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Craig Whitcombe (Director/Music Director/Co-Owner) is originally from Wales in the UK & trained in Musical Theatre at the prestigious Mountview Academy in London England. There he received his BA Degree in Musical Theatre on a scholarship he won provided by Sir Cameron Mackintosh (Producer of Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins and many other Broadway shows). He performed in several off west-end productions in London Such as Sweet Charity (Vittorio Vidal) Damn Yankees (Ensemble), Once on This Island (Armand), Of Mice & Men (Lennie), Anyone Can Whistle (Cora’s Boys) in addition to many other productions in the UK while teaching at multiple theatre schools. Craig was hired by the Disney Entertainment company as a performer and spent 8 years as an actor and vocal coach for Disney Cruise Line. He was then brought into Disney’s Creative team as show director for Disney Cruise Lines. Craig continues to direct for them several times a year.
Craig is thrilled to be embarking on the “BIZ” adventure!!!
Jeff Van Paris (Director /Choreographer /Co-Owner) is an Encore Award winning director, and has been directing and choreographing throughout Indiana for over 25 years. He has experience directing numerous community theatre productions, as well as choreographing community theatre, high school musicals, and high school show choirs. Jeff has performed in many community theater productions, as well as several professional ones. Professionally, Jeff has performed at the Round Barn Theater in Nappanee, Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, and in “A Yuletide Celebration” with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for eight seasons. Favorite roles include “Harold Hill”/The Music Man, “The Scarecrow”/Wizard of Oz, (Encore Award Winner), and “Rooster Hannigan”/Annie, (Encore Award Nominee). In his spare time, Jeff is a 4th grade teacher at Clark’s Creek Elementary in Plainfield, father to Alexandria and Dane, and husband to Jan. He is very excited to be realizing his dream of owning and operating a musical theater school!
Jan Van Paris (Co-Owner) has been privileged to be around musical theater her whole life. She spent her summers as a child, visiting Wagon Wheel Playhouse, and was a dancer and gymnast through high school and college. During college, she participated in several summer musicals. After marrying Jeff, and having two children, she once again got involved as the rest of her family fell in love with theater. She spent may years watching and supporting her husband and children in their various roles, until she took the plunge and started working back stage. From pulling curtain, moving sets, running the light board, and pulling flies, to producing shows, she became familiar with a lot of the ‘behind the scenes” aspects. Jan has taught elementary school for fifteen years, as well as managed her own business for ten years. Now that her kids are on their own, she is thrilled to be embarking on this new journey with her husband.