Producing Artistic Director
Brett is thrilled to be entering his 6th season with VCT as we celebrate our 15th year of award-winning, professional theatre in the Valley! Before becoming P.A.D. in 2019 he served as Assistant Artistic Director & Director of Education since 2017. Brett is an experienced Musical Theatre professional (Producer, Music Director/ Conductor/ Pianist/ Vocal Coach, Theatre Educator and Performer), administrator and business person. He prides himself on inspiring his team to create an outstanding, top-notch theatrical experience for his students, collaborators and all involved. He currently resides in Roanoke full time, after moving to the area in 2017 from upstate New York. He received his Bachelor of Arts at SUNY Potsdam and The Crane School of Music, through the (SIIM) Student Initiated Interdepartmental Major, with a degree in Musical Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Music Direction. Brett has served as music director, vocal coach and teaching artist for the Tony Award-Winning Barrington Stage Company, Redhouse Arts Center, Syracuse Children’s Theatre, Bogardus Performing Arts Center, SUNY Potsdam’s Creative Arts Camp, PHCC Patriot Players, Roanoke City Schools and a variety of school systems throughout New York. Brett also served as the Educational Outreach Coordinator for The Award Winning Crane Opera Ensemble at SUNY Potsdam for two seasons. He also enjoys singing professionally throughout the Roanoke Valley and beyond!
Director of Education
Brynn is an emerging theatre artist/educator based out of Roanoke, VA. Ms. Scozzari holds a Master in Music from Southern Illinois University where she studied Opera/Music Theater, and a BA in Music (minor in Education) from Roanoke College. Ms. Scozzari began her professional work with Opera Roanoke’s Apprentice Artist Program from 2012-2015 where she performed multiple roles with Opera Roanoke’s recurring program, The Masques of Orpheus. Her favorite opera credits include Blondchen (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and The Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflote). Her favorite musical theatre credits include Marian Paroo (The Music Man), Mrs. Anderssen (A Little Night Music), Ragamuffin/Phyllis Dale (42nd Street), and dance ensemble (Addams Family, Children of Eden). Brynn has worked as a Music Director and a Stage Director on multiple Broadway Jr. productions as well as mainstage productions (Beauty and the Beast and Seussical the Musical). Brynn has stage directed multiple scenes programs and small operas for Opera Roanoke, including the regional premiere of Speed Dating Tonight as well as their mainstage production in 2017 (Puccini’s Tosca). Brynn made her debut with Virginia Children’s Theater as the Music Director and Choreographer for The Little Mermaid Jr. in 2018. Ms. Scozzari has a private voice studio and loves to teach singers of all ages!
Lana Huffington is a director, dramaturge and actor holding both Drama and History degrees, with a minor in American Sign Language, from the University at North Carolina at Greensboro. She has worked with various theatre companies throughout her educational career including SoHo Rep, Peppercorn Children's Theatre, and Springville Center for the Arts. She is incredibly excited to join the Virginia Children's Theatre team and get to know more about the Roanoke community.
Kari is delighted to return to Virginia Children’s Theatre as the director of her beloved Kaleidoscope Camp. She brings over 25 years of acclaimed success as a teaching artist, educator, director, and actor. Kari is passionate about integrating people with special needs into the mainstreamed setting, using the discipline of Fine Arts to enable positive personal growth.
Kari began her career acting in theatre/musical theatre at Mill Mountain in the early 1980s. It was there that she was under the direction of Mary Best Bova, who would lead her on an international tour of Peace Child, the Musical. Kari and Mary would then reunite in 2007 alongside Pat Wilhelms during the inception of Virginia Children’s Theatre. Since the beginning of VCT, Kari has served as an actor, teacher, director, assistant stage manager, and advocate. Holding a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Roanoke College plus Virginia teaching certification for theatre grades pre-k to 12, Kari offers an award winning perspective of theatre education from both the public school and professional arts settings. She received both the Sallie May Award for Teaching Excellence and the Golden Apple Award (Elementary Division) from Roanoke County Public Schools. Kari has been spotlighted as an educational songwriter, with a track on Dr. Jean Feldman’s CD Totally Reading that has inspired classrooms as far away as Japan. Kari’s acting has landed her in several radio and television commercials representing not only Virginia Children’s Theatre, but also WSLS Storm Team 10, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, and more. Her multi-faceted career also holds time at WDBJ-7 and as the News Director/Morning Co-Host at K92FM. Kari has served on the Board of the PGA TOUR Wives Association and has been highlighted alongside her family in two CBS National television features: Chasing the Trophy and The Road to the PGA. Favorite VCT appearances include Honk!, Junie B. Jones and A Little Monkey Business, and Stuart Little. Her proudest moment was serving as the inaugural director of Kaleidoscope.
Kari currently resides on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband Chip, son Colby, and daughters, Kalley and Camryn who are both former VCT students, actors, and Kaleidoscope mentors.
Emma Sala is an actress, singer, and teaching artist who has been working with VCT since their very first production. She graduated with a B.A. in Theatre from Hollins University in 2018 and received a graduate-level Certificate in New Play Performance from the Hollins Playwright’s Lab this past summer. In addition to performing in several VCT productions over the years, she spent three summers while she was in high school and college as an education intern, assistant teaching VCT summer camps for all ages. She was most recently seen on the VCT stage as Dina in Schoolhouse Rock Live! Favorite acting credits include: Velma Kelly in Chicago and Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher (Hollins), Emily in Coupler (Hollins/Mill Mountain Theatre), and Mary Ingalls in A Little House Christmas (VCT). She is absolutely thrilled to once again be working with her VCT family and to begin sharing her love of theatre with the younger generation as a teaching artist this fall.
Administrative Assistant to the P.A.D.
Kaitlin Pennington is a graduate of James Madison University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. During her time at JMU, she immersed herself in performance and choreography. This included performing and touring with JMU’s pre-professional company, the Virginia Repertory Dance Company, where she worked with artists such as Rubén Graciani, Doug Varone, John Dixon, and Ting-Yu Chen. During her last year at JMU, she was awarded an Undergraduate Research Grant from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, allowing her to focus on dance accessibility within the local population of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After graduating, she moved to Washington DC to work with Dance Place as their Youth Programs Intern. While living in DC, she performed, taught, and worked with multiple arts organizations throughout the city most notably: performing with Jane Franklin Dance, AJ Collabs, and Extreme Lengths Productions and teaching at Imagination Stage and District Dance Arts. Kaitlin is also a co-founder of Coalescence, a platform for emerging interdisciplinary artists to network, create, and show work. She will be continuing her education this fall at the University of Kentucky to receive her master’s degree in Arts Administration. Kaitlin started working with VCT in April 2021 when she choreographed Mary Poppins Jr. She is joining the education team in teaching multiple classes and camps throughout the summer and will be Assistant Directing the upcoming production of Oz: A Staged Concert. She has loved working with VCT so far and is so excited for what’s to come!
David holds a B.A in theatre and performance and a B.S in Finance from Radford University. You may recognize him from previous VCT shows, The Boy at the Edge of Everything and Schoolhouse Rock Live! Favorite credits include, Will Parker in Oklahoma!, Peter Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank and William Ingles/Cornstalk in Walk to Freedom: The Mary Draper Ingles Story.
Gwyneth Strope is a teaching artist based in Roanoke, Virginia. She is currently enrolled as a M.F.A. Playwriting student at Hollins, holding a B.A. in Theatre from James Madison University. As an educator, Gwyneth fosters passion, sparks innovation, promotes community, and emphasizes personal identity. She believes that theatre education and practice should help a student discover who they want to be and how they fit inside the world around them. She honored to be once again working with Virginia Children’s Theatre this fall!
Teaching Artist: Youth Professional Ensemble
Mollye Otis specializes in training singers for Musical Theatre and Commercial singing. With B.M. and M.M. degrees in piano performance from the University of Kentucky she pursued musical theatre work first at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM) before moving onto New York to start a freelance career. Discovering her passion for teaching voice, she worked as a coach while learning about contemporary singing styles that Musical Theatre demanded. Finally playing pit orchestra jobs on Broadway productions of Victor, Victoria and Chicago, she left New York to pursue her teaching path.
Mollye has taught in professional musical theatre training programs at Burt Reynolds Institute for Theatre Training, New World School for the Arts, Northwestern State (LA), Penn State, and the University of Miami. In 2017 she retired from East Carolina University’s BFA Musical Theatre Program.
Training in contemporary singing, she has studied with Mary Saunders Barton, Jeannette LoVetri and is certified in Contemporary Commercial Music by the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University, in Estill Voice Levels I and II, and in Lisa Popeil’s Voiceworks Method. Mollye most recently completed studies with Meredith Colby, training in Neuro-Vocal Method pedagogy. Additionally she is a graduate of the Vocology Institute of the National Center for Voice and Speech and Elissa Weinzimmer’s Authentic Voice Academy.
Presently, Mollye is teaching at Hollins University, Radford University and Virginia Children’s Theatre. She works with the Apprentice Program of Opera Roanoke, presenting musical theatre singing and performance techniques. She trains a few dedicated young singers in her private studio and is continuing to develop her own songwriting and performance skills.
Mollye is passionate about helping young artists learn to sing and giving them the tools along with the encouragement to become expressive, committed performers.