Instructors & Staff
REUBEN ALBAUGH has been leading our Beginning Drama for 10 years! With his Theatre Degree from IPFW, Rueben manages the box office for the university. He is well known both on stage and off and was hilarious in his lead role in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at IPFW.
LESLIE HORMANN is the Executive Director of Fort Wayne Youtheatre. Leslie has nearly 30 years of teaching under her belt with experience in FWCS, SWAC, and Abacus Learning Center. Also a broadcaster on Rock 104 and WGL, Leslie grew up on the Youtheatre stage and took Saturday classes starting in 3rd grade! She teaches our Pre-K, radio students, and heads our community outreach program. She also created a runs our traveling troupe “Story Book Theatre”– featuring 4 original shows a year! This year, she’ll be assistant directing “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, a partnered show with St. Francis School of Creative Arts!
JEANNE IMMLER has brought her expertise to Youtheatre for over two decades! In addition to teaching Creative Dramatics on Saturdays, Jeanne works with Canterbury School. She’s also known for her excellent work with the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne Community Schools, and her famous “Create-A-Camp”.
ADAM FLETCHER teaches Stagecraft on Saturdays, and he is the scenic designer for our main stage productions. Adam recently graduated from the Theatre Department of IPFW with an emphasis in Scenic Design. When he’s not teaching Youtheatre students the magic of backstage, Adam designs and builds sets for Honeywell, Canterbury High School and the Civic Theatre.
RILEY LORENZINI is a Youtheater intern who helps with Saturday Classes and Summer Camp. She is a Theatre major at IPFW and was last seen in Oliver! where she was a big help with the orphans! Riley is this year’s recepient of the Sarah Shroyer-Smith Scholarship.
DAWN PRENTICE YNGLING who leads our Dance Theatre class has years and years of dance experience. She has choreographed for Youtheatre, Civic Theatre, Honeywell, Auburn Summer Theatre and lots of area High Schools. Audiences have enjoyed Dawn’s performances on many local stages and with many different dance troupes! She has won 2 Anthony Awards for Outstanding Female Dancer!
PHILLIP SHRADER is a Youtheatre intern who helps with Stagecraft and the Office. Phillip is an Ivy Tech student majoring in Special Events Management. You may also see him helping out with demonstrations at Science Central where he is also employed!
AMANDA SIMPKINS works with our After School Drama Club at the Boys/Girls Club. Amanda recently graduated with a Theatre Degree from IPFW. Audiences will always remember Amanda as Nancy is last year’s production of Oliver! When Amanda is not singing, dancing and acting she is working with ONE Physicians.
GREGORY STIEBER has been with the Youtheatre as a director, a teacher, AND a performer! Greg teaches our Comedy classes and stays busy helping out at the Youtheatre office and at various theatres in Fort Wayne. He also directs our summer camp show every year! His work both on stage and off make him recognizable to theatre-goers, and he was recently named “Artist of the Year” by Arts United!
ALLISON THOMAS joined our team helping out in the Youtheatre office. Currently a Communications student at IPFW, Allison travels to Abacus Daycare on Tuesdays to share dramatic arts with preschoolers! She’s great with the little ones and they love her!
And last but certainly not least, with over 34 years of service and counting– Mr. HARVEY COCKS!
(From an interview in Fall ’11) What do Helen Hayes, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and Danny Kaye all have in common? Harvey Cocks– that’s right! Our very own Harvey — director of the Fort Wayne Youtheatre for over 34 years– certainly has a wealth to offer young people when it comes to learning about theater. He teaches our intermediate and senior classes and directs 3 shows a year. From a very young age, Harvey has had a burning passion for acting, writing, singing, and directing.
For those that aren’t already familiar, his zeal for working with and teaching young people is palpable. ”They learn responsibility,” he said recently in an interview. ”The theater is so much about structure and discipline… those are things that help kids become whole human beings.”
Harvey likes to joke about his age — he’s 87 years old– but he never seems to lose that sparkle and charm when it comes to interacting with people young and old.
“I’ll be here,” he said with a wry smile, “until they drag me out.”
It is apparent to anyone who has known him that Harvey is one of the most gracious and thoughtful people leftover from a standard of decency that has largely been forgotten. He is an asset and a fine influence on children involved in any aspect of the theatre. The Youtheatre is proud of and thankful for his continued service to the community.
This year, Harvey will adapt and direct original scripts of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, and Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”!