Meet Your Board

Brad Downall : President, Community Theatre Festival Co-Chair, West Region Co-Representative

Brad Downall

President, Community Theatre Festival Co-Chair, West Region Co-Representative

A 1983 graduate in theatre from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Brad worked in technical theatre in the Twin Cities and Duluth before moving to Madisonville, Kentucky in 1991 to serve as the first Technical Director at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts at Madisonville Community College.

Brad was promoted to Executive Director in 1999 and has focused on growing community-based activities such as the Summer Arts Academies and reviving community theatre while maintaining the quality of the presenting program and arts-in-education programs.  Brad is a member of the Kentucky Presenters’ Network and the Tennessee Presenters’ Network. Recent theatrical credits include “Young Frankenstein” – Scenic Design, “I Do, I Do” & “Shrek” – Direction, and portrying Birdboot in “The Real Inspector Hound.”

Brad and his wife, Susan Crosswait, share three sons, Ryan – 30, Evan – 22, and William – 20, as well as two dogs and two cats.

president@kentuckytheatreassociation.com
Phillip Neace : Vice President, High School Festival Chair, East Region Co-Representative

Phillip Neace

Vice President, High School Festival Chair, East Region Co-Representative

Phil Neace, Hazard Ky, is a veteran of over 30 stage productions, starting with his beginning theatre education under Dr. Daniel Nazworth at the University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg KY.  Since then he has acted in both community and semi-professional productions as well as a brief bit of independent film work.  He is currently the director of the Award Winning Commodore Players Drama Company of Perry County Central High School, what he calls his greatest vocation and is proud to be the founder of the Eastern Kentucky Dramatic Arts Society (EKDAS), hosting a annual Spring Drama Festival solely for established and up-and-coming East Kentucky high school drama programs.  This has led to an amazing growth in the number and popularity of theatre in the region’s high schools.  Phil is most proud of being a loving husband to his wife Heather and for being a father to his two sons in the military (SPC Chance Neace – US Army, Michael Neace – US Navy) and his daughter Jade who is an aspiring writer/singer/librarian/ anthropologist.

vp@kentuckytheatreassociation.com, hsf@kentuckytheatreassociation.com
Wayne Kirsch : Secretary, North Region Representative

Wayne Kirsch

Secretary, North Region Representative

After majoring in theatre at Ball State University, Wayne spent 20 years in community theatre in Indiana, as well as directing the theatre program at the high school where he taught for 30 years.  Once coming to the Northern KY area, he has worked with many of the area’s community and regional theatres.  Wayne has acted, directed, and designed lighting and sets, in addition to holding numerous board and committee positions.  He helped his home theatre, Village Players of Fort Thomas, bring entries to KTA State Festival.  He has been a regional representative and Board of Directors member of the Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA), currently serving as 1st Vice-President.  He traveled across much of America performing for Entertainment Consultants of America, in a one-man tour of “The Mr. Wizard Show.”  Wayne has won numerous local, regional, and state awards for acting and design.  He has received the President’s Award and the prestigious Art Rouse Award from the Association of Community Theatres of Greater Cincinnati, OCTA’s Spirit of Community Theatre and Presidential Awards.  He has recently served as State OCTA Fest Chair and chaired the 2015 State OCTA Conference in Cincinnati.

secretary@kentuckytheatreassociation.com
Jeremy Kisling : Treasurer, SETC State Representative, Central Region Co-Representative

Jeremy Kisling

Treasurer, SETC State Representative, Central Region Co-Representative

Jeremy Kisling has taught, directed and performed in Iowa, Texas, Washington and Kentucky and is the Associate Artistic Director in Charge of Education at Lexington Children’s Theatre. At LCT, Kisling directs two to three productions a year.

He received his BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Northern Iowa and his MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin. Kisling is a part time instructor at the University of Kentucky. He authored stage versions of Why Mosquitoes Buzz, Anansi the Spider and The Princess Who Lost her Hair and this season the Paper Bag Princess.

Kisling serves on the Board Directors for American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Kisling served Divisional Chair for Theatre for Youth for the Southeastern Theatre Conference and is the current State Auditions Coordinator for Kentucky. Through the Kentucky Theatre Association, he is a Past President and the current SETC State Representative.

treasurer@kentuckytheatreassociation.com, setcrep@kentuckytheatreassociation.com
Zackary Ross : Communications Director/Website Manager

Zackary Ross

Communications Director/Website Manager

Zackary Ross is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Bellarmine University in Louisville. He has a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University, and is an honors graduate of Lewis and Clark College’s theatre department in Portland, Oregon. In addition to his experience as an educator, Zack is an active director/actor/dramaturg.

webmaster@kentuckytheatreassociation.com
Sarah Diamond Burroway : Middle Grades Festival Co-Chair

Sarah Diamond Burroway

Middle Grades Festival Co-Chair

Sarah Diamond Burroway co-chairs the KTA Middle Grades Festival each spring. She co-founded and directs Actors for Children Theatre (ACT). The Flatwoods troupe has won several regional awards at Southeastern Theatre Conference Community Theatre Festival since 2014 including OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN PROPS, OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ACTING and the SPIRIT OF THE ROAD award. Under Sarah’s direction, ACT has won OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION honors at the KTA Community Theatre Festival (2013, 2014, 2015) as well as OUTSTANDING COSTUME / MAKE-UP DESIGN, BEST ACTOR and BEST ENSEMBLE. ACT is a two-time recipient of the 50/50 Applause Award from the International Center for Women Playwrights. Sarah’s plays have been produced in New York, California, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, including the Ten-Tucky Festival of New Plays and the Kentucky New Play Series. Her work is included in the juried Women of Appalachia Project (2015, 2016) and her recent essay, “Morning Milk” was published by The Bitter Southerner’s Folklore Project. Sarah is grants director at Ashland Community and Technical College, where she will serve as Director for the ACTC New Play Festival starting in spring 2017.  She is pursuing her Master of Fine Art in Writing at Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University.

Shelby Steege : Northwest Region Co-Representative, Middle Grades Festival Co-Chair

Shelby Steege

Northwest Region Co-Representative, Middle Grades Festival Co-Chair

Shelby Steege has taught drama at Spencer County Middle School and been the director of the Spencer County Middle and High School Drama Department since 2001.  Since moving to Kentucky, from Milwaukee, WI, she has worked with The Lexington Children’s Theater, Stage One, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and served as the Artistic Director of Anchorage Children’s Theater for ten year.  She received her BFA in Theater Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University (1998) and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Spalding University (2004).   She has loved theater and working with kids for as long as she can remember and is very thankful that she gets to do both in a job she loves!

msf@kentuckytheatreassociation.com
Kathi E.B. Ellis :

Kathi E.B. Ellis

Kathi is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, the Lincoln Center and Chicago Director’s Labs, and is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She directs professionally across the country, and has been nominated for the South Florida Regional Theatre Carbonell Award. In addition to serving on the KTA board, Kathi has also served on the boards of Pleiades Theatre and the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre, Louisville’s only African-American theatre. Currently she is KTA’s co-coordinator of the Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Festival. Kathi is a co-artistic director of Looking for Lilith Theatre Company. For six years she was director and co-producer of Josephine Summerstage at Josephine Sculpture Park (Frankfort, KY), directing annual sculpture-inspired Shakespearean productions. Kathi created ShoeString Productions, an ad-hoc collective of artists who work on productions about which they are passionate. Kathi also works as an adjunct faculty member and teaching artist in K-12 education, conducting residencies and professional development sessions. More at www.theatrekate.net.

Kim Willard :

Kim Willard

Kim Willard is a New York native who now calls Eastern Kentucky home.  She holds an MFA in Acting from The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in NYC and a BS in Music Education from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.  Kim taught k-12 music and theatre for over 20 years in public schools in New Hampshire, Virginia and South Carolina, where she developed new curriculum models for experiential learning.  In 2007 Kim received a Grammy Signature Schools Award in recognition of her exceptional chorus and drama program at rural Chesnee High School.  Kim is equally comfortable onstage and off.  She has performed concert tours of her original music, directed hundreds of productions with actors of all levels from beginner to professional, and taught her workshop series “Speak Easy” to both students and professionals in schools and at SETC and other conferences.  Some of her favorite professional acting roles include M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias, Grandma Addams in The Addams Family and Prospera in The Tempest.   Kim was the founding Director of Education at Jenny Wiley Theatre where she was responsible for all educational programming for the last 5 years. Currently she is the Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Pikeville.  She is passionate about providing meaningful and challenging theatre experiences for her UPIKE Theatre students and has taken them to perform in the Edinborough Fringe festival in Scotland and to professional theatre workshops in NYC.   Kim is interested in collaborating with and developing theatre artists across our state.  For more information you can contact her at kimberlywillard@upike.edu.

Rowen Haigh Mahoney :

Rowen Haigh Mahoney

Rowen Haigh Mahoney is a freelance director, deviser, and teaching artist and serves as Artistic Director of White Flag Performance Group, an interdisciplinary performance company based in Louisville, KY. Rowen creates multidisciplinary work for the stage that is grounded in collective creation, heightened physicality, and deep curiosity about the sensory power of live performance. Rowen is an active advocate for diversity and gender parity in the arts and chairs the Southeastern Theatre Conference Women+ in Theatre Interest Group. She is also the Regional Coordinator for the Louisville chapter of the Statera Arts Mentorship Program for women+ in theatre. Rowen holds an MFA in Theatre Arts/Directing from Towson University (Baltimore, MD) and a BA in Theatre from Reed College (Portland, OR). More details about Rowen and her work can be found at rowenhaigh.com.

Cheryl Brumley : Roots of the Bluegrass Festival Chair

Cheryl Brumley

Roots of the Bluegrass Festival Chair

Cheryl is a Theatre Arts Instructor at Campbellsville University, with an M.A. in Educational Theatre for Colleges and Communities and a B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from Georgetown College. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Kentucky Theatre Association as their Roots of the Bluegrass Play Contest coordinator, as well as Kentucky Playwrights Workshop. Her research on psychological connections to theatre has been presented at multiple conferences, including the NYU Forum on Educational Theatre, SETC, and KCACTF Region 4. Cheryl has a diverse background in theatre ranging from performance to production, and education throughout Kentucky and New York City.

bluegrass@kentuckytheatreassociation.com
Tracy Ward :

Tracy Ward

Professionally, Tracy Ward has worked as a Costume Crafts Artist for The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, The Washington National Opera, Anheuser Busch Entertainment in Williamsburg, VA. She was a member of the development and installation team for Le Reve, the large water show at Wynn Las Vegas, where she worked with former Cirque Du Soleil director Franco Dragone. She has also served as a wardrobe assistant on film and television, as well as a resident designer, costume shop manager, and costume director at several smaller regional theatres. Most recently, she served as the Costume Shop Manager for PCPA Theaterfest in California. Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Tracy received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Michigan State University, and then studied British Film Making and Theatre in the United Kingdom before receiving her Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design and Technology from the University of Florida.

Cathy Goguen :

Cathy Goguen

Born in Jellico, TN,   Goguen began her writing career before she could even write words. “I always remember being fascinated by dialogue and plots, even before I knew what those terms meant. I used to spend a great deal of my childhood playing with my paper dolls and those homemade ones I tore out of the Sears and Roebuck’s catalog. I didn’t know at the time I was, “writing” when I would create the elaborate plots or their pretend language but as I began school and gained the skills of the written word, I found it easy to transfer my earlier stories on to paper. And that’s how I became a writer. Of course throughout academia, one writes and tries out many genres and I, too experienced the spectrum. I never wanted to describe in 10 paragraphs how a tree looked. To me it was a tree, say it’s a tree. Enough said. Move on. That told me I was probably not going to write novels. People watching always fascinated me though and my love for dialogue always drew me back to writing plays.”

Cathy is the  2016 recipient of the EKDAS Lifetime Achievement Award, a Roots of the Bluegrass semifinalist/runner up (The Dinner Club/Boxes), and her plays includeMay I Have Your Attention Please? (Pioneer Drama 2003)Looking for Mr. Right (Brooklyn Publishers), RE DO IT, The Most Human (Brooklyn Publishers), Gorilla Girl, and Unstoppable By Design:Story of Matt Rifenburg.

Tamera Izlar :

Tamera Izlar

Tamera N. Izlar is an an Advocate for the Arts.   She has worked as a director, acting coach, actress, playwright, dramaturg, and storyteller.  Dedicated to allowing voices previously unspoken to become heard, she has worked short and long-term with variant communities to respect, remember, write and perform their stories.  As an educator, she has taught at Howard University, Goshen College, South Bend Civic Theatre, the Sister Island Project (Dominican Republic), Bellas Artes (Dominican Republic) the Fayette County Detention Center, Bluegrass Community College,  Actor's Guild of Lexington, and Morehead State University.  She has conducted acting workshops internationally and has presented her directing work in both the United States and abroad.  In addition, she has used theatre as a vehicle in which to prevent recidivism and promote education as an English as a Second Language (ESL) and Job Skills Instructor for both immigrant and non-immigrant incarcerated inmates.  As an Advocate for the Arts, she works painstakingly to empower others to discover, respect alternative voices, and share their unique perspectives. A dramaturgical director, some past directing credits include Ghost the MusicalRabbit HoleThe Pajama GameFencesJoe Turner's Come and Gone, A Lesson Before DyingThe Bluest Eye, Anna in the Tropics, Blithe Spirit, A View from the Bridge, and Wit.

Todd Reynolds :

Todd Reynolds

Todd Reynolds is a graduate of Owensboro's Brescia University and began his service at TWO as an 18 year old volunteer. Too shy for the stage, he began as a backstage technician and grew into other roles. 42 years later, he has acted in over 50 productions, directed over 30 more, and served the organization as a board member, committee chair, and now Executive Director. All the best things in his life he attributes to his involvement with the theatrical arts, and his love for the arts grew from his involvement with Theatre Workshop of Owensboro. Prior to TWO, Todd worked for 13 years as Tech Director of the RiverPark Center, and more recently served as Education Director for the Owensboro Museum of Science and History for 7 years. Over the years he has established meaningful relationships with each of the city's arts organizations, Colleges and Universities having performed or served with them in various capacities. Todd served as the director, editor, and producer of the popular Voices of Elmwood event, directed the Owensboro Easter Pageant for many years, is a veteran of regional independent films and a seasoned voice over actor. Most recently, Todd directed and appeared as Seamus McCree in Morte for 2, TWO’s entry into the KTA Community Theatre Competition. Todd and his wife Debbie (Yes…Debbie Reynolds…) share two sons and five grandchildren.

Stacy Brittany :

Stacy Brittany

J. Ariadne Calvano :

J. Ariadne Calvano

Ariadne Calvano explores movement-based actor training pedagogy as an Assistant Professor of Acting and Movement at the University of Louisville, and as a freelance movement director and performer. She earned her PhD and MA in Theatre from the University of Colorado Boulder and she holds a BA in Fine & Performing Arts from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Currently, Ari is working toward her 300-hr. advanced yoga teacher certification training and became a member and began training with Intimacy Director’s International, while passionately promoting safe-spaces in the theatre for intimacy work. Both her artistic and pedagogical work begins with the physical embodiment of expression and identity from a place of active research. Additionally, her work often focuses on empowering female voices and perspectives, approaches to artist-centered care and wellness, and physical-dramaturgy or the intersection of praxis and research in the physical translation words to action. Ari is an avid yogini and bookworm who loves to knit, dance, and develop her clown and circus work. More about her current artistic endeavors and publications can be found at ariadnecalvano.com

Kameron Stambaugh :

Kameron Stambaugh

Kameron Stambaugh is a 2014 graduate of Marshall University where she earned her BFA in Theatre Performance. After venturing into the world of professional theatre upon graduation, she returned home to Kentucky in 2016 when she decided to begin her career in education. She is currently the director of the Musketeer Troupe Drama Ensemble of Greenup County High School in Greenup, KY. Kameron also serves on the theatre committee for Ashland Community and Technical College, located in Ashland, KY. In addition to her role as a high school English/Theatre educator, Kameron works as a Dance and Acrobatics instructor at Ashland Regional Dance Theatre in Ashland, KY. She is also a member of the production team for Over Easy Entertainment, a film production company based out of West Virginia. Kameron is a recent graduate of the University of the Cumberlands where she received her Masters of Arts in Teaching. She currently resides in South Shore, KY with her fiancé Joe Bob.

Dawn Connerley : Central Region Co-Representative

Dawn Connerley

Central Region Co-Representative

Alana Ghent : Assistant Treasurer

Alana Ghent

Assistant Treasurer

Alana Ghent is a native of London, Ontario.  Her previous theatre credits include work as a director, actor, and producer.  Regionally, she has directed and/or performed with the Showboat Majestic, Ovation Theatre Company, the Rising Phoenix Theatre, and Kincaid Regional Theatre Company, and the Cincinnati Playwright’s Initiative.  Her research interests include the experiential theatre experiences, building community through theatre, and movement oriented approaches to training actors and creating theatre.  Her education includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from Concordia University in Montréal, Québec, an MFA in Directing, additional study in movement, stage combat, and Alexander Technique, and a certification in teaching Yoga.  Her passion is for creating theatre experiences and artists that engage with the world in meaningful and authentic dialogue.

treasurer@kentuckytheatreassociation.com
Jane Modlin :

Jane Modlin