Katie Heinemann, Executive Director, grew up in San Diego, CA where she was blessed with starting her musical theatre experience at the ripe old age of 6 where she played Annie at a local adult community theatre. She stayed fairly active within the theatre community in southern California including shows at the Civic Light Opera, Regional theaters such as the Old Globe, as well as some film and TV credits. In her early teen years she leaned more towards pursuing a singing career as a duet with her singing partner that lead her to a developmental deal with RPM Management in Nashville, TN. After a solid couple years of traveling back and forth from California to Nashville, her singing partner decided to leave the group and attend college, which led Katie back to her roots in San Diego. After the split of the group, Katie went through a tough transition in her life. She decided she wanted to be re-united with the musical theatre community. She quickly realized that being apart of musical theatre again provided her with many positive opportunities for her in the prime years of her life. The experience was much more than just putting on a show for Katie; it was a safe haven for her to be herself without the pure pressures of adolescence. The parents, cast and crew all played positive roles through the act of unconditional love that supported the molding of Katie. Through Katie's trials and tribulations she has realized that it is more than just learning about the craft of singing, dancing and acting but it's also the journey of finding God's purpose for you. Katie is currently pursuing a Theatre Education degree in hopes of being an inspiration and mentor to other children by guiding them to find God's purpose for them through their gifts and doing it for the glory of God.
Steve Krell, Managing Director, is a native of British Columbia, Canada, and he and his family have lived in Tennessee since 2003. Originally a piano performance major, he transitioned to business and law, and his professional experience includes technology and operations management in legal and healthcare. In addition, he has taught English in Moscow, Russia, worked in the media production department of a Chicago-area nonprofit, and served as Director of Community Ministries for an inner-city ministry in Minneapolis. He has also been a music director at churches in the Memphis and Nashville areas. Steve first connected with CYT when his oldest son enrolled after they moved to the Nashville area. He is excited to help CYT grow and positively impact students, families and the community through top quality training and productions.
Elise Horecka, Program Director, grew up in Nashville and began her dance training at the age of 4. Her theatre training started a few years later, and she eventually found a true passion in creating and teaching. After working as a choreographer and dance teacher in various theatre and dance programs since she was 16, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Entertainment Industry Studies and Theatre at Belmont University. She loves her CYT family, and is so happy God led her here.
Shaeffer Diebolt, Franklin Chapter Coordinator, is a proud alum of The University of Alabama, where she earned her BA in Musical Theatre. In her final semester at UA, Shaeffer performed as Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone. Other UA credits include Dr. Charlotte in Falsettos and A Player in Our Tuscaloosa, a theatre for young audiences project that toured Alabama. Shaeffer also sat on the other side of the table when she was assistant director of Little Women and I Gelosi at Alabama. Shaeffer credits her growing love for theatre to CYT. She began her journey with CYT in Atlanta at the age of 10. Some of her favorite CYT credits include Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and Mama Bear in Shrek the Musical. After performing in 11 main stage shows and too many camps to count, she joined the team of amazing staff members at CYT Atlanta where she served as Camp Coordinator since 2018. She moved to Nashville in July 2019 and is so excited to join the CYT Nashville team and start this new journey!