Apprentice Company Alumni

The Aurora Apprentice Company is designed to help emerging artists bridge the gap between Educational and Professional Theatre.
These talented young theatre artists joined Aurora Theatre’s staff for a year-long intensive that prepared them for a career in the arts.
Here are a few of our graduates and where they’ve been since their time at Aurora.

Where are they now?

Amy Duffy (AppCo19), a graduate of Central Michigan University MT BFA, is grateful to have been in Aurora’s AppCo19. Aurora Credits include Men with Money, Beat Bugs-A Musical Adventure, Christmas Canteen 2018, and Reindeer Games. She also got to understudy some rock- star women in A Doll’s House Part II and Be Here Now. She’s off to perform at the Georgia Aquarium, understudy Max Makes a Million at the Alliance Theatre, and work in Serenbe Playhouse’s Education Department. Thank you to Aurora Theatre for their support and for an incredible year! @amyelizabethduffy
Monique Gillis (AppCo19) is a graduate of Middle Georgia State College. Her credits with Aurora include Be Here Now (U/S Patty), 2 Kid That Blow Shit Up (Crew) Beat Bugs (Walter) and Musicals at Moonlight’s In the Heights (Ensemble). She is so thankful for Aurora Theatre and so happy to have another place to call home. This year has been an amazing experience and she’s excited to go out into the world and be great!
Cody Evan Jones (AppCo19) is a graduate from the Gainesville Theatre Alliance, You may have seen him at the Aurora in Newsies (Morris Delancey), Sleepy Hollow (Brom Bones), Beat Bugs (Joe Cockeroach), Men With Money (Ensemble), or even the Hairspray and Musicals by Moonlight’s In The Heights on the lawn! Thank you Aurora for supporting us all year and for the amazing opportunities you have provided. Thank you friends and family for the endless support. Finally, Much love to my AppCo19, you have my whole heart.
Peyton McDaniel (AppCo19) is grateful for the opportunities that Aurora provides, as well as the lifelong friendships that this apprenticeship has given him. Peyton studied musical theatre at The University of Alabama. Peyton has been seen on the Aurora stage as Henry in Newsies, in the Ensemble of Men with Money, and in Christmas Canteen. After this apprenticeship, Peyton will spend his summer teaching at Alliance Theatre, as well as performing at Actor’s Express in Head Over Heels. Special thanks to his friends and family for their never-ending love and support.
Anthony J. Nash (AppCo19) is a graduate from the University of Georgia. His credits with the Aurora include Newsies (Swing/Crutchie u/s), Sleepy Hollow (Narrator), A Christmas Carol (et. al), and Beat Bugs (Mean Mr. Mustard.) He is grateful for all he has learned and the opportunities he has been given through this apprenticeship.
Evan Phillips (AppCo19) is an actor from Belleville, MI and a recent graduate of Michigan State University with a BFA in Acting with experience in performing, directing, voice acting, stage combat and set design. During his time at MSU, Evan collaborated and performed in an original touring musical that is specifically geared toward children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Evan also worked as a student volunteer for the 4th Wall Theatre Company and was a member of the MSU 2nd Stage Improv Troupe. Outside of MSU, Evan has also worked as an Assistant Stage Manger for the Detroit Public Theatre. Evan’s recent credits include The Tempest (Trinculo), The Misanthrope (Clintandre), Urinetown: The Musical (Billy Boy Bill) Thus with a Kiss I Die (Romeo/Joseph), and FARM! A Musical Experience (Sammy). Evan would like to thank his friends and family for all of their support. He is looking forward to joining the Atlanta theatre scene after a successful year with AppCo19,
Melanie Sheahan (AppCo19) is a graduate of the University of Georgia, with a dual degree in Theatre and in Advertising. Aurora credits include Sleepy Hollow (Narrator), Newsies (Ensemble), Reindeer Games, A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Emmy U/S), and Beat Bugs: A Musical Adventure (Crick). Following this apprenticeship, Melanie will be understudying Max in Max Makes a Million at Alliance Theatre. Melanie would like to the Aurora staff for their constant support and the incredible artists that have made this year so fulfilling. Love to the fam and to her ever-smiling, ever-loving apprentice company.
Rachael Karas (AppCo19) is a recent Theatre Arts graduate of The University of West Georgia, and is thrilled to have been a part of Aurora’s AppCo19. During her time with the university, she designed a wide variety of costumes including period clothing to postmodern and fantasy. Some credits include costume, makeup, and hair design for Whispers and Lies, as well as The Scarlet Letter. Rachael was nominated for The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her work with The University of West Georgia multiple times. Her most recent work includes assistant design for Alan Yeong on Serenbe Playhouse’s Peter Pan.

Elliott Folds (AppCo17) is an Atlanta-based actor, dramaturg, and musician. He is a proud graduate of Aurora Theatre’s 2016-17 Apprentice Company and Kennesaw State University’s Department of Theatre & Performance Studies. In his time in the apprenticeship, he had the pleasure of working on the Suzi-winning productions of The Bridges of Madison County (Michael u/s/Ensemble) and The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Middle Goat, Suzi Bass nomination for Outstanding TYA Ensemble), as well as Grace for President (Robby) and Reindeer Games 2017 (Co-Music Director). He immediately followed the apprenticeship with the AppCo Alumni Series production of A New Brain (Richard), which he also had the distinct privilege to act as dramaturg, as an instrumentalist, and as assistant music director. Additional Atlanta credits include: the one-man comedy Buyer & Cellar (Out Front Theatre Company/ART Station), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Zero Circle Theatre Company), and Damn Yankees (Theatre Buford). As of summer 2018, he can also be found behind the desk at the Aurora box office as well as a performer at Georgia Aquarium. Huge thanks always to everyone at Aurora, but especially Anthony, Ann-Carol, Justin, and Jaclyn.

Rose Alexander (AppCo15) is a proud graduate of AppCo ’15 and Kennesaw State University! While in her apprenticeship, she performed in Mary Poppins (Ensemble, Mary Poppins U/S with Performance) and Les Miserables (Ensemble, Eponine U/S). Post apprenticeship, she has performed in the Aurora/Theatrical Outfit co-production of Memphis, in Tom Key and Friends at Theatrical Outfit, Curious Literary Encounters at 7 Stages, and understudying and performing for a week as Sarah the Blind Librarian in The Toxic Avenger at Horizon Theatre, and most recently, in The Light In The Piazza at Theatrical Outfit. Rose is represented by East Coast Talent Agency.

Katie Causey (AppCo13)  is an actor and comedian living in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia (with two degrees she’s currently not using) and was a member of the first ever Apprenticeship Company at the Aurora Theatre. Since completing the Apprenticeship Katie has immersed herself in Atlanta’s ever growing film industry working with Burger King, the PGA, and Coca-Cola for a variety of commercials. Katie’s main passion, however, is comedy. Whether she is performing stand-up, improvising with the group, BANSHEE Improv, or acting, Katie loves making people laugh. When performing stand-up, Katie enjoys making current events as silly as possible and sharing stories from her time growing up in middle Georgia. For updates check out her website: or her improv group’s website:

Benjamin Davis (AppCo14) is a graduate of the 2013–14 Aurora Theatre Apprentice Company. His professional credits at Aurora over the 2013–14 season include Les Misérables (Courfeyrac/Ensemble; Suzi Award Winning Musical), Christmas Canteen (Ensemble), The Cat in the Hat (Boy), the regional premiere of The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Adam US/P), as well as a staged reading of a brand new musical titled Milo at the Movies (Milo), directed by Alexander Greenfield. Benjamin’s most recent Atlanta credits include Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show (Actor’s Express), Gar Public in Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Aris Theatre), and Johnny in StinkyKids the Musical(Aurora Theatre & Synchronicity). This past winter he had the opportunity to perform the role of Jim Dillingham in The Gifts of the Magi at Theatrical Outfit. Ben’s film & television credits include The Fat Boy Chronicles, Fun World, The Change-Up, and The

“Making my professional debut in Les Misérables was a monumental way to start my apprenticeship. But, it was the opportunity to workshop the new musical Milo at the Movies that made a dynamic impact on me during my time at Aurora. I was able to explore new material with a brilliant creative team over the week of the “snowpocalypse.” It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.”

Shelli Delgado (AppCo14) is a proud alumna of Aurora’s 2013–14 Apprentice Company and most recently seen as Little Red in Into the Woods. Previous Aurora credits include Suzette in Don’t Dress for Dinner, Tigerlily in Peter Pan & Wendy, Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, Cat in the Hat and Amanda in 4000 Miles. Other recent Atlanta credits include Alliance Theatre’s Little Raindrop Songs and A Christmas Carol and Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s And Then They Came for
“So many wonderful artists guided me throughout my apprenticeship, and they all have had a positive impact on my outlook and career. While in Les Misérables, I had the chance to understudy Leslie Bellair, who played Eponine. She is truly an artist that everyone should strive to be—intelligent, generous, humble, and OH. YEAH. THAT’S THE VOICE OF AN ANGEL. It was my first professional production, and I was given the chance to observe a true professional. Everyone should be blessed with an understudy opportunity like that.”

Casey Gardner (AppCo15) has been seen in productions with The Weird Sisters Theatre Project, Gypsy Theatre, and Stone Mountain Park since graduating from Auarora. Recently, she has been touring with the National Theatre for Children and taking trips with them all over the United States. Up next she is fortunate enough to be working with Camp Broadway in cities throughout the southeast. Casey also has a successful photography business specializing in headshots and productions photos. Check out her work at Catch up with her as the official photographer for the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival started by fellow alumni Ben Davis.

Renita James (AppCo13) is a proud member of the graduate class of Appco 2013. It was duringthat year that she furthered her love of educational theatre while performing in Unnecessary Monsters and teaching several classes and workshops. Upon completion of the apprenticeship she went on to perform at Stone Mountain Park, Stage Door Players, and Peach State Summer Theatre. She spent time performing and teaching in a variety of settings, including an educational tour with the National Theatre for Children and a starring role in FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life. Most recently, Renita was a Teaching Artist Fellow with Metro Theater Company in St. Louis, Missouri. In this fellowship, she taught theatre in residencies and school-based classes, as well as developed and performed in a Theatre for the Very Young piece. Her work focused on using arts integration to address social justice issues and to build community. Renita currently works full-time at Aurora Theatre Company as the Education Coordinator.

Edward McCreary (AppCo14) can currently be seen in Significant Other at Actor’s Express. Other favorite Atlanta roles include Spike in Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Billy Bigelow in Carousel, and an ensemble member in Memphis. This summer, Edward returns to the MJCCA to teach the youngins about drama.

“I was immediately treated as a professional, held to those standards, and given opportunities to work on and learn about any aspect of theater I wanted to pursue. The networking we were able to do through workshops and understudy opportunities was invaluable. Watching other actors work gave us goals to strive for, and listening to directors helped us learn how to get there.”

Jacob McKee (AppCo16) is a recent graduate of Aurora’s 2015-2016 Apprentice Company. While an apprentice, Jacob enjoyed many invaluable experiences, including playing Tim Tesla in the world premiere of Tim Tesla and the Terrific Time Machine and assistant directing Into the Woods. He also served as an understudy for Wit and I’m Not Rappaport. Post-apprenticeship, Jacob will be appearing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Shakespeare Tavern in July and is directing Dani Girl for the 2016 AppCo Alumni Series. Jacob is so very thankful for his year at Aurora and for the mentors he was blessed to find there: Jaclyn, Justin, AC, Anthony, and the whole staff.

Suzanne Stroup (AppCo14) is an actor/singer/educator in the Atlanta area. She was a member of the 2013–14 Aurora Theatre Apprenticeship Company, and was seen there in Prelude to the 4th Concert, Peter Pan & Wendy (Wendy), The Cat in the Hat (Kitten/Thing 2), and The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Sam US/P). She has since been fortunate to work with the Aurora Theatre, Gypsy Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre and Theatrical Outfit, as well as the One-Minute Play Festival and the education department at Alliance in many capacities. This summer you can see her as Ariel in Aurora’s Concert Version of The Little Mermaid!

"Aurora is absolutely my artistic home. Besides the opportunities to refine my craft during my apprenticeship, the networking and the relationships that I’ve made are what I think about most when I think about my apprenticeship. Aurora is where I always come back to, and to the people who have shaped me into the artist I’ve become.”

Michael Jared Tarver (AppCo13) is an Atlanta born actor who is proud to call this market, and Aurora Theatre specifically, his home. He is filled with gratitude for the lessons taught to him and the oportunities given to him by the staff at Aurora Theatre as an apprentice and now, in his third year, as The Storyteller in A Christmas Carol. Previous roles include Dave Bullanski in All Childish Things (Aurora), Little John in Robin Hood (Aurora), Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare Tavern) and Little Tuna in Den of Thieves (Fabrefaction). Up next he will be directing in the short play festival at Aris Theatre!

“The connections I made as a part of the apprenticeship have turned into many opportunities both at Aurora and other professional theatres in the form of acting, stage managing, and directing gigs. Choosing an apprenticeship is also choosing your artistic home for your time in Atlanta. I chose Aurora because they provided me with a variety of opportunities to learn and practice theatre, but also because it was a place I felt at home with.”

Dane Troy (AppCo14) graduated from the University of Georgia in 2013. At Aurora he worked on: Terror on the Trail, Peter Pan, Lombardi (us/p), Tamer of Horses & The AppCo Showcase. In the year following graduation, Dane was afforded the opportunity to work with Alliance Theater, Horizon Theatre, Theatrical Outfit & Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. In efforts to further his comedic training, Dane moved to Los Angeles in August 2015. He has since immersed himself in long form improvisation programs at the Upright Citizens Brigade: Los Angeles (graduate), iO West (level 4), & the Groundlings (intermediate). Dane has appeared in a few commercials (Coca Cola, Georgia Lottery, Starbucks & eBay (national)) & also made his Television debut on the Amazon Prime show Hand of God as Freddie Hampton (Season 2 Episode 203 & Episode 206). Dane is currently in rehearsal for Killing My Lobster Theatre’s production of Night of the Living Data in San Francisco (late June 2016), as well as, in rehearsals as Cory (US) in California Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Fences, directed Raelle Myrick-Hodges (July 9 – 31 2016). Look for Dane as Buddy in Marin Theatre Company’s production of Native Son (West Coast Premiere) directed by Seret Scott (Jan – Feb 2017)

“There are a few things that impacted me greatly and honestly changed the trajectory of my career. Working at Aurora right out of the collegiate gate really helped me to focus, realize my goals and take steps towards attaining them. There is no law of scarcity. Be fierce and fearless. Thanks Jaclyn, Justin, Anthony & AC! Without each of you, I don’t know where I would be.” 

Tim Whitson (AppCo15) graduated from the Aurora Apprentice Company in April of 2015. While there he worked in several capacities but most notably he played an ensemble role in Mary Poppins and Luigi in The Explorers Club during the 2014-2015 season. The rest of the 2015 found him performing at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Peter Pan playing the titular role among others and performing as Nutty in The Littlest Christmas Tree at Stone Mountain. Currently he is directing a world premiere, multi-lingual adaption of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe aboard the MV Logos Hope. The MV Logos Hope is an internationally known ship that travels around the world bringing knowledge, through selling over 5,000 titles of books, help, by bringing fresh water and reading glasses, and hope to thousands of people every year. He is proud to be working on this unique production with his wife and with the crew of over 350 people from 60 nationalities. He is excited to return to the Atlanta area in 2017 and continue his career as an actor, director and theatre artist.