The Hopeful Theatre project began as a dream in the fall of 2018. We opened our first showcase, "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 now a non-profit corporation in the state of Texas founded on April 11, 2019.
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.
"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 then went on to work for The Walt Disney World Resort as a "Fairy Godmother in Training" and took many courses on Disney Leadership and Disney Entertainment. Jessica now works at Cranial Technologies in Fort Worth, TX as a Baby Imaging Specialist where she helps infants with plagiocephaly and brackycephaly. When she's not working or directing, Jessica can be seen performing around the DFW Metroplex. She recently received a nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance as Tracy Turnblad in HAIRSPRAY. Jessica is very excited for the future of The Hopeful Theatre Project and hopes you will join our family!
Kristi has been active in the DFW theatre scene for over ten years. She is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and hopes to soon add director to that list. She received her BS in Theatre from Texas A&M-Commerce and her MA in Drama from Texas Woman’s University.
"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."
"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!"
"Music has always been my life. It's healed me, it's helped me grow, and I don't think I could live without it. To be able to use music to help and serve others is definitely something I will always be thankful for. I'm so thankful for Jessica Cope and Kristi Smith for helping start this amazing company."
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 posting on Hopeful's social media or updating the website, she can probably be found with an iced coffee in hand, headed to rehearsal. Some of her favorite past roles include Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Laurie Williams (Oklahoma!), and Katherine Plumber (Newsies). She is so excited to see what is in store for Hopeful!
Mary Ridenour is more than proud to be apart of The Hopeful Theatre Project and could not be more happy for the people it benefits. Mary has been singing since she was seven years old and was raised in a family of musicians. She's been trained in classical, musical theatre and country voice, piano and violin and is currently a private voice teacher. She has performed in many theaters such as Casa Manana, Artisan Center Theater, Firehouse Theater, Carnegie Players, TTYP, Family Music Theater and Uptown. Her favorite roles include Martha (The Secret Garden), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Grace O'Mally (The Pirate Queen), Sister Mary Robert (Sister Act), Little Red, The Witch, Rapunzel (three different productions of Into The Woods) and Grizabella (CATS) which she won a Column Award for Best Leading Actress 2019.