kevin cook

Kevin Cook
Director of Education

Kevin earned his B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Richmond in Virginia and his M.A. with an emphasis in writing and directing for the theatre from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Kevin spent many years touring as a professional actor before settling down to teach acting as well as to create and manage theatre productions. Kevin’s theatre management includes productions with Penn and Teller, Kathy Bates, Farrah Fawcett, Gary Sinese, Lynn Redgrave, John Mahoney and Holly Hunter (all NYC), Sheena Easton (Las Vegas), David Cassidy (Las Vegas, National and International Tours) as well as one of the largest production shows in the world MGM Grand’s EFX (Las Vegas). Kevin wrote the book for GET HAPPY one of the definitive works on the songwriter Harold Arlen and won Winter Haven’s National Playwriting Award for Best Musical for the children’s fantasy A DRAGON’S TALE! Along with composer and arranger, Denis Kashoid, Kevin has recently written the children’s musicals COOL YULE TIDINGS – A WORLDLY CELEBRATION, TOY TROUBLE, THE PIED PIPER OF POSSUM KINGDOM and an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes called THE ROCKER’S NEW RAGS. Denis and Kevin are currently creating a musical theatre adaptation of Dracula scheduled to open in Dallas in July of 2013.


Beth Bontley
Acting, Lyric Interpretation

ElizaBeth Bontley graduated from Trinity University with a BA in Speech/Drama; from the Circle in the Square Theater School in NYC; and recently completed her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts through Goddard College. While in New York, she performed extensively off and off/off Broadway with Willow Cabin Theater, Our Gang Theater, Circle in the Square Projects and Roundabout Stage II.
Locally, she appeared in Echo Theater’s Fefu and her Friends; in Theater Three’s The Women; The Memory of Water, as well as several staged readings at Circle Theater; Steel Magnolias at Artisan Theater; and has been active in Ft. Worth’s V-Day celebrations.
She has directed for DFW Playwrights, the Texas Unbound Festival, Watertower’s Out of the Loop Festival, Unity’s Magdalene Festival, TCC, Bedford Onstage, Wingspan Theater, and was assistant director to Susan Sargeant’s Moon for the Misbegotten at Circle Theater. She produced, directed and performed in The Guys. Recently, she has been focusing on creating original material including, 6 Women Who Have Found their Author at TCU, The Girlz2Women Quest, and her year long project 12 in 12 at the Firehouse Gallery.
She is an acting and performance coach and a speaker on holistic principles, eco-philosophy and women’s issues. She taught acting at TCU and TCC; currently teaching at Stage and Dallas Summer Musicals.

Michael Gasparro
Kerry Dove

Kerry brings to Dallas Summer Musicals over 28 years of teaching experience. Having grown up as the daughter of a prominent dance studio owner in Toronto, Ontario, Canada she has studied tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, acrobatics, Scottish and Irish dance since the age of 2.  She has continued to train both locally and in New York. After receiving certification through the R.A.D. (Royal Academy of Dance), the B.A.T.D (British Association of Teachers of Dance) and the C.D.M.A. (Canadian Dance Masters of America), Ms. Dove became the owner and director of her mother’s studio at the age of 16, when she traded in her competitive shoes for the rewarding role of teacher and mentor. Throughout her teaching career her students have achieved over 500 placements in regional, national and international competitions and many have gone on to performance careers in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto, including a teaching position at the prestigious Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Her choreography experience includes everything from solos to large groups to full scale musical productions, television shows, pageants and show choirs. While in Toronto, Ms. Dove created and implemented a national dance competition for the Kiwanis Club and the city of Toronto, where she worked as the director of a Performing Arts Program for inner city at-risk youth.
Currently Ms Dove is a faculty member of Ballet Conservatory in Lewisville, where she teaches tap, jazz, acro and musical theatre and directs a 30 member dance company that performs and competes throughout the metroplex. As well she has choreographed several full scale musical theatre productions, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie, Beauty and the Beast and other theatre projects for Faith Christian School in Grapevine. She has taught for DSM for the past 4 years, staging several musical theatre pieces encompassing selections from Newsies, Aladdin, High School Musical, Polar Express, The Wiz, Wicked, Guys and Dolls, Oliver, Grease, Mary Poppins, A Chorus line, Hairspray and many others. She continues to expand her body of theatre work through freelance work in and around the Dallas area.

Amanda Seale Farrow
Dance Instructor / Choreographer

Amanda teaches choreography for the DSM Academy. Amanda has been dancing since before she could walk. She was trained in classical ballet, pointe, and contemporary ballet, modern, tap, and jazz for over 20 years and has been teaching dance for over 9 years. Originally from Abilene, she was a company member of Abilene Ballet Theatre and a dance instructor for Ballet Abilene from 1999 to 2005. Her company performed The Nutcracker every winter, and attended Regional Dance America Southwest every spring, where she featured contemporary ballet dance pieces. When she graduated from Wylie High School in May of 2005, she attended and graduated in August 2009 with a BBA in Arts and Entertainment Marketing from Baylor University. From 2006 to 2009, Amanda taught at Joy’s School of Dance ages 3 to adult in ballet, jazz, contemporary ballet, and tap. In June 2009, Amanda began an internship at Dallas Summer Musicals in the Marketing Department. Amanda was later given the position of Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Dallas Summer Musicals, and began teaching for the DSM Academy in September of 2010. She is so excited to be a part of the DSM Academy!

denis kashoid
Denis Kashoid
Musical Director

Denis Kashoid comes to Dallas Summer Musicals by way of  Russia. Following ten years of studying the art of music, Mr. Kashoid continued his education by completing a Masters degree in music performance and education awarded by Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Denis is a teacher accredited on the college level, a performance artist in piano and trumpet, musical director for the theatre and an orchestrator. In the United States, Denis has most recently been the conductor and musical director for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, SEUSSICAL, GODSPELL, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, FAME, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK, JUNGLE BOOK, THE BIG BAD MUSICAL, and WILLIE WONKA.  Denis has partnered with author Kevin Cook to write the music and arrangements for COOL YULE TIDINGS, TOY TROUBLE, THE PIED PIPER OF POSSUM KINGDOM, and the modern adaptation of the Emperor’s New Clothes called THE ROCKER’S NEW RAGS.  Denis has also recently scored the new film I AM GABRIEL. Denis is currently working with Kevin Cook on creating a musical theatre adaptation of Dracula scheduled to open in Dallas in July of 2013. To hear samples of some of Denis Kashoid’s original composition and film scoring, visit or

Steven Kavner

Steven Kavner is the Peabody Award winning producer of the critically acclaimed PBS Children’s Series, Wishbone. The show also received four Daytime Emmy Awards as well as the Television Critics Association Award for best children’s program two years in a row. Their feature-length presentation, Showtime presents Wishbone’s Dog Days of the West was co-produced, co-written, and co-starred Steven and was nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards.
Steven has been an actor for over 30 years in film, television, commercials, and theater where he received two DRAMA-LOGUE Awards for excellence in acting in Los Angeles and appeared on many television shows and commercials including recurring roles on the Daytime Dramas Bold and the Beautiful and Generations as well as Hill St. Blues, Gidget’s Summer Reunion, The New Leave it to Beaver, Lou Grant, Dynasty, and Remington Steele. Steven was a performer for many years with the acclaimed improv troupe, The Groundlings, and then created the improv troupe, The Alley Oops at Actors Alley in Los Angeles. Steven was an instructor at the famed Stella Adler Academy as well as his own studio, Improv For The Actor.
Currently, Steven is the Founder and Managing Director of Salty Pretzels Entertainment (, developing a number of properties for kids, tweens, and teens. The advertising division has created and produced national commercials for such children’s icons as Barney, Bob The Builder, Sesame Street, The Cat in the Hat, and Fraggle Rock among many others

Kristina Kirkenaer-Hart

Kristina has thirty years of dance experience. She has studied classically in both Ballet and Modern Dance with New York University, Tisch Dance, NYC - BFA, Nutmeg Ballet, Vagonova Program and at North Carolina School of the Arts - High School Diploma, Boston Ballet and various other ballet summer programs, such as BalletMet and School of American Ballet.  She was a company member in Darrah Carr Dance Company and the Doug Elkins Dance Company, both based in New York. Through the latter, she performed at several premiere spaces in New York and abroad, including The Duke on 42nd Street, The Joyce SoHo and others. Kristina has been reviewed in the New York Times, an article which showcased a color photo of her. She and her husband moved to Oslo, Norway, in 2004, where she took over a family dance school with approximately 500 students and an attached professional children’s dance company. During this time of serving as leader of the then 55 year old institution the children’s ballet company toured to Turkey and Italy and performed at premiere spaces in the Oslo community, including the Oslo Concert House and the National Theatre. Simultaneously, while managing the ballet school, together with her husband Jim Hart, they launched The International Theatre Academy Norway, a two year accredited conservatory for arts (Theatre) entrepreneurship and also served as Rektor Both schools are still in operation today. Currently she enjoys teaching dance and theater and developing young performing artists.

Ty Lawrence
Ty Lawrence
Production Stage Manager

As a student of theatre and cultural anthropology, Ms Lawrence attended Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. Her technical stage work includes productions of OKLAHOMA!, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK and PENNY. Ty began her stage management career with the Junior Players Guild in Dallas with THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGENT EVER. She was Production Stage Manager for the SPECTACULAR SENIOR FOLLIES presented at the historic Majestic Theatre.  She is currently the resident Production Stage Manager for Dallas Summer Musicals Academy of Performing Arts. Student know her management skills from recent academy productions such as COOL YULE TIDINGS, THE BIG BAD MUSICAL as well as TOY TROUBLE, THE PIED PIPER OF POSSUM KINGDOM and this summer’s teen intensive FAME. Ty is also stage manages productions for DFW Performing Arts Conservatory including FAME, SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE and their upcoming production of GODSPELL .

Cherish Robinson
Musical Director

Cherish Robinson has over 15 years of experience in the music field. Learning how to play the piano at the age of 7 and professionally singing since the age of 12, she knew that music was going to be a vital part in her life. She has been teaching piano and voice for over 7 years and founded The Shining Fame School of Arts (a performing and visual arts school).
Cherish has traveled to Europe and the United States as a singer, producer, and writer. She has worked with many choirs, artists, and producers such as Yarbrough & Peoples, Pat Peterson, Liz Mikal, Erykah Badu, N'Dambi, Emily King, and the Louisiana State University gospel choir. In May of 2007, she was the Music Director for Dallas' 1st Annual Divas and Daughters Tribute (an award show, honoring influential women of Dallas, TX.). In June 2008, she toured with Erykah Badu as her newest background vocalist on the Vortex Tour. 
In March 2010, she recorded an album with A.W. Brown Fellowship Leadership Academy (as their then music teacher) entitled, "Music In Our Schools: It's All Up To Me". In June of that same year, her all-girl band, Beauty &the Beats released their highly anticipated 3-song EP and is currently working on finishing the album along with her solo jazz project. She also serves as Rising Star Baptist Church, Minister of Music in Ft. Worth, TX.

Joe Trifiletti
Director/Choreographer/Acting Instructor

As a native New Yorker working professionally in the theatre for over 15 years, Joe's passion for musical theater performance landed him a scholarship to The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Manhattan, NY. Joe graduated and went on to perform in numerous summer stock productions and regional playhouses, including New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse. He received his Actors Equity Union card in 2001 from his first national tour with Theatreworks USA. Joe has lent his voice to multiple Nickelodeon commercials including "Sponge Bob Square Pants" and radio spots for McDonald's and other national leading brands. Commercial credits include "Sex and the City", a national spot for TBS. In 2008 Joe spent a year  "down under" where he performed and taught a variety of theatre classes for Riverside Theatre in Sydney, Australia. His work with children has been a constant through out his career. Joe has spent numerous summers teaching, directing, and choreographing at French Woods Festival for the Performing Arts, a summer camp located on a beautiful private lake in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. Prior to arriving in Texas, Joe was a director for Wingspan Arts, a not-for-profit program which brought all types of Arts Education to schools that lost funding due to increasing budget cuts. After his first year he was asked to direct their Summer Conservatory's musical production. An avid believer of the important influence Arts Education has on our youth, it was a privilege and honor for him to be part of such a special organization. Joe is thrilled to be a new member of the DSM Academy and is looking forward to a great year of playmaking!! Recent Dallas teaching/directing credits include Dallas Children's Theater, Junior Players, and DFW Performing Arts Center.