Meet our talented
playwrights and composers
Mimi Sparks worked as a professional equity actress in Denver, Colorado, for many years, performing frequently in community and dinner theaters. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting, both from the University of Denver.
When she wasn’t onstage, Mimi taught voice lessons and ran a large voice studio in Denver for more than 30 years. Mimi also initiated the vocal program at Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver.
In 2001, Mimi moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, where she worked as Musical Director for the Performing Art Conservatory (PAC) and later as Musical Director for A Pocket Full of Plays. In semi-retirement, Mimi continues to teach some voice lessons and compose musicals for children.
James is a musician and composer living in Coppell, TX. He took his first piano lessons at the tender age of 9 to impress a schoolgirl crush. Crushes come and go but the love of music stayed with him. From there he went on to study music all through his school years, culminating with studies in violin performance and composition at Snow College and then on to Utah State University.
Although he spent some of his youth playing in raucous local rock and roll bands, his true passion is writing music in the classical, jazz, and Broadway traditions. His musical styling’s range from piano solos to full symphonic pieces and everything in between.
James has written and performed pieces for such groups as Make-A-Wish foundation, West Valley Symphony, Choral Arts Society of Utah, Bryan Larsen Quintet, The Cadillacs, and Park City Dance, among others. Currently James spends the bulk of his time writing choral arrangements which he conducts and performs with his church choral group.
Kristen Nelson is a singer songwriter from Spokane, Washington. Her inspiration stems from 1960’s folk music. A lover of music and theater, she began writing musicals when she was eight years old and opened up a theater in her basement for other kids in the neighborhood. As a teenager she taught herself guitar and began performing at local venues. She released her first album, Out of my Hands, in 2012 and is currently working on a new full-length album. She is thrilled to be writing songs for children’s theater again!
As a performer, Wesley has traveled much of the U.S. and the world, including Japan and several countries in Africa. He currently holds a Bachelors of Music from Howard University and is trained in vocal, piano, and trumpet performance. He began playing piano and singing at age 6. At age 11, he added trumpet to his regiment of musical studies. He continued his artistic development through college, majoring in composition. As a composer, he has had pieces performed at the Strathmore by pianist Natalia Efremova. In the summer of 2010 he studied abroad in Siena, Italy, where he premiered his composition, "Reactions to Beauty" for string quartet and clarinet solo. He is currently sharing his passion for music as a freelance singer/songwriter and composer.
Sheri Hickman has been writing plays for nearly thirty years. She has written for many different groups, including schools, churches, museums and various theater groups.
Three plays of her plays were used as touring shows for the Performing Arts Conservatory and were performed in the grade schools on the western slope of Colorado. Over 2,000 children were able to see the plays. Many of them had never seen live theater before.
Her children’s musical play ‘The Dragon Woo Ree’ was a commissioned work for the Creede Repertory Theatre. It was their featured children’s play for the 2001 season.
She served as President of the Board for the Two Chairs Theater, a nonprofit community theater in Grand Junction Colorado, and was a board member for the Warehouse Playhouse Theater in Paonia Colorado.
“Children’s theater can be magic.” says Hickman. “It’s remarkable how a child sparkles on stage when they feel good about their part. When they realize their part is important to the over-all production it changes how they see themselves. That is the magic, and it continues long after the curtain has closed.”
Armando wrote his first song at the age of 14 and has not stopped composing since. While studying music education at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, Armando was a member of the PRIDE Marching Band and guitarist/founder of his first band, Plastic Apples. He is an accomplished trumpeter, pianist, and guitarist and is working his way into the film scoring industry. He has served as band director for JP Taylor Academy in Las Cruces, NM, and taught private trumpet, piano, and guitar lessons to children ranging from ages 7-14. Armando fell in love with musicals after watching the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables and has since been on a composing frenzy trying to recreate the magic he felt that night.