Linda Petersen, a Mesa Arizona native, attended Westwood High, MCC and ASU where her education and performances in vocal and instrumental music continued to enhance her life and become a passion.
Upon establishing a home in Gilbert in 1976 with husband Arlon, Linda taught piano and began a 25 year span as a board member for the Gilbert Fine Arts Association. As Dramatic Arts chairman (10 years) she was the executive producer of the annual GFAA musical. Linda musically directed several productions as well as played the roles of Adelaide in “Guys and Dolls” and Miss Hannigan in “Annie”. Each of Linda’s eight children has participated in GFAA musicals as well.
Linda was an assistant director of the Mesa, Arizona Easter Pageant from 1996-2002. While serving an LDS mission in West Africa, she was asked to write and executive produce a pageant for the youth in seven countries. Extensive training in the music, drama, costuming, scenery, etc. took 10 months and culminated in performances in 20 separate venues involving over 11,000 youth.
Music Theater Workshop (1990-present) continues to be one of Linda’s favorite annual activities. Joined by their three daughters on the staff, Linda, Melenie and Rosanne are thrilled to anticipate yet another summer of teaching and working with wonderful, talented youth who excitedly and proudly take their place on the stage.
Melenie Reynolds’ love of dance and theater has given her many opportunities to choreograph and teach. Some of her favorite projects include choreography and staging for Mesa Community College Music Theater Department, Gilbert Fine Arts Association, the Arizona Junior Miss scholarship program (Arizona DYW), the Mesa Arizona Temple Easter Pageant, and most recently, the Gilbert Arizona Temple Youth Cultural Celebration. After twenty-six years, she still loves teaching Music Theater Workshop every summer!
Melenie received a BA in Dance Specialization with an English Education minor from Brigham Young University. While at BYU, she was a member of Dancers’ Company and had the amazing opportunity to perform, teach, and travel throughout Asia. Upon graduation, she taught English at Gilbert High school before becoming a stay-at-home mom!
She is wife to Lane and mother to five fabulous kids. She has three incredible kids-in-law, and one adorable grandson.
Currently, Melenie is co-owner/studio director of Impact Dance in Mesa, AZ.
Rosanne Robson Tidwell is a native to Arizona. She was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, attended Westwood High School, and then went on to B.Y.U., M.C.C., and A.S.U. where she studied music, drama, and Education. Rosanne has directed many shows in the Community, including Guys and Dols, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She and her dear friend, Melenie Reynolds, also directed the children’s choir for the Broadway series of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, which played at the Grady Gammage Auditorium in Tempe for 3 weeks. In 1998, Rosanne was called to direct the Mesa Arizona Temple Easter Pageant, the largest outdoor Easter Pageant in the world. She directed this inspirational production for seven years. One of the greatest honors given to Rosanne was when she was asked to be the Chairman and Director for the Cultural Celebration for the Gilbert Arizona Temple in 2014. Currently, Rosanne teaches “Let’s Play Music” piano classes, and just completed her 26th year of teaching Summer Musical Theater for Gilbert Public Schools.
Lauren (Reynolds) Zaharis grew up doing music theater workshop every summer. She loved it so much, she began helping her mom with choreography in 2007 and has been a choreographer for MTW ever since. Lauren loves the theater, but her passion is dance. She received most of her dance training at Impact Dance in Mesa. During high school, Lauren was a member of the Mountain View High School Pom line for three years, where she was a state and national champion. She also started to teach dance at Impact. Lauren went on to dance for the Brigham Young University Cougarettes. She performed and choreographed for the Cougarettes for three years and earned 4 national titles with her teammates. While getting her degree at BYU, she taught at Centerstage Performing Arts in Orem, Utah. Lauren currently lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband Zack. She teaches at Dance Academy USA, where she is the director of the lyrical/contemporary program. She looks forward to coming home to Arizona every summer for Musical Theater Workshop.
Angela White has loved music her whole life. She also loves working with children, so Music Theater Workshop is the perfect place for her! Growing up she participated in orchestra, choir, marching band, and music theater. She started playing the piano at a young age and taught piano starting in high school until her family was too large to make it realistic! She is the mom of eleven children and Music Theater Workshop is the highlight of their summer! Angela taught children’s performing groups for the Gilbert Fine Arts Association from 1998-2009. She enjoys keeping up her piano skills accompanying soloists and choirs. She began teaching Music Theater Workshop in 2002- 14 years of amazing fun! Most recently she had the amazing experience of working with her dear friends Melenie Reynolds and Rosanne Tidwell as an Assistant Artistic Director of the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration. She feels so lucky to work with amazing children every summer, helping them gain confidence and develop their talents.