Having been the Stage Manager for all of Kre8ive Fine Arts Academy’s previous five productions, Brandyn is thrilled to be stepping into the Director position for James and the Giant Peach. Having worked as the Technical Director in the theatre at John A. Logan College for 10 years, working professionally with SIU’s McLeod Summer Playhouse for the past three years and having performed in over 60 theatrical productions on nearly every stage in Southern Illinois, Brandyn is no stranger to the “theatre world”. Having directed productions in the past with Skyline Creek Productions and The Jackson County Stage Company, Brandyn loves the collaboration and creativity that come with directing a full-scale musical production. As a Director, Brandyn believes his extensive background in the many different aspects of theatre allows him to see a show from multiple perspectives, which can often be beneficial during both the initial creative development and throughout the rehearsal process of a production. Brandyn loves working with Kre8ive and is greatly looking forward to telling the story of James and the Giant Peach with the help of his amazing Kre8ive Team and some of the most talented kids in Southern Illinois.
Lauren holds a Master of Music Degree in Opera and Music Theater Performance from SIU-C. Her professional performance credits include McLeod Summer Playhouse, The Diamond Circle Melodrama Theater in Durango, CO, Ohio Light Opera, and Southern Ohio Opera Theaters. Lauren is the choral director for Carterville Junior High and High School. Additionally, she teaches theater and music appreciation, a John A Logan dual credit course. Lauren is appreciative for a wonderful opportunity to do what she loves, make music and work with young people...including her own!
Molly is a Marion native and a 2016 graduate of Marion High School. For the past ten years, Molly has been shaping the lives of children and adults through her passion in dance. Growing up she was a member of the Marion High School Dance Team and participated in various community theater groups where she has choreographed and performed in a variety on shows around Southern Illinois. She was a part of Kre8ive’s first production, Shrek the Musical, and assisted with many others in the following years. After high school, she continued her career in Business Management at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. Throughout her time at SIU she was a member of the Saluki Shaker Dance Team, and was named an All American Dancer for the National Dance Association. She continued her passion for teaching dance to the students of Carterville High School from 2016-2021. She is currently the active choreographer for the Marion High School Choir Department. Molly is thrilled to be back with her Kre8ive family, and has enjoyed watching everyone grow into such wonderful performers.
Jeff started his involvement in the arts when he was very young at the age of five. He acted throughout his childhood and his love for theatre continued to grow as he progressed. He became interested in the technical and production side of theatre in high school and began to focus his work in that direction. After high school in 2008 he moved to the Southern Illinois area from Indianapolis where he quickly became very involved in the theatre community. He studied theatre at Southeastern Illinois College where he was their resident lighting technician from 2008-2011. From there he branched out, working and sometimes acting with many other local theatre organizations including Pyramid Players, The Stage Company, John A. Logan College, Dance4Grandma Theatricals, Skyline Creek Productions, Harrisburg High School, and the Anna Arts Center.
In 2015 he established his own group called 13Theatrics, which has successfully produced five productions over the past three years including “Rock of Ages,” “RENT,” and most recently “A Chorus Line.” He has staged managed over a dozen shows in the area including “Legally Blonde,” “Les Miserables,” “Chicago,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Godspell,” “Addams Family,” “Aida,” and “Cats.” Whether it be onstage or off, Jeff has worked in almost every aspect of theatre in some capacity over the years. He continues to enjoy the opportunity to expand his repertoire and work with new faces. He is excited to join the Kre8ive team and have the chance to help young actors grow within the arts.
Derek serves as Founder and Artistic Director for Dance4Grandma Theatricals, a
music theater based producing group, which also serves as his private instruction studio.
He received his B.A. in Vocal Performance from Berea College in Berea, KY and
completed his studies for a Master's in Music(Music Theatre/Opera Performance) at
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. While attending Berea College, Derek served
as the student conductor for the Wind/Concert Ensemble, Featured Jazz Soloist(Sax) in the
Jazz Ensemble, and was the Desktop Publishing Technician for the music
department(FINALE). During his Berea College Studies, he also composed and arranged
music for different ensembles within the music department. During his Southern Illinois
University Studies, he served as a Graduate Instructor for the Music Department’s Music
After completing his studies at SIUC, Derek has stayed in the Southern Illinois area working
freelance and professionally in the performing arts. He is currently the Director of Music at
First Christian Church of Carbondale, and is the Administrative Assistant for the Marion
Cultural & Civic Center, where he manages all office and box office functions. He has
served as Adjunct Voice Faculty at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois, and was
the Music Theatre & Vocal Coordinator for the Southern Illinois University OUTREACH
program. During his time with OUTREACH, he organized and taught voice, piano,
ensemble singing, musical theater workshops, audition workshops, and taught summer
music camps in Cape Hatteras, NC(The Outer Banks).
Hamblin has worked professionally in regional theatre as an actor, music director, musician,
conductor, and casting director.(Lincoln Amphitheatre/Jenny Wiley Theatre/McLeod
Studies Abroad(Salzburg, Austria) allowed Hamblin to perform, arrange and study music all
over eastern Europe. While in Europe, he performed throughout Germany, Switzerland,
Austria, and Italy. Derek is thrilled to be a part of Kre8ive again!!! Viva la THEATRE!