Artistic Director and Owner

Heather is from Cleveland, OH. She moved to Asheville to attend UNCA where she played soccer (Go Bulldogs!) and graduated with honors with a BA in Psychology. Heather started the Asheville Performing Arts Academy in 2009 in order to bring theatrical training to the children of the Asheville area. Since then she has directed over 100 productions and won many awards including the Freddy G. Award for Teaching Excellence. Heather has also been Irish Dancing since the age of 4. Her Irish Dance program is a part of the award-winning Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance.





Mary Katherine is a working actor who started out as a student at the APAA herself!

Since graduating from the APAA in in 2010, she  has attended Greensboro College for Acting Performance where she received training in Fitzmaurice technique, Alexander Technique as well as a firm foundation in classic, contemporary and musical theatre. Some of her favorite theatre roles include Nora in the world premiere of DOLL, Rifkele in INDECENT, Thomasina in ARCADIA and  Marianne in the world premiere of WAKE-WALKING.

From there she has worked on National television shows such as SALEM (wgn) YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE (IG network) as well as film with GOOD THINGS DEVILS DO, LUKE AND JO, NIGHT OF THE WILD, BRUISER and festival award-winning shorts BLOOD SPOOK and THE UNBEARING. 

In between acting for the stage and screen, she has been teaching and directing at the APAA. She hopes to not only encourage each performer to reach their full potential, but help them discover a love of theatre and the joy of expressing themselves freely. 




Mezzo-soprano and Singing Voice Specialist Laura Williams is a passionate and active professional singer and teacher based in Asheville, NC. She holds degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder, (Masters of Music, Vocal Performance) and from Brevard College (Bachelors of Music, VP). She was recently on the UNC Greeley and CU-Denver voice faculties where she primarily taught courses in Musical Theater, Vocal Pedagogy, worked with Singer-Songwriting majors and directed Songs for a New World.

After studying with the National Center for Voice and Speech, Laura’s other passion is as a Vocologist, where she habilitates singers with injured voices. Laura has combined her life as a musician and love of traveling and was recently on the faculty at the International College of Beijing and has sung with the International Bachakademie in Stuttgart and the Weimar Bach Cantata Academie under Helmuth Rilling, Hans-Christoph Rademann and Kathy Romey, where she toured in Germany, Chile and Tunisia. Recently, Laura has performed as both a soloist and choral member with the Oregon Bach Festival, Colorado Bach Ensemble, the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and as an alto with the Charlotte Bach Festival Cantata Choir, The King’s Counterpoint and the Charleston Symphony.

Laura teaches voice and piano lessons at her local studio and she and her husband Tyler live in Asheville with their very sassy Westie, Harvey.




Wolfe Lanier is a young Actor/ Director/ Teacher. Raised in Asheville, North Carolina, Wolfe grew up in the eccentricity that Asheville has to offer. Starting his theatrical journey with the Asheville Performing Arts Academy, he then was heavily involved with the brilliant theatre program at Asheville High School. His passion for theatre led him to the Hartt School of Music Theatre in Hartford, CT. He received his B.F.A. in Music Theatre in 2019, driving him straight to New York City. A few months after hitting the pavements, networking, and acclimating to the N.Y.C. lifestyle, he found himself on the road with the National Tour of We the People. A musical teaching of government and prosperity. A fulfilling way to start the beginning of 2020. Wolfe is proud to be home for the time being, for this is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the luminous minds of the Asheville Artists. He is here to cultivate collective creativity.



Technical Director

Jeannie is from Hong Kong and made a long detour to Australia before moving to North Carolina. She completed her BFA majoring in Sculpture and has worked in major events and media. Jeannie's family joined APAA in 2018, enrolling her daughter Harriet in Prep Academy. Since then, Jenanie has worked with the 2019 Newsies set build team, and had her first major project costuming 2 casts performing Frozen. In her professional career, Jeannie works at UNCA Asheville's STEAM Studio as a Program Director where she supports middle and high school girls learning how to make cool things.



Business Manager

Amanda has been with the Asheville Performing Arts Academy since 2012. She started off as an Academy student during her sophomore year of high school and then became the technical theatre intern from 2013-2015. While the intern, Amanda stage-managed the Academy and Youth Community Theatre shows. She graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance where she received her BFA in Design and Production with a concentration in Stage Management and received her MS in Leadership for Creative Enterprises from Northwestern University. Amanda is currently pursuing her MEd in Elementary Education from DePaul University with the hope of integrating the arts more into the classroom.

kurt campbellKURT CAMPBELL


Kurt Campbell has been working with the Asheville Performing Arts Academy on and off since 2007. He has music directed shows like Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Once on this Island, Chorus Line and many more. He is a 4th grade teacher at Rainbow Community School. He is the proud dad to two boys, Gallagher and Jack, and his dog, Chance.

mark jones asheville


Guest Director

Mark Jones has been directing and acting in Western North Carolina and Virginia for the last 35 years. Some of his favorite roles include: Buddy Holly in BUDDY: The Buddy Holly Story, Jack in Into the Woods, John in john & jen, Corny Collins in Hairpsray, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Lurch in The Addams Family, Robert Anne in Nunsense, A-Men and The Tinman in The Wizard of Oz. He was last seen at APAA in the role of Pulitzer in Newsies.

Mark has also directed many productions, including: The Great American Trailer Park MusicalSeussicalSnowbound, Ghost: The Musical, Zombie Prom, Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Putting It Together, Songs For a New World, Legally Blonde: The Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, The Fantasticks, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mamma Mia, Bye Bye Birdie JrA Year With Frog and Toad Kids13 the Musical and Broadway Bootcamp.




Native to Waynesville, NC, Cord has worked as a professional dancer since the age of 14. He began working professionally as a choreographer at the age of 19 when he choreographed his first full-length musical “Kiss Me, Kate.” Since then he has worked on over 30 professional shows as choreographer and director. Many of which have gained him several awards including Best Choreography for an Original Show. Cord has been teaching dance and theatre for the last 10 years working in companies all across the country from coast to coast. He served as Dance Captain for the tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in his early 20s, then returned to the area where he realized his calling for teaching. He is thrilled to be a part of the amazing team at Asheville Performing Arts Academy.