Valley Youth Theatre would like to introduce you to our highly trained, professional, teaching artists.
Tyson Lund is SO EXCITED to be a part of the Valley Youth Theater teaching artists. Tyson grew up in Mesa, AZ. He has loved theater ever since he was a kid! He grew up auditioning and performing at different youth theaters across the valley, as well as at his local Jr & Sr High schools! He was nominated for several awards in his youth including the AriZoni’s and National Youth Art’s awards. While in college, he competed and was nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at The Kennedy Center American Theater Festival in both Los Angeles and Hawaii. He studied Theater Arts and Education at Eastern Arizona College for two years and then earned his Theater Education Degree at The University of Northern Colorado. Tyson has a deep love for acting, some of his most notable performances include Thenardier (Les Miserables), Francis Henshall (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Cogsworth (Beauty and the Beast).
Madolyn Whitmer (Education & Outreach Director) is thrilled to join the VYT team and further their mission to impart life skills to students through theatre and the arts. An arts enthusiast herself, Madolyn graduated from ASU with a BFA in theatre and a focus in playwriting. Madolyn has had plays produced in Arizona, Colorado and New York and has a passion for creating devised work with her students that explore their experiences. Previously, she worked with ARTS ALIVE! bringing experiential, dramatic arts classes to hundreds of students throughout the Houston area which focused on instilling social and emotional learning skills through the arts. At Playworks Arizona, Madolyn continued to work toward instilling social and emotional learning skills to children through play as a part of their Development team with a focus in volunteer coordination, management of large-scale special events, and marketing. She is excited to bring her years of experience in the arts and non-profits to VYT and help continue to grow the education department to positively impact more lives.
Kristi has a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance with an emphasis in Musical Theatre Performance from Arizona State University. She has a background in Classical voice, Musical Theater, Worship music and Pop. She also studied voice privately in New York City with the Tony award winning Victoria Clark, and with world renowned composer and vocal coach Craig Bohmler and Broadway tour director Alan J Plato.
She has maintained a private voice studio and piano studio for nearly two decades and is currently Adjunct Voice Faculty at Grand Canyon University teaching Vocal Performance, Musical Theater and Worship Arts Students.
Kristi has performed locally with Arizona Theatre Company, Phoenix Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix, Theatre Works and Child’s Play and nationally with several regional theatre companies. Some of her favorite roles include, Anna Leonowens in The King and I, Maria in The Sound of Music, Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music, Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.
Kristi is constantly humbled and awed by how much she learns every day from her students. She loves teaching, and is so grateful to be of service to growing voices and help to shape the future of young performers.
Thomas J. Underdal is an interdisciplinary theatre maker and educator. His work as a theatre maker spans the roles of director, writer and designer. Thomas holds a BA in Theatre (Design and Production) with certificates in Arts Entrepreneurship and Socially Engaged Practice in Design and the Arts. He has worked with ages 3 years and beyond introducing and exploring the world of theatre through creative drama. The foundation of his practice is the ensemble and forming of community within his educational spaces. Thomas believes in creating a space where voices are heard, considered, and respected.
Alyssa Balogh is beyond excited to be joining the VYT team!
She has a BFA in Theatre (Acting & Directing) from Western Washington University specializing in devising and viewpoints, and over 10 years of experience in the theatre industry- ranging from acting, directing, playwrighting, stage management, musical theatre, hair & make-up, and choreography. She’s performed and produced work in Seattle, Chicago, Denver, and New York, and recently moved to Arizona in hopes of pursuing an MFA at ASU for Directing.
She plans to bring her vast industry knowledge and passion for helping artists create and produce their own work to the young artists at VYT- along with the necessary basics of Musical Theatre for any actor to be successful.
She also runs her own business- AB Productions, focused on social media and marketing for theatre & real estate while not performing or producing!
Kelly Kraft is so excited to be joining the VYT teaching artist team! She has a BA in Theatre Arts from Flagler College, focusing on musical theatre, writing, and directing. In addition to acting Kelly has worked in almost every aspect of theatre production, especially in costuming. She is passionate about creativity and theatre arts education, and spent the last year teaching drama and improv lessons integrated with classroom learning. Originally from Athens, GA, Kelly has worked and performed around the Southeast before relocating to Arizona. In the classroom, Kelly brings a desire to help students grow their skills, use their natural creativity, and have a great time performing.