Covington Louisiana Actor's Playhouse System

Artistic staff

Dr. Ric Watkins, Producer, had his first public singing performance at the age of 2 1/2. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of Southern MS, and completed his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation, The Musical Theater Experience and the Extent to Which it Affects High School Students, was published in the fall of 2005. Professional training includes the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Herbert Burghoff Studios, Manhattan School of Music, and Education at the Met in New York City. He has served on several arts and education organization boards at the local, state, and national levels, and has worked in some capacity in over 200 professional and amateur musical and theatre productions. Currently he is Fine Arts Chair at Covington High School in Covington, LA, and Founder/Producer of the Covington Louisiana Actors Playhouse System. He has toured with his choirs and has sung in his favorite cities including Washington, DC, New York City, Rome, and Florence, Italy. His proudest accomplishment is his family - wife of 34 years, Adair and their children daughter, Charlotte and son, Adair Richard. He wants to thank Cedric and Gary for their dedication and work to keep this program a success as we celebrate our 23rd season in 2018.

Cedric Bridges, Music Director, holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and a Master of Fine Arts with a specialization in opera performance from Tulane University. He made his professional debut with Houston Grand Opera in 1989 and has appeared with other companies including New Orleans Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre as well as soloist with the New Orleans Philharmonic and Baton Rouge Symphonies. He was the 1991 district winner of the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions and still does solo recitals in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Currently he is on faculty at Covington High School where he serves as Associate Director of Choral Activities and Senior Class Sponsor. Working with Dr. Watkins, he has been with the CLAPS program since it’s inception. In addition to his teaching position he also serves as cantor at Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic Church in Mandeville and is a member of the professional choir at Temple Sinai in New Orleans.

Gary Mendoza, Director/Technical Director, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis in Theatre from Southeastern Louisiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of New Orleans. Some regional credits include work as either a performer, director or a stage technician for Six Flags New Orleans, Tulane Summer Lyric, Cutting Edge Theatre and Slidell Little Theatre where he has won several Ginny Awards for acting and lighting design. He has been the Talented Theatre Teacher at Covington High School since 2005 and was voted teacher of the year in 2013. He has had students compete in New York City for the National Shakespeare Competition as well as Washington D.C. for the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Competition. In the summer of 2016 he studied at The Globe Theatre in London for three weeks as part of a fellowship through the English Speaking Union of the United States and the Globe’s Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance Program. He was also named the 2016 Performing Artist of the Year for the St. Tammany Parish President’s Arts Awards. He wants to thank his amazing wife Stephanie and their equally amazing boys, Riley and Reese, for their love and support, and especially for understanding why he is never home during the month of June. He also needs to thank his fabulous crew, without whom you’d all be looking at a dark and empty stage right now!

Holly K. Flattmann, Choreographer/Director, graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with her BFA in Dance with an emphasis in performance and choreography. While in college Holly started an after school dance program within the housing projects in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She moved to NYC in 2000 where she worked for the National Dance Institute under the direction of Jacques d’Amboise. Choreographing and teaching inner city students in all 5 boroughs of NYC. Holly also spent time as a performance artist in Brooklyn for City wide performances. Holly was a tour manager for Kaki King, and instrumental guitarist, and traveled all over the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, and Japan, touring for two years. Upon her return to Louisiana she was the choreographer for the Octavian Children’s Theatre in Hammond Louisiana. Holly recently completed her teaching certification in dance at Southeastern Louisiana University. She is excited to create the new Dance Program and curriculum for classes at Covington High School. She is also very proud to coach the Dancin’ Darlin’s. Holly is a graduate of CHS, Dancin’ Darlin’s Alumni, and participated in Musical Theater productions as a student. This is her fifth year to choreograph for CLAPS.