Our theory:

Founded in 2010, the New Albany Middle School Theatre Department is a program consisted of a highly talented group of young individuals and directors, with a devotion to the performing arts. "Having young individuals explore and enjoy expressing themselves through the arts" is part of the departments belief towards an essential need for student participation in the arts throughout their time in school.

Meet the staff:

Melissa Gould  


Director & Choreographer

Melissa Gould received her B.A in Dance at San Jose State University and enjoyed a professional dance career which included contracts in Japan, Las Vegas and South Korea. Melissa has been teaching for over 35 years and has choreographed several musicals for schools and community theatres across the country. This is her 7th year as director for the New Albany Middle School Theatre Dept. As Artistic Director and founder of New Vision Dance Company, Columbus’ contemporary jazz dance ensemble, Melissa is known for her intense dance style, challenging classes and entertaining choreography. Melissa is the Founder and CEO of the New Albany Dance Festival.

Sean Hooper  


Music Director

Sean Hooper is a Math Intervention Specialist at New Albany High School. He received his B.A. from Wabash College in Indiana, and his M.A. in Education from Ohio Dominican University. Mr. Hooper has taught in the district for the past fifteen years, and he has served as music director for the NAMS Drama Department for the past five years. Sean also serves as director of the district’s Black History Month program. In his free time, he enjoys playing piano for and/or singing with different groups in the community, swimming, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Pari Basant  

Stage Manager

Hey! My name is Pari, and I’ll be a senior this year at New Albany High School. This year will mark my 6th year with the NAMS theater department! Apart from theater, I love to read, hang out with friends, and paint! I am so excited to work with everyone and help build together this exciting show!

Lauren West  

Assistant Stage Manager

Hi I'm Lauren! This is my 4th year assistant directing and my 7th year in the program. I'm a sophomore at NAHS. I can't wait to work with the cast and crew and to help everyone put on an amazing show!

Kristen West  

Assistant Director

Kristen West is an assistant director and junior in highschool. She has participated in the nams theater program since her first show in the 6th grade and has been in 8 shows since. She plays two instruments and loves animals. She is so exited to be a part of this show!!

Reese Harper  

Assistant Director

Hi! I’m Reese. This is my first year as an assistant director, but this will be my 3rd year in the NAMS theatre program. I am going into 9th grade, and other than theatre, I enjoy art, reading, and spending time with my friends and family.

Chase Growdon

Assistant Director

Hi!  My name is Chase and I am an Assistant Director for Oliver Jr.  This is my first time assistant directing and my 2nd show with NAMS Theatre Department.  I am a Freshman at NAHS where I am also a member of the NAHS Marching Band Drumline.  In my free time, I like to do martial arts, read, and play video games.  Looking forward to working with the cast and crew for Oliver Jr!

Mia Xu  

Assistant Director

Hello! My name is Mia, and I will be a freshman this year at New Albany. This is my 3rd year being with the NAMS theatre program! Other than theatre, I like to draw, be with my friends and build legos! I’m very happy to see everyone and work with the cast and crew! 

Ella Proudfoot  

Assistant Director

Hello, my name is Ella and I’m a freshman at NAHS. This is my 4th show with the middle school theater and i’m excited to assistant direct! In my free time I play cello, draw, build legos, and hang out with friends. I’m so excited to help with the show!

Assistant Director Interest Form (here)