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.
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.