JoAnn Wilchek Basist
Mrs Basist has been a CTS instructor, director and administrator for the past 30 years. She is a 1973 graduate of Civic Theatre School. She has been seen onstage at Civic in numerous productions-most recently in the role of Carole Scrooge in Christmas Carole 1944.
She holds a BA in Acting/Education from Cedar Crest College and an M.Ed. from Kutztown University. Mrs Basist is currently an adjunct professor at Cedar Crest College where she is a director of their main stage productions. She is a two-time Allentown Arts Ovation Award recipient.
Kirsten Rani Almeida
DRAMA GRADES 1-4
Miss K is an accomplished performer, director, producer and arts educator who has been teaching at Civic Theatre School for the past 12 years. She was most recently seen onstage at Civic in Fun Home. In her time at Civic she has taught students in grades 1-12.
Miss K holds a degree in Theatre & Speech Communication with a dance minor from Wagner College.
Brian M. Foley
GUEST INSTRUCTOR GRADES 1-12
Mr. Foley is a veteran performer, arts educator, choreographer, and director in the Lehigh Valley. He holds a BA in Theatre with a minor in Music and a concentration in Vocal Performance from East Stroudsburg University.
Mr. Foley has been part of the CTS staﬀ since 2013, serving as a drama, voice, movement, and musical theatre instructor as well as the music director for numerous theatre school and main stage productions. His most recent Civic main stage role was in Next to Normal.
Mr. Foley is currently the Music Director for the Performing Arts Department at Cedar Crest College. In addition to working on productions, he acts as a senior advisor, directs the campus choral ensemble, instructs private voice lessons, and teaches several other music and performing arts courses. He holds a BA in Theatre with a Minor in Music and a Concentration in Vocal Performance from East Stroudsburg University.
DRAMA GRADES 5-8
Gretchen is a longtime Civic actor, volunteer and instructor. She has been a valued CTS drama instructor since 1997 and has taught students in grades 1-12.
Gretchen is also a playwright. She and her co-author Sharon Lee Glassman received a 2014 Allentown Arts Ovation Award for their play Mommalogues.
Gretchen holds a BA in English Lit from the University of Delaware; Teaching Certification from Moravian College; and an M Ed from Kutztown University. She currently teaches English at Parkland High School.
DRAMA INTENSIVE GRADES 9-12; VOICE GRADES 1-12
Melisa has been a revered Drama and Vocal instructor for CTS since 2010. She is a graduate of the New Actors’ Workshop two-year acting conservatory under the tutelage of Mike Nichols, George Morrison & Paul Sills.
At Civic, Melisa's favorite roles include Eva in Evita, Lucille Frank in Parade and Miss Hannigan in Annie. She has also served as Associate Director for several Civic Main Stage productions. She has performed across the country and on Broadway, the National Tour and Toronto productions of Les Miserables.
Melisa has performed regionally across the country and on Broadway, the National Tour and the Toronto productions of Les Miserables.
Samantha Bushspice Stein
MOVEMENT GRADES 1-4
Miss Samantha is an accomplished dancer, performer and choreographer who has been a part of Civic and the CTS faculty for many years. She is passionate about dance education.
Miss Sammi holds an M Ed from Widener University and an MSIS degree from DeSales University.
MOVEMENT GRADES 5-8
We are delighted to welcome Cindy to the CTS faculty. Cindy is no stranger to the Civic stage, having recently been seen as Lily St. Regis in Annie, and in the production of Significant Other. Cindy is an exceptional and accomplished dancer and choreographer. She has been seen in numerous dance concerts and theatre productions at Cedar Crest College as well as in a variety of national competitions and regional productions.
Cindy will graduate from Cedar Crest College in May 2023 with a BA in Dance and a Minor in Psychology.