Meet our TNP Instructors

Learn from an extensive network of professional educators

The Naples Players attracts the best talent in local performers as well as teachers.  Our instructors come from all different backgrounds and have so much to offer to our students in the community.  We are delighted to introduce you to this talented group of people.  Continue reading to find out more! 



Quick Contacts:


Maya Kleinsorge
Education Assistant
(239) 434-7340, ext. 136
Email Maya 

Cole Butcher

Cole Butcher is in his eighth season with The Naples Players. Favorite shows he’s stage managed include Footloose, She Loves Me, Mamma Mia!, Chicago, Legally Blonde, Sister Act, Moon Over Buffalo, and The Rocky Horror Show. He received his BA in Stage Management from Western Michigan University.


Emma Canalese

Directorial and choreographic work includes Einstein and Mileva (World Premiere at Theatre Row, NY), Peter and The Starcatcher (The Naples Players, nominated for Best Director of a Musical, Broadway World Regional Awards), Hollywood, Hollywood (Midtown International Theatre Festival, nominated for Best Direction and Best Choreography), Yellowpants (SOLOCOM at The Pit, NY), America (Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, winner of Best Audience Award), Thick Gnat Hands, The Brazilian Dilemma, Stick, Stiff , Any Given School Day, Twenty (Collective NY), The Tempest: Remixed (Teatro Heckscher, NY), A Sense of Purpose On Sunday’s (IO Myers Theatre at UNSW, Aust), Par amnesia (Seymour Centre with One Extra Dance, Aust), The Magic Flute (Talent Unlimited), Oklahoma and Mame (Stagedoor Manor).  Emma co-wrote and co-directed the short film 13 (Awarded Best Screenplay and nominated for Best Direction in Sparrow Film Project). She directed and produced the web series Kate Plus Date in collaboration with Martian New Media, was associate producer for the short film Blink: The Observer (Backslash Bomb Productions), producer on HIV and AIDS: Let’s keep talking PSA (GLAAD), First AD on short film Corn Bread and Bad Luck (Rocky from Da Bronx Productions) and for feature film Lighthouse Unmanned (LU Productions). She is co-writer and director of the play A 100 Years of the History of Dance that recently completed its first Australian tour and is currently playing at Fringe World Festival 2020 in Perth, Western Australia.  Emma is a graduate of The Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts and The Neighborhood Playhouse, NY. Associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).  www.emmacanalese.com


Julie Bearden Carver

Julie spent twelve years in NYC and Northwest Georgia. Music Director credits include The Music Man, The Goodbye Girl, A Little Night Music/Naples Players, Dogfight/Berry College, The Drowsy Chaperone/Reinhardt University, The Secret Garden/Shorter University, The Spongebob Musical/The Grand Theatre, various shows and events in NYC and many piano credits including Mary Poppins/The New Amsterdam Theatre. Julie is so grateful to finally return to The Naples Players – the best theatre in the entire universe.


Diane Davis

Diane Davis has taught adult acting workshops with showcases at The Naples Players for many years. She has directed and produced, is a veteran actor who has performed in every venue from dinner theater, TV commercials, Kodak demo films, mystery theater, on stages in Boston, NY, and Naples, FL. She has led several theater boards and co-founded a summer theatre camp for kids in upstate NY. She has coached for TNP KidzAct, directed TNP Reader’s Theatre Classics, Assistant Directed shows at TNP, and performed with TNP in Broadway Bound, Enchanted April, Six Dance Lessons, Crazy Mary, Rumors, Barefoot in the Park, Other Desert Cities, and Bell, Book, and Candle as well as performing with other local theaters. She spent 20 years playing leading roles in musicals in New York and has been a guest speaker on “The Magic of Theater” for local Naples groups. She coaches a Naples TV commercial and offers private coaching for auditions and other public presentations.


Jill Demchak

Jill Demchak has been teaching the children of Collier and Lee County since relocating to Florida in 2001.  In 2007 she opened Spotlight Dance Studio on Marco Island, with the purpose of passing her love & knowledge of dance to her students.In the Fall of 2015 she joined the staff of KidzAct as an Instructor. She has Choreographed for Nutcracker goes Pop and last Spring’s production of CATS.  Also a performer, Jill has been seen on stage in many TNP productions since 2002. 


Kat Ebaugh

Kat Ebaugh has been singing and dancing around Florida for the last 8 years with different vaudeville and cabaret groups in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and the occasional out-of-state festival. Most recently, Kat performed in the ensemble of The Wedding Singer at TNP and did a virtual show with the Lab Theater as the Little Mermaid in Disenchanted and an outdoor performance of Projekt Grotesquerie as The Matriarchy. You might also recognize her as one of the members of Stage 2 Improv, and TNP productions Gypsy (Tessie Tura), The Drowsy Chaperone (Kitty), The Producers (Ulla), and Leading Ladies (Audrey).


Margot Escott

Margot Escott incorporates over 34 years of experience as a speaker, and counselor with ten years of experience teaching improv locally and internationally online in places including Nigeria, and India. In addition to studying with Improv masters like Laura Hall — the musical director for Whose Line Is It Anyway — Margot  hosts the popular podcast Improv Interviews where she speaks with improv legends including SNL and Square Pegs writer Anne Beatts, Comedian and Whose Line is it Anyway host Colin Mochrie, Aretha Sills, Ed Asner and more.


Charles Fornara

Charles Fornara has previously conducted at TNP The Wedding Singer, She Loves Me, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Sister Act, The Rocky Horror Show, Catch Me If You Can, Legally Blonde, The Spitfire Grill, Les Misérables, All Shook Up, 42nd Street and many, many others, as well as over 20 teen productions for KidzAct. Also in Naples for TheatreZone, he has music directed more than 30 shows including this year’s entire Showstoppers series, Aida, The Secret Garden, Legs Diamond, Sweet Smell of Success, Grand Hotel, Little Women and Hair. Originally from Providence, RI, Chas conducted Jim Steinman and Roman Polanski’s Dance of the Vampires in Stuttgart, and has taught and coached singers all over the US and Germany, now offering private lessons here in Naples. A proud member of Actors’ Equity, he has appeared in almost 100 musicals, operas and concerts, including several appearances here in Naples with TheatreZone, most recently as the title role in Sweeney Todd. Much love to his beautiful wife, Dawn.


Dawn Lebrecht Fornara

Dawn Lebrecht Fornara is a native of New York and has served as director and choreographer for TNP’s The Wedding Singer, Footloose, She Loves Me, Mamma Mia, Chicago, Sister Act, The Rocky Horror Show, Catch Me If You Can, Legally Blonde, The Spitfire Grill and 42nd Street, among others, and with KidzAct for many productions, including Joseph…Dreamcoat, Hairspray, Disney’s Camp Rock, Les Misérables and Cats. She has choreographed many shows for TNP, including All Shook Up, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Cabaret, and, as a performer, she has been seen in the National Tours of 42nd Street, Seussical the Musical, Anything Goes and Grease. A proud member of Actors’ Equity, she has been seen here in Naples in TheatreZone’s Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman), Jekyll & Hyde (Lucy), Stepping Out with Donna McKechnie, Legs Diamond (Kiki) and Hair, among others. Other recent roles include Sheila/A Chorus Line, Sally Bowles, Velma Kelly, Bombalurina/Cats and Ulla/The Producers. Love to husband Chas and her family.


Lin Hart

Lin Hart (she/her) is entering her 4th year teaching and music directing with TNP. Having received her training first at Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music and then as part of Ball State’s Department of Theatre and Dance, Lin now performs and teaches around SWFL. Additionally, she composes original work and has received several national recognitions – including an award through the Kennedy Center for her work on a new adaptation of Frankenstein.


Ralph Krumins

Ralph Krumins has been an improv performer for 20 years with troupes KC Improv & Comedy Sportz (KC, MO), Tramps & Thieves (CA), Waygoofin’ (Seoul, South Korea), Double stuffed Oreos (Orlando), and Stage 2 Improv (Naples).  He has also been an improv music director for Sak Comedy Lab, Four First Names, Let’s Get Real, and Murphy Bed Suprise.  He’s studied with Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and several prominent instructors in the community.  His favorite improv activities are character creation and long-form musical improv. 


Mary Anne McKerrow

Mary Anne McKerrow has been costuming and teaching the young actors of TNP’s KidzAct program since 2005. The recent KidzAct production of Disney’s The Descendants was an awesome design experience. Prior to that she coordinated the costumes for La Traviata and the concert version of West Side Story for Opera Naples’ Festival Under the Stars.  As a performer for TNP she was last seen as Donna in Mamma Mia! Other TNP roles include Elizabeth Benning/Young Frankenstein, Momma Rose/Gypsy, and Madame Thenardier/Les Misérables. Shakespeare In Paradise credits include Mistress Page/The Merry Wives of Windsor, Lady Macbeth/Macbeth A Love Story, Katherine/The Taming of the Shrew, and Hippolyta and Titania/A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 


Bret Poulter

Having moved to Florida in 2016, Bret quickly became a member of the TNP family. He has appeared in Footloose, Sister Act, Miracle on 34th Street and Chicago.  He spent nearly two seasons with TheatreZone having performed in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Aida, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Wonderful Town and Gypsy.  Most recently he had the pleasure of performing in The Nutcracker with Naples Ballet.  Bret has also choreographed for TNP KidzAct, including The Descendants and Sound of Music.


Craig Price

Craig Price trained and performed with The Second City in Chicago and with ImprovOlympic (now The IO Theater) where he trained with the legendary Del Close. Craig then spent five years performing with ComedySportz of Denver and five years on the road as a stand-up comedian. When Craig landed in Naples he was immediately drawn to The Naples Players, where he performed in Oliver!, Beauty and the Beast, and taught kids and adults Improv. He formed Bonita City Improv and directed the Youth Improv Program. Craig is proud to be back with The Naples Players as Director of Community Education and Wellness. Craig Price designs and teaches classes for students of all abilities where they learn valuable communication skills through the practice of Improv and Acting exercises. Many of Craig’s students from CCPS and STARability Foundation have used what they have learned in his classes to transition into jobs, living facilities, and universities.


Mike Santos

Mike is a Graduate of Cazenovia College in Upstate New York where he majored in Visual Communications with a specialization in Commercial Illustration. His first production at The Naples Players was as Tom in A Perfect Wedding. Other notable roles at TNP are: Paul/ Barefoot in the Park, Michael/God of Carnage, Edgar/Jane /The Mystery of Irma Vep, Richard/The 39 Steps, and Orcus/She Kills Monsters. Mike co-owns the local comedy troupe Stage 2 Improv with his amazingly talented wife, Judith.


Judith Santos

Judith is delighted to be instructing with KidzAct. Offstage, she is mommy to her little fur-baby, Taz, and works as a mild-mannered banker during the day. Sometime soon, you can catch Judith performing with Stage 2 Improv, which she co-directs with her talented husband, Mike. Acting credits at TNP include Gert in Lost in Yonkers, Gwen in Rapture, Blister, Burn, and Lorna in Dead Accounts.


Jessica Walck

Jessica Walck has been an active member of The Naples Players since 2004 and now serves as the organization’s Associate Artistic Director. Recent TNP directing credits include Making God Laugh, Escanaba in da Moonlight, Don’t Dress for Dinner and the World Premiere production of June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce. Recent KidzAct directing credits are Disney’s The Little Mermaid JRDisney’s The Descendants, You Can’t Take It With You, Junie B. Jones the Musical JR, and the virtual production of Pride and Prejudice. She recently joined the faculty of the New England Music Camp for their summer musical theatre intensive in August. Jessica is a proud graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in NYC.




The Naples Players
701 5th Avenue South, Naples, Florida 34102

(239) 263-7990

Monday-Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday: CLOSED

*Will-Call & Wait-List opens 2 hours before curtain


(239) 434-7340
Monday-Friday: 10am to 5pm

Stay updated

The latest on TNP shows, events, & programs delivered straight to your inbox!


Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency 2020  Culture Builds Florida Logo   Florida Weekly's 2019 Best  Best of Naples:  Gulfshore Life Best of Naples

Voted Best Live Theatre for 17 Consecutive Years