Executive Director, Co-Founder
Paul Pagano, a native of St. Louis, received his BA in Drama from Washington University and Masters in Theatre Education from Fontbonne University. As an actor, Paul has had the opportunity to work with the Guthrie Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Children’s Theatre Company, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Hey City Theatre, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, the MUNY, STAGES St. Louis, HotCity Theatre, and many others. He has worked with Hunter Foster, Kathy Fitzgerald, Peter Michael Goetz, Anne Bogart, and Dan Goggin. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association since 2001.
As an instructor, Paul has taught at COCA, the Utah Shakespeare Festival Teen Acting Intensive, St. Louis University High School, and STAGES Performing Arts Academy.
When not on stage or in the classroom, Paul’s favorite roles are being a husband to wife, Lori, and father to budding stars, Xavier & Kalia.
Artistic Director, Co-Founder
Originally from Oklahoma, Stephanie graduated from the U niversity of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Music: Music Theatre. After moving to New York, she continued her education privately at studios including Jen Waldman Studio, Kimberly Vaughn: Kimberly Vaughn Performance Studio, Broadway Dance Center, and Steps on Broadway.
Stephanie has choreographed many shows across the country including: White Christmas, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Godspell, Annie, Oliver, Seussical, Annie Get Your Gun, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Ruthless. As an educator, she has taught dance, musical theatre, song interpretation and audition technique in St. Louis, Oklahoma, and Indiana at studios including ArtWorks Academy, Range of Motion Dance Studio, Round Barn Theatre, On Broadway Productions, Poteet Little Theatre and Oklahoma Childrens Theatre. The past 3 years she has taught with STAGES PerformingArts Academy both in technique classes and at St. Louis area schools in their Outreach Department. Currently, she is on the Dance Faculty at COCA as well as choreographer for Chaminade College Preparatory School.
A proud member of Actors' Equity (Stephanie Long), Stephanie has performed across the country at theatres including: The Round Barn Theatre, Mt. Washington Valley Theatre, Shawnee Playhouse, KJK Productions, Cortland Repertory, College Light Opera and Group Theatre Too. Some favorite credits include: National Tour: Junie B. Jones (May); Regional: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie), A Chorus Line (Diana and Maggie), Nunsense (Sr. Robert Anne), Godspell (Robin), Grease (Jan), Titanic (Alice Beane), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Rhetta), and White Christmas (Judy).
Managing Director, Co-Founder
Lori Barrett-Pagano earned her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been teaching voice for over 20 years – currently as an adjunct voice faculty at St. Louis University, privately out of her home, as well as voice and musical theatre classes at STAGES Performing Arts Academy.
Lori enjoys singing numerous styles of music and has performed with musical theatre, operetta, and opera companies as well as being a worship leader at her church. Locally, she has performed with The MUNY, STAGES St. Louis, Union Avenue Opera, Echo Theatre, Spotlight Theatre, MainStage Musicals and SIUE Summer Showbiz. Regional credits include The Minnesota Opera, North Star Opera, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Theatre in the Round, and The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company.
Her most enjoyable performing is to sing and dance around the house with her actor/singer husband, Paul, and her most precious stars, son, Xavier, and daughter, Kalia.
Marketing Director, Co-Founder
Ashleigh Blevins began her singing career at the age of three, performing for packed stadiums with her father's country western band, and she has rarely been seen away from the stage ever since. She earned a BA in Vocal Performance from Eastern University in Philadelphia, PA, before marrying her pen pal and best friend of ten years and moving to St. Louis. Her favorite local and regional performance credits include BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Belle), THE GLASS MENAGERIE (Amanda), INTO THE WOODS (Baker's Wife), CINDERELLA (Fairy Godmother), and performances at The Sheldon Concert Hall and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Ashleigh has taught voice and theatre for over ten years. She also has expertise in early childhood education and working with students with disabilities. Ashleigh teaches music, language, and theatre for South City Community School. She also has taught for The Miriam School and Learning Center and STAGES St. Louis, where she coached private and group voice, held music and theatre residencies in numerous schools in the St. Louis area, and directed/music directed many musical productions. She originated and now consults for the children's music ministry at The Journey Church Tower Grove, where she also serves as a worship leader. She is a published composer, a recording artist, a proven educator, and a fierce advocate for her students to be transformed and to transform others through the power of music and the performing arts.
Kristianna previously studied Theatre and Music at Drury University, but has now moved back to her hometown and studied Music Education at Missouri Baptist University. Kristianna has been a performer for almost 15 years, beginning primarily with dramatic and comedic acting. She grew to love the arts and became highly involved in her high school theatre and music programs, community theatre, The Patt Holt Singers of St. Charles, All State and International Thespian Festival Productions, Honor Choirs, Chamber Choirs, District and State Solo Competitions, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the St. Louis Cappies Critics Program. Among other awards, Kristianna was blessed to receive acceptance to the OpenJar Institute in New York City and an award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical from the St. Louis Cappies Critics organization for her role of Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. She is currently a part of Union Avenue Opera's Crescendo Program and a member of both the American Choral Directors Association and National Association for Music Educators. In her spare time, Kristianna is blessed to be a part of the GCPA team and excited to give back to the arts community of St. Louis by working with young performers of the future!
Laura Roth is a native of Jacksonville, IL and a summa cum laude graduate of Southeast Missouri State University where she earned a BA in Dance and a minor in Religious Studies. In addition to teaching at GCPA, Laura teaches at STAGES Performing Arts Academy and COCA andchoreographs community and high school musicals regionally. While attending Southeast, she danced with pH eXchange Dance Theatre under the direction of Philip Edgecombe and Hilary Peterson and choreographed multiple works for Southeast's main-stage productions. Laura now dances professionally with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company under the direction of Jennifer Medina, has had the pleasure of working on freelance projects with ANNONYArts and Masterworks Chorale, and recently coordinated The Dance on Film Project, St. Louis.