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 costume designed for numerous productions, her most recent projects being, 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

Performing Arts 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 1 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, the Ziegfeld Theater, and Salt Lake Acting Company. As an instructor, he encourages his students to explore and expand their knowledge and habits as individual artists and as collaborators of the theatre, offering training in singing and music literacy, acting, dance, and theatre history.


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.

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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. 


Ashley Ramsey

Performing Arts Instructor


Ashley graduated from Utah Valley University in 2013 with a Degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Acting and Directing. Some of her favorite roles have been Rosie (Mamma Mia), Hannah (Spitfire Grill) and Velma Von Tussle (Hairspray). When she is not on the stage you can find her behind the scenes as a director and choreographer working such productions as Beauty and the Beast, Spamalot, and Sweeney Todd. Ashley did her first show when she was 8 and has been in love with it ever since. She believes in the tremendous power of the arts to teach, uplift, and tell stories in powerful and meaningful ways. She is so excited to share her passion with her students!


Peyton Davis

Music & Voice Instructor


Peyton is currently studying Musical Theatre at Weber State University and holds a full-time departmental scholarship. He has a passion for singing and acting having performed at various locations in Northern Utah such as Centerpoint Legacy Theatre, Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, The Tabernacle at Temple Square, and many others. His favorite roles include Jack in Into the Woods, Hunk/Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, and John Darling in Peter Pan. Peyton was chosen and competed as an individual top-ten finalist at the Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards in both 2013 and 2015. He works closely with the theatre program at Ogden High School as an alumni and has directed, music directed, and designed several productions since graduating. Peyton has experience in both classical and contemporary vocal techniques and is very excited to be working with such talented students and faculty.


Kenzie Dawn

Performing Companies Manager


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.


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!


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


Nate has worked in several theatres across the Wasatch Front as a technician. Nate's passion for tech began at a young age over time Nate is now the owner of one of the largest theatre light collections you've ever seen. Nate has been with Backstage for 3 years having worked on nearly 15+ productions!  In addition to all recitals, events, and showcases Nate has recently designed lights for Footloose, High School Musical, AIDA, Seussical, The Jungle Book, & Shrek the Musical.  When Nate is not light designing you can find him running lights for other community productions, building Star Wars legos, or chillin' with his significant other Camille.

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Emily Henwood

Performing Arts Instructor


Emily 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."


Cassidy Ross

Show Director


Cassidy has been passionate about theatre for as long as she can remember. She has always had a desire to work with kids -- wanting to help spark the excitement and creativity for performing in the next generations to come. Cassidy has overseen Midvale Main Street Theatre's youth program for over 10 years and since has had the chance to direct over 22 productions with both kids and adults on the MMST stage. Some of her favorites being Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, The Little Mermaid Jr., Frozen Jr, Descendants the Musical, and Legally Blonde Jr.  When Cassidy is not directing, you can occasionally find her on the stage. A few of her favorite past roles include: Sophie (Mamma Mia!), Scaramouche (We Will Rock You), Sherry (Rock of Ages), Casey (First Date), Cinderella (Disenchanted!), and Natalie (Next to Normal).  She is incredibly thankful to have had the chance to not only perform in New York City but also work for Open Jar Studios in the heart of Times Square as well. When she isn't working on a show in some capacity, you can usually find Cassidy curled up with her puppy, working on DIY house projects, or traveling the world. She is so excited to be working with so many amazing people here at Backstage Performing Arts and can't wait to see what comes next!

Sewing Machine

Katrina Dransfield

Costume Design & Construction


Katrina Dransfield is so excited to be teaching soft goods fabrication classes here at BPA!  Everything about the theatrical, artistic, creative process has her fascinated and surrounding it all she has a passion for teaching.  She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts: Costume Design with a minor in Fashion Merchandizing from Weber State University. In the almost decade since graduation Katrina has worked as a Costume Shop Manager for Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, a stitcher and designer for Ooollee’s Vintage costume rental house, stitcher and costume crew for Pioneer Theatre, interim Costume Shop Manager for Southern Utah University, a private sewing instructor, and she has had the pleasure of working with many high schools and middle schools on their theatrical productions.  Her most memorable moments have been working with the rising generation of creative minds; watching them discover their designs (theatrical or non), helping them create their visions, and seeing the look of pure joy and accomplishment after their hard work is completed. She is so thrilled to be apart of this process here at BPA. 


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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