JoannaCHortonheadshotJoanna C Horton

Founder / Director

Joanna began teaching since 1999 doing theatre workshops for social justice, then toured throughout the eastern U.S. teaching with the theatre-for-social-change troupe she co-founded in 2005.

Studio members from left, Grace De La Rosa, Matt Simons, Joanna C Horton, Amy Crews, Kim Turton at the screening of Team Best Friends' film, "The Other Half" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


Honors Joanna was awarded the Best Director honor in the Maine One-Act Festival for “The Death of Trotsky.” In 2011, she received a nomination for “Best Actress” in the Jacksonville 48-Hour Film Festival. Joanna produced international Go-Green Film Competition winner, “The Other Half,” screen at the Academy in Los Angeles. Joanna co-produced/acted in Jacksonville 48-Hour Film Festival’s winner, “Manifesto.”  Joanna’s students acting awards include International 48-Hour Film Festival winner, “Being Becca.”


Horton Actors Studio Joanna founded her acting studio in 2009, where she collaborated on countless indie films.  Since then, many of Joanna’s students have worked professionally in Florida, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Toronto and New York in film, commercials, industrials and television. Student bookings include Disney, Tyler Perry, Showtime’s “Larry Wilmore Show,” Florida Theatre, as well as countless local businesses and companies. Joanna currently resides in Sedona, AZ where she continues to coach in an international school.  More at joannachorton.com.


Studio Partners


Matt Simons, Filmmaker

Matt is a Jacksonville native, and a photographer and filmmaker.  Matt has been honored with various awards for his work in film and sound design. His work won “Best Sound Design” in Jacksonville 48-Hour Film Festival for 2011 and 2012. In 2012, his team with Marc Boese came in 2nd place for the “Best Film” category of the same festival. As part of Marc Boese’s team’s film, Matt went to Cannes Film Festival for their screening of “Africa” in the International Short Film corner. The 2012 International 48-Hour Go-Green Festival awarded his team’s film in the top 15 films, for which Matt was 2nd unit Director of Photography and 2nd Unit Director. Additionally, the International 24-Hour Film Festival in 2012 rewarded his team’s film with 4th place out of 750 films.

Previously, Matt worked as a Video Production Specialist for the U.S. Navy. Currently, he is a freelance videographer and photographer specializing in headshots, and lifestyle and nature photography. He writes, produces and directs films. He currently resides in Sedona, AZ.

Emeritus Instructors


Kim Turton

Kim is originally from Orlando, FL and began acting in her school plays and at the Civic Theater of Central Florida’s summer youth programs.    Since joining the studio Kim has appeared in industrials for Vystar Credit Union, principal  roles in student films for Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ) and the Art Institute (AI),  live performances at the Jacksonville Zoo, Jacksonville Women’s Convention Center and Jacksonville’s OneSpark. She also has appearances in Marc Boese’s award winning film, “The Other Half” for the 2012 International 48-Hour “Go Green” film competition. She also appeared in the 2nd place film for 2012′s Jacksonville 48-Hour Film Festival, “Manifesto.”

Recent projects include a lead role in thrillers, “Indecent Retribution” and “Cirque du Mors.”  Kim has a degree in Communications with a specialty in Advertising and Public Relations, and works full-time as an Account Executive. She was a founding member of the film-making group at the Horton Actors Studio, and taught in the Meisner Program. Kim resides in Jacksonville, Florida and continues to work as an actor professionally.

KarenKaren Overstreet, Instructor

Karen is one of the founding members of the Horton Actors Studio. She recently completed her training in the Meisner technique with Joanna C Horton and joined the studio as an instructor. Karen has been acting her whole life. She has appeared on stage in Ohio, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Some of her most notable roles include Charlotte in Night of the Iguana, Annelle in Steel Magnolias, Sooze in SubUrbia, Aunt Gert in Lost in Yonkers, Elaine in Arsenic and Old Lace, and last season at The Limelight Theatre Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible. She is a current member of the Murder Mystery Players of Jacksonville. She has also spent a lot of time behind the scenes working as a stage manager and other technical positions for numerous plays and musicals.

In addition to her stage work, Karen is has appeared in many films projects produced throughout Florida. Recent projects include the feature length thriller, “Girl of My Dreams” and lead roles in the short film, The Test about what it is that makes us fall in love and the short film, “Release” about a woman recovering from the death of her husband. Karen holds a Master’s Degree in Biology and has a real-life role as a biologist at the Mayo Clinic (no kidding!). She resides in Florida and continues to work as an actor professionally.

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