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Emily has her blond hair pulled up in a pony tale with a crown of pink butterflies. She is smiling.

Em's Ensemble
a scholarship fund

Em's Ensemble Scholarship Fund was created to honor Emily Kellner and her love for theater, writing and finding 'home.'  We encourage all who believe they are artists or are looking for a place to belong, to apply if finances prove to be a barrier to participation. 

The scholarship program is need based.  If you need it, fill out this form after you register for class.  We ask that you contribute what you are able and we will cover the rest. 

Donate to Em's Ensemble Scholarship year round to support theater for all!! Any amount helps continue Em's love for theater and community.

2024 Poets & Performers

Learn all about them below!

More Poets & Performers will be added as our 2024 line-up is finalized

Adeline Tavela

Adeline Tavela

Performer

My name is Adeline Tavela. I am a Junior at Oak Creek High School. I love performing in plays, singing, and dancing. Pink Umbrella has brought so many great things to me. In my spare time, I like to bowl, swim, and play with my dog.

Amanda Lojeski

Amanda Lojeski

Performer

Hi my name is Amanda. I have been acting for 15 years. When I am not acting I enjoy skiing and making art work. I have been a part of Pink Umbrella since 2020.

Drea McAlister

Drea McAlister

Poet

Drea McAlister is an Artist and Poet based in Milwaukee, WI. Influenced by her experiences as a young black woman, she creates pieces that tell the story of her life and those around her. She currently attends Alverno College as a Thea Bowman Scholar pursuing a degree in Art Therapy with a Minor in Community Engagement and Activism. 

Mikey Murry

Mikey Murry

Poet

Mikey Murry, also known as Mikey Cody Apollo, is a Black queer writer, filmmaker, and educator. Mikey is the author of the self-published collection of poetry titled Black Girls, Silence, and Other Things Made of Gold, which has been used across the United States. A cat mama, a PMDD Warrior, and a sex-positive feminist, Mikey hopes to use their love of storytelling as a way to foster human connection and combat systemic oppression. Opposite of a Suicide Note is Mikey’s second self-published collection of work. When Mikey grows up, she wants to be the first Black woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Ali Meisinger

Ali Meisinger

Performer

This is Ali’s second year performing in Em’s Ensemble! You might have just seen her in Pink Umbrella Theater company’s production of Kaleidoscope and she played Yara! She would like to thank Pink Umbrella for this fantastic opportunity to perform in Em’s Ensemble for the second time! And Katie Cummings for being the light of her life! And can’t wait to hear about the musical for Pink Umbrella this summer!

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Ash Mulholland

Poet

Ash Mulholland (she/her) has been under the umbrella since the start of their growth, and this is her 2nd year to participate in the spectacular Em’s Ensemble Scholarship Fundraiser for Pink Umbrella Theater. She is pretty hard to miss on the stage for Pink Umbrella productions including Kaleidoscope (Ruthie), Bigger Top (POP), SHINE 2021/2022 (Pickle), and Scavengers (Scout). She would like to thank Katie Cummings, her best friend Pip, and Em’s family for helping her find her inner poet as a performer.

Hannah Rahmanpanah 2

Hannah Rahmanpanah

Poet

My name is Hannah and I am 27 years old with Down syndrome. I live near friends and I love having my own space. My favorite things to do are crafting, and my favorite craft has to be beading jewelry. I do diamond dots and I also knit baby hats and donate them to new babies. I have 3 jobs. I work at a florist, I also work at Pick n Save as a bagger, and I work at a consignment store called Clothes Mentor. Every month, I have an apartment potluck in my apartment community room for me and my friends who live in our own apartments. I also belong to a lot of social groups like a dinner club and a group called Chicks Night Out. 

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Peregrine Shannon Buffington

Poet

Pip (they/them) is an autistic, asexual, queer, actor, singer and writer. Apart from raising an incredible tiny human, Pip’s biggest accomplishment this year was performing as Ollie in Kaleidoscope with Pink Umbrella. As much as Pip loves performing, they also love to write their own little narratives both on the page and through imaginative play with their kiddo. However, as a person, Pip’s first love has always been poetry. Pip sees poetry as the place where their love for storytelling meets making music. In other words, to Pip, poetry is the perfect art form to express the complex emotions of the human experience. 

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Allise McAlister

Performer

I am a 10th grader. I love music and writing, and I love watching musicals. 

Amanda Lojeski
Pink Theme

Barry Slavis

Poet

I am a retired social worker. I now spend my time reading, meditating, writing the occasional poem, and walking on the Oak Leaf Trail. I am always amazed at how ordinary events can be extraordinary. For example, one day I saw a father jogging slowly with his very young daughter. They were holding hands and smiling. Clearly they were enchanted with each other. Still in awe  I excitedly mentioned this event to a young woman I had never met on the elevator in my building. This is how I met Katie. This is how we connect with each other.

Jack Allen

Jack Allen

Poet

Jack's bio here!

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Ryan Schaufler

Poet & Performer

Ryan Schaufler lives in Milwaukee and received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts in Acting. He has worked as a special education teacher for 15 years and continues to teach theater. He is a professional actor, theater teacher, playwright, director, photographer, artist, husband and a father. His plays, poetry and photography have been published in such journals as Southern Indiana Review, Bramble Literary Magazine, Rise Up Review, Clockhouse, Rattle, and Cream City Review among others. Proverbs 3:5-6

Event Resources

Read through the event's Social Story to prepare for what to expect!

Check out the Visual Agenda for a short overview of the event

About Em...

Emily was a bundle of everything all at once.  She could share all of the thoughts in her head in a single breath, hiccup and then share more.  Emily was a writer, a poet, a leader, an artist and a friend.  The joy emanating from Emily could fill the room and those fortunate enough to work with her.  She reminded us to bounce, not trudge, down the hall to work or play.  She was eager and engaged, light and love, laughter and anxiety, strength and fear, and smart and full of sass.  

 

Emily was everything an artist should be and found theater as a place where she belonged.   In her short time on earth, Emily taught us to live life to the fullest in spite of anxiety, fear and worry.  She taught us to speak our truths, to share our talents and to giggle until you can't breathe anymore.  She wrote once, "I hope that wherever I go, you will not forget about me."  

Her mom, Dawn, created the scholarship to ensure that even those she never met, will never forget.  

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