Terry Knickerbocker Studio Staff
Terry Knickerbocker Studio staff are our fearless leaders—they guide the high-level development of programming, courses, and so much more behind the scenes to keep our studio at the forefront of New York acting studios.

Meet the Staff

Katie De Bari

Katie De Bari

Marketing Associate

Katie De Bari is a Florida-born actor/dancer with a BFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied at the Experimental Theater Wing and Stonestreet Studios. She has a strong movement background, having grown up as a competitive gymnast, and continues to practice acrobatics as a stunt double.

Katie’s career has spanned various arts and nonprofit organizations, including roles at Big Dance Theater, Theater Mitu, the United Nations-accredited environmental nonprofit IDEAS For Us, and the urban farming nonprofit Fleet Farming. In addition to working with TKS, Katie runs De Bari Creative. Through her own media and digital marketing company, Katie helps a variety of small businesses and nonprofits to enhance their digital presence, reach a wider audience, and deepen their impact. Katie is deeply passionate about the the intersection of arts and sustainability, and believes that this combination can drive meaningful, positive change in the world. @katiedebari.

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Marena Dunnington

Studio Manager

Marena is a Brooklyn-born and based Theatre Educator, Director and Arts Administrator. In 2017, she earned an MA in Applied Theatre (Drama in Educational, Social, and Community Settings) from Goldsmiths University of London, following a BA in Theatre with a dual-concentration in Directing and Performance Studies from Muhlenberg College. Since then, Marena has been teaching drama and managing performing arts programs at public charter schools, while also directing new works whenever possible. She is also the founder of Kahilu Performing Arts Workshop (KPAW), a non-profit theatre camp for youth in rural Hawaii, where her family moved when she was entering high school. She’s proud to say this program still thrives today, twelve years later. Marena’s fervor for theatre education at every level fuels her enthusiasm for her work at TKS, where she is thrilled to be collaborating with like-minded staff, faculty, and students who share a deep commitment to their artistry.

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Christopher Jewels-Booth

Director of Admissions and Enrollment

Christopher Jewels-Booth is an award winning actor, writer, and illustrator whose work has been seen Off-Broadway, on Comedy Central, Disney +, and heard on NPR. He has headlined the Denver Improv Festival, the Miami Improv Festival and the Montreal Comedy Festival and his solo shows The System, The Bowhead Whale, and KaBOOM! have been official selections at NYC Solocom. His illustrations have been seen in the pages of Atomic Comics and Big Guy Comics.

Christopher is a playwright in residence for the A Collective Theater group, with whom he premiered his radio show War of the Worlds: Mosaic. Christopher is also the host of the storytelling show Bar Tales and Blowhards. In the admissions world Christopher has proudly served as the Assistant Director of Admissions at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and as the Director of Admissions at the Atlantic Acting School. You can follow his illustration work on instagram @thechrisbooth.

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Kevin Kong

Student Service and Operations Coordinator

Kevin is an actor who received his BFA in Music and Computer Science from New York University, and is also a graduate of the TK Studio 2-Year Conservatory Program. When he’s not slinging it out as a young actor, you can find him holed up in a movie theater, on the dance floor, or curled up inside a good book.

Kayla Zanakis

Kayla Zanakis

Marketing Supervisor

Kayla Zanakis (she/her) is a Domini-Greek actor, arts marketer, and community organizer. Kayla is a first-generation college student who studied at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received a Community Connector Award, President’s Service Award, and Outstanding Achievement in the Meisner Studio Award. Kayla has worked at Off-Broadway theater companies such as PlayCo, Theater Mitu, and Ars Nova. She was selected as an Emerging Leader in Theatre Fellow. In her free time, Kayla is a freelance graphic designer and has created graphics for the official Carmen Sandiego and Oregon Trail accounts with HarperCollins Productions, along with off-off-Broadway productions.

Kayla is a proud AEA member and has performed at Radio City Music Hall, HERE Arts Center, Daryl Roth Theater, Chain Theater, Caveat, Soho Playhouse, Flea Theater, and the Tank. She is an INTAR Unit 52 Member. She aims to tell clear, comical, and current stories and as an unrelenting optimist, strives to balance healthy existentialism and presence while preserving childlike wonder and curiosity in everything she does.