Dream * Believe * Achieve! Tina is thrilled to see a Dream and a Vision come true. The launching of Ovation Academy For the Performing Arts! Director, Musical Director, Producer, Professional Vocalist, Actress, Teacher & Band Leader, Tina has been the Artistic Director and Program Manager for the award winning, nationally recognized BRAVO Program in Oak Park, IL. for twelve years. She has directed over 40 shows including Shrek, Annie, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Hairspray, Legally Blonde, The Wiz, Beauty & the Beast, Seussical, Little Shop of Horrors, In the Heights, 13, Mulan and the list goes on. Her direction and leadership at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, GA, has earned BRAVO national recognition and her students were awarded Outstanding Production for five straight years, along with piloting and performing New Works productions including the newest World Premiere of James and the Giant Peach! In 2010, Tina was deeply honored to be awarded the Freddie G Director's Award. Tina has directed and musically directed at Long Lake Camp for the Arts toured worldwide with The Young Americans and earned her BFA in Musical Theatre from Cal-State Fullerton. Tina first arrived to Chicago as resident director aboard Navy Pier's Spirit of Chicago. In 2002 the Reynolds family was cast in the world premiere musical Comfortable Shoes at the Royal George Theater in Chicago- quite a story! Tina performs with the professional group The Caroling Party, travels world-wide as an Associate Director for The Young Americans and is also a fitness professional. She is grateful to her kids Justin and Jazmine for always being a constant source of support and guidance and is incredibly proud of both of them!
Katie joins us in Chicago after spending the last eight years performing in NYC. National Tours: South Pacific (Nellie Forbush), 'S Wonderful (Jane), Annie (Ronnie Boylan). Regional: Last Five Years (Cathy), Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy), Full Monty (Pam), Ordinary Days (Claire), Broadway: The Big Band Years, Sweeney Todd, The Who's Tommy. TV: All My Children, Limitless. The University of Oklahoma, BFA Music Theater. In Chicago, Katie has sung with the Chicago Artists Chorale, music directed at Bravo Arts Academy, and worked as a fellow in Development and Special Events at American Theater Company. She's excited to expand into teaching and to share her love for the arts with the next generation!
Mark Saltzman has been performing for audiences from a very young age and began acting, dancing, directing, and choreographing professionally since 1990. Having participated in over 100 theatrical productions, Mark’s love of performing arts has allowed him to experience all aspects of theater. Mark toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico with Disney’s “Bear in the Big Blue House” and Jim Henson’s “Sesame Street LIVE”.
Working with professional puppeteers was an inspiring experience which unlocked the magic of the art of puppetry for him. Mark began constructing custom puppets and performing with puppets in 2000 and is an alumni of the US National Puppetry Conference at the prestigious Eugene O’Neil Theatre Center in Waterford Connecticut. Mark designs, constructs and performs with puppets with his company Kiwuppet Studios.
Mark designed the puppets for BRAVO’s James & The Giant Peach 2016, Lion King Jr 2017, Puppets & costumes for Lil Mermaid, and acted & choreographed in ENCORE productions of Dogfight & West side story.
Mark is a nationally board certified, licensed massage practitioner. He graduated from the Bellvue institute of massage therapy from Seattle, WA. and also holds a certificate as a physical therapy aide. Mark is currently an IFS (Internal Family systems) counseling student, and mentors anyone interested about the benefits of understanding the sum of your parts.
Mark spends the majority of his time between Michigan & Illinois with his business SoTé Massage therapies, helping people transform & lead better lives through this therapeutic treatments.
Emi Lee Hart is thrilled to join the teaching team at Ovation Academy for the Performing Arts! Emi received her Master's Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Kentucky in 2013 and her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA in 2007. Emi has taught private and group voice lessons for 5 years. She loves to teach classical and musical theater styles of singing. Emi has performed over 13 operas and musicals in Europe and the United States. Emi is looking forward to her first year at Ovation!
Ragan is excited to share her passion for teaching and musical theater with students all over the Chicago-land area! She has spent the majority of her life performing on stage, on camera, and backstage, and has studied acting in studios across Chicago. After spending 4 years working at BRAVO, Ragan began directing in summer of 2014 and has now directed 8 shows and counting! She adores working with children of all ages and is currently pursing a degree in Elementary Education. Ragan is happy to be a part of the Ovation team!
Michael Jones is a native of Chicago and has traveled and performed for audience's worldwide. A favorite of cruise ship audiences for many years, Michael is known for his effervescent vocals and dance style. Michael was a member of the internationally acclaimed Young Americans, performing with celebrities such as as Carol Lawrence, Arsenio Hall, and the late, great Liberace. He was a featured dancer on the Party Machine with Nia Peeples and recently played the Tin Man in The Wiz at the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, and was nominated for a Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He is currently the Artistic Director and Instructor of Musical Theatre and Dance at the University of Chicago Charter School Woodlawn Campus.
Jake Jones is an actor and teacher based in Chicago. He has performed with a variety of theaters both locally and regionally. In Chicago, he has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Oak Park Festival Theater, City Lit, Circle Theater, Commedia Beauregard, Piccolo, Suitcase Shakespeare, Chase Park Theater, and Stone Soup Shakespeare. Elsewhere he has appeared with the Shakespeare Theater of NJ, Artists' Ensemble (Rockford, IL) and CATCO (Columbus, OH). Coming from a family of teachers, he has taught a variety of classes over the years, ranging from improv, to auditioning, to acting fundamentals. Jake has trained at IO Chicago and received his BFA in Acting from the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music (CCM).
Cameron Burgess is a recent graduate of Columbia College with a BA in Vocal Performance. Cameron has spent the past five years working with the Bravo program as a Music Director and Sound Engineer. This past year he became the Music Director of Noteworthy, OPRFHS Show Choir. He recently expanded his repertoire by conducting their pit orchestra and working with other bands around Chicagoland. Cameron also has a passion for a capella performance and is currently working with a group called Clusterfunk.
Meghan was welcomed to the Ovation team after traveling around the world with the Young Americans Performing Arts Outreach Program for three years! She wanted to continue to teach as much as she could while pursuing a bachelor's degree in marketing at Loyola University Chicago. She has been performing since fourth grade, and would love to give everyone the same experience with singing and dancing she got! Meghan is so glad to be a part of team Ovation, and looking forward to laughing with the kiddos!
Anna Marlow was born and raised in Rogers, Arkansas. She grew up in a musical household, playing and competing in various piano and clarinet competitions from when she was six years old, but her biggest joy has always been singing and acting. After graduating from Rogers High School, Anna studied and toured extensively with the Young Americans International Outreach Program, working in schools and theaters in the United States, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Poland, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea, and was also a member of the Boyne Highlands Dinner theater for three years. She is so excited to start her next journey in Chicago with Ovation!
Ms. Cox has established herself in the Chicagoland area as an effective teaching artist. She is a Teaching Artist with the Chicago Opera Theater Educational Outreach program, as well as the founder and lead teacher for the Solorio Voice Academy in conjunction with After School Matters. She is the soprano resident artist with Chicago Opera Playhouse, an educational outreach that specializes in performing opera for the young. Other Chicagoland credits include the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Chicago Summer Opera, Devonshire Playhouse, the "D:Activate" concert series in correlation with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Folks Operetta, Opera Book Club, Davenport Piano Bar, Classical Revolution, the Floating Opera Company, and NONOpera. She will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary Season of the Chicago Choral Artists as a returning artist, and is an active member of the Chicago Chapter of Opera on Tap. She is a student of Ms Maria Lagios and Ms Julia Faulkner.
Hey guys! My name is Grant and I'm beyond thrilled to be leading Ovation's dance classes! I've been dancing and singing all my life , and started taking it seriously when I began participating at BRAVO when I was about 10 years old. I love music and the self expression it pulls from dance. Let's have a great year!
Skylar began dancing at the age of 3 at Panda Dance Studios. There she studied tap, jazz, ballet and pointe while competing with the Wendy City Dancers Dance Company. In middle school, Skylar was involved with B.R.A.V.O. where she was casted as a dancer in multiple shows and got the opportunity to travel to Atlanta to compete in the Junior Theatre Festival twice. In 2014 Skylar left Panda Studios to start dancing and competing with Transcendsnce Studios. She continued studying tap, jazz, ballet and pointe and then started hip hop, lyrical and contemporary. At the age of 15 she also began teaching dance classes. As she entered her freshman year of highschool she auditioned for the schoolâ€™s dance company, Orchesis. With Orchesis she has choreographed and performed student choreographed pieces as well as had the chance to work with many guest artists. Now as a senior at Oak Park River Forest High School, she is ecstatic to move on to college to major in social work!
Scott is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and music educator. He started on his path in music while in middle school when he fell in love with the sound of The Beatles. He decided he must learn to sing and play guitar and what followed was the forming of his first rock and roll band. Music grew in his heart and he continued to pursue his passion by studying at the Eastman School of Music with a focus in vocal performance. While at Eastman, along with singing opera, art songs and musicals, and against his teacher's wishes, he continued rockin' out with his band The Shift. This energy eventually provided the spark to move to Chicago. For the past 12 years, Scott has been performing, writing and recording in Chicago, most notably with the roots reggae band Akasha and as a solo artist. As a lover of all types of music, he believes that you can learn about yourself, how to use your voice and reach out to the world from almost any song as long as it cries out with love from your heart.