Luann Jennings founded InSite in 2017 and serves as its Managing Director. Luann directed plays and taught acting in Atlanta, GA, for a dozen years after getting her MFA in directing from the University of Tennessee and her BFA in acting from Baylor. During that time she worked regularly with several theatre companies, including Actors Express and FirstStage Atlanta, a theatre company for families that she helped to found.
She left Atlanta in 2002 to study the Meisner Technique of actor training in New York City, where she met and married Chuck Jennings, a jazz guitar player. Luann did some directing in NYC, most notably collaborating with actor George Drance in his one-man presentation of the Gospel of Mark at the world-renowned off-off-Broadway experimental theatre, La MaMa ETC. But most of her time was spent in ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian Church as the Director of Arts Ministries, then as the Resident Assistant and Lecturer for Baylor’s semester-in-New York program.
She learned from the Baylor students about the exciting things going on in the arts in Waco, and she was eager to be part of a growing and vibrant arts community. So Luann, Chuck, and the two cats moved to Waco in the summer of 2016. Luann works part-time with Creative Waco, as their Program Manager for Artist Professional Development and Networking, and she’s developing a ministry to college arts students of faith to help them prepare for their careers after college. Luann directed and produced The Second Shepherds Play and Autobahn for InSite, and directed The Three Musketeers at Waco Civic Theatre in 2018.
Stefanie Wheat-Johnson is InSite’s Production Manager. She is a creative problem solver, theatre artist and mother of three. After completing her BFA in Theatre at Freed-Hardeman University, she worked with Soldier’s Theatre in Vicenza, Italy, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in Ohio and then moved to Kansas and Georgia where she had opportunities to work in special education and as theatre coach and director for Middle Georgia Christian School in Macon.
As a third culture kid with a background in ministry and missions, Stefanie has a deep interest in expanding perspectives and understanding varied cultures. She has worked with churches and mission efforts in Estonia and Italy and was born and raised in Zimbabwe. This aspect of her life has cultivated a unique perspective, and an appreciation for creativity across art mediums and cultures. While theatre and performance is her first love, she also has a passion for supporting artists in collaborative projects in other realms as well. This has led her to work with Creative Waco, where she manages the ARTPrenticeship program that connects young creatives in our city to professional artists in order to develop skills and create public art in the form of murals.
Over the years, Stefanie has stage managed and directed shows for community theaters and schools wherever she’s lived (Winfield, KS; Macon, GA; Vicenza, Italy), and most recently enjoyed stage managing Three Musketeers, directed by Luann Jennings for Waco Civic Theatre. She is a writer, enthusiastic amateur chef, and a breast-feeding peer counselor who loves connecting with and serving the community she lives in. When she’s not working on the next project for Creative Waco or InSite, you can find Stefanie enjoying a cup of coffee while homeschooling her three children and doing life with her husband Eric Johnson. They’ve been blessed to call Waco home since 2015.