Director, Choreographer, Musical Theatre Acting, Dance
Mickey, her husband Chuck, and their 4 kids moved to the Augusta area in 1997 after an extensive North American tour with the Broadway musical CATS. They had been based out of Chicago where Mickey and Chuck both performed in area dinner theaters. Mickey has performed in or choreographed many musicals including Hello Dolly, Gypsy, A Chorus Line, Anything Goes, the Wiz, the King and I, and the National Tour of Evita. She also performed in many children’s theatre productions, industrial shows, TV and print ads. She has studied theatre arts across the country and has worked under the direction of Harold Prince and Andrew Lloyd Weber. After settling in Augusta, Mickey saw there was a lively theatre community here but it lacked a young actor’s musical theatre group. MTW, Musical Theatre Workshops was conceived! Ms Mickey has been teaching children of the CSRA musical theatre acting for over 15 years. Her background in professional theatre has made her a unique mentor and teacher. Ms Mickey’s performing career includes Broadway touring companies, regional theatre, industrial shows, commercial and print work, choreography and extensive directing of children’s productions. Her enthusiasm for being creative and helping the younger actors find their gifts is contagious. Her goal is to bring out the gifts that God has given to all the kids that pass through MTW no matter their age. To help them gain confidence and let their voices be heard!
Claire Lubeck, Lead Teacher, Choreographer
Claire has been in theatre since birth, making her debut in the ballet the Nutcracker with the Columbia County Ballet, carried onstage by “grandmother”. Since then, she has been seen onstage in many MTW productions including: Ladybug in James and the Giant Peach, Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, JOJO in Seussical, and many more. Favorite roles also include Sophie, in Mama Mia with the Augusta Players and Peter Pan, with GRAYT productions. Audiences have seen her onstage with the Augusta Jr Players productions as well. She was recently awarded Outstanding Performance by an Individual Actress at the 2020 Jr Theatre Festival in Atlanta, GA.. Claire, has also been awarded best student choreographer for two years at JTF, for her work in Honk Jr, and Into the Woods, Jr.. Claire will be the choreographer for the upcoming season productions.
Shay Thames, Lead Teacher
Shay Thames is a 2020 high school graduate and has taken classes at MTW for over 12 years. He has performed in many productions. Some of his roles include Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Man in the Yellow Suit in Tuck Everlasting, Grasshopper in James & the Giant Peach and many others! Shay has also performed with the Augusta University Opera Initiative, Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, Augusta Jr. Players, and Greater Augusta Youth Theatre. He has been a member of the MTW Junior Theatre Festival Team for 4 years, and in 2017 and 2020 was selected as a JTF All-Star and performed in front of over 5000 people! Shay started as an Assistant Teacher with MTW in 2018 and is now a Lead Teacher for multiple classes! He was Assistant Director of Honk Jr. in 2021, Seussical Jr. in 2020, and Alice in Wonderland Jr. in 2019.
Kira King, Vocal Instructor
Kira King is an Augusta native and is excited to be a part of the MTW team! She is an alumn of Augusta State University and holds a masters degree in voice performance from Middle Tennessee State University. Upon graduation, she performed throughout the East coast focusing heavily on being a German Art Song recitalist. She has also been a guest artist for a multitude of concerts and recitals since her return to Augusta, including a number of seasonal performances with the Augusta Chorale, the 2019 Relay for Life performance by “The House Band,” a voice faculty concert at Augusta University, and special performances at several churches throughout the CSRA.
Although her initial focus was on performance, Ms. King has found her passion in teaching and directing. She taught at the collegiate level for over ten years, including being voice faculty at Cumberland University in Tennessee, professor of music at Middle Tennessee State University, and music faculty at Georgia Military College in Augusta. She has also been a guest conductor and worship leader in churches in both Georgia and Tennessee.
As a voice teacher and coach, Ms. King is a firm believer in strong vocal technique. Students under her instruction focus on proper vocal technique, understanding the vocal mechanism as a whole, and overall musicianship to build a solid foundation to carry students throughout their vocal career. She teaches all genres and ages.
FUN FACT: Ms. King was in MTW’s very first musical theater class!
Ashley Gartner, Dance Technique Instructor
Ashley Gartner has always loved the arts and began dancing ballet at the age of four. From 2011 to 2014, she danced with the North Carolina State Ballet under the direction of Wei Ni, a previous Principal with the Carolina Ballet. From 2014 to 2015, she danced with the Brandon Ballet under the direction of Octavio Martin, a former Principal with the Sarasota Ballet, where Ashley learned the Cuban Ballet Method and was chosen as a demi-soloist for the Sarasota Ballet’s Summer Intensive Performance in 2014.
In addition to performing in the corps de ballet, Ashley performed solos in Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Swan Lake, and the neoclassical ballets Jupiter, Venus, and Winter. She also performed principal roles such as Paquita, The Flower Queen, and The Sugarplum Fairy.
Ashley graduated from the University of Tampa in 2017 with a BFA in Graphic Design. After college, she taught ballet at Ecclesia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, Virginia, until moving to Augusta in 2020. Ashley is currently dancing with the Colton Ballet Company and instructing at Pure Barre Augusta.
Kiara Iman, Acting Teacher
Kiara Iman is a senior majoring in communication at Augusta University with a background in the Arts. She has experience in acting, producing, directing, marketing, business, and event coordinating. She attended Davidson Fine Arts with a concentration in Acting and studied at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
A few highlights from high school include winning three best actress awards for the role of Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible (2016-17) directed by Betty Walpert, teaching drama to DFA middle schoolers and community camps, forming a music group called Divine Intelligence, and performing in festivals such as Arts In The Heart.
Post graduation, she majored in theatre at Kennesaw Theatre, interned at Kenny Leon’s Theatre Company, created a traveling tour in the CSRA called Exodus: Song & Soliloquy (2018), and acted in film/theatre in Atlanta. Fast forward to transferring to AU, she has produced an original EP/video series called Beloved: Bits & Pieces (2020) that lead her to winning the 2021 Diversity & Media Competition with AMC Networks and The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
Now in 2022, Kiara is excited to not only teach students Acting at MTW, but most importantly the value of being a well-rounded exploratory artist who can do anything they set their mind to!