Who’s Who at LCT
Rhonda Bell acts as the Education Director at Lexington Children’s Theatre (LCT). She earned a BA in Theatre from Berea College and an MA from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. While in school, she served as a Stage Manager for several productions including Alice in Wonderland, Very Still and Hard to See, and Blithe Spirit. After graduating in 2015, Rhonda served in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools under the district’s Community Achieves initiative. Ms. Bell began her time at LCT in 2016 as an education intern and has since written and taught curriculum for a variety of classes and workshops, directed productions in LCT’s Learning Stage Series, and written for LCT’s Storyteller Series. Contact Rhonda at 859-254-4546 ext. 226.
After graduating with her BA in theatre from Morehead State University, Octavia was one of two actors nationwide accepted to the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York City. Since returning to Kentucky, Biggs has worked hard over the last twelve years to bring children’s theatre to eastern Kentucky. In 2004, LCT was able to expand its programming and services to a satellite theatre based in Morehead, KY, which Biggs operates. Since 2004, Elliott and Carter counties have been included into SSYT programming and Biggs oversees all programming and serves these three Appalachian counties. Biggs currently resides in Morehead, Kentucky and serves on the board of directors for the Morehead Theatre Guild. She has been a private speech and theatre coach and developed and ran her own theatrical voice and acting company called TADA Performing Arts Instruction. She is also Lecturer of Theatre at Morehead State University, Music, Theatre and Dance Department (MSU/MTD) and Director for The Little Company, where she prepares college students to perform touring productions and teach drama workshops in middle and high schools across the state of Kentucky. In 2014, Amelia Earhart, which Ms. Biggs directed for the Little Company, was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Albany, Georgia. Contact Octavia at 859-254-4546 ext. 317.
Heather is overjoyed to be back at LCT after an artistic odyssey spanning from “The Little Apple” of Manhattan, KS to “The Second City” of Chicago. She earned a Master of Arts from University of Kentucky and serves on the KPW board. Heather dedicates this season to Eddy and Huckleberry.
Returning home this season is LCT’s new Development Director, Ashlee Collins. Ashlee began her journey with the theatre in 2014 as an arts administration intern. You may have also seen her on the main stage in several productions including The Giver, Old Dry Frye, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Duck for President.
Ashlee has worked with theatres all over the country, including Chicago Children’s Theatre, Camp Merrie Woode in North Carolina, and most notably, with Broadway in Chicago as a marketing assistant during the first National Tour of Disney’s Aladdin! She has spent the past three years as a Discovery Educator for The Living Arts & Science Center teaching a variety of visual and performing arts classes. Contact Ashlee at 859-254-4546 ext. 230.
Shelbea Fordham is a graduate of Samford University. Recently she made her Italian debut with OperaViva! and performed at St Paul’s Cathedral with the Cathedra Church of the Advent Choir. Credits include The Magic Flute (Papagena), Something Rotten! (Bea), Pirates of Penzance (Kate), and Cabaret (Fraulein Kost, Kit Kat Girl).
Dani’s journey with LCT started in the education department in 2015, and has continued through various roles over the years. They are immensely grateful to have the opportunity to serve the incredible young people in this community. Dani’s ultimate goal as an artist is to aid young people in becoming to be the best version of themselves both as artists and humans! Contact Dani at 859-254-4546 ext. 239.
Helen began her career with LCT this year and is so excited to begin their 2021-2022 Season! She is a recent grad from the University of Kentucky within their Art Administration department. Contact Helen at 859-254-4546 ext. 223.
Jeremy Kisling has taught, directed and performed for young people for over 30 years. He received his B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Northern Iowa and his M.F.A. in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin. Jeremy has authored stage versions of Why Mosquitoes Buzz, Anansi the Spider, The Princess Who Lost her Hair and co-wrote The Ghosts of Pineville with Sara Turner. He was the recipient of the 2017 Sara Spencer Child Drama Award and the 2019 Tom Behm Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference. He is a proud graduate of Leadership Lexington in 2019. Jeremy serves on the Board of Directors for Kentucky Theatre Association, Southeastern Theatre Conference and Lexington’s DiverCity Festival. He is honored to share his life with his wife, Amie Kisling and his wonderful son, Leo. Jeremy would encourage you to be brave and stretch your imagination everyday! Contact Jeremy at 859-254-4546 ext. 227.
Erin received her BA in Dramatic Arts from Centre College and her MFA in Dramatic Media from the University of Georgia. Erin is a published children’s book illustrator and is developing her series of early readers, early graphic novels, and picture books as a writer and illustrator. Contact Erin at 859-254-4546 ext. 222.
GraceAnne is happy to return to her home state of Kentucky and join the LCT team. She graduated from Centre College in 2012 with a BS in Philosophy and Fine Arts. After graduation she worked as a carpenter, rigger, electrician, flyman, technical director, designer, and painter for five years before pursuing her MFA in Scenic Art at UNCSA. Contact GraceAnne at 859-254-4546 ext. 240.
Laika Myers is a recent graduate from Bowling Green State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a focus in Design and Technical Theatre. Laika is super excited to join the Lexington Children’s Theatre team and to share her passion for theatre with them!
Rachel Ray began working in development at Lexington Children’s Theatre in 2011 and was promoted to Managing Director in 2021. Prior to that, she worked at Joseph-Beth Booksellers for over ten years. She has a BS in Speech Therapy and a BA in English from the University of Kentucky. She is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Lexington and is a past National Philanthropy Day Chair for the Association of Fundraising Professionals of the Bluegrass. She is a board member for Girls on the Run Central Kentucky and is a founding board member of First Generation Women Achievers of Kentucky, an organization whose goal is to award scholarships for women who are first generation college attendees. Contact Rachel at 859-254-4546 ext. 229.
Gabriel Slusser is thrilled to be joining the LCT family. Originally from Georgia, he earned a B.A. in Theatre from Piedmont College. He has worked at theatres throughout the eastern United States, including Titusville Playhouse, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, and Stagedoor Manor. Contact Gabriel at 859-254-4546 ext. 240.
Liz Spurlock, born and raised in Georgia, graduated from Columbus State University with her B.S. in Theatre Education. She has worked in many areas of theatre, including lighting, directing, and acting. Liz is excited to start her career in theatre education at Lexington Children’s Theatre! Contact Liz at 859-254-4546 ext. 233.
Kate Tayler recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree from Bowling Green State University in Design & Technical Theatre. She is originally from Monroe, Michigan. Kate is very excited to bring her love for stage management and for theatre for young audiences to the stage here at LCT! Contact Kate at 859-254-4546 ext. 224.