CFT BOARD of DIRECTORS
We have a great Board of Directors at CFT that work tirelessly behind the scenes not only on our board but also supporting and running all aspects of the organization's staffing needs alongside several community volunteers that give of their talents to make CFT a wonderful place for your family to be involved.
Meet The CFT Team
Dale has been working with children and their families since 2003 when he began his employment as a Children’s Pastor. He holds an Advanced Certificate in Children and Family Ministries from Bethel Seminary. While serving as a children’s pastor he learned the power of drama and what the stage can do for children and their self esteem. He eventually developed several programs incorporating immersive drama elements geared for teaching children. In 2013 he directed a cast of 54 community actors in his first full length Broadway musical, Seussical the Musical. In 2015 Dale and his wife, Denise, along with several area theater families founded Christian Family Theater with the goal of educating and producing top quality family and youth productions.
Board of Directors
Judy studied theatre and music at Shorter College and graduated from Florida State University in music and studied theatre there under Richard Fallon. She taught 45 years as a high school choir teacher, 5 at Chamblee High School in DeKalb County and 40 at Central High School. During that time she directed 8 Broadway Musicals and numerous plays with the students. She herself has been in two productions at what was then the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. Judy currently is serving as the music director for St. John United Methodist Church. A position she has held since 1988.
Delores received the European doctorate in voice from the Mozarteum music school in Salzburg, Austria. She sang professionally for 15 years throughout Europe and now teaches voice at Lee University and was associate director of Chattanooga Girls Choir for 14 years. Delores has instructed 1,000's of students during her career and we are very honored to have her join our production team.
Suzi has worked with CFT for several years in many capacities such as Production Assistant, Lighting Operator, Lighting Designer, Dance Assistant, and now Choreographer. She is a graduate of f Chattanooga Center for the Arts where she was a Musical Theater Major for 4 years and a member of the select performance group, The Choo Choo Kids, for three years. Suzi has a passion for performance and dance and loves working to train new yound actors.
Denise is an extremely gifted costume designer. She’s been sewing since she was a young girl when she received her first little plastic sewing machine. She went on to take sewing in home ec classes, when that was still a thing. One of her biggest projects was designing and sewing her own wedding dress. Denise has become a talented costumer putting together cohesive looks for shows and making the actors look phenomenal onstage.
Board of Directors
Jacqueline Davis‐Gines, PHD, is the Youth Pastor at St. John United Methodist Church, where she has been a member for 5 years and on staff for the past 3 years. Jacqueline has helped with several productions with Stage Right at St. John. The first two shows were The Sound of Music and Seussical the Musical. She also had the pleasure of playing “The Wicked Witch” In The Wizard of Oz. Dr. Jacque loves the stage and hopes to encourage children and youth of Chattanooga to love it also.
Neshawn Calloway is in her 22nd year as Vocal Music Director at Center for Creative Arts (CCA) where she conducts six vocal ensembles. Her vocal ensembles consistently score superior ratings at regional, state and national festivals. Most recently, Neshawn was recognized by the CMA (County Music Association) Foundation as a music teacher of excellence. She is a frequent soloist in local churches and performs regularly with her band, Sound Advice. In 2012 she traveled to Hamm, Germany where she performed in concert to a sold-out audience. In May of 2023 she will return to Hamm with a group of students that will perform for audiences in Chattanooga’s sister city.
Emily received her early training with Joan Crawford School of Dance in tap, ballet and jazz. At age sixteen she received a summer intensive scholarship with Dupree Dance USA. She owned and operated her own dance studio in Kentucky for 10 years where she was the principal instructor and choreographed annual recitals, performance events and award winning competition routines. She moved to Los Angeles where she danced professionally in the television series "American Dreams" and was a principal dancer and choreographer for "The Rick Alviti Elvis Tribute Band". While living in LA, she was on faculty at Dance Dimension Performing Arts Center.
Marlin has been a Manager at Burns & McDonnell 10+ years. He has previous board experience as the Vice President for H.E.L.P.I.N.G. CDC Marlin worked as lighting engineer for two collegiate plays. He has also worked as A/V engineer for 4 plays with St. John UMC and currently serves on their A/V team as a sound engineer for their worship. Marlin was the sound engineer for many of CFT’s productions.
Jeff Van Fleet
Board of Directors
Jeff is a Senior Account Executive for Rand Worldwide, Inc and founder of the Road to Damascus Project, a Georgia non-profit serving seniors, veterans and those affected by natural disasters. After participating in school and church productions as a youth, he now enjoys working with the production team and CFT parent volunteers to build the sets and scenery that make these stories come to life. Hailing from Texas, Jeff and his family have been so blessed to be welcomed into the CFT family.
Caroline Giles started volunteering with CFT in 2019 when her children were cast in Aladdin Jr. and is delighted to join as musical director. The daughter of two full-time educators and music performers, Caroline grew up participating as a violinist, singer, actor, dancer, and pianist in a wide variety of settings. Caroline was the recipient of the Lamar Alexander Scholarship while attending ETSU and graduated with a minor in music performance, B.S. in Human Development and Learning, and M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work. As an adult, she continues to perform professionally, parent four artistic children, and has over 15 years teaching experience in the arts working with students ages 3-83.
We are so excited to have Amanda teaching with us. She received her theatre education from the University of Alabama, from which she holds a bachelor of arts degree. She interned at Playhouse on the Square, Memphis’ resident professional theatre, earning both performance and costume construction credits. Professionally, she has toured locally with Birmingham Children’s Theatre and taught an Intro to Drama course for homeschoolers at Explorers’ Academy in Hixson and most recently began teaching acting classes with CFT.
Board Vice President
Director of Operations
Show Assistant Director
Karen has loved theatre all her life and couldn’t be happier to be serving as CFT’s Director of Operations. She serves on the production staff of every show alongside Dale as stage manager or Director. Watching actors try on different roles and find new parts of themselves is one of her favorite things. Being able to work in theatre with her own children brings a fresh perspective and joy to the experience. She also enjoys being onstage and has worked with Back Alley Productions and Dalton Little Theater with her favorite role being Mom in Leaving Iowa. She loves songbirds, her back porch, and discussing theology and ethics around a fire. She adores her family and credits CFT with expanding her circle with family-by-choice from each show.
Board of Directors
Abe is a Talent Recruiter at Gallagher Bassett. He loves being able to help people reach their career goals. He is actively involved as an Elder at his Church and a member of the Guest Services team where he gets to welcome people to the service and give kids high-fives every Sunday! Abe has been married to his wife Kelly for over 21 years. Their two daughters are both actively involved in CFT and they have made some great friends through multiple shows over the last few years. He is grateful to be a part of this incredible organization that helps kids develop their passion for theater.
Lindsey has followed CFT productions for several years attending many of their performances. She is a recent Maryville College Graduate with a degree in vocal music education and has recently joined the staff at Jefferson Co. High School in their fine arts department leading their chorus and theatre departments. She sang in the choir and small ensemble at Maryville College. Lindsey also composed the musical, "Study as a Rock", for the bicentennial of Maryville College.
Zach Van Fleet
Zach is a Newscast Director at WRCBTV in Chattanooga and a big fan of theater. His love for theater has only grown during his time working with CFT began. He feels so blessed to have the opportunity to work on unique shows with incredible young actors.