Past Companies


 
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Steve Barth Headshot-s

Steve Barth ~ Director for Shrek

Born and raised in Kearney, Nebraska, Steve discovered his passion for music and theater performing on stages across the community. His love for the arts inspired him to pursue his BA and MFA in Acting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During that time, Steve had the opportunity to perform with many theaters throughout the Midwest, including the Nebraska Repertory Theater, Minnesota Repertory Theater and Illinois Music Theater. Steve eventually moved to New York City, where he resided for eight years acting, directing and producing. He co-founded Three’s Company Productions, which produced plays throughout the city. Steve now proudly serves as the Artistic Director of Crane River Theater, a company he founded with his childhood friends Brian Botsford and Brooke Bradford.

Dan Beckmann Headshot-s

Dan Beckmann ~ Randy in Almost Maine, Shrek in Shrek and Travis in Footloose

Dan is an actor from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he is ecstatic to be spending his THIRD summer in Kearney! Past roles with Crane River Theater include Snoopy in Snoopy!!!, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad and Rapuzel’s Price in Into the Woods.  Dan is looking to make this summer the best of his life before he moves to NYC in September.  He would like to thank his family for always showing him unwavering support in his artistic endeavors.  Thanks to everyone in attendance — your support of local theatre is imperative to the maintenance and growth of ever-important art in our world!”

Becky Key Boesen Headshot-s1

Becky Key Boesen ~ Glory in Almost Maine and Director for Footloose

Becky is a director, producer, actor, teaching artist and playwright.  Her most recent original play, What the Wind Taught Me, was commissioned by the Lied Center for Performing Arts and toured the state of Nebraska last fall.  Recent favorite directing projects include Nocturne at Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing for Flatwater Shakespeare and most recently, a staged reading of Crossing Over ­ a new Amish hip hop musical at the ASCAP New Musical Theatre Workshop.  Becky teaches acting, playwriting and script analysis at Doane College and is the New Musical Theatre Coordinator for the Lied Center for Performing Arts.  She was recently honored as one of the “Top 20 under 40” business people in Lincoln, Nebraska for her strides in the theatre.  She loves Nebraska and truly believes that the midwest is a perfect place to make epic theatre happen! When not busily working, she is the proud mom of Evan (9) and Quinn (4).
 

Brian Botsford Headshot #2-s

Brian Botsford  ~ Music Director for Shrek and Cowboy Bob in Footloose

Brian is a 1995 graduate of Kearney High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education.  After eleven years as the vocal music instructor and assistant instrumental music instructor at Bishop Neumann High School, he is now the 6-12 vocal music instructor at Lexington Public Schools.  Brian has been an active performer in the Lincoln and Omaha area, participating in groups such as the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Lincoln Community Concert Band, Lincoln Civic Orchestra and the First Presbyterian Church of Wahoo.  Currently he is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Joe Burkard Headshot #1-s

Joe Burkard ~ Technical Director and Scene Designer for Shrek and Footloose

Joe is happy to be returning to CRT for his second summer as Scenic Designer and Technical Director.  Currently Joe is studying for his Masters in Theatrical Design at Brooklyn College CUNY and has been working and living in New York for the past Year.  Some past design work includes: Grease and Seussical The Musical (CRT, NE) Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (New Workshop Theatre, NY) Clybourne Park (BCBC Stage, NYC) The Drowsy Chaperone (Highlander Stage, MO).  Joe hopes that you enjoy the show and that you will check out more of his work at joeburkarddesigns.com.

Matthew Cardenas Headshot-s

Matthew Cárdenas ~ Pete in Almost Maine, Pig 1 and Duloc Citizen in Shrek and Willard in Footloose

Matthew is thrilled to be spending the summer with Crane River Theatre! Regional: Godspell (MUNY), Hot Mikado (SRO Lyric Theatre), Children of Eden (The Landers Theatre) and Les Misérables (The Landers Theatre, directed by Robert Westenberg). Workshops/Readings: The Rise & Fall of Larry Mudge and Farmers Market the Musical, both with Operazzi Productions. He has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Missouri State University. Thanks to Mom, Dad, Abbey, David & MT14 for all of their love and support.

Shawna Christensen Headshot-s

Shawna Christensen ~ Duloc Citizen in Shrek

Shawna is thrilled to be part of Crane River Theater again this summer.  She was a Who in last year’s Seussical with CRTC.  She loves to sing, dance and act.  Kearney has been such a blessing with opportunities to be involved with both the Academy of Children’s Theater and Kearney Community Theater, along with musical and theater productions at Kearney High School.  She will be a junior at KHS and dreams of being a part of the Young Americans someday.  Shawna would like to give thanks to family and friends who have supported her through the years, and to God for His blessings in her life.

Mollie Craven Headshot-s

Mollie Craven ~ Sandrine in Almost Maine, Fiona in Shrek and Wendy Jo in Footloose

Mollie just graduated from Oklahoma City University with a BFA in Acting and is thrilled to be making her Crane River Theater debut! Favorite OCU credits: Harper in Angels In America, Myra in Talking Pictures, and Queen Isobel in Richard II. Her favorite professional credits: Gloria Thorpe in Damn Yankees (Tent Theatre), Violet in 9 to 5 (Bigfork Summer Playhouse), Mutti in And Then They Came For Me (Oklahoma Children’s Theatre)and Brenda in Hairspray (ZACH Theatre).  Thank you to the creative team and cast at Crane River Theater, to my incredible family and friends, and to YOU for supporting live theatre. Soli Deo Gloria! www.mollie-craven.com

Dayna DeFilippis Headshot-s

Dayna DeFilippis ~ Choreographer for Shrek and Footloose

Known as a passionate educator and innovative choreographer, dance professional Dayna is a recent graduate of The University of Arizona, having earned her Master of Fine Arts Dance degree with an emphasis in choreography (2013).  While in Arizona, Dayna worked closely with students, teaching ballet, tap, jazz, modern, improvisation, and musical theater as well as dance appreciation, history and composition.  Before pursuing graduate studies, Dayna completed both her Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance degree and Bachelor of Business Administration degree at The University of Iowa (2003).  Dayna is the current Dance Director at The University of Nebraska, Kearney.

Del DeLorm Headshot-s1

Del DeLorm ~ Light Designer for Footloose

Del joined the faculty at UNK as the Lighting Design and Stage Management Lecturer in the fall of 2013.  A North Carolina native, he attended UNC-Asheville for his undergraduate degree and received his MFA from the University of Memphis.  He spent several years in Memphis as a freelance designer and stage manager before he returned to North Carolina and joined the faculty of Western Carolina University, where he taught lighting, stage management, and sound for eight years while also serving as the Technical Director for the John W. Bardo Performing Arts Center.

Masie Dulitz Headshot-s

Masie Dulitz ~ Duloc Citizen in Shrek

Masie recently finished her eighth grade year at Sunrise Middle School.  She has been in numerous shows at the Academy of Children’s Theater and was last seen in Kearney Community Theatre’s production of Miracle on 34th Street.  Masie is excited to join Crane River Theater for a second year after playing a Who in Seussical the Musical last summer.  She has played piano for five years, started playing guitar this past year and travelled to Wisconsin and Dallas to sing in honor choirs.  Outside of the arts, she plays softball for Kearney Krush and volleyball for Kearney Volleyball Club. Masie would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her love of music and theater.

 Erika Godfrey Headshot -s

Erika Godfrey ~ Lulu in Footloose

Erika is bundle of excited and nervous energy as she joins the company of Crane River Theater this summer for her first-ever production.  As a theater novice, she is eager to watch others in action and play off of their talents.  She is a 1991 graduate of Kearney High School and a 1994 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney.  In the real world, Erika can be found playing with pretty little sparklies behind her desk at Hawthorne Jewelry.  If she’s not at work, Erika can be found carting her two teenaged girls (Ella -14 & Kait -12) all over town.  With a love for adventure, this production of Footloose has sent her on a new escapade!  She is appreciative for the opportunity to meet and work with so many talented people… all the while reliving her youth through this great musical.  The ’80s were a great time to be a kid!

Kami Graves Headshot-s

Kami Graves ~ Managing Director and Villian in Almost Maine

Kami is thrilled to be in her new capacity as Managing Director after spending the past four summers with Crane River in every capacity from actor and choreographer to director.  She holds a BFA in Musical Theater with a minor in Dance from UNK.  Kami spent a summer with the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater in Grand Lake, Colorado before moving to New York City where she has lived for the past 10 years.  She sang in multiple cabaret settings with  the Grammy nominated Jason Buell and can be found on the cast album of “Who am I? A Tribute to Petula Clark.”  Favorite rolls include Sally Bowls in Cabaret, Julie Jordan in Carousel and Cinderella in Into the Woods.  She spent five years singing and playing violin in the NYC based cosmopolitan folk band Kathy Zimmer and the Sugar Bowls.

Gabe Haberman Headshot #1-s

Gabe Haberman ~ Pig 2 and Duloc Citizen in Shrek

Gabe is a 2011 graduate of Bishop Neumann High School and a current music education student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  He is very excited to be working in his second season with Crane River Theatre! Gabe is still new to the theater world having recent acting experience in Seussical the Musical in 2013 with Crane River Theater.  He has still been an active performer in high school and continues to perform in many of UNK’s bands and choirs as well as solo performances.  Gabe would like to thank his family and friends for their support in his love for the arts, and Steve Barth and Brian Botsford for giving him another opportunity to work with CRTC once again.

Robin Harman Headshot-s

Robin Harman ~ Stage Manager for Shrek and Footloose

Robin is thrilled to be making her Crane River Theater Company debut.  Robin is a native of Salisbury, Missouri and currently based out of Kansas City.  Her favorite stage management credits include Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Spinning Tree Theatre), Bernstein’s Broadway (Musical Theater Heritage) and The Little Mermaid, Jr. (TRYPS Children’s Theatre).  Robin would like to thank her family and friends for all of their support and love.

Kim Hauschild Headshot -s

Kim Hauschild ~ Costume Designer for Footloose

Kim has kept many an actor in stitches with her costuming skills for the past 14 years.  She has woven her magic seamlessly on actors of all ages from the smallest in an Academy of Children’s Theater production to the biggest in NYC.  You might have seen some of her handiwork in productions such as the off and off-off-Broadway shows Tuesday Night Poker and Happyouth, the KHS productions of Little Women or Thoroughly Modern Millie, or more recently, the HMS production of Pinocchio.  Kim prides herself on “making something from nothing” and thinks costuming is “sew” much fun! 

Bob Heiden Headshot-s

Bob Heiden ~ Technical Director for Almost Maine and Scenic Artist for Shrek and Footloose

A Kearney native, Bob graduated from Kearney High School in 2002.  With a passion for the Fine Arts, Bob started out performing in musicals at the high school and community theatre where he discovered his niche: designing, building and painting scenery.  He earned a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Technical Theater from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  Bob has designed and painted sets for many local organizations including the Kearney High Theatre and Choral departments, Zion Lutheran Church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Kearney School of Dance and Gymnastics, Kearney Elementary Music departments, Kearney Children’s Museum, and Kearney Community Theatre.  He returns to Crane River Theater for the fourth consecutive summer.  When he’s not painting, Bob channels his creativity as the Art Director for Buckle Inc. where he designs and manages the creative team for the online marketing channels.

 Mary Henning Headshot -s

            
Mary Henning ~ Betty Blast in Footloose

 Mary graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.  She taught second grade in Lincoln and Kearney, and has been a professional storyteller for the past fourteen years.  She currently serves on the Humanities Nebraska Council, Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board, Museum of Nebraska Art Board and Kearney Area Storytelling Festival Board.  Mary is the proud mother of two children and six wonderful grandchildren with her husband Tom.  She is very excited for the opportunity to be on stage with these wonderful performers.      

 

Ben Hill Headshot-s

Benjamin Hill ~ Pig 3 and Duloc Citizen in Shrek

Benjamin is excited to have his very first experience with Crane River Theater!  He just finished his first year at UNK as a Junior working on his Bachelor of Music Comprehensive in Musical Theatre.  He had a great year while having some fun in shows on and off campus.  He was last seen on the stage in A Cry of Players in the Miriam Drake Theatre.  He was in the ensemble of Hello Dolly at the Kearney Community Theatre in February.  He looks forward to another fantastic year ahead as well as a fun summer in Kearney!

Madison Hoge Headshot-s

Madison Hoge ~ Ginette in Almost Maine, Gingy/Sugar Plum Fairy/Blind Mouse in Shrek and Urleen in Footloose

Madison is a Junior Musical Theatre Major at the University of Nebraska Kearney.  Recent highlights include A Cry of Players (Anne), Don’t Dress For Dinner (Jacqueline), Urinetown (Hope), And Then There Were None (Vera), The Rocky Horror Show (Magenta).  Last summer, Madison appeared as Honey in Bingo the Musical! and Sister Augusta in Drinking Habits in Emporia, Kansas.  She is ecstatic to be joining Crane River Theater Company for the first time this summer!  Enjoy the show!

Claire Homan Headshot-s

Claire Homan ~ Duloc Citizen in Shrek 

Claire is looking forward to beginning her Sophomore year at Kearney Catholic High School.  She is involved in speech, theatre, band and choir.  Claire is an avid reader and hopes to become a writer in the future.  She has been involved in The Academy of Childrenʼs Theatre for the past five years and recently took on the role of stage manager.  This is her first Crane River experience, and she is thrilled for the opportunity.

Sam Homan Headshot-s

Samantha Homan ~ Baby Bear in Shrek

Samantha attends Kearney Catholic High School and will be entering the eighth grade this fall.  She enjoys playing the piano and has participated in two Sing Around Nebraska concerts.  Samantha has something in common with Kate Bosworth and David Bowie:  She has one brown eye and one blue eye.  Samantha has been in five shows at the Academy of Children’s Theatre.  She is excited to participate in her first Crane River Theater Company production.

 Hayden Howe Headshot-s

            
Hayden Howe ~ Mad Hatter and Guard in Shrek

Hayden is sixteen years old and has lived in Kearney his whole life.  He’s always enjoyed dressing up, playing characters, trying to do different accents and overall just pretending to be someone he’s not (in a good way).  He is currently a Sophomore at Kearney Catholic High School and has been actively involved with speech and theater since he was a Freshman.  Hayden also loves to sketch and watch old school horror films.  When he graduates, he wants to go to the New York Academy of Film and Acting in order to pursue a career in directing.

Emma Jahn Headshot #1-s

Emma Jahn ~ Young Fiona in Shrek

Emma is a third-grader and she is very excited to be in her seventh theatrical production.  Her previous acting credits include Princess Ally McBaba in Metaphasia (Academy of Children’s Theatre at Kearney Community Theatre), Orphan Munchkin in The Wicked Witch of the Old West (Academy of Children’s Theatre at Kearney Community Theatre,), Who in Seussical: The Musical (Crane River Theater Company), Orphan in Annie (Minden Community Players), Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street (Kearney Community Theatre), and Princess Lawan Kulap in The King and I (Kearney Community Theatre).  She loves to read, sing, dance, play the piano, ride her bicycle, play soccer, and play with her American Girl dolls.  She would like to thank her family for their love and support.

 Heath Jahn Headshot -s

 

Heath Jahn ~ Young Shrek in Shrek

Heath is ecstatic to be on the stage for the third time.  Kearney audiences will remember him as one of the Whos last summer in Crane River Theater’s production of Seussical or in Kearney Community Theatre’s production of Miracle on 34th Street.  He will be in second grade this fall. Heath enjoys sports of any kind, playing piano, dancing, gymnastics, NASCAR, football and motorsports.  Heath is excited to be in Shrek with his sister ‘cause he loves ogres!

Miranda Jenkins Headshot-s1

Miranda Jenkins ~ Duloc Citizen in Shrek

Miranda will be an 8th grader at Horizon Middle School this fall.  She has been in many Academy of Children’s Theater shows, including Enchanted Sleeping Beauty, Hydrangea Albright, Groovy, Wicked Witch of the Old West and most recently, Metaphasia.  When she is not in theater, Miranda enjoys singing, sewing, playing the piano and 4-H.  Miranda is thrilled to be joining the Crane River Theater Company for her second summer and she would like to thank all her family and friends for their support.

Bryce Jensen Headshot-s1

Bryce Jensen ~ East in Almost Maine

Bryce is proud to be a part of Crane River Theatre’s production of Almost Maine this summer and is looking forward to returning to the stage after eight years away.  He received his BFA in Performance from UNK and his MFA in Media Arts and MA in Drama from the University of Montana.  He is currently the House Manager for The World Theatre and is proud to call Kearney his home.  Some of his favorite past roles include Orlando in As You Like It, Vanya in Uncle Vanya, Jerry in Bug, and Phillip in The Shape of Things.  Bryce wants to thank Crane River for keeping theatre alive in Kearney and his wife, Cheri, for her unending support.

Cassandra Johnson Headshot #1-s

Cassandra Johnson ~ Hope in Almost Maine, Fairy Godmother/Blind Mouse/Dragonette in Shrek and Rusty in Footloose

Cassandra is thrilled to be making her Crane River Theatre debut! She just finished her junior year as a BFA Musical Theatre student at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Most recently at school she appeared in Les Miserablés, and originated the role of Olivia in The Girl.  Her favorite roles include Diana in A Chorus Line, Marcy in I Love You Because, and Serena in Legally Blonde. Professionally she has appeared in Monty Python’s SpamalotThe Sound of Music, and I Oughta be in Pictures. Additionally, Cassandra would like to thank the creative team, her wonderful friends and incredibly supportive family. God Bless!

Chris Kabes Headshot-s

Chris Kabes ~ Daniel in Almost Maine and Captain/Bishop in Shrek

Chris is a newcomer to Kearney, having moved here last winter.  He appeared as Kemp in UNK’s recent production of A Cry of Players.  Chris’s favorite past roles include William Murdoch in Titanic, the Musical at the Lubbock (TX) Community Theatre, and Motel the tailor in Fiddler on the Roof.  He also loved directing the Theatre and Speech department at Fremont Bergan High School for a few years, with favorite shows including Asylum and The Devil and Daniel Webster.  Chris is currently a stay-at-home Dad, and is working towards adding a Theatre endorsement to his teaching certificate.

 Mike Kenton Headshot-s

 

Michael Kenton ~ Principal Clark

Mike lives in Gibbon with his wife Connie and three children Jaxson, Dakota and Parker. He is employed at Nebraska Central Telephone Company and is the P.A. Announcer for Gibbon High School athletics.  He has been involved with theater for many years as actor, director, designer and producer.  Past performance credits include George Kittredge in The Philadelphia Story, Mellersh Wilkins in Enchanted April and Dr. Watson in The Hound of Baskervilles.  His directing credits include: Mind Over Matt, Insane With Power and Arsenic and Old Lace.  Mike is excited to return to the stage and looks forward to meeting new people.

Amy Knispel Headshot-s1

Amy Knispel ~ Rhonda in Almost Maine

2014 marks Amy’s second season with Crane River Theater Company, and she couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to return to her hometown of Kearney to be a part of Almost, Maine.  Currently, Amy and her husband Joe are living in sunny Sarasota, Florida- where the weather is hot and the arts are thriving!  With a BM in Musical Theatre, some of her past credits include Rapunzel in Into the Woods, Laurey in OKLAHOMA!, Babe in The Pajama Game, Olga in Three Sisters, and many more.  Thank you to the Jensens, Knispels, and Joe. This one is for you, James.

 Craig Knispel Headshot-s

              
Craig Knispel ~ Cop in Footloose
 

After a long absence from the stage, Craig is glad to be back among the grease paint and lights. Kearney audiences are most familiar with Craig as a member of the 1733 Kearney Area Barbershop Chorus and quartet Patent Pending.  His previous credits include Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey, Sidney Lipton in God’s Favorite, Bill Fuller in George Washington Slept Here, all with the Smith Co. Players in Smith Center, Kansas.  He also performed many other roles in high school a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.  In all this time Craig has never been in a musical, and is looking forward to fulfilling a lifelong dream of being in one.  Craig would like to thank his family and Crane River Theater for enriching the arts in central Nebraska.

Joe Knispel Headshot #1-s

Joe Knispel ~ Dave in Almost Maine, Big Bad Wolf/Guard in Shrek and Chuck in Footloose

Joe is thrilled to return home for his third season at Crane River Theater.  A 2009 graduate of UNK, with a BM in Musical Theater, Joe is currently pursuing his MFA in acting at the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota, Florida.  Crane River Theater audiences would remember Joe from his most recent roles as The Baker in Into The Woods, Michael in Two Rooms, and a brief run as the understudy for Kenickie in Grease.  Some of his favorite past credits include Jesus in Godspell, Vershinin in Three Sisters and Whitney Galliard in Hunger the Musical at Stage 773 in Chicago.  Joe would like to thank his wife Amy and his family for always encouraging him to follow his dreams, and the community of Kearney for continually supporting the arts.

Jack McFarlane Headshot-s

Jack McFarlane ~ Steve in Almost Maine, Pinocchio in Shrek and Garvin in Footloose

Jack grew up in Elmhurst, Illinois and is currently pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre at Ball State University, where he will be a Senior this fall.  He is overjoyed to work professionally in theatre for the first time here at Crane River Theatre!!  His previous credits include Marcellus Washburn (The Music Man), Big Jule (Guys & Dolls) and Bill (Love/Sick).  Jack is excited to spend the summer in Kearney and looks forward to this exciting new experience!

Randa Meierhenry Headshot-s

Randa Meierhenry ~ Education Director for Explore Theater, Tooth Fairy in Shrek and Ensemble in Footloose

Originally from Lincoln, Randa is a junior at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.  She is pursuing a double majoring in music and theatre. Last summer, she was involved with the Youth Actors Academy of Lincoln as an instructor and music director.  Her most recent roles include Kate Monster in Avenue Q,Heitera in Lysistrata Jones and Joanna in Night of the Soul.  Other works include props design for The Festival of Short Plays 2014 and sound design for The Women of Lockerbie.

Brianna Melroy Headshot-s

Brianna Melroy ~ Ugly Duckling/Duloc Citizen in Shrek and Ensemble in Footloose

Brianna is super excited to be joining Crane River for her second season!  She graduated from Kearney High School in May, and is thrilled to be attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney this fall!  She plans to major in Organizational Communications with a minor in Theatre and Dance.  Brianna has a long background with Fine Arts having been in dance for sixteen years and starting theatre with Academy of Childrens Theatre in third grade!  Previous Credits include; Hello Dolly!(Ermengarde), Once Upon A Mattress(Queen Aggravain), Grease (Assistant Director/ Assistant Choreographer), Seussical (Hunch/Hunter/Jungle Creature).  She would like to thank her family and friends for always supporting her with her crazy theatre life!

  Clayton Moyer Headshot s1

       
Clayton Moyer ~ Music Director for Shrek

Clayton is the director of choirs at Kearney High School.  He directs six choral ensembles, including the Kearney High School Chorale, Varsity Women’s Chorus, Concert Choir, Girls’ Glee and the competitive KHS Pops Choir and the Sapphire and Gold Singers. He credits as the music director for the KHS include: Once Upon a Mattress, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Little Women, All Shook Up, The Wizard of Oz, and Les Miserables.  He received a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  He is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association, Nebraska Choral Director’s Association, National Association for Music Education and board member for the Kearney Concert Association and the Crane River Theater Company.

Candice Nelson Headshot-s

Candace Nelson ~ Teacher for Explore Theater

Candace grew up in Elm Creek, Nebraska and is excited to be back for the summer.  She currently attends the University of Nebraska Lincoln where she is majoring in Film and New Media.  After getting involved with theater in high school, she has continued to make it a part of her life even in college.  She has recently helped crew UNL’s production of Middletown and Magic Marvels, as well as playing Brittany in Not What it Seems at New Artist Festival.  She is excited to be helping with Crane River this year.

Dillon Nelson Headshot #1-s

Dillon Nelson ~ Jimmy in Almost Maine, Papa Ogre/Papa Bear/Thelonius in Shrek and Lyle in Footloose

Dillon is ecstatic to be returning to the Crane River Theater Company for the 2014 season.  Dillon is a Nebraska native, originally from the small town of Burwell.  He is pursuing a degree in Theater with a music minor at the University of Nebraska Kearney and plans to graduate in May of 2015.  His previous acting credits include:  Oklahoma!(Ike Skidmore), Dear Edwina (Scott Kunckle), Pajama Game (Rudy), Bright Ideas (Bix, Coach Angus, and others), An Evening of DanceUrinetown (Officer Lockstock), Seussical (The Mayor of Whoville), Grease (Vince Fontaine) and most recently The Tutor (Richard).  Lastly, Dillon would like to thank his all family and close friends for always being supportive and providing helpful advice along the way.

Ethan Newman Headshot #1-s

Ethan Newman ~ Light Designer for Almost Maine, Assistant Technical Director for Shrek and Master Electrician for Footloose

Ethan is excited to return for his second summer at Crane River Theater.  Graduating from Simpson College with a double major in mathematics and theater, he plans on attending the University of Missouri – Kansas City as a graduate candidate in lighting design this fall.  Recent credits include lighting designs for The Women of LockerbieThoroughly Modern Millie, and The Dream of the Burning Boy.  He would like to thank his family, teachers, and professors for supporting him in his pursuit of a profession in theater.

 Libby Pecher Headshot -s1

            
Libby Pecher ~ Props Designer and Technician for Almost Maine, Shrek and Footloose

Libby is excited to be working with the Crane River Theater this summer. She recently completed her Freshman year as a B.F.A Theatre Design and Technology major at the University of Central Missouri. Her recent credits include A Little Night Music at the Spinning Tree Theatre, as well as Pirates of Penzance, Still Moving, and The Shape of Things at the University of Central Missouri. She sends love and gratitude to all of her family and friends.

Joe Oravecz Headshot #1-s

Joe Oravecz ~ Wes in Footloose

Joe lives in Kearney with his son, Drake, along with their 9½ pound morkie, Bailey.  Currently the Dean for the Division of Student Affairs at UNK, he’s very proud and honored to be a Loper, and advocate for an outstanding student population!  Selected ensembles, tours, and past productions include: Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus; Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut; Platte River Singers; concerts and soloist at various performance venues in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Symphony Hall (Boston), and Carnegie Hall (NYC); Into the Woods; Bye, Bye, Birdie; Guys ‘n Dolls; Twelfth Night; My Fair Lady; Pirates of Penzance; Annie; West Side Story; and, The Rainmaker.  Joe is very excited, thankful, and appreciative to be making his Kearney debut being part of an amazing and talented Crane River Theater Company.

 Jimmy Reynolds Headshot -s

           
Jimmy Reynolds ~ Technician for Footloose

Jimmy is excited to join Crane River Theater for a second summer after serving as Technical Director for Two Rooms, A Year with Frog and Toad, and Into the Woods in 2012.  Originally from Omaha, he began acting in high school and fell in love with the art.  He eventually ended up studying directing, scenic design, property design, sound design, lighting and acting at Doane College.  If it was some sort of learning experience, he was there.  He is now pursuing directing, hoping that his understanding of each theatrical element will make him a stronger director.  Jimmy would like to thank his family for their constant love and support as he continues to pursue his love for the arts.

Mikhaila Roth Headshot-s

Mikhaila Roth ~ Duloc Citizen in Shrek

Mikhaila just finished her Freshman year at KCHS and is looking forward to being a Sophomore next fall!  She has been seen in plays at Kearney Community Theater and at Kearney Catholic High School since the 3rd grade!  Her life goal is to someday perform on Broadway or to work in the medical field!  This is Mikhalia’s first Crane River Theater Company show and she is super excited to work with all these amazing people!

Judy Rozema Headshot #1-s

Judy Rozema ~ Director/Marci in Almost Maine and Vi in Footloose

Judy is thrilled to be joining Crane River Theater for a second season. She was last seen as Cinderella’s Mother/Granny in CRT’s 2012 summer production of Into the Woods. Judy is no stranger to the stage, having participated in nearly all aspects of theatrical production: actor, director, musical director, accompanist, sound and lighting technician, stage manager, and set designer. Some of her favorite roles have been Agatha Mortimer in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Rose Arnott in Enchanting April, and Lita Encore in Ruthless: the Musical. She has directed Hello Dolly, 12 Angry Men, The Odd CoupleOnce Upon a MattressBye Bye BirdieBabes in Arms and My Fair Lady. She is excited to be working with her daughter, Laura, and would like to thank Steve and CRT for the opportunity to both direct and act this summer!

Laura Rozema Headshot #1-s

Laura Rozema ~ Marvalyn in Almost Maine

Laura was born and raised in Kearney and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she is pursuing a degree in fashion and interior design.  Some of her most recent roles at the University of Utah include Poggia (Tis Pity She’s a Whore) and Linda (Les Belles Soeurs).  She has also appeared in numerous productions at Kearney Community Theatre, with one of her favorite roles being Jolene Oakes in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  She appeared in Crane River’s inaugural production of Godspell and is excited to return to CRTC for the third time in her acting career. Thanks to Judy and Dave!

Asa Sinachack-s

Asa Sinachack ~ Peter Pan in Shrek

Asa is a 13 year old from Franklin who is thrilled to be given this opportunity to start his debut with the Crane River Theater Company and excited to learn from the pros.  His passions are theater, singing, piano, writing and art.  Previous performances include The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka as Charlie, Alice in Wonderland and Annie at Harlan County Dam Playhouse in Republican City, The Secret Garden as Dicken and Oliver as the Artful Dodger at the Minden Opera House.   He would like to thank his family for driving him to the various events and supporting his love of theater.

Rick Smith Headshot-s

Rick Smith ~ Phil in Almost Maine

Originally from Baker City, Oregon, Rick lives in Kearney and works in the shipping department at Buckle Online Fulfillment Center.  Past roles include Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, Major Metcalf in Mousetrap, and Juror #3 in 12 Angry Men (Kearney Community Theatre), with the latter being the most challenging and also his favorite.  He is thrilled to be joining the Crane River Theater Company for the first time this summer and would like to thank Judy and Steve for the opportunity!

Ben Stasny Headshot-s

Ben Stasny ~ Chad in Almost Maine, Lord Farquaad in Shrek and Jeter in Footloose

Ben is a student currently enrolled at Minnesota State University, Mankato and is working towards his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting. A few favorite roles have been “Thénardier” in Les Misérables, “Robert” in Betrayal, “Jaques” in As You Like It and “Clown” in The 39 Steps.  Some of his hobbies include attempting to cook, attempting to ski, and attempting to read more books. Ben is thrilled and delighted to work with Crane River Theater Company this summer and to be given the opportunity to play a dream role of his, “Lord Farquaad”!

Mariah Stelling Headshot-s

Mariah Stelling ~ Teen Fiona in Shrek

Mariah is excited to be part of her first production with Crane River Theater this summer!  She just ended her sophomore year at Kearney High School where she performed in Once Upon A Mattress and Thoroughly Modern Millie. In addition to theater, Mariah is very involved in other areas of the performing arts. She is an active member of the KHS choir and Thespian Troupe, and is a member of the Kearney School of Dance competition team.  Mariah has also participated in several honor choirs including the 2013 All-State Chorus and the ACDA National Honor Choir in Chicago.

Callandra Syverson Headshot #1-s1

Callandra Syverson ~ Gayle in Almost Maine, Wicked Witch/Blind Mouse/Dragonette in Shrek and Ariel in Footloose

Callie hails from Mankato, Minnesota, where she recently graduated with a BFA Musical Theatre degree and a minor in Dance from Minnesota State University Mankato.  She was here last summer and played Gertrude in Seussical and Sandy in Grease and is ecstatic to be back!  She recently returned from performing at the Kennedy Center in D.C. where she was recognized as a National Finalist for Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.  Some of her previous credits include Maria in The Sound of Music with Highland Summer Theatre and Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone, Eponine, in Les Misérables, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Wendla in Spring Awakening, Rent, and The Producers with MNSU.  Callie would like to thank Crane River Theatre for bringing her back to play on stage and teach masterclasses.  Lastly, she would like to thank her supportive family, friends, and longtime boyfriend Travis for supporting her passion for performing!

Mindy Takeuchi Headshot #1-s

Mindy Takeuchi  ~ Ethel in Footloose

Mindy, a California Native, is delighted to be back on stage with Crane River Theater. She recently moved to Nebraska with her family.  She studied at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and has worked with the Townsend Opera Theater in Modesto, California where she performed as understudy for the title role in Evita.  She has trained with Ronit Widmann-Levy and the Ana G Vocal Center.

Andrea Thompson Headshot-s

Andrea Thompson ~ Shoemaker’s Elf in Shrek

Andrea is really excited to work with Crane River for her first time.  She’s 15 and is going into the 10th grade.  She comes from a family of 11.  With 8 other siblings, life has been entertaining at times.  Her passion comes from these entertaining people, and her background has created who she is to this day. Andrea has been in Once Upon A Mattress with KHS, The Gospel According to Scrooge with New Life Assembly, and has been apart of the ensemble in New Life’s Christmas Production.

Jacob Wayman Headshot-s

Jacob Wayman ~ Young Shrek/Gnome in Shrek

This is Jacob’s second Crane River Theater play.  He is very excited to be a part of another Musical this summer.  He was Jojo in last year’s performance of Suessical.   Jacob is 14 years old and he will be a freshman at Kearney High School this fall.  He has been in many Academy of Children’s Theatre productions such as: Groovy, Enchanted Sleeping Beauty, Hydrangea Albright, Wipeout, The Wicked Witch of the Old West & Metaphasia.  Jacob was also Pinocchio in his school play of My Son Pinocchio.  He would like to thank his family for supporting his crazy busy life with soccer and singing.  Jacob hopes you enjoy the show!

Ashley West Headshot-s

Ashley West ~ Mama Ogre/Mama Bear/Dragonette in Shrek and Music Director for Footloose

Ashley is a Kearney native graduating in 2003 from Kearney High School.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2008.  Currently she is the 5-12 Vocal Music Director for Holdrege Public Schools where she directs many ensembles.  In recent years, Ashley has been the Assistant Director for numerous high school plays, the musical director for the Sutton, Nebraska, community production of Les Miserables and is currently the Musical Director for Holdrege High School’s Theater Program. Ashley is an active participant with the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, and the Nebraska Education Association.  Ashley is excited to return to Crane River Theater for her second year, after serving as the Musical Director for Grease and playing Mrs. Mayor in Seussical last summer.

 Ross Wheeler Headshot-s

             
Ross Wheeler ~ Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose *

Ross is excited to be joining Crane River Theatre for their production of Footloose. Ross has performed mostly in his native area of Chicago, but loves to explore exceptional regional theatres across the country, Next to Normal (Heritage Theatre Company); Sweet Charity, Camelot, Wonderful Life (Wagon Wheel Theatre); and over 900 performances of Frankie or Smudge in Forever Plaid, including 3 productions directed by the author, Stuart Ross. (Drury Lane Oakbrook; Marcus Center, Milwaukee; McLeod Theatre; Theatre at the Center; Royal George Theatre; Flamingo Hilton, Las Vegas).  Of the roles he gets to play, Ross is most thankful for the opportunity to play the role of father and husband, and is blessed with a wonderful family who is willing to travel with him during the summer.  Ross holds a B.A. degree in Theatre from Huntington University, and an M.A. in Theatre Education from Concordia University Chicago and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

 Bill Wood Headshot swl-s

         
Bill Wood ~ Coach Dunbar in Footloose

With a long, if not illustrious, association with various theater venues, Bill is appearing for the first time with Crane River Theater.  Active in high school and college theater, he took a twenty year hiatus before returning to the stage in 1995 in the Kearney Community Theater production of Joseph, performing with his son and Steve Barth.  Since then he has worked on numerous KCT productions, both on and off stage.  He even got cast in an independent film, only to end up on the cutting room floor.  But it’s all fun, right?

 Donovan Woods Headshot-s

               
Donovan Woods ~ Lendall in Almost Maine, Donkey in Shrek and Ren in Footloose

Donovan is from Ft. Worth, Texas and is a senior majoring in Vocal Performance at Kansas State University.  Donovan is excited to perform for the first time at Crane River Theater.  Donovan has portrayed roles at K-State such as; Burton in Hotel Casablanca, Voice of the Plant in Little Shop of Horrors, Malcolm in Brokeology, Rev. Hale in The Crucible, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Glenn Guglia in The Wedding Singer and Bob in The Old Maid and The Thief.  He would like to thank God for his talents, his friends and family for their support and the wonderful cast and crew for such a great experience.

   * Appears courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association


2013 Company Header

Samantha Barboza Headshot

Samantha Barboza ~ Sour Kangaroo in Seussical and Rizzo in Grease

Samantha is thrilled to be making her Crane River Theatre debut! She was most recently seen in the New York reading of the new musical Lost Boy by Kevin and Kelly Milnes, as well as the Kansas City premiere of Sunday in the Park with George at Musical Theater Heritage. Favorite regional credits include The Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone, Pennywise in Urinetown, Matron Mama Morton in Chicago, Sonia in Godspell, Carmen Bernstein in Curtains, Mary in Run For Your Wife, Rona Lisa Piretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Marlene Turnover inDaddy’s Dyin’, Who’s Got the Will? So thankful for my friends and family…the biggest supporters and best encouragers a girl could ever ask for. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Brian Botsford Headshot

Brian Botsford ~ Teen Angel in Grease

Brian is a 1995 graduate of Kearney High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. After eleven years as the vocal music instructor and assistant instrumental music instructor at Bishop Neumann High School, he is now the 6-12 vocal music instructor at Lexington Public Schools. Brian has been an active performer in the Lincoln and Omaha area, participating in groups such as the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Lincoln Community Concert Band, Lincoln Civic Orchestra, First Presbyterian Church of Wahoo as well as solo music performances. Currently he is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Brian has served as the Musical Director for the last three summers for Crane River Theater.

Joe Burkard Headshot

Joe Burkard ~ Scene Designer & Technical Director for Grease and Seussical

Joe is very excited to be joining the team here at Crane River Theater! Joe graduated in May from the University of Central Missouri with a B.F.A. in Technical Theatre. While at UCM, Joe was Scenic Designer for The Drowsy Chaperone, Ribbit The Musical, and A Chance of Rain – A Noah Riff. He has also worked with Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre Company as the Assistant Technical Director for Grease, Legally Blonde The Musical, 9 to 5 and Peter Pan. Other companies include the Santa Fe Opera and many companies in the Kansas City area. Joe is very thankful that you came out to enjoy a night of wonderful theatre! For more about Joe check him out at joeburkarddesigns.com.

Sharon Campbell Headshot

Sharon Campbell ~ Miss Lynch in Grease

A 2007 Lotte Lenya competition finalist, Sharon O’Connell Campbell has appeared as a soloist in works including Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, as well as numerous opera roles and recitals. She is a member of the innovative staged concert group, “Pioneer Women” and has performed with them in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. Dr. Campbell teaches voice at the University of Nebraska Kearney and is excited to join Crane River Theater this summer.

Shawna Christensen Headshot

Shawna Christensen ~ Ensemble in Seussical

Shawna loves to sing, act, and dance. She got started at an early age at Kearney School of Dance and Gymnastics. Then she joined the Academy of Children’s Theatre. She was in many plays throughout her elementary and middle school years. Shawna was a member of the Great Plains Children’s Chorus last year and had a blast traveling to New York City with them. She was also involved In a couple of choirs in and out of state. She was recently in Miracle on 34th Street, and also in Thoroughly Modern Mille at Kearney High. After high school she plans to join the Young Americans. She is very excited for this show. Shawna would like to thank everyone who has cheered her on during these years, and a big thank you goes to her mother Susan Christensen! She is so thankful for the talents the Lord has given her.

Robert Covington Headshot

Robert Covington ~ Horton in Seussical and Roger in Grease

Robert is very excited to be working with Crane River Theatre on a wonderful season!
He is a recent graduate from the University of Central Missouri with his BFA Degree in Theatre Performance. Some of his favorite past roles include: Curly in Oklahoma, Feldzieg in The Drowsy Chaperone, Ensemble in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Jesus in Godspell. Robert is looking forward to working with so many amazing new people and making last friendships and memories. After the summer, he plans to move to either Kansas City or Saint Louis to continue his pursuit of performing professionally. He would like to thank Crane River for this wonderful opportunity along with his loving parents, Don and Cathy and all of his incredibly supportive family and friends.

 

Masie Dulitz Headshot

Masie Dulitz ~ Ensemble in Seussical

Masie is from Kearney, Nebraska, where she just finished her 7th grade year at Kearney Sunrise Middle School. She has done many shows through ACT and participated in her first Kearney Community Theatre production in 2012. She has played piano for four years and just started playing guitar. She recently traveled to Dallas, Texas, for a National Honor Choir. Outside of theater and music, she plays softball for Kearney Krush and volleyball. She would like to thank Crane River Theater for allowing her this opportunity. She also would like to thank her family and her friends Hannah and Haley for supporting her love of music.

 

Trevor Erbsen Headshot

Trevor Erbsen ~ Ensemble in Grease

Trevor grew up in Kearney, Nebraska where he just finished his senior year. He was born in Denver, Colorado, but loves Nebraska. He will be attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney this fall. Some of his previous performances include Ching Ho in Thoroughly Modern Milliennn, and Tony in You Can’t Take it With You, a chorus member in All Shook Up, and Janitor Eddie in the interactive performance Murder at the Prom. Trevor is also involved in choir and show choir. He is thrilled to be a part of this performance and thanks Crane River for the opportunity.

Kami Graves Headshot

Kami Graves ~ Director for Seussical and Choreographer for Grease

Kami is excited to return to her hometown to spend the summer with Crane River Theater Company for the fourth year. She has served in many capacities: performer,
choreographer and director. She most recently served as Assistant Director for Two
Rooms
and Into the Woods last summer. After graduating from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, she spent a season with the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater in Grand Lake, Colorado before moving to New York City where she now lives. She was recently seen in Who Am I? A Tribute to Petula Clark and often sings with the folk/rock group Kathy Zimmer and the Sugar Bowls. A huge thank you to her family and friends for always being there, every step of the way.

Gabe Haberman Headshot-200

Gabe Haberman ~ Jungle Creature/Hunch/Hunter in Seussical

Gabe hails from Kearney, Nebraska, where he just finished his sophomore year as a BAE Music Education student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Originally from Wahoo, Nebraska, this is his first summer in Kearney working with Crane River Theater, and he is very excited to be performing! Gabe would like to thank Crane River for giving him this amazing opportunity! Finally he would like to thank his family and friends for their support in showcasing his God-given talents in performing!

Joe Hanson Headshot

Joe Hanson ~ Ensemble in Seussical

Joe was born in Omaha, NE, but has lived in Kearney about all his life. He is currently getting ready for his senior year at Kearney High School. This is his first production with Crane River Theater, but his past roles and productions include Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Bugsy Malone in Bugsy Malone, Dumbledore in Kearney High’s Thespian show A Very Potter Musical, and Sinbad Balouchi in Kearney Community Theatre’s production of Nifty Fifties just to name a few. He would like to thank Crane River Theater for this wonderful opportunity. Also, he would like to thank all his family and friends for all their love and support.

Jacob Hardy Headshot-s

Jacob Hardy

Jacob will be a seventh grader at Horizon Middle School in Kearney, Nebraska, this fall. While involved in music at church and school, this is his foray into theater. Jacob plays for the Kearney Cyclones Select Soccer team and is a member of the Horizon Middle School Orchestra. He is also an avid fisherman and enjoys spending time at his grandparents’ lake. Jacob’s family includes his parents Amy Hardy and Garret Hardy, older brother Caleb and twin sister Hannah. He would like to thank them for their support as he makes his theater debut!

Bob Heiden Headshot-200

Bob Heiden ~ Technical Director for Last Train to Nibroc and Scenic Artist for Seussical and Grease

A Kearney native, Bob graduated from Kearney High School in 2002. With a passion for the Fine Arts, Bob started out performing in musicals at the high school and community theatre where he discovered his niche: designing, building and painting scenery. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Technical Theater from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Bob has designed and painted sets for many local organizations including the Kearney High Theatre and Choral departments, Zion Lutheran Church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Kearney School of Dance and Gymnastics, Kearney Elementary Music departments, Kearney Children’s Museum, and Kearney Community Theatre. He returns to Crane River Theater for the fourth consecutive summer. When he’s not painting, Bob channels his creativity as the Art Director for Buckle Inc. where he designs and manages the creative team for the online marketing channels.

Eileen Jahn Headshot

Eileen Jahn ~ Ensemble in Seussical

Eileen operates a private voice and piano studio in addition to teaching Music Appreciation as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Nebraska-Kearney and teaching Zumba and BodyPump classes at the Kearney Family YMCA. Most recent credits include Doris Walker in Miracle on 34th Street, Miss Hannigan in Annie, Lady Thiang in The King and I and Marian “The Librarian” Paroo in The Music Man. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1996 with a BA in Music (Mathematics minor) and earned her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance degree from Kansas State University in 1999. She is a life member of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Her most important roles in life are those of wife to Mick and mother to Emma and Heath.

Emily Jansen Headshot

Emily Jansen ~ Mayzie in Seussical and Cha-Cha Digregorio in Grease

Emily just graduated from the Musical Theatre program at Minnesota State with a BFA and is thrilled to be making her Crane River Theatre debut! Most recently at school she appeared as Paulette in Legally Blonde. Past credits include Spring Awakening, Rent, Chicago, A Chorus Line, Avenue Q, Phantom of the Opera, The Producers, 42nd Street, A Christmas Carol, and Cactus Flower. Favorite roles include Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror Show and Betty Haynes in White Christmas. Professionally she has appeared as Miss Scarlet in Clue the Musical, Annette Raleigh in God of Carnage, Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray, and Bird Girl in Seussical. Thank you to my wonderful family and friends!

Brian Jenkins Headshot-200

Brian Jenkins ~ Who/Circus Animal in Seussical

Brian lives in Kearney with his wife Lori, and his two children Collin and Miranda. He has a degree in Music Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and is currently employed with First Baptist Church in Kearney. This is his first time back on the stage since The Fantasticks in the Great Bend, Kansas Community Theater in 1994. Brian is thankful for the support of his family, and especially excited to be in his first production with his daughter Miranda.

Miranda Jenkins Headshot-200

Miranda Jenkins ~ Who/Circus Animal in Seussical

Miranda Jenkins is a seventh grader at Horizon Middle School. She enjoys being in musicals at the Academy of Children’s Theatre at Kearney Community Theatre. She has been in Groovy as Mary Quaint, Hydrangea Albright as Chef, and Enchanted Sleeping Beauty as a townsperson. In the summer she enjoys theatre, camps, and 4-H. She is excited to be a part of her first Crane River Theater production.

Michael Jensen Headshot-200

Michael Jensen ~ Jungle Creature/Hunch/Hunter in Seussical

Michael is a Kearney native and just graduated from Kearney Catholic High School this spring. He is no stranger to the stage in Kearney, having participated in productions at KCHS and Kearney Community Theatre since 2004. Past productions include The Drowsy Chaperone, The Sound of Music, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The King and I. An avid academic, Michael will be pursuing a degree in Computer Science this fall at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as a part of the selective Jeffery S. Raikes School. He is so excited to be working with Crane River once again, and would like to thank Steve and Brian for the opportunity along with his family for putting up with his crazy schedule!

Noah Keller Headshot-s

Noah Keller ~ Kenickie in Grease

Noah is a Kearney native and a recent graduate of Ohio University. After a lengthy break from theater, he recently made his way back to the stage as Jellaby in Kearney Community Theatre’s production of Arcadia. He loves playing sports, being on the lake, golfing, spending time with his family and friends and playing with his two dogs Petey and Monty. He is currently studying for the GRE to attend grad school, where he hopes to coach football and further his education. Noah is very excited to work with Crane River Theater, an amazing cast, and the wonderful people of Kearney.

Jeremy Knispel Headshot

Jeremy Knispel ~ Ensemble in Grease

Jeremy has lived in Kearney all his life and just graduated from Kearney High School. He will be attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney this fall where he plans to study Radiography. He has been in the following productions at Kearney High School: The Wizard of Oz, Little Women, Les Miserables, and All Shook Up. He was also involved in a number of sports during high school: tennis, swimming, diving, and soccer. He would like to thank his family and friends for their unconditional support.

Isaiah Knuth Headshot-s

Isaiah Knuth ~ Cadet in Seussical

Isaiah is excited to take part in his first theatrical production and hopes to take part in many more to come. He is in 7th grade and spends his free time playing football, hanging out with friends, and now rehearsing. Isaiah is grateful to Crane River Theatre for this opportunity, and he is very excited to be part of the show!

Kyle Kuypers Headshot

Kyle Kuypers ~ Cat in the Hat in Seussical

Kyle is very excited to join Crane River Theatre for it’s 2013 season! A recent graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and English, Kyle has been a part of local and community theatre for over eleven years. His most memorable productions have been, Love, Sex, and IRS (Leslie), Mind Over Matt (Matt), and My Fair Lady (Karpathy). He performed this past summer with the Prairie Repertory Theatre at South Dakoka State University in their productions of Leading Ladies and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Having a great love for theatre and his community of Kearney, Kyle would like to thank that very same community for all the love and support throughout the years.

Rachel Lantow Headshot

Rachel Lantow ~ Stage Manager for Seussical and Grease

Rachel, originally from Lakeville, Minnesota, is joining Crane River as a recent graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design/Technology and had the opportunity to work on more than twenty shows. As a stage manager she worked on Phantom of the Opera, Legally Blonde: The Musical, Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, Into the Woods, and The Producers. She has also served in positions such as scenic designer for The Shape of Things, mix engineer for Altar Boyz, and house manager for Spring Awakening. Rachel has also worked for Highland Summer Theatre in Minnesota on multiple productions. Later this summer she is joining Milwaukee Repertory Theatre as an intern. She wants to thank her family for always supporting her decisions to pursue the dreams laid on her heart, and her friends in Mankato for teaching her so much. “For my Audience of One, for my family, and for Kaela.”

Brittany Leffler Headshot

Brittany Leffler ~ Costume Designer for Grease

Brittany is a Nebraska native and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Performance from the University of Lincoln-Nebraska. During that time, she performed, directed and designed for the University, Lincoln Community Playhouse and Rough Magic productions. After graduating, Brittany moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to accept a job as the Wardrobe Mistress at the Fulton Opera House (the oldest continuously-operating theatre in the United States). She has performed at the Fulton Theatre in the notable roles of Tracy in Hairspray, Cha Cha in Grease and Miss Flannery in Thoroughly Modern Millie. She has worked in performance and costume design for The Creative Works of Lancaster, Three’s Company Productions in New York City, and The Phoenix Metropolitan Opera. She is thrilled to be returning to Kearney’s Crane River Theatre Company to costume another show with her wonderful & dear friend Steve Barth and
also work with her fiancée, Lighting Designer Brian McKee.

Hallie Loschen Headshot

Hallie Loschen ~ Ensemble in Grease

Hallie grew up on a farm in Wilcox, Nebraska, where she enjoyed running the combine with her grandfather. She just finished her junior year at Kearney High School and is looking forward to her senior year. Hallie has been involved in competitive gymnastics for 10 years. She has also been active in several choirs including Pops and Chorale at Kearney High. She would like to thank Crane River Theater for this awesome, exciting opportunity to be involved in Grease! She would also like to thank her family for being so supportive of her desire to be in a musical.

Chris Lyons Headshot-200

Chris Lyons ~ Stage Manager for Last Train to Nibroc

Chris is currently a junior at Creighton University in Omaha, studying Computer Science and Psychology and is active in Creighton’s top Chamber Choir. He has participated in theatre since high school, and he has held various positions with Crane River since its inaugural summer season. From being a summer music intern to acting on stage to playing piano accompaniment for musicals, Chris is looking forward to spending another summer with CRT.

Misty Madden HeadShot

Misty Madden ~ May in Last Train to Nibroc

Misty grew up in Kimball, Nebraska and received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance from the University of Nebraska. Before landing in Los Angeles, she spent time in Northern Ireland, where she trained at the University of Ulster and performed in This Beautiful Life, an original piece created by the cast. She has been lucky to work in film, television, and theater since moving to Los Angeles, most notably starring in a national Chevy Commercial, and the award winning indie drama Losing You. She is co-owner of the production company Save the Princess Films, and is currently working on their next project. She’s very excited to be back in Nebraska working with Steve Barth at Crane River Theater.

Alex Markowitz Headshot

Alex Markowitz ~ Wickersham Brother in Seussical and Danny in Grease

Alex is thrilled to be making his “out-of-college” debut with Crane River Theater. He is honored to be working amongst such an exceptional cast and crew. Past credits at the University of Central Florida include Dick in Dames at Sea and the Steward in Into The Woods. He was also seen as Chris in Slipping at the 2012 Orlando Fringe Festival. Lastly, he would like to thank all of his friends and family for their constant support and love!

Deanna Mazdra Headshot

Deanna Mazdra ~ Bird Girl in Seussical and Jan in Grease

Deanna is thrilled to be spending the summer with Crane River Theater. She is from St. Louis and received her B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Central Missouri. Upon graduation, Deanna moved to Kansas City where she performed with Relevance Productions, She & Her and The Coterie. She recently moved back home and performed with Dramatic License Productions in St. Louis. Past credits include: Boeing, Boeing (Gloria), Next to Normal (Natalie), Reckless (Rachel), Into the Woods (Little Red), A Chorus Line (Connie), The Three Musketeers (Milady), and Little Women (Jo March).

Brianna Melroy Headshot

Brianna Melroy ~ Ensemble in Seussical

Brianna is going to be a senior at Kearney High School. Theatre has been a big part of her life starting with the Academy of Children’s Theatre at Kearney Community Theatre. Her most recent roles have been a tap dancer in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Mrs. Weasley in A Very Potter Musical and a member of the Barfly Trio in All Shook Up. She has also choregraphed a number of children’s musicals at KCT. After high school she plans to go to the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she has received a full-ride scholarship and hopes to major in Theatre Management or Music Business. Also, in her future she hopes to tour with the Young Americans!

Ashley Miller Headshot

Ashley Miller ~ Choreographer for Seussical

Ashley is an Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance at the University of Central Missouri. She received her Bachelor of Arts with a Dance Emphasis and a minor in Entrepreneurship from Iowa State University and an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of New Mexico. Since arriving at the University of Central Missouri, Ashley has been awarded the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Meritorious Achievement Award for Choreography for her work in A Chorus Line and helped the Central Missouri dance program achieve recognition in the February 2012 issue of Dance Studio Life magazine. Ashley also holds teaching certifications in beginning levels of ballroom dance, yoga and Zumba. She is an active member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA).

Buddy Miller Headshot-s

Buddy Miller ~ General Genghis Khan Schmitz in Seussical

Buddy is a Nebraska native and is attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he is finishing his BA in Literature. Born in Broken Bow, Nebraska, Buddy is thrilled to be working with Crane River for the first time. No stranger to the stage, some of Buddy’s previous credits include the Baker in Into the Woods, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sparky in Forever Plaid and Plaid Tidings with TADA Productions, Purdles in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, among many others. Buddy would like to thank Steve and everyone involved in Crane River, along with his loving family for their support and opportunity to share his talents.

Dillon Nelson Headshot

Dillon Nelson ~ Mr. Mayor in Seussical and Vince Fontaine in Grease

Dillon is excited to be joining Crane River Theater for the 2013 summer season! Dillon, originally from Burwell Nebraska, is a senior pursuing a musical theatre degree at the University of Kearney Nebraska. He has been in UNK’s productions of Oklahoma!(Ike Skidmore), Dear Edwina(Scott Kunckle), Pajama Game(Rudy), Bright Ideas(Bix, Coach Angus, and others), An Evening of Dance, and Urinetown (Officer Lockstock). Dillon got the opportunity to go to 2013 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival as an Irene Ryan nominee and was selected to be the Costume Parade Emcee. He is grateful to be able to have this amazing chance to work with everyone at Crane River Theater! Dillon would like to thank his family and close friends for always being supportive and entertaining.

Ethan Newmann Headshot

Ethan Newman ~ Assistant Technical Director for Seussical and Assistant Technical Director & Master Electrician for Grease

Ethan is currently an undergraduate at Simpson College majoring in both Theater and Mathematics. Originally from Fairfield, Iowa, he has participated backstage and onstage for many shows from a young age. Now in college, he is excited with the opportunity to continue theatre and make his passion his work. With an interest in lights, he has become involved with the electrics crew and designing for shows at Theatre Simpson. He looks to continue his work here at Crane River and other professional theaters and eventually carry on to gradate school.

Anthony Norman Headshot

Anthony Norman ~ Wickersham Brother in Seussical and Doody in Grease

Anthony is ecstatic to be joining the 2013 company of Crane River Theater. He is currently a 2015 candidate for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre at Millikin University. Credits include Mortiz in Spring Awakening, Chip in Spelling Bee, Frankie in A Lie of the Mind on the Millikin University main stage; Claude in Hair and Peter in Bare with Last Chance Theatre; and Woof in Hair, Angel in RENT, and Chuck Cranston in Footloose with Stage Door Fine Arts. Additionally, Anthony would like to thank the creative team, his family, teachers and friends for always being so supportive and helpful every step of the way, and God.

Breauna Overby Headshot

Breauna Overby ~ Ensemble in Grease

Breauna is originally from Aurora, Colorado, but has been living in Kearney for almost six years. She currently is attending Kearney High School and will be a sophomore this fall. Last March she went to Texas for the National Honor Choir and also went to Chicago in 2011 for the same choir. She has been in Concert Choir and will be in the Sapphire and Gold Show Choir. She is a student athletic trainer. She is excited to be in her first musical theatre production, and she thanks her family and friends for encouraging her to audition; it has definitely paid off.

Susie Parr Headshot

Susie Parr ~ Marty in Grease and Education Director for Explore Theater

Susie is currently graduate student at the University of Houston. She received a BA in performance from Western Michigan University and is looking forward to joining Crane River Theater for the first time this summer. This past year she has played Irina in Three Sisters, Yvette in Mother Courage and all Her Children, and Andromache in Trojan Women. Some of her other credits include Agnes in Bug, Clotilde in Cure for Love, Lucy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Puck in Midsummer Nights Dream. She has also been apart of several new play developments including the role of Zelda in Tea With Edie and Fitz, which will be opening in Chicago this summer. When she is not doing theater Susie loves to be outside, playing her ukulele, and trying new recipes in her kitchen.

Hayley Richelson HS-200-b

Hayley Richelson ~ Bird Girl in Seussical and Frenchy in Grease

A native of Massachusetts, Hayley now lives in New York City, and is very excited to be making her Crane River Theater debut! Recent credits include It’s A Wonderful Life (Ruth, Violet u/s) at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, Bye Bye Birdie (Deborah Sue/Teen Ensemble) at Reagle Music Theatre, Oliver! (Charlotte) at Gallery Players, A Grand Night for Singing (Alyson) and Fiddler on the Roof (Chava) at Fiddlehead Theatre Company. Hayley has performed at New York City’s Town Hall, Don’t Tell Mama, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She is havin’ a blast being part of such a summer lovin’ and fun season! Special thanks to Steve Barth, and lots of love & gratitude to CC, Mums, JR, Netty, Darren, LD, and Mama Rose.

Jamiee Silver Headshot

Jaimee Silver ~ Ensemble in Grease

Jaimee is from Holdrege, Nebraska, and is a graduating senior from Holdrege High School. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney to pursue music business with an emphasis on voice. She performed in South Pacific and Broadway Bound (a collaboration of musicals) and is currently playing the role of Leisel in The Sound of Music. She plans to continue through college participating in musical theatre. She would like to thank Crane River for this opportunity and would like to thank Ashley West for pushing her to be a better singer and entertainer. She thanks her family and friends for their support in music.

Drew Sinnard Headshot

Drew Sinnard ~ JoJo in Seussical

Drew will be in 7th grade this fall at Kearney Sunrise Middle School. He is the son of Bill and Jennifer Sinnard, and has two dogs Marty and Chewbacca. He plays baseball and football, as well as piano and violin. He enjoys singing and has performed with the Kearney Area Symphony Orchestra. This is his first musical, and he is excited to join the Crane River Theater cast and crew of Seussical this summer.

Nolan Sullivan Headshot

Nolan Sullivan ~ Eugene Florczyk in Grease and Education Director for Explore Theater

Nolan is raring and ready to join Crane River Theater for the third summer in a row! A Nebraska-native, Nolan very much enjoys being able to participate in the arts, especially here in Kearney where he feels he’s found a second home. He is very excited to be returning as an instructor for the Explore Theater classes, and to take the stage as Eugene in Grease. In the fall, Nolan will trek back to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as a Junior, where he will continue to pursue a major in English and a minor in Theater Performance.

Callandra Syverson Headshot

Callandra Syverson ~ Gertrude in Seussical and Sandy in Grease

Callie hails from Mankato, Minnesota, where she just finished her junior year as a BFA Musical Theatre student with a minor in dance at Minnesota State University Mankato. She was born in Syracuse, Nebraska, so she is thrilled to be back in her home state performing! Some of her previous credits include Maria in The Sound of Music with Highland Summer Theatre and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Wendla in Spring Awakening, Val Clark in A Chorus Line, Pop/Liz in Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, and The Producers with Minnesota State University. Callie would like to thank Crane River Theatre for giving her this amazing opportunity. Lastly, she would like to thank her supportive family, friends, and longtime boyfriend Travis for supporting her passion for performing!

Jordan Warren Headshot

Jordan Warren ~ Raleigh in Last Train to Nibroc

Jordan is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska where he graduated with a BA from the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film. Some of his most notable works include Coyote on a Fence, and A Voice of the Prairie which was selected for the Podium Festival in Moscow. After graduating, he made the move to Los Angeles. In his first few years he spent many nights performing live improv shows all around Los Angeles with The Proletarians, including the stages of I.O. West, The Next Stage Theater, opening for MAD TV, as well as many other clubs around Los Angeles. Jordan’s also found success in the independent film world including films such as Deuce of Spades, Hardcore Hearts, as well as the lead of the hit TV show, The Black Dawn. Currently Jordan is busy co-owning a film company where they are putting out original new works. He would like to thank his family for their support, and is extremely grateful to be doing what he loves. This will be Jordan’s first time working with The Crane River Theater, and is extremely gracious for the opportunity to come back to Nebraska which is really home. Go Big Red!

Jacob Wayman Headshot

Jacob Wayman ~

JoJo in SeussicalThis is Jacob’s first Crane River play. He is very excited to be a part of this summer musical. Jacob is 13 years old and he will be in 8th grade at Horizon Middle School this fall. He has been in many Academy of Children’s Theatre productions such as: Groovy, Enchanted Sleeping Beauty, Hydrangea Albright & Wipeout. He was a member of the Regional Honor Choir in the spring 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. Jacob has also been involved in Sing Around Nebraska for the last 3 years. He would like to thank his family for supporting his crazy busy life. Jacob hopes you enjoy the show!

Zack Wayman Headshot

Zack Wayman ~ Ensemble in Seussical

Zack Wayman is a Kearney native who went to Kearney High School and will be attending UNK this fall. This is Zack’s first time in a Crane River Theatre production. He has been involved in Musicals at the high school such as All Shook Up where he was a chorus member, Wizard of Oz where he was the coroner, and Thoroughly Modern Millie where he was a chorus member. He has been a member of the All State chorus in the fall of 2012 as well as many other honor choirs. He enjoys playing sports of all kinds, singing, and acting. Zack would like to thank his family for all the support he has had through his hectic acting and singing career. He also wants to thank everyone for supporting the show and hopes you enjoy it.

Ashley West Headshot

Ashley West ~ Mrs. Mayor in Seussical and Musical Director for Grease

Ashley is a Kearney native graduating in 2003 from Kearney High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2008. Currently she is the 5-12 Vocal Music Director for Holdrege Public Schools where she directs many ensembles. In recent years, Ashley has been the Assistant Director for numerous high school plays, the musical director for the Sutton, Nebraska community production of “Les Miserables”, and is currently the Musical Director for Holdrege High School’s Theater Program. Ashley is an active participant with the American Choral Directors Association, Nebraska Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, and the Nebraska Education Association. Ashley has always had a passion for music and the arts and is truly excited to be working with such talented performers. She would like to thank her husband Joe!

Morgan Wickham Headshot-s

Morgan Wickham ~ Young Kangaroo in Seussical

Morgan is a native of Kearney, Nebraska. She started taking classes with Crane River at the ripe age of three. She loves the classes and looks forward to them every year. At age two she started taking dance and gymnastics with Kearney School of Dance and Gymnastics. She loves the stage and the spotlight, thus her nickname “DQ” (Drama Queen). This is her first musical and she is looking forward to the experience. Morgan is the daughter of Bryan and Chrisanne Wickham. She has an older brother Taylor and a new puppy Baya Bing! She would like to thank Uncle Botsford and Steve Barth for this opportunity.

Corbin Williams Headshot

Corbin Williams ~ Wickersham Brother in Seussical and Sonny in Grease

Corbin is excited to head to Nebraska for the first time this summer to join the Crane River Theater family. A Nashville native, Corbin is currently pursuing a Theater major with a Music minor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He just recently completed a run of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, playing the leading role of Orlando. Other credits at Rhodes include Bobby Strong in Urinetown, the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods, and Yosuf in a reading of A Comedy of Sorrows. Regional credits include Sonny Malone in Xanadu, Henry in Next to Normal, Grandmaster Chad in Legally Blonde, Travis in Footloose, and Logan in a staged reading of The Warriors for Newtown. He would like to thank his friends and family for always being so supportive and encouraging. www.corbinwilliams.net

Nathan Williams Headshot-s

Nathan Williams ~ Cadet in Seussical

Nathan is excited to join the amazing cast of Seussical. He is eleven years old and will be heading into seventh grade at Sunrise Middle School in Kearney, Nebraska. Nathan has been in several music programs at school, including Music of the Stars with the Kearney Symphony Orchestra featuring Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play. He loves to sing and play the guitar, as well as target practice, riding his bike and anything outdoors.

Ally Young Price Headshot

Ally Young Price ~ Bird Girl in Seussical and Patty Simcox in Grease

Ally is so excited to be making her Crane River debut this summer! She recently graduated from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, Missouri and couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate! Past credits include Turtle and Bird in Webster Conservatory’s A Year With Frog and Toad, Samantha in Uncommon Women and Others, and Joyce in Top Girls. Many thanks to friends and family for their support! God Bless!


DAN BECKMANN ~ Toad in Frog and Toad and Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods

Dan is rejoining the Crane River Family for the second time, after having played Snoopy and a Man-Eating plant last summer. Dan graduated with a BFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and has had the privilege to perform such roles as Emile de Becque in South Pacific and Charles in Blithe Spirit, as well as the opportunity to play Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose in Istanbul, Turkey. He would like to thank his family for always showing him unwavering support in his artistic endeavors. And, in addition, he would like to thank you for coming out today to support the arts in your community! “Thanks everyone!”

 JAMIE BENTLEY ~ Lighting Designer for Two Rooms and Into the Woods

Jamie is a senior at the University of Nebraska at Kearney set to graduate in December 2012. She is studying theatre with an emphasis in design and technical production, along with studio art. Previous lighting design credits include Bright Ideas, The Shape of Things, An Evening of Concert and Dance, and The Actor’s Nightmare. Jamie is excited to join the Crane River Theatre for the 2012 season.

 JEFF SCOT CAREY* ~ Walker in Two Rooms

Jeff is delighted to return to Nebraska and to the wonderful Crane River Theater, where two years ago he played Jesus in Godspell. National Tours include: 101 Dalmations, South Pacific, Cinderella, Grease, and Rent. World Tour: Rent. Off-Broadway: Tails, Dorian Gray, and Back Home. Favorite Regional/New York: The Last Five Years, John & Jen, Hair and Footloose, and most recently, Hades in Disney’s Villain’s Tonight. TV/Film: One Life to Live, All My Children, The Reformation, Intrinsic, The One You Marry, Magnanimous, The Bathroom Attendant, and The Happy Hour Guys. Thanks to Steve and Brian, Love to Lakisha, and Mom and Dad. And Go-Huskers!!! (in the BIG 10 NOW!!!)

 COLE DOMAN ~ Ensemble in Frog and Toad and Jack in Into the Woods

Cole is overjoyed to be joining the 2012 company of Crane River Theater. He is currently a freshman at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University training towards a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some of his previous credits include Pippin in Pippin, Mark in Rent, and Oscar in Sweet Charity. Cole would like to thank the entire creative team for giving him this opportunity. Additionally, Cole would love to thank to his entire family and friends for their undying love and constant support.

 KAMI GRAVES ~ Assistant Director for Two Rooms and Into the Woods

Kami is excited to return to her hometown to spend the summer with Crane River Theater Company for the third year. After graduating from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, she spent a season with the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater in Grand Lake, Colorado before moving to New York City where she now lives. She was recently seen in Who Am I? A Tribute to Petula Clark and often sings with the folk/rock group Kathy Zimmer and the Sugar Bowls. A huge thank you to her family and friends for always being there, every step of the way.

 ERINN HOLMES* ~ Lainie in Two Rooms and The Witch in Into the Woods

Erinn is a graduate of the Acting MFA program at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.After completing her degree, Erinn landed recurring roles on the daytime television dramas All My Children, One Life to Live, and As the World Turns in New York. She also acted in numerous plays, including The Guest at Central Park West, From the Inside Out, The Tempest, Richard III and the New York premieres of Crossroads (Midtown International Theatre Festival) and Sweet Love Adieu (Hudson Shakespeare Company). In 2010, Erinn left New York to pursue screen work in Los Angeles. She soon returned to ABC’s then-relocated All My Children and landed a supporting role in the independent short film, “Mental” (Best Short, Cannes Independent Film Festival), as well as an appearance on The Young & the Restless (CBS).

EILEEN JAHN ~ Jack’s Mother in Into the Woods

Eileen operates a private voice and piano studio in addition to teaching Music Appreciation as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Nebraska-Kearney and teaching Zumba and BodyPump classes at the Kearney Family YMCA. She is an active adjudicator and performer whose most recent roles include Lady Thiang in The King and I and Marian “The Librarian” Paroo in The Music Man. She graduated from UNK in 1996 with a BA in Music (Mathematics minor) and earned her Masters of Music in Vocal Performance degree from Kansas State University in 1999. She is a life member of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Her most important roles in life are those of wife to Mick and mother to Emma and Heath.

 RACHEL KERMMOADE ~ Florinda in Into the Woods

Rachel is delighted to be a part of Crane River Theater this summer. She is a recent graduate of Kearney High School where she has been a part of several productions. Some of her favorite roles include Sylvia in All Shook Up, Marmee in Little Women, and Sissy in A Piece of My Heart. At the end of the summer Rachel will attend the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and major in International Relations in the hopes of attending law school. Rachel would like to thank her family, Mr. Shoemaker, Mr. Moyer, and Mrs. Rigler for always encouraging her and passing on their love for the stage.

  ANN KNIPPING ~ Cinderella’s Stepmother

Ann is Director of Field Experiences for the College of Education at UNK. She has been in this position 5 years after retiring from teaching English at Horizon Middle School for many years. Ann and her husband DJ have enjoyed performing at Kearney Community Theatre over the years; in fact, they met doing a show together in which Steve Barth was her little brother! One of her favorite roles was playing DJ’s wife in A Christmas Carol, More or Less. Because of that play, they named their miniature schnauzer Marley for the Ghost of Jacob Marley. Ann’s son Michael is a finish carpenter in Omaha. She and DJ enjoy spending time in Estes Park.

 AMY KNISPEL ~ Rapunzel in Into the Woods

Amy is glad to be home in Kearney after checking out the theater scene in Chicago, and thrilled to work with Crane River Theater this summer. She graduated in 2011 from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor in Musical Theater; her past roles include Babe in Pajama Game, Laurey in OKLAHOMA!, Olga in Three Sisters, Aurelia in The Malcontent, among others. Amy is so grateful to be working with her husband, Joe, and wants to thank her families for their never ending supply of love and support.

 JOE KNISPEL ~ Director of Frog and Toad, Michael in Two Rooms and Baker in Into the Woods

Joe is thrilled to be returning to Crane River Theater after appearing as Schroeder in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, and as an understudy for Jesus in Godspell in their 2010 season. Since then Joe moved to Chicago with his wife Amy where he played Whitney Galliard in Hunger the Musical as part of the New Musical Theater festival at Theater Building Chicago, which is now Stage 773. Joe and Amy now live in Kearney where he is pursuing a degree in theater education. He is also very excited to work with an amazing company, as well as being reunited with some old friends. Some of Joe’s favorite roles include Jesus in Godspell, Iago/Romeo/Ghost in Goodnight Desdamona, Good Morning Juliet, Vershinin in Three Sisters, Henrik in A Little Night Music, and Schroeder in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.

 ALEX MCCALE ~ Education Director and Little Red in Into the Woods

Alex McCale is absolutely thrilled to be working with Crane River Theater this summer! She is a 2012 graduate from the University of Central Missouri, with a BFA degree in Theatre Performance. Some of her favorite roles include Cassie in A Chorus Line, Ensemble in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and Meg March in Little Women. Alex is planning a big move to Los Angeles in the Fall. She would like to give a big shout out to her wonderful family and her spectacular fiance who provide a constant flow of love and support.

 SULLIVAN MOORE ~ The Steward in Into the Woods

Sullivan Moore is going to be starting his senior year at Kearney High School this fall. His most recent escapades at Kearney High include Sheriff Earl in All Shook Up, Professor Bhaer in Little Women, and Severus Snape in A Very Potter Musical. Sullivan is looking forward to the opportunity to work with actors of all ages from across the country. He hopes to continue his speech and theater career in college at Southern Oregon University.

 JESSICA MORGAN ~ Ensemble in Frog and Toad and Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods

Jessica is thrilled to be back with Crane River Theater for a second season. She is currently studying long-form improv at The Upright Citizens Brigade and a proud member of The Peopleʼs Improv Theatreʼs musical house team THEM in New York City. Jessica has most recently been seen in The 39 Steps, A Taffeta Wedding, Crazy for You, Godspell, Youʼre a Good Man Charlie Brown and The Miss Firecracker Contest.

 JIMMY REYNOLDS ~ Assistant Technical Director

Jimmy is originally from Omaha, and currently studies theater at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. Heading into his senior year, his emphasis is scenic and prop design, along with acting. Recent design credits include Spinning Into Butter, Love’s Labour’s Lost and props master for The 39 Steps. He was last seen onstage in the ensemble of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Doane College. Jimmy will be headed to Las Vegas later this summer, after receiving the SILA Award (Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas) for outstanding potential in scenic design at the regional KC/ACTF Festival. He would like to thank his family who have always supported his dreams of theater. Without their inspiration, he would not be where he is today.

 THERESA ROWLEY ~ Ensemble in Frog and Toad and Cinderella in Into the Woods

Theresa will be a Junior Music Theater major at Oklahoma City University where she studies voice under Larry Wade Keller. She has been a part of several OCU productions, such as The Elixir of Love, The Opera Rehearsal, and The Farnsworth Invention. Theresa was born and raised in Amarillo, TX where she portrayed a few of her favorite roles, including Eponine in Les Miserables, Grace in Annie, and Chava in Fiddler on the Roof. She would like to thank Crane River Theater for this opportunity, along with her family, Mr. Keller, Linda Hughes, and most of all, the Lord Jesus for being her Rock.

 DAVID ROZEMA ~ Narrator and Mysterious Man in Into the Woods

David has been involved in many productions at Kearney Community Theatre (where he serves on the Board of Directors) both as an actor and as a director. But his love of theater goes way back, and he is now just happy to be able to continue to live the dream. Some of his favorite stage roles are Fagin in Oliver!, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Felix Ungar in The Odd Couple, Sandor Turai in Rough Crossing, and Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Direction credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Enchanted April, Clue: the Musical and The Importance of Being Earnest. Similar to many other actors, for his day job he waits metaphorical tables where hungry minds seek metaphysical fare for intellectual pleasure—he’s a philosophy professor at UNK. And, you know, the tips aren’t bad!

 JUDITH ROZEMA ~ Cinderella’s Mother in Into the Woods

Judy is no stranger to the stage, having participated in nearly all aspects of theatrical production: actor, director, musical director, accompanist, sound and lighting technician, and set designer. Some of her favorite roles have been Agatha Mortimer in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Margaret Lord in The Philadelphia Story and Lita Encore in Ruthless: the Musical. She has directed The Odd Couple, Once Upon a Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Musical Chairs, A Christmas Carol and Clue: the Musical. Judy works as a Music Specialist at Windy Hills Elementary School in Kearney and is the Music Director at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

 ELLE TAUSCH ~ Stage Manager for Frog and Toad and Into the Woods

Elle is a passionate individual born and raised in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. She is currently studying Theatre Production: Stage Management at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Her favorite credits include reasons to be pretty and The Drowsy Chaperone. Elle cannot wait to start sharing dreams and experiences with the Crane River Theater Company. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

 LIZA THALKEN ~ Education Director and Choreographer for Frog and Toad

Liza is so excited to be a part of Crane River Theater for the third year in a row! She just finished up her sophomore year at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and is looking into a career in Public Health Administration, Psychology, or Education (wherever the wind blows her). Liza has been dancing, singing and performing since the age of three. Her choreography experience includes working with dance teams, soloists, show choirs, and musicals. Her favorite experience was choreographing Little Shop of Horrors last summer for Crane River Theater! She feels especially blessed to be able to work with such incredible talent so close to home, and is looking forward to another amazing summer!

 LOIS THALKEN ~ Ellen in Two Rooms

Lois feels extremely blessed to have the opportunity to be part of Crane River Theater. A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, she fell in love with the stage while pursuing her degree in Music Education. Lois has been working professionally as vocalist for Thalken & Tesdall during the past few decades. She is especially pleased to get the chance to refresh her theatrical skills with the amazing talents of the CRT cast and crew. Some of her favorite roles from the past include Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Desiree in A Little Night Music, Louise in Gypsy, and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha. She and her husband Todd are owner/operators for Kearney Floral Company. She thanks her beautiful family — Liza, Isabel, Rosamond and Todd — for all their love and support.

 ROSAMOND THALKEN ~ Lucinda in Into the Woods

Rosamond is thrilled to be joining the company of Crane River Theater this summer. She began singing, dancing and acting at a young age, and over the years has appeared in countless dance recitals, community productions, and school performances. Some of her favorite roles include Tina in Ruthless: The Musical, young Cosette in Les Miserables, and Hermione in A Very Potter Musical. Rosamond also recently enjoyed her position as choreographer for Little Women. She will be a senior this fall at Kearney High School, and looks forward to spending this summer with the wonderfully creative minds of the Crane River cast and crew.

 ALEX VAN HANDEL ~ Frog in Frog and Toad and Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods

After a year removed, Alex is very excited to be returning for his second season with Crane River Theater. You may have seen him as Charlie Brown in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and John the Baptist in Godspell during Crane River’s inaugural season. Since then Alex has graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a BFA in Musical Theatre. A native of Wisconsin, he now resides in New York City were he’s working toward his dream of being under the Broadway lights.

 SARAH WHITE ~ Assistant Technical Director

Sarah now resides in Columbus, Indiana after graduating from Anderson University in 2011, where she studied English and Theatre, with a dual concentration in acting/directing and scenic design. She has designed four shows at her Alma Mater (including one post-graduation as a guest artist), two at the Shawnee Summer Theatre of Greene County, and one at the Minnetrista Cultural Center (all in Indiana). This fall she is hoping to attend graduate school to major in Scenic Design, and is thrilled to be back on the horse as a scenic artist working for Crane River this summer. Sarah enjoys writing, and is in the middle of three novel length projects. She is extremely grateful to Ronn Johnstone and Christian Mckinney for teaching her all she knows about art, her family for their support of her crazy lifestyle, and to God, for giving her an artist/seeker’s heart. http://sarahewhite.carbonmade.com

* Appears Courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association

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— PRODUCTION STAFF —

STEVE BARTH ~ Artistic Director

Steve was born and raised in Kearney. He discovered his passion for music and theater performing on stages across the community, until he eventually took his love for arts to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he received his BA and MFA in Acting. During that time, Steve had the opportunity to perform with many theaters throughout the Midwest, including the Nebraska Repertory Theater, Minnesota Repertory Theater and Illinois Music Theater. He served as artistic director of Theatrix for two years overseeing many productions in multiple capacities: producer, director and designer. He taught many classes at the University (Acting, Introduction to Theater, Arts Today) and served on numerous administrational committees (Academic Distinction and Awards, Curriculum, Grading Appeals, and Season Selection). Once the years of studying came to an end, Steve set his sights on New York City, where he has resided for the last 6 years acting and directing.

 
BRIAN BOTSFORD ~ Music Director

Brian is a 1995 graduate of Kearney High School and a 2000 graduate of University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. He now lives in Wahoo, Nebraska where he has served as the vocal music instructor, assistant instrumental instructor and drama director at Bishop Neumann High School for over ten years. Brian is an active performer in the Lincoln and Omaha area participating in groups such as the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Lincoln Community Concert Band, Lincoln Civic Orchestra, First Presbyterian Church of Wahoo as well as solo music performances. Currently he is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

 
BOB HEIDEN ~ Scenic Designer/Technical Director

A Kearney native, Bob Heiden graduated from Kearney High School in 2002. With a passion for the Fine Arts, Bob started out performing in musicals at the high school and community theatre level where he discovered his niche: designing, building and painting scenery. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Technical Theater from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. During that time, he had the opportunity to work at Kearney High as the Drama Assistant for three years. Following college, Bob has designed and painted sets for many local organizations including Kearney High School Theatre and Choral departments, Zion Lutheran Church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Kearney School of Dance and Gymnastics, Kearney Elementary Music departments, Kearney Children’s Museum, and Kearney Community Theatre. When he’s not painting, Bob channels his creativity as the Art Director for Buckle Inc. where he designs and manages the creative team for the online marketing channels.

Crane River Theater Company 2011 Company Cast

 
Joe Allen ~ Audrey II (Puppeteer) Little Shop

Joe will be a sophomore at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in the fall where he is pursuing a degree in Technical Theatre. He has served as a carpenter for The Malcontent and My Sister in This House, and most recently as props master for The Pajama Game. Last year he was seen on stage in Crane River Theater’s production of Godspell, as well as assisting the technical crew as a carpenter. He is glad to be back for another summer and thankful for the opportunity Crane River has given him!

Dan Beckmann ~ Snoopy in Snoopy and Audrey II (Voice) in Little Shop

Dan just graduated with a BFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with this fine group of people in Kearney this summer. Some of his favorite past credits include Emile de Becque in South Pacific and Charles in Blithe Spirit, as well as the opportunity to play Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose in Istanbul, Turkey. He would like to thank his family for their constant, unrelenting support in all of his endeavors. Mom, Dad and Laura — I love you more than anything!

Lily Cohen ~ Sally in Snoopy and Audrey in Little Shop

Currently in her sophomore year pursuing a BFA in Theater Performance at the University of Evansville, Lily is so excited to be joining the company of Crane River Theater. Previous credits include Mary Phagan in Parade, Grizabella in Cats, and Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. Love to M & D back home in Seattle!

Michael Fariss ~ Charlie Brown in Snoopy and Orin in Little Shop

Michael is so excited to be returning to Kearney for his second summer with Crane River Theater. You may remember him from last summer as Snoopy in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Judas in Godspell. Michael is currently pursuing a BFA in Acting from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, Missouri. He would like to thank his parents for absolutely everything they have done in order for him to pursue his dreams (I love you guys!) and his two guardian angels, Aubrey and Devyn for making him the person he is today. “Don’t let someone put you in a box.”

Shelby Floyd ~ Lucy in Snoopy and Chiffon in Little Shop

Shelby is a nineteen year old actress and singer/songwriter from Kansas City. She is currently attending Johnson County Community College. Her favorite roles include Mrs. Goldberg in In Trousers, Natalie/Ed in All Shook Up, The Witch in Into the Woods, Julia Guglia in The Wedding Singer, Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show, and Hope in Urinetown. Check out her singing anytime by searching for her on YouTube and/or Facebook!

Hope Grandon ~ Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors

Hope is thrilled to be back in the Cornhusker state. Last year she appeared as a part of CRTC’s inaugural company in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Sally) and Godspell (Ensemble). Hope graduated in May from Bradley University in Peoria, IL with a double major in Theatre Performance and Public Relations. Favorite roles include Little Red (Into The Woods), Crystal (Little Shop), and Rusty (Footloose). Hugs to family and friends for constant supplies of support and caffeine. “Know what? With the state of the world being what it is- 2 ½ hours of music and joy is maybe the best we can do.”- Norbert Leo Butz

Kurt Hellerich ~ Linus in Snoopy and Seymore in Little Shop

Kurt is extremely fortunate to be working with Crane River, and he’s very grateful for it. Raised in St. Joseph, Missouri, and currently pursuing a BFA in Acting from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, Missouri. Kurt has previously been seen in South Pacific (Lt. Cable), Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Crazy for You (Bobby Child), and many others. He would like to thank Steve Barth and Brian Botsford for having enough faith in him to give him this opportunity, and Adam Padric Williams, Caleb Hazelwood, and Mollee Westlake for being such inspiring, faithful friends over the years.

Kylie Jo Jennings ~ Patty in Snoopy and Crystal in Little Shop

Kylie is ecstatic to be joining Crane River Theater for the first time! She is a candidate for the BFA in Musical Theatre from Wichita State University this May. Credits with the University include Eve/Mama Noah in Children of Eden, Sheila Franklin in Hair, Medea in Medea, Woman 1 in Putting It Together! Credits outside the University include Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Ronette in Little Shop of Horrors and Aida. Kylie has also enjoyed performing for Music Theatre of Wichita, Opera Kansas, Summer Song, Building the Circle, The Big Read, Contemporary Music Festival and Festival of Broadway.

Chris Lyons ~ Ensemble Little Shop of Horrors

Chris is a returning member to Crane River Theater and is excited towork with CRT again! Last year he shadowed the music director for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and appeared in Godspell (riot-police). Chris is a recent graduate from Kearney High School. His favorite roles in past shows include Javert (Les Miserables) and The Tinman (The Wizard of Oz). Chris is a relative newcomer to the stage, but hopes to continue in the arts throughout his college career.

Codie Milford ~ Ensemble for Little Shop of Horrors

Codie is excited to perform with Crane River Theater for the first time this summer. He will be a junior this fall at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, majoring in Musical Theatre with a minor in Dance. Past credits include Bob in The Pajama Game (also a featured dancer for Steam Heat and Hernando’s Hideaway), Narrator in Into The Woods, Dr. Frank Gibbs in Our Town, and Lyle Rogers in Exit The Body.

Curtis Proctor-Artz ~ Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop

Curtis is a senior in theatre performance at Wichita State University (WSU), via Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, via the University of Iowa, via the University of Oklahoma! Recent WSU roles include Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night and B.F. Schlegal in Carnival. Other favorite roles include Dennis Shepherd in The Laramie Project, Ferris Layman in The Diviners, Guiteau in Assassins, Freddie in Noises Off, Crumpet the Elf in Santaland Diaries, Stephano in The Tempest, and Doc Gibbs in Our Town. Curtis also appeared last September in a documentary for MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. He would like to thank his family for supporting his pipe dreams.

Liza Thalken ~ Woodstock in Snoopy

Liza will be a sophomore at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in the fall, with a major in Psychology. She has been dancing and singing since she was very young, and is extremely excited to perform in her second season with Crane River Theater! Most recent roles include the ensemble of Crane River’s Godspell and Annabelle in Dylan at UNL. She would like to thank her parents for introducing her to the world of musical theater at a very young age!

 
- Production Team -
 
 
Steve Barth ~ Director for Snoopy and Little Shop of Horrors

Steve was born and raised in Kearney. He discovered his passion for music and theater performing on stages across the community, until he eventually took his love for arts to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he received his BA and MFA in Acting. During that time, Steve had the opportunity to perform with many theaters throughout the Midwest, including the Nebraska Repertory Theater, Minnesota Repertory Theater and Illinois Music Theater. Once the years of studying came to an end, Steve set his sights on New York City, where he has resided for the last 7 years acting and directing. Steve is thrilled to produce theater with his longtime friends Brian and Brooke with Crane River Theater.

 
Brian Botsford ~ Musical Director for Snoopy and Little Shop of Horrors

Brian is a 1995 graduate of Kearney High School and a 2000 graduate of University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. He now lives in Wahoo, Nebraska where he has served as the vocal music instructor, assistant instrumental instructor and drama director at Bishop Neumann High School for ten years. Brian is an active performer in the Lincoln and Omaha area participating in groups such as the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Lincoln Community Concert Band, Lincoln Civic Orchestra, First Presbyterian Church of Wahoo as well as solo music performances. Currently he is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

 
Brooke Bradford ~ Educational Director for Explore Theater

Brooke grew up in Kearney and graduated from Kearney High School in 1995. She attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, where she received her degree in Theater Performance. She met her husband, Steve Bradford, while doing repertory-theater at the Playmill Theater in West Yellowstone, Idaho, just outside Yellowstone National Park. She has appeared in a variety of local and regional productions as well as commercial, industrial and short films. Brooke and her husband own and operate Blue Media, a video production company based in Kearney since 2003. They reside in Kearney with their five children. Brooke has directed the Explore Theater classes with Crane River Theater for the last two years.

 
Steve Bradford ~ Technical Director and Lighting Designer

Steve received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film Production from the University of Wisconsin. As a California native, Steve has enjoyed working in film and video production for more than fifteen years. Steve received extensive experience in digital video filming, editing, DVD authoring, and motion graphic creation while working on several projects and independent films in Studio City, California. In 2006, Steve won the prestigious Individual Artist Fellowship Award from the Nebraska Arts Council for his documentary, Damage. Steve has served as director and CEO of Blue Media since its inception in 2003. Clients have included National Geographic, The Audubon Society and Planet Eclipse, spanning more than 30 states and 3 countries.

 
Bob Heiden ~ Technical Director and Scenic Artist

Bob is excited to be part of the Crane River Theater’s production team again this summer. A Kearney native, Bob graduated from Kearney High School in 2002. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Technical Theater from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Bob has designed and painted sets for many local organizations including Kearney High School, University Nebraska at Kearney and Kearney Community Theatre. When he’s not painting, Bob channels his creativity as Art Director for Buckle’s Marketing team.

 
Hope Grandon ~ Assistant Director for Snoopy

Hope is thrilled to be back in the Cornhusker state. Last year she appeared as a part of CRTC’s inaugural company in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Sally) and Godspell (Ensemble). Hope graduated in May from Bradley University in Peoria, IL with a double major in Theatre Performance and Public Relations. Favorite roles include Little Red (Into The Woods), Crystal (Little Shop), & Rusty (Footloose). Hugs to family and friends for constant upplies of support and caffeine. “Know what? With the state of the world being what it is- 2 ½ hours of music and joy is maybe the best we can do.”- Norbert Leo Butz

 
Bill Sinnard ~ Assistant Director for Little Shop of Horrors

Bill graduated from Kearney High School in 1996 and went on to study at Chadron State College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He currently owns Hability Solution Services, which provides therapy services for nursing homes and hospitals across the state. Bill is the co – owner of Remember When Films and has directed two full-length movies. In 2005 he made his directing debut with the Indie film, Virgina and followed it up in 2008 with a documentary, Haunted Nebraska. He is currently serving on the World Theatre Board of Directors. Bill enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their on, Drew.

 
Curtis Proctor-Artz ~ Assistant Director for Explore Theater

Curtis is a senior in theatre performance at Wichita State University (WSU), via Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, via the University of Iowa, via the University of Oklahoma! Recent WSU roles include Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night and B.F. Schlegal in Carnival. Other favorite roles include Dennis Shepherd in The Laramie Project, Ferris Layman in The Diviners, Guiteau in Assassins, Freddie in Noises Off, Crumpet the Elf in Santaland Diaries, Stephano in The Tempest, and Doc Gibbs in Our Town. Curtis also appeared last September in a documentary for MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. He would like to thank his family for supporting his pipe dreams.

 
Lauren Filip ~ Stage Manager for Snoopy and Little Shop of Horrors

Lauren is ecstatic to be a part of the Crane River Theatre Company this season. She is entering her senior year at Ball State University where she is pursuing a degree in stage management, in the department of theatre and dance. Her assistant stage management credits include Death Trap, New Faces 2009, and Picnic. She has also worked as a stage manager on Two Rooms, The Lover, and Kid Purple. Lauren feels blessed to have a wonderful support system comprised of her educators, friends, family and God.

 
Kamara Graves ~ Choreographer for Snoopy and Explore Theater

Kami is excited to return to her hometown to spend the summer with Crane River Theater Company for the second year. After graduating from UNK, she spent a season with the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater in Grand Lake, Colorado before moving to New York City where she now lives. She was recently seen in Who Am I? A Tribute to Petula Clark and often sings with the folk/rock group Kathy Zimmer and the Sugar Bowls. A huge thank you to her family and friends for always being there, every step of the way.

 
Liza Thalken ~ Choreographer for Little Shop of Horrors

Liza will be a sophomore at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in the fall, with a major in Psychology. She has been dancing and singing since she was veryyoung, and is extremely excited to perform in her second season with Crane River Theater! Most recent roles include the ensemble of Crane River Theater’s Godspell and Annabelle in Dylan at UNL. She would like to thank her parents for introducing her to the world of musical theater at a very young age!

 
Gay Longfellow ~ Costume Designer for Little Shop of Horrors

Take a girl from the farm, teach her how to sew, encourage her artistic side and you’ve got a costumer. After doing many, many shows, Gay still loves to put her creative touch on productions. She is thrilled to be a part of Crane River Theater once again this summer, after designing Godspell last year.

 
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Lakisha Bowen

Lakisha Anne Bowen* ~ Ensemble in Godspell

Lakisha is thrilled to be a part of Godspell! Off Broadway: Wanda’s World, Classic M: The Music of Motown. Selected Regional: RENT, Little Shop of Horrors, Evita, Aida, Once on This Island, Colored People’s Time, The Yellow Wallpaper and about 50 Readings and Workshops of new plays and musicals throughout New York City. Tours: 101 Dalmatians, first national, directed by Jerry Zaks, and Walt Disney Cruise Lines. TV/film: As The World Turns (Guest Star), One Life to Live, Chicken Pox, By The Numbers and commercials. Lakisha is currently a singer for Hank Lane Music and Productions (www.hanklane.com) and has sung with legends such as Patti Labelle, Eric Benet, Slash, Mickey Dolenz, Nile Rogers and CHIC, and Tom Jones. Thanks Steve and Love to Jeff!
Jeff Scott Carey

Jeff Scot Carey* ~ Jesus in Godspell

Nebraska Debut! Just off the 1st National Tour of the new musical 101 Dalmatians directed by Jerry Zaks, Jeff is excited to join this brilliant cast and finally explore the famed Cornhusker State. Other National Tours: South Pacific, Cinderella, Grease, and Rent. World Tour: Rent. Off-Broadway: Tails, Dorian Gray, and Back Home. Favorite Regional/New York: The Last Five Years, John & Jen, Hair, Footloose, The Order Of Things, Two Rooms, and The Complete Wrks Of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged.) TV/Film: One Life to Live, All My Children, The Reformation, Big Brothers, Intrinsic, Biff: An Introduction, and The Happy Hour Guys. Thanks to Steve, Love to Lakisha, and Go-Huskers!!!

 www.jeffscotcarey.com

Michael Fariss

Michael Fariss ~ Snoopy in Charlie Brown and Judas in Godspell

Michael is currently a candidate for a BFA in Acting from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. He was born and raised in Austin, Texas and has been acting ever since he can remember. Some of his favorite credits include The Cat in the Hat in Seussical, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Orin Scivello in Little Shop of Horrors and Ron in Bat Boy. Michael would like to thank his parents for everything they have done to make his dreams come true and he would like to dedicate his performance to his two guardian angels Devyn Kimbell and Aubrey Fariss.

Hope Frandon

Hope Grandon ~ Sally in Charlie Brown and Ensemble in Godspell

Hope is a senior Theater Performance-Public Relations double major at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Favorite roles include Little Red in Into The Woods, Rusty in Footloose!, Natalie/Ed in All Shook Up and Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. “Know what? With the state of the world being what it is- 2 ½ hours of music and joy is maybe the best we can do.”- Norbert Leo Butz

Kami Graves  Charlie Brown  Violet  Godspell

Kami Graves ~ Violet in Charlie Brown and Ensemble in Godspell

Kami Graves is excited to return to her hometown to spend the summer with the new Crane River Theater Company. After graduating from UNK, she spent season with the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater in Grand Lake, Colorado before moving to New York City where she now lives. She was recently seen in Who Am I? A Tribute to Petula Clark and often sings with the folk/rock group Kathy Zimmer and the Sugar Bowls. A huge thank you to her family and friends for always being there, every step of the way.

Shade Ingraham  Godspell

Shade Ingraham ~ Ensemble in Godspell

Shade is ecstatic to have the chance to work with the Crane River Theater Company. He has previously been seen on the stages of both Kearney High and Kearney Community Theater. Shade has played a wide array of characters, from the Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical to escaped convict Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, and is excited to play yet another fun role. After this crazy summer Shade plans to attend the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film at UNL and major in Theater Performance.

Joe Knispel ~ Schroeder in Charlie Brown

Joe is a recent graduate from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelors Degree in Musical Theatre. He was most recently seen last summer in a workshop of a new musical titled Hunger at the Theatre Building Chicago in Chicago where he played the role of Whitney Galliard. Kearney community might remember Joe from UNK in such roles as Vershinin in Three Sisters, Curly in Oklahoma!, Jesus in Godspell, Henrik in A Little Night Music, and the roles of Romeo/ Iago/ Ghost/Chorus in Goodnight Desdamona (Good Morning Juliet). Joe is excited to be working with so many new faces and thrilled to be creating great theatre with such a talented cast for the community of Kearney.

Jessica Morgan Lucy Charlie Brown Godspell

Jessica Morgan ~ Lucy in Charlie Brown & Ensemble in Godspell

Jessica is thrilled to be joining Crane River Theater for it’s inaugural season! She is a Spring 2010 graduate of Missouri State University where she received her BFA in Musical Theatre. There she was seen in roles such as Tricia in the new work Evangeline Drowning, Diana in I Love You Because, and Alice in A…My Name is Alice. She has also spent her last two summers working for Tent Theatre in Springfield, Missouri as Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Carnelle in The Miss Firecracker Contest.

Nate Rocke Linus Charlie Brown Godspell

Nate Rocke ~ Linus in Charlie Brown and Ensemble in Godspell

Nate just finished his Freshmen year as a Musical Theater major at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Some recent roles include Billy in Dear Edwina, Calidorus in Pseudolus, and The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He was an Irene Ryan Nominee and Semifinalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region V Competition. Nate is extremely excited to be a part of Crane River Theater’s first season!

Laura Rosema Godspell Laura Rozema ~ Ensemble in Godspell Laura has been acting on the stage since fourth grade. Since then, she has participated on the stages at Kearney Community Theatre and Kearney High School, and a few shots behind the camera. After graduating high school, Laura plans on attending college in North Carolina, Illinois, or Colorado with a major in theatre with an emphasis on musical theatre. She hopes to eventually move to New York after college.
Liza Thalken Godspell

Liza Thalken ~ Ensemble in Godspell

Liza will be a freshman at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in the fall, with a double major in Theater and Psychology. She has been dancing and singing since she was very young, and is extremely excited to perform in Crane River Theater’s first season. Favorite roles include the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Eponine in Les Miserables. She would like to thank her parents for introducing her to the world of musical theater at a very young age.

Micah Urbanek Godspell

Micah Urbanek ~ Ensemble in Godspell

Micah is extremely excited to be involved with Crane River Theatre this summer! She will be a senior this fall and has enjoyed performing at Kearney Community Theatre and Kearney High School. She played Fantine in last fall’s production of Les Miserables. She intends to major in Musical Theatre or Vocal Performance upon graduation next year.

Alex Van Handel Charlie Brown in Charlie Brown and Ensemble in Godspell

Alex Van Handel ~ Charlie Brown in Charlie Brown and Ensemble in Godspell

Alex is from Hartford, Wisconsin and is currently attending the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point where he will be a senior in the BFA Musical Theatre department. Some of his previous roles have been Claude in Hair, Kenneth Talley, Jr. in Fifth of July, and Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. When he is not on stage he enjoys spending time with his friends and watching the Packers with his fellow cheeseheads. He would like to thank his family for their continuous love and support.

* Appears Courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association

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- 2010 Company Production Team -
 

Steve Barth ~ Director for Charlie Brown and Godspell

Steve Barth was born and raised in Kearney. He discovered his passion for music and theater performing on stages across the community, until he eventually took his love for arts to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he received his BA and MFA in Acting. During that time, Steve had the opportunity to perform with many theaters throughout the Midwest, including the Nebraska Repertory Theater, Minnesota Repertory Theater and Illinois Music Theater. He served as artistic director of Theatrix for two years overseeing many productions in multiple apacities: producer, director and designer. Once the years of studying came to an end, Steve set his sights on New York City, where he has resided for the last 6 years acting and directing. The most memorable productions include Two Rooms, Boy Gets Girl and Of Mice and Men.

 

Brian Botsford ~ Musical Director for Charlie Brown and Godspell

Brian Botsford is a 1995 graduate of Kearney High School and a 2000 graduate of University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. He now lives in Wahoo, Nebraska where he has served as the vocal music instructor, assistant instrumental instructor and drama director at Bishop Neumann High School for nearly ten years. Brian is an active performer in the Lincoln and Omaha area participating in groups such as the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Lincoln Community Concert Band, Lincoln Civic Orchestra, First Presbyterian Church of Wahoo as well as solo music performances. Currently he is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

 

Brooke Bradford ~ Educational Director for the Explore Theater Classes

Brooke Bradford grew up in Kearney and graduated from Kearney High School in 1995. She attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, where she received her degree in Theater Performance. She met her husband, Steve Bradford, while doing repertory-theater at the Playmill Theater in West Yellowstone, Idaho, just outside Yellowstone National Park. She has appeared in a variety of local and regional productions as well as commercial, industrial and short films. Brooke and her husband own and operate Blue Media, a video production company based in Kearney since 2003. They reside in Kearney with their five children.

 

Kyle Garrelts ~ Scene Designer/Technical Director for Charlie Brown and Godspell

Kyle started his theater career at Kearney High School, where he graduated in 2008. Since then he has worked on shows at the University of Wyoming, Tibbits Opera House in Michigan, University of Nebraska at Kearney, and the Kearney Community Theater. A few of the shows he has worked on include Hair, Fiddler on the Roof, Almost, Maine, Rabbit Hole, Zombie Prom, and Room Service. Kyle has been an actor, designer, technical director, props master, master carpenter and much more, however out of all the shows he has been apart of, he is most excited about designing this summer for Crane River Theater. Kyle wants to extend an invite to everyone to come and enjoy an amazing season at Crane River Theater.

 

Danielle Kimball ~ Stage Manager for Charlie Brown and Godspell

Danielle is excited to be part of the first season of Crane River Theatre Company, stage managing You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Godspell. She just completed her first year in the Stage Management Program at The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster in St. Louis, Missouri. While at Webster, she stage managed a production of the Vagina Monologues and the BFA Dance Concert. A native of Houston, Texas, Danielle enjoyed the successful opportunity to stage manage Hello Dolly. She has been involved in theater since grade school and would like to thank her family for all their love and support.

 

Matthew Baye ~ Props Master for Charlie Brown and Lighting Designer for Godspell

Matthew is originally from Kearney where he started his love for theatre at a very young age. Throughout high school he acted, directed, and did technical work backstage whenever he had the chance. After graduating from Kearney High, he continued his passion for theatre in college. Matt will be a senior in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film this fall at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he is on track to get a BFA in Technical Theatre. Some of his most recent credits include lighting designer for Shipwrecked, assistant lighting designer and carpenter for King Lear, master electrician for Tartuffe, and actor and properties master for the New Artists Festival. Matthew is excited to be working with Crane River Theatre on their two shows this summer.

 

Gay Longfellow ~ Costume Designer for Godspell

Take a girl from the farm, teach her how to sew, encourage her artistic side and you’ve got a costumer. After doing many, many shows, Gay still loves to put her creative touch on productions. She is thrilled to be a part of Crane River Theater this summer

 

Bob Heiden ~ Scenic Artist for Charlie Brown and Godspell

Bob is excited to be part of the Crane River Theater’s production team this summer. A Kearney native, Bob graduated from Kearney High School in 2002. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Technical Theater from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Bob has designed and painted sets for many local organizations including KHS, UNK and KCT. When he’s not painting, Bob channels his creativity as Art Director and Graphic Designer for Buckle’s Marketing team.

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