Directors & Staff

We can’t do it alone

The RMRT Youth Theatre Program is directed each year by an all-star team of teaching artists and working professionals from around the country. Each member is dedicated to making every young artist shine!

“In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life, we are like children in a theatre before the curtain is raised, sitting there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

About the Directors

RMRT Education Director  – Joel Ewing

Joel Ewing is a theatre educator, actor, and producer in Chicago, IL. He began his time at RMRT as the director of the Teen Theatre Academy and has proudly served as the Education Director for the past two years. Joel received his B.F.A. from Missouri State University in Theatre & Performance and his Masters Degree in Secondary Education from DePaul University. He is the Lead Theatre Teacher at Senn Arts Magnet High School, a selective enrollment arts school in CPS. In the past five years, he has directed and devised over fifteen productions at Senn Arts. Joel is a proud educational partner with some of Chicago’s finest theatrical institutions such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Lookingglass Theatre Company. Through Steppenwolf, Joel has been trained in Aesthetic Education as developed by the Lincoln Center Institute. He also serves as founder and co-artistic director of The Yard, a student-driven theatre company that has formed artistic alliances with professional theatre companies throughout Chicago. Through these partnerships, the theatrical institutions provide a professional environment and mentorship to the developing artists, creating theatre relevant to young people, performed by young people. As an actor, Joel was last seen in as Chris in Oohrah! at Steppenwolf and as the Baker in Into the Woods and Andre in Three Sisters, both with The Hypocrites, where he is a proud company member.



Laura Bess Ewing – Youth Theatre Production Director

Laura Bess Ewing is thrilled to be back in her beloved Rocky Mountain home for the sixth summer! Laura Bess received her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance from Missouri State University and her Masters in Elementary Education from DePaul University in Chicago. She teaches second graders in a Chicago public school and has worked as an actor in the city with such companies as The Hypocrites and LiveWire Chicago Theatre. LB has served as director of multiple programs at RMRT over the years, adapting children’s stories into original productions and bringing Junior versions of hit Broadway musicals to the RMRT stage. When not working with these fantastic kids, she can be seen around Grand Lake wrangling her enthusiastic three-year-old, Gus!


Anna Lange –Youth Theatre Workshop Director & Teen Theatre Academy Director

Anna Lange is thrilled to be returning home to Grand Lake for her third year as a director with the RMRT Youth Theatre Program. Anna holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Millikin University and an M.Ed in Secondary English and Theatre Education from DePaul University. She recently completed her first year of teaching middle school with the Chicago Public Schools. RMRT acting credits include the Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone, Betty Jean in The Marvelous Wonderettes, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and Meg in Brigadoon. Eternally grateful to the whole RMRT family, Joel and LB, and hubby Barrett, who kindly lets her run away to the mountains every summer!



Jessica Ryan — Assistant Director/Choreographer , Youth Theatre Workshop

Jessica is a bi-coastal multi-hyphenate artist (also known as creative mutt in less fancy circles) who is delighted to be back with the kiddos of Rocky Mountain Rep. On stage she’s appeared as Martha in Broadway lyricist Nathan Tysen’s new rock theatre piece Stillwater (KC Rep/The Living Room), Jenn in the New York premiere of Vicky Vodrey’s Hard Day’s Night (Fringe NYC), Rosamund in the Robber Bridegroom and Lucetta in Two Gentlemen of Verona with Everett Quinton (Cleveland Summer Stages) and Ella and Lottie in Mack and Mabel with Donna McKechnie (Goodspeed). She’s voiced radio, TV and industrial spots for clients like Tumi, MIT, GE and Annabelle’s Adult Superstore in South Dakota (seriously).  She recently finished writing and directing a video for GE as a proud content collaborator with the Manifesto Agency. And she’s the founder of Broadway Unlocked, a startup that helps live theatre create content for the digital medium – through which she’s had the honor of speaking at Google about her work innovating digital platform content for theatre.


Erin CrabbMadison, WIAugust 18, 2014Photo by Emma Cassidy,

Erin CrabbMadison, WIAugust 18, 2014Photo by Emma Cassidy,

Erin Crabb — Music Director, Teen Theatre Academy

Erin Crabb, when not pining away for the village of Grand Lake, is a freelancing accompanist, music director, and piano teacher residing in Madison, Wisconsin. She has worked in various such capacities with the Children’s Theater of Madison, Fresco Opera, Madison Theatre Guild, UW Theatre, Opera For the Young, Edgewood College, and Four Seasons, and works closely with Theatre LILA as a composer and collaborator. Erin especially enjoys her extensive work with the music and theater students at UW Madison and also teaching privately from her home.