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training & direction


We are fine art professionals, directing and coaching students who value art, creativity, design & expression.  What does this mean for you?  You can trust us to give you direct attention & expertise.  We are fiercely committed to the success of each student as we mentor, coach and teach.  We are dedicated to educating, empowering and building your confidence as a performer.  At our studio, we will give you the tools to experience your potential and accomplish your dreams.  


Shelby Hovley

Executive Director/Owner


Shelby holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theater from Weber State University.  Shelby has been seen on the Carousel Theatre stage for three seasons at Lagoon Amusement Park, performing their "Live in Living Color" Broadway Show, "Let's Dance" Pop-show, "Jungle Rhythm" Day Show and "Verano" Night Show (Swing).  She has a solid background in Choreographing and Directing, her most recent credit was Peter Pan Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr. and Shrek the Musical Jr. at Legacy Preparatory Academy South, where she oversaw the elementary school's choir & musical theatre program for three years. When she is not teaching and directing her passion for performance has given her opportunities to play, Jeannie in Nice Work If You Can Get It, Lola in Damn Yankees and Bambi in Curtains. Her most recent credit is Ariel in Footloose at The Ziegfeld Theatre with a tour to The Egyptian Theatre in Park City.  She has performed in two world premiere productions: Girl of Glass & Of Myth and Mud, performances for which she received Irene Ryan Nominations for roles played.  She competed in Irene Ryan Competition in Los Angeles, California in 2014.  While attending WSU she held a Full-Time Department Scholarship, as well as secondary scholarships and attained a well rounded education including not only regular musical theatre curriculum but also Costume Design.  She has costume designed for numerous productions, her most recent projects being, Into the Woods, Frozen Jr., Footloose, The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Shrek the Musical & AIDA.  Shelby loves Backstage with her whole heart and jumps at every opportunity to meet and coach her students.


Kayeli Hathaway

Executive Director/Owner


Kayeli holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre at Weber State University and before opening Backstage, taught as a private voice instructor for many years.  Kayeli is constantly directing shows and her most recent projects include: Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast Jr, Shrek the Musical Jr., and the BPA Halloween Show: Black Mirror.  She was the Assistant Director for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at WSU in 2017. Also, Kayeli is an experienced choreographer. Her most recent projects include Footloose and High School Musical Jr. Her favorite roles as a performer have been, The Ghost of Christmas Past in Scrooge, Winnie in Annie Get Your Gun, Rona (Understudy) in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and other featured dancing roles in multiple shows. Her most recent project was Anything Goes as Reno.  Kayeli grew up as a gymnast mastering tumbling and flexibility, during this time she also competed as a cheerleader.  She completely immersed herself in children's theater at Roger's Memorial Theatre growing up and found every opportunity to perform.  Kayeli is an expert in vocal performance and has a solid background pop, belt & legit styles. Kayeli’s favorite part about directing & teaching is seeing her students break through their personal challenges as an actor and discover newfound confidence.  She loves encouraging them to be the best performer they can be.


Kyle Lawrence

Playwright & Voice Instructor


Kyle has over 15 years of experience in musical theatre as a performer, designer, composer, and director. He studied Musical Theatre at Weber State University and has a Level 2 Certification in Evidence Based Voicework from Maddie Tarbox Vocal Studio. He’s worked with theater companies all along northern Utah, including Backstage Performing Arts, Centerpoint Legacy Theatre, Good Company Theatre, Ogden Musical Theatre, and Salt Lake Acting Company. He now lives in western Massachusetts continuing to write and teach theatre while working as the education director for the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, Massachusetts.


Landry Thomas

Performing Arts Instructor /

Prop & Costume Designer


Landry holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Weber State University’s Musical Theatre Program, while pursuing she held a full-time departmental scholarship.  She just performed Ruthless portraying the role of Tina for which she received her second Irene Ryan Nomination.  She just toured Where Words Once Were to Arizona as Eila, a role for which she competed in the Irene Ryan Nomination competition.  You may have seen her as the leading lady in Centerpoint Legacy Theatre’s production of Crazy for You as Polly Baker this past summer season. Other favorite roles include; Janet van DeGraff in The Drowsy Chaperone, Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, Bambi in Curtains, and Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Landry has extensive voice training in classical-legit and Broadway belt styles.  She also has prop designed for many productions.  Landry loves sharing her knowledge with young performers who are learning the art of theatre.


Kate Erickson

Choreographer/Dance Instructor


Kate Erickson has found a new home in Salt Lake City after living in the Midwest most of her life. As a kid, Kate danced competitively and was also involved in many music and theatre programs and productions. After graduating High School, Kate went on to study at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she obtained a B.A. in Environmental Science, a B.A. in Political Science, and minored in Dance!  She has had the opportunity to perform works by world renowned choreographers such as Jack Samuel Gill and Dorris Ressl. She also performed works by UMD faculty members; Rebecca Katz Harwood, Ann Bergeron and Matthew Wagner, including an immersive dance theater production of "Out of Town". Kate not only had the chance to perform, but also create many works of choreography during her time at UMD for various showcases, including her personal favorites “Water Night,” and “Lose Your Soul”. In addition to choreography, Kate has had the opportunity to design lighting as well as costuming for her own works as well. Teaching dance, for nearly a decade, has brought Kate so much joy, she loves to watch her students grow and learn as dancers, and also humans! When Kate is not teaching or working, she is probably exploring the mountains with her friends!


Jeremy Adriano

Music Director


Jeremy Adriano is deeply passionate about the art of musical stagecraft, performing, and teaching music. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in Collaborative Piano from Utah State University. Jeremy was the pianist and music director at Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre and Utah State University Opera. He has played for American Festival Chorus and Utah State University’s music department for juries, recitals, and concerts. Jeremy was the principal pianist for Utah State University's Grammy nominated Chamber Singers, University Chorale, Women’s Chorus, the Advanced Conducting course, and the Beginning Conducting course. His performances with some of these ensembles has been broadcasted on the radio and televised nationally and around the world.

Jeremy has over a decade of teaching experience. He manages his own private piano teaching studio and coaches singers. He was a Piano Instructor at Utah State University's Youth Conservatory, as well as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow for the Keyboard Harmony Course. Jeremy’s students have won various competitions, auditions, and have been selected to be pianists for choirs and other ensembles. 

Jeremy Adriano's involvement with Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre included their productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Man of La Mancha, She Loves Me, Magic Flute, Carmen, The Pianists Concert, Broadway Bound, Les Miserables,  and The Logan Tabernacle Noon Concert Series. At Utah State University, he music directed USU Opera's production of Ghost Quartet by Dave Malloy while conducting the orchestra from the keyboard. Jeremy has also worked with Music Theater West as the rehearsal pianist for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Sound of Music. He also spent multiple Summers at Pickleville Playhouse, a professional musical theater company located in Garden City, Utah, where he performed in two four-month-long musical-melodrama productions titled Finding the Fickle Fortune and Shootout at Shadow Mountain.

At Utah State University, Jeremy graduated as Summa Cum Laude, received the prestigious Caine Scholar for Excellence Scholarship, the Lillywhite Presidential Scholarship, and the Frank Blair and Minnie Fisher Ellsworth Scholarship. Jeremy is an member of Music Teachers National Association, Utah Music Teachers Association, and the Collaborative Pianists Guild of Utah.

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Anne-Marie Chugg

Performing Arts Instructor


Anne-Marie has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting with a Minor in Music from Utah State University. Her training includes Stanislavski acting technique, Fitzmaurice voicework, Laban movement, and certification in both Single Sword and Unarmed Stage Combat. At USU, Anne-Marie also found passion and experience not only in acting and music, but also within playwriting, directing, and theatre for young audiences. She has performed and participated in outreach programs for both The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Abilene, etc) and Getting Near to Baby (Willa Jo), experienced by over 2,500 elementary students apiece. She also has experience in film, originating roles and helping to direct in the mini-series Good Company, the original film Re[FUSE], and local commercials. Other favorite roles include: The (obsolete) Unkindness of Ravens (Bee, Salt Lake Acting Company), Julius Caesar (Decius Brutus), and Xanadu (Erato). Her experience in both music and theatre helps to define her teaching style– seeing what magic happens when music students view their music as their scene partner, and acting students find the rhythm and musicality within the spoken text.


Kenzie Dawn



Kenzie's passion for musical theatre began in her youth, having participated in several productions she grew a love for the world of theatre. Kenzie recently stage managed for both Footloose and High School Musical Jr. this past spring and is currently the Manager for both Backstage Performing Companies.  In addition to being an incredible stage manager, Kenzie is also a fantastic writer and has written several original productions for BPA. Kenzie recently moved back to Utah from California where she worked as a tour guide in the San Diego bay. She also worked a summer in Tennessee as a zipline instructor. When she's not Stage Managing for Backstage or working full-time downtown SLC, you can often find her curled up with a good book or writing her own. Her favorite part about working the backstage side of theater is getting to know the kids and production team and learning the many ins-and-outs of what makes a spectacular production.


Matt Stokes

Technical Director


Matt Stokes is a highly experienced electrical and sound engineer, and technical director for Backstage, with a passion for creating seamless, high-quality performances. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Matt has developed an exceptional skill set in managing the technical aspects of live events, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and efficiently.  In addition to his technical expertise, Matt is also a talented performer, he has a passion for musical theater, and his favorite shows include the classic Tale of Two Cities, Forever Plaid and the modern hit Curtains. Matt is a highly skilled and dedicated professional with a passion for creating unforgettable performances. He loves being a part of Backstage and looks forward to working with so many new and upcoming performers in the industry!


Courtney Christison

Scenic Artist


Courtney proudly holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Teaching from Weber State University.  She is currently the Theatre Director at Farmington High School, before that she taught at Fremont High School for 5 years.  She also has a passion for Scenic Painting and Set Design having worked at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre, Odgen Musical Theatre,  Hopebox & various locations in Northern Utah.  She an incredible wife and mother to her two girls.  Courtney is also an astonishing director, favorite projects include The Addams Family, Korczak's Children, Dear Chuck, and Cinderella. She has extensive experience in stage management and has a zealous energy for a well organized team of actors, crew & directors.  She is an incredible leader and friend, she leaps at the opportunity to educate and teach the next generation of performers.


Addie Holman

Performing Arts Instructor


Addie has directed, performed and been involved at several local theatres across the wasatch front since she was in her teens.  She started directing at the age of 19 and soon found a love of mentoring children in musical theater.  She graduated from VHS, in 1997 was the sterling scholar for Theater. She then went on to study musical theater, folklore, and medieval history at Adelaide College in Cambridge University in England.  Addie is a wife and mother to 3 children.  She recently directed James and the Giant Peach Jr for Backstage and fell in love with the students, faculty and the tremendous amount of resources and care this organization provides it's students.  Seeing the value offered to the actors here she is delighted to be involved in many future productions.  She has been seen on the stage herself as The Baker's Wife and Little Red Riding Hood (CPT), Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (RMT/Egyptian), Millie in Seven Brides..(The Grand), Maria in The Sound of Music (RMT), Anabel Glick in Lucky Stiff (RMT)

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Emily Henwood

Dance Instructor


"Emily Henwood graduated from Southern Utah University in 2019 with degrees in Dance Education and Theatre. After spending two years putting her teaching license to use at a local Utah High School, Emily was able to help jumpstart Tooele Valley Theatre in her community and successfully complete their first year of performances. She now enjoys running the company with her husband and two friends, and working at Backstage, teaching young students about the wonders of dance. The performing arts have been a central part of her life since she could hum a tune, but her special interests include Musical Theatre and Choreography. Emily hopes to continue learning, growing, and serving in the performing arts culture of Utah as well as teaching her students how to learn, grow, and serve in their own ways."

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Maren Abercrombie

Music Director & Voice Instructor


Maren has over twenty five years of experience in performing, directing, teaching musical theatre, and teaching private voice. She studied Theatre Teaching at Weber State University, and holds a Level 1 and 2 Certification in Evidence Based Voicework including Voice Function 101, and Mechanics of Mix and Belt from Maddie Tarbox Vocal Studio. Maren is passionate about teaching young people how to express themselves through music, singing, and acting. Some of her favorite music directing opportunities include: Suessical Jr, School House Rock Live Jr, Annie Jr, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Willy Wonka Jr, James and the Giant Peach Jr., and Matilda Jr. Her favorite roles include: Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Liesl VonTrapp in The Sound of Music, Edith in Pirates of Penzance, Cindy Lou in Winter Wonderettes, and Wendy in Peter Pan. 


Emma Stringham


Emma graduated from Brigham Young University - Idaho with a Degree in Technical Theatre and Design with an emphasis in Costume Construction. Sewing was a love that came only a few years ago, but Emma has made sure to practice wherever she can, to become a true master at patterning and stitching.  In addition to costume construction, she has experience in directing, choreography, design and music.  Emma loves performing!  Some of her favorite roles include Polly in Crazy For You, Wendy Jo in Footloose, and Ensemble in Anne of Green Gables. She is excited to be joining the ranks of Backstage Performing Arts and to work with everyone who comes through the door. 


Jeanne Voehl

Performing Companies Manager


Jeanne is our performing company manager with a wealth of experience in managing successful performances and events. Her organizational skills and attention to detail are second to none, and she has a reputation for being incredibly patient and calm under pressure.  With over a decade of experience in the performing arts industry, Jeanne has a passion for theatre.  Jeanne also works as a house manager for Backstage, assisting patrons with tickets and concessions. Outside of work, Jeanne is a devoted wife and mother of three children.  She loves being a part of Backstage!

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Canada Johansen

Dance Instructor


Canada has been dancing for several years and loves that she has the chance to teach! Canada loves being on stage, and behind the scenes as a choreographer. Canada also loves to sing, and has been singing since before she could talk. Her favorite musical is She Loves Me, and her favorite type of dance is contemporary. She has recently had the opportunity to perform in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella", 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", and "She Loves Me". She is currently working on a degree in Cybersecurity at Western Governors University. Canada Hopes to continue gaining experience in theatre and dance and is excited to help others find a love for it!


Angela Miller

Art Instructor & Stage Manager


Angela has over two decades of experience working with and teaching children in a variety of capacities and is very excited to be at BPA.  She has been in love with theater ever since playing Dudley Do-Right in her elementary school play! After graduating from Consumnes River College in Sacramento, California, she has worked with children in various part-time positions while raising her three daughters. She loves the arts and has seen that when children participate in creative arts, they thrive in all areas of their lives! Angela loves helping children as they explore new ideas, learn new skills, and build their confidence.  Believing that every child has artistic ability, her goal is to help each child develop their own creative talents.  Angela loves playing games and spending time with her family.  She also loves reading, cooking, and taking her dog on walks. 



Our studio provides the best space for any performer. From our spring floors to our beautiful mirrors, performers will feel confident in their own skin ready to brace any performance with style and class. We have three creative spaces, voice studio, dance studio and performance studio. Contact us if you would like to rent our space for any event, gathering, performance, recital, or reception.

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