Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater & Academy Welcomes Stephen Tyler Davis as Artistic Director

By Emily Rodrick-Marketing and Public Relations Manager

Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater & Academy (FPCTA) is thrilled to announce Stephen Tyler Davis will join the staff as its first ever Artistic Director, effective August 1, 2022. Davis makes his return to North Alabama after 15 years working professionally in New York City as a stage director, writer, producer, performer, and educator in the theatre industry. Joining current FPCTA Executive Director, Karen Mockensturm, and Education Director, Candice Cooper, Davis will transition from his faculty position at Sarah Lawrence College in New York where he also serves as their Theatre Program Manager.

Additionally, he is the co-founder and Artistic Director for CitySalt Theatricals, an NYC-based theatre company producing new plays, musicals, readings, special events, and theatre camps like Huntsville’s Blue Plate Broadway. In 2020 while still working in New York remotely, Davis led a FPCTA creative team in keeping our 30 year tradition alive by adapting and directing a new virtual production of A Christmas Carol, the first of its kind for the organization. In Spring of 2023, FPCTA will produce Davis’s original adaptation of Snow White and the 7 Littles at the Von Braun Center Playhouse as part of the 62nd Production Season. Davis is a Huntsville native and grew up through the Fantasy Academy and on the stages of many Fantasy’s theatrical productions in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

As the Artistic Director, Davis will manage and direct the production programming, community outreach, and creative projects of FPCTA. This new staff position is supported in part by grant funding from the Alabama State Council for the Arts. The Artistic Director position will be vital to FPCTA’s growth as the organization steps into the next stage of history honoring its strong community legacy while meeting the demand for services that is moving them to a new 35,700 square foot theatre arts campus in the near future.

Executive Director, Karen Mockensturm stated: “I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Stephen’s artistic talent, professionalism and joyful spirit to lead our production programming and enhance FPCTA’s overall mission, vision, and purpose. It is an honor to welcome him back to North Alabama”

FPCTA Board Director and President and CEO of The Company You Keep, LLC, PeggyLee Wright added: “We are so excited to have Stephen join our family and bring his expertise to our community. This is a game changer for FPCTA!”

Davis brings decades of experience with him back to FPCTA. In 2006, he received his BA in Theatre from University of Alabama, with honors for serving as President of Alpha Psi Omega, Gamma Gamma Cast. Then in 2016, he earned his MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College while also serving as the President of the Graduate Student Senate. He has been a guest artist around the country at universities, state festivals, regional theatres, New York Musical Theatre Festival, and New York International Fringe Festival. Davis is committed to connecting communities and inspiring joy through theatre and music in the artistic work that he makes as a director, teacher, writer, performer, producer, and designer. He is the author of plays, poetry, and original musicals, such as Huckleberry Haywood, Bird Brain, Little Trees, Rusty the Robot, Stargazing With Helen Keller, Lights Out in Cootah County, Snow and the 7 Littles, well as an original adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Davis has toured the United States for three seasons with TheatreWorks USA and is a founder of CitySalt Theatricals NYC, an ordained minister, ASCAP songwriter, and a member of the Actors Equity Association.

Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy (FPCTA) provides theatre arts access through production, education and outreach, reaching more than 31,000 residents annually, including 16,000 children and youth. FPCTA enriches the lives of children and families through theatre and arts education, encouraging students to become self-confident, academically successful, creative-thinking citizens who are more likely to invest in their communities as adults. FPCTA’s core programs include live children’s theatre productions, classes, camps, workshops, and educational outreach through after school theatre classes and In-school touring programs. Recognizing the transformative power theatre arts can have in the life of a child, FPCTA prioritizes theatre arts access for all by engaging local underserved communities. FPCTA is supported in part by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the City of Huntsville Arts and Cultural grant program. Season support by Redstone Federal Credit Union.

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