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Playhouse hires new Studio 52 director

Anna Kimmel Anna Kimmel

The Flat Rock Playhouse has hired Anna Kimmell as its new director of education for Studio 52, the program for youth and family theater.


Kimmell comes to the Playhouse with years of performance and theatre education experience, most recently as director of education at Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

Kimmell is an actor, educator, and theatre artist from Atlanta, GA. A former Flat Rock apprentice, she is delighted to return to the beloved place that jump-started her career in professional theatre and instilled the guiding philosophy to "play hard, work harder, and nap wisely."

Since that formative summer in 2007, Anna has performed in regional productions at Rhode Island's Theatre by the Sea, Colorado's Lake Dillon Theatre, Virginia's Mill Mountain Theatre, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare and Theatre of the Stars and on "The Wizard of Oz" National Tour, to name a few.

As an educator, Anna specializes in musical theatre, acting, and dance curricula for students of all ages. She served as the director of education at Mill Mountain Theatre from 2013-2016 and at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, where she developed year-round theatrical training programs for all ages, designed and led theatre outreach initiatives, and directed and choreographed main stage, black box, and touring children's productions. Anna has also led theatre dance courses at Hollins University and the University of Central Arkansas and a series of theatre workshops for rural elementary students in Los Andes, Chile.


Flat Rock Playhouse Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant told Studio 52 families, students and patrons that exciting things were coming to the Playhouse’s education program. Bryant also acknowledged the difficulties of moving forward without the “Hart” of Studio 52. This spring, longtime Vagabond and passionate arts education advocate and youth theater teacher Dave Hart passed away after a long battle with cancer.

“As we move forward with education at FRP, because we all must move forward and also because Dave would not want anything less, we move forward with Dave as our guiding light," Bryant said. "We move forward with Dave as our guardian angel. We move forward with gratitude, love, and respect for his contributions to the Playhouse, to families, and to every student who was fortunate to be taught/directed by him.”

The Playhouse’s first step moving forward includes bringing on Kimmell to lead the youth and family theater programs and offering virtual classes to students K-12. Classes will be announced on Aug. 31 and registration will open that same day.