Karen Hilderbrand – Owner & Executive Producer
Karen has been a resident of Mt. Airy since 1999 and is thrilled to bring performing arts to her town. Happily married with 3 grown children, her goals have always been to enrich the lives of our future generations, both here and in the surrounding areas. In her spare time, you can also find Karen working for CCPS. She is a theatre and football mom, loves boating, going to the beach and all things Disney!
Julia Cowles – Director, Choreographer, and Music Director
Julia has been working as a theatre teacher for the past 10 years. She has her BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory and a MAT in Secondary Theatre from University of Maryland Baltimore County. Julia has had the pleasure of working with Montgomery, Frederick, and Howard County Public Schools as a theatre teacher/director. In addition, she has served as director and choreographer for multiple theatre companies including Authentic Community Theatre, Artstream, the Frederick Children’s Chorus, and Spotlight Musical Theatre. In her free time Julia likes to perform and has been in shows at Way Off Broadway, The Fredericktowne Players, The Rude Mechanicals and most recently at the Maryland Theatre. Julia comes from a long line of musicians, arts educators and community leaders that, from a young age, inspired her to pursue a career in the arts and invest in her community. As a teacher she works to foster a warm and fun environment where actors can feel safe taking big risks and believes in setting high expectations for herself and students. Julia strongly believes that theatre is for everybody and that it can change and enrich people’s lives.
Christian Ryder – Assistant Director & Lead Camp Counselor
Christian is enthused to be returning to the Spotlight Musical Theatre team. Teaching children about theatre means so much to him especially since he was once in their exact shoes and is now continuing to learn about theatre in his early adulthood. He has participated in multiple shows as an actor, and co-directed the last show at Spotlight. Christian recently graduated from South Carroll High School and is currently applying to musical theatre programs/colleges during his gap year. He can not wait to continue this journey with the rest of the Spotlight team.
Alli Hilderbrand – Production Assistant & Stage Manager
Born and raised in Mt. Airy, Alli is no stranger to the theater community. As a production assistant and stage manager, she has participated in over 25 different plays and musicals throughout middle and high school, along with all of the productions at Spotlight. She is a member of the International Thespian Society, and a 2021 graduate from South Carroll High School. She now attends Frostburg State University as a Mass Communications major and a Film minor.