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.
Carson Burkett holds a B.A. in Theater from Liberty University and is a proud CYT Richmond alumnus and CWorks staff member. In addition to his stage management and directing credits at CharacterWorks, Carson has been privileged to perform in several Central Virginia premiers with Alluvion Stage Company, including Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, and Peter and the Starcatcher. He loves working for the organization that inspired his love of theatre and helped deepen his relationship with Jesus.
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.
Olivia (Natale) Murrow received a B.A. in Psychology from Christopher Newport University with a minor in Dance. She is a CYT alumna, and has worked their summer camps for over 10 years, as well as choreographed for multiple CharacterWorks shows. Dance has been a part of her life since she was little, and she is grateful for the opportunity to now share her love of dance with children at CharacterWorks.
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.