About Our Staff

Roots’ School of Theatre

Mindy Root (Owner; Private Voice Lessons) received her BM in Vocal Performance from Ball State University in 2012. While in NYC, Mindy received her vocal training from Valentine Peytchinov and she was a regular performer with Vocal Productions NYC. Mindy has been an instructor for the Barn RATS summer theater program at Mud Creek Theater for the past seven years. The last several years Mindy has also been a featured soloist with the White River Wind Symphony. Mindy’s most recent credits include Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Dido), Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Zerlina), and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Lucia). Just a few of her other favorite roles: Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Brigitta in Iolanta & Gianetta in L’elisir D’amore. Mindy loves her family and is obsessed with her adorable dog Katara. With God, all things are possible!

Brad Root (Owner/Director: 3-8 Grade Musical, Teen Musical) received his BFA in Acting from Ball State University in 2013. After graduating he started working as an instructor for the summer theatre program at Mud Creek Theater, in between his time in New York. For the next eight summers, he and his wife Mindy continued to run and expand that program.  His favorite recent acting credits include Jason Hall’s Hitchcock inspired thriller Third Floor (Eleven), John Noel’s newest play Be a Man (Brad), and the New York Film Academy movie The Letter (Josh).

Since moving back to Indiana, he appeared in Mud Creek Player’s production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Picasso), and also originated the role of Fred in Jeremy Grimmer’s play Adults through Fat Turtle Theatre Company.

Darby Hayes (Private Voice Teacher; Choreographer: 3-8 Grade Musical, Teen Musical) is a singer originally from Plainfield, Indiana. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from DePauw University in 2019 where she was also heavily involved in the theater department. Some of her roles there included Marta in Company, Sister Mary Lazarus in Sister Act, and Helen in Trojan Women. Aside from performing in shows, a Darby also acted as choreographer, dance captain, and makeup designer for various productions while also being president of the theater fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. After graduating Darby worked at the Catered Cabaret in Greenwood performing as a lead in several of their shows before moving to the northside and teaching voice and piano in Carmel. She also has a long history of performing in show choirs, choirs and is currently the Extracurricular Choral Assistant at Westfield High School. Darby is thrilled to be sharing her love of music and theater with the Roots’ School of Theater.

Max A. McCreary (Instructor: Young Actor’s Lab; Director: Summer Teen Production) is a director, dramaturg, and playwright originally from Zionsville. After spending a year working in the Artistic department at Cleveland Play House, he has returned to the Indy area. He completed his BA at Emory University, where he received High Honors for his thesis play, Phantasmagoria. Since graduating, his plays have been performed across the US and Australia. As a director, Max is most interested in work that is highly theatrical and deeply intimate. He uses the rehearsal room as a laboratory to experiment with all forms of communication, and as a classroom to teach social-emotional learning. He specializes in the principals of scene work, ensemble building, and narrative speeches. Max loves collaborating with other playwrights and believes in the innate powers of compassion and curiosity. Recent directing credits include productions of [Title of Show] and Iphigenia and Other Daughters (Atlanta) as well as Sweat and Ken Ludwig’s Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood (Cleveland).


Elisabeth Speckman (Director: Play; Instructor: Comedy Class) is a playwright, actor, and director from Indianapolis. She received her BA in Theatre and English-Creative Writing from Denison University and her MFA from Butler University. She has served as both a visiting instructor and adjunct at Butler in first-year studies, intro to creative writing, academic writing, media studies, and screenwriting, as well as teaching Acting II at IUPUI. Her acting training includes the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors, Second City Training Center Chicago, and the Michael Chekhov School. She has appeared in numerous productions in the Indianapolis area with Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, IndyFringe, Bard Fest, Carmel Community Players, Spotlight Players, and Amalgamated Stage Productions, and won the 2015 Best Major Supporting Actress Award from the Encore Association. She has taught and directed theatre for over ten years, working with The Artists Studio, Fishers UMC, and CYT Indy, where she most recently directed Aladdin, Jr. and The Lion King, Jr. As a playwright, her work has been produced throughout the United States and internationally, and her play Holmes Jr. High was commissioned and had its premiere here at Roots’ in Spring 2022. She was a finalist for both the 2021 and 2022 Henley Rose Award for Women Playwrights; other honors include attending the Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive and serving as a reader on the national committee for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Her proudest accomplishment, however, is being a mother to her two sons alongside her husband, Chris.

Katie Malish (Director: K-4 Grade Musical) is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She attended Indiana University in Bloomington, receiving her B.A. in Theater/ Drama and her B.S. in Secondary Language Arts Education. At Indiana University, Katie was a member of the Singing Hoosiers and very involved in the theatre department. Favorite acting credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa), In the Heights (Vanessa), Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth), and By the Bog of Cats (Monica). Currently, Katie works at Carmel High School as an English teacher. Aside from teaching English, Katie has taught tap, jazz, and scene work classes with the Point Theater. Katie is thrilled to be working at Roots’ School of Theatre to continue sharing her love of theater with others.”

Eddrice Faness Weaver (Choreographer: 3-8 Grade Musical) is a recent graduate of Indiana University with a BFA in musical theatre with a minor in dance. Eddrice has been in theatre performing for many years. Eddrice’s favorite role he has played is a tie between Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Harry Witherspoon in Lucky Stiff. Eddrice Is trained in many styles of dance including Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, tap, Jazz and Hip hop. Eddrice Has also choreographed shows and pieces for school. Eddrice wants to be a performer on Broadway while being a choreographer. Eddrice also writes and produces music. Eddrice would like to thank his family and friends for their support. He would also like to dedicate his work here to his Late Grandmother Viola Smith

Drew Watkins (Assistant Director: Play; Instructor: Comedy Class) is a graduate from Ball State University where he earned his Bachelor’s in Theatre Education. While he spent the beginning of his career in theatre on the stage, Drew now enjoys being behind the scenes, directing, teaching lessons, and building sets. During his time at Ball State, he had the opportunity to work at Highland Middle School, where he assisted with Moana Jr., and at Northside Middle School in Muncie, IN, as the set designer and assistant director for Charlotte’s Web and the director for Alice in Wonderland. He spent his final semester of college at Warren Central High School, where he assisted with the production of Spongebob The Musical and worked as the student teacher for the theatre and tech classes. Post graduation, Drew has taught classes at Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre.

Mohamed Amin (Assistant Director: K-4th Grade Musical) is a freelance youth theatre director and actor in the Hamilton county area. Mohamed has been directing plays since high school, with his 2014 IndyFringe comedy Importance of Being Electra being a highlight of his high school work. In college, Mohamed developed and artistically structured social justice-centered theatrical pieces in the annual Tunnel Of Oppression series at Indiana University. His acting work includes Tom in Clybourne Park, Michel in Murder on the Orient Express, Giles Corey in The Crucible, and Will in The Book Club Play. In his free time, he manages the youth productions of Fishers’ Lantern Islamic Theater Company–a refugee and immigrant run youth theatre. Aside from directing and acting, Mohamed has extensive experience in teaching improv to young actors.

Patrick Houde (Scenographer & Technical Director) is new to the Indianapolis area. He recently moved to Indiana from Columbus, Ohio. Patrick is so excited to be part of the Indianapolis theater community. He lives in the Fountain Square area with his husband Mark and their fur babies. Theater has been a huge part of Patrick’s life for many years. In Ohio he developed an expansive theater production resume, working with many schools, theaters, and production companies. He loves being able to paint the audience a visual picture with his talents in, costuming, set design and makeup. Some of the shows he’s the proudest of are: Tarzan, Grease, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical the Musical, Mamma Mia, Shrek, and many more. In his spare time, he paints and enjoys cooking for his family.  Patrick is a lover of all things strange and scary too, and a proud member of Necropolis Underground Haunted Attraction team. He’s so excited to be here at Roots’ School of Theatre and can’t wait for the adventures ahead!

"Theatre is immediate, it's alive, you're there with the audience, it can't be done again and again and again and again, it's organic" ~ Kim Cattrall