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Michael Shawn Lewis
Michael Shawn Lewis: co-founder

Michael Shawn Lewis has worked extensively in the arts around the globe as a theatrical producer, performer, and activist.  He is a founder of Gables Grove Productions, through which he creates and produces international family entertainment for a variety of theatrical and televised venues. Gables Grove is currently working with Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.  Michael serves as a consultant to other prominent players in children’s entertainment including Walt Disney Imagineering.  He received a Drama Desk Award nomination for his work as Producer on ImaginOcean and is currently working as Executive Producer to adapt the magical underwater world into a television series with the Jim Henson Company. Presently, he is working to adapt two popular Jim Henson Company television properties into live touring stage versions.  His performing credits include the Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera (Raoul) and The Woman in White.  In Europe he starred in Elisabeth - the Musical, Les Miserables and many productions Phantom. Michael works in association with Artists Striving To End Poverty (ASTEP) and The George Foundation as an educator/instructor with the extremely impoverished.  He also works in the Caribbean to teach arts and theater to children in low income neighborhoods.  Michael currently serves on the Advisory Board to the Stetson University School of Music.

email Michael at michael@nyctfest.org

Chelsey Shannon
Chelsey Shannon: co-founder

Chelsey Shannon has worked as an actor, producer, teaching artist and marketing manager over the span of her theater career. She recently worked with Play Me a Story, a Brooklyn based children's storytelling company as booking agent and Marketing Manager and is Co-Founder of Rumpus Children's Theatre in NYC. Chelsey has been deeply involved in children's theater her whole life. Her mother was the owner and Artistic Director of KTW Young Actor's Studio, a theater program for children outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Chelsey developed and directed productions within the company, while also working as a teaching artist.  As a performer, she has worked with such companies as: Theatreworks USA, The New School, The Sam French Festival, The New York Theatre Workshop, Columbia Stages, Working Man's Clothes, The City Theatre, The PIT and The REP. Most recently she was a producer on the film Silent City, which was featured at The Three Rivers Film  Festival.  Chelsey is a proud member of Breaking the Glass Ceiling and the Actors Equity Association. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

email Chelsey at chelsey@nyctfest.org

Renee Barnett
Renee Barnett : co-founder

Renee Barnett was born and raised in Waukegan, IL. She moved to New York in 2005 to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Since being here, Renee has done a variety of readings, showcases and workshops throughout the city. She has toured with ArtsPower National Touring Theater as Caroline Ingalls in Laura Ingalls Wilder: Growing Up on the Prairie and Miss Clavel in Madeline and the Bad Hat. She has also worked as a music teacher with a variety of children's centers throughout the city and currently works as a piano teacher for children with special needs. Renee is also Co-Founder of Rumpus Children's Theatre, along with Chelsey Shannon. She has a 2-year-old daughter and she can't wait to find some new and exciting theatrical experiences for her and the other children of New York! Renee has a Bachelor Degree in Music Therapy from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and a Certificate of Performance from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

email Renee at renee@nyctfest.org

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