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Teacher Biographies

Kelly Chandler
Kelly Chandler has her Masters in Education and has been teaching preschool for the last five years at Colonial Preschool. She loves working with little ones!  She is married to Brad Chandler and they have four kids.   For the last 13 years both of her girls have been very involved in CYT.   CYT not only has helped them develop and grow in Music Theater but also spiritually.  CYT has become their second home.  She is looking forward to working with the Our Gang students as we develop our imaginations in the wonderful world of Willy Wonka!


Ashton Dixon
Ashton is a small town girl from Cole Camp, MO. She moved to Kansas City and attended UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance were she received her BA in Music. She has appeared in productions such as Ester in Meet Me In St. Louis, Grace Farrel in Annie,  Betty Haynes in White Christmas, and many more! Ashton has also had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall, perform in two European tours, perform back-up for the Rolling Stones and Barry Manilow, and was the opening act for country star Chris Cagle. Along with CYT, she also works with the Donna Groff Agency in Memphis, Tennessee where she is pursuing singing, acting, and modeling.  This is Ashton's second semester teaching with CYT and she is very excited!


Jessie Chipchase Ehl
Jessie Chipchase Ehl is a professional business writer and has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with an emphasis in film. Jessie’s theater experience includes 17 productions with CYT, Kansas City Children’s Chorus, Camp Summerstage, Calvary Bible College’s production of Ruth, and Raytown Community Theater’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. Jessie has taught for CYT for 8 years! Jessie’s interesting fact is that she worked on the travel TV show, Just Down the Road, and she continues to do freelance production work.


Sasha Ferguson
Sasha Ferguson is a first year student at Longview Community College. Having participated in musicals and theatre classes since the age of 14, Sasha Ferguson has grown up with a love for the performing arts. She's been in several shows including "Crazy for You", "The Sound of Music", and "The Little Mermaid". Theatre is so important to her, that along with continuing to pursue shows, she's now teaching and assistant directing with various performing arts companies in the Kansas City area! With over 7 years of babysitting, camp counseling, and teaching experience, Sasha is passionate about working with children of all ages and helping them grow and shine! In high school she spent her free time as a classroom assistant for Christian Youth Theatre, and joined CYT's teaching team earlier this year! Sasha has experience teaching with other local companies as well, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's in Theatre Education. Along with being a theatre-lover, Sasha is a huge Disney fan and currently holds the record for undefeated Disney Scene-It champ!


Kaylee Gallagher
Kaylee earned her Bachelor’s degree in Drama, Television, and Film from Oral Roberts University. Kaylee grew up performing in CYT and Culture House and did a total of 19 shows between the two theater companies. While attending college, Kaylee became the theater director at a local church in Tulsa and was involved with many theater workshops and summer camps. Kaylee has experience teaching and directing summer and holiday kids programs in the Kansas City and Tulsa areas since she was 14 years old.  Kaylee’s interesting fact is that she was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 3 years old. When the doctors removed the tumor, she was paralyzed completely on her right side.  Three days later God healed her. She spent most of childhood in therapy and in speech to relearn how to walk and talk. Now she just limps but she is so thankful to be walking and using her right side!


Bethany Fay Grell    
Bethany has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts.  Bethany grew up performing in CYT Kansas City shows and then went on to pursue musical theatre in college. Bethany spent some time in New York City where she performed in an Off-Broadway show called Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic. Bethany has experience teaching for CYT Santa Cruz and also as a drama teacher for Vineyard Church. Bethany’s interesting fact is that she created a movement piece using silk hammocks based on a GK Chesterton quote “…for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” Ask her about it sometime!


Tyler MacSweeney
Tyler is so excited to be teaching at CYT! As a former CYT student, he is ready to give back to the organization that helped him grow as an individual. Tyler has taken over 20 CYT classes and is currently working on a Bachelor’s degree in directing and scriptwriting. Tyler currently works part time at Songbird café in Grandview, Missouri. He has performed in numerous musicals and plays including Music Man, Little Women, Seussical and two of his own works. In addition to teaching a stage combat class, Tyler has assistant directed for CYT’s Extreme Camps and has written and directed two school plays. 


Andrew Milbourn
Andrew Milbourn has been involved with theatre since he was 8. He grew up in CYT and continued his training through college. At TCU, he graduated with a BFA with an emphasis in acting. After graduating, he continued to act professionally in the DFW area as well as LA. He is thrilled to be back helping with CYT.


Todd Long
Todd Long is a business owner specializing in Leadership Development and has his Master’s Degree in Speech Communication. Todd was active in theater in college and he also started and ran a ministry called Overflow. This was for youth and young adults that performed improv comedy as a way to bring the joy of the Lord to people. Todd has over 25 years of teaching youth, college and adult classes mostly focused on leadership development and team improvement. He has also taught improv comedy and stomp classes for CYT. Todd’s interesting fact is that marshmallows make his teeth feel tingly like scratching a chalkboard.


Shana McCoy
Growing up in a small town, Shana McCoy wasn’t able to be exposed to much theatre. It wasn’t until she attended Neosho County Community College that she was bitten by the theatre bug. After graduating with her Associate of Arts in Music, she transferred to Southwest Baptist University to complete her education and obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Since this time, she has been involved in multiple productions in many different roles from acting, properties, costumes, and most recently directing. Since moving to Kansas City in 2013, she has worked as a teacher and director at the Christian Youth Theatre. She will also be returning to Whitefield Academy to direct their Shakespearean production this Spring. An interesting fact about Shana is that she only eats M&M’s by twos and by colors.


Suz Melton
Suz Melton is a seasonal performer at Walt Disney World and Etsy shop owner. Suz earned her degree in Christian Ministry with a worship emphasis and a theater minor from Sterling College. Suz has been performing in CYT since she was twelve years old and then moved on to college productions. She has also performed at Worlds of Fun and Disneyworld. Suz has experience teaching with CYT, children’s church and was also a theater camp teacher while on a mission’s trip to Japan. Suz’s interesting fact is that someday she would like to move to Japan!


Rick Mundy
Rick Mundy is very excited to teach for CYT. Rick has worked in academic theatre, community theatre, professional theatre, television, radio, film and as a voice-over artist. He has taught acting, improvisation, and scene study in university classrooms and in workshops at theatre conferences. Along the way Rick picked up a BFA in Theatre from Texas Christian University, an MA in Film from Regent University, and a PhD in Theatre and Film from the University of Kansas. He has also written dozens of comic sketches and an unproduced screenplay or two.


Meagan Prendergast
Meagan grew up in a small town in Iowa as an energetic and loud child. She would entertain herself by watching old movies and singing loudly until her parents had to make new "quiet time" rules. She has been doing theater ever since she was eight and did not play Annie. She attended Central Bible College where she studied Youth Ministry. While she was there, she was apart of a drama and improv team that traveled around the country during weekends and breaks. She spent a year back in her home town as a youth pastor before moving to Kansas City and finding CYT, which seemed to marry together perfectly her love of creating and the Creator! Meagan has been a teacher, director and production coordinator for CYT over the past eight years. In the day, Meagan is the food manager at Songbird Cafe. In her limited free time, she enjoys painting and watching old movies and singing loudly, free of any "quiet time" rule. 


Jeff Yarnell
That rascal Jeff Yarnell has been teaching theatre in the Blue Valley school district for the past twenty-five years to the adoring throngs. And by "adoring" we mean "mildly disapproving" and by "throngs" we mean "sparse populous." He and his lovely bride (now THAT gal, she's actually SOMETHING!) have been actively involved in the drama community for the past thirty years, but still managed to raise four children who didn't become theatre majors. They also have six grandchildren (doesn't he look far too young for that to be a possibility?!?) and Jeff, on good days, can name almost all of them. He also leads an improv team, The Argon Ship, who, for the past seventeen years, have been performing throughout the area.


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