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 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 five 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 seven years, he has directed and devised over twenty-five 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 his work with The Yard, he was named to New City Stage’s “Top 50 Players of Chicago Theatre”. As an actor, Joel was last seen in TimeLine’s In the Next Room, in Columbinus, co-produced by The Yard and Steppenwolf, as the Baker in Into the Woods and Andre in Three Sisters, both with The Hypocrites, and the world premiere of The Snare at Jackalope Theatre Company.

Mechelle Moe – Youth Theatre Workshop Director

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Laura Bess Ewing – Youth Theatre Production Director

Laura Bess is thrilled to be back with her family in her beloved Rocky Mountain home for their eighth 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, where she also directs musicals with 4th-6th graders, 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 five-year- old, Gus!

 

Jessica Ryan – Teen Theatre Academy Director 

 

 

 

 

Luke McGinnis – Music Director of Teen Theatre Academy

 

 

Choreographer:

Steven Russell – Youth Theatre Workshop & Teen Theatre Academy Choreographer 

Steven is thrilled to be back in Grand Lake for another beautiful summer! He is a New York based actor, singer, dancer, multi-instrumentalist, and certified stage combatant. Much love to Joel and Laura Bess for the opportunity to return to create with these talented kids!

 

 

 

 

Administrative Staff:

Hannah Lehman: Youth Theatre Workshop & Youth Theatre Production Administrator 

Hannah is so happy to be back in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. In the past, she has worked as a company member for the rep as well as working with Youth Theater, but she is thrilled to be focusing solely on Youth Theater for her fourth season. She has taught and choreographed for BDT Stage Academy, Kinesis Dance Company, and a number of schools in Colorado. Though she is originally from Boulder, Colorado, Hannah currently lives in the Windy City where she is pursuing a BFA in Dance at Columbia College Chicago. She would like to thank Joel and LB for welcoming her back and the rest of the Youth Theater staff for their tireless work and incredibly talent. (Visit her website hannahcatherinelehman.com)