About Triple Threat Studio

About Triple Threat Studio

Triple Threat Studio is made for and by 'theatre kids' of all ages! Inspired by the Footlights Summer Theatre program that emphasizes an "Arts for All" mission, this studio is dedicated to all those kids who are searching for a place to belong; a place where they can be themselves; a place where they can learn and grow and go out and perform at all of our local theaters and schools and share their talents with the world!  At Triple Threat Studio, students can learn to act, learn to sing, learn to dance and learn to perform.

Rachel Rudd, Owner

Let me begin by saying that this is truly a labor of love as it involves my most favorite things; theatre, music, performance and children. When I became involved in performing 25 years ago, a whole new world appeared before my eyes; a world where anything was possible. Beginning in what was then the Student Summer program, I not only learned the values of teamwork and respect, I also built life long friendships and found my passion for working with children. I remember clearly the first time I watched the kids who came in shy and unsure develop into happy, confident kids. Nope, not all of those kids were going to be Broadway stars, but all of them took skills away from their experiences that they could never have learned in school.

Kids are capable of achieving anything when given the tools to succeed. Our mission is to help our students become the most well rounded performers they can be in a comfortable, supportive environment.


Alex Slaughter, Voice

Alex is a graduate of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Music Education- specializing in voice and piano. An Erie native, Alex attended Collegiate Academy and was highly involved in the music and theatre programs in addition to performing in many productions at the Erie Playhouse.

Alex has specialized in piano accompaniment and vocal pedagogy with particular focus in choral and solo singing. These skills led him to Pittsburgh last year where he was invited to music direct a production at the University of Pittsburgh as well as accompany area high schools and music direct a high school production of Disney's High School Musical.

With his strong background in Musical Theatre, Alex has focused on Voice production including: breathing, vowel formation, tongue placement, vibrato use, and timbre.

Brandon Vogt, Voice and Piano

Brandon Vogt is thrilled to be joining Triple Threat Studio.  He studied at the Baldwin-Wallace University Conservatory of Music, where he majored in Music and Arts Management.   During college, he was active in the Opera Program, College and Motet Choirs, served as the Executive Director of the Arts Management Association, and worked as an Admissions Representative in the Conservatory.  Brandon has studied a wide variety of genres of music and specializes in teaching life-long vocal skills for the versatile singer.   During his years at Mercyhurst Preparatory School, he travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland where he played the male lead in Little Mary Sunshine.  Brandon has been a soloist throughout the Greater Erie area, has performed for the Erie Summer Festival of the Arts, and on the Erie Playhouse stage.  He is currently the Director of Music at Saint John Church in Girard, PA.

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Jenn Blair, Acting

Jenn began performing in theatrical productions when she was in high school and once she graduated, she moved to NYC to attend The American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Manhattan. While there, she studied acting as well as had training in stage combat, voice production & speech, film, Shakespeare and voice lessons. Since she returned, she's been involved in many of the local theaters both on and off stage including All An Act and The Erie Playhouse. She was last seen in Jane Austin's Sense & Sensibility at the Erie Playhouse.

Alaina Manchester, Acting

Alaina Manchester graduated from Gannon University with her BA in Theatre and Communication Arts and she earned her MFA in Acting from the University of Florida. She earned points toward her Actors Equity Membership by performing at the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville Florida in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia) and A Christmas Carol (Mrs. Fezzywig). Her directing credits include Gannon University’s Melancholy Play: A Contemporary Farce and Dramashop’s Seminar with stage combat fight direction in both as well as stage combat fight direction in Dramashop’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Reasons To Be Pretty, and Dog Sees God. Her acting credits include Dramashop: Other Desert Cities (Silda), In The Next Room (Annie) , The Erie Playhouse: Spitfire Grill (Shelby) and Tommy (Nurse), and The University of Florida: Grapes of Wrath (Ma Joad), The Women (Countess du Louge) The Clean House (Virginia), and Romeo and Juliet (Nurse) for which she earned an Irene Ryan Award nomination. She has also performed internationally in Germany, Czech Republic, and Greece with UF’s International Theatre Program: A Streetcar Named Desire (Eunice), Romeo and Juliet (Nurse), and Oedipus (Servant). Alaina has been an instructor or a consultant for Gannon University’s annual summer theatre camp since the first camp in 2008. She is currently serving as the Production Manager for the Young People’s Chorus of Erie, an outreach program of Penn State Behrend, where she has had the opportunity to use her theatre education to aid in youth choral training.

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Karen Tech, Creative Movement and Ballet

Karen Tech holds a Master's Degree in Education from Mercyhurst University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from Lake Erie College. At Lake Erie College, she studied the techniques of ballet and modern intensely and immediately fell in love with the art of modern dance. She, also, had the opportunity to study with many choreographers from the East coast to Midwest. Upon graduation she began teaching classes at the Little Dance Studio under the direction of Sandra Little. She was given the opportunity in 2011 to dance a solo piece in New York City's Project Dance, a free dance festival for the New York community. In her spare time she enjoys reading and baking. Her favorite food to bake and decorate are cupcakes.

Ashley Michelle Lauria, Musical Theatre Jazz, Jazz and Hip Hop for Teens and Adults

Ashley Michelle (Simmons) Lauria has been an avid dancer for 15+ years and has been an instructor for 10+ years. Ashley has studied tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, Irish and is also a registered kickboxing and pilates instructor.  Ashely is a graduate of Gannon University where she became a registered dietician. When she's not working or teaching she is the proud mom to her sons, Noah and Jackson and wife to Frank. Ashley is thrilled to teach at Triple Threat and is always blown away by the talented students she gets to work with. 

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Sara Little, Musical Theatre Dance I, Performance Tap for Teens and Adults

A native of Erie, Sara began her dance training in 1984.  As a long time student of Sandra Little Barnett she studied in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip hop, and Irish step.  She also trained with Nate Johnson, Francis J. Roach, and Luigi.  For 11 years Sara performed locally and in NYC as a member of the Jazz Kids Dance Company.  While at the Little Dance Studio she taught and choreographed various styles of dance to all ages for many years.  In 1995 she joined the Footlights Theatre, making her acting debut in David W. Mitchell’s production of ‘20 Years in the Making, a Revue!’.  Three musicals later she joined the Footlights staff and assisted with the choreography of ‘Good News!’ and then choreographed ‘Annie’ and ‘Bye Bye, Birdie!’.

She now lives on a wooded drive with her 2 cats and works as the Games Manager at the ‘woods by the sea’ (Waldameer Park).  Sara loves cloudspotting, twinkling lights and is obsessed with the color pink.  In her spare time she enjoys reading mystery novels and vegetarian cooking.  Sara is very excited to be brushing up on her technique and returning to the one thing that she has done for most of her life.

Siobhan Peterson-Walsh, Combo I, Tap, Ballet Conditioning and Yoga

Siobhan thrilled to be a part of Triple Threat Studio. Dance has been a lifelong passion and pursuit since age 5, beginning at a studio in Meadville PA and training between this studio and Lake Erie Ballet Theater until she went away to Cranbrook Kingswood School in Michigan for high school. At Cranbrook, a performing arts high school, she continued to hone her skills in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, modern and lyrical and added yoga and musical theater to her repertoire. During her time at Cranbrook, Siobhan was asked to choreograph and perform in two school musicals, Pippin and Leader of the Pack, and even won two choreographic awards for a jazz and modern pieces. She then went on to attend and graduate from Allegheny College where she earned her BS in cognitive psychology and minor in dance studies. For the past 3 years, she has partnered with ArtsErie in their grant work to bring the arts into classrooms in schools in the area by conducting workshops and classes in elementary schools, after school programs, summer programs and day care centers. In addition to her work with ArtsErie, Siobhan is also a Group Supervisor at Creative Learning Child Care where she has also worked for more than 3 years. While at the day care, she has brought her love for movement to the center by conducting regular movement classes in the JR Preschool, Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms. 


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Danielle Carlson, Group Voice

Danielle is currently a senior at Mercyhurst University in Erie PA studying Music Education. While her concentration is in percussion, she also has a strong background in piano, trumpet, and voice. Originally from Ridgway PA, Danielle graduated from Ridgway Area High School in 2011 where she was active in band, choir, show choir, theatre, and PMEA events. After graduation, Danielle moved to Erie PA where she became involved in shows at the Erie Playhouse, Dramashop, and the Keystone Repertory Theatre in Indiana, PA. Performing as a pit musician in over 17 productions in the past three years, Danielle has displayed her talents as a pianist, drummer, trumpeter, keyboardist, or whatever instrument was needed. She also serves as a substitute church pianist in Erie, as well as the Assistant Music Director for the Footlights of Erie alongside voice instructor Alex Slaughter. For the past two years, Danielle has also taught private voice and piano lessons, and currently works as the drumline instructor at Fort LeBoeuf High School, where her teaching techniques have been put to the test with proven success.

With four years of teaching experience under her belt, Danielle is excited to return to Triple Threat for her second semester of teaching the basics of voice to young people. 

Christopher Spare, Shakespeare Workshop and Private Acting Coach

Christopher Spare attended Gannon University from 1991 to 1996 and returned in 2007 to finish his degree in theatre. After performing in The Tempest produced by Shawn Clerkin and directed by Paula Barrett during Gannon's Shakespeare Summer Nights, he was inspired to return to his education. He received an MFA in Acting from Point Park University as part of a fellowship in 2011. While in Pittsburgh he appeared in the films, I am Number Four, WarriorAbductionOne for The Money, and Of Starlight. He is a member of Alpha Psi Omega and recently joined the ranks of Actor's Equity playing The Count in La Ronde at The Pittsburgh Playhouse.

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Jeff Rodland, IMPROV


Jeff Rodland has been involved with Erie's community theater scene for over 25 years as an actor, director, and producer. Much of his earlier work was at the former Roadhouse and Director's Circle Theaters. In the past few years, he has directed shows at Mercyhurst Preparatory School, the Riverside Inn and Dinner Theater, and the Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA). He as acted in over 60 scripted plays, and has put his improvisational skills to use working with In All Serious: Murder Division. This past December, he directed the world premiere of Jeff Goode's latest holiday play, Christmas 2: The Sequel to the Nativity. Rodland was formally trained in improv at Chicago's famous Second City. He also has his Masters in Special Education, and he is certified in both Special and Elementary Education. Jeff met his wife, Kelly, during the 1994 run of West Side Story at the Erie Playhouse, and they have three wonderful sons: Gabriel (10) and twins, Kristopher and William (4).