ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / OWNER

Brittany Leazer

Brittany knows all too well how it feels to be constantly told you are “too much”. Growing up as a child with ADHD and other learning disabilities, she was often referred to as the child no one wanted in their classroom, by teachers and classmates. Brittany would soon learn that God had a place and a plan for her, a place where her voice was heard. When Brittany was about 6 years old, she found a home in the performing arts, which has lead to a career in acting, playwriting, directing, singing, and public speaking. Brittany is passionate about helping other students find their home in the performing arts.

Brittany is an award winning professional actress and has produced and directed over 50 children and young adult productions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Acting and a Master’s Degree in Playwriting. Passion for theatre and teaching drives Brittany to help students reach their goals and shine on stage.

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

Thomas Bailey

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT / IMPROV/ACTING INSTRUCTOR

Sterling Bjerken

Sterling Bjerken’s love of musical theatre began when he played the Wolf and Rapunzel’s prince in BLP’s production of Into the Woods during his junior year of high school. Since then he has performed in shows such as The Wiz, Grease, and Elf the Musical, playing the roles of Sonny/Johnny Casino, The Wizard of Oz, and Buddy the Elf. Sterling will be going to Kennesaw State University where he will study Theatre and Performance Study’s and continue to pursue a career in acting. Sterling is incredibly happy and excited to be joining the BLP staff.

LOGISTICS ASSISTANT

Grace Chapin
CHOREOGRAPHER /
DANCE DEPARTMENT CHAIR
Dena Friderich

Dena Friderich grew up in Evansville, Indiana, where she trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, acrobatics, and musical theatre. While completing her Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, Dena earned a minor in dance, performing with the Purdue Repertory Dance Company (a Graham-based Modern Company). While at Purdue she also performed on the basketball court and football field as a member of the Purdue Dance Team. She began teaching with the Universal Dance Association while in college. She continued teaching ballet technique at Perimeter School of Ballet. Before moving overseas to serve as a missionary for four years in Budapest, Hungary, Dena was member of the Ballet Company, Praise in Motion, based in Lilburn, Georgia. More than anything, she enjoys teaching, where she gets the opportunity to build relationship and nurture character in young dancers. Since 2014 Dena has taught Jazz, Hip Hop, Acrobatics and Musical Theater Dance at Tolbert-Yilmaz School of Dance in Roswell. Dena has also choreographed musicals at Johnson Ferry Christian Academy (Elementary, Middle and High School levels), Crabapple Middle School, and Brittany Leazer Productions. (Shows include Junglebook, Aristocats, Alice in Wonderland, Winne the Pooh, Annie, Peter Pan, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Addams Family, Beauty and the Beast, High School Musical, High School Musical 2, Aladdin, Guys and Dolls, and Newsies.) Dena and her husband have two daughters and a son. Their family continues to travel to Hungary for short-term mission trips each summer, where she helps lead dance camps.

Jordan Rivers Headshogt

VOCAL COACH

Alison Graham

Alison Graham is a private vocal coach and recording artist who received her Music Education degree from the University of South Florida, where she was awarded Music Education student of the year.  Mrs. Graham has performed numerous recitals and has recorded vocal tracks for several commercials, including Verizon, Disney and the soundtrack to the movie Spiderman 2.  Her recording of the Mahler 8th Symphony with the Atlanta symphony orchestra, conducted by Robert Shaw was nominated for a Grammy.   Mrs. Graham was the first place winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) vocal competition five years in a row.   In her 27 years of teaching voice, her voice students have been accepted into some of the most prestigious music schools in the nation, including the Juilliard School, Carnegie Mellon, Florida State University and Indiana State University.  They have gone on to do amazing things such as win talent at Miss America.  One was the principal coloratura soprano for the Dallas opera; another was Nessa Rose in the national touring company of the musical Wicked.  Additionally, one is currently touring Europe as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute.  Her vocal groups have won the top award (Platinum rating and a Broadway Star) for best Broadway Vocal Group, 8 out of the past 9 years.  

Alison has been a main speaker at many ladies and teen Christian conferences across the country.   She has been a counselor for teen girls at Christian camps for the past 18 years.   She has been married to husband, Phil for 28 years and has two children.

DANCE COMPANY DIRECTOR /
DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Carnita Jones

VOCAL COACH

Beth Ramsey
Jordan Rivers Headshogt

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Jordan Rivers

Jordan has had a passion for musicals ever since his second-grade production of Music Man JR. Since then, he has performed in shows such as Newsies, Wizard of Oz, and Beauty and the Beast. He has also stage managed for elementary and middle school theater throughout high school. Now Jordan majors in Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University and is pursuing his career in musical theatre. He is beyond excited to be joining the staff at BLP.

DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Arianna Shropshire

An Atlanta native, Arianna Shropshire began her dance training at the age of 9. She has a diverse background in competitive ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, hip-hop, and more! At 15 years old she began teaching and choreographing for the Nu Star Maker Performing Arts competition team and received her first championship choreography award at the age of 16. Soon after, she started working in many capacities as a professional performer, choreographer, and director for The Strand Theatre and The Mable House Amphitheater while teaching for programs including The Georgia Ballet, Georgia Dance Conservatory, Becky Jones School of Dance, Marietta High School, and Dunlieth Elementary School. Arianna has professionally trained many students, some of whom received full scholarships to The Joffrey Ballet and have been featured in the Disney Broadway production of The Lion King in New York City. Her passion is creating learning pathways to help children with their individual focuses, and achieving short and long-term goals whether they are school-oriented or working towards a future as a professional performer.

VOCAL COACH

Haley Zavada

Hayley Zavada Coughlin is a professional singer and vocal coach who recently completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance, Pedagogy, and Literature degree from James Madison University in 2022. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Arkansas. Hayley has extensive performing experience in both opera and musical theatre productions, and has appeared as a soloist in many sacred music concerts. Her most notable opera credits include Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Adina (L’elisir d’amore) Clover/Ida/Cotton (Petunia), Marguerite (Faust), Sister Rose (Dead Man Walking), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Suor Genoveffa (Suor Angelica), La Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Lucy (The Telephone) and Lola (Gallantry). For musical theatre, Hayley has performed roles such as Lucy (You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown), Elizabeth (Young Frankenstein), The Radio (Caroline, or Change), Laurie (Oklahoma!), “Learn Your Lessons Well” Soloist (Godspell), Cinderella (Cinderella), Mrs. Sowerberry (Oliver!), Connie Miller (The 1940s Radio Hour), as well as performing as an ensemble member in productions of Annie Get Your Gun, Dogfight, The Drowsy Chaperone, Meet Me in St. Louis, Rent, Mary Poppins, and Once on this Island. She has a passion for choral masterworks and has performed as the soprano soloist for Haydn’s The Creation, Handel’s The Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and A Ceremony of Carols, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9.

Currently, Hayley is an instructor at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven, where last semester two of her students placed in the musical theatre categories at NATS and will be competing in the Regional competition this semester. Hayley also serves as the soprano staff singer and teaches voice lessons at Mt. Bethel. She is an active member of the National Association of Teachers in Singing, the College Music Society, and the International Alliance of Women in Music, and actively works to improve music education and develop performing opportunities for students in underserved communities. In April, Hayley will perform the role of Marguerite in Charles Gounod’s Faust with the Capitol City Opera and will be music directing Newsies Jr. with Jitterbug. Performing Arts in June. Outside of performing and teaching, Hayley loves doing trivia, playing board games and video games, rock climbing, binge-watching her favorite shows, reading, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with her dachshund, Naga!

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR

Jen Watson

COSTUME MANAGER

Brenda Young

BALLET INSTRUCTOR

Claire Young

Claire Young began her dance training at the age of five at the Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance in Roswell, Georgia. She joined their pre-professional company in 2002 and performed principal roles including the Fairy Godmother in Sleeping Beauty,the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker,and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. She trained with Atlanta Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffery Ballet, The Walnut Hill School, and Kaatzbaan. She went on to earn a BFA with Distinction in Ballet Performance from the University of Oklahoma.

At Oklahoma, Claire performed principal roles with the University’s ballet company the Oklahoma Festival Ballet. Her favorite roles included: The Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker, The Sylph from the Sylph and Scotsman pas de deux form Graduation Ball, The “Girl in Blue” from Mary Margaret Holt’s Carmina Burana, And the Lilac Fairy from The Sleeping Beauty. She also enjoyed touring Mrs. Holt’s Rhapsody in Blue in Shanghai, China.

Claire started her professional career with the Columbia City Ballet under the direction of William Starrett where she danced in Dracula, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, and Romeo and Juliet. She then went on to dance with the Montgomery Ballet under the direction of Darrin McIntyre where she performed many soloist roles including: Big Swans in Swan Lake, Little Bo Peep in The Nutcracker, and the soloist in Darrin McIntyre’s Liberty Bell. She then joined the Chattanooga Ballet as a principal dancer and was rehearsal mistress for the Corps de Ballet. Her favorite roles she performed were: The Sugar Plum Fairy, The Nutcracker, Raymonda, Raymonda, the Principal Slyph, Les Sylphides, and the principal dancer in Gabrialla Gambino’s Optimist.

Claire is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and has been teaching ballet and pointe technique since 2010 and is excited to share her love of this art form with the next generation of dancers.

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Gracie Young

A few things about me; I love Jesus, reading, performing, movies, wearing black, family, friends, and sit-coms without laugh tracks. I have had a passion for performance since I was a child. Ever since I performed in my first musical, I knew that I wanted to be involved with acting, singing, and dancing for the rest of my life. Because I was involved in a leadership program in high school where I acted as a teacher’s assistant, team leader, and spiritual mentor, I developed a love for teaching and acting as a mentor.

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OUR MISSION

We are devoted to developing young actors filled with courage, confidence, and passion in a Christ-centered environment. Students participating in the program will learn to reach within themselves to affect and move audiences.

2863 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Marietta, GA 30062
Blpandectinfo@gmail.com
470-898-6580

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