Associate Artistic Director
This is Molly’s 12th season under the stars. Favorite roles include Roxy in Loose Lips Sink Ships, Edna in Victory Farm, and all the townfolk in Naked Radio. Shows she’s directed include the original Windjammers, When Butter Churns to Gold, Doctor! Doctor!, and last season’s hit, Dairy Heirs, co-directed with Kelly Doherty. More premieres are on the way! This season Molly will assist writing teams in the development of 8 new musicals for Northern Sky. In the off season Molly went adventuring with 7-year-old Ninja Kid, Silvia, and Super Dad, Chase. She also directed The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and appeared as Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda, both at First Stage. Next winter in Milwaukee, Molly will direct Newsies at Skylight Music Theater and Alex’s Amazing Lemonade Stand at First Stage. Molly and Chase crochet hats that can be found at the merchandise booth, the Northern Sky office, or by visiting realmencrochet.com. Thank you for supporting live theater in Wisconsin.
Rhode was born in Brookfield, WI into a family of musicians and began performing in plays at a young age. At 14, she was one of the first students to attend First Stage Theatre Academy when they opened their doors in 1992, and she later graduated as a Theatre Major from Milwaukee High School of the Arts. In 2000, She earned her B.F.A. in Theatre Studies with a double emphasis in Playwriting and Directing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Missing the Midwest, she quickly returned to Wisconsin to begin her career.
A classically trained actor, she played several of Shakespeare’s leading ladies at Milwaukee Shakespeare Company, spent two summers with American Players Theatre, and two summers with Door Shakespeare. At the same time, she also became a regular face at the Skylight Music Theatre, singing lead roles in Cabaret, The Producers, and other Broadway musicals. She joined the Actor’s Equity Association in 2003 and has worked on all of Milwaukee’s professional stages and other theaters around the country.
Rhode first came to American Folklore Theatre in 2007 and has since originated roles in Cabin with a View, Main-Travelled Roads, Cheeseheads, Life on the Mississippi, Bing! The Cherry Musical, Victory Farm, and Strings Attached. Rhode began directing professionally in 2010 with a production of Main-Travelled Roads at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Soon after she directed productions at First Stage Children’s Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Madison, and most recently, Skylight Music Theatre’s acclaimed productions of The Sound of Music and Les Miserables.