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). The past six years 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 recent 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 worked primarily as a Stage Manager/Student Director on Glenbard West Theatre productions, including Godspell and Once Upon a Mattress. He was also the Stage Manager for the 2017 IHSTF All State production of Sweeney Todd. Jacob continued to stage manage while at Boston College and has worked on many shows including The Addams Family, On the Verge, Hamlet, and 9 to 5. 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 currently studying at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point working toward a B.F.A. in Acting. In high school, Katie was involved in theatre in a number of ways. You might recognize her as Fiona from Bright Lights Theatre's recent 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 at college and semi-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 this year 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.
Ryan Fitzpatrick holds a BA in Music and Political Science from Wheaton College and certification in Music Education from Eastern University. Last year, Ryan served as a conductor for Chicago Children’s Choir, directing choral programs in 12 schools throughout the city. He has also served as musical director for several musical productions in Pennsylvania, where he enjoyed fostering students’ musical talents and love of performing. Ryan loves helping students discover the fun in singing and pursuing excellence in music.