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meet our Staff

All of our senior teachers in dance and theater are current or former professional performers.  They continually enhance their teaching skills with advanced workshops and classes around the country, performance work at the Playhouse, productions at other regional theaters and dance companies, and in New York training studios. Our student instructors have trained for years, and have performed with the Playhouse professional company and directors extensively.
A little girl gazes at a ballet dancer en pointe.
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Weslie Webster

Director of Education

Glee, Intermediate Musical Theater

Weslie has been teaching at CCP since 1993. She holds a BFA in Musical Theater from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has trained and performed in cities all across the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC. She performed as Julie Jordan in the Original Broadway National Tour of Carousel. Weslie has directed many CCP productions including The Sound of Music, Annie Get Your Gun, Peter and the Starcatcher, Smoke on the Mountain, Sanders Family Christmas, Seussical, SpongeBob, Junie B Jones, and The Wizard of Oz. As a resident company member at CCP, you may remember her as Grizabella in Cats, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!, Madam Rose in Gypsy, Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music, The Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone, the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias, Emily Wheelock Reed in Alabama Story, Jessie Mae in A Trip to Bountiful, Mrs. Teavee in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. In 2016, Weslie was recognized with an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts and was recently awarded a First Night Award for Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Play. She bought a house in the fall of 2012 and is now proud to call Crossville her permanent home!

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Caitlin Schaub

Education Administrator & Lead Teacher

Advanced Ballet and Pointe

Caitlin has been teaching at CCP since 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Liberal Science from Arizona State University. She began her training at three years old and has spent over twenty years learning and studying all forms of dance. She began competing at age six and won numerous high score awards, titles, and special awards throughout the East Coast. She trained at Northern Ballet Theater (Nashua, NH), New England Civic Ballet (Lawrence, MA), Dreyfoos School of the Arts (West Palm Beach, FL), The Harid Conservatory (Boca Raton, FL), and was a trainee at Boston Ballet. Caitlin has danced multiple Nutcrackers (Sugar Plum, Spanish, Dew Drop, Snow Queen, Soldier Doll and Harlequin), and at age 11, was the first non-company member to perform Clara with the Granite State Ballet’s Professional Company. She even got the chance to perform The Nutcracker in Culiacan, Mexico in 2004. She has performed as Cinderella in Cinderella and had the role of Hope created for her in Doreen Cafarella’s Coppelia. She has performed the Grand Pas de Deux from Don Quixote, and numerous original works while a part of the Northern Ballet Theater’s Youth Ensemble. She soloed with Chautauqua Summer Intensive and the American Ballet Theater’s Summer Intensive at Tribeca Center. Caitlin’s focus shifted to theater in 2006 when she worked with American Repertory Theater in their production of Romeo and Juliet, but ballet will always be her first love and she is so thankful that she gets to share her knowledge and passion with the students in the T3 program!

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Peri Watson

Education Outreach Coordinator

Private Voice Instructor

Peri is thrilled to be joining the Education Team here at CCP! Peri grew up in Murfreesboro, TN and found her love for theater at The Arts Center of Cannon County (ACCC), where she worked as the Event Coordinator and as a consultant for the Arts Education Department. She has taught acting classes at the Summer Youth Conservatories and has been involved in several School Matinee Series shows, her most recent being Finding Nemo Jr (Director, 2024). Additionally, she has worked on several Mainstage shows throughout the years, both on and offstage. Some of her favorites include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Esmeralda, 2018); Cinderella (Music Director and Light/Sound Board Operator, 2022); and Brightstar (Lucy, 2023). Peri is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies and a minor in Music Industry. In her free time, she sings with the Middle Tennessee Choral Society and gives private instruction for vocalists.

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Jensen Crain-Foster

Education Administration Coordinator

Elem. & Int. Contemporary, Intermediate & Advanced Jazz

Jensen grew up dancing at the Playhouse and is so thrilled to be able to teach and share her love for dance in the same place that inspired her so much while growing up!  She has been dancing for over 20 years and has been teaching for the last seven.  Jensen studied dance at Western Kentucky University, where she participated in master classes from Alvin Ailey and Angelica Burgos.

Jenna Baker

Jenna Baker

Mini Tap, Mini & Elem. Hip Hop, Extraordinary Dance/Tap

Originally from Flagstaff, Arizona, Jenna moved to Crossville in 2019 and joined our teaching staff in fall of 2020. She has been dancing since she was 5 years old and received her B.S. in Dance from the University of Idaho. Although she is trained in jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet, her main passions are hip-hop, jazz, and tap. She has performed in Arizona, California, Idaho, and New York with different dance groups. Jenna has coached for the cheer and dance team for the Special Olympics and loves to perform and teach all ages!

Daniel Black

Daniel Black

Intermediate Acting

Daniel is a 27-year veteran of the Cumberland County Playhouse. This Crossville native started his career as an intern on the Playhouse stage. Since then, he has been a part of over 300 productions, here and all across the country. Popular credits have been Lord Farquad in Shrek, Jerry Gorman in Flight of the Lawnchair Man, Ellard in The Foreigner, Cosmo in Singin’ in the Rain, and of course, every male role in Smoke on the Mountain. Daniel has been a teacher for several years and has taken part in many summer camp performances. He is a musician of many instruments and has even learned to juggle! “Possibilities are endless in theater; we must embrace challenges with our eyes open and our hearts filled!”

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Karla Corder

Dance Sampler, Mini Ballet/Jazz, Baton (all levels)

Karla Corder was 5 when she fell in love with dance and performing at Lisa's School of Performing Arts in Wytheville, Virginia. She participated in cheer, dance, weapons, baton, flag, and theater. She graduated Fort Chiswell High School as a 1 year Co-Captain and 3 year Captain for Dance and Colorguard. Karla competed nationally with Wythe Harmony and Fort Chiswell Forte.   She continued performing throughout college and also began her teaching career at Fort Chiswell High School for Colorguard/Dance (2001-2003). In 2007, she became the Colorguard/Dance Instructor for Cookeville High School and now begins her 2nd season as the Colorguard/Majorette Instructor for the CCHS Jet Pride Marching Band.   Karla has since acquired 5 certifications for specialized dance in Barre, Technique, DNCE, Hip Hop, and Jazz, which she has transitioned into Dance Conditioning and Fitness for college dance teams and professional performers.

Karli Edwards

Karli Edwards

Mini & Elem. Clogging, Elem. Tap, Jazz, Int. Hip Hop

Karli Edwards is beginning her 6th year teaching for the CCP T3 education program! She started in the program at 4 years old and has never stopped dancing since! Spreading her knowledge of different dance styles to future generations is her passion, and she can’t wait to see how great this year is going to be!

Ashley Gentry

Ashley Gentry

Int. Ballet, Pre-Pointe, Adv. Contemporary, Int. & Adv. Tap

Ashley is honored to be an instructor for the Education Program here at the Cumberland County Playhouse. As a young performer, the CCP is where she grew to love the arts. Ashley holds a BFA in Performing Arts with an emphasis in Dance from Western Kentucky University. She has worked in theatre and dance education since she was fifteen years old, when she was a student teacher here at the CCP. In 2008 she joined the staff at the Capitol Arts Theatre in Bowling Green, KY where she served ultimately as their Youth Theatre Coordinator until 2012. Ashley has trained in many disciplines including ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, musical theatre styles, and of course, tap! “Dance and Theatre education is so important in the lives of all young people. I am so excited to bring my training and experiences home to educate and inspire a new generation.”

DeAnna Helgeson

DeAnna Helgeson

Intermediate & Advanced Clogging

DeAnna began clogging at 4 years old with the Clogging Cuties. She then joined Thunder Edition Cloggers, beginning her 11-year career as a competitive clogger.  She won countless awards throughout her career, culminating with the Southeastern Clogging Company winning the 2007 World Championship.  DeAnna is a returning resident company member and artistic assistant to the Producing Director.

Heather McCall

Heather McCall

Elementary Ballet, Adv. Musical Theater, Dance 360

Heather grew up at the professional ballet school, Carolina Ballet Theatre in Greenville, SC. Her dancing experience lasts for upwards of 25 years and she is thoroughly trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Tap, Flamenco, Pilates, and Strength and Conditioning. She has been teaching ballet and voice lessons professionally for over 6 years now and enjoys spreading the love and knowledge of music and dance.  Heather has also music directed many junior musicals, such as The Jungle Book, Willy Wonka, and Aladdin, and hopes to continue to inspire young minds and growing professionals throughout her career.

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Morgan Neal

Broadway Babies, Mini Musical Theater, Elem. MT/Acting

Morgan is an 18-year-old performer from right here in Crossville. She has been singing and acting for as long as she can remember and is super excited to be teaching again this year! This is her 8th year at the Cumberland County Playhouse, and she is looking forward to many, many more. Her favorite roles at CCP have been the Baroness in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr and Marty the Zebra in Madagascar. Singing and performing are her passion, and she is hoping she can bring the joy of music and theater to her students.

Michael Ruff

Michael Ruff

Advanced Acting, Hip Hop

Michael graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2004 with a double BA in Musical Theatre/Acting/Directing. Michael has been a student teacher at the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival (2001-2004) and the Assistant Director of the Chorvetts Stageworks Company (2003/2004). He was a Camp Counselor for Camp Wishbone in 2001, a camp for kids infected with and affected by HIV.  Michael loves teaching the kids here at CCP, and started the Hip Hop program at the Playhouse in 2008. He truly believes that the children are our future.

Marian

Marian Sullivan

Intermediate Musical Theater

Marian Sullivan has called Crossville home for the past 25 years. Not long after moving from California, she was invited to join the pit musicians for a production of ANNIE with Annie Crabtree as music director. Annie then introduced her to Weslie Webster and a lasting friendship was born. They are returning to their roots with this collaboration of Intermediate Musical Theater. Marian has been the accompanist for GLEE and, most recently, was the music director for THE SPONGE BOB MUSICAL, YOUTH EDITION. In addition to her work at the Playhouse, she also gives private piano lessons, currently working with ages 7-70+. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Biola University and a post-graduate certificate in Liturgical Studies from Notre Dame.

Ron Smith

Ron Smith

Tumbling

Coach Ron Smith has had decades of experience in the sport of gymnastics, both as a competitor and coach. A two-time national trampoline champion and world silver medalist, Ron was selected as the USA team coach to several international championships throughout the world. A retired teacher and gym owner from Mobile, Alabama, Ron has had the opportunity of working with fine arts students, many of whom went on to scholarships and professional careers both on Broadway and various fine arts institutes. Ron is now looking forward to adding a fourth threat (Tumbling) to our students' achievements. Ron and his wife, Marisa, have fallen in love with our area and enjoy hiking, kayaking, pickleball, and, of course, coming to our CCP shows. Feel free to contact Ron for further information on the tumbling program.

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Kristin Walker

Broadway Babies, Mini Musical Theater, Elem. MT/Acting

Kristin's first onstage experience was right here at CCP, back in the 1980s. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and is a teacher at South Cumberland Elementary. She enjoys sharing her love of musical theater with all of her classes.

Zolah Beeler

Zolah Beeler

Broadway Babies,

Mini Musical Theater

Zolah has been participating in CCP’s Triple Threat theatre arts program since 2016, and has performed in every spring production since. She has also enjoyed being a part of many of CCP’s productions, including Scrooge and Peter Pan Jr.  She currently studies ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, tap, and clogging, as well as acting, musical theatre, and T3 Glee. She appreciates the opportunity to continue working with CCP, is excited to be teaching again this season, and can’t wait to work with the kids!

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Kyra Crosby

Tiny Twirlers, Elem. Baton,

Elem. Acting/Mus. Theater

Kyra is a 16-year-old CCP T3 student from Cookeville, TN. She has been a part of the CCP family for 7 years and has had the opportunity to perform in many shows here, including Beauty and the Beast (Chip, 2017), Annie (Annie, 2018), Matilda (Matilda, 2019), Peter Pan Jr (Peter Pan, 2022), and Frozen Jr (Anna, 2023). Kyra has also been taking dance and theater classes at CCP for 7 years and has been assisting for 4 years. Kyra is beyond excited to begin her fourth year teaching, and she is forever thankful for the people in her life that make her love for the arts continue to grow.

Isabella

Isabella Daugherty

Int. & Adv. Clogging,

Extraordinary Dance

Isabella has been a student at the Cumberland County Playhouse since 2021. She has taken classes in Clogging, Acting, and Hip Hop. She has also been assisting teaching Extraordinary Dance since the fall of 2022, and has loved every second of it! She feels very blessed to be able to dance alongside such sweet and talented people! She got her first role in a play as a member of the ensemble in Frozen Jr. It was an experience she will never forget! She is thankful to her family and friends for always encouraging her. And to everyone at CCP for giving her a second family. She would like to thank DeAnna especially, for taking a scared young girl, giving her confidence, and helping her feel safe in a new environment. Also, for helping her realize her passion for performing! And always reminding her not to take everything too seriously. Thank you CCP for changing my life forever!

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Taylor Dearman

Dance Sampler,

Elem. Contemporary

Taylor is a senior at Stone Memorial High School and a proud T3 student. She has danced at The Playhouse since she was 3 years old and has been an assistant teacher for 4 years. She has performed on the CCP stage since she was 6 years old, starring as Tinkerbell in Shrek the Musical in 2014. Since her start at the Playhouse, she has performed in many other CCP professional productions as well as Dance performances. Taylor is so happy to be able to teach “her babies” what she loves- a passion and love for dance.

Harper

Harper Hadden

Dance Sampler,

Mini Ballet/Jazz

Harper is a 14 year old CCP T3 student. She has been a part of the program since 2021 and has never looked back! This is her passion and she is excited to share it with our newest rising stars.

Hannah

Hannah Parrent

Mini Tap, Mini Hip Hop

Hannah is a 13-year-old who has danced at CCP for 7 years and has been in many plays over the years. 

 

She is so excited to be assisting with mini tap and mini hip hop this year!

Luke

Luke Smith

Intermediate Acting

Luke is currently a senior at Stone Memorial High School. He has been a part of the T3 program since 2018 and is excited to be assisting this year in Intermediate Acting.

Kendall Walker

Kendall Walker

Tiny Twirlers, Elem. Baton

Kendall has enjoyed being a part of the T3 program since 2015. She has taken classes in every form of dance offered and has been in over 16 CCP productions. Catch her this spring as Dory in Finding Nemo Jr! Kendall loves sharing her passion by assisting in classes with the up-and-coming future stars of the Playhouse!

Robert

Robert Walker

Int. Musical Theater

A junior at CCHS and member of the Jet Theatrix Drama Club, Robert is thrilled to assist this season in Intermediate Musical Theater.

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