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About Us

Cheryl Painter

RHS Theatre Director

Cheryl Painter has been a teacher and director in the Austin Area for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre with a Specialization in Directing from Texas State- Eat ‘em Cats, and is finishing her Master of Arts degree in Theatre from Texas A&M Commerce to graduate August 2021.  She works professionally as a Director and Designer in Austin, TX.   She serves on the UIL Theatre Advisory Board and the Texas Educational Theatre Association Board and works at Tal’s Camp, a two week intensive Summer Theatre Camp at Baylor University, working to make Theatre Education better for students all across the state.  She is a product of a Texas high school Theatre program and loves the community and confidence that Theatre builds.  She is excited to join the Rouse Theatre Department!

(512) 570-2059


Mel Edwards

RHS Technical Theatre Director

Mel is in her third year as Technical Director at Rouse High School. She was previously the Tech Director at Belton High School. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Theatre and Dance - Scenic Technology. After college she took a job at the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC where she served as one of three scenic carpenters building 9-10 shows a season. When she returned to Texas, she continued her woodworking skills building cabinets and furniture with the WIM Group in east Austin. Every summer she attends Tal's Theatre Camp at Baylor University where she serves as the camp's Production Technical Director. She has a wide range of interests and talents but her favorite past times include bowling, shopping for shoes/tools, and finding how-to videos on YouTube.

(512) 570-2076

Our Mission

Rouse HS Theatre is dedicated to creating a collaborative learning environment with high quality education in the performing arts. Our aim is to  elicit  creative  self-expression, critical thinking, and artistry through our theatre course offerings and mainstage productions as students grow as performers, directors, designers, and stage technicians.  We are also committed to producing shows that will continue to delight, entertain, and educate audiences. 


We wrestle with the most compelling issues of our time, to derive new understanding for the advancement of the human condition. Therefore, we foster curiosity, invention, bravery, and humor; we also risk and learn from failure, in order to promote practical innovation and personal revelation as lifelong habits.


Rouse HS Theatre also presents a unique opportunity for students to become responsible citizens.  By providing a diversified curriculum and environment for bright and talented individuals, we seek to offer preparation for higher education and professions in the arts.  Every student must strive for excellence and take pride not only in his individual work, but also in the cooperative production of the ensemble.


One of the best things to happen in Texas public education is the requirement that every student in high school must complete a TEKS-based course in order to graduate, and that every student in middle school is required to complete a TEKS-based course.  Arts Education is not a frill; rather, it is beneficial to every student and helps teachers reach students across a broad spectrum of learning styles.


For more information about the positive impact that Fine Arts education has on students, and to become more knowledgeable about legislative actions that could impact fine arts program in Texas, I invite you to join  By registering at the site, you can help educate our state’s decision makers about the importance of Fine Arts education.  There’s no charge for joining, and does not share email addresses with any other organization.

The Rouse High School Theatre Program is in only its 10th year and

has already created an award winning program: 


  • 2020 Les Miserables - Won Best Music Direction, 10 Nominations: Best Lighting Design, Best Technical Execution, Best Featured Performer, Best Supporting Actor, 2 Best Lead Actors, Best Music Direction, Best Direction and BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION.

  • 2019 Bring it On - Won Best Musical Direction, Best Direction and Best Lighting Design, 9 Nominations: Best Lighting Design, Best Technical Execution, Best Ensemble, Best Choreography, Best Supporting Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Musical Direction, Best Direction, BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION

  • 2018 Shrek - Won Best Scenic Design, 11 Nominations: Best Orchestra, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Technical Execution, Best Featured Performer, Best Supporting Actor, Best Lead Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Direction, Best Music Direction, BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION

  • 2017 In the Heights - Won Best Scenic Design and Best Student Designer (Choreography), 11 Nominations: Best Orchestra, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Technical Execution, Best Choreography, Best Supporting Actor, Best Lead Actor, Best Ensemble, Best Direction, Best Music Direction, BEST OVERALL PRODUCTION.

  • 2016 Guys and Dolls - Won Best Lighting Design,  5 Nominations: Best Supporting Actor, Best Choreography, Best Lighting Design, Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design.

  • 2015 Oklahoma – Nominated for Best Lead Actor, Best Lighting, Best Choreography and Best Orchestra.

  • 2014 Hairspray – Nominated for Best Choreography, Best Supporting Actor and Best Featured Performer.



  • 2020 The Edge of Peace - District CHAMPION: Best Actor, 2 All-Star Cast, 2 Honorable Mention All-Star Cast and All Star Tech. (Season cut short due to COVID 19)

  • 2019 The Great Gatsby - District CHAMPION, Bi-District Qualifier: Best Actor, 2 All-Star Cast, 4 Honorable Mention All-Star Cast, Outstanding Technical Crew, 2 All-Star Technicians

  • 2018 Inherit the Wind - Zone Advancing Play, District CHAMPION, Bi-District Advancing Play and Area Qualifier: 5 All-Star Cast, 10 Honorable Mention All-Star Cast and 4 All Star Technicians.

  • 2017 David and Lisa - Zone CHAMPION, District Advancing Play, Bi-District Advancing Play, Area CHAMPION and Region Qualifier: 2 Best Actor, 2 Best Actress,10 All-Star Cast, 4 Honorable Mention All-Star Cast, Region Outstanding Tech Crew, 5 All Star Technicians.

  • 2016 Mariner - District Advancing Play, Bi-District Qualifier

  • 2015 Nice Family Gathering - District Advancing Play, Bi-District Qualifier



  • 2019 - 2nd Place One-Act Play Hamlet

  • 2017 - 1st Place One-Act Play Romeo and Juliet

  • 2016 - 1st and 2nd place Group Acting

  • Prior to 2016 we have won multiple awards at the Texas Renaissance Festival Performing Arts Contest, including 1st-3rd place in Group Acting, 1st and 2nd place in Duet Acting, and 1st-Honorable Mention in Monologue. 



  • We were nominated and won out of 2500 schools an opportunity to take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August of 2015.  We were selected based on the quality and breadth of shows they produce, the departments involvement in their school and community, the community service projects they are involved in and the caliber of alumni that graduate from their program.

  • We have qualified for Nationals at the Texas Thespian State Convention in Stage Management, Costume Design, Group Acting, Monologue, Duet Acting, Duet Musical and Group Musical. In 2019 Group Musical made Finals. 

  • We were selected as an All-Star Thespian Troupe in 2019 and 2018

  • In 2017 we were nominated for Thespian Troupe of the Year

  • We have performed in workshops in New York City​.

  • We also have already had several alumni who have been successful in the entertainment industry!

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