Instructors & Staff
LESLIE HORMANN is the Executive & Artistic Director of Fort Wayne Youtheatre. Leslie has nearly 30 years of teaching under her belt with experience in FWCS, SWAC, and Abacus Learning Center. Leslie grew up on the Youtheatre stage and took Saturday classes starting in 3rd grade! She teaches our Pre-K, Pre Creative Drama, Comedy, radio students, and heads our community outreach program. She also created and directs our traveling troupe “Story Book Theatre”– featuring 4 original shows a year! This year, she’ll be Co-Directing “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, a partnered show with St. Francis School of Creative Arts! In May Leslie will direct “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
HEATHER CLOSSON, a Youtheatre alum, has been involved since she was 9 years old! Her Youtheatre career was focused on behind the scenes magic. She now heads our outreach program and teaches Comedy, Creative Drama, Dance, and Stagecraft!
With over 22 years of dance experience, Heather has performed at Ball State, Muncie Civic, FW Civic and Arena Dinner Theatres. She’s danced with the FW Ballet, Northeast School of Dance, and studied in LA to further expand her performance background.
When Heather heard of the teaching and outreach opportunity at Youtheatre, she was instantly interested! She loves “exposing youth to the magic and beauty of theatre—be it through word, sound, or movement.” This is her chance to give back the knowledge and confidence that Youtheatre gave her so many years ago. “Teaching theatre and dance will surely be educational for everyone-there’s so much that I learn from the kiddos I work with, it’s unbelievable! It’ll also just be fun… Who doesn’t love a little bit of fun?!”
REUBEN ALBAUGH has been leading our Beginning Drama for 12 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. Reuben also held the hilarious roll of the Stepmother in the Civic Theatre’s “Cinderella.”
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.
JEANNE IMMLER has brought her expertise to Youtheatre for over two decades! In addition to heading our Boys/Girls Club at McCormick, Jeanne works with Canterbury School. She’s also known for her excellent work with the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, and Fort Wayne Community Schools.
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!
STEPHANIE LONGBRAKE began with the Youtheatre in 2014 as the Voice for the Stage instructor. With a B.S. in Music Education, 6 years as an elementary music teacher and theater director, and over a dozen theater credits in Fort Wayne alone, she’s thrilled to be involved with the YouTheatre! By day, Stephanie works with a group of engineers who, crazy enough, don’t typically break into song. Just a few of her performances include: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown with the Arena Dinner Theatre, Les Miserables, Monty Python’s Spamelot, and soon to be Shrek with the Fort Wayne Civic!
ALLISON THOMAS joined our team helping out in the Youtheatre office. She has been with Youtheatre for 3 seasons! 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 35 years of service and counting– Mr. HARVEY COCKS!
What do Helen Hayes, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and Danny Kaye all have in common? Harvey Cocks! Our very own Harvey has been a part of the Fort Wayne Youtheatre for over 35 years–currently the Artist in Residence– certainly has a wealth to offer young people when it comes to learning about theater. He teaches our senior classes, Directed “Santa Claus in Oz,” and will be assisting our Second Annual Fairy Tale Fest this May. 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 89 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.”