Heather is from Cleveland, OH. She moved to Asheville to attend UNCA where she played soccer (Go Bulldogs!) and graduated with honors with a BA in Psychology. Heather started the Asheville Performing Arts Academy in 2009 in order to bring theatrical training to the children of the Asheville area. Since then she has directed over 100 productions and won many awards including the Freddy G. Award for Teaching Excellence. Heather has also been Irish Dancing since the age of 4. Her Irish Dance program is a part of the award-winning Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance.
Dance - Guest Artist
Wolfe Lanier is a young Actor/ Director/ Teacher. Raised in Asheville, North Carolina, Wolfe grew up in the eccentricity that Asheville has to offer. Starting his theatrical journey with the Asheville Performing Arts Academy, he then was heavily involved with the brilliant theatre program at Asheville High School. His passion for theatre led him to the Hartt School of Music Theatre in Hartford, CT. He received his B.F.A. in Music Theatre in 2019, driving him straight to New York City. A few months after hitting the pavements, networking, and acclimating to the N.Y.C. lifestyle, he found himself on the road with the National Tour of We the People. A musical teaching of government and prosperity. A fulfilling way to start the beginning of 2020. Wolfe is proud to be home for the time being, for this is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the luminous minds of the Asheville Artists. He is here to cultivate collective creativity.
Mary Katherine O'Donnell
Jeannie is from Hong Kong and made a long detour to Australia before moving to North Carolina. She completed her BFA majoring in Sculpture and has worked in major events and media. Jeannie's family joined APAA in 2018, enrolling her daughter Harriet in Prep Academy. Since then, Jeannie has worked with the 2019 Newsies set build team, and had her first major project costuming 2 casts performing Frozen. In her professional career, Jeannie works at UNCA Asheville's STEAM Studio as a Program Director where she supports middle and high school girls learning how to make cool things.
Native to Waynesville, NC, Cord has worked as a professional dancer since the age of 14. He began working professionally as a choreographer at the age of 19 when he choreographed his first full-length musical “Kiss Me, Kate.” Since then he has worked on over 30 professional shows as choreographer and director. Many of which have gained him several awards including Best Choreography for an Original Show. Cord has been teaching dance and theatre for the last 10 years working in companies all across the country from coast to coast. He served as Dance Captain for the tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoatin his early 20s then returned to the area where he realized his calling for teaching. He is thrilled to be a part of the amazing team at Asheville Performing Arts Academy.
Mezzo-soprano and Singing Voice Specialist Laura Williams is a passionate and active professional singer and teacher based in Asheville, NC. She holds degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder, (Masters of Music, Vocal Performance) and from Brevard College (Bachelors of Music, VP). She was recently on the UNC Greeley and CU-Denver voice faculties where she primarily taught courses in Musical Theater, Vocal Pedagogy, worked with Singer-Songwriting majors and directed Songs for a New World. After studying with the National Center for Voice and Speech, Laura’s other passion is as a Vocologist, where she habilitates singers with injured voices. Laura has combined her life as a musician and love of traveling and was recently on the faculty at the International College of Beijing and has sung with the International Bachakademie in Stuttgart and the Weimar Bach Cantata Academie under Helmuth
Rilling, Hans-Christoph Rademann and Kathy Romey, where she toured in Germany, Chile and Tunisia. Recently, Laura has performed as both a soloist and choral member with the Oregon Bach Festival, Colorado Bach Ensemble, the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and as an alto with the Charlotte Bach Festival Cantata Choir, The King’s Counterpoint and the Charleston Symphony. Laura teaches voice and piano lessons at her local studio and she and her husband Tyler live in Asheville with their very sassy Westie, Harvey.
Amanda has been with the Asheville Performing Arts Academy since 2012. She started off as an Academy student during her sophomore year of high school and then became the technical theatre intern from 2013-2015. While the intern, Amanda stage-managed the Academy and Youth Community Theatre shows. She graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance where she received her BFA in Design and Production with a concentration in Stage Management and received her MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises from Northwestern University. Amanda is currently pursuing her MEd in Elementary Education from DePaul University with the hope of integrating the arts more into the classroom.