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Providing advocacy & resources for the field of theatre for young audiences.

Welcome to the TYA/USA Board Page.

Learn all about the current Theatre for Young Audiences/USA Board of Directors. Follow the link below to view the Hall of Presidents and gallery/list of Board alumni.

TYA/USA BOARD ALUMNI

 

TYA/USA EXECUTIVE BOARD

Andrew Frank
President

Andrew Frank has been the Executive Director for New York City Children’s Theater since 2010. His background in theatre includes work as a producer, writer and director. Non NYCCT producing credits include: Associate Producer for Lombardi on Broadway, Ghetto Babylon at 59E59 Theaters and dozens of shows as the Founding Artistic Director of Manhattan Theatre Source (2000 to 2005). Prior to NYCCT, Andrew was the Director of the Cultural Institutions Unit at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and is also an alumni of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.

Julia Magnasco
VP Communications

Julia Magnasco is the Education Director at First Stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is in her eighth season as Education Director, and in her tenure the outreach programs at First Stage have more than doubled in size and scope, serving 20,000 students annually with programs such as The Bully Ban and the Early Literacy Residency. Julia is an active member with the American Alliance for Theater and Education, is involved in the Partners in Education program through the Kennedy Center, and is on the adjunct staff at Alverno College and Carroll University. Julia received her BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Miami, Florida, and her MFA in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University.

Gillian McNally
VP of Membership

Gillian McNally currently serves as Associate Professor of Theatre Education and Head of Community Engagement and Programs for Youth at the University of Northern Colorado. At UNC, she oversees the yearly TYA productions. She attended and presented papers exploring the connection between youth, theatre, and communities with the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network in Australia, Sweden, and Poland. A proud Longhorn, she holds an M.F.A. in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a current Board Member of TYA/USA serving as Vice President of Membership.

Hannah Grannemann
Treasurer

Hannah Grannemann joined Children’s Theatre of Charlotte as Executive Director in July 2014. Prior to joining CTC, she was Managing Director at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC, Associate Managing Director of Yale Repertory Theatre and Associate Producer for the Guthrie Theater’s 2006 Opening Events. During eight years working in the arts and cultural sector in New York City, she was the Managing Director of ACTIVE EYE, Associate Consultant at C.W. Shaver & Company, and worked with New York Stage & Film and Snug Harbor Productions. She holds an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama, an MBA from Yale School of Management and a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has experience serving on Boards and committees and have always been involved in local/regional/national committees, task forces and Boards. She has been Secretary of LORT and was a member of the Diversity Task Force, and planned LORT conferences. And she is currently the Secretary of Arts NC, the statewide advocacy organization and on the editorial board of the Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base.

Alicia Lark Fuss
Secretary

Alicia Lark Fuss is the director of education at Nashville Children’s Theatre, where she’s been a part of the team since May of 2009. She is also an adjunct professor for Belmont University’s theatre education program. Alicia holds an MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida, and has also trained as an intern through the Kennedy Center Institute for Arts Management in Washington, D.C. As an undergraduate, Alicia studied Theatre Arts at Florida State University. Alicia is proud to support NCT’s mission through her work in Middle Tennessee.

Nina Meehan
Board Member at Large

Nina Meehan is a founding company member of Bay Area Children’s Theatre where she has directed James and the Giant Peach, Little Women, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Pippi Longstocking and many others. She is very proud of her work producing and commissioning new works for young audiences including: Ivy+Bean, the Musical, Tales of Olympus, A Musical Adaptation of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and, most recently Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, the Musical. She is an award winning Youth Theatre Director, including her students 2013 Outstanding Achievements in Acting at the Broadway Jr. Festival in Atlanta, GA for her youth production of Pirates of Penzance. Nina was recognized as one of the 35-faces of Theatre Bay Area and a “Mom who Rocks” by Red Tricycle. Nina has proudly served on the Theatre Services Committee for Theatre Bay Area for the past eight years. She has worked throughout the Bay Area as an actress, educator, storyteller, and director. Nina received her BS in Theatre from Northwestern University and her Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.

TYA/USA Board

Michael J. Bobbitt
Board Member

Michael J. Bobbitt is the Artistic Director of Adventure Theatre MTC, since 2007. Under Michael’s leadership, Adventure has grown from a $450K Budget to $2.6M and grown its patron base from 15K to 80K annually, led the company through a merger with Musical Theatre Center in 2012. He is the recipient of the 2015 Excel Leadership Award from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and the 2010 County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities – Emerging Leader Award and Maryland Theatre Guide’s 2015 Person of the Year Award.

Currently, he also serves on the board of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, and the Nonprofit Village and Advisory Boards for Flying V and The Actor’s Center. He was President of the League of Washington Theatres and served on the Board of theatreWashington, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. He has served on grants panels for The National Endowment for the Arts, The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Maryland State Arts Council. He has been a respondent for the Cohen New Works Festival at the University of Texas, The Junior Theatre Festival and the South Eastern Theatre Conference.

Michael has directed, choreographed and performed at many theatres in the DC region, including Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre Society, Next Stop Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Metro Stage, Rorshach Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Music Center at Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, The Helen Hayes Awards and the Washington National Opera. He has been nominated for numerous Helen Hayes Awards. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and 1996 Olympics. As a writer, his work has been accepted in the 2006 NYC International Fringe Festival, The New York Musical Theatre Festival. His new musicals, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and Caps for Sale appeared at the New Victory Theatre in NYC, toured Nationally and Three Little Birds received a Charles MacArthur Award Nomination for Outstanding New Play or Musical.

His leadership training is from the Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative – Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, the Coaching Initiative for Non Profit Leaders of Color – National Training Laboratories & Mosaica, Leadership Montgomery, Financial Reporting and Management Institute: Nonprofit Roundtable, Theatre Leadership Institute: American Alliance for Theatre and Education. He studied creative writing and music at Susquehanna University and theater and dance at The Washington Ballet, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and NY University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Cap 21).

Michael has taught theater and dance at George Washington University, Catholic University, Montgomery College, Howard University, and the Washington Ballet. He lives in Glen Echo, Maryland with his partner Craig and teenaged adopted son, Sang.

Katie Campbell
Board Member

Katie Campbell is a director, performer, teacher, and puppet artist. For the past eight years she has found an artistic home in Little Rock as a company member with the Arkansas Art Center Childrenʼs Theater (AACCT), director and performer with the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, and improvisor with ImprovLittleRock and The Joint Venture. She is also the co-founder and co-director of the youth improv comedy company, Armadillo Rodeo. She is a 2015 Jim Henson Family Grant recipient for her devised and directed shadow puppet play for young people, The Ugly Duckling. She has an MFA in directing Theatre for Youth from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Theatre Arts from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is passionate about providing spaces of dialogue for young people onstage and off. She strives to create work that youth connect with and see their lives reflected in the art.

Marcella Crowson
Board Member

Marcella is the Associate Artistic Director of Oregon Children’s Theatre. She was fortunate to be steeped in theater from a young age, growing up in Ashland, Oregon — the home of Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She played a variety of aliens, old ladies and narrators in her early years — an auspicious beginning to what would become a career in theater spanning a quarter century (and counting). For Oregon Children’s Theatre, she has directed The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, Zombie in Love (for which she won a Drammy Award for Best Director of a Musical), The Stinky Cheese Man, The Storm in the Barn, A Wrinkle in time, On the Eve of Friday Morning, Dis/Troy, Fragments, and The True Story of The Three Little Pigs. She served as the Artistic Director of Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program in collaboration with Oregon Children’s Theatre for ten years before assuming the role of Associate Artistic Director. She has had the great privilege of working for such theaters as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Portland Center Stage, CoHo Productions, Live On Stage, Oregon Repertory Theatre, and Eugene Festival of Musical Theatre, among others. With a special love for developing new work, she’s had the pleasure of collaborating with extraordinary playwrights, musicians and composers, including Eric Coble, Finegan Kruckemeyer, Michelle Elliott and Danny Larsen, Black Prairie, and more.

Julia Flood
Board Member

Julia Flood is Artistic Director of Metro Theater Company in St. Louis, Missouri and has more than 35 years of experience in the professional theater. She served as Artistic Director of Eckerd Theater Company (ETC), a touring TYA company in Clearwater, Florida, from 1998 to 2013. In Florida, she worked as a performer, director, teacher and playwright with ETC, American Stage Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Caldwell Theatre Company, Gorilla Theatre Company, Studio @ 620, and Actors’ Playhouse. A graduate of Northwestern University, Julia was a resident member of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in Pennsylvania for seven years and worked in New York, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and throughout her native New England before settling in Florida. Julia is the author of more than a dozen produced plays for young audiences. She has also fostered the commissioning and development of new plays for young audiences including VOTE! by Eric Coble and BATTLEDRUM by Doug Cooney with music by Lee Ahlin, both of which are published by Dramatic Publishing. Julia served on the Publications Committee of TYA Today before joining the TYA-USA Board in May 2011.

Tamara Goldbogen
Board Member

Tamara Goldbogen is currently the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Endowed Chair for Arts Learning at Weber State University where she oversees a statewide arts integration program and teaches in the College of Arts & Humanities and the College of Education. Prior to her work at Weber State University, Tamara taught theatre for youth and creative drama at the University of Pittsburgh and served as director of the departmental outreach program, Shakespeare-in-the-Schools. Tamara’s other work includes the Children’s Theatre Company, Spoleto Festival USA, University of Hawaii, College of Charleston, and founding director of South Carolina Young Playwrights. As part of the ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festivals, Tamara presented at the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network in in Australia, Sweden, and Poland. She holds an MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin.

Matthew Gutschick
Board Member

Matthew Gutschick is Artistic Director of The Omaha Theater Company (The Rose) where he has directed Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Disney’s Mary Poppins, Greg Banks’s Robin Hood, Ramona Quimby, Christmas Story: The Musical. Under Matthew’s direction, The Rose has developed classes and productions for PreK audiences. He has also been instrumental in the commission, production and presentation of ground-breaking new works including Palette of Possibility, The Rose’s first show developed specifically for youth with autism. The Rose’s residency with Daniel Beaty has radically altered the company’s approach to outreach, with programs focused on gang violence, teen pregnancy, and youth incarceration. Matthew is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf, member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and holds a BA from Wake Forest University. He earned an MFA in Theater Management from the Yale School of Drama.

Mireya “Murry” Hepner

Mireya (Murry) Hepner is the producer of the City of Rancho Cucamonga’s MainStreet Theatre Company, the resident Equity Company at the Lewis Family Playhouse, producing innovative shows specifically for children and family audiences. Before MainStreet, she spent many years working on Broadway, Off Broadway, in Regional Theatre, and on the road, working on diverse projects in various capacities. Some past favorites include Lapine and Sondheim’s Passion (stage manager, original workshop & Broadway), Anna Deavere Smith’s House Arrest (Coordinating Producer: Arena Stage), The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Production Manager, Universal Amphitheatre, L.A.) and touring the U.S. and Australia with legendary mime Marcel Marceau. She has a BA in Theatre from UCLA, trained as a stage manager at the London Academy of Music and Drama, and as an Arts Manager in the MFA program at Brooklyn College.

Elizabeth Brendel Horn
Board Member

After receiving her Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in partnership with Orlando Repertory Theatre, Elizabeth spent six years teaching high school theatre, where she directed 13 productions, mentored over 20 student-directed productions, produced devised original works and new adaptations, managed field trip performances, coordinated a community arts festival, and took several productions to Florida State Festival and the Orlando International Fringe Festival. During this period, she kept one foot in the world of professional TYA as a teaching artist with The REP and serving in leadership roles with TYA/USA’s TYA Today and AATE’s InciteInsight magazines. Elizabeth has contributed articles to both of the aforementioned publications, in addition to an article in the upcoming devising special topics issue of Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Theatre Topics. In August 2015, Elizabeth returned to UCF as an assistant professor of Theatre for Young Audiences.

Deborah Wicks La Puma
Board Member

Deborah Wicks La Puma’s musical works for theatre for young audiences have been seen from the East Room of the White House to California, Hawaii, Australia and Singapore. Her musicals include ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE: WE ARE IN A PLAY! (based on the books by Mo Willems), FERDINAND THE BULL (based on the book by Munro Leaf), FRIDA LIBRE (premiere La Jolla Playhouse), EINSTEIN IS A DUMMY (premiere Alliance Theatre) and NOBODY’S PERFECT (based on the book by Marlee Matlin). Ms La Puma, a Mexican-American, received her MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, her BA from Stanford University, and studied folk music with Alfredo Lopez, musicologist at la Universidad de Baja California. She is a member of ASCAP, The Dramatist Guild and an active musical director and orchestrator. Find her published works with Dramatic Publishing, and more information on her shows at: crunchynotes.com.

Steve Martin
Board Member

Steve Martin (Managing Director) is in his 15th season as Managing Director at Childsplay. While Martin has been at Childsplay, the company has moved into the Tempe Center for the Arts and the Sybil B. Harrington Campus for Imagination and Wonder; secured their first $1 million grant from the US Department of Education; received funding from national foundations like the Hearst Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Theatre Communications Group, and the Shubert Foundation; received substantial support from local foundations like the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the Pulliam Charitable Trust, and the Helios Foundation; expanded education programs to include more than 1,800 annual Academy students while also placing teaching artists in more than 160 classrooms throughout the State; and produced more than 23 world premieres. He is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and a 1983 graduate of the University of Toledo. Martin is currently on the board of Arizona Citizens for the Arts (past President), East Valley Partnership and TYA/USA – The U.S. Chapter of ASSITEJ, the international organization for theatre for young audiences. Prior to joining Childsplay, he was Assistant Managing Director of the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Managing Director of Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk, Virginia. He has also served as a grants panelist for the Virginia Commission on the Arts, Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.

Stephen McCormick
Board Member

Steve McCormick completed his Master of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University in 2001. He has been the Director of Education & Outreach for La Jolla Playhouse since 2006 developing programs that serve over 30,000 patrons annually. During his time at the Playhouse Mr. McCormick has commissioned world premiere productions for youth from high profile playwrights such as Barry Kornhauser, Will Power, Kathryn Walat, Karen Zacarias and Ernie Nolan with a piece that was selected for participation in the 2012 New Visions/New Voices program. Prior to his time at the Playhouse, Mr. McCormick served as Associate Artistic Director and Education Director for First Stage Children’s Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over the course of his 15 year relationship with First Stage Mr. McCormick directed productions including Sideways Stories From Wayside School, Two Donuts, Ramona Quimby and appeared in numerous productions as an actor (personal favorites include The Yellow Boat, Dinosaur and inhabiting the Creature in Frankenstein). Mr. McCormick has also worked as an educator, dramaturg and/or performer for The Utah Shakespearean Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Childsplay, Arkansas Children’s Theatre, National Theatre of the Deaf, Native Voices at the Autry, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Springer Opera House and the Tennessee School for the Blind. He can also be heard playing various aquatic life in multiple video games for the SpongeBob Squarepants TV series.

Christopher Moses
Board Member

Under Moses’s leadership, the Alliance Education Department has doubled the number of young people participating in the educational programs to approximately 11,000 students this year. During his tenure as Director of Educational Programs, the Alliance Education Department launched innovation new programs including Theatre for the Very Young, an Artist to Artist master class series, ArtsVibe programming for teens, and Alliance@Work professional development courses, and expanded nationally recognized programs like the Collision Project and the Institute for Educators and Teaching Artists.

Ernie Nolan
Board Member - Incoming Official Representative to ASSITEJ International

Ernie Nolan is an award winning director and playwright who received the Illinois Theatre Association’s 2014 award for Excellence in Theatre for Young Audiences. For Chicago Playworks at The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago he has directed The BFG, The Giver, The Witches, A Wrinkle in Time, Number the Stars, and The Day John Henry Came to School. His work at The Broadway Playhouse includes A Charlie Brown Christmas, Fancy Nancy The Musical, Pinkalicious, The Cat in the Hat, Cinderella, Charlotte’s Web, and the world premiere of Hansel and Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat with Justin Roberts. Ernie’s playwriting has been produced nationally and at such theatres as The Coterie, First Stage, Walnut Street, Orlando Rep, and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. He has written commissions for Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, MD, La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA, The Milwaukee Zoological Society, and his latest commission, My Broken Doll, for the Institute for Holocaust Education and The Circle Theatre in Omaha, Nebraska. Also a resident artist of The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, MO, he has directed and choreographed world premieres by such Tony-nominated artists as Willy and Rob Reale, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and Bill Russell and Henry Krieger Ernie is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at The Theatre School at DePaul University as well as the Vice-President of Theatre for Young Audiences USA. He is a proud graduate of both the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program (BFA Musical Theatre) and The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA Directing).

Brant Pope
Board Member

Brant Pope is the chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin and is holder of the Z .T. Scott Family Chair. Dr. Pope has a thirty-year career in both academic and professional theatre. As a professional actor, and director Brant’s work has been seen Off-Broadway, in regional theatre, and in film and television. For eleven years, he served as director of the FSU Asolo Conservatory, and associate artistic director of the Asolo Theatre Company, in Sarasota, Florida. In addition to his position at the Asolo, Professor Pope has served as chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois and head of acting and directing, at Penn State University. He has been the president of the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA), and is an accreditation reviewer for the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). Pope earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Master of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Fine Arts from Florida State University and a doctorate in History (American Studies) from Michigan State University.

Curtis Robbins
Board Member

Curtis Robbins serves as the Senior Manager of Integrated Resources for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. He has led the creative development of plays for elementary school children that address bully-prevention, refusal skills, nutrition and physical activity. Curtis has overseen the development of interactive workshops that employ improvisational and social issues theatre to explore laughter as form of wellness, communication skills for youth and their families, and the effects of economic disparities in health care. Curtis also coordinates efforts to expand the Educational Theatre Programs to unreached communities in Colorado by establishing partnerships with theatres and college theatre departments to produce programs locally. He holds a BA in Communications with Theatre Emphasis and a MBA in Project Management.

Karen Sharp
Board Member

Karen Sharp is Seattle Children’s Theatre Managing Director. Karen has been a member of the SCT staff since 1999 and served as Education Director for many years. She honed her administrative skills teaching and coordinating arts education programs for over twenty years including several years as a drama specialist in a public elementary school. In addition Karen is an adjunct faculty member for the Seattle University MFA Arts Leadership program, has taught for Cornish College of the Arts and serves on the faculty of Bringing Theatre into the Classroom and Teaching Artist Training Lab. She has consulted with art schools and theater education departments across the country to help them implement best practices at their institutions and has been a guest lecture at many colleges and universities. Karen has presented at several local and national conferences including the 2011 and 2013 One Theatre World conferences, 2012 AATE Theatre in our Schools regional conference and the 2013 and 2015 AATE national conferences. Karen currently serves on the Board of TYA USA and is the Board President of The Winifred Ward Scholarship Foundation .

Dexter Singleton
Board Member

Mr. Singleton’s career began with the now world renowned Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit as an ensemble member. He went on to graduate from Western Michigan University with a BA in Theatre Performance and Directing in 1998. He is the former Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Kalamazoo Youth Theatre, a theatre training program for youth ages 10-18, providing touring and professional opportunities. Upon graduation, Dexter was selected as the first Sikorsky Intern at New Haven, CT. Long Wharf Theatre, where as an artistic/education intern. Dexter moved on to found, along with Liz Hinz in 2001, Collective Consciousness Theatre, a New Haven based multicultural theatre company dedicated to creating new American works that inspire social change. With this company, they have performed for over 70,000 in several states across the U.S. Dexter has engaged many organizations and schools across the country with original workshops and programming as a public speaker/trainer in the areas of racism, African American Studies, culture, diversity, team building, and hip hop. Mr. Singleton is a working playwright of six regionally produced works, a director, producer and an actor. Serving as Executive Director of Collective Consciousness Theatre, he is also the Head of Theatre at Regional Center for the Arts in Trumbull, CT. and Director of the GHAA Summer Musical Theatre Workshop in Hartford,CT. He is most recently a recipient of the 2014 National Artist Teacher Fellowship.

Jeremy Winchester
Board Member

As a freelance artist in theatre, dance and opera, Winchester has worked for such notable companies as A Contemporary Theatre, Cornerstone Theatre, the Santa Fe Opera, Spoleto Festival, Pacific Performance Project, Peter Kyle Dance, Boise Contemporary Theatre, and the Write Now Festival, among many others. He has also taught in the theatre departments at Michigan State University and the University of Evansville. At Flint Youth TheatreT, he has directed productions of such theatre cannon mainstays as The Miracle Worker and The Diary of Anne Frank, casting adult professional actors alongside youth performers, all in age-appropriate roles. Winchester is also dedicated to creating new work, and has established one slot per year in FYT’s season to new-play production. Under his leadership, he created the Building Bridges program, in which FYT partners with a community agency for each production and creates ancillary programming for that entity’s constituency in conjunction with the performances. FYT recently joined Equity as a TYA member theatre. Winchester holds a BFA from the University of Oklahoma, and an MFA from the University of Washington