Our Instructors

OUR instructors

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Hugh Copeland

Artistic Director

Hugh R. Copeland is the founder and artistic director of The Hurrah Players Family Theatre Company and performing arts academy. He received the city of Norfolk’s first “Arts Star” award, the 2012 Equality Virginia Outstanding Virginian award, the Safe Harbor award, the Rita M. Costello Town-n- Gown Community Services Award from ODU, the Norfolk Cultural Affairs “All-Star Award”, The Lost Colony’s “Unsung Hero” award, and the distinguished adjunct faculty award from ODU. Hugh is the former chairperson of the Virginia Theatre Conference - Youth and Family Theatre Division, and the Virginia representative to the Southeastern Theatre Conference. Hugh won the Tony Award Honorable Mention for Excellence in Education (2017).

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Lisa Wallace

Choreographer, Jazz & Tap Instructor

Lisa is the Box Office Manager at the Hurrah Players and coordinates the “school show” performances in which Hurrah offers the opportunity for students in Hampton Roads and North Carolina to experience live theatre. She has been a long time instructor and choreographer at The hurrah Players. She has been teaching for over 30 years, teaching workshops and classes up and down the East Coast and was the former owner of Jean Wallace Studios. Lisa taught dance for the Governor's School for the Arts for over 9 years and also was the Choreographer for the televised Miss Virginia Pageant for 9 years and has judged on the State and local levels.

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Sharon Cook

Guest Director, Acting & Audition Instructor

Sharon holds a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism/TV Production from Kansas State University and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University. Currently an English and Theatre Arts instructor at Maury High School, she has been teaching in the Norfolk Public School System since 1992. A 2012 NAACP ACTSO Award nominee, Sharon has extensive experience in performing and directing on the live stage as well as numerous film and television appearances. Recent Hurrah credits include performances in Hairspray “Motormouth Mabel” and Disney’s The Little Mermaid “Ursula”; Directing accolades include Once on this Island and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Sharon wrote and directed Black Girl Magic and The Glory of Gospel which played to sold out audiences. Due to high demand, Black Girl Magic will return February 2021.

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Co Harrison

Musical Theatre & Babes on Broadway Instructor

Co started teaching dance at age 16 and performed for local U.S.O. at Camps, Forts and on Navy Ships from 1943-1948. Mrs. Harrison has had the pleasure of instructing tap, musical theatre and “The Babes on Broadway” for Hurrah for 17 years, as well as 30 years at Lakewood Dance.

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Dianna Swenson

Music Director

Dianna received her Music Education and Vocal Performance degree from Old Dominion University in 1999. Her first child was born in 2003 and as a result of a birth injury, he received a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. As she continued to learn from her child how best to communicate with him, she chose to incorporate what she learned into her vocal world as well. Teaching voice lessons from her home studio, Vocal Inclusion, to students who are neuro-typical and neuro-diverse became what she was known for in the community. Since theatre and music have been her passions, she continues to perform and teach as well as musical directing for local community theatre. Dianna has sat on the board of the Special Education Advisory Council in Virginia Beach, volunteering to sing to babies in the Neonatal care unit at CHKD. Dianna welcomes the advancement of people with disabilities to be included in all aspects of the arts.

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Desi Rodriguez

Dance & Acting Instructor

Desi Rodriguez is so excited to be home teaching her Hurrah Family! She graduated from James Madison University in May 2019 (Musical Theatre). Her recent credits include “Shine” (Move to the Music! Nick Jr. Tour), “Rapunzel” (Into the Woods), “Lisa” (Mamma Mia), and “Julie Jordan” (Carousel). Desi spent summer 2018 at Idlewild & Soakzone (RWS Entertainment Group) as a soloist and dance captain. She is excited to make her Porthouse Theatre debut as "Maria" in West Side Story next summer!

Our Classes

OUR Classes

our Classes at a Glance

  • ACTING I-IV
  • AUDITION TECH I-IV
  • Camera Acting
  • Hip Hop
  • Jazz I-IV
  • Tap I-IV
  • Adult Tap
  • Musical Theater I-IV
  • The Pusher Improv
  • Weekly Workout

Grateful Hurrah Players Highlight

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"Hurrah gave me a purpose and helped me discover my passion. I had such a sense of fulfillment at a young age because of The Hurrah Players and Hugh Copeland. It set the track for my career and life."

- Grant Gustin | The Flash
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"Hugh was a mentor to me and was able to show me at a young age I was different and an instrument that could tell stories and move people and touch people's hearts."

- Adrienne Warren | Starring as Tina Turner on Broadway
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"Through kindness, acceptance and love, Hurrah became a place most of us call home and people we call family. I can never replace the collection of incredible memories I have or the lessons I have learned. I believe anyone who joins will inevitably begin to feel this way and become part of our family."

- Victor Spence | Hurrah Player Alumnus & Board Member

Our Sponsors

OUR Sponsors