Meet the team
Jared Titus (Owner, Co-Founder, Artistic Director) holds a B.F.A in Music Theatre from Elon University and as a performer has toured the country in the Broadway National Tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot as well as performed in numerous regional houses (North Carolina Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Paramount Theatre, Cortland Rep, Little Theatre on the Square). Over the last decade, Jared has turned his focus towards teaching and sharing his love of the arts with students of all ages. In addition to teaching classes and producing full scale musicals at Bright Lights Theatre, Jared is the Owner/Company Director at Sunshine Dance.
Stephanie Hansen (Co-Founder, Resident Music Director/Choreographer) holds a B.F.A in Musical Theatre and Minor in Dance from UW-Stevens Point. Her professional experiences on stage include multiple shows at Theo Ubique, Rocky Mountain Rep, and Drury Lane, where she most recently played Ursula in “Bye Bye Birdie”. Stephanie is also a teacher/choreographer at Sunshine Dance and a guest choreographer at Rocky Mountain Rep in Colorado.
Lauren Erickson holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University and her teaching license from National Louis University. As a teaching artist, she works with Metropolis School of Performing Arts and BAM Theatre. She has directed many children’s shows, and enjoys helping her students build confidence onstage and off. Lauren is the co-founder of Firefly Family Theatre, which produces interactive, unique performances for young audiences. In addition to her work in the Chicagoland area, Lauren completed a year long tour with Missoula Children’s Theater, which allowed her to teach and direct students from all over the country. When not teaching, Lauren also enjoys performing and has been seen in shows at Metropolis, City Lit Theatre, Big Noise and Steel Beam Theatre.
Jacob Kelleher, our Studio Manager and Theatre Instructor is a graduate of Boston College with a B.A. in Secondary Education, a B.A. in Mathematics, and a Minor in Educational Theatre. In high school, Jacob served as the Stage Manager/Student Director for a number of productions including for the 2017 IHSTF All State production of Sweeney Todd. Jacob continued to stage manage and direct while at Boston College, working on over two dozen productions including 9 to 5, Proof, and Hamlet. He also received a KCACTF Region 1 Award for Excellence in Stage Management for his work on Noises Off. Currently, Jacob also works as the Assistant Theatre Director at Glenbard West High School (his alma mater). Jacob has been the Resident Stage Manager at Bright Lights since its inception in 2016, and he is always excited to work with such wonderful students every year!
Katie Laird is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point with a B.F.A. in Acting. You might recognize her as Fiona from Bright Lights Theatre's production of Shrek or from Glenbard West High School as Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. She was also a part of the ensemble and a dance captain for the 2018 IHSTF All State production of Big Fish, which was performed at the International High School Thespian Festival in Nebraska. Currently, Katie continues to work and perform professionally. She has worked on several shows including staged readings of The Spiritualist and Blue Stockings, working as a lights operator on Clown Bar, and performing in Mamma Mia. Katie is thrilled to return to Bright Lights in an educational capacity. She has always loved working with students and watching them grow and learn as she constantly learns from them as well.
Becca McDermott holds a BA in Theatre Arts and Public Relations and a BA in Spanish from Bradley University, where she performed in 8 productions with acting credits including Nina in “The Seagull” and Viola in “Twelfth Night”. She was selected as an Irene Ryan Acting Competition semi-finalist for KCACTF region 3 in 2017. While at Bradley, Becca participated in the university improv troupe and held the position of Stage Manager for 3 years. She also has a Masters in Written Communication from National Louis University. Becca is so excited to be at Bright Lights Theatre and working with students as they tap into their creative side and have fun!