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 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 costumed designed for numerous productions, her most recent projects being, 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 studied 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 Peter Pan Jr.  She was the Assistant Director for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at WSU in 2017. Along with being a director, and teaching music at Stewart Elementary this past year, Kayeli loves to perform herself. Her favorite roles have been, Reno in Anything Goes, 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 9 to 5 at Centerpoint Legacy Theatre.  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 classical background as well as belt-legit style.  She also loves coaching pop-rock voice styles.  Kayeli’s favorite part about directing & teaching is seeing her students grow in their talents.  She loves encouraging them to be the best performer they can be.


Kyle Lawrence

Performing Arts Instructor


Kyle studied Musical Theater at Weber State University and has had a lifelong passion for the performing arts. He’s worked as an actor, music director, sound designer, composer, and director with companies along northern Utah including Backstage Performing Arts, Centerpoint Legacy Theatre, Good Company Theatre, Ogden Musical Theatre, the Ziegfeld Theater, and Salt Lake Acting Company. As a teacher he loves helping students to find their home in the arts. He encourages his students to explore and excel as individual artists and as collaborators of the theatre, coaching them in music and voice, acting, dance, and theatre history. 


Landry Thomas

Performing Arts Instructor


Landry is currently attending Weber State University’s Musical Theatre Program, pursuing a Bachelors of Arts Degree while holding 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.

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Sarah Heiner

Performing Arts Instructor


Sarah is currently studying at Weber State University, taking classes in theater arts and dance performance and education. Sarah has been dancing since the age of three and has been trained in many styles including jazz, ballet, ballroom, modern, contemporary, and tap. She was a Tigerette on the Ogden High School drill team and held the senior drill mistress position, helping to choreograph nationally ranked dance routines. Sarah is very passionate about musical theater and does choreography for her local community. Her recent projects include: The Drowsy Chaperone, The Little Mermaid, Xanadu and Hello, Dolly! At Ogden High School. Sarah is also a dance instructor at Kids are Music and Dance in Ogden. She enjoys helping students of all ages find a passion for movement and expression in musical theater and dance. Sarah is excited to be a part of the Backstage team and can’t wait the wonderful experiences in the future at this wonderful studio. 


Matt Stokes

Technical Director


Bio Coming Soon...


Courtney Christison

Stage Manager & 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.


Nate Hadley

Light Designer


Bio Coming Soon...


Kat Klar

Aerial Instructor


Kathryn is currently a student at the University of Utah studying Kinesiology and Business in the hopes of furthering a career performing and teaching Aerial Arts. Kathryn has been training Aerial Silks for 5 years with an emphasis on the Aerial Hammock apparatus. Her choreography has won the first-place title in Intermediate Hammock at the Aerialympics State competition as well as represented her high school at the regional level in the Sterling Scholar competition. Her most recent achievement was winning first place in Advanced Hammock at the Aerialympic National competition in November 2019.  Kathryn has also been seen on stage in many studio showcases and hopes to continue competing and performing whenever possible. Holding two Academic All-State awards and the Utah Hall of Fame Sports Scholarship, her background training on multiple varsity sports teams guides her teaching style to encourage focused muscle control to maximize strength and grace. Her passion for aerial arts inspires her to want to teach her students to defy gravity and fall in love with the beauty of aerial silks.


Sarah Hainsworth

Set Designer


Sarah graduated in 2009 from Brigham Young University with a degree in Theatre Arts. She has worked as a teacher, director, puppeteer, puppet builder, scenic artist, set designer, costume designer, and props mistress. Some of her favorite projects include assistant puppet builder for Charlott'e Web (Utah Valley University), scenic artist for The Wizard of Oz (SCERA Center for the Arts), props mistress for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (SCERA Center for the Arts), set designer for Once Upon a Mattress (SCERA Center for the Arts), and set designer for Footloose here at Backstage Performing Arts. She has a passion for all things creative and loves learning and honing new skills. When her busy schedule as a mom of three allows, she enjoys traveling with her husband, woodworking, painting, singing, puppet making, gardening, and photography.

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Lindsay Wilkinson

Costume Designer


Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre from Weber State University and isexcited to begin earning her MFA in Costume Design and Technologies this fall. Hercostumes have been seen in theatres throughout Utah and Colorado, where she hasreceived awards for outstanding costume design. Some of her most recent costume work has been The Secret Garden, Sleeping Beauty, Children of Eden, and Frozen. She taught K-8 performing arts at American Academy in Parker, Colorado and enjoyed directing, choreographing, and costuming for their after-school productions. When she is not helping with the production of a show, her love of theatre and dedication to hard work has landed her several roles in numerous productions. Lindsay has been seen on the Carousel Theatre stage for four seasons at Lagoon Amusement Park, performing in their “Verano,” “Any Way You Want it,” Live in Living Color, “Simple Joys” productions as well as two seasons of Frightmares. Some of her favorite past roles have been Molly Brown The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Billy Bendix Nice Work if You Can Get It, Wendy Peter Pan, Kitty The Drowsy Chaperone, and Princess Esmeralda The Plain Princess- - for which she received an Irene Ryan Nomination. Lindsay truly loves all aspects of theatre and doesn’t know where she would be without it. She is so excited to be a part of the Backstage Performing Arts team!

Caleb Saunders

Music Director


Caleb Saunders is a junior at Weber State University.  He is pursuing a double-major in Spanish and Piano Performance, currently studying with Dr. Ralph Van der Beek.  As a collaborative pianist, Caleb often works with vocal and instrumental soloists, small groups, orchestras, choirs, and theatres, also singing first tenor with the Chamber and Concert Choirs at Weber State.  He was last seen music directing Les MiserablesAIDA for Backstage, he can't wait to start working on Footloose this fall.  Caleb is also an experienced teacher, with a private studio of over 25 students on three different instruments. He loves to run, hike, and travel with his new baby boy & wife Britney.



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.  backstageperformingartsutah@gmail.com

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