Staff

photo Heidi Knight Meigs

Heidi Knight Meigs is Upstart Crow's Artistic Director. She is also a past Board member, so knows the Crow from the inside out. Heidi graduated from the University of Oregon in 2013, majoring in theatre with an emphasis in theatre design. She has worked for local theatre companies, such as The Shedd, in stage management and as a property master.  Heidi's two children have grown up in Upstart Crow's theatre program.

     
photo Jill Switzer

Jill Switzer received her bachelor of music education degree from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. While currently maintaining her own private voice studio, she also is a member of the Eugene Concert Choir and the Eugene Opera Chorus. She has worked extensively with children, youth and adult choirs, most notably as music director at the Indiana University Newman Center for eight years. Although she is classically trained, her performance background also includes musical theater and Latin American folk music. Her teaching credentials encompass vocal technique and music theory workshops in both English and Spanish. Jill began teaching Vocal Technique for Upstart Crow's performance troupe, Stage Door, in January 2017. She has had the pleasure of being the vocal director for many of Upstart Crow's productions, including Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid and High School Musical. 

     
photo Emily Garrett

Emily wanted to be a triple threat from the moment her first dance teacher told her what it meant and has been dancing, singing and acting ever since.  She studied dance for almost 30 years and taught at Musical Feet before returning to school to receive her Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts.  She still loves to dance and sing in any production that will have her and enjoys bringing her enthusiasm and love of theatre to the Crow.

     
photo Alycia Thatcher

Alycia Thatcher is a performer from Eugene Oregon. She has been participating in music since 2007 with school and community choirs in the Eugene/Springfield area. Alycia graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelors of Music in Vocal performance. She has collaborated with a number of musicians in festivals such a Pacific International Children's Choir Festival, Bach Festival and U of O Chamber Ensemble in international competitions and forums with Dr. Sharon Paul. Alycia was also part of Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy with Dr. Armstrong conducting from St. Olaf choir college. Of her many achievements, Alycia received the national choral award in 2014 for outstanding leadership within the music community. She is currently exploring community theater locally in Eugene.

     
photo Savannah Knight Meigs

Savannah is excited to join Upstart Crow this summer as Summer Camp Program Manager. A graduate of Upstart Crow, Savannah performed at UCS for more than 11 years and was Team Captain of our Stage Door Performance Troupe her Senior year of high school. In her last 2 years in the program, she premiered Upstart Crow's inaugural benefit performance of Miscast in 2017, which has continued every year since. Savannah recently completed her Associate's degree in Musical Theatre from Casper College, graduating May of this year. With past experience performing at Upstart Crow as well as the Shedd Institute - in addition to her work with Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington as a Counselor, Savannah is extremely excited to be working in an environment that encapsulates both theatre as well as summer camp and can't wait to share her love of both with our campers this summer.

     
photo Chandler Dean

Chandler Dean is a performer and theatre technician from Casper, Wyoming. He has been been in theatre since he was a child and is excited to join the Upstart Crow team! Chandler recently graduated from Casper College with a Associates of Arts in Theatre Technology. He is passionate about costuming, dance, and musical theatre. He has worked with Casper Summer Adventure Camp and Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp For the visually impaired. Chandler loves working with children and is excited to share his love of theatre and movement with kids of all ages at Upstart Crow Children’s Theatre.

     
photo Ellen Gillooly-Kress

Ellen Gillooly-Kress has been teaching children's theatre for seven years. She holds a bachelors in Theatre and Linguistics from University of New Mexico, where she also was a lead instructor for Theatre Classes for Young People. She co-founded the children's theatre camp program in 2013 with Holly Haas in Dixon, New Mexico and returns every other summer to teach. She is currently a PhD student in Theatre Arts, studying cognition of acting and digital theatre. 

     
photo Anastasia Newell

Anastasia Newell is excited to join Upstart Crow as an Assistant Stage Manager and Substitute Instructor. Anastasia has danced for over eleven years, worked in musical theatre for five and has spent five years working with children through various organizations. She is passionate about music, dance and the outdoors. Recently she has worked with Girl Scouts of the USA as a Lifeguard, Art and Craft's Specialist and Counselor at Girl Scount Camp. She loves working with children and is excited to share her love of music and movement with kids of all ages at Upstart Crow. 

     
photo Bonnie Sullivan

Bonnie is our registrar, assistant set designer and sometimes prop master. Her daughter is a member of our Stage Door Performance Team and her son graduated from our Stage Door Performance Troupe in 2019. Bonnie has been a parent volunteer since 2013 and a staff member since June of 2018. Bonnie has worked with children for over thirty years in jobs ranging from Daycare to Youth Ministry. She has also worked in food service, bookkeeping and with troubled youth, she was also once a night counselor in a haunted former convent. Bonnie enjoys reading, crocheting, painting walls and holding babies. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Portland State University, emphasizing developmental.