RhinoLeap Academy

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Innovative program held on high school campuses across North Carolina

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Courses offered in partnership with other community organizations.

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Individual classes focused on performance and teenage empowerment 


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Matt Acheson is a puppet and theater artist based in Pittsburg. He is a founder of AchesonWalsh Studios, a kinetic creation studio providing design, fabrication, direction and performance services, whose clients include Amazon Studios, Broadway, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Opera and Radio City Music Hall.  Matt was the puppetry director for Warhorse during its run at Lincoln Center Theater and for the North American tour, and he directs and curates the annual St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab.  He has had the pleasure of working with many exceptional artists including Basil Twist, Mabou Mines, Paula Vogel, and Oskar Eustis.

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Alex Bodine is a practitioner of physical theatre disciplines including stage combat, clowning, mask and dance.  He is one of the three actors in RhinoLeap's production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).  Alex is a recipient of the Kenan Fellowship in Directing at ACT in Seattle and is a member of the SDC Observership class of 2018-19.  He is a choreographer with the Society of American Fight Directors and also works as a stuntman for film and television.  Alex has a BFA in acting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.


Jaylin Brower is a three sport athlete who played football, basketball and track.  After playing football for Western Carolina University, he moved back to his hometown of Asheboro to create an impact in his community.  With a particular focus on middle and high school kids, Jaylin blends physical fitness and mental/emotional awareness with financial literacy to give young people the proper resources to be safe and successful now and into adulthood.  In 2019, he was awarded the North Carolina Rural Entrprenuer of the Year and the Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leader. 

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Lalenja Harrington is a poet/performer and educator dedicated to exploring the intersection of performance, activism and education. She is an active practitioner of Theatre for Liberation methods, and also facilitates collective poetic writing - all of which she incorporates into her teaching at UNC-Greensboro and into activist work in the community.  In addition to performing in Leaving Eden for RhinoLeap, Lalenja has performed at Triad Stage, Little Theatre of Winston Salem, and Winston Salem Theatre Alliance. She has a BA in Psychology from Princeton, an MA in Communication from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a PhD in Educational Studies from UNC-Greensboro.  

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Patrick Osteen is a co-founder and Associate Artistic Director of RhinoLeap for which he directed and adapted The Tempest and performed in Company K, Leaving Eden, Mary's Wedding and The Glass Menagerie.  For nearly three years he performed with Cirque du Soleil in the international tour of Toruk, and for a year and half before that he performed in the Broadway National tour of War Horse.  Over the last three years, Patrick has been teaching puppetry, movement and improvisation to high school students all over North Carolina.  He has a BFA in acting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  

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Cameron Wade, MA RDT has performed, choreographed and taught all over North Carolina including RhinoLeap's The Last Five Years.  She is a Registered Drama Therapist and K-12 Theatre/Arts Educator. As a trainer and curriculum developer for global non-profit, Move This World, she provided training in trauma-informed, social-emotional learning and management for teachers all over the east coast.  She also served as a full-time Creative/Expressive Arts therapist for Cherry Hospital.  Her research in Therapeutic Theatre as a treatment for family trauma and survivors of sexual assault has been published in the Drama Therapy Review.   

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Dwayne Waden Jr., aka Issa Rebel was born in High Point, North Carolina and raised in Capitol Heights, Maryland.  His love for dancing started in his grandmother's Kitchen doing Michael Jackson's famous Billie Jean dances and battling his dad, which inspired his drive to get better. Throughout the years, he has performed on many stages including the Apollo Theater and the Summer Jam at the Greensboro Coliseum. Dancing has always been a passion for Dwayne, and he enjoys sharing his love of the art with anyone willing to see and listen.  As a musician, Dwayne makes Gospel music to inspire the younger generations to be positive and motivated in all that they do.  

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Joy Williams is a dancer, speaker, writer, and curator bringing together food security and toxic stress mitigation and prevention.  She is the Director and Founder of Hope to Thrive, an organization with a holistic produce pantry and garden designed to increase the daily intake of fruits and vegetables of food insecure populations. She has a Master's in Fine Art from UNC-Greensboro, Master’s in Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Master's in Divinity from Wake Forest University.