studio faculty


Brian Finnerty

Brian studied musical theatre at Booker High School VPA and Point Park’s Conservatory of Performing Arts in Pittsburgh. In Brian’s “early years,” he was a competition dancer

who traveled America until the age of 16 where he shifted his focus to musical theatre. Direction and choreography credits include; HEAD OVER HEELS, SHOUT! THE MOD MUSICAL, HELLO, DOLLY!, ALL SHOOK UP, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, FUNNY GIRL (The Players Centre), YANK! A WWII Love Story (Manatee PAC), REEFER MADNESS, VAUDEVILLE’S DEAD, CHRISTMAS BELLES OF ‘45 (Plump Sisters Productions & Random Acts, The Starlite Room), SILENCE!, HONK, and 6 WOMEN WITH BRAIN-DEATH (Venice Theatre). Brian holds many awards and scholarships from Mia Michaels, Anthony Morigeratoratto (Operation Tap Inc.), Sonya Tayeh, Jay Handelman, and more. He’s proud to work full-time at The Players as a studio instructor and social media manager. 


Logan is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan, New York where he trained in theater dance, voice, and acting. He also trained as a character performer, puppeteer, and competitive ballroom dancer. In total he is versed in over seventeen different forms of dance, music theory and overall live theatre design. He has performed in numerous shows, both on professional and community stages. He assisted in designing multiple haunted experiences with Big Dreamer Productions and toured with Sesame Street Live’s USO continental tour.


Amanda Heisey

Amanda has been performing since she was a child. She has a Bachelor’s of Journalism from The University of Missouri and after working for various 

news outlets returned to her passion for the arts through public relations. Amanda is the Marketing Director for The Players Centre and acting teacher/director of The Players Teens for The Players Studio. Directing credits include: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (The Players Centre), Yard Sale the Musical (Venice Theatre) and Hello, Dolly! (The Players Centre.) Favorite on stage credits include: Shrek (Pinocchio), Sylvia (Sylvia), The Rocky Horror Show (Magenta), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Maggie), Cats (Demeter) and SHOUT! (Green Girl).


Lacey Knispel

Lacey studied Education and Theatre at the University of South Florida. She currently teaches theatre at Sarasota High School, where she also

coaches one of the only local high school improv troupes, “Improv Underground”. She is the director of The Players Studio Summer Mini Camps and she also performs in the area.



Alyssa is returning for her fifth year as director for The Players Kids. She teaches acting and improv, and has worked with The Players Summer Camps for many years. Additionally, 

she is the Production Manager for The Players Centre, and has stage managed, designed, directed, and performed in many productions.


Teresa O’Connell

Teresa O’Connell is a long-time Indiana public school choral director/drama director who now spends her time as a Florida composer/arranger, professional accompanist, and private piano and voice instructor. Teaching has always been Teresa’s passion, and she loves educating students of all ages and abilities, especially children and adults with special needs. She is also passionate about writing and arranging music with positive, uplifting messages and melodies for schools and churches. Teresa is an experienced musical theatre director, a judge for show choir competitions in the Midwest each winter, and a former church musician for many years. Teresa is married to fellow music educator, Paul, and they have two very talented daughters and sons-in-laws, the world’s cutest grandson, and three grandpups. Teresa’s compositions and arrangements can be found at,, and soon on You can contact Teresa at



Mike McManus

Mike started his theatrical training in Miami, Florida under the direction of Frank Bunetta (Jackie Gleason’s director), and choreographer, Ron 

Daniels. In New York City he attended the famed American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and The Herbert Berghof Studio.  While in Manhattan he studied with many of America’s great dance talents including Henry La Tang, Mary Jane Brown, Carol Hess, Joel Bergman, Charles Kelley, Jerry Ames, Phil Cook, Charles and Kasha Lowe, Bob Audy, Luigi, and Alvin Ailey. Mike also had the privilege of taking classes with Patsy Swayze (Patrick Swayze’s Mom) in Houston, Texas. Locally Mike has been teaching tap dancing and exercise/balance classes for over 40 years at various facilities.


Debbi White

Debbi has been making music since the age of 5. She has coached children and teens in music and singing for over 20 years. Debbi is a featured

soloist at several churches in Sarasota, and makes regular appearances on The Players stage. Favorite stage credits include Pamela in HEAD OVER HEELS and BJ in THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES.


Haley Simmons

Anna has been studying ballet since the age of 9. Her passion for this art form grew as she had the opportunity to perform in full length ballets at

 the studio she grew up in, Linn McDonald’s School of Dance in Scranton, PA. While there she also studied jazz, tap, and modern and served as an assistant teacher. In college she continued taking class, studying ballet, jazz, creative movement, and acting. She also continued performing, and took on the role of choreographer with her school’s dance club. Not only is Anna’s dance experience extensive, but she also has a Masters Degree in Elementary Education which gives her a leg up in understanding her students’ development. With over fifteen years of teaching experience, Anna’s passion for dancing, especially ballet, has not waned. In fact, she calls the barre “home”.