Proud Partner with, featuring performances at PACE Center and Schoolhouse Theatre.

Tobi Compton - Teacher

Tobi Johnson-Compton began dancing at the age of 7 but did not really understand how much a part of her it was until she moved out to Colorado over 30 something years ago.She has been dancing ever since. She studied ballet, modern and jazz under Cleo ParkerRobinson, Marceline Freeman, Franca Telesio, Gary Abbot, Randy Brooks, Thomas Dixon, Debra Mercer, Roger Turner, Leni Wylliams and various other artists throughout her high school and college career. Tobi has danced, taught, and choreographed throughout the Colorado area. She was a dancer for the Denver Nuggets, Blue Moon Dance Company and Interweave Dance Theatre and principal dancer and rehearsal director for Denver Contemporary Dance Theatre. Her theatre performances include StarFever, the Denver Centre for the
Performing Arts and Aida, Colorado Opera and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Mary Poppins and Spamalot both with Inspire Creative/PACE. Her choreography won 2 consecutive entries in the Aspen Dance Showcase and she has been afforded the opportunity to work with dance/poms teams in the Denver and Arvada area. She is currently the Executive Director for the Ascential Dance School and a member of the Ascential Dance Company. Tobi was assistant choreographer for both Shrek and West
Side Story, with Inspire Creative and choreographed Grease which played on the Mainstage at PACE.

Tobi loves teaching dance, especially jazz, and loves sharing her joy and passion with

Benjamin Shoenberger - Teacher

Benjamin is a graduate of Shenandoah University and Conservatory with a BFA in Theater for Youth.  After college, he started a theater program at Wakefield School in The Plains, VA, working with all ages of the Pre-K - 12 private school.  He wrote curriculum for the theater program and directed 6 shows a year with the school.  Ben worked with several other private schools in the northern VA area teaching theater and directing shows as well.  He left teaching to manage the arts organization VSA arts of Loudoun County, a non profit dedicated to providing opportunities in the arts to people with disabilities.  There he directed and wrote several musicals, as well as designed the sets for the productions.  VSA arts of Loudoun County was asked to perform one of these shows at the international VSA arts festival in Washington D.C.  During his time with VSA, he worked with A Place To Be, a music therapy center in Middleburg, VA that also gave many opportunities to people with disabilities in the arts.  Ben moved to CO last January and has been teaching and directing throughout the Denver area.  Last summer, he was the technical director and scenic designer for Inspire Creative’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Shannon Altner - Teacher 
Shannon Altner has been a student of theater her whole life and is currently studying through the Lewis Meyers program at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Education. She hails from Tampa, Florida but spent years in New York working and studying in both theater and media production. Some highlights of her studies include the University of Florida, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Terry Schreiber Studio and Theater. She most recently played Mrs. Frank in Inspire Creatives’ production of The Diary of Anne Frank and has worked with Avenue Theater in Denver. She is most interested in teaching young students how to use technique to find more truth and play on stage, tips of working in the industry, and the importance of storytelling to create empathy in our society.

Becca Kring - Teacher 
Becca is a recent graduate from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Dance. She has received training in multiple dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, and many others. She discovered her passion for teaching dance three years ago at The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, and hopes to continue to teach and choreograph for many years to come. Now that she has moved back to her home state, Becca hopes to continue performing in the area. Some of her previous roles include Fergie in Guys and Dolls, Billy Girl Bill inUrinetown, and Various Roles in the musical Working. She has also been seen performing in various dance performances including playing the Rat Queen in The Nutcracker.

Blake Nawa'a - Teacher 
Blake Nawa'a is a Denver metro area voice coach, music director, conductor, and performer. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, where he studied voice under Sara Bardill and vocal pedagogy under clinical voice pathologist Kate Emerich. Beyond vocal studies, he also trained in composition and orchestration under Dr. Chris Malloy and conducting under Dr. Catherine Sailer. His teaching philosophy emphasizes the freedom and support necessary for classical singing coupled with the flexibility to refocus the free voice in other genres including musical theater, pop, jazz, and choral singing. He has music directed various shows in the Denver area, including RENT, Miss Saigon, and the Colorado regional premieres of Spring Awakening and Lysistrata Jones. As a musical theater conductor, he has led pit orchestras in Into the Woods, Shrek: The Musical and The Producers. Select musical theater credits include Edges: A Song Cycle, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip Tolentino), and Urinetown (Bobby Strong). He has also appeared in professional choral engagements with the Colorado Bach Ensemble, Josh Groban with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Evans Choir, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

Jessica Ward - Teacher 
Jessica has been working with children and young adults for over ten years and involved in theatre longer than that. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. There's nothing she enjoys more than sharing my love of theatre with young people. She is also also a writer, director and actor outside of class, as well as a Kidstage instructor in Douglas County Elementary schools and recreation centers. Her own daughter, Noelle is almost five and is a creative force in her own right. She looks forward to working with your children and doing her part to ensure they have a fantastic experience with theatre.

Matthew Zahner - Teacher 
Matthew Zahner, is new to Inspire Creative but not to theatre and drama. A graduate of New York University in Educational Theatre, Mr. Zahner has been active in theatre and drama for over 20 years. He has worked with educational theatre luminaries such as Gavin Bolton, Augusto Boal and Cecily O'Neill. He has worked with the Galway youth theatre in Galway Ireland and most recently was theatre director for south suburban parks and recreation. Mr. Zahner currently is a theatre and drama teacher in Boulder Valley Schools and as he says, "is very excited to be a part of Inspire Creative and a part of what promises to be an exciting year!"

Lisa Cantwell - Teacher 
Lisa Cantwell received her B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University and earned her M.A. in Communication, Media and Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University. She recently relocated to Denver from Chicago, where she was an instructor of theatre and communication at Northeastern Illinois University in the Children's Theatre Workshop Program, the College of Arts and Sciences Education Program and in the Honors Program. Professional and academic directing credits include How He Lied to Her Husband, Totally RED!, Dead Man's Cell Phone, The Love for Three Oranges, The Odd Couple, A Toby Show, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Braggart Soldier, The Odyssey, The Servant of Two Masters, Shakespeare Shorts, The Mandrake, That Is The Question: Shakespeare Scenes and Trivia, and The 39 Steps. Acting roles include Dog in Wiley and the Hairy Man, Ensemble in It's a Bird…It's a Plane…It's Superman, Miss Lynch in Grease, Miss Framer in Lettice and Lovage, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Rita LaPorta in Lucky Stiff, Daisy/Elle/Birdie in Vaudeville America, Mrs. Sowerberry in Oliver!, Audrey inAs You Like It, and Mrs. Kirby/Duchess in You Can't Take it With You. She is thrilled to be part of the Inspire Creative team.

Bethany Wessel - Teacher / Children's Music Director
Bethany has been an active member of the Denver Metro music community for 12 years.  She was a k-6 music teacher for Douglas County School District for 12 years and now owns a private piano and voice studio.  She has been in many Inspire Creative stage shows and directs a children's theater camp for Inspire Creative every summer. She has worked with other theater companies in the area in both a performance and educational capacity.

Bethany holds a bachelors degree in music education from Colorado State University - Pueblo.  

Bethany can be reached for Piano or Voice lessons at 303-564-5846 or through email at

Tanner Kelly - Teacher / Music Director / Music Education Director
Tanner is an active music director, performer and teacher around the Denver-Metro area. He is the Executive Music Director for Inspire Creative where he has directed, performed, conducted, and music directed shows, summer programs, and children's choirs for the last 8 years. Tanner is the High School Music Education Director for StageDoor Theatre and has music directed for Dylan's Down With the Arts, St. Luke's Performing Arts Academy and recently, was granted partnership with the PACE center in Parker where he now music directs. He is a frequent performer at the Adams Mystery Playhouse, a musical theatre and acting judge for Denver's ThesCon and is a music teacher for the Douglas County School District. Tanner has sung with groups such as The Sound of the Rockies, All State Mixed Choir 2008, All State Men's Choir 2007, Spin Quartet, The Colorado Korean Choir, Calvary Baptist, Littleton Chorale, and The Candlelight Singers. He is a proud member of the Evans Choir, with performance credits including the opera "The Poet Li Bai," (Los Angeles production) and Bravo! Vail Musical Festival with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Tanner was ranked 1st place in musical theater singing in the 2010 national association of teachers of singers competition for Colorado/Wyoming, and has a DCSD Apple Award Nomination, which recognizes Outstanding Teachers. Some favorite credits include: Shrek: The Musical (Broadway World Nomination), Barfee in Spelling Bee, Mr. Andrews in Titanic, Mushnik in Little Shop, Buddy inSideshow, Maestro Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, Barrel in Urinetown, Lycus in Forum and Nicely-Nicely in Guys and Dolls. Tanner is a graduate from the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music and holds his Colorado Teaching License from Metro State University

Liane Adamo - Teacher
Liane is the Dance/Choreography Director for Inspire Creative, Inc. She was a Dance Major at Colorado State University and has danced with a professional dance company in Denver and has been a dance instructor at multiple studios.  She has choreographed as well as performed in musicals and dance performances in Southern California.
For availability, fees and information, please contact Liane by email at or at the Inspire Creative phone number 303-790-0875.

Inspire Creative Education Staff