meet the re:theatre mentors
lindsay kujawa (founder)
Originally from Wisconsin, Lindsay Kujawa graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2012 with degrees in Theatre Performance, Education, and Dance. Prior to moving to Seattle, Lindsay taught a variety of disciplines at the Renaissance School for the Arts in Appleton, WI and choreographed/directed over 20 productions across the state. In 2009, she and her now husband founded Introspect Arts, a fine arts company comprised of individuals under 25 who wrote, produced, directed, performed, and designed original works in an effort to create community dialogue and inspire change. Since she has moved to the Pacific Northwest she has pursued her passion of telling and creating stories that encourage empathy through her work onstage and in the classroom. Lindsay works as the Organizational Training Program Producer at Intiman Theatre, producing professional development opportunities that connect the arts and various community partners in an effort to empower others through storytelling. Additionally, she works with Village Theatre teaching in the acting and devising space where she helps young people discover their voice.
Kate Jaeger is a Seattle based actor, director, educator and improviser. Favorite roles include: Ursula in The Little Mermaid (Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre), Audrey in As You Like It (Wooden O), and Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables (Village Theatre). As an educator, she has worked with Intiman, Jet City Improv, Village Theatre and Seattle Children’s Theatre. Kate has directed for Seattle Children’s Theatre, Book-It, ArtsWest, Young Playwrights Program (ACT Theatre), 14/48 and Village Theatre..
Francesca (Cessa) Betancourt is an actor, choreographer, and teaching artist based in Seattle. She performs theatre and dance in the area and works in arts outreach with underserved populations. She has worked extensively with Artists Striving To End Poverty (ASTEP), an organization that provides arts programming for students around the world to help them develop social/emotional/ skills and break the cycle of poverty in their communities. She has taught and been an administrator for ASTEP in India, the Philippines, New York City, and Florida, and currently works for a nonprofit that runs trainings on trauma informed arts programming. Francesca holds two BAs from Western Washington University in Theatre Arts and Sociology.
Aaron Alonso is a theatre artist in the Puget Sound area, currently serving as the Production Manager at Village Theatre KIDSTAGE in Everett. A Washington native, Aaron earned his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts from Western Washington University, with an emphasis in stage management and technical theatre. He was a KIDSTAGE kid and stage manager before joining Village Theatre, working at theatres including: The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, The Kennedy Center, and Mount Baker Theatre. Aaron loves how he gets the opportunity to collaborate with so many passionate young artists and watch firsthand their growth as performers and as people. He thanks his family, friends, and mentors as he valiantly attempts to put his theatre degree to use. His personal motto: "MacGyver it!"
Melani Lyons is well known in the Puget Sound as an enthusiastic and caring director, teacher, playwright and consultant. She is the Founding Artistic Director of Dandylyon Drama, empowering young actors to grow in creativity, compassion, and courage. She is the playwright of the musicals “Summer School Rocks!” “Lasso the Moon,” “A Mother for Neverland,” “The Amazing Ever-Changing Alice in Wonderland,” and “Bad Apples.” Holding bachelor’s degrees in Music and Theatre from Seattle Pacific University, she is also grateful to have assistant directed under the inspirational Professor Andrew Ryder at SPU, the incomparable Karen Lund at Taproot Theatre, and the prolific Lani Brockman at Studio East. Melani creates safe spaces for children in her home by serving as a foster family for 6 years side by side with her husband, Ken, ten-year-old, Ella, and four-year-old, William. Melani loves to sing and has recorded a jazz album entitled “So This is Love.” She is also active locally in The Salvation Army serving those in need and as a musician in the Seattle Temple Songsters as well as the Western Territorial Staff Songsters which performs around the world with a message of hope, love, and reconciliation.
Marcus worked as a freelance lighting designer during his time in high school where he developed an early passion for design and performance. He was inspired to study theatre in college and after being accepted into several of the top conservatory programs for theatrical design, he instead chose to attend St. Olaf college and pursue a liberal arts degree in theater. At St. Olaf he expanded his interests to directing, producing and theater education. At St. Olaf Marcus worked as the artistic director of a student run Theater Company, assistant directed and directed many productions alongside professional directors, and produced several projects on campus and in the community. In the spring of 2016 he directed a play focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and toured it to several elementary schools where he facilitated discussions with students. He currently works for a college access program in the twin cities where he helps students from low-income backgrounds apply for and succeed in college. He is currently working on producing several independent projects and is looking to continue onto advanced studies in theatre.
Abe Gabor is an educator, freelance sound designer, and lover of events. He currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Abe teaches 5th grade in a small suburban school district and provides sound advising and consulting for their high school theater department. Abe also works with several area theatre companies. Although he has experimented with many parts of the world that is technical theater, you’ll most commonly see him designing and running sound. In the past, Abe has occasionally varied that routine by stage managing or directing. And, if one was to search extensively, they would even find a time when Abe performed on stage. His varied experiences allow him to provide feedback on all aspects of a production to help improve the quality. In addition to working on the actual productions, Abe has been on a non-profit children’s theatre company’s board of directors in many capacities including treasurer, vice-president, and president. Other performing arts based work includes house managing, guest services, and ushering. Abe’s other non-profit work includes being president of a nationally recognized two-day juried art festival. He also scheduled entertainment for that art festival’s three stages for 17 years. Most recently he has volunteered with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee and is currently volunteering with the 2018 Minneapolis Final Four Local Organizing Committee. www.abegabor.com
Kyle is thrilled to be involved with Re:theatre and he specializes in costumes, hair/wigs and makeup. Currently, he is the Costume Production Coordinator at Illinois Wesleyan University's School of Theatre Arts. When not at IWU, Kyle is the Costume Shop Manager and Wig Master for Peninsula Players Theatre in Door County, WI. Kyle has created costume and wig designs at universities and regional equity theaters throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. Kyle has also worked in Chicago at: Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Paramount Theatre, and Marriott Theatre as a wig and wardrobe technician. Kyle also enjoys playing board and video games, traveling, being outdoors, and exploring and learning new things each and every day.