Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts is pleased to officially announce the hire of Kira Lace Hawkins as Education Director and Thomas Hall as Music Director! While not new to the Wagon Wheel family, both join our full-time staff in a strategic time of growth for the newly branded Wagon Wheel Conservatory.

Get to know them and this amazing program!

A little history…

The Conservatory program has been years in the making. Since our beginning in 1956, the Wagon Wheel has always inspired educational growth from local youth performing in Professional productions to students interning backstage. Summer acting workshops for students started in 2005 followed by weekend dance and acting classes during the winter and spring. 

But students and families wanted more! Recently, the Wagon Wheel has taken careful steps towards expanding youth and educational classes. In October 2021 the Wagon Wheel took the next right step, in expanding the program to meet the community’s need, by hiring Kira Lace Hawkins as Education Director and Thomas Hall as Music Director. 

Kira Lace Hawkins, Education Director

Kira Lace Hawkins is no stranger to the Wagon Wheel stage! She has performed in more than 40 Wagon Wheel Professional Theatre productions. Some fan favorites include Donna in Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Paulette in Legally Blonde, Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!, the Witch in Into the Woods, and Diana in Next to Normal. While Kira will continue to be part of the Professional Theatre company, her new role strengthens the future of the Wagon Wheel.

“I’m so excited to be in the beginning stages of developing the structure of Wagon Wheel Conservatory. We are dreaming big, and I can’t wait to make those dreams come true!”

Kira also brings more than her star talent to the role of Education Director. Kira holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Penn State University and has taught theatre, music, and acting at several regional colleges including St. Olaf College in Minnesota and Manchester University, Grace College, and Ivy Tech Community College here in Indiana. As Education Director, Kira coordinates the curriculum for the year-round workshops and classes, directs youth productions through Wagon Wheel Jr., and collaborates with local schools through educational materials and programs.

Thomas Hall, Music Director

Thomas Hall holds a B.A. in Music and Church Music from Indiana Wesleyan University, a M.M. in Voice Performance from DePaul University in Chicago, IL, and is currently working towards a D.A. in Voice Performance at Ball State University. 

Thomas is also not a new face to the Wagon Wheel family. He has music directed several Wagon Wheel Jr productions and most recently was the Music Director for the 2021 Summer Season. Thomas has been a music director, performer, pit musician, and educator for the last 18 years. As Music Director, Thomas will oversee the Professional Theatre pit orchestra direction and music direct the Wagon Wheel Jr shows, but he will also lend his educational expertise to teaching private voice and piano lessons for the Wagon Wheel Conservatory.

Become a Part of the Growth!

One of the things that makes Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts so special is the people, the talent. The offerings through Wagon Wheel Conservatory would not be possible without the people who teach, inspire, and create space for youth to grow. Wagon Wheel believes every child should have an opportunity to experience theatre education regardless of ability to pay. Scholarships are available for all Conservatory programs. 

The Wagon Wheel Conservatory program is made possible thanks to the generous giving of donors like you. Donations support scholarships, program expenses, and growth. Learn more.