Our Directors

Eric Webster

Eric Webster
Director and coach for High School and Middle School Theater programs

HIGH SCHOOL

  • Fall Play Director and Tech Director
  • Improv Coach
  • Spring Musical Co-Director and Tech Director
  • One-Act Director
  • Cougar Football Stadium Announcer

MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • Fall Play Co-Director and Tech Director
  • Improv Coach
  • Speech Coach
  • One-Act Coach
  • Spring Musical Co-Director and Tech Director

Eric Webster has been performing on stage and on camera for over 20 years. Mr. Webster has been teaching at Centennial since 2003.

He has performed at the Guthrie Theater, Mixed Blood Theater, Parksquare Theater, the Playwrights' Center, Hennepin Stages, Hey City Theater, The Lowry Theater for Actors Theater of Minnesota, Theatre L’Homme Dieu, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Pioneer Place Theater, Minneapolis Theater Garage, Bloomington Civic Theater, Jerome Hill Theater, and Camp Cabaret Theater.

Other Highlights:

  • In 2010 he received the "Twin Cities Best Actor in a Musical 2010" for his role as Stone in "City of Angels".
  • Hosted, wrote, and produced "The Big Bad Movie" which earned an Emmy Nomination.
  • Hosted and wrote the national Television Show “Big Events” for DIRECTV
  • Former Guthrie Theater outward education teaching artist. "Schools on Stage" Teaching Artist.
  • Former History Theater Teaching Artist for "Seats to Stage" program.
  • Former Improv Club Teaching Artist for Avalon High School
  • Spent 6 seasons with the St. Paul Saints Baseball Club as the Master of Ceremonies/Announcer, and Director of Gameday Entertainment.
  • Extensive national and local voice-over work and hosting.
  • Was a talk show host on KFAN and KSTP AM
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Laurie Tangren
Middle School Fall Play Co-Director
Middle School Musical Co-Director
High School Costume Director

  • Has taught at Centennial since 1993.
  • Took over the theatre programming at the Middle School in 1999.
  • Has been involved in theatre since I was nine years old.
  • Minored in theatre with an undergraduate degree from
    Augsburg College.
  • Holds a MN teaching license for Speech/Theatre.
Mrs. Tangren says:

"There is something magical about working in the theatre. Even on my toughest day I know when I walk through the doors to work with the theatre kids, it will be great. They really do fill my bucket. I am so grateful I have been able to work in the Centennial Theatre department for so many years. I love watching the students grow and gain confidence as they move through the program. It gives me great pride that so many kids find their home here with us in the theatre. Centennial Theatre is a place to belong and be accepted."

Mary Rudquist

Mary Rudquist
Middle School Musical Music Director
High School Musical Co-Director

Mary (Palazzolo) Rudquist has been the choral director at Centennial Middle school since 2013 and music director since 2018 (Mary Poppins, Singin’ In The Rain, Frozen).

She has also been director and co-director of the high school musical since 2020 (The Addams Family, The Dance, Into the Woods).

She studied music education at the University of Minnesota Duluth and performs professionally as an actor in the Twin Cities in many shows including Legally Blonde (Paulette), A New Brain ( Lisa), Footloose (Lulu Warnicker), and Company (Marta).

 

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Melissa Krieger
High School Musical Music Director
Centennial Theatre Booster Secretary

Melissa has been involved with Centennial High School Theatre since 2015 as a director, musician, and Boosters member.

Melissa has a degree in vocal and instrumental music education from The University of Minnesota. She is a private lesson instructor, substitute music teacher, church music director, and freelance musician.

Melissa enjoys photography and traveling with her husband and three sons. Her favorite part of being involved with Centennial Theatre is getting to share her passion for music and theater with amazing, dedicated students.

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Kris Schmidt
Middle School and High School Play and Musical Set and Props design and Director

Kris attended MCAD and has learned most of what she knows from working in the sign industry for 25+ years and trying new things that interest her. Kris has dabbled in woodworking, stained glass, sculpting, and various other hobbies. She learns best by doing and never stops learning. "Don't be afraid to try something new."

Theater was Kris's favorite part of high school and she is happy to be involved with this program at both schools. She enjoys the challenge of figuring out the prop and setlist on new shows and how to make them work with materials that aren't necessarily the standard. She loves seeing the end result of everyone's hard work when the whole show comes together.

Student Leadership

2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Board Members

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Nicole Kammer
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Co-President

Nicole is a senior this year and has been in theatre since 6th grade.

"My favorite aspect of theatre is the people. The family created is unlike any other and really makes theatre a welcoming environment for everyone. Theatre is something that everyone should join! Even if you don’t feel comfortable on stage, you can always join the Backstage Gang! Good luck, don't die, love you!!"

Nicole cannot wait for her final year!

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Belle Nawrocki
2022/2023 Centennial Theatre Student Co-President

Belle is a PSEO student at the University of Northwestern- St.Paul and plans on continuing there after high school. She has been in theatre since she was in sixth grade.

"I've always tried to be involved in theatre at Centennial as often as I can because it brings me so much joy. The people, the things we learn, and the stories we get to tell make it all worth it. My favorite show I have been in was a One-Act called "A Game", in which I played Carter. I love this program and everyone in it."

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Braeden Krieger
2022/2023 Centennial Theatre Student Vice President

Braeden has been involved in theatre since he was 4 years old, and part of Centennial Theatre through all of middle and high school. He is a senior this year and is excited for another great year of theatre!

“Theatre is all about working as a team to tell a story. Everyone has a major role in putting on each show, and it is always awesome seeing everything fall into place. Performing also brings people together and creates long-lasting friendships. I have met and grown close with so many people throughout the shows that I have done, and I can’t wait to work with some new faces this year and welcome them into this program.”

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Erin Burns
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Theatre Board

Erin Burns is going to be a senior this year (2023 graduate) and enjoys so many aspects of the theater community.

"My favorite part is how so many different people with so many different experiences and beliefs from so many different backgrounds can truly be themselves and come together to pull off a beautiful performance; true art."

Due to Covid and other hindrances, she has not been able to be a part of as many productions as she would like, though her favorite role is definitely Rapunzel from Into the Woods. She is looking forward to performing more this year with this incredible community.

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MacKenzie McDonald
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Theatre Board

MacKenzie is a senior this year and has been in theatre since 7th grade.

“ I’ve loved theatre ever since I was a little girl. I loved how you portray a story that people can get lost in. When I signed up for theatre my favorite thing became the sense of family that we made. Everyone is welcome and encouraging! I used to have terrible stage fright until my new friends convinced me to join cast, which I will never regret. I’ve been in Murder Crime, Adams Family, It's a Wonderful Life, and Into the Woods. I’m excited to see what we pull off this year with everyone!!!”

Olivia Neibergall

Olivia Niebergall
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Theatre Board

“Hello! I have been in the Centennial Theatre Program since I was in 6th grade, and I am so honored to have the opportunity to be a leader in this amazing program! Some of my favorite roles I have played are Jane Banks and Angel Jo! I am so excited for an amazing year ahead!”

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River Picah
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Theatre Board

River is a senior at Centennial and has been in theater since 6th grade. Theater has given him a space to feel at home. His favorite production has been "Into the Woods".

"I've loved being able to incorporate my other hobbies into theater like dance and art and I can't wait to continue doing so for my senior year"

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Madi Quayle
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Theatre Board

Madi is a senior and has been in theatre since 7th grade. Her favorite part of theatre is the friendships that you make and the people you will meet.

“After joining theatre in middle school, I was able to come out of my shell and become more outgoing thanks to the help of all of the directors and students in the program. The people that you meet in theatre are so genuinely kind, funny, and just overall awesome people. Friendships that you make here will last a lifetime and you will also gain really good communication skills that you will use in life outside of theatre as well.”

Her favorite production so far has been “It's a Wonderful Life” where she played the role of Angel Frankie.

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Jess Swenson
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Theatre Board & Improv Co-Captain

Jessica is a Senior this year and first joined Centennial Theatre in 6th grade. She has loved seeing every side of theatre, from behind the scenes to on the stage. Although she loves every aspect of theatre, Improv holds a special place in her heart.

“Theater taught me to come out of my shell and be myself. It gave me confidence, provided me with an amazing, supportive community, and taught me valuable focus and leadership… all while being super fun! I love the process of coming together to create a beautiful story that is amusing and intriguing, yet touching."

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Lizzie Elsenpeter
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Improv Co-Captain

Lizzie is a senior and has been in theatre since 6th grade

“I love how creative people are able to get with theatre, especially with improv. It brings out so much happiness in people. My favorite show has been ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ and I’m very excited to see what we put together this year!”

Max Halbur
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Improv Co-Captain

Photo and bio coming soon.

Levi Whitney
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Improv Co-Captain

Photo and bio coming soon.

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Riley Eckman
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Marketer

Riley is a sophomore this year and has been in theater since she was four, but has been a part of the Centennial Theatre program since 6th grade.

"What I love about theatre is that it allows people to dive into their imagination and really become the characters they are portraying. I also love how inclusive our program is, and that anyone is welcome here. It's a place for students to be who they want to be, and have fun!"

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Elle Hinds
2022-2023 Centennial Theatre Student Marketer

Elle is a Junior (as of 2022-2033) and loves being apart of the CHS theater program. Aside from being in theater, she is an active choir member, and a captain of the CHS speech team. She will be attending PSEO at century college this fall and spring.

For previous performances, news, and other information, please see our News & Info page.