Meet the Team
A.J. Valle has been performing on stage for eleven years and has been teaching for seven years. She has directed, choreographed and musically directed nine productions through Bright Lights Institute and also at Blue Ridge Christian School. She studied music and theatre at Drury University and the Springfield Little Theatre. Her main goal at Bright Lights is to create an environment where students can find life long friends, find their place and passion, and grow in their confidence.
Performing Arts Co-Director
Jacob Valle has his degree in Acting from Drury University. He has fifteen years of performance experience, including recent productions of No Talking and Goosebumps at the Coterie Theatre, and four years of teaching experience. He has directed and co-directed eight shows between Bright Lights Institute and also Blue Ridge Christian School. Jacob loves teaching and inspiring the joy of theatre. He knows that he would not be where he is today without theatre and wants to help others find that passion.
Renae Kitchin is an experienced teacher, program director and busy mother of four. An educator at heart, Renae wants to address gaps she sees for students in the Kansas City area. She cares deeply about innovative education, inspiring confidence and equipping students with the tools to adjust and adapt to an ever-changing world. Her stage career includes performances in Branson shows, overseas tours and church productions. She loves to play guitar and lead music at church and wants to instill her love of performing and leading to students in the area.
Jonathan Kitchin has been working with the arts for over 15 years, as a music educator and a public arts advocate. Jonathan's efforts increase community awareness for Bright Lights programming and raise financial support to fund scholarships for students in need. Outside of Bright Lights, Jonathan works for U.S. Bank, managing their corporate IT Risk and Compliance team, and serves as a member of the Lee's Summit Arts Council.
Steve M. Cohen has a MA in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from Northern Illinois University, and received certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution from DePaul University, School of Law. One of his longtime passions is to help students find and develop their strengths, while equipping them with the needed skills to lead their generation.