CAROLANNE MARANO, Director/Choreographer

CAROLANNE MARANO has been a professional dancer/actor for the past 30 years. She is also an accomplished and sought-after director, choreographer, and teacher. A member of Actors Equity, she has performed in countless productions and tours nationally and internationally.
As a director/choreographer, Carolanne has choreographed for Cape Fear Regional Theatre, UNC Pembroke Theatre Program, The Rubicon Theatre Company, as well as “A Night in Paris A Go-Go” with Belinda Carlisle and Rufus Wainwright, New Year’s Eve show for the LA Philharmonic, George Cadbury Hall (UK), Downey Civic Light Opera, Ashland High School, and the film, “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X”.

Currently a Guest Director/Choreographer/Stage Dance Instructor at UNC Pembroke, Carolanne previously taught Musical Theatre at The University of Southern Oregon, University of Worcester (UK), and Pineapple Dance Studio in London, England.

Carolanne and her husband founded the Uprising Theatre Company in 1999 and The Shakespeare in the Pines Festival in 2017. They make their home in the Village of Pinehurst.


2022-2023 SEASON: Director/Choreographer: “Sweet Charity”

KIMBERLY FIELDER-JONES, Director/Stage Manager

Kimberly Fielder- Jones is the director for IYT 2021 Summer Stock and has served as stage manager for The IYT productions for “Les Miserables”,  “Chicago HSE”, “Legally Blonde”, and “A Chorus Line, HSE”. A native of Moore County, she is the former director of The Playhouse (2010-2014).

Kimberly studied theatre performance and directing at Valdosta State University in South Georgia. She has worked with multiple summer stock programs and professional theatre throughout the southeast as a performer, stage manager, and director.

Kimberly is the current Theatre Director at North Moore High School. Since being at North Moore High, she has been honored with five Excellence in Directing awards at the regional North Carolina Theatre Conference Play Festival.


2022-2023 SEASON: Director “Little Shop of Horrors”

2021-2022 SEASON: Director: “Jekyll and Hyde”, “Pippin” One Acts: “The Diviners”, “Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Jr.”, “Grease”


ELIZABETH SHAVER an Atlanta, GA native, graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Upon graduation, she relocated Southern Pines and is currently the Choral Director at Union Pines High School as well as a choral scholar with the Village Chapel in Pinehurst. She worked with Imagine Youth Theater on “Broadway in the Park” in May 2021, Ms. Shaver is so grateful to have the opportunity to work with younger performers because they bring so much joy and energy to everything they do!


2022-2023 SEASON: Music Director: “Little Shop of Horrors.”

2021-2022 SEASON: Music Director: “Disney Descendants, The Musical”, “Broadway in the Park”, “Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Jr.”


Whitney Sipowicz has combined a successful teaching career with a successful performance career throughout the country over the past ten years. She has performed as a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall, throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area and the United Kingdom.

Whitney received her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and began her teaching career in August of 2012, and her choirs have had continuous superior ratings.


2022-2023 SEASON: Co-Music Director: “Sweet Charity”

2021-2022 SEASON: Music Director: “Jekyll and Hyde”, “Peter Pan, Jr.”, “Pippin”

Her choir credits include Head choral director: Southlake, TX, Curtis Middle School, Allen, TX. And Warrensburg Missouri High School. Over her career, her choirs have consistently received superior ratings and festival awards including Best In Show and Grand Champion at the Hawaiian Fall Festival (2016) . Whitney also worked with the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas for three years under the direction of Cynthia Nott and now resides in the Sandhills.


Kirsten Ellefson Foyles is the interim instructor with the Pinecrest Choral Department and directs the worship arts program for students in kindergarten through 5th grade at Community Presbyterian Church in Pinehurst.

She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin and a JD from the University of Louisville. Kirsten received her certification from the Choristers Guild Institute as a Director of Young Singers in July 2015, and has completed 2 years of a 4-year program for Kodály Certification and has earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education through the American Kodály Institute at Loyola University, Maryland.


2022-2023 SEASON: Co-Music Director “Sweet Charity” .

CLIFTON SAMUELS, Director/Choreographer

CLIFTON SAMUELS is “stoked” to be making his directorial debut with Imagine Youth Theatre.  Originally from Swansea, SC he has appeared on Broadway in the multi Tony/Grammy nominated Revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies (w/Bernadette Peters) and most recently in the original Broadway company of Amazing Grace at the Nederlander Theatre.  He is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA and is a graduate of Oklahoma City University.

Clifton has a great passion for teaching young artists.  He has taught master classes in all mediums of dance & acting throughout the country.


Broadway: Mrs. Doubtfire

Broadway Tours:  A Chorus Line, Urban Cowboy-The Musical.  

Off Broadway:  The Beast in the Jungle (Vineyard Theatre-Dir:  Susan Stroman), The Crusade Of Connor Stephens (Jerry Orbach Theatre), STIFF (Barrow Group), Storyville (York Theatre Company, Nomination 2014 Outer Critics Circle for Best New Off-Broadway Musical),Twilight-The Unauthorized Parody (New World Stages).  

Selected Theatre:  World Premiere of Beaches-A New Musical (Signature Theatre) & Amazing Grace (CIBC Theatre, Chicago).  Also multiple shows at The Kennedy Center (Follies), Ahmanson (A Chorus Line), Northshore Music Theatre (Guys & Dolls), Theatre Under The Stars (How to Succeed…./A Chorus Line), Papermill Playhouse (Holiday Inn), Gateway Playhouse (Urban Cowboy), Goodspeed Opera House (Carnival).

Principal Singer: Radio City Christmas Spectacular & The Omaha Symphony.  

Film:  Upcoming- WORTH (opposite Michael Keaton-Official Selection Sundance Film Festival 2020), Coen Bros., Hail, Caesar! (opposite Channing Tatum), Annie (2014), The Unborn, I Fell in Love with the World & Giving Birth to a Butterfly.  

TV:  “The Blacklist” (NBC), “Younger” (TV Land) , “Friends of the People” (TruTV), “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO) & Web Series “Alphabet Boys” & “One Degree Of Ms. D”.


2021-2022 SEASON: Choreographer: “Jekyl and Hyde”, “Pippin”, “Grease”


Jordan Napoli Cranford, Music Director, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  She is a also a Sandhills Community College alumnus and spent four years with the choir and studying vocal performance.   Jordan performs throughout the Sandhills is a lover of music and musical theatre and has performed in numerous regional musical theatre productions throughout the area.


2022-2023 SEASON: Music Director: “Annie, Jr.”

2021-2022 SEASON: Music Director: “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.”, “into the Woods, Jr.”

NICOLE SOMMERS, Music Director

Nicole Sommers returns to IYT Summer Stock 2021 as Music Director for “Rock of Ages HSE.” She is a music teacher living in Aberdeen N.C.  Ms. Sommers attended the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y.  and holds a Bachelors of Science in Music Education and a Masters of Science in Music Education with a focus on vocal pedagogy, curriculum and instruction, as well as a certification in world music. She also studied child psychology, birth to age 18 and special education. She started her career in New York as a general music teacher and private lesson coach.

She has been teaching public school and private music lessons for 17 years. For ten years she participated as the music director for JMU performing arts camp in NY. She has also been the music director for Temple Theatre in Sanford,NC. For the past 4 summers, she has been the music director for Imagine Youth Theatre. Ms. Sommers teaches private lessons for vocal and instrumental students. Her public school position is general music teacher, dance and choral teacher at J. Glenn Edwards Elementary in Sanford, NC.

Music Director: Summer Stock 2022″Grease”, Summer Stock 2021 “Rock of Ages, HSE”Summer Stock 2020 “Les Miserables, School Edition”

CAROL JOHNSON, Guest Faculty

CAROL JOHNSON holds a BS degree in Dance from Radford University and also studied with the Eglevsky School of Ballet and Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA. Carol has choreographed numerous musicals and industrials for theater companies, schools, and businesses in North Carolina and Virginia. Carol has been directing and choreographing for IYT since its premiere and after her retirement in June 2022, she continues to lend her expertise to the program as a guest faculty member.