Tania Battista’s relationship with Flat Rock Playhouse began in 1997 as an Apprentice. For the following 15 years she wore many hats from performing in Main Stage performances, working as a backstage dresser, and teaching hundreds of kids in a variety of classes. She became the Director of Elementary Education and special events not long after the Education Building opened its doors. She continued to teach, direct, organize parades and special events and perform until 2014. She returned in 2019 to teach for Studio 52. Tania has a passion for working with kids and finds their playful spirits, enthusiasm, and innocent perspective on life quite infectious.
Betsy Bisson has been working in educational theatre since 1992 when she began to develop the award-winning YouTheatre program for Flat Rock Playhouse (now called Studio 52), the State Theatre of North Carolina. She has also worked regionally as a director and professional actress and stage manager. She was awarded the Southeastern Theatre Conference Sara Spencer Child Drama Award in 2011, named to Who’s Who Among American Teachers in 1998 and 2000 and recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in 2000. In 2015, she was nominated for a Tony for Excellence in Education. Her directorial credits (over 100 productions) range from children’s theatre to musicals, from farces to dramas, from original works to classics. Betsy currently serves as SCCT’s Co-Artistic/Education Director.
Lisa K. Bryant taught her first class at Flat Rock Playhouse in 2000 under the mentorship of the unmatched and talented Betsy Bisson. From Music Theatre/Acting and Company/Conservatory instructor to Apprentice Director, Lisa has most often relished the opportunity to connect with young people through the craft and merits of the performing arts. Lisa recently had the privilege to direct FRP’s Studio 52 Family Series production The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. After several years away from teaching, it was both a wonderful reminder of the great satisfaction storytelling with young people brings and a welcome recollection of why she fell in love with theater in the first place. She can’t wait to work this fall with the remarkable students already a part of Studio 52 and the new students to come!
Matthew Glover is a Director, Choreographer, Music Director, and the Artistic Associate for Flat Rock Playhouse. He became a Vagabond at age 11, performing in The Sound of Music and The Will Rogers Follies. From there, Matthew continued taking classes at FRP’s YouTheatre as well as performing in many other productions at The Rock. He received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Elon University and traveled the world performing in national tours, at regional theaters, on cruise ships, and at theme parks. As a director and choreographer, Matthew’s work has been featured on stages across the country, including FRP's recent productions of South Pacific, FRP Christmas, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. Matthew served as the Director of Dance at Burton, a performing arts high school in Virginia, taught as a music director and choreographer at Mill Mountain Theatre Conservatory, choreographed at Washington and Lee College, and has been a guest instructor for numerous dance companies and competitions. Matthew is grateful to be a part of the artistic community that first sparked his love of theatre and excited to give back to the next generation of artists at Studio 52.
TJ Medel is Jersey all day, every day. He holds a BA in Theater Arts from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. As a 2015 Second City Chicago Bob Curry Fellow, he performed on Second City Mainstages, worked as a Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator for Second City Works, and is the first Filipino faculty member for The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Medel has devised works with The Neo-Futurists Theater (A Story Told in 7 Fights), Theater Unspeakable (Superman 2050, The American Revolution, Moonshot, The Sacajewea Project), and Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble (One Day When We’re All Robots, Have a Great Summer). Medel has performed in festivals such as the Detroit Improv Festival, Chicago Sketchfest, Chicago Improv Festival, Chicago Fringe Festival, Second City Los Angeles Diversity Festival, Montreal Fringefest, Toronto Combustion Festival, Manila Improv Festival, NBC’s Breakout Comedy Festival, and CBS’s Comedy Showcase. His television credits include numerous commercials, web series, and FOX’s Empire. As an educator, TJ has taught with Silk Road Rising, Chicago Improv Productions, Chicago Poetry Center, Urban Gateways, and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. He is a former member of the legendary All Asian Improv Group Stir Friday Night and is the Founder of the Improvised Spoken Word Group PREACH!
Anna Kimmell is an actor, educator, and theatre artist from Atlanta, GA. A former 2007 Flat Rock Apprentice, Anna has also performed in regional productions at RI's Theatre by the Sea, CO's Lake Dillon Theatre, VA's Mill Mountain Theatre, AR's Arkansas Repertory Theatre, GA's Georgia Shakespeare and Theatre of the Stars, and on The Wizard of OZ National Tour, to name a few. As an educator, Anna specializes in musical theatre, acting, and dance curricula for students of all ages. She served as the Director of Education at Mill Mountain Theatre from 2013-2016 and Arkansas Repertory Theatre from 2016-2020, where she developed year-round theatrical training programs for all ages, designed and led theatre outreach initiatives, and directed and choreographed main stage, black box, and touring children's productions. Anna has also led theatre dance courses at Hollins University and the University of Central Arkansas and a series of theatre workshops for rural elementary students in Los Andes, Chile. Learn more at annakimmell.com.