Associate Artistic Director / Director / Performer
The Fish Whisperer marks Molly’s 30th show with Northern Sky. She’s honored to direct another world premiere for the park stage and thrilled to join a new cast of Cheeseheads! Molly joined Northern Sky as an actor in 2007, directed her first new work in Pen. Park in 2013, and joined the staff as associate artistic director in 2014. Her focus is new play development, and she is honored to work closely with so many extraordinary authors. Molly also works regularly with theaters in Milwaukee and Madison, and she represents Northern Sky on the leadership team of World Premiere Wisconsin. It’s been a thrill to witness the success of this statewide collaboration celebrating new plays and musicals! Wisconsin has a truly special ecosystem. Thank you, Northern Sky patrons, for always believing in new work. We make these shows for you.
Rhode was born in Brookfield, WI into a family of musicians and began performing in plays at a young age. At 14, she was one of the first students to attend First Stage Theatre Academy when they opened their doors in 1992, and she later graduated as a Theatre Major from Milwaukee High School of the Arts. In 2000, She earned her B.F.A. in Theatre Studies with a double emphasis in Playwriting and Directing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Missing the Midwest, she quickly returned to Wisconsin to begin her career.
A classically trained actor, she played several of Shakespeare’s leading ladies at Milwaukee Shakespeare Company, spent two summers with American Players Theatre, and two summers with Door Shakespeare. At the same time, she also became a regular face at the Skylight Music Theatre, singing lead roles in Cabaret, The Producers, and other Broadway musicals. She joined the Actor’s Equity Association in 2003 and has worked on all of Milwaukee’s professional stages and other theaters around the country.
Rhode first came to American Folklore Theatre in 2007 and has since originated roles in Cabin with a View, Main-Travelled Roads, Cheeseheads, Life on the Mississippi, Bing! The Cherry Musical, Victory Farm, and Strings Attached. Rhode began directing professionally in 2010 with a production of Main-Travelled Roads at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Soon after she directed productions at First Stage Children’s Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Madison, and most recently, Skylight Music Theatre’s acclaimed productions of The Sound of Music and Les Miserables.