- 2023 SEASON
- About KCT
Knoxville Children’s Theatre, an education-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a local theatre company producing professional plays for children, by children. KCT is committed to providing children opportunities to acquire and hone skills that enhance creative thinking, public speaking, project management, personal responsibility, leadership, and team work. All of these opportunities occur in a creative outlet where imagination thrives, self-esteem develops, and students learn the many life lessons that creative dramatics can teach.
-We believe that theatrical arts are for everyone, so we have established a diverse organization where any child can participate in a production at no cost.
-We believe that our community benefits from quality theatre, so we are committed to superior productions and professional instruction.
-We believe that theatre teaches vital life skills, so we provide an environment where children improve public speaking, develop self confidence, practice teamwork, build a strong work ethic, become problem solvers and future leaders.
-We believe that children’s theatre is fun! So we nurture its energy and excitement into a lifelong love for the performing arts.
Sien Moon – Managing Director
Steve Sherman – Artistic Director
Emily Helton – Academy Director
Alex Drinnen – Technical Director
Jordan Vera – Lighting Mentor
Laura Clift – Costume Mentor
Sien has been involved with KCT since her children first appeared on stage in 2009. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Business, Sien spent ten years climbing the BellSouth corporate ladder, eventually retiring to raise twins Bethany and Wheeler. Sien has volunteered for various community organizations including Bijou Theatre, Knoxville Museum of Art, Dogwood Arts Festival, Ijams Nature Center, Junior Achievement, American Heart Association, Clarence Brown Theatre, and many others. She has chaired many community events and fundraisers including Zoo Knoxville’s Zoofari. Sien has served on the Board of Directors of Junior League of Knoxville, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tennessee Valley, and the University of Tennessee Alumni Association Women’s Council. She is a member of the UT Alliance of Women Philanthropists, Town and Country Garden Club, Junior League of Knoxville, Saint John’s Cathedral, and the Nine O’clock Cotillion. In the rare time she isn’t at KCT, Sien enjoys spending time with her husband David and twins Bethany and Wheeler.
Steve joined KCT as the Artistic Director in July of 2021. Steve is also a lecturer in Acting at The University of Tennessee, where he teaches acting courses and Introduction to Theatre. His teaching credits include acting for both stage and screen, playwriting, improvisation and sketch comedy. He has worked with students of all ages, including camp instruction at Western Washington University, the University of Tennessee, and other school camps in the southeast.
Steve came to KCT highly recommended by leadership at the Clarence Brown Theatre and the University of Tennessee Department of Theatre, where he earned his MFA in acting in 2016. Prior to his graduate work at UT, Steve earned a BA in Theatre and Teaching Certification from Western Washington University in 2007.
Steve recently directed Airness for the Clarence Brown Theatre, and has performed in 12 productions at the CBT, including The Whipping Man, Spamalot!, 4000 Miles, Of Mice & Men, The Open Hand, and King Charles III. Steve’s other favorite roles include Felix in The Odd Couple, Robbie in Bloomsday, Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the title role in Hamlet, and performing as a Blue Man in Blue Man Group.
Steve has worked as an actor and playwright all over the country, including the Kennedy Center; the Tony Award winning Eugene O’Neill Theater Center; and professional theatres in New York, Georgia, Florida, California, Washington State, and Washington DC. As an undergraduate at Western Washington University, he was nationally recognized for acting and playwriting by the Kennedy Center for his play Brian and Joe. Steve clearly brings a sense of humor to KCT, as he has performed at The Comedy Store, The Hollywood Improv, and iO West. His on-camera work includes commercials (for BB&T and Cyberlink), as well as several independent films (including a principal role in the feature film Placebo.) As a writer, Steve penned the screenplay for the award-winning short film The Piano Love Affair.
Steve is married to Hana, a former KCT Academy instructor and they are the proud parents to a two-year-old son, William.
Emily Helton has recently joined the KCT staff as the Academy Director and couldn’t be more thrilled! Emily is graduate of the University of Tennessee’s theatre program, and has spent the last 6 years working on and off the stage with Knoxville’s youth. Emily has taught many classes at KCT over the years. She believes strongly in creating and curating safe spaces for young minds. She is passionate about children for the same reason she is passionate about the theatre –for all the hard work, dedication, discipline, and structure both require, you don’t really get anywhere without making a huge mess first.
Alex Drinnen is a writer, designer, actor, educator and producer. Born and raised in Knoxville, he started involving himself in the theatrical world at age 7 and has not stopped since. He joins the KCT staff as Technical Director. Alex is also pursuing his MFA in Pedagogy, with an interest in dramatic theory and criticism from the University of Idaho. As a playwright, his work has been produced in Nashville and surrounding communities. His play THE FAMILY MARCHER was named as a Top Finalist for the International Thomas C. Wolfe Playwriting Award in 2020 and his most recent piece DALLAS, RUSSIA will premiere at the University of Idaho in the spring of 2023. He is also a credited Teaching Artist with the Nashville Children’s Theatre, leading their improvisation classes, devised work, and creative role-play courses. Alex is a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville.
After a thirty-year history with theatre in east Tennessee, Zack co-founded KCT in 2008 with the mission of creating a love of theatre to young audiences. Zack wrote 18 full-length plays for young audiences and directed 38 productions during his ten years with KCT. As a UT student and subsequent 7-year member of the Clarence Brown Theatre Company, he performed in over 30 shows in twelve years. As a company member of the Actor’s Co-Op from 2001-05, he directed and acted in numerous shows at their Black Box Theatre. During that time, he won the Best Supporting Actor award from the Knoxville Area Theatre Coalition for his performance in The Importance of Being Earnest. From 2003-07, he was Executive Director of Rose Center, where he administered Tennessee Arts Commission grants in an eight-county area east of Knoxville, among other duties. Zack also directed for other local theatre companies, including Shakespeare On The Square (Othello, Much Ado About Nothing), Tennessee Stage Company (The Foreigner), and Theatre Knoxville Downtown (Driving Miss Daisy, The Trip To Bountiful, Blood Relations, Picnic, Bell, Book and Candle, Heroes, Absurd Person Singular). Zack has created a love of theatre in thousands of area children and his legacy will live for many years.
Donya Walker – Special Guest Choreographer
Paul Jones – Musical Director
Deena Seals – Musical Director
Donya Walker began dancing at the early age of two. Donya moved to Knoxville from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at twelve years old and she continued her dance training at Dancer Center West, and Angela Floyd’s School for the Dancer, where she studied jazz, tap, ballet, and lyrical. In middle and high school, Donya had the opportunity to tour and train under professional dancers from around the world with Hoctor’s Dance Caravan. Following high school Donya went on to coach two dance teams and appeared in the productions of Dream Girls, and Annie at the Bijou Theater. In 2003, physical injuries put Donya’s dreams on hold, but during this time she channeled her energy into expressing herself through sign language and received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Tennessee in Sign Language Interpreting. In 2008, Donya hit the stage again in Oak Ridge Playhouse’s production of The Producers, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She appeared in 2009’s Cumberland County Playhouse’s production of Hairspray, as well as an emergency understudy in Oak RidgePlayhouses’s production of Hairspray. Donya also took the opportunity to merge her love for the stage and sign language into one in the production of King Author at Knoxville’s Interact Children’s Theater for the Deaf.
Over the past fifteen years Donya has choreographed many shows and many pieces, but this year has opened up new opportunities as she choreographed her first professional show, Swopera, produced by the Carpet Bag Theater and directed by Steven and Mildred Sapp. Donya prays that her gifts and abilities will take her further than she can imagine as her choreography hits the stage again in the production of Hairspray, Jr. with the Knoxville Children’s Theatre.
Paul Jones has been working with KCT for many years as our Musical Director on shows such as Mary Poppins, Jr., Aladdin, Jr., Cinderella, Godspell, and more. Paul has been working in local theatre longer than he can actually remember, composing music for shows such as A Lion In Winter, On Golden Pond, The Elephant Man and many more. He is currently the owner and president of Auralation Studios. Paul’s music can be heard on such TV shows as Murder Comes To Town, American Murder, Unwrapped, American Idol and Toy Box.