Our Collaborative Team

Rick Garcia received an Honorable Mention Excellence in Theatre Education Award at the 2019 Tony Awards in New York City.  He is also the founder and Executive Director of The Maestro Arts Project, www.maestroartsproject.com, a continuing education consulting organization for the training of theatre directors and educators.  He was part of the writing team for an ABC Documentary, THE CHILDRENS DIGNITY PROJECT, hosted by Oprah Winfrey; the documentary was nominated for an Emmy Award. 

He is the Theatre Director at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Upper School in Austin, Texas. 

He was named the Texas Educational Theatre Association’s Teacher of the Year, 1996. His alumni include:  Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), Ellen Wroe (Final Destination V), Nathan Parsons (General Hospital), Charlie Pollock (Lazarus). Mr. Garcia also owns and operates Eastwood Hill Bed and Breakfast in San Marcos. The facility serves as headquarters for his teacher training seminars. 

In 2016 he was selected to join a team and visit with The U.S. Department of Education Secretary, John B. King Jr., to discuss the values of theatre in a well-rounded education. He also ranches in Spur, TX.

Renee Buchanan retired from the Texas public school system after teaching 29 years. She has a background in early childhood education, special education, secondary English, theatre, speech and debate. She has taught in both large and small school districts across Texas where she took five plays to the Texas University Interscholastic League State One-Act Play Contest placing third in 2002 and first in 2006. She has also had success in speech and debate at the state level, as well as, qualifying students at the national level. Renee continues to work with the Texas UIL One-Act Play Contest as a contest manager, adjudicator and clinician. Currently, she serves as the president for Maestro Arts Project and is a member of the walk committee for The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in both Arlington and North Tarrant County.

Mandy Epley is Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives and Programs for Comal ISD in New Braunfels, TX. Mandy graduated from Sam Houston State University with a B.F.A. in Theatre, with an emphasis in acting and directing, in 1997. She earned a Masters in Educational Administration at Lamar University in 2009 and is in the School Improvement doctoral program at Texas State University.

In addition to acting and directing professionally, she has served as a guest artist at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Artistic Director of Inception Theatre. In 2009, she was named Brandeis High School Educator of the Year, Northside ISD High School Educator of the Year, and KENS5/SACU Excel Award winner. Her production of After Juliet qualified for the UIL One Act Play Contest in 2010. In 2012, she was named Texas Educational Theatre Association K-12 Educator of the Year. Mandy served as Texas Educational Theatre Association’s K-12 Vice President and is a founding member of the Texas Theatre Administrators Conference (TTAC). She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials.

Patty MacMullen has directed both high school and middle school theatre for almost four decades. While teaching in public schools, her students advanced to the Texas UIL OAP State Meet five times, placing third in conference 4A in 1999 and again in 2007. In 2012, her students advanced to the state championship contest in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, placing 1st runner up for the state championship title. Patty's students also won the TAPPS state championship in Duet Acting in 2019. She has directed productions which were chosen to perform at the Texas State Thespian Festival Main Stage, the International Thespian Festival Main Stage, the Chapter Select Showcase as the Texas representative at the International Thespian Festival, and the Edinburgh Scotland Fringe Festival. In 2020, Patty’s students were invited by the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Education Department to participate in Theatrelink, a curriculum-based project that connects high school students around the world for a five-month period to create and study theatre together. Writing has become one of Patty's passions. In addition to co-authoring educational resources, she is a published playwright. In 2011, she was inducted into the Texas Thespians Hall of Fame. Patty currently serves as the Fine Arts Director and Director of Theatre at Hill Country Christian Upper School in Austin.