CAROL JOHNSON, Director/Choreographer

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 will be assisting Kim Fielder- Jones with IYT Summer Stock 21 “Disney’s Descendants”.


IYT Credits 2021-2022 Season:

Director/Choreographer: (21-22 Season) “Peter Pan, Jr.”, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.”

Choreographer: “Into The Woods, Jr.”


MATT FRANCIS is an award-winning director/producer/performer and has been recognized for creative excellence in both stage and film. With over 25 years of experience, he strives to help actors navigate the business of acting and sharpen their audition techniques.

In the last decade he has built a thriving film production and branding company called TAP Productions. During this time, he has made a name for himself by writing and directing several commercials, short films and hosting several large scale film festivals.

A native North Carolinian, Matt grew up in Sanford, NC, just south of Raleigh. After graduating with a Theatre degree from Catawba College, he toured the country with The Missoula Children’s Theatre out of Montana. He later accepted a position in Southern Pines, NC, heading up the theatre program of over 160 students, at Pinecrest High School. During his time at Pinecrest, he brought his students to North Carolina Theater Conference competitions where they won awards for their work and he won the award for “Best Director in North Carolina” at the state competition.

IYT Credits: 2021-2022 Season:

Director: Into the Woods, Jr.

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 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”.

IYT Credits: 2021-2022 Season

Choreographer: “Jekyl and Hyde”, “Pippin”

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.

IYT Credits: (2021-2022 Season)

Director: “Jekyll and Hyde”, “Pippin” One Acts: “The Diviners”


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.

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.

IYT Credits 2021-2022 Season:

Music Director: “Jekyll and Hyde”, “Peter Pan, Jr.”, “Pippin”


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.

IYT Credits 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.

IYT Credits:

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


ELIZABETH SHAVER joins IYT Summer Stock 2021 as the music director for “Disney’s Descendants, The Musical”. an Atlanta, GA native, she 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!

IYT Credits:

Music Director: Summer Stock 2021 “Disney Descendants, The Musical”, “Broadway in the Park”