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 University 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 and, as an educator, she has taught dance, musical theatre, song interpretation and audition technique in St. Louis, Oklahoma, and Indiana at studios including COCA, STAGES Performing Arts Academy, ArtWorks Academy, Range of Motion Dance Studio, Round Barn Theatre, On Broadway Productions, Poteet Little Theatre and Oklahoma Children's Theatre. Currently, she is the choreographer for Chaminade College Preparatory School.
A proud member of Actors' Equity (Stephanie Long), Stephanie has performed across the country at theatres including: Insight Theatre Company, 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: Company (Amy), 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 GCPA.
Lori enjoys singing numerous styles of music and has performed with musical theatre, operetta, and opera companies. 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. Ten years later, life took her to Salt Lake City, UT, where she currently teaches private voice and piano lessons and enjoys keeping up with GCPA from afar.
Ashleigh has taught voice and theatre for over fifteen years. She also has expertise in early childhood education and working with students with disabilities. Ashleigh has taught music, language, and theatre at many St. Louis institutions, including South City Community School, 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 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, then moved back to her hometown to study 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, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Among other awards, Kristianna was blessed to receive acceptance to the OpenJar Institute in New York City and an Irene Ryan Nomination (KCACTF Region V). She has performed at multiple conferences for the Kennedy Center for the Arts College Theatre Festival and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is currently a member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Educators, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. 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, a native of Jacksonville, IL, is a freelance dancer, teacher, and choreographer based in St. Louis, MO. Laura has performed with companies and collectives including Leverage Dance Theatre, Smashworks Dance, Common Thread Contemporary Ballet, and pH eXchange Dance Theatre, and she has had the pleasure of collaborating with Masterworks Chorale on multiple projects. She has performed in Dance St. Louis’ Spring to Dance, Kansas City Fringe Festival, City in Motion’s A Modern Night at the Folly, Dine on Dance, 60x60 St. Louis, Dancing in the Street and National Dance Week. In addition to teaching at GCPA, she has taught dance and musical theatre at STAGES, DaySpring School for the Arts, COCA, Vitality Ballet, and more. A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a minor in Religious Studies. She is also a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant.