In 2014 Pia and Lisa met while volunteering at their daughter's school. They immediately discovered a shared background and love for the performing arts. Learning their daughter's public school was facing severe budget cuts, which threatened to close the theatre program, they stepped in and founded a non-profit to raise funds and stabilize visual and performing arts opportunities. Together they raised over $250,000 and forged a friendship and partnership that continues today.
In 2019 Lisa and Pia took the helm of Musical Theatre Competitions of America. Together they have transitioned it into the most extensive national educational musical theatre festival for students and groups in the country. Realizing theatre's critical role in students' development, they have blended educational theatre opportunities, professional mentorship, large-scale event production, and Broadway magic into a unique musical theatre festival. In 2020 realizing that quality performing arts educational opportunities were not accessible to many students due to financial hardships, they Founded Musical Theatre Festivals Educational Foundation. MTF was founded to support students pursuing musical theatre educational opportunities, gather resources in support of musical theatre education, and raise funds for students who desire to attend Musical Theatre Competitions of America. To date, MTF has awarded over $280,000.00 in Scholarship opportunities to students. Pia and Lisa remain committed to creating opportunities for students to learn, grow and share their talents in an educational theatre environment that is uplifting and empowering.
MTCA FESTIVAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Lisa has over 25 years of experience in Educational Theatre. She received a Bachelor of Science in Communication with an emphasis in Performing Arts from Cal Poly Pomona. After years of performing and producing community and youth theatre, Lisa shifted her focus to educational theatre, working with charter and private schools to create theatre programs that align with school-specific curriculum and pedagogical theory. As an educational theatre producer, she has worked with the best of Broadway, including Jerry Mitchell, Stephanie J Block, Jeremy Jordan, Taylor Louderman, Christie Altomare, Christopher J. Hanke, Laura Osnes, Corey Cott, Nikki Snelson, Erika Henningsen, Ryann Redmond, Jared Gertner, Seth Rudetsky and Alli Mauzey. Lisa has served on multiple boards in leadership positions creating and promoting educational theatre opportunities for students.
MTCA FESTIVAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
PIA PATRICK began her 35-year career in Hospitality and Event Production, working in restaurants, private event coordination, large event production, wedding coordination, and luxury hotels in Orange County, CA. Pia opened her own special event production company in 1996, specializing in large-scale, private, and corporate events. Pia enjoys the complexities of executing events that can be scaled and thrives in managing day-to-day operations and organizational details while implementing long-term strategies for success. Pia has a lifelong background in the performing arts. Pia began acting, singing, and modeling at a young age, but her passion has always been musical theatre. Pia has spent 20 years in educational theatre as an active board member for many performing arts programs and working with various charitable organizations to raise needed funds for arts programs in public schools.
MTCA FESTIVAL ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Christine (Negherbon) Abraham’s extensive performing credits include National Tours of My Fair Lady (Eliza u/s), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Starring Ann-Margret), Crazy for You (Polly), Chicago, 42nd Street (European Tour - Peggy Sawyer) and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Regionally, she has performed in Oklahoma! (Laurey and Dream Laurey - PA Shakespeare Festival), Cats (Jennanydots - The MUNY, Sacramento Music Circus), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), just to name a few. TV Credits include: Hart of Dixie and Haunting Evidence. Christine has directed and/or choreographed productions such as 42nd Street (Norris Theatre), Holiday Inn, Sound of Music & Mary Poppins (MTW), West Side Story, Crazy for You, Cabaret (DeSales University), and Hairspray (Mac-Haydn Theatre). She is a master teaching artist at the Disneyland Resort, an adjunct professor for both the Musical Theatre and Commercial Dance Departments with AMDA at LACS and on faculty with Fluid Dance Conventions. She and husband/actor Joe Abraham, are authors of The Thriving Artists, which they wrote to address the need for empowering and educating artists, particularly when it comes to their finances. They have two sons and live in LA.
MTCA FESTIVAL ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Joe loves igniting the souls of everyone and everything he encounters! For over 20 years he has been working as an actor, a teacher, and a coach... and has no plans of stopping any of it! Joe’s performing work has taken him to Broadway and around the country in shows such as HAIRSPRAY, DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID, SHREK THE MUSICAL, CATS, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Joe’s on camera career started by working with Clint Eastwood in the feature film version of “Jersey Boys”, and more recently with Ryan Murphy in feature film version of “The PROM” on Netflix and the fantasy feature “Mythica: Stormbound”. On television Joe has had roles on shows such as “S.W.A.T.”, “UnREAL”, “American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson”, and the Showtime series “Moonbase 8”. Joe’s passion for teaching lead him to write his first book titled The Thriving Artists (co-authored with his wife, Christine) which is now required reading in theater departments at several universities across the country. The Thriving Artists teaches young performers how to navigate and thrive in every aspect of their creative lives. And as a coach, Joe is thrilled to be a part of this amazing company and loves every single thing about this joyous tribe of humans that make up MTCA. See you on stage!
MTCA FESTIVAL PRODUCTION MANAGER
Chase Thomas is a 2021 Broadway Global Producer of the Year nominee & Tony Award-nominated producer whose credits include Grammy Award-winning & Tony Award-winning Jagged Little Pill on Broadway, Australian Tour & US National Tour, Drama Desk Award-winning & 5-time Tony Award-winning Jack Thorne & Matthew Warchus' A Christmas Carol on Broadway, US National Tour and Netflix's Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (VFX Production Coordinator), HBO's Raised By Wolves (VFX Production Coordinator), and FX's American Crime Story: Impeachment (VFX Production Coordinator). Chase has also worked for entertainment companies such as Warner Bros., The Walt Disney Company, and Madison Square Garden.
Chase is an MTCA Alumni attending as a student and director and is passionate about supporting opportunities for the next generation of performers.
MTCA FESTIVAL OPERATIONS AND
Hannah Baker was born and raised in Southern California and currently resides in New York City, where she juggles her many theatrical passions. She has performed regionally and internationally, with most recent roles including Vivianne in Employee of the Month (Off-Broadway) and Marc Antony in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (Institute of the Arts, Barcelona). Hannah has worked professionally on the business side of Broadway with the teams behind your favorite shows like Wicked, Beetlejuice, Hadestown, Book of Mormon, and many more. She also stage manages numerous productions and readings across NYC and served as the Covid Safety Manager at at OBIE Award winning theatre company, Mabou Mines, an experimental theatre specializing in Avant Garde works. Hannah currently works with the Account Management team at Tony Award winning Producing and Merchandising company, The Araca Group, where she helps bring Broadway/Entertainment branding and merchandise to life!
"Learning to accept creative critique and grow from it is so vital for young artists, and is something I learned from MTCA. It truly shaped my approach to working in the world of professional theatre."
THOMAS SCHULTHEIS (Teaching Artist Thomas) created the Creativity & Inspiration Workshop, Let Me Try That Again, Musical Theatre Exploration Clinic, Signs & Synchronicity, and TikTok Musicals: Exploration & Activation. He received his MA in Strategic Communications from National University and BS in Psychology from James Madison University. He is on the Musical Theatre Competitions of America Creative Team and is The Spark File Select Group Creativity Coaching Team Captain. Thomas also works with The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts. Additionally, Thomas worked for 15 years at the Disneyland® Resort with the Disney Performing Arts program. He has performed on Broadway in the revival of Grease! and tours of Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Chicago, and South Pacific. Thomas founded The Educators Collective, bringing together exceptional leaders in education, and created The Educators Collective Virtual Summit. https://teachingartistthomas.com/
CYNTHIA McGARRITY is a singer, music director, director, and master teaching artist with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Highlights from her career include that of Master Teaching Artist at Disneyland for Disney Performing Arts; lead master teaching artist for Disney Musicals in Schools under the auspices of Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County and Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles; vocal coach for episodic television on the set of NBC Studios Parks & Rec; voiceover artist for PBS Television’s ART-Art Series (whose theme song on which she was featured won the Emmy Award); director and/or music director of such shows as Legally Blonde, Violet, Shrek and many of the Disney musicals compendium; and past Music Department Chair/Voice teacher at The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts. Cynthia is thrilled to be back at Musical Theatre Competitions of America, sharing her love of music, story, and technique with young artists from all over the country.
JOHN VAUGHAN is a busy director/choreographer with over 400 productions to his credit. He has worked constantly first as an actor, then as a director, choreographer, producer, and theatre educator. His long association with Performance Riverside, the Moonlight Amphitheater, Musical Theatre West, and other professional Southern California theatres includes hit productions of Big River, Cabaret, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Curtains, The Will Rogers Follies, Evita, Footloose, Anything Goes, Singin’ in the Rain, A Chorus Line, Into the Woods, Aida, Ragtime, The Music Man, And the World Goes Round, among many others. Philanthropically, he has raised (net) over eight million dollars for the Children Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) since 1997 as the director of their acclaimed volunteer-based fundraiser- the “CHOC Follies”. John’s work has received numerous awards from Backstage West, the Inland Empire Theatre League, San Diego Playbill, and many others. He has been the co-choreographer for the acclaimed Citrus Singers for the past 26 years.
JOHN TEBAY began his career in 1976 as Minister of Music and Worship at Calvary Church of Placentia, California, USA, where he directed the music program for 17 years. In 1981, he became the choral director at El Dorado High School in Placentia, California. He has been director of choral studies at Fullerton College in Southern California, since 1985. During that time, he has conducted the 110-voice Concert Choir, the Chamber Singers, the Collegiate Chorale, the Men’s Chorale, the Women’s Chorale, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and the song and dance troupe, Bravo. Mr. Tebay has guest-conducted local and state honor choirs throughout the Western United States. He is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician, and competition judge for choral, musical theatre, and show choir events. John has collaborated with the Theatre Department at Fullerton College to music direct numerous Musical Theatre productions. John is a member of the founding staff of Musical Theatre Competitions of America, and has been an adjudicator/clinician at each competition since its inception.
ROBERT OROSCO has performed in the Broadway show and National tour of "Miss Saigon" and he has performed at Carnegie Hall under the music direction of Jason Robert Brown.
Currently, he works for the Disneyland Resort performing in “Frozen Live At The Hyperion “ as the Duke of Weselton, Sarge in "Operation Playtime" featuring the Green Army Men and Mateo in A Musical Celebration Of Coco.
Musical theater audiences might remember him on the big screen in the movie, "Camp" directed by Todd Graff.
Robert has studied Acting in Hawaii, San Francisco, and
New York City.
TERRON BROOKS has a passion for inspiring and motivating people of all ages and backgrounds to learn the art of defining success while living a balanced life. His Broadway credits include Simba in The Lion King and Seaweed in Hairspray. A veteran in the entertainment industry, Terron has had the pleasure of performing with many amazing artists, such as Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, David Foster, Randy Jackson, One Republic, and Smokey Robinson. He has toured internationally with Phil Collins (Going Back Tour) and Matthew Morrison-Opening Act for The New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys Tour). He has been a featured guest artist of prestigious symphony orchestras around the country and is a member of America's Favorite Mashup Group, The Company Men. Los Angeles, CA. Terron is a two time NAACP Award Nominee.
SABRINA HARPER Born and raised in Laguna Beach, California; Sabrina received her early training in dance, singing, and acting in Laguna Beach, Los Angeles,,, and New YorkSabrina was the female swing/player covering 6 Ensemble parts and was also understudy for Fastrada, Catherine, and Berthe, and worked as assistant Dance Captai She is very excited to be part of the 1st National Touring Company of Pippin as first cast Fastrada and understudy Leading Player and Berthe and looks forward to traveling around the US After 1,5 years with the show on Broadway, she went on the road with the 1st National Touring Company of Pippin as the first cast Fastrada and performed as an understudy Leading Player an ert . After returning to the USA, Sabrina has since choreographed a youth production of School of Rock in CA., and performed as ULLA in The Producers at Theater by the Se , I. Cassie is in A Chorus Line at The Gateway, NY., is back touring the USA with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as Swing and understudy Mrs. Bucket.
Michele Lynch Choreographed the original show, EVERYDAY RAPTURE on Broadway as well as the Tom Stoppard play, THE COAST OF UTOPIA. She was the associate/assistant choreographer on the Broadway companies of HAIRSPRAY, THE FULL MONTY AND URINETOWN. National and International Tours include DIRTY DANCING, HAPPY DAYS, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRARIE, as well as settling touring companies of HAIRSPRAY (also in Germany and Canada) and THE FULL MONTY (also in Australia and Canada). Her film credits includeCAMP, JOYFUL NOISE and THE LAST FIVE YEARS and she was the assistant choreographer on the movie LIBERTY HEIGHTS. She recently choreographed the US Premier of the new musical GRUMPY OLD MEN, at Ogunquit Playhouse, and SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, starring Vanessa Williams, at The Hollywood Bowl. Michele received the Helen Hayes Award for best choreography for KISS ME KATE,
at the Shakespeare Theatre in DC.
DIANE FREIMAN REYNOLDS Diane, a California native, is a session singer and performer specializing in film and tv music. She began singing at an early age in choirs led by her mother and uniquely honed her sight-reading skills by playing handbells, also under her mother’s direction. Her love of music and performing continued through her youth where she was in school musicals and The Young Americans. Her first Equity performance was the National Tour of the Tony-Award-winning musical, City of Angels, and, in addition, she enjoyed many years of live theater performing the role of Mary in The Glory of Christmas and The Glory of Easter at the former Crystal Cathedral. Seven nights per week this summer, Diane was a vocalist in the orchestral pit for The Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. Earlier this year, she travelled to Taiwan to perform the role of Mrs. Potts in a live-to-picture presentation of Beauty and the Beast. As a session singer, Diane can be heard on over 100 movie soundtracks and TV shows with some favorites being La La Land, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Bruce Almighty, The Grinch, and Despicable Me 2. Other recent films are Frozen II and the new live-action Lady and the Tramp. You may have heard her voice on several theme park rides or one of the fireworks shows at Disneyland. Other highlights were singing on recordings and projects for Paul McCartney, Josh Groban, Michael Morrison, Chris Mann, Jackie Evancho, Seth MacFarlane, and on Harry Styles’ song “Sign of the Times”.
STEPHANIE BALDWIN is a classically trained lyric soprano, Stephanie holds a BA and Masters from Chapman University and was honored as one of the “150 Faces of Chapman” for the University’s 150th anniversary. As Miss California 2001, she was a semifinalist at the Miss America Pageant and made appearances in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia representing state sponsor Wente Vinyards. Some of her favorite roles in musical theatre include Christine (Phantom), Maria (the Sound of Music), Eliza (My Fair Lady), Nancy (Oliver), the Fairy Godmother and Queen (Cinderella), Mrs. Potts (Beauty and the Beast), Grace (Annie) and Jenny (Company). Shortly after moving to New York City in 2006, Stephanie received the 2007, Andy Anselmo, Outstanding Achievement Award for emerging artists, and debuted her one-woman show, “Stephanie Sings Stage to Screen” at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. She regularly performs onboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises as a Guest Entertainer. Stephanie teaches private voice lessons for all ages in Riverside County and vocal music for the Pacific Symphony’s Arts-X-Press, an integrated arts summer camp. She recently produced her own CD, a live recording of one of her classical concerts, entitled ”Classical Love”.
Elle May was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, graduated with BA (Hons) from Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore, and has been living and working in the US for the past 6 years. She is a professional Musical Theatre Performer and Certified Personal Trainer. Most recently, Elle May was the Dance Captain of the First Broadway National Tour of The Spongebob Musical. Other international stage credits include: A Chorus Line, Mamma Mia!, Anything Goes, Cabaret, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Elton John’s ‘Life Ball’ in Vienna, Austria, The MTV Video Music Awards, and The World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Heather recently celebrated 20 years with The Walt Disney Company. She began her career as a Dickens Caroler at Disneyland and continues to perform in a multitude of special events and shows for the Company, including appearances at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater, the Hollywood Bowl and various venues across the United States. She is currently performing in the Broadway-caliber musical “Frozen, Live at the Hyperion Theatre.”
She has performed with the likes of Julie Andrews, Richard Carpenter, Dick Van Dyke, Ken Page, Eden Espinoza, Stephanie J Block, Bob Newhart, Jim Brickman, Andy Garcia, and Jon Voight , to name a few.
As a singer and actress, Heather has performed on stages across the country in musical theatre, industrial shows, benefits and concerts. She has also been on TV shows for ABC, NBC, and KTLA.
One of her true passions is working in the recording studio on a number of albums for BMG and Capitol Records and you’ve also heard her in commercials for Mattel, Sun Microsystems and Nabisco, among others.
RICHARD ARLO KINSEY is best known for his performances as Inspector Javert in Les Misérables for which he was the recipient of the Joseph Jefferson (Jeff Award) for Best Supporting Actor. He performed the role all over the world, including Broadway over 2000 times. Some of his other theatrical roles include: Kreon in Antigone, Ahab in Moby Dick Rehearsed, Bill Sykes in Oliver, Adam in Seven Brides, Don Quixote in Man Of LaMancha, Eric in Phantom, Tony in Most Happy Fella, King Phillip in King John, Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate and Father in both Ragtime & Violet. He has also been involved in numerous staged readings of new works with such companies as ASCAP/DISNEY, A.S.K., Playwrights Horizons and The York Theater Company. He is the recipient of the Virginia Best Adams Singing Award, Metropolitan Opera Encouragement Award and the ASCAP Popular Composition Award for Robin Hood The Musical. Some of his other compositions which have been recorded and distributed are: Through the Veil and Starseed Suite He has appeared in supporting as well as leading roles in the films: Useless (2011), Good Friday (2010), The Seer (2007) Evil’s City (2005), Making Waves (2004) and was the featured narrator for the short: Next In Sequins. Some of his other narration work concerns itself with several books on tape that are soon to be released. He currently continues his work in theater, film, concert work, composition and out-reach programs as well as narration and voice over.
Jennie Ford is a Broadway veteran of 16 years. Her credits include The Music Man, Hairspray, Sweet Smell of Success, All Shook Up, Dance of the Vampires, Evita, Ragtime, Urban Cowboy, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Leap of Faith and An American in Paris. She sang on five Broadway albums and performed numerous times at the Tony Awards. She’s been a dance captain for top Broadway choreographers, such as Graciela Daniele, Susan Stroman, Rob Ashford, and Sergio Trujillo. She was the assistant choreographer for Dance of the Vampires and Leap of Faith. Jennie is the recipient of the coveted “Legacy Robe” and was invited to be part of CBS’s “Gypsy Project” alongside Chita Rivera and other Broadway Gypsies. She is the author of the book series “Be The Best on Broadway” where each book focuses on a specific job title on Broadway, such as dance captain or swing. She is currently a Teaching Artist for The Music Center and previously an Adjunct Professor of Musical Theatre at Studio School, in Los Angeles. She has mentored countless performers and has been hired as a coach to the stars, such as Nick Jonas, Darren Criss, Beau Bridges, George Wendt, Jerry Mathers, Ricky Martin, Robert Sean Leonard, and Eric McCormack. She served on the Board of Actors’ Equity Association for 12 years and is well versed in the workings of the union and the business of musical theatre. Her film and TV credits include The Sound of Music Live, Grease: You’re The One That I Want, CSI: Miami, Walk Hard, Blues Brothers 2000, and Shadow Puppets. Her most recent work has been choreographing for Seth McFarlane’s hit show The Orville, the Rose Parade, and an upcoming Disney+ series.
,,”,”Sjaan’s biggest passion is to inspire, transform, and educate young performers from all over the globe in areas of Dance, Musical Theater, Show Choir, and Audition Techniques. Her most recent work has been for the Walt Disney Company as a Teaching Artist for the Disney Performing Arts Program,, where she feels privileged to share and sprinkle a little pixie dust. As a Choreographer Her outside works include the “Land of Enchantment Parade” for the 2002 Winter Olympics, The Young Americans and shows such as “Legally Blond”, “Grease”, “The Little Mermaid”, “ The Adams Family” and ,”he resident Choreographer for South Coast Repertory Theatre for the Summer Players Playhouse. She thrives on working with High Schools in the surrounding area, mentoring young up-and-coming artists. With her sunny disposition, sense of humor, the support of the amazing Trowbridge 2, and genuine approach, she tackles the adventure of our wacky performing world one day at a time and with a great big smile. Welcome back everyone!
CYNTHIA FERRER has played leading roles in over one-hundred musicals at major theaters across the country, including four National Tours. She has worked with and performed alongside Garry Marshall, Julia Roberts, Carol Burnett, Alec Baldwin, Courtney Cox, Michael Feinstein, Paul Williams and the Nicholas Brothers. She played Kathy Selden in the Broadway National Tour of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. Cynthia appeared as Emily Hobbs at Madison Square Garden in ELF. She can be heard on the original cast albums of HAPPY DAYS: A NEW MUSICAL and YANKEE DOODLE DANDY. As a director/choreographer, Cynthia has helmed productions of 9 to 5, LOUISIANA PURCHASE, KING AND I, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, PETER PAN. Recently, she collaborated with Spencer Liff as associate director for SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN at McCoy/Rigby Ent. Film and Television, Ms. Ferrer appeared in “Mother’s Day”,”Valentine’s Day”,”Georgia Rule”, “Martial Law”,“Cougartown”,”Crossing Jordan”,”Port Charles” and “General Hospital.” as Dr. Rachael Ryan. Recently, Cynthia can be seen singing and dancing in the opening credits of Chuck Lorre’s CBS sitcom “B-Positive”