Meet the Creative Team of Blue Whale Variations
Dakota Parobek headshot


Dakota Parobek is a theatre artist, poet, and musician from Louisville, Kentucky. Their work has been produced in Chicago and Louisville and published by Imagined Theatres. They are completing their time as an MFA Playwriting candidate in the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Ann Kreitman headshot

Director/Media Designer | ANN KREITMAN

Ann Kreitman is a first-year MFA candidate in Directing. Ann has presented work in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia, and specializes in creating original theatrical events with a focus on lesbian and queer history-telling and mythmaking. Her portfolio can be viewed at In addition to her theatrical work, she serves as the Social Media Coordinator for the LGBTQ Iowa Archives and Library.

Rob Ascher headshot

Dramaturg | ROB ASCHER

Rob Ascher is a first-year dramaturgy MFA candidate hailing from New York. His work includes The Christians at Bennington College and A Plant here at UI. You can find his writing at Special thanks to the BWV team and his family.

Kaelen Novak headshot

Installations/Scenic Designer | KAELEN NOVAK

Kaelen is a first-year MFA student pursuing costume and scenic design here at the University of Iowa. They recently costumed the production of Effective and An Unsettled Body at the University of Iowa, a visual album for Southeastern Louisiana University, Slips Away, and a documentary of the process, The Play That Never Opened. They are excited to start on full productions again and looks forward to designing more for UI in the future and to explore this new world of theatre.

Katie Polaschek headshot

Sound Designer | KATIE POLASCHEK

Katie is a third-year enterprise leadership major at the University of Iowa and is also working toward a Certificate in Public Digital Arts with a sound design track. She is originally from Dickens, Iowa. Currently, she works in the recording studio at the Voxman Music Building on campus with a passion for sound. She would like to thank Mark Brukner and all the mentors that have supported her passions along the way.

Emily Berkheimer headshot

Media Assistant | EMILY BERKHEIMER

Emily Berkheimer is a fourth-year informatics major with minors in art and theatre arts, and a Certificate in Public Digital Arts. Emily has programmed and animated for an MFA dance thesis and is currently a student researcher for UI XR Studio and a production assistant for the faculty project, Media Clown.

Dylan Nicole Martin headshot


Dylan Nicole Martin is a first-year MFA Stage Manager. Since graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 2016 (BA in Theatre Design and Production) they have been teaching and stage managing in the Twin Cities. Dylan wants to acknowledge that their learning at UIowa takes place on the occupied land of the sovereign Native tribes who continue to live and thrive in Iowa. For a full list of tribes, please read the University of Iowa Acknowledgement of Land and Sovereignty. Black Lives Matter.

Kyle Schindler headshot

Assistant Stage Manager | KYLE SCHINDLER

Kyle Schindler is in their final semester at the University of Iowa. Previous stage management credits include Sirens of the Field (SM, March 2021); 6 by 6: Collected Perspectives on Social Justice (ASM, October 2020); and Orlando (ASM, November 2019). Thank you to everyone in the Department of Theatre Arts for their support and engagement over the last four years.