The Team

Leadership

Christopher Ashley

The Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse
Christopher Ashley

Tony Award-winner Christopher Ashley has served as La Jolla Playhouse’s Artistic Director since 2007. During his tenure, he directed the world premieres of Come From Away, Diana: The Musical, Memphis, Escape to Margaritaville, The Squirrels, A Dram of Drummhicit, Restoration and Chasing the Song, as well as His Girl Friday, Glengarry Glen Ross, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Freaky Friday and Xanadu. He also spearheaded the Playhouse’s Without Walls (WOW) initiative, the DNA New Work Series and the Resident Theatre program.

Mr. Ashley recently directed Come From Away for AppleTV+ and Diana: The Musical for Netflix. Other screen credits include the feature films Jeffrey and Lucky Stiff, and the American Playhouse production of Blown Sideways Through Life for PBS.

Mr. Ashley’s Broadway credits include Come From Away (Tony and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Diana: The Musical, Escape to Margaritaville, Memphis (Tony Award nomination), Xanadu, Leap of Faith (Drama Desk Award nomination), All Shook Up and The Rocky Horror Show (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). He also helmed productions of Come From Away in London (Olivier Award nomination), Toronto, Australia and on national tour. Other national tours include Escape to Margaritaville, Memphis, Xanadu, All Shook Up and Seussical: The Musical. Additional New York stage credits include Blown Sideways Through Life, Jeffrey (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla (Lucille Lortel Award nomination), Regrets Only, Wonder of the World, Communicating Doors, Bunny Bunny, The Night Hank Williams Died and Fires in the Mirror (Lucille Lortel Award), among others.

Mr. Ashley is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, the Drama League Director Fellowship and an NEA/TCG Director Fellowship.

 

Debby Buchholz

Managing Director
Debby Buchholz

was appointed La Jolla Playhouse’s new Managing Director in 2018 and has served as General Manager of the Playhouse since 2002. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the League of Resident Theaters (LORT). In 2009, she received a San Diego Women Who Mean Business Award from San Diego Business Journal. Previously she served as Counsel to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. She was a faculty member of the Smithsonian Institution’s program on Legal Problems of Museum Administration. Prior to the Kennedy Center, she served as a corporate attorney in New York City and Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of UC San Diego and Harvard Law School. Ms. Buchholz and her husband, noted author and White House economic policy advisor Todd Buchholz, live in Solana Beach and are the proud parents of Victoria, Katherine and Alexia.

Senior Staff
Artistic Producing Director
Eric Keen-Louie

Eric Keen-Louie (he/him/his) joined the Playhouse in September, 2018, after seven years at The Old Globe, where he started as Associate Producer and later became Associate Artistic Director. At the Globe, he helped guide nearly fifty productions, including the pre-Broadway productions of Bright Star, Allegiance and the Tony Award-winning A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. He co-created the theater’s new play development initiative The Powers New Voices Festival and helped launch the arts engagement programs Community Voices and Globe for All. Keen-Louie spent three years at The Public Theater as the Assistant to the Associate Producer and then Director of Special Projects, working on world premieres by Richard Nelson, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Stephen Sondheim, as well as the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Hair and the creation of The Mobile Unit. Independently, he produced Kingdom and the GLAAD Media Award-winning when last we flew. He also assisted Broadway producer Margo Lion on Hairspray and Caroline, or Change. He is a recipient of The Edward & Sally Van Lier Arts Fellowship for Producing and an alumnus of American Express’ Leadership Academy. He serves as Secretary for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s Board of Directors and chairs the organization’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee and New Works Committee. He graduated with a B.A. in Dramatic Literature from New York University and an M.F.A. in Theatre Management and Producing from Columbia University, where he received a Dean’s fellowship. He shares his commute to La Jolla with his husband Anthony Keen-Louie, an administrator in student affairs at UC San Diego. He is a proud third-generation Chinese-American.

 

Director of Artistic Development
Gabriel Greene

Gabriel Greene joined La Jolla Playhouse’s artistic staff in 2007. In addition to curating and producing the annual DNA New Work Series, he has dramaturged over two dozen new plays and musicals for the Playhouse, including The Squirrels, Wild Goose Dreams, At the Old Place, Escape to Margaritaville, Miss You Like Hell, JUNK, The Last Tiger in Haiti, Blueprints to Freedom, Up Here, The Darrell Hammond Project, The Who & The What, Milk Like Sugar (also off-Broadway) and Memphis (also Broadway and London; four Tony Awards). With Alex Levy, he wrote Safe at Home, a site-specific show which was developed through the DNA Series and received its world premiere at Mixed Blood Theatre in 2017 (Ivey Award). Goosebumps Alive, his immersive adaptation of R.L. Stine’s best-selling novels (co-written and directed by Tom Salamon) received its world premiere at The Vaults (London) in 2016. He is a graduate of University of Michigan and Trinity College, Dublin.

 

Director of Experiences and Activations
Mia Fiorella

Mia Fiorella joined the marketing team at Jolla Playhouse in 2011 and has worked on many hit shows like Come From Away, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Blueprints to Freedom, Junk and Miss You Like Hell – and all Without Walls projects. Her passion is bringing audiences and artists together to share stories, culture and experiences. Mia previously worked as the Audience Development Manager at The Old Globe, and in Chicago as a Publicist with John Iltis & Cheryl Lewin Associates (a film and theatre PR firm) and as the Marketing & Publicity Director for The Noble Fool Theatre and Trinity Irish Dance Company. She is a proud graduate of the Theatre Management program at DePaul University in Chicago. Mia spent the last twenty years playing women’s ice hockey until recently, when she discovered rowing on Mission Bay. Before all of these many journeys, she danced for the Delia Stewart Dance company in Houston, TX (now the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center) and studied modern and jazz dance in New York City.
 

Director of Arts Engagement/In-House Casting
Jacole Kitchen

Jacole Kitchen is the Director of Arts Engagement and In-House Casting at La Jolla Playhouse, spearheading numerous community-based programs. In addition, she teaches acting, improv and professional development for actors through UCSD Extension. Directing credits include the Playhouse’s Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour production of Light Years Away, Cardboard Piano (Diversionary Theatre), An Iliad (New Village Arts), among others. She was recently named Executive Director of the San Diego Performing Arts League.
 

Director of Philanthropy
Julia B. Foster

A native New Yorker, Julia B. Foster has dedicated the majority of her career to the non-profit arts, in both performance and administration. After earning a B.A. in dance at Washington University in St. Louis, she pursued a professional career in modern dance, musical theater, singing and acting, including six years as a soloist with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. Later transitioning to arts administration, Foster most recently worked at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, as Vice President of Development, overseeing their successful annual fund campaign that raised a record $10.5 million goal in FY18, and leading the Center’s annual Candlelight Concert gala to its highest net profit finish in its 44 year history. While at the Center, she previously served as the Director of the Capital Campaign, where she oversaw the Center’s $73 million Next Act Capital Campaign, and planned and implemented successful campaign events, including the groundbreaking and opening celebrations for the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. Past positions at Segerstrom Center include Director of Major Gifts and Director of the Annual Fund. She also co-chaired the Orange County Association of Fundraising Professionals’ National Philanthropy Day fundraiser luncheon. Prior to the Segerstrom Center, Foster held the post of Chief Development Officer at both Project Access and at Irvine Barclay Theatre and served as the Cultural Development Manager for the Vail Valley Foundation in Colorado.

 

Director of Public Relations
Becky Biegelsen

Becky joined the La Jolla Playhouse staff in 2009. During her tenure, she has garnered major national coverage in such publications as The New York Times, Time Magazine, American Theatre, LA Times, Huffington Post and NPR for the Playhouse’s numerous world-premiere, Broadway-bound productions, including Come From Away, Lempicka, Indecent, Diana, Hands on a Hardbody, as well as the Playhouse’s acclaimed Without Walls (WOW) Festivals. Prior to working at the Playhouse, she served Public Relations Director at The Old Globe and has held communications positions at UC San Diego, Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center and New York City Opera. She is a graduate of Carleton College and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

 

Director of Sales & Marketing
Stephanie Zappala

A native Australian, Stephanie has enjoyed a career in the arts and non-profit sectors in Australia, the UK and USA. Stephanie joined La Jolla Playhouse in 2022, overseeing successful campaigns for Playhouse-born world premieres including The Outsiders, The Untitled, Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical, Babbitt with Matthew Broderick, Redwood with Idina Menzel and more to come. She has held leadership positions at premiere organizations including Miami City Ballet, Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia, The Royal Academy of Dance and The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. At Miami City Ballet, she led some of the most successful campaigns in the company’s history. At Sydney Theatre Company, she led an innovative loyalty program for 20,000~ subscribers, and campaigns for over 80 reimagined classics and new works for the stage. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Program in Social Impact and the Australian College of Journalism. Stephanie is passionate about making extraordinary artistic experiences available to everyone.

 

Director of Learning
Bridget Cavaiola Stone

Bridget has been with La Jolla Playhouse since 2017, first as a Teaching Artist, and now as the Director of Learning. She is a San Diego based educator, improviser, and facilitator and has been performing and teaching improv theater and communication strategies to adults and children since 2005. She has been a Master Teaching Artist with Arts for Learning, San Diego, La Jolla Playhouse, and San Diego Junior Theatre and is a performer and teacher with Finest City Improv. She is the former Education Director for the Baltimore Improv Group as well as a former Teaching Artist for Young Audiences of Maryland. She was a Baltimore County Public Schools High School (MD) English and theater teacher for seven years. Bridget is a graduate of the Young Audience of Maryland Teaching Artist Institute and has extensive training in inclusion, professional development, and arts integration. She holds a masters degree in Communicating in Contemporary Cultures and teaches adjunct at the college level. She has performed improv in Baltimore, DC, New York, Chicago, Austin, Philadelphia, London, and San Diego.

 

General Manager
Ryan Meisheid

Ryan joined the Playhouse in October 2018. Most Recently Ryan was the Associate Managing Director at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company. Prior to the Denver Center, Ryan was in the General Management departments at New York’s Public Theatre and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and worked with Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre and Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company. He graduated from the Theatre School, DePaul University in Chicago with a B.F.A. in Theatre Management, and was part of the 2015 artEquity Facilitator Training Cohort. He is a Trustee of the San Diego Theatrical Health and Pension Funds.

 

Director of Operations
Ned Collins

 

Chief Financial Officer
Laura Killmer

 

Senior Production Manager
Benjamin Seibert

Ben Seibert (he/him/his) joined the Production Management team at La Jolla Playhouse in 2014. During his time with the Playhouse, he has overseen production activities for dozens of Playhouse-born plays and musicals including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Darrel Hammond Project, Come From Away, JUNK, The Last Tiger in Haiti, Blueprints to Freedom, Escape to Margaritaville, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Diana and Fly. He began his career as a technician in the Chicago area after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Barat College in Lake Forest, IL. Ben has toured nationally as a technical director and technician and worked in theaters across the country of all sizes. He has worked prominently in the past with The Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Production Manager) and the University of San Diego (Production Manager/Technical Director).
 

Production Manager
Becca Duhaime

Becca Duhaime joined La Jolla Playhouse as an Assistant Production Manager in 2015, and became Co-Leader of the Production department in 2024. During her time at the Playhouse, she production managed WOW Festival ’15-‘22 and continues to lead production teams in the development of new and reimagined work, including Redwood, The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical, As You Like It, Lempicka and Bhangin’ It. Prior to La Jolla Playhouse Becca worked at The Alley Theatre, Blue Man Group, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Santa Fe Opera, and Ogunquit Playhouse. She is a proud graduate of Ithaca College Theatre Arts where she received her BFA, has her BA in Business, and is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Board of Trustees

Sheri L. Jamieson
Chair

Denise Bevers
First Vice-Chair

Michael Flaster
Second Vice-Chair

Scott M. Stanton
Treasurer

Annie Ellis
Secretary

1947 Founders
Mel Ferrer
Dorothy McGuire
Gregory Peck

Trustees
Christopher Ashley
Susan Gembrowski Baker
Michael Bartell
Ralph Bryan*
Debby Buchholz
Randy Camp
Robert Caplan
Ann Cathcart Chaplin
Randall Clark*
Mary Coleman
Stephan Coleman
Doug Dawson
Edward A. Dennis, Ph.D.
Susan Dubé
Hal Dunning
Emily Einhorn
Ray Flores
Judy Garrett
Justin Gleiberman
Lynn E. Gorguze
Luke Gulley
Kay Gurtin
Clark Guy
Dean Haas
Dwight Hare
Osborn L. Hurston
Debby Jacobs
Joan Jacobs
Pradeep K. Khosla, Ph.D.
Veronica Leff
Bena Leslie
Lynelle Lynch*
Margret McBride*
Lorne Polger
Karen A. Quiñones
David I. Reynoso
Becky Robbins
Shane Shelley
Karen Silberman
Delicia Turner Sonnenberg
Suzi Sterner
Andy Thomas
Erin Trenda
Mary Walshok, Ph.D.

Honorary Trustees
Peter Cowhey, Ph.D.
Ivan Gayler
John Goodman
Jeanne Jones
Julie Potiker
Steven M. Strauss*
Geri Ann Warnke*
Gary Wollberg*
Robert Wright, Esq.

Emeritus Trustees
David Copley (1952-2012)
Ted Cranston (1940-2012)
Milton Fredman (1920-2005)
Ewart W. Goodwin, Jr.* (1938-2019)
Joel Holliday* (1939-2022)
Hughes Potiker (1925-2005)
Roger Revelle (1909-1991)
Jeffrey Ressler* (1943-2022)
Willard P. VanderLaan, M.D.* (1917-2012)
Arthur Wagner, Ph.D. (1923-2015)
Mandell Weiss (1891-1993)

Emerita Trustees
Rita Bronowski (1917-2010)
Marian Jones Longstreth (1906-1997)
Sheila Potiker (1930-2011)
Ellen Revelle (1910-2009)

*Past Chair of the Board

As of July 24, 2023

Staff by Department

Artistic

Artistic Producing Director
Eric Keen-Louie

Director of Artistic Development
Gabriel Greene

Director of Experiences and Activations
Mia Fiorella

Associate Producer
Amy Ashton

Executive Assistant to Christopher Ashley
Rick VanNoy

Director Emeritus
Des McAnuff

Directing Fellow
Kat Yen

Artists Currently Under Commission
Todd Almond, Jeff Augustin, Sam Chanse, Fernanda Coppel, Ava Geyer, Idris Goodwin, Mike Lew, Rehana Lew Mirza, Martyna Majok, Mona Mansour, Jess McLeod, MILCK, Lisa Peterson, Theresa Rebeck, Harrison David Rivers, Claudia Shear, Christopher Shinn, Octavio Solis, Benjamin Velez, Keith Wallace, Cheryl L. West, Kristina Wong, Lauren Yee

Learning and Engagement

Director of Learning
Bridget Cavaiola Stone

Director of Arts Engagement and In-House Casting
Jacole Kitchen

Learning and Engagement Manager
Hannah Reinert

Learning and Engagement Coordinator
Danniel Ureña

Teaching Artists
Julie Benitez, Lex Bezdeka, Leticia De Anda, Farah Dinga, Shairi Engle, Kristen Fogle, Shawn Foote, Melissa Glasgow, Kirsten Giard, Abby Huffstetler, Jeffrey Ingman, Erica Kahn, Justin Lang, Grace Lehman, Wilfred Paloma, Vanessa Reibel, Lorena Santana, Gill Sotu, Emily Stamets, Marjorie Treger

Contact Learning and Engagement: [email protected]

Administration

General Manager
Ryan Meisheid

Assistant General Manager
Erica Martin

 

COMPANY MANAGEMENT

Assistant Company Manager
Mia Apalategui

Company Management Assistant
Grace Lehman, Austin Mahn

 

LEGAL COUNSEL

Corporate/Legal Counsel
Robert C. Wright, Wright & L’Estrange

Theatre/Legal Counsel
F. Richard Pappas, Esq.

Finance

Chief Financial Officer
Laura Killmer

Controller
Jared Jackson

Accounts Payable Manager
Sharon Ratelle

Human Resources Manager
Jennifer Boaz

Payroll
Matthew Zapata

Philanthropy

Director of Philanthropy
Julia B. Foster

Associate Director of Philanthropy
Keely Daximillion

Assistant Director of Philanthropy, Institutional Giving
Rebecca Pierce Goodman

Senior Manager, Philanthropy Operations
Tony Dixon

Special Events Manager
Nil Noyan

Individual Giving Manager
Taylor Lehmkuhl

Corporate Relations Manager
Katie Wallace-Coppo

Senior Coordinator, Institutional Giving
Lyla Iannaccone

Senior Coordinator, Stewardship
Dominique Kaestner

Special Events Coordinator
Gabriella Johnson

Philanthropy Administrative Assistant
Sam Dedal

Communications

Director of Public Relations
Becky Biegelsen

Director of Sales & Marketing
Stephanie Zappala

Associate Director of Sales & Marketing
Sonia Diaz

Interim Associate Director of Sales & Marketing
Amanda Cantlin

Communications Manager
Grace Madamba

Senior Multimedia Designer
Nancy Showers

Multimedia Designer
Phyllis Sa

Marketing Manager
Kevin Taylor

Social Media and Content Manager
Samantha Laurent

Marketing Database Analyst
Dani Meister

Marketing Assistant
Mia Van Deloo

Patron Services Sales Specialist
Paul Preston

Sales Concierge
William Guiney

 

PATRON SERVICES

Associate Director of Ticketing Services
Pearl Hang

Senior Patron Services Manager
Travis Guss

Patron Services Assistant Manager/Group Sales Specialist
Bill Washington

Lead Patron Services Representative
Rachel Lasker

Lead Patron Services Representative
Claire Michael

Patron Services Representative
Devon Gonzales

Patron Services Representative
Kita Barrientos

Patron Services Representative
Atalaya Gonzalez

Operations

Director of Operations
Ned Collins

Operations Manager
John Craft

Network Systems Specialist
Daryl “Scooter” Davis

Office Administrator
Amanda Casachahua

 

FRONT OF HOUSE

House Manager
Braulio Fernandez-Flores

Assistant House Managers
Alex Bezdeka, Simonne Darbonne, Hannah Johnson, Amy Marquez, Gemina Soriano

Audience Concierges
Sara Delgado, Chris Ferreria, Sashank Kanchustambam, Angela Park, Teya Searles, Avery Simonian, Nare Terzyan, Maria Torpey, Mia Van Deloo, Alex Walker

Production

Senior Production Manager
Benjamin Seibert

Production Manager
Becca Duhaime

Production Office Manager
Caren Heintzelman

Production Office Assistant
Matthew Bantock

Production/Stage Management Intern
Olivia Huntley

 

SCENE SHOP

Scenery Supervisor
Jonathan Gilmer

Scenery Supervisor
Kyle Pollitt

Scenery Specialist
David Weiner

Shop Foreman
Christopher Chauvet

Lead Stage Carpenter
Molly Whittaker

Carpenters
Jacob Becker, Michael Brodsky, Benjamin Butler, Jason Foster, Keegan Graham, Kevin Hall, Joshua Isaacs-Bennett, Nicholas Jackson, Marcus Laskey, Richard Madrigal, Heather Rawolle, Nicholas Savage, James Seiveno, Tanner Sohnleitner, Wally Wallace

Shop Helper
Samantha King

Charge Artist
Jennifer Imbler

Scenic Artists
Caroline Kvaas, Marie Mateo, Melissa Nalbach, Courtney Ware

 

PROPERTIES SHOP

Prop Supervisor
Deb Hatch

Prop Design Associate
Zlatko Mitev

Prop Lead Artisan
Rai Feltmann

Prop Artisan
McKenzie Kiser, Ryan Lewis

 

COSTUME SHOP

Costume Supervisor
Jennifer Ables

Resident Costume Design Assistant
Desiree Hatfield-Buckley

Costume Office Assistant
Rebecca Rankin

Draper
Sara Lindsey

First Hand
Keira McGee

Lead Crafts Artisan
Tess Mattraw

Stitchers
Stephanie Gift, Sonya Levin, Faith Steenberger

Wardrobe Supervisor
Junior Bergman

Hair/Make Up Supervisor
Alberto “Albee” Alvarado

 

ELECTRICS

Production Electrician
Kristyn Kennedy

Electricians
Michelle Aguilar, Hannah Beerfas, Jasmyne Birdsong, Alex Cluff, Xavier Luevano, Amber Montoya, Sandra Navarro, Jenner Price, Aiko Whitmore

 

SOUND/VIDEO

Sound/Video Supervisor
Dan Barsky

Head of Sound Department
Daniel Silva

Sound/Video Technicians
Camille Houze, Mae Le, Alfredo Madrigal, Tom Martinez, David Silva

La Jolla Playhouse operates under agreements between the League of Resident Theatres and Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and United Scenic Arts Local USA-829 of the IATSE; and under agreements between the Playhouse and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 122 and the American Federation of Musicians Local 325 San Diego.

La Jolla Playhouse is a member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for the nonprofit professional theatre.

Photo credit: René Millán and the cast of American Night, The Ballad of Juan José; photo by Craig Schwartz.

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