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About Us.

Phoenix Youth Theatre is a proud 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit offering musical theatre training (dance, acting, and singing classes) and top-class shows for children of all ages, in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona, and online all over the world.

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Our Story

Students share in Phoenix Youth Theatre’s vision of a WOW experience.

The PYT Mission

Our mission is to provide young people with the skills and personal attention they need to grow artistically and individually while participating in and learning about all aspects of high-quality theater production.

The PYT Vision

Students share in Phoenix Youth Theatre’s vision of a WOW experience, are open to the unexpected, and are supportive, passionate and determined, building open and genuine relationships, embracing each other’s unique—even quirky—elements, to inspire others, and to be for each other.

Finding this theater has been the best thing that has happened to our family!

Thea GreavesMiracleMom, Facebook Reviews

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

We strive for deep and multidimensional connections with our community by creating partnerships that are mutually respectful and inclusive, with various entry points for community involvement.

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Meet The Team

We're an award-winning multidisciplinary team with a passion for creating innovative and uniquely remarkable experiences for children and their families.

Our students learn from professionals who are worthy heroes—veterans of the stage, experienced educators who love, inspire, and are overflowing with passion and positivity.

JOIN THE TEAM

Members of the Board

Click to view bio.

Member of the Board

Matt Brown

Matt is a graduate of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, one of the top business schools in the country. He is an experienced Information Technology Procurement Analyst at Dropbox whose company mission is to design a more enlightened way of working. Matt has a demonstrated history of excellent IT practices and successful procurement solutions. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to work in fast-paced environments and maintain focus on the main objective. Matt brings that focus to Phoenix Youth Theatre.

Member of the Board

Derek Dunford

Derek is a published historian, who has professional experience in logistics and project management. At Phoenix Youth Theater this comes into play in the form of set construction, transportation, and as a stage technician when task prioritization and implementation is paramount. Derek has always known the power of music, theater, and the arts as an essential life-enriching endeavor. It is through the act of self-expression that one can truly experience their own true self. This love of arts is why Derek believes in PYT’s mission of fostering a supportive community that actively improves the lives of those within.

Artistic Director

Jacqueline Dunford

Jacqueline specializes in early childhood education group instruction and theater direction. She is acknowledged as one of the best in the business when it comes to orchestrating a complex production with a large cast and a diversity of ages. She built the Bender musical theater program from scratch to full-scale musicals, a program that is still operational and successful today. She is a Certified Kinder Musik Instructor; Pre-School Music and Movement specialist; BAST Singing Teacher Graduate; Member of the Board of Vocology in Practice; Professional performer and American Idol finalist.

Executive Director

Steve Giles

Steve has extensive experience in managing all business aspects of musical projects and programs, including business growth, budgets, and marketing. Steve is also the owner and Director of Phoenix Voice Academy, PYT’s sister organization. He is also a proud board member and authorized coach for Vocology in Practice. Steve is a writer for iSing Magazine and the co-founder and co-host of the popular singing podcast on iTunes: The Naked Vocalist. The show offers practical singing advice and delivers interviews with singing professionals from across the world. The podcast is currently being listened to in 90 countries.

Member of the Board

Kaity Klonowski

Kaity is an internationally experienced marketing professional with proven success in content strategy, social media, email marketing management, marketing analytics, and developing innovative marketing approaches. Kaity’s expertise lies in powerful storytelling matched with innovation and creativity. With over seven years of experience crafting successful marketing campaigns that tell a story and drive results, Kaity thrives working on collaborative teams. Currently she works at an advertising agency based in Denver, Colorado where she manages the paid digital marketing programs for an array of clients.

Member of the Board

Mickey Malmgren

Mickey is a middle school science teacher in Tempe, Arizona. She is obsessed with travel and  has experience teaching abroad in India and Italy. Mickey’s expertise in education focuses on equity and inclusion practices and the incorporation of arts into public school curriculum. The PYT community is an exciting space for Mickey as she enjoys supporting young people outside the classroom to grow their skills and confidence while finding their unique voices.

Patron Leadership Council

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Deborah Bernard

Deborah was a California credentialed teacher for more than 20 years. Her greatest joy as a teacher was helping her students find the writer within. She wrote her middle school’s successful application for the National Blue Ribbon School award in addition to helping other schools in the district write their successful California Distinguished School applications. She knows the power of writing to share ideas and dreams. She loves volunteering with Phoenix Youth Theatre as their grant writer because she gets to work with passionate teachers and amazing children. On behalf of Phoenix Youth Theatre, Deborah wrote the successful Maricopa County Small Business Stabilizing Grant in 2021 and the successful Creative Capacity Grant from Arizona Commission on the Arts in 2022.

Rebecca Guglielmo

Brings non-profit executive director child-centered management experience to Phoenix Youth Theatre. Manages and oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects of PYT’s ongoing arts education programs: budget management, planning, programming, staffing and managing musical theater productions and classes. Manages the dynamic master calendar, which streamlines not only the week-to-week rehearsal schedule but also the myriad tasks that get the show to the stage. Acts as liaison with contract workers, theater hires and volunteers.

Thea Greaves

Thea has been volunteering at PYT for over three years with music as well as costume design. She has a love for teaching music and has been working with kids for over twenty years. Formally trained for nine years with strengths in piano fundamentals, sight reading/singing, and technique. She has over ten years of tap and clogging training. Thea also started a service-centered nonprofit for kids that is currently in 20 elementary schools called Junior Hero. She has 3 daughters who train in voice academy and musical theater.

Bettina Reiter

Bettina grew up in Austria. Twenty years ago she moved to the US where she studied Marketing at San Francisco State University. During her studies she was involved in extracurricular activities and was the President of the SFSU Marketing Organization where she revived the dormant organization and helped it grow with over 100 members. She worked for various marketing companies as a marketing coordinator,  social media and marketing manager. After her second daughter was born, she started to volunteer at her daughters’ school, and she was the VP for Desert Sun Academy where she was responsible for creating various fundraising events. She helped the school raise 60 percent more than in prior years. Since 2020 Bettina has been involved on the PYT fundraising team.

James Greaves

James is currently the CEO of Brand Makers. Brand Makers has been recognized as one of the “Greatest Companies to Work For.” James and his wife Thea have a passion for developing youth which led to their family starting Junior Hero, a non-profit 501(c)3. They recognized a similar passion in the Team at Phoenix Youth Theatre and became raving fans and devoted supporters. When not working, James enjoys spending time with his wife and their three teenage daughters.

Pam Gowda

Pam has built her career in talent acquisition/management coaching and consulting focused on helping to build small companies from their nascency to next stages of growth. With her Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Health Services Administration she has multiple clients in the San Francisco Bay area supporting biotechnology companies. She is mission-driven looking to help companies to improve patient lives. Her interest and involvement in the arts began during her time at Xavier College Preparatory, University of Arizona, and Arizona State University. Locally educated, she believes in supporting the arts community, especially music and theater. Phoenix Youth Theater has proven to be a not-for-profit institution that aligns with her interests of children, community, education, and the arts. She’s grateful to PYT for delivering community, confidence, and joy to local children and families.

Michelle Lombardo

Michelle graduated from Arizona State University in 2003 with a BA in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. She was a Marketing Specialist for CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) before she and her husband started their own mortgage company, Forthright Funding. During her tenure at CBRE, she was awarded Marketing Specialist of the Year in 2005 for their South Florida Division. Since 2015, Michelle has been an active Board Member of Casa Brazil, Inc., a non-profit organization that assists children in underprivileged communities in Brazil. She is their Creative Director and Master of Ceremonies for all their events. Michelle’s passion is to help our youth further their education, foster creativity, and social development to help them achieve a successful future. She has three children, loves to travel, and cook and is bilingual in English and Portuguese.

Kari Williams

Kari works as a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently transitioned into this position after spending 15 years in Hospital Internal Medicine. She is double certified in Adult Health and Acute Care and has spent the last 15 years caring for some of the most fragile and complex patients in the state of Arizona and across the country. Following the pandemic and the loss of a close friend in 2021, Kari knew it was time to live out her lifelong passion and join the Center of Palliative Medicine at Mayo Clinic. She considers caring for those near the end of life and those with complex chronic illnesses both a privilege and an honor. While her career helps to define her as a person, her most meaningful life’s work is at home with husband, Ryan, daughter, Emerie, and son, Reid. Together, they love to travel as often as possible, as these are the times they are able to disengage from the day to day and truly enjoy the time with one another. She is wholly passionate about staying active (she can’t live without her Peloton), serving others, and, overall, striving to be a good friend and human.

Julie Voeller

Bettina grew up in Austria. Twenty years ago she moved to the US where she studied Marketing at San Francisco State University. During her studies she was involved in extracurricular activities and was the President of the SFSU Marketing Organization where she revived the dormant organization and helped it grow with over 100 members. She worked for various marketing companies as a marketing coordinator, social media and marketing manager. After her second daughter was born, she started to volunteer at her daughters’ school, and she was the VP for Desert Sun Academy where she was responsible for creating various fundraising events. She helped the school raise 60 percent more than in prior years. Since 2020 Bettina has been involved on the PYT fundraising team.

Jarrod Voeller

Jarrod is a proud member of the Phoenix Youth Theatre’s volunteer Patron Council where his role is to create a positive learning environment for all theater students, and meet strong fundraising goals. Jarrod has a passion for helping others reach their goals no matter their niche. Jarrod began working with families and communities at a young age as an umpire for little league baseball teams. He then followed his dream of assisting with youth teams and worked as a middle school baseball coach for over 10 years. Currently, Jarrod is a proud theater and dance dad of two girls. He was also on the board of Phoenix Ballet Youth Theatre for two years as he worked to raise money for their annual Nutcracker performance and assisted with building and maintaining sets. Jarrod values inspiring others through hard work and generosity. His personal interests are sports, his family, his black lab, and volunteering.

Susan Grant

Susan is the owner and president of Urban Hayseed, LLC, a corporate communication consultancy. She partners with companies to create communication strategies and content that aligns with corporate goals. Susan focuses on executive and c-level suite internal and external communication, as well as marketing and branding guidance. Urban Hayseed, LLC recently created and executed a large scale acquisition communication plan for a client with aggressive growth strategy. Susan is passionate about traveling with her family as she believes the exposure to different cultures is a gateway to compassion and acceptance. Susan and her family also enjoy supporting local art and artists in their community and abroad.

Premier Cast Staff

Click to view bio.

Artistic Director, Set, and Sound Designer

Jacqueline Dunford

Jacqueline specializes in early childhood education group instruction and theater direction. She is acknowledged as one of the best in the business when it comes to orchestrating a complex production with a large cast and a diversity of ages. She built the Bender musical theater program from scratch to full-scale musicals, a program that is still operational and successful today. She is a Certified Kinder Musik Instructor; Pre-School Music and Movement specialist; BAST Singing Teacher Graduate; Member of the Board of Vocology in Practice; Professional performer and American Idol finalist.

Executive Director

Steve Giles

Steve has extensive experience in managing all business aspects of musical projects and programs, including business growth, budgets, and marketing. Steve is also the owner and Director of Phoenix Voice Academy, PYT’s sister organization. He is also a proud board member and authorized coach for Vocology in Practice. Steve is a writer for iSing Magazine and the co-founder and co-host of the popular singing podcast on iTunes: The Naked Vocalist. The show offers practical singing advice and delivers interviews with singing professionals from across the world. The podcast is currently being listened to in 90 countries.

Producer

Rebecca Guglielmo

Brings non-profit executive director child-centered management experience to Phoenix Youth Theatre. Manages and oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects of PYT’s ongoing arts education programs: budget management, planning, programming, staffing and managing musical theater productions and classes. Manages the dynamic master calendar, which streamlines not only the week-to-week rehearsal schedule but also the myriad tasks that get the show to the stage. Acts as liaison with contract workers, theater hires and volunteers.

Choreographer

Jessica Alfonsi

Jessica Alfonsi received a BA in Dance at Cal State University at Fullerton in 2016. Throughout her studies, Jessica was exposed to different dance styles, including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, Broadway, Contemporary and Tap. Most recently, she performed on Celebrity Cruise’s ship The Summit as the only singer/dancer in the cast. Before the cruise ship experience, Jessica trained on award-winning hip hop teams GRV of Orange County and Academy of Swag and won first place at Hip Hop Internationals in Vegas and first place at the Bay Area’s World of Dance. Jessica has had the opportunity of dancing on tour in China with Ayden’s Madhouse for three months where she visited Shanghai, Beijing, Xiamen and other surrounding provinces. Jessica currently trains vocally and in her dance abilities throughout Phoenix and loves passing on her performance knowledge to the next generation of rising stars.

Costumer

Andi Laney

Andi Laney brings her passion for sewing to Phoenix Youth Theatre. Prior to joining PYT as lead costumer, Andi helped Horizon High School in Phoenix with their choir costumes for more than five years. Alice in Wonderland Jr. was Andi’s first show to costume at Phoenix Youth Theatre. She owns her own business designing and digitizing for machine embroidery.

Customer Experience Manager

Isabella Ordonez

Musical Director

Thea Greaves

Thea has been volunteering at PYT for over three years with music as well as costume design. She has a love for teaching music and has been working with kids for over twenty years. Formally trained for nine years with strengths in piano fundamentals, sight reading/singing, and technique. She has over ten years of tap and clogging training. Thea also started a service-centered nonprofit for kids that is currently in 20 elementary schools called Junior Hero. She has 3 daughters who train in voice academy and musical theater.

Scenic Painter

Michelle Barry

Michelle is an AriZoni award-winning designer, prop designer, scenic designer, and scenic painter. Her resume includes: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Suessical the Musical, The Little Prince, Annie Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., The Little Mermaid at Theater Works. Alice in Wonderland and Willy Wonka Jr. at JCC Scottsdale. Aladdin at Pinnacle Performing Arts. Annie Jr. and Alice in Wonderland at Phoenix Youth Theatre. Prop Designer and Scenic Painter for A Time to Dance competitive dance teams in Surprise, Arizona. Spotlight Dance Cup A Cut Above for Prop Design.

Facilities Manager and Customer Service Director

Kathy Crouse

Kathy was raised in El Paso, Texas before attending NMSU where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Community Health. She has always had a passion for fitness and has made it into her business, as a personal trainer since moving to the Valley. She is also certified in group fitness and teaches numerous classes for resorts in Paradise Valley and Scottsdale. She speaks fluent Spanish and volunteers her time teaching English to the Spanish speaking in the community. She enjoys time spent with her blended family that includes six children and two grandchildren.

Marketing and PR

Mickey Malmgren

Mickey is a middle school science teacher in Tempe, Arizona. She is obsessed with travel and  has experience teaching abroad in India and Italy. Mickey’s expertise in education focuses on equity and inclusion practices and the incorporation of arts into public school curriculum. The PYT community is an exciting space for Mickey as she enjoys supporting young people outside the classroom to grow their skills and confidence while finding their unique voices.

Kathie Summers - Technical Director

Kathie brings 73 years of Life Experience to PYT, having learned construction skills from her father and sewing, baking and organizational skills from her mother. She has served as secretary to a Police Department, operated a wedding cake business for 20 years, and was the owner/designer for a thriving trophy and engraving business. She has designed and built four homes and renovated another six. She organized national & global events for the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 2003 and 2009. She both participated in and organized high performance driving events and qualified for mhery racing license when in my mid 60s, Kathie’s grandchildren love all the outrageous costumes she has designed and made for them.

Ryan Terry - Lighting Design Supervisor

Ryan is the Owner, Lighting Designer at Focal Point Lighting Design. He is skilled at lighting design, lighting control, stage lighting, live events, corporate events, electronics, linux, web design, and graphic design. He is a major asset to our team come show time.

Disney Barry - Production Stage Manager

Disney started with PYT in 2019. She worked on PYT’s production of Alice in Wonderland Jr. and was stage manager for Annie Jr. before that. She has worked at Theater Works in Peoria for six years. Disney is a self-proclaimed “Jack of All Trades Technician” and has been involved in theater since high school.

Class Staff

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Acting Coach & Associate PVA Vocal Coach

Lindsey Murphy

Lindsey is virtually a Phoenix native and has been involved in the theater community since 2001. She attended the University of Arizona where she received her BA in History. She is thrilled to be joining the PYT/PVA community after spending the last 10 years focusing on her career outside of theater. She loves performing and recently performed in Children of Eden. Lindsey brings her leadership ability, positive energy and dedicated work ethic to PYT. Her experience includes client director for Monomyth Studio where she manages all active projects, client communication, sales and marketing initiatives.

Associate PVA Vocal Coach & Premier Choreographer

Jessica Alfonsi

Jessica Alfonsi received a BA in Dance at Cal State University at Fullerton in 2016. Throughout her studies, Jessica was exposed to different dance styles, including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, Broadway, Contemporary and Tap. Most recently, she performed on Celebrity Cruise’s ship The Summit as the only singer/dancer in the cast. Before the cruise ship experience, Jessica trained on award-winning hip hop teams GRV of Orange County and Academy of Swag and won first place at Hip Hop Internationals in Vegas and first place at the Bay Area’s World of Dance. Jessica has had the opportunity of dancing on tour in China with Ayden’s Madhouse for three months where she visited Shanghai, Beijing, Xiamen and other surrounding provinces. Jessica currently trains vocally and in her dance abilities throughout Phoenix and loves passing on her performance knowledge to the next generation of rising stars.

MainStage Jr. Musical Director & Piano Instructor

Nicole Greaves

Nicole Greaves has been trained in piano and has been performing for nine years. She is currently a Junior at Horizon High school and has been involved with PYT and PVA for three years. Her strengths are in teaching piano basics, theory, sight reading, music fundamentals and scales, technique, and sight singing. She loves teaching music to kids and knows the value that a strong piano foundation has for musical theater students.

MainStage Jr. Rehearsal Stage Manager

Shyla Gowda

Shyla Gowda has spent many years enjoying musical theater, dance, and vocal performance. She loves spending time helping with PYTs wonderful young performers, as well as working closely with animals and children as a counselor in multiple summer camps throughout the valley. She recently played the caterpillar in PYT‘s, Alice in Wonderland and is excited to officially join the PYT team!

Associate PVA Vocal Coach

Katryce Bridges

Katryce has been working with PYT since the fall of 2021. She is thankful to be a part of the PYT family because “they know that every student is different, and they are open to each individual difference.” She has learned that what she loves most about teaching is giving kids the information and tools she didn’t have as a young artist. She wishes she was in a program like PYT when she was younger. She not only sees growth in her students, but in herself as well. WIth different learners comes different ways of teaching. She is eager to see how everyone will grow this next year.

Associate PVA Vocal Coach

Mackenzie Nelson

Mackenzie Nelson is an experienced singer and teacher with a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance from NAU. During her time at NAU, she participated in several ensembles including the Shrine of the Ages Choir and The Axecidentals (an all-treble a cappella group). She also performed several operatic roles including Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera and the Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte. Mackenzie is the Alto section leader at The Episcopal Church of the Nativity. She enjoys teaching many styles of music, including classical, pop, and musical theater.

Debut Assistant Director and Choreographer

Isabella Ordonez

Join Our Community

Here at Phoenix Youth Theatre, our volunteers play a vital role in our ability to continue to provide extraordinary experiences for young aspiring performers. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit community theatre, we rely on the generosity of our families. From fundraising to painting theatre sets, you will find many opportunities to be a part of PYT magic.

Come join our team and be part of a dedicated group of parent volunteers!

JOIN THE TEAM

Have questions?

Our team is waiting to help you with any questions you may have regarding donations, sponsorship, or volunteering.

Address

Phoenix Youth Theatre

16033 N 77th St, Suite C

Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260

About

Phoenix Youth Theatre is a proud 501(c)(3) – EIN 86-3978427 – charitable nonprofit offering musical theatre training (dance, acting, and singing classes) and top-class shows for children of all ages, in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona, and online all over the world.

© 2022 Phoenix Youth Theatre