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Administrative Staff

Talena Martinez
Executive Director & On-Task Master

Talena comes from a family of entertainers.  Her mother would tell you that Talena saw a stage at the age of three, climbed up to the center of it and that was the beginning of a life long love.  That love was nurtured into a passion for creating and art. Talena has a strong belief in children, their abilities and talent. She has spent many years training tomorrow’s artists and continues to offer excellent opportunities for discovering, creating, and training for the Austin area youth.

Emily Fagan
Artistic Director & Greatness Generator 

Emily Fagan entered the world of theatre at age 7 in the musical Oliver! Emily continued to perform from then on staring in over 40 plays and musicals by the time she entered college. She spent all of her weekends as a child and young adult building sets, constructing costumes and props, hanging lights…you name it she had a hand in it.

Erin Fleming
Associate Director & Resident Writer

Erin Fleming has a background in the creative arts, as well as Human Resources and Administration. Erin studied at Temple University, and graduated with a BA in English and a certificate in writing. As a children’s playwright, she has written over a dozen productions in Austin. 

M.Z. Ryland
The Knower

M.Z. began performing at the age of nine when they enrolled in one of Austin Children’s Theater’s very first summer camps. They continued to participate in ACT’s original productions for the next nine years, eventually becoming a camp coordinator. They went on to earn their BA in theatre and media arts from The Evergreen State College in Washington state. After graduating in 2019, they’re back in Austin and thrilled to be an active part of the ACT family once again.

Consultants & Resident Artists

Jason Amato

Light Design Consultant
Anne-Marie Gordon
Resident Set Designer
Tyler Mabry
Resident Composer
Victoria Schwartz
Resident Composer
Trudy Martinez 
Special Needs Consultant

Shannon Mott
Costume Design & Construction Consultant
Nathan Porteshawver_Headshot_CoFo_1219 (
Nathan Porteshawver
Strategic Data Analyst Consultant

Nathan is a strategic leader in the art, non-profit, and e-learning industries. As a product manager,  Nathan works with stakeholders at the enterprise level to identify requirements, build strategy, and implement change that is measurable. He is an expert at relational databases, project management, statistics, and machine learning. He also has a background in graphic design, video production, website development, professional acting, casting, writing, and directing.

Becky White
Technical Theater Consultant

Becky White was first introduced to theatre as a high school student attending the Singapore American School. After high school, she returned state side and attended Texas State University, receiving a B.F.A. in theater arts with an emphasis in scenic design. Throughout her career Becky has worked at many interesting venues including Zach Scott Theatre as Assistant Technical Director, Albany Berkshire Ballet’s New England tour of Nutcracker, Strong Productions, Santa Monica College and CBS Studios. She even sailed the seas with Carnival Cruise Lines as scenic lighting technician.

Becky has taught both theatre and art at schools in the Austin area including Small Middle School, McCallum Fine Arts Academy, Dripping Springs HS and Westlake High School where she began her teaching career. Becky’s many talents include set design, scenic painting, lighting design, and working with children of all ages.

When Becky is not in the theatre, she is spending time with her husband Tommy and their two beautiful girls, Amber and Jaden traveling the world.

Ariel Ximenes
Company Historian & Systems Consultant
Silliness Creator


Olivia Jimenez

Motivation Creator
Creativity & Movement Specialist
Kevin Percival
Capitan Clever
Movement & Mind Development Strategist

Kevin studied theater performance at the University of Oklahoma (B.F.A) and has worked in both New York City and Austin as an actor and producer. He now works as an educator, using what he learned from theater to find new ways to engage learners through play. He currently works as a teacher who specializes in inclusive practices and addressing the functional needs of students in Texas public schools, and is the co-founder of (ix)plore Lab, a soft-skills training company. He previously taught acting, improv, and creative writing at EPIC Players and DreamStreet Theater Company, two fantastic neuro-inclusive theater companies in NYC. 

Victoria (Vikki) Schwartz
Chief Treble Maker
Music Manager & act. Band Leader

Jennifer DePizzo (aka Pinky)
Magical Adventure Master 
TEKs Integration & Curriculum Strategist
Antonio Skillicorn
The 'Yes, and. . .' Man
Summer Camp Thought Leader
Angelina Zulas
Keeper of the Sparkle(s)
Imagination to Reality Specialist
Sophie Kruip
Queen of the Quills 
The Mind to Matter Maker


Mission Statement & Objectives

The mission of ACT is to educate, inspire and empower children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through the arts.

ACT provides an extracurricular learning experience in Austin, TX for children who are interested in the arts. ACT offers the opportunity to create, explore and produce all aspects of art.

Our primary objectives are to:
  • Inspire creativity and innovation in each student by recognizing and nurturing their individual talents.

  • Empower each student by cultivating positive self-esteem and confidence and by providing opportunities to show completed works of art.

  • Teach life skills through a curriculum that emphasizes an understanding of the creative process that can be used in all areas of life.

Our secondary objectives are to:
  • Provide the Austin, TX community with opportunities for cultural enrichment.

  • Maintain an inspiring and uplifting working environment for students, teachers and staff.

  • Instill a greater appreciation for the need to art and expression in everyday community life.

  • Offer specialized evaluation of handicap and learning disabled children in order to create specialized learning programs



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