our staff



Bobb Cooper Producing Artistic Director        Ext. 305 | Email Me

Bobb is in his 26th year at VYT. Under his direction and leadership, it has become a respected, professional-level theatre company where thousands of young people experience the magic of live theatre. Since 1996, Bobb has received numerous awards for his work as a director and garnered several for the theater itself including Arts Organization of the Year. Bobb’s recognition includes: the inaugural Lifetime Achievement award at the Governor's Arts Awards 2021, the 2019 Mayor’s Arts Award, the 2013 Dreamr Award for public sector/non profit, being named one of the Valley’s Most Influential business leaders and 40 Under 40 by the Phoenix Business Journal, and Arts Advocate of the Year by the Greater Phoenix Arts & Business Council. His professional affiliations include Valley Leadership Class 33, Organization for Nonprofit Executives, Phoenix Community Alliance and The Screen Actors Guild member since 1985. Bobb has been married for over 30 years to his beautiful wife, Karol, and has one daughter, Channing.


Karol Cooper Resident Costume Designer        Email Me

Karol is in her 26th year with VYT. She began her career as a professional clown and costume designer in Sherman Oaks, CA. “Bobbo & Kookee” performed for A-List celebrities and numerous Royal Families. She moved to Phoenix in 1995 and became the Resident Costume Designer for Valley Youth Theatre. During her first 9 years at VYT, she won 12 ariZoni awards for Costume Design and 10 ariZoni awards
for Hair & Make-up. She has also won numerous National Youth Awards (NYA) for Outstanding Costume Design. For the 2015 Broadway World Phoenix Awards, she won Best Costume Design for a youth production for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Karol designed at the New Amsterdam Theatre for the Broadway cast of La Cage Aux Folles performing in Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. She believes that research, attention to detail and the love of storytelling through color and texture is essential to a solid overall design.


Mark Fearey  Resident Musical Supervisor        Email Me

Mark is in his 26th season with VYT and over those years has garnered numerous awards (ariZoni and NYA) and has music directed the Arizona premiere of a few shows. Some of his favorite shows to have been a part of are West Side Story, Titanic, Aida, Shrek, Legally Blonde and The Little Mermaid. In addition to his work at VYT, he is the full-time faculty accompanist/coach and music director at Grand Canyon University. He came to the world of children’s theatre with a Masters of Music in Piano Performance (with an emphasis in accompanying) from ASU and a degree in Piano Performance from the D’Angelo School of Music at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. He has worked with vocal and instrumental artists in Germany, Austria, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and throughout the Southwest. In addition to all the great kids at VYT he has also worked with opera singer Amber Wagner and country recording artist Chris Young. And if that’s not enough, he spent the last 24 years as music director for Abiding Savior Lutheran Church and is vocal coordinator/pianist for the Arizona Young Artist Competition at the Herberger Theater Center and visiting music director for Quisisana Music on the Lake in Maine. He is married to his wonderful wife Tory and they are the proud parents of veteran stage performer Olivia. 


Suzie Martin Managing Director        Ext. 303 | Email Me

Suzie has lived in the Valley of the Sun most of her life. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, she spent the first several years of her career as a CPA working in the audit division of international accounting firms. She specialized in not-for-profit, government and hospitality audits. Suzie then returned to school and became a Licensed Master Social Worker. She has utilized her business and social work skills at various not-for-profit agencies serving families and children in the Phoenix area. She has professional experience in the areas of child welfare, developmental disabilities, domestic violence, homelessness, substance abuse and mental health. She enjoys traveling, football, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.


Kacey Armbruster Marketing Manager        Ext. 306 | Email Me

Kacey is stoked to be part of Valley Youth Theatre as Marketing Manager. Prior to VYT, she studied and conducted research in biochemistry and organic chemistry at ASU. While her background is in data analysis and research, she is an active member of her local art and music community. She loves spending time outdoors going on trail runs, skateboarding and hiking all over the Valley. In her spare time, she creates art, organizes events to display local art and music and plays bass. An Arizona native, Kacey is passionate about giving back to the Valley, music, performance, and the arts. She is very close with her siblings and lives with her younger sister, Emily (18) and her dog Lucy (13).


Leigh Ann Dolan Communications and Development Director        Ext. 304 | Email Me

Leigh Ann has loved VYT ever since she was the Queen of Hearts in VYT’s 1991 production of the musical, “Alice in Wonderland”. Leigh Ann graduated from ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunications with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a support in Theatre, and received an MBA in Marketing from the University of Phoenix. She is a multiple Emmy-winning television and film producer who started producing station promotions and PSA's at KTVK 3TV before going on to produce both scripted and non-scripted television and working in television development at Original Film in Los Angeles. More recently, she was one of the producers on the E! late- night talk show, Busy Tonight. She has an extensive background in the non-profit arts world, having come to VYT from the Phoenix Film Foundation where she served as Managing Director for the past 10 years.  Leigh Ann lives in Phoenix with her husband, Bob, her son Bob (7), her daughter Josie (12) and her 2 pug puppies, Noodle and Beans. “I love VYT for what it has done for the thousands of children that have stepped on its stages – including me! I am so proud to be a part of this Phoenix institution and I am excited to continue the magic.”


Jonathan Furedy Production Manager        Ext. 301 | Email Me

Following a successful and fulfilling 25 year career as a professional actor, Jonathan is honored and thrilled to now be taking on the role of Production Manager for Valley Youth Theatre. Originally from Mesa, Arizona, Jonathan received his BFA in Musical Theatre from The University Of Arizona before moving to New York to pursue a life onstage. Favorite professional stage credits include Mary Poppins (Bert), Legally Blonde: The Musical (Emmett), Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), and Altar Boyz (Matthew). In addition to national tours, cruise ships, film, and television, Jonathan has also performed here in Arizona with The Phoenix Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Southwest Shakespeare, Stray Cat Theatre, Nearly Naked Theatre, and The Phoenix Symphony. As a kid, when he wasn’t performing in his own self-produced “backyard plays”, he was designing and building sets and props, or experimenting with lighting and sound effects, so Jonathan is excited to finally be playing in that world again. Having grown up in local youth theatre (including VYT!) Jonathan has always hoped that some day he’d get the chance to return the favor, so he looks forward to helping continue the VYT legacy, and supporting the young artists of Arizona.


Skeet Schmella, EdD Technical Director        Email Me

Skeet is excited to join Valley Youth Theatre as the company Technical Director. He retired to the valley of the sun in 2013 and has never missed the rains of Washington State. He graduated from Washington State University with a BA in Theatre Arts and Anthropology and attended the Professional Theatre Training Program at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he studied stage management. Skeet finished his postgraduate studies at Grand Canyon University in education.  He has numerus credits in Production Stage Management, Directing and Design, however he developed a fondness for Technical Direction during his tenure as a high school Theatre Arts and Drama teacher. When not working in the theatre, he and his wife enjoy watching their daughter perform and watching their son play baseball.


Morgan McCall Producing Stage Manager        Ext. 308 | Email Me

Originally from a small farming town in New Mexico, Morgan came to Phoenix, and to become a theatre professional, through Grand Canyon University where she received her B.A. in Theatre and Drama. With experience in and a passion for stage management, directing, acting, writing, and teaching, Morgan is proud to serve young people in their artistic and personal development. Some of her favorite projects include stage managing A Year with Frog and Toad (GCU’s Ethington Theatre) and producing radio theatre with other students, including an original musical. She is thankful for her friends, family, and her Creator that inspires her to create in His likeness.


Kelly Kraft Guest Services Manager         Ext. 307 | Email Me

Kelly Kraft is so excited to be the Guest Relations Manager at Valley Youth Theatre. Originally from the East Coast, Kelly moved to Phoenix in 2021 and began working as a teaching artist at VYT. Her background is in musical theater and directing, and she holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Flagler College. Kelly is passionate about theatre and arts education, and will continue to teach classes and school partnerships through VYT. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys hiking, photography, music, and embroidery.


Madolyn Whitmer Education and Outreach Director        Ext. 302 | Email Me

Madolyn is thrilled to join the VYT team and further their mission to impart life skills to students through theatre and the arts. An arts enthusiast herself, Madolyn graduated from ASU with a BFA in theatre and a focus in playwriting. Madolyn has had plays produced in Arizona, Colorado and New York and has a passion for creating devised work with her students that explore their experiences. Previously, she worked with ARTS ALIVE! bringing experiential, dramatic arts classes to hundreds of students throughout the Houston area which focused on instilling social and emotional learning skills through the arts. At Playworks Arizona, Madolyn continued to work toward instilling social and emotional learning skills to children through play as a part of their Development team with a focus in volunteer coordination, management of large-scale special events, and marketing. She is excited to bring her years of experience in the arts and non-profits to VYT and help continue to grow the education department to positively impact more lives.

525 North First Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

1001 North Central Avenue
Suite 700

Phoenix, AZ 85004

Valley Youth Theatre is a registered 501(c)(3).
Since 1989, we have inspired children to be the best they can be through the magic of the performing arts. Our alumni include Oscar® winners, Grammy® award-nominees, Broadway stars, rocket scientists, doctors, lawyers, parents, and community leaders from all walks of life.


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