2019. Boots on the Ground Theater, Inc. Cocoa, FL

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Our Story

----a letter from our CEO

Hello Friends,

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out our site. We are thrilled that you are interested
in moving in your community. After all, it is up to you to share your stories and inspire us all. I
would like to share with you a little about what caused us to move.


Flash back to the spring of 2017, three college seniors feverishly writing papers, buttoning up capstone projects, closing show after show, performing in final recitals, but most importantly of all, deciding on one of the most daunting tasks in your final weeks of undergrad: life’s next steps.


The days, weeks and even months leading up to a big life change are inevitably filled with fear, uncertainty and for us, 2am existential conversations in the technology lab of the Humanities and Fine Arts building with our closest friends. The floor littered with costuming renderings, the dull hum of computers working at full capacity, the soothing click clack typing of papers being edited, empty cans of Redbull and half finished Starbucks drinks sprinkled throughout the room giving life to each persistent scholar left standing. 


This is when we decided to contemplate post-grad life. In retrospect, 2am on a Wednesday running on about two hours and fifteen minutes of sleep, hammering out a 400-level linguistic theory term paper is not the time to decide that your post-graduate plan is to plunge into the proverbial deep end of life by starting a company from scratch, but I admire the sheer confidence, determination and audacity we had to proclaim to the Edwards Building dwellers that we would be starting our very own theater company.

We had absolutely no idea what that would even mean in the coming weeks and even months. We could not imagine the hardships we would face, the doubt, the worry and the sacrifice that would greet us at every turn; however, we also couldn’t have imagined the tremendous success that followed. With the boldness to dream, the courage to believe we could dare to achieve something our hearts were set on, we framed the biggest asset we possessed then and today; a willingness to try. So we set forth, not a dollar to spend or a place to rest our artistic heads, on a journey that would, if nothing else, touch the lives of five 20-something years olds fresh out of college.

The name and idea of Boots on the Ground Theater came of this serendipitous late night conversation that spurned questions:“What am I doing?” “What is my purpose?” “how can I be more useful? Finally Mikayla said, “I want to put my boots on the ground”- a term used to allude to ground troops who are on active service in a military operation, meaning she wanted to be an active participant in serving communities through the art she did. We were enamored. I said, “Let’s do it”.

Just like that, Boots on the Ground Theater was born, a place where artists connect with, affect change in, and support their communities by telling stories. And here after two years, that dream has landed our boots on the ground in 4 states and 2 countries. Bringing a book to life on stage, creating an initiative to revitalize an entire community through art, gathering research in the conflict zones of Ukraine, raising money for victims of domestic violence and homelessness, organizing support for hurricane relief efforts – all of these incredible opportunities manifested through a willingness to try and putting people first.

 All my love, 


Charlotte Overby (CEO) 

Our Family

Charlotte Overby; producer, writer, all around creative and coffee enthusiast originally hails from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Her passion for creating and sharing stories led her to pursue a bachelors in both English as well as Theater from Coastal Carolina University. Following graduation, she co-founded and remains the CEO of Boots on the Ground Theater. Overby has a profound desire to empower others to live life to the fullest; following your heart and turning your dreams into goals. In addition to the arts, you can find her advocating for the community working for a local Community Health Center (FQHC) as a Certified Application Counselor, Outreach Coordinator and crisis mentor. Mental Health First-Aid Certified. AHA Life Support Certified. 

CEO, Founding Member

Charlotte Overby

Mikayla is an actress, dancer, writer, educator, and creator, born and raised in the sunshine state.  Her passion for storytelling led her to Coastal Carolina University where she received a B.F.A in Acting. In the summers between college, Mikayla performed in The Lost Colony and as an acting apprentice with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. After graduation, Mikayla co-founded Boots on The Ground Theater where she performed as The Pilot in the company’s inaugural production of Grounded. In 2017 While living in Ukraine gathering stories from Jewish Ukrainians preparing to leave their home country, Mikayla collaborated with the artists of the Les Kurbas Theatre Centre in Kyiv.

Mikayla's writing about her time in Ukraine has been featured by the Center for Civilians in Conflict. Mikayla has also worked as an artist educator for performers with different abilities with Art-Stream Inc and BodyWise Dance as well as a dancer with Contradiction Dance Theatre. 

Founding Member

Mikayla Goetz

Dalton Hedrick is an actor, creator, and musician. Dalton is originally from Fredericksburg, VA where he comes from a decorated background of athletics. This passion for the human body and its capabilities led him to Coastal Carolina University where he received a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Physical Theatre. Dalton continued this work in Arezzo, Italy at the Accademia dell’Arte. Additionally, he has trained at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA and has worked with The Ume Group in N.Y.C. Dalton worked on BOTG’s inaugural production of Grounded as the scenic and co-lighting designer, and served as a member of the "dream team" during BOTG's Underground: ArtSpace. Dalton is currently working on ALIYAH as the Director of Movement.

Founding Member

Dalton Hedrick

Duncan moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 2009 and there began his love for theatre

and the arts. He has performed in shows such as Legally Blonde, Blood

Wedding, and Twelfth Night. He loves to make people laugh and to make

lifelong friends. Duncan believes that art is the way that the global community progresses. Art is the space in which we as humans expose and scrutinize the intricacies that make us who we are. By examining the inner workings and sharing them with one another, we find common ground, we find a common enemy, and we rise above to a new level of existing.

Artistic Core

Duncan Overby

A filmmaker at heart, Brooks is an artist growing in his practice of cinematography, editing, and video production. His background in Graphic Design and Photography provides him with a unique perspective that wields and extensive range of skill-sets. When he's not behind the camera, Brooks enjoys devoting his time to friends and family. He continues his creative drive in his free-time by making shorts and composing orchestral music as a practice. Cooking and learning new things in the kitchen is a recent trade of his.

Artistic Core

Brooks Leibee

Anna Rae Lutz is a theatre artist based in New York City. She believes theatre and art are catalysts for change, and it is her duty to use her voice to promote empathy and awareness. She holds a degree from Marymount Manhattan College in Theatre Performance and Digital Media, and studied Physical Theatre at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Anna Rae has performed as a vocalist at Carnegie Hall, St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City and throughout Europe. She has also worked in Stage Management for the International Brazilian Opera Company’s productions of “The Seventh Seal” and “Plastic Flowers” and STORM Theatre’s production of “Ah, Wilderness”. Anna Rae is serving as Director of Casting for BOTG’s upcoming film ALIYAH. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and entertaining her cat, Scamper.

Artistic Core

Anna Rae Lutz

Michael is an actor, creator, and storyteller born and raised in the Boston area. He graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a B.F.A. in Acting. Recently, Michael was living just outside of NYC and studying improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade. In the summer of 2018, he headed down to Florida to work on Boots on the Ground’s production of Darkside. He loved this experience so much that he decided to continue working with BOTG and left the big apple for the sunshine state. When not performing, Michael enjoys traveling and hanging with his dogs. Michael is working with BOTG's Education to build curricula for our upcoming community classes.

Artistic Core

Michael Onofaro

Juan Agudelo is an aspiring actor currently engaged in the theater and film community of Central Florida. He moved from his home town of Elizabeth, New Jersey two years ago, shortly after attending two years of college. Juan saw a fuller life in Florida and took the opportunity to experience it for himself. Two years later, and he has had some of the most life-changing moments of his life. From working in immersive theater to collaborative endeavors with community members, all his effort have led him to Boots on the Ground. Juan is thrilled at the precious opportunity he now has in working with an organization as altruistic and welcoming as BOTG.

Artistic Core

Juan Agudelo