Amanda Rich, the head of our Studio arm, is a poet and performer with over a decade of experience in creative writing, street theater and community education. Recently, her work has been showcased at One Flaming Arrow: Intertribal Art, Music and Film Festival in Portland, OR; 2016 StoryFort; the Boise Art Museum’s Tall Tales exhibit and the Death Rattle Writer’s Festival. Contact Amanda—and inquire about our Studio program—at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Haney is a teacher, actor and writer who relocated recently to Boise. Growing up in Philadelphia, he was surrounded by storytellers who filled his head with enough wild ideas to inspire him to hit the road and go out West. He lived for many years in Albuquerque running a theater education nonprofit and teaching acting classes to artists with disabilities. Since moving to Idaho, He has worked with Boise Contemporary Theater and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Brian is an avid cyclist and gardener.
Jessica Holmes is the co-founder and OG creative driving force & master of ceremonies behind Story Story Night—Boise’s live storytelling phenomenon. She not only drove the creation of the flagship season, but also the Story Story Studio workshop arm, the adults-only Story Story Late-Night season, the local-luminary-studded Starry Story Night special event, the mobile recording Story Story Booth, and the podcast. All while simultaneously running her own copywriting business. Now a senior copywriter for CLM Marketing & Advertising in Boise, she still puts words to work in standout ways that mean business. She’s an Idaho Business Review Accomplished Under 40 (2011), won the inaugural Boise’s Funniest Person stand-up comedy contest (2013), and was named the “Best Invitee To Your Next Cocktail Party” in Boise Weekly’s Best of Boise issue (2013). She’s been profiled (but not for criminal reasons) in both the Idaho Statesman and Boise Weekly. She posts about thrift store & vintage fashion, her cat, and other cheap-wad pursuits on her blog Cheep.
Elisabeth Sharp McKetta teaches writing for Harvard Extension School and is author of four books, The Fairy Tales Mammals Tell (2013), The Creative Year: 52 Workshops for Writers (2014), Poetry for Strangers (2015), and Fear of the Deep (2016). A fourth book, Energy: The Life of John J. McKetta Jr., is forthcoming from University of Texas Press. She is at work on a new book entitled She Never Told Me About the Ocean. Her work spans everything from poetry to fairy tales to autobiography. More at elisabethsharpmcketta.com.
Matthew Melton got his start as a Theater Arts major at Boise State University and later moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he studied improv/sketch comedy under Second City alumnus Keli Semelsburger while working with the Carolina Actors Studio Theater. He later moved to L.A.and performed in various national commercials, webseries, repertory theater, children’s theater, and sketch comedy troupes while studying film acting with Alex D’Lerma’s Cinema Gym of North Hollywood. Upon his return to Idaho in 2012, Matthew started the Actors Workout with a few local film professionals in order to facilitate deliberate on-camera practice and provide guidance based on his experience for filmmakers interested in opportunities to sharpen their skills when they aren’t on set.
Leta Harris Neustaedter is an arts educator, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, musician and actor. She has been performing in the Treasure Valley for 30 years doing theater, TV commercials and independent films. She sings with the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale, the jazz ensemble Mostly Mary, the pop duo Popsicle, and as a solo artist. She has been a teaching artist for the YMCA and the Treasure Valley Institute for Children’s Arts, and she now owns her own business, Metamorphosis Performing Arts Studio. Leta works with both children and adults teaching private voice and acting lessons, arts education classes in the schools, public speaking workshops, and maintaining a counseling practice. Plus she is now back in school studying music. She has been both a host and featured storyteller for Story Story Night and she is very excited about guiding others on their journey to tell their own stories. Her favorite person is her dog Bodhi.
Shannell Stinner graduated from BSU in 2008 with a degree in Bilingual/Multi Cultural Education. She has taught all ages from infants to the elderly. She is a local volunteer extraordinaire who has worked with various organizations such as Radio Boise, the Library!, the Idaho Food Bank, and the IRC. She is the mother of two teenagers, an avid Snapchat user and enjoys spending Fridays playing board games with friends. She is passionate about storytelling and guiding people to draw on their experiences to create and share their stories, because she believes stories are the bridge to compassion, understanding, and building a better world.