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PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Ginger Poole is a proud member of Actor’s Equity. She has studied, taught, choreographed, and performed throughout the U.S. She has worked in GA, FL, MS and VA with, Theatre in the Square, The Alliance Theatre, Theatre Gael, Synchronicity Performance Group-GA, Mill Mountain Theatre-VA and SC Children’s Theatre. Originally from Atlanta, she has worked with The Atlanta Falcons as their director and choreographer and The Atlanta Opera. Prior to coming to Mill Mountain Theatre, she was based out of North Carolina where she has worked with Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theatre of North Carolina, in over 25 productions. She was a part of the Education program at Flat Rock Playhouse for 5 years where she taught for their Apprentice Companies and their Conservatory Program in Acting, Dance, and Musical Theatre. Ginger has taught at The University of Southern Mississippi, Western Carolina University, William Carey College, Mississippi University for Women, and currently teaches at Hollins University. Ginger holds her M.F.A. in Acting Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi and continues to teach acting and dance. She has worked with students that range in age from kindergarten through professionals. Ginger has worked in commercials, voice-overs, film, stage, and the classroom, and was profiled in the book FIRESTARTERS as “the actor”. Ginger serves on the following Boards; Virginia Theatre Association, Junior League of Roanoke Valley, Burton Center of Performing Arts and is also on the Virginia Commission of the Arts Review Panel. She is very proud to be a member of the Mill Mountain Theatre team and looks forward to its continued growth, success, and artistic influence in the region.
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
John Levin is responsible for building and nurturing relationships for Mill Mountain Theatre that encourage financial support for our community’s professional plays and drama education programs. He manages annual giving, corporate underwriting and major gifts for special needs and opportunities. His 15 years of experience in management of area non-profits includes working previously for MMT and for the YMCA of Roanoke Valley and Jefferson Center Foundation. Before then his newspaper reporting and editing career brought him to Roanoke to serve as business editor of The Roanoke Times.
John’s personal and professional passion for the arts is based on recognition of the cultural value that arts organizations provide for their communities. John’s involvement also includes work as art critic for newspapers, organizer of an annual exhibition for secondary school student art and grants panel review for the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Karen Gierchak hails from Western Pennsylvania where she attended both Kent State University and Youngstown State University. Prior to making Roanoke and Mill Mountain Theatre her home, Karen worked for many different theatre’s throughout the country including Youngstown Playhouse, West Virginia Public Theatre, and First Tech productions to name just a few. Karen has a long career associated with Mill Mountain Theatre. Her body of work includes over 65 productions on the Mill Mountain Theatre stages. Her favorites include, but are not limited to Big River, Into The Woods, and 42nd Street just to name a few. Karen is excited to once again be part of the Mill Mountain Theatre family.
Jay Briggs has worked as an actor, director, producer, and educator in various locations around the country including stints in New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Before joining the education team at Mill Mountain Theatre he was based in the upstate of South Carolina, where he directed several projects at Hub-Bub Arts Center in Spartanburg and Mill Town Players in Pelzer. He also worked as a teaching artist with South Carolina Children’s Theatre and The Warehouse Theatre, and as a consultant with The Warehouse’s outreach initiatives. In addition to his teaching at SCCT he served as an in-school facilitator for their KNOW WAY Bullying Prevention curriculum in the Greenville County Public Schools, reaching over 2,500 students in two years.
In addition to South Carolina Children’s Theatre and The Warehouse, his approaches to pre-professional training and artistic/community partnerships have been shaped by his work with Actors Theatre of Louisville (KY), Hangar Theatre (Ithaca, NY), The Civilians (NY, NY), Cornerstone Theater (Los Angeles), and Theatre for a New Audience (NY, NY). He holds a BFA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Acting from Elon University and MA in Theology & Culture with a concentration in Theology, Imagination, and the Arts from The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. When he’s not balancing his Mill Mountain responsibilities with his freelance directing, he enjoys relaxing into a long novel, watching Tarheel basketball, laughing heartily with his wife Amanda, and continually relearning the art of play alongside his toddler, Cordelia.
Travis Kendrick has worked professionally as a director, choreographer, actor, and educator across the country, and is thrilled to join the Mill Mountain family! Travis holds his MFA in Directing from the University Of California – Irvine, and his BFA in Musical Theatre from Point Park University. Some favorite directing credits include: Reverberation, The Little Dog Laughed, Evita, Baby, Fifth Of July, The Tempest, and Blood Wedding. Travis has worked with Summer Repertory Theatre, Theatre Out, Virginia Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, OC-Centric, New Swan Shakespeare Festival, Counter-Balance Theatre, and NYU’s New Plays for Young Audiences, among others.
Travis is a founding company member of the Experimental Theatre Project, a theatre ensemble geared towards collaboration on the creation of new play, site-specific pieces, and devised works. He co-wrote the book and lyrics to DOTTY DOT: A Children’s Musical, which had a staged reading and workshop production with ETP, toured elementary schools in Pittsburgh, and then had its professional premiere in NYC at The Secret Theatre – a production that was extended and went on to run for over a year.
Travis is passionate about teaching and arts outreach. As an educator, he has taught for UCI, Inside Broadway, New York Kids Club, and Roxy Regional Theatre, Natalie’s Dance Network, and Creative Kids Playhouse. Travis founded the dance program for the Roxy Regional School Of The Arts, and served as Program Director for their Internship program. Travis is also a yoga instructor, and holds his 200-hour and advanced yoga teacher certifications from Frog Lotus Yoga. He has taught yoga in New York City, California, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. See more at: www.traviskendrick.com
Jillian Hannah is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and is recent graduate of Elon University with a BFA in Music Theatre and a minor in Business Administration. After spending 6 weeks with Mill Mountain Theatre as an Apprentice during the summer, she is thrilled to be returning as a teaching artist. Credits include: Oklahoma! (Aunt Eller), A Little Night Music (u/s Anne Egerman), Design For Living (Grace Torrence), Titanic (Ensemble) and Ragtime (Ensemble). Jillian also has experience behind the table, having music directed multiple productions at Elon, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Broadway Speaks Out: The Real Broadway Body. She is thrilled to return to Mill Mountain Theatre and is thankful that they are welcoming her into their family.
RESIDENT MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Seth Davis is a Georgia native who is very excited to now be a part of the Mill Mountain family after first serving as Associate Music Director for Mill Mountain’s production of Sound of Music! Seth is a music director and musician in both the musical theater and classical music realms in addition to being a teacher, clinician, and coach for performers and musicians of all ages. Regional credits include Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Spring Awakening, and See What I Wanna See (Actor’s Express), Illyria: A Twelfth Night (Georgia Shakespeare), Time Between Us, A Diva’s Christmas, and Hair (Serenbe Playhouse), and The Andrews Brothers (Stage Door Players) among many other productions. Seth has also served as musical director for Georgia Tech and Oglethorpe University in addition to teaching at The Alliance Theatre, Aurora Theatre, and judging many regional music and theater festival competitions.
ASSISTANT TO THE PRODUCER
Alicia Varcoe hails from Allentown, PA, and comes to Mill Mountain fresh off two years living and working in New York City. While pursuing a career as a freelance director and lighting designer, Alicia found her passion for arts management; her varied experiences include work in subscriber services & development with the New York Philharmonic, telefundraising for the Metropolitan Opera, and internships with The Juilliard School’s prestigious Jazz Studies program, and commercial producer Darren Bagert (lead producer of the Side Show revival). Most recently, Alicia completed 7 months interning in the Artistic Department of the Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre company, the Manhattan Theatre Club. Alicia is no stranger to Mill Mountain however; she was the calling stage manager for Swing!, and the assistant lighting designer for Children of Eden, Hairspray and 42nd Street. Additional lighting credits include HeadVoice at NYMF, Next to Normal at Elon University, and over 18 months designing lights for Broadway and cabaret stars at the NYC supper club 54 Below. Proud graduate of Elon University’s Theatrical Design and Production and Music programs. When not in the theatre, Alicia is most likely found listening to jazz, enjoying a craft cocktail, or cheering on the Carolina Hurricanes.
CYNTHIA LAWRENCE – PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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