StarStruck Theatre Co-Founder
Jennifer, the Co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of StarStruck Academy & Theatre, caught the acting bug in 3rd grade as Lafcadio the Lion at PS 114 in New York. At 11, she played Grace Farrell in ANNIE, and she never looked back! She and her husband, Peter Jones, created StarStruck in the year 2000 when they saw a need for young people to spread their wings and enhance their confidence through the art of musical theatre. She most recently directed the sold out smash hits FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, LEGALLY BLONDE, A CHORUS LINE and PIPPIN. Other favorite directing moments: INTO THE WOODS, 13 THE MUSICAL, NEXT FALL, LA CAGE aux FOLLES, THE LAST 5 YEARS and CABARET. She won the Broadway World’s Best Director Award for the play NEXT FALL and is a recipient of the Martin County Arts Council “mARTie Award” for Outstanding Performing Artist. Jennifer was awarded Best Direction for ANNIE Jr. and ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Jr. at the Music Theatre International Junior Festival in Atlanta and directed the Florida State premiere of the musical, SUMMER of ’42. She has had the incredible opportunity to work with legendary composer, Stephen Schwartz, creating student versions of his musicals, MY SON, PINNOCHIO and CHILDREN OF EDEN and has produced and directed the world premiere Junior and School Editions of many musicals including RENT, SWEENEY TODD and HAIRSPRAY. Jennifer’s favorite onstage roles include Velma Kelly in CHICAGO, Sally Bowles in CABARET, Sandy in GREASE, Tessie Tura in GYPSY and Golde in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Jennifer’s life not only revolves around her StarStruck family, but also, the loves of her life, her husband and partner in ALL things, Peter Jones, and her two incredibly wonderful children; Amanda, an actress in NYC and Kevin, an actor in LA. “Understanding the impact I have on my student’s lives inspires my energy, and focuses my goals, each and every day.”
StarStruck Theatre Co-Founder
Peter has been a music educator and music director for more than 25 years. He has performed in theaters throughout New York and Florida either onstage as a character or accompanying the show behind a piano. Memorable onstage performances include the Emcee in CABARET, Billy Flynn in CHICAGO, Mozart in AMADEUS, Nathan Detroit in GUYS AND DOLLS, Lumierè in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and many others. Peter has produced, provided live orchestral piano accompaniment and music directed over 100 shows. A few favorites include SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, WEST SIDE STORY, GYPSY, LEGALLY BLONDE, THE WHO'S TOMMY, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, CHESS, MAMMA MIA, COMPANY, SOUND OF MUSIC, INTO THE WOODS, CATS, LES MISERABLÈS, RENT, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, and many more. He has also written and adapted several musical comedies for very young actors such as SNOW WHITE AND THE 10 DWARFS and THE LION QUEEN. Peter had the privilege of accompanying the late Broadway legend, John Raitt (OKLAHOMA, CAROUSEL) for Mr. Raitt’s one-man show in Stuart. Peter also collaborated with Broadway composers Stephen Schwartz (MY SON, PINNOCHIO and CHILDREN OF EDEN) and Stephen Sondheim (SWEENEY TODD) to help create student versions of their musicals. Peter is the recipient of a “mARTie Award” from the Martin County Arts Council for Outstanding Performing Artist. He has been featured in numerous local and national magazines and newspapers for his work as a producer, a performer and as a musical theatre educator. During the week, Peter enjoys teaching private lessons in music theory, chord chart piano improvisation, advanced piano (classical, pop, rag) vocal coaching and musical theatre audition prep. Peter has two children who are also successful artists in the entertainment industry in NYC and LA. He and his wife, Jennifer, are excited to be celebrating 19 years of musical theatre education on the Treasure Coast.
Assistant to the Artistic Director, Dance Instructor
Rebecca Beery is a professional tap teacher and choreographer with fifteen years of experience. Rebecca studied with internationally acclaimed tap dancer and master teacher, Debbi Dee, and is featured in multiple Debbi Dee Educational Tap Videos. Based in South Florida, Rebecca received her early training from Charlotte Klein School of Dance in Massachusetts at the age of 3. A graduate of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, she attended Oklahoma City University as a Dance Performance Major and was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company's Regional Touring Company. She has has a B.A. degree from Florida Atlantic University. Rebecca’s choreography has won numerous first place awards and her students have earned many special honors including Best Technical Execution, Best Performance, Most Promising Performer and Overall High Scores. As a dancer, she has performed in New York, Massachusetts, Tampa, Miami, Ft. Myers, California, Puerto Rico and at Disney World in Orlando, winning several awards and honors including Dancer of the Year Finalist at the 2002 Dance Olympus national competition. Rebecca has participated in various dance conventions including the Big Apple Tap Festival, New York City Dance Alliance, Dance America, the St. Louis Tap Festival in Missouri and the Renditions and Rhythms tap conference in Chicago. Recent choreography credits include StarStruck's productions of CATS, MUSIC MAN, Broadway KIDS & THE PRODUCERS.
Loretta Miller was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. She began her ballet
training at the age of seven at the Norfolk Civic Ballet in Virginia. She attended three summers on scholarship to the School of American Ballet (SAB) the official school of the NYCB. While there she was scouted out by Barbara Wiesburger to join the Pennsylvania Ballet at age 16. Two years later she auditioned and was accepted into the Boston Ballet where she rose to the rank of soloist performing many principal roles and touring throughout the United States,
Europe and Asia. She has been a faculty member at “Steps on Broadway” and “Broadway Dance Center” in NYC and a guest faculty member for several summers in Reno, Nevada at The Conservatory for Movement as well as the Georgia Academy of Dance & the Performing Arts. In her 18 years on the Treasure Coast Loretta has directed several schools and has choreographed many ballets including The Nutcracker and Coppelia. She is currently in her third year teaching ballet at StarStruck Academy & Theatre.
Dance & Yoga Instructor
Maxey Koch received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Florida State University. She graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and danced with REACH Dance Theatre Collective. She attended summer training programs with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Thodos Dance Chicago. At FSU, she performed in student and faculty pieces and also appeared as a guest performer with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In Chicago, she performed in freelance projects and for several professional dance companies: Chicago Verge Dance Company, Esoteric Dance Project, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Piel Morena Contemporary Dance and Tapestry Dance Company. Maxey toured in Mexico with Piel Morena Contemporary Dance to perform at “Encuentro Danza Contempanea”. Maxey enjoyed the outreach component with Piel Moreana Contemporary Dance, dancing in the Chicago Public Schools. Maxey returned to South Florida to be near her family and has since performed at “Project Dance” & Tapestry Dance Company in Orlando. She is also a certified instructor for Pilates ProWorks. Maxey is a registered yoga teacher (200 hour) with Honest Yoga and also registered with Yoga Alliance.
Drum & Percussion Instructor
Brian Menendez is fluent in a variety of settings from Jazz and Blues to Classical and Pop. He has shared the stage with artists including Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Kenny Garrett, Bunky Green, Keith Javors, Eddie Kirkland, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Mulgrew Miller, and Maria Schneider. Currently, he is engaged in performances in the USA and abroad at music festivals and venues with the “Albert Castiglia Band”. Brian has an Associate in Arts degree from Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, FL and a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Performance with high honors from the prestigious University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
As an educator Brian has taught privately since 1998 and worked with all ages and skill levels from youngsters to baby boomers. Brian has been a guest clinician for students from middle school to high school in classroom settings and one on one.
For more information, please visit www.brianmenendez.com for updates and events.
Missy Weigel has been the resident stage manager at StarStruck since 2004, but has been stage managing alongside Peter and Jennifer since 1998, for the Barn Theatre's production of Pippin. Missy a Stuart native, joined the U.S. Army after graduating Martin County High School. While serving Missy toured the globe stage managing the U.S Army Solider Show. In addition she also wrote, directed and produced two multi-media theatrical presentations complete with pyrotechnics for the Air Defense Artillery for which she received the Army Achievement Medal. She has stage managed and assistant stage managed at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, El Paso Playhouse and the Lyric Theatre. Some favorite credits include ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, AIDA, CHICAGO, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, LOST IN YONKERS and TINTYPES.
Brent is a graduate of Purdue University where he received his BA in Visual Communication Design. He is a certified High School Graphic Arts Instructor, Photoshop Design Program Instructor, Award Winning Costume Designer, Patent Design Illustrator, Professional Artist, and Fine Art Instructor. Brent has worked with StarStruck since 2013 creating magical scenery pieces and props primarily made out of recycled items. Recent StarStruck shows include: SHREK, 13 THE MUSICAL, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, HELLO DOLLY and most recently, the mysterious forest for INTO THE WOODS. Brent was born in Shelbyville, Indiana and moved to Florida in 1986. Brent married his wife Jennie in 1988 and together they have 3 boys, Brent, Ben, and Nick.