Indianapolis Youth Theater CGFAA Staff-7Mark Landis – Executive Director, Co-Founder & Music Director

Mark Landis serves as the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Creative Grounds Fine Arts Academy.  Mark holds a Bachelors Degree from Ball State University and studied two years at Indiana Wesleyan University in Music Education and Worship Ministry.  For shows with CGFAA, Mark serves as the Music Director.  He has been teaching private voice lessons for over 20 years.  Mark is married to Katie and has three sons.

Indianapolis Youth Theater CGFAA Staff-5Katie Landis – Youth Development Director, Co-Founder & Director

Katie grew up in Indianapolis and loved her many years as a member of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.  She graduated from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, where she received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Worship Arts with a minor in Youth Ministry and Music.  She has spent countless hours helping various teams alongside her husband, Mark, since CGFAA began and enjoys directing shows while also serving as the Youth Development Director. As Youth Development Director she works with the Student Leadership Team and the Chaplain Program.  She and Mark are the parents of three crazy boys.

Indianapolis Youth Theater CGFAA Staff-6Abbey Ziemba – Director

Abbey earned her BA in Music from DePauw University. She is also an alumni of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. Abbey has performed with several community theater groups in the Indianapolis area. Abbey works at Franciscan Health Indianapolis and is actively involved with the Junior Achievement JobSpark event, a career fair geared for 8th grade students, each year. When not in rehearsal or at work, Abbey is chasing after her son Cooper. She also loves to read and support other theater groups in the area.

Indianapolis Youth Theater CGFAA Staff-3Kyleigh Hernandez – Music Director

Kyleigh received her degree in Music Education from The University of Indianapolis in 2017 and is now the music teacher at Pleasant Crossing Elementary School.  She is married to Benito and is the proud mom of three dogs:  Zelda, Clay and Rain.  She loves crocheting, walking her dogs and watching Netflix.  Benito and Kyleigh live in Indianapolis and attend Chapel Rock Christian Church.


Indianapolis Youth Theater CGFAA Staff-8Samantha Burkey – Music Director

Samantha received her BA degree in Music Education from University of Indianapolis in 2017.  She has always had a love for theater, and throughout high school performed in Beauty and the Beast, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia, Cinderella and Oklahoma.  Currently she is teaching choir and general music at Indian Creek Middle School.  She and her husband Matthew and dog Athena live on the southside of Indianapolis and attend Chapel Rock Christian Church.  She enjoys playing piano, weight-lifting, walking her dog, going new places with her husband, and watching Netlfix.

Indianapolis Youth Theater CGFAA Staff-4Amy Click – Show Coordinator

Amy credits her mother with her love for theater. She took Amy to several of Indianapolis’ famous Starlight Musicals many years ago. While in high school at Franklin Central (class of 1983) Amy took theater classes and worked as crew for high school productions. Amy’s has been married to Joe (Air Force, Retired) for 33 years. Their sons Keegan (16), and Kaden (14) are both involved in CGFAA. Joe helps out with set build and tear down and supports his family in their love of theater and many hours spent with CGFAA.  Amy attends Life Change Church here in Greenwood with her family.

Indianapolis Youth Theater CGFAA Staff-1Brook Ochoa – Show Coordinator

Brook grew up on the southside and studied at Purdue.  She loves to support the arts on the south side.  Brook has two children involved with community theater, and at their school, Roncalli.



Indianapolis Youth Theater CGFAA Staff-2Erin Troxell – Assistant Show Coordinator

Erin currently teaches 4th grade and is writing her dissertation to earn a doctoral degree in reading and literacy leadership.  Erin is married and has four kids.  Her family lives downtown and they are parishioners at St. Roch Catholic Church, where her kids also attend school.  Erin loved choir and band throughout high school and middle school, and loves to give that same opportunity to her kids and serve other families!


Christa Fleming – Choreographer

As a native of Indianapolis, Christa attended Holy Name Catholic Elementary and Roncalli High School where she was a member of show choir and the musical theatre department. Christa continued her education at Webster University where she studied Musical Theatre and Dance and Marian College where she studied Music Education and Vocal Performance. She is also a former cast member at Walt Disney World where she performed at The Magic Kingdom. Some of her favorite choreographing opportunities include various numbers with the Moving Company at IUPUI, Buck Creek players, Whiteland High School, and other various programs across the city. Christa enjoys spending time with her kids and fiancé and is a member of Saints Francis and Clare Catholic Church, where she is employed and her children attend school. She feels very blessed and thankful for any opportunity to share her love of the arts with the youth of our community.

Garod Cavanaugh – Set Designer

Garod, a Greenwood native, is the auditorium stage technician for Emmens Auditorium at Ball State University.  He has designed sets for the majority of the CGFAA shows!