Raue Center to welcome CL Central grad in The Magic School Bus

Crystal Lake Central High graduate, Katie Kallus, returns to Crystal Lake’s Raue Center For the Arts starring as Miss Frizzle in “The Magic School Bus” as a part of Raue Center’s Mission Imagination educational outreach program. She takes time to talk about her path to professional theater and what it’s like to be back in her hometown. 


Name: Katie Kallaus
Age: 25
Education: BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point
Hometown: Crystal Lake
Highschool: Crystal Lake Central High School


What education path did you take to prepare to be an actress?

I got my BFA in Musical Theatre and I’ve taken other various classes in dancing/singing/acting throughout my life.


What was the first stage show that you saw?

I believe the first stage show I saw was my brother’s 5th-grade production of Guys & Doll’s haha, but my first professional show was a touring production of Meet Me in St. Louis.



What’s been your favorite role?

I can’t pick a favorite, but if I had to choose a couple of favorites that aren’t Miss Frizzle, I’d say Inga in Young Frankenstein: the Musical and Cinderella in Into the Woods.


Thinking of all theater roles, what’s a role you’d really like to have?

As stereotypical as this sounds, Glinda in Wicked. I’d also love to play Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County one day.


How does it feel to be returning to the Raue and Crystal Lake?

It feels like a dream come true. I remember going to see shows at The Raue when I was in elementary school and I can’t believe that now I get to be on stage and share this story with a new generation of little learners. I also can’t wait to show my cast and stage manager all of my favorite places in Crystal Lake!


Miss Frizzle is a beloved childhood character, how did you feel when you heard you were going to be playing her?

I was in full denial when they called and offered me the part. Miss Frizzle was ( and still is) my favorite part of The Magic School Bus when I was little, and I couldn’t believe I was chosen to bring her to life on so many stages across the country! She’s just the perfect blend of warmth, wisdom, and chaos.


How did you prepare to Play Miss Frizzle?

I honestly didn’t have to do much preparation for this role because I always felt that Miss Frizzle and I were one and the same. We also only had a 2-week rehearsal process before we hit the road, so I had to come into the room ready to go. Our director wanted to make sure I was honoring the original Miss Frizzle while also being able to make my own personal choices and twists, and I think we’ve accomplished that!


What are your most/least favorite aspects of this type of experience?

My favorite aspect is bringing this show to places that might not have that much access to the theatre. Our show might be a kid’s first experience of theatre and it’s an honor to be a part of that. My least favorite part of touring is not having a lot of access to vegetables.

While THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS at Raue Center is primarily available through school reservations, a select number of seats may be purchased through the box office. Please email them at boxoffice@rauecenter.org or call 815.356.9212 to reserve tickets!

Raue Center Welcomes New Director Of Education To School For The Arts

Raue Center For The Arts in historic downtown Crystal Lake warmly welcomes new staff member Robin Irwin as Director of Education & Cultural Partnerships.

“I am beyond excited to be returning to Crystal Lake-the place where my life-long love affair with the performing arts began,” said Irwin. “The understanding that the arts are essential to the life of a community has been baked into the DNA of the Raue Center for the Arts since its founding. I look forward to joining the exceptional staff of The Raue in furthering that goal, and to helping guide the next generation of artist-citizens to find that theater and arts skills are life skills.”

Robin Irwin appeared in the original Broadway cast of the Tony award-winning TITANIC on Broadway, as well as its subsequent National tour. Other credits include the Broadway productions of GREASE! and DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES, Off-Broadway, and at regional theaters around the nation, as well numerous voice-overs for everything from baby products to chainsaws. She has been a featured soloist with symphonies from Berlin to Barbados. She’s an award-winning director and has been an instructor at NYU Tisch School for the Arts, the New York Film Academy, and Montclair State University, as well as curriculum consultant and corporate educator for arts programs nationally. She has degrees from Northwestern University and Roosevelt University, as well as graduating from prestigious programs at NYU and The Commercial Theater Institute.

As director of education at Luna-Stage, she built in-school residencies and developed cross-sector partnerships across the state and as a NJ State Arts Evaluator. She served as producing artistic director of Montclair State University’s professional development programming and for the Foxy Awards for six years, both resulting in streamlined arts education experience for over 5,000 students and educators. For the past several years, Robin was founding Executive Director of The Appalachian Center for the Arts, a full-service arts center in Eastern Kentucky where she revolutionized all the arts, both performing and visual. She’s served on several boards, but most recently the Kentuckians for the Arts.

“Building partnerships is a point of personal pride for me. The arts get so often talked about as something that is the exclusive province of the elite or privileged, but I’ve devoted my work life to amplifying the arts as a tool of healing hearts, opening minds, and as a medium that should pave the pathways to fun and joy.”

For more information regarding Raue Center and Raue Center School For The Arts or to purchase tickets for upcoming shows, please visit our website at www.rauecenter.org or call the Box Office at (815) 356-9212.