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    Updated March 9, 2011

Meet Your Kansas City Area Liaison Committee !

Christine Dotterweich Bial is Program Manager with the Kansas Arts Commission focusing on Community and Artist Partnerships. Prior to her term with the Kansas Arts Commission she spent ten years in nonprofit theatre management working as an AEA Stage Manager and Production Manager for Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City, Southwest Repertory Theatre Company in Albuquerque, NM, and Kansas City Repertory Theatre Company among others. She earned her undergraduate degree from Franklin College in Indiana and her graduate degree from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Christine currently serves as the Secretary of the Kansas City Area Liaison Committee.

Sarah LaBarr received a BS in theatre performance and a BA in music from Northwest Missouri State University. She also holds a Master of Music degree in voice performance from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has performed at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Starlight Theatre, Musical Theater Heritage, Theatre for Young America, Quality Hill Playhouse, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Civic Opera Theater of Kansas City, and has understudied at New Theatre Restaurant. She also sang with the Kansas City Chorale for three years, and sang on their Grammy award winning Passion Week album. She also sings with the Dickens Carolers. Sarah is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association, and the American Guild of Musical Artists.

Jennifer Mays has been a professional actress based in Kansas City for over 15 years. Her favorite local acting credits include ALL SHOOK UP, GYPSY, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK and LEADING LADIES at the New Theatre; A CHRISTMAS CAROL, GUYS AND DOLLS, LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES and LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre; THE NERD, SWINGTIME CANTEEN and MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS at The American Heartland Theatre; ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE at The Coterie; and MISS JULIE for Princess Squid Productions. Jen is also a teaching artist for The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Coterie and KC Rep. A proud member of Equity, AFTRA and SAG, Jen also works in television, voiceovers and movies. For more visit

Kip Niven's professional theatre credits include Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theatres, summer stock, and numerous guest artist appearances. Additionally, he has appeared in numerous feature films, television mini-series, movies of the week, episodic series, and daytime dramas, as well as national, regional, and local commercials. He is also a member of the company of Right Between the Ears, an award-winning radio comedy show.

His recent stage work includes performances in virtually all of Kansas City's Equity theatres. Additionally, Kip has taught Musical Theatre Audition Technique Workshops at colleges and universities throughout the country.

In addition to his work on the AEA Liaison Committee, Kip is a past member of the Central Regional Board, a past member of the boards of the Kansas City Local of AFTRA, and a founding member and past chairman of The Professional Advisory Board to The Department of Theatre and Film at The University of Kansas, his alma mater.

Jinni Pike joined Equity as a stage manager in 2008. She is the Production Stage Manager for Unicorn Theatre where she has worked since 2007. Originally from Omaha, Jinni came to Kansas City to attend college at Avila University where she received BFAs in Design/Technical Production and Acting. Jinni fell in love with the wonderful arts community in KC and stayed after college. Besides the Unicorn, Jinn has worked for Kansas City Repertory Theatre, KC Fringe Festival, New York Stage and Film, and Heart of America Shakespeare Festival where she will work as the Production Stage Manager for the 2011 summer production of Macbeth.

Matthew Rapport has been a professional actor in and around the Kansas City area for over twenty years. He has performed with virtually every theatre in Kansas City, and also worked on both coasts. Matt is also a performing arts instructor, musician, and juggler.

Keith Reece has been working as a stage manager in Kansas City since the early 1980's. While his primary credits include long stints at both Kansas City Rep and New Theatre, Keith has also done work at the Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Opera, and the American Heartland Theatre.

Stuart Rider has been acting in the Kansas City area for last twelve years and feels he has finally found his home. He also lived and worked in New York City, Minneapolis and Boston and is very excited by the vibrant theater scene here in K.C. Stuart has appeared extensively with The Kansas City Actor's Theater, The Unicorn and Coterie Theaters. Stuart teaches in the greater Kansas City public schools for the Kansas City Rep's "Rep on the Road" program and this spring will be appearing at The New Theater in The Odd Couple starring George Wendt. Stuart is excited about his new role as AEA liason committee member here in K.C.

Dean Vivian has been a proud member of Actor's Equity Association for nearly 30 years, and a member of the KC Area Liaison Committee for most of those, including 8 years as Chair of the Committee. He's also a longtime AFTRA member and SAG member, and is currently serving his third 3-year term on the Nation Board of Directors for AFTRA, where he also serves on the Finance Committee and Health & Retirement Committee. Dean's a veteran of over 150 Equity productions, 1000 radio & TV commercials, 300 industrial and commercial films, and 200 photo shoots, including a baker's dozen Hallmark Cards.

Kathleen Warfel has worked in the Kansas City Theatre community for the past 30 years and has had the pleasure of serving on the K.C. Liaison committee as a member, secretary, vice chair and chair since joining AEA in 1986. She honored to return (after a 5 year hiatus) to serve on the committee, and is eager to learn, share and change with the union and its members!

Licia Watson has been seen on stage at the American Heartland Theatre, Starlight Theatre. Kansas City Repertory Theatre, New Theatre Restaurant, Quality Hill Playhouse, Unicorn Theatre and the Chestnut Fine Arts Center. She has also performed with the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and Eubank Productions (now E-Gads Theatre) and toured with TOC Productions in the Midwest and along the east coast. A graduate of UMKC, Licia holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her favorite roles include playing the adored wife of Rick Milton, the revered mother of Travis, and the cool stepmom of Matthew and Mary-Elizabeth. She is also proud to have just taken on the new role of Equity Liaison Chair for the Kansas City Area. Additional information available at

Natalie Weaver is proud to serve KC as an Equity Liaison Committee member. As an actor, Natalie has performed in hundreds of theatres across the country, most notably playing Marty on the National Tour of “Grease!” with Frankie Avalon. After touring, Natalie lived and worked in New York City for several years, in and out of the recording studio laying tracks for new musicals and various composers. She worked numerous Off and Off-Off Broadways gigs and received an IT nomination for her work in the NYC production of “The 5 Borough Plays.” In Kansas City, Ms. Weaver has performed with the American Heartland Theatre, the Unicorn Theatre, the Chestnut Fine Arts Center, and Epic Entertainment.

As a theatre educator, Natalie has served as Director, Educational Director and/or Musical Theatre Director for the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, Casa Mañana Playhouse in Ft. Worth, TX, the Coterie Theatre and Christian Youth Theatre in Kansas City.

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