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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.
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Gwartney has worked across the country in many areas of the performing arts industry. He has proudly served as a producer, arts administrator, consultant, and educator for over 15 years. His vast experience spans both nonprofit and commercial arts organizations in all areas of arts management with expertise in technology, marketing, event planning, audience services, budget/finance, box office operations/management, and data management/analysis. In addition, he is an accomplished actor and award winning graphic designer.
Before joining the team at Mill Mountain Theatre, Mr. Gwartney produced over 30 events/productions and worked with several leading arts organizations and institutions including: Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Louisiana Tech University, Tulsa Ballet, Oklahoma State University, Theatre Tulsa, and the City of Tulsa.
Mr. Gwartney received a Master of Arts from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern State University.
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.
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
An actor, educator, and artist, Anna is happy to be a part of the exciting arts community in Roanoke. A graduate of Elon University in NC with a BFA in Music Theatre, Anna has performed and taught all over the country. Favorite credits include The Wizard of Oz National Tour, Peter Pan (Wendy) at RI’s Theatre By the Sea, How to Succeed… (Rosemary) at FL’s Show Palace, Nuptials (Kitty) at NC’s Flat Rock Playhouse, Little Shop… (Audrey) at CO’s Lake Dillon Theatre, White Christmas (Judy) at the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Annie at GA’s Theatre of the Stars, and last seen on the Mill Mountain Theater stage as Liesl in the “Sound of Music”, a Featured Dancer/Singer in “Swing”, and Amber in “Hairspray”! She also proudly directed and choreographed the successful MMT productions of “The Wizard of OZ, Young Performers’ Edition”, “Shel’s World”, and Beauty and the Beast Jr. Anna also works in television, film, and commercials, most recently guest starring on the Lifetime show Devious Maids. A Jill of all trades, Anna keeps busy as a photography assistant, production assistant, seamstress and has her own custom rubber stamp carving business, Stamps by Anna. Find out more at annakimmell.com.
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 Musical (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.
CYNTHIA LAWRENCE – PRESIDENT, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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