Thayer Greenberg is the Director of Education and is very excited to bring her education background to the Sarasota Players. Thayer is a graduate of Booker High School’s VPA Theater Program, she holds a Degree in Educational Arts Administration from The University Of Mass and is currently Pursuing her masters in Organizational Leadership at UC Boulder. Thayer spent the last 4 years as the Middle and High school Theater Teacher and Theater Director for the Out Of Door Academy in Sarasota FL. Before returning to Florida Thayer was the founding theater teacher at the Neighborhood Charter School Of Harlem In Harlem NY. Thayer Spent many years teaching in Chicago where she worked with Child’s Play Touring Theater, Columbia College Art Start Summer Program, and served as the Assistant Family Care Director where she was also the Performing arts program specialist. Thayer hopes to grow the players studio, and continue to create safe spaces where students can be their most authentic selves while receiving a well rounded competitive theater education. Thayer is an avid singer and loves to teach vocal health and technique to her voice students. She looks forward to everything that the Players has in store for our students and families.
Logan Junkins Is the Players Studio resident teacher, specializing in Dance and Musical Theater. Logan Graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy as a Dance Theatre major. He toured with Sesame Street Live and even competed professionally in ballroom, tap, and musical theatre. He has been in a theater for the majority of his life learning everything he can, and in many departments. Logan is happy to share his experiences, and knowledge of being a performer to growing performers of all ages.
Amanda Heisey has been teaching acting and scene study for over 5 years at The Players Studio. Directorial credits include: The Players Teens performance group for 5 years, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for five years, a few silly musicals on The Players Centre MainStage and Yard Sale the Musical at Venice Theatre. Favorite theatrical credits include: Velma Kelly in Chicago with Dingbat Theatre Project, A Clockwork Orange at Jobsite Theatre, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Venice Theaire. Amanda is excited to be Directing and Teaching Acting this fall, and looks forward to working with students new and old!
Lacey Knispel has been teaching theatre to students of all ages for over a decade. She studied at the University of South Florida, and holds a degree in elementary education and a certification in theatre. She is currently the theatre director at Sarasota High School and is also the director of Sarasota High School’s All Access Theatre Company, an educational theatre group dedicated to making theatre accessible to students of all abilities. She has enjoyed her time on studio faculty teaching theatre, dance, directing The Players Kids performance group, and building the summer mini camp program.
Debbi White has been composing and performing music since the age of 5. She has coached children and teens in music and singing for over 20 years. Debbi is a featured soloist at several churches in Sarasota, and makes regular appearances on and off The Players Stage as an actor and music director. Favorite stage credits include Pamela in HEAD OVER HEELS and BJ in THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES Debbie has been part of the Players Studio for many years, and is looking forward to continuing with the students and helping to enhance each production with her musical direction, and helping students to be comfortable and confident singers. .
Brian F. Finnerty is a director, choreographer, performer, instructor, costume designer, stage manager, and scenic designer. Brian studied Theater performance at Point Park University, and is a graduate of Booker High schools VPA theater program. Brian is the Production Manager for Raven Mystery Games and Co-Artistic Director at Dingbat Theatre Project. He’s educated on the Suncoast for over twelve years and has had many students go on to work professionally in the arts. His Favorite directorial / choreography credits include: The Drowsy Chaperone, Beauty & the Beast Jr., Moana Jr. (The Players Studio), Chicago, Hedwig & The Angry Inch, The SpongeBob Musical, Shrek the Musical (Dingbat Theatre Project), Reefer Madness, Vaudeville’s Dead (The Starlite Room), YANK! A WWII Love Story (Manatee Performing Arts Center), Little Shop of Horrors, Godspell, Head Over Heels, Shout! The Mod Musical, All Shook Up, and Hello, Dolly! (The Players Centre), and Beauty & the Beast, Silence the Musical, Six Women with Brain Death (Venice Theatre). When Brian has a second away from the theatre, he loves to go on rollercoasters, pet his four cats, eat mac n’ cheese, and watch the Jurassic Park movies. “I can’t wait to work with the wonderful students of TPS for another great season!”
Scott Keys is a freelance director writer and theatre educator,and recently served as Interim Artistic Director for The Players Centre, Sarasota’s oldest community theatre, and performed in TPC’s Side by Side by Sondheim and directed productions of FALSETTOS and SOME ENCHANTED EVENING. Scott holds a B.F.A in Musical Theatre Performance from Syracuse University and an M.F.A in Musical Theatre Writing from NYUniversity’s /, where he was bestowed the Oscar Hammerstein Fellowship for Distinguished Writing as well as outstanding recognition by the Edward Kleban and Jonathan Larson Foundations. Scott holds a degree in Secondary Education from Eckerd College and certification as a teacher of The Meisner Technique under the renown Larry Silverberg. He retired in 2021 after more than two decades in public education as a teacher, director, and Chairman of the renowned Booker Visual & Performing Arts High school Theatre dept. where he was he was named Teacher of the Year in 2008, and was recently selected by Broadway World as Arts Educator of the Decade in Sarasota. He was awarded the Distinguished Career Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to Theatre Education by The Florida Theatre Conference. He has directed over 150 plays and musicals in professional, civic and educational theatres throughout the country, and locally has directed for FST, Sarasota Players, Manatee Players and for Venice Theatre, where he collaborated on the world premiere musical revue UP ON THE ROOF. Also a published composer, playwright and lyricist, Scott served as an Artistic Associate at Playwright’s Horizons in New York and has had his work produced professionally internationally and throughout the U.S. He is enjoying his new freelance artistic life and continued devotion to his partner of 38 years, David Covach, who is the Director of Costuming at the Asolo Theatre.
Megan Wallace Matras has been singing and dancing her whole life. She was a competitive dancer and cheerleader since she was 3 years old all the way through college. She took to the stage and starred in many productions, her favorite role being Annie. She was an Elementary Education major until she got bit by the television production bug. After graduation from Susquehanna University, she moved to New York City and pursued a career in broadcasting. She worked on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee and the first Fox News entertainment morning show. She later became an entertainment reporter and news producer for an NBC affiliate. Now a professional mother of two teens, she misses the days of singing and twirling around with tots. Megan looks forward to sharing the gift of song, imagination play, early dance, and exercise with young children (parents too) ready to get their wiggles out and have fun!
Alan Gillespie-Recently joined The Players Centre for Performing Arts as a Teaching Artist after relocating to Sarasota in 2020 after spending twenty years in New York City as a professional actor. Recent credits include: Network (Nelson Chaney/Continuity Announcer) Florida Studio Theatre, The Full Monty (Jerry Lukowski- Best Actor from BroadwayWorld Kansas City Awards), The Buddy Holly Story (Norm Petty) Mamma Mia (Sam Carmichael) Maples Repertory Theatre, Young Frankenstein (Dr. Fredrick Frankenstein), Peter and the Starcatcher (Black Stache) The Waterfront Playhouse, The Story Of My Life (Thomas Weaver) The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol, Mamma Mia (Sam Carmichael) Sierra Repertory Theatre. National Tours: Miss Saigon (Chris-Over 950 Performances ), Showboat (Steve Baker). Tokyo, Japan: The Who’s Tommy (The Specialist). Regional: Goodspeed Opera House, Westchester Broadway Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Mad Cow Theatre, Downtown Cabaret Theatre, New Provincetown Players, Bergen PAC. NYC: Musicals Tonight, Fringe Festival, NYMF, 54Below, Carnegie Hall. Education: Westminster Choir College, The American Musical & Dramatic Academy. www.alangillespienyc.com
Sadie Chawkins is in her senior year of High school and has been dancing in the sarasota community since she was 5 years old. Sadie has been the Choreographer for the Out Of Door Academy theater department for the past 3 years. Recent productions include Pippin, Cinderella, Into The Woods, and Shrek The Musical. Sadie is a long time Players Kid, and is so happy to be stepping into this role at the players studio.