Theater Arts Academy

TAA logo

Who are we?

We are a branch of the A.D. Players Theater called the Theater Arts Academy (TAA). The Academy offers training for artists of all ages with a primary focus on ages 5-18.

What we do?

TAA specializes in developing individual artistry and the student as a whole. Our Academy is focused on training students and providing them with tools which can be utilized in theater and life experiences.

How we do it?

We offer a welcoming and encouraging environment to all by providing friendly, positive and experienced staff members.

Nurturing the mind, body and spirit of the artist


713-439-0181 or email

On Campus classes are held at our Saint Street Annex (2613 Saint Street, Houston, TX 77027) and our Mainstage Theater (2710 W. Alabama, Houston, TX 77098)


Melody Torno

Melody Torno is the A.D. Players Director of Education  for the Theater in Houston, TX. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Sam Houston State University in Radio/Television: Mass Communications - Broadcast Journalism as well as a Master of Arts degree from The University of Houston in Theatre and a Teacher certification in Theatre EC-12. Her degrees are complemented by study at theaters such as the Lincoln Center-New York, Acting Studio Chicago, & The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art- London. Melody served as a Theatre Teacher/Director in public schools for 10 years and has taught Theatre Arts to every age group PK-12th. She is a certified judge for the Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials.


Stephen Hurst

Stephen has been with the A.D. Players since 2000. He holds a MA in Theatre for Young Audiences and Youth from Oklahoma City University. Stephen has worked for the Clovis Unified School District in Fresno, CA as an Assistant Director and Choreographer, and as a performer at Paramount’s Great America. At the A.D. Players, Stephen has performed with the National Touring Unit, Children’s Theatre, and Mainstage productions. He has done extensive teaching, has been Director of the Theater Arts Academy, and has been involved as director and assistant director for several productions. A few of his A.D. Players credits include: Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming, Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, Shadowlands, Joyful Noise, Mousetrap, and Peter and the Wolf.


Braden Hunt

Braden got his training from University of Houston, the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, and the Stephanie Bradow Voice Studio. Although his most famous work is in Japanese animation, his background and love is in musical theatre. Favorite roles include: Anansi the Spider (Drummer), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Snoopy), Parade (Hugh Dorsey), Company (Bobby), and The Dudley’s: A Family Show (Vic). He’s also a certified theatre teacher. In his spare time, he enjoys composing music.

Amanda CarlsonAmanda Carlson
Amanda has been performing for over 15 years. She has a B.A. degree in Ministry in Arts from Central Bible College and an M.A. in Theatre from Regent University. She joins the AD Players, in A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Snow Queen, Little Women the Musical and as a member of the Theater Arts Academy teaching staff. She has been heavily involved in several Academy courses, showcases and All-Star Camps including Peter Pan Jr., Seussical Jr. and Sherlock Holmes. Amanda is also a certified judge with TTAO (Texas Adjudicators & Officials). She is extremely excited to be working with the A.D. Players continuing to make a dramatic difference within the Theatre community.

Paige Thomas

Paige Thomas - TAA Intern

Paige Thomas is a resident of Richmond, TX where she graduated from Foster High School in 2010. There she was a very avid member of the Theater Arts program where she had the opportunity to participate as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, an Indian in Peter Pan, and the mother in the One Act Play production of Equus. From there she went on to graduate from Texas A&M University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a minor in Business Administration. She is currently an intern with the A.D. Players Theater Arts Academy and is beyond thrilled to be aiding in the growth and artistry of the incredibly talented students at the academy.


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