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Combined Efforts' Board

Andrew Tubbs is a musicologist at the University of Iowa, researching the connections between depictions of disability and music, particularly in theatre and film. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music and German from Wartburg College. During his undergraduate studies Andrew spent time in Germany researching the performance of disability in German Cabarets in the 1930’s.  This research was incorporated into a performance by the Phamaly Theatre Company in Denver, Colorado.  Andrew worked for and performed with Phamaly, a theatre company which hires only disabled actors and was part of Phamaly’s 2015 production of the musical, Cabaret
 Andrew is committed to providing engaging, accessible opportunities for community members to interact with the arts on multitude levels. He is looking forward to  working with Combined Efforts while continuing his studies in exploring the ways in which disability interacts with the arts.

Janet Schlapkohl is a playwright, actress, director, teacher and founder, in 2002, of Combined Efforts Theatre. Commissions include: UI Labor Center, UI Iowa Women’s Archives, UI Human Rights Center, Center for Worker Justice, Theatre Masters, and the AFL-CIO. Her work has been performed in LA, at The Road Theatre and Odyssey Theatre, at Estrogenius in New York, Tennessee, and across Iowa.  She performs monologues and travels a solo show, which premiered at Riverside Theatre, Iowa City. Education:  MFA in Playwriting and MS from the University of Iowa. BS in Biology from Iowa State University. She has been the recipient of the Theatre Master’s award, Visionary Playwright’s award, the Isabelle Turner Human Rights Award, the Richard Maibaum Award, the Human Rights graduate student award and the Finkbine Award for Human Rights.  She lives on an acreage in Iowa with her husband, a large animal veterinarian.

Kalvin Goodlasxon graduated from the Transition Services Center in 2010 after attending Elizabeth Tate High School. He is part of the KICI Board and as well as the Combined Efforts Board. He co-wrote questions for the PATV quiz show “The Smartest Iowan” from 2011-2014 Kalvin joined  the theatre group as an actor during his last year at Transitions and than became writer and choir member for Combined Efforts. He loves to watch Doctor Who, Stephen Colbert, and Power Rangers.


Jason Grubbe is an actor and director with more than thirty years of experience. For CET he has served as director, acting coach, dialect coach, and fight choreographer. His favorite experience at CET was directing the production of TRIANGLE at the farm. Jason has worked in various cities including Chicago, LA, St. Louis, and Kansas City. He recently played a role in the world premiere of DAY OF THE DOG in St. Louis that had a short run Off Broadway. Jason is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.


Cole Hotek

 Cole Hotek- I am a recent graduate from Iowa State University with a BFA in graphic design. I was an actor with Combined Efforts in high school. Combined Efforts has always been filled with warm, inviting, and hard working individuals and I am honored to be a part of this organization. I have recently become the graphic designer for Combined Efforts and have worked on both their new identity as well as publicity pieces for shows and other events. I am looking forward to furthering my design knowledge and continuing my work here at Combined Efforts.

Kathie Paterson and her family moved to Iowa City in 2011. The opportunity for her youngest daughter to be part of this vibrant and inclusive community performing arts group, Combined Efforts Theater, was a major reason for their move from the beautiful green mountain state of Vermont! So, it made perfect sense for her to join the CET Board and get involved (she loves to work back stage). Kathie has an early childhood policy, data and systems-building consulting business, KEP Consulting LLC. She is an alumnus of Newfoundland’s Memorial University of Newfoundland (Nursing and Mathematics) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Public Health).

Colleen Lipes-I am a school psychologist for Grant Wood AEA.  My husband and I live in Iowa City. We have three children.  Our youngest daughter, Katie has Down syndrome.  Katie has been involved with Combined Efforts dance program for three years.  It has been a wonderful experience for her.  This is my first year on the CET board.

Jessica Wilson is a writer and actor living in Iowa City. She is a former Iowa Arts Fellow and holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa; her work has appeared in Best Travel Writing vol. 8, Best Women’s Travel Writing vol. 9, and Alligator Juniper. Onstage, she has appeared most recently as Charlotte in Beyond Therapy with Dreamwell Theatre. Previous productions include six years of Walking the Wire at Riverside, RUST with Working Group Theatre and Collective Amnesia at the University of Iowa’s New Plays Festival.

Mary Vasey taught, wrote and directed in the Metro Alternative High School Theatre program and, after retiring, volunteered in the theater project at Tate Alternative High School in Iowa City.  Combined Efforts has turned out to be a family affair.  Her grandson, Alec Grubbe and her husband, Nicholas Johnson are actors in CE and son, Jason Grubbe has directed and serves on the board. Mary has served as board president and sometimes writer and actor.  Another son, Greg Johnson and his wife, Makur, have helped immensely with the web page.

Meredith Saletta holds a Ph.D. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.  She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa.  Previously, she has played the trumpet in concert bands at Purdue and in communities in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.  She has also sung in community choral groups and has performed in the Purdue Musical Organizations’ annual Christmas Show.  Her brother Chuck Saletta, who has Down syndrome and who loves to participate in theatrical productions, inspired Meredith to become involved with CET.

Evie Stanske grew up in a bakery in the Bronx, New York. She worked for an accounting firm before coming to Iowa knowing that life was more than subways and cash disbursment books. She majored in Theatre at the University of Iowa.  She taught mime with the Marcia Thayer’s Dance Troupe. Besides all she does with Combined Efforts she also now entertains at nursing homes with a comedy troupe.  Life is good!