James’s first theatrical experience was playing a sunflower in the Wewoka, Oklahoma public library’s summer production of Oklahoma! when he was 5. You may not remember the pivotal role of the sunflower in productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ground-breaking musical that you may have seen, but he remembers it like it was yesterday.
For 25 years, James McQuillen has been a music director in musical theatre, concerts, cabaret, and opera, having worked on somewhere between 150 and 200 individual productions. Some of his favorite music directing experiences include the southwest premiere of A New Brain, Ed Dixon’s Whodunit for the York Theatre Company, conducting the Dallas Wind Symphony in Watertower Theatre’s production of Guys and Dolls, the national tour of Three Redneck Tenors, and the 2018 Apprentice production of Sweeney Todd, directed by Casa’s former Director of Theatre for Youth, Noah Putterman.
As co-founder of Front Line Cabaret, James co-produced and curated a performance series exploring the artistic possibilities of cabaret in the 21st Century. From 2013 to 2018, the company celebrated the depth and diversity of North Texas talent by featuring performers such as Sergio Garcia, Jay Gardner, Marjorie Hayes, Catherine Johnson, Sheran Keyton, Calvin Roberts, and Diana Sheehan in evenings of intimate, engaging, and theatrical solo performance. James created 3 award-winning cabarets with Diana Sheehan and 2 recordings based on those shows: Nobody’s Hart: The Lyrics of Lorenz Hart and Diana Sheehan Sings the Jerome Kern Songbook.
Education is central to James’s career. He has been on the faculty at universities and colleges in North Texas, Missouri, and New York, music directing productions and teaching courses on musical theatre performance, auditioning, singing, and musical theatre history. For many years, he has also been a private teacher and coach, working with young people and professionals alike. His private clients and former students appear in national tours and regional theatre, sing with leading opera companies and symphony orchestras and are accepted into the top university musical theatre, acting, and voice programs. He has taught performance masterclasses across the country for universities, theatre and opera companies, and arts education organizations.
After living in North Texas for many years, James relocated to Washington, DC, in 2018 to pursue an MA in Arts Management at American University. While there, he was awarded the Strathmore Fellowship in Marketing and Development, and he graduated in May of 2020.
James is happy to be back home in North Texas among family and friends. He looks forward to building on the enormous strengths of Casa Mañana’s Education programming and TYA series. James is excited to work with Casa’s board, staff, and community to create even more meaningful arts experiences for North Texas’s growing and diverse population.
Teaching Broadway Studio Elephant & Piggie (Pre-K), How I Became a Pirate (K-1), James and the Giant Peach (2-3) and SpongeBob SquarePants (4-5)
Lindsay Hayward is a performer, playwright, and educator. She spent over a decade teaching abroad at the South African National Theatre in Cape Town, London’s Buzz Theatre Group, The White House Preparatory School, and The Maria Montessori House. Hayward has performed locally with Dallas Children’s Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas, Theatre Three, Echo Theatre, Garland Summer Musicals, Teatro Dallas, Circle Theatre, Theatre Arlington, and Uptown Players. She has worked with the education programs at Theatre Arlington, Dallas Summer Musicals, The Montessori Academy of Arlington, and created all curriculum for the Little Harmonies Music program. Hayward holds an M.A. from Texas Woman’s University, a B.F.A from Texas Christian University, a PDA from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, UK, and an Early Years Certification from the Montessori College, Wimbledon.
Annie Olive Cahill
Teaching Broadway Dance 1 & 2
Teaching Musical Theatre Production for All Abilities
Jessica Dahl-Colaw is excited to join the All Abilities Musical Theatre class at Casa Manana! Jessica’s love for theater began decades ago when she was cast as a sheep in a children’s production of Charlotte’s Web. As an educator, she has over 15 years of experience including with Dallas Children’s Theater and Dallas Theater Center’s education departments, with Big Thought’s outreach programs, and as a special education teacher. Jessica still loves to perform here and there (her favorite role as Hermione in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale). She has an MFA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Jessica’s passionate about serving those in the special needs community and promoting inclusivity in theatre.
Teaching Musical Theatre Production for All Abilities
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.
Morgan is a Dallas-based actor and educator who has been seen in many children’s theatre and Broadway series productions at Casa Mañana. Her favorites include the world premiere of Frank-N-Friend, The Producers, The Big Bad Musical, and The Buddy Holly Story. In addition to performing, Morgan teaches acting, audition techniques, voice lessons, and group music classes around the DFW metroplex. She holds a Bachelor of Music in music theatre with a minor in directing from Oklahoma City University. She’s excited to be back at Casa this fall, and to help her students unlock their creativity!
Penny Ayn Maas
Teaching Triple Threat Level 2 (6-12)
Penny has worked as a professional actress, singer, and dancer in New York City for over 20 years. On Broadway she had long, successful runs in three Tony award-winning shows: the original cast of Crazy for You (including singing on the cast album), the revival of Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis, and the acclaimed revival of Cabaret at Studio 54, where she played multiple instruments and worked with such stars as Neil Patrick Harris, John Stamos and Brooke Shields. She is featured on the Off-Broadway cast album of Swingtime Canteen, a show she has performed and staged all over the country.
As a director and choreographer, she has worked Off-Broadway with the National Yiddish Theatre, Algonquin Theatre Company, Second Stages, and the Cherry Lane Theatre, and was the Associate Director and Co-Choreographer for three years on the BC/EFA benefit concert “Broadway Backwards.” Regionally she continuously directs and choreographs for the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts (Broadway World DC Award for Best Direction), Richmond Triangle Players, Barksdale Theatre, and the Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival in Pennsylvania, where she served as the Artistic Associate for two years. DFW credits include directing and choreographing for Lyric Stage and Stage West.
She has taught hip-hop, jazz and tap dance for the Performers Theatre Workshop in New Jersey and has been the Dance Director for both the Columbia Gorge School of Theatre and Triple Threat Theatre Camp in New Jersey. She has been a guest choreographer for three years with New York City’s Theatre Arts Center “Bound for Broadway” shows. She has directed many children’s theatre productions with the renowned Random Farms Kids Theatre in Westchester and for the Center Stage Theatre Company in Connecticut. She was also the founder of the Broadway Camp, at Allegro’s Music School, in Warrenton, Virginia.
Penny is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Texas Christian University, teaching Musical Theatre Performance and Dance. For Theatre TCU, she has directed and choreographed Children of Eden, Bare, Bat Boy, Pippin, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Spring Awakening; choreographed Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, No, No, Nanette, the original revue We Need a Little Christmas; and created movement for Born on a Sunday and Everyman. Penny is a proud member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA and an Associate Member of SDC.
Teaching Broadway Studio James and the Giant Peach (2-3) and Spongebob SquarePants (4-5)
Rachel is a recent graduate of Texas Christian University where she received her BFA in Performance emphasis in Musical Theatre. She recently finished teaching a Theatre Seminar class with Dallas Theater Center. She was last seen as Judy Bernly in 9 to 5 with North Texas Performing arts. Her other credits include Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors with UTD Theatre and Junior Players, Sister Chantelle in Bare: A Pop Opera (Theatre TCU), Lourdes in Luna Gale (Circle Theatre). She previously worked with Casa Mañana as a counselor for Camp Casa and Camp Casa Jr. in 2018. For more information, visit her website www.rachelnicolepoole.com!
Sarah Powell has performed in theatres all over North Texas, including Lyric Stage, Casa Mañana, Uptown Players, and WaterTower Theatre. Favorite roles include Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Ilona in She Loves Me, and Kate/Lilli in Kiss Me, Kate. As an educator, Sarah has more than 15 years of experience as a private voice and musical theatre class instructor and has directed or music directed many theatre productions for youth. She holds an MM in Voice from New England Conservatory and a BA in Voice from UNC-Chapel Hill. Most recently, Sarah was certified to teach Meisner in Music™, a methodology marrying Stanford Meisner’s acting teachings to the technical and physical demands of singing.
Sarah has two children, a husband, and a dog, all of whom she is raising in Grapevine, TX. Her daughter Sophie, 5, would like you to know that her mommy is the second-best singer in the world (Sophie herself is the best). Her son Mason, 2, agrees with everything his sister says.
Teaching Broadway Studio Elephant & Piggie (Pre-K) and How I Became a Pirate (K-1)
Delaney is a recent graduate of Baylor University where she earned her BFA in Theatre Performance with a concentration in Musical Theatre. During her time at Baylor, she was seen in Matilda (Mrs. Wormwood), Title of Show (Heidi), Baskerville (Dr. Watson), and many more! Her regional credits include Grease (Sandy), Legally Blonde (Vivienne), and Lizzie (Lizzie Borden). In addition to performance, Delaney has taught classes with the Granbury Theatre Academy and served as a camp counselor for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Elf Jr. here at Casa! Delaney is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Fort Worth, TX, and is excited for a fun semester at Casa Studios!
Teaching Broadway Dance 3 (Advanced) and Triple Threat Level 2 (Grades 6-12)
Merrill is a dancer, teacher and choreographer based in NYC for 20 yrs and originally from Fort Worth, Texas. Her choreographic work at Casa Mañana 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 the Actors Equity Association.