Madison Williams is making her debut as a theatre educator at Star of the Day Events. She has a strong passion in both theatre and teaching. She believes that the arts help a child dream and explore, and wants to instill that in the "Little Stars Program". Her overall goal as an educator is to help children find their fullest potential, personal confidence, and artistic voice. Madison is in her first year of graduate school at Temple University, majoring in Musical Theater Studies. She is planning on getting certified to teach at the Elementary level. Previously, she served as the Education Liaison for DeSales University Act 3 Production of The Jungle Book and performed professionally in a children's show, A Year With Frog and Toad, at NCC Summer Theatre. She tutors and read's children's books in her spare time. She is very excited and grateful to be teaching theatre at Star of the Day and cannot wait to meet you!
Kirsten Almeida is the Founder of Star of the Day. She is a singer, dancer, actress, theatre educator, director, choreographer, musician, producer, and playwright. She has performed both on and off Broadway and has travelled the country in touring productions.
Kirsten has been a theatre educator for nearly 20
years. She believes theatre students should learn every aspect of the creative process both on stage and off. Her inclusive methods of teaching allow all students to feel ownership of their work helping them to feel confident, be a part of a successful collaboration, and widening their creativity and imagination.
Kiera S. Smith is a dancer and choreographer in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. She comes to us with over 15 years of dance and choreography training, including pre-professional and professional experiences. Her training includes, but is not limited to; Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Pointe, African, Composition and Improvisation. Kiera graduated from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts with a major in Dance in 2018, and is continuing her dance studies with various instructors. Kiera also graduated from Northampton Community College with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2020, which certifies her to teach Infants through Pre-K age students in any capacity. She is continuing her education as a Developmental Psychology major at Lehigh University. Kiera has a strong passion for working with children, especially in the arts, and has been teaching dance for six years. In addition to teaching with Star of the Day, Kiera also teaches at a dance studio and gymnastics gym in Quakertown, PA, where she continues her teaching education and experience, and is also working towards a gymnastics coach certification. Kiera is excited to begin this new journey and to keep bringing the arts to our community in an educational and effective way!
Sophia Johnson-Grimes (She/They) is an actor, director, and aspiring educator new-ish to the Lehigh Valley. Before Covid, she worked with Star of the Day as a directing apprentice, so they are very excited to be back working with such a wonderful community. She is also a part time painter, writer, and double small business owner.
Abby Garrigan is a graduate of Temple University with a B.A in Musical Theatre. Originally from the Lehigh Valley, she grew up dancing at various local dance studios. Her training includes Ballet, Jazz (classic/commercial), Tap (rhythm/theatre), Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip-hop and Theatre (tradition/fosse). Additionally, she performs professionally throughout the greater Philadelphia area. Performing credits include: 11th Hour Theatre Co. Ocean City Theatre Co. Pines Dinner Theatre. Choreography credits: Temple Tappers, Broadway on Broad, SOTD, Salisbury High School, Northern Lehigh High School and Torchlight Players. She currently teaches at Allegro Dance Studios in Emmaus. Abby is also a certified Fitness Instructor through American Council on Exercise and works at multiple local gyms where she teaches a variety of fitness classes. SOTD holds a special place in her heart because many of the SOTD educators were the ones who helped shape her into the artist she is today. Abby is thrilled to be a part of Star of the Day’s first ever Virtual Spotlight Academy and looks forward to sharing her love for the arts with her students!
Matt Candio is a Lehigh Valley-based comedian performing since 2010. He has studied at Upright Citizens Brigade (NYC), Magnet Theater (NYC), and The Second City (Chicago). He is also an improv instructor for the ArtsQuest Comedy Program.
Lana Brucker is a seasoned theatre artist with experience in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. She graduated with a theatre diploma from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts and later studied theatre at Temple University and musical theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Lana has served as a teacher, director, designer, assistant, and stage manager for children’s productions and camps. She has also engaged young audiences as a performer in interactive shows, her favorite being Pinocchio at Allentown Public Theatre. Having taken her first acting and dancing classes at the age of 4, she is thrilled to be fostering children’s creativity at Star of the Day.