Learn from the Pros

Instructors

Our instructors and guest instructors are not only gifted educators but also professional performers of the highest caliber. They regularly perform on Broadway and in regional theatre, in television and film. All of them provide the instruction and inspiration required to help our students become leading professionals in the performing arts.

John Staley

Founding Academy Director, Acting/Teen Academy

Instructors - The Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts

John has been teaching classical and contemporary acting for over 15 years to children and adults, beginners to professionals. He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of California, San Diego, where, in addition to teaching acting and public speaking, he was an Artsbridge Scholar, introducing theatre to schools in the San Diego area. John was on faculty at the Actors Workshop Studios in San Diego where he taught intermediate and professional level classes to teens and adults.

A versatile actor, John has enjoyed a vibrant career performing in plays, musicals, television, and film. Credits include roles in Des McAnuff’s Tartuffe and The Collected Works of Billy the Kid at the La Jolla Playhouse, Cyrano De Bergerac, Another Part of the Forest, and Much Ado About Nothing at A Noise Within, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Saint Joan at the Will Geer Theatricum, and Brigadoon, Good News, and The Best LittleWhorehouse in Texas at the Fullerton Civic Light Opera. TV/Film credits include guest starring roles on Without a Trace, JAG, Boomtown, Charmed, and The Young and the Restless, as well as featured roles in the films Havoc, starring Anne Hathaway, and Jarhead, directed by Sam Mendes.

Vincent Tula

Acting/Junior Academy

Instructors - The Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts

Born and raised in New York City, Vince earned his BA at Rutgers University and MFA in Theater from California Institute of the Arts, and has enjoyed an accomplished career as an actor, writer, director, and educator. He has starred in world premieres at The Road Theater Company and Company of Angels. You’ve seen him in commercials for Nike Running, Bing.com, Walmart, Just for Men, Cristal Beer, and as the face of the Texas Lottery “Make in Grand” Campaigns. Vince has directed plays that have appeared at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, The Frigid Festival, and the Los Angeles High School of the Arts. A devoted and experienced educator, Vince has taught at Los Angeles High School of the Arts and Los Angeles Community College.

Maxwell David

Musical Theatre/Teen Academy

Instructors - The Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts

Immersed in the performing arts from a very young age, Maxwell trained as a Music Scholar at Warwick School, England, under Trevor Barr. Here, Maxwell studied conducting and was given the opportunity to develop his own rehearsal techniques, working with a diverse range of ensembles. Alongside his musical training at Warwick School, Maxwell began to study voice under Stuart Smith and was increasingly in demand to perform. Early work with companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the BBC, and Japan Productions gave Maxwell the professional grounding required to pursue a career in the performing arts. He was soon appointed to sing with the Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields and as a member of the quartet Fortza, which made its TV debut at the England verses New Zealand Rugby match with international Tenor, Martin Toal.

Maxwell has prepared contestants for both The X-Factor (UK) and Britain’s Got Talent and was recently invited to be the UK judge at the International Art & Fashion competition in Moscow.

In 2015, Maxwell relocated to Los Angeles to coach and develop artists for major record labels including Warner Bros. Records and Universal Music Group and prepare artists to be presented to the music industry.

Daniel Wargo

Musical Theatre/Junior Academy

Instructors - The Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts

Daniel Wargo is a singer, pianist, and actor originally from Orange County, California. He graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from California State University, Fullerton and also attended the prestigious Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), with an emphasis in Musical Theatre and Voice. As a performer, he has opened for Earth, Wind & Fire at the Honda Center and has performed with Matthew Morrison, Ashley Tisdale, Alice Ripley, Sherie Rene Scott, and Raul Esparza, to name a few. As a teacher, Daniel has worked with students of all ages and levels of experience, some of whom have gone on to work on Broadway and in National Tours.

Our Guest Instructors

Stephen R. Buntrock

Musical Theatre

Instructors - The Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts

Broadway sensation Stephen Buntrock starred as Fredrick Egerman opposite Bernadette Peters in the Broadway run of the critically acclaimed revival of A Little Night Music. Earlier in the run he was honored to play the same role opposite the show’s original leading ladies Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury. Other starring Broadway credits include Curly in Oklahoma!, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, St. John in the original cast of Jayne Eyre, Barrett in Titanic, Enjolras in the Tenth Anniversary Cast of Les Miserable, covering the role of the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, and creating the role of Teen Angel for the latest revival of Grease! He has toured extensively across the United States and Canada as Rueben in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, originating the role of Arnaud du Thil in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Martin Guerre, and the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.

Stephen has enjoyed many concert appearances as well, most recently performing alongside Dame Julie Andrews in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed with the Louisville Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Cleveland Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl.

Erin Dilly

Musical Theatre, Acting

Instructors - The Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts

Erin received Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle nominations as Best Actress for her role as Truly Scrumptious in Broadway’s, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Other Broadway credits include Cinderella in Into the Woods, Luciana in The Boys from Syracuse, Young Phyllis in Follies, and Billie in the Encores Series acclaimed production of Babes in Arms. She appeared in HBO’s Too Big to Fail, opposite William Hurt, and the CBS series Rookies. She starred in Lifetime’s The 12 Men of Christmas with her best friend Kristin Chenoweth, and had a featured role opposite Meryl Streep in the film, Julie and Julia. Other film/TV credits include the independent feature The Diary of Preston PlummerEveryday People, Nurse Jackie, Law & Order, Canterbury’s LawThe Return of Jezebel JamesAll My Children3 PoundsThe Jury, and Law & Order: CSI, and Law & Order: SVU. She starred as Nellie in the national tours of South Pacific, as Belle in Beauty & The Beast, and received a Helen Hayes Award nomination as Best Actress for her role as Bertrande in Cameron Mackintosh’s, Martin Guerre.

Erin has worked regionally at the Guthrie Theatre, The Papermill Playhouse, The Goodspeed Opera House, The Cleveland Playhouse, and The Alley Theatre, where she originated the role of Meg in Ken Ludwig’s comedy, Leading Ladies. She can be heard on the DRG recordings of Babes in Arms and Louisiana Purchase. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan and teaches acting workshops across the country.

Benedicte Schoyen

Dance

Instructors - The Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts

Benedicte was born and raised in Oslo, Norway, where she danced at the Norwegian Opera Ballet School and continued to study at The National College of Dance. She worked as a dancer for several years both in Scandinavia and LA before opening the Santa Monica Dance Studio. After twelve years, she started Born To Play Productions and produced The Music Box, A Dance Along Fairytale, a DVD for kids.
Benedicte has ten years of experience teaching ballet and jazz at UCLA and choreographing the kid’s version of the Eurovision Song Contest for Norwegian Broadcasting; she spends most of her summers in Norway teaching summer dance workshops and choreographing shows.

Geri Jones

Dance

Instructors - The Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts

Geri Jones has performed on stages all over the world in musicals, industrials, and revue shows. Some of her favorite roles have been Bombalurina and Demeter in Cats, Cassie in A Chorus Line, Rosalia in West Side Story, Gun Moll in 42nd Street, Angel in Anything Goes, and Dora Bailey in Singin’ In The Rain. She has appeared in guests spots on The Tonight Show, Melrose Place, and Out All Night with Patti LaBelle, as well as many music videos, infomercials, and television shows filmed in Mexico City and Shanghai, China. Geri has taught dance, music, and theater from preschool to adult and loves sharing her passion for the arts in a fun and positive environment. Geri holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts from the University of Wisconsin with a minor in Exercise Physiology.