Board of Trustees

board-morganMorgan Pohl
Board Member

Morgan has been involved in AECT since Aesop Says (2006). She has earned a Master badge in Costumes, was last seen as Toad in Wind in the Willows (2015).  Morgan is a recent graduate of Holt High School and is presently a freshman at Michigan State University studying Theater.  For the past two years, Morgan has served on the AECT board as a voting youth member.

board-katieKatie Brewer
Board President

I joined the AECT family in 2011. Both of my daughters have loved every minute with AECT on and off stage. After seeing all of the wonderful growth and character development my children gained through their experience with AECT I knew volunteering my time on the AECT board would be well worth it. I received a B.A in Psychology from Central Michigan University and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University. After many years of social work I now focus my time on Making the World a Better Place by volunteering my time at All-of-us Express, the Laingsburg High School Drama Boosters, the Laingsburg Girl Scouts, advocating for animals and helping with my family real estate business.

board-shelbyShelby Brewer
Youth Board Member, Current Participant

Shelby is a junior at Laingsburg High School. She came to AECT in 2011 and has enjoyed many roles on stage but is currently loving her role as director. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching movies and hanging out with AECT.

ellisonEllison Winterstein
Youth Board Member, Current Participant

Ellison has been with All of Us Express since the 25th season and has had the time of his life. He’s earned his master badge in assistant directing and hopes to get at least one more master badge before he becomes an alumni. When he’s not at the theater or board meetings he writes and directs his own short films.

board-andyAndy Callis
Board Vice Presdient (1/2017)

Andy Callis holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Chicago’s Roosevelt University, and a B.S. in Communication and Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University.  He was the founding Artistic Director of Shaw Chicago, earning “Critics Choices” from the Chicago Reader for The Doctor’s Dilemma, The Apple Cart, Back to Methuselah (abridged),  Misalliance, The Black Girl in Search of God, and The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles.  He directed Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Village Wooing at Roosevelt University, and was a musician in the Belinda Bremner’s ACTF award winning Mrs. Coney by which went to the Kennedy Center. At Lansing Community College, Andy has directed Androcles and the Lion, The Conference of the Birds (ACTF merit recognition for Ensemble),  Spoon River Anthology, Dark of the Moon, The Grapes of Wrath, All’s Well that Ends Well, Endgame (Pulsar nomination Director), Six Degrees of Separation (Pulsar nomination Best Play), and A View from the Bridge (ACTF merit recognition for Directing).  A multi-instrumentalist, Andy has also been Music Director for Footsteps Theatre’s Free To Be You And Me, and LCC’s How To Eat Like A Child and Lysistrata 2411 A.D. He performed as Grandpa in You Can’t Take It With You at M.S.U., as Burl and Mr. Webb in L.C.C.’s Smoke on the Mountain and Our Town respectively.  Andy performs with various Lansing bands on keyboards and accordion regularly.  He has three daughters and is very proud of them all.

board-melissaMelissa Downs
Board Member

Our family has been involved with AECT since June of 2013. We found AECT through a web search of children’s theaters in the Lansing area and my oldest daughter fell in love with the theater after her first production. We were immediately impressed with the core philosophy of the company and the level of professionalism amongst the staff. It has been amazing to see our daughter so passionate and excited to be involved in all aspects of the theatre and at the same time developing valuable life skills. Our youngest daughter has also participated in a couple of shows and enjoys being a part of this fun group too!

I am a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Biology. I also studied Photography at Lansing Community College and owned my own photography business for 8 years. I have served on several boards including five years on the Michigan Triangle Professional Photography Association (MTPPA) board. I currently work for Grand Ledge Public Schools. I am excited to be a part of the AECT board and give back to an organization that our family enjoys so much.

board-saraSara Frank-Hepfer
Board Member

I am a graduate of the National Shakespeare Conservatory as well as the College of Financial Planning. I have worked as an actor, a youth job developer and a financial advisor. Presently I am Vice President at Financial Technology, Inc. I have served on several boards including the East Lansing Zonta Club, the Lansing Derby Vixens and currently Fenner Nature Center. My diverse background has allowed me to gain many skills that will be useful as a board member of All-of-Us Children’s Theater.

board-cynthiaCynthia Wright-Pratt
Board Secretary

As of Fall 2016, Cynthia has costumed 25 shows for All-of-us Express. Starting in 2013, Cynthia was elected to the All-of-us Express board and is currently Treasurer and chair of the Nominating Committee. As a board member, Cynthia is working toward strengthening and ensuring the future of All-of-us Express Children’s Theatre.

Cynthia has a masters degree from MSU in rehabilitation counseling and has worked for the State of Michigan since 1993 as a consultant for Michigan Rehabilitation Services.

christineChristine Fisk
Board Member

A Hoosier native, Christine is an IT Professional who has been a member of the Lansing Community since 1999.  She has been active in both theater and the community since she was a child.  Christine performed in her first play at age 6 and organized a community fundraiser for the local shelters at age 15.  In recent years, she has been sharing he love of the theater with her 11-year-old daughter Neysa.

Adrienne Yatesadrienne
Board Member

Growing up in Elkhart, Indiana, Adrienne developed an appreciation for the arts, playing the French horn, singing, and performing on stage in musicals. Her passion to engage and excite children in the arts was evident throughout her 13 years teaching and 3+ years administrating experience in education.  She spent two years teaching in Germany, experiencing 17 countries and their beautiful cultures, works of art and theaters. Arts Appreciation and Arts Integration are programs Adrienne supports being utilized in schools and in the classroom as early as possible, through classes or clubs, art shows and showcases. With these programs being removed at an alarming rate, programs like AECT are that much more important for our communities today.  Adrienne’s husband, Brooks Yates, and three children live in Laingsburg, and look forward to many years of enjoying the programs AECT has to offer.


Shannon Bowenshannon
Board Member

Raised in New Mexico, where I attended undergrad and graduate school at ENMU, I became a high school drama teacher at my previous high school. I developed a theatre arts program (grades 9-12) from scratch, abiding by the standards and benchmarks of State of New Mexico, leading a successful and thriving theatre arts program for two years.

Relocating to Las Vegas and then Los Angeles, I found my passion working in retail management, and through this path, reunited with my life’s goal of continuing theatre education. I taught acting for film and television at The Playground, a children’s conservatory in Los Angeles (Gary Spatz- Director). After two years, I moved to Lansing with my (then boyfriend) husband, Blake Bowen. We married in 2013 and welcomed our son, Keaton, at the end of 2014.

I am an active member of the Lansing theatre community, having appeared in shows at Peppermint Creek, Riverwalk, and Over the Ledge Theatre Companies. I will be directing for Riverwalk in 2017 and have recently been accepted to participate in the play selection committee at Riverwalk.

All-of-us Express Children’s Theatre (AECT) is a community-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees elected at the annual membership meeting held each September. Officers are elected by the Board during the annual membership meeting in September.

The Artistic Director, show Directors, Stage Managers, Crew Heads/Supervisors and Instructors are employed through the City of East Lansing Division of Parks, Recreation and Arts (ELPRA); they are not employed by or supervised by the AECT Board of Trustees. AECT board members and officers are volunteers.

Officers and members

Katie Brewer (1/15)

Todd Vanderbur (9/15)

Vice President as of 1/2017 
Andy Callis (9/15)

Cynthia Wright (1/14)
Justin Brewer (1/14)
Andy Callis (9/15)
Melissa Downs (9/15)
Sara Frank-Hepfer (9/15)
Morgan Pohl (9/16)
Adriene Yates (9/16)
Shannon Bowen (9/16)
Christine Fisk (9/16)
* Shelby Brewer (2/15)
* Ellison Winterstein (2/16)

*Youth Members