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Popularity Coach

By Rose Playwright-in-Residence Brian Guehring

Parents and teachers always say “popularity doesn’t matter,” but for grade schoolers Cooper and Mia, it sure seems to be important. Cooper is just not like the sports-playing, superhero-loving boys in his class. Mia also finds it challenging to be friends with her female classmates. When a popular 7th grader named Blake offers to be their Popularity Coach (for a low, low price) Cooper and Mia sign up, hoping maybe they’ll finally figure out how to win friends. But will Blake’s slick lessons on “How To Be Popular” make matters better...or worse?

Playwright-in-residence Brian Guehring’s world-premiere play has already received national recognition via NYU’s New Plays For Young Audiences. It offers a humorous look at a heavy dilemma for young people everywhere: How do you find your way among your peers and yet stay true to who you are?

  • Run Dates OCT. 7 – 23, 2022
  • Appropriate Ages All Ages
  • Duration 70 minutes
  • Accessibility ASL Services October 15, 2022 @ 2:00 pm
    Sensory-Friendly Show October 8, 2022 @ 5:30 pm
    Audio Description Services October 15, 2022 @ 2:00 pm
  • Members Receive Rose members receive FREE tickets to this show!
  • Ticket Price $25

Buy Tickets

  • Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 at 7:00 pm

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  • Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022 at 2:00 pm

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  • Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022 at 5:30 pm

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  • Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022 at 2:00 pm

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  • Friday, Oct. 14, 2022 at 7:00 pm

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  • Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 at 2:00 pm

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  • Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022 at 2:00 pm

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  • Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 at 7:00 pm

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  • Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022 at 2:00 pm

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  • Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022 at 2:00 pm

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Members receive FOUR free tickets to this show!

Additional tickets can be purchased by members for $17 each. (Regularly $25.)

Non-Member Tickets available after August 1 for $25 each.

Reservations Required. CALL 402.345.4849 or click the “Buy Tickets” button above.

Ticket Information

Show tickets are available at Will Call, if not picked up earlier. Lobby doors will open 45 minutes prior to the show. Tickets that have not been claimed five minutes prior to the show may be released or sold.

Show Sponsors

Show Program

Cast & Credits


Cooper – Judson Cloudt
Mia – Alex Elgert
Blake – Artie Shaw
AJ – Grayson Shuler-Morgan
Apple – Isabella Orellana-Buendia
Brandi – Mireya Luna
Kayla – Char Pyle
Grayson – Michael Bassem Bahwawsi
Shane/Cooper’s Mom – Dani Cleveland
Zoe – Elizabeth Peller
JJ/Channing/Mia’s Dad – Alfred Ibsen


Director – Taylor Adams
Playwright – Brian Guehring
Development Dramaturg – Carina DuMarce
Stage Manager – Grace Luis
Projection Designer – Brittany Merenda
Costume Designer – Audio Helkuik
Hair & Makeup Designer – Zach Kloppenborg
Lighting Designer – Matt Benes
Sound Designer/Engineer – Christy Hernandez
Director of Production – Sarah Buck
Technical Director – Jackson Curtright
Props Mistress – Devon Denn-Young
Resident Lighting Designer – Matt Benes
Resident Sound Designer & Audio Engineer – Christy Hernandez
Resident Stage Manager – Meghan Boucher
Scenic Designer – Whitney Lehn Meltz
Scenic Charge Artist – Trent Grooms
Resident Costume Designer – Sherri Geerdes
Costume Shop Foreperson – Zach Kloppenborg
Stage Management Apprentice – Kenzie Jensen
Electrics/Audio Apprentice & Lead Electrician – Sierra Smith
Carpentry/Shop Apprentice – Ren Walther
Swing Techs – Jesse Groff, Jeff Ludwig
Stitchers – Sherri Geerdes, Zach Kloppenborg, Audio Helkuik

Judson Cloudt

Judson Cloudt

Cooper –

Judson Cloudt is honored to be back on The Rose mainstage! You may have seen Judson at The Rose Theater as Kurt Von Trapp in The Sound of Music this past June, or as Nigel in Matilda the Musical in 2019. Other local credits include the Bellevue Little Theater where he played Josh Baskin in BIG The Musical and Leroy Herdman in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, both in 2021. The Omaha Community Playhouse: A Christmas Carol (2016 – 2019), Annie The Musical (Dog Catcher), Shrek The Musical (Baby Bear) and Beauty and the Beast (Pepper Shaker). He also played Wally Webb in Our Town at UNO. Judson is in 8th grade at Otte Middle School in the Blair Community School District. He enjoys participating in Student Senate, Circle of Friends, Show Choir, and Concert Choir at school. Judson is excited to perform in Popularity Coach as the playwright, Brian Guehring, was his very first theatre class instructor!

Additional credits:
The Sound of Music - Kurt Von Trapp
Matilda the Musical - Nigel

Alex Elgert

Alex Elgert

Mia –

Alex is thrilled to be preforming with this lively cast. Alex is 14 years old and has performed in local productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie, a original works of “All Shook Up”, Matilda, Newsies and most recently the Roses production of The Sound of Music. Alex is a current member of the Rose Senior Brigade. And is excited to be part of this world Premier.

Artie Shaw

Artie Shaw

Blake –

Artie is excited to be joining the Rose Theater for another show. At the Rose, he has played Eric in Matilda: the Musical, Ensemble in Disney's Descendants, and Kurt von Trapp in the Sound of Music. He started acting in his church's productions, and played Malchus, an Angel, a Crowd Member, and Peter. He has also played Commedia dell' Arte in the Actor Games, Bert in Good News, Hansel in A Princess with No Name, and Joel March in A Family Reunion to Die for at Davis Middle School, Jimmy Biggs in the Battle of Boat at Northwest High School, and the Boss in 7 Ways to Say I Love You at Central High School. Artie enjoys watching shows and movies, doing flips, drawing, cooking, and playing with LEGOs.

Grayson Shuler-Morgan

Grayson Shuler-Morgan

AJ –

Grayson is a transmasc individual with a passion for theater and writing. He was in the Young Playwrights festival with his horror comedy play If Only He Had Cereal. Last summer, he enjoyed spending time volunteering with kid’s acting classes at The Rose. Grayson’s interests are very short, other than a fascination with clowns and horror movies. In fact, Grayson has a growing clown doll collection, and last summer he also visited a clown museum. Grayson’s favorite holiday is Halloween.

Mireya Luna

Mireya Luna

Brandi –

Mireya Luna (she/her) is Teaching Artist Fellow at The Rose originally from Houston, Texas. She has performed in numerous productions, most recently as Carmela in the world debut of “Carmela Full of Wishes” at The Rose Theater and Maria/Lisa in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Austin, TX). Additionally, Mireya has co-directed a production of Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins with The New Materialists Company (Austin, TX). She earned a B.A. in Theatre and Dance from The University of Texas at Austin. Mireya’s art is heavily influenced by her Mexican roots, physical theater training and the endless quest to make the intangible tangible. Keep up with her work at

Char Pyle

Char Pyle

Kayla –

Char Pyle is thrilled to be making their professional debut on the MainStage at The Rose. Char is 13 years old and has been in Pride Players and The Young Playwrights Festival, along with taking many classes here at The Rose. They enjoy playing guitar, singing, acting, and the visual arts. Char is very excited for this opportunity and would like to thank everybody who got them to this moment.

Michael Bassem Bahwawsi

Michael Bassem Bahwawsi

Grayson – 

My name is Michael Bahwawsi, I am 13 years old, my birthday is on November 7th, 2009.
Ever since I was a little kid, I would always sit in my room making tiny scenarios by myself, until now, since I am now becoming an actual actor, and not just in my dreams. Acting has always been my passion for so long, and it is a fantastic opportunity to be where I am now.
Two of my favorite sports are Karate and Soccer. I enjoy my time playing these two and love to excel in them and learn new things.
Additional credits:
Last spring i was in the show named, “Terrible Tales of Trolls,” I also participated over the summer in 2 Rose camps, named, “Percy Jackson,” “Auditioning Technique.”

Dani Cleveland

Dani Cleveland

Shane/Cooper's Mom –

Dani Cleveland is a gifted singer/songwriter/actor who hails from Omaha, Nebraska. She loves to be onstage. While patiently waiting for her big break, she continues to hone her craft by participating in local theater productions including The Wiz, For Colored Girls, The Diary Of Anne Frank, and most recently, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus at The Rose Theater. She has written scripts for The Resurrection Productions at Salem Baptist Church where she serves on the Fine Arts Council & Worship Team. Dani loves photography, painting, crocheting & designing jewelry. She loves creative expression of any kind. She is grateful for this remarkable opportunity.

Elizabeth Peller

Elizabeth Peller

Zoe –

Elizabeth is one of the Rose Teaching Artist Fellows for the 2022-23 school year, and she couldn’t be more excited to be performing in her first mainstage Rose production! She is a recent graduate of Creighton University, with degrees in English and Theatre with a concentration in Technical Theatre. While there, she focused on playwriting, costuming work, and acting. In her free time, she enjoys reading, crafting, and spending time with her loved ones.

Additional credits:
She is currently performing as Smalls in the Rose PreK touring show, Two Wolves. Other acting credits from Creighton include in Elektra (Chorus), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Rosaline), and Legally Blonde: the Musical (Ensemble).

Show Photos