Biography

Vanessa Ballam is an equity actress who has been performing professionally and teaching theatre around the country for the past eleven years. Vanessa received her MFA in acting from Indiana University and her B.A. and B.F.A. from Utah State University.

Vanessa has performed with such companies as Theatre Under the Stars, PCPA Theatrefest, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Anchorage Opera, Music Theatre West, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre and the Old Lyric Repertory Company. Vanessa worked as a Resident Actor at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts/Theatrefest in Santa Maria, CA. In this role she oversaw the first year acting program including initiating a new curriculum. She has also served as a visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre at Utah State University for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Vanessa currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Acting in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Idaho State University as the head of the acting program. She is also the Education Director for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, overseeing all things educational. In addition to overseeing the Opera By Children outreach program and the Festival Academy(adult education), as the Education Director Vanessa oversaw the inception of a Performing Arts Conservatory for youth as well as a statewide High School Musical Theatre Competition. Vanessa endeavors to continue the tradition of Arts Education in the lives of youth around the country. Some of her favorite roles include; Eliza in My Fair Lady, Peg, in Peg O’ My Heart, Desdemona in Othello, Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical the Musical, Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, Helena in Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Cosette in Les Misérables.

A former Miss Utah, Vanessa received the Bert Parks talent award while at the Miss America Pageant. Vanessa is married to fellow actor Stefan Espinosa and together they have one son.

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