Meet the Team
Creating Accessible Theater For All
Katie Cummings has dedicated twenty years as a theater artist, educator and advocate for inclusion and diversity in theater. Recently, she founded Pink Umbrella Theater Co., the first one of its kind in the city of Milwaukee, focused on providing and promoting theater for people who identify with a physical, intellectual or emotional disability. A Wisconsin native, Katie graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with a BA in Theater and Business. Her resume includes First Stage, Bunny Gumbo, UW-Milwaukee, Chamber Theater and St. Joseph High School. She attended, and taught, a variety of professional development sessions throughout her career focused on equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. Katie believes that theater has the power to develop empathy, create human connections and engage community.
Director of Accessibility and Inclusion
Mary Stone, M.S., ECSE is the founder and president of Stepping Stones Educational Services. She is an author, consultant, certified special education teacher, college instructor, and parent of a child with special needs. After working as a special education teacher for 12 years, Mary now works as an Associate Lecturer and Program Coordinator in the Department of Exceptional Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is also the author of An ABC Story: A is for Autism and Friendship Footsteps: Stepping Stones to Social Emotional Learning Curriculum. In her work through Stepping Stones Educational Services, Mary designs personalized and interactive trainings and workshops for students, teachers, parents, schools, businesses and community organizations that explore topics that include social emotional learning, sensory immersive story time, inclusion, Autism , and other developmental disabilities. Mary believes that inclusive communities are created together and together anything is possible! Contact Mary at email@example.com
Giana Blazquez is a director, choreographer, and teaching artist from Orlando, FL. She is currently pursuing her M.F.A at the University of Texas at Austin in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities. As an emerging TYA professional Giana strives to empower young people through theatre that challenges them artistically, fosters inclusion, and cultivates ensemble. Giana most recently served as the K-4 Program Manager/Director of Next Steps at First Stage Children’s Theater. As a teaching artist she has worked for ZACH Theater, First Stage, and the Orlando Repertory Theater. Regional Directing and Choreography credits include Nate the Great (First Stage), Nobody Knows (First Stage), Lovabye Dragon (First Stage), and Welcome to Bronzeville (First Stage). Giana has also performed professionally at First Stage. Giana hopes to work toward increased inclusion in the TYA field and hopes to one day serve as an Artistic Director. For more information about Giana please visit gianablazquez.com
Alexandra is a NYC based actor, voice over artist, and teaching artist originally from Brookfield, Wisconsin. Recent NYC stage credits include: ZEN AM (Theater for the New City), ONE CHRISTMAS EVE (FringeNYC), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Off Broadway-MOD Theatre Company), SPIT (Nylon Fusion Theatre Company), TWELFTH NIGHT (Duende Productions),and THE GOOD LIFE (Xavier Theatre Company). She has voiced various projects, including national ads and audiobooks with Audible. She has worked as a lead teacher, choreographer and guest artist for educational shows and programs in the Midwest and NYC. As a teacher, Alexandra encourages risk-taking, empowerment from mistakes and hardships, and incorporating song, dance, memory tools, and life skills to create an environment that translates into confidence on and off the stage. www.alexandrabonesho.com
Mitch Bultman has been working in theater education since 2009 and currently a Special Education teacher in Austin, Texas. In addition Mitch is professional actor who holds a BFA in acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and has studied and performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London.
Tyler Coffey is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside majoring in both theatre arts and psychology. Tyler’s primary interests in theatre are acting, directing, and sound design. His experiences as a caregiver and behavior technician for individuals with developmental differences fuels his passion for inclusivity in the arts. He is thrilled to share the experiences of creativity and connection that theatre offers with Pink Umbrella Theater Co.
Maggie Condon has been teaching vocal music and theater in the Milwaukee area for the last 10 years. She received her BFA from UW-Milwaukee and her MME from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, she is the choir teacher at Grafton High School where she teaches 3 curricular choirs, advanced music theory, directs a Fall and Spring musical production, and leads three extracurricular ensembles. Maggie's passion for the arts started at a young age as a performer and is something she has carried with her into her teaching career. Her goal is to nurture students' curiosity for the arts with empathy and compassion while inspiring them to reach beyond what they think they are capable of. Maggie is thrilled to be on the Pink Umbrella Theater Company team and to support their mission of creating accessible theater for all!
Liz is pleased to be joining Pink Umbrella Theater teaching family! Some Milwaukee folks may recognize her as she was a former Teaching Artist with First Stage for 3 years and various summers, where the Next Steps program and Story Drama Dance classes were her favorite places to put forth her teaching efforts. Since she left Wisconsin in 2017, Liz has ventured cross-country twice, and is currently finishing the last few weeks of her Masters in Social Work at New York University with future plans to be a clinical psychotherapist and a mental health advocate particularly for marginalized communities! Liz is so excited to be seeing familiar faces, to be meeting new faces, and to be using the digital platform to revisit her love for teaching.
Rebekah Farr is a local actress and teaching artist. She graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelors in Theatre Performance and recently moved to Milwaukee in August of 2018. She is grateful to work with other Milwaukee companies such as First Stage, Skylight, and Optimist. She is very excited to be working with Pink Umbrella Theater Co as her own personal mission is to make theater that is accessible and welcoming for everyone. She looks forward to learning from this experience.
Teaching Artist, Playwright
Fletcher is a theatre professional that has plied his trade in Milwaukee for over thirty years. He is the Artistic Director of The Bunny Gumbo Theatre Co. which he founded in 1999. He has acted with many of the professional theatres in Milwaukee including some that are no longer around. He also directs, designs fights for the stage, teaches at all levels and writes plays. Some of his works include Give Until It Hurts, Losers, Blue Stella, The House of Silence, Sweet Dreams and The Four Hamlets. Fletcher is passionate about the fact that theatre, and art in general, has the power to transform. Let’s get to it!
Kate is a junior at Alverno College where she is majoring in psychology with plans to pursue a master’s degree in special education. She has always loved theater and grew up attending the First Stage Academy, performing in main stage shows, and at Alverno. She was an intern and teaching apprentice for First Stage and the Next Steps Program. She can’t wait to meet you all.
Audra Handschke is a teaching artist and actor in the Milwaukee area. Audra graduated from Stephens College in 2012 with a B.F.A. in Theatre. After college she lived in Chicago where she took improvisation classes at The Annoyance Theatre and completed the long-form improvisation program at iO Theatre (formerly ImprovOlympics). Audra currently resides in Slinger, but regularly commutes to Milwaukee for teaching and improvising. She works as a teaching artist with First Stage Children’s Theater. Her favorite classes are Improvisation and anything with the Next Steps program. Audra also teaches and improvises with Mojo Dojo Comedy. She is part of several teams: Said and Done, First Five, and MKE Secrets. When Audra is not in Milwaukee, she is usually at home working on her latest embroidery project and snuggling with her two cats, PeeWee and Leroy, and her new puppy, Gunther.
OJ graduated from University of Wisconsin, Parkside in December 2018 with her B.A. in Theater Arts and B.S. in Biological Sciences, and has traveled to Costa Rica, Germany, and Scotland for educational opportunities in both fields. She is currently taking classes towards her Masters of Arts in Teaching at Cardinal Stritch University and plans to graduate in 2021 with both licensures in Biology (6th-12th) and Theatre (K-12). You can find OJ as a lead teacher at Forte Theater Company (Franklin), performing as a mermaid, pirate, or princess (Fairytale Birthday Company), or on the basketball court as a Summer Junior Varsity coach (Franklin High School). She is very honored to be apart of such a welcoming and compassionate community of individuals and cannot wait to make new memories with everyone.
Brenna is delighted to be a contributing teaching artist with Pink Umbrella Theater! Brenna is an advocate for accessibility and inclusion, and has experience as a program director, teacher, and care provider to people with autism and other developmental differences. A registered yoga teacher, she received her 200-hour certification in Goa, India, and specializes in teaching restorative and children's yoga. In all of her work, Brenna strives to cultivate clarity, compassion, and connection.
Molly Kiefer is a dancer and teaching artist currently working in Milwaukee, WI. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee with degrees in dance and psychology and currently teaches inter-generational movement classes with Danceworks. She has performed in pieces with faculty and MFA students at UWM, as well as performing with Wild Space Dance Company. Her movement and research interests focus on embodiment, Somatic practices, and the intersection of dance and disability studies.
Hannah Kunce is a third year musical theatre major at The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She is, also, working on obtaining two minors in music and dance. Hannah was most recently in Dance Makers 2019 at UWM. She is so excited to be a part of Pink Umbrella Theater Co and to be surrounded by so many wonderful and inspirational people.
Molly Mattaini is a first year PhD student in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies with a specialization in Theatre for Youth at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She studies Ability-Inclusive Sensory Theatre and is passionate about accessibility in TYA and drama education spaces. She has nearly ten years experience teaching kids from ages 3 to 25. You can learn more at her website, https://www.mollymattaini.com/
Chelsea is working on finishing her graduate degree in Theatre Education. She earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Marywood University. She has also studied Acting in NYC at Pace University for three years. While she was in NYC she worked at Century Productions as the Assistant to the Producer. Her most challenging and favorite role she has every played is Mary Tyrone from Long Day’s Journey Into Night. She has a passion for helping others; especially teenagers/ young adults. She believes it is so important to never give up in life; to always have hope!
Anthony is honored to work with Pink Umbrella Theater Co. He has been doing theater around Elm Grove including Mary Poppins, Spamalot, and most recently Mamma Mia. In Springfield, IL he performed in Avenue Q, The Little Mermaid and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Anthony is very thankful and looks forward to sharing his knowledge in class.
Ashley - a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Acting - is an actor, singer, and choreographer in the Milwaukee area, and a Teaching Artist with First Stage. Choreography credits include: MAMMA MIA! (Sunset Playhouse), Little Shop of Horrors (Nathan Hale High School), MARY POPPINS (Sunset Playhouse), and NINE (Theater Red). In addition to her work in the theater community, Ashley is proud to be the Tour Director for the Kids From Wisconsin, and the lead vocalist for Smart Mouth. Visit www.ashleypatin.com for more information!
Amanda Satchell is a musical theater professional who has taught for over 15 years in schools, theaters, and non-profit organizations. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan's Musical Theater department. After college, Amanda lived and performed in NYC in concert venues, voice overs, and regional theaters. Amanda's true love is teaching and began her career in South Florida. She has been director, music director, music teacher, vocal coach, and accompanist. Amanda is thrilled to be a part of the Pink Umbrella Theater Co. where she will collaborate and make beautiful music with a great community of artists.
Paula Foley Tillen
Paula Foley Tillen has been a professional musician in the Milwaukee area for more years than she cares to think about. She has served as music director for hundreds of productions from junior high to professional levels, and has been active at Milwaukee ComedySportz since 1985. She has served as a lead teacher at First Stage Theatre Academy, Brookfield Center for the Arts, and as director of music at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Waukesha; in addition, she remains much in demand as a musical director, pianist, vocal coach, and accompanist.
Paula’s arrangements and compositions are found in the catalogues of several national publishing houses, as well as online at sheetmusicplus.com and pftillenmusic.com. Her music has been performed by community, high school, university, and all-state choirs around the USA and Canada, as well as locally, by the East Side Chamber Players, UWM choirs, Master Singers of Milwaukee, and Skylight Music Theatre’s KidsWrites.
Paula is certified as a yoga and meditation instructor, and as a Reiki master practitioner. She teaches yoga and meditation at the Wisconsin Athletic Club (Brookfield) and YogaOne studio (Fox Point/Cedarburg).
Noah Stone is a recent graduate from Earlham College with a Bachelor's Degree in English. He has a background performing in plays and musicals throughout his academic career and is excited to help teach this summer!
Kayla Tillisch is honored to be working with Pink Umbrella Theater Co. She has a deep passion for this line of work and has been inspired primarily from her sisters Morgan and Kasey. Her theater experience includes both acting and directing with a particular love of Shakespeare. She is a proud First Stage Alumni, yogi, artist and coffee connoisseur.