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2016–17 Apprentice Company

Aurora Theatre Apprentice Company—Post-Graduate Training Program for Aspiring Professionals

Aurora Theatre is excited to introduce our 2016–17 Apprentice Company! These talented young theatre artists join Aurora Theatre’s staff for a year long intensive that will prepare them for a career in the arts. The program includes acting, teaching, technical and administrative duties—and they will get valuable performance experience in shows like In the Heights, Christmas Canteen, and in our Learning Library Series, which will make them a valuable commodity in this competitive world.

The Aurora Apprentice Company is designed to help emerging artists bridge the gap between Educational and Professional Theatre. Apprentices will participate in a series of classes and workshops with Aurora’s staff, as well as, with guest artists and workshops with Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Drama Inc, and more. This year Aurora welcomes 11 Actors and 1 Stage Management Apprentice to the company from as far as Michigan State University, Western Carolina University, and High Point University to as near as UGA, KSU, and Valdosta State! Watch for these fresh young artists on stage, behind the bar, and at all our big events this year!

Meet Our 2016–17 Apprentices

caroline_webCaroline Caldwell (Stage Management Apprentice) is thrilled to be making her debut with Aurora Theatre. Growing up in Easley, South Carolina, she was first introduced to the world of theatre as an actor in Easley High School’s Drama Department. She is a recent graduate of The University of Georgia with a BA in Theatre where she gained over thirty theatrical credits. Her involvement ranged from Stage Manager to Director, Actor, Designer, Producer and more. Favorite credits include: stage managing UGA’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, acting as the Scenic Designer for The Thalian Blackfriars’ Good Boys and True, assistant directing Town & Gown Community Theatre’s production of RENT, and stage managing for eighteen amazing middle-schoolers while interning in Manhattan with Wingspan Art’s production of Zombie Prom the Musical. Caroline considers the proudest accomplishment of her undergraduate career to be the time she spent as the Artistic Director of The Thalian Blackfriars, UGA’s oldest student theatre company.
Jenise Cook is an actor and choreographer from Detroit, MI. She recently graduated from Michigan State University with a BFA in Acting and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science. Jenise recently discovered and fell in love with the psychological and physical affect that dance and movement has on healing the body. Because of this newfound passion, she has spent the last year working in classrooms, nursing homes, and theatres using dance and movement therapy techniques to build connection between emotion and the body. She is elated to work with The Aurora Theatre and be apart of the 2016-2017 AppCo! Her favorite theatre credits include Xtigone (Tigs), Ghost the Musical (Oda Mae), and Hair (Dionne). Jenise’s choreographing credits include Legally Blonde the Musical and The December Project (Assistant Choreographer). Much love and thanks to her family and friends for their continuous support.
Diamond Do’zia graduated Cum Laude from Valdosta State University with a BFA in Theatre, Performance Emphasis. She is ecstatic to be a part of Aurora’s 2016-17 Apprentice Company. Some of her favorite performances include She Stoops to Conquer (Miss Neville), for which she is a 2014 Irene Ryan Acting Award Nominee, A Lesson Before Dying (Vivian), and The Skin of Our Teeth (Gladys). She is a proud artist, and gives special thanks to Aurora, family, and loved ones.
Elliott Folds is thrilled to be returning to his hometown of Lawrenceville for the Aurora’s 2016-17 season! He is a proud graduate of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University, where he appeared in such productions as Parade (Leo Frank), Into the Woods (The Baker), Falsettos (Mendel), and Spring Awakening (Georg). He is also a budding dramaturg. Huge thanks are in order to both the Aurora family and the KSU family, and much love to Mom, Dad, Ansley, Emily, Abby, and Caty.
amber_webAmber Hamilton is honored to be a part of the Aurora’s AppCo17! She spent the first 18 years of her life in Valdosta, Georgia, and after graduating from Lowndes High School, she moved north to attend Kennesaw State University (KSU) where she received a B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies. During her time spent at KSU, she had the privilege of performing in productions such as The Followers (Semele/ Ensemble), Arms and the Man (Louka), Twelfth Night, Or What You Will (Olivia Understudy/ Attendant) and Cocteau Hour (Ensemble). She also held an internship with the Georgia Ensemble Theatre where she was an ensemble member and the understudy for Myrtle Wilson in their 2014 production of The Great Gatsby. Many thanks are owed to the Aurora family for allowing her the opportunity to learn and grow with them this season. Also a special thanks to her KSU family, she would not be the scholar artist she is without their encouragement and training, and last but certainly not least, she sends a thank you to her beautifully, intricate support system of family and friends, Dad, Gma, Mom, Kevin Sr., Jamie, Chaise, Brittany, Kevin and life partner Kirsten.

Candy McLellan is a recent graduate of the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, GA, where she received a BA in Theatre and is extremely thrilled to be a part of the 2016-17 AppCo. Candy has experience in most theatre aspects, from playwriting to set construction and also directing. However, she is most passionate about performing. Most recent credits include: The Nurse/Lady Montague in Romeo and Juliet, Fraulien Schneider in Cabaret, Sylvia Stein in End Days, Nemasani/Ritu/Bird in Anonymous and Big Stone in Eurydice. She has been nominated 3 times for the Irene Ryan award—two for acting and one for directing a full-length, devised piece entitled Episodes in Sexuality. She would like to thank her family and friends for all their love and support but especially her parents and number one fans, Sheila and Nathaniel.

Bryan Montemayor is honored to be in midst of some of the best theatre artists in Atlanta and is ready to hit the ground running! He recently graduated from Brenau University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and received his training with the Gainesville Theatre Alliance. Some of his recent shows include Nightingale Rose (Sir John), As You Like It (Silvius), and A Lie of the Mind (Mike). Bryan would like to thank his friends, his family, and his professors for their constant love and support. He would also like to thank the Aurora Theatre for this incredible opportunity to pursue artistic growth and to continue his journey.
Cory Phelps is an actor, director, and recent B.F.A. Acting graduate of Western Carolina University’s School of Stage & Screen. Some acting credits include: Ensemble/Choir in The Lost Colony, Charles Condomine in Blithe Spirit, Dylan in Macbeth is the New Black, Smee in Peter Pan, Ensemble/Javert (u/s) in Les Misérables (d. Broadway’s Terrence Mann), Bert in 42nd Street (d. Terrence Mann), and Jocko/Cigar/Herbie (u/s) in Gypsy (d. Sarah Norris). Some directing credits include: BroadwayCon (Assistant Director of the MainStage, d. If/Then’s David Alpert), Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera (Assistant Director, d. David Alpert), Pop! Who Shot Andy Warhol? (Assistant Director), and The 25th Annual… Spelling Bee (Director). Cory is also an owner of Up the Hill Productions, LLC with which he produced his first short film, Up the Hill.
Joshua Quinn graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Theatre. After his first acting class, Joshua quickly realized his passion for analyzing individuals evolved into his true passion— becoming them on stage. Following this insight, he was embraced by the theatre department, and was swiftly put into his first show, the two-person play called Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Danny). From there he was adopted into the Ghostbird Theatre Company, starring in roles in Gruesome Playground Injuries (Doug), The Bald Soprano (The Fire Chief), and various other plays, including original and avant-garde pieces. This pursuit brought him to Atlanta, where he is thrilled to begin the next chapter of his journey as an Apprentice for the wonderful Aurora Theatre! When he’s not performing in a play, Joshua works for his Improv group and a Circus troupe.
Cody Russell is a graduate of High Point University where he studied Theatre Performance and Music. He recently returned from his second national tour with Windwood Theatricals, performing for deaf and hard of hearing children across the country. Favorite credits include NYC Fringes’s Kriep… (JAK), and High Point University’s world premier of  Love Sick (Mike/Bill).
abi_webAbi Sneathen hails from Statesboro, Georgia and recently graduated from Reinhardt University where she received a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some of her previous credits include: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Edwin Drood), Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown), Into the Woods (Cinderella), The Drowsy Chaperone (Drowsy), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive). She is thrilled be a part of AppCo17 and cannot wait for an incredible year with the Aurora family! 2 Corinthians 9:8