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Many of our theatre alumni continue their theatrical puruits!

John Lee Rudolph



Elon University 

BFA in Acting

Favorite show at  AK was The Hunchback of Notre Dame


"The most important thing I learned as a member of AK Theatre was the value of a supportive environment. Everybody in AK Theatre from the top-down wants you to succeed, and being in that kind of environment helped me grow into the performer I am today." 


Jellaby U/S in Arcadia, Elon University

Guildenstern U/S  in Hamlet, Elon University

Member of Instant Laughter, Elon Performing Arts Department's Improv Team

Stand Up Comedy: Opened for Spring Comedian, Nicole Byer (2020)

The Messenger in Medea, Elon University (Spring 2021)

Aubrey Hill



The University of Virginia

BA Drama, BA Psychology

Minor in Women, Gender & Sexuality with Gender Studies Concentration

Favorite role at AK was stage managing Shipwrecked!


"AK Theatre taught me how to believe in myself and my abilities. From long Saturday rehearsals to picnics at the local neighborhood, the community of artists grew close enough to feel like a family of love and support. The people in that community always cheered me on, and I know that I am a better person and a stronger actor because of their influence."


Stage Manager, Into the Woods, First Year Players at UVA (Fall 2018)

Janice Conover/Helena Landess and Dance Captain, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, First Year Players at UVA (Spring 2019)

Stage Manager Heathers, Spectrum Theatre at UVA (Fall 2019)

Fundraising Chair, The Music Man, First Year Players at UVA (Fall 2019)

Assistant Publicist, The Elephant in the Room, Millennium Stage at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Fall 2019)

Princess #12, Once Upon a Mattress, UVA Drama Department (Spring 2020)

Business Manager, Kiss Me, Kate, First Year Players at UVA (Spring 2020)

Costume Assistant, The Black Monologues, The UVA Drama Department (Spring 2020)

Choreographer, Singin' in the Rain, First Year Players at UVA (Spring 2021)

Director, Curtains, First Year Players at UVA (Fall 2021)

Jacob Bollacke



Elon University 

BFA in Acting

Minor in Communications

Favorite roles at AK were Billy Flynn in Chicago and Mr. Kipps in The Woman in Black


"The most important thing I learned at AK is to believe in myself. Every role I had taught me to be a better actor, and I am forever thankful for the opportunities that Ardrey Kell Theatre provided for me." 

Member of Elon University's Rip_Chord, award-winning acapella group

   *Performed The National Anthem for the Charlotte Hornets with Rip_Chord (2018)

   *Recorded a studio album with Rip_Chord (2018)

Gus/Augustus (US) in Aracadia, Elon Performing Arts (2019)

Timmy in Clown Bar, Elon Performing Arts (Fall 2019)

Horatio in Hamlet, Elon Performing Arts (Spring 2020)


Inducted into Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society

Anna Hertel



Elon University 

BFA in Musical Theatre

Favorite role at AK was Velma Kelly in Chicago!


“AK theatre taught me the importance of collaboration. I learned how to value taking risks as a performer that have molded me into the artist I am today. I am so thankful for the opportunities that AK brought to this community! The love and support is never ending in this department."


Broadway Dreams Company performer and assistant (NYC) (2018)
William Ivey Long Tribute at Blumenthal Performing Arts (featured performer-Velma Kelly) (2018)

Graziella in West Side Story, Lexington Theatre Company (Lexington, KY)  (2019)

Ensemble in Newsies, Lexington Theatre Company (Lexington, KY) (2019)
Swing/Dance Assistant in
Cabaret at Elon University (Fall 2020)
Ensemble/Dance Captain in
We Will Rock You at Elon University (Spring 2020)

Maddie Coggin



Appalachian State University

BA in Theatre Education with a minor in Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies

Drama Teacher at Ridge Road Middle, Charlotte, NC

Matthews Playhouse Teacher


Favorite show at AK was Our Place


"The most important thing I learned at AK was what a passion for creating theatre looks like. There are so many lessons I will take with me and apply within my future classrooms." 

Director of God of Carnage

Stage Manager for Appalachian Young People's Theatre 

Assistant Director for Peter and the Starcatcher

Production Manager for New Play Festival

House Manager and Box Office Assistant for the Schaefer Center for the  Performing Arts, Valborg Theatre,

and IG Greer


Awards and Recognitions: 

Member and Recruitment Chair for Alpha Psi Omega - Lamba Zeta Chapter

President (2019-20) and New Play Chair (2018-19) of Playcrafters 

Kelly Miller Award Recipient 2019 - Work in New Plays 

Lily Jordan



Appalachian State University

BA in Theatre Performance

Music Minor


Favorite show at AK was 42nd Street


"I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t found a home with Ardrey Kell’s theatre department.  I learned to stop at nothing to chase the goals that I wanted.  I realized that the only thing getting in my way of being successful was me, and as I said in my last musical at AK (Mary Poppins), “if only we could get out of our own way”. Thank you for teaching me courage, persistence, and the determination to stop the world from telling me no." 

Janet van De Graff in The Drowsy Chaperone, Appalachian Musical Theatre Ensemble 

Tanya in Mamma Mia!, Appalachian Musical Theatre Ensemble

# 11 in The Wolves, Appalachian State Theatre and Dance Department

Ilse in Spring Awakening, Appalachian State Theatre and Dance Department

Roshelle in Tortoise and the Hare 2, Ensemble Stage--Banner Elk


Excellence in Theatre Scholarship

APO Excellence in Theatre Scholarship

Samantha Richmond



UNC Chapel Hill

BA Public Relations 

Dramatic Arts Minor


Favorite role at AK was Dance Captain of Mary Poppins


“AK Theatre taught me that theatre has the power to bring together so many different people and create something so beautiful and memorable. AK Theatre truly provided such an accepting, supportive environment that I didn’t think theatre could provide for me.”

Holly in Our Place (Fall 2018), Ensemble in Cabaret and The Producers 

Company Management Intern at North Carolina Theatre 

Choreographer of Pippin, Chicago, and Growing Pains

Box Office Manager and Fundraising Chair for Company Carolina

Secretary of Alpha Psi Omega Honors Theatre Fraternity 



Nominee for “Best Choreography” in the 2018 Penny Awards and the 2018 Oppie Awards 

Haley Stone



UNC Chapel Hill

BA Human Development and Family Studies

Dramatic Arts Minor

Favorite role at AK was Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins

"AK Theatre helped me discover who I am and who I could be. Mr. Gabbard, Mr. Seagroves, and everyone involved in the AK theatre community fosters an environment in which the students have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves. This environment challenges and pushes students to be better, and the experiences stick with them forever. I'm the person I am today because of AK Theatre and the love that this community showed me."


Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, UNC Pauper Players 

Alice Murphy in Bright Star, Company Carolina

Member of the UNC Loreleis, award-winning acapella group



2019 UNC Penny Award for Best Actress in a musical for Alice in Bright Star

2019 UNC Oppie Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Alice in Bright Star

Connor Nielsen 



UNC Chapel Hill

BA Dramatic Art and Economic Development

Favorite role at AK was Julian Marsh in 42nd Street

"The most important thing I learned in AK Theatre was the importance of building an inclusive

community around something we all love."

Richard Bailey in Kinky Boots, North Carolina Theatre

Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theatre Raleigh

Arpad Laszlo in She Loves Me, PlayMakers Repertory Company

Laurent in Tartuffe, PlayMakers Repertory Company

Sam the Snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Lead in indie short The Scavenger



2018 UNC Oppie Awards Best Actor in a Musical for “Burrs” in The Wild Party 

2018-2019 UNC Lillian Chason Scholar in Dramatic Art 

Nikko Austen Smith



Coastal Carolina University

BFA in Acting  

Favorite role at AK was Juliet in Romeo & Juliet

"The most important thing I learned in AK Theatre is to KEEP GOING and keep working hard. What is for you will come to you."

Recurring role (9 episodes) on Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar on OWN

Lead in an indie feature starring Victoria Rowell (The Young and the Restless), Daphne Reid (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), and Richard Brooks (Being Mary Jane)

Signed with Abrams Artists Agency and Seven Summits Pictures & Management in Los Angeles

The Blue Rose, a noir thriller from writer-director George Baron (2021)

This Game's Called Murder by writer-director Adam Sherman, starring Ron Perlman (2021)

Recognitions: Suma Cum Laude (top 3 in class) 2018 Coastal Carolina University

Mckenzie Wilson



UNC Chapel Hill

BA Dramatic Art, BA Communication with focus in Performance Studies


Favorite roles at AK were Assistant Director of Romeo and Juliet and President of ITS

"Listen. Listen to the air around you, your head and heart, your teachers, your parents, your friends, the energy around you, the stories on the news, the sounds the weather and car and computer and dog and shoes make, and all the people and world around you. Whether you are on stage, in the audience, or backstage - take it all in. The only way to make stories matter is to listen to them so that we can share them. So be present, be awake, be prepared, and listen to every experience - fill yourself with stories, with colors, with life. Then share it with whoever will listen." 

Carrie The Musical (Ensemble), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Paulina), A Chorus Line (Producer) 

The Cherry Orchard (Charlotta), Cabaret (Director), The Vagina Monologues (Performer), Me Too Monologues (Producer)

The Wolves (#13), Our Place (Director, Fall 2018)

Has worked in UNC Pauper Players, LAB! Theatre, Company Carolina, UNC Student Television, Carolina Film Association, Kenan Theatre Company, and PlayMakers Repertory in writing, producing, directing, sound, performing, and arts administration

Has worked professionally in Charlotte and Raleigh and has studied in NYC with professors and artists from NYU, Yale, and Julliard

If you are an alum and have continued in theatre, please email us at to learn how to be included here! 

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