Meet the Contributing Artists

Nehprii Amenii

(she/her) an artist, writer, director and educator.  As a theatre artist, she has a passion for both puppetry and grand-scale spectacle.

DeWayne Barton

(he/him) performance poet, sculptor and activist, Barton is founder of Hood Huggers International and the Burton Street Community Peace Garden.

Tristan Cameron

(they/Tristan) a recent graduate from Hampshire college, and an interdisciplinary artist with interests in devised, experimental, and performance art-related theatre

Federica Collina

(she/her) is a puppeteer, performer and stuff-maker. She has spent many years writing and producing original works around the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Taiwan. She worked with The Bread & Puppet Theater for over 10 years and has collaborated with many interesting characters and theater companies (including her own, The Flying Donkey Theatre).

Abby Felder

(she/her) is a writer, designer, puppet artist, and theatrical producer who has worked Off- and Off- Off Broadway in NYC, nationally and internationally. Born in Charlotte, NC where she was introduced to the power of inviting young people to see themselves in the arts through experiences at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and Matthews Playhouse, she is thrilled to carry forward this tradition with audiences of Western NC and beyond!

Brenda Gambill

(she/her) the other half of Jonesalee, Gambill and Stewart have collaborated on film scores and theatrical composition all over the region.

Ann Marie Lonsdale

(she/her) is an arts worker with a background as a producer and administrator working with innovative and experimental live performance. She began her career as a performer, stage manager, and producer in theater and dance in Chicago and New York, and is currently the principal consultant and owner of Partake Arts, a consulting practice focused on performing arts, individual artists, and artist-led projects. 

Daniele Martin

(she/her) ACA’s resident Community Outreach Director, she has worked in theater, film and television, and is an active volunteer.

Anthony Napoletano

(he/him) performer, writer, builder who has worked in national and international Broadway tours, regional theaters and performance venues across NYC.


(she/her) (she/her) is a Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Singer/Songwriter, Musician, Community Activist, Priestess, and Ordained Minister.

Edwin Salas Acosta

puppeteer, dancer, toy maker, artist Edwin Salas Acosta who makes family friendly theatre for Asheville Creative Arts

(he/him) a puppet artist, dancer, solo performer and educator whose work has been presented extensively nationally and internationally.

Khalilah Smith

(she/her) graduated from The University of the Arts with a BFA in Musical Theater and is also a former student of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.  She has performed regionally in Philadelphia, Bermuda, NYC and now Asheville! Favorite roles include Lila in St. Louis Woman (Prince Music Theater, Phila., Pa), Sarah in Ragtime (Bermuda Festival) and Lorrelle in Dreamgirls (Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Bda).

Gina Stewart

(she/her) formerly Doubting Thomas and Volatile Baby, Stewart is one half of Jonesalee, formed to create music, art and spoken word.

Alex Smith

(he/him) a playwright and ACA’s resident dramaturge, Smith is a NC native and a graduate of University of North Carolina Asheville.

Marie Yokoyama

(she/her) a Japanese set and lighting designer who has worked in NYC, regionally and internationally.

Administrators, Board and Honorary Advisors 

Executive Artistic Director: Abby Felder
Community Outreach Director: Daniele Martin
Managing Consultant: Ann Marie Lonsdale
Teaching Artists: Olympea, Federica Collina and Rebecca Williams
Tour Coordinator: Federica Collina
Technical Assistance Advisor: Guy Yarden
Systems Advisor: Megan Runyan
Website: Typecoast
Auditor: Rich & Bander

Board: Sarah Elizabeth Malinak (Chair), Bryan Robinson (Chair Emeritus), Abby Felder, Dosty Quarrier, Laura Stone, Rebecca O’Neill (Treasurer)

Honorary Advisors: John and Julie Bresnan, Lucy Hazlehurst, Shirley Kaplan, Joanna Naftali, Stephanie Wilder