Who are we?

The Hopeful Theatre project began as a dream in the fall of 2018. We opened our first musical revue, "Two Acts of Love", February 16, 2019 to benefit The Ronald McDonald House Charities. We were so amazed by the amount of support that we had to continue making this dream a reality.

The Hopeful Theatre Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in the state of Texas founded on April 11, 2019.

We are different from any other non-profit theatres in Texas - each show we produce we do with one goal in mind: to raise funds for a local charity or a local chapter of a national charity.

Since our founding, The Hopeful Theatre Project has been able to raise over $50,000 for our beneficiaries, which include Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas, The Salvation Army, The Actors Fund, The American Red Cross, Operation Christmas Child, Wildlife Conservation Network, Save the Music Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Anthem Strong Families.

As a company, we are looking forward to expanding on big dreams and making a difference in the community we love!

Our Brief History

Our Mission Statement

The Hopeful Theatre Project’s goal is to bring love, hope, and aid to the community by utilizing local talent through the performing arts to benefit various charity organizations.

Past Beneficiaries

About the Team

Leadership Team

"The Hopeful Theatre Project has my heart. Giving back to the community through what I love most has been an absolute dream come true! But, of course, the dream wouldn’t be a possibility without the amazing actors and designers who have helped build this company along with me. I can only hope that we will spread love and happiness throughout the DFW metroplex (and beyond) every single day through this incredible project."

Jessica earned a BFA in Theatre Performance and Child and Family Studies from Baylor University. She was recently awarded Dallas Theater Journal's Pro-Artist of the Month (November 2023) for Excellence in Directing and Producing for Hopeful's production of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, along with being awarded Baylor University's Young Alumna of Year (2020-2021) for her work in the non-profit field! During the day, Jessica works for the American Heart Association where she is proud to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. She is also on the board for Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas. When she's not working or directing, Jessica can be seen performing around the DFW Metroplex. She received a nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance as Tracy Turnblad in HAIRSPRAY. She is very excited for the future of The Hopeful Theatre Project and hopes you will join our family!

Artistic Director / Co-Founder


Jessica Holt

"I have always know my passion; performing, but The Hopeful Theatre Project gave me a purpose; helping others. An idea like this is only successful because of those surrounding it and those directly involved. We are so lucky to be in the DFW area where the artistic community consistently comes together to help each other in any way possible. Through the talent of those around us and the joy that comes from performing, we have the ability to changes lives and that, well, that is amazing. Being born and raised in the Dallas area I can’t imagine a better place to give back and truly make a difference."

Kristi has been active in the DFW theatre scene for over ten years. She is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and was nominated for Broadway World's Dallas Dancer of the Decade in 2020. She received her BS in Theatre from Texas A&M-Commerce and her MA in Drama from Texas Woman’s University. 



Kristi Lee Tomenga

"One of the things I've always loved about performing is how it has allowed me to understand people who are different from me and dealt with different struggles. Being an actor and a singer has taught me to be able to step into someone's shoes and empathize with them. I love that Hopeful allows me to take that empathy and put it into practice both onstage while performing, but also through sharing my talents with photography and marketing. I love seeing how this project affects the lives of all those involved. It's a moving experience every time!"

Delaney Gebhart has been a performer and a photographer since she was in high school and is so happy to have found a place where she can combine those two skills for the benefit of others. When she isn't planning the next marketing day or updating the website, she can probably be found with an iced coffee in hand, headed to rehearsal or off to a photoshoot. She is also the owner of a small photography business, taking headshots and brand photos!

Delaney Gebhart




"Being able to use theatre as a tool for more than just personal creativity has always been really important to me. There's a magic in live performances that I have always believed can make a difference in people's lives, and working with The Hopeful Theatre Project makes that more tangible than it's ever been. The compassion, joy, and talent that radiates from this community is so palpable and I'm so lucky to be a part of it!" 

Kate Kimmis earned her degrees in Theatre Performance, Literature, and Music Performance from Baylor University. She spent 8 years teaching theatre in Mesquite and Rockwall ISDs where her productions consistently ranked in the top 20 in the 6A State competition and her actors were awarded the top 8 actors in the state. She now works as a Program Coordinator at Southern Methodist University, and is thrilled to join the Hopeful team. 

Production Manager

Kate Kimmis


"The Hopeful Theatre Project is not just a fantastic organization with a beautiful mission - it's a place where performers can soar, audiences can escape and our community can come together in times of struggle to find exactly what they're needing - hope. It is my hope that my work in this organization can further the mission of Hopeful, reaching more and new audiences and providing more opportunities to serve our amazing community!"

Phillip Slay has been working in the DFW theatre community, both on and off stage, for over 10 years and loves every minute of it. He holds his BA in Arts & Performance from the University of Texas at Dallas, as well as his MA in Performing Arts Administration from Roosevelt University. Currently, Phillip acts as the Program Director for a local franchise of Drama Kids International, providing after school programming for over 1000 students every school year. In his off time, he is a resident company member of Repertory Company Theatre in Richardson and of course, loves to work with his Hopeful crew. He is thrilled to be a part of this team and hopes to see you at every performance!

Phillip Slay

Production Manager



“The greatest gift that theatre has given me is a sense of belonging. I love that The Hopeful Theatre Project gives me an opportunity to pass on that gift. By welcoming other artists into an inclusive environment, by inviting patrons to come together to enjoy the arts, and by designating a community-based beneficiary of each production, we help create a community where everyone has a place to belong—and better yet—to thrive.”

Danielle auditioned for her first play at age ten, in an effort to overcome her shyness. She loved that she was encouraged to be loud, and silly, and to “make believe” even though she was getting older. She has been acting, dancing, and singing ever since. She earned her BA in Theatre from Western Washington University, then an MA in Education from Pacific Lutheran University. After five years of teaching middle school Theatre and English, Danielle now works in University Advancement. She is thrilled to continue her work in fundraising!

Grant Writer

Danielle Miller


"The Hopeful Theatre Project has intrigued me ever since I first heard about them and their business structure - A Theatre Company donating MOST of its ticket sales to a Beneficiary that, in turn, DIRECTLY helps the community. This is a Win-Win for anyone who supports the arts and wants to give back to the your neighbors in need while doing so. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of giving back and cannot wait to see how The Hopeful Theatre Project will grow each and every year"

Joshua Sherman received his Bachelors in Performance Arts from Texas Wesleyan University and has been involved with theatre in the DFW community for over ten years, acting, directing, choreographing, designing, and more! Beyond that, he seamlessly transitioned into the dynamic world of real estate, where he has flourished for the past seven years as a distinguished Realtor in the DFW area! Both on and off the Stage he has found a passion for helping people and is excited to continue doing just that alongside The Hopeful Theatre Project!

Joshua Sherman

Development Director


“I am so grateful to be a part of such a great organization with great people. I have always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself that brings good to the world. The Hopeful Theater Project combines my love of the arts with the desire to give back to the community. I’m not much of a performer, but I am *hopeful* that I will be able to help grow the organization!”

Kamela earned a M.S in Accounting at Sam Houston State University. After graduating college, Kamela began her career as a tax accountant working at the CPA firm Whitley Penn. During her tenure she has specialized in working with non-profit organizations. She enjoys her work with non-profits, and likes to volunteer when able. Outside of work, Kamela is a wife and mother, and loves to spend time with her family. Family is her most important priority in life. She is honored and excited to be part of the Hopeful Theater Project!


Kamela Waldon



“I’ve been performing since I was little on my couch cushions to growing up and playing a dream role on a big stage in college, and each experience in between has been amazing in its own right. I’m especially excited to add The Hopeful Theatre Project to that list of experiences because this place exudes compassion from every angle. People feel at home and welcome here, and the more I can post, create, or promote to get the word out about this place the better!” 

Hannah is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and just moved to the DFW area in June of 2023. She graduated from Shorter University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Dance, where she performed several shows including Carousel (Dance Captain), Godspell (Herself), and Cinderella (Charlotte/Dance Captain). When she isn’t posting or performing, she can be found cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs or cooking with her fiancé Caleb! 

Hannah autry

Marketing Specialist


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