Alissa is thrilled to be a company member with RTI. Alissa grew up in South Dakota where she moved around quite frequently. She fell in love with the stage in 1984 while participating in a production of the Missoula Children’s Theatre touring company. She continued her passion in high school where she played Emily in Our Town opposite her high school sweetheart. Alissa moved to Kearney, Nebraska in 1989 where she studied theatre performance and earned her BFA at the University of Nebraska. She also performed with The Great Platte River Playwright’s Festival for 5 years and was a company member for the debut season of The Theatre of the American West. Favorite roles included Lucy in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Anne in Good and the title role in The Life of Charlotte Bronte. She also loved playing Marianne in Tartuffe and Miranda in The Tempest.
Here in Des Moines, Alissa performed the ﬁrst two seasons of Salisbury House’s Shakespeare on the Lawn beginning in 2004 and again in 2005 playing Cleopatra opposite Kim Grimaldi’s Queen Elisabeth in an original piece about women in Shakespeare. She made her RTI debut in 2006 during the Iowa Fringe Festival with the original production, Shattered Windows. In it, she played Marilyn in a two person one-act called Unconventional Sex opposite James Serpento. Alissa has had the pleasure and privilege to play Ann in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons and Cass in Wonder of the World. She also played Olivia in Twelfth Night, Alice Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Audrey in As You Like It at the Salisbury House. She enjoyed playing Jesse Mae in RTI’s The Trip to Bountiful, Annabelle in A Christmas Carol (two seasons), and Tanya in Love and Other Matters. Some recent favorite roles with RTI include Marianne in Kerry Skram’s original adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, Elmire in Tartuffe and Maggie the Cat in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Alissa has worked as a guest artist with Des Moines Social Club in Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom and Meth Lab, an original work. Last fall, she worked on a new piece for the Wonder of Words event about the life of Kate Shelley. Currently, she is very excited to have completed a new screen play with her baby daddy, James Serpento.
Alissa is the proud mother of ﬁve children: Breanna, Noah, Madilyn and Tyler (both of whom she adopted through the Foster System), and Samuel James. She was a Le Leche League leader for 5 years and began a chapter of Attachment Parenting International in Des Moines 13 years ago which she continues to lead today. Alissa has been a Court Appointed Special Advocate for 11 years and spoke to congress in DC to promote a pro-adoption bill sponsored by Chuck Grassley in 2008. Alissa is a Walt Disney World expert and has contributed to two books on the subject of WDW and special needs – so she plans vacations for others as often as possible! While on the Family Advisory Council of Blank Children’s Hospital for 6 years, she worked hard to promote “family-centered care.” Due to the many special needs of her children, Alissa also homeschooled for many years and feels passionate about advocating for children in need.
Alissa sends her thanks and love to all her family, friends and company members, and the supporters and lovers of the arts in Iowa.