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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 was exhibited at Buffalo Bill’s Center for the West in Cody, Wyoming in 2019 & 2020. In Sept 2023, Women in Wyoming made its National Debut at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.


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 Nutcracker since 2003 serving as the Technical Director, as well as coordinating the scenic and properties designs. In 2019, Casey started the process of designing RMDT's very own Nutcracker backdrops and rebuilding new sets. 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! Casey resides in his hometown; Chadron, NE and is a freelance scenic designer. He currently has scenic designs in progress in Florida, Texas, Colorado, Missouri, and Wyoming. Formerly Casey served as the Production Manager and Head of Undergraduate Design and Production at University of Houston (UH) School of Theatre and Dance. Prior to UH, Casey 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.


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 1997, and continues to bring professional lighting to the show every year. He has been lighting RMSA/RMDT’s Spring Production and Masterpieces of Ballet for the last 10 years, and now designs the lighting for our summer Wild West Spectacular the Musical. Charles is currently a Senior Lighting Designer with Willie Duggan Lighting in Kilkenny, Ireland, bringing his theatrical design to the lighting for homes and businesses. Prior to moving to Ireland, Charles was on the faculty of the University of West Florida, teaching lighting and scenic design as well as a variety of technology courses. In addition to teaching, Charles designed the lighting for a variety of theatre companies around the Florida panhandle and beyond. Recent designs include La Boheme, for Pensacola Opera, Carmen, and Tosca for Mobile Opera, The Last Five Years for Emerald Coast Theatre Company, and The Addams Family Musical for The Cody Theatre Company. This season Charles will be designing the lighting for Lucia Di Lammermore, and Die Fledermaus, for Pensacola Opera. And of course, he will be back for spring and Wild West this next year!

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

Andrew is in his 7th season with the Wild West Spectacular, appearing as Wild Bill Hickok for more of the time. He works as a features reporter for Cowboy State Daily and previously worked with the Big Horn Radio Network in Cody and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis. He has collaborated with Disney/Pixar, the BBC, The Washington Post, the Wyoming Office of Tourism, and several other national and international media outlets. He is also a co-founder of The Cody Theatre Company.

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Erich Kaelberer:

Manager of The Cody Theatre & Lighting Technician

Erich was born and raised in Cody, WY. After graduating from high school he lived in many states across the country and recently moved back to the area. He greatly enjoys fishing and hunting here in the Wild's of Wyoming. Theatre and the performing arts has always been a part of his life, mostly behind the scenes and as an observer and supporter for family performers. This is his 2nd year working as a lighting technician with RMDT's Wild West 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 nonprofit production organization, Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre and 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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