September 2015 Student Spotlight - Emma Kate Brown, Elkhorn South High School, Omaha

Emma Kate Brown

Seeing a live performance as a first grader at Omaha’s Rose Theater has led Nebraskans for the Arts’ September Student Spotlight winner, Emma Kate Brown, to her performing on a New York City stage. 

Emma, a senior at Elkhorn South High School, is a true triple-threat performer, excelling in vocal performance, acting, and dance. She started performing at age three as a dancer. Then, in first grade, Emma saw her first musical at the Rose Theater. She remembers being so amazed at how much fun was occurring on stage, that during intermission she turned to her mom and said, “I wanna do that!” Emma has been doing musicals ever since.

This past summer Emma participated in the Omaha Performing Arts’ Nebraska High School Theatre Awards annual showcase at the Holland Performing Arts Center. After an extensive and rigorous audition process, Emma was selected as the female nominee to represent Nebraska at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City. After a week of workshops and rehearsals led by Broadway professionals, Emma performed with her fellow nominees at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.

The experience was so much fun, said Emma; but it also showed her how theatre, in a bigger sense, teaches you to work together to make sure everything runs smoothly. “As an audience member, to see what happens on stage,” said Emma, “but there's everything that happens behind the scenes as well.”

“For every kid on stage, there are two others backstage supporting them. I think that's what's really cool about theatre, is that you meet all these people you wouldn't have the chance to meet normally and they just become your family. You learn to accept each other, and learn each other's strengths and weaknesses, and learn to be there for each other. That's very important in high school and in the real world.”

“Emma brings so much passion, life, and pure joy to her performances,” said her nominator, Kendra Whitlock Ingram at Omaha Performing Arts. “We are excited to see how this talented young performer grows as she continues her artistic journey!”

Omaha Performing Arts is beginning its third year of the Nebraska High School Theatre Awards, a program that celebrates and provides learning opportunities for high school theatre programs in Omaha and surrounding communities. For more information, go to or email