Valley Youth Theatre would like to introduce you to our highly trained, professional, teaching artists.
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.
Chris a Phoenix native who followed his dreams to New York City! He studied jazz and commercial music education at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, Long Island and then continued on to study Musical Theater Performance at The American Music and Drama Academy of NYC.
He loves theater, and calls his students his “dreamers” because he believes in them! During their time together, he hopes that students are challenged and rewarded by their time at Valley Youth Theatre.
His message for students: Remember that the biggest break-through is just on the other side of your hard work. Don't stop dreaming.
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 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 Theater Education at Eastern Arizona College and The University of Northern Colorado. When not Acting or Directing, Tyson teaches Theater at Heritage Academy In Laveen, Arizona
Anna Mettes is thrilled to be joining the VYT team! Born and raised in Phoenix, she is currently attending Grand Canyon University to get her BA in Theatre and Drama. She is a VYT alum and was a part of 9 productions, including Alice in Wonderland, Newsies, Tuck Everlasting, Freaky Friday, and Matilda. She also worked as an intern for VYT's summer camp in 2018! She has choreographed in multiple settings, including studio dance, middle school productions, high school show choir, and collegiate theatre. Anna's goal is to create a safe and welcoming environment for all children and to promote openness and kindness in a productive and fun work environment!
Pearl is a graduate from The Hartt School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in Connecticut where she earned her BFA in Musical Theatre. Originally from Vermont, and new to Arizona, Pearl is over the moon to be joining the VYT team! Most recently, she directed The Jungle Book with EVCT. Pearl has spent time training and performing in Italy, traveling to different communities as a Tour Actor/Director with Missoula Children’s Theatre, and performing in theatres across the country. Her favorite experiences have been performing with Goodspeed Musicals, New London Barn Playhouse, Saint Michael’s Playhouse, Vermont Stage Company, and Cedar Summerstock Theatre. When not in a theatre, Pearl can be found in schools all over AZ, managing Act One’s new Virtual Reality field trip program. She is passionate about spreading the joy of creativity and the arts to students everywhere and can’t wait to share the magic with VYT!
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.
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.
Ryan Ardelt graduated from Grand Canyon University with a BA in Theatre and a minor in dance in Spring of 2021. Ryan started dancing when he was five years of age after watching his sisters on the screen at his old dance studio and becoming tempted to join them in class. He grew up dancing in the studio competitively and eventually was able to transfer his studio background to the stage. He has performed all over the valley, with some of his favorite credits including Mrs. Bumbrake in GCU’s Peter and the Starcatcher, Albert in Hale Centre Theatre’s Newsies, and Rolf in The Phoenix Theatre Company’s The Sound of Music. During the Summer of 2019, Ryan participated in the Open Jar Institute’s Broadway Intensive and received training in New York City from Broadway professionals. He also had the opportunity to learn from and perform with Broadway’s Dames at Sea tapping star Eloise Kropp as an ensemble member in Scottsdale Musical Theatre Company’s 42nd Street. Along with performing, Ryan has composed music for five MainStage productions at Grand Canyon University and most recently worked on composing for Tap 24.7’s 11th annual show Tap Side Story. He is ecstatic to be joining Valley Youth Theatre for the summer to teach!