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Elizabeth Fernandez

Elizabeth Fernandez:

Producer, Director & Choreographer

Elizabeth Fernandez graduated with honors from the University of Northern Colorado where she received degrees in Dance Teaching/Movement Analysis and Dance Kinesiology. While at UNC, Elizabeth was a member of the University of Northern Colorado Dance Theatre and Colorado Dance Theatre. With these companies, she performed in many ballets and was ballet mistress for both these companies. While at UNC in 1996 and 1997; Elizabeth received the Department of Dance Award because of her involvement and contribution to the department. 


After graduating, she moved back to Cody, Wyoming where she co-founded Rocky Mountain School of the Arts in 1997 and non-profit Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre in 1998 in Cody, Wyoming, with her mother Cynthia Kaelberer.


Under Elizabeth’s direction, RMSA and RMDT trains students of all ages in the art of dance and theatre, focusing on building dancers with a strong and diversified foundation,  emphasizing technical training and performing. The cornerstone of RMSA is the significance placed on each dancer’s individuality, and how each person’s distinctive contributions build alliance with others, self-confidence, perspective, and discipline.  RMSA dancers have gone on to train with the Joffrey School of Ballet, Houston Ballet School, Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and Rhapsody James.


Elizabeth is an experienced choreographer who has choreographed and produced several short works in ballet, contemporary, and musical theatre genres. For over twenty-two years she has produced RMDT’s annual Nutcracker Ballet, which has become a yearly holiday tradition for the area. In 2008, she choreographed the musical Once on This Island for The University of West Florida.  In 2016, she brought her own original musical Wild West Spectacular to stage, attracting tourists from all over the world during its summer season in Cody, Wyoming. In 2019, she was one of four guest choreographers hired to set a piece for the University of West Florida Theatre Department's end of year UWF Dance Ensemble performance.


Throughout the years, Elizabeth has received dance training from such names as Jeffrey Rockland, Sandra Minton, Robert Barnett, Christina Monroe, Cherie Noble, Katherine Kramer, and David Taylor. Elizabeth attended The Russian American Foundation’s Bolshoi’s Ballet Teachers Certification program. In the summer of 2018, she graduated from their highest level, and received her teacher certification from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in New York.


In 2019, Elizabeth was featured as one of the Women in Wyoming: Portraits & Interviews of women who shape the West. This project has become an Exhibition and was featured at Buffalo Bill’s Center for the West in Cody, Wyoming until August 2020.


Still performing, Elizabeth continues to take classes in New York at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Alvin Ailey, and master classes throughout the United States.

Casey Kearns:

Set Designer

Casey has proudly been a part of RMDT’s since 2003 serving as the Technical Director, as well as coordinating the scenic and properties designs.  He shares his expertise working on RMDT's Nutcracker, RMSA/RMDT’s Masterpieces of Ballet, RMSA/RMDT Spring Productions, and serving as the Technical Director and Scenic Designer for RMDT’s Wild West Spectacular the Musical!

Currently Casey resides in Houston, TX and is the Production Manager and Head of Undergraduate Design and Production at University of Houston (UH) School of Theatre and Dance. Prior, Casey to UH served as an Associate Professor of Scenic Design and Resident Scenic Designer at the University of Wyoming (UW), the University of Indianapolis, the University of Northern Colorado and the Ohio State University – Lima.

His design credits include well over 100 production. Casey’s Scenic Designs include Chicago, Hello Dolly, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Dead Man Walking, Rabbit Hole, Marat Sade, Twelfth Night, Always…Patsy Cline among many others. Costume Designs credits include the Laramie Project, Angels in America, and Grand Hotel. Lighting Design credits include Measure for Measure, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Laundry and Bourbon, 1959 Pink Thunderbird, and others. He has designed for the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Post Playhouse, Utah Musical Theatre, Snowy Range Summer Theatre, The Morgan Stock Theatre Company, Rocky Mountain School of the Arts, Little Theatre of the Rockies, The Black Hills Playhouse, and Kansas Summer Theatre.

Casey is actively involved with United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and currently serves as the National Commissioner for the Scene Design and Technology Commission and is the former Chair of the Rocky Mountain Regional Section of USITT. He earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Scenography (Scenic, Lighting, and Costume Design) from the University of Kansas and holds a BA from Chadron State College in Theatre and Speech Communication. 


Charles Houghton:

Lighting Designer

Charles has been with Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre since the beginning. He designed the lighting for our first Nutcracker performance in 1998, and continues to bring professional lighting to the show every year. He has also been lighting the Spring Production and Masterpieces of Ballet for the last 10 years, and now designed the lighting for our Wild West Show.

Charles joined the University of West Florida in 2005 and is currently the Department Chair and Professor of Design. Prior to joining the University of West Florida, Charles was the Assistant Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts of the University of Northern Colorado. Houghton currently teaches the following courses: Technical Theatre, Drafting, Lighting Design, Scene Design and Stage Management. Over the course of his career, Charles has lit over 100 performances with such names as: Manon Lescaut, The Pirates of Penzance Mystery of Edwin, Drood La Boheme, A Christmas Carol, Psycho Beach Party, WertherBeauty Queen of Leenane Laundry & Bourbon/Lone Star Madama Butterfly, La Cenerentola, Floyd CollinsCarmen. 

Cynthia Kaelberer:

Musical Accompaniment & Director

Cynthia Kaelberer has taught piano privately for more than 40 years; the last 20 of which she has taught at Rocky Mountain School of the Arts. She co-founded Rocky Mountain School of the Arts with her daughter, Elizabeth Fernandez, in 1996. Over the years she taught music at Wapiti School for three years and has been on the faculty of the Montana Music Institute since 2003. She sat on the Park County School District No. 6 Board for 4 years and was a member of the NCOC Board (which is affiliated with Northwest College and the community orchestra and chorus). Cynthia has been an active member of the Music Teachers National Association since 1977.  She has served as the Competitions Chair for the Northwest Division of MTNA for 2 terms and has been an officer in every capacity at the state level (WMTA). To add to her repertoire, Cynthia has been an organist at her church for over 40 years and in 2018 she became the accompanist for RMDT's Wild West Spectacular the Musical during their summer seasons.

Cynthia was born and raised in Wyoming and Montana. Her husband, Robert Kaelberer passed away in 2018 after a long battle with cancer. Robert was a huge supporter of the studio.

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Andrew Rossi:

Assisting Director

This is Andrew’s 7th year in the Wild West Spectacular the Musical, previously appearing as Frank Butler and Nate Salsbury. He also plays Drosselmeyer in RMDT's annual production of The Nutcracker. His day job is the News Director at the Bighorn Radio Network in Cody, and formerly Public Relations Manager at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. He has done work as a “personality” with Disney/Pixar, Google, the BBC, PBS, and The Washington Post. You can also find him on his Youtube channel, T.rexcellent!

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TECHNICAL Director and Manager of The Cody Theatre

Tyler is a Cody, WY native that has been involved in productions all over Wyoming for the past decade, sometimes on stage but more often behind the scenes lending a hand in every aspect of production. This is his 7th year working with RMDT's Wild West Spectacular and loves to watch how the show changes and grows each year and can't wait to see where it goes this year. It's sure to be Spectacular!

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Jennifer Kaelberer

Marketing & Communications Director

Jennifer grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota so she is familiar with the "wild west". She is a mother of two young inspiring performers and married to a Cody native. You can find her front of house greeting and scanning tickets as well as behind the scenes answering phone calls and doing all things marketing related for the show. Throughout the year, she also works for the affiliated Rocky Mountain School of the Arts here in Cody, Wyoming. 


Elizabeth Fernandez, Amy Hollon, Cynthia Kaelberer,

Richard Morell, and Andrew Rossi

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