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December 1, 2014   



          Ann Birnschein, Marketing Director  

          (920) 854-6117x104



Rhode named American Folklore Theatre's new Associate Artistic Director, Dahl joins Board of Directors     


Facts:   American Folklore Theatre announces the addition of seasoned company member, Molly Rhode, as Associate Artistic Director.


MoreSinger-songwriter, Katie Dahl joins the AFT Board of Directors.     



FISH CREEK, WI - American Folklore Theatre (AFT) announces the addition of both a new associate artistic director and a new board member. 


Molly Rhode, a successful actor, choreographer, director, and theatre educator, will inaugurate the position of associate artistic director for the Door County troupe. Katie Dahl, a singer-songwriter and playwright, will join the AFT board.


Rhode was born in Brookfield, WI into a family of musicians and began performing in plays at a young age. At 14, she was one of the first students to attend First Stage Theatre Academy when they opened their doors in 1992, and she later graduated as a Theatre Major from Milwaukee High School of the Arts. In 2000, She earned her B.F.A. in Theatre Studies with a double emphasis in Playwriting and Directing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Missing the Midwest, she quickly returned to Wisconsin to begin her career. 


A classically trained actor, she played several of Shakespeare's leading ladies at Milwaukee Shakespeare Company, spent two summers with American Players Theatre, and two summers with Door Shakespeare. At the same time, she also became a regular face at the Skylight Music Theatre, singing lead roles in Cabaret, The Producers, and other Broadway musicals. She joined the Actor's Equity Association in 2003 and has worked on all of Milwaukee's professional stages and other theaters around the country. 


Rhode first came to American Folklore Theatre in 2007 and has since originated roles in Cabin with a View, Main-Travelled Roads, Cheeseheads, Life on the Mississippi, Bing! The Cherry Musical, Victory Farm, and Strings Attached. Rhode began directing professionally in 2010 with a production of Main-Travelled Roads at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Soon after she directed productions at First Stage Children's Theatre, Children's Theatre of Madison, and most recently, Skylight Music Theatre's acclaimed productions of The Sound of Music and Les Miserables.  At AFT, Rhode directed last season's Packer Fans from Outer Space and the world premiere of Windjammers.

"Molly is the perfect fit for AFT in this position," stated Jeff Herbst, Artistic Director. "She has been with the company now for seven years and already worn numerous hats. Her work as both an actress and director has been outstanding, and her skills in developing new works indispensable."

Dahl, the new board member, has also worn many different hats at AFT since she first came to the theater in 1991, including fan, volunteer, office worker, assistant stage manager, house manager, performer, and playwright. A year-round Door County resident and traveling singer-songwriter (, Dahl has two full-length albums to her name, "County Line" and "Leaky Boats and Paper Birds." In 2012, Katie co-wrote the AFT hit musical, Victory Farm, with Emilie Coulson and James Valcq. This past year, she has been an integral member of AFT's name change committee.


Dave Maier, AFT's Managing Director adds, "Katie is a perfect ambassador for the company - her insight, perspective, and her strong community ties and reputation, will all be huge assets to the company. Most importantly, she has absolutely loved the organization her entire life."


"We are delighted to welcome the next generation of leadership to American Folklore Theatre as we move into our exciting future as Northern Sky Theater," stated board chairperson, Mary Seeberg. 


American Folklore Theatre is a non-profit professional theatre organization that produces original musical shows in repertory from June through August.  AFT continues its performances into the fall with shows at the Door Community Auditorium and town halls September through October and over the Christmas holiday.  Beginning officially on January 1, 2015, American Folklore Theatre will debut a new name: "Northern Sky Theater."




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Molly Rhode, Associate Artistic Director
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Katie Dahl, Board of Directors Member