kevin cook

Kevin Cook
Director of Education

Kevin Cook earned his B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Richmond in Virginia and his M.A. with an emphasis in writing and directing for the stage from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Kevin spent many years touring as a professional actor before settling down to teach acting as well as to create and manage theatre productions. Kevin’s theatre management includes productions with Penn and Teller, Kathy Bates, Farrah Fawcett, Gary Sinese, Lynn Redgrave, John Mahoney and Holly Hunter (all NYC), Sheena Easton (Las Vegas), David Cassidy (Las Vegas, National and International Tours) as well as one of the largest production shows to be staged, MGM Grand’s EFX (Las Vegas). Kevin wrote the book for GET HAPPY celebrating the songwriter Harold Arlen and won Winter Haven’s National Playwriting Award for Best Musical for the children’s fantasy A DRAGON’S TALE! For DSM Academy, Kevin has directed such shows as PIPPIN, MUSIC MAN, JR., LITTLE MERMAID, ANNIE, ARISTOCATS, SCHOOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE, FAME, SEUSSICAL, 101 DALMATIONS, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, ROCK MUSICALS, WILLY WONKA, BROADWAY MASHUP, THE JUNGLE BOOK, BIG BAD MUSICALS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, JR., XANADU, OLIVER and BUGSY MALONE. Along with composer, Denis Kashoid, Kevin has written numerous musicals for the students of DSM Academy including the holiday shows COOL YULE TIDINGS and TOY TROUBLE as well as THE PIED PIPER OF POSSUM KINGDOM, THE ROCKER’S NEW RAGS and SHINE.  Advanced Academy students will premier a new Cook/Kashoid musical this spring about the building of America during the years 1837-1865 titled STRONG WINGS FLY.  Kevin and the staff of DSM Academy are dedicated to teaching the performing arts for fun and professionally.


Beth Bontley
Acting, Lyric Interpretation

ElizaBeth Bontley graduated from Trinity University with a BA in Speech/Drama; from the Circle in the Square Theater School in NYC; and recently completed her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts through Goddard College. While in New York, she performed extensively off and off/off Broadway with Willow Cabin Theater, Our Gang Theater, Circle in the Square Projects and Roundabout Stage II.
Locally, she appeared in Echo Theater’s Fefu and her Friends; in Theater Three’s The Women; The Memory of Water, as well as several staged readings at Circle Theater; Steel Magnolias at Artisan Theater; and has been active in Ft. Worth’s V-Day celebrations.
She has directed for DFW Playwrights, the Texas Unbound Festival, Watertower’s Out of the Loop Festival, Unity’s Magdalene Festival, TCC, Bedford Onstage, Wingspan Theater, and was assistant director to Susan Sargeant’s Moon for the Misbegotten at Circle Theater. She produced, directed and performed in The Guys. Recently, she has been focusing on creating original material including, 6 Women Who Have Found their Author at TCU, The Girlz2Women Quest, and her year long project 12 in 12 at the Firehouse Gallery.
She is an acting and performance coach and a speaker on holistic principles, eco-philosophy and women’s issues. She taught acting at TCU and TCC; currently teaching at Stage and Dallas Summer Musicals.

Lindsey Crawford
Dance Instructor / Choreographer

Lindsey Crawford earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts with minors in Dance and Education from Texas Tech University. She is certified by the Texas Education Agency to teach Theatre Arts and Dance. She was trained for 20 years in classical ballet, pointe, contemporary ballet, modern, jazz, and musical theatre. Lindsey’s love for the stage began at an early age when she began lessons at Ballet Abilene in Abilene, Texas.  She was a company member of Abilene Ballet Theatre from 1995-2002, holding principal roles in The Nutcracker and Coppelia. After graduating from Texas Tech in 2006, she taught theatre arts concurrently at Lubbock High School and Hutchison Middle School in Lubbock ISD. When she and her husband moved to Dallas, she took the theatre arts position at Austin Academy for Excellence in Garland ISD. She has taught acting and dance for the DSM school since the summer of 2008, primarily for the summer programs. Lindsey contest manages for UIL OAP and TAPPS contests in the area and choreographs for various schools musicals and show choirs. Lindsey’s favorite acting roles include: Harper Pitt in Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika, Sophie Scholl in The White Rose, and Queen Gertrude in Hamlet. She has directed and choreographed numerous musicals and straight shows, including Cinderella, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seussical, Jr., Fiddler on the Roof, Jr., and My Fair Lady to name a few. Lindsey has been married to her husband, Blake, for nine years and they have two children. Lindsey loves the opportunity to inspire, teach, and guide children in developing their love for the arts, as this collaborative effort teaches life lessons that students will carry into any field.

Amanda Farrow
Dance Instructor / Choreographer

Amanda teaches choreography for the DSM Academy. Amanda has been dancing since before she could walk. She was trained in classical ballet, pointe, and contemporary ballet, modern, tap, and jazz for over 20 years and has been teaching dance for over 9 years. Originally from Abilene, she was a company member of Abilene Ballet Theatre and a dance instructor for Ballet Abilene from 1999 to 2005. Her company performed The Nutcracker every winter, and attended Regional Dance America Southwest every spring, where she featured contemporary ballet dance pieces. When she graduated from Wylie High School in May of 2005, she attended and graduated in August 2009 with a BBA in Arts and Entertainment Marketing from Baylor University. From 2006 to 2009, Amanda taught at Joy’s School of Dance ages 3 to adult in ballet, jazz, contemporary ballet, and tap. In June 2009, Amanda began an internship at Dallas Summer Musicals in the Marketing Department. Amanda was later given the position of Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at Dallas Summer Musicals, which she currently still holds, and began teaching for the DSM Academy in September of 2010. She is so excited to be a part of the DSM Academy!

denis kashoid
Denis Kashoid
Musical Director

Denis Kashoid comes to Dallas Summer Musicals by way of  Russia. Following ten years of studying the art of music, Mr. Kashoid continued his education by completing a Masters degree in music performance and education awarded by Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Denis is a teacher accredited on the college level, a performance artist in piano and trumpet, musical director for the theatre and an orchestrator. In the United States, Denis has most recently been the conductor and musical director for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, SEUSSICAL, GODSPELL, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, FAME, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK, JUNGLE BOOK, THE BIG BAD MUSICAL, and WILLIE WONKA.  Denis has partnered with author Kevin Cook to write the music and arrangements for COOL YULE TIDINGS, TOY TROUBLE, THE PIED PIPER OF POSSUM KINGDOM, and the modern adaptation of the Emperor’s New Clothes called THE ROCKER’S NEW RAGS.  Denis has also recently scored the new film I AM GABRIEL. Denis is currently working with Kevin Cook on creating a musical theatre adaptation of Dracula scheduled to open in Dallas in July of 2013. To hear samples of some of Denis Kashoid’s original composition and film scoring, visit or

Steven Kavner

Steven Kavner is the Peabody Award winning producer of the critically acclaimed PBS Children’s Series, Wishbone. The show also received four Daytime Emmy Awards as well as the Television Critics Association Award for best children’s program two years in a row. Their feature-length presentation, Showtime presents Wishbone’s Dog Days of the West was co-produced, co-written, and co-starred Steven and was nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards.
Steven has been an actor for over 30 years in film, television, commercials, and theater where he received two DRAMA-LOGUE Awards for excellence in acting in Los Angeles and appeared on many television shows and commercials including recurring roles on the Daytime Dramas Bold and the Beautiful and Generations as well as Hill St. Blues, Gidget’s Summer Reunion, The New Leave it to Beaver, Lou Grant, Dynasty, and Remington Steele. Steven was a performer for many years with the acclaimed improv troupe, The Groundlings, and then created the improv troupe, The Alley Oops at Actors Alley in Los Angeles. Steven was an instructor at the famed Stella Adler Academy as well as his own studio, Improv For The Actor.
Currently, Steven is the Founder and Managing Director of Salty Pretzels Entertainment (, developing a number of properties for kids, tweens, and teens. The advertising division has created and produced national commercials for such children’s icons as Barney, Bob The Builder, Sesame Street, The Cat in the Hat, and Fraggle Rock among many others

Ty Lawrence
Ty Lawrence
Production Stage Manager

As a student of theatre and cultural anthropology, Ms Lawrence attended Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. Her technical stage work includes productions of OKLAHOMA!, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK and PENNY. Ty began her stage management career with the Junior Players Guild in Dallas with THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGENT EVER. She was Production Stage Manager for the SPECTACULAR SENIOR FOLLIES presented at the historic Majestic Theatre.  She is currently the resident Production Stage Manager for Dallas Summer Musicals Academy of Performing Arts. Student know her management skills from recent academy productions such as COOL YULE TIDINGS, THE BIG BAD MUSICAL as well as TOY TROUBLE, THE PIED PIPER OF POSSUM KINGDOM and this summer’s teen intensive FAME. Ty is also stage manages productions for DFW Performing Arts Conservatory including FAME, SUNDAY NIGHT LIVE and their upcoming production of GODSPELL .