ALT is staffed by a dedicated team of theatre professionals with a diverse range of training and skills. The staff collectively spends hundreds of hours per week leading a highly committed corps of volunteers in the successful creation of over a dozen theatre productions each year. Under the guidance of the ALT’s staff, volunteers perform on the stage, work behind the scenes, build stage sets, paint, sew costumes and perform numerous other duties to help maintain a successful organization.
The directors, actors and each artisan at ALT refine every production detail because their art- and their passion – is to touch each person in the audience.
Email Allen: [email protected]
Allen Shankles has been creating theatre “magic” at ALT for 36 years. He has directed
hundreds of shows at ALT and has managed the growth of this organization as it has become one of the finest, most successful and highly respected theatres in the country. During his tenure at ALT, Allen has taken ALT from a struggling organization with a $50,000 annual budget to its current budget of over $1,200,000 annually. Allen is a visionary who has developed the ALT Academy, the ALT Adventure Space and the construction of the beautiful Terk Lobby. He has developed a culture of success at ALT that permeates every facet of the organization.
Allen is grateful and proud that he has been able to have a wonderfully fulfilling career and an equally fulfilling personal life. He has always believed that there was no reason why great theatre could not exist in Amarillo, Texas. Now it does.
He and his extraordinary wife, Carrie, have two wonderful daughters. They have also recently become proud grandparents to Reno Hart DeMezza and he is perhaps the greatest gift they have ever shared.
Allen served many terms as a Theatre Peer Review Panelist for the Texas Commission on the Arts. He has served on the board of Texas Nonprofit Theatres and is a member of the American Association of Community Theatres. Allen was inducted into the Branding Iron Theatre’s “Hall of Fame” at West Texas A&M University and in 2016, Allen was honored to be named “Man of the Year” by the Amarillo Globe-News.
Allen wishes to thank the ALT staff, both current and past, for its dedication, commitment, and passion for creating the finest in theatre art and entertainment.
Above all, Allen wants you to know that his great success is due to the incredible support and commitment of so many volunteers and patrons who have supported ALT over the years. Many, many great people have given their all to make ALT the “Place to Be.”
Email Jo: [email protected]
A volunteer for over 30 years, Jo’s first role at the Little Theatre was as Hope Harcourt in the1990 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 LESMISERABLES (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 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.
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.
Email Gregg: [email protected]
Gregg has been ALT’s Technical Director since 1994. Prior to that time he was an invaluable volunteer at the theatre as evidenced by two Daniel J. Schwartz Memorial Awards which are given to the year’s outstanding volunteer.
Gregg has designed and/or collaborated on set and lighting designs for dozens of shows at ALT. His set-design and lighting work has been recognized for excellence by Texas Nonprofit Theatres and the American Association of Community
Gregg’s skills have been instrumental in the successful production of ALT shows for a very long time. Gregg and his wife, Mary, have a beautiful daughter, Megg.
Email Jason: [email protected]
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 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 Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, HONK!, 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, the Musical, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Jason has also had the pleasure of directing Legally Blonde and Little Shop of Horrors for the ALT Mainstage, choreographing for the ALT Mainstage productions of The Addams Family, A Christmas Story, Peter Pan, 9 to 5 and Footloose, 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 and Senior 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 for Mamma 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 in Mary 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 NewYork.com’s national contest where he was named the 2015 Ultimate Broadway Fan, was a winning contestant on anepisode 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.
Box Office Manager/Volunteer Coordinator
Email Lissa: [email protected]
Lissa was born and raised in the Texas panhandle and currently a practicing Licensed Massage Therapist. She has been a volunteer at ALT for the past 13 years along with her family, Team Garren. Lissa has a 13 year background in dance and loves dancing in as many musicals as possible. Some favorites include A Christmas Carol 2007, Ruthless, The Producers, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, South Pacific, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Chicago and A Christmas Story. Lissa especially loves working with the production crew backstage, up in the booth or running a spotlight and was most recently a Production Assistant for Rock of Ages. She and her family were recognized with the 2009 Daniel J Schwartz Award which they are extremely proud of.
Lissa is lucky to share her life with her harmony, Jason, who can usually be found running in Palo Duro Canyon. She is incredibly proud of her kiddos and their significant others: Jaelyn and Micah Hanbury, Ryce and Mikayla Garren and youngest son Mayson who were all students of the ALT Academy.
Assistant Academy Director
Email Mikayla: [email protected]
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 as auditioning for regional theaters and national tours. Although she misses New York, Mikayla is thrilled to be back home in Amarillo and, more specifically, at ALT.
Assistant Technical Director
Email Brandon: [email protected]
After serving as our Theatre Technician for two years, Brandon has been promoted to the Assistant Technical Director position. He studied briefly as a student in Theatre Performance at WTAMU. He hopes to continue learning and gaining experience in all areas of the theatre, including performance, set building, design and even directing.
Brandon wishes to thank his mother for her love and support, Shannon Mashburn for opening the doors of theatre performance and to Allen Shankles and the rest of the ALT family for accepting, teaching and sharing their amazing talents.
Email Noah: [email protected]
Joining the ALT Family in 2009 as an ALT Academy Student, Noah discovered his passion for theatre. He appeared in many Academy and Mainstage productions, his favorites being Huck Finn in Tom Sawyer, Snowbell in Stuart Little, Bill in Cheaper by the Dozen and Sky in Mamma Mia! When he wasn’t performing in the productions, he often volunteered to work backstage. Noah joined the ALT staff as a Theatre Technician in June of 2019, and plans to learn as much as possible about Technical Theatre.
Noah would like to thank his grandmother Cynthia for introducing him to the magical world of theatre, Jason Crespin, Carrie Huckabay and Allen Shankles, as well as the rest of the ALT Family for their consistent love and support.