Multifaceted artist, Mark Ballas, takes the spotlight for this week’s #DancerDose! Most famously recognized for his work on Dancing with the Stars, Ballas has stopped at nothing to showcase his skillset to the world. Earning himself a slew of accolades, Ballas is a force to be reckoned with. Early Life Ballas grew up in […]
Steve Wappel / Founder and Director
Steve has been involved in just about every facet of the Entertainment Industry for the past 30 years as dancer, singer, actor, musician, stage manager, production manager, lighting designer, technical director, video producer, director and choreographer. Notable stars with whom Steve has worked on Broadway are Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons in addition to the Broadway cast of CATS. He has stage managed Susan Anton, Tom Bosley, Chita Rivera, Herschel Bernardi, Elizabeth Ashley and numerous other stars while touring in over 100 different cities in the United States. His technical expertise has taken him abroad as production supervisor for various complex Broadway scale musicals.
Steve has a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical drama from The Catholic University of America which he earned while singing and dancing in musicals at night. He danced in West Side Story, Funny Girl, Fiddler On The Roof and over 25 other musicals. Ironically, his transition from performer to director/choreographer began when he was chosen to be stage manager for the 1st National Tour of the Broadway hit musical, BARNUM. His strong dance and theatrical background combined with his stage management, technical and organizational skills landed him the much coveted position. Steve’s contagious enthusiasm and empathy for his fellow performers propelled him into the dual position of stage manager/dance captain for the BARNUM Bus & Truck Tour which toured in over 60 U.S. cities in 9 months. Steve was responsible for every technical and choreographic element of this major Broadway musical–the first time such a dual position had been created.
Since that time Steve has directed and choreographed over 20 full scale musical shows all around the country and has been a guest teacher at numerous dance camps and workshops. He still holds performance workshops on voice, auditions, performance skills, teaching skills, musical theatre performance, directing and choreography.
StarQuest International combines every element of Steve’s multi-faceted entertainment background. It brings together his love and appreciation for performers with his desire to create an exciting, theatrical environment which can nurture their talents in a supportive and entertaining fashion.
Kathy Wappel / Co-Director
Steve’s co-director is wife, Kathy, who as a professional dancer has studied and performed in New York City and in numerous musical productions in almost every state in the country.
She was the lead acrobat in the national tour and bus & truck companies of the Broadway musical BARNUM and a featured dancer in the Off-Broadway workshop of DOWNRIVER. Kathy has performed on almost every kind of “stage” imaginable from summer stock and dinner theatres to outdoor arenas and cruise ships.
She has choreographed for professional theatres in Kansas, Oklahoma, California, Virginia and New York and traveled overseas where she teamed up with husband, Steve for work on the European production of BARNUM in Rome, Italy.
A former Miss Baltimore, Kathy was the talent award winner at the Maryland State Miss America preliminary and has since served as judge at various local scholarship pageants. Kathy is very excited to be teaming up with Steve for another spectacular season.
Together, Steve and Kathy continue to provide a dynamic showcase for talent of all ages where each performer is recognized, rewarded and inspired.