Pam brings over 20 years of experience of developing and teaching performance arts programs in addition to being an actor and mother. She has a deep love of arts education and of developing programs where every child gets an opportunity to shine. In New York she created a jazz dance and theatre program at the Bendheim Performing Arts Center that was a combination of performance and classes. She would go on to direct over 20 productions at the Bendheim.
In Los Angeles she was commissioned by the Hollywood Arts Council to create an educational theatre program to be used in the LAUSD schools. Her program would go on to earn an Educational Achievement Award from State Assemblyman Mike Fuerer. At The Wesley School in North Hollywood, Pam is the Drama teacher for 10 years and is responsible for creating their seventh grade drama program that is a fully immersive program of classes and performance. She penned two plays that were produced in LA, Boston and NY as well as being an actor who has performed in voice overs, commercials, film, television and on stage in NY, LA, all over the country and in Russia!
In 2015 she and her husband decided to create Village Arts to build upon her work in the Valley Village community and her theatre program at Colfax Charter Elementary School. Together they are working towards building an arts center in the community that will offer classes and programs in all performance and visual arts and that will truly be “A place for everyone.”
Jeanne Simpson is an actor, dancer, choreographer, teacher, and fitness blogger for Health Boosters at Withings.com. Jeanne began her training in the ballet world and became a member of the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet Company at age 13, and the Tuzer Ballet Company in Texas at 15. She expanded her training to jazz, tap, and contemporary at the Buster Cooper School of Dance and traveled to New York City to study with theater dance legends like Lee Theodore, Buzz Miller and Gemze de Lappe at American Dance Machine Institute.
After getting her getting her BA at Harvard University, Jeanne danced in a variety of shows, dance concerts and with the American Isadora Duncan Dance Company. Her favorite credit is dancing as part of a trio alongside one of her dance idols, Ann Reinking, in an original piece performed at Lincoln Center as a fundraiser for the New York Philharmonic.
Choreography credits include shows for TheatreWorks USA, Co-Choreographer and Dance Captain for THREE directed by Hal Prince at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, the children’s TV show BLUES CLUES for Nickelodeon, and the feature films MAN OF THE CENTURY and DUMPED. Favorite acting credits include MADMEN, PARKS AND RECREATION, HOT IN CLEVELAND, and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Here’s a link to a blog she wrote about the science behind why dance makes you happy and smart!
Jodie Patterson has taught dance in the Valley Village and LA area for over nine years. She has created her own unique style of teaching dance based on her years of training and professional dancing where she fuses athleticism, Hip Hop and many Latin and African cultures.
Jodi is a Chicago native that started dancing at the age of nine and would go on to study ballet, jazz and hip-hop. Her undergraduate work brought her to Columbia College’s Marshall Lindsay School of Dance. From there, she earned a scholarship and apprenticeship with Chicago’s Joseph Holmes Dance Company. As a professional dancer she toured with a wide range of 90’s R&B and Hip Hop artists that include such artists as Sammy, Jagged Edge, Guiwine and Alfonso Hunter. Music Videos include “The Way I Am,” Christine Aguilera’s “Dirty” and many more. She also was featured in commercials for Wendy’s, Crunch, Gatorade and was the spokes person for Miller-Brewing Company and Power Bar as well as appearing in fitness videos for Crunch, Fit-TV and Pop Sugar.
Art and Photography has been a part of Kara’s life from an early age growing up in a NJ suburb of NYC. Born into a creative family, her mother was a progressive education teacher and her father was a film editor. She was always encouraged to get her hands dirty creating, painting, and/or photographing something as a child. She earned a BFA in 2005 at the Conservatory of Art & Design from SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in Photography, Drawing, and Painting. Other venues of study include: Woodstock School of Art, Sugar Maples Art and Education Center, The Art School at Old Church, and Los Angeles Center of Photography.
Kara started teaching art in 1994 volunteering during her middle school years at a local progressive preschool. During her high school/college years while studying art, she worked teaching with teens who had special needs in Colorado and Minnesota, taught art for grades K-8 in NJ Public Schools work study program, taught art at the Woodstock Summer Camp in Woodstock NY, and also at the Children’s Hope Foundation for children with HIV/AIDS in Harlem NYC. Venues for teaching art education after college include: Sugar Maples Art and Education Center TA for Hudson River School master painting courses in Maplecrest NY, Lead Art at Brain Injury Center in Blacksburg VA, and Lead Art at The Women’s Resource Center for sheltered abused women and children in VA.
In 2012, Kara moved to Los Angeles to continue her career in the arts. Since then, Kara has been involved in various art shows, photography, and has also used her skills in film/tv/theater productions along the way. Continuing her art education, Kara has been the lead art and photography teacher for the Hollywood Arts Council focusing on education in underserved communities for five years. Other venues for art education include: Village Arts Theater in Valley Village CA, Paint Nite instructor in Los Angeles CA, Covenant House Art Coordinator/Instructor for homeless youth in Hollywood CA, Lindgren School & Summer Camp in Closter NJ, and more to come!
Since 2014, Kara has joined the Village Arts Theater family as an art teacher, making props, and designs/paints scenery for the productions as well. She believes that it is one thing to be making art, but to have fun creating with others is where it’s at! She hopes her students get to have fun achieving the power of expression through participating in her art programs!
Melissa Faye Klein is a Professional Vocalist, Music Director, Voice Teacher Session Singer, and Voice Over Artist.
Melissa earned her BA’s in Music: Vocal Performance and Musical Theatre from Cal State University, Chico.
Melissa has been musical directing theatre programs with Village Arts for the last few years. She is passionate about instilling proper singing and musical technique with the kids and loves being a part of the creative process. She has sung Classical Music Internationally, as well as performed on the NY stage and toured around the US with different Musical Theatre productions. Favorites include: Evita, Sunday In The Park with George, Me and My Girl, and Cinderella. Here in LA, Melissa sings with many different groups including Metropolitan MasterChorale, Cal Phil Chorale, Marina Del Rey Symphony, Life Choir, and The Ikeda Kings Orchestra. She has performed with different jazz bands, ensembles and as a background vocalist for several Pop/R&B artists and is also half of the Cabaret duo known as The Happenstances.
Her voice can be heard as one of the voices of Gettysburg at the Gettysburg Museum.
Jane Runnalls Poole received a B.M. from the University of California, Riverside, and is an alumni of Ann Baltz’s acclaimed OPERAWORKS Artist Intensive program. A working singer and actress in Los Angeles for almost 15 years, her voice has been featured in numerous television shows, feature film trailers, and video games, most notably the featured vocalist in ACTIVISION’s Call of Duty: Black Ops franchise. Recent film and television credits include ABC’s Mistresses, The Newsroom, and American Sniper (directed by Clint Eastwood).
In addition to maintaining regular concert work locally, she runs a thriving private voice studio in Valley Village and Tarzana, Sing Your Heart Out Studio, where she teaches singing and musicianship to kids and teens. Her love of children, teaching, and passion for music bring out the best her students, as well as equipping them with the skills and confidence needed for professional pursuits.
She maintains regular private voice and pedagogy study with Dr. Joel Ewing. She lives in Tarzana with her husband, three sons, and two guinea pigs.
Gina Wingate started her career as a costumer on TV and film. Her credits include Friends, Father of the Bride Part ll, and That Thing You Do! She put her career on hold to stay home with her son, Jet, and daughter, Cooper, while they were young. She became involved in their school, Colfax Charter, and volunteered for everything. She started Kidchella when her daughter was in 5th grade and has become one of Colfax’s biggest fundraisers. Gina has worked with special needs kids as a shadow and now has her Early Childhood Development certificate. Gina has costumed many Village Arts’ plays, including Mary Poppins, Shrek, and Fiddler on the Roof.
“Valley Village is the community where my prop master husband, Rick, and I chose to raise our kids, and Village Arts has become a big part of my life. I’m super excited to work with John & Pam on their new adventure, and I can’t wait to meet the kids!”