The Parker Arts Academy, a curricular pathway at Parker High School catering to students seeking more extensive study in fine arts, has added Carlynn Zahn Southard and Megan Burkart to its growing staff.
A Beloit native and Clinton High School grad, Southard will teach dance at PAA. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and also holds a Master’s degree in psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Southard’s professional dance career includes performing for the Bloomington Civic Theater in Bloomington, Minnesota, serving as an original member of the Minnesota Starettes professional dance team, teaching at Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Chicago and performing/choreographing productions for 5th Season Entertainment in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Jedlicka Performing Arts Theater in Cicero, Illinois. Locally, she has performed in and choreographed shows for Bower City Theater Co., Rock River Repertory Theatre and Parker High School.
Originally from Olathe, Kansas, Burkart will teach acting at PAA. In addition to studying communications and musical theater at Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts, she also holds a Master’s degree in speech language pathology from California State University-Los Angeles.
An original founding member of the New Court Theatre in Los Angeles, Burkart’s background includes work with professional actors and play production in the greater L.A. area. In addition to working for two L.A. talent agencies—Independent Artists Agency and LA Talent—she also has experience as an accent reduction and dialect coach.
A Janesville resident for five years, Burkart has been assistant director on several musicals at Parker High while also serving as the school’s speech language pathologist.