If you'd like to find out more information about our other instructors you can browse the list below.
From a small town in Iowa, Courtney started acting in high school. “In high school, I immersed myself in plays, musicals, choir, and speech and found many avenues to express my creativity,” she says. “In college, I continued to be involved in theater and also began teaching it then. While I was on tour with the Omaha Theatre Company, I performed for and met young people all over the country and saw how important these creative outlets can be for our youth. After touring, some friends and I decided to start a theater in Oklahoma, where the arts were becoming increasingly overlooked at that time.”
She began teaching a teen acting class and started directing young people in plays. “It was so much fun! Seven years later, those kids are all grown up, but we still keep in contact. Many of those former students remember that time in their lives as something they really needed. That is why I continue to teach acting.”
Her favorite AFA teaching memory comes from an improvisational exercise where the students were acting as a family in a car for a teenager’s first driving lesson. “All I gave them was the situation and the characters, and they pulled together a hilarious scene that was eerily accurate based on my own experiences of trying to drive with my family.”
Courtney says that new students in her acting class are usually quiet “but not in a timid or shy way, necessarily. It’s more like they are filled with so much energy and so many ideas of how this class could go, that they’re trying to keep it all contained. They’re like a volcano about to explode, anxious to create new paths before them. After they have gone through the course of the class, they come away from it more confident of their abilities to relate and create, and more aware of what they express to the world. They learn that self-expression is their gift, and they have gained some insight on how to refine it.”