Meet Our Teaching Artists

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Alex Gumminger found a love of performing arts at a young age. Growing up, he was involved with the Dance Electric Performing and Competition Troupe at Nallia School of Dance (NSOD). Alex is a graduate of NSOD’s Teachers Training Program, where he studied dance composition and education for all ages. He is currently Co-Director of the Performing and Competition Troupe at NSOD, and has choreographed numerous community productions around the KC Metro area with Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park, The White Theatre at the J, and River City Community Players.


Rylee Herr is a Kansas City native and recent graduate from JCCC where she earned her A.A and plans on transferring in the next year to earn her B.A. studying theatre. She has both onstage and backstage experience—loving what both sides of the performing arts has to offer! When not teaching, Rylee works as a Theatre Shop Assistant at JCCC and as an Assistant Technical Director at Pleasant Ridge Blue Valley Middle School.


Grace Horacek has a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from The University of Missouri Kansas City. Grace has been dancing since she was three years old and is trained in Classical Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theatre. Grace has performed with American Midwest Ballet in her hometown of Omaha, NE, as well as in the Kansas City area with theater companies such as Raytown Arts Council. Grace's favorite genre of dance is Ballet, with dream roles including The Sugar Plum Fairy, Cinderella, and The White Cat from Sleeping Beauty. When she's not dancing, Grace loves to watch movies and listen to music. Grace's greatest passion has always been teaching, and she has three years of teaching experience with ages ranging from Preschool through Eighth Grade.


Cody Kreutzer is excited to begin his first year as a teaching artist at JCPRD! He is originally from Hays, KS and has a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre, Master's Degree in Music from Fort Hays State University and is pursuing a Master's Degree in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management from Colorado State University. Cody has been very active in theatre around the area since moving to the KC area in August of 2021. 


Lucas Lowry is a Kansas City based actor, singer, dancer, and dreamer. He recently obtained a double major in Vocal Music Education and Musical Theatre from Wichita State University. Proud to come from a Hispanic and African American background, Lucas has had the joyous opportunity to explore a significant number of characters in musical theatre and his goal is to continue his journey to spread the love of entertainment to crowds around the world. He leaves his footprint in Lenexa, KS where he attended Shawnee Mission West HS and has previously been in Professional/Community/School productions including: The Kansas City premiere of Newsies! where he portrayed the role of “Crutchie”, “Charlie Brown” (A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Coterie), “Graffiti Pete” (In the Heights, Music Theatre Heritage) “Scarecrow” (The Wiz, Roxy’s Downtown), and “Chad” in All Shook Up where he won the Blue Star for “Best Lead Actor” and was a nominee for the 2016 Jimmy Awards. When he’s not on the stage, Lucas teaches piano/voice lessons and musical theatre camps here at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center. 


Katherine Petersma is a Kansas City native artist and performer. Katherine graduated from Manhattan Christian College with a B.S. in Social Justice. She has also had the privilege to learn and grow under many tremendous teachers and performers in the areas of acting, voice and dance. Katherine has performed with many theatre companies in the KC area, but when she's not on stage or teaching, Katherine works as a professional Party Princess. Katherine is a lover of creativity and is passionate about creating an environment where students can come be their truest selves and explore their own personal artistry.   

3Elizabeth Phillips has been teaching theatre and dance classes for the past three years. She has taught classes in tap, jazz, ballet, group voice, improv, and more! After training in the performing arts since the age of four, she is extremely grateful to be teaching and sharing her passion for performing with the next generation! Her most recent stage credits include Peace Love and Cupcakes (Choreographer), A Man of No Importance (Adele), The Little Mermaid (Stage Manager), White Christmas (Ensemble), Annie (Stage Manager), and Matilda (Miss Honey). 


Kaycee Speiser loves traveling and spending time with family. She have been in ten musicals, one play and have taken countless jazz, singing, and musical theater classes. Kaycee has helped with tech, props, costumes and backstage. In 2017, Kaycee began swing dancing and has enjoyed it ever since-whether teaching or doing it herself. Kaycee was also able to assist and cameo in the movie Accidental Family as an Associate Producer, Production Assistant, Script Supervisor and Extra. 


Alison Huddleston grew up dancing in the Kansas City area, training in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern techniques. She recently graduated from Wichita State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Ballet and Modern. Since graduating, Alison has returned to KC and is currently performing at Worlds of Fun. She is thrilled to be teaching at the Arts & Heritage Center and sharing her passion with young artists.


Steve Uffman's background in music started with karaoke, back then music for him was just a hobby, over time however it has grown to be his sole focus. He sang with Men's Glee Choir at K State while in college. When I moved to Kansas City I joined Central Standard, a barbershop chorus. With C.S. they won a third place medal in the world at the international competition. After that he joined a garage band called Everybody's Sister. He has worked at various music schools in the Kansas City area. He started out as a vocal substitute teacher at the Music House, worked at the School of Rock teaching lessons as well as group classes. Steve was also the director responsible for various different themed Rock Camps. Because of his vocal background I believe that if you can sing it you can play it. Music is obtainable for people of all ages and skill levels. Steve am committed to guiding students toward their goals, and helping them thrive in the world of music.


Rachael Berg is a musician and teacher in the Kansas City area. She received her degree in music education from the University of Georgia in 2011 and has since taught music in many different capacities. Currently, she is a Teaching Artist with Harmony Project KC and the music teacher at Mount Olive Lutheran School. She is also an active violinist with the Saint Joseph Symphony and other ensembles throughout Missouri and Kansas.


Erin Simon is thrilled to be joining the team at JCPRD as a Teaching Artist in the performing arts program. With a background as a youth coach, Erin is all about celebrating what makes each child extraordinary and nurturing their personal growth. Her goal is to create an inclusive, fun, and interactive environment where every child feels like a star. She is looking forward to igniting a love for performing arts in our young students! 


Adelaide Fisher joins JCPRD for her second year of teaching, and she is excited to be back!  Along with her knowledge of acting and technical theater, she is a published playwright through the Enough! Project and has had her work performed in their nationwide reading. Currently a student at Florida Gulf Coast University, Adelaide is also an active member of their improv club and performs with their competitive team.  


Mckenna Lewis is a rising Senior at Wichita State University pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Dance. She has taught and choreographed for Music Theatre Kansas City, StageworX, Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice, and Music Theatre Wichita. She is thrilled to work with the next generation of artists this summer and help them find their most confident selves! 


Alexa Morgan is a rising senior at Texas Christian University, pursuing a BFA in Acting. Growing up, she spent her summers performing at Theatre in the Park and other venues around KC. She loves to sing, play guitar, and bake! At school she is involved in many on campus organizations and is a resident assistant and teaching assistant for a class welcoming first year students. She’s excited to spend another summer filled with the next generation of artists!