Dr. Jean DeMorrow, Chief Financial Officer, Managing Artistic Director
Jean was born in Northern Indiana but was raised in locations around the world. As a “military brat”, she traveled the US widely and lived abroad as well. She has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Redlands, in Redlands, CA, and an MA and Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University (BGSU), where she was also a Teaching Fellow. Jean taught Theatre at the college level at BGSU, Ripon College, Culver Stockton College, and Minot State University. In 1998, she followed her heart and dreams and founded the Music Theatre of Idaho, which was then known as the Nampa Community Theatre Festival. Before founding the MTI, Jean served for three years as the business manager at the Huron Playhouse. Jean was the CEO of the MTI up until 2015 when she stepped into the role of the CFO/Managing Artistic Director after the passing of her husband, James Andrews. Her daily duties include regular day-to-day business operation of the front-end office, including contract negotiation and agreements, artistic direction, including the overall look of each production and creating a unified look for the entire season. Jean is the “buck stops here” person at the MTI. Jean is mom to five amazingly talented kids, two terrific daughters-in-law, and one super-smart grandson. Jean loves to travel and visit new places and cultures, although the opportunities are few and far between.
Mac Fishman, Company President
Mac Fishman has been an actor with the Music Theatre of Idaho since 1997 and became the president of the company in 2018. Raised in Nampa, Idaho, Mac attended the Idaho Arts Charter School, Idaho State University, and Boise State University. Mac has worn many different hats here at the MTI including Directing, Assistant Directing, Tech Directing, Music Directing, and much more. Mac also provides private singing lessons. Please contact the MTI during office hours to schedule an appointment.
When Mac is not at the MTI, he enjoys spending time with his family, his wife, Alyssa, a performer as well, and his two dogs, Teddy and Cooper.
Dawn Howell, Box Office Manager, Executive Assistant to the Directors
Dawn manages the box office and provides administrative support to the directors. Dawn was born in California and moved to Portland, Oregon, when she was 2. She moved to Idaho in the fall of 1989 and has lived here ever since. Dawn has a Bachelor's degree from Northwest Nazarene University in Business Administration and Childcare Administration. Dawn started her affiliation with the MTI when her children participated in Aladdin Jr in the summer of 2018, and auditioned and joined MTI in 2019. Dawn volunteered in two backstage choruses that year, and became a company member herself in 2020. Dawn started in the MTI office in July of 2020.
Before having kids, Dawn worked in insurance, retail, childcare administration, and as a private nanny. She was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. Dawn volunteered in the office at her daughter's gymnastics studio with Jean for almost 2 years. To relax, Dawn includes watching movies and TV with her family and coloring on her cellphone. Dawn loves the ocean and Disneyland!! If she were on vacation, those are the two places she will go. Dawn also loves quilting and sewing.
Nate Thomas, Music Director, Sound Engineer, Performer
Nate is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and actor, who moved to Nampa from his hometown of Lewiston, Idaho, to pursue a degree in music. After completing a BA in Music Industry and an M.ED in Music Education, he now works as a professional educator and audio engineer throughout the Treasure Valley. At the Music Theatre of Idaho, he does just about everything from directing the orchestra, where his wife Stephanie is often playing keyboards, to running audio equipment, or performing on stage. When he is not out teaching, performing, or engineering music, he enjoys spending time with his wife, often making more music from their home studio. In the rare moments of quiet from all the music, Nate can be found working on a classic car restoration or gaming with friends.
Debra Ellis, Music Director
Debra Ellis has been with MTI since 1999. She first joined as an actor and began music directing in 2003. Debra has a BA in music education from Northwest Nazarene University and an MM in music education from Kent State University. In addition to music directing with Music Theatre of Idaho, Debra has been a k-12 music teacher at Vision Charter School since 2007, a member of the second violin section in the Boise Philharmonic since 1997, and music director for No Greater Love at Nampa First Church of the Nazarene since 2017. She enjoys doing MTI with her family: husband Allen and three kids Bobby, Lizzy, and Emily.
Allen Ellis, Music Director
Allen Ellis has been with MTI since 1999 as an actor. He has portrayed a number of roles, including Harold Hill (The Music Man) and Jean Valjean (Les Miserables). This season is Allen's first time music directing, but he is excited to add this to his list of activities. Allen has an MA in music education from Northwest Nazarene University and an MM in percussion performance from Boise State University. Outside of MTI, Allen has been a music educator (public schools and private percussion studio) since 1999. He enjoys playing drums with a variety of groups in the Treasure Valley and subs in the percussion section of the Boise Philharmonic. He enjoys doing MTI with his family: wife Debra and three kids Bobby, Lizzy, and Emily.
Jay Berman, Marketing Manager
Jay is our newest staff member, joining the MTI in February 2021 and redesigning the MTI website in March 2021. From September 2003 until May 2018, Jay was an adjunct business instructor for the University System of New Hampshire teaching entrepreneurship, marketing, and management courses in-person and online. In June 2018, Jay relocated his family from New Hampshire to Idaho to be closer to extended family in Meridian. From July 2019 until April 2021, Jay worked as an agent for the New York Life Insurance Company in Boise. In June 2021, he launched a new career in hotel management at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Boise.
In January 2021, Jay self-published on Kindle Books The Seven Risks of Small Business Ownership and Benedict Arnold's War. Occasionally, Jay teaches marketing courses at the University of Dubuque's Meridian campus and online for Granite State College, Concord, NH. Jay holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of New Hampshire and an BBA in Marketing from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Jay and his wife have two children, who have performed in the MTI shows since October of 2018. Jay and his family enjoy long hikes on the Greenbelt with their black Labrador.