Jennifer Aycock (Owner, Director)
Originally from Memphis, Jennifer holds a B.F.A. in Theatre performance from Auburn University and an M.A.T. from Harding University. After graduating from Auburn, she toured internationally with Missoula Children’s Theatre as a tour actor/director, then moving on to California Theatre Center where she continued her love of teaching young actors. Upon returning to Memphis in 2007, Jennifer taught and directed for Playhouse on the Square’s Summer Conservatory and After School Acting Programs, as well as New Day Children’s Theatre, a place she still holds dear to her heart. She created her own programs across the greater Memphis area focusing on the revitalization of theatre programs on the elementary level and beyond using improvisation, story theatre, voice, breath, energy, and the tools of an actor. She is a member of Alpha Si Omega, the National Theatre Honor society and Alpha Chi. Shows under her direction have received a number of nominations and honors through the Orpheum’s High School Musical Theatre Awards. If you’re lucky, you can still catch a of glimpse of her onstage using the skills she teaches at one of the many local Memphis theatres. Jennifer is in her 9th year as the Director of Theatre Arts at Harding Academy and resides in East Memphis with her husband Brian, four year old daughter Audrey and their toy poodle, Laya. Her family enjoys eating local, travelling, and working hard. They are so excited to be continuing this magical Sunfish journey with all of you!
Eliana Mabe (Teaching Artist/Assistant Director)
Eliana is currently a Senior at Rhodes College from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is a Media Studies major with a concentration in Film Studies and a double minor in Theatre and Religious Studies. She started acting when she was four years old and has loved the performing arts ever since. Her 10-minute original play Show-and-Tell was a winner of the New South Young Playwrights Festival in the summer of 2020. She now directs and writes theatrical scripts under the penname neurawtic. This past summer she worked at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the training intensive program, soaking in as much theatre making as possible in the beautiful Berkshires. She is the President of Rhodes Theatre Guild and Co-President for Rhodes’ Latinx Student Association. Eliana is ecstatic to be able to teach with SunFish Children’s Theatre and loves to share the empowerment of storytelling! IG: @neurawtic
Mary Helen (Teaching Artist)
Mary Helen in a Memphis native and is a graduate from Belmont University with a degree in Theatre Performance, Communication, and Education. To conclude her undergraduate degree, Mary Helen spent 6 months interning for Telsey and Company Casting in New York City, one of Broadway’s top Casting Companies. Mary Helen has been performing all around the Mid-South since the age of 6, but working with children’s theatre holds a dear place in her heart. She has taught Senior Musical Theatre Conservatory’s with Germantown Community Theatre, taught the Literacy to Life program with New Day Children’s Theatre, and is currently the Office Manager with DeSoto Family Theatre. Mary Helen was a part of the Education, Communication, and Theatre honor societies at Belmont University, was a 2015 Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Grand Award Winner, and was the Marketing and Merchandise representative of Alpha Sigma Tau. She is excited to be working and sharing her love for Theatre with the next generation of performers and artists! @mhmccord
Rachel Mihalko (Teaching Artist)
Rachel Mihalko has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, with a minor in Communication Studies. She has always had a passion for storytelling and theater. She served as president and vice president of Alpha Psi Omega in her college chapter. Her favorite shows she has worked on recently include Dreamlost (director) and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (assistant director). She currently works as the director of content for a nonprofit media company, where she continues to hone her storytelling skills as the editor of their quarterly magazines. She is thrilled to further her work as a storyteller here as a member of the Sunfish Children’s Theatre team!
Hannah Jackson (Teaching Artist)
Hannah Jackson currently attends the University of Memphis, majoring in Spanish with three minors in Education, English, and Non-Profit Management. Planning to one day be an educator, she hopes to teach PK to SK, as well as Spanish and English to all school ages. Hannah is a former student of Jennifer Aycock, and for the past two years she has worked closely with many children’s ministry’s and schools, fulfilling her passion and love of leading and teaching children. Her junior year of high school she found her passion through a program in which teens would read and write with a pre-school age child twice a week, Streets Ministries. It was here she learned she has a heart for enlightening young minds and leading them to see the importance of self-expression inside the classroom and out. She cannot wait to teach and encourage kids find their own light and strengths through Sunfish!
Katie Savage (Teaching Artist)
Katie Savage is a born and raised Memphian. She has been working with Mrs. Aycock since she was a youth. Her favorite roles performed in were Pinocchio, Snow White, and Amy in Little Women, the Musical. She was on the tech crew for the Lion Kings, Jr. production and had the amazing opportunity to work with kids of all ages during that time. Katie has been very passionate about taking care of kids from a very young age. She has volunteered in her church’s children’s ministry for the past eight years, and has worked at Highland Day school for the past two years. Katie hopes to graduate college with a social work degree and then become a children’s counselor. Katie can not wait for the amazing opportunity to teach and share her love of theatre at sunfish!
Martha Ward Humber (Teaching Artist)
Martha was born and raised in Memphis. She is currently a senior at Harding Academy and is excited to continue her studies after she graduates in May of ‘23. She is a student of Mrs. Aycock and has played roles in The Sound of Music, Almost, Maine, and Beauty and the Beast. Martha loves art and expression and has enjoyed theatre as an outlet for her creativity. She has a strong passion for childcare and has experience leading classrooms, supervising, and building relationships with children through many schools and ministries. She loves working with children because it is an opportunity to discover their unique capabilities and personalities while offering a safe and caring relationship in their life. Martha loved serving for Fellowship Memphis Children’s Ministry and volunteering for Agape Child and Family Services. She found her passion in K-8th summer camp classrooms at Woodland Presbyterian School. She is so excited to combine her work with children and her passion for creative storytelling while teaching with Sunfish!
Angelina David (Teaching Artist)
Angelina David has been doing theatre since she was five. Favorite credits include BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Belle) with St. George’s, THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Liesl von Trapp, 2 Allie Nominations) with DFT, FROZEN, JR. (Elsa/Dance Captain) with St. George’s, and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (Ladybug) with NDCT. In addition to private coaching in acting, voice, and dance, Angelina has trained with the Broadway Dreams Foundation and participated in the Acting for the Camera 2021 Summer Intensive at Loyola Marymount University as well as the Summer Music Theatre Workshop 2022 at New York University Steinhardt. She is also trained in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and tap dance and plays guitar, piano, and ukulele. As she is interested in working on-camera as well, she has been self-submitting for projects since she was twelve and has gotten to work on the Tedder/Fuller pilot, “California Dreaming,” as well as the MGM film, Landscape with Invisible Hand. She is so excited to get to share her love of storytelling by working with Sunfish!
Brooks Tomlinson (Teaching Artist)
Brooks Tomlinson is originally from Memphis, TN. Involved in theatre most of his life, some of Brooks’ favorite roles include “Friedrich” in The Sound of Music, “Michael” in Elf, and most recently, “Adam” in Freaky Friday. Upcoming productions include Aladdin KIDS and Frozen, JR. He is also a talented lighting and sound designer. Brooks has designed several children’s theatre productions here in Memphis. He loves to sing (Tenor), and also plays the flute. You can often find him in the orchestra pit when he is not onstage! He enjoys indulging in the performing arts. In his spare time, he enjoys the trails, running, can be seen on the tennis courts, and enjoys cooking. He travels to Atlanta once a year and volunteers with 7 Bridges to Recovery and also works with a Spanish V class gathering items and supplies for Su Casa in Memphis, which provides classes to Spanish speakers teaching English. Su Casa also provides a bilingual preschool for these individuals and has just reopened post pandemic. Brooks is looking forward to helping expand the Sunfish family by partnering with the new schools this winter/spring, coaching the newest and littlest Sunfish actors.