Meet Our Instructors

Julie Nottingham

Executive Director

Julie Nottingham has a B.M. in Vocal Music Education from Butler University. She has taught private voice and piano lessons for nine years and currently teaches privately for YIT and for Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.  Julie has previously taught elementary music and produced several musical productions while in education.  Julie has also directed, choreographed and vocal directed productions throughout Hamilton County including Christian Youth Theatre, The CAT Theatre, The Artists’ Studio and Moriah Musicals.

Julie has performed in many productions including Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, King’s Island Paramount Theatre, Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, and several others. Julie is the proud mom of 4 kids and wife to an Indianapolis Firefighter.

Heather Rider

Assistant Executive Director

Heather has been dancing, acting and performing for the last 30 years. After opening her first
dance studio at age 17, she went on to get a degree in dance and theatre, a minor in youth ministry and a concentration in screen acting from PBA University in Florida. She has studied tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, worship, musical theatre and various acting techniques; as well as in London and New York. Heather is passionate about both performing and teaching, having danced or acted in over 50 productions and on-screen dozens of times. She has taught in various studios across the country, developed her own children’s theatre company in Colorado and has directed and choreographed for over 20 shows. Instructing students individually in acting, audition technique, screen acting and dance is also something she’s spent years doing and hopes to always guide students’ hearts as well as their talents and techniques.

Lisa Williams

Board Secretary

Lisa is honored to join the team at Youth Inspirations Theatre as Executive Administrator. Earning her B.A. in English (Secondary Education) from Hanover College, Lisa has worked with various children’s theatre groups for 20 years. In addition to directing many local school productions and variety shows, Lisa was a Founding Member of Christian Youth Theater (CYT) here in Indy and serves on their scholarship committee. She also held the following roles for CYT: Area Coordinator, Summer Camp Coordinator, Teacher, Show Chair, Parent Committee Chair and Assistant Director. Lisa just finished her term of Vice President of the Behind the Scenes Club at Carmel High School and is a big supporter of the local theatre scene. At The Cat Theatre, Lisa is the Artistic Director and one of the founders of Carmel Apprentice Theatre. You might see her in Westfield during her day job as the Teen Librarian at Washington Westfield Public Library. Much love to her understudies at home, husband Josh, children Zane, Piper, Egan & two Chiweenie puppies, Zuko & Cha Cha.

Kayla Brandt

Voice Instructor

Kayla Brandt is a Musical Theatre performer, teacher, and marketer. She graduated from Anderson University in 2019 with a B.A. in both Musical Theatre and Entertainment Business with a minor in Marketing. During her time at AU, she was cast in shows ranging from opera to jukebox musicals. She sang for IdleWild and Soakzone, a theme park in PA, through RWS Entertainment Group for two summers, and most recently was a performer for Walt Disney World Resort. When she’s not onstage, Kayla likes to teach theatre workshops and pursue digital marketing as a freelancer.

Dan Scharbrough

Acting Instructor

Since 1979, Dan has performed at Footlite Musicals, Buck Creek Players, Booth Tarkington Civic Theater, Carmel Community Playhouse, BobDirex, Ricks-Weil Theater in Greenfield, CTS Repertory Theater, and, as a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association since 1988, he has been seen professionally at Beef & Boards Dinner Theater, and the Indiana Repertory Theater.

Regionally, Daniel has appeared professionally at The Red Barn Theater in Saugatuck, MI, The Little Theater on the Square in Sullivan, IL, and at The New Stage Theater in Jackson, MS.

Some of Daniel’s favorite roles include…..Uncle Peck in How I Learned to Drive, Officer Lockstock in Urinetown: The Musical, Nathan in OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES, Smee in PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. Ansell in KILLER JOE,  Durang, Durang, Blind Spot and Spain, which he directed, George in BILLY ELLIOTT, Lennie in Of Mice and Men, The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Daddy Warbucks in ANNIE, and Moonface Martin in Anything Goes. Other directing credits include 42ND STREET, WIZARD OF OZ, THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS and BILL W. AND DR. BOB.  He has also been seen in the films Hoosiers, Eight Men Out and  Eyes of the Prey, and most recently in gila, which aired on the SyFy Channel, where he spent a day in Johnson County being eaten by a giant Gila monster, proving that monsters have absolutely no taste whatsoever.

In addition to being on stage Dan has also directed several productions including Wizard of Oz, Faith Healer, 42nd Street, Anything Goes, West Side Story, Spain, Words Words Words, Cabaret, Guys and Dollys, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Curtains and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  

Daniel would like to thank his great friend, mentor and bon vivant, Murray Schwartz, and, most importantly, his wife of 37 years, Jennifer, without whom none of this acting/directing stuff would be possible…because, when he gets all bejiggety, she kicks him out of the house to do a show.

Rai Ortman


Rai Ortman has been a part of the theater community since she was 6yrs old on stage at Footlite Theater. Growing up in a tough neighborhood in the inner city, the theater became her escape and safe haven. Throughout High School and into her college years, she worked for the Lilly Theater in the Indianapolis Children’s Museum as a performer and house manager. Rai went on to study Theater and Mass Communications at Indiana State University. She and Amanda have co-directed shows and camps for 15+ years together. Most recently they have directed the drama club and play at Carmel Middle school where they also charted an award winning Jr. Thespian Troupe. As both a person with a disability and a biracial woman, Rai has a desire to provide quality theater education and opportunities for youth of all abilities and ethnic backgrounds. Rai strives to produce shows/programs that can be an escape but also accurately and honestly represent the world we live in. She desires to help empower students to project and use their voice both on and off stage.

As a performer Rai has been a part of many productions at various theaters including Footlite, Lilly Theatre, Grace Church and local commercials. She lives on the eastside of Indianapolis with her husband who is a video producer/audio engineer and  their 3 children.