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Teaching Artists 2022

Deirdre Casey

Deirdre Casey

Teaching Artist

Deirdre Casey Has always had a passion for the arts. After growing up in a creative household it was only fitting for her to follow her passion. After years of pre-professional Dance training with Susquehanna Dance  Center and Musical Theater training Through a Myriad of mentors. She Joined the COBALT dance company, Worked as a Backup Dancer, and performed along the east coast. Though she loves to be onstage she has a passion for the creative process as well, having choreographed shows such as Sister Act and Mary Poppins. As well as multiple dance ensemble works of different styles. Currently, she works with Weary Arts Group as a teaching Artist and Choreographs with her twin sister Gabriel. She strives to create an environment where healthy learning can take place. Where people aren’t afraid to be themselves and tell beautiful stories.
Gabriel Casey

Gabriel Casey

Teaching Artist

Gabriel Casey has always had a passion for musical theater and choreography. At the young age of 14, she choreographed her first musical alongside her twin sister, Deirdre Casey. She’s been working in the industry since and has met so many wonderful artists. She is so appreciative of the many wonderful teachers and mentors to help her become the Artist she is today. She aims to continue to create a welcoming and positive space to grow and thrive, not just as Artists, but as people. 

Gregory DeCandia

Gregory DeCandia

Teaching Artist

Gregory DeCandia received his BFA Emerson College and MFA UNC Chapel Hill respectively. His directing projects have been staged in four different states and as far as Guatemala City and range from original works and verbatim theatre, to musicals, and even Shakespeare. Gregory has been fortunate to work with ensembles at the high school, colligate and professional levels often combining these artists onstage resulting in productions that are beautifully brutal and hilariously honest. Directing Credits: IGNITION ARTSClean Slate: A New Rock Musical (Lyric Theatre of OK)* Some Assembly Required: A Meta Musical*, Raised In CaptivityThe Eight: Reindeer Monologues, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Lake Street Extension (all @ Society Hill Playhouse), Little Shop of Horrors (Teatro IGA Guatemala), Glengarry Glen Ross OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITYIt’s NOT About You: The Feminine Identity*, The Page: A Social Media Experiment*, Twilight: Los Angeles (all @ Oklahoma Contemporary), W;t  BOYS’ LATIN OF PHILADELPHIAThe Complete History of America: ABRIDGED, PHLash: A Mob Story* Killadelphia: A Musical Docudrama*, Julius Caesar (Adrienne Theatre Mainstage) SEACOAST REPERTORY THEATREHow to Succeed in Business…., Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Jekyll & Hyde: A Conceptual Cabaret. Learn more @ www.gregorydecandia.com
*denotes original works
Rebecca Eastman

Rebecca Eastman

Teaching Artist

Rebecca joined the DreamWrights team as a volunteer Costumer in 1999. In 2006, she was hired as the Part Time Costume Coordinator and has designed costumes for more than 99 shows since. Rebecca has brought the lost art of sewing back to many people of all ages through their work on Costume Crews and through sewing workshops. Now retired, Rebecca returns to share her love of sewing through workshops.
Laura Heydt

Laura Heydt

Teaching Artist, Teen Conservatory

Soprano Laura Heydt discovered her love of opera at age 9. She studied flute and voice and performed regularly in her hometown in Northeastern PA. Upon her arrival in South Central PA she continued to perform on the opera and musical stage. She returned to the stage of Opera Lancaster as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème. Other Puccini appearances include the title role in Suor Angelica, and Georgette in Il Tabarro. Having a particular love for Menotti she has performed the roles of Lucy in The Telephone, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Monica in The Medium on several occasions. Recently she has become involved in several local organizations with the goal of bringing more opera to Central PA.

As a concert artist she has performed locally with the York Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Hanover Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra, and the Harrisburg Choral Society. Under the baton of Maestro Robert Hart Baker she made several appearances with the York Symphony as soloist for their annual July 4th patriotic celebration, as soprano soloist in Handel’s complete Messiah, and as guest artist at the holiday pops concert with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra in St. Louis, MO.

Laura earned a B.A. in vocal performance from York College of PA where she was a student of John Darrenkamp. She continued her vocal education in New York City under the instruction of Beth Roberts. Abroad, she was a featured soloist with the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. She has also participated in the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska and the Crittenden Opera Workshop. She currently teaches voice and flute for Menchey Music in York and Reading, PA.

In addition to performing and teaching, Laura and her partner Baltimore Symphony cellist Lukasz Szyrner own the Lady Linden Bed and Breakfast in York, PA where they reside with her two sons, Samuel and Benjamin.

Jay Schmuck

Jay Schmuck

Teaching Artist, Summer Camps

A founding board member of DreamWrights, Jay has worked in theatre most of his life, on and offstage with innumerable community theatre productions, including guest directing several shows at DreamWrights. Jay has been the editor for WRCT’s “Culture and Main” for the last few years. Utilizing his film degree from Boston University, Jay has directed several music videos as well as comedy videos.

Jo Underhill

Jo Underhill

Teaching Artist

Joanna has been a Teaching Artist at the Fulton Theatre since 1996. Her love of puppets began when she was serving as the Child Supervisor for a production of Phantom and she and her young charges created a sock puppet version of the show for the adult cast. Since then she has created puppets for Creative Works of Lancaster‘s series of sock puppet film parodies, including The Sockfather, Silence of the Socks, and Jaws to the World: A Holiday Sock Opera. She has also performed, directed or taught for Theater of the Seventh Sister, Ephrata Performing Arts Center, Theatro Paloma, Susquehanna Stage, Millersville University, and Penn State Harrisburg. Joanna has a BA in Theater Arts from Penn State University, an MA in Creative Drama/Children’s Theater from Northwestern University, and an MEd in School Counseling from Millersville University.

Chris Velez

Chris Velez

Teaching Artist

Since 1996, Chris has performed in over a dozen musicals throughout York.  He previously directed our Christmas Radio Show and The COVID Chronicles, designed the lighting design for A Christmas Carol, and designed sound for numerous other productions.  A York Native, Chris received his degree in Music Business from York College, and for the last 7 years has been working as an audio engineer with Production Express.  In addition to his production and theatre work, Chris acts on several boards and grant panels throughout York City (PA Council of the Arts – York Cultural Alliance, York County Community Foundation, YorkXL).

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We offer 100% refund within 30 days of camp/class start date and 50% within 2 weeks of start date. If you choose to withdraw less than 2 weeks before (including during the camp), no refund will be offered. If DreamWrights cancels a class/camp due to low enrollment, a full refund will be given.