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The Little Engine That Could

Adapted by Matthew Gutschick,
Based on the Book by Watty Piper.
Published by Penguin Group, Inc.

“All aboard!!!” for a brand new First Stage adaptation of the all-time classic children’s book The Little Engine That Could! This new production for our youngest theatergoers brings Watty Piper’s timeless tale of perseverance and positivity to fresh new life for contemporary children!

Screen-centered Watty and stuff-collecting Piper are sisters who aren’t exactly on the same track. But when the train to Springfield is delayed leaving them stranded in the station, the sometimes squabbling siblings must learn to work together—with lots of help from children in the station to find a way to get toys and treats to the children on the other side of the mountain. With its universal themes of finding your own confidence and believing in yourself as well as helping others, you and your little ones will relish this ride on the rails of doing the right thing!

  • Run Dates Oct 12 - Nov 4, 2018
  • Appropriate Ages 2+
  • Duration 30 minutes

Cast & Credits


  • Watty – Brissa Lopez
  • Piper – Carina DuMarce
  • Conductor – Michael Miller


  • Playwright – Matthew Gutschick
  • Director – Stephanie Jacobson
  • Production Stage Manager – Kali Coates
  • Scenic Designer – Matthew D. Hamel
  • Lighting Designer – Elton Bradley
  • Sound Designer – Christy Hernandez
  • Costume/Hair/Make-up Designer – Erin Bragg
  • Director of Production – Erin M. Solemsaas
  • Resident Stage Manager – Lisa Krabbenhoft
  • Technical Director – Greg Rishoi
  • Director of Lighting & Sound – Craig S. Moxon
  • Properties Mistress – Devon Denn-Young
  • Scenic Charge Artist – Savanna Savick
  • Master Carpenter – Jackson Curtright
  • Stitchers – Sherri Geerdes, Erin Bragg, Audio Helkuik

Adapted by Matthew Gutschick,
Based on the Book by Watty Piper.
Published by Penguin Group, Inc.

Brissa Lopez

Brissa Lopez

Brissa Lopez holds a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis in Theatre for Young Audiences from Brenau University with the Gainesville Theatre Alliance where she graduated with Honors with the the highest distinction in the Theatre Major. She has previous work experience as an education intern at Seattle Children’s Theatre and Lexington Children’s Theatre. As a Latinx actor, and educator Brissa has dedicated her mission to be an emissary of change for the latinx community and to inspire young people to reach for their dreams and overcome their adversities.

Carina DuMarce

Carina DuMarce

Hello! Carina is beyond excited to share her debut performance at The Rose Theater with you! Before moving to Omaha for a Teaching Artist Fellowship here at The Rose, Carina studied Theatre at Minnesota State University Moorhead with emphasis’ in Musical Theatre, Directing, and Technical Theatre. While living in the Fargo/Moorhead area, Carina has worked as a freelance Theatre Artist working both on and off stage! A few of her favorite projects would include acting in "Peter and The Starcatcher" (Smee) and stage managing "A Year with Frog and Toad" at Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre, directing "Bebop with Aesop!" at St. Joseph's
Catholic School, and prop designing "The Moors" for Theatre B, When Carina is not consumed in a theatrical endeavor, you can find her reading War & Peace for the hundredth time, singing along to "Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812" as if it were a one woman show, cocooned in bed watching The Office, or attempting to finish a craft she most likely started months ago. Carina would love to thank Brissa and Michael for being incredibly wonderful scene partners, the production and artistic team for their beautiful work, and her friends and family for their unconditional love and support; it’s because of you that I’ve gone from “I think I can..I think I can..” to “I know I can..I know I can!”

Michael Miller

Michael Miller

Michael is an actor and teaching artist at The Rose Theater. He has worked as an Arts Education Specialist with various Omaha cultural arts programs. As a registered Nebraska Arts Council artist, Michael has designed and delivered educational theater programs in the schools for the past ten years. He has also worked with young people at the Omaha Theater Company for nearly 15 years. Michael also serves as Literary Manager for The Rose Theater. He worked as development dramaturge for the award winning scripts "The Adventures of Nutrition Man and Dr. Exercise" among others. Michael was recently in The Rose Theater’s "James and the Giant Peach" and "Huck Finn". Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies with a concentration on educational issues from Yale University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Production Photos

Know Before You Go

First Stage: A small stage for big imaginations

The Rose is proud to offer young theater-goers a unique opportunity to experience the theater arts. Our FIRST STAGE productions are perfect for preschoolers, children with special needs or sensory needs or others who desire a gentler, more interactive and personal performance.

Our FIRST STAGE productions feature:

  • Interactions with performers
  • A smaller theater space where kids are part of the action
  • Flexible seating in chairs, on the floor, on benches, etc.
  • A “shush-free” environment
  • Minimal periods of darkness or loud sounds
  • A whole lot of imagination and fun!

The Rose’s Hitchcock Stage (a smaller theater space located on our 4th floor), allows children to become completely absorbed in the theatrical experience. We encourage their interaction with the performers and invite your family to tear down the fourth wall and become a part of the performance.

FIRST STAGE provides a way to nurture creative thinking and imagination while inspiring both children and their parents. Introduce your child to the magic of theater through FIRST STAGE!

Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session!

A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.

Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph!

Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.


Everyone deserves a chance to experience the magic of theater. Performances are open to children and family members of all abilities. Click here to learn more about accessibility at The Rose.

Theater Location

The Rose is located in downtown Omaha at 2001 Farnam Street on the southwest corner of 20th & Farnam Streets.


From west Omaha, take I-80 East to 1-480 North and exit onto 20th Street. The Rose is located on Farnam Street, approximately three blocks south of the 20th Street exit.

Convenient Parking

Parking is available for $2 in the parking garage at 19th & Harney, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission (1910 Harney St., Omaha, NE 68102).

Parking meters surrounding the theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with free parking available on Sundays and holidays.

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