Handbook | Summer 2021
Check-in will be from 8:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. daily. We want everyone to arrive safely, so we ask that you not arrive any earlier than 8:45 a.m., when we can guarantee a Conservatory staff member will be present. Please arrive by 9:00 a.m., as important instruction is given at the day’s start. We do not provide after-care, so students must be picked up or self-dismissed every day by 4:30 p.m.
Alley Conservatory will be held at the Alley Theatre at 615 Texas Ave. Students may be dropped off and picked up in Nina Vance Alley, located on Texas Avenue between the theatre building and the Alley Garage. Parking is not allowed in the alleyway. Please refer to the map for details.
For students driving themselves, Theater District Parking is the preferred garage. The entrance to this garage is located off Texas Avenue between Smith and Louisiana streets. Metered street parking is also available. The Alley does not provide student parking.
Due to the strong focus on ensemble, each student has a vital role. Therefore, accumulative absences and tardies can result in your dismissal from Conservatory without a refund. Please check your calendar and notify us in writing of any dates that your child will need to arrive late or leave early. You can send attendance notes to Esme LeJeune Wu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are running late please call or text our camp administrators with the Google Voice number: 530-710-8375
What to Bring
Food: Please bring a healthy lunch and low-sugar snacks. Students will not be dismissed to go offsite for lunch. Unfortunately, vending machines, microwaves, and refrigerators are not available.
Drink: Only water will be allowed in Conservatory classrooms. All students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles as access to fountains or water coolers may be restricted in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Notebook, folder, pens, and pencils: Students will receive a great deal of information, and will need a place to take notes and keep track of the information given in class.
Phones and devices: To keep our attention in the room, cell phones and other personal electronic devices must remain out of sight and silent. Occasionally, phones may be used to assist with particular assignments on a case-by-case basis. Because students will not always have access to their devices, if you need to reach your child during the day, please call or message the camp administrator.
Alley Theatre is not responsible for lost or damaged items.
Clothing: Students need to be free to express themselves. Dancewear, exercise clothes, pants, and T-shirts are recommended. Students should not wear restrictive clothing, low-cut shirts, skirts, dresses, or anything that inhibits movement.
The Alley can be cold at times, so students are encouraged to bring a sweater or a sweatshirt. Students may keep a backpack or bag within the theatre and may bring a towel to use for floor exercises if they have neck or back issues.
Comfortable, closed-toed shoes: Students will be participating in a variety of active theatre exercises and artistic endeavors. Being able to move around freely and safely is extremely important. Students should wear closed-toed shoes and clothing that is appropriate for movement each day.
Alley Theatre will not be responsible for any lost items of clothing.
Emergencies & Medical Needs
Emergency Forms: The health and safety of students are a priority. Please make sure to turn in your required forms on the first day of Conservatory. Completed forms must be handed to the camp administrator.
Medical or other concerns: It is important for us to be aware of any medical concerns that could hinder a student’s performance such as sports injuries, asthma, or other conditions that might need attention. Alley Conservatory will need a written action plan that details any symptoms and what is to be done in the event of an emergency.
Allergies: It is very important that you inform Alley Conservatory staff of any allergies that may impact your student’s ability to participate in Conservatory.
Illness: Students showing signs of illness, especially fever or flu-like symptoms, should stay at home and will receive an excused absence. Please call or message the camp administrator.
Medication: Unless a student is having an allergic reaction, the Alley Conservatory staff is unable to administer any type of medication. If your student needs medication, they must be able to administer it themselves. Parents can also arrange for someone to come to the theatre to administer medication.
Conservatory Campus Map
Conservatory Phone (Google Voice): 530-710-8375
Assistant Director of ECE
Office Phone: 713-315-5442
Esme LeJeune Wu
School Programs Manager
Office Phone: 713-315-5425
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Office Phone: 713-315-5424
Conservatory Teaching Artists & Staff
Chaney Tullos (Camp Director) has worked regionally as an actor, director, and stage manager. He has performed with companies including Ford’s Theatre, the American Shakespeare Center, Virginia Stage Company, The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, SITI Company, and the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival. Before moving to Houston, he served as Associate Artistic Director of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival and was an adjunct faculty member at Tulane University where he taught courses in Acting, Shakespeare, and Stage Management. Additionally, Chaney also served on the faculty of the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts where he helped students earn spots in the nation’s best acting programs. He holds an MFA in Acting from LSU and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.
Esme L. Wu (Camp Administrator, Playwriting) is a Houston playwright, actress, and educator who received her MA in Playwriting from Royal Holloway, University of London, where she graduated with Distinction in 2012. Her original works include The Visit (Landing Theatre/Houston), Tuning In (White Bear Theatre/London), In the Absence of Grace (MISK Theatre/London, Bierkeller New Writing Platform/Bristol), and Metanoia (MISK Theatre/London), All of This Seems True (workshop reading at Soho Theatre/London), and The Mariner (Cohen New Works Festival at UT Austin). In addition to playwriting and acting, she is one of two playwriting instructors for the Alley Conservatory, and manages in-school programs for the Alley Theatre, which delivers over 800 hours of Arts Education programming in the Greater Houston Area each school year.
Brendan Bourque-Sheil (Playwriting) is a writer of plays and prose. His plays have been produced in Houston and Chicago, at Stages Theatre, Death and Pretzels Theatre Company, and The Landing Theatre Company, where he serves as Playwright-in-Residence and Literary Associate. Brendan’s work with The Landing has included producing play festivals and workshops, as well as writing/developing plays staged in actual Houston homes. He's been a finalist for the Reva Shiner Comedy Award, and Southwest Theatre Productions’ “Plays With a Strong Female Lead” Competition, as well as a two-time nominee for the Houston Press “Best New Play” Award. He's a Writer-in-Residence for The Writer's Colony at Dairy Hollow, and a member of the Rec Room Writers Group. As a storyteller, he's appeared on PBS's Stories From the Stage and KPFT's So What's Your Story, and he frequently contributes to the monthly live show Grown-up Storytime. For six years, he has worked as a teaching artist for The Alley Theatre, and a consultant in Creative Writing for the Kinder High School of Performing and Visual Arts. He is the host and producer of The Landing Theatre New Works Podcast. You can catch his latest play, Sunrise Coven, this coming Spring, at Stages Theatre.
Nina Saunders (Acting) is a third year MFA Theatre and MA Arts Leadership graduate teaching assistant at the University of Houston and a 500 hour certified yoga teacher who specializes in Trauma Informed Therapeutic Theatre. She is passionately studying socio-emotional wellness in theatre and theatre education through effective arts leadership and direction. Previously she worked for 15 years as high school theatre director and 5 years as a professional director, lighting and sound designer with numerous theatrical touring companies. She is a state advancing director in both Texas and New Mexico, a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Sound Design Winner, a Texas Educational Theatre Association Chair, a certified contest manager and adjudicator with Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials, and a Trauma Informed Therapeutic Theatre Teaching Artist at Houston Creative Arts Therapy. Her goal is to use the art of theatre to compassionately empower, enrich, inspire, and connect through the art of storytelling. In addition she is a wife and a mother to two playfully creative boys which provides her with a grounding respite.
Annie Wild (Movement) is an actor currently based out of Houston with a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory. She has lived and performed in NYC, Los Angeles, Houston and other parts of Texas. A native Houstonian, she has loved working with The Alley as a TA since 2018. When not performing, she loves to cook, read, play the ukulele and get outdoors whenever she can.
Baldemar Rodriguez (Filming) was born in Mexico and raised in Pasadena, Texas. He graduated from
the University of Houston and holds a BA in Radio/Television/Film and a BA in Theater.
Rodriguez has directed and produced films, stage productions, documentaries, commercials, and PSAs for ABC, NBC, Univision, Telemundo, among others. He has received several Communicator Awards and Telly Awards for his Creativity in Editing and Cinematography, a Remi Award for Best Feature Film, a CineFest Award for Best Director and was a recent
nominee for the prestigious Imagen Award for Best Director of the feature film In Search of the
American Dream. After the release of his feature film, he was commissioned to direct the stage
play Las Nuevas Tamaleras and hired to be the Artistic Director for Talento Bilingue de
Houston. In 2020, he was invited to join the Alley Theatre in the position of Manager of
Community Partnerships and partake in the Artistic vision and mission of the organization.
Emily Frazee (Filming) is a recent graduate of the University of Houston with a BA in Media Production looking to bring her knowledge of filmmaking and editing to this year's conservatory. Before joining the Alley this year as an ECE video editor, she was the Life & Arts Producer at UH's official student run video network, CoogTV. There, she oversaw the creation of documentaries, lifestyle content, and the typical YouTube/Buzzfeed style vlogs for the organization, not to mention her work in a number of short films, sketches, and film reviews there. As the former president of Stephen F. Austin's Thespian Troupe 5448, Emily has experience with acting, stage managing, and directing. She's attended state and national conventions for theatre, but loves both the stage and the camera. She's thrilled to work with this group of budding artists, and looks forward to seeing their talent shine.
Andrea Torres (Camp Admin) is delighted to be returning to the Conservatory team this summer! At the Alley Andrea has interned with the production management department, education and community engagement department as a stage manager for the 2019 Conservatory, and most recently worked on the administrative staff for the Playmakers summer camp.
She holds a B.A. in Theatre from Agnes Scott College. Outside of theatre, she has worked as an after-school counselor and as an elementary classroom teaching assistant.
This past year she was in Separating the Art with Cone Man Running Productions and in virtual play readings with Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company: Everything You Can Do (To Make the World a Better Place) and Ms. Martin’s Malaise.
Anthony Herrera (Camp Admin) is a 4-year Alley Theatre Conservatory Alumni. Throughout high school, Anthony competed in multiple University Interscholastic League competitions. He competed in Solo & Ensemble Vocal, Solo & Ensemble Band, One Act Play, and Pros & Poetry. In his senior year of high school, Anthony achieved the highest award given at UIL for Vocal-Solo & Ensemble 'Outstanding Performer Award'. After graduating, Anthony began freelancing doing Auditions for film & theatre and started making short films using his experience from his high school Audio & Visual class. Anthony had previously interned for the Alley Theatre for a short time pre-Covid 19 and has rejoined to help the Alley Theatre with their Summer Conservatory.