Here you'll find out all of the things that make Stagestruck what it is!
- Our HISTORY
- Our MISSION
- Our STAFF
The History of StageStruck:
Stagestruck started in 1997 with a vision by Teresa Tally and Jay Kalagayan for a musical theatre camp for kids in an encouraging environment. The first show was a cabaret with around 10 kids and featured poems by Shel Silverstein and various songs like “The Purple People Eater.”
The next year, they premiered the first official Stagestruck show – “Glitter, Gold and Grimm” (book by Jay and music and lyrics by Teresa) and Allison Morton joined as the choreographer.
In 1999, another original show was written and produced and the staff increased to four: Teresa as music director, Jay and Allison as stage directors, and Susan Jung as the choreographer.
Over the next five years, the camp numbers grew to around 35 and five more original shows were written. In 2002, Jay left the staff to focus elsewhere and in 2005, Teresa moved to Arizona, so Susan and Allison took over the entire operation of the camp until 2017 when Allison moved to North Carolina. Susan and her husband Jim partnered for the 2018 camp and when enrollment hit over 65 kids, they added educators John and Kristie Jung and former Stagestruck camper (and current theatre student at NKU) Caroline Rakestraw to join the staff so that Susan could oversee as Artistic Director.
Stagestruck Musical Theatre Camp is designed to help students gain self confidence, grow in their theatrical and interpersonal skills, and foster a love and appreciation of theatre in a welcoming, engaging, and encouraging environment.
CEO / Artistic Director
Susan is the Director and Choreographer for the award winning Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Theatre Department and the director of the CHCA improv team, Off the Cuff. With over 18 years in the business, she has directed 40 full length productions, taught musical theater dance and acting for CCM prep, has led or taught over 30 musical theater camps, taught acting, musical theatre and dance at the Tony award winning Playhouse in the Park and is one of the stage directors for the Christmas show “Awaited.” Susan is also a mentor for the Jumpstart Theatre Program (pioneered in Cincinnati) through EDTA where she works with underserved middle school educators to help them start and maintain a theatre program. She has won a Theatre Educator Acclaim Award and was an Overture Finalist for Theatre Education as well as several local acting and choreography awards. As a playwright, several of her original plays have been produced in Cincinnati, Arizona, and Utah. Susan maintains her professional acting career with regional and national commercials, print ads, voice-overs, as well as performs nationally and internationally with Friends of the Groom and regionally with Murder and Merriment. Susan has also performed professionally with local theatres, TCTC and WFIT, and holds a B.A. in theatre from Northern Kentucky University.
Jim is currently the Administrator for StageStruck, as well as one of the camp directors for our Mason location. He also serves as the full-time Technical Director for Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. He has designed the sets and lights for more than 30 different productions, not just for CHCA, but for Asbury University, Friends of the Groom Theatre Company, and Wyoming Community Theatre, as well. In addition to Technical Directing, he's also guest directed for several shows at CHCA and performed nationally with Friends of the Groom Theatre Company. Jim received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theater Performance from NKU. He's passionate about collaboration and creativity, and he loves instructing people in those areas.
John has directed over 30 middle school productions over the years. He is a music teacher in Cincinnati Public Schools for kindergarten through sixth grade students, and also serves as the Curriculum Council Chair for the Fine Arts for the entire district. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Mount Saint Joseph University, his Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees in Educational Leadership from Liberty University, and is currently working on his Educational Doctorate. He studied theatre in New York City with iTheatrics and the Broadway Teachers Group and received honors in technical theater and choreography at the Junior Theater Festival and the "Freddie G" Director's award of excellence, which included an intensive weekend of study with Broadway professionals through Music Theatre International. He and his wife, Kristie (below), are the founders of several Theater Programs for young people on the west side of Cincinnati.
Kristie has directed over 30 middle school musicals since 2005, working alongside her husband, John. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Mount Saint Joseph University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Liberty University. Kristie also studied music at Lee University for two years, where she recorded two albums and performed nationally and internationally with the renowned Lee Singers. She studied theatre instruction with iTheatrics and the Broadway Teachers Group in New York. Kristie and husband John have taken award winning music and drama groups to Christian Talent Competitions at the state and international levels. A student group under their direction was awarded honors in technical theater, best female and male performers, and choreography at the International Junior Theater Festival competition in Atlanta. Kristie presented professional development talks at the Ohio Music Education State Convention about the benefits of musical theatre for middle school students. She continues to perform locally playing saxophone and singing.