Elizabeth Blakemore

Owner/Artistic Director
Fall 2015 Teaching/Directing Locations:  Johns Creek (Musical Theatre, Acting 2, directing "Little Women"), Victory World Christian School's Drama Club, Correspondence Monologue Coaching, directing the Christmas production for VWCS.

Elizabeth graduated magna cum laude from Concordia University-Chicago with degrees in Theatre and Business at the age of 19. After graduation Elizabeth toured the country for a year with Captive Free, a relational music ministry team sponsored by Youth Encounter. Since moving to Atlanta in 2006 she has taught theatre and acting classes for a number of schools including Master's Academy, Portfolio Academy, Artios Academy, Renaissance International School of Performing Arts (RISPA), the Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, and WOW Talent.  She has also assisted with casting for CYT.

She has worked on 50+ productions for children and youth as a director, music director, and technical director.  Past directing projects include "The Pirates of Penzance", "The Dancers", "The Music Man Jr.", "Once Upon a Mattress Jr.", "Tom Sawyer", "Little Women", "Seussical the Musical", "Bugsy Malone Jr.", "The Wizard of Oz", "Dougly the Uckling", "Moby Dick the Musical", "Schoolhouse Rock", "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", "How to Eat Like A Child", "101 Dalmatians", "The Jungle Book", "Alice in Wonderland", "A Year with Frog and Toad', "Shrek the Musical", "Annie" and "Peter Pan".  

In addition to teaching and directing, Elizabeth routinely performs around Atlanta at various theatres. Past acting roles include Catherine in "Proof", Laura in "The Glass Menagerie", Betty in "The Foreigner", Mistress Page in "The Merry Wives of Windsor", Dr. Vivian Bearing in "Wit".  Her most recent credits include playing Mattie Fae in "August:Osage County" and Cora in "Desire, Desire, Desire" in a showcase at the Alliance Theatre and Mom in "Old Maple: My Everlasting Friend" for the Young Voices, New Visions Play Festival at the Alliance Theatre.  She also works as a Teaching Artist for Synchronicity Theatre's Playmaking for Girls program which serves at-risk girls in local youth detention centers and owns a private piano studio through which she teaches private lessons to 10+ students each week. 


Rose Alexander
Teaching Artist
Fall 2015 Teaching Locations: Brookhaven (Dance for Musical Theatre), Johns Creek (KidZone Creations).

Rose began working at Forefront in the Fall of 2015, teaching Musical Theatre Dance. She has spend most of her life around the Metro-Atlanta area, and is a 2014 graduate of Kennesaw State University's Theatre and Performance Studies program, where she also completed a minor in dance. She has previously taught at several other programs including Aurora Theatre, Alliance Theatre, The Strand Theatre, West Side Elementary, and Jitterbug Performing Arts. She has also performed at several theatres in atlanta, including Aurora Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Saiah Arts International, and 7 Stages. She is very excited to be joining the Forefront Family! 

Patrick Baxter
Teaching Artist
Fall 2015 Teaching Locations: Buckhead (Musical Theatre, Acting 1), Johns Creek (KidZone Creations).

Patrick has been part of the Forefront Arts team since coming onboard as the Lighting Designer for "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" in May 2013.  He joined our Teaching Staff in June 2013 and has taught at a number of locations in addition to handling Lighting Design for many of our productions.  Patrick grew up in the Atlanta area where he played sports such as baseball and wrestling throughout high school. He had done a couple of small plays as a kid but the only one he remembers is being Fritz in his fifth grade's production of The Nutcracker. It wasn't until he took an intro to theatre class in College that he was bit by the theatre bug. He went into Kennesaw State University as a pre-vet/ pre-med major but took acting classes as electives until his sophomore year when he changed his major to Theatre and Performance Studies. He Graduated from KSU in July 2012 with a BA in Theatre with an acting concentration but also took many classes in lighting design. His most recent Theatrical credits include: Strong For Life (Tell Tale Theater), The One minute Play Festival at Actors Express, The Devil Tree as the productions technical director (The Collective Project Inc.) The Red Herring where he played the hot headed Wilhelm and doubled as the production's technical director (The Collective Project Inc.), and Dark Forest as a member of the ensemble (KSU). Patrick is also in the process of getting his Masters of Divinity.  He hopes to become an Army Chaplain upon graduation.  In his spare time Patrick likes to spend time outdoors with his dog Harper. Thank you Forefront Arts for letting me into your theater family!

Kirstin Calvert

Teaching Artist
Fall 2015 Teaching Locations: Bolton Academy, Parkside Elementary. 

Kirstin has taught for Forefront Arts since June 2014.  Kirstin is a graduate of The University of Georgia with a BA in Theatre. She came to Atlanta to join the 2011-2012 New American Shakespeare Tavern Apprentice Acting Company. Kirstin continues her relationship with the Shakespeare Tavern as an actor and a Residency Teaching Artist. She is also entering her third season as the Director of Junior Players, a young artist performance troupe at the Alliance Theatre. Kirstin has performed with the Shakespeare Tavern, Academy Theatre, Onstage Atlanta, Give Us Brains Sketch Comedy, and Out of Box Theatre in Marietta. She is honored to be joining Forefront and influencing future performers.

Alana Cheshire
Teaching Artist
Fall 2015 Teaching Locations: Arbor Montessori (Upper Elementary)

Alana has been teaching for Forefront Arts since January 2013.  She was bit by the theatre bug at a young age through drama classes and camps, and she's thrilled to be giving that experience back as a teacher. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music with a BS in Vocal Performance and Theatre. In Atlanta, Alana has performed professionally with The Alliance Theatre, The Atlanta Opera, Fabrefaction Theatre Company, TellTale Theatre, Next Stage Theatre Company, and Theatre on the Prowl; outside of Georgia, she has worked with Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Brown County Playhouse, and Cardinal Stage Company. When she’s not performing or teaching drama, Alana works with children’s choirs, plays the piano and the ukulele, and spends quality time with her cat, Rupert. Alana would like to thank her amazing friends and family for their support, and Forefront Arts for this wonderful opportunity!

Andrew Crigler
Teaching Artist
Fall 2015 Teaching Locations: Arbor Montessori (Lower Elementary)

Andrew Crigler joined our staff as Asst. Director for "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" in September 2011 and has taught our improv class at Kingfisher Academy since January 2012.  He is an aspiring director, teaching artist, actor, movement choreographer and writer, and primarily works at the Center for Puppetry Arts. He received his BA in Theatre and Performance Studies from Kennesaw State University with a minor in dance. He has taught at the Alliance Theatre, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, and Jitterbug Performing Arts and is thrilled to be teaching with Forefront Arts! Andrew was recently the movement choreographer for GET's TYA show Aesop's Fables. Recent acting appearances include: A Wrinkle in Time, Confederacy of Dunces (Theatrical Outfit), The Ugly Duckling (Serenbe Playhouse), The Girl From 2a, Revolutio: Children of an Idle Brain, The Othering of Mr. Windebaggin, The Theory of Everything, (The Collective Project Inc.), and Strong4Life (Telltale Theatre). Andrew is also a Balloon Artist, Mime, and Poet. He would like to thank Jesus Christ for his gifts, abilities, and passions. Anything good Andrew does is only because of Christ's work in his life. To Him be the glory!

Mandi Lee
Lead Teaching Artist
Fall 2015 Teaching Locations: Johns Creek (Acting 1, Kidzone Creations, Directing "Schoolhouse Rock JR"), Buckhead (Musical Theatre, Directing "Schoolhouse Rock JR)

Mandi joined our staff in July 2012 and has been a mainstay of our program ever since!  She founded the Atlanta chapter of our Children's Theatre productions in February 2013 and is part of our primary directing staff during the summer and school-year.  Mandi is a graduate of Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, and recently graduated with Departmental Honors from Webster University with her B.F.A. in Acting. She has been a part of the Atlanta theater community since age 7 when she became a founding member of The Talent Factory. Since graduating from college and returning to Atlanta, she has toured the Southeast with two One Woman Shows, performed with Onstage Atlanta, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Georgia Ensemble Theater, Pinch n Ouch Theatre, 7 Stages, and is represented by J. Pervis Talent. She has been teaching acting in various places since high school and is thrilled to be a part of the Forefront Arts family.


Elise Lorraine Miller
Teaching Artist
Fall 2015 Teaching Locations: Chamblee (Musical Theatre), Buckhead (Creative Dramatics), Brookhaven (Acting 1, Directing "Schoolhouse Rock JR"), Decatur (Musical Theatre, Directing "Schoolhouse Rock JR").  

Elise is a new member of Forefront Arts Staff and is excited to be kick-starting her teaching artist work with this wonderful company. Elise graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance and Directing with Teacher Certification from Columbus State University. She received a conservatory style training, focusing on Meisner, Lessac, and a variety of performance opportunities. Next, Elise accepted a position as performance intern at Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers, FL. During her nine months there she toured two TYA shows, understudied, performed in FL Rep's Dividing the Estate, read in their 2nd Annual PlayLab, house managed, and taught classes and camps. Elise was then offered the position of Assistant Camp Director at Camp Florida Rep where she assistant directed Alice in Wonderland JR., Bye Bye Birdie, Peter Pan JR. and made her directorial debut with HONK! JR., and Captain Louie JR. As both a teacher and performer, Elise is excited to back in Atlanta which is thriving with culture and theatrical opportunity. 

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