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)

Academy Staff

Melody TornoMelody Torno

A.D. Players Director of Education

Melody Torno holds a Masters of Arts in Theater from University of Houston and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sam Houston State University in Radio/Television: Mass Communications. She serves on the Houston Arts Partners Programming Committee, is a certified judge for U.I.L Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials and serves as a Houston Tommy Tune judge. Melody holds a State of Texas Teacher Certification in Theatre EC-12 and taught for 10 years in public schools as a Theater Teacher/Director/Dept. Chair teaching every age group PK-12. Her degrees are complemented by study at theaters such as the Lincoln Center-New York, Acting Studio Chicago, Theatre Under the Stars-Houston, The Royal Shakespeare Company-Stratford Upon Avon and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts-London. Other credits include: Associate Producer for Twentieth Television, production team Fox 26-Houston and an internship with Paramount Studios/Entertainment Tonight-Los Angeles. She is an active member of the Texas Educational Theatre Association.

Kim BeckKim Beck

Academy Administrator

Kim Beck, holding a M.S. in Education from Old Dominion University as well as completing doctorate level work in Curriculum Development, has been an advocate of arts education since the beginning of her career.  Using her musical degrees to assist in directing two children’s musicals, Kim also maintained a private piano studio, implementing the skills she gleaned while studying at the Hartt School of Music.  In 2013, Kim partnered with a seasoned theatre professional to establish A Work in Progress Productions, a 501(c)(3) fine arts developmental program in New England. In addition to stage managing multiple MainStage productions, she concurrently acted as Production Manager and Educational Director for AWIP, merging her love of the arts with her passion for education. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors for that company as a financial advisor.   Kim is excited to be part of the TAA staff, as she believes like Plato that “the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.”

Paige ThomasPaige Thomas

Academy Registrar

When Paige is not on stage, she aids in the growth of young artists in the Houston area as the Academy Registrar for A.D. Players Theater Arts Academy. She first caught the performing bug in the arts programs at Briscoe Jr. High and Foster High School in Richmond, TX where she grew up. She then went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Texas A&M University where she gained knowledge and skills in Leadership & Business Management. You may have seen her recently as the Goose and Spectator in A.D. Players recent production of Charlotte’s Web as well as the Unicorn in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. She was also a member of the ensemble for A.D. Players production of Godspell. Paige would like to thank A.D. Players for the wonderful opportunities they continue to provide for her, and is very excited for the years to come!

Amanda CarlsonAmanda Carlson

Academy Promotions

Amanda has been performing for over 15 years. She has a B.A. in Ministry in Arts from Central Bible College and an M.A. in Theatre from Regent University. She joined the A.D. Players as an intern and continues to pursue her art while maintaining full time staff positions as A.D. Players House Manager and Theater Arts Academy Promotions Coordinator. Amanda is a certified judge with TTAO (Texas Theatre Adjudicators & Officials), and has served 2 years as Evaluator for the Assemblies of God Fine Arts Festival for both the district and national levels. She is extremely excited to be working with the A.D. Players making a dramatic difference within the Theatre community.

Adrienne ShearerAdrienne Shearer 

Academy Education Specialist 

Adrienne Shearer graduated from The University of St. Thomas with a BA in drama. She serves as the Academy Education Specialist teaching classes for all ages and works in developing curriculum and programming for Academy Special Populations. She works as a guest teaching artist for various theaters in Houston such as, The River, Theater Under The Stars, and Main Street Theater. Previously she worked for the Next Step Academy. Miss Shearer is proud to have recently become a full time company member with the A.D Players  Theater Arts Academy,

Amanda BeckAmanda Beck

Academy Apprentice

Amanda Beck is an undergraduate student in The Honors College at the University of Houston, where she is majoring in English Literature and double minoring in Music/Public Relations. Partnering with several nonprofit theatre companies in the Northeast, Amanda has starred in multiple MainStage productions. In her two years as an intern with A Work in Progress Productions, she served as assistant director, assistant choreographer, and acting/music coach. As a part of her apprenticeship at the Academy, she has worked as ASM in three All-Star Productions. Additionally, Amanda participates in the elite Concert Women's Chorus at UH and engages in seasonal operas. A nationally-honored classical pianist, she currently instructs in her private studio. Coupling communications and fundraising efforts, Amanda coordinates UH service projects to narrow the educational gap in Houston’s Third Ward. With a heart for arts education, Amanda is grateful for the opportunity to share her passions at the Academy.


Visit T.A.A. on  

  Insta: ADPlayersTheaterArtsAcademy