Nyk Sutter-Downs is a multi-disciplinary performing and teaching artist, born and raised here in Central Illinois. He made his performance debut at 7 years old and never looked back. Nyk previously studied Musical Theatre and Dance Performance at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where he trained under countless Broadway professionals. His love of theatre knows no bounds, as he’s been seen on stage as a performer, off stage as a director/choreographer and technician, and even in administrative roles within the theatre arts. Nyk previously served as Theatre Manager/Executive Director for Corn Stock Theatre in Peoria, on the Board of Governors for Community Plays Theatre in Bloomington-Normal, and as Creative Director for Circle Theatre in Chicago. Some of his favorite credits include: Director/Choreographer for Carrie the Musical (NTA), Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening (NTA), Lonny Barnett/Choreographer in Rock of Ages (Eastlight), Trent Oliver in The Prom (Eastlight), Cosmo Brown in Singin’ In The Rain (Eastlight), Director/Choreographer for Heathers the Musical (Corn Stock), Mungojerrie/Macavity/Dance Captain in CATS (Peoria Players), and many more. But, his most favorite credit is husband to Nate, and dad to 7 wonderful fur-kids. He’s thrilled to return to the NTA family as a teaching artist, sharing his love and knowledge of all things theatrical with the next generation of theatre artists.
Taylor’s love for performing started at a very young age. Coming from a family of performers, her parents enrolled her into dance class at the age of two. She then went on take dance classes from Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Modern, and Tap for a total of twelve years. Taylor also spent grades 5th-12th singing in choir and participating in her schools’ plays and musicals. She also found a newfound love for working on and off the stage. Some of her favorite roles include: Helen in Carrie the musical, Queen Lillian in Shrek, and as a dancer in Chicago. She spent three years at Millikin University studying theatre and also interned at Disney for eight months. During these past few years, Taylor has been an advocate for children of all kinds to have a place on the stage. She truly believes that theatre is for everyone and everyone deserves to have their moment in the spotlight. Her goal is to provide a safe and fun environment for kids to learn more about themselves, as well as the arts. Taylor is also a certified professional makeup artist, specializing in theatric and event makeup. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her awesome family, cooking and baking, spoiling her adorable dog Maizy, and visiting her old friends at Walt Disney World.
Hello! My name is Rich Diepenbrock and I currently live in Washington with my three children Logan (21), Coree (13), and Collin (11). I began playing guitar at eleven years old after previously playing trumpet and saxophone.
Over the past 15 years I have taught private group and guitar lessons to all ages. In addition to guitar, I teach bass, ukelele, banjo, and mandolin. I enjoy teaching all styles and genres of music. In addition to lessons, I have experience in musical theatre pit bands and have played over sixty shows throughout Central Illinois. I currently play lead guitar for various bands in the Peoria area as well lead guitar at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria.
I am grateful for this new opportunity and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge with a new group of students at Nitsch Theatre Arts!
Josiah graduated with their AA in Music from Illinois Central College in 2020 where they were chosen as the Transfer Student of the Year. They received the Presidential Scholarship to attend Bradley University where they currently attend and will graduate with their BA in K-12 Vocal Music Education in May of 2023. They have been performing since the age of 3, and have extensive experience in all forms of music ranging from musical theater and opera to art songs and jazz. Show credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Miss Saigon, Forever Plaid, Annie, Footloose, Mamma Mia, Legally Blonde, and Into the Woods, as well as the Engelbert Humperdinck opera Hansel and Gretel. They are also well versed in Church and Choral music. Josiah's philosophy of teaching is to create safe environments for students of all ages and abilities to be themselves, to learn and to grow their natural gifts, and discover their own passion for music.
Taylor Elizabeth Hubbartt
Taylor has committed her life to this thing we call Theatre. Performing since the age of three, the arts have always been an important aspect of her life. Some of her favorite performances include Be]a in Something Rotten, Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Mrs. Gardener in Carrie, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Pinky Tuscadero in Happy Days, Bombalarina in Cats, and Mrs. Shields in a Christmas Story. Taylor has directed and/or choreographed many shows including Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, A Suessified Christmas Carol, OZ!, The Auditioners, High School Musical,and 101 Dalmatians. She has over 8 years of training in the areas of Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Tap, Modern, and Fosse.
Taylor has her Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in performance from the University of South Florida. While getting her degree she worked in Entertainment at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and was the Assistant Director and Choreographer for Suncoast Youth Theatre for four years. After college she moved to NYC to further pursue her career where she worked at the Jekyll and Hyde Club as an actor in Time Square. She has directed/choreographed with Stage Dreams Youth Theater in Phoenix, AZ. in which she did Sleeping Beauty Kids, Aladdin Jr. and High School Musical Jr. She has been a private vocal coach for the last 6 years. Taylor's true dream is to share her talent and inspire kids to express themselves through the arts!
Kelleen has used her degree in English and Theatre education to introduce the arts into the lives of hundreds of children and adults. Her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with and emphasis in Arts in Education Curriculum and Instruction Integration shows her commitment to ensuring that the arts are integrated into the curriculum of every classroom. She believes in having the arts available to students of all ages regardless of budgetary constraints which has made he a sought after presenter at educational theatre conferences. Kelleen has developed, directed, and taught for numerous arts based programs, camps and workshops, as well as, taught in public and private schools. Her passion for the arts strives to bring out creativity in every child and stresses the uniqueness of the individual in a fun and positive atmosphere. Professionally Kelleen has had life-long training in dance and theatre, has appeared on stages from Disney World to New York, and in film and television. Since her move to the Peoria area , she has been seen onstage at Eastlight and Peoria Players. She also has served as a Director and Choreographer for Cornstock for Kids, Eastlight and Peoria Players. She is the Drama Program Director for Eureka Middle School, Choreographer for Germantown Hills Middle School Show Choir, and the State Student Leadership Director for Illinois Thespians. On a personal note, she is the mom to two fabulous children and loves traveling, cooking when she has the time and spending time with her family.
Meet the Teaching Artist