RhinoLeap Academy

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Innovative program held on high school campuses across North Carolina

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Impact Now

A summertime social entrepreneurship program for teenagers

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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.

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Ali Evarts has performed in Venus in Fur (Moonlight Stage), Thespian (Amazon & Amazon Prime), Dhana and the Rosebuds (The Brick, NYC In Scena!), Hamlet (Compass Rose Theatre), Mary-Kate Olsen is in Love (Studio Theatre), Sioux Falls (Mead Theatre Lab), If I Hold My Tongue (Compass Rose Theatre / Women's Voices Theatre Festival), and Murder in the Cathedral (Compass Rose Theatre).  When she isn't acting in film or theatre, Ali works as the General Manager of Scott A. Miller Enterprise, overseeing the growth and development of Miller Communication Consulting and the mVm Miller Voice Method®.

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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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Georgia Morgan a dancer, visual artist, screenwriter, and animator currently based out of New Orleans.  After graduating from University of North Carolina School of the Arts High School Drama Program & SUNY Purchase's BFA Acting Conservatory, her artistic pursuits have taken her everywhere from NYC to Hawaii. This fall, you can see Georgia perform as the lead actress in the horror feature Why, Mona Rae? or in the upcoming RhinoLeap production of Unnecessary Farce and Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea.

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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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Heather O’Shaughnessy is a storyteller, educator, and dramaturg with a particular interest in projects involving historical contexts and settings.  She spent five years playing Anne Boleyn at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, leading patrons in interactive and immersive theatrical experiences.  As a teaching artist, Heather has enjoyed opening the door to Shakespeare’s language for students and youth companies.  In 2019, she received a BroadwayWorld Regional Award for Best Actress for her role as Antony in Julius Caesar.  Heather holds a B.F.A. in Acting from UNC School of the Arts and was a recipient of the 2013 Kenan Fellowship in Acting at the John F. Kennedy Center.

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Allen Tedder was born and raised in North Carolina and attended UNC Chapel Hill for his undergraduate degree in Dramatic Art. He then went on to earn a Master's degree in Acting at The Juilliard School.  He has performed at PlayMakers Repertory Company, The Public Theater, and is currently performing in the Broadway production of To Kill A Mockingbird adapted by Aaron Sorkin and starring Ed Harris.  For RhinoLeap his has performed in their productions of The Glass Menagerie and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

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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.