Musical Theatre and Acting Classes
B.J. Cleveland (Director of Theatre for Youth)
B.J. is an award-winning actor and director with a well over 450 shows to his credit in his 47-year career in the theater. He is a product of the Casa Manana Theater school appearing first as the Street Urchin in Mr. Scrooge in 1972, playing many heroes and animals as a resident company member in the 90’s, and most recently as Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar and selling out the Reid Cabaret with An Evening with Liza and Judy. Metroplex audiences have seen his starring roles in The Music Man, A Man of No Importance, Little Shop of Horrors, Big, Love! Valour! Compassion, The Foreigner, and in the regional premieres of The Producers (Max), The Nance (Chauncey) and in the penultimate role of God in An Act of God at Stage West. He is also recognized as the #1 Kid show Host on Television for over a decade with The Disney Afternoon and host of the Discovery Channel’s Route 66. B.J. has served as Artistic Director of Theatre Arlington for 16 years, Adjunct Theater Professor for UT-A, National Tour Director for Dallas Children’s Theater, and past President of the Live Theater League of Tarrant County – who awarded him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hannah Argüelles (Director of Education)
Hannah received a BFA in Theatre for Young Audiences, a BA in Music, and a Directing Minor from Oklahoma City University where she discovered her passion for children’s theatre. Since moving to Fort Worth in 2015, Hannah has worked primarily at Casa Manana as a Musical Theatre and Dance instructor. There, she has served as the Assistant Director for Rent and Assistant Choreographer for Madagascar Jr. In addition, Hannah has and continues to co-write, co-direct, and choreograph musicals for several middle schools in south Texas, as well as choreograph choral pop shows and seasonal concerts for schools across Texas.
Ms. Jacque is excited to be back home at Casa where she grew up taking classes and performing in Playhouse productions and mainstage musicals. While earning her BFA in acting at UT-Arlington, she was a constant on their stage and a member of their nationally ranked speech team. She taught at the University of North Texas, Casa Manana, Theatre Arlington, Lyric Stage, Applause Theatre in Houston, the MET in Houston, UT-Arlington, TCC, CATS, and many private Christian schools. Her passion and joy comes from teaching kids of all ages about live theater and how to develop the creativity that is within them.
James is originally from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area where he currently resides as an actor/director/teacher. Regional Credits: Avenue Q (Theatre Three, Stage West) Season’s Greetings, Wild Oats (Theatre Three), Zanna, Don’t! (Uptown Players), Don Juan in Chicago, Lil’ Abner, Hairspray, How I learned to Drive, (Collin Theatre Center), Vincent River, Dick Whittington, (Theatre Britain), Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, (Inevitable Theatre Company). New York Credits: The Road to Ruin, Heaven Can Wait (The York Theater) National Tours: The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley (Dallas Children’s Theater) He also can be heard as voice talent for various animated series including Attack On Titian, Fairy Tail, Space Dandies and others. Mr. Chandler graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.
Sarah is an accomplished professional actress and singer who has a passion for arts education. She has been teaching and directing for youth here in Texas since moving to Austin in 2008. A few of her favorite directing credits include Seussical (Tex-Arts), and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! (ZACH Theatre). She has shared her knowledge with students in ZACH’s pre-professional program, as a voice instructor for Theatre at the J’s summer musical program, and with the Musical Theatre Academy students at Tex-Arts. As an actress, she has been seen around Texas performing at Casa Manana (Hairspray), the Alley Theatre in Houston (August: Osage County), and in Austin in Metamorphoses and The Grapes of Wrath at ZACH theatre, Title of Show at Tex-Arts, Bus Stop and City of Angels at Mary Moody Northen Theatre, and Three Days of Rain and John & Jen (Critics Table award winner- Best Musical) with Penfold Theatre.
Meghan Webb recently graduated from Oklahoma City University where she received her BFA in Theatre for Young Audiences with minors in Stage Management and Directing. During her time in Oklahoma, Meghan stage managed productions of Junie B. Jones the Musical and James and the Giant Peach at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Meghan also performed in productions at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre and taught literacy and arts integration workshops through their “Page-to-Stage” program. After working as a counselor for Camp Casa for three summers, Meghan is thrilled to be returning to Casa Mañana and serving the children’s theatre community in Fort Worth!
Elise Lavallee is a choreographer, director, dance instructor, and is a proud member of The Actors Equity Association. Most recently she choreographed an original work, called Ebb & Flow, for Ballet Concerto, for which she received outstanding reviews. Some of her other credits include: Merry Widow and Cendrillon (University Of North Texas Opera), choreographer and associate director for In the Heights (Artes De La Rosa), Jubilation ( Jubilee Theatre), Cabaret (Texas Wesleyan University), The Theory Of Relativity (University Of Texas at Arlington), A Very Merry Unauthorized Scientology Pageant (Circle Theatre), She has also choreographed many shows for Casa Manana that include A year with Frog and Toad and the world premiere of Snow White and The Prince. DVD and Film credits: Music video for Tori Vasquez Keep in Mind, Movie teaser: Heaven Directed by Ya’ke Smith, Barney and Friends choreographer for Barney’s Music Video I Hear Music Everywhere, and assistant choreographer for Let’s Make Music, and Let’s Go To The Fire House. As an instructor she has worked for Kids Who Care, Margo Dean School of Ballet, Ballet International Elite Academy, All Saints Episcopal School, Texas Wesleyan University, Dance Theatre of Arlington, Studio C, Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, Arlington Heights High School, and Trinity Valley. Elise received a majority of her training with Margo Dean School of Ballet and Texas Ballet Theatre. Professionally she was a member of The Bruce Wood Dance Project, Ballet Concerto, and has performed in many musical theatre productions with theatre’s including but not limited to Casa Manana, Dallas Theater Center, Lyric Stage and The Dallas Opera in the world premiere of Becoming Santa Claus.
Merrill is a dancer, teacher and choreographer based in NYC for 20 yrs and originally from Fort Worth, Texas. Her choreographic work at Casa Manana includes Madagascar, Fiddler on the Roof Jr and the recent, Once Upon a Mattress. She also serves as assistant Director/Choreographer to award winning Director/Choreographer, Karma Camp, at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. She is currently Adjunct Faculty in the TCU Theatre Department and has taught master classes for CCM, NYU, Towson University, ACU, OCU and The Radio City Rockettes. As a performer, Merrill had the pleasure of being one of the world famous Radio City Rockettes for eight seasons and appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award winning revival of 42nd Street. She was also seen in the national tour of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. She has appeared on the Today Show, The David Letterman Show, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Tony Awards Broadcast. She is a featured performer on Broadway’s Lost Treasures DVD from PBS. Her regional theatre credits are numerous and include a Helen Hayes Award for her appearance in the ensemble of Hello Dolly! at Ford’s Theatre in DC. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from New York University and is a proud member of Actors Equity association.
Musical Theatre for Special Needs and Abilities
Musical Theatre Production for Special Needs
Tina is a degreed music therapist who practices in the Keller School District. Her degree is from West Texas State University, where she majored in music with a primary emphasis on voice. She has been a practicing music therapist for over 20 years, working in both educational and psychiatric settings. Tina has performed in several theatrical productions, in such roles as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof and Aunt Eller in Oklahoma. She has been a chorus member for several other productions, including The Sound of Music, Annie Get Your Gun, Brigadoon, The King and I, and No, No, Nanette. Tina has been the instructor for Casa’s Musical Theatre Production for Individuals with Special Abilities class since its inception nearly 20 years ago.
Broadway Studio: Special Needs and Abilities
Diane is a board-certified music therapist who has been working professionally for almost a decade. From a young age she had a passion for working with children with special needs, and sought out many opportunities to do so, even before completing her degree. After becoming board certified, her first job was with Cadenza Music Therapy in Florida where she worked with various populations for over a year before returning home to Dallas/FtWorth to work full time for Keller ISD’s Special Education department. She also works for the Dallas Museum of Art, providing various music activities for their Autism Awareness Family Celebrations and Summer Art Camp for Children with Autism. While she has grown up with a love of musicals, she did not truly start performing until 2010. However, since then she has appeared in numerous productions throughout the DFW area. She has performed on both professional and community stages, including Stage West, Lyric Stage, ICT MainStage, Theater Arlington, Firehouse Theater, Onstage In Bedford, Denton Community Theater, Music Theater of Denton, Runway Theater, and Greater Lewisville Community Theater. Favorite productions include Hello, Dolly at Theater Arlington (Irene Malloy), Xanadu at Onstage In Bedford (Melpomene), Oliver at Lyric Stage (Rose Seller/Ensemble) and She Loves Me at Stage West (Ensemble). She is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her love of the special needs population with her love of theater.