Hello! We’re happy to meet you.
AUTUMN KERSEY, 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 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.
MELISSA HADDEN, B.A. English, Secondary Education; A.A. Theatre, Music and Dance
Artist Educator: Voice, Musical Theater and Acting
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 Youth & Children’s Theater!
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.
JORDAN MICHELLE BOWMAN, B.A. Vocal Performance
Artist Educator, Group Voice and Vocal Performance
Jordan embraces the beauty in music, art, and love at the influence of her Idaho family. Her innate and insatiable desire to perform were driven from youth. She has studied many vocal genres and performed with vocal ensembles and in many theatre productions. Jordan graduated from The College of Idaho and gained a music education under Dr. Mari Jo Tynon and Dr. Brent Wells. Jordan believes that music gives the listener a chance to experience powerful emotions that they wouldn’t in everyday life. Jordan’s goal is to bring this musical connection to people of all ages and interests.
JARED & NICHOLE STULL
Artist Educators, Improvisation
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.
NOAH MOODY, Artist Educator, Acting, Stage Combat, Special Topics
Noah couldn’t be happier to join 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.
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
Kathryn Wardle, Wardle Group
2016 Resident Actors and Guest Artists:
- Giana Barraza, Resident (‘Hansel and Gretel’)
- Michelle Bass, Resident
- Julia Bennett, Resident (‘Cinderella Confidential’)
- Kami Carpentier, Guest Artist (‘Witches Night Out’ and ‘Villains at the Village’)
- Michèle Carter-Cram, Guest Artist (‘Little Women’)
- Stephanie Cooper, Resident (‘Jack and the Junk Food Giant,’ ‘Little Women’)
- David Cowan, Guest Artist (‘Little Women’)
- Mike Cronen, Resident
- Gayle Dawn Hill, Resident
- Erin Edwards, Guest Artist (‘Hansel and Gretel’)
- Eric Ellis, Guest Artist (Summer Reading Series, ‘Cinderella Confidential’)
- Mary Jensen, Resident (‘Little Women’)
- Matthew Kelly, Resident (‘Jack and the Junk Food Giant’ and ‘Little Women’)
- Zoè Kelly, Resident (‘Hansel and Gretel,’ ‘Jack and the Junk Food Giant’ and ‘Little Women’)
- Paul Kersey, Guest Artist (‘Hansel and Gretel’)
- Josh Nelson, Technical Director
- Jennifer Stockwell, Resident
- Jared Stull, Resident (‘Hansel and Gretel’ and ‘Jack and the Junk Food Giant’ ‘Little Women’)
- Nichole Stull, Resident (‘Jack and the Junk Food Giant’)
- Ami Tain, Guest Director & Guest Artist (‘Hansel and Gretel’ ‘Cinderella Confidential’)
- Liam Tain, Technical Assistance and Properties Master
- Allison Terenzio Ruiz, Resident (Summer Reading Series, ‘Witches Night Out,’ ‘Villains at the Village’ and ‘Little Women’)
- Jennifer Wedel, Guest Artist (‘Hansel and Gretel’)
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) and at least 5 years of performance 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 email@example.com.