Meet your instructors

cropped image of actors feet bowing on stage

Artist
Mindset

Education that prioritizes evolving its students into mature and reflexive artists is a primary guiding concept for our curriculum. Through a combination of teaching substantial and well-researched theatrical techniques along with consistently exercising a spirit of openness, we experiment and embrace an attitude that is just as interested in the things that don’t work as much as the things that do. We believe that the Artist Mindset prepares students of all ages for a life in the arts/theatre or any path they choose to pursue.

Meet our instructors

Sean Naughton

Sean Naughton

Sean Naughton holds an M.F.A. in Acting from The Ohio State University and is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of Theatre at the University of Wisconsin Superior. He has over twenty years of professional experience in theatre, film, commercials, improv, and new media that features extensive stage and on-camera work. He is a graduate of the renowned improv training center Improv Olympic in Los Angeles where he performed in over 200 long-form improv shows.

Kaitlyn Callahan

Kaitlyn Callahan

Kaitlyn Callahan is a current BFA Musical Theatre major and dance minor student at UMD. Originally from the Twin Cities, Kaitlyn has loved having the opportunity to teach the next generation of theatre artists right here in Duluth! Playhouse credits include Little Women (Amy), Kinky Boots (Nicola), and assisting and teaching with the DPH Youth Theatre.

SJ Olson

SJ Olson

In addition to performing in shows on the NorShor Stage, SJ is a singer-songwriter who performs locally under their artist name, S3RA. Their debut album what it needed to be is available on all streaming platforms.

Jess Hughes

Jess Hughes

is an equity performer, professional arts educator, and creator of new works. She graduated with her MFA in Acting from The Ohio State University where she taught Movement, Voice, Viewpoints, and Advanced Acting classes. She is passionate about inspiring actors to perform with more ease, presence, joy, and a sense of the whole ensemble.

Naomi Christenson

Naomi Christenson

has always loved dancing and is passionate about bringing quality dance opportunities to adults. She holds a BFA in art, design and dance from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and she has studied tap online with Demi Remick, Sarah Reich, Kaleena Miller, Andrew Nemr and Lisa LaTouche.

Denise Ruemping

Denise Ruemping

Denise served as the Education Director of the Rochester Civic Theatre and the Theatre Director/Drama Coach at Byron High School. With over 20 years of teaching experience, Denise brings a wealth of knowledge and innovative ideas to DPH’s School of Performing Arts. Her vision perfectly aligns with the Playhouse's commitment to making the arts accessible to all and nurturing the next generation of artists and creative thinkers.

Alyson Enderle

Alyson Enderle

has had the pleasure to work on several Playhouse productions (Once, Ragtime, Little Women, The Musical), and has performed at several theaters in the Twin Cities (Artistry, Lyric Arts, Daleko). She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a BFA in Musical Theater in 2018, and is looking forward to collaborating with future young artists.

Phillip Fazio

Phillip Fazio

is the Producing Artistic Director at Duluth Playhouse. He earned a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory and a MFA in Directing from Pennsylvania State University. Phillip lived and worked in NYC for nine years and has been an assistant for Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley and Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun.

Rylee Kuberra

Rylee Kuberra

grew up in Duluth and earned her BA in Theatre Arts & Psychology from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. Her teaching artist experience extends into typically underserved groups including the deaf/blind community and the elderly community. Her hope is to aid in the development of upstanding youth citizens who will have a better sense of who they are through the tools of theatre!

Jonathan Manchester

Jonathan Manchester

has been a dedicated educator and beloved fixture at Duluth Playhouse, where he has inspired countless students with his theatre expertise for over a decade. He expertly utilizes his theatre degree on a regular basis, most notably as a standout performer with Renegade Improv.

Cheryl Skafte

Cheryl Skafte

is a local theater educator and performer. She has taught with the Duluth Playhouse since 2005. Most recently she played Viola in Wise Fool Theater’s production of Twelfth Night. When she isn’t at the theater, she spends her time working her day job for the City of Duluth, reading, running and thinking about summer.

Wes Drummond

Wes Drummond

is the Executive Director at Duluth Playhouse. He earned an BFA in Musical Theatre from Western Kentucky University and an MFA in Directing From Pennsylvania State University. Directing in Chicago, NYC and regionally, Wes has been an assistant to Tony Award winner Matthew Warchus and Tony Award nominees Michael Greif and Susan H. Schulman.