CARRIE ALEXANDER SPINA
Carrie Alexander Spina was first inspired in the arts as a speech and debate student in 1989 where she competed as a dramatic interpreter for four years—qualifying to the state tournament all four years and to the national tournament for two years. Through her years competing in speech, Carrie found a passion for performing and found a purpose in her life; acting became her second love.
She began volunteering at the Players Guild Theatre in 1992 on and off stage. Carrie brought her passion to a new level in 2006 when she collaborated with the Players Guild Theatre to create Page to Stage, a program which she directed and co-founded. Page to Stage took live, interactive theatrical productions based on children’s books on tour to local elementary schools. While directing Page to Stage, Carrie outreached the arts to over 25,000 students in Stark, Summit, and Tuscarawas counties. In 2010, Carrie expanded Page to Stage to include a new program: Youth Reach. Youth Reach brought a variety of arts-related classes directly into the schools. Through Youth Reach, Carrie collaborated with the Arts Academy at Summit in Canton to stage a full production of Annie Jr. on the Players Guild mainstage with the students in the after school program.
Carrie has directed numerous productions at the Players Guild Theatre and local schools and venues in our community, as well as developed and taught classes, workshops, and private lessons. Some directing credits include: Alladin Jr., Leagally Blonde, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Snow White, Little Mermaid, Rapunzel and the Witch, 101 Dalmatians Kids, Alice in Wonderland Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr., High School Musical Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr., Stuart Little, Treasure Island, and There’s No Place Like Oz.
In addition to her significant work with the outreach program as the Director of Education and Outreach, Carrie directed and wrote for the Winner’s Choice Outreach Program and directed a play for abused and neglected children for the Royal Family’s kids’ camp called In Search of God’s Treasure.
From time to time, Carrie finds herself onstage. She was last seen onstage playing the role of Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Carrie is a wife and mother of three beautiful children, as well as a proud speech and debate coach at Tusky Valley High School. Carrie is also a proud member of the Rotary Club of Bolivar-Zoar, Ohio.
Carrie is so excited to start her new adventure with her company: New Direction Performing Arts Academy. Carrie’s dream is to continue her vision to outreach the arts in our community and hopes to help in the growth of the premiere performing arts academy in the area. Carrie feels you don’t need a theatre to have a performing arts academy: the academy is the talented teaching artist who shares their gifts daily with schools and students, thus igniting passion for the arts in children lives! Her passion for theatre as an actress, instructor, and director drives her to continue outreaching, giving every child the opportunity to experience the magic of theatre.
Our staff is comprised of independent contractors. These are the best teaching artists in the area who dedicate their time and talent to sharing their gifts with young actors, dancers and musicians. Each teaching artist is independently successful and the NDPAA is pleased and honored to have them share their gifts with our students!
Lisa Knight is thrilled to teach for an organization like NDPAA, which so highly values the impact of the arts in children’s lives. Lisa studied Vocal Performance at Kent State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication from Miami University. She has been directing theatre and vocal coaching since 2003. In addition to teaching for NDPAA, she teaches private voice lessons at A Time to Dance in North Canton, and has taught musical theatre classes at the Players Guild Theatre in Canton since 2006. Lisa is so proud of her voice students’ accomplishments: WKDD Stars of Tomorrow (2010, ‘11 Winners, several finalists); Canton Idol (2010, ’11, ’12 Winners, several finalists); admission into Kent State University’s prestigious musical theatre program; singing the National Anthem for Akron Aeros, Canton Charge, and Cleveland Indians; and various talent competitions throughout Ohio. Directing credits include: Aladdin Kids, Willy Wonka Kids, Winnie the Pooh, Seussical Jr., Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Footloose, 101 Dalmatian Kids, It’s a Wonderful Life, Kids on Stage, and the Glee Workshop. Lisa has performed in productions throughout Ohio. Performance credits include: Paulette in Legally Blonde at the Players Guild, Kate Murphey in Titanic with the Akron Symphony, and Anita in West Side Story at Miami University. Lisa lives in Perry Township with her husband Sean, son Jude, and poogle Molly.
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