Meet the Staff!

Counselor and Instructors Summer 2018


Kaite Auletti-Smith - Instructor - My name is Katie Auletti-Smith and I am so excited to be teaching the choreography for Broadway on Second Street for a 4th year. I have been teaching/instructing dance classes for 12 years and I am Carolina Dance Masters certified. I love to teach kids of all ages and there is nothing better than watching a child's face light up when they have accomplished something new.

Classes: BOSS The Jungle Book (Dance) and BOSS Cinderella (Dance)

 Maria Chandler
Maria Chandler - Full Time Counselor - Maira is Wilmington native and is happy to be apart of her second year of Creative Arts Camp. Maria is a very active member of the Wilmington theater community and loves children's theater. Maria is very excited  to meet the future superstars that will be coming to the camp! She loves working with children and  teaching them new things, and she also enjoys learning new and creative things from them. See you all at Creative arts camp!
 jeanne casper2 2

Jeanne Casper - Instructor - Jeanne is originally from Boston but has called Wilmington home for over 10 years. She studied fine art (Drawing, Painting & Printmaking) in undergraduate school at Ohio State University and went on to receive an MFA in Electronic Visualization from Mississippi State University. She continues to enjoy working in both the fine arts and the digital realm.  She works professionally as a web designer and also runs a small business designing and creating custom pillows and Christmas stockings. Jeanne is a creator and loves to make things, she is super excited to be working with the campers this Summer at the Community Arts Center!

Classes: Comic Book Advenures

Alex Eakins

Alex Eakins - Full Time Counselor - Alex Eakins has been acting in Wilmington, NC since the age of 7 and you may have seen him in local musicals such as “Cry Baby”, “Bye Bye Birdy” and “A Chorus Line”. Alex enjoys the improvisational elements of acting and considers comedy a strong suit. In the fall he plans on moving to LA to pursue acting and comedy by studying with The Groundlings.

 Kayla Hager

Kayla Hager - Instructor - Kayla was born and raised in West Virginia and has recently made Wilmington her home. She is 24 years old, loves the beach, and has a strong passion for teaching the performing arts! She began learning music and performing when she was 11 years old and eventually fell in love with sharing and teaching music and the arts to others. After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in English from Marshall University, Kayla decided to branch out and bring her talents to Wilmington. She specializes in teaching voice, dance, music, and acting. With over five years of experience directing her own show choir program, volunteering her vocal coaching and choreography skills to local children's theaters, and giving private lessons, Kayla is ready to have some fun at camp this summer!

Classes: Rising Stars Morning Camps

 Bev Healy

Bev Haley - Instructor - I  graduated  with  a  BFA in  studio  art  from  the  University  of  Iowa  with  concentrations  in  drawing and  painting.    After  graduating  I  attended  a  clay  workshop  and  knew  that  I  had  found  my medium.  Through  the  years  I've  had  the  opportunity  of  studying  with  many  talented  mid-west and  coastal  potters  and  clay  artists.  My  teaching  experience  started  with  children’s  classes  at  an art  gallery  in  the  midwest  where  I  taught  for  12  years.  I  spent  a  year  at  a  small  college  teaching beginning  and  advanced  students.  Here  in  North  Carolina  I  conducted  children’s  workshops  at Poplar  Grove  and  taught  adult  classes  at  Franklin  Square  Gallery. I  create  both  altered  and  unaltered  pots  on  the  wheel  and  find  great  satisfaction  in  hand building.  I  never  seem  to  tire  of  creating  art  objects  that  can  be  used  in  everyday  life  and  clay offers  endless  opportunities  to  experiment  with  shapes  and  surfaces  and  firing  processes.  My love  of  creating  with  clay  continues  to  grow  daily.

Classes: Orange Street Pottery Camps


Courtney Harding - InstructorHello Campers! My name is Courtney Harding, and this is mythird year as an instructor at Creative Arts Camp. I grew up in the area with a true passion for theatre! I was even a camper here in this building when I was younger! I’m now a theatre teacher at New Hanover High School by day and an actor/stage manager/director by night! I look forward to sharing my love of theatre with you all and can’t wait to get things started!!

Classes: BOSS The Jungle Book (Director), Old Pro's Galaxy Far Far Away, Old Pro's Broadway Mashup, BOSS TEEN Edition (Director)

Herrick Samantha

Samantha Herrick - Camp Director and Instructor - I am thrilled about my fourth year at Creative Arts Camp! I hope that campers will have fun through creative expression and learn to love the arts just like I do! If you have any questions about any of the camps please email me directly or call me at 910-341-7860.

Classes: Film Camp: Let's Make a Movie


Lance Howell - Instructor - Lance L. Howell is a Wilmington native, contributing over 30 years to theater and film, in Wilmington and Southeastern North Carolina, Lance is a theatrical designer specializing in makeup, hair, set, costume design, as well as, show and pageant lighting. Lance also serves as the Technical Director for the HBHUSO/CAC and the Red Barn Studio Theater, both managed by the Thalian Association, as well as Technical Advisor for the Thalian Association Community Theater. Lance was a Wilmington Theater Award nominee for Best Costumer, for his design of the Thalian Associations 2013 production of Xanadu, and was awarded the Best Actor award for lead actor in a play, as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, by the Thalian Association in 2015.

Classes: Behind the Curtains of Cinderella, Set Designer for BOSS Camps

Ashley Leahman

Ashley Leahman - Full Time Counselor - I have worked previously at a sleep-away summer camp for four summers, and love all things camp. This will be my first year working with Creative Arts Camp. I am currently a student at Virginia Commonwealth University. I have always loved participating in visual and performing arts and am exciting to work with people and kids who love them too!

 Sara Penna

Sara Penna- Instructor and Counselor - Sara is ecstatic to be returning as an instructor to Creative Arts Camp for the third year in a row! She has earned her B.F.A., and will also earn her M.Ed this summer. She has a deep passion for both the theatrical and visual arts, and loves to give campers the opportunity to try new things! Crafts and games are her favorite, and she cannot wait to meet this year's campers!

Classes: Stranger Things, Rock and Roll Art Camp, Magical Muggles


Stacie Smith - Assistant Director/Instructor- My name is Stacie Smith and I am so excited to be back at Creative Arts Camp again this year. Camp is my favorite place to be during the summer, except for the beach! I have lots of experience working in the Wilmington Theater Community, both being onstage and behind it. I can't wait to meet all our new campers and to see some familiar faces. See you all this summer!

Classes: BOSS Cinderella (Director), Old Pro's TACT Preview Camp


Cathy Street - Instructor - I have just moved to Wilmington from Nashville, TN and am so excited to work with the young artists here in this beautiful city!  When I was 11, I started performing in the arts and it changed my life.  I was shy and performing helped me find my voice and a way to express myself.   I believe in creating a supportive and nurturing environment for young people to develop their skills.  I live here with my husband, JJ, and two ‘kids’; my pug, Alex, and my Siamese cat, Raja.  I can’t wait to work with you all this summer!

Classes: BOSS The Jungle Book (Music), BOSS Cinderella (Music), Old Pro's You're the Next Contestant

 Hunter Wyatt  

Hunter Wyatt- Instructor - Hunter Wyatt is a local performer with a lifelong love for summer camp! She graduated from UNCW in 2015 with a BA in Music and a BA in Theatre, and spent a decade as both a camper and staff at UNCG’s All-Arts, Sciences & Technology Camp. She is beyond excited to instruct some of Wilmington’s youngest performers this summer!

Classes: Creative Munchkins

 josh bio  

Josh Zieseniss- Instructor/Part Time Counselor - My name is Josh, this is my first year with Creative Arts Camp and I am ecstatic to get started. Although this is my first year with camp, I have been working with Thalian Association and The Community Arts Center for the better part of 4 years. I am the Resident Stage Manager for Thalian Association which means I oversee and administrate the tech side of almost every production!  I also design lights and sound for shows.I am also the recipient of the 2015 Tina Award for Technical Achievement and the 2016 TACT Artistic Directors Award.  I can't wait to meet and have some fun with all the up and coming technicians of Wilmington!

Classes: Behind the Curtains of The Jungle Book

 Summer Camp Logo 2016


Our Management

The Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center is managed by the staff of the The Thalian Association, the Official Community Theater of North Carolina.

The Thalian Association is a non-profit, membership organization founded in 1788 to provide arts education and bring the excitement of the performing arts to Wilmington. The organization has its offices and holds auditions at the Community Arts Center.  The Center also hosts the Thalian Children's Theater classes and performances.

Contact Us




Getting Here

Enter your address below for turn- by-turn directions to the Community Arts Center:


Parking Information



Patrons of the HBHUSO/Community Arts Center can park in the surface lot conveniently located next to the building.

Parking Rates:

- Hourly: $1.25
- Daily: $7.00
- Monthly: $50.00


Paid parking is enforced 24/7 unless otherwise noted.  Visit the City of Wilmington's website for more information about downtown Wilmington parking.