Ethan Fuhrmeister is a lighting designer for the local Sarasota area. He is a student at State College of Florida. He has been a lighting designer since 2016. He has been involved in Rise Above since Grease the Musical. His dream is to become a lighting designer and eventually create a business around lighting and sound. He is proud to have done over 15 shows with Rise Above alone and over 30 shows by the time he was 19. He is proud to be the lighting designer for Rise Above.
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The Motion Theater
When thou shalt be disposed to set me light
And place my merit in the eye of scorn,Upon thy side against myself I’ll fight And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.With mine own weakness being best acquainted,Upon thy part I can set down a story Of faults conceal’d, wherein I am attainted, That thou in losing me shalt win much glory.
Joi holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University, and has taught elementary, middle, and high school music at different times in her teaching career. She is a high performing, model music teacher for Sarasota County Schools. Along with being a performer herself, she has directed musical theatre productions for several elementary schools, as well as for a local dance studio’s musical theatre encore program. She also teaches private piano and voice lessons.
Joi directs multiple Choir and Show Choirs and brings an engaging and instructional approach to her musical direction. Under her tutelage, performers are able to expand their musical talents as she continually produces Nationally Award winning productions including her most recent accomplishment where her Concert Choir placed first in the nation
Krista Benson began performing in musical theater at the age of ten. She performed in countless school and community theater productions growing up. Also an accomplished flutist, Krista chose to pursue a vocal degree with a musical theater emphasis in college. She graduated with a BA in music with a Vocal Option from SUNY Geneseo. She then went on to earn a Masters in Music in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory. During her time in Boston she had the honor of singing with The Boston Pops, The Thayer Symphony Orchestra and performing on The Spirit of Boston.
Many of her favorite musical theater roles from that time include "Once on this Island" (Timoune) "A Chorus Line" (Sheila), "Guys and Dolls" (Sarah), "The Apple Tree" (Barbara), "The Threepenny Opera" (Polly), "Oliver!" (Nancy) and "The Fairy Queen" (Titania) as well as roles in "Cabaret", "Sweet Charity", "Marat...Sade", and "Hair".
While attending The Boston Conservatory she met her future husband. After they were married they moved to NYC. After too many cold winters spent in Boston and NY they decided to move to southeast Florida. Krista had many opportunities as a professional performer at Stage Door Theater in Ft Lauderdale performing in such shows as "My One and Only", "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (Angel) "No Way To Treat a Lady" (Sarah) and the original musical "Are We there Yet?" (Woman 1).
After moving to upstate NY Krista then took some time away from the spotlight to stay home and raise their two daughters. Upon encouragement from a mentor, Krista began teaching vocal lessons in 2008. Krista's training in both classical vocal technique AND musical theater has made her a unique resource for her students.
Under her tutelage many of Krista’s students have gone on to BFA musical theater programs at highly esteemed universities such as Rider, Montclair, SUNY Fredonia, Ithaca College, Belmont and Coastal Carolina to name a few. Krista’s students have also performed with the Boston Pops, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and have won numerous vocal competitions.
Currently Krista is a faculty member teaching Vocal Technique, private vocal lessons and Musical Theater at Ovation School of Musical Theater in Bradenton, FL.
Her passion for music, musical theater and working with her students is evident in her enthusiasm!!
As a business owner of a product that embraces creativity and artistry Donnie is always able to bring an interesting perspective to the table. In his first career he worked in the country of Niger on the edge of the Sahara desert with nomadic herders helping bring education to traditionally isolated communities. He worked to make it possible that these children could access education and have options that previously were not available to them. In an environment that came with many life challenges Donnie helped them overcome challenges by teaching them to think creatively and dare to dream in a land where dreams rarely exist.
Currently Donnie owns a Lego business and is inspiring both children and adults all over the world by using the medium of a building brick. He teaches individuals how to use a simple platform to bring their circle of influence into the world they build and take them on an unforgettable journey by showcasing their talent and hard work.
Rachael discovered her love for dance and theatre at the age of 4. Since then, she has studied tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, ballet and musical theatre at multiple studios. She is a graduate of Booker High School’s VPA Theatre program and the American Music and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She has been seen in readings and productions o A (Funny) Imagination! At Dixon Place, Dramatists’ Guild and New York Theatre Winterfest originating the role of Dee’s Sister. She has also appeared in numerous local theater productions throughout her childhood in Venice, Sarasota, and Bradenton. Her favorite roles include Into the Woods (Little Red), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Logainne), Fools (Sophia), Annie Get Your Gun (Winnie Tate), and Grease (Frenchie). Rachael has choreographed for various schools and theatre companies including AMDA, Ashton Elementary, Brentwood Elementary, Stage Door Studios, and Booker High School. She has trained with Broadway Artists Alliance and worked with Musical Theatre International as part of the choreography DVD for Lion King JR. She participated in the Junior Theater Festival for three years and received a national award for Excellence in Student Choreography.
Rachael has learned so much from these experiences and has made invaluable connections. Rachael is so proud to be a founding member of this amazing company and to work with so many sweet and insanely talented kids!
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“A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.”
“Actors are able to play any character precisely because they themselves are completely deprived of it.”
“The audience goes to the theater to see the good performance of good plays, and not the play itself: you can read the play.”