The Orbit Team
Company, Jr. Company, Triple T, PLAYhouse, College Prep, Audition Consultation / Coaching, Private Acting Instructor
Chris Hall has been an actor, director, teacher and musical theatre specialist for the last 20 years. His professional musical theatre acting credits include Chris in Miss Saigon, Ravenal in the national tour of Showboat, and the original cast of Jean Ann Ryan’s Hey, Mr. Producer, produced in partnership with Cameron Macintosh to name a few. His regional theatre credits have included the prestigious Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park where he originated the role of Smudge in Plaid Tidings with the writer and creator Stuart Ross. Musical theatre directing credits include Cabaret, Children of Eden, Crazy for You, Annie Get Your Gun, Urinetown, Hairspray, Damn Yankees, High School Musical, The Robber Bridegroom and a host of others. His directorial work on theatrical plays has included Lend Me a Tenor; The Lion in Winter; Much Ado About Nothing; Almost, Maine; Neil Simon’s Rumors, The Crucible and countless others.
Chris is a musical director as well and one of his favorite ways to engage with students and professionals is by coaching audition material and offering a detailed acting approach to song. He is also an experienced voice teacher with degrees in music and musical theatre from Shorter University and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. One of Chris’ passions is the Educational Theatre Association, which is responsible for the creation of the Georgia Thespian Organization. He sat on the board of directors for this organization for several years and was instrumental in planning and operating the Georgia Thespian Conference for thousands of high school-aged acting and theatre students each year.
He is thrilled to have launched the Orbit Performing Arts Academy with partner Anthony Galde and a brilliant staff of performing arts professionals. Chris resides in Marietta and his family has built a rich tradition in the arts here in the Atlanta area for the last 60 years.
Company, Jr. Company, Triple T, PLAYhouse, College Prep, Audition Consultation/Coaching, Private Acting Instructor
At the age of 17, Anthony was cast in the Broadway production of Starlight Express. After over 25 years working on Broadway, US National Tours and abroad. Anthony’s last Broadway show was the hit musical Wicked. Mr. Galde was a cast member of the Broadway production for seven and a half years and is a co-creator of Wicked’s hugely successful behind-the-scenes tour, Behind the Emerald Curtain.
Most recently, Anthony starred in the world premiere of Mary & Max The Musical at Theatre Calgary in Calgary, Canada. The book was written by Crystal Skillman, Music & Lyrics by Bobby Crinin and the production was directed by Stafford Arima.
Anthony’s other Broadway credits include the original casts of Starlight Express, The Prince of Central Park, King David, Civil War and the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific. His national and international credits include The Who’s Tommy, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Prince of Central Park and Starlight Express. Anthony has also been seen in regional productions of Hot Mikado, The Fix, Irving Berlin Songbook at The Kennedy Center, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, Lil’ Abner, Peter Pan, Oliver, and Kiss Me Kate. In addition to his performing credits, Anthony has directed productions of Romeo and Juliet, Annie, Sweet Charity, The Wizard of Oz, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,The Who’s Tommy, Hot Mikado, Li’l Abner and many more. Anthony was the main stage director of The World Cultural Expo in Kyonju, Korea and served as Associate Director and Choreographer for the national arena tour of Pokemon Live produced by Radio City and Jimmy Buffet’s Don’t Stop the Carnival at The Atlantis.
Anthony has had the honor of producing numerous fund raising events across the country supporting everything from Kula for Karma, Broadway Cares and Quilts for Kids to America’s Second Harvest, The Dystonia Foundation and public school performing arts programs all over the United States. Mr. Galde also produced the star-studded events Broadway’s Katrina Benefit and Defying Inequality at the Gershwin Theater. These sold-out events harnessed the celebrity power of hundreds of Broadway, television and film celebrities and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Anthony’s vision for change and passion to help others in need has raised well over $6 million for philanthropic organizations across the country.
In addition to his performing, directing and producing credits, Mr. Galde has been very successful within the “business of show business.” Anthony is a highly sought-after private coach of voice, acting and auditioning. He’s been teaching and coaching for over 25 years and directs a great deal of his time and energy preparing young people for the reality of pursuing a career in the performing arts.
Anthony Galde has spent his entire life working and training in the entertainment industry and has had the honor of working with show business giants including: Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Benadette Peters, Bebe Neuwirth, David Hyde Pierce, Nathan Lane, Liza Minnelli, Phylicia Rashad, Rue McClanahan, Ben Vereen, Andrea McArdle, Hugh Jackman, George Hearn, Joel Gray, Cyndi Lauper, Allison Janney, Jane Fonda, Elton John, Jennifer Holiday, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Megan Hilty, and even toured with LaToya Jackson.
Anthony’s passion for the arts is his calling card. His proudest achievement is his son. “I take very seriously the importance of the legacy that I create for him and every person that I teach, coach or share a stage with. The arts were my safe haven growing up and my life experiences have become the tools I use to help young people to find their safe haven and realize their fullest potential.”
Apprentice Company Director, Office Manager, Private Vocal Instructor
Sophia Decker was born and raised in Conyers, GA.
With Music and Theatre as her guiding passion she pursued a degree in Musical Theatre from Shorter University. She eventually transferred to Reinhardt University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Musical Theatre, later opening her own private voice studio in Mcdonough, GA. Sophia started her new studio with Orbit in 2017 and has continued to grow within the program.
Sophia has worked in New York and is an award winning Atlanta professional performer.
While performing and making art have always been what drove her, she found sanctuary at Orbit. Sophia believes in fostering well rounded growth in young performers and people.
Company, Jr. Company, PLAYhouse
Brad Bass was born and raised on a tobacco farm in Ringgold, VA. He moved to New York City at 18 to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and to pursue a career in musical theatre. After graduating in the summer of 2000, he started work full time as a professional actor. Brad worked regionally for five years, did a national tour, and in December of 2005 booked his first big job: Wicked. He joined the cast in Chicago and within a year was playing the lead role of Fiyero. In 2007 he moved to the New York cast, thus making his Broadway debut.
He enjoyed doing workshops of new musicals and plays and in 2008 he was chosen for the original Broadway cast of Memphis. After three years with the production he booked his next Broadway show, Jersey Boys. There are 10 male roles in Jersey Boys and Brad has played 7 of them!
Brad can be heard on the original cast albums of Memphis as well as Andrew Lippa’s A Little Princess. He has been seen on The View, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Tony Awards, and the feature film version of Memphis. Currently, Brad works as the Musical Theatre Artist-in-Residence at Averett University. Brad is developing a new musical with his writing partner, Cari Kassel.
Advanced/Intermediate Acting, ActingOUT, Audition Consultation/Coaching
Addie DeVelvis is an actor, writer and educator based in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated with her BFA in theater performance from Columbus State University, where her credits included Much Ado About Nothing, Hairspray, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. After graduating, she’s worked on tours with the National Theater for Children and has been in short films such as Romeo and Limbo. Her passion for education doesn’t stop at theater, as she also is a tutor with Applerouth Tutoring Services. You can currently find her studying improv at Dad’s Garage, or hosting her independent podcast!
PLAYhouse, Advanced/Intermediate Ballet, Strength and Conditioning
Cinnamon began her lifelong love of dance when her orthopedist recommended ballet as a form of physical therapy when she was just three years old. She began her dance training with Pat Brown, and Jacquelyn Ralls of Ballet Arts where her excellence in ballet technique foundations were laid. She has had the privilege of studying under amazing teachers such as Lee Theadore, David Story, Tommy Sutton, Gus Giordano, Joanna Kneeland, John Magnus, Bobby Barnett, Jonnie Kelley, Ruth Mitchell, Terrel Paulk, Nicholas Picana, Momchil Mladenov, and Alexandre Proia, to name a few. Cinnamon has been a dance educator for 35 years and has a passion for sharing her love of dance and movement with the next generations. She continues take professional classes all throughout the city constantly striving to grow as an artist and educator. In the 90s she owned her own dance studio. For eight years she worked as assistant to Jonnie Kelley of Atlanta Dance Unlimited/Theater. Through dance and choreography she was introduced to musical theater and quickly immersed herself in that world working for the past 14 years as a musical theater director in school settings. She is trained in Laban Movement Analysis, and has studied FitzMaurice Voicework. She is a story teller who works as a voice over talent in radio, tv, industrial, and audiobooks. She is also a homeschool mom of 4 incredible humans. Cinnamon is super excited to join the staff of Orbit and cannot wait to share her passion for excellence in the arts with the students.
Company, Jr. Company, Private Dance Instructor
Jillian Hanes-Murray, grew up in the metro Atlanta area, and is an accomplished performer, choreographer and teacher. She has studied dance, vocal, and drama extensively across the country. Her performance credits include Star Search, Fiesta Texas, Opryland USA, Opryland Hotel, The General Jackson Showboat, as well as numerous music videos, television pilots, commercials and industrials. A published journalist, Jillian has also written a column in Dancer Magazine. She has choreographed numerous shows including Big Fish, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown, Hot Mikado, The Wiz, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Hairspray, Footloose and Little Shop of Horrors. She has been a choreographer and teacher for 20 years, and her love of dance and musical theatre has inspired her to implement it into both studio and school curriculums. The art of storytelling through song and movement is something that Jillian enthusiastically hopes to share with both her students and her audiences. She has been part of this inventive Orbit team since its inception, and is thrilled to be on this journey. Each year, her students inspire her to raise the barre, further igniting her passion of guiding the next generation to achieve success in whatever they aspire to pursue!
Advanced Ballet for Musical Theatre, Intermediate Ballet for Musical Theatre, Apprentice Company Ballet
Yenwen Kuo, a native of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, started her dance training at the age of three with ballet and traditional Chinese dance. Graduating with honors, Miss Kuo received her BFA in Dance and Choreography from Shenandoah University and MSc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She has performed around the world as well as holding managerial positions with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line for eight years. Miss Kuo’s choreography was awarded third place at Loudoun Ballet Dance Company’s 17th Annual Choreography Competition and has been performed internationally. She was also awarded the Young Artists Tuition Scholarship from American Dance Festival.
Her performing credits in Atlanta include: Lamorris Namari Ballet, Six Flags Over Georgia, A Christmas Tradition–Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre, Show N Tell: The Musical–Stepp Steward Production, Room To Move Dance, and more.
Miss Kuo has taught internationally—including in Taiwan and Japan—as well as with several studios in Atlanta. She is also a trained STOTT Pilates instructor in Mat and Reformer level one.
Miss Kuo incorporates her knowledge of Dance Science and Pilates to create a safe environment for students to learn and grow as well-rounded performers. She is excited to be part of the Orbit Arts Academy family.
Private Voice Instructor
ActingOUT, PLAYground, On Camera Exploration
Her first grade performance is where Tatom Pender knew what she wanted to do for the rest other life. With a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a desire to connect performance with early childhood development, Tatom set out to teach. Since 2003, she has worked with thousands of talented young actors focusing on self-confidence, collaboration, work ethic, and respect for self, others, and craft. Her credits range from major feature films such as Just Mercy and Hillbilly Elegy to hit television series like Heels and Being Mary Jane. Working opposite some of the industry’s heaviest hitters pales in comparison to watching her students grow in their own acting journey. Each lesson is based on an original curriculum adapted to meet each student where they are at in the learning process.
PLAYhouse, Improv Technique, Private Acting Instructor
Claudio has been a part of the Atlanta theatre community for ten years. He is a former Orbit Company member and has been directing PLAYhouse for the past couple seasons. He is always acting in local shows around the area and has a depth of experience, especially in improv and musical theatre. He is thrilled to be a part of the Orbit Family.
Triple “T” Training Program, Musial Theatre Prep Track, Advanced/Intermediate Tap, Intermediate/Advanced Jazz
Ann-Marie Sepe (originally a Jersey girl) moved to Atlanta, GA by way of LosAngeles, CA. Since moving here to Atlanta she’s choreographed a SAG musical short film titled “Tuneless,” with Big Picture Casting, performed in Santa’s Fantastical (Atlanta’s 1st Holiday pop-up), and choreographed Milton Highschool’s production of Curtains. Ann-Marie has a long list of professional credits onstage and in front of the camera. You can see her dancing in the National commercial, “It didn’t suck,” choreographed by Michael Rooney for Carvana as well as dancing in a”Heineken” ad. She played the 1st Betty Lou Who in Grinchmas at Universal Studios, Hollywood, danced for Princess Cruise Lines, toured with Matt Davenport Productions, danced at Hershey Park and has performed at Regional theaters in various musicals all over the country as well as numerous Off Broadway Productions in NYC. She also traveled to Seoul, South Korea and danced for one of the most well known magicians in the world, Franz Harary. Some favorite credits of hers include Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Northshore Music Theater, Frenchy in Grease at Blatts Dinner Theater. Anytime Annie in 42nd St, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Mitzi in Crazy For You at Theater By The Sea, Anybodys in West Side Story at Lee’s McRae Theater, Lucy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, and many others. Ann-Marie was a member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble for 4 years where she danced with Savion Glover. She also is an Alumni of Anne Reinking’s prestigious Broadway Theater Project in Tampa, FL where she studied alongside legends such as Julie Andrews, Anne Reinking, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Gregory Hines. Ann-Marie also danced with The Honey Taps in N.Y.C and L.A, a flapper themed 1920’s tap group! She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association (AEA) and AGVA as well as a graduate of Montclair State University with a B.A in Dance and Communications.
Namari Dance, Advanced/Intermediate Jazz
Antwan Sessions, native of Charleston, South Carolina started his dancing career while attending North Springs High School located in Sandy Springs, Georgia. There he found his passion for dance. Searching for outside training, Antwan join Total Dance in Adamsville, Georgia where he studied Ballet, Modern, & Jazz dance. Since then he’s attended several dance school under a full scholarships such as, Renaissance International School of Performing Arts (RISPA) in Milton, Georgia, Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment & Arts (AREA) in Atlanta, Georgia, and Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Alpharetta, Georgia to name a few. Antwan’s passion for dance has allowed him to perform and teach in places like Denver, San Francisco, Mexico, Canada, China, Europe, Africa and so many more. Some of Antwan’s credits include: Assisting for Georgina Louchiey who’s the Artistic Director/Co Owner of RISPA. He’s danced for Tracy Vogt of Philadanco, Kim Robards of Kim Robards Dance, Kiki Ely of ATLA, Stephan Reynolds of Cirque Du Soleil, and Jeffrey Page former choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance and Beyonce. Not limiting himself to concert dance, Antwan was the principal dancer for Sea Beach Resort in Egypt for a year, he also danced in former Danity Kane member D. Woods in her music video
“Best You Got,” toured China with pop artist Christah Ray as well as toured with artist Nikki Jane. He is now the Founder of his own Contemporary Ballet Company Lamorris Namari, and Artistic Director/Co-Owner of Namari Dance Center.
Company, Jr Company, Triple “T” Training Program, Build Your Best Audition Book, Audition Prep Course, Staff Accompanist, Private Piano Instructor
Shane Simmons has spent the last 20+ years working as a professional performer and music director for various regional theatres, tours, cruise lines, and theme park resorts across the United States and abroad, on stages ranging from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo Disneyland. He has recently returned to his hometown of Atlanta, where serves as a musical theatre instructor, accompanist, and music director for Orbit Arts Academy, Pace Academy, and Marietta Theatre Company. He is an alumnus of Pebblebrook High School and Wingate University.
Triple “T” Training Program
Sarah Day has been a theatre educator since 2009. In addition to teaching Triple T acting classes, Sarah works full time teaching and directing Theatre with 5th through 8th graders at The Galloway School. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Sarah worked for six years as the lead theatre teacher and director at Thomas Dale High School/Specialty Center for the Arts in Chesterfield, Virginia, where she helped develop a rigorous four-year, audition-only, honors theatre curriculum. Earlier in her career, Sarah worked in varying degrees as an arts administrator, teaching artist, director, and actor for a variety of regional theatres including Virginia Repertory Theatre, TheatreLab, and Sycamore Rouge in Richmond, Virginia; Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Youth Theatre Northwest, and Taproot Theatre in Seattle, Washington; and The Studio Theatre in Washington DC. Sarah holds a B.A. in Theatre and Dance from James Madison University, where she also majored in English. A lifelong learner, Sarah has completed professional training courses through The Kennedy Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Southern Oregon University, and the American Alliance for Theatre & Education.
Advanced On Camera
Zuri James has starred in over 30 productions, including a major recurring role in HBO’s Doom Patrol, Genius on Disney +, Games People Play on BET and Guest Star roles in ABC’s The Wonder Years and Tyler Perry’s Ruthless, to name a few. Zuri James is an American actor born in New York, NY. He is currently an acting teacher at the Anthony Meindl Actor’s Workshop (AMAW) at the Master level, and an audition coach at The Working Actor Group (TWAG). As an instructor, Zuri loves assisting actors in bringing their own unique essence to the role, and putting emphasis on the importance of listening to our impulses and instincts in the work to tell story in a truly unique way. Zuri grew up playing basketball, where he played Div-I basketball at Georgia Southern University and earned a degree in Finance. He worked in the Finance Industry before making the switch and following in his mother’s footsteps, who was an actress off Broadway for many years. Zuri is a published poet and artist who enjoys expressing himself creatively through a myriad of platforms and mediums. He also is an avid supporter of meditation and wellness, and teaches meditation techniques to others as well.
On Camera 101, On Camera Musical Production Project
Actor/Producer Brett Newton will be leading the TV/FILM Department at Orbit Arts Academy. Brett is a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Actor and has shared the screen & stage with actors like Samuel L Jackson, Jeff Daniels, Paul Newman, Julia Roberts, Patricia Clarkson, Ms. Pat, Heather Graham, and many more great talents. Brett’s TV and Film credits include CW’s Naomi, Netflix’s First Kill & Glow, Apple’s The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, BET’s Bigger & Ms. Pat, ABC’s General Hospital and Amazon’s American Rust. Commercial credits include the brands of Jack In the Box, Toyota, Esurance, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Nokia, Pricechopper, Monster and more. Brett is also a content producer and with his production company LA REELS has produced over 4000 original scenes for more than 8000 actors, helping them create opportunities to work in the entertainment industry. He has also produced and sold a feature film, has numerous award winning short films and produced branded content and commercials for many business’s. Brett started as a theatre actor when he was 8 years old and started his professional TV/Film journey at the age of 19. Other brands & companies Brett has worked with on the production side include: FUEL TV, History, Discovery, Court TV, EA Games, HBO, MTV, Asylum, Direct TV, Saatchi Saatchi, Comcast, Monster VR, 22 Squared, Buffalo Wild Wings, The Hollywood Reporter, The Hollywood Key Art Awards, Playboy, Jack Daniels, Scion, The Magic Castle, National Jewish Health, eforb & more.
Private Voice Instuctor, Private Audition Coaching, Private Dance Instructor, Private Piano Instructor
Born in Tacoma, WA, raised in Marietta, GA, trained at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and vetted in New York City, Cary has been singing and dancing his way across the country, as well as through the Broadway scene for over sixteen years. After performing with the original Broadway cast of Memphis (which grabbed four TONY awards including best musical), Cary set out on national tour where he played Tony in West Side Story, before returning to New York to be a part of the original companies of Big Fish, Honeymoon In Vegas, Dames At Sea, and A Bronx Tale. He was also a replacement in the Broadway company of Wicked. Various regional theaters include The Alliance Theater in Atlanta, GEVA Theater in Rochester, NY, North Shore Music Theatre in Massachusetts, The St. Louis MUNY, The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Music Theatre Wichita, and Hartford Stage. An avid teacher, musician, writer, dancer, and Yogi, learning all he can from his chihuahua Massimo and inimitable wife Mary Michael. Cary’s love of the performing arts has inspired him to play for a living, and love growing through expression and education.
On Camera 101
Actor/Coach Amber Erwin will be leading our On-Camera 101 classes at Orbit Arts Academy. She filmed her first commercial at three years old right here in Atlanta, GA. Currently represented by Atlanta Models and Talent, Amber’s resume includes recurring roles on Netflix’s show Florida Man, Fox’s The Gifted, spots on The Game, Staircase, The First Lady, Step Up: High Water, American Soul and many more TV shows and films. She’s professionally worked with networks and studios including: CBS/Paramount, HBO, Showtime, Starz, Comedy Central, BET, Sony Playstation, ABC and others. Some of Amber’s most memorable acting moments are on screen principle roles with Gillian Anderson, Juliette Lewis and Bryan Cranston. Amber is also a theatre and improv artist who loves coaching and training actors whether it’s in the class room or one on one.
Kristin Storla (she/her/hers)is an Atlanta-based Fight Director, Intimacy Director, Actor, and Puppeteer. She is passionate about uplifting young career artists and approaching the work with grit and gratitude. Her work has been seen at Actor’s Express, Synchronicity Theatre, The Shakespeare Tavern, Havoc Movement Company, Capitol City Opera, Oglethorpe University, Out of Box, Center for Puppetry Arts, and more. When not in theatre, find her as a Tour Guide with Unexpected Atlanta. Keep up at www.KristinStorla.com
Apprentice Company Choreographer
Alex Self (she/her) found the love of dance at the young age of three and enjoys sharing her passion with the next generation. She grew up in a competitive studio and competed for 9 years. She studied with various choreographers and instructors in several styles but found a strong love for Musical Theatre. She graduated from Baylor University in 2016 with a BFA in Theatre Performance where she continued to study and practice dance. Baylor is where she began choreographing. She was an assistant choreographer for main stage productions including; Legally Blonde and Love Labour’s Lost and had the opportunity to choreograph for productions directed by MFA students and various scenes throughout her time at Baylor. After graduating she moved to Orlando, Florida where she was a professional dancer and performed in several shows and parades at Walt Disney World Resort. In 2019 she made the move to Atlanta and found the love of Choreographing and Directing Youth Theatre. She has been the resident Choreographer for Firefly Theatrical in Acworth, Ga for the last 3 years where she has choreographed several productions but her favorites include, Chicago, Carrie and Grease. When she’s not choreographing she’s pursuing her love of performing throughout Atlanta.
Lizzy Clements (she/her) is an Atlanta-based actor with 18 years of performance experience. She graduated from LaGrange College with a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre in 2017 and has since been working as a professional theater artist and film actor in the Atlanta area. Along with acting, Elisabeth has a passion for creating theater with children and young adults, writing, choreographing, singing, playing music and song-writing.
Katie Merriman grew up in Lawrenceville, GA and began her artistic career with a Bachelor’s of Music from Georgia State University where she concentrated in vocal performance. Katie has been teaching voice for over 15 years and enjoys incorporating her classical training into her teaching style while encouraging versatility in the voice. She aims for a well-rounded technique for her students in contemporary and classical musical theatre. She is passionate about vocal health and helping students find their authentic voice while having fun.