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Instructors

The Rose’s professional teaching artists are the best in the region!  They are the same professional actors who perform in The Rose’s main stage productions, and most have college and graduate degrees in theater arts and education.  Each class features one lead teacher, as well as an assistant to help provide additional support.

DRAMA at The Rose Artist Educators

Jackie Kappes

Jackie Kappes

Director of Education & Teaching Artist

jackiek@rosetheater.org

Jackie began at The Rose as a summer education intern and is delighted to return as the Director of Education. She has had the privilege of working as a theatre artist and teacher in communities across the country and world, including with Disney Musicals in Schools, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Bay Area Children’s Theater, Shanghai Children’s Art Theater, 7 Stages International Theatre, San Francisco Playback Theatre, Chattanooga Theatre Centre and StageWrite. Her work at The Rose Theater ignited her passion for theatre for social change and she went on to receive her Masters in Counseling Psychology and Drama Therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Since she has utilized theatre to facilitate dialogue for communities and organizations around topics such as harassment, immigration, veteran’s issues, LGBTQ+ pride and much more with San Francisco Playback Theater. Jackie has also brought drama therapy practices into schools in order to support students and families in building feelings of confidence, working through trauma and grief, fostering more positive relationships and preparing for big life transitions. Jackie is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the vibrant artistic community that so graciously and fruitfully supported her in her first steps out into the professional world of theatre education so many years ago.  

Tyrone Beasley

Tyrone Beasley

Artistic Associate –
Director of Outbound Programing
tyroneb@rosetheater.org

Tyrone Beasley is the Artistic Associate – Director of Outbound Programing. No stranger to the stage Tyrone has worked with acclaimed directors: Peter Sellars (The Merchant of Venice, It is Now Our Time), Claude Purdy (Jitney), Charles Marowitz (Shakespeare), David Wheeler (The Trials of Ezra Pound) and Antonio Banderas (Crazy in Alabama), among others. Tyrone has performed in many theaters around the globe including The Goodman Theatre (Chicago), Victory Gardens Theatre (Chicago), Thalia Theater (Hamburg, Germany), MC93 Bobigny (Paris, France) and The Royal Shakespeare Company (London, England). He has worked in front of the camera and behind the scenes in post-production on film and television projects for Disney, Fox, Sony, VH1, TriStar Pictures and the BBC. An Omaha Benson High School graduate, Tyrone earned a BFA in studio arts from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He attended California State University, Long Beach for graduate study in theater arts, taught acting classes there as a teaching associate and was an ensemble member of California Repertory Company. Tyrone served as the Artistic Director at The John Beasley Theater (JBT) in Omaha for ten years, he managed and taught the theater’s workshop programs that were a part of JBT’s mission of community outreach and developing a local pool of trained actors. He also acted in and directed numerous plays at the JBT.

Kevin Ehrhart

Kevin Ehrhart

Teaching Artist
kevine@rosetheater.org

Kevin has been teaching at The Rose for 22 years. He studied dramatic arts at UNO and is a Master Teacher with the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist-in-Schools program. He teaches improvisation, directing, Shakespeare and all forms of creative drama for ages preschool through high school. As a director, Kevin has been responsible for numerous main stage productions including Madeline’s Christmas and A Year with Frog and Toad. He has performed on stage as George in George and Martha: Tons of Fun, as the Cat in the Hat in Seussical – The Musical and as Pierre in How I Became a Pirate.

Stephanie Jacobson

Stephanie Jacobson

Teaching Artist & Early Childhood Director
stephj@rosetheater.org

Stephanie Jacobson is a full time Teaching Artist, Director, Actor, and Director of Youth Productions and the High School Internship at The Rose Theater. Stephanie has her MFA in Acting from the University of Iowa, is a certified yoga instructor, participated in The Diavolo Project: Nebraska and is a trained puppeteer specializing in Bunraku and Shadow Puppetry. Before moving to Omaha she lived in NYC where she worked with Liz Swados, Lee Bruer’s Mabou Mines, Taylor Mac, and The Jim Henson Company. At The Rose she previously directed George & Martha, Charlotte’s Web as well as The Rose Theater’s World Premieres of both The Misfits and The Grocer’s Goblin and The Little Mermaid. She has appeared on The Rose stage as the Mother in Pinkalicious; Arrietty in The Borrowers; Frog in Frog & Toad; and Gina in Big Nate-The Musical, and Irma Cody in The Rose’s World Premiere of Buffalo Bill’s Cowboy Band by Max Sparber.

Michael James

Michael James

Teaching Artist
michaelj@rosetheater.org

As a teaching artist Michael’s work is centered on taking what he has experienced as a performer, as well as his technical theatre training, and using these skills to successfully collaborate with other artists. Michael has been involved in the arts from a very young age. He trained in Ballet, Jazz, and Hip Hop before transitioning into acting and performing roles such as the role of Peter in Peter Pan and Nicely-Nicely in Guys & Dolls. After graduating high school, Michael shifted his focus to production design and stage management, receiving his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He then went on to be a Director and Choreographer for several children’s theater productions while teaching acting courses with The Coterie Theatre, and dance courses such as Musical Theatre Dance and Boys Dance & Conditioning with The Culture House. Michael is also a certified group fitness instructor.
He has worked as production and creative staff in several locations in Kansas City such as The Coterie, The Culture House, Theatre in the Park, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Jewish Community Center, and Olathe Civic Theatre Association.

Brian Guehring

Brian Guehring

Literary Manager, Playwright-in-Residence & Teaching Artist
briang@rosetheater.org

As The Rose’s Playwright-in-Residence, Brian has written many scripts including The Grocer’s Goblin & The Little Mermaid, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, The Bully Show, The Misfits, and Holiday Time Around the World and his scripts have been honored by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Kennedy Center, and the Nebraska Arts Council. He has recently been seen on stage in Robin Hood, A Year with Frog and Toad, How I Became a Pirate, The Misfits, and Peter Pan – The Musical. He earned his MFA in Children’s Theater and Creative Drama from the University of Texas at Austin, and was honored in 2006 with a Human and Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association. He is currently serving on the board of Theater for Young Audiences/USA.

Michael Miller

Michael Miller

Teaching Artist & Director of Youth Productions
michaelm@rosetheater.org

Michael joined our full-time staff in 2011 having previously worked for Macon State College, Mercer University, Omaha Children’s Museum, Omaha Performing Arts, El Museo Latino, and Omaha Boys and Girls Clubs. Michael is a Master Teacher with the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artists-in-Schools program with a focus on creative drama and design residencies. He has an undergraduate degree from Yale University and a Masters degree in Non-Profit Management from UNO. He directed Leo Lionni’s Frederick on the main stage this pas season and has directed for the Teens ‘N’ Theater season, performed in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, James and the Giant Peach, and the national tours of Frog and Toad, Richard Scarry’s BusyTown, and Treasure Island.

Carina DuMarce

Carina DuMarce

Teaching Artist
carinad@rosetheater.org

Carina DuMarce is a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and full time Teaching Artist, Performer, Youth Director, and Co-Director of Community Outreach. Carina started at The Rose in 2018 as a Teaching Artist Fellow and has been hooked on their programming ever since. It is a goal for Carina to share their experiences of performance, directing, and technical theater with students to help cultivate their theatrical skills in becoming a well rounded theater artist and human. It is Carina's philosophy that any and all skills learned in the Arts may be applied to everyday life. Carina has been involved in the arts since High School, all thanks to their father encouraging them to find their voice. Minnesota State University Moorhead is where Carina studied Theater Arts with a focus on Directing, Musical Theater, and Technical Theater. In 2016, Carina journeyed down the path of becoming a Teaching Artist at Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater. There they learned how to create curriculum for ages 6-12 using improv, creative drama, and movement. Carina has also directed, choreographed, and designed multiple musicals at Saint Joseph's Catholic School in Moorhead, MN. After stumbling upon The Rose in a Google search, Carina decided it was time to strengthen their Teaching Artist tool box and applied to become a Teaching Artist Fellow. Since then, Carina has learned and shared so much of what it means to be a Theater Educator and why the Arts are so important for our young people. While in Omaha, Carina has had the opportunity to bring iconic characters to life at The Rose Theater in productions of Winnie the Pooh(Winnie the Pooh) and The Little Engine That Could(Piper). It is Carina's mission to create a platform for indigenous youth to share their stories of what it means To Be Indigenous in Our World Today. Pidamaya.

LaDareon

LaDareon "LD" Copeland

Teaching Artist
ladareonc@rosetheater.org

LaDareon Copeland is so excited to be joining The Rose Theater this year. A graduate from Young Harris College, LaDareon has performed in many productions such as Tom Collins in Rent, Jim Bono in August Wilson’s Fences, and Black Fox/Henry Clay in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. LaDareon has worked in children’s theater for many years with companies including Missoula Children’s Theatre, CLIMB Theatre, and Bay Area Children’s Theatre. He is super excited to continue teaching and directing the next generation of amazing actors!

Maddie Grissom

Maddie Grissom

Teaching Artist
maddieg@rosetheater.org

Maddie Grissom grew up in Waukee, Iowa and recently graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in Theatre for Youth. She is very excited to start her professional career here at The Rose Theater! Maddie has come from a past in youth theatre programs in Des Moines, Iowa, as well as teaching and acting in Theatre for Youth Audiences in college. In addition to Teaching, Maddie has a passion for Stage Management and Acting.

Jay Hayden

Jay Hayden

Teaching Artist
jayh@rosetheater.org

Jay Hayden originally hails from Hebron, CT. They are a recent graduate of the University of Vermont, where they earned a B.S. in Secondary Education (Literature). While at UVM, Jay was the Artistic Director for The University Players, a student group committed to producing original and pre-existing work in the city of Burlington; additionally, they founded Name Pending, UVM's first, finest (and only) improv troupe. Most recently, Jay worked as an Education Associate with the Lake Dillon Theatre Company, and as a Box Office Manager with Vermont Stage. Jay is licensed to teach High School English and is a self-professed Shakespeare buff. Some favorite past roles include: Moritz (Spring Awakening), CB (Dog Sees God), and Peter Pan (Peter Pan). They are ecstatic to be part of The Rose this season, and hope to be a benefit to the community in the coming year!

Fran Sillau

Fran Sillau

Teaching Artist & Accessibility Coordinator
frans@rosetheater.org

Mr. Sillau serves as the Accessibility Coordinator at The Rose Theater, where he organizes educational opportunities for students with disabilities. He also directs mainstage productions at the Rose including *Shrek: The Musical*, *Go,Dog.Go!* and *Hanna’s Suitcase*. He also co-wrote and directed the world premiere production of *The Doll Maker’s Gift*

Sillau serves as Executive Artistic Director of Circle Theatre, a company dedicated to creating theater that includes artists with disabilities. Under Sillau’s leadership, the Circle co-commissioned My Broken Doll, a play based on the life of holocaust survivor Beatrice Karp, adapted by Ernie Nolan, and Over the River, a play about friendship by Ellen Struve. In December of 2016, Sillau directed a regional premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Sillau is an Aurand Harris Fellowship recipient and a winner of The Access Grant from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where he is a frequent contractor. He also served as a Teaching Artist Fellow for VSA: The International Association for Arts and Disability. On the subject of theater and disability, Fran has conducted workshops in Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Florida, Tennessee, New York, Washington, Connecticut, and at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. He holds an MFA in directing and inclusion from Goddard College.

Farrah Raquel Sklar

Farrah Raquel Sklar

Teaching Artist Fellow
farrahs@rosetheater.org

Farrah Raquel Sklar was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She graduated from Northwestern University this spring with a B.A. in Theatre and a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences. She served as a Summer Stock counselor for many years at her community theatre in Miami, and was a summer Education Intern at Childsplay Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. In her time at Northwestern, Farrah has explored her love for acting, directing, writing, and arts administration. She has, however, found her deepest passion in teaching artistry and is particularly excited about creating bilingual theatre for young people, as well as multi-sensory theatre for students with exceptionalities. Farrah cannot wait to be a part of the incredible work at The Rose!

BROADWAY at The Rose Instructors

Sue Gillespie Booton

Sue Gillespie Booton

BROADWAY at The Rose Director
sueb@rosetheater.org

Sue has been The Rose’s Resident Choreographer for 12 years, creating choreography for How I Became a Pirate, Disney’s High School
Musical, Disney’s High School Musical 2, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Pinkalicious-The Musical, and Peter Pan-The Musical, just to name a few. Her latest Rose stage credits include Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, How I Became a Pirate, and Pinkalicious-The Musical. She was recently awarded the “Best Director” award at the regional Access Broadway convention as well as nominated for the jazz piece “Queen Medley.” Additionally, she was nominated for Omaha Entertainment Awards “Best Choreography” for both Disney’s High School Musical and Disney’s High School Musical 2 and was awarded “Best Choreography” for her pieces “Crawl,” “Sucked Under,” and “Wipeout” from regional conventions Showbiz, Access Broadway, and Dance Olympus.

Michael James

Michael James

BROADWAY at The Rose Assistant Director

michaelj@rosetheater.org

As a teaching artist Michael’s work is centered on taking what he has experienced as a performer, as well as his technical theatre training, and using these skills to successfully collaborate with other artists. Michael has been involved in the arts from a very young age. He trained in Ballet, Jazz, and Hip Hop before transitioning into acting and performing roles such as the role of Peter in Peter Pan and Nicely-Nicely in Guys & Dolls. After graduating high school, Michael shifted his focus to production design and stage management, receiving his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He then went on to be a Director and Choreographer for several children’s theater productions while teaching acting courses with The Coterie Theatre, and dance courses such as Musical Theatre Dance and Boys Dance & Conditioning with The Culture House. Michael is also a certified group fitness instructor.
He has worked as production and creative staff in several locations in Kansas City such as The Coterie, The Culture House, Theatre in the Park, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Jewish Community Center, and Olathe Civic Theatre Association.

Katrinka Stayton

Katrinka Stayton

The Dance Lab at The Rose Director

Katrinka is a sought-after competitive dance choreographer as well as judge and master teacher. She started her dance training at Ballet Omaha, then went on to perform with Joffery Ballet, Moscow Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Central Dance Theatre and Brooklyn Dance Consort.

Katrinka specializes in contemporary competitive choreography and can teach contemporary, ballet, partnering, pointe, jazz, jazz/funk, leaps and turns, pilates, yoga, barre and tumbling.

Katrinka has choreographed and taught for ballet schools, competition teams, universities, opera companies, dance companies, and high school dance programs. Her students have appeared on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, Dance Moms, many Broadway National Tours and the Super Bowl.

Fran Adrianto

Fran Adrianto

Dance Instructor

Fran is excited to be back teaching at The Rose Theater. Past credits include ensemble, Elf: The Musical, Romeo – Newsies, Nikkos/Grandmaster Chad – Legally Blonde: The Musical, Creighton University.

Katie Agualiar

Katie Agualiar

Dance Instructor

Katie is a Grand Island native who is excited to share her passion for dance with Rose students! In 2014, she moved to Southern California to attend The Young Americans College of Performing Arts. Katie has since traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and all over the US teaching students of all ages how to sing and dance, as well as performing alongside them. She is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha to pursue her degree in business administration. Katie made her own debut on The Rose stage as a Big Kid in Matilda The Musical and cannot wait to see her students shine!

Ben Beck

Ben Beck

Rose Brigade/Acting Instructor

An Omaha native, Ben has been an award-winning actor for over twenty years. Some favorite onstage credits include Hannay (The 39 Steps), Andrew (I Hate Hamlet) and Booth (Assassins). He has led workshops and classes in acting, improvisation, and Shakespeare for all ages and abilities. Also a playwright, Ben’s work has been produced regionally and internationally. He has appeared in local and national commercials for television, print, and radio as well as voiced characters for several cartoon series including, “Archie's Weird Mysteries”, “Dino Squad” and “Liberty's Kids”. He has a BA in Theatre with an emphasis in Acting/Directing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Ben is deeply grateful to work with so many gifted teachers and students.

Meghan Boucher

Meghan Boucher

Front Desk Receptionist

Jerry Brabec

Jerry Brabec

Rose Brigade Instructor

Jerry Brabec, tenor, is an Ordained Deacon on the clergy staff at Omaha St. Paul United Methodist Church where he serves as Minister of Worship. His responsibilities include the overseeing of liturgical preparation for the congregation of 500. He also serves as choral director for Temple Israel’s Kol Rina. Awarded the Master of Music degree from the University of Nebraska, he studied choral conducting with Dr. Cina Crisara and Dr. Z. Randall Stroope. As a chorister of the acclaimed Robert Shaw Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall, he sang for five years under the baton of the late Robert Shaw, was twice selected one of six participants in the Alice Parker Melodius Accord Fellowship Program and frequently continues his conducting studies with Ms. Parker during January in New York. At the Rose for the past ten seasons, “The Doll Maker’s Gift” marks his 36th show as a visiting music director/vocal coach. He also serves as music director for the nationally acclaimed Rose Brigade, one of the award winning offerings of the “Broadway at the Rose” program. Formerly, Jerry taught at the high school level for Council Bluffs Community Schools, served as associate artistic director of the Omaha Clarion Chorale, and as artistic director for the Kanesville Chorus and Renaissance Faire of the Midlands.

Shannon Duke

Shannon Duke

Musical Theater Instructor

Shannon originates from Los Angeles and traversed the world in order to settle in Nebraska. She has taught internationally in the UK and Japan to children seeking lessons on performance skill. Her past credits at The Rose Theater are Elf the Musical, Ella Enchanted, and Howie D: Back in the Day. She continues to educate young performers in hopes that they learn to appreciate the arts in their everyday lives.

Wendy Eaton

Wendy Eaton

Voice Instructor

Wendy Eaton, mezzo-soprano, is known for her “warm and colorful voice which she uses very skillfully…”. “Her rich musical background gives her a very clear understanding of a wide variety of musical styles in vocal music” Victor Yampolsky, music director Emeritus of the Omaha Symphony.

Wendy Eaton has been an active performer and teacher in the Omaha area for over 25 years, including 20 years of teaching at the collegiate level. Eaton appeared regularly as a company member at the Rose from 2001-2012 & still enjoys occasionally performing with her colleagues at the Rose as much as she enjoys teaching with them.

Eaton’s love of classical song has been a driving force in her performing and teaching careers. She has been a featured soloist & guest artist with many local organizations including the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Opera Omaha, Omaha Chamber Music Society, Orchestra Omaha, Omaha Symphonic Chorus, the River City Mixed Chorus and the Nebraska Choral Arts Society. She has also performed in concert and recital throughout the state as a member of the Nebraska Arts Council Touring program and also throughout the country. Equally at home on stage, Eaton’s opera and musical theatre credits include Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Genevieve in The Long Christmas Dinner, Desiree, in A Little Night Music, Lady Thiang in The King and I, and Gertrude McFuzz in Suessical, the Musical.

Eaton has taught through Broadway at the Rose since its inception. She helped develop the curriculum of the Voice Area. Eaton also teaches in the Creighton University Music Department, where she has been a member of the voice faculty for 10 years. She also maintains a private studio teaching students of a wide variety of backgrounds and ages.

Kevin Ehrhart

Kevin Ehrhart

Acting Instructor
kevine@rosetheater.org

Kevin has been teaching at The Rose for 22 years. He studied dramatic arts at UNO and is a Master Teacher with the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist-in-Schools program. He teaches improvisation, directing, Shakespeare and all forms of creative drama for ages preschool through high school. As a director, Kevin has been responsible for numerous main stage productions including Madeline’s Christmas and A Year with Frog and Toad. He has performed on stage as George in George and Martha: Tons of Fun, as the Cat in the Hat in Seussical – The Musical and as Pierre in How I Became a Pirate.

Angie Frey

Angie Frey

Rose Brigade Instructor

Angela Frey is in her 5th year as musical director of the Jr. Rose Brigade. By day, she is a music specialist at Arbor View Elementary in Elkhorn, where she serves as Elementary Department Chair. She was most recently seen on the Rose stage as Mother in A Christmas Story. Other Rose credits include The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, and The Music Man. She is actively involved in Omaha area theatre, and is an experienced private studio instructor and vocal audition coach. Angela has worked as a professional actress for theatre companies in New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Indiana, and has toured with the Nebraska Theatre Caravan.

Sarah Gibson

Sarah Gibson

Musical Theater / Voice Instructor

Sarah is a private voice instructor, music director, and musical theater instructor for The Rose. In addition to her educational work, she performs on The Rose mainstage, including past productions: "Elf the Musical," "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," "Sherlock Holmes and the First Baker Street Irregular," "Peter Pan."

Other credits include "Heathers" (Ms. Fleming), The Blue Barn Theatre, Omaha, NE; "The Light in the Piazza" (Signora Naccarelli), Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul, MN; "Boeing Boeing" (Gretchen), Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Bemidji, MN; "Sunset Boulevard" (Norma Desmond), New Century Theater, Minneapolis, MN; Carousel (Nettie Fowler) Bucks County Playhouse (PA). Other Regional: The Rose Theater (NE), The Blue Barn Theatre (NE), Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (MN), Skylark Opera (MN), Lyric Opera of the North (MN), Mixed Blood Theatre (MN), Theatre L’Homme Dieu (MN), Pioneer Place on Fifth (MN), Park Square Theatre (MN), Fiesta Dinner Theatre (NJ), Pocono Playhouse (PA), and the historic Highfield Theatre on Cape Cod (MA). Sarah holds a BA (music) from Smith College, an MA (musical theater performance) from New York University and a DMA (vocal performance) from the University of Minnesota.

Taylor Hanna

Taylor Hanna

Dance Instructor

Caitie Hays

Caitie Hays

Musical Theater Instructor

Sophia Holmes

Sophia Holmes

Front Desk Receptionist

Stephanie Jacobson

Stephanie Jacobson

Musical Theater Instructor

Teaching Artist & Director of Youth Productions
stephj@rosetheater.org

Stephanie Jacobson is a full time Teaching Artist, Director, Actor, and Director of Youth Productions and the High School Internship at The Rose Theater. Stephanie has her MFA in Acting from the University of Iowa, is a certified yoga instructor, participated in The Diavolo Project: Nebraska and is a trained puppeteer specializing in Bunraku and Shadow Puppetry. Before moving to Omaha she lived in NYC where she worked with Liz Swados, Lee Bruer’s Mabou Mines, Taylor Mac, and The Jim Henson Company. At The Rose she previously directed George & Martha, Charlotte’s Web as well as The Rose Theater’s World Premieres of both The Misfits and The Grocer’s Goblin and The Little Mermaid. She has appeared on The Rose stage as the Mother in Pinkalicious; Arrietty in The Borrowers; Frog in Frog & Toad; and Gina in Big Nate-The Musical, and Irma Cody in The Rose’s World Premiere of Buffalo Bill’s Cowboy Band by Max Sparber.

Mimi Lawry

Mimi Lawry

Dance Instructor / The Dance Lab at The Rose Choreographer

Born and raised in Omaha, Ne, Mimi has been dancing since she could walk. She began training at ballet schools and participating in many local ballet and theater productions at the age of eight, playing the role of Clara in “The Nutcracker” at the age of twelve. Mimi danced competitively in regional and national competitions for ten years, winning many scholarships and overall awards. She spent summers studying at Kansas City Ballet School Intensive, and after high school, went on to train professionally at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in NYC. While in New York, Mimi also studied at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway with world famous choreographers. Eventually, Mimi moved to Los Angeles where she continued dancing in Hollywood at Millennium Dance Complex, International Dance Academy and Debbie Reynolds Legacy Studio. She then wound up back home in Omaha where she enjoys teaching company classes and choreographing award winning competition pieces.
Mimi is also a local singer-songwriter and has opened for Tech N9ne at Sokol Auditorium in 2014 and for Kid Cudi, Mac Miller and Logic at the Grassroots Music Festival in 2015. Mimi’s love of the arts drives her passion for inspiring young dancers to be their best selves!

Jen Lempke

Jen Lempke

Front Desk Receptionist

Nikki McMullen

Nikki McMullen

Dance Instructor

A native of Omaha,Nebraska, Nikki has been an instructor in the Omaha area for over 25 years. Many years of intense classical ballet training have helped Nikki to easily transition into various styles of dance, including: contemporary, lyrical, jazz, dance team, and hip hop. Nikki is a choreographer for the Dance Lab at the Rose competition company. Her pieces have won numerous choreography, entertainment, and other awards on the regional and national level. Nikki also works full time as a registered dietitian. She is married to her husband Matt and they have two children, Zach and Ella.

Avery Newman

Avery Newman

Tumbling Instructor

Biannah Peji-Palm

Biannah Peji-Palm

Dance Instructor

Biannah was born and raised in Quezon City, Philippines. There, she first discovered her love for performing through her ballet training at Halili-Cruz School of Ballet. She performed and competed with the school and became part of the Quezon City Ballet-- the official national and international performing group of HCSB. At the same time, she also studied voice, piano, and organ at the Yamaha School of Music. At age 15, during one of her trips to Dance Excellence--an international dance convention in Los Angeles--she met the Young Americans. She auditioned, got accepted, and joined the group right out of high school at 16 and has travelled to places in Europe, Japan, and the USA while performing and teaching. After two years, she decided to get her bachelor's degree at Midland University in Fremont, and just graduated last May 2019 with a Bachelor's in Arts Management with a Minor in Business Administration and Theater Emphasis. During her time at Midland, she was very involved with the dance, theater, and vocal music activities. She was part of the Premier Dance Company that gave dance workshops and performed around the US. She played supporting, featured, and a lead role with the theater department and was an acting teacher for Midland's Performing Arts Studio. Currently, she's getting her Masters in Business Administration at Midland University while serving the Performing Arts Department as their Theater Graduate Assistant. She is looking forward to this new chapter of her life of being able to share passion and love for music and the arts at the Rose!

Sarah Ryland

Sarah Ryland

Dance Instructor

Sarah Keating Ryland grew up dancing in Lincoln, NE. She began her teaching career at Hart Dance Academy,
and was a member of the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company, dancing in their annual production of the Nutcracker, as well as other ballets such as Sleeping Beauty and Copellia. She graduated from the University of Nebraska--Lincoln, where she danced on scholarship
with the Scarlets for four years. She was a head instructor for Universal Dance Association, as seen on ESPN, and had traveled across the US and Europe teaching and choreographing. After graduating with a BA in English, she moved to Omaha, where she has continued
to teach for the past 21 years, both as a studio owner and as a company teacher. Her passion is for ballet and perfect technique in all genres of dance! Sarah is married to Bill Ryland and mother to Clara, Trey, Katlyn, Faith, William, Hope, and John Paul.

Madalene Steichen

Madalene Steichen

Front Desk Receptionist

Laurelin Sterns

Laurelin Sterns

Voice Instructor

Stephanie Tepox

Stephanie Tepox

Dance Instructor

Torisa Walker

Torisa Walker

Front Desk Receptionist

Nik Whitcomb

Nik Whitcomb

BROADWAY Class Coordinator
nikw@rosetheater.org

Nik Whitcomb returns to The Rose Theater as the Broadway at The Rose Coordinator after working as an actor, director, producer, and casting director for television, film, and theater across the Midwest. Born and raised in Omaha, Nik received his bachelor’s degree from Creighton University in Theatre Performance & Directing and is a Rose Kid having taken his first class at the theater at age six and quickly rising from student to intern to teaching artist to professional actor to guest director and now full-time staff member. Nik has left his mark on the entertainment industry having worked at a number of major theatrical institutions across the country including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie Theater, Goodman Theatre, The Stillwell Institute for Contemporary Black Art, Northlight Theatre, Old Log Theatre, and Ordway Center for Performing Arts. He also appears on the Original Cast Recording of Hildegard: An Unfinished Revolution and is the creator of an original theatrical movement and music piece called To The Sea. In April 2020 Nik was named a “Theatre Worker You Should Know” by American Theatre Magazine and THE COME UP with Nik Whitcomb made its debut. Film/TV casting credits include: Fargo - Season 4 (FX), Utopia (Amazon Prime), Work In Progress (Showtime), Station Eleven (HBO Max), 61st Street (AMC), Holiday Heist & Friend Request (BET/Marvista Films). Select Rose Theater credits include: Ella Enchanted (OEAA Nomination for Best Musical & Choreography), Shrek The Musical, Pete the Cat, A Christmas Story, Honk! The Musical, Sherlock Holmes & The First Bakers Street Irregulars, Young Gifted & Black, and Pride Players. Other Omaha theater credits include: Little Nelly’s Naughty Noel (Bluebarn Theatre), Smart People & The Divine Order of Becoming (Union For Contemporary Art), Caroline or Change (OEAA, TAG, & Elaine Jabenis Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical). As a teaching artist outside of The Rose, Nik was on the inaugural team for Disney’s Musicals in Schools with Omaha Performing Arts, worked with Ashland Productions in Minneapolis, MN, and served as an Artist in Residence for a summer at Quincy Community Theatre in Quincy, IL. Nik is also an equity and inclusion thought leader and currently serves as a mentor in the American Alliance for Theatre and Education Leaders of Color Institute and sits on the Voices Amplified committee at Omaha Performing Arts. You can often find Nik speaking on panels, offering workshops, and providing consultation to arts leaders, nonprofits, and college/university programs across the country.

Trudy Yeatts

Trudy Yeatts

Voice, Musical Theater, Teen Dance Instructor

Trudy is delighted to be an instructor at The Rose, and enjoys teaching voice, musical theatre, and dance. She grew up in New Jersey and began a professional performing career in New York City at the age of 6. She has performed on Broadway and National Tours in such shows as “A Chorus Line”, “Shenandoah”, “Dames at Sea”, and “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine”. She developed a night club act and was booked in N.Y.C. , Los Angeles, resorts in the Poconos, and cruise ships. She then moved to Ohio where she spent 23 years singing for a Christian Ministry, writing original songs, producing/directing/choreographing sketches and musicals, and coaching many singers. She moved with her family to Omaha in 2015 and began working for the Rose as a private voice instructor. Since that time she has loved the numerous opportunities that have opened up for her to teach and share from her professional experiences with young people who adore Musical Theatre like she does.