The Who’s Who

Nicia Carla:

Teaching Artist


Nicia is the founding Artistic Director of PaperHouse Theatre in Charlotte, NC. She has worked extensively with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, where she was a Core Artist for several years, with the combined duties of acting, directing and teaching for the company. She has taught a wide variety of ages from creative drama for 3 yr. olds to pre-professional training for teens as an instructor of the Ensemble Company. She has also been a teaching artist for the Neighborhood Bridges program for over 7 years, partnering with CMS classroom teachers for a 12-week residency with 4th graders that focuses on writing, storytelling, and performance. Nicia has acted and directed for Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Theatre Charlotte, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and PaperHouse Theatre, among many others. She is currently working on her fifth season as Artistic Director for PaperHouse Theatre, acting, directing, and developing new works. She is a graduate of Winthrop University’s Theatre Department where she earned a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis on Performance.

Kody Hall:

Film production and photography

Kody is a professional photographer, digital artist, and teacher. They have been an artist for all of their life, a photographer for more than sixteen years, and a digital arts teacher at Mallard Creek High School for the last four years. Kody has led three students to National Gold and Silver Medal wins in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards over the last two years, and loves helping others fall in love with the medium of photography. You can view Kody’s work at their website, or via Kody’s Instagram, @KodyHallPhoto

Shawnna Pledger:

Founding Director, Teaching Artist

A teaching artist, actor and activist. Shawnna has been working with diverse groups of young people for over 20 years. She has worked with students from around the world (England, Ireland, Canada, the U.S.A. and beyond) creating theatre. She loves helping people discover the value in their own stories and giving them the tools and opportunity to share their voices with the world. She has a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Oregon, studied devising and physical theatre at the Dell’ Arte International School of Physical Theatre and holds a Masters Degree in Educational Theatre from N.Y.U. with a focus on Applied Theatre. Shawnna has worked at theatres across the country such as San Diego Rep, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre and Missoula Children’s Theatre. In Charlotte, Shawnna has acted with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, C.A.S.T., Theatre Charlotte,Three Bone Theatre, Paperhouse Theatre, and the Actors Theatre of Charlotte.

Dori A. Robinson:

Teaching Artist

Dori A. Robinson: is a director, playwright, dramaturg and educator. Dori holds a Masters from New York University’s Educational Theatre program, and has been a director and experiential educator for years working with such organizations as: The New Victory Theatre, Theatre Development Fund, Park Avenue Armory, Trusty Sidekick, Shattered Globe, Timeline Theatre, New York Student Shakespeare Festival, and most recently Greater Boston Stage Company where she was the Director of Education. As an avid teaching artist, she shares her love of Shakespeare, new play development, physical theatre, political theatre, and gender in performance. Dori’s original plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Boston, including: The Great Harvest, The Principal Stream, Name of a Woman, and Six Wings to One.  Dori seeks out and develops projects that explore social consciousness, heroes, and the difference one individual can make.

Stacy Schiller:

Education Specialist, Teaching Artist

Stacy has been an educator for 24 years.  She has a Master’s in Teaching from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Always passionate about teaching the Holocaust and social justice, she has attended multiple nationally recognized programs on those subjects. She has designed and implemented workshops for middle, high school, and college students as well as professional development workshops for educators on topics like racism, heterosexism, the Holocaust, and other genocides.  She has served as the Director of the Holocaust Resource Center and Diversity Council at Kean University in New Jersey and currently teaches United States History, Sociology, and Holocaust at the high school level, incorporating her social justice education background into her teaching. She is her school’s 2018-2019 Educator of the Year.

Rasheem Shabazz:

Teaching Artist

Sheem is a performance-based educator who’s passionate about working with today’s younger generation.  Rahsheem has been involved with different aspects of theatre for over 15 years – including dance and commedia. He’s also been involved with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte since 2014 and directed renowned shows such as Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, Wizard of Oz and many more at Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts. In addition to teaching and directing, Rahsheem is a talented actor and has hit the stage in a variety of roles here in Charlotte and the greater community. He’s co-writing and will be in the hip-hop fable story GRIMMZ Fairy Tales with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte in Spring 2020.

Paul Verano:

Consultant, Product design

Paul earned his BA in Theatre Arts and Telecommunications and Film at the University of Oregon, with a focus in both acting and lighting design. His volunteer work evolved into employment in a highly diverse environment in education and recruitment for HIV/AIDS/STI research at both the University of Washington and The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. His lighting and art design background led him to many vocations and entrepreneurship globally. He is the founder of The Confectional cheesecake bakery and continues to design and create in food, art and media arts.

Sasha Weinsz:

Teaching Artist, Tech guru

Sasha graduated with a Theatre Education degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She is the lead theatre teacher and director at Mallard Creek High School. Some of her favorite shows she has directed/co-directed include: The Odd Couple: Female Edition, Rumors, Our Place, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, How I Learned to Drive, All Shook Up, Tracks, Us and Them, Little Mermaid, and Addams Family! She created Mallard Creek Repertory Theatre in the spring of 2018 to create a home for all the theatre students to be proud of. Over the last three years she has created a community of artists, singers, dancers, actors, technical theatre students, and costume and makeup designers. She has loved getting to know the CMS theatre community and cannot wait to learn more about Charlotte’s theatre community! This is her second year working with Y.E.P. and she so believes in the power of social justice, theatre, and story-telling!

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