Annie Forgione has over 13 years of professional performance experience. She is an accomplished performer, director and certified teacher in the performing arts. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida and holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. Annie is an active member of Actors Equity Association. Recently she performed as a Disney princess in various shows in Orlando, Florida. Her favorite roles include Rose Petal in My Perfectly Princess Tea Party at Walt Disney World. Annie developed the interactive show Cinderella’s Princess Court with Walt Disney Entertainment, currently playing in New York City. Annie has been a Broadway Kid since age 10 and has performed in numerous benefits in NYC including Friends of Center Stage at the Hudson Theatre alongside the very popular Kristen Chenoweth. Annie has also provided numerous commercial voice-overs for companies such as Coca-Cola, Metlife and General Motors. A certified teacher, Annie taught theatre at Bernards High School and directed productions of “I Remember Mama” and the unforgettable “Wizard of Oz.”
Steven Bednasz is the current musical director at Annie's Playhouse. He has worked professionally as an MD for many productions including Forever Plaid in Provincetown, Parade at NYU Tisch, and numerous venues around NYC and Buffalo, NY where he grew up. He also is an avid pianist/accompanist having played for The Princess Grace Awards hosted by Larry King, rehearsals for The Rocky Horror Show benefit performance at the American Airlines Theatre starring Neil Patrick Harris and has worked with Billy Crystal, Emily Skinner and Kate Shindle as well. Steven is a performer too, having been in productions of The Wild Party, Anything Goes, and Working, among others. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU with a BFA in Drama.
Katie McShane is an Annie’s Playhouse alumni! She has been acting and performing for over fifteen years. Katie has trained most of her life in musical theatre, with a special focus in acting and stage performance. She has worked with theatre companies such as Fun Arts, W.I.L.L, the Acting Troupe, WIRED, and ACT - All College Theatre. Some of her favorite musical roles include Miss Hannigan in Annie and Sandy in Grease (a Fun Arts production). She has been teaching voice, piano, and acting classes in improv, TV/film acting, scene and script work, and auditioning since graduating. She is excited to share her love for acting and musical theatre with kids and adults of all ages.
Emily Frank is a proud member of the Annie’s Playhouse staff. She has been dancing for seventeen years and choreographing for eight. She has training in ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, tap, pointe, Aafrican, salsa, lyrical, and contemporary styles of dance. She has been accepted into the Usaama Dance Company and is a former member of the Showstoppers Dance Company. She performed the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet for 3 years. She has also performed in Broadway on Broadway’s 2010 performance in Times Square. Her choreography was showcased in The National High School Dance Festival’s Student Concert, and at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center in New York City. Emily is a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and will continue to work hard pursuing her career in the art of dance.
Meredith Jordan has been dancing and performing for over seventeen years. She also has a background in competitive gymnastics, and a state champion, holding the title on the balance beam at the age of twelve. She is currently a member of the New York Jets Flight Crew Cheerleader. Meredith was selected with eight other Flight Crew members to travel to Mexico City where she completed a nine day promotional tour for the New York Jets, having shot national televised shows, performed at various charity events and interviewed for such networks as Fox NFL Sports Mexico. She was recently featured as the Monday morning cheerleader on esquire.com. She has been working at Annie's Playhouse for over 3 years and enjoys teaching children and adults the art of performing.
Jordyn Gallagher has been playing guitar for the past fourteen years. As a recent graduate from The College of New Jersey, Jordyn earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a concentration in classical guitar. While at TCNJ, Jordyn has had many performance opportunities including a yearly performance at the Philadelphia Guitar Society Festival. In addition to teaching private guitar, Jordyn is a 5th and 6th grade orchestra teacher and the kindergarten music teacher.
Morgan Markowski began her formal dance training at the age three, studying ballet, modern, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop. She has also trained in Irish-Step Dancing and has been competing at both the regional and national level. Morgan is a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College with a B.A. in Dance, Business Administration, and Marketing. While at Muhlenberg, she was selected to study ballet and modern composition at Accademia dell'Arte, in Arezzo, Italy, an incredible experience! She is excited to join the Annie's Playhouse team, and is looking forward to sharing what she has learned with the next generation of young dancers!
Kenny Zinkevich is a drummer, guitarist, bassist, and pianist. He has been studying and playing these instruments since he was seven years old and has over sixteen years of performance experience. He began teaching privately while studying music and film in college. He graduated with a B.A. from Rowan University and is excited to share his passion of music at Annie's Playhouse.
Katelyn Gaffney is a proud new member of the Annie's Playhouse staff. She has been dancing for over seventeen years. She has been acting and singing professionally since age ten. Katelyn is trained in all forms of dance along with choreography. She has performed in the Nutcracker, at professional sporting events, as a Rockette in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, commercials, and television shows. Katelyn has performed with the National High School Dance Festival throughout her high school career and has received scholarships from companies and schools. Katelyn wishes to continue teaching and performing professionally.
Chelsea Gower is currently finishing her degree in Theatre Education at Kean University. She is the assistant director and choreographer for secondary schools theatre department, as well as their resident dance captain. Her love for performance collided with her passion for teaching during her two year stint as an intern at the Academy of Performing Arts. Her roots are in acting and musical theatre having performed in dozens of productions through various companies. Favorite roles include Lucy, “You're a Good Man Charlie Brown”, calamity Jane in “calamity Jane”, the red queen in “Alice in Wonderland,” and Rizzo in “Grease”. Chelsea specializes in improvisation having been an active member in improv troupes for 10 years. Her love for theatre extends to all ends of the spectrum from headshot photography to theatrical make-up artistry. Her passion for both performance and education have paved a path for the rest of her life.
Mathew Birmingham grew up in New Jersey and began taking classical guitar lessons at the age of twelve. By fifteen he was giving classical concerts in a solo and duo setting throughout New Jersey. At sixteen he attended a Dave Brubeck concert that opened up the world of jazz to him, and he has pursued that genre ever since. He received his B.A in Jazz Studies from the University of Vermont where he studied jazz guitar and piano. While at UVM he played in the University Big Band, the UVM Jazz Quintet, as well as his own band, The Mat Birmingham Quartet. He has had the honor of performing with jazz greats Gary Smulyan and Robin Eubanks. Mat is currently living, performing, composing, and teaching in New Jersey.
Ashley Kraus is proud to be a part of the Annie’s Playhouse staff! Ashley graduated from Kean University with a BA in Music, and a Minor in Theater. As a classically trained soprano, Ashley has had the honor of being a featured soloist on many great works including Haydn's Missa Brevis, Mozrt’s Mass in F and Handel’s Messiah. Ashley has been featured in scenes from Marriage of Figaro, La Boheme, Die Feldermaus, and Norma. She has also performed internationally as a soloist in Montreal, Canada. Aside from her classical training, she enjoys musical theater, and some of her favorite roles include Sheila in Hair, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, and Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Ashley is also signed with Wilhelmina Philadelphia and frequently works in film and television, having appeared on popular shows such as Smash, Gossip Girl, and Ugly Betty.
David Seamon is a graduate of Rutgers University and has studied voice and piano for 17 years. He has sung in choirs and taken private voice and piano lessons in classical and jazz. David is an auditioning actor, and toured for nine months with the children's theater group, The Traveling Lantern Theatre Co. Besides voice and piano, David plays guitar, bass, harmonica, and melodica. He is a lifelong songwriter and composer, and has composed award winning film music (Silver Tripod Award: Best Soundtrack, Campus Movie Fest, 2013).