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Talented Theatre

The Talented Theatre Program fosters the development of the student’s individualized vision and personal style of expression in the performing arts through introductory and advanced training in all elements of the theatre arts, including history, theory, criticism and aesthetic value, culminating in an annual production of dramatic works conceived by students and/or established authors.


Talented Theatre Faculty

Alicia Chaisson graduated from New York University in 2006, and trained at the Playwrights Horizons Theater School, where she worked rigorously in the Creating Original Work program.  She is an almunus of the New York Neo-Futurists, where she was a writer/director/performer. Ms. Chaisson served as director and company manager for Nightmare: New York's Most Terrifying Haunted House, and she also served as the box office manager for The Public Theater in New York. Since relocating to Lafayette in 2011, Ms. Chaisson has been active in the Acadiana theatre community as a director and performer. She won a Rosie Award for Best Direction for her production of The Crucible. She is creating an original show that will be performed at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in June 2019.

Lian Cheramie is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. Lian received her BFA in Performing Arts at ULL and has been involved with the company Acting Up!(in Acadiana) since its beginnings. Lian loves performing Shakespeare and creating original works. In the fall of 2013, Lian and Sarah Mikayla Brown created and performed their original two woman show Cajun Face. It had a successful 3 year run throughout Acadiana as well as New Orleans, and Chicago, IL. Lian uses her summertime to continue training. She has worked with such companies as Actors' Gang in Los Angeles, Second City in Chicago, Pig Iron Theatre Company in Philadelphia, and the Movement Theatre Company in NYC. Besides teaching and performing in theatre, Lian has a passion for Hula dance and can been seen performing around town with Spirit of Polynesia.

Lian was selected as the 2016 LEF Inspirational Teacher of Year.

Christy Leichty is originally from the Midwest, and has her B.A. in Theatre and English from Goshen College, in Goshen, Indiana.  She did further training at The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and has 25 years of experience in the theatre as an actor, writer, director, and teacher.  Her experiences range from acting in university plays, experimental theatre on the streets of San Francisco, educational theatre in schools, feature length films, commercials, and MTV videos.  She has directed numerous plays and musicals with different age groups of actors, and from 2010-2014 she was the program director at Cité Des Arts a grassroots community arts center in Downtown Lafayette, LA.

Monique Morton Derouselle is from a land far far away, also known as, Shreveport. She received her B.A. in Public Relations from Southern University in Baton Rouge and her M.F.A in writing for TV, Film, and Theatre at California State University Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, Monique studied Improv at The Second City Hollywood and worked on many film, TV, and theatre gigs in front of and behind the scenes. Monique moved back to Louisiana in 2013 and jumped into Lafayette’s Theatre scene. She has acted in a few productions and directed one play. Monique is a company member of Silverbacks Improv Theatre and works on film and TV gigs when she can. Monique loves working in and teaching in all mediums. She has been teaching improv since 2015 and started with the talented program in 2017.

Amanda Newbery graduated from New College of Speech and Drama in London, England after which she toured with two professional companies. She moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in the 1980‘s and worked with the Southern Rep Theatre Company, La Petite Theatre, Tulane Center Stage, Tulane Shakespeare and many others.  For twelve years Ms. Newbery was a talent theatre teacher in the New Orleans public schools. She trained at the Kennedy Center Foundation for five years and taught theatre at Lusher School. She has also worked in television and film. Since moving to Lafayette, she has performed in many local productions.  

Sarah Gauthier Roy is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Performing Arts Program. She worked for the San Diego Repertory Theatre in California, and has toured the country performing theatre for children. Sarah taught for the Iberia Parish Talented Program from 2010-2014. She has been active onstage in the theatre community in Acadiana since 2006. Sarah is on the Board of Directors at the Acadiana Center for the Arts and in Leadership Lafayette Class XXXI. She is the founder/artistic director of Theatre Acadie, offering cultural theatre classes, workshops and camps to children in Acadiana. Find out more at

Katie Slattery received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with a focus in Performing Arts in 2009 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and she is currently in the Master’s of Gifted Education Program at ULL. In 2010, Katie taught for the Texas A&M Governor’s School. From 2011-2014 Katie served as a Talented Theatre teacher in Iberia Parish. In 2014, she transferred to Lafayette Parish where she continues to teach with the Talent Theatre program. Katie has taught with the ULL Summer Scholars program since 2016. Katie has performed in and directed many local theatre productions, and she’s worked on various films in the Texas and Louisiana area. Katie is a member of two improv troupes: The Weaning Process and RagTag.  In 2016, Mrs. Slattery, along with co-worker Ralph Bourque (talent visual arts), founded the band TopSoil. In her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time with her two children, fostering animals through Acadiana Animal Aid and serving as an on-skates referee for Acadiana Roller Derby.