The Team

Leadership

Christopher Ashley

Artistic Director
Christopher Ashley

has served as La Jolla Playhouse’s Artistic Director since October, 2007. During his tenure, he has helmed the Playhouse’s acclaimed productions of The Squirrels, Hollywood, The Darrell Hammond Project, His Girl Friday, Glengarry Glen Ross, A Dram of Drummhicit, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Restoration and the musicals Escape to Margaritaville, Disney’s Freaky Friday, Chasing the Song, Xanadu, Memphis, which won four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and Come From Away, for which he won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical. He also spearheaded the Playhouse’s Without Walls (WOW) series and the Resident Theatre program. Prior to joining the Playhouse, he directed the Broadway productions of Xanadu (Drama Desk nomination), All Shook Up and The Rocky Horror Show (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), as well as the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along. Other New York credits include: Blown Sideways Through Life, Jeffrey (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla, 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 also directed the feature films Jeffrey and Lucky Stiff, as well as the American Playhouse production of Blown Sideways Through Life for PBS. 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 recently appointed La Jolla Playhouse’s new Managing Director 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, DC. 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
Producing Director
Eric Keen-Louie

Eric Keen-Louie 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, eleven of which moved to Broadway or off-Broadway, including 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 Stephen Sondheim, Richard Nelson and Suzan-Lori Parks, as well as the 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, an alumnus of American Express’ Leadership Academy, and served on NAMT’s Festival 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.
 

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 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 Communications
Mary Cook

Mary joined the Playhouse’s Communications team in 2007. During her tenure she has overseen the launch of the marketing campaigns for the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, the Page To Stage Production of the on and Off-Broadway hit Peter and the Starcatchers, the West Coast premiere of the Tony-nominated play 33 Variations and the world-premiere musicals Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Side Show and Little Miss Sunshine. Under her direction, the Playhouse was named one of the “Top 100 San Diego Brands” by the San Diego Ad Club and was the recipient of a 2011 Telly Award. She and her team played an instrumental role in launching the Playhouse’s groundbreaking Without Walls Festival in 2013, which garnered major national press coverage. Prior to joining the Playhouse, Mary held a marketing position for Advanced Marketing Services, a national book distributor that serviced Costco and SAM’S Club. In this role she managed a $4 million cooperative advertising budget and launched the in-store promotional campaigns for numerous major book releases, including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Jimmy Carter’s Our Endangered Values. She attended the University of California Irvine where she graduated Cum Laude and was a member of the Humanities Honors Program.

 

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, USA Today for the Playhouse’s world-premiere productions of Hands on a Hardbody, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, The Who & The What and the 2013 Without Walls Festival, among others. Prior to working at the Playhouse, she served as Associate Director of Alumni Communications at UC San Diego and as Director of Public Relations Director at The Old Globe. She has also held communications positions at Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center and WNCN-FM classical radio station. Alongside her career in arts administration, Becky has performed professionally, with credits ranging from a European tour of Jesus Christ Superstar to regional productions of Into the Woods, Once Upon a Mattress and The Gift of the Magi, among others. She is a graduate of Carleton College and the American Musical & Dramatic Academy.

 

Director of Operations
Ned Collins

 

Director of Finance
Laura Killmer

 

Production Manager
Benjamin Seibert
Board of Trustees

Lynelle Lynch*
Chair

Randall L. Clark
First Vice-Chair

Michael Flaster
Second Vice-Chair

Susan Tousi
Secretary

Dave Bialis
Treasurer

1947 Founders
Mel Ferrer
Dorothy McGuire
Gregory Peck

Trustees
Michael Bartell
Gregg Brandalise
Ralph Bryan*
Robert Caplan
Lisa S. Casey
Linda Chester
Peter Cowhey, Ph.D.
Doug Dawson
Edward A. Dennis, Ph.D.
Brian Dovey
Emily Einhorn
Teri Evons
Mick Farrell
Dr. Lawrence Friedman
Noel Gillespie
Hanna Gleiberman
Jeffrey Goldman
Lynn E. Gorguze
Kay Gurtin
Clark Guy
Dwight Hare
Osborn Hurston
Debby Jacobs
Joan Jacobs
Sheri Jamieson
Jeanne Jones
Kathy Jones, Ph.D.
Pradeep K. Khosla, Ph.D.
Kay Matherly
Margret McBride*
Mark J. Muñoz
Bennett Peji
Karen A. Quiñones
Andy Rasdal
Jeffrey Ressler*
Becky Robbins
Don Rosenberg
Tim Scott
Karen Silberman
Tina Simner
Laura Spielman
Scott M. Stanton
Steven M. Strauss*
Andy Thomas
Mary Walshok, Ph.D.
Sharon Weremiuk
Charlayne Woodard

Honorary Trustees

Richard Atkinson, Ph.D.
Ivan Gayler
John Goodman
Ewart W. Goodwin, Jr.*
Joel Holliday*
Julie Potiker
Geri Ann Warnke*
Gary Wollberg*
Robert Wright, Esq.

Emeritus Trustees

David Copley (1952-2012)
Ted Cranston (1940-2012)
Milton Fredman (1920-2005)
Hughes Potiker (1925-2005)
Roger Revelle (1909-1991)
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 31, 2018

Staff by Department

Artistic

Producing Director
Eric Keen-Louie

Director of Artistic Development
Gabriel Greene

Artistic Associate
Teresa Sapien

Artistic Programs Manager
Jacole Kitchen

Executive Assistant to Christopher Ashley
Rick VanNoy

Director Emeritus
Des McAnuff

 

Administration



Assistant General Manager
Samantha De La Riva

 

COMPANY MANAGEMENT

Company Manager
Erica Martin

Company Management Assistant
Jacob Sinclair

 

LEGAL COUNSEL

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

Theatre/Legal Counsel
F. Richard Pappas, Esq.

 

Finance

Director of Finance
Laura Killmer

Payroll
George Kelly

Staff Accountant
Janet Gray

Sr. Production Accountant
Jared Jackson

Accounts Payable Manager
Sharon Ratelle

Employee Benefits Coordinator
Kathy Silberman

Philanthropy

Director of Philanthropy
Julia B. Foster

Associate Director of Philanthropy
Bonnie Broberg

Major Gifts Officer
Jini Bernstein Archibald

Individual Giving Manager
Cristina Hernandez

Institutional Giving Manager
Adeline Duke

Philanthropy Officer
Tony Dixon

Philanthropy Coordinator
Sarah Huddleston

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Special Events Manager
Samantha Watkins

Special Events Coordinator
Erica Kao

 

Communications

Director of Communications
Mary Cook

Director of Public Relations
Becky Biegelsen

Director of Sales & Marketing
Mia Fiorella

Communications Manager
Grace Madamba

Senior Multimedia Designer
Nancy Showers

Multimedia Designer
Jane Sanders

Marketing Specialist
Sonia Diaz

Marketing Database Analyst
Dani Meister

Direct Sales Associate
Andrew Fink

Patron Services Sales Specialist
Paul Preston

 

PATRON SERVICES

Director of Patron Services
Nikki Cooper

Patron Services Manager
Travis Guss

Senior Lead Patron Services Representative/Ticket Specialist
Pearl Hang

Lead Patron Services Representative/Group Sales Specialist
Renee Shinske

Lead Patron Services Representative/Group Sales Concierge
Mike Brown

Patron Services Coordinator
Bill Washington

Patron Services Representatives
Devon Gonzales, Makayla Hoppe, Devin O’Reilly

Sales Concierge
William Guiney

 

Education & Outreach


Associate Director of Education & Outreach, Education Programs
Julia Cuppy

Associate Director of Education & Outreach, Outreach Programs
Bridget Cavaiola

Education Programs Associate
Lydia Real

Audio Describers
Mernie Aste, Brian Berlau, Joanne Brouk, Tina Dyer, Shari Lyon, Kay O’Neil, Deborah Sanborn, Sylvia Southerland, Susan Weekes

ASL Interpreters
Lynn Ann Garrett, Anelia Glebocki, Alycen Haynesworth, Suzanne Lightbourn, Billieanne McLellan, Geri Wu

ASL Usher
Esther Shen

Teaching Artists
Bradley Behrmann, Julie Benitez, Leo Chang, Kirsten Giard, Aiden Ghosh, Cory Hammond, Catherine Hanna-Schrock, Becky Hurt, Jeffrey Ingman, Courtney Kattengell, Ursula Meyer, Marie Osterman, Mary Peterson, Erika Phillips, Lydia Real, Tara Ricasa, Tomas Tamayo, Kendra Truett, Sydney Wilson, Sofia Zaragoza

Playhouse Teen Council
Laural Cantor, Justin Canning, Natalia Escobedo, Zoe Goldstein, Emre Gumus, Nick Lux, Natasha Partnoy, Alice Shashkina, Izzy Shroff, Lexi Smith, Natalia Trifunovic, Shelby Westbrook, Katie Wilkinson

 

Operations

Director of Operations
Ned Collins

Operations Manager
Jen McClenahan

Network Systems Specialist
Daryl “Scooter” Davis

 

FRONT OF HOUSE

House Manager
John Craft

Assistant House Managers
Avery Henderson, Sara Lucchini, Amy Marquez, Chastyn Rauh, Mondis Vakili

Audience Concierges
Ashley Carbonell, Kyle Hunt, Cory Kurkierewicz, Sultan Saeed, Gemina Soriano

Janitorial Professional Maintenance Systems
Luis Bagshaw, Nora Gomez, Francisco Lopez, Juan Mena, Maria Mena, Santiago Servin, Tony Villafuerte

 

Production

Production Manager
Benjamin Seibert

Associate Production Manager
Becca Duhaime

Production Office Manager
Caren Heintzelman

 

SCENE SHOP

Technical Director
William Hartley

Assistant Technical Director
Jonathan Gilmer

Master Carpenter
David Weiner

Production Carpenter
Laura McEntyre

Carpenters
Megan Birdsong, Jacob Bruce, Matt Clark, James Fogarty, Scott Kinney, Albert Rubidioux, Zane Whitmore

Shop Helper
Doug Collind

Charge Artist
Melissa Nalbach

Scenic Painter
Edee Armand

 

PROPERTIES SHOP

Prop Shop Supervisor
Deb Hatch

Prop Shop Foreman
Erick Toussaint

Props Artisans
Zlatko Mitev, Jeffrey Rockey, Gabe Serbian

 

COSTUME SHOP

Costume Shop Supervisor
Jennifer Ables

Resident Costume Design Assistant
Desiree Hatfield-Buckley

Draper
Alexander Zeek

First Hand
Rebecca Fabares

Craft Artisan
Tess Mattraw

 

ELECTRICS

Electrics Supervisor
Jeff Brewer

Master Electrician
Kristyn Kennedy

Electrician
Ramon Wenn

 

SOUND/VIDEO

Sound/Video Supervisor
Lane Elms

Resident Sound Engineer
Matthew Birchmeier

Sound Technicians
Haley Wolf, Jon Fredette

 

RUNNING CREW

Stage Carpenter
Zane Whitmore

Production Props
Zlatko Mitev

Master Electrician/Light Board Operator
Kristyn Kennedy

Audio Engineer
Alex Huerta

Sound Technician
Matthew Birchmeier

Wardrobe Supervisor
Veronica Von Borstel

This theatre operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 122.

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

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