Artistic Director — Charlie Sexton
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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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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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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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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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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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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 , 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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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 Artistic Director – Hallie Dizdarevic
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Hallie has worked with Walden Theatre since 2006, joined the team at Blue Apple Players in 2008, and now with CTC she teaches Imagination, Improv, Studio, and at the advanced levels on Tuesdays and Thursdays and PreK-12 workshops in the Blue Apple Outreach program. This season, Hallie will be directing Macbeth in the Young American Shakespeare Festival. Additional Walden Conservatory directing credits include: The Trojan Women, A Bright Room Called Day, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Harvey, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Connecting Cultures 2013 & 2014, Quilters, A 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.
Artistic Associate – Omicah House
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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 scho
Technical Director – Gerald Kean
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Gerald Kean is CTC’s Technical Director. Formerly a freelance light and set designer, he’s recently designed for such groups as Bunbury Theatre, Smoked Apple Theatre, Faith Works Productions, Sacred Heart Schools, Providence High School, and the Miss Kentucky Pageants. He lives in Louisville with his wife and two daughters and is thrilled to have worked with CTC on several productions spanning recent seasons.
Senior Fellow – Paul Lenzi
e: firstname.lastname@example.org | p: 502.589.0084 ext. 318
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.
Artistic Associate – Mitchell Martin
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Mitchell began working with CTC in 2016 and joined the full time staff as an Artistic Associate and the Alumni Company Director. This year, he will be teaching at the Improv, Apprentice, Playmaking, and Performance levels, and he will be directing CTC’s production of The Laramie Project. 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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Jen holds a BFA in Acting from University of Michigan and an MFA in Theatre from the University of Tennessee’s International Actor Training Academy. She just got back from Scotland where she studied Voice/Speech with Kristin Linklater and Louis Colaianni. Jen, having transplanted from Los Angeles, has worked with companies all over the country including: South Coast Rep., P.S.Arts, EastLA Classic Theatre, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Michigan Theatre Festival, Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, Tennessee’s Clarence Brown Theatre, Arizona Shakespeare Festival and many local companies. Currently, Jen is an actor with The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, serves on the board for PAL Coalition (Federal Drug Free Communities Support Grant) and is a member of VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association.)
Grants Manager – Margaret Phillips
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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.
Lead Production Coordinator – Kathy Preher Reynolds
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Kathy Preher Reynolds is an Actors Equity Association Stage Manager and has been Stage Managing for over 20 years around the country. Her primary home has been Actors Theatre of Louisville, however, it all started at Walden Theatre in the mid 80’s where her passion for theatre was sparked. She continued to fan the flames by working in every aspect of theatre she could get her hands on and finally settled into Stage Management. She worked locally for a few years before doing her internship at Actors Theatre of Louisville. After her internship her career was launched, and the theatres she has worked for include: Shakespeare and Company, BStreet Theatre, Orlando UCF Shakespeare Festival, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Stage One, The Kentucky Opera, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Contemporary American Theatre Festival and many more. A few of her favorite shows are: any Shakespeare show, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, Elemnopea (Humana Festival), Crime and Punishment, 43 Plays for 43 Presidents, Kite Runner, A Christmas Story, Santaland Diaries, and the list goes on. Kathy gets the most satisfaction out of teaching as it allows her to share her passion for theatre along with passing on knowledge from her many years of experience.
Technical Associate – Jacob Riche
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Jake is a former student in the Walden Theatre Conservatory and currently works as the Technical Associate for the company.
Program Administrator – Aletia Robey
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Aletia joined CTC in the summer of 2018. Her past professional training is rooted in social services, wherein she has served children and families from all socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities, both in direct service roles and agency administration. She holds a Master’s degree in Women’s and Gender studies from the University of Louisville and has focused her research on Louisville’s history of women’s activism and community organizing. Aletia is also a visual artist, primarily in the fiber arts. She is a contract artist with The Special Project, a social justice art making project that focuses on supporting families affected by incarceration. Additionally, Aletia led Kentucky’s part in a global initiative called the One Million Bones project that used art as a tool to teach tolerance, and bring awareness to the atrocities of genocide in central Africa. Aletia is an active volunteer in her community. She serves on the Board of Directors for SeniorCare Experts and is a long time contributor to the development of a community Coalition working to support the development of family friendly policies in Metro Corrections. She is also the head coach for River City Junior Roller Derby, and an active skater with the Derby City Rollergirls.
Communications and Artistic Associate – Annie Smith
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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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Isaac joined the company in 2009 and manages public and press relations, marketing, art direction & design ( including development and deployment of all print/email/web assets), social media & web content, and other communications. Two of the posters he’s designed and art-directed for CTC’s Young American Shakespeare Festival were collected in the recent book Presenting Shakespeare: 1,100 Posters from around the World. He’s an internationally published arts and culture writer whose feature article about Turkish artist Serkan Ozkaya was collected in Today Could Be a Day of Historical Importance, a limited-edition book packaged 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 a trainer and 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 University of Louisville. Isaac is an avid reader, a baseball and soccer fan, and a visual ecosystem enthusiast.
Board of Directors
President: Brooke Edge, PhD. – PriceWeber
Past President: Robby Strobo – 3PEA International
Past President: Brad Keeton – Stoll Keenon Ogden
Treasurer: Joe Legel, CPA – Jones, Nale & Mattingly PLC
Secretary: Patti Clare – Neel-Schaffer
Angela McCorkle Buckler – Republic Bank
Ellen Chumbley – Jefferson County Public Schools
Susan Cohen – Norton Healthcare Children’s Hospital Foundation
Mark Gomsak – LG&E and KU Energy
Kevin Hyde – Capture Higher Ed
Matt Kamer – Bandy Carroll Hellige
David Phillips – Palladium Communications Group
Mark Robich – Fifth Third Bank
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Keith McGill has been a freelance theater teacher and workshop leader for over 25 years for organizations including Shakespeare Behind Bars, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, ArtsReach, Commonwealth Theatre Center, and Actors Theatre’s New Voices playwriting program. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Louisville. He created a one-person show about civil rights entitled Nation in Crisis, as well as crafting the current version of No Turning Back for CTC. Keith is also an actor, and has appeared in productions with theater organizations in Kentucky, such as Actors Theatre, Looking for Lilith, and Stage One, as well as various regional and national television commercials and several films and TV series. His Shakespearean roles include Caliban in The Tempest, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Touchstone in As You Like It, and Gloucester in King Lear. For the past three decades, Keith has also worked as a stand-up comedian, appearing nationally on Laughs on Fox, and The Bob and Tom Show, as well as being a featured entertainer on Royal Caribbean and Holland American Cruise Lines.
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Laura Patterson is former resident costume designer at Actors Theatre of Louisville and has designed costumes for Walden Theatre’s productions of Summer and Smoke, The Liar, Summer Brave, Titus Andronicus, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Learned Ladies, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Crucible, Of Mice and Men, Holy Ghosts, The Winter’s Tale, Misalliance, The Time of Your Life, King Lear, Tartuffe, Playing For Time, Summer and Smoke, Picnic, Pride and Prejudice, The Crucible, Charley’s Aunt, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, and Hamlet. Patterson holds a BFA in Set & Costume Design from Syracuse University and an MFA in Costume Design from Boston University. Her designs for Actors included Dracula, Corpse, I Hate Hamlet, Shadowlands, 1969, Betty the Yeti, Sherlock Holmes, To Kill a Mockingbird, Keely and Du, Stanton’s Garage, La Bete, The Beaux’ Strategem, The Heidi Chronicles, Prelude to a Kiss, Quartermaine’s Terms, and Picnic, as well as many Humana Festival plays. Patterson has worked at the Dallas Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage, Stage West, Huntington Theatre Company, and Houston Grand Opera, and her work has been shown in Prague, Czechoslovakia. A Walden Theatre alumna, she’s married to Walden Theatre’s Artistic Director, Charlie Sexton, and they have two sons, Aaron & Ian.