About us

Mission & Values

Through the Glass Theater Ensemble aims to showcase contemporary theater and opera by systematically marginalized playwrights and composers. In addition, we wish to foster theatrical opportunities for all gender expressions and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, celebrating individuality and acceptance.


Rachel Hanauer (Artistic Director, She/Her)

Stage director, soprano, music educator & yogi. As a director of opera and theater, she has directed Menotti's The Telephone, Barber's A Hand of Bridge, Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, Vaughan-Williams Riders to the Sea, The Hatmaker’s Wife, Alice in Wonderland, Ned Rorem’s Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters, Poulenc’s La voix humaine, The Gift of the Magi and more. Her choices of theater projects stem from a deep interest in exposing lesser known works, retelling magical tales in a way that holds a mirror to society, and lifting up Jewish stories. She is the recipient of Best Direction and Production of the Year Motif RI Awards for her production of The Diary of Anne Frank. She directed Hans Krasa's Brundibar and Lori Laitman’s I’ve Never Seen Another Butterfly in a Holocaust Memorial production as professor of the CCRI Opera Workshop. She has worked with groups like Contemporary Theater Company, Berlin Opera Academy, The Arctic Playhouse, Providence College Opera & Musical Theater Workshop, and Newport Children’s Theater. As a performer, Rachel is a champion of new works, whether it be opera or musical theater and frequently premieres new classical art songs. She teaches voice and music at URI, Providence College, Roger Williams University & CCRI.

Jeff Blanchette (Vice President, He/Him)

Jeff has had a lifelong obsession with movies and pop culture. Originally setting out to be a musician, he took a drama class for an easy A in the 9th grade. Suddenly, he found himself falling in love with live performance, and quickly decided to become an actor. This led him to major in theatre at Castleton University, with a concentration in acting and directing. Since graduating, he has worked in Boston, New York City, and extensively in his native Rhode Island, usually in musical comedies. During one such show in 2016, he met Rachel Hanauer, with the two becoming frequent collaborators and close friends. Theatre credits include The Gift of the Magi, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Actor’s Nightmare and Avenue Q. Outside of Rhode Island, he works with Beau Jest Moving Theatre Co., appearing in Screwball and Journey to the Center of the Stage. On screen, he can be seen in the award-winning independent films The Session, Mrs. Halloway, and Mob Ghost. jeffblanchette-actorsinger.com

Ricci Mann (Treasurer, She/Her)

Ricci has always wanted to work in the theatrical arts since she was three years old. At seven, the acting bug took its first bite in a local community theater in Kansas. In high school, Ricci went to a magnet school for acting near Atlanta, GA where she learned acting and directing. By the end of her high school career, she had performed in over 30 productions and still craved more. In college, she went to Otterbein University specializing in directing, stage management, costuming, and play writing. She then transferred to Dean College majoring in musical theater. Ricci continues to perform throughout the state of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Some previous roles include Wall in The Hatmaker’s Wife, Paige in Belles, Rona In Kennedy’s Children, and Susy in Wait Until Dark.

Caroline Spaeth (Chair of Board, She/Her)

Caroline's favorite roles include Queen of the Night, Lili Vanessi, and Zerbinetta. An advocate for new classical music, she has performed Ligeti’s showpiece Mysteries of The Macabre and debuted the role of Patience in Jarrar/Goodwin’s Patience and Pearl. Caroline is committed to championing fearless authenticity, and wishes to uplift anyone who has ever struggled with identity and self-love with her art.

Kurt Nelson (Secretary, He/Him)

Kurt first became aware of Through the Glass after working with its director, Rachel, as well as other members on previous projects in 2022. He has worked on and off in theater for over 10 years; both onstage and behind the scenes. He also works as a Voiceover Artist, providing voices for commercials and audiobooks. When not working in the theatre, Kurt works as a Direct Support Professional for people with special needs, which he has been doing for the past 10 years.

Olivia M. Sahlin (Artistic Consultant, She/Her)

Olivia is an artist from Massachusetts, living and working in Rhode Island. She has stage managed over a thousand theatrical performances and directed a handful of shows as well. She also enjoys helping to create sets, whether envisioning, building, painting, decorating, or taking field trips to the wonderlands of thrift and consignment shops. As an actor, she has portrayed unhappy brides, unhappy wives, unhappy mothers, unhappy daughters, unhappy girlfriends, unhappy zombies, and also a small menagerie of animals including wolves, half-a-camel, and a loquacious labradoodle. Oh, and one time, she was an anthropomorphic baked good. In December 2022, she performed the roles of Virgin Mary (unhappy daughter) and Green Ball (unhappy ornament) in the modest holiday extravaganza The Naughty List. Olivia is excited to join the Through The Glass board as Artistic Consultant.

Resident Artists

Coming soon!

Anti-Harassment Policy

Coming soon!

Black Lives Matter

Coming soon!

Get Involved

Coming soon!


Coming soon!

Support Us

Coming soon!