Joshua O'Daniel Denning- Acting & Musical Theatre
After graduating with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Wright State University, Joshua split his time between New York, New York, and Hamburg, Germany, where he played young adult Simba in The Lion King directed by Julie Taymor. Following Josh's 2-year stint in The Lion King he has appeared in over 30 professional productions of classic and popular plays and musicals in international, regional, summer stock, and university venues. Josh most recently appeared as Tick/Mitzi in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at ZACH Theatre (Broadway World nomination). Josh is the recipient of numerous Broadway World Awards including Best Direction of a Musical Bonnie & Clyde, Best Scenic Design The Producers, Best Family Friendly Production Les Miserables, Outstanding High School Or College Production The Producers. Josh is currently Head of Theatre at McCallum Fine Arts Academy. Under his direction McCallum has twice earned the distinction Outstanding Academic Theatre by the Central Texas Excellence in Theatre Awards. His acting has twice earned him distinction from the Austin Critics' Table Awards and the Austin Creative Alliance/B. Iden Payne Awards for his portrayal of Angel in RENT at ZACH Theatre. Josh is also a recipient of the Odyssey of The Mind Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award for spontaneous problem solving. www.joshuadenning.net
Sarah Hirsch- Musical Theatre
Sarah Hirsch holds a B.A. in music from Yale University and an M.F.A. from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Favorite music-directing credits include Company (Nittany Theatre at the Barn), Parade (FUSE Productions), and See What I Wanna See (Yale Cabaret). Sarah is an avid musical-theatre-writer. Her musical The Fall of the House of Usher (an adaptation of Poe’s story) won the Outstanding Musical Award at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival, and Becoming David received an Equity reading at the Dramatists Guild this past summer. Sarah is thrilled to join McCallum as the new Assistant Choir Director/Musical Theatre Teacher. www.sarahahirsch.com
Laura Kieler- Technical Theatre
Originally hailing from Chicago, Laura Kieler moved to Texas to pursue a BFA in Theatre Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus in lighting and set design and construction. After completing her degree, she worked as the Technical Director at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, TX and College Park High School in The Woodlands, TX. Before deciding to combine her passion for technical theatre and teaching, Laura spent a year working with Brown Couch Theatre Company in Chicago where she stage managed and earned her title as "Jigsaw Wizard" during set builds. She found her love of teaching through an AmeriCorps position that gave her the opportunity to teach and engage students in community issues on the south and west sides of Chicago. While working for the AmeriCorps, she also organized community service events across Chicago as well as serving as a literacy tutor trained in the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute methodology.Laura believes theatre is an incredible tool in creating dialogue through exploration and expression of ideas in our ever-changing and shifting society and world. She is excited to share her experience and skills with the McCallum community. Outside of theatre, Laura enjoys art, live music, the Chicago Bulls, and traveling.
Natalie Uehara- Musical Theatre Dance
After earning a BFA in dance from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, Natalie danced professionally at theme parks and on international cruise lines for many years. During her time in NYC and beyond, she trained and worked under some of the most prestigious names in the Musical Theatre industry, including Ann Reinking, Chet Walker and Gregory Hines. Natalie recently relocated to Austin from Honolulu, HI where she was the director of Castle DanceForce for over 8 years. Here she worked hard to develop and expand the dance department at the internationally recognized Castle Performing Arts Center (CPAC). Furthermore, she was the resident choreographer for CPAC, working on at least 4 musical productions per year. She was on the faculty at Diamond Head Theatre and the Punahou Dance School, both prestigious arts organizations in Hawaii. Natalie was also involved in Oahu’s vibrant theatre industry, both as a performer and choreographer. In 2010, she won a Hawaii State Theatre Council award for choreography for her work on the Hawaii premier of the musical, Zombie Prom. She is thrilled to join the Arts Academy at McCallum High School where she looks forward to working with both theatre and dance majors. Additionally, she is a new faculty member at ZACH Theatre. Natalie has been married to her husband, Chris Uehara, for 8 years and together they have two beautiful children, Kobe (4) & Giabella (2).