Our Staff

HITS Theatre is fortunate to have a team of staff members with unique talents and trainings that truly help our students learn. We also rely on our Board members to pursue our vision of developing future actors and leaders in a variety of fields.

Adam Wagner
Artistic Director

Adam Wagner, Artistic Director, Adam Wagner, originally from Chesterton, Indiana, is a graduate of the musical theater department at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Formerly a nonprofit consultant with expertise in film and performing arts organizations, Adam brings his experience as an arts administrator, director, choreographer and songwriter to inspire young artists in the classroom. As an actor, he can be seen as Phil in the cult horror film, “Teeth,” and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. In 2018, Adam relocated to Houston with his dog, Chancho, to be near his mom and sister and serve as Artistic Director of HITS Theatre!

Dennis Arrowsmith
Education and Community Engagement Manager

Dennis Arrowsmith, Education & Engagement Manager, graduated from Rice University in 2003 and established himself as a performer, producer, director, educator, and author. He has created 10 leading roles with the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston including Giuseppe in The Gondoliers, Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore, and Pooh-Bah in The Mikado. His ‘standout’ performance of the Sergeant of Police in 2009’s The Pirates of Penzance earned the Houston Chronicle review of ‘reminiscent of both Ray Bolger and Charlie Chaplin.’ Recently, he played the Professor in Musiqa’s Remix, showing kids how music is put together. His Houston Grand Opera career includes four years as Touring Programs Manager for HGOco–the education and community department, nine years performing in Opera to Go!, and chorus for over fifty productions and counting. The fall of 2018 saw the launch of HGO’s first original storybook called The Armadillo’s Dream, authored by Dennis and published by CKW LUXE.  He is excited to return to his first love of musical theatre, engage with students in classrooms and on stage, and connect this thriving company even further with the community.

Alexandria Hodge
Director of Development

Alexandria Hodge, Development Manager, is a native San Antonian. She graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications specializing in Public Relations/Advertising and a minor in African American Studies and Spanish. Currently, Ms. Hodge is pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration at Baker University while continuing her professional career of over 10 years in development and grant writing. She serves as a member of the following organizations: Association of Fundraising Professionals, The Junior League of Houston, Inc. and the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals.Ms. Hodge is the proud mother of a beautiful daughter and enjoys traveling, sports, researching family history and decorating. She continues to volunteer for various organizations with her personal mission, service to others.

Rae McAloon
Office Manager and Bookkeeper

Rae McAloon, Office Manager and Bookkeeper, born in Houston and moved to Sodus Point, New York in 1995. She has fifteen years of experience in sales and retail management and over 3 years in bookkeeping and facilitating audits. From the early age of 5, Rae has been a part of the performing arts. She attended Sodus Central High School where her love of performing arts flourished. She participated in musical theater/drama, choir, select choir, girls’ choir, and hand bell. She continued following her love of performing arts and studied musical theater and sociology at Kent State University. Rae won the Rochester Broadway Theatre League award for Best Actress, and the ELENBE award for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Her favorite roles on stage to date has been Queenie in Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party & Lucille in No, No, Nanette. She moved back to Houston in 2014 & now lives in Katy with her family.

Teaching Artists

Dr. Kyle Kindred
Musical Instructor

Dr. Kyle Kindred, Musical Instructor, has been pianist and music director for classes at HITS since 2009. He is also the Associate Professor of Music and Director of Composition Studies at Sam Houston State University. Also a composer, Dr. Kyle’s compositions have been performed across the United States, as well as internationally. Dr. Kyle was the second place recipient in the 2014 The American Prize competition in the professional band/wind ensemble division, and is a featured composer in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series (Vol. 10). He holds degrees in composition from Wichita State University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Kristin Knipp
Costume Designer

Kristin got her start as a costume designer by costuming shows that her children were in and then  began working professionally designing costumes for shows such as: Godspell, A Christmas Carol, Evita, Lend Me a Tenor, It’s a Wonderful Life (Stageworks), Footloose, Shrek The Musical, and Anything Goes (HITS Theatre), Unlock’d, Violet, Elf, and Side Show (Queensbury). Kristin has recently designed costumes for two world premiere productions, Breaking Out of Sunset Place (Queensbury) and For Tonight (Queensbury). She was also the costume mistress for Houston Repertoire Ballet. Kristin won the 2014 Broadway World Houston award for her costume design of Stageworks Theatre’s Les Miserables and the 2019 Houston Press Award for her costume design of Queensbury Theatre’s Elf and Side Show.

Keith LaLonde
Musical Instructor

Keith LaLonde, musical director, a young, up-and-coming pianist serving the Houston area, Keith brings to HITS years of diverse performance experiences and training from his time at Stephen. F. Austin State University. He brings voice training to the HITS students and musical credits as a pianist including Godspell, Urinetown, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, The Addams Family, and of course, Shrek.

Chelsea Lerner
Private Vocal Instructor

Chelsea Lerner is a Houston-based singer, actress, director and voice teacher. She earned a Bachelor degree of Vocal Performance from Houston Baptist University. She has taught and/or performed with HGOco, Stageworks, Mainstreet, and several other theaters in town. Recently, Chelsea has worked for The Village School and re-founded the One Act Play program; leading her students to 2nd place in the PSIA OAP program in 2018. She has music directed shows such as Drowsy Chaperone, Spelling Bee, The Wizard of OZ, and The Producers at Stageworks Theater. Chelsea is currently a cabaret singer for the Broadsway. As an actress, some of Chelsea’s favorite performances include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with the HGOco’s Opera to Go!, Mae in Art Factory’s Tuck Everlasting (regional premier), and Jeanie in SRO’s Great American Trailer Park. She would like to thank the parents, students, and her family for supporting her, the kids and the arts here at HITS. 

Dana Lewis
Dance Instructor and Choreographer

Dana Lewis, Dance Instructor and Choreographer, has been teaching and choreographing at HITS since 2008. Dana was the Resident Choreographer for Stages St. Louis for 15 years, where she choreographed over 40 productions. She was on the dance faculty for Webster University where she taught jazz and musical theater styles. Additionally, Dana has taught numerous master classes around the country. Dana is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Dana attended Florida State University and has a degree in Dance.

Michael Mertz
Musical Instructor

Michael is a veteran educator, coach and professional musician. He has appeared throughout North America and Europe, performing, accompanying, and composing music for theatre, television, corporate events, and advertising. Locally, you may have seen and heard his work in productions at HITS Theatre, Alley Theatre, Queensbury Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Stages Repertory Theatre, Main Street Theater, Bayou City Concert Musicals, University of Houston (in collaboration with Tony Award-winning composer Jerry Bock), University of St. Thomas, and College of the Mainland. Michael brings a wealth of experience working with young people in the Houston area as an instructor in voice, piano, and the performing arts. He is Ballet Pianist for Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Dance Department and Music Director for Unitarian Fellowship of Houston.


Theater is an art form of collaboration. It takes artists, technicians, actors and individuals like you to bring HITS’ work to the stage. Tuition only covers a fraction of HITS operating costs every year. Every donation helps to keep our theater open.

How to Support HITS