ST. LOUIS (Jan. 22, 2020) – The Muny announced today the choreographers and music directors for its Muny Kids and Teens 2020 season. The Muny’s flagship education programs, The Muny Kids and Teens are two of nine offerings under The Crawford Taylor Education Initiative. Muny Director of Education, Tali Allen, and Artistic Associate, Michael Baxter, will serve as Artistic Directors for the groups. Information regarding upcoming auditions for The Muny Kids and Teens can be found here.
“We are elated to welcome this talented team of artists to our 2020 season Muny Kids and Teens,” said Muny Director of Education, Tali Allen. “Their expertise, passion and real-world experience is invaluable for these aspiring young artists.”
GABI STAPULA (Choreographer) is honored to be the new choreographer for The Muny Kids! Her Muny career began as a performer, then dance captain and associate choreographer. Gabi has served as a master class instructor for the Muny/Webster Intensive and worked extensively with the kids in The Muny’s Matilda (2019). At age 12, she began her instructing career as a teaching assistant in Virginia for her home studio, Metropolitan School of the Arts. She has also developed and taught for Student-Run classes at Pace University. Her associate choreography credits include Follies (Astoria Performing Arts Center), sketches for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Hermès’ industrials for fashion week. As a performer, Gabi has been seen regionally at The Muny, Goodspeed Opera House, Arena Stage, Theatre Under the Stars and The Rev Theatre Company. Television credits include Saturday Night Live and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Gabi lives in New York City and works as a director, choreographer, performer, educator and lifelong student, while teaching theatre and dance for schools, studios and theatres nationwide. She holds a BFA in musical theatre with a minor in commercial dance from Pace University.
PHIL WOODMORE (Music Director) A proud St. Louis native, Phil Woodmore is overjoyed to be joining the Muny family. An active member of the St. Louis music community for many years, Phil taught choral music for the Ferguson-Florissant School District and is now in his 12th year at Crestview Middle School in the Rockwood School District. In addition to his work with Rockwood, Phil serves as the director of the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department Choir. Previous roles include the voice program coordinator at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), artistic director of the Allegro Music Company (2008-2017), director of the Northern Arizona University Gospel Choir (2014-2017), artist-in-residence for the State of Arizona (2016-2018), minister of music at Trinity Community Church and vocal coach to many in the St. Louis and New York region. Original works include Antigone in Ferguson and The Drum Major Instinct (both premiered internationally in Athens, Greece). Phil holds a bachelor’s in business marketing and music vocal performance from Saint Louis University and a master’s in music education from Webster University. In May 2020, he will graduate with a PhD in music education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
KATIE JOHANNIGMAN (Choreographer and Resident Choreographer for 2020 season) The Resident Choreographer Program for The Muny Teens Youth Ensemble and Performing Troupe is supported by Mr. and Mrs. Robert O. Piening and the Piening Family Fund of the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation. Currently on faculty in the Musical Theatre Department at Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music (CCM), Katie directs and choreographs conservatory productions in addition to teaching tap, jazz and the senior showcase. Choreography and directing credits include Oklahoma! (Mac-Haydn Theatre); Bernstein’s Mass (Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Shrek (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Lizzie, Mame (The Human Race Theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Clinton Showboat Theatre), Santa Claus (Cincinnati Children’s Theatre), 42nd Street, Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Sondheim On Sondheim, Candide, The Theory Of Relativity and Godspell (CCM). Katie served as the tap consultant for the Public Theater’s current production of Soft Power. Select performing credits include Oliver! (national tour); Thoroughly Modern Millie and Pirates! (The Muny). Previously, she was the artistic director for the Broadway Method Academy in Fairfield, CT and instructed at the Poly WeDo Academy in Beijing, China. A certified tap instructor with the American Tap Dance Foundation and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, Katie holds a BFA in musical theatre performance from CCM.
CHARLIE MUELLER (Music Director) is thrilled to return to The Muny for his third season as music director for The Muny Teens and resident youth chorus. His time at The Muny began at age 10 as a Muny Kid, and has since included time as a Muny Teen, production assistant, music direction intern, youth chorus assistant, assistant production manager and rehearsal pianist. When not at The Muny, Charlie is a music director, music educator and pianist who works throughout the St. Louis area. He has served as a music director and arranger for local theatre companies, including The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, New Jewish Theatre, Playhouse at Westport Plaza, Insight Theatre Company, Theatre Nuevo, Equally Represented Arts, West End Players Guild and COCA. Currently, he is the director of vocal music at Christian Brothers College High School and the artistic director of Allegro (COCA). Charlie received his BA from Saint Louis University in communication and music and his MA from Webster University in choral conducting.
More about The Crawford Taylor Education Initiative
Currently with nine programs, The Muny’s Crawford Taylor Education Initiative provides unprecedented, hands-on instruction and mentoring for youth hoping to pursue a career on or off stage in musical theatre. The Crawford Taylor Education Initiative provides a new, dynamic system which continually identifies new areas of educational need and initiates courses of action to launch and sustain identified programs under a single, cohesive framework.