RCP’s Apprentice Program is a new unique program that combines RCP’s high-quality theatrical productions with a focus on student education that seeks to engage local youth in community theatre and provide them with hands-on experience and training in all aspects of mounting a mainstage musical theatre production.

RCP will engage participants in one of two tracks: Production and Performance.  Apprentices accepted into the Production Track will be matched up one-on-one with an experienced technical artist who will mentor them in their selected production area as they work together to create that production element for the show. Students interested in the Performance Track will audition for a role in the production and if cast, will become part of the program. Performance Apprentices will rehearse during the production period alongside of some of RCP’s performance artists who will serve as mentors.

Due to COVID, the Fall 2021 Apprentice Program will operate in a reduced, more socially distant capacity with the health and safety of all participants being a top priority at all times. RCP will work closely with our COVID Protocol Manager and our COVID Compliance Officer to adhere to the most current recommendations for gathering and performing.


Production Track
Applications Due: May 23, 2021
To apply, click the link to the right and complete the Google Form)

Production Work: June/July (virtual production meetings), August-October (in-person production)
In-theater tech – October 3-14
Performances – October 15-November 6
Strike- November 7

Performance Track
Auditions: Late July 2021

Rehearsals: August-October (in-person)
In-theater tech – October 7-14
Performances – October 15-November 6
Strike – November 7.

Production Track is open to all students 16 and older (as of October 1, 2021)

No prior experience is required for any production area except that students interested in Music Director should be ready to demonstrate their musicianship.

Performance Track is open to all students in grades 7-12 (2021-22 school year)

*Fee waivers are available for students demonstrating financial need

Contact the Producer, Kate Keifer at

The Fall 2021 Apprentice Program Show will be:

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)
Music by Eric Rockwell
Lyrics by Joanne Bogart
Book by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart

Production Dates: October 15 – November 6, 2021


Meet the Production Team

Performance Track apprentices will be matched up one-on-one with the following RCP technical artists.

Kate Keifer

Kate has been involved in community theater for more than 35 years and has produced several shows and special events for RCP. A two-time WATCH nominee, she also serves as Vice President of RCP and has led the artistic direction of the organization as well as the organization’s marketing and branding. Kate holds degrees in public relations as well as media arts and design from James Madison University and has spent more than a decade managing multi-faceted communications campaigns at several top tier public relations agencies in the DC area.  In bringing that expertise to her role as producer, Kate keeps a keen focus on increasing production value as well as ticket sales, implementing engaging and effective marketing campaigns and efficiently managing the budgets of each production area.

Jolene Vettese

Jolene has been involved in professional and community theater as a performer, director, and choreographer for 30+ years, ever since her Mom signed her up for a theater class in her hometown in Michigan.  She received a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University, during which time she interned at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA and attended Syracuse University in London for a semester.  Jolene has performed with Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater, NextStop Theatre Company, The Workhouse Arts Center, as well as numerous community theaters in the area.  She has had the opportunity to teach as a Dance Specialist for Round House Theatre Company and choreograph and direct for several community theaters.  She has taught dance to all ages and ran a series of beginning tap classes for RCP.  Jolene also holds a Master’s Certificate in HR Management from the University of Virginia and by combining artistic and business sensibilities, has been serving as the President of RCP for the past 5 years.

Lucia LaNave
Music Director

Lucia is a music director, pit keyboardist and accompanist in and around the DC area. She won RCP’s Shelton Hall Memorial Scholarship in 2018, and has since become a well-respected member of the DC theatre community. In her most recent show prior to COVID-19- Lucia served as assistant music director for Little Shop of Horrors at Constellation Theatre Company which received a total of 11 Helen Hayes Award nominations, setting the record for that year. She has also worked with Broadway talents, including accompanying Lisa Howard in her recent concert in Silver Spring. When not working on a show, Lucia is a piano teacher and vocal coach who has had students go on to work at such companies as Ford’s Theatre, The Arlington Players, and KOTA Productions.

Kaiti Parish
Co-Stage Manager

A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Design and Production Stage Management program, Kaiti has been involved in theatre and performing arts concerts for the past 30 years. As a stage manager, she helps to keep the show running smoothly, keeping track of schedules, directors intent and calling the show once it reaches the theatre. The past several years Kaiti has been helping to support local middle and high school performing arts programs by sharing her knowledge and experience with the next generation.

Eileen Mullee
Co-Stage Manager

Eileen has been involved with community theater in the northern Virginia area since 1985. A Resties and WATCH Award winner and former Vice President of the RCP board, she has anchored numerous productions as stage manager , producer and very occasionally, actress. As someone who joined RCP with no theater experience, she particularly enjoys mentoring new volunteers and watching the creative process develop from the first production meeting to the final curtain. Recently retired from Travelers Insurance, Eileen brings business skills of organization, leadership and teamwork to each production. She is a graduate of The University of Scranton with a B.S. in Political Science. She also volunteers with the Dulles USO, American Corporate Partners military mentoring program and Loudoun County Medical Reserve Corps.

Andy Regiec
Set Design

A graduate of Montclair State College with degrees in Theatre (Directing) and Education (Theatre), Andy found a home with RCP over 30 years ago. Since then he has designed 16 productions for them, and four for neighboring groups, garnishing several WATCH awards* and nominations. He has served multiple terms on the RCP Board of Directors, twice as Artistic Director. By day, a system architect serving our healthcare agencies, Andy enjoys getting lost in the details of design and production and working with other designers to ensure that the director’s vision comes to life. Notable RCP productions include: Aida*, Time Stands Still*, Curtains*, Les Miserables, and Urinetown.

Sara Birkhead
Set Construction

Sara graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BA in Theatre and Speech. Throughout college and in the years after, Sara worked as a carpenter, master carpenter, master electrician, technical director, stage manager, and production assistant for various companies including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Flat Rock Playhouse, George Mason Patriot Center, and Center for the Arts. After a hiatus from theatre to pursue a career in education and earn her Master’s in Education from George Mason University, Sara began working with the Reston Community Players in 2008 and has been involved in almost every production since. She has worked as a carpenter, master carpenter, stage crew chief, technical director, and master electrician for RCP over the last decade, as well as the technical director for the Young Actors Theatre. In her roles backstage, Sara works hard to bring to life the visions of RCP directors and designers.

Cathy Rieder
Set Painting

Liz Mykietyn
Set Dressing

Involved with theater literally since birth, Liz enjoys all aspects of putting a production up. She has directed and performed in several shows with community theater groups like RCP for decades. Liz’s rendition of Rumors received eight WATCH nominations with her winning Best Director. Liz serves as a judge for the Virginia High School League and is a huge supporter of encouraging young people to try local theater. She works for StageCoach Theatre part-time by coaching actors and public speakers of all ages as well as teaching theater workshops. Set Dressing is a newer fascination she discovered she really enjoys when a theater friend said they wanted “Real Corn” for an Iowa set – challenge accepted. She made “real” looking corn with tape and wire and paint – oh my. Liz enjoys helping make the director’s vision come true which includes great looking sets to bring a story to life on.

Rich Bird
Sound Design

Franklin Coleman
Lighting Design

Mary Jo Ford
Props Design

Lori Crockett
Costume Design

Lori has been involved in community theater as both an actor and costume designer since 2014. Her love of sewing and costume design started in high school and was rekindled when her daughter started acting with City of Fairfax Theatre Company. She has served as lead designer, co-designer, or assistant on 10 shows for three different companies in the Northern Virginia area. A two-time WATCH Award nominee for costume design, Lori has created one-of-a-kind pieces for shows such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Beauty and the Beast, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which required nine quick changes under one minute each (with one being 23 seconds!). Lori has led crews of various ages and skills, and most recently costumed an outdoor performance under strict pandemic protocols. She enjoys teaching young people about her processes and is looking forward to this experience with RCP.

Sue Pinkman
Hair/Makeup Design

Sue has been acting, directing, and producing shows (mostly) for RCP for about 40 years, including Annie (2019), Shrek the Musical (2015), 33 Variations (2013), Moonlight & Magnolia (2011), The Full Monty (2009), Guys and Dolls (2007), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2005) and 1776 (2002). Her production of Hairspray (LTA, 2012) won 15 WATCH Awards including Best Musical, Best Director, and Best Hair Design. She has designed hair and makeup for many shows including Intimate Apparel (Silver Spring Stage-Ruby Griffith Award), and for RCP: Annie, Forbidden Broadway (WATCH Award, Hair), Seussical the Musical (WATCH Award, Hair), and Disney’s Beauty & the Beast (WATCH Award, Hair) just to name a few.

Ali Althen

Ali has 20 years of experience in community and professional theatre, both in the DC metro area and in New England. Ali is equally comfortable on both sides of the curtain, with a strong stage management resume and over a decade of house management experience. Ali worked for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC for seven years. She joined RCP in 2018. As a member of the RCP board of directors, Ali’s chief areas of focus include public relations, community engagement, corporate relations, and front of house operations. Ali holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in zoology and political science (minor in theatre) and an MBA from The George Washington University. Ali has over a decade of professional experience in public relations and marketing.