The TADA Production Team
ROBERT D. ROOK
Managing Artistic Director
Mr. Rook has been an award winning director for 35 years, during which time he has directed over 300 productions, including the critically acclaimed Midwest premiere of Jekyll & Hyde the musical, the tour of Side by Side by Sondheim, the world premiere of Bard of Blood, the regional premieres of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Forbidden Broadway, Happy Days: A New Musical, The Spidey Project and Gilligan’s Island the Musical. Additional directing credits include RENT, Chess, Avenue Q, Sweeney Todd, Fun Home, Man of La Mancha, Chicago, Big River, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, Beauty and the Beast, The Addams Family A New Musical, Assassins, Evil Dead The Musical, Into The Woods, Forever Plaid, Driving Miss Daisy and Young Frankenstein. Mr. Rook has also acted in numerous motion pictures and commercials, toured nationally as a headlining stand-up comic and is a voiceover recording artist.
Patrons have enjoyed Mandi’s work in such shows as RENT, Fun Home, A Grand Night For Singing, The Addams Family A New Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Sweeney Todd, Tick…Tick…Boom, 8 Track, Suds, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Midlife the Crisis Musical, Beehive and the regional premieres of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Happy Days: A New Musical, and It’s the Housewives! Mandi received a Bachelor of fine and performing arts degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is currently in her 6th season as Head Coach for the Concordia University, Nebraska Competitive Cheer and Dance teams.
Jenna received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Dakota in 2014 where she gained skills and experience in scenic design, painting, carpentry, props, and puppetry. After working for theaters in Vermont and South Dakota, Jenna moved to Lincoln and became the Technical Coordinator for The TADA Theatre for several years. During that time, her scenic design and painting work included such shows as Young Frankenstein, Evil Dead The Musical, Man of La Mancha, The Addams Family A New Musical, Lend Me A Tenor, Into The Woods and many more. She is excited to be back as the scenic designer for TADA where she has designed all the shows for the 2022 season including Why Do Fools in Love, RENT, Greater Tuna, Godspell and Songs For A New World. Jenna also recently became the Theatre Technical Director at Lincoln Northwest High School. She enjoys sharing her love of theater with her husband Cord and new baby boy, Atlas!
Costume and Hair Coordinator
A veteran of The TADA Theatre where she’s served as both Stage Manager and Costume Coordinator, Karen has overseen costumes for Evil Dead The Musical, Catherland, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Chess, Fun Home, Pumpboys and Dinettes, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, A Grand Night For Singing and The Santaland Diaries, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Greater Tuna and RENT. She has been part of the theater community in Lincoln since 1993, filling a wide variety of roles on and off-stage including actor, stage manager, kid monitor, duck wrangler, make up, hair and costumes to name just a few.
GAVIN KELLEY RASMUSSEN
Live Streaming Coordinator
A Nebraska based artist, Gavin, has been sharpening his skills in broadcasting and livestreaming by working for The TADA Theatre as well as broadcasting for the Ernie Chambers Show in Omaha, Nebraska. Originally a singer at heart, Gavin has performed with Opera Omaha Chorus since 2016 and sung the Tenor role in A Grand Night for Singing and played Lieutenant Joe Cable in South Pacific for TADA Productions, Inc.
Associate and Musical Director
A musical director for 30 years of 150 productions, Mrs. Rook has appeared extensively on stage, including a tour of Side by Side by Sondheim, the regional premieres of Forbidden Broadway, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Gilligan’s Island the Musical. She also appeared as Lucy in the Midwest premiere of Jekyll & Hyde the musical and as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd featuring the Nebraska Symphony Chamber Orchestra. Mrs. Rook received a Master’s degree in music performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she studied with Donna Harler-Smith. While at UNL she performed in several operas and musical theatre productions and was a company member of The Nebraska Repertory Theatre. Other favorite acting credits include Helen in Fun Home, Dot in Sunday In The Park With George, Joanne in Company and the Witch in Into The Woods.
Elysia has been the resident stage manager at The TADA Theatre since 2021, where she oversaw such shows as RENT, Greater Tuna, Pumpboys and Dinettes, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, A Grand Night for Singing, The TADA Tenors, Santaland Diaries, Always, Patsy Cline, Why Do Fools Fall In Love and RENT. She attended Ball State University in Muncie, IN, and received her doctor of musical arts in composition from UNL. Also a talented actress and musician, Elysia has acted at The TADA Theatre in Man of La Mancha, Lend Me A Tenor, Young Frankenstein, and Why Do Fools Fall In Love, as well as playing in the orchestra for several productions.
Tech Coordinator / Scenic Painter
As a professional scenic artist, Mr. Kruse has painted over 250 productions and served as scenic artist for Circle Theatre in Ft. Worth for 35 years. He was also the properties master for the Ft. Worth Opera for 14 seasons and the Ft. Worth/Dallas Ballet for 4. Recently retired as a journeyman stagehand from IATSE, Jon and his wife Donna moved to Nebraska City in 2017 from the Ft. Worth, Texas area. An Iowa native, Jon received his degree in Speech and Theatre from NWMSU. Jon is also a talented bass player who played professionally in several bands and has appeared in over 100 roles from community to professional theatre. He is pleased to be the newest member of the production team for The TADA Theatre where he has done such shows as Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Always, Patsy Cline and RENT.
Theatre Resource Assistant
Even though Juli is best known as a motivational humorist, she started her career behind the scenes as a director, designer and theatre instructor. With a Master’s degree in theatre from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, she held positions at Wayne State College as well as Doane College. She has also done freelance work with several of the local theatres and directed the production of Catherland at The TADA Theatre as well as assisting on a wide variety of shows including The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber, A Grand Night For Singing, The Rocky Horror Show, Chess, Fun Home, Some Enchanted Evening and Evil Dead The Musical.
A graduate from UNL with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Megan recently became a graphics and design specialist for Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. For three years she was the graphic design specialist for the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE. One of the founding members of TADA Productions, Inc., she has been the production manager on countless shows including Young Frankenstein, Man Of La Mancha, Avenue Q, The Rocky Horror Show, Gilligan’s Island the Musical, The Spidey Project and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Guest Artist In Residence
While Coordinator of Musical Theatre Studies in the UNL Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, Ms. Belflower contributed to many grand projects with TADA Productions, Inc. including musical directing SWEENEY TODD with the Nebraska Symphony Orchestra. During her time at UNL, she built a legacy of impressive credits including outstanding direction of many musicals, directing developmental readings of new musicals with Broadway composers-in-residence, and was the producing director of the "Celebration of American Song Series" founded in 2004. A national award-winning director and teacher, Alisa earned a master's and completed doctoral course work in voice at the University of South Carolina. Having taught and performed internationally, Ms. Belflower developed training programs in musical theatre at Miami University, Towson University in Baltimore, and at UNL—all resulting in former
students performing on Broadway and London’s West End as well as in national touring companies.
Assistant Production Manager
A Lincoln, Nebraska native, Cassie is thrilled to be back home after a 21-year adventure in Southern Oregon as the newest member of The TADA Theatre team. She studied Theatre Arts at Southern Oregon University, with an emphasis in stage management and a minor in Shakespeare Studies. Upon graduation, in 2007, she was selected for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s FAIR (Fellowships, Apprenticeships, Internships, Residencies) Program at the esteemed Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as a Production Assistant Intern (Distracted). In 2008 she was hired on as the Green Show Deck Manager, continuing in that role until 2013 when she was hired on as a year-round, full time Assistant Community Producer. In 2018, she was promoted to Community Producer.
Asst. Tech Coordinator / Carpenter
Mr. Welch serves on the TADA Board of Directors and recently retired from the United States Post Office after 32 years of employment. Kevin has built an array of projects and is happy to be showing off his skills as TADA’s carpenter having worked on such shows as Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Always, Patsy Cline and RENT. He has also performed in several shows for TADA Productions including Chess, Big River, South Pacific and Chicago. His love of music continues to keep him connected to the stage. When not at The TADA Theatre, you will find him in the kitchen perfecting his chef skills.
Box Office Coordinator
A member of the TADA Board of Directors, Catherine has appeared in several productions at The TADA Theatre including A Grand Night For Singing, Some Enchanted Evening and as The Baker’s Wife in Into The Woods. Originally from Crete, Catherine graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelors of Arts in Vocal Music where she was heavily involved in opera performance, most notably portraying Floria Tosca in scenes from Puccini’s Tosca. In 2014, she was the recipient of the William D. Stibor Memorial Award, given by the adjudicators of the Nebraska District Metropolitan Opera Auditions.