TIP Administration Contact Information


For Ticket Information and Purchases Please Contact:

The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center - Admin Assist - 913.826.3012

Theatre Administrative Offices inside The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center:

8788 Metcalf Ave
Overland Park, KS 66212
Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Theatre in the Park - Outdoor Amphitheatre:

7710 Renner Road

Shawnee, KS 66218

(View a map)

The Theatre in the Park - Indoor Blackbox Theatre

8788 Metcalf Ave

Overland Park, KS 66212

(View a map)

TIP Staff

Tim Bair
Producing Artistic Director

Rachel Rendina
Admin. Asst.

Sarah Saugier
TIP Production Manager

David Powell
TIP Technical Director

Ruth Bigus
Public Relations
MEDIA requests only

TIP Advisory Council



Melissa Evans (Member At Large) After graduating in 2001,  Melissa attended Neosho County Community College on a theater scholarship in performing arts. While there, she dabbled in smaller productions. After college, she left the Midwest for Philadelphia, where she performed here and there. Her favorite role during that period was the young Missy Cougar-wildcat in Pecos Bill and the Ghost Stampede. 

After getting married in 2007, she and her husband thought it'd be a good idea to come back to Kansas City and start their family. Returning home, Melissa dedicated her time to starting the nonprofit Sleepyhead Beds, where she served as the Operational Director and oversaw the volunteers who made that organization such a great success. After the birth of her second child, she decided to take a step back and focus on being a mom and all the tasks that come with that very important role.  But theater has always been her love and passion and she's so excited to be a part of it all again. 


Kevin Fern (JCPRD Board Liason) is the Executive Director of Visit Shawnee and serves as the liaison member on TAC from the Johnson County Board of Park & Recreation Commissioners. He is a lifelong resident of Shawnee and is a member of the Kansas Governor’s Council on Travel & Tourism, serves on the Board of Trustee’s for the Friends of Shawnee Town 1929, is on the Board of Directors for the Shawnee Sister Cities Committee and is the Sponsorship Division Leader for Old Shawnee Days.

 He is a founding member and former President of the Irish American Club and previously served on the Johnson County Government Visioning Committee, was a Board Member and Chair of the Shawnee Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and served on the Shawnee Parks & Recreation Master Plan Steering Committee. He was the President of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas in 2015, is a former President of Tour Kansas, was the Treasurer of the Kansas City Regional Destination Alliance and is a 2009 graduate of the Shawnee Tomorrow Leadership Development Program.

He currently serves on the Imagine Shawnee Master Plan Steering Committee and is a member of Visit KC, Greater Kansas City Hotel and Lodging Association, Kansas City Area Historic Trails Association, Kansas Explorers Club, and SKAL International.

Jackie Hancock (Member At Large) grew up in Overland Park and has spent many evenings at Theatre in the Park over the years. Her love of the arts began early with piano and the flute, where she performed in many ensembles throughout high school and college. Currently, she lives in Leawood with her husband and two children.

Jackie is the CFO for Virtus, a fast-growing insurance agency based in KC.  Prior to Virtus, she was the Vice President, Controller for Cboe Global Markets, Inc., a publicly held exchange operator and began her career in the Kansas City audit practice of Deloitte and Touche.  She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management information systems from Saint Louis University, is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Series 27 license.


Michele Jansen council member


Michele Janson (Member At Large) is a small business consultant offering expertise in the areas of administrative operations, implementing and improving processes, business strategy, Quickbooks accounting software and accounting/finance. 

With over 35 years of business experience including 11 years as the head of her consulting company, prior positions include 5 years managing the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program, 16 years in numerous assignments across Sprint’s local and long distance divisions, and 6 years in the auditing department of the public accounting firm Arthur Young. 

Michele has also held numerous past and present leadership positions with the not-for-profit and entrepreneurial support communities in Kansas City.  The primary focuses of her volunteer activities are in fundraising, grant writing, event and gala planning, and accounting / finance with a strong focus on the arts community. 

Michele is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant.  Michele earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri – Columbia and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Donna Knoell council member

Donna Knoell (Chair) is an educational consultant and author who works with schools, school districts, and groups of professionals to help them improve their instructional programs.  She speaks and consults worldwide on a variety of literacy, mathematics, and science topics. 

Donna began her career as a teacher in the Shawnee Mission Public Schools, and then she became an instructional specialist with the district.  She has also taught classes at UMKC.  Donna currently works as an independent consultant, speaking at numerous conferences and helping schools and school districts increase student achievement.  Donna’s active involvement with the Theater in the Park dates back to when it was built at Shawnee Mission Park, when both her parents and her now husband (Jim Royer) were actively involved in raising money to build the theater. 


Donna has attended every show at the theater for years, and has often seen multiple performances of the shows.  She has also worked hard to bring in sponsorship dollars for the Theater, and she simply believes the Theater in the Park is one of the ‘crown jewels’ of the entire Kansas City metropolitan area!


Jane Massey (Past Chair) has had a 40 year career with the National March of Dimes culminating in acting as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 1996 to 2012.  She also served on the National Non-Profit Leadership Alliance Board of Directors for eight years.  Jane has been awarded the March of Dimes President's Award for Excellence in 2011 and the W.R. Russell National Leadership Award in 1994. Jane is also a Kansas State University Foundation Trustee.


Stephanie Meyer photo


Stephanie Meyer (Member At Large) is a fourth-generation Kansan and a native of Wichita.  Her love for theatre was born on the South High School stage, where she appeared in several shows, including The Pajama Game, Anything Goes, and The Crucible. During her senior year, she was honored as Best Thespian, Best Management (The Odd Couple), and Best Supporting Actress (Witness for the Prosecution).  Today, while still a regular at the theatre, most of her singing and dancing happens at home.

Stephanie attended Kansas State University, where she earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Public Relations. She later received her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. 
Stephanie’s community involvement includes serving as a Past President of the Shawnee Rotary Club and current Rotary District 5710 District Governor Nominee and Assistant District Governor, Past Chair of the Johnson County Theatre in the Park Advisory Council, Board Member for Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, Director Emeritus for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series, Volunteer “Big” with Big Brothers Big Sisters; and she recently became a living kidney donor. 

Following that experience, Stephanie joined the National Kidney Foundation’s regional advisory board to help advocate for increased organ donation.  In 2018, she was honored to receive the Gene Amos Service Above Self Award in recognition of her contributions. 

Stephanie currently serves as the Education Funding Specialist for DLR Group, and she and her husband Bryan, a patent and intellectual property attorney, have lived in Shawnee since 2007 with their rescue mutt Charlie, who mostly doesn’t mind the singing and dancing.

Photo of Tom Nelson

Tom Nelson is a Kansas City transplant since 2016, having lived in various places across the country and around the world prior to that.  He received his BS (Int'l Marketing/Russian) from the University of Alabama and his MBA (Marketing/Entrepreneurship) from Notre Dame.  Currently, he works at H&R Block running customer success/retention strategy for the Tax Software department.  

Tom also founded and presided over the Young Professionals organization at H&R Block and was on the board of the KC Chamber’s genKC.  His passion hobby is theatre, having performed in over 30 shows, and was most recently seen on the TTIP stage for Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow) and Into the Woods (Wolf/Prince).  



Jim Royer (Sertoma Club Representative) is a native “Kansan”, having been born in Topeka and raised in Johnson County.  He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission North High School and a graduate of Kansas State University.  After working in Idaho for three and one-half years in the Nuclear Engineering field, he came back to Kansas to do graduate work at Kansas State University and then started  a career with IBM in Kansas City.  In 1975, Jim became a member of the Shawnee Mission Sertoma Club and instigated the project to build a new outdoor theater in Shawnee Mission Park.  As chairman of the Theater Fund Raising Committee and with the help of my fellow Sertomans, he spent the next five years raising money to build the new theater.

In 1979, IBM moved him to a job in St. Louis and he turned over the leadership of the theater project to a fellow Sertoman, Reuben Sell.  He completed the fundraising and worked with the Johnson County Park and Recreation District during the construction of what is now The Theatre in the Park.

During this time, Jim met and married his lovely wife, Donna Knoell and moved to Atlanta, Georgia.  Jim and Donna both missed their Kansas roots and moved back to Prairie Village in 1988.   Jim is currently retired from IBM and enjoying serving on the Theatre Advisory Council, working with his church, being involved with the Johnson County Sertoma Club and traveling.

Jonathan Thomas Head Shot


Jonathan Thomas (Vice Chair) returned to the Kansas City area from San Francisco in 2018, where he became the Senior Development Manager at ArtsKC. While in San Francisco, he served as the Development Manager for The Walden School, a music program for aspiring composers and musicians. Always finding ways to fit music into his life, Jonathan performed as a soloist and professional chorister with the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the small ensemble Cappella SF.  Before moving to San Francisco in 2014, Jonathan divided his time between building an insurance agency and singing professionally in the Kansas City area.

He has performed with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Chorale, New Theatre Restaurant, and the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers and is a strong believer in the impact of the arts in the Kansas City community.

Jonathan spent most of his childhood in Olathe, Kansas and earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Kansas in 2001. Jonathan’s passion for the arts motivated him to step away from his insurance agency and concentrate on fundraising and administration in the arts. He is excited to continue that journey with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.   

Kim Underdown council member


Kim Underdown (Member at Large), a Johnson County resident of over 27 years, lives in Spring Hill with her husband Rod.  Kim is involved in many charitable and community activities in the area including volunteer work at Children’s Mercy Hospital, as well as recently establishing the Underdown Family Endowment for Clinical Care and Research for Connective Tissue Disorders at the hospital.  This endowment is committed to the work of ensuring comprehensive care, as well as breakthrough research for children with connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  

A former teacher, Kim has played the piano since the age of five and been accompanying choirs since she was in the fourth grade.  She has accompanied many school and church choirs, as well as students in competitions and recitals and also given private piano lessons.  Kim’s hobbies include traveling with her husband and photography.  A favorite photography highlight was traveling to Botswana for a 16 day safari in early 2020 in which she fell in love with photographing African animals in their natural habitat.  Kim loves supporting all types of performing and visual arts, both locally and at the national level.


Tim Bair (Producing Artistic director) grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and began his long theatrical career at a very early age as “Paddy the Pixie” in the not-too-well-known musical - Santa’s Elf Saves Christmas (in fact… he’s not too sure it was ever heard of again!) He went on to perform on The Theatre in the Park stage for many years, and eventually took his first step into the “production” side of things when he choreographed OKLAHOMA, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, and WEST SIDE STORY for the park.

Tim left Kansas and tap danced his way around the world as a featured dancer and vocalist on a world cruise, and ended up in New York City (every Midwestern theatre boy’s dream!) where he chosen for the companies of the 42ND STREET European tour, and MY ONE AND ONLY starring Jodi Benson (the famed voice of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.) While in NYC, he danced with The Foot and Fiddle Dance Company for 10 years, and was the Artistic Director of The Millbrook Playhouse, in Mill Hall, PA, one of the county’s oldest remaining straw hat summer stock theatres.

In search of warmer weather, Tim trekked west and made his home in Phoenix, AZ, while traveling to many cities in the USA as a regional theatre Director and Choreographer.

Landing finally in San Jose, CA, Tim served as the Artistic Director of the American Musical Theatre of San Jose. While working with AMTSJ, he co-wrote (book, music and lyrics) and produced the original production Christmas Dreamland.

Tim returned home to Kansas City in 2010, where he currently serves as the manager of Fine and Performing Arts for JCPRD and the Producing Artistic Director of The Theatre in the Park, a Kansas City institution, the largest outdoor community theater in the country, and the place it all started so many years ago.