John Fanelli – Founder/Artistic Director

Mainstage Shows, Standing Ovation Studio Productions, Acting classes, Private Acting Instruction

John J. Fanelli (Artistic Director) holds a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Fanelli has had more than seventeen successful years directing, teaching and creating programs for young people in theatre arts. John helped to establish a network of theatre programs for young people that spanned the coast of California and reached to New Zealand. He returned to NY in 2004 and developed Westchester Broadway Theater’s Young Artists of the WBT. He expanded his reach and scope of programming by taking over as Artistic Director for the Times Square Group, NYC, where he developed and implemented educational theatre programs for the public schools of NYC. In 2006, Mr. Fanelli founded his own non-profit educational theatre company called Lighthouse Youth Theatre and Education, Inc. LYT is an amalgamation of John’s professional and educational talents that blend into one organization dedicated to training young people in the arts and giving them the tools necessary to succeed not only in the arts, but in life.





Carrie Silvernail

Lyrical, Broadway Dance, Dance Technique, Advanced Dance

Carrie Silvernail began dancing at age 3 in Goshen, NY under the direction of Marya Kennett. At a young age she realized the joy she found from teaching and was instructing her own classes at the Marya Kennett Dance Centre by 16. For the past 8 years she has taught various styles throughout the area including Ballet, Jazz, and Lyrical. Carrie truly believes teaching dance is her passion and thoroughly enjoys seeing all her students grow from their first class to their last.


Gigi Keeffe Schwartzman

Resident Vocal Coach

Gigi has performed with many celebrated Singers, Conductors and Composers on many legendary Stages. After years in Classical Music she crossed over to MT, Pop & Rock. This Multi-Award Winning Singer is currently immersed in advanced studies in the field of Holistic Vocology placing her on the cutting edge of all the latest studies and techniques. She has worked with a vast array of teachers and coaches most notably Broadway Vocal Gurus & Speech Pathologists Tom Burke & Joan Lader, Voice Teacher/Feldenkrais Instructor Robert Sussuma and Opera Singers Irene Gubrud, Pamela Kucenic-Motisi, & MT Specialist Marianne Challis. She presently teaches in Scarsdale, Armonk & Katonah, NY and is Resident Vocal Coach at Standing Ovation Studios, Lighthouse Youth Theatre. Gigi works with children and adults from beginners to professionals. She works in 3 very specific ways further discussed on her website.GVT: Gorilla Vocal Tactics, was designed for "Quick Fix for Master Mix" for audition prep, fast performance issues. Gigi's highly successful work with teens through the difficult times of voice changes has received much recognition. Her ability to connect with kids and develop an amazing rapport is unparalleled.


Lauren Mary Moore

Private Musical Theatre Lessons and Audition Prep

Lauren is born and raised in Mount Kisco, NY. She started doing theatre at the age of 6 around the tri-state area and found a home with Lighthouse Youth Theatre and performed with them for over 10 years. A few of her favorite shows include A Chorus Line (Cassie) and Children of Eden (Eve). After Lighthouse, Lauren attended Pennsylvania State University, where she recently graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre. She worked with top industry professionals such as Susan Schulman (Broadway Director of The Secret Garden and Little Women) and Dan Riddle (Broadway Musical Director of Les Miserables and The Light in the Piazza). She has taken John Fanelli's philosophies and Penn State's training into the business. Since graduating, she has signed with Avalon Artists Agency in NYC. She has also since booked a National Tour, rehearsals starting mid- October. During her time home before her tour begins, she will be available for private lessons for the students of Lighthouse. She hopes that with her program here at SOS, she can teach audition techniques she has learned over the years. Lauren will help her students find material that fits best with each student, she will prepare them for what to expect in an audition room, and finally will help them gain the confidence to enjoy being in the room. She will be holding lessons for all ages including those interested in College Audition Preparation. She is looking forward to working with the next generation of Lighthouse students and hope to teach lessons they will take with them in all aspects of life.


Alyssa DiPanfilo

Director of Junior Workshops and DramaBee Instructor

Alyssa is a former student of Lighthouse Youth Theatre and a 2012 recipient of the Alex. H Urban Memorial Scholarship. She graduated Manhattanville College with a BA in Theatre Education and is currently working on her masters degree at New York University. During the year she is a drama teacher at New Rochelle High School as well as a DramaBee theatre educator for pre-school aged children. Alyssa has been assisting with LYT's Jr. Workshops for the past year and a half and is excited to serve as Director. She has taken on many roles in the theatrical world such as performing, stage managing, directing, makeup design, and various backstage and technical jobs. Teaching is one of Alyssa's many passions and she hopes to continue to teach and perform for years to come. 


Rachel Johnson

Choreographer Junior Workshops and DramaBee Instructor

Rachel is a dancer, singer and choreographer who began dancing competitively both regionally and nationally for The Dance Connection of Rockaway, New Jersey.  She is a Manhattanville College '16 Cum Laude Graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Theatre, Dance Therapy Concentration, and Psychology Minor. She received the Outstanding Academic and Artistic Excellence and Choreography and Direction of Thesis Award in 2016. Rachel was the Lounsberry Awardee/ Choreographer for San Limites Dance Spring 2016 Season. Jerry Gibson Summer Theatre choreography credits include: Annie, Seussical, Into the Woods, South Pacific, and Mary Poppins. Rachel has been a dancer for various artists including Peter Pucci, Earl Mosley, Claire Porter, Keith Saunders and currently is a company dancer for Erin Pryor Dance Theatre. Off-Broadway credits include- assistant to the choreographer Peter Pucci for Manhattan Theatre Club's INCOGNITO, Signature Theatre's "Master Harold" and The Boys, and Choreographer/Dancer for Endless Voice Production's The Wounded Soul. She is extremely excited to work with the talented and dedicated students of LYT. As a teacher she seeks to bring positivity, confidence, skill, and creativity to every student in the hopes that they too will find ways to collaborate in life and in the arts.


Sean Seymour

Improv Teacher, Private Acting and Tap Lessons

Sean is a New York City based Equity actor and is thrilled to join the team at Standing Ovation Studios as a teacher for improvisation classes and private lessons in acting and tap! Improv experience includes studying and performing with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. Holding a B.F.A. Degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan, Sean also specializes in acting for Musical Theatre, Musical Theatre dance styles, Musical Theatre audition prep and tap dance! Favorite credits include the first national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (ensemble / understudy for Prince Topher), Mark in A Chorus Line with Mitzi Hamilton, Eugene in Grease at the St. Louis MUNY, Marius in Les Miserables, directed by Joe Locarro, and Freddy in My Fair Lady at the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, FL. Sean is very passionate about the performing arts and hopes to hand down that passion to the next generation.


Tim Stout

Assistant Director, Private Acting and Guitar Lessons

Tim is a New York actor and musician. He studied with Lighthouse since it was founded in 2006 up until moving to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts. There he received his BFA in Acting. While living in Philadelphia, Tim worked two consecutive years at the annual Polyphone Festival of New Musicals; Krebs in Annie Salem: An American Tale (composed by Heather Christian & written by Rachel Chavkin) & Chester in The Real Whisper (previously produced at Ars Nova). He also performed as Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream (REV Theatre Company).  After graduating, he was signed by Jaime Baker Management and moved back to New York. He has released works on Soundcloud as a solo artist as well as a music collective entitled Madd Foxxy. He has a 7-song LP to be released this fall on Spotify, Apple Music, and other major music platforms. Tim looks forward to be passing on the knowledge and skills he has acquired through his time at Lighthouse and his college education to the students of LYT. 


Joey Sanzaro

Teaching Artist in Residence

Joey Sanzaro is a professional actor and Westchester native. He has studied acting at Pace University, The Stella Adler Studio of Acting and The Maggie Flanigan Studio of Acting. He has performed in many professional productions across the country. Some favorite roles include: Ragtime (Tateh), Les Miserables (Jean Valjean), Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Neville Landless), and Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd). Most recently, he toured the United States with the second national company of Sister Act the Musical.


Christopher Burke

Private Piano Instruction, Private Guitar Instruction

Chris Burke has been with Lighthouse Youth Theatre since the very beginning! He has been teaching and playing music professionally in Westchester for over 10 years. Instruments include piano, hammond organ, bass guitar, guitar, accordion, and tuba. He has been the musical director for over 50 youth theater productions for while working regularly in the orchestra pit at Westchester Broadway Theater and Yorktown Stage. Chris studied at the University of Rochester, The Ontario Institute for Audio Recording Technology, and is currently working towards his Masters in Music Education at Lehman College.

Chris’ teaching process begins with identifying what will be the “hook” that excites the student, and keeps him/her motivated to put in the necessary work to maximize the rewards music can give. By maintaining a flexible approach to styles, techniques, and methods, he can avoid the student “burning out”, and keeping a positive relationship with his/her instrument.