Lead Teacher & Creative Director
Chris Feiereisen’s work as Creative Director and Lead Teacher at Creator Collaborative is the culmination of more than twenty years of experience learning, performing, and teaching in the arts. Chris’ love for the arts emerged during his time as a student at First Stage, where he was also a young performer. In the years that followed, Chris took every opportunity he could to create: he learned to play the drums, danced, practiced beat-boxing, made movies, joined bands and choirs, performed in plays and musicals, and eventually co-founded Dominican High School’s Theatre Camp, where he would go on to teach for 14 years. Chris’ well-developed passion for music, theater, and dance brought him to Illinois Wesleyan University, where he earned his BFA in Musical Theater. He took on a variety of opportunities in the ensuing years, including performing in the lead role in High School Musical Pep Rally in Walt Disney World and acting, teaching, and choreographing with First Stage. While Chris has always loved performing, he’s most fulfilled by teaching. He is honored to bring Creator Collaborative to his hometown of Whitefish Bay, and to have the opportunity to impact a remarkable generation of young people. Chris believes that with positivity and encouragement in a fun and joyful environment, kids will rise to meet every challenge, even when they don’t think it’s possible at first. He is regularly amazed by the creativity, humor, persistence and kindness he witnesses from his students.
Kristen Fischer is a Communications and Theatre graduate of Marquette University, with a Master’s Certificate in Leadership. For ten years, she served as a nonprofit administrator by day and musical theatre actress by night. Performing at Milwaukee’s Boulevard Theatre, Skylight Musical Theatre, and In Tandem Theatre led to a recurring role in A Cudahy Caroler Christmas. She played Nellie Kaputish, the Water Ski Queen, in over 225 performances over the course of 5 years at Vogel Hall at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts. After getting married and starting a family, Kristen began a new journey that merged her love of performing and her passion for building a community for young families. In 2017, she began Music Together North Shore, providing early childhood music education to hundreds of children ages 0-6 each year. Just as important as building a musical foundation within all her students is her desire to bring people together through the power of making music together. She also leads the music education program at Community Preschool of Whitefish Bay.
She feels like she hit the jackpot when The Creator Collaborative Studio opened. FINALLY, here was a place that met her high standards for her own children, where they could find the freedom to express themselves creatively through theatre, dance and song – right here in our own community. When given the opportunity to join as a collaborator, she responds with an emphatic YES whenever possible. Aside from utilizing the studio for her Music Together North Shore classes, she founded and serves as the Director of the Children’s Creator Choir and serves as the Music Director for the studio’s theatrical productions.
Karen Gersch brings decades of professional dance and performance experience to Creator Collaborative. Born in a small town outside of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Karen attended a wonderful studio that nurtured her early love for dance. From there, she received scholarships to dance studios in Chicago and then to the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Her first professional job as a singer and dancer at an amusement park in Japan launched an impressive career that included performing with Holland America Cruise Ships and in musical theater in the LA area and in Santa Barbara (The Will Rogers Follies, 42nd Street, Cabaret, Camelot, Brigadoon). Dancing in “Animazement” in Disneyland was a highlight of Karen’s performance career. Karen then spent two years as a dance agent and also choreographed and staged shows for Holland America. An avid Packers fan, Karen lives in Whitefish Bay with her husband and twin girls.
As Creator Collaborative’s Administrative Manager, Joan Feiereisen manages the studio’s scheduling, logistics, and communications. For more than 30 years, Joan has worked professionally with nonprofits of all kinds, and especially with schools, most recently as an organizational and fundraising consultant. Always passionate about the arts, Joan, a Whitefish Bay native, is thrilled that she can put her talents to use at Creator Collaborative. Joan looks forward to working with you during your next studio experience!