Little Theater of Gastonia is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization chartered in 1950 and serving Gastonia, NC and the Gaston County community and has a long tradition in Gaston County producing a wide variety of plays and musicals every season which feature local talent from the community. The main season runs fall to spring, with a youth program in the summer.
Little Theatre of Gastonia is an organization which encourages participation in artistic and learning opportunities for everyone in the local community and beyond. Participants and patrons alike can enjoy the theatrical experience in a comfortable, secure, and welcoming environment.
The 2022-2023 Board of Directors are excited to provide quality entertainment which appeals to all personalities and age groups. Community and patron input is encouraged — and the Board is willing to listen to any suggestions and concerns which allow LTG to flourish and continue to be a vital entertainment venue in Gastonia.
The Board looks forward to introducing new productions in this area while addressing the storied history of over 70 years in existence. We invite you to explore our new, improved website — and we love constructive suggestions as to how we can improve our service to you.







Jennifer Stepp is a life long resident of Gastonia and arts advocate who became involved in the arts at a young age. She was involved in the performing arts throughout her school career. A mother of five and grandmother of three one of her greatest joys is supporting her children and grandchildren in their own artistic endeavors. While Jennifer can still occasionally be seen on the stage, she is more often working behind the scenes in one or more capacities. Jennifer is a former teacher and music director. She also worked for the City of Gastonia’s Recreation Department in summer programming. Currently she serves as a City Councilwoman for the City of Gastonia. She has served on several governmental and non-profit boards and committees and she continues to promote both visual and performing arts in the community.

Michael Sisk is a retired college professor and current church organist. He has played and/or music directed over 150 musicals in a number of schools and community theatres.

Bryan Rife was born and raised in Wild Wonderful West Virginia living in Belmont, NC with his spouse Shane Elks.  Bryan works full time for a National Board and a few other non-profits and he also serves as President for the non-profit Wonder Warriors in Charlotte, NC.  Bryan also travels across the country as a speaker for healthcare conferences.  Along with his spouse, they run Black Star Theater Company in Belmont, which partners with LTG for events such as All Together Now.  Bryan has graced this stage several productions such as Chicago, Children of Eden, All I Really Needed To Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and Something Rotten’ and Every Christmas Story Ever Told And Then Some and he has also directed at LTG.  Everyone that knows him, knows that he brings sparkle to everything he does.

Sarah Drummond is a local real estate agent who has also been known in Gaston County for serving as a church pianist, managing a political campaign, playing in a few local cover bands, and having sung the National Anthem at three Gastonia Honey Hunters games during their inaugural season.  After being involved in high school and community theater twenty years ago in the small town in which she grew up in Ohio, Sarah re-entered the realm of theater at LTG, becoming a member of the Board of Directors in 2020.  She played in the pit band for LTG’s production of “Mamma Mia,” and currently serves as Treasurer.  Sarah is married with four cats and enjoys traveling, boating, and trying exotic new restaurants in her free time.  


Chéz (Shea) Adams  is a native of Tallahassee, FL but joined the Gaston County community in 1990. She is a graduate of Hunter Huss High School and Florida A&M University. Chéz has a strong love for The Arts especially instrumental music. She has been a musician since the age of 11 and her son is a musician as well. A quote that she often states is, “A family that plays (music) together, stays together!”  She is an advocate for children and serves on several boards that support the arts and well as mental and educational growth of children in Gaston County. In her free time, it is not abnormal to see her doing something along the lines of art: enjoying concerts, listening or playing music, painting, looking at art exhibits, watching a play or dancing. She brings a wealth a knowledge of fundraising, social media promotions, and education.


Claire Depaoli (Charlotte, NC), is a Graduate of UNC Greensboro with a degree in Arts Administration. She is a dancer with the desire to help create the next generation of performing artists. Her love for working with youth and her passion for all art forms is her biggest motivation. Claire has studied many styles of dance for over 18 years and received training from several notable schools including Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and UNC School of the Arts. She has also been involved in musical theatre for 5 years, performing in shows such as West Side StoryFiddler on the Roof, and Beauty and the Beast. Claire has taught dance and choreographed for many organizations and theaters, including Little Theater of Gastonia.


Melanie York has been involved at Little Theater of Gastonia from a very young age and is proud to now serve on the board. She has stage managed and assisted stage managed many performances, most recently being The Last Round Up of the Guacamole Queens (SM) and Mamma Mia! (ASM). When not working backstage, you may have seen her as Levora in Disaster! The Musical or ten years ago in Narnia: the Musical as the White Witch…ahem, Queen Jadis. 



Ashley Brayton is a mother of two and Business Banking Center Manager at PNC Bank. She studied theatre at UNC Greensboro and has been involved in theater for over 30 years. Ashley has served on the LTG board in other capacities since August 2017 and is excited to serve this season as the new president! When not involved in theater, Ashley loves cosplay, anime, nerdy books and black coffee!



Michael Shelton is a Facilities Supervisor at Daimler Truck in Gastonia.  Michael has been involved in theater for the last 12 years building sets and on occasion you can see him on the stage.  He assist various theater organizations with set design and builds.  Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelly and his daughter, Charley Ray.


Synthia Kearney is a Battalion Chief with the Gastonia Fire Department. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Speech Communications and was in two Winston Salem Little Theater productions in the early 1980s. Life and an impossible work schedule intervened and it was 29 years before she made it back on stage, which happened to be here at Little Theater of Gastonia. She has been in six Little Theater productions with her most recent being The Minstrel in “Something Rotten”. In addition to her love of being on stage, Synthia enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading and playing pickleball.


 Annette Hilton is a mother of a wonderful 12 year old girl and a Client Representative Associate with Vanguard. Annette became involved with the theater while supporting her partner and daughter when they became involved with Black Star Theater. Annette’s first production was as the stage manager for SpongeBob The Musical and has worked behind the scenes in several show since with Black Star and LTG. Annette is excited and honored to be a part of Little Theater of Gastonia.


Alexander Brooks is the Education Manager at the Gaston County Museum of Art & History and serves on the executive board of the North Carolina Museums Council and on the DEAI Action Team for the SouthEastern Museums Council. A professional artist and costumer, Alex began his career in law enforcement and forensics before switching to the museum field 19 years ago. Having served in almost every department of the field, he enjoys using his unique perspective to create well-rounded, immersive experiences in both award-winning exhibits and programs. Alex currently lives in Gastonia and can usually be found seeking out new street art and food experiences with his 14 year-old son, Wren, or trying to convince his director that going kayaking in the middle of the day qualifies as work. (It totally does.)


Jackie Radford (No Bio)


Luico Holland is a native of Gastonia, NC. Luico holds a degree in Computer Science from Winston Salem State University and is a Technical Analyst at Duke Energy. He is married and has two kids. In his spare time he serves in the Eta Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He enjoys spending time with his family.

Executive Director


Lauren S. Parker is an award-winning and nominated artist, instructor, director, and performer who was born and raised in Gastonia, North Carolina. Lauren has participated in the arts for three decades, finding a love for performing at a very young age. Lauren has been involved professionally in both performance and visual arts since 2014 and has worked with several non-profit organizations, schools and theaters in Gaston County and surrounding areas. Lauren has directed over 50 productions, programs, and camps, including three at Little Theater of Gastonia: Disaster! the Musical in 2019, Mamma Mia! in 2020 and Something Rotten in 2022. Lauren began working at Little Theater of Gastonia in 2018 as the Programs Manager. Since then, Lauren has taken on roles such as Office Administrator, Summer Camp Coordinator, Acting Instructor and Event & Production Manager before accepting her new position as Executive Director in early 2022.  Driven by passion for the community as well as the arts, Lauren’s focus as Executive Director centers around outreach, education, inclusivity, and diversity while fostering a safe and fun environment that is accessible to performers and patrons alike.