest Artist (Summer Reading Series)
- Melissa Hadden, Resident (Summer Tour, Summer Reading Series, ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’)
- Brooke Herzog, Resident (Summer Tour)
- Mary Jensen (‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’)
- Noah Moody, Guest Artists (‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’)
- Josh Nelson, Technical Director
- Ezekial Robinson, Resident (‘Tomato Plant Girl,’ Summer Tour, Summer Reading Series, ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’)
- Jared Stull, Resident (Summer Tour, ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’)
- Nichole Stull, Resident (‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’)
- Ami Tain, Resident (‘Tomato Plant Girl’)
- Liam Tain, Technical Assistance and Properties Master
- Allison Terenzio Ruiz, Resident (‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’)
- Brandon Washington, Light Design
- Kynan Watson, Stage Manager
- Sarah Williams, Stage Manager
Board of Governors
Megan Egbert, Meridian Library District
Autumn Kersey, Treasure Valley Children’s Theater
Emily Leavitt, Idaho First Mortgage
Katie Parke, Rountree Real Estate
Scott Summerlin, Starlifter Wealth Management
Jonathon Wardle, Brighton Corporation
Kathryn Wardle, Wardle Group