Prairie Heights Theatre

Middle School Theatre:

Chris Ellert - Director

Amber Ellert - Assistant Director / Tech

Sheila McCrea - Assistant Director / Publicity / Music and Choreography

High School Theatre:

Corrine Reed - Director

TJ Missler - Assistant Director / Tech

Kayli Savage - Music Director

Amber King - Choreographer

Get to know the directors!

Mr. Ellert - PHMS Theatre Director

1. What do you do outside of being a theatre director?

"I teach 2nd grade at PHES during the day. Outside of work I like to hang out with my wife and three kids, watch Big Brother, enjoy spending time with my church group, and listen to songs on YouTube!"

2. What is your favorite part about being a theatre director?

"I love getting to know each of my "adopted kids", their strengths and weaknesses, and watching them grow. I hold each of them in my heart and enjoy spending time with them!"

3. What is your favorite play?

"Definitely 'The Boys Next Door'. I played "Arnold" in that show in high school and can still recite most of the opening monologue!"

4. What is your favorite musical?

"Hands down, 'Little Shop of Horrors'. I have ALWAYS wanted to play "Seymore" in that play and often sing the songs at home while cleaning..."

5. If somebody donated $1,000,000 to the theatre, how would you use it?

"First I'd fix the roof so it doesn't make any more noise when it's windy. Then I'd make it possible to be able to fly people so we can do fun shows like 'Peter Pan' or 'Mary Poppins'"

6. If you could star in or direct any play/musical, what would it be?

"I'd love to be "Seymore" in 'Little Shop of Horrors', or "Evan" in 'Dear Evan Hansen'"

7. Why did you choose to be a director or part of the directing team?

"I was in theatre in high school and have so many good memories. When the position for middle school director came open, I just had to go for it. I have loved every single moment of it!"

Mrs. Reed - PHHS THeatre director

1. What do you do outside of being a theatre director?

"There's time to do things outside of directing? I'm involved in my church and help oversee the PBnJ youth group."

2. What is your favorite part about being a theatre director?

"I love seeing kids find their home in theatre. So many try theatre unsure of who they are and where they fit in. By the time they become seniors, they have grown into a new part of themselves, have a new appreciation for diversity, and a bigger view of the world."

3. What is your favorite play?

"Oh, man! I love so many!! The Odd Couple, by Neil Simon, has to be up there, along with It Was a Dark and Stormy Night by Tim Kelly, The Boys Next Door by Tom Griffin, Almost Maine by John Cariani, Escanaba in da Moonlight by Jeff Daniels and Reuben Soady….I'm sure I'm forgetting others. I generally tend towards comedies myself."

4. What is your favorite musical?

"Again, too many to name! I love Phantom of the Opera, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, Back to the 80's (of course!), Into the Woods, R&H Cinderella (the original, not the revised!!), My Fair Lady, The King and I, The Music Man, Spamalot..."

5. If somebody donated $1,000,000 to the theatre, how would you use it?

"I would start with renovations to the auditorium - new seats, LED lighting, rework the sound system, get updated computers.....I would also set aside some in a fund to create a perpetual scholarship fund to take kids to New York to see a Broadway show once in their high school career."

6. If you could star in or direct any play/musical, what would it be?

"Good question....I would LOVE the chance to direct both male and female versions of The Odd Couple at the same time. The unique opportunity to have a dual cast to help work with each other is so tantalizing!"

7. Why did you choose to be a director or part of the directing team?

"I loved theatre when I was in school. Ever since my first play in 6th grade, performing was all I wanted to do. My original plan was to major in theatre and star on Broadway, however, God had other plans for me. He graciously granted me the opportunity to return to my passion when there was an opening for an assistant director here. I volunteered to help, and at the end of that year, the director took a job at another school and dropped the program in my lap! I was honestly terrified! With a lot of help from TJ, I took over and boy have I learned a lot! I love it more than ever and highly encourage everyone to be a part of at least one production in some way. There's a place for everyone in theatre. Not everyone has to be onstage. That's one of the best things about it! To put on a great production, you need people of all skills and interests. While the audience sees the ones onstage, there's a whole army of diverse talents working backstage in the dark to make the production run. We are an amazingly diverse family!"

Mrs. Ellert - PHMS Theatre Assistant Director

1. What do you do outside of being a theatre director?

"I am a Special Education teacher at the high school. I am also a busy Momma of 3. Our family is entering the stage where we have athletics and events that our children do. This keeps me quite busy transporting kiddos and attending lots of activities."

2. What is your favorite part about being a theatre director?

"I was not involved in theatre when I was a student. My favorite part has been getting to know how everything works and learning the ins and outs of the program. I love seeing the whole show come together and the energy and excitement of the kiddos when they get to put everything on stage in front of an audience."

3. What is your favorite play?

"I watched Mr. Ellert perform in The Boys Next Door when we were in High School. It has since been one of my favorite shows. There's such an amazing message."

4. What is your favorite musical?

"I don't know that I could pick a favorite. I love musicals. If I had my choice we'd do musicals every show."

5. If somebody donated $1,000,000 to the theatre, how would you use it?

"I would take all of our casts to New York City to see a show on Broadway. With the left over, if there was any, I'd update all the light and sound equipment and build us a storage facility on campus."

6. If you could star in or direct any play/musical, what would it be?

"I'd love to put on Wicked! It's one of my favorite shows!"

7. Why did you choose to be a director or part of the directing team?

"I started helping with theatre because I wanted to be involved with something that my husband enjoyed. But, I quickly grew to love our theatre family and the program. I love learning more and more and developing a new passion. I'm so excited to be learning more about tech this year for my role on the directing team."

ms. mccrea - PHMS THeatre assistant director

(Question answers coming soon!)