Meet Your Board

Brad DownallBrad Downall
President, Community Theatre co-chair

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.

Ryan BriggsRyan Briggs
Vice President

Ryan Briggs has been teaching theatre to middle school students for the past six years.  He received his Masters degrees in Theatre and in Education from the University of Kentucky, and currently serves as Vice President on the board of directors of Kentucky Theatre Association. As a native Lexington actor he has performed at Kentucky Conservatory Theatre, Studio Players, Balagula Theatre, Paragon Music Theatre, Bluegrass Mystery Theatre & Phoenix Group Theatre; He has also performed regionally at Jenny Wiley Theatre, Kincaid Regional Theatre, Woodford Theatre, Ragged Edge Theatre, and Richmond Area Theatre.  Theatre has been his passion for over half of his life, and he is proud to be a theatre advocate for Kentucky.

Shelby SteegeShelby Steege

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!

Sarah Diamond BurrowaySarah Diamond Burroway
Co-Chair, KTA Middle Grades Theatre Festival

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.

Jeremy KislingJeremy Kisling
SETC State 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.

Kathi E.B. EllisKathi E.B. Ellis
Co-Coordinator of Roots of the Bluegrass

Kathi E.B. Ellis is a member of the Lincoln Center and Chicago Director’s Labs, and 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.  She is also director and co-producer of Josephine Summerstage at Josephine Sculpture Park (Frankfort, KY), directing annual sculpture-inspired Shakespearean productions. She also serves on JSP’s Advisory Board. 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. More at

Nancy JonesNancy Jones

Professor Nancy Jones is Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kentucky where she teaches performance, directs productions, and brings an international resume of theatre experience to the classroom. Molière’s Women (a play she wrote and directed) premiered in 2006 at the Mae West Festival in Seattle, Washington and in Paris, France July 2007.

Her work as a Theatre Director has been featured in New York at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, where she staged Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, the New York International Fringe Festival, the American Living Room Festival at HERE, Immigrant’s Theatre Project, New York Performance Works, New Dramatists, the country’s premiere playwright development organization, and the Actors Theatre of Louisville 24-Hour Play Festival.

On UK campus, she has developed many interdisciplinary projects including: Tartuffe and Le Grand Guignol (both cross-disciplinary collaborations with the French Department); El Mundo de los Sueños (a project with Latin American Studies); and Affrilachia (developed with Anthropology and African-American Studies). Her passion for French Theatre led to the development of a UK Study Abroad Program held in Paris, France each summer.

Her professional performance career includes Equity Tours, Dance Companies, Television, Commercials and Film. She has received Grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Kentucky Arts Council, is active in the Southeastern Theatre Conference, and serves on the Board of the Kentucky Theatre Association.

Phillip NeacePhillip Neace

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.

Zackary RossZackary Ross
Communications/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.

Bart LovinsBart Lovins

A Rineyville native, Bart comes to the PAC after a successful career as a producer, director, playwright and actor for over twenty years. In his free time away from the PAC, he continues to explore other artistic endeavors. He holds a BFA in Performing Arts from WKU, interned at Stage One: Louisville’s Children’s Theatre and has studied with Tim Conway, Tom Poston, James Kirkwood and the National Shakespeare Company. He has served as presenter for the National Arts Education Partnership and is a member of Actors Equity Association, Kentucky Arts Presenters Network, Arts Kentucky, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Arts Education Partnership and Rotary International.

Steve ClebergSteve Cleberg
Roots of the Bluegrass Coordinator

Steve has been the director of theatre and film at Somerset Community College for the past 30 years where, among other theatre subjects, he teaches playwriting and screenwriting. He received his M.F.A. in Acting & Directing from the University of Portland/Oregon and his B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of South Dakota. Cleberg has written a series of plays seven entitled Radio Suspense Theatre. Two from the series are published by Playscripts, Inc.  As a filmmaker, Cleberg has written and directed over a dozen films including a film version of August Strindberg’s play, The Stronger.

Wayne KirschWayne Kirsch
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.

David Probus

David Probus

David Probus is the Director of the Felix E. Martin Jr. Hall Creative and Performing Arts Center in Greenville, KY. Before going to Greenville, David lived in Lexington, KY where he was a freelance lighting and sound designer, and stage manager. David spent many years as  a technical director of a church in the area where he was responsible for all sound, lighting, video and scenic elements. In his role as Director, David is responsible for the management of the theatre, overseeing the technical elements that are required, as well as scouting out national touring acts that perform in our main-stage season. David is also responsible for lining up the sponsors for his venue, and is the public face of Felix E. Martin Jr. Hall. He also serves as the Producer of MCHS Mustang Drama productions, and is an active producer of the community theatre productions as well.  One of his favorite parts of his work in Lexington was working with high school students interested in technical theatre and mentoring and teaching them the ropes. He has had students that have gone on to work with Broadway tours such as Mamma Mia, and other tours throughout the US. He is thrilled to be able to work with students to continue inspiring and mentoring them in the world of theatre.  David is married to Laura, who you will often see volunteering at the theatre, and they are the proud parents of Anna, who has also been bitten by the theatre bug.

Adanma Onyedike BartonAdanma Onyedike Barton

Adanma Onyedike Barton is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Berea College and proud to be the first African-American President of the Kentucky Theatre Association!  Adanma was award her MFA in Theatre Pedagogy with a concentration in Acting from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Adanma is also the first African-American female to serve on the Executive Committee of the largest Theatre conference of its kind, the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). As an actor/director/educator she enjoys traveling all over the country to teach workshops on Solo performance and devising work for Community Development & Social Change.  Adanma teaches all of her students to believe in themselves and their abilities. As the great Nelson Mandela once said “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

Lisa CopeLisa Cope

Lisa Cope is the Executive Director at Playhouse in the Park in Murray, after having been involved in community theatre for over 35 years.  Under her leadership, Playhouse expanded the educational programming to include all ages from preschool through senior citizens, including bringing The Penguin Project, theatre for children with disabilities, to Kentucky.  Previously, she was a legal secretary for 20 years and taught private piano lessons for 25 years.  She studied piano at Murray State University and Belmont College.  Lisa and her husband have a son and a daughter, both of whom are adopted from Asia, and she hopes to travel there again someday.  Since a young age, she has been involved in every aspect of volunteering for community theatres and believes strongly that communities and theatres benefit from each other. 

Kim WillardKim Willard

Kim Willard is a native of New York who now resides in Pikeville, KY.  She is the Director of Education for Jenny Wiley Theatre, Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Pikeville, and the Music Minister at Pikeville United Methodist Church.  Kim has a BS in Music Education from Plymouth State University and an MFA in Acting from The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, NYC.  She received a Grammy in 2007 for her chorus and drama curriculum at Chesnee High School in rural SC.  She is also a professional director and actor.

Kyle WareKyle Ware

Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, director, artist, writer, and educator. He proudly serves as Kentucky Shakespeare’s Director of Education and leads Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players professional training program, directing 2015’s A Comedy of Errors and 2016’s As You Like It. He is Co-Artistic Director of Think Tank Theatre, a collaborative theatre ensemble and was a Producing Founding Artistic Director of Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble, co-creating and performing in nearly 20 new works. He is a featured writer at Insider Louisville, where he originated the weekly “In Other News…” column.

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