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TexARTS Academy Kids Smiling

OUR MISSION

To enrich the human experience by producing classic American musicals and plays. To educate, prepare and promote exceptional talent to achieve their fullest as artists, leaders, and global citizens.

OUR VISION

To be an arts education and performance center where art and artists of all disciplines are WELCOMED and CELEBRATED and NURTURED.

IMPACT

2021-2023 

97 Performances

207 Jobs Created

195 Class & Camps

100% Creatives Paid

1,238 Enrollments

7,757 Patrons

1 Academy

1 Black Box Theatre

The 2021 - 2022 fiscal year was our first year back to 100% in-person learning and performances.  We were happy to not only bring Lake Travis residents together, but also attract a significant number of visitors throughout Texas and the nation to share in live events that may be touching, educational, thought-provoking, amusing or simply entertaining.  Over 70% of our patrons attend shows from outside of Lakeway (27% visit from outside the Austin MSA).  We project that we create ~$400,000 positive impact for the Lakeway hospitality industry each year.

TexARTS attracts theater goers from across the country and even Canada!  Our patronage represents 2 countries, 18 states and 192 unique zip codes.  70% of our attendees are from outside of Lakeway and 27% from outside the Austin MSA.  

 

TexARTS also attracts talent from around the country and central Texas.  Over the last two years we employed 207 creatives to instruct the students in the academy, direct shows, build shows, design lights and market the shows, just to name a few roles.  We partner with local universities and high schools to give early in career artists an opportunity to work alongside professionals, creating experiences and connections to help them progress in their careers.  TexARTS deliberately brings in Directors and Choreographers from New York to mount our professional series to deliver high quality productions and create connections to the New York scene.  We were also fortunate to have 2 grammy award winners take our stage in the last 2 years.  The best part of the story is that many that have worked with TexARTS seek to return.

OUR HISTORY

TexARTS Association for the visual and performing arts was founded in 2005 by 12-year veteran of the Broadway Stage Robin Lewis and former director of the world-renowned Martha Graham Dance Company & School Todd Dellinger. From the inception, TexARTS produced professional productions such as: Carousel, Damn Yankees, Always Patsy Cline, and I’ll Be Seeing You to name a few. For several years, the organization rented the Paramount Theater as a performance venue for their professional productions, while providing theatre arts education to young aspiring artists in the Lohman's Crossing Shopping Center in Lakeway, Texas.

 

Since then, TexARTS has had the pleasure of serving the Lake Travis region for the last 17 years.  We pride ourselves in educating the youth through technique classes in voice, acting and dance as well as musical theatre performance opportunities and summer camps.  Each academy year we fully produce and costume at least 2 youth musicals, 1 teen musical and the Nutcracker Ballet.  These productions are very expensive to mount, but they  give each student an opportunity to experience various elements of theatre.  It is our tenet to teach our students at an early age how to be a professional performer.  

 

During our tenure, we have served 1000s of students.  Some of our original students have graduated from college arts programs and are working in the field.  You can see them working on Broadway, with international touring companies, in TV, commercials & Film productions, and at prestigious education institutions as artists, designers and crew. Many of these young performers started out in our summer camps and musicals, progressed to technique classes and ultimately found their calling. 

 

TexARTS also produces a Professional theatre season in our very own Black Box Theatre.  We are in our thirteenth season having fully produced musicals and plays such as Guys and Dolls, Honky Tonk Laundry, and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. We have produced just over 100 shows during our tenure, employing 100s of creatives each season including musicians, actors, carpenters, lighting designers, sound designers, costume designers, stage managers, directors, choreographers, and administrative personnel to support the shows. We are proud to create paying jobs for artists of all kinds.

Choreographer Ginger Thatcher leads a dance rehearsal for Carousel
Robin Lewis leads the older students through a rehearsal of "Shipoopi" from The Music Man
Robin Lewis and Todd Dellinger. Founders of TexARTS Association
TexARTS Kam and James Morris Theatre

Meet the Staff

Sandy Cox

Interim Executive Director

Jonathan Young

Artistic Director

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Cassie Eckerman

Education Manager

Amanda Alch

Box Office/Office Manager

Julia Chereson

Marketing Manager

Jake McVicker

Production Coordinator

Hannah West

Development Coordinator

OUR Board of Directors

Natanya Anderson

Chairperson

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John W. Holcroft

Ada Jerman

Sylvia Kehle

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Nikki Rex

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Sharon Rogers

OUR Advisory Board 

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Mike Doherty

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Thomas C. Hilbert

TEACHING ARTISTS

Amanda Alch

Amanda Alch

Amanda has worked in film, television, and theatre for over a decade as both a creative and as an administrator. Amanda graduated from The Actors Studio Drama School with a MFA in Directing and she got her BFA from Loyola University in Theatre Arts with training in many different theatrical approaches to acting and directing. Her film and television credits include appearances on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and Claws and she has had roles in films including Birdie and Bogey and When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. Notable theatre credits include Annie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Dolly Parton Live, and the touring production of Casper. She is currently serving as Office Manager for TexARTS and teaches Drama classes at Blinn College. In her free time, Amanda can be found at a dog park with Stella, her miniature Aussie, or you can find her learning an aerial trick for Lindy Hop.

Jessica Askey

Jessica Askey

Jessica Askey was lucky enough to grow up in the area and began her journey with TexARTS the summer after her sophomore year of high school. She’s been involved in many productions, both youth and professional over the years. You might’ve seen her in Grease (2018) or Annie (2019). She attended Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Acting. After graduating in 2021, she has been pursuing acting professionally and is grateful to be back at TexARTS teaching what she loves to budding artists!

Bethany Becker

Bethany Becker

Finding Nemo Kids Music Director

Bethany Becker teaches vocals and all-around musical theater at TexARTS. She graduated with top honors from Berklee School of Music with a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Music Studies. She is best known for her work as a professional singer/songwriter. She has performed over 1000 live shows across the state of Texas and beyond including a tour with High School Nation and “Drake and Josh” star Drake Bell, Six Flags Over Texas, Rodeo Austin, Goorin SXSW, Grapefest and ACL 3TEN. In addition to her career as a singer and musician, she has acted in a multitude of films including starring roles in the award winning films “The Dark Places” and “Joe Haladin : The Case of the Missing Sister.” Her upcoming projects include "Not Too Far From Here" and "Shane Inflamed," where she will act alongside Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Samuel French (Killers of the Flower Moon), respectively. In addition, Bethany runs a party princess and recording studio event company called PopStardust Princess Parties.

George Bohn Tap Teaching Artist at TexARTS

George Bohn

Tap

George Bohn started performing in California at an early age with Vernon Russell who set the foundation for much of his dance career.  By age 13, George had performed on television and at the San Francisco Opera House with the Kirov ballet.  After earning an English degree from St. Mary’s College, he toured throughout the Northwest United States and internationally before moving to New York City.  George’s New York credits include Gypsy with Angela Lansbury, The American Dance Machine, and Not So New Faces where he originated the “Flipper Dance” with choreographer Terry Rieser,

 

While in New York, George joined DancEllington, a concert tap company founded by Gregory and Maurice Hines and led by Mercedes Ellington, Duke Ellington’s granddaughter.  In addition to performing and touring with the company, George made his New York choreographic debut creating the Russian and Sugarplum Fairy dances in DancEllington’s premier of Cracker Jazz—Peter and the Duke, to Ellington’s famous arrangement of the Nutcracker Suite, as well as assisting Ms. Ellington in choreographing for Andre Heller’s Body and Soul which opened at the Munich Opera House and toured in Germany and Austria.  George also created and performed A Simple Song with his long time friend, Broadway actor Bob Fitch for the group Dancers Over Forty before closing a 30 year chapter on his New York career and moving to Austin to be closer to family.

 

His current projects in Austin include teaching classes of all levels at TexARTS, maintaining his YouTube channel, and originating the Austin Rhythm Incubator; an online performance salon.

Ben Borgia Acting Teaching Artist at TexARTS

Ben Borgia

Acting

From Sydney, Australia, Ben has been performing since before he was born. After graduating from a selective performing arts high school, Ben attended the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Australia, under some of the most renowned teachers in the industry where he studied acting, receiving a bachelors degree.


Ben has performed in numerous stage productions at some of the biggest and best theaters ‘Down Under’ with performances at ‘The Sydney Opera House’ and for the ‘Sydney Theatre Company’ (STC). Ben has also worked extensively in commercial television and appeared in TV shows and films over the years. Ben has worked hundreds of times as a voice actor, and has leant his voice to countless characters in animation, video games and commercials. If you need a laugh or just miss the sound of his voice call any Outback Steakhouse and you will be greeted by an ‘even more Australian’ version of your drama teacher!


Ben moved to Austin 10 years ago to marry a Texan. He has previously worked for the ‘kidsActing Foundation’ and ‘Variety: The Children’s Charity of Texas’. Both are Austin-area nonprofit arts organizations giving youth and teens of ALL abilities the chance to lead, learn, thrive, and grow through the magic of performing arts.

Noah Cantrell

Noah Cantrell

Xanadu Jr. Director

Born and raised in Round Rock, Noah's love for theatre started at nine years old. Since then, he's been in countless productions around Austin His recent performance credits include Newsies, Mary Poppins, Rock of Ages (Georgetown Palace), Much Ado About Nothing (Cold Frame Collective) and Beauty and the Beast (Magnolia Musical Theatre). He received his BFA in Theatre: Performance and Production with a Music minor from Texas State University. Noah has been directing and teaching theatre for Three years and has worn many other hats along the way, including Production Assistant, Choreographer, Stage Manager, and Light and Sound board op, just to name a few. When not teaching or performing, Noah loves to cook, play video games, and make music.

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Riccardo Cerato

The Lightning Thief Director & Choreographer

Cassie Eckerman Headshot

Cassie Eckerman

Jazz

Cassie Eckerman was born into a jazz class in San Antonio, TX.  After attending the North East School of the Arts in San Antonio she received her BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  While there, she performed with a number of Philadelphia area dance artists including Bessie Award nominee Jaamil Kosoko, Georgian Court University’s director of dance Silvana Cardell, Nora Gibson of Nora Gibson Performance Project, and Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre.  Cassie also served as an intern and assistant administrator for the nEW Festival, performed in the Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia PRIDE, and choreographed work for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.  Cassie returned to Texas after teaching internationally and is thrilled to have served as TexARTS' Education Manager since 2019.

While at TexARTS she has worn many hats, including choreographer, director, and costumer for numerous youth productions.  Annie, Jr., Into the Woods, Jr., Willy Wonka, Jr., and James and the Giant Peach, Jr. are some of her favorites. She also regularly appears beside TexARTS tap teacher George Bohn in the recently retired TexARTS holiday cabaret A Cool Yule, directs TexARTS' annual production of The Nutcracker, and dances professionally in the Austin area.  While not at work, Ms. Cassie can be found hoarding plants and books, much to the chagrin of her loving husband. 

Samantha Garcia

Samantha Garcia

Is a senior BFA performance and production major at Texas State University. Previous works include Stage managing “The Bald Soprano” at TXST,  assistant stage managing “Disturbing the peace: A Theatrical poetry experience” at Spring Street Studio, making props for “Into the Woods” at TXST, sound designer for “My Barking Dog” at TXST, assistant stage managing “Box” at Penfold, and sound designing for “God of Carnage” at Beyond August Productions. Sam would like to thank her friends and family who have always supported her dreams. She would also like to thank the whole team at Texarts for welcoming her in on this production! Sam will be graduating this upcoming Spring and plans on writing and directing as much as she can!

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Breta Grubbs

Finding Nemo Kids Director

Joel B. Goodman

Joel B. Goodman

Hailing from Culver City, California, Joel Goodman embodies entertainment versatility. Armed with a degree in Television Production from Emerson College, he delved into Walt Disney Television, gaining backstage insights before embracing the spotlight. With 30+ TV ads, he's appeared in spots for Rolaids, Progressive, 1-800 Contacts, ESPN, and more. Not just confined to commercials, he thrives in Improv Comedy having worked with The Upright Citizen's Brigade, and The Second City. Joel's digital footprint includes viral videos like "Vince Gilligan's Island" and "Professor Puppet's Pocket Film School." Now living in Buda, Texas, he enjoys life with his wife Dani exploring local ice cream joints, and as a self-proclaimed pinball aficionado, he doesn't mind being rewarded for his performances in quarters. For a glimpse into Joel's world, visit joelbgoodman.com.

Leah Knight

Leah Knight

The Lightning Thief Music Director

Ivonne Lozano

Ivonne Lozano

Ivonne Lozano-DeLuna is originally from Chicago, Illinois and now resides in Austin, Texas. Ivonne graduated from Texas State University in 2022. There she gained her BFA in production and performance, with an emphasis in Directing. She had been working in Austin and surrounding areas as a theater educator and freelance director. Ivonne had fallen in love with teaching and theater and is very grateful for any chance she has to combine the two.

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Allisyn Martin

Jake McVicker

Jake McVicker

The Lightning Thief Fight Director

Jake McVicker graduated from St. Edward’s University in 2015 with a BFA in Acting. During his time there he developed an expansive foundation of general knowledge in almost every performance and technical aspect of Theatre Arts. These can range from a variety of acting techniques including Stage Combat and Shakespeare through developing technical skills in Lighting and Stagecraft. He would move to New York and obtain Membership with Actor’s Equity Association. He would further hone his skills as an Actor Combatant by studying with Neutral Chaos Studios and join the Society of American Fight Directors. While doing that he was also working at The Public Theater as an Electrician with the Production Lighting Personnel. Having moved back to Austin due to the pandemic, he set out to continue working and was brought on to the carpenters team at The Zach. Shortly after he became the Production Coordinator for TexARTS and has built every production since The Full Monty. He is honored to have the opportunity to pass on his knowledge and experiences to young and hungry artists.

Elisa Noemí

Elisa Noemí

Elisa Noemí is a Guatemalan-German-American mul4disciplinary ar4st dedicated to collabora4ve healing through art. Actor, poet, director, designer, techie & teaching ar4st, Noemí has played with SITI Company, El Teatro Campesino, The Actors’ Gang. Stage credits: Saint Joan, La Casa de Bernarda Alba, Melancholy Play, Electricidad, Mummified Deer, As You Like It, Homeward LA. She devise-directed Don’t Talk About It, SP!T About It (Hollywood Fringe ‘15), Quetzal y Colibrí (Patas Arribas, Encuentro ‘17), Baggage (Son of Semele QCF ‘19). Her stories have been featured on KPCC’s Unheard LA, Teatro Luna’s Talking While Female and Other Dangerous Acts, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s True Story. She wrote, performed and produced her solo show GOOD ENOF for audiences at UCLA, Highways Performance Center, The Bootleg & The Moss. ENOF (2023) is her first film created in collabora4on with Dillon Howl.

Kimberly Pickard

Kim Pickard

Xanadu Jr. Music Director

Marissa Ramirez Headshot.jpg

Marissa Ramirez

Twinkle Stars and Hip Hop | Finding Nemo Kids Choreographer

Marissa Ramirez was born and raised in Laredo, Texas where she was trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, and Hip hop. She started dancing at the age of eight and was on a competitive dance team by the age of 12. Her teaching career started as an assistant at 16 years old and developed her skills into a full time instructor. Marissa is always looking for ways to expand her dance education, so as a competitive dancer, she took part in many dance conventions and competitions around the country earning awards with Youth America Grand Prix, Break The Floor Productions, Artists Simply Human, Monsters of Dance, NYCDA, and others. She discovered her passion for choreographing when she was unable to afford to hire a solo choreographer one year; so, she took matters into her own hands and earned her first choreography award at 16. Marissa attended The University of Texas at Austin where she was able to work within the dance program including with artists Rennie Harris, Millie Heckler, Dorothy O’Shea Overbey, Jeremy Arnold, Erica Saucedo, and Lisa Thompson. Marissa also had the privilege of directing her dance company during her senior year. Her passion for dance shows in the studio where she encourages her dancers to be both confident and creative.

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Jon Racinskas

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Maddie Reese

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Jana Steen

Hannah West Ballet Teaching Artist at TexARTS

Hannah West

Ballet

Hannah West of St. Augustine, Florida, is an Elon University graduate, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. Hannah’s love for the performing arts began when she was three years old in her first dance class; she hasn’t stepped away from the art form in the twenty-two years since. From receiving training in various genres of classical and contemporary dance, spending some summers in Chicago and New York City at dance intensives, performing abroad with The Kearns Dance Project, to teaching the next generation of performers, she is excited to continue on this always exciting path. Since moving to Austin post-grad with her partner Adam and Goldendoodle Poppy, Hannah has expanded her knowledge in many areas of theatre with hands-on experience at TexARTS Association. Now in her third year with TexARTS, Hannah has worked as a dance teacher, choreographer, performer, administrator, box office manager, marketing/social media coordinator, props master, & development coordinator. Though West never expected her life to take a hard right turn into the world of musical theatre, she is grateful for all she has learned and is excited to gain more experience in the field. 

Jonathan Young

Jonathan Young

Jonathan is a director, educator, voice artist, and award-winning actor. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Drama at Austin Community College. Stage credits include:Cabaret, Hamlet, and The Pillowman (Brandeis Theatre Company); The Cat and the Canary, A Christmas Carol, and Anna Christie (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Beauty and the Beast (American Family Theatre); All in the Timing (Theatre 54 NYC).  He has appeared on numerous TV shows and commercials, including spots in Central Texas for Car-to-Go and TEXpress Lanes. He frequently lends his voice to commercials and narrations, having recently recorded a spot for United Way of Williamson County. Austin-area directing credits include: Die Hard Radiocast (Penfold Theatre Co), Footloose, The Santaland Diaries, Mad Libs Live, and Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (the Georgetown Palace) and Pest Control (Frontera Festival). Before teaching for ACC, Jonathan instructed courses at the Georgetown Palace (where he served as the Director of Education and Interim Executive Director), TexARTS, Southwestern University, Brandeis University, and various schools and camps in California and New York.  He holds a BA in Dramatic Arts (double emphasis in Directing and Playwriting) from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University, and is a certified actor/combatant through the Society of American Fight Directors. Jonathan lives with his wife Jaimie in Pflugerville where he can be found playing dress-up and wiffle-ball with his daughter (age 7) and son (age 4). Member of the Actors' Equity Association. www.JonathanAndrewYoung.com

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TexARTS Production of Grease

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