The Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Staff Bios

Brandt Blocker
Artistic Director and General Manager

Prior to arriving in Atlanta, Blocker was Producing Director of Brandt Blocker Presents, LLC, a full-scale production company that presents large scale, award-winning theatrical entertainments in the south Louisiana area.

Before starting his own production company, Blocker was Director of Development and Marketing of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre and also served as a stage and musical director for the New Orleans Company’s main stage musicals and children’s shows.

He is a recipient of five Big Easy Entertainment Awards, New Orleans’ premier event honoring the musical and theatrical talent of a city world renowned for its outstanding performing arts. Blocker has also been recognized for his work with Le Petit Theatre, The Jefferson Performing Arts Society, The Rivertown Repertory Theatre and Southeastern Louisiana University.

For The Lyric, Blocker directed Little Shop of Horrors (nominated for 9 Suzi Bass Awards including Best Musical), Peter Pan, Anything Goes, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

In New Orleans, Blocker produced and directed critically acclaimed, productions of The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! (Winner of 3 Big Easy Entertainment Awards), The All Night Strut, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, A Year With Frog and Toad, Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein (2005 Marquee Award for Best Musical), Seussical the Musical, and Little Shop of Horrors (Winner of Five Big Easy Entertainment Awards).

He was stage and music director for Le Petit Theatre’s main stage productions of And The World Goes ‘Round, Grease!, Five Guys Named Moe, Leader of the Pack (2002 Marquee Award for Best Musical, Best Director of a Musical and Best Music Direction), and The Sound of Music, and was also stage and music director for the critically acclaimed Big Easy, Storer Boone and Marquee Award-winner for Best Musical 2004, Smokey Joe’s Café for the Jefferson Performing Arts Society.

As director of Le Petit’s Corner Theatre, Blocker directed sold-out productions of Snoopy!!!, Bye, Bye Birdie, Free To Be…You And Me, Honk! (2002 Storer Boone Award for Best Children’s Show), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Schoolhouse Rock, Live! and
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (2001 Storer Boone Award for Best Children’s Show and a Marquee Award for Best Musical Direction).

He has staged the New Orleans Opera Association’s Metropolitan Opera Hansel and Gretel and Too Many Sopranos and Peter Pan for Southeastern Louisiana University’s department of music and dramatic arts.

Previously, Blocker was the resident musical director at the Rivertown Repertory Theatre from 1994-1998, where he served as both vocal director and/or conductor for Evita, Nunsense, The Will Rogers Follies, I Do, I Do!, Oliver, Romance/Romance, Into the Woods, George M!, My Fair Lady and Baby.

He was the Big Easy Entertainment Award winner as Best Musical Director of 1997 and 2004 as well as Best Director of a Musical 2004 and 2006. Blocker is also a five-time Storer Boone Theatre Award winner as Musical Director of the Year for 1994, 1995, 1996, 2004 and 2007.

Additionally, his work has been seen at New Orleans’ Louise S. McGehee School, Mount Carmel Academy, Jesuit High School, Destrehan High School, and Immaculata High School as Director of Music and Theatre from 1994-1998. For the Jefferson Parish Public School System, Blocker worked as vocal music clinician alongside choreographer Dee Dee Wood, actress Anita Gillette and Broadway legend Chita Rivera. More recently, Blocker was music director and conductor for the 2009 Shuler Hensley Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre at The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Alan Kilpatrick
Associate Artistic Director

A graduate of Auburn University, Alan came to Atlanta as an apprentice and intern at the Tony Award-wining Alliance Theatre under the leadership of former Artistic Director Fred Chappel.  Early in his career, Alan complimented his onstage appearances by working with the Fulton County School System and The Heritage School in Newnan, GA.  Named the best local actor by Atlanta Magazine and recognized twice by the Suzi Bass Awards, Atlanta’s premier award which recognizes excellence in local professional theatre, Alan was recently bestowed the Cobb County Ovation Award for excellence in the arts.

Alan has a long association as an actor, director and teaching guest artist with the Gainesville Theatre Alliance, the combined theatre departments of Gainesville State University and Brenau University.  During a five-year term as director of education and artistic associate with Marietta’s Theatre in the Square, Alan served on advisory boards for Marietta City School’s Sawyer Road Elementary, Pope High School, and Woods Wilkins Center.  For Woods Wilkins Center, he helped secure funds to provide acting classes for at-risk students.  He also developed the THEATRE U! Program, a seminar designed to meet the needs of college students, and organized classes and performances for local senior citizens.

Alan has appeared in The Lyric’s productions of “Anything Goes,” “The Will Rogers Follies,” “Hairspray,” and “The Music Man,” and has directed The Lyric’s productions of “The It Girl” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”

Amy McGuire
Business Manager

Amy has been working with Atlanta Lyric Theatre for three years in a variety of capacities.  Before joining The Lyric staff, Amy worked for several other companies including, 14th Street Playhouse, Theatre Gail, Onstage Atlanta and Galaxy Music Theatre.  Amy helped with the 2007 renovation of The Byers Studio Theatre in our previous location, where she also ran lights and sound for our popular Summer Series and stage managed The Lyric productions of Little Shop of Horrors, 1940’s Radio Hour and Forever Plaid. Amy served as Stage Manager for Anything Goes and Peter Pan at The Ferst Center in our 2007-08 season and took charge as Box Office Manager for our 2008-09 season, when the move to our new venue, The Earl Smith Strand Theatre, opened that opportunity. Additionally, Amy has been Stage Manager of Smokey Joe’s Café and The Will Rogers Follies and stage crew for The IT Girl.

Jeff Macko
Orchestra Manager

Jeff Macko received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from Loyola University, New Orleans.  A native of Detroit, Jeff transplanted to Atlanta in 2000 after spending 26 years playing and teaching in New Orleans. He has been a member of or has played with the following:  the New Orleans Pops Orchestra, the New Orleans Civic Symphony, the New Orleans Ballet Orchestra, the Jefferson Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Crescent City Wind Symphony.  A very active musician in theatre, Jeff has played for over 130 musicals and was the drummer/percussionist for the Jefferson Performing Arts Society Theatre Wing for seven seasons, for the Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre for seven years, for Le Petite Theatre du Vieux Carre for three years, and for Rivertown Repertory Theatre for five years.  Also, being the house percussionist for the Saenger Theatre in downtown New Orleans for six seasons gave Jeff the opportunity to play for many Broadway road shows, including “The Will Roger Follies,” “Crazy for You,” “Grease,” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”  On drum set, he has played with a very wide variety of groups in the Crescent City, most notably “Jubilation,” the New Orleans Saints Band, the 1984 Louisiana World Expo Band, the Jimmy Maxwell Band, and the Jerry Leonard Society Orchestra. Jeff has been teaching drums for the past 24 years, and was the drum set / percussion instructor at Tulane University where he taught for 15 years, from 1985 to 2000.

Some of the artists that Jeff has had the privilege of playing for include: Ray Charles, Regis and Kathy Lee, Steve Allen, Jodi Benson, Frank Gorshin, Robert Goulet, Marie Osmond, Jerry Lewis, Florence Henderson, the 5th Dimension, the Coasters, the Platters, and Tony Bennett.

Currently, Jeff is the drum / percussion instructor at Ken Stanton Music in Roswell and Atlanta Music Academy in Suwanee.  He has also taught at the following venues in the metro Atlanta area:  Cambridge Academy of Music (Alpharetta), Ken Stanton Music (Marietta), Music Dox (Marietta), McEachern Band Conservatory (Powder Springs), and Attina’s Music (Fayetteville).  Jeff has acted as a coach for the percussion sections of Crabapple Middle School and Ridgeview Middle School, and founded and directed a percussion ensemble at High Point Elementary School, which premiered pieces that he wrote in May 2001 and May 2002.

Since arriving in Atlanta, Jeff has played with The George Carre Band, the Atlanta Wind Symphony, Bob Martin’s Take Note Big Band, “Sparklett,” the Peach Trio, the Mount Paran Church of God Orchestra, the Stage Door Players, the Laigh Langley Band, “Group Therapy,” the Rehoboth Baptist Church Orchestra, “Inquiring Minds,” The Alan Knieter Orchestra, The Sugarloaf Community Church Band, “Mixed Company,” the John’s Creek Baptist Church Orchestra, and The Atlanta Lyric Theatre.

Koby Parker
Box Office Manager

Koby graduated from Reinhardt University in 2013 with a BFA in Musical Theatre after attending Shorter University for the majority of his college career. He has been working as a professional actor since then at places like the Lyric, the Alliance, and Tell-Tale Children’s Theatre. He joined the Lyric team as an actor in December of 2012 and then jumped onboard full-time in October of 2015 as Box Office Manager. He could not be more thrilled to be a part of this wonderful team!

Mary-Nye-BennettMary Nye Bennett
Director of Education and Development

Mary Nye Bennett is a proud Georgia native, has spent the past 13 years as a professional actor and teaching artist. She graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2001 with a BFA in Musical Theatre performance. She is proud to call Atlanta her home and is grateful to live in such a strong Artistic community. Locally, she has performed at the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Actors Express, Theatre in the Square and the Aurora theatre. She took her first teaching job in 2001 as choreographer for Rocky Mountain Reparatory theatre’s Youth Theatre program in Grand Lake, Colorado where she was a company member for 8 years. She eventually advanced to Director of the entire Youth Theatre Workshop program. In Atlanta, Mary has been a teaching artist at Aurora Theatre, Theatre in the Square and most recently at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. She is thrilled to be a part of team Lyric!

The Atlanta Lyric Theatre