The Rose Theater Brigade was selected as the winner of the 2015 Playbill Community Service Award, receiving a $1000 prize for their project. This award celebrates young performers from across the country who give back to their communities. The Rose Brigade presented the $1000 check to the Munroe-Meyer Institute in a public presentation on Thursday, Feb. 12 at The Rose Theater.

The Playbill Community Service Award was created to acknowledge the ways young people give back across the country. The contest was open to attendees of the 2015 Junior Theater Festival (the largest musical theater festival of its kind), and participants were encouraged to document their organization’s community service projects and apply for the award. Five finalists were chosen by a panel of adjudicators and were highlighted on, where readers were encouraged to vote for their favorite project.

The Rose students offered free musical classes to youth at Omaha’s Munroe-Meyer Institute, which provides after-school and Saturday programs for young people with developmental disabilities. Using musical numbers from Disney’s Aladdin, the student artists introduced the Munroe-Meyer students to the magic of musical theater.

Rose Brigade members include: Ben Adams, Claire Booton, Cassidy Conroy, Abby Cota, Callie Devine, Emma Dougherty, Max Hauze, Olivia Hess, Kelly Kroeger, Gigi Hausman, Kevin Mikuls, Jimmy Nguyen, Kami Upah and Trevor Weaver. They are led by BROADWAY at The Rose director Sue Gillespie Booton.

During the check presentation, The Rose showcased The Rose Brigade’s community service video, followed by a special presentation of a yet-to-be-released documentary, “Spectrum of Hope.” The heartwarming documentary follows a group of mostly autistic students from a focus school in New York City for those with special needs as they work on a project where they rehearse and perform Aladdin, Jr., eventually making their way to the 2013 Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. This sneak peek is made possible by Music Theater International.

For more information on the Rose Brigade, visit

– A whole slew of shows are opening in the next few weeks around the Omaha metro. Keep an eye out for expanded coverage of Hands on a Hardbody at Omaha Community Playhouse, Bad Jews at BLUEBARN Theatre, Freakshow at UNO Theatre, Noises Off! at Creighton University, Harbor at SNAP Productions, and many others.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to

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