Rick Myers

Email Rick

Sioux City, Iowa


Iowa Community Theatre Association President

John Olson

Email John

Red Oak, Iowa

Iowa Community Theatre Association Vice-President

Norman Ussery

Email Norman

Waterloo, Iowa

Gerard Schwickerath

Email Gerard

Ankeny, Iowa


Iowa Community Theatre AssociationTreasurer 

Loween Getter

Email Loween

Webster City, Iowa

Iowa Community Theatre Association Past-President

Jason Paull

Email Jason

Ames, Iowa

Pam Ratliff

Email Pam 


Newton, Iowa

Donna Smithson

Email Donna

Lenox, Iowa


Secretary and
AACT Region V Rep

Mel Wilson

Email Mel

Newton, Iowa

 Christine Wolf

Email Christine

Sioux City, Iowa

712-899-3045 (Cell)

Carol Bellairs

Email Carol 

Clarinda, Iowa

Bobbi Lutzen

Email Bobbi

Keokuk, Iowa

Molly Ketchum

Email Molly 

Boone, Iowa

Helen Beneke

Email Helen 

Pocahontas, Iowa

Cheryl Zieringer

Email Cheryl

Omaha, Nebraska


At the ICTA membership meeting in Marshalltown during the March 2017 festival, there will be an election for five spots on the board for the Iowa Community Theater Association. A ballot will be used for voting. Even though nominations may be submitted from the floor, it is nice to have a bio of the candidates ahead of time so that these bios can be placed on the web and the names on the ballots. The board meets four times a year, once at the festival or convention, and the other times on a Saturday at some centralized theater. Members are instrumental in administering the Iowa Awards in Excellence program, reviewing plays, issuing a newsletter, awarding L. K. Boutin grants, providing a website, insuring a convention and a festival in alternate years, and other projects that develop. There is no reimbursement of expenses, but these expenses are eligible for itemized deductions on your income tax. If you are interested in becoming a candidate for the board for a three-year term, immediately contact Donna Smithson at lenoxdonna@lenoxia.com, and she will direct you to the next step.

Bio's for those wanting to be considered for board seat:

Cheryl Zieringer got the theatre bug early in life with Milford's diamond jubilee and continued her love of theatre through school. After college, the Lakes Area Community Theatre and Spencer Community Theatre kept her very busy for many years. She took a step back from being on stage as her son was growing up, watched his school events, community events, sports, music and opera performances, developed and coached the new Okoboji Dance Team, as well as, worked a full time job. She moved to Omaha and continued to be involved with the arts -- the Omaha Performing Arts and Iowa Western Performing Arts, as well as, playing in the community band and attending community theatre performances around Iowa and Nebraska. Cheryl has attended International theatre competitions-- where "all the world is a stage". She has been on the ICTA board and has helped with many projects, including the development the Awards or Excellence. She would be honored to continue to be an ICTA board member.

R.J. Lundgren is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University with a BS degree in Broadcast/Business and, an AA degree in Speech from Iowa Western Community College. His acting resume begins in high school, extends through college, and professionally includes The Olde Creamery Theatre, Repertory Theater of Iowa, tour director/actor with Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre, a handful of films and, a lot of theatre in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. He’s also written and produced two children’s plays, published a children’s book and some poetry. He has also written for the Des Moines One Actor, One Writer, One Week talent showcase several times. Lundgren is currently a member of the Final Act Ensemble radio theatre group, through the Des Moines Playhouse. When not acting he is involved with Midwest Steampunk activities, DemiCon Sci-Fi convention, The Royal Manticoran Navy, and making numerous appearances as the award winning, First Irish Pope, His Hooleyness, Malarkey I. On the business side, Mr. Lundgren has a number of years as a manager and entrepreneur. He also has many years working with non-profit groups, such as the Jaycees and VFW, holding local, district and state offices. Receiving much recognition for his efforts, leadership, and program management. During which he organized chapters, community-wide celebrations, numerous fund raisers, and award winning newsletters. Mr. Lundgren is seeking to return to the ICTA board, having previously filled an unfinished term for a departing board member.

Tracy Rhodes is from Southern California but grew up in SW Iowa. In school, she was active in chorus, school plays and band. Her career was in retail management but her joy was singing with a variety of bands (Big Band, Blues, R&B and Jazz) in the Omaha and Los Angeles areas. She also dabbled in beauty makeup and when she met her husband, he was working for a haunted attraction doing special effects makeup. Tracy quickly jumped in and they became a team, working in several other haunted attractions and on photo shoots, fashion-runway, indy films, local tv and music videos. Tracy and her husband moved from LA to Clarinda Iowa in 2012, where there was a very active community theatre. After being in the ensemble for Oklahoma, the theatre bug bit and she dove in head on, auditioning, joining the board, helping with makeup & costumes and anywhere else she could. Tracy is the current President if Clarinda Community Theatre and hopes to bring her unique perspective and experience to theatre in Iowa.

Helen Beneke has devoted her career to education as a special education teacher, an educational strategist, and 25 years as a special education consultant for an area education agency. She had served as an adjunct instructing for Morningside College, Buena Vista University, and Drake University. She currently supervises interns for the graduate department of Morningside College. Helen has also been affiliated with Iowa Public Television as an utilization specialist of special projects, and she served as the coordinator of the first state-wide teacher learning teams. Helen is active in two international special education organizations and has presented at many worldwide conferences in the past 15 years. She has also provided teacher training at special educational facilities in Zagreb, Croatia and Visakhapatnam, India. Helen and her husband, Don, have four children and eight grandchildren. She and her husband are active in many community groups and currently Helen is the chairperson for a county-wide art project. Ms. Beneke has appreciated the opportunity to serve on the ICTA board and has attended the regional ICTA festival conferences. She especially enjoys attending productions offered in the various communities.

Mel Wilson lives in in Newton. She became involved in theatre in 2006 when her choir director, who was the music director for My Fair Lady, asked her if she wanted to be in the chorus and she said yes and have been involved every since. Mel have been in several plays, involved backstage, and also has helped direct 4 plays and will be solo directing in October. She has been President of the Newton Community Theatre Board and is now the Board Secretary. She have been involved with the ICTA Board for several years and enjoy going around to other theatres reviewing their performances, going to Festivals and Conferences, and the friendships she have made with fellow board members, other theatres and people. Mel feels that she have been an asset to the ICTA board in the past and know that she can continue to do the best she can give in the future.

Cheryl Clark has been involved in community theatre in north central and central Iowa for 45 years. In addition to many acting roles, she has directed and created costumes for numerous productions. Her special interest are working with youth and providing theatre education opportunities for adults. She has served on the Ankeny Community Theatre (ACT) Board of Directors for the past 4 years, serving as President, Play Selection Chair, Volunteer Chair, and Education Chair. Under her leadership, ACT applied to host PlayFest18, is performing in Festival17, and has begun participating in ICTA Awards of Excellence. Cheryl attended the AACT Team Conference in 2016 and has worked with her team to implement changes in ACT’s season structure, as well as improvements in committee functions. ACT has received L.K. Boutin grants and financial support from John Deere, Well-Mark and Wells Fargo. ACT also participates in the metro-area Cloris Awards. Cheryl was a member of a professional entertainment group, a women’s trio, for 8 years, touring, performing, and producing two albums. She studied Costume Design for 2 years at ISU, has a secondary teaching license and a Master’s Degree in Family/Early Childhood Education from ISU. She is a Family Life Specialist for Iowa State University Extension & Outreach and resides in Des Moines. She and her husband, Max, raised 3 daughters and have 4 grandchildren.



The mission of the Iowa Community Theatre Association is to: Improve standards of productions, Encourage the creation of new community theatres, Provide opportunities for the interchange of materials and ideas among member organizations and individuals, Represents the amateur theatre interests of Iowa in regional and national theatre meetings, and Provide a means of communicating among members