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Artistic Director — Charlie Sexton

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About Charlie

Charlie has proudly carried on the theatrical traditions and values of Walden Theatre founder Nancy Niles Sexton, his mother, since her retirement in 1999. He was among the first class of Conservatory students, and he performed in, directed, and wrote numerous Walden Theatre productions before receiving his B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. Prior to returning to Walden, Charlie was the Education Director for Wheelock Theatre in Boston. During his tenure as Artistic Director, Charlie has created the largest performing arts summer training program in Louisville as well as the Young American Shakespeare Festival, which was the first of its kind in the nation. He has also expanded professional opportunities for Conservatory alumni through alumni and staff productions, touring shows, and Outreach Education programs. Charlie’s resume includes many artistic accomplishments as an actor, director, and playwright, but his proudest achievement is the professional training and mentoring of thousands of students through the Conservatory program. His students have been accepted into the nation’s best college theatre programs, including Juilliard, Carnegie Mellon, New York University, Northern Illinois University, and the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater. Notable students include Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Jess Weixler (The Good Wife), Wes Ramsey (Charmed), Tom Graves (The Rude Mechanicals), Gisela Chipe (Asolo Rep’s Hamlet, Prince of Cuba), and Adam Wesley Brown (Once on Broadway). Charlie and his wife, costume designer Laura Patterson, have two sons: Aaron & Ian.

Managing Director – Alison Huff

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About Alison

Alison led the merger process between Walden Theatre & Blue Apple Players to create Commonwealth Theatre Center. After a decade with Walden—and now CTC—she has overseen unprecedented growth of the organization, alongside Artistic Director Charlie Sexton. Alison currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 arts & culture plan and as Co-Chair of its Cultivation Committee. Her latest volunteer project is Founder/Board President of the new nonprofit start-up Elevator Artist Resource, a hub for multidisciplinary artists & creators in our community to gain access to resources, professional development, and the promotional tools they need to elevate economic growth & community engagement. Alison is also helping to lead an initiative to establish the nation’s first Collective Impact model for the arts & culture sector through her work Co-Chairing the Impact Committee of the Arts & Culture Alliance (ACA), a membership association of 100+ regional organizations. She spent the last two years as President of the Board of Directors for ACA and recently served on the Board of Directors of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI). Alison has spent the last several years as a community advisor for Louisville Visual Art (LVA)’s Education Committee and was honored as the inaugural recipient of Fund for the Arts’ Allan Cowen Innovation Fund for Advancement of the Arts, through which she attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program for Nonprofit Leaders. In addition, Alison was honored to be named to Business First’s 2014 “Forty Under 40” list in recognition of her leadership and accomplishments. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a specialization in nonprofit management from University of Louisville.


Business Administrator – Donna Adams

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About Donna

Donna joined Walden in 2013 to manage accounting & business affairs. Previously, she was Controller for Air Logistics Inc., a logistics provider of fueling and ground handling services to the airline industry where she was responsible for accounting and financial operations. Donna also worked as an IT Systems Analyst with Kforce Inc. where she specialized in problem research, solution planning and software recommendations to meet business requirements. Donna attended Bellarmine College; coursework included Business Administration and Computer Science.


Outreach Director – Heather Burns

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About Heather

Heather joined Blue Apple Players in the spring of 2006. As Outreach Director at CTC, she oversees programming, including the design and development of new projects. Heather has led development of 6 new scripts for Blue Apple audiences. In 2014, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood invited her to be a plenary speaker at the Ready Kids Conference, where she also co-presented a session on process drama in the early childhood classroom with Dr. Kathryn Whitmore, Director of the University of Louisville Early Childhood Research Center. In 2009, Heather joined Walden Theatre as a director for summer academies, including Grimm Tales, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit, The SeussOdyssey, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She was proud to appear as Hypatia in Misalliance and as the Grocer’s Wife in Rhinoceros. As a Co-Artistic Director of Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble, Heather co-created over 10 new plays. Heather is a proud alumna of the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. She has worked with Missoula Children’s Theatre, Kentucky Shakespeare, Louisville Science Center, Frazier History Museum, and other Louisville theatre companies. Heather holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts from Northern Kentucky University.

Artistic Associate – Meg Caudill

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About Meg

Meg has been a teaching artist with Walden Theatre’s Education Outreach programming since 2012. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and the M.A. in Communications and Theatre from Morehead State University. At Morehead, she worked as both the box office manager and the tour manager for their children’s theatre troupe “The Little Company.” She moved to Louisville in 2007 where she worked as a teaching artist and tour actor for Kentucky Shakespeare. Meg has performed with several local theatre companies as well as working special events at the Louisville Zoo. She is a proud alumna of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) and worked for the program every summer from 1999-2016.

Resident Costume Designer – Lindsay Chamberlin

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About Lindsay

Lindsay recently joined the staff as resident costume designer after designing CTC shows Henry VIII,  Cyrano de Bergerac, Pinocchio, A Bright Room Called Day, Henry VI Part 3, and Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Lindsay began in costumes as a Halloween designer in California. When she moved to Louisville, she began designing for theatrical productions. She’s worked with several local companies including Looking for Lilith, Pandora Productions, Theatre [502], Actors Theatre of Louisville, Bellarmine University, Josephine Sculpture Summerstage, and Hardin County Performing Arts. She recently designed Alice in Black and White for 59E59 Theaters in New York.


Artistic Associate – Mera Kathryn Corlett

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About Mera

Mera Kathryn Corlett began her work the company as a member of the Blue Apple Players touring company in 2011. As an Artistic Associate for Commonwealth Theatre Center she has written three original plays for young audiences, directed the past three StoryTime Theatre touring productions, and directed last year’s Young Company show. Mera Kathryn’s focus in the Outreach Department has primarily been programming that serves Early Childhood and Elementary age learners. In the Conservatory she teaches Imagination, Studio and the Musical Theatre curriculum for Performance level students. Prior to her work with the company, she worked for Kentucky Shakespeare as a touring actor, workshop facilitator, and lead teacher for Camp Shakespeare. Mera Kathryn is active in the Louisville theatre community and has appeared with many local companies throughout the city. Upon graduating Cum Laude from Hanover College with degrees in theatre and theology, she received the Henry C. Long Citation for Scholarship and General Excellence, the most distinguished award a female graduate can receive.


Associate Outreach Director – Melinda Crecelius

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About Melinda

Melinda joined the company in spring of 2012 and in addition to Outreach she teaches in the Advanced Conservatory classes. In 2013 she presented the that year’s Connecting Cultures project at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education Conference and at the Inclusivity and Diversity Conference at Indiana University–Southeast. Prior to CTC, she was Education Programs Manager for Kentucky Shakespeare. Melinda is an adjunct professor at Indiana University–Southeast and has led workshops at Kenyon College and Mercy Academy. For CTC, she directed Cyrano de BergeracThe Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, 1,001 Nights, Dorina and the Plague, The Baker Goes to War, and co-directed Connecting Cultures/Kentucky 2014 and Connecting Cultures 2013 and 2015. Melinda has directed for The Bard’s Town’s Ten-tucky Festival of Ten Minute Plays, Finnigan Productions’ Festival of Funky Fresh Fun, and served in various capacities for Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company, Theatre [502],  Actors Theatre of Louisville, New Jewish Theatre (St. Louis), and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Melinda holds a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Centre College and an M.A. in Theatre Education from Fontbonne University (St. Louis).

Lead Artistic Associate – Hallie Dizdarevic

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About Hallie

Hallie has worked with Walden Theatre since 2006, and joined the team at Blue Apple Players in 2008, and now with CTC she teaches Imagination, Studio, and Playmaking in the Conservatory and PreK-12 workshops in the Blue Apple Outreach program. This season, Hallie will be directing Euripides’ anti-war masterpiece The Trojan Women, and will also be playing the role of Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible. Additional Walden Conservatory directing credits include: A Bright Room Called DayKafka’s MetamorphosisThe Beaux’ StratagemHarveySix Characters in Search of an Author, Connecting Cultures 2013 & 2014, QuiltersA Night of Poe (with the Young Company), and many Summer Academy and Jr. Academy shows. Hallie is a proud Walden Theatre alumna, and she holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Associate Artistic Director – Julane Havens

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About Julane

Julane has directed over 20 productions for CTC including Camino Real, Anon(ymous), Oresteia, Pericles, and Romeo & Juliet. She is the Chair of the Drama program for The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Locally she has been seen as Shelly in the Louisville premiere of Buried Child with Bunbury Theatre; Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest and Viola in Twelfth Night with Savage Rose Classical Theatre; Juliet in Romeo & Juliet with Kentucky Shakespeare; and Sonya in CTC’s professional company production of Uncle Vanya. She is proud to have directed the first Walden Theatre Conservatory productions of Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 for the Young American Shakespeare Festival, to have led two arts-immersion trips to Nicaragua with Hand in Hand Ministries, and to have founded the Summer Shakespeare Intensive at CTC in 2011. She earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri – Kansas City/ Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Business Design and Arts Leadership from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she recently assisted Tony Award winner Sharon Ott on Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation and The Flick.

Artistic Associate – Omicah House

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About Omicah

Omicah recently joined the staff as an Artistic Associate for the company, but has been seen in the previous musical tours of Three Pigs, Johnny Appleseed, and The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and is going on tour with Red Riding Hood: A Vaudeville Romp this fall. He received a BFA from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts and has performed in Chicago, NYC, and now Louisville is where he calls home. Along with performing, Omicah is the Vice President of the Louisville Pride Foundation, which celebrates diversity and contributes to art and community organizations for youth. You may have seen him in other touring productions, performing around town, or teaching Blue Apple Outreach Programs at your school!


Senior Fellow – Paul Lenzi

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About Paul

Paul co-founded Blue Apple Players in 1976 with his wife Geraldine Ann Snyder, and has directed over 100 musicals & worked in virtually every aspect of theater administration with organizations including the Coconut Grove Playhouse and the Miami Philharmonic. He’s directed & performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., The Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, and Miami Dade County Auditorium. Paul has also been active in the community networking with the arts & culture community and among social service organizations. Serving as Co-Chair of ACA’s Education Committee with Alison Huff, he’s helped lead an effort to illustrate the value that member organizations bring to the community. Paul has worked with politicians & CEOs of major corporations as a speech coach and has produced & directed industrial theater productions for conventions from Las Vegas to Toronto. Mr. Lenzi has a B.A. in Theatre from Florida State University and has been a member of Actor’s Equity for over 40 years. Favorite roles include Iago in Othello, Duperret in Marat/Sade, and Sheriff John Wolf in The Three Pigs: The Wild West Will Never Be The Same.

Technical Director – Clay Marshall

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About Clay

Clay joined the company full time in 2015 after years of production design and technical work. He is a Walden Theatre alumnus and holds a degree in Community Entrepreneurship from University of Louisville. He’s appeared in close to 30 productions and worked backstage on ten seasons of shows. In addition to building shows, Clay does educational outreach, he teaches Stagecraft and ballroom dance, he also performs with the Va Va Vixens.

Artistic Associate – Mitchell Martin

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About Mitchell

Mitchell began working with CTC in 2016 and recently joined the full time staff as an Artistic Associate. This year, he will be teaching at the Imagination, Improv, Studio, Playmaking, and Performance levels. He will also be directing the world premier of Circe and Ulysses and will appear as Reverend Hale in The Crucible. A recent transfer from Chicago, He has worked with theatres like the Griffin Theatre, Oak Park Festival Theatre, and Shattered Globe Theatre. Mitchell spent a year with The National Players performing in Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and A Tale of Two Cities in repertory. He is a proud alum of the Walden Theatre Conservatory and holds a BFA from Northern Illinois University. He specializes in the Meisner Technique and Movement for the actor.


Artistic Associate – Jennifer Pennington

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About Jennifer

Jen, recommended to Blue Apple by Walden Theatre, joined the full time staff in January 2013. She holds a B.F.A. in Acting from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Tennessee’s International Actor Training Academy. Jen, having transplanted from Los Angeles, has taught & trained with companies all over the country including: South Coast Repertory Theatre Company, P.S.Arts, EastLA Classic Theatre, Inside Out Community Arts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Michigan Theatre Festival, Ann Arbor Public Schools, Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, Clarence Brown Theatre, Arizona Shakespeare Festival, Kentucky Shakespeare, Savage Rose, Theatre 502, Bunbury, and CenterStage. Jen serves on the board for PAL Coalition (Federal Drug Free Communities Support Grant).

Grants Manager – Margaret Phillips

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About Margaret

Margaret is excited to be one of the newest staff, having joined in August 2015. After more than a decade as an editor & freelance journalist, she began grant writing in 2009—providing her a basis for translating her passion for storytelling into the cultivation of funding sources and grant proposals. She’s crafted successful proposals for Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Volunteers of America Mid-States, Frazier History Museum, Kentucky College of Art & Design at Spalding University, the Center for Accessible Living, and for Squeeze Art Collective in Long Beach, Calif.  Margaret holds a M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University and a B.A. in English from U of L.

Technical Associate – Jacob Riche

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About Jacob

Jake is a former student in the Walden Theatre Conservatory and currently works as the Technical Associate for the company.


Communications and Artistic Associate – Annie Smith

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About Annie

Annie began work with Blue Apple Players in 2000 as a cast member of touring musicals. Throughout her 15+ years with the company, she has performed lead roles in more than ten musicals, including the 2014 tour of The Three Pigs: The Wild West Will Never Be the Same. Annie is also a teaching artist for Outreach Programs. She has brought prior administrative & marketing experience from Dinsmore & Shohl Attorneys and top hotels in the area to lead special events, marketing, and other administrative areas. Annie volunteered for Walden’s Slant Culture Theatre Festival for the last two years in addition to time in support of the school her young children attend. Annie is married to Corey Smith, a sound technician she met through Blue Apple more than 12 years ago.


Communications Manager – Isaac Spradlin

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About Isaac

Isaac joined the company in 2009 to manage public & press relations, marketing, art direction & design ( including development and deployment of all print/email/web assets), and other communications. Two Shakespeare Festival posters he art directed/designed for the company were collected in the new book Presenting Shakespeare: 1,100 Posters from around the World. He’s an internationally published arts & culture writer whose feature about Turkish artist Serkan Ozkaya was collected in Today Could Be a Day of Historical Importance, a limited-edition book packed in a large tin can. Isaac was a freelance arts/culture writer; contributed interviews for art gallery guides; wrote for Forbes; reported for public radio; and spent years in the books biz as training/store-launch specialist. He holds an M.A. in Arts Journalism from Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a B.A. in Humanities (20th Century Culture) from U of L. Isaac is an avid reader, baseball & soccer fan, and a visual ecosystem enthusiast.

Board of Directors

President:  Robert P. Strobo – Republic Bank & Trust Company
Immediate Past President: Brad Keeton – Stoll Keenon Ogden
Treasurer: Mark Robich – Fifth Third Bank
Secretary: Patti Clare – Neel-Schaffer

Ellen Chumbley – Jefferson County Public Schools
Susan Osmanski Cohen – Norton Healthcare Children’s Hospital Foundation
Brooke Edge, PhD. – PriceWeber
Mark Gomsak – Fisher Phillips
Matt Kamer – Bandy Carroll Hellige
Baron Kelly, PhD – University of Louisville Theatre Arts
David Phillips – Palladium Communications Group
Greg Simms – Murphy & Associates, PLC

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