Rep Lab back at Milwaukee Repertory Theater


Milwaukee Rep will bring Rep Lab back to the Stiemke studio June 24-26, 2022. Featuring Milwaukee Rep’s Emerging Professional Residents (EPRs), actors, directors, stage managers and designers, Rep Lab is an opportunity to put showcasing the skills EPRs learned throughout their time last season at Milwaukee Rep. EPRs have been an integral part of Milwaukee Rep productions for over 50 years, forging relationships and skills to grow in their careers and perform professionally around the world.

Rep Lab 2022 will feature two short plays Hidden in This Picture by Aaron Sorkin and The Last Nickel by Jane Shepard. Hidden in This Picture is a delightful satire on the joys and realities of filmmaking, directed by Daniel Andres Blanco and starring Jared Brandt Hoover, Kyle Johnson, Kelty Morash and Max Pink. The Last Nickel is a play tinged with fun and fraternal nostalgia, directed by Emma Johnson and starring Jared Brandt Hoover, Kelty Morash, Sophie Murk and Tia René Williams.

The Rep Lab’s creative teams include costume design by Sparrow Matthews, lighting design by Emily Ottinger, sound design by J Jumbelic, stage management by Krista Kanderski and assistant stage manager Hannah Steele.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at, by calling the box office at 414-224-9490 or in person at 108 E Wells Street in downtown Milwaukee. Performances are Friday, June 24, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday June 25, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday June 26, 2 p.m.

For more information, please visit

Actor biographies:

Jared Brandt Hoover (Craig in Hidden in This Picture, Puppeteer 1 in The Last Nickel)

Jared is from Evansville, Indiana. He graduated in 2021 with a BFA in Musical Theater from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is beyond thrilled to be the 2021/22 Emerging Professional Resident at Milwaukee Rep! He looks forward to bringing his talents and experiences to the Milwaukee theater scene. His favorite performances include Harold Hill in The Music Man, Pippin and King Charlemagne in Pippin and Matt in The Fantasticks.

Kyle Johnson (Jeff in Hidden in this photo)

Originally from New York State, Kyle is more than honored to join the Milwaukee Repertory Theater for the 2021/22 season! Kyle is a recent SUNY Geneseo graduate who earned his BA in Musical Theater. His past credits include A Christmas Carol and La Cage Aux Folles at the Geva Theater Center in Rochester, NY, as well as a host of productions on his college campus such as Babes in Arms, Pippin, Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.

Kelty Morash (Reuben in Hidden in This Picture, Puppeteer 2 in The Last Nickel)

Kelty is incredibly grateful to be spending a season at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater as acting resident! She studied musical theater at the Cornish College of the Arts and obtained her master’s degree in Spain. His previous favorite credits include Little Red in Into the Woods (Woodminster Summer Musicals) and Babe in The Pajama Game (San Leandro Performing Arts Center). Kelty is eager to once again tell stories that inspire meaningful dialogue and build community – we are not alone. Thanks to family, friends and teachers who continually support the trip.

Sophie Murk (Jamie in The Last Nickel)

Last seen as Kate in Titanic The Musical and Audrey in As You Like It, Sophie is honored to call Milwaukee Rep her artistic home for the year as an acting resident. She earned her BA in Musical Theater from the Webster Conservatory of Theater Arts in 2018, where her credits included Fiona in Brigadoon and Goodman in Men on Boats. Recent professional credits include Daddy Long Legs (Awaken Theatre), The Hundred Dresses (Metro Theater Company), The Burden of Proof (SATE Aphra Behn Festival), The Polar Express at Chicago Union Station and The Wizard of Oz (Variety Children’s Theatre) . Sophie is a certified member of Artists Striving to End Poverty and works as a youth theater director, private theater coach, and artist teacher for children in suburban Chicago.

Max Pink (Robert in Hidden in this photo)

Max is originally from York, England, and came to the United States as a child. He was a member of the Young Company of First Stage and an inaugural member of the Milwaukee Rep’s Professional Training Institute. Max studied in London at the Rose Bruford College of Theater and Performance as well as the Royal Conservatory of Scotland. He performed with several Milwaukee theaters and last appeared as Bellboy in Titanic The Musical at Milwaukee Rep.

Tia René Williams (Jo in The Last Nickel)

Tia, from New Orleans, Louisiana, is beyond excited to join the Milwaukee Repertory Theater for the 2021/22 season. She feels lucky to be able to perform and learn in such a renowned theater at this time in history. She earned her bachelor’s degree in theater in 2018 from Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, and recently earned her master’s degree in theater from Louisiana Tech University. Some of her credits include Mary in On the Verge, Frosine in The Miser and Helen in Trojan Women.

Creative team:

Daniel Andres Blanco (director, hidden in this image)

Daniel is an award-winning director, actor, writer and editor, and a recent graduate of UCSB’s BFA Acting Program. Since graduating, Daniel has focused on continuing his work of creating and presenting unique stories about the Latinx experience through film and theater. He is very excited to join the Milwaukee Repertory Theater for the season! Daniel recently co-directed On the Verge Santa Barbara’s Home Project and directed Center Stage Theater’s Malcolm and UCSB’s Trumpus Caesar. In addition to acting, Daniel has also written and directed the Salsa-Noir film “Sorpresas,” as well as the SBIFF Stay-at-Home Showcase audience favorite “El Cantante,” and is currently completing a new three-part series. “De La Luna, Del Sol.” Daniel’s dream is to write and direct a jukebox musical Fania about his family, but he’ll decide to start a salsa band if that doesn’t work out.

Emma Johnson (director, The Last Nickel)

Emma, ​​a Saint Paul native, is thrilled to join Milwaukee Rep this season as the resident director! She earned a BS in Theater and English Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2019 and has worked as a high school language arts teacher and theater artist ever since. While at River Falls, Emma co-founded the college’s improv troupe and directed a student production of Beyond Therapy before receiving a Certificate of Merit from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for her direction of Proof. Outside of college, Emma has worked in the Twin Cities as a class assistant at the SteppingStone Theater and as a stage manager with Shakespeare & Company-Minnesota and Mosaic Productions.

Sparrow Matthews (costume designer)

Sparrow is a Detroit-based designer, technician, and playwright. They graduated from Wayne State University with a BFA in Theater Design and Technology in 2020, with a focus on costume and stage design. Their work outside of educational theater includes a summer internship in tailoring at the Great River Shakespeare Festival in 2017, and most recently as a draper in the Hope Summer Repertory Theater costume shop in 2019. Some previous productions include Xtigone ( costume designer), Medea (costumer), Bus Stop (stage) and Shakespeare in Love (weaver). In 2018, their adaptation of Medea with co-writer Lavender Moran was produced as part of Hilberry Studio Theater’s summer program, and their play The Company of Fools won first place in the Heck-Rabi student drama competition. 2020. They are deeply honored to work with the Milwaukee Rep team.

Emily Ottinger (lighting designer)

Emily is excited to design at Milwaukee Rep where she also serves as Assistant General Manager. Her most recent work, Momentum, was seen on stage at the Baumgartner Center for Dance with Milwaukee Ballet II. As a Wisconsin native, she has worked in many different roles for companies such as Milwaukee Ballet, American Players Theater, Peninsula Players and more. She would like to thank her family, friends and those who continue to nurture young creators.

J Jumbelic (sound designer)

Regional credits include: The Handmaid’s Tale (Boston Lyric Opera), A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Huntington Theater Company), 9 Parts of Desire (Capital Repertory Theatre), Small Craft Warnings (Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival), Lost Tempo, The Honey Trap and Faithless (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), The Boys in the Band, The Submission, Bent and The Normal Heart (Zeitgeist Stage Company), Ghost Train and Spamalot (The Barnstormers Theatre), plus frequent collaborative sound compositions with choreographers and visual media artists.

Krista Kanderski (stage manager)

Krista is excited to return to Milwaukee Rep this season. She is a Milwaukee-based stage manager and a graduate of Marquette University. Some favorite credits include: Get Happy, New Age, Antonio’s Song, Piano Men, West Side Story, Dad’s Season Tickets and A Christmas Carol (Milwaukee Rep), Truth: The Testimonial of Sojourner Truth (Hope Summer Rep), The Pillowman (The constructivists), Hamlet (Voices Found Repertory) and Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre). Love and gratitude to A.

Hannah Steele (assistant manager)

Hannah recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a BA in Stage Management with minors in Arts Administration and Design/Technical Theater. At UWL, she directed several outstanding productions such as Little Women the Musical, Middletown and The Country Wife. Outside of collegiate productions, Hannah spent two seasons with the Great River Shakespeare Festival where she worked on Every Brilliant Thing, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and Love’s Labour’s Lost (stage manager) and Macbeth (assistant stage manager). In her spare time, Hannah enjoys tending to her plants, cuddling animals and painting with watercolors.


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