Alana Smith Came to CharacterWorks from the theater department at Virginia Tech. While studying acting, she also discovered a love for teaching. God’s plan sent her back to Richmond to continue pursuing her passion in her hometown. Some of her favorite roles include: Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, the title role in Eurydice; on the local stage with Quill Theater as Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing and the Evil Queen in Cymbeline; and with Virginia Rep as Red Dog in Go, Dog, Go! She has been teaching with CharacterWorks since 2008 and has had the wonderful opportunity to direct many CWorks shows since 2010. She lives in Midlothian with her husband, Daniel, and their 3 sons.
A Richmond native, Alia started her theatre experience with CharacterWorks (formerly CYT) in 2004. She participating in their first productions of Annie, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, The Music Man and Seussical the Musical. She has just returned from living in New York City for 9 years, where she continued to hone her vocal and acting skills with Broadway coaches and directors, and recently was on staff for Times Square Church’s Music department as a church worship leader. She is thankful to the Lord for allowing her to share her love of the theatre with this younger generation and she considers it a great privilege.
Anderson is a former CYT member (and now a CWorks alum!) and graduated from Liberty University with his B.A. in Theater Arts-Performance in 2016. Since then, he has acted in numerous commercials (VA Tourism, U.S. Army, Capitol One), short films (two of them best film winners at the 48 Hour Film Festival and himself winner of best actor at the Cinematic Arts Film Festival), and AMC's Turn. He is absolutely thrilled to be able to relay what he's learned during his time in the professional world with the great kids at CWorks!
Anita Hughes is a certified Interpreter for the Deaf. Her passion for the Deaf culture and American Sign Language (ASL) has afforded Anita a variety of opportunities over the past many years. She has been interpreting for 30 years in various venues including high school, conferences, and churches . The past 20 years Anita conducted workshops teaching SignArt. SignArt is form of using ASL to showcase the beautiful language through music and is a wonderful, fun, and engaging way to introduce the beauty of sign language to both children and adults.
Charlotte has been involved with CharacterWorks since 2011. Throughout high school, she performed in six CWorks (CYT) shows including her favorites, “Sound of Music” and “Tarzan.” She is currently working towards a B. M. in Music Education at VCU. Charlotte has taught several CWorks’ classes as well as led music for their 2017 and 2018 summer camps. In March of 2018, she was hired as the worship leader for a church in King William. Additionally, she performs with the Arise Band, a worship band based in Mechanicsville that travels throughout Virginia to lead worship for youth and young adult conferences. Charlotte loves being able to share her passion for the arts with her students as well as help them find their own ways to use their gifts for God’s glory.
Jacob Filegar is a graduate of Liberty University’s Theatre Arts program and is a CYT Richmond Alumnus and CWorks staff member. Previously, Jacob has performed and stage managed with Alluvion Stage Company and toured with Virginia Rep On Tour (formerly Theatre IV On Tour), performing for elementary and middle school students across the country. During the school year, Jacob directs, stage manages, and designs for CWorks shows, teaches classes, and helps manage the expansive sets and props inventory across two warehouses. In the summer, Jacob serves as the CWorks Summer Day Camp Director.
Katy Anna is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Theatre Performance. After graduating, she went to London to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she received a certificate for Shakespearean Acting. Katy Anna is also an Elby Award winning chef, graduating from Culinard in 2015, just before giving birth to her daughter, Marlowe. Some of her favorite theatrical roles have included "Beatrice" from Much Ado About Nothing, "Cassandra" from Agamemnon and His Daughters, "Fred" from Once Upon a Mattress, and "Slater" from Catacombs. A self-acclaimed dork, she and her husband spend their vacations at DragonCon, where she has a thriving Steampunk Cosplay, and her husband dresses as a Jedi; and sometimes are able to make it to Disney World, or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Katy Anna is a proud Slytherin.
Melissa Crouterfield graduated from Liberty University in May, 2013 with a B.A. in Theater Performance, a B.M. in Piano, and minor in Vocal Performance. She began working as an accompanist/vocalist at age 12 for choirs, churches, singing tour groups, and homeschool co-ops. When Melissa came to Liberty as an undergraduate studying Theatre and Music, she simultaneously became immersed in playing piano for voice lessons on campus as well as playing in the orchestra pit for several theatre productions. Melissa taught private voice and piano lessons while performing onstage with Alluvion Stage Company in Lynchburg, Virginia. She also worked four years at Liberty University as the University's theater department pianist, providing vocal coaching and prep for musical theater students. Melissa is thrilled to be a part of CWorks Theater!
Mia Kirk White has been teaching young children for over 15 years. She holds a Bachelor degree in Early Education from VCU and is also the director of a pre-school in the West End. Her passion for acting, dance, and voice began when she was very young. She grew up in the television industry in California and has been involved in theater and film most of her life. Her 2 children, Luke and Audrey, have been in multiple CYT/CharacterWorks productions.
Becky started dancing at 3 years old after she saw Singin' In The Rain and never looked back. She graduated with a BA in Musical Theater from James Madison University in 2009. Becky was fortunate enough to direct as well as perform at school and found that she loved teaching and directing as much as she loved performing. Becky performed professionally at various regional theaters and in DC before moving to Richmond. Some of her favorite past roles include Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Hunyak in Chicago, Rusty in Footloose, and Sally in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. She enjoys sharing her love of Jesus and performing with her students both in our Academy class program and as a show director. Becky and her husband, Shane, have 2 daughters, Emma and Clara.
Sam graduated from Liberty University with his B.A. in Theater Arts-Performance in 2014 and went on to graduate with an MFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2017. He has acted, directed, and written numerous short films (two of them best film winners at the 48 Hour Film Festival) and is currently working on a web series. He hopes to influence creativity and hard work in all his CWorks students!
Tracia Everton Austin received a Bachelor of Music Education from James Madison University and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. After teaching music in both public and private schools, she began teaching classes for CharacterWorks eventually becoming a Music Director with her favorite shows being Les Miserables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oliver, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Seussical and Mary Poppins. Tracia began working in the film and TV industry in October 2014 and is currently a casting assistant at Anne Chapman Casting. She and her husband, Terry, love to travel, but their biggest adventure yet has been raising twin sons and CWorks alums, Joshua and Seth who are both now in college.