Children's Theatre Staff

Eva De La Cruz
Youth Performing Arts Director

Eva De La CruzEva has been the Youth Theatre Director/Choreographer at the J since 2012, and has been on full-time staff at the J since 2016. She has directed/choreographed 14 JCCS productions; her favorites include: Seussical, Jr., Cats, Lion King, Jr., Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Fiddler on the Roof, Jr. She has spent eight summers as the summer Performing Arts Camp Director, most recently presenting A Year With Frog and Toad.

Under Eva’s leadership, the Youth Theatre Program has expanded upwards to include a teen component. She has directed 12 J Teen Theatre productions, most recently The Addams Family Musical and Pippin.

Prior to working at the J, Eva was the Artistic Coordinator at HITS Theatre, an outreach instructor with Main Street Theater, and an on-camera acting instructor at the Page Parkes Center of Modeling and Acting. Eva has been a member of Actors’ Equity Association since 2005, and has worked as a stage manager for over 45 local productions. Eva received her BA from the University of Houston, and was the Associate Producer for the Houston Shakespeare Festival for four seasons following her graduation.

Jeannine Rowden
Music Director

Jeannine RowdenJeannine has been the resident music director at the J since the fall of 2017, working with both JCCS and J Teen Theatre productions. Jeannine’s career began at an early age, quickly catapulting her across the United States, Europe, and abroad over the past 35 years. As a Music Director and Vocal Coach, Jeannine can be found during the summer at venues such as The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stage Door Manor, and French Woods Festival of Performing Arts.

Her recent musical theatre work in the Houston area includes Theatre Under the Stars, Main Street Theater, Stages Repertory Theatre, and Wildfish Theatre. As a Vocal Coach, Ms. Rowden has served on the faculty of the TUTS Humphreys School of Musical Theatre, and now manages Rowden Music Studio, which boasts a thriving private studio in Houston, New York City, and Los Angeles. Her students can be seen on Broadway, in films, and TV series. Jeannine is certified in the Vocal Power Method, Somatic Voicework TM, and the LoVetri Method.

Andrew Rogers
Music Director/Voice Instructor

Andrew RogersAndrew joined the J Youth Theatre team in 2018, and has worked as a music director for both JCCS and J Teen Theatre productions. He is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston. His music career started when he was 6 years old playing the piano, and he then went on to the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts to pursue singing and music direction.

Music Direction credits include Carmen, Oliver, The Magic Flute, Ahmal and the Night Visitors, Wizard of Oz, Pippin, Rent, Seussical, and Camp Rock. He is also happy to be one of our private voice instructors at the J.

Megan Kessler
Music Director/Voice Instructor

Megan KesslerMegan came on board as a youth theatre music director in the fall of 2018. She is the resident music director for our Spotlight program, and she has also worked with our JCCS students. She graduated from DePauw University with a Bachelor of Music Education and is in her fourth year of teaching.

Megan currently teaches K-5 music, choir, and drama in Katy. Additionally, she accompanies for solo and ensemble contest and teaches private piano and voice lessons.

Brennan Blankenship
Class Instructor

Brennan BlankenshipBrennan has been an instructor with the J Youth Theatre program since the fall of 2015. She is the primary theatre instructor for students ages 3-5, as well as the director of the Spotlight and Act Out productions. She has also assistant directed over 10 JCCS and J Teen Theatre productions.

Brennan is a Houston native who directs and performs around the Houston area. Aside from working at the J, Brennan also teaches and performs with Main Street Theater and directs shows locally.

Melissa Ramos
Class Instructor

Melissa RamosMelissa Ramos has been a JCCS Assistant Director since the fall of 2018. She has also been a Senior Counselor with our Performing Arts Camp for one summer.

She is currently a student at The University of Houston, majoring in Theatre Education. Despite her background in education, she has grown up performing in musicals all her life

Teresa Zimmerman
Voice Instructor

Teresa ZimmermannTeresa is a vocalist, actor and voice coach from Houston. She has been singing from a very young age, and performing in front of audiences since she was a teenager. She began classical vocal training at the age of 15, and went on to receive her BFA in Musical Theatre from Sam Houston State University.

After graduating, she spent a year and a half performing onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Teresa has also been a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association since October 2017 and continues to perform in the Houston area at theatres including The Alley Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Stages Repertory Theatre, and Fourth Wall Theatre Company.