Mitchell is from the Detroit, MI area and a graduate from Oakland University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Mitch has been performing on stage since he was 10 years old. He also got his start working off stage learning to direct, write, and manage at a very early age. Mitchell has been seen on the GPT stage in favorites such as Younger Brother (Ragtime), Pinocchio/Pied Piper (Shrek), Ted (Disaster!), Smee (Peter and the Starcatcher), and more! In addition, his first shows directed at GPT were Empires Fall and Makin' Magic. Other Regional/National Tour Credits: Cap'n Turbot (Nickelodeon's PAW Patrol Live!), Cat in the Hat (Seussical), Harold Bride (Titanic the Musical), Corny Collins (Hairspray). When not performing or teaching, you can often find Mitch eating chips and dips while setting the latest trend! Mitchell would like to thank his family, Kim, Layne, his five pillars, mentors, friends, and God for their support and inspiration.

Mitchell Aiello
Artistic Director

Layne is a native of central Illinois and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Layne has worked professionally performing, directing,  and teaching at various theaters all over the country. National Tour: School of Rock, First National (Ned Schneebly). Select Regional: RENT (Mark Cohen), Children of Eden (Adam/Noah), Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Sherlock Holmes), American Idiot (Johnny), The Music Man (Harold Hill), Blood Brothers (Mickey), Jesus Christ Superstar (Pontius Pilate). Select Directing Credits: The Who’s Tommy, Les Miserables, Into the Woods (associate director/co-vocal director/Jack), A Silly Little Hamlet, Honk: Minimized Tour (assistant director/Ugly). You have seen him on the GPT stage in Peter and the Starcatcher (Boy/Peter), Joseph...Dreamcoat (Joseph), Pirates of Penzance (Frederic), and many more. Alongside his fellow collaborator Mitch, Layne is passionate about creating new works with their company, ARTheatrics.

Layne Roate
Artistic Director
Joshua Ely
Cinema Manager

Joshua Ely is privileged and grateful to be a part of the GPT team as  Cinema manager. As a lover of theater and music, Joshua has acted in ensemble roles in two of GPT’s mainstage musical productions, “The Pirates of Penzance” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” as well as had the privilege of stage managing for "Makin' Magic: 25 Years of Fun." Outside of GPT, Joshua has recently finished classes at Luther Rice College and Seminary and has  hopes of achieving his M.Div Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition, Joshua loves to play music, and is a proficient guitar player, hoping to use this skill in the ministry setting. If you can’t find him at GPT, studying or playing guitar at church, chances are he’s at home watching the Captain America movies, the best of movies of all time.

Kim is so happy to be a part of the amazing team here at Great Plains Theatre.  She is likely to be the first smiling face you'll see when you come to the Theatre for an event, and is probably the person you'll talk to on the phone if you call. 

She feels very blessed to be on "Team Theatre" and experiencing the magic of live theatre. There's just nothing else like it!

Kim is a graduate of Abilene High School, and is celebrating almost 26 years of marriage with her husband, Kelly. 

Kim McDowell
Office Manager

Joseph Ely is a passionate filmmaker who loves to tell stories that explore rich themes and heroic characters. He owns his own professional studio, Oxygen 7 Studios, and specializes in narrative short films and promotional videos. His short film, “Bound by Grace”, was an official selection and finalist in the Christian Worldview Film Festival. Joseph is thankful for the opportunity to work for GPT and is excited to bring several ideas to life through film. He also may or may not have a batcave.

Joseph Ely
Digital Arts Director

Great Plains Theatre

215 N Campbell St

Abilene, KS  67410


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