Teachers & Coaches
BTO has an outstanding team of dedicated teachers and staff who are determined to help our students learn, grow and succeed.
Learn more about our team members below, and contact us with questions.
Int'l Award-winning Director, Writer, Actor, and Master Teacher
Bronwen Carson is a director, actor, and published playwright. She’s a New York International Fringe Festival directing award recipient, recipient of a Ginny acting award, a Ross Foundation playwriting award finalist, an Unleash Press Book Award finalist, and the recipient of a Sundance Institute scholarship to develop a feature film screenplay and two tv series at Sundance Co//ab for 2021-22. Her work has been supported by The Ross Foundation, The Rona Jaffe Award, The Director’s Lab at The Actors Studio, Sarasvati Creative Space, Irondale, Meetinghouse Literary Journal, Unleash Press, and The Sundance Institute. Her first screenplay, Tunnels Above Ground, produced by Duke Films (directed by Bronwen), premiered at The Omaha Int’l Film Festival in 2017.
Directing Credits Include: ACCORD(ing), The Man Who Laughs (starring Tony Award winner, James Iglehart), April’s Fool (recipient-NY Int’l Fringe Festival, Excellence in Directing Award), Myopia, Dim Sum, and Fugue at The Neighborhood Playhouse, 49th Street and Other Stories (The Ailey Center), The Dragon Play (Articulate Theatre Company), Two Days til Dawn (Off B’dwy), The Cherry Orchard (Off B’dwy). Her screenwriting and directorial film work include Tunnels Above Ground which premiered at Omaha International Film Festival, and the upcoming short film, Barbara. Her film and television work includes national Sprint and Jockey commercials, Dance With Me, Center Stage, Keeping the Faith, The Winter of Her, The Ballad of Mary Jo, Leave it!, The Sopranos, Zombie Café, Blur, and Fragole.
Bronwen has taught master classes in movement-based arts, acting and artistic development at The Actors Studio, Juilliard, NYU, Broadway Dance Center, Peridance, The Producers Club, and STEPS. She is accredited in The Science of Well Being (Yale) and conservatory-trained in Meisner, Stanislavsky System, Michael Chekhov Technique, Laban Movement Analysis, Elemental Work, Theatrical Clowning (Lecoq), and Butoh. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, SDC, and NYWIF.
Lead Instructor for BTO's On-Camera & Theatre Arts Training Program for Teenagers and Adult Acting Coach
Jessica Abrams is a writer, actress and standup comic. Her web series KNOCKING ON DOORS, based on her very real and at times utterly humiliating experiences working as a social science field interviewer, garnered accolades at the IndieFest Film Awards, Southern Shorts, and the International Independent Film Awards. She currently plays the wife of none other than Bruce Willis in SURVIVE THE NIGHT, currently streaming on Amazon Prime and iTunes. She recently appeared on JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE as a sketch performer. She is also a produced playwright and television writer and wrote dance reviews for ExploreDance.com because in a past life, she wanted to dance on Broadway.
She has loved teaching acting and standup comedy to both teens and adults since she started in 2019. When the pandemic happened, she took her coaching practice online and now works with actors of all ages throughout the country, but mostly in the Los Angeles area. In the non-virtual world, she employs both movement exercises (she was, after all, a dancer) and writing exercises (she is, after all, a writer) to get the creative juices flowing. She believes acting is part of a human impulse to engage in the storytelling process and considers it a gift to enable others to participate in it and reach their full creative potential.
On-Camera & Theatre Arts Acting Instructor and Audition Coach
Gus Allen is a professional, full-time actor, having performed all over the Triangle for the past eight years. He is known for his broad character roles, including frequent productions requiring him to play a host of different characters within the same show. Notable productions include It’s a Wonderful Life (George Bailey), The Importance of Being Earnest (Algernon), Spamalot (French Taunter), Doubt (Father Flynn), And Then There Were None (Judge Wargrave), Death of a Salesman (Biff Loman), and The 39 Steps (Clown 2). Gus started from the ground up with supporting roles in several Cary Players shows, and has since gone on to win the Pietzsch Award (Cary Players), the Cantey Award (RLT), the Cannon Award (NLT) and the Triangle Award. In addition to theatre, Gus has also performed improv comedy at Comedy Worx in Raleigh since 2011.
On-Camera Instructor & Acting Coach
Chris Hill – Mark Twain said “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t”; Writer/teacher/actor Chris Hill knows that Mr. Twain is correct by his own experiences and by the absolute awe of the strange and limitless possibilities life has presented him. From Learning the Meisner technique from a former student of Sanford Meisner himself, to Treading the boards in 8 of the bards plays, to appearing on your TV in over 30 national commercials from Kingsford charcoal, to cherry Pepto Bismol, to working alongside Wendy Herself as the Wendy’s Bacon and Blu guy. Chris Has had the privilege to work with some great talents including Pat Hingle in ‘Inherit The Wind’;, Samuel L Jackson, Christian Bale, Director Michel Gondry, and Christopher Nolan in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. At age 6 Chris told his mother that when he grew up he was gonna be a cartoon. She laughed and nodded supportively but in no way thought he would someday voice a giant porcupine named Fruithog; in ‘The Legend of Kora’; or become the giant, pizza eating, purple, Monster named ‘Mr. Munch’;. Chris is also a writer for the Chuck E Cheese entertainment department and is helping to bring awareness to Dyslexia with his children’s book, and YouTube kids show ‘Ralphy and the Rang-E-Koos’; a book/show that teaches acceptance through knowledge. So as you can see from just Chris’ adventures alone Possibilities are limitless, and Truth is stranger by far. That is exactly what he has imparted in his many years teaching acting and what he wishes to pass on to future students. Come and manifest your own possibilities and find out how strange truth can truly be with Chris.
On-Camera Acting Coach
Nicole Burgess has been professionally acting for ten years. She has trained with seasoned actors, including Obba Babatunde and Greg Alan Williams, and is Meisner trained under Wendy Ward. She has worked with award winning directors such as Danny Strong and can be seen in the Emmy award winning Hulu miniseries, Dopesick. Her film and television work includes an international Walt Disney World commercial, national Bojangles commercial, Carowinds, Infiniti and NASCAR commercials, Union Bound, Birds of a Feather 2, But Deliver Us From Evil, and Carbon Neutral Pig.
Nicole has helped several actors land supporting roles in major film and television projects. She is excited to work with you and help you tap into yourself in order to learn the confidence that is needed to excel in this industry!