Springfield Little Theatre Alumni
Where are they NOW? Here’s an update on some of the recent Landers “alumni” who are out making a living “in the business…”
Lucas Grabeel is one the stars of Disney’s High School Musical, HSM2 andHSM3. He has been seen in numerous Disney movies, television shows, the feature filmMilk starring Sean Penn, and is currently starring in Switched at Birth on ABC Family. He is currently working on developing his own projects as he continues to work in other films.
Kendra Kassebaum has been working on Broadway in such shows as RENT, Assassins and is most known for starring as Glinda in Wicked, originating the role in the first national tour. Kassebaum was seen as Amy in the Seattle production of the musical Company at the 5th Avenue Theatre.
Kyle Dean Massey is best known for his work on Broadway in Pippin, Next to Normal, Wicked, Xanadu & Altar Boyz. Kyle Dean serves as a masterclass instructor & panel contributor to several organizations including Camp Broadway, Broadway Artists Alliance, Broadway Connection, VIP Tours of New York, & the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. He is a passionate supporter of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Trevor Project and various human rights groups. He frequently performs in charity concerts at various venues across NYC including 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, & The Laurie Beechman Theatre.
Colin Shea Denniston, a member of YES Troupe from 1999 to 2003 literally grew up at The Landers Theatre. Under the guidance of Chyrel Love Miller, Joey Nelson Williams, Beth Domann, Robert Pitts and of course, his father, Mick Denniston, Colin received his dance, acting and music training and appeared in over 15 mainstage productions from the ages of 7 to 17. Colin went on to receive his BFA in Acting from Missouri State University. Since moving to New York, Colin has had the privilege to travel across the US performing in regional theatres from Arizona to Pennsylvania. Regional performance credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (Robert Martin), White Christmas (Phil Davis), The Will Rogers Follies, Anything Goes, Chicago, Tent Theatre’s 42nd Street (Andy Lee), and Little Theatre on the Square’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Hysterium) &Fiddler on the Roof (Motel). Colin is incredibly grateful for the training he received at Springfield Little Theatre and will always call the Ozarks Home.
Derek Ashley Macumber is a proud Y.E.S. troupe alum and graduate of the University of Tulsa where he earned a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance. He has worked with a variety of theatre companies. Favorites include Light Opera Oklahoma, Chino Theatre and Walt Disney World, but the Landers theatre will always be home. Derek has appeared in music videos and featured on CSI: NYC and Nip-tuck. He resides in Los Angeles, CA where he continues to work both on screen and stage as a performer and choreographer. Derek is eternally grateful for the education, experiences and life-long friends he made while a part of Springfield Little Theatre.
James Rone received his B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Theatre and Political Science. James is the former director of CLIMB Theatre‘s Teaching Company, an ensemble dedicated to using interactive theatre techniques to initiate dialogues with young people about the issues that affect their lives. James studied improvisational acting at the Brave New Institute and has been a player at ComedySportz-Twin Cities since 2009. James teaches and designs curriculum for Synergy, a program of the East Metro Integration District, the Bakken Museum, and Stillwater Area Schools Office of Equity and Integration. In 2011, James founded the Harbor Theatre Group, an ensemble of actors aged 15-19. The mission of Harbor Theatre Group is to provide young performers with a safe environment to explore and express their ideas while forming bonds with other performers and creating work of a high artistic standard.
Amelia Parish is fiercely proud, forever grateful and immensely honored to call herself an alumni of the Springfield Little Theatre. She studied two years at the Webster Conservatory as a Musical Theatre major, and has built a professional resume including Oklahoma! at Missouri State’s Tent Theatre (Ado Annie u/s),Oliver! at the Insight Theatre (Charlotte Sowerberry), One Man, Two Guv’nors at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (Old Lady/Passerby) and Grease at the Muny (Jan). She was featured on Brand New Skin, the album of up and coming composer Chris Byron Pratt, and is available on iTunes. Currently, Amelia is auditioning and exploring the wonderful world of writing. She hopes to change the world through her art and encourage others to do the same-and she owes everything to the Springfield Little Theatre!
Sarah Jenkins was a member of YES Troupe from 1999-2002 and performed with the main stage cast of The Skinny Improv from 2007-2012, where she co-founded the literary improv show Use Your Words. She’s currently head writer for The Mystery Hour—Springfield’s best and only late night talk show, on FOX KRBK Saturdays at 9:00. By day, she’s an advertising copywriter, and as a result she knows more about restaurant mayonnaise packets than she’d like to admit.
Michele Burdette Elmore It’s been over 35 years since Michele appeared at SLT but she has wonderful memories of being in that lovely, old, and historic theatre. SLT shows include Death of a Salesman starring the late, great Howard Orms, Harvey, 110 In the Shade, The Fantastiks, and The Pajama Game. Michele is an MSU graduate and AEA member and has appeared at most of the professional venues in St. Louis including the MUNY, Variety Children’s Theatre, Stages St. Louis, New Jewish Theatre, The Black Rep, Upstream Theatre Company, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Westport Playhouse as well as venues all across the USA. Michele has just finished up choreographing Oklahoma for Lindenwood University and will next appear in the Holiday Cabaret for Dramatic License Productions. Michele and husband of 32 years, Stuart, are the proud parents of Madison and Colby and one mixed breed dog, Teddy. Michele is always happy to entertain offers for more theatrical work and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan LaBarr spent many years at Springfield Little Theatre performing in main stage productions (Children of Eden) and Y.E.S. Troupe (1998-2000). She is an active, published composer, with works in print through Santa Barbara Music Company and Morningstar Music. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Music in Music Theory at Missouri State University. In 2011, Susan won the Opus Award for her compositions Two Songs of Love Lost: Forever Gone and At Dawn of Day. This award is selected by members of the Missouri Choral Directors Association. In 2012, Susan served as Composer-in-Residence for the Chattanooga Girls Choir (TN). More recently, Susan served as the Missouri Composer Laureate, 2012 and 2013, a position selected by the organization Verses and Voices, and chaired by Missouri First Lady, Georganne Nixon. She also works as Editor of Walton Music (susanlabarrmusic.com).