Our staff has been put together with careful thought and consideration.
We are thrilled to share with you who we have on our staff right now!
Jaime Conroy, Director
Jaime is a mom of two children, one neurotypical, the other with high-functioning autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.
Before Jaime was a mom, she worked in theater as both a lighting designer and a stage manager. Jaime met her husband, Jim, an actor, when they were both studying theater in college.
Knowing how little was out there in the world for kids who struggle with social skills and learning disabilities, both extra-curricular activites and the arts, Jaime came up with the idea for Step Right Up.
Kathryn McManus, Musical Theater
Kathryn McManus is an actress, singer, and dancer who wants to share her love of musical theatre with kids of all abilities and experiences. She started theatre at the age of nine and has loved it ever since. She is the founder and director of the Spotlight Kids Company, a kids performing arts company based in Madison, created to give students an opportunity to strengthen their performing abilities in a professional atmosphere. Kathryn is 20 years old and is currently attending Fairleigh Dickinson University, studying Theatre Arts with a concentration in Directing. She is a graduate of Madison High School, where she participated in all productions and music classes.
Kristin McManus, Musical Theater
Kristin is 18 years old and attending Fairleigh Dickinson this fall as a freshman, studying Musical Theatre and Special Education. She just graduated Madison High School where she performed in her school musicals and enjoys taking ballet at New Jersey Ballet. Kristin loves assistant directing with The Spotlight Kids Company and teaching kids with a passion for musical theatre. She is so excited to work with the kids at Step Right Up!
Jim Conroy, VOICEover Instructor, Stand Up Instructor, Improv instructor
Jim Conroy is an Actor/Writer. His 17 years in the industry runs the gamut from Voice Overs featured in commercials, cartoons, animated film and video games, to OnCamera work in film, television, commercials and interactive gaming. His work for “Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman” on PBS has garnered Jim five Emmy Nominations over the 100 episode series. Currently, Jim can be seen as the “Green Room Guy” in TD Ameritrade’s latest string of commercials. The Father of a special needs child, Jim is excited to lend his experience in the industry to helping children find their voice in this world.
Louis Carbonneau, Improv instructor
Louis Carbonneau is a professional actor who's been working in TV, Film, Theater and Commercials in NYC for 20 years - most recently alongside Carol Kane in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He is a graduate of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv training program & thrilled to be a part of this venture.
Patrice Sala, Yoga
Patrice Sala has been working with special needs children for over a decade in different capacities. She began as a classroom special education teacher and has a background in Applied Behavior Analysis. She has masters degree in special education and a BS in Human Development. An avid yoga student for years, while living in Los Angeles Patrice completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training through YogaWorks. Since then she has taught yoga to all types of children in schools and private classes. A mother of three active boys she believes strongly in the mind body connection for self regulation.
Kara Wilson, Improv & Musical Theater
Kara Wilson is a music, acting, and musical theatre teacher. She has been performing and teaching for over ten years. She has a Bachelors of Science in Educational Theatre from NYU with minors in Music and Dramatic Literature. Kara has worked as the Operations Manager at Union County Performing Arts Center, and while in the position started up their education programming for toddlers, teens, and adults. She has also worked in many theaters in New York as a performer and teacher, including TADA! Youth Theater, the Snapple Theatre, and MCC Youth Company. Her favorite projects include Piggy Nation the Musical (Fanny the Flamingo), a TYA production at the Snapple Theatre Center, and Portia in Shakespeare to Go's Julius Caesar, a troupe that performed one-hour Shakespeare pieces in the five boroughs of NYC. Kara also teaches private voice, guitar, and piano lessons.
Dave Maulbeck, Adult Improv Instructor
Dave is a teaching artist based in Madison, NJ. He specializes in improv, acting, storytelling, cartooning, and visual arts.
Mr. Maulbeck has a long teaching background. Most recently he taught filmmaking for teens at the Arts Garage in Montclair, NJ. He has also taught arts and crafts at the Summit Area YMCA, and with the Leadership Program in NYC he worked with “at-risk” youth in the areas of acting, improv, cartooning, and mural painting with a focus on violence prevention and the development of leadership and life skills through art. For several years he served as acting and improv teacher for both Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre Company and the American Ballet Academy’s summer youth program. Dave has also taught improv and acting to grown-ups at the Magnet Theater in New York City.
As a professional actor Dave Maulbeck is a member of the SAG-AFTRA and has starred in several national commercials for companies such as Friendly’s, truTV, Burger King, Snapple, AT&T, and more. His film credits include the evil Dr. Wily in Megaman, and the title character in the independent television pilot "Dracula Goes to Camp." His comedic work includes sketch and improv at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, The Peoples Improv Theater, Magnet Theater, Gotham City Improv, and more. Dave is a company member and the Director of Improv at Dreamcatcher Rep where his stage production of Expecting Isabel was rated in the top ten productions of 2006 by The Star-Ledger. In 2007 Dave co-founded Chicken Scoop Productions where he executive produced several spec pilots, music videos, and web series. More recently he has been developing animation projects with BEHIND the BAG! Productions in Los Angeles.
Dave is thrilled to join the team at Step Right Up Studio in his new hometown of Madison.
Carol Schindler, Improv Curriculum
Carol Schindler began her love of improvisation when she saw Second City perform in Chicago. She immediately auditioned to get into Del Close’s workshop. From there, improvisation became part of her life.
She is a founding member of Chicago City Limits, an improv group that came out of the Second City workshops. The group moved to New York City in 1979 and quickly became part of the city’s comedy movement establishing their own theater and winning the hearts of New Yorkers and critics alike.
In the late 80’s Carol left the company and began working in the corporate world as a writer, director and speech coach for corporate meetings, and, later corporate executives.
Currently Carol is working with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, as well as teaching master classes in Improvisation in NYC, and is thrilled to be a part of Step Right Up.
Carol’s book, “A Doctor and a Plumber in a Rowboat: The Essential Guide to Improvisation for Performers, Teachers, Writers & Everyone else” is available on Amazon.