Sidonie Garrett

Sidonie Garrett
Executive Artistic Director

Sidonie Garrett is the Executive Artistic Director of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival where she directed the past five season productions, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale, King Lear and Twelfth Night, all awarded Best Play in Pitch Magazine’s BEST OF KC. She directed previous productions including The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet (2003, 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, rotating repertory productions of Antony and Cleopatra and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and As You Like It. Sidonie directed the collaboration project, The Merchant of Venice, presented by the Jewish Community Center and Johnson County Community College, the first HASF indoor production.

Prior to joining the Festival, Sidonie worked as a freelance director. Her first projects were with her producing partner Jan Rogge and their company, Ground Zero Productions. Her experience working with new plays took her to New York City, where she directed the off-Broadway production of Thanatos. Sidonie also assistant directed the off-Broadway premiere of the interactive Aunt Chooch’s Birthday Party. Locally she’s directed at Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Coterie Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, UMKC, The J, and Fourth Wall Productions. She directed a Script-In-Hand reading of Much Ado About Nothing as part of the First Folio exhibition at the KC Public Library, eight plays in the first KC One Minute Play Festival, and a staged reading of Rights of Passage as part of the KC Rep’s OriginKC new play festival. For HASF, she has directed collaborations with the Bach Aria Soloists, the Grammy Award-winning Kansas City Chorale, Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, JCCC’s Performing Arts Series, Kansas City Actors Theatre, KC Rep, the Kansas City Museum, and many other partners.

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. Before assuming his leadership position with the Festival, Matt was a lead teaching artist here and 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 numerous times. Favorite shows include The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  As You Like It, King Lear, and The Merchant of Venice.

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Clarate Heckler
Director of Operations and Community Relations

Clarate Heckler began working with the Festival during the summer of 2018 as an administrative intern. In 2019 she was pleased to join HASF full time as the Director of Operations and Community Relations, managing day–to–day administrative matters, coordinating volunteer activities, and overseeing daily operations. Clarate graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri – Kansas City where she earned a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis in journalism/mass communication and a minor in art history.

Sydney Leigh Normile
Development and Marketing Associate

Sydney Leigh Normile is the Development and Marketing Associate for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Her journey at HASF began as an administrative intern in the summer of 2018, where she helped organize the Festival raffle, and assisted with other daily administrative tasks. Sydney Leigh studied drama and theatre practice at the University of Hull in England, where she recently graduated with her Master’s Degree in Theatre Making in January of 2020. In her spare time, she also enjoys directing and acting regionally.