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Mary Beth Beasley, Owner

Mary Beth Beasley is a native of Havelock, NC. She graduated high school from theUniversity of North Carolina School of the Arts as a ballet major. While there she was able to study at many well-known professional schools including Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, BalletMet and National Ballet of Hungary in Budapest, Hungary. Upon graduation she joined Southern Ballet Theatre in Orlando, Florida. During her professional career she danced with Ballet Theatre International, The Florida Ballet, Sierra Nevada Ballet and the Sarasota Opera, beginning as a soloist dancer and working her way up to principal status. While performing with the companies, she taught within the professional company schools, teaching ballet and modern, as well as, outreach community teaching programs for at-risk students and Arts in Education programs in the public school systems. Upon returning to Eastern NC, she opened The Center of Performing Arts with the goal of providing a well-rounded arts education from her professional experiences and past opportunities. The school offers an array of performing arts lessons and opportunities in dance, drama and musical disciplines for all levels, from the beginner to the child who wishes to pursue a career in the arts. The Center’s staff is hired for their expertise in their art form, love of teaching and commitment to excellence. The programs are constantly evolving for the students, to provide not only quality training but to nurture creativity, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

Meredith McKee Boyd


Drama Instructor

Meredith McKee Boyd was born and raised in New Bern, NC, becoming a member of the New Bern theatre community by the age of 10. After earning a B.A. in History and Political Science from Greensboro College, she moved to Wilmington, NC in order to pursue a career in theatre and film.


While in Wilmington, she worked on a variety of stage and film productions as both an actress and production member, including original and classic musicals and plays at City Stage and The Browncoat Theatre, independent & student films shown at regional festivals (Two-Eleven, ADHD/Normal), and professional film credits as an extra, stand-in, and production team member (Sleepy Hollow, Eastbound and Down, Nicholas Sparks’ The Last Ride). 


In 2014, Meredith returned to her roots in New Bern, taking part in over 20 productions between New Bern Civic Theatre and Rivertowne Players to date in various roles: actor, singer, dancer, director, producer, assistant director, sound, lighting, props, set construction, and more. 


In addition to the hands-on approach taken through the community, she has taught theatre programs at the middle and high school level at New Bern High School and at St. Paul’s Catholic School. Within the community, she has led numerous workshops for various youth programs, including focused topics on audition techniques, stagecraft, improv, and Shakespeare for the stage. 


In 2019, Meredith married her husband, Keith Boyd, on the New Bern Civic Theatre stage where they met. 


Currently, Meredith is a Social Studies Teacher at New Bern High School and incorporates her love for the arts in every aspect of her teaching. 


Phil Routszong

Phil was born in St Louis and moved to Eastern NC in 1986. He began formal music training at the of age 10. He has been heavily involved in Musical Theatre since the age of 16. While attending college at ECU, he studied vocal performance and music education. Phil was also the Musical Arranger for the Crystal Coast Jamboree for 10 years. He has been a Studio Musician and Producer for area recording studios for over 8 years. And he is the current Director for Classical Conversations New Bern.

Phil is teaching Private Vocal and Piano lessons (Grade level – Adult), as well as, Children Choir (Rising 1st-Rising 6th grade students.) 

In lessons you will study various musical pieces from history, as well as, diction from dialects all over the world. Focus will be on sacred and secular, contemporary to medieval period, and beyond. Breath control, projection, ear training, sight singing, and harmony will also be taught in a fun and engaging environment!


Bethany Strange

Bethany was born in Havelock, NC. Her love of dance began at age 5, with her first dance class at the MCAS Cherry Point community center. Four years later she started dancing competitively, competing in solo, duo, trio, small group, and dance team categories.  During her competitive dance career, she won numerous awards including, 1st Overall, Marvonna’s MVP, and StarQuest’s Fabulous Focus.  In 2012 she enrolled as a student at The Center of Performing Arts.  Under the instruction of Ms. Beth Beasley, she performed in many productions. Some of her roles include, the Wolf in Peter and The Wolf, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Sugarplum in the Nutcracker, and Ballerina in Petrushka. Throughout her 16 years of dance, Bethany has studied a wide range of dance styles including hip hop, tap, jazz, African, liturgical, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and pointe.  She earned her Associate in Arts degree with High Honors from Craven Community College and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at East Carolina University.  She feels privileged to share her love of dance with her students.


Joseph Banks


Joseph is currently the percussion coordinator and arranger for the award-winning Croatan High School Band, and the Indoor Marching Percussion Ensemble. Joseph is an accomplished arranger, composer, choreographer and percussion program consultant. He is also a Pro-Mark Educator/Artist. He is a 2001 graduate of Morehead State University. While attending MSU, he had the opportunity to study all areas of percussion with Frank Oddis, Todd Wright, Greg Strouse and Brian Mason. Mr. Banks was a member of the nationally recognized marching percussion ensemble, concert band, symphonic band, and concert percussion ensembles. He was also a member of the 1995 PASIC Championship drum line. During his time at MSU, he served as a member of the program design team for the 1997 and 1998 marching percussion seasons. In addition to his collegiate music experiences, Joseph is no stranger to drum and bugle corps. He was a member of the Raiders bass drum line in 1994 and was a member of the Boston Crusaders snare drum line from 1996 to 1999. As an arranger, composer, choreographer, and instructor; Mr. Banks has worked with numerous high school and WGI percussion groups throughout CT, KY, OH, PA, NJ and NC. His work has garnered many awards throughout the years.His current work with the Croatan High School Marching Cougars has been extremely successful. The CHS band was a Bands of America regional champion in Class 2A. In addition, he formed the first indoor marching percussion program at the school. The indoor ensemble placed 2nd, receiving the silver medal in 2011 and received the bronze medal in 2013 at the Atlantic Indoor Association Championships, which has created much excitement throughout the community.

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