Our Co-Founders

Annie Klark

Annie Klark has an extensive history in both performing and teaching music and theatre. Annie graduated from the University of Michigan in 2004 with degrees in Vocal Music Performance and English Literature. Since then, she has been a working actor and musician throughout the Detroit Metro Area and across the Midwest. She has been teaching music and directing children’s theatre professionally since 2001. As 4th Wall’s Artistic Director, she provides a wealth of theatrical and musical knowledge, as well as a great deal of first-hand experience building curriculum for children in numerous settings.

Katie Mann

Katie Mann is a certified teacher with a masters degree in Special Education. In addition to being a trained American Sign Language interpreter, she has worked extensively as a dancer, choreographer, and theatre program director, designing curriculum for well over a decade. Co-founding the 4th Wall family has brought all of Katie’s passions together.

Our Mission

We give educators the resources to provide a fun, creative, and therapeutic activity for children and adults of all abilities. Through the resulting rehearsal and performance process, students will experience personal affirmation and empowerment, and will build important life skills.

Our History

4th Wall Backstage was born out of our first company, 4th Wall Theatre Company. We started 4th Wall Theatre Company in Michigan in 2012 with the goal to efficiently and respectfully teach actors-to-be of all abilities about the creative process of theatre. At 4th Wall, we believe musical theatre can be applied to educate and empower students and to give them the opportunity to learn real world skills.

At 4th Wall Backstage, teachers everywhere have access to various aspects of our curriculum, including scripts, songs, games and activities, lesson plans, and more. Our motto at 4th Wall has always been “Theatre is for Everyone!”, and with 4th Wall Backstage we hope to make that a reality!

4th Wall in the News

We’ve worked so hard on getting the word out about theatre for all abilities. Being featured in the press for the work we do has been an honor time and time again. If you’d like to read and see more about the things we do, check out our Videos & Press page on our 4th Wall Theatre website. Or check out this March 2017 blog post, including news from NPR and the Detroit Free Press.

4th Wall Backstage 2018 Blooper Reel

See the behind-the-scene funny moments during the creation of our American Sign Language and dance choreography videos in 2018.


The people that helped us make this all possible:

  • Website Design: Cemah Creative
  • Photographer: Vincent Pellegrino
  • Video Editing: BB Squad Productions
  • Vocalist: Annie Klark
  • ASL Translations: Katie Mann
  • Keyboardist: Paul Herrington
  • Sound Engineer: Gordon Smith
  • Song Licensing: HFA Songfile

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