Jerelyn Newman - Founder / Artistic Director
Born and raised just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Jerelyn embraced her love of music at an early age, studying and performing dance, voice, and musical theatre. She continued to follow her passion at the Boston Conservatory, where she majored in classical vocal performance. She also holds a degree in early childhood education from Fisher University. While at the Conservatory, she studied classical / operatic performance with Elisabeth Phinney and musical theatre with Walter Boyce. After moving to California, she studied acting with Judy Kerr. She also holds a degree in early childhood education / child development from Fisher University in Boston. In 2014, Jerelyn became a weekly group facilitator teaching improv / drama at Polaris Teen Center, a residential adolescent mental health facility in Encino, CA.
Mrs. Newman taught school in both Massachusetts and California for over five years before starting a family of her own. She is a voice-over actor and a TV/film session singer (SAG/AFTRA) - having sung on soundtracks including ABC's TV sitcom The Middle, the TV movie Anna's Dream, the CW series Privileged, and Eva Jin’s hit Chinese romantic comedy, One Night Surprise, among others. She has sung with various choirs on the East and West Coasts, including a 2007 performance under the direction of famed choral composer, John Rutter at Carnegie Hall. She is currently an active choral member with Los Angeles’ famed Metropolitan Master Chorale and studies voice with Gerald White.
For several years, Jerelyn volunteered for her children’s elementary school musical theatre productions. Then, in 2012, because of her educational and professional background in the arts and teaching, she was offered the opportunity to launch the K-2nd grade “Upstage Juniors” program for Upstage Theatre Art Schools at Westwood Charter Elementary. She successfully directed two separate casts in each production of Annie (2013) and The Jungle Book (2014). The popularity of the Juniors program was such that it sold out its 2015 inaugural summer production of Aladdin, in both cast and ticket sales.
Jerelyn’s true passion lies in the artistic education of children; their emotional development, and the unbridled joy she witnesses in them when they are on the stage. With a deep love for musical theatre and her community, Jerelyn decided to follow her dream and open up her own theatre company, Westside Children's Theatre, in 2015.
Jerelyn was accepted to participate in the 2018 Broadway Teacher’s Group Summer Intensive Workshop series in NYC. She will be attending Broadway shows with post-show cast discussions, workshops and master classes with Broadway performers, creative teams, and production staff; and peer sessions throughout.
Listen to Jerelyn's vocal demo here: https://soundcloud.com/jerelynmnewman/jerelyn-newman-demo
Kim Hanke - Creative Director
Kim Hanke received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University, and has been working with young children in the arts for over 15 years. She was a lead artist with The Imagination Workshop, a non-profit, theatre arts, outreach organization based at UCLA, and has taught drama and voice. She has worked as a professional actor and singer in Chicago and Los Angeles, performing such roles as Viola in Twelfth Night, Guinevere in Camelot, and Anne in A Little Night Music. She has toured with Perry Como and is currently a member of The Angel City Chorale. She also lends her voice to commercials and movie scores. Additionally, Kim has a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She loves helping children express themselves through the arts, and is excited to be a musical director for Westside Children’s Theatre.
Joey Newman - Director of Business Affairs
Joey Newman (ASCAP) is an Emmy-nominated, third generation film and television composer of the famed Hollywood musical Newman dynasty. Joey's grandfather is Oscar-winning composer and conductor Lionel Newman, and his great uncle is nine-time Oscar-winner Alfred Newman. His cousins Randy, Thomas, David and Maria Newman are all successful composers. Joey's father, Joe Frank Carollo, played bass and sang in the famed 1970s rock group "Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds." Joey earned his music degree from the Berklee College of Music and got his start working in television, co-composing with Emmy-winning composer W.G. "Snuffy" Walden on ABC's drama Once and Again and NBC's Providence. Joey has composed the music to award-winning feature films, numerous television series, video games and provided arrangements for recording artists like Rufus Wainwright and Broadway composers Marcy & Zina and Cinco Paul. As a conductor and orchestrator, Joey has worked across the media spectrum including orchestrating for his cousin Randy, Bill Ross and conducting alongside Michael Tilson Thomas and John Williams.
Josh Bedlion - Musical Director
Josh Bedlion is an inspiration to everyone he performs for and with. After founding 15 Miles West, the male a cappella group at Western Oregon University, and receiving his master of music degree, Josh made a bold move to Los Angeles in 2012. Since his arrival, he has been involved in the industry as a professional singer, vocal coach/instructor, and percussionist. Josh's success as a musician has led him to perform in arenas such as Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and the 2016 Oscars. His voice can be heard in feature films such as: Star Trek Beyond, Goosebumps, Jurassic World, Tomorrowland and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Since 2013, Josh has been singing with The Los Angeles Metropolitan Master Chorale where he met Jerelyn. Josh is very excited to become Westside Children's Theatre's new music director and thrilled to become part of the WCT family. Says Josh, "One of the many reasons why I love working with kids is you get to be a part of their formative years. Instilling music into who they are becoming is an amazing honor."
Carroll Newman - Production Manager, Costume Designer
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Carroll is a member of the famed Hollywood musical “Newman Dynasty.” She has worked in the entertainment industry for almost 50 years, and through her Carroll Newman Productions, has produced over 40 TV movies, series and pilots. Working with many child actors over the years - Kristy McNichol, Reese Witherspoon, Kirk Cameron, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Melora Hardin, Sara Gilbert, Jenny Lewis, to name just a few - has brought great joy to her life! Carroll believes with that joy, comes an enormous responsibility to create an environment that is nurturing, safe, and fun - allowing kids to be kids, all while building an artistic atmosphere for these young actors to thrive. Combining her musical heritage together with her production skills, Carroll is thrilled to be a member of Westside Children’s Theatre.