Words About Whit

Whitney is the kind of human I strive to be. She is always the first to jump into one of my crazy projects with me, and the last to give up. And somehow, along the way she teaches me how to be a better person, a better performer, a better friend.

Whitney is an artist who is thoughtful about the work she does, and commits to it with her whole self—mind, heart and body.  She doesn’t hold back because she can’t.  It isn’t who she is; that’s not the way that her world works.

-Noelle Bohaty M.F.A., Director of Dance University of Nebraska, Kearney

Noelle Bohaty

Whitney Rhodes is the embodiment of the definitive artist-administrator. She personifies the discipline needed by the versatile player in the American theater. She is a virtuosic actor, singer, producer, educator, and writer as well as masterful manager of budgets, people, tasks, quality, and time. She has simultaneously mastered the intricacies of producing a show and season within an institution while contextualizing that organization within its theater community and the national regional theater movement. From high school neophytes to seasoned Equity veterans, Whitney supports all participants in the playmaking process. Her administrative savvy in fundraising, marketing, promotion, governance, and management are magnified by her generous spirit, kind manner, humble self-confidence, and insistence of accountability.

Whitney Kay Rhodes is a leader. I had the privilege of working by her side for three years and I will forever miss her expertise and company (especially now that she’s a Vikings fan)!

-Jack Reuler, Artistic Director Mixed Blood Theatre

Jack Reuler

This kid from Lincoln, Nebraska matches her generosity with speed of wit and creativity. In her own voice she shares soul and is the one in the room to surely talk to. In two words – she glows!

-Carlito Chávez, Creator of @friendsofcarlito

 

Carlito Chávez

When I was eighteen years old, I was lucky enough to be able to perform at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York through Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Program. It was a wonderful experience, but certainly an intense one. Ten hour rehearsals every day. Staff that were intense in their expectations. The knowledge that we were competing with each other while there. The Jimmy’s are sometimes called a “Broadway Boot Camp” and for good reason. It could have been a really stressful experience. But for me and the other student that went through Spotlight, it wasn’t at all.

Why? Because Whitney Rhodes chaperoned us while we were there. Whitney fought for us as artists and as students. She was impeccably organized, always knowing where we were supposed to be and when. Most importantly, her kindness and genuine care was unmatched. In a room full of program directors and administrators, she stood out among people whose collective experience I can only assume was much more than hers. It didn’t matter. Whitney was incredible.

Funnily enough, I would probably describe her as those things today. Kind, caring, fierce, and organized, Whitney has always stood out to me as an artist who cares about the craft and about the people. Who’s willing to go the extra mile, and then go a couple more miles after that. She has an acute sense of community, and a heart as big as the moon. I’m so grateful to have her as a collaborator and a friend.

-Dan Piering, University of Minnesota – Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program ’16

Dan Piering

Whitney is a “make it go” kind of person. She will do whatever it takes to make sure she and the artists around her can succeed in making our community more supportive and more excited about the work. When I need someone who’ll say “Yes, how can I help?” I call Whitney. She is among a small group of art makers who will help anyone anytime. She is in the art for all the right reasons. She is a mover and a shaker. She loves community more than personal glory, which attracts friends and artists and patrons to her like a moth to a flame.

-Max Wojtanowicz, Twin Cities Theatre Artist

Max Wojtanowicz

I am continually blown away by the creative visionary and boss woman that is Whitney Rhodes.  She is a woman who wears many hats from writer, to director, to producer and performer, but I know her best as my mentor.  She has been instrumental in my education as an artist, and continues to serve as a source of guidance and inspiration.  The creative flair that she lends to everyone that crosses her path is extraordinary. I would not be the artist I am today without her encouragement, professional advice, and overwhelming support.  I can never thank her enough for all she has done for me.

-Emilee Hassanzadeh, B.F.A Musical Theatre- Coastal Carolina University ’18

Emilee Hassanzadeh

I worked for Whitney as the Show Caller on an event where she had to step into a difficult and high-profile role, without a lot of preparation.  She was incredible and rose to the challenge.  She led us in producing a huge live event that included live stage performances (complete with teleprompters, graphics and IMAG, and a live band) as well as a pre-show VIP reception and a post-show party.  For over 1000 people, and only two days to rehearse.  Whitney was a star.  She had a bold vision for the night, which she communicated flawlessly to us through a series of meetings and written communication leading up to the rehearsals.  She made sure we had the tools to find success in each of our positions.  She led strongly, but made sure to give space and time to other voices, some of whom had been doing this event for years, and she incorporated the best of the old and the new to create a night to remember.  Whitney’s humble, yet confident leadership, her warmth and compassion for her team and her ability to inspire others to see the big picture makes her an incredible candidate for any event management position.  She is creative, she is logical, she is efficient, but most of all, she sees the possible, and makes it happen.  I would work with Whitney again in a heartbeat.

-Sara Shives, Walker Art Center Production Manager

Sara Shives