For Ticket Information and Purchases Please Contact:

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

Theatre Administrative Offices
The JOCO Arts & Heritage Center
8788 Metcalf Ave
Overland Park, KS 66212
Office hours are M-F, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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The Theatre in the Park
OUTDOOR Amphitheatre:

7710 Renner Road
Shawnee, KS 66218
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The Theatre in the Park
INDOOR Blackbox Theatre

8788 Metcalf Ave
Overland Park, KS 66212
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TIP Staff


Tim Bair
Producing Artistic Director

Sarah Saugier
TIP Production Manager

David Powell
TIP Technical Director


Guy Gardner
Associate Artistic Director

Rachel Lee
Admin. Asst.

Ruth Bigus
Public Relations
MEDIA requests only



TIP Advisory Council

photo of Kelstan Ellis

Kelstan Ellis (Member at Large) Kelstan's love of musical theater started when she first performed on the TIP stage in The Music Man at age 6. She grew up performing throughout the Kansas City area before relocating to southern California for college where worked for United Talent Agency and helped establish and develop their corporate foundation.  In 2006, when she realized her true calling was medicine she returned to Kansas City and has been delighted to return to the vibrant theater community as an avid supporter.  Kelstan currently resides in Overland Park with her husband and three children. Kelstan is dedicated to promoting the arts opportunities for the Kansas City population and continuing the great tradition of instilling a love and appreciation of theater to future generations.

Kelstan is a pediatric palliative care physician and clinical ethicist at Childrens Mercy Kansas CIty.  She is also the medical director for pediatric palliative care at the University of Kansas Health System and an adjunct professor of bioethics at Kansas City University.



Melissa Evans (Chair) 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. 

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.



Jane Massey (Member at Large) 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.


Meredith Neill photo

Meredith Neill (Vice Chair) Originally from Kansas City, Meredith spent 21 years as a military spouse, moving 10 times in 21 years including a two-year tour in Okinawa, Japan.  She brings a combined 20 years of experience in education, finance and budget management.  She currently works for the De Soto School District, in the Human Resources Department.  Meredith and her husband have loved exploring local theatre at every new duty station. Meredith looks forward to working with the Advisory Council and giving her time to the and families of Johnson County. In her free time, Meredith enjoys spending time with her family, and exploring coffee shops and local walking trails.


Photo of Tom Nelson

Tom Nelson (Member at Large) 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).  


Inga Nordstrom-Kelly (Member at Large) received her BA in English/Speech Communication from Baker University and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Rockhurst University. She currently works as an Instructional Designer for Artisan E-Learning, but previously taught various secondary English, gifted, speech, debate, and forensics courses. As an enthusiastic fine arts participant, parent, and patron, and a person who enjoys helping others, Inga is thrilled to help further TIP's mission and vision through collaboration, innovation, and service to the advisory council.


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 (Past 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.   


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.