Sidonie Garrett

Sidonie Garrett
Executive Artistic Director

Sidonie Garrett is the Executive Artistic Director of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, where she directed Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet (awarded Best Play by Pitch Magazine), Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, King Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Richard III, Macbeth, our two-show repertory productions of Antony and Cleopatra and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It and The Winter’s Tale.

Prior to joining the Festival, Sidonie worked as a freelance director. Her experience working with new plays took her to New York City, where she directed the off-off Broadway production of Thanatos. Sidonie also assistant directed the off-Broadway premiere of the interactive Aunt Chooch’s Birthday Party. Locally, she directed The Whale, I’ll Eat You Last, Other Desert Cities, The Motherf*&#%er With the Hat, Time Stands Still, In the Next Room: the vibrator play, Faith Healer, Rising Water, Iron Kisses, Retreat from Moscow, Omnium Gatherum, the world premiere of Thanatos, SubUrbia, The Waiting Room, Desert Holiday, Spinning Into Butter, SantaLand Diaries and co-directed Light/Damage with Cynthia Levin, at the Unicorn Theatre.

At The Coterie she directed The Macbeth Project: In Spite of Thunder, the U.S. premiere of After Juliet, Mr. A’s Amazing Maze Plays, Little House on the Prairie, Little House by the Shores of Silver Lake, Of Mice and Men, Playing for Time and co-directed The Hobbit. Sidonie directed Rose’s Dilemma and Greater Tuna for the American Heartland Theatre, Reckless and Too Clever By Half for UMKC’s Rotating Repertory, and co-directed Tony & Tina’s Wedding (Kansas City and St. Louis) for Fourth Wall Productions. She directed Jason Chanos as Hamlet, in the Kansas City Symphony’s Supremely Shakespeare concert, and was the stage director for four seasons of “Magic of Christmas” and How the Symphony Saved Christmas. Sidonie was the stage director for Kansas City Civic Opera’s productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Falstaff. In fall 2012, with Elizabeth Suh Lane she co-created and directed Play On! a collaboration of music and words and the following year, did the same with Marriage of True Minds. Sidonie directed the Festival’s first indoor production, The Merchant of Venice, in March 2015 and King Lear in summer 2015. This year she directed Hamlet.

Matt Rapport

Matt Rapport
Director of Education

Matt Rapport has been a performing arts teacher in and around Kansas City for over 20 years. His areas of expertise include Shakespeare, improvisation, and acting as well as physical skills including juggling, puppetry, and physical comedy. He has taught in a variety of settings including public schools, community centers, and art camps. In addition to having been the Festival’s lead teaching artist for the past 10 years, Matt has taught classes for the Coterie Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Accessible Arts, and Theatre For Young America.

Some of Matt’s more rewarding teaching experiences have been with underserved students, including work with the Shakespeare Festival at ReStart, a homeless shelter in Kansas City, MO, and with Kansas City Repertory Theatre at DeLaSalle and Hilltop, both high schools for adjudicated youths. Matt also taught adults with Down Syndrome in a program offered through Accessible Arts. Matt is himself a professional actor and musician with many local and regional credits. He was an original member of the cast of the Festival’s Shakespeare to Go! and co-created and co-directed the Festival’s Romeo and Juliet to Go! Matt has been seen on the Festival stage in productions of The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It.


Katherine Gehrlein
Director of Operations & Community Relations

Katherine Gehrlein began working with the Festival in 2016 at the Assistant Stage Manager for Twelfth Night and returned as the ASM for the 25th season production of Hamlet. Katherine is now the Director of Operations and Community Relations for the Festival, managing day–to–day administrative matters, coordinating volunteer activities, and overseeing daily operations. Katherine attended William Jewell College where she studied Theatre Education and received her MFA in Theatre: Design and Technology from UMKC.

Mariah Roady
Development and Marketing Associate

Mariah Roady began working with the Festival in summer 2014 as an education intern. Since then, she has been an active part of the education department as a Teaching Artist for the Shakespeare Conservatory and Team Shakespeare programs. Mariah now serves as the Development and Marketing Associate with areas of focus including fundraising, marketing, community outreach and other awareness initiatives. Mariah graduated from UMKC where she received her BFA in Theatre Performance.