top of page

Meet Our Team

Ashley Morgan Bloom: Founder & CEO

Ashley Morgan Bloom is a professional actress, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and the founder and CEO of Bloom Performing Arts. She has taught improvisation, acting, public speaking, movement, debate, and speech in New York City’s top private schools for the past ten years. Ashley played a supporting role in a Sundance official selection film, was a New York Times top ten show leading actress, and most recently premiered the film “Alex, Stop,” in Los Angeles this past July, where Ashley plays the leading actress. Ashley made her Guest Star debut on Law & Order SVU, Season 21. To learn more about her acting work, visit


Candaceia Charles: Chief Operating Officer

iImagine Musical Movement, iImagine Movement, iImagine Musical Theater: Scene into Song, iImagine Showtime

Candaceia Charles is thrilled to be joining the BPA family. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, she grew up with the city as her playground. Some of her favorite credits have been Melody in Addy & Uno and Celie in The Color Purple. Believing in the power of giving back to the community and servicing our future leaders, she’s been a teaching artist for several years. She can’t wait to create incredible art with her students and encourage them to bloom into their beautiful authentic selves.


Amber Bartlett: West Coast Creative Director

iImagine Musical Movement, iImagine Movement, iImagine Storytelling, iImagine Acting, iImagine Showtime

Originally from sunny San Diego, California, Amber Bartlett brings positivity and sunshine to the New York City area as she begins her professional acting and directing career. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theater Arts from Brandeis University in Boston, specializing in therapeutic theater, immersive theater, and movement studies. She has worked for numerous years with children of all ages teaching theater, dance, and voice in schools and community centers. Amber is inspired when she supports young people in meeting their full potential and dreams.


Olivia Baker: Social Media Director

Olivia was lucky enough to find the amazing BPA team while living in Los Angeles. She loves being able to bring her creativity and love for art and performance into her work here. Olivia currently works in tech sales while pursuing a career in acting. She strongly believes in the importance of fostering young minds in the arts and in the importance of performance starting at a young age.

Maddie Booth: Senior Advisory Board Member

Senior Advisory Board Member, iImagine Storytelling, iImagine Acting

An Illinois native, Maddie Booth brings her passion for the arts all the way to New York City.
With a degree in Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College, Maddie is excited to share her variety of knowledge with Bloom Performing Arts’ young artists. She believes in empowering her students to express themselves in creative and compelling ways. The original team member, Maddie has been working with Ashley since day one, serving as both a teaching artist and the social media director to help Bloom Performing Arts bloom and grow.


Hope Dyra

ilmagine Storytelling, iImagine Acting

Hope is originally from Nashville, but her love of performance has taken her far from home — in 2020, Hope graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Marymount Manhattan College. In 2019, she received a certificate in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA). Growing up learning from incredible theatre artists has inspired Hope to share and nurture the love she has for performing with her students through Bloom Performing Arts. Let’s bloom together!


Conner Hefner

iImagine Speech & Debate, iImagine Storytelling

Conner Hefner was born and raised in Macon, Georgia but found her voice in New York City! She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2020 with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and recently became a part of the BPA family earlier this year! She’s a big goofball who combines her love of humans and acting with being silly — that way the classroom environment is always exciting and safe, and everyone knows it’s alright to make a mistake and keep going!


Ima Otto-During

iImagine Storytelling

Ima Otto-During is a recent alumni of Marymount Manhattan College, with her BFA in Acting. She is a spirited artist who loves to she the joy of art! Her credits include, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Love & Information and Electra. Ima is so very excited to start an amazing school year with Bloom Performing Arts!!


Marie Zaccagnino

iImagine Musical Movement, iImagine Movement, iImagine Storytelling, iImagine Showtime

Marie Zaccagnino was born and raised in Buffalo, NY! She moved to NYC when she was 18 years old to attend Pace University, where she graduated with a BFA in Film, Television, Voice-Overs & Commercials. She has performed in plays with the Alpha NYC Theatre Company. She will be performing her first lead role in The Postman Always Rings Twice at the Producers Club in NYC this fall. She is an actress who strives to make audiences feel inspired and happy. The arts and storytelling are in need in our world more than ever. She is so grateful to be able to pass on what she has learned throughout her artistic career to the younger generation of artists, with Bloom Performing Arts!


Brittany Smith

iImagine Storytelling, iImagine Acting 

Brittany Smith was born and raised in Orlando FL. With a devoted passion for performing arts, she found herself studying for a BFA at Savannah College of Art and Design. While she is working to achieve her own credits, she found another love for teaching and helping others reach their own dreams. She is more than thrilled to be a part of the BPA family and to help it expand and flourish in Savannah, GA.


Alethea Harnish

iImagine Speech & Debate, iImagine Filmmaking

Originally from a small town in Indiana, Alethea started her career in theatre at a non-profit youth theatre company in the arts district of downtown Indianapolis. She was trained during her middle school and high school in acting, directing, choreographing, and playwriting through devising plays based on fairy tales and social issues. Now, she is an undergraduate at Columbia University, where she studies religion to enhance her script writing, and other creative pursuits. Alethea believes that teaching is an essential pillar in the creative mind, which has led her to nourishing the same in the Bloom Performing Arts’ students! 


Jaya Armstrong

iImagine Storytelling, iImagine Acting

Jaya Armstrong is absolutely honored to be joining the BPA family. Originally from Montgomery, Alabama, she grew up with a fiery passion for the arts and has been an active performer in her community for 11 years. Her passion brings her all the way to Savannah, Georgia where she is currently a Performing Arts student at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). She studied Acting & Musical Theatre at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, as well. Believing that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world, she’s been a teaching artist for several years. She is so excited and can’t wait to teach and share her passion with her students and encourage them to always be brave, have courage, and be kind.


Sydney Tennant

iImagine Storytelling, iImagine Acting

Sydney is so excited to be joining the Bloom team! Originally from Los Angeles, she relocated to New York in 2014. She has degrees in International Affairs and Theater from Skidmore College. Additionally, she studied Shakespearean acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She has previously worked with SITI Company, the Geffen Playhouse, and the Los Angeles Drama Club in their community outreach and educational programing departments. She is a working actor, and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. 


Matthew Pedersen

iImagine Storytelling, iImagine Speech & Debate, iImagine Acting

Born and raised in Long Island and receiving degrees in Psychology and Business Administration from Binghamton University, Matt is excited to be joining the BPA team to help foster creativity and the love for arts in young people with an analytical lens. A cooky and charismatic soul, he enjoys bringing his love for science and math into the world of art, encouraging everyone to be their own combination of scientists and performers in order to explore their worlds a bit more uniquely. Who knows what you can uncover when you look at theater with a curious eye and science with an open heart!


Elizabeth Jaeleigh Davis

Senior Video Editor

Elizabeth is an award-winning film and TV director, writer, producer. As a mixed Chinese-American woman, she is passionate about telling stories that explore identity, female experience, and relationships. 
Elizabeth was recently nominated for “Best in Directing” and “Best Comedy” (Stareable LA ‘22) for her comedy TV pilot, “Imposters”. Her debut narrative short, LA PETITE MORT — a subverted fairytale about girlhood — played at numerous Oscar-qualifying festivals worldwide and debuted online via Short of the Week to an audience of over 225K, and was recently featured on SLASH TV in Vienna, Austria in 2021.
In addition to her narrative work, Elizabeth directs content for education and tech brands, and creative studio CONVICTS.


Rachel Krause

iImagine Acting

Rachel began performing in local theater companies and Shakespeare festivals when she was in elementary school and started seriously studying method acting when she was just 12!

She attended Walnut Hill School HS for the Arts  - where she majored in theater, before pursuing her BA in interdisciplinary art at SUNY Purchase. In 2005, she joined Jessamyn Fiore's theater company in Dublin, Ireland where she went on a European Fringe Festival tour with SANDWICH, an original play that was inspired by a series of improv workshops and was eventually awarded for playwriting in NYC under a different cast. She has been a guest artist with Axial Theater, for over 20 years, performing in several productions, most notably as Nina in Chekhov's    

The Seagull, in 2014. After receiving her Masters in Teaching in 2009, she taught all ages, and all levels, a variety of cross-disciplinary subjects: developing and teaching college-level curricula for Creative Studies, Humanities, Health management, Feminism, Writing, and Persuasive Communication among other courses. One of her favorite times teaching was after she became Kripalu certified to teach yoga and focused on bringing mental health via yoga practice to people in difficult circumstances, ie. foster kids and women at Hope's Door and women's shelters. She co-produced, directed, and performed in "Resonanz" a fundraising event in Berlin, Germany, where she lived for 5 years with her husband and taught English, studied neuropsychology, and joined an art collective/ studio. 

    Most recently, she has been working at local art centers in Westchester New York, caring for her elders and creating fun art & writing workshops for kids. She believes that every class has a unique culture of its own and loves creating engaging and dynamic forums for creative exploration and confidence building. Celebrating group dynamics in the context of theater games and play-acting is a passion of hers and she is super excited about joining the Bloom Performing Arts team which fosters bravery and kindness through play-acting, theater games, and rehearsals. 

bottom of page