Instructors

Nate Mares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nate is an actor/ director who has loved the theatre arts from a young age. Growing up in Lincoln, Nate started acting at the age of 11 and has been a part of dozens of shows on the Lincoln theatre community stages ever since. He graduated from the University of Nebraska, where he was a member of the Scarlet and Cream Singers and took part in several productions there. Most recently, Nate directed the Lincoln Community Playhouse’s production of The Fox on the Fairway.

Nate recently received his Teaching Degree for Secondary English and Language Arts and looks to help inspire a new generation of kids with theatre, the way his teachers inspired him.

Hannah Lambert

Hannah Lambert is a Lincoln native who studied Music Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she performed in various ensembles including University Singers, Big Red Singers, and the Cornhusker Marching Band. During her time at UNL, Hannah also co-founded a women’s a cappella group, Boots & Cats. Hannah grew up loving to sing, perform, and play make-believe. She is passionate about youth, and about seeing young people grow through involvement in performing arts.

Hannah has served as a music director for children’s theatre productions, including YAAL’s productions of Elf Jr. and Night at the Wax Museum, and has worked long-term as the Assistant Director of the LPS All-City Girls Chorus. Currently, Hannah is a vocal music teacher at Moore Middle School in Lincoln. She is thrilled to be a part of the YAAL family as the director of YAAL-SING, YAAL’s community children’s chorus and show choir.

Rachel Vigil

Growing up in Elkhorn, NE. as a competitive dancer, Rachel fell in love with theatre and music at a young age. Beginning to perform in musicals in elementary school, Rachel brings over 15 years of experience both on stage and behind the scenes in the performance world with her to YAAL.

Participating in Show Choir, musicals, dance and vocal lessons helped prepare Rachel to spend three years with the Wesleyan Theatre Department appearing in several musicals before finishing a Communications and Training Degree at Doane University.

Rachel has been a dance teacher and choreographer in tap, hip hop, and musical theatre since 2008 at Chase Dance, and enjoys sharing the passion she has for the arts with the students she gets to be with each week. 

Beth Muehling

Beth has been an actor and director for over 30 years.  She trained at the prestigious Second City Improvisation Training Center in Chicago, and although she was asked to audition for the Second City troupe, she followed her heart and returned to Lincoln to teach improv classes at the Lincoln Community Playhouse.  There, she met her partner in crime, Shelly Griess, and the two founded the Lyp Schtick Improvisational Comedy Troupe.  Beth also teaches adult improv workshops that many of our other instructors have taken.

Beth has taught improv classes at YAAL in the past, as well as directed Beauty and the Beast, Jr. and Aesop’s Foibles. 

Sarah Gibson

Sarah is an actor, singer, teacher, director and Lincoln, Nebraska native. She is very pleased to have the opportunity to work with YAAL on ‘A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Death Star,’ after performing in the show at venues in Nebraska and Iowa. While living in Minnesota, she performed with Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Skylark Opera, Lyric Opera of the North, Park Square Theatre, Theatre L’Homme Dieu, and Mixed Blood Theatre.  Recent credits include The Light in the Piazza (Signora Naccarelli) at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Sunset Boulevard (Norma Desmond) at the New Century Theater, Boeing Boeing (Gretchen) at Paul Bunyan Playhouse and Lend Me A Tenor (Diana) at Pioneer Place on Fifth. Regional credits include Bucks County Playhouse (PA), Fiesta Dinner Theatre (NJ), Pocono Playhouse (PA), and the historic Highfield Theatre on Cape Cod (MA).

Katie Frankforter

As a Lincoln native, Katie Frankforter has been involved in this city’s theatre community since the age of ten. She got her start in acting at the Haymarket Theatre and went on to perform at Lincoln East High School and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In total, she has been involved in over 50 shows, as an actor, lighting designer, director, choreographer, and stage manager. She is currently in her senior year at UNL and working towards a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Language Arts Communication. Apart from spending her time in the theatre world, Katie also enjoys watercolor painting, walking her puppy, and giraffes.

In the last year and a half, working as an Assistant Director at YAAL, she has worked on spectacular productions, such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol, The Little Mermaid, and more. Katie has found her passion in teaching students the wonders of theatre and hopes to continue this essential work throughout her life.

Kresse Alvey

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kresse Alvey began her theatre career early on in life. At the age of ten she began acting at the Haymarket Theatre and since then has been involved in over 30 shows in the Lincoln Theatre Community as an actor, stage manager, sound technician, costumer, and director. For the past year and a half at YAAL, Kresse has built a passion for teaching kids the wonders of theatre. She is dedicated to helping them build their confidence through this art and discover new passions and aspects of themselves. She loves watching kids grow into their talents, and treasures the extremely rewarding personal relationships she builds with each and every one of them.

Apart from teaching theatre to kids at YAAL, Kresse is in school as a Political Science major with a minor in History and Mass Communications. She hopes to use her education to make the world better for women and children. Kresse also spends her time away from the theater painting, reading, and writing. She is incredibly excited to get back to work as Assistant Director at YAAL, and continue to grow and create alongside the students through the world of theatre.

Summer Instructors

Christina Stai – Lead Instructor & Director

Christina Stai is thrilled to be back for another amazing summer at YAAL! She is a current senior B.F.A. Musical Theatre Major at Drake University, graduating a semester early in January of 2018! She is an actress, director, writer, and musician, excelling in all of these areas. She was most recently seen playing Heather Chandler on the Drake MainStage in Heathers: The Musical, and just finished working as a stage manager for See Rock City and Other Destinations. She is a frequent jazz and wedding singer, performing in restaurants and jazz clubs in the Midwest, that loves to teach with all of her heart! She loves whales, stage combat and singing in the shower and would love to see your child in one of our summer camps or
classes!

Last summer, Christina directed Schoolhouse Rock, Jr., Night at the Wax Museum, The Trials of Alice in Wonderland, and Hello Shakespeare. She was also the originator of YAAL’s director-led show, A Tale of Two Kitties, which mashes two shows into one, using the students as writers and developers of their own characters. This summer, the director-led show is Hard Knock High School!

 

Maddie Fanton

Maddie Fanton will be a sophomore at the University of Kansas, where she is a music therapy major with a vocal emphasis. Maddie attended Lincoln Southwest High School and was involved in both show choir and theater. She was in the prep show choir for one year and varsity for two. Maddie was also involved in chamber, concert, and varsity choir. She was in the theater program for all four years of high school, and her favorite role in high school was Maggie from “A Chorus Line”. Maddie has been involved in theater since she was nine, and she is thrilled to be the Music Director for YAAL’s production of The Music Man, Jr., because she played the role of Amaryllis in The Music Man when she was younger.

 

 

 

 

 

"To be an actor you have to be a child." — Paul Newman