2021 Top Teens

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Announcing BETH MARSHALL PRESENTS 2021 TOP TEENS! Among the 100’s of emerging young people Beth coaches, mentors and adjudicates across the state of Florida, these 17 were selected to the program for their talents in all areas of theatre and all have been awarded scholarships into the summer intensive.

(Asterisk denotes member of the DownTEENers)

5th Year Top Teen
Jazzlyn Whiddon*
(BMP Intern/Mentor/Producer)

4th Year Top Teen
Sarah Isola*

3rd Year Top Teens
Laura Powalisz*
(BMP Intern/Mentor/AD/SM for the DownTEENers)
Caiti Fallon*
(BMP Intern/Mentor/Production Stage Manager)
Jackson Chase*
Eislinn Gracen

2nd Year Top Teens
Emerson Short*
(BMP Intern/Mentor/Assistant Production Stage Manager)
Steele Mycroft*
Alondra Trinidad-Colon*
Rowyn Sam

1st Year Top Teens
Braxton Barr
Ambria Benjamin
Finley Hayden
Amelie Jaime
Thomas Lightsey
Megan Quiroga
Diana Victoria

Meet the teens!

Braxton Barr is a singer. I am always open up to new concepts and new teachings. My leadership has been superior said by anybody that I’ve lead or anybody that has been above me in an organization. I am in the Great Jones High School Choir where I perform in numerous amounts of places such as the world known Carnegie Hall and all around churches, venues, and events statewide. I have attended the Central Florida Vocal Arts Spring Institute and plan on attending this year’s Summer Institute as well. I hope to inspire and live on to make a career that is more than just based solely on income, but makes others around me happy as well as inspiring others. As my own choral director Mrs. Andrea Green states to me and my choir all the time, “We not only sing to impress, but to inspire.”

Ambria Benjamin is a first year TOP TEEN who just graduated from Montverde Academy Theatre Conservatory and will be heading to Boston University to continue with her theatre career.  Whether collaborating with a cast on stage, or a creative team behind the scenes, Ambria treasures the opportunity to engage in theatre any way she can. Of the many roles she’s played, her favorites are: the title character in “The Drowsy Chaperone”, Jovie in “Elf: The Musical”, Francine/Lena in “Clybourne Park”, Minnie Fay in “Hello, Dolly!”, and, most recently, Beneatha in “A Raisin in the Sun” at the Garden Theatre.

Jackson Chase is an incoming junior at Lake Nona high school and a 3rd year top teen! Since he was 5 he has been pursuing theater and has never stopped since. His three things are musical theater, acting, and music: specifically music therapy. Most recently, he was able to co-direct a play version of the book “little women” at Lake Nona High. He is so grateful for his parents, his girlfriend, and Beth for helping him through all his endeavors.

Caiti Fallon is a third year Top Teen, BMP intern, Production Stage Manager for Top Teens, and a recent graduate of Montverde Academy. She’ll be attending the University of Minnesota this fall as a part of the BFA Actors in Training Program (in conjunction with the Guthrie Theatre). Her top three focuses are acting for the stage, singing, and directing. Recent credits include Betsy/Lindsay in Clybourne Park (Montverde Academy, selected as a mainstage for State with a perfect score; staged reading at the Garden Theatre; selected as a mainstage for the International Thespian Festival); Woman 3 in Edges(Montverde Academy); First Witch in Macbeth (Montverde Academy); and Bea in Something Rotten! (Montverde Academy; Applause Award Best Musical Winner). Caiti recently won one of the Outstanding Performer Awards for the Applause Awards. She’d like to thank everyone who helped her grow as a person and performer, most of all Beth Marshall, Ms. Emerson, Mr. Bell, her family, and her graduating ensemble.

Eislinn Gracen is excited to be back for her third year of Top Teens! Her top three areas of interest are acting for the stage, playwriting, & voice acting. She is a rising senior at West Orange High School where she was most recently seen as Torrey in Freaky Friday. Some of her favorite past roles include: Margie (Lilies on the Land), Mammy Yokum (Li’l Abner), and Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). She starred in Wizard of Loch Haven Park as Yael at this year’s Orlando Fringe Festival where Seth Kubersky of Orlando Weekly said of her, “Gracen’s gregarious tomboy was a joy to follow around the park.” Eislinn is also an accomplished playwright, most recently having had her play, Guns in Dragonland, produced by Orlando Rep and performed on Broadway on Demand as a winning entry in the #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence competition. Eislinn would like to thank her family and friends and also a special thank you to Beth Marshall, Tara Whitman, Kenneithia Mitchell, and Erin Michelson for all of their support and guidance.

Finley Hayden is a rising sophomore at the Dr. Phillips High School Theatre Magnet. This is her first year with BMP Top Teens and she is so excited to be a part of it. Finley has been performing and loved the stage since the age of five and has performed on several Orlando stages including Garden Theatre, The Orlando Rep, Dr. Phillips High School, Shine in the Limelight, Howard Middle School Academy of Arts, Theater at St. Luke’s, Theatre South Playhouse, and the Orlando Fringe Festival. Some favorite past roles include Margaret Gormley in Billy Elliot The Musical (her first professional show), Cat In The Hat in Seussical, Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Annie in Annie, and Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man.  Her top three areas of focus are singing, acting, and dancing. Finley has trained in NYC with Broadway Artists Alliance and has also attended the Broadway intensive camp Take It From the Top for the past six years.  She is also a member of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center Four Counts performance group. She would like to thank her vocal coach, Kenneithia Mitchell, her dance studio, Spotlight Dance Center, and her acting coach, Hannah Citrin for all the training and support over the past years, as well as Karen Rugerio for her guidance. She would also like to thank Beth Marshall for such a great opportunity to continue to learn and fine tune her skills, and she thanks her family for all their support.

Sarah Isola is so excited to be returning as a 4th year TOP TEEN! As a rising senior, Sarah will be attending the University of North Carolina School of the Art’s HS program in the fall. Previous TOP TEENS awards include Judges Choice: Acting for the Screen, 3rd Place Overall, and Most Talented. Most recently, she was seen in Requiem (CFVA) at the Orlando Fringe Festival. She has had the pleasure of performing across Central Florida on various stages such as the Orlando Repertory Theatre, Winter Park Playhouse, Theater West End, Garden Theatre, and Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, she has had the honor of performing alongside Laura Bell Bundy, as well as opening for Chita Rivera. Sarah has received much critical acclaim and awards as both a singer and actor, including three consecutive years of winning The National Association for Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition and has recently been recognized as an Outstanding Performer Winner in the Applause Awards (DPAC). She thanks Beth Marshall, Theresa Smith-Levin, her family, friends, and the fabulous Teens!

Amelie Jaime is thrilled to partake in her first year working with Top Teens. She is a rising sophomore at Montverde Academy where she takes part in the Theatre Conservatory. Her most notable performances include, one of the narrators in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, the Noise in the critically acclaimed one act “Noise- a teenage panic attack on national themes”, and most recently in “Macbeth” as Second Witch and in the ensemble of “Something Rotten”. She was also recently Mrs Darling in Young Star Musical Theatre’s production of Peter Pan at the Dr. Phillips Center. Amelie would like to thank her family and her supervisors in theatre for working with and helping her improve. 

Thomas Lightsey is a recent graduate of Trinity Preparatory School where he was actively involved in the theater, music, and chorus programs. In the fall, he will be attending Shenandoah University to pursue a BFA in Musical Theatre. This is his first year with Top Teens and he is super excited to be working with such amazing people. Some of his favorite theatrical credits include Miss Trunchbull (Matilda), Gordon (A New Brain), Ed (Curious Incident), Phoebus (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Boxman (In Transit), and Man 2 (Now. Here. This.). Select awards include Best Leading Actor in a One Act (FL Thespians District 3 2019), Best in Show Duet Musical (D3 2019), Top Honors for Solo Musical (D3 2020), Top Honors for Large Group Musical (D3 2020), and Top Scoring Nominee for Oustanding Supporting Actor (Applause Awards 2020). Special thanks to all of his teachers, Beth Marshall for this amazing opportunity, and his family for all of their love and support.

Steele Mycroft currently attends the University of Central Florida, where he is studying Entertainment Management and Theatre! Steele is a second year Beth Marshall Presents Top Teen and is excited to jump back into the program and all it entails. He had the pleasure of working Front of House for the program this past summer and was also honored to receive the Spirit of Top Teens award. His top three areas of focus include Acting for the Stage, Front of House Management, and Theatre Leadership. Recently, Steele has been seen as Mickey in Spotlight at the Orlando Fringe Festival in association with Rising Phoenix Productions and on the screen as Colt in The Inclusivity Project: Unmuted Stories from Beth Marshall Presents. Steele would like to thank his family and friends for their constant support in all of his endeavors, as well as Beth Marshall for providing him with this opportunity to continue to learn and grow as an artist.

Laura Powalisz is thrilled to be in her 3rd Year as a BMP Top Teen! Her main 3 focuses are Singing, Acting, and Leadership. She became an Intern for Beth Marshall Presents in June 2020 as well as the Assistant Director and Stage Manager for the DownTeeners. Laura currently attends Rollins College as a Music Major with a Minor in Theatre. She is a member of Rollins Choir, Women’s Vocal Jazz, Recording Ensemble, and the Bach Festival Choir. This year, Laura was selected to be in the Rollins Music Department’s Musical Theatre Showcase and she has Music Directed 3 shows with the Department of Theater including “As It Is In Heaven”, “When We Were Young”, and “Late, A Cowboy Song”. Last year, she performed in the Applause Awards and was nominated for Best Leading Actress for her portrayal of Jo March in “Little Women: The Musical”. Her other favorite theatre credits include Clairee in “Steel Magnolias”, Gabriella Montez in “High School Musical”, and Ana in “You Can See All The Stars”. Laura was part of BMP’s Inclusivity Project as Sophie Aparecido, a character she created in this devised theatre piece about life during COVID and fighting for inclusion. Most recently, Laura performed in the Orlando Fringe Festival as Karen in “Spotlight” with Rising Phoenix Productions. She wants to thank Mama Beth for all her love and support.

Megan Quiroga (Meg) is currently a senior at Lake Howell High School. She is Co-President of her school’s AVTech Club and a member of the school’s Thespian Troupe. Her most recent shows include: “Dog Sees God” (Sound Designer), The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” (Assistant Stage Manager, Sound Designer), “Bridal Terrorism” (Sound Designer), “Steel Magnolias”(Stage Manager), “Into the Woods” (Sound Designer), “Rebel Without a Cause”(Assistant Stage Manager/Lighting Designer), “Hydeout” (Stage Manager, Actor, Sound Designer),“Antigone” (Actress), and The Little Mermaid (Stage Manager). In the future she plans on going to community college and majoring in Radio and Television. I would like to take the time in this bio to thank my friends, family, Tiffany Ortiz and Beth Marshall for all the support they have given me while I pursue my dreams.

Rowyn Sam is a Junior at Lake Howell High School and a second year Top Teen. He has a passion for technical theatre as a whole, with experience in Stage Management and Lighting Design. Some of his favorite credits for Stage Managing include: “A Fringemas Carol”, “Little Women: The Musical” and Assistant Stage Managing “Hydeout”. His most notable Lighting Design credits include: “Spotlight”, “The Little Mermaid”, and “The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe”. In his high school he is a proud member and Secretary of Troupe 4937. In addition, he is also the LHHS AV Tech Club president for this upcoming school year. Some of his awards include Best Male Technician in a Mainstage for LHTC in the 2020-2021 school year, BMP Top Teens Newcomer Award for 2020, and Honorable Mention for Scenic Design at the District level In 2019. In the future he plans to attend college, pursue activism, and open a theatre of his own. He would like to thank his family, friends, Tiffany Ortiz, and Beth Marshall for their constant support and guidance. 

Emerson Short is a recent graduate from Lake Howell High School. Her top 3 areas of focus include technical theatre, playwriting, and and musical theatre. She is a 2nd year Top Teen and the Assistant Production Manager this year. She is also a BMP intern. Emerson has been active in theatre for over eight years and has been competing in it for four years through district and state competitions. Along with that, she was her thespian troupe’s secretary her junior year and President this previous school year. In addition to this, she also held the title of President of the LHHS AV Tech Club for two years. Emerson will be attending a 2 year college before transferring to a 4 year university for her bachelor’s degree. She plans to double major with education and neuroscience and minor in theatre. She performed at the Orlando Repertory Theatre in the Youth Academy productions as well as community productions at Penguin Point Productions. Her recent performing credits include JoJo (Seussical jr), Guard 2 (Dystopia), Villian (Almost Maine), and Scuttle (The Little Mermaid). Her recent technical credits include Stage Manager for Antigone and Rebel without a Cause, Master Electrician for The Secret Garden and Antigone, Assistant Stage Manager for Assassins and lighting designer for Assassins and Into the Woods. Emerson also participated in the 2022 Orlando Fringe Festival where she stage managed the production Spotlight for Rising Phoenix Production Company. Her awards include All-Star Crew Member for her troupe’s production of The Other Room at the district level in 2018, Best Female Technician for LHTC in the 2018-2019 school year, Best Actress (JoJo in Seussical jr) and Best Newcomer for LHTC in the 2017-2018 school year, All-Star Cast Member for LHTC’s production of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Marcy), Honorable Mention for Student Directing at the district level in 2019 with her scene from the show, Lysistrata and Top Honors at the regional competition this year for solo musical. When competing this previous year at the regional and state lever, her original one act, Hydeout, received straight superiors for both festivals. Emerson would like to thank her friends,family, mentors, James Brendlinger, Tiffany Ortiz, and for their support and guidance.

Alondra Trinidad-Colon is a rising sophomore at Point Park University, where she is currently earning a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. This is her second year as a member of BMP Top Teens. Her top three contributions to BMP Top Teens are her strengths in Musical Theatre Performance, Acting (for the stage and screen), and abilities in Makeup Design/Application. Alondra‘s awards include “Outstanding Lead Performer” for her portrayals of Aida in “Aida (2018)” and Janet van De Graaff in “The Drowsy Chaperone (2020)”. Some of her favorite theatre credits include Aida – Aida, Black Stache – Peter and the Starcatcher, and Janet van De Graaff – The Drowsy Chaperone. She would like to thank Beth Marshall for the incredible opportunity to be a part of the Top Teens program. As well as thank her mother, Brenda Colon

Diana Victoria is a rising freshman at Pace University in New York City and plans on majoring in Communication Studies. This is her first year as a Top Teen and she is ecstatic to be working alongside so many talented people! She has been doing musical theatre for almost seven years and is more than grateful to be able to learn from Beth Marshall and the other teens. She recently graduated from The Master’s Academy and was the president of her troupe. She received top honors at the district and state level for her solo musical “Waiting for Life”. She has been in a position of leadership for her troupe every year since her sophomore year. Her top three areas of focus are singing, acting (for the stage and screen), and dancing. Her favorite credits include Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Olive Ostrovsky (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Sandy (Grease), Snoopy (You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown), and Little Becky Two Shoes (Urinetown). Diana would like to thank her parents, friends, and directors for their love and support in everything she does.

Jazzlynn Whiddon is currently a freshman at Daytona Stage College under the direction of Samantha Stern. She is entering her 5th year of Top Teens and her 3rd year of interning with Beth Marshall Presents, and is beyond thrilled to be producing her final year of the program. She has been doing theatre for the past 9 years in various parts of Florida, on stage and off the stage! Her main areas of focus are always changing with the times, but her current areas of focus are producing, acting and singing. Some of Jazzlynn’s favorite theatrical credits include Ouiser in “Steel Magnolias”, Cecily Cardew in “The Importance of Being Earnest”, Gary Coleman in “Avenue Q”, and various roles in “Forbidden Broadway: Greatest Hits”. A few awards Jazzlynn has received are Best of Show Duet Acting (D3 Thespians 2019), Best of Show Large Group Musical (D3 Thespians 2019) and All Star Cast for in a One Act (D3 Thespians 2019). In 2020, Jazzlynn also won the “Billy Manes Art Activism” award, 2nd place overall for TOP TEENS, the BMP internship award and the PLAY-IN-A-DAY TOP TEENS award. She would like to thank all of the wonderful people in her life that continue to inspire and push her to do what’s right!

Meet the Adjudicators/Mentors/Guest Artists

Alina Alcantara (Adjudicator/Mentor) is a New York native of Dominican heritage, who has lived in Florida for most of her life.
Recent credits include Mamman Lilla (Lillas Pastia) in Opera Orlando’s CARMEN, Elodia in the movie The Charm Of Love,  Adriane in the children’s films Independence Day at the Museum and Presidents Day at the Museum, Mom in Jack & the Beanstalk and  Abuela Claudia in In The Heights –  both  at Orlando Shakes.
She was also a performer at the Walt Disney World Resort,  and prior to  that, had a recurring role as  Celestina  Warbeck  at  Universal Orlando.
A proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community, Alina has also been actively involved in special events around Orlando: STAY  HOME  WITH  PRIDE  2020,  AFTER ORLANDO at the 2019 ATHE Conference,Pride Chamber Business Awards Gala 2019, FAB FRINGE FUNDRAISER 2019, 2018 Orlando Citrus Parade, and the 2018 Pulse Remembrance Ceremony at the Pulse Memorial, among other special events. 
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association

Sheryl Carbonell (Adjudicator/Mentor) – I’m a bit of a nerd actually. I love to daydream, and draw, and sing. I have bursts of energy that I use to work out. I love to workout. I love being physical, lifting weights, doing yoga, but I hate running. I walk or ride my bike instead for exercise. I like to move. I love to dance but I’m not a dancer per se. Wish I was one. I’ve always loved the arts, creativity and expression. I began piano lessons at age 7 and singing solos by age 8. My music teacher and the woman who was my kindergarten teacher , recommended I audition for Annie, at my hometown in my hometown, Windsor Ontario, when I was 12. I did. The Windsor Light Opera Company loved me and wanted me to be Annie, but in those days, it was unheard of to cast a black girl as an Annie, so I was cast as the orphan July. It’s okay. I persevered and I had a blast playing the role, meeting new friends and learning to tap dance!! Then, I moved to Florida. I loved coming to Florida for vacation but to move to Florida was a different story. I experienced culture shock and therefore stopped music and acting. I took drawing classes and played tennis instead. I earned my school letter, and thought I might major in visual arts – perfect choices, admirable ones, but I knew I loved music and the arts. I made a quick decision and chose Music Education and Performance as my major and began my long journey to resuscitate the arts I had put on hold. By the time I graduated from the University of Central Florida, I was a pretty darned good choir director. I started the chorus programme at Maitland Middle School and taught by day and sang professionally with the Orlando Opera by night. After the birth of my son, I decided to earn my Masters Degree in Music Education while staying at home to raise him. I continued to sing with the opera company for my artistic outlet. The doors to the Orlando Opera Company closed however, and I was left without teaching or performing. This lead me to pursue acting. I’d loved it in Windsor, and I had moments on stage in the opera company when I wondered why some scenes felt more real and connected than others. I vowed to figure out why. Since then, I’ve been studying acting with various acting teachers here in Orlando. I’ve booked commericials, professional theater gigs at Mad Cow and Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. I’ve worked on films and booked my first network television show (the role was cut, but there will be more!)… I’ve even hosted a show as a series regular, traveling the country as an Arts and Physical Education Advocate, interviewing teachers and writing about the cutting edge arts and physical education programs being taught in the United States. In a short time, I’ve cultivated an acting career filled with surprises I would have to tell you in a separate bio because this is long!! (sorry!) If you can dream a dream, do not defer it, go for it. Work your butt off for it, expect hard times and persevere anyway. What is for you will be yours. I truly believe that and live by this mission each and every day and I hope that as you partake in your artistic endeavours, you dare yourself to dream too.

Kristoffer “Kit” Cleto (Adjudicator/Mentor/Guest Artist for musical theatre) was born in Chicago, Illinois and showed interest in music at an early age. He actively sang in choirs from elementary school through high school. In 2011, Kit received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Florida, studying under Dr. Jeremy Hunt. During his time at UCF, Kit sang solos with the University Chorus, Chamber Singers, and UCF Symphony Orchestra and performed with UCF Opera, Orlando Opera Company, Orlando Philharmonic and Valencia Opera Theater Workshop.  Kit holds a Master of Music in Voice Performance & Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He studied with Jerold Siena, an internationally acclaimed tenor who has appeared regularly at the Metropolitan Opera and the world’s leading opera houses. While at the U of Illinois, he performed with the Illinois Opera Theatre, U of I Opera Studio & Opera Scenes, Danville Symphony Station Theatre, Sinfonia da Camera, and the Allerton Music Barn Festival. As a full tuition waiver recipient and graduate teaching assistant, he taught undergraduate voice at U of Illinois for 2 years. He spent the summers of 2010 and 2013 performing operatic scenes and studying the Italian language and culture with La Scuola Italia per Cantanti Lirici in Urbania andSt’Angelo in Vado, Italy. After returning to Orlando in 2014, Kit continued to develop his vocal artistry and technique under the tutelage of Priscilla Bagley, specifically focusing on crossover and contemporary styles of singing. As a result, he has performed with Opera Orlando, Central Florida Vocal Arts, and Opera Del Sol as well as many regional and local Central Florida theater companies, such as Mad Cow Theatre, Athens Theatre, Garden Theatre, Titusville Playhouse, Beth Marshall Presents, Central Florida Community Arts, and Theatre at St. Luke’s. In 2016, Kit became an Adjunct Instructor of Voice at Valencia College and his students have since then been accepted into programs on scholarship from Rollins College and Stetson University. As a Central Florida based vocalist, Kit has been teaching, performing, and producing in the professional musical theatre world for the past several years. Kit blended his love for musical theatre and years of vocal training, bringing together a perfect marriage of his two passions. Kit’s progression into music directing and vocal coaching Central Florida theatre productions allowed him to introduce another element into this union and extend the range of his talent even further. His use of bel canto singing technique and its application to more contemporary styles of singing fuse together to form impactful and emotionally rich performances for his students, his casts, and himself.

Blue Estrella (Adjudicator/Mentor/Guest Artist for stage management) is excited to be continuing her journey with the Beth Marshall Presents team as the Resident Stage Manager, & Play-In-A-Day Production Stage Manager! Since her move to Orlando in 2000, she’s received a bachelor’s in Theatre Arts at Stetson University concentrating on sound design. She began her theatre career at SAK Comedy Lab as the Front of House Operations Manager, and a lighting/sound improviser. Later on, she became the Production Technician for Kerry Giese at the JCC Theatre. After discovering the Orlando Fringe, Blue directed and co-choreograph “SPINZophrenia” in 2012. Fringe stage managing credits include “Bubble Gum Party”, “Now with Chikin”, “Slut Like Me”, “Save Me Dolly Parton”, “girl.” & “Black Wood”. Other SM credits include “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (BMP), “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” (BMP), “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” (BMP), “Gross Indecency” (Wanzie Presents), “It All Started at the Radisson Inn” (Wanzie Presents), “Wild Party” (Theater West End), & “Men on Boats” (Mad Cow). ASM credits include “Xanadu”, “Georgia McBride”, “1984”, “Flashdance” & “Ragtime” at Garden Theatre. Besides stage managing, Blue is also a color guard performer! She performed in the 2019 Macy’s Day Parade and has been directing/choreographing the Ocoee High Knights Visual Ensemble since 2016. #knightsvisualensemble #ocoeehsband

Charles Frierman:(Guest Artist) Charles is happy to be working with BMP as he’s been a fan of their productions for years.  Charles has worked with many improv troupes throughout Central Florida over the years including Unit 44, Franco Productions, Second Base Improv Troupe, Grimy Brothers Children’s Improv (which he co-founded) and SAK Comedy Lab.  He has also helped create several improv show formats which have been performed at the Orlando International Fringe festival.  Some of his favorites were The Sloth, The McGrawski Files, and Doctor Whose Line is it Anyway. Currently, when not in a pandemic, he teaches improv to teens at the Lakeland Public Library, where he also runs a show format he created for little kids called Children’s Theater in which the kids improvise their versions of fairy tales.

Rob Gee (Guest Artist for writing, mental health) first acquired a taste for the stage playing King Herod in the school nativity. He started writing poetry when fronting punk rock bands as a teenager.Based in Leicester, UK, he’s performed over three thousand shows, regularly appears on BBC Radio, and is sometimes sent into schools as a warning to children. Rob’s is the only performance ever to have instigated a fight at the Leamington Spa Peace Festival.
Rob has also performed The Glastonbury Festival, The Sydney International Poetry Festival, The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and The Austin International Poetry Festival. He performed the Edinburgh Fringe for seven consecutive years and regularly performs on the North American Fringe circuit. He’s shared stages with numerous personalities, including Harold Pinter, Jo Brand, Sue Townsend, Jimmy Carr, Omid Djalili, Frankie Boyle, Russell Howard, Sarah Millican, Kate Tempest, Scroobius Pip, Beth Marshall and John Cooper Clarke.
Poetry Slam victories include The Edinburgh Slam, The Toronto $83 Slam, BBC2’s Why Poetry Matters Slam, The Arts Council’s Lit Up Slam, The Nottingham Alley Slam, The Ledbury Poetry Slam and The Orlando Poetry Smackdown. robgee.co.uk

Amy Hadley (Adjudicator/Mentor/Guest Artist for tech) is an independent Lighting Designer and Production Manager who works with many of the local theatres and festivals throughout Central Florida.  She is a graduate of The University of Central Florida’s Theatre Program.  She is very proud to have been a part of the Beth Marshall Presents team since the beginning.  Her list of shows with this company include My Illustrious Wasteland, Our Town, Driving Miss Daisy, Crimes of the Heart, A Christmas Carol, Diviners, Prop 8 On Trail, Biloxi Blues, Children of a Lesser God, 33 Variations, Alice Lost in Wonderland, Doubt, Glass Menagerie, The Putnam County Spelling Bee, Whale and The Lieutenant of Inishmore.  She would like to thank her better half for life, Haui B., for his continuous support and her daughter, the sassy Miss Ella, for her unconditional love and infectious joy.

Tim Hanes (Adjudicator/Mentor/Guest Artist) is an Orlando music director/pianist/vocal director. Tim serves as director of music and fine arts for the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Longwood, Florida. He is musical director for Valencia College productions and teaches musical theatre at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center/ Florida Hospital School of the Arts where he is also the musical director for the performance troupe Docs & Dellas and received four Applause Awards for outstanding Musical Direction. He musical directs and accompanies at area high schools. His choirs have performed eight times at the White House and twice at Carnegie Hall. He serves as Dean for the American Guild of Organists Central Florida Chapter and adjudicator for the Florida State Thespian Festivals. Tim received the 2006 Presidential Scholar in the Arts’ Teacher Recognition award. Tim served as Artist-in-Residence for the State of Tennessee. Students of Mr. Hanes are working on Broadway and Film and Television.

Kaitlyn Harrington (Adjudicator/Mentor/Guest Artist , TT alumni) is a Central Florida native with experience in all facets of theatre, a passion for management and directing, and a dream of opening a theatre of her own. In the last decade, she has participated in 100+ productions, festivals and events. In high school, she proudly represented Thespian Troupe #4937 and Florida State Thespians as the District III Representative. She was awarded the Beth Marshall Presents Wild Card Scholarship and the Florida State Thespians Technical/Management Scholarship in 2014. She earned a B.A. (Hons) in Theatre Arts, focusing in management and directing, at Rollins College in 2018. During undergrad, she was a Priscilla P. Parker theatre scholar, became a member of the Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honors Society and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc. (USITT), and received the prestigious Fiat Lux award for serving her collegiate community. She went on to work in development for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts before finding her way back to her alma mater as a full-time staff member. In the future, she plans to further her education at the Crummer Graduate School of Business and the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. Work hard, stay humble, be kind! kaitlyn-harrington.com

Kenny Howard (Adjudicator/Mentor/Guest Artist, FTA partner)  – (Select NY Credits) Red Light Winter, PieFace! The Adventures of Anita Bryant, Ladies of Eola Heights, New Rochelle and Leigh Silverman’s AD for Hwang’s Golden Child at the Signature Theatre, and Go Back to Where You Are (Lucille Lortel Award) at Playwrights Horizon. (Select Orlando Credits) Bat Boy, Heathers (FL Premiere, Broadwayworld.com Best Direction of a Musical Award & 2016 Critics Pick for Orlando’s Best Musical), The Flick (FL Premiere, Broadwayworld.com Best Direction of a Play & 2016 Critics Pick for Orlando’s Best Play), Cabaret, VarieTEASE:Carnies, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (FL Premiere), [title of show](FL Premiere), When Pigs Fly, The Lion Queen. Howard is currently the Artistic Director of The Abbey and Education Director for Florida Theatrical Association, as well as conceiver, co-writer and director of shows for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Co-Founder of The Broadway Consortium, LLC, which has produced the Broadway productions of Chinglish, Bonnie & Clyde, Evita, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Big Fish, Matilda, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and the West End transfer of Master Class starring Tyne Daly. Under his management, his company received 6 Drama Desk Nominations, and 5 Tony Award nominations, including a win for The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess. He also co-founded Broadway Records which produced numerous cast and cabaret albums including How To Succeed, Matilda, and Big Fish Orginal Cast Recordings, two of which received Grammy nominations, He is a graduate of UCF and currently serves on the board of The Orlando International Fringe Festival. Kenny is a 4th year adjudicator/panelist and director coach for BMP TOP TEENS.

Ben Lowe (Guest Artist/TT alum) is a lighting and video designer based in Orlando,  Florida. Theatrical credits include productions from TheatreUCF, Orlando Repertory, Beth Marshall Presents, The Garden Theatre, and Florida Rep. With BMP, Ben has been involved in Top Teens and Play In A Day, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore in various technical positions.  Ben looks forward to graduating from the University of Central Florida with a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology and a minor in Digital Media this fall.

Matthew (Matty) MacDermid (Adjudicator/Mentor) is delighted to once again join the judging panel for Beth Marshall Presents’ TOP TEENS program.  An advocate for Theatre Arts education in our schools, Matty also spends months out of the year away from home adjudicating for Florida State Thespians and its regional festivals.  He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre and English Literature.  In 2019, founded The Ensemble Company (in residence at Penguin Point Productions), for which he serves as the producing artistic director.  For the company, he has directed Other Desert Cities, The Niceties (a 2019 Orlando Sentinel Top Production and nominee for Best Director, Drama), The Lion in Winter, and Mother of the Maid.  Elsewhere, he has directed acclaimed productions of Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Doll’s House Part 2, The Addams Family, Marjorie Prime, Sweet Charity, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, and more.  Performance credits include Father Brendan Flynn in Doubt, Lloyd Dallas in Noises Off!, Sheridan Whiteside and Beverly Carlton in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Uncle Louie in Lost in Yonkers, Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, The Baker in Into the Woods, among many others.  Check out @theensemblecompany on Facebook and Instagram.

Christopher McIntyre (Guest Artist)  is a New York based actor. Originally, a Kentucky native, born and raised, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BFA in Acting. As an associate artist with Random Access Theatre, he made his New York acting debut playing Hortensio in “Taming of the Shrew.” He has performed Off-Broadway and regionally. Credits: Quirky Waiter in a new series, Divorce School (Main Sequence Entertainment), Beta Bro in a webseries, Why The Bartender Hates You (Oliver Martin Productions). Lepidus in Antony & Cleopatra (Classic Stage Company/Bard City), Caesar Rupf in Romulus The Great (Yangtze Repertory Theatre), Clotenin Cymbeline & Bardolfin The Merry Wives of Windsor (Richmond Shakespeare Festival), Buddy in Holiday Memories (Bridge Street Theatre), Banquoin Macbeth & Rosencrantz in Hamlet (Stag & Lion Theatre), Speedin Two Gentlemen of Verona (Inwood Shakespeare Festival), Cupid in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (The AlphaNYC), Burgundy in King Lear (OST), Luke in Next Fall (Mad Cow Theatre), C-3Po in The Empire Striketh Back (Random Access Theatre). In his free time he loves to dabble in make-up design, playwriting, and being an awesome cat-dad to his new kitty, Azrael. To thine own self be true! www.christopheramcintyre.com

Michelina (Guest Artist for Dance) is an Orlando based professional dancer for the past 20 years. Classical trained in various styles, she has been seen dancing on stages at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. She is a member of BlueLALA Entertainment frequently dancing with the company VarieTEASE and the burlesque group The Ladies of The Peek-A-Boo Lounge. She has also produced her own solo improv dance shows for the last 10 years. She loves to explore dance and how it can relate the raw emotion of the human experience. She has a passion for research and development of true present moment through movement.

Michael Morman  (Adjudicator/Mentor) studied Theatre at Stockton College and University of Pacifica in Northern California and includes that training and love for people in all he does.He is the 34th employee hired at Universal Orlando thirty-three years ago. His career roles have ranged from telephone analyst, performer, casting and directing shows to Sr. Director Entertainment Operations for Universal’s two theme parks and City Walk when he retired in 2008.
Retirement led him back to his theatre training and it manifested in many areas close to his heart. Theater operations, performing on Central Florida stages, as a motivational speaker, and health advocate providing education through outreach and agency training to seniors, women and LGBTQ youth.
In 2015 he returned to Universal and is currently Senior Educator for Universal Orlando Youth Programs. His responsibilities now include facilitating Business, Marketing, Culinary and STEAM programs and developing educational content. The rest of his time is spent on live/virtual stage, writing and officiating wedding ceremonies, voice over work and volunteering as a mentor for OCPS high school students or any capacity to benefit youth, our future.
Michael has acted with numerous theatres in Central Florida. He is known across the state for his amazing portrayal of Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy which he has done for BMP. Other BMP credits include Prop 8 on Trial and most recently Play-In-A-Day 2021.


Lauren O’Quinn (Adjudicator/Mentor, ClassAct Partner) is an award-winning actress and director and the Owner/Artistic Director of ClassAct Studios. Her passion is training actors in deep emotional access and the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances. She majored in Theatre at the University of Georgia and moved to Orlando in 1997. Since that time, she has appeared in over 200 national and regional commercials, and numerous films, television shows, and plays.  Recent credits include The Right Stuff (coming to Disney+ in Sept), David Makes Man, Nashville (with Connie Britton), The Florida Project (with Willem Dafoe), House of Cards (with Robin Wright), Bloodline (with Sissy Spacek), national commercials for Allegiant Airlines, Tires Plus, and on-going television appearances as the host of ION Kitchen on ION Television.  She has been teaching advanced Meisner-based acting classes since 2002 and is is a former talent agent and a freelance casting director.

Sonia Pasqual (Adjudicator/Mentor)This is the first year Sonia is with Beth Marshall Presents PLAY IN A DAY as a director. Sonia is a professor of Live Entertainment Design and Production at Valencia College, in the School of Arts and Entertainment. She holds a bachelor degree in Theatre Production and Visual Arts from Fordham University Lincoln Center, NYC. Including, master in Liberal Studies focusing on art and literature from Rollins College and a master in Holistic Health & Spiritual Care from AIHT. She has been a professional lighting designer, pyro-technician, production coordinator and stage tech for Walt Disney World Entertainment. Her lighting design expertise and working knowledge of live entertainment comes after years working in Florida, New York, Washington State and Oregon. Over the last two decades, Sonia has worked locally with Valencia Character Company, Circle Theatre Company, Women’s Initiative Playwright, Trinity Preparatory School, and Southern Ballet and once as a blue venue tech at the Orlando Fringe Festival. She also designs sets, special effects makeup, is a carpenter, scenic painter and workshop facilitator. You can find her teaching website as www.itsallaboutthelight.weebly.com

Laura Peete (Adjudicator/Mentor) received her Bachelors of Music from Millikin University, with a Masters in Educational Leadership from DePaul University. Laura is the current Director of Education Programs at the Dr. Phillips Center. In this role, Laura serves over 130,000 people through national affiliated educational programs and classes at the AdventHealth School of the Arts. Laura develops and manages Broadway engagement opportunities for students and community members through various events, show opportunities, meet and greets, workshops, masterclasses, and chatbacks working with industry leading partners such as Disney Theatricals, Broadway Across America, Broadway League, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Advent Health, ATPAM, and commercial tours to create equitable opportunity.

Laura mentors a group of teen ambassadors representing over 25 high schools in Central Florida, introducing them to non-performance industry careers by providing access to learn from current Broadway/industry professionals in various markets around the world. Under her leadership, the Dr. Phillips Center’s Resident Artist Internship program launched in 2019, which provides training in performance, technical, and teaching artists skills for college students aspiring to art industry careers.

Laura programs and artistic directs the Four Counts, as well as Applause Awards (the Central Florida High School Musical Theater Awards), which is an extension of the NHSMTA, also known as the Jimmy Awards in New York. Laura has performed throughout the U.S. and in Europe, touring Florence, Urbana, and San Marino, Italy with Chicago Lyrica Opera, as well as a Baltics region tour of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. She has worked with award-winning music legend Burt Bacharach and Spring Awakenings’ Steven Sater (Some Lovers, Old Globe Theatre) in San Diego, CA and has artistic/music directed over 15 main stage musical productions throughout the Chicagoland area and at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Casey Saxon (Guest Artist dance) A Florida native, Casey Saxon received her early dance training under Nina Cameron in Gainesville, FL. She began her professional career, teaching, training and performing with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. During her tenure, Saxon performed at festivals, concerts and tradeshows throughout the country. She counts herself fortunate to have studied with and performed works by Eddy Ocampo, Kirby Reed, Gus Giordano, Nan Giordano, Jon Lehrer, Claire Bataille, Anna Czajun, Randy Duncan, Frank Chaves, Shery Zunker and Harrison McEldowney. Saxon went on to earn her BFA in Filmmaking from the University of Central Florida, where she experimented with ways in which to combine the two mediums of dance and film. Saxon has guest taught, adjuncted and choreographed throughout the state of Florida for various performing arts organizations, festivals, K12 performing arts schools and colleges –including Rollins College, the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, Valencia College, Seminole College, Osceola School for the Arts, BAK Middle School, Douglas Anderson School for the Arts,Palm Beach Performing Arts, Florida Dance Theatre, Florida Dance Festival and The Florida Dance Association’s Dance Festival On Tour.In 2005, Saxon founded CineDance Jazz Dance of Orlando–a professional, multi-media, concert dance company,telling universal stories through motion. As Artistic Director, Saxon produced multiple full-length programs, showcased work in International Fringe Festivals, Orlando Weekly’s Best of Orlando, and the 2006 and 2007 Red Chair Affairs –alongside the Orlando Ballet, Cirque De Soliel and the Orlando Opera. Shortly after her children were born, Saxon stepped away from the company to focus more on teaching than producing. In 2021, inspired by her son, Saxon founded The Studio School –an arts-immersive school for dyslexic learners

Shonda L Thurman (Adjudicator/Mentor) could not be more delighted to join this years Top Teen adjudication panel and is honored to have been asked by her fellow Stephens College sister Beth Marshall. Shonda has been seen on many of central Florida and across the country. Mrs. Mueller in Doubt, Garden Theatre, as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly, Garden Theatre, and children’s shows at Orlando Rep. Shonda has also been on national tours of Pippin, A Christmas Carol, and SchoolHouse Rock Live and on stages at Disney in Harambe Nights, Lion King Concert in the Wild, Universal as Mabel in the Blues Brothers show. When I come as one I stand with 10,000, so to every ancestor that provides me strength having gone before me, I speak your name. I dedicate this and every moment I get the chance to pass on any bit of theatre knowledge, to the memory of my mother Sandra L Thurman,and grandmother Mazel Ramey.

Joseph C. Walsh (Adjudicator/Mentor) is an award-winning theatre director and educator and is currently the Artistic Director of the Garden Theatre. He has served as the Assistant Head of Musical Theatre for the Urdang Academy in London and a professor of Acting and Directing for the Cork School of Music at the Cork Institute of Technology. Most recently Joseph was the Artistic Director of Arlington Children’s Theatre and was the Interim Director of Education at the White Plains Performing Arts Center where he also directed Ghost (starring Natalie Weiss and Steven Grant Douglas) to open the 2017/18 Mainstage Season and West Side Story for their Stage Two program. Joseph directed critically acclaimed productions of Hairspray and Singin’ In The Rain for the Cork Opera House. In 2013 Joseph collaborated with West End star Linzi Hateley to devise and direct Linzi Hateley: True Colors – Life Since Carrie at Saint James Theatre in London and 54 Below in New York as well as the London revival of Love Story: The Musical, which was nominated for an Off-West End Award for Best Musical. Joseph directed the Off-Broadway premiere of Sonder at The Player’s Theatre. In London’s West End he served as Assistant Director on Coyote On A Fence and Resident Director on When Harry Met Sally (starring Molly Ringwald and Michael Landes) and spent three seasons as the Touring Director for White Horse Theatre, the world’s largest touring educational theatre company, where his work was seen across Europe and Japan. He has also directed educational work for Vienna’s English Theatre and was the Artistic Director of the award-winning Wild Oats Productions from 2005-2015. Joseph has won the Hilton Edwards Award for his direction of the play Lilies by Michel Marc Bouchard. Other directing credits include the 20th anniversary production of Elegies For Angels, Punks And Raging Queens, the award-winning European premiere of The Temperamentals, The Laramie Project, the London premiere of Zanna, Don’t!, and the Irish premieres of The Last Five Years, Songs For A New World, and The Laramie Project Cycle and an Irish national tour of The King And I.

Rob Ward (Adjudicator/Mentor/Guest Artist)has been involved in Play In A Day for over ten years in every role imaginable. He’s written, directed, and even hosted as his alter ego Pepe. In 2018’s PIAD, Rob wrote the script for the Best Overall winning show. Rob has worked as a show writer and director for Walt Disney World Live Entertainment. and also as a member of the performing ensemble and an improv teacher at SAK Comedy Lab. During quarantine, Rob hosted two shows on Facebook live, The Isolation Happy Hour on Thursday nights and Rob and the Queens on Sunday nights. Follow him on Instagram @robgonemild.