Faculty, Staff and Crew Heads
Rebecca Jallings, BA, BS, MS, Teacher, Director, Producer
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is Rebecca Jallings’ final production at West High School. She has taught theater, speech, media literacy, and film at West High for twenty-four years, and in 1997 she created Multico, West’s multicultural touring company. She has directed and/or produced over one hundred plays and musicals in her fifty-one year career; her first, THE LOTTERY, she directed for her 4H Club when she was only 14 years old. She has directed for Stagecoach, Wisconsin Children’s Theater, Madison Repertory Theater, Strollers, Millennium Theater, Madison Theater Guild, and West High School. Some of her favorite productions include: TOM JONES, I HATE HAMLET, BILOXI BLUES, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, PIPPIN, GORILLA TACTICS, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, and THE FOREIGNER. Rebecca was honored to receive a teaching award from the Parents of African American Students Association in 1994-5. In 1997, she directed a predominantly White cast of GORILLA TACTICS, written by local playwright, actor and director, Sam White, and earned Best Director, Best Ensemble, and Best Play awards from the Wisconsin High School Theater Association. In 1998, Rebecca was invited to speak on Multico at the International Council of the Teachers of English conference in Bordeaux, France. In 2005, along with colleagues Mary Klehr and Allen Cross, she was awarded a $10,000 grant by the National Council of the Teachers of English for a two-year study on multicultural literacy acquisition, which culminated in a presentation at the national conference in Nashville, Tennessee in November, 2006. Also in 2006, Rebecca directed STAGE KISS (written by her brilliant son-in-law, Michael Kramer), which won Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the State Festival, and in 2010, she directed GORILLA TACTICS again, this time with an all-Black cast, which also performed at the State Festival. A documentary about Multico, filmed and edited by Jeremy Holiday, was chosen as part of “Wisconsin’s Own” for the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival. In 2011, she was honored to deliver a TEDx speech here in Madison on the beginnings of Multico. Rebecca is a member of the first Advisory Board for Teaching Tolerance, the magazine published by the Southern Poverty Law Center. She has a B.A. in Theater, a B.S. In Communication Arts: Television and Film, and an M.S. in Education, all from the UW-Madison. Rebecca has four children and nine grandchildren, who all make her very happy -- and whom she plans on spoiling a lot more often in her retirement. Rebecca would like to thank all the folks from West High School, past and present, who have helped to make the last twenty-four years something she is very proud of. And finally, she would like everyone to know that working with her colleague and dear friend, Holly Walker, has made every day of the last six years better, and makes saying goodbye to West much easier because she knows that she leaves the drama program in expert hands.
Holly Walker, BA, MFA, Teacher, Director, Choreographer
Holly Walker is an alumnus of West High School. She performed as Aunt Blanche in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS her senior year in this very theater and now teaches theater here at West. Holly has a double major from the UW – Madison in Theater – Acting Specialist & Business/Marketing. While in undergrad, Holly earned a dance scholarship to the Broadway Dance Center in New York City from Frank Hatchett. While on scholarship she studied theater at Stella Adler Acting Conservatory. After college Holly moved to Los Angeles where she pursued acting and dance work in theatre, film, and television. While working in Los Angeles she began choreographing for regional theater companies and teaching for The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Family and education brought her back to Madison. She completed her M.F.A in Dance from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and is now licensed in Secondary Education in the state of Wisconsin. Holly still continues her work as a performer; her most recent work as a performer was with Walt Disney, in Orlando Florida. In her four years at West, Holly has choreographed FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, directed and choreographed INTO THE WOODS, A CHORUS LINE and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and directed NOISES OFF, THE MIRACLE WORKER and STEEL MAGNOLIAS. In 2007, Holly directed JUVIE, West’s entry to the Wisconsin State High School Theater Festival, and won Best Director, Best Ensemble, & The Critic’s Choice Award. Holly is also the Auditorium Manager.
Anthony Cao, BME, MA, Teacher, Music Director
Anthony received his Bachelor's Degree and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from UW Madison, where he was named winner of the annual student concerto competition. He also twice won the National Association for the Teachers of Singing auditions in 2000 and 2001. Cao has worked as guest clinician/composer with choirs throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. Equally comfortable in many genres of music, he has a wide variety of recent performance credits, including baritone soloist with the Oakwood Chamber Players, “Thuy” in Four Seasons Theatre’s Miss Saigon, music director for Four Season's World Goes Round, and pianist for Academy-Award Winner Jorge Drexler and for rock legend Boz Scaggs. He is an award-winning composer/arranger and continues to write music for groups around the Midwest. Cao has served as the artistic director of Madison Chamber Choir since 2007 and the director of choirs at Madison West High School since 2004. Cao served as chorus master of Madison Opera for the 2010-2011 season.Anthony and his wife, Leslie, welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Eloise, into their family. Anthony and his wife, Leslie, are very tired.
Kelle Adams, Choreographer, BA, MS
Kelle is a life long Madisonian. At the age of 5 she told her mother she was going to be a crossing guard during the day, and a professional ballet dancer at night. While neither aspiration came completely true, dance has always been a part of her life. She studied with Bess and Tibor Zana, and Vivian Tomlinson locally, and at the Milwaukee Ballet, the Atlanta Ballet, and the Dayton Ballet. She was the owner of The Madison School of Ballet while finishing her degree in Dance Education at the UW-Madison. Ms. Adams has been the dance teacher at West High School for 12 years and has choreographed OKLAHOMA, BYE BYE BIRDIE, PIPPIN, GUYS AND DOLLS and CRAZY FOR YOU. Lots of love goes to her husband Ken and son Jack, and her parents; "Thanks for fostering this love of dance and teaching, and making me who I am today."
Lee Waldhart, Set designer and Technical Director, Director: Almost Maine
Lee is celebrating his 160th stage production as well as a 16year history with West High School. He is an avid supporter of community theater on and off-stage, and has worn the hats of actor, director, set designer, and tech director for many area theatre groups. A acting teacher for CTM, he last appeared on stage in their production of LOOKING GLASS LAND, and before that as Sheriff Heck Tate in their production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.
John Penisten, Sound Designer
John has worked with many Madison areas theater companies in a variety of technical capacities. He has designed sound for many West Productions, including THE LARAMIE PROJECT, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAM COAT, NOISES OFF! I HATE HAMLET, A CHORUS LINE, INTO THE WOODS, TOM JONES.
Paul Schaefer, Lighting Designer
Paul’s recent lighting design credits that include WALMARTOPIA at the NYC Fringe Festival, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST with the YMCA, Savoyards PATIENCE and PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Four Seasons Theatres ASPECTS OF LOVE and THE LAST FIVE YEARS, CTM’s STUART LITTLE, CHRISTMAS CAROL, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK, LIVE!, LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS, AND CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, West High School’s THE LARAMIE PROJECT, PIPPIN, BYE, BYE, BIRDIE, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, NOISES OFF, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, I HATE HAMLET, A CHORUS LINE and TOM JONES, Edgewood High School’s MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, and NOISES OFF, and The Arts Ball 2005. As a theatrical electrician, his credits include the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta Georgia, Norwegian Cruise Lines M.S. Dreamward, and two Broadway pre-productions at The Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. Locally he has also worked with APT, Madison REP, Madison Opera, Madison Ballet, Madison Symphony, and at The Overture Center for various other groups. He is a professional Theatrical Master Electrician and a member of the I.A.T.S.E. Local Union 251.
Hyewon Park, Costume Designer, BA MFA
Hyewon was born and educated in South Korea, where she designed costumes for the television drama, ILWOL in Seoul. In 1995, she moved to the U.S. to pursue a MFA in costume design from UW-Madison. Some of her recent costume design credits include: MIRACLE WORKER with West High; THAÏS, ALCINA, the world premiere
Maura Bosch's opera ART AND DESIRE, MERRY WIDOW, PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, DON GIOVANNI, ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD, HANSEL AND GRETEL, XERXES, THE RAPE OF LUCRECIA, LUCIA DI LAMMERMMOR, LES MAMELLES DE TIRÉSIAS and L’HEURE ESPANOLE with UW Opera; BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, TINTYPES, STOP KISS, PRIVATE EYES, MAD FORREST, and MAN OF LA MANCHA with UW Theatre; a feature film BAREFOOT TO JERUSALEM for Keene Production. As a designer/guest artist, her credits include Seattle Opera, Miller Brewing Company, De Maurier (Australia), Lucky Duck Production (New York), Wild Hawk Entertainment (Texas), University of Arizona-Tucson, Marquette University and Clarke College. She is currently in production of MARIA STUARDA with UW-Opera and MAN OF LA MANCHA with Stroller Theater.
Fred Swanson, Make Up and Hair Design, BA, MS
Fred is a special education teacher at West High School. He has worked with an off-campus vocational program for the past 19 years, and has joined the production staff 4 years ago. Both of his children are students at WHS. Fred was once a theater major at UW-LaCrosse, and has participated in numerous productions around the state, and in Las Vegas, NV. He is excited to once again be participating in the West High School theater program again.
Anne Gustafson, Make Up and Hair Design, BA
Anne is an elementary art teacher in Middleton, WI. She has assisted with hair and makeup at WHS for 4 years. She has an amazing eye for detail and specializes in prosthetic applications. Anne has two children, Henry and Grace, both of whom have been known to spend time behind the scenes as Anne works. Anne has been on crews in dozens of productions around the state, and has worked as a private consultant to some of Wisconsin's favorite actors!
Jeff Skubal, Fight Choreographer, BA
Jeff Skubal has been a fight Choreographer, Stuntman, and actor in the Madison area for eight years now. He has worked on over thirty shows with Four Seasons, Madison Opera, UW-Whitewater, CTM, and numerous high schools. Some of the West shows Jeff has been a part of are TOM JONES, I HATE HAMLET, THE MIRACLE WORKER, GORILLA TACTICS, and CRAZY FOR YOU. Jeff is currently the Motion Capture Performance Manager at Raven Software in Middleton. He has done motion capture acting for a number of games, including X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, ULTIMATE ALLIANCE, WOLFENSTEIN, and CALL OF DUTY-MODERN WARFARE 3. Jeff is also part of Barking Shadow Productions as a Producer and Actor. They are premiering they're first full-length feature called DEAD OF THE NIGHT, this March at The Sundance Theater. Thank you Rebecca for allowing me to ride along the last few years, it has been an honor. Thank you Mom, Dad, Cooper and Macy.
Jennifer Engelbart, BAE, ME, Teacher, Graphic Designer, Artist
Jennifer has part of the art department at West for the past three years. Last year she became involved with West’s drama community creating posters for their productions. Jennifer’s work includes the productions TOM JONES, INTO THE WOODS, and THE MIRACLE WORKER. Jennifer spent her undergraduate years at Drake University where majored in Art Education with an emphasis in printmaking. Since Drake, Jennifer has received a Masters in Education from National-Louis University. She has also started a small graphic and make-up artistry business.
Jennifer fondly remembers her involvement in high school and community theater growing up in Iowa. She was a member of the cast of SOMETHING’S AFOOT, ANNIE, CARNIVAL, SOUTH PACIFIC, INTO THE WOODS, THE ODD COUPLE (Female Version), and was recognized as a top state dramatic actor. Jennifer is thankful to have this opportunity to renew her ties with theater here at West.