Academy Director

Jason Crespin

Jason is very excited to begin his 13th season of working for ALT and his 12th season as ALT’s Academy Director. He has been volunteering with ALT since 1999 and is a proud graduate of the ALT Academy program. He graduated from WTAMU in 2006 earning a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations. He is on the Advisory Council for Panhandle PBS, a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is an active volunteer in the community.

Jason loves working with students of all ages and has directed or choreographed numerous Academy productions including Frozen Jr., Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, HONK! (twice), A Christmas Carol, Into the Woods, Annie, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Little Women, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,Disney’s Aladdin Jr., Godspell, Ramona Quimby, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Winnie the Pooh, Nancy Drew: Girl Detective, Disney’s High School Musical, Stuart Little, Shrek the Musical, Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr., Charlotte’s Web, Alice in Wonderland, Children of Eden, 13, James and the Giant Peach, Bye Bye Birdie, The Little Match Girl, Tom Sawyer, Honk!, Schoolhouse Rock LIVE!, Pippi Longstocking, The Music Man, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Seussical, theMusical, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Jason has also had the pleasure of directingLegally Blonde and Little Shop of Horrors for the ALT Mainstage, choreographing for the ALT Mainstage productions ofThe Addams Family, AChristmas Story, Peter Pan, 9 to 5 andFootloose, for the ALT Adventure Space productions of The Full Monty, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Urinetown, as well as Disney’s High School Musical, Annie, Thoroughly Modern Mille, Back to the 80’s and Sandie Revue for Amarillo High School. This season, Jason instructs Show Stoppers Show Choir andSenior Company.

Jason has performed in over 40 productions at ALT and was most recently seen as Bob/Gunnar in Pageant Play and in the ensemble forMamma Mia.He is most remembered for his ALTA award winning performances as Ritchie Valens in Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story, Cheche’ in Anna in the Tropics, Kenickie in Grease, the Jury in Chicago, Frank Finger in It’s Only a Play and Bert inMary Poppins. Other favorite performances include Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q,Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Melvin P. Thorpe in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Guisppi in The Light in the Piazza, Carmen Ghia in The Producers, Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, and Ceyx/Orpheus in Metamorphoses.

Jason has been quite busy the past few years. He was a recipient of a Funspired SWI Award for his positive impact on the community, was recognized by the National Youth Awards for Outstanding Direction for Shrek, the Musical (2014), Godspell (2016), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017), Seussical the Musical (2018) and Into the Woods (2019),won’s national contest where he was named the 2015 Ultimate Broadway Fan, was a winning contestant on an episode of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night hosted by Jane Lynch, has helped cover the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Tony Awards, was honored in 2016 by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce as a Top 20 Under 40 award winner, was named 2016 Headliner of the Year by the Amarillo Globe News, and was featured as the Top 4 finalist in Live with Kelly’s Cohost Contest where he competed live on the show in New York City. Most recently, Jason was inducted into the WTAMU Communications Hall of Fame.


Stephanie Adams

Hello, my name is Stephanie Adams. I am the Creative Dramatics teacher for Wednesday 4pm -5pm and 5pm-6pm. I got bitten by the theatre bug in 6th grade and have been involved since. I am 35 years old with a loving husband and a spunky 6 year old daughter. I studied theatre at Amarillo College from 2000-2004 and WTAMU from 2008-2009. I also volunteer at here at ALT by acting and filling in backstage when I can. I have been a part of many productions in Amarillo the past 15 years and this is my passion. This is my second year teaching Creative Dramatics and I just love it. I am excited to meet your children and show them the art of theatre.

Danielle Holbrook Compton

Danielle holds a degree in Special Education from West Texas A&M University. She is currently a teacher at Crockett Middle School, where she has taught since 2009. During her first two years in the classroom, she determined that her students needed a meaningful way to connect with their neuro-typical peers, so her STEP (Students Teaching & Encouraging Peers) program was started in 2011. Through this program, eighth grade leaders at Crockett have the opportunity to forge genuine friendships with their peers with differing abilities and spread their message of inclusion throughout the school and community. STEP received the Region 16 Best Practice Award in 2017 and was featured in the AISD magazine, Portraits, in the spring of 2018.

Danielle has presented numerous times at Region 16 and at local schools about Peer Mediated Intervention and the importance of genuine inclusion opportunities in schools and communities.

She co-founded the Amarillo Sandies Adaptive Sports Team in the fall of 2016, and continuesto serve as the Head of Delegation. The athletes on these teams compete in Special Olympics sports competitions across the area.

Connecting her students and athletes to the community in purposeful ways is one of her biggest passions. She can’t think of a more accepting and inclusive environment than the theatre, so to help start a new program at ALT for individuals with differing abilities is a real dream come true.

In her free time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, reading, goingto the movies, learning about her family history, spoiling her nieces and nephew, and brunching with friends.

Brandon Dawson

Brandon is a native of Amarillo. He graduated from Randall High School in 2013 where he was a part of the State-winning show, Darkside. He then attended West Texas A&M University where he received his BA in Theatre Performance. While attending WT, he performed in TEXAS: Musical Drama in the role of Calvin Armstrong. Following his graduation from WT, Brandon moved to Las Vegas where he received his MFA in Acting from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While there, he performed in multiple venues throughout the city, as well a s served as the resident fight choreographer for the Nevada Conservatory Theatre and Cockroach Theatre Company. Brandon is a certified teacher of the Expressive Actor training method, and is certified by Dueling Arts International and Society of American Fight Directors in multiple weapon disciplines. He currently teaches Voice & Movement, Acting for the Camera, and Improv at WT. He also acts in ALT shows, including Legally Blonde, Sweat, Baskerville, and Peter and the Starcatcher, while also serving as a co-teacher of Junior Company. Brandon also performs in the road show of Driving Miss Daisy alongside Walker, Texas Ranger stars Sheree Wilson and Clarence Gilyard. Brandon is excited to share his love for theatre with the next generation of great theatre practitioners at ALT.

Carrie Huckabay

Carrie Huckabay has had the pleasure to teach the at ALT Academy for 18 years! During that time, she’s taught the very talented students of Theatre 4, Senior Company, Adult Acting, Playwriting, Theatre 3, and College Prep. Carrie holds a BFA in Theatre Arts Performance from the University of Texas at Arlington where she met her husband Nolan. Carrie and Nolan have two amazing, funny, sweet, sons, Ethan and Aaron. When not teaching, her hobbies include Yoga, cooking fabulous dinners, baking things with all the sugar and butter available, reading everything she can get her hands on and singing in the Choir at First Baptist Church.

Jill Ludington

Jill Hays Ludington has BA in Theatre and English education and her Masters in Educational Leadership from West Texas A&M University where she now teaches as an adjunct professor and theatre student teacher supervisor. She has had appearances at the state One-Act Play UIL level as an adjudicator, director, and student, and clinics schools all over the state. She is proud to have served on the TTAO Standards and Practices Committee and currently serve on the TTAO Board. Giving back to an art that changed her life is important to Jill, and she is grateful to be partnered with ALT as another avenue to do just that.

Michael Newman

Michael Newman holds a BA in Theatre Performance from West Texas A&M University. He is currently the Theatre Arts Director for Fannin Middle School and has been teaching since 2012. He is also the Acting Coach for Anderson Model & Talent Agency. Michael is also an avid performer, with stage credits at ALT and other venues. Some of his favorites include Sweeney Todd (ALT), Spamalot (Merely Players), Noises Off (ALT/Merely Players), Peter Pan (ALT), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (ALT), Eurydice (ALT), and Over the River and Through the Woods (ALT). When not working in the theatre, Michael enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, painting, and obstacle course racing. He also enjoys spending every spare moment he can with his wife, Stacy, their 2 kids, Danlee and Dean, and dog, Kara.

Macy Owen Dawson

Macy Dawson holds a BA in performing arts from Texas Tech University. She moved to Amarillo in 2017 to become the Theatre Arts Director at Crockett Middle school where she has adored working these past three years. She made her ALT debut in 2019 in the show TheUnderpants in which she fell in love with ALT. She is elated to join the ALT teaching teamto create a class that opens up theatre for all! Macy was just recently married in October and loves spending time with her husband Jacob and their fur baby Jaxx.

Jo Smith

A volunteer for over 30 years, Jo’s first role at the Little Theatre was as Hope Harcourt in the 1990 production of ANYTHING GOES. She moved to Amarillo in 1990 to do the musical TEXAS. Jo holds a BFA in Theatre from Cameron University. After many years away, she is so happy to finally be working among the people who share her passion for theatre!! Some of her favorite roles include Lola in the 1995 Amarillo College Summer Arts Festival production of DAMN YANKEES, Soul Girl in the 1994 production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, Multiple roles in the award winning 1995 touring production of BEEHIVE, Sheree in DIXIE SWIM CLUB (2010), Huckaby in the FANTASTICKS (2004), Ensemble in the incredible production of LES MISERABLES (2012), Sonya in VANYA, SONYA, MASHA and SPIKE and most recently as Diane in THE BIRDS and Virginia Noyes in the hilarious production of IT’S ONLY A PLAY, for which she received her first ALTA’s.

Jo is proud to share her love for theatre with her daughter Hana, who was an ALT Academy student since she was 3 and is now a grown woman who spreads her own passion for theatre. Her husband, Kyle, is an Amarillo Firefighter. The Smith family is rounded out by their Corgis, Piper and Korki.

Jo loves sharing her love for ALT with her Academy students. She is an Academy instructor teaching grades 3-8 in various theatre classes. It brings her great joy to see the growth in the students in class and especially watching their lights shine on stage.


Brandon Bellar

Brandon Bellar is an Amarillo native. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Performance from WTAMU where he studied under Royal R. Brantley, Wm. Perry Crafton, and Dr. Bob Hansen. Brandon is the Office Manager for his family business- Abal Auto Sales,and also teaches private voice lessons. He co-directs the ALT Academy Show Stoppers and has served as Music Director for the ALT Academy musicals for the past twelve years. His onstage work at ALT includes Little Shop of Horrors, Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein,The Full Monty, Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles, Kiss of the Spider Woman, South Pacific, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Smoky Joe’s Café and The Producers. When he is not involved in a production, he enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and working out.

Socorra Carrillo

Socorra Carrillo is a Musical Theatre major at WTAMU, with a minor in business marketing. She works at Palace Coffee Company when tech week isn’t hitting hard. She has recently been a part of Everybody and Our Town at WT, as well as participated in ALT Academy during high school. Socorra teaches Musical Theatre Voice for ages 8-12.


Beth Alexander

Beth is so happy to be a part of the Amarillo Little Theater Academy. She has over 30 years of experience in dance. She has worked with and learned from professionals like Maria Tarinova, Wade Robinson, Nappy Tabs, Chris Judd, Frank Hatchet and more. Beth has been teaching all different styles of dance for 14 years. In the past two seasons at ALT she has had the honor of choreographing HONK!, Legally Blonde and Frozen Jr. and performing in Mary Poppins, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mamma Mia and Rock of Ages. She is excited to be a part of teaching the next generation the joy of dance.

Lugene Cole

Lugene has been a dance instructor for the Amarillo Little Theatre for the past twenty five years and previously held the position of Dance Coordinator for the Amarillo College Dance Department from 1993-2009. Formal dance instruction began at the age of six and then become an understudy dance instructor at age 13. In 2002 she received the Amarillo Globe News-Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Dance Instructor”, and is very proud to be a part of Amarillo Little Theatre Academy which was awarded Best Dance, Theatre and Vocal programs. Her competition teams have placed 1st and 2nd in regional for ballet, jazz and lyrical at Tremaine Dance Competitions. Dance competition teams have also won high awards in Gold, Hi Gold and solo Teen Dancer at Celebration Talent Competition. Many of her students have received scholarships to Boston Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Dallas Ballet, Houston Ballet and Ballet El Paso. Most recently competition Teen Dancer was awarded a scholarship to study in L.A. along with performance opportunities with up and coming new artist in music videos. Cole has served as choreographer for the Summer Youth Musical productions of West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Big River, Oklahoma, Wizard of Oz, and choreographed The Little Match Girl for the Amarillo Little Theatre Academy.

Past performances include the Dallas State Fair, American College Dance Festival, and Amarillo Little Theatre productions of Follies, Li’l Abner, Carousel, The King and I, Scrooge, AChorus Line, and most recently La Cage aux Folles.

Cole is very excited to see a strong program in technique for dance and theatre implemented to give so many opportunities to students in the performing arts.

Rachel Dawson

Rachel Dawson is a native of San Antonio who earned her B.A. in Musical Theatre from WestTexas A&M University. She taught at University of Nevada, Las Vegas for the 2017/2018 academic year in the Acting and Film Department. During her time there she taught Voice and Movement for the Actor including the Expressive Actor technique and Viewpoints. She served as the curriculum coordinator and lead teacher for Drama and Movement for Merryhill Preschool and Elementary in Nevada. She has performed in venues throughout Las Vegas with a few including Mamma Mia! (Henderson Pavilion), Young Frankenstein (Red Rock), Pippin and Christmas Carol (Nevada Conservatory Theatre), as well as variety shows at The Venetian and The Tuscany. She has performed and danced professionally at TEXAS Outdoor Musical and SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Entertainment. Choreography credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (ALT Academy) and Rock of Ages (ALT Adventure Space). She looks forward to sharing what she loves with those in her classes!

Mikayla Garren

A proud graduate of Amarillo Little Theatre’s Academy, Mikayla is excited to return as an instructor. Since finishing her time at the Academy, she graduated from Abilene Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre. While at ACU, Mikayla had the honor of taking classes from notable instructors including Kei Tsuruharatani (Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill and Miss Saigon) and Melissa Zaremba (Rockette), and performing such roles as Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Alcyone in Metamorphoses, and the title role in Mary Poppins. After graduation, she accepted the offer to dance in TEXAS Outdoor Musical before moving to New York to sign with her agent. New York offered many opportunities including teaching ballet at a private school and performing in Off-Broadway theaters, as well a s auditioning fo r regional theaters and national tours. Although she misses New York, Mikayla is thrilled to be back home in Amarillo and, more specifically, at ALT.

Caitlin Standish

I am 23 years old. I have my bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre from WTAMU. I have been dancing for 20 years, and my dance training includes ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap, musical theatre, hip-hop, modern, and contemporary. I have been a part of ALT for 15 years doing multiple shows with the Academy and Mainstage. I was a dance intern with ALT for 3 years in high school, and this is my fifth year teaching at ALT.