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Index of Theatre Instructors:
Diane Emmert
Erik Finch
Ben Graham
Jenny Hampton
Alex McCarthy
Zachary Meyer
Megan Rieck
Brooke Schelly
Jessica Sheridan
Ivy Shoultz
Sara Tubbs

Diane Emmert Diane Emmert

Diane made her stage debut at the age of 4 when she sang "Jingle Bell Rock" (solo!) at her preschool's Christmas pageant. Since then she has been nursing her passion for theatre. She studied ballet, jazz, and tap at Patty Gray's School of Dance (Ottawa, IL), attended several "Summer in the Arts" programs at both Eastern Illinois University and Northern Illinois University, acted in numerous High School productions as well as the Marquette Academy Swing Choir, and performed in Stage 212's 2007 summer production of Cats (Peru, IL).

Diane attended Western Illinois University, where she studied acting for stage and camera, vocal techniques, musical theatre (classical and belt), Commedia dell'Arte, improv, stage combat, unrehearsed Shakespeare techniques, directing and stage managing. During her four years at Western, Diane was involved with many productions (both on stage and off), favorites of which include Parade, Children of Eden, Samurai, The Glass Menagerie, The Smell of the Kill, Tartuffe and Romeo and Juliet. Prior to moving to Davenport, Diane worked as puppeteer/Tiger Lily for C.H.A.O.S's 2011 summer production of Peter Pan or Why the Crock Rocked.

Erik Finch Erik Finch

Erik is both honored and thrilled to be serving as a teacher with the Davenport Junior Theatre staff. Born and raised in the Quad Cities, Erik grew up in Davenport where he was very involved with improvisation, drama, and show choir at Davenport North High School. After graduation, he attended the University of Northern Iowa, double-majoring in Elementary Education and Speech Communications. While at UNI, Erik stayed heavily involved in theatre, performing roles with both community as well as university theatre, and was also a founding member of UNI Playback: A Storytelling Form of Improv.

Following college graduation, Erik relocated to Kansas City to work in radio and pursue further training in improvisation and stage acting at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. While there, Erik studied and performed with the University Improvisational Group, The Barn Players in Mission, KS, and the Blue Springs City Theatre in Blue Springs, MO. Some of his favorite roles while there include Kip in Wonder of The World, Paul in Moon Over Buffalo, and Marcus Lycus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

After living in the Kansas City area for four years, Erik moved back to Iowa for family, and taught preschool children here in Davenport. Locally, he has been involved with The Quad City Music Guild, as well as New Ground Theatre. His overall experience encompasses a strong background in education, as well as improvisation, directing, acting, and set design.

When not teaching, Erik enjoys listening to music, reading, writing, watching movies, and attending as much live theatre as he can.


Ben Graham

Ben studied theater at Blackhawk College and has been an active member in community theater since high school, performing at Quad City Music Guild, The Harrison Hilltop Theater, and Playcrafters. Since 2012 Ben has been involved in the Quad Cities comedy scene performing improv as a member of The Blacklist Theater Troupe and Comedy Sportz, as well as writing for a local sketch comedy show (The Lunchbox) and producing his own monthly long form improv showcase (The Gimmick). Ben is stoked to join the DJT team and pass on his passion for theater to a new generation!




Jenny Hampton

Jenny Hampton graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Theatre with an emphasis in Performance in May, 2016. During her time at UNI she took classes in acting, costume making and design, scenic construction. Her senior year, Jenny was a co-movement instructor for the Spectrum Project. This was a weekly camp for children on the autism spectrum. Jenny has loved working at DJT, teaching theatre and dance classes and cannot wait to continue passing along her love for theatre and dance to future generations! 





Alex McCarthy

Alex McCarthy didn't discover his passion for theatre until high school, but he discovered his passion for performing sometime around the same time he started talking. He was featured in church movies as a child, and there may be record of him taking the karaoke stage as young as three years old. He was on and backstage many times at Dubuque Senior High School, but he discovered his true passion for theatre at Loras College. 

Alex earned a degree in Secondary Education and Creative Writing with a minor in Theatre from Loras College. He was the President of the Guild of St. Genesius, an honorary theatre fraternity at Loras his senior year while also getting the opportunity to act, direct, stage manage, run lights, serve as deck crew and prop master for a myriad of shows on the stage of St. Joseph Auditorium at Loras. During that time, he also became Managing Director of Trainwreck Productions (www.TrainwreckProductions.org) where he worked to help produce original and classic plays (along with some contemporary pieces later on) while also acting and directing. Alex has also had the pleasure of seeing his own productions come to life under his own direction producing "The Death Reel" at Loras and "One Shot" for Trainwreck both in 2013.

Alex moved to Davenport in the fall of 2014 to accept a position at Sudlow Intermediate in Davenport. He founded the Sudlow Intermediate Players and taught a series of different theatre enrichment courses (including Theatre, Playwriting, and Children's Theatre). This year he is honored to add a position at the Creative Arts Academy where he teaches 6th Grade Theatre in addition to his Language Arts courses at Sudlow. Alex has also acted in the Quad Cities Area in Shakespeare performances for Prenzie Players and Genesius Guild (not to be confused for the Guild of St. Genesius he was a part of in college.) Alex is beyond thrilled to add Junior Theatre to his resume. He looks forward to building relationships between all of the organizations he works with to create a myriad of creative opportunities for young people which is his ultimate goal in life. 

Zach Meyer Zachary Meyer

Zach is a graduate with a BA in Theatre from St. Ambrose University. Zach has run and coordinated rentals for dance recitals, pageants, school functions, touring shows, and many more. As a former student at DJT, Zach appeared in many Mainstage productions and assisted with lighting for many of them as well. He is excited to help a new generation of students gain an appreciation and passion for theatre, in acting and technical aspects. While at St. Ambrose, Zach designed many shows in the student-directed Studio Space. He has also designed shows for Junior Theatre’s Mainstage. Zach has designed at the QC Theatre Workshop in Davenport, and Davenport West High School.



Megan Rieck Megan Rieck

Growing up, Megan Fennelly started her own acting career at Junior Theatre when she was 8 years old. She started taking classes and worked her way up to the Mainstage Company where she had fun performing in such shows as Alice in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer and Stone Soup.

Megan attended Western Illinois University majoring in Early Childhood Education and adores teaching our littlest actors at Junior Theatre. Megan stays active at Junior Theatre by teaching classes, teaching at Performing Arts Camp, and instructing speciality workshops. She is also the Secretary of Davenport Junior Theatre, Inc.

When she's not busy at Junior Theatre, Megan enjoys being a busy preschool teacher, scrapbooking, catching any live theatre she can find time for, and spending time with her son, Tanner.


Brooke Schelly

Brooke started her DJT journey when she was just 13 years old and an actor on the mainstage. She would spend the next 10 years doing various things for Junior Theatre, like joining junior staff, running camps, volunteering with AmeriCorps, and teaching classes to name a few. Brooke graduated from St. Ambrose University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in theatre & public relations. She is very excited to be teaching this session, and looks forward to continuing to give back to the special place she's called home for so long. 


Jessica Sheridan Jessica Sheridan

Jessica is a graduate of St. Ambrose University Theatre Department, where she earned a B.A. in Theatre. During her time at St. Ambrose, Jessica was fortunate enough to work with acclaimed Broadway director, Phil Wm. McKinley (Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, The Boy From Oz) in the world premiere of William Luce's Creme De Coco. For her work in Coco, Jessica was nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. The following year, Jessica was a semi-finalist acting partner for the same acting competition.

After graduating, she headed out west to the tiny town of Blue Lake, CA where she studied with the world-renowned Dell'Arte Company of California. During her time there she studied a new form of physical theatre developed by Richard Schechner and taught by Paula Murray Cole. The style, known as RASAboxes, consists of Antonin Artaud's theory that an actor can become an "athlete of the emotions", and the Eastern Indian aesthetic study of emotions known as Rasa, or flavor.

Jessica considers herself an actor first and foremost. However, she has much experience in all aspects of the theatre including design, direction, stage management and production. Some previous roles include Susie in Wit (directed by Mr. McKinley), Sgt. Dryvinski in MEGAFAULT (Sy-Fy channel original), and, most recently, Amy in the world premiere of A Green River by Aaron Randolph III.

Jessica is also the owner and photographer of Shared Light Photography. She specializes in portraits of families, kids, newborns, and actors.

Jessica has been active with Junior Theatre since 2008, acting as a camp counselor, class instructor, workshop, leader and director; having most recently directed Daniel DP Sheridan's adaptation of Pinocchio and the Season 64 closer of Aladdin.

Ivy Shoultz Ivy Shoultz
Theatre Coordinator, Instructor

Ivy moved to the Quad Cities after graduating from Monmouth College in May, 2012, where she majored in Theatre and English. She has been involved with the theatre since she started acting in school plays in seventh grade, but she didn't get serious about theatre until starting college. During her schooling, Ivy studied every aspect of the theatre, but found her passion in acting and stage managing.

Ivy has been involved with Davenport Junior Theatre since she served as Performing Arts Intern during the summer of 2011. In addition to teaching classes and camps, Ivy served as the Stage Manager and Props Designer for the 61st Season. She also served as an AmeriCorps member with Davenport Parks and Recreation, based out of Junior Theatre. Through this position, she worked on Outreach programs and Volunteer Coordinating.

Most recently, Ivy directed Cinderella on the mainstage and stage managed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Outside of Junior Theatre, Ivy recently took the stage with the Prenzie Players in their production of Lear. When not busy in the theatre, Ivy works as a nanny during the day.

Sara Tubbs Sara Tubbs

Sara is thrilled to be teaching at Davenport Junior Theatre! With over twenty years of experience in theatre and teaching children, she loves that she gets to combine her two passions at DJT! Sara holds a BFA degree in Musical Theatre from CSU Fullerton and completed her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Along with teaching private voice lessons and taking care of her 3 beautiful children along with her incredibly supportive husband, Sara has performed at theaters all over the Quad Cities including Circa 21, QC Theatre Workshop and Music Guild. 

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