Chief Creative Officer/ Co-Founder
Deborah Bowers Kippley has a 38-year history of teaching in the arts. After graduating form Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska with a BA in Art Education and Elementary Education she toured for a year with a repertory theater company, Covenant Players, based in Southern California. As an undergraduate she performed a non-major flute recital. She received a Masters Degree and a Doctorate in Administration, Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Her 29-year public schools teaching career includes 13 years as an elementary art educator in Omaha Public Schools and she started the elementary art program in Papillion La Vista Public Schools in 1992 teaching there for 16 years. During that time she achieved National Board Certification in 2001 and worked on the writing team for the Nebraska K-12 Visual and Performing Arts Frameworks document (1994-1996).
She founded the Papillion La Vista Arts Network (PLAN) in 1998 and this organization received 501 c 3 status in 2003 under her direction.
Treasurer / Co-Founder
Jackie Fowler taught elementary music at Trumble Park Elementary for 25 years. She received her degree from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma.
Jackie is a co-founder of The Papillion La Vista Arts Network (PLAN) and has been with us from the very beginning. Each summer she would creatively choose music to complement all of our plays. Currently she is our acting Treasurer and helps us whenever we need her advice or insight.
Director / Playwright
Brian Guehring is the Playwright in Residence and Education Director of the Omaha Theater Company, whose education department does drama and dance education outreach for every single child in over 71 local schools each school year (reaching over 27,000 students). His original play “The Super Adventures of Pyramid Man and Dr. Nutrition” and his adaptations of “Where the Red Fern Grows” and “Old Yeller” won AATE Unpublished Play Project Awards. His script “The Bully Show” was honored at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices symposium. Brian also received a play-writing fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council for his original script “King Chemo.” His plays have been produced by professional theaters for young audiences in Kentucky, South Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio,and Virginia in addition to productions by schools, universities and community groups.
He earned his MFA in theater for young audiences from University of Texas at Austin. Brian is currently serving on the national board of directors and executive committee of Theater for Young Audiences/USA, the United States Center for the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ), and a national membership organization that strengthens the artistic and cultural impact of theatre for young audiences by empowering, connecting and inspiring our members - thereby fostering a global appreciation of the field’s excellence. The last 18 Arts Camp plays have been written and directed by Brian.
Sue Gillespie Booton is the Director of Broadway at the Rose and Resident Choreographer at the Rose Performing Arts for Children and Families. Sue has well over 20 years teaching and choreographic experience. She recently was awarded "Best Choreography" for her piece "Crawl", with dancers ages 8-11. She is a well-known professional choreographer and actor in the Omaha area. Most recently, "Annie", "The Wizard of Oz", and "The Little Engine That Could, "Le Petite Rouge", "Disney's High School Musical" and “High School Musical II” at The Rose Theater. Sue holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is the mother of Claire, 18, and Parker, 16. In 2004, Parker was diagnosed with autism. Since then, Sue has been a warrior for better services and treatments for autistic kids/adults and, has started Nebraska's 1st dance class for students within the autism spectrum.
Several decades past, Trish got the “techie fever” in high school helping on a production of “The Best Man”. Her first tech theatre job was to paint the jute side of carpeting to make it all match. Carpeting jute sucks up paint, by the by, and no two different carpet pieces look the same…. Ever…. Many years later, and a few moves around the country, Trish ended up back in Nebraska with her set designer husband, Tim. Someone had to paint the sets, but he promised she wouldn’t have to paint carpet jute. But walls and other décor was necessary.
Trish has painted scenery for the Jewish Community Center, Heartland Scenic Studio, Omaha Community Playhouse, Opera Omaha, the Bellevue Little Theatre, Grande Olde Players Theatre, Ralston Community Theatre, Daniel Gross High School, Papillion-LaVista High School, and Ralston High School and many other venues in the state of Nebraska. Trish is also a professional puppeteer and created the animals and wildebeast masks for the Musical Theatre Camp’s “Lion King”. She owns and operates the Urban Prairie Puppet Company which travels around the state of Nebraska, performing puppet shows and conducting puppetry workshops.
Rachel Stevens is currently teaching K–6th grade music education at Patriot Elementary. She has been a music educator in the Papillion – La Vista Schools District since 2007. Rachel also directs the Cantate East children’s choir and sings in the adult choir with Sing Omaha.
Rachel holds a Bachelors of Music degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Music Education.
Rachel has completed Orff Schulwerk Levels I, II, and III and is an Orff Schulwerk-certified music educator. Orff Schulwerk is an approach to teaching music through singing, speaking, movement and instruments.
In addition to her educational responsibilities, she also serves as the Vice President for the Great Plains Orff Chapter. She is also a member of two National Music Associations: The American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA) and the National Association for Music Education (MENC).
Anna Howard graduated from Hastings College with a bachelor's degree in Education and a Christian Ministries minor with an elementary endorsement K-8 and theater 7-12.
She is currently working at Gretna United Methodist Church as their Education Director.
Anna has been apart of the Papillion La Vista Arts Network (PLAN) from it’s inception, first performing then working wherever she was needed. She directs, stage manages, constructs props, costumes, and choreographs. She currently directs the winter plays. She adapted the script for Snow Queen and wrote Tales of Malawi from African Folk tales. Each year Anna is excited to see old and new cast members grow and have fun durning rehearsals and performances.
Ben Howard graduated from Hastings College with a degree in BioChemistry and Molecular Biology. Where he was a part of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a Professional Men’s Music Fraternity. He also is a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido. He currently works at GeneSeek, a company that does genetic analysis for the agricultural industry. He has been with the Papillion La Vista Arts Network (PLAN) since 2007. He enjoys musicals and woodworking, which makes him an asset to PLAN.
Elliott Lockwood graduated from Hastings College with a bachelor's degree in Composition.
In the real world, he’s a collaborative pianist at Fremont High School and St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Millard. He has arranged music for multiple show choirs in the area.
He has played and written for the summer PLAN shows since 2015. It’s great fun for him to combine a love for education with a passion for creating and collaborating.
Stage Manager/ Art Teacher
Kellie Murnan graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts with a K-12 endorsement. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Art Education through the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Kellie is currently an art educator at St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Elkhorn. She teaches children ranging from kindergarten through 8th grade and has been an art teacher since 2011.
Kellie has always been heavily involved in dance, theater and the visual arts. As a child she performed in the Papillion La Vista Arts Network.