Anastas Varinos

Anastas Varinos – ACTING

Red Mountain Theatre Academy Manager

Anastas Varinos is theatre artist and educator who comes to Birmingham after a decade creating in New York City. Notable acting credits include Dallas in the world premiere production of Steven Sater and James Bourne’s musical Murder at the Gates (New York) and Juliet/Tybalt/Lady Montague in a workshop of a five-actor version of Romeo and Juliet (Hangar Theatre, Ithaca, NY). Anastas’s experience in theatre has also extended to his work as a dialect and speech coach. His work in this capacity has been seen in department productions at New York University, as well as in the Broadway and National Tour productions of Finding Neverland, directed by Diane Paulus (Dialect Assistant). Tangential to his production experience, Anastas has spent over eight years developing classes and building curricula for Camp Meraki, a premier performing arts summer camp in Oakland, Maine. He has taught masterclasses at performance programs across the country, and is deeply passionate about providing the next generation of theatre makers the skills to find and share their voices. He holds a BFA degree in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith – MUSIC

Red Mountain Theatre Music Supervisor

Prior to joining Red Mountain Theatre and The Conservatory, Anthony was Music Supervisor and Music Director in Residence of Virginia Repertory Theatre (Richmond, VA).

An active proponent of new music, Anthony has been involved in the world premieres of several new musicals and operas, most recently Atlantis by Matthew Lee Robinson, Ken Cerniglia, and Scott Anderson Morris and Kept by Kristin Kuster and Megan Levad.

Anthony has extensive experience in higher education, providing musical direction and teaching courses in musicianship and musical theatre voice at Virginia Commonwealth University, The College of William and Mary, and the University of Richmond.

Bria Tyner

Bria J. Tyner – DANCE

Bria J. Tyner is a movement artist, choreographer, researcher, and educator whose work is driven by social change through arts literacy and community engagement. She began her training at Ebony Arrington Dance and Performance under Ebony Steele and Bronze Lougheed, where she studied ballet, jazz, modern, and tap. She studied under 1985 Miss Alabama winner Angela Walker at The Pointe Dance Arts. Bria holds a BA in Dance from The University of Alabama in 2016. She is a recipient of the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre Award and Lenny Williams Choreography Award. As an advocate for outreach, her work has been commissioned in public schools and studios in Colorado, Alabama including Denver School of the Arts, Hallett Fundamental Academy, Red Mountain Theatre Company, Ebony Arrington Dance and Performance, Classical Ballet Academy and Greene County public schools. A former company member of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, she has performed works by Gary Abbott, Milton Myers, Donald McKayle, Rennie Harris, and Christopher Huggins. Her choreography has been featured in Once on this Island, Little Shop of Horrors and Pipeline. She is a second-year MFA student at The University of Alabama where her research examines the historical context of southern university dance programs, in aims of eliminating racial marginalization and imposter phenomenon in Black women in the field of dance.

Roy Lightner (UAB)


Red Mountain Theatre Artistic Director

Roy Lightner is an award-winning theatre creator, director, choreographer, and educator born and raised in Kansas City. Prior to his tenure at RMT, Roy served as the Associate Artistic Director for the Transcendence Theatre Company, and also on the Musical Theatre Faculty of Ithaca College. Additionally, Roy has taught courses at Arizona State University and Cornell University. His work as a creator, director, and choreographer spans internationally, including productions and immersive events for Google, Lincoln Center, the Stephen Sondheim Center, Transcendence Theatre Company, MTWichita, Music Theatre of Kansas City, GEVA Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Westin Playhouse, Depot Theatre, and more.  As a creator/director/choreographer his credits include: Transcendence Theatre Company’s productions of Oh, What a Night! (2015 Winner - Best Director, Broadway World San Francisco), Superheroes in Love, and Music of the Night; New York City Opera’s Lucky to Be Me (Lincoln Center, assistant to Peggy Hickey), Hairspray, Miss Saigon (Sondheim Center), Hound of the Baskervilles (Cape Playhouse, New Jersey Rep, Westin Playhouse, Depot Theatre), Bring It On (Music Theatre of Kansas City), Hairspray (Winner - Best Director, Broadway World KC), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Good News, Urban Cowboy, Starmites, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and moreDance Concert Choreography credits include: two full-length original choreographic works Under the Covers (Ithaca College) and In Your Eyes (Miller-Marley Ballet Company)The Oklahoma City Dance Project, NYC’s Community Dance Project, New York City’s Jazz Choreography Enterprise, Astoria Fine Arts and B.C. Beat. Performance credits total over 40 professional productions. As a national director for Dancers Inc., he toured the country as a Master Class teacher. Roy has taught at New York City’s Professional Performing Arts School, as well as created the contemporary/musical theatre dance program for the Astoria School of Fine Arts.  He graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma City University with a degree in Musical Theatre; and received his Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts with a Concentration in Performance Creation from Goddard College.

Roy is currently an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


Keith Cromwell – MUSICAL THEATRE

Red Mountain Theatre Executive Director

Keith Cromwell brought 30 years of global directing and performing experience to Birmingham when he took the helm of Red Mountain Theatre as Executive Director in 2003. Under his leadership, the organization experienced year over year growth, becoming one of the top ten arts organizations in the state. In 2021, he led RMT to the opening of a decades-long dream and cultural asset – a 60,000 square foot Arts Campus in the burgeoning Parkside District. Beyond Birmingham, Keith has put RMT on the national artistic map with, among other things, its participation on Broadway as part of the producing team of The Bridges of Madison CountyOnce On This Island (2018 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival), and Moulin Rouge! (2020 Tony Award for Best Musical). Keith is a longstanding member of Actors’ Equity Association, The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, The American Guild of Variety Artists, and The Screen Actors Guild. He has served on the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre as the Development Chair, is actively engaged in the National Fund for New Musicals and is a member of the Broadway League.

Keith is a graduate of Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama, has served on The Cultural Arts Committee for Birmingham City Schools, Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham Steering Committee, and Youth Leadership Forum. He was the recipient of the National Conference for Community and Justice’s 2017 Brotherhood Award. Believing in the power of the arts to support Birmingham’s renaissance, Keith has worked tirelessly to bring the community together with bright hope for the future. His industry connections and diligence in growing relationships with Broadway and national artists has not only opened doors of connection for Red Mountain Theatre students – who have gone on to successful careers in Broadway, film, and TV – but provided positive recognition for Birmingham across the nation and created incredible artistic experiences for our city.