Born and raised in Northern California, Amy Marie McCleary discovered a love for performing early in life when she became entranced by a drill team performing at the county fair. Whether it was the pink sequins or the high kicks - we'll never know. Training in ballet, gymnastics, voice and musical theatre from a very young age - Amy quickly became a part of the local theatre scene. Her favorite formative roles include Gladys Antrobus in The Skin of Our Teeth, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls and Emilie the courtesan in Dangeorus Liasions. She performed and choreographed throughout the area until she left home to receive her BFA in Theater from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (CAP 21).
After graduating in three years, Amy performed at various regional theaters across the country including Flat Rock Playhouse, Allenberry Playhouse and Cortland Repertory Theatre. She then began her association with Prather Productions - receiving rave reviews for her performance as Sheila in Broadway Palm’s production of A Chorus Line. From there Amy was featured in many of their productions including Bombalurina in Cats, Lola in Damn Yankees, Lily St. Regis in Annie, Velma in Chicago and Gabriella in Boeing, Boeing. In 2007, Amy joined Prather as resident choreographer - staging dances for Cabaret, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, High School Musical, The King and I and the 2009/2010 National Tour of The Wedding Singer.
That same year Amy made her directorial debut with I Love A Piano - her staging and vision for the show prompted a three theatre tour and led to additional director/choreographer credits for the Prathers including Some Enchanted Evening, Hairspray, 9 to 5, Cats, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, The Wizard of Oz, Swing and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat. Amy became well known as an “actor’s director” - creating a strong ensemble world for her casts that spilled from the rehearsal room onto the stage. Her choreography continued to push boundaries for the company and embraces many styles from traditional musical theatre to lyrical, rhythm tap, classical ballet, Bollywood and more.
Amy continued to work at other regional theaters directing, choreographing and performing at the Herb Strauss Playhouse, Allenberry Playhouse, Florida Repertory Theatre, The Crown Uptown, Circa '21 and Gulfshore Playhouse. She also served a as a guest director at UNCG for their production of Hairspray.
In 2015 Amy received the huge honor of being selected to direct and choreograph the National Tour of Memphis which received strong accolades from audiences and critics across the country. In 2017 her choreography again went on tour with Prather Production’s The Wizard of Oz. The successful tour continued throughout 2018 and made its way to China in 2019/2020.
Most importantly, in a world where everyone is searching for the next gig, Amy simply loves the work. Her favorite place is a rehearsal room and her love for the art of musical theatre and the human condition spills across the director's table (or more frequently the music stand) and permeates into each and every performer she works with. Her super power as a director is connection, empathy, and being a supportive sounding board for the artists at hand.
When not directing, choreographing or performing Amy teaches private voice and acting and serves as the director and creator of Broadway Palm’s/Alliance of the Arts Musical Theatre Intensive camp every summer. The camp gives middle school and high school students the chance to work with professional actors on singing, acting and dancing in a professional setting with a final performance on the Broadway Palm stage.
Amy makes her home in beautiful Southwest Florida with her lighting/sound designer husband and two children.