Lori Stokes, Artistic Director
Lori grew up in the Bay Area, having been raised by two wonderful parents who instilled the love of music in her. She founded StarStruck (formerly known as Kids on Broadway) in 1995 and has been its Artistic Director ever since. She is a San Diego State University graduate, receiving her B.A. Degree in Theatre Arts. She has been married for over 25 years and has three children. All of her children have been involved in StarStruck, and her two daughters have moved on to enjoy professional careers in Theatre as well. She has directed all of StarStruck’s productions, including Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie which received “Wave” magazine’s Annual Small Theatre Award for Outstanding Youth production.
In 2006 Lori received the Alameda County Arts Commission Special Recognition Award for her “Leadership in the Arts”. She has also won numerous awards at Broadway West Theatre including Best Director for her production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, and was recenty honored by the Fremont Symphony for her contribution to the arts. She has been instrumental in establishing StarStruck’s Theatre in the Schools program by presenting specially priced matinees to school children. She has directed musicals and established after school drama programs at numerous local elementary schools. She started StarStruck’s popular Summer camp programs which are now directed by alumni. She recently directed Les Misérables and Annie, two of StarStruck’s top grossing productions to date.
Nancy Godfrey, Music Director
Nancy Bitar Godfrey has had the pleasure of serving as musical director for StarStruck Theatre since 2003. Piano is her first love; she has played and studied since she was six, and has accompanied for many theatrical and choral performances. The music of Broadway gives her a special thrill, and there are no moments more treasured for her than when the house lights go to half, and she strikes up the band for Star Struck.
Nancy received her Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh (where she also continued piano, choral, and music theory studies),and her medical degree from University of Pennsylvania; she did her surgical residency training at Tulane University in New Orleans, where she met her husband and moved to California. They both have busy surgical practices and two wonderful children, and of course the StarStruck community to make life complete.
Lillian Kautz, Choreographer
Lillian Kautz has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University. She studied with American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Petit, and the Royal Danish Ballet in Denmark. Lillian received the Anna Halprin award for excellence in dance and choreography after directing and choreographing her own program at SCU. She is also a recipient of the Quinn Martin Scholarship for excellence in Theatre, Dance, and Film. She studied choreography at Indiana University and worked with choreographers such as Andrew Vaca of CSULB and Paul Haze formerly of Alvin Ailey. Additional choreographer credit includes multiple works at Ballet Petit that were created for both youth and advanced dancers. Lillian teaches ballet and jazz to students of all ages at Ballet Petit and Dance Arts Center. Lillian performed such roles as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Odette in Swan Lake, as well as performing in multiple productions with StarStruck Theatre. She currently performs with multiple Bay Area theatre companies including: City Lights Theatre, West Valley Light Opera, South Bay Musical Theatre, Tri-Valley Repertory, and Palo Alto Players.
Hilary Ann Stevens—START Manager, Instructor
Hilary comes to California from Salisbury, Connecticut and is excited to be joining StarStruck Theatre. A graduate of Shenandoah Conservatory/University, she holds a B.F.A. in Theatre for Youth with a minor in Voice. Hilary has worked with various theatres in the Bay Area as an actress and director along with Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida where she was head Director/Instructor/Actress, Indian River Community College in Ft. Pierce, Florida as Theatre for Youth Director, and has toured to various locations across the United States. She has directed and performed in over 100 productions. Favorite performance credits include: Damn Yankees (Gloria), Man of La Mancha (Aldonza), The Wizard of Oz(Dorothy). Favorite directing credits include: Jane Eyre, Dragon of The Winds, Willy Wonka, 101 Dalmatians, Heidi, Bridge to Terabithia, A Thousand Cranes, The Witches, Deathtrap and The Mousetrap.
Jeanne Batacan-Harper, Dance Instructor
Jeanne first trained in ballet and modern dance at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila; performing in their main stage productions. When in high school, her family relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and she restarted her training at age 19 under Judith Byfield. Later, she learned tap and jazz from her mentor and friend, Berle A. Davis. As a dance instructor, her emphasis is in the Vaganova Method of ballet and Kahnotation for tap. She specializes in teaching children of all levels/ages and beginning adults.
Jeanne was introduced to musical theatre by her best friend (now husband), Daniel, in 1994. Since then, theatre has become one of her greatest passions. She feels fortunate to have performed her dream roles including Diane (A Chorus Line), Anita (West Side Story) – both choreographed by Mr. Davis at BBBay and Mary (Jesus Christ Superstar) with CLTC. Though she had been working steadily as a choreographer for several years, it was only when Lori Stokes invited her to work on her first StarStruck production (Honk 2003) that her life would be forever changed. Working alongside Lori, Nancy Godfrey (music director) and the talented young actors of StarStruck has been the most significant and inspiring aspect of her theatre life.