Our Staff

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Orlando Repertory Theatre Staff – 2016

Gene Columbus, Executive Director

407.896.7365 ext. 217, gcolumbus@orlandorep.com

DSC_6371 RE xsmGene Columbus serves the Orlando Repertory Theatre as Executive Director after spending 38 years with the Walt Disney Company, having managed, produced, cast and directed many of the shows and events at Walt Disney World. For many years he was the Manager of Entertainment Staffing, guiding and assisting others with their careers in the entertainment industry, as well as serving as an Associate Professor with the University of Central Florida’s Conservatory Theatre. As the author of “The Complete Guide to Careers in Special Events” (John Wiley & Sons 2010) he serves as a speaker and guest lecturer at colleges and universities. Gene began with a ten-year performing career working in Motion Pictures and Network Television, but his favorite assignment was being “live” on stage in Musical Theatre. Over time he transitioned into Stage Management which was his early steps into the first of many leadership roles and it is fitting that he returned to theatre for this phase of his career.

 

 

Jeffrey M. Revels, Artistic Director

407.896.7365 ext. 216, jrevels@orlandorep.com

DSC_6297 RE xsmJeff has directed many productions including Orphie and the Book of Heroes; Fancy Nancy The MusicalClick, Clack, BOO! A Tricky Treat; Freckleface Strawberry The Musical; Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical; Junior Claus; Lyle The Crocodile; Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!; Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type; The Berenstain Bears Onstage: A Bear Country Musical; Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business; How I Became A Pirate; The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood; Blue’s Clues Live! The Most Spectacular Place; The Emperor’s New Clothes; All Shook Up; Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. He directed the Florida tours of Katie Couric’s The Brand New Kid and The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful (and Her Dog!). For two years, Jeff wrote and co-directed a large-scale Christmas stage spectacular for the city of Manaus, Brazil that was globally televised to millions. In 2014, Jeff received the Alumni Professional Achievement Award from Winthrop University and was spotlighted by the Orlando Sentinel as one of Central Florida’s Most Fascinating People. Jeff received the “Distinguished Career in Theatre for Youth” from the Florida Theatre Conference and has been recognized by United Arts as “Arts Educator of the Year” numerous times. He serves on many arts committees and adjudicates performances regionally and nationally. Jeff is the founder of Conway Cares, an initiative that provides weekend food for 150+ schoolchildren per week and a member of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, Americans for the Arts, American Alliance for Theatre and Education, First Presbyterian Church Orlando and a graduate of Leadership Orlando.

 

Vicki Hahl Landon, Development Director

407.896.7365 ext. 224, vlandon@orlandorep.com

DSC_6240 RE xsmVicki Landon holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida Theatre program in Theatre History, Criticism, and Literature, where she graduated Cum Laude in May of 2008. In addition to her work at The REP, Vicki serves the Central Florida arts and culture community by guest lecturing about nonprofit management, participating in community-wide advocacy efforts, and serving numerous grant panels (including the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs General Program Support, Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Cultural Facilities, and United Arts of Central Florida General Operating Support.) Before joining the staff at The REP, Vicki previously served as Director of Development for the Orlando Opera Company, where she excelled in donor growth, donor retention, and special event planning.  Vicki is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

 

Chris Brown, General & Production Manager

407.896.7365 ext. 234, cbrown@orlandorep.com

DSC_6248 RE xsmBefore joining the staff at The REP, Chris received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UCF in 2005 and immediately after was accepted into the prestigious Yale School of Drama.  He graduated from Yale with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Technical Design and Production.  Throughout his schooling, Chris held positions at the Utah Shakespearean Festival and was the Production Supervisor for the New York Summer Play Festival.  At Yale, Chris worked at the renowned Yale Repertory Theater on many productions and was schooled in everything from structural engineering and automation to production and theatre management. After Yale, Chris went to work for one of the largest Broadway Scene Shops, Hudson Scenic Studio, and worked in the Automation department.  In 2009, Chris was a supervisor in the construction of the NYC Times Square Ball, which is the first ball to reside in Times Square year round.  After all that, Chris still strongly believes that The REP is the most fulfilling position he has held in his career. Chris, his wife Katie and their two children, Michael and Gracie, are proud to be a part of The REP family.

 

Jennifer Adams, Education Director

407.896.7365 ext. 201, jadams@orlandorep.com

Jennifer is a theatre artist committed to empowering young people as performers, creators, leaders, and individuals. She has served as a director, choreographer, and teaching artist in a variety of theatres, high schools, and community service organizations across the south, including the Springer Opera House, Rose of Athens Theatre, Dramatic English: Hong Kong, Arts Works, ArtsBridge America, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Kluge Community Learning Center, and First Stage. Jennifer has developed and led playwriting and devising ensembles, teaching artist training programs, student leadership programs, and theatre curriculum development. Jennifer piloted and managed the First Stage Next Steps program designed for students on the autism spectrum, which was the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2013 Eureka Award for innovation in arts based programming. Jennifer holds an MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida.

 

Emily Freeman, Community Engagement Director

407.896.7365 ext. 202, efreeman@orlandorep.com

DSC_6088 RE xsmEmily Freeman received her MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth Communities from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her B.A. in Theatre from Northwestern University. Emily has worked at Adventure Stage Chicago, John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Imagination Stage, and Asolo Repertory Theatre. Emily has taught as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Central Florida and Seminole State College. Emily is an applied theatre artist, director, produced playwright, and educator. She is thrilled to combine her passion for education, engaging the community, and theatre for social change as a member of The REP Staff. Emily serves on the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) Board of Directors and is a member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), and TYA/USA.

 

 

 

Stacie Perez, Associate Education Director

407.896.7365 ext. 203, staciep@orlandorep.com

DSC_6109 RE xsmStacie I. Perez holds a BA from Stetson University; she also studied abroad to do undergraduate work at the University of Madrid. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Central Florida. Stacie has worked in The REP’s Education Department for over 5 years and is a strong advocate for arts in education. She has a love for theatre, music, children, and languages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kyle Wiehe, Technical Director

407.896.7365 ext. 221, kylew@orlandorep.com

DSC_6316 RE xsmKyle holds a BA in Technical Theatre from Harding University.  He joined The REP family in 2013. In addition to scenic construction, Kyle works as a lighting and sound designer.  Outside of The REP, past theatrical credits include You Can’t Take It With You (Sound Designer), A Child’s Christmas In Wales (Lighting Designer), Scrooge The Musical, Oklahoma, Throughly Modern Millie, The Importance of Being Earnest (scenic carpentry), The Scheme of the Driftless Shifter (Lighting and Sound Designer), The Amish Project (Lighting and Sound Designer), and Jekyll & Hyde (Director and Designer).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tara Kromer, Props Designer

407.896.7365, props@orlandorep.com 

DSC_6340 RE xsmTara recently graduated with her MFA in Theatre from the University of Central Florida where she concentrated her studies in Directing and Theatre for Young Audiences. Recent credits include Titusville Playhouse’s Doubt: A Parable, Theatre UCF’s The Baltimore Waltz, And Then Came Tango, Dog Sees God, WASP, and For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls. She has served as a writer and director for Orlando Repertory Theatre’s Writes of Spring, and has been involved with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival since 2013. She has worked in properties for Seaside Music Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Congo Square Theatre Company, and IBEX puppetry.

 

 

 

 

 

Megan Szloboda, Costume Shop Manager

407.896.7365 ext. 223, megans@orlandorep.com

DSC_6123 RE xsmMegan is pleased to join The REP this season as Costume Shop Manager. She earned her BFA degree in Theatre Production/Design from Miami University. Her resume includes experience in all areas of costuming: construction, design, wardrobe, and wigs. She has worked professionally at various regional theaters nationwide and abroad, including the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the Cleveland Playhouse. Megan also served as Wig Supervisor for the national tour of Annie and Costume Technician for Disney Cruise Line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Hardin, Costume Shop Assistant

407.896.7365 ext. 223, khardin@orlandorep.com

DSC_6114 RE xsmKatie is excited to join the wonderful staff at The REP. She is a Knoxville, TN native and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She has always had a love for theatre, but discovered her love for costuming in college. Previous costume work experience includes Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville Repertory Theatre and various freelance projects in Nashville, TN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samuel Finken, Lighting & Sound Director

407.896.7365 ext. 204, sfinken@orlandorep.com

Bio coming soon!

 

 

 

Carrie Kasten Smith, Assistant Production Manager & Intern Coordinator

407.896.7365 ext. 222, carriek@orlandorep.com

DSC_6353 RE xsmCarrie is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a BFA degree in Stage Management.  She has been working at Orlando Repertory Theatre since 2005 where she has stage managed Crazy For You, Salt & Pepper, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Go, Dog. Go!, Seussical the Musical, All Shook Up, I Never Saw Another Butterfly and more. Carrie also enjoys working with The REP’s very talented interns as the Internship Coordinator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley Willsey, Marketing Director

407.896.7365 ext. 228, awillsey@orlandorep.com

DSC_6377 RE xsmAshley proudly joined The REP team in the summer of 2011. She graduated from University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her BA in Advertising and Public Relations, with a focus on design and copywriting, as well as a BA in Psychology. In 2014, Ashley produced the critically acclaimed Central Florida premiere of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which won Patron’s Pick (Green Venue), the Critic’s Choice award for Best Musical, and Best Marketing. As a freelance graphic designer, her work has appeared throughout Orlando, as well as New York City. Clients include Orlando International Fringe Festival, 54 Below, Orlando Shakes, Orlando Ballet, Frontline Event Services, Theatre Downtown, Central Florida Community Arts, Red Fern Productions, Bay Street Players, Alexander Sage Oyen, Hot Pink, Athens Theatre, St. Luke’s UMC, D Squared Productions, Bucket List Productions, Handwritten Productions, Melon Patch Players, and Adams & Luka. Follow her on Facebook at Little Red Design – Ashley Willsey.

 

Brian Diaz, Company Manager

407.896.7365 ext. 227, briand@orlandorep.com

DSC_6208 RE xsmBrian graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Business Administration in spring 2008. His first experience working in theatre was as an intern at The REP and he was thrilled to return as a staff member. Brian handles annual auditions as well as working with designers, actors and crew members for each season’s productions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Mozer, Development Associate

407.896.7365 ext 220, smozer@orlandorep.com

DSC_6196 RE xsmStephanie joined The REP in the fall of 2014, leaving a fifteen year career in alternative healthcare to pursue her lifelong passion of working in the theatre. She has received extensive training in campaign management, fundraising, special events, and volunteer management from the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. Stephanie holds a Masters and Bachelors degree from the Florida College of Integrative Medicine and an Associates Degree from Full Sail University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh Swenson, Facilities Manager

407.896.7365 ext 268, jswenson@orlandorep.com

DSC_6134 RE xsmJosh is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University where his primary focus was stage management and directing. He previously stage managed shows for Orlando Repertory Theatre, including A Christmas Story The Musical, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical (2013), and Shrek The Musical (2013). Josh happily accepted a full time position with The REP as the Facilities Manager in 2015, applying everything he learned from stage management to his work rental clients, as well as with the overall operations of the building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janell Peña, Office Manager

407.896.7365 ext. 218, jpena@orlandorep.com

DSC_6228 RE xsmA native of Chicago, IL, Janell B. Peña holds a Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Accounting and Financial Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Janell proudly joined The REP in the summer of 2014 and brings with her over 15 years of financial industry experience. Before joining The REP, Janell served as a Tax Auditor for the Florida Department of Revenue. Apart from enjoying her time at The REP she operates her own accounting business www.bopenaccounting.biz. Janell is thrilled to be a part of the The REP family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Dubose, Front of House Manager

407.896.7365 ext. 229, ldubose@orlandorep.com

DSC_6155 RE xsmLaura DuBose graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre with an Emphasis in Dance. After graduation, she packed up and moved to Florida to participate in the Disney College Program at Finding Nemo the Musical in Operations. Getting back in to the world of theatre, she spent time with Mad Cow Theatre before coming to The REP. She likes to surf, having two surfboards at home, and enjoys hanging out with her dog Pepper. Her favorite part of Theatre for Young Audiences is seeing the joy and wonderment of theatre in all members of the families that attend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calli Charlton, Front of House Associate

407.896.7365 ext. 225, boxoffice@orlandorep.com

DSC_6177 RE xsmCalli recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A in English Literature and a minor in Theatre. She has a big passion for theatre and is thrilled to be a part of such an amazing theatre company! She has been working with children for many years and is excited to help bring that passion to the next generation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Labman, Front of House Associate

407.896.7365 ext. 206, boxoffice@orlandorep.com

DSC_6157 RE xsmJohn graduated with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. He has been involved in numerous productions both off and on stage and has a huge passion for Theatre. After graduation, he moved to Orlando and worked for Walt Disney World before joining the REP Family. He is thrilled to be a part of such a great theatre company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cerise Sweezey, Field Trip Manager

407.896.7365 ext. 225, csweezey@orlandorep.com

DSC_6174 RE xsmCerise is a recent Honors Graduate from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Event Management and a Minor in Music Performance. Her passion for the arts is lifelong, having begun as a young singer and performer right here at The REP (then known as the Civic Theatre). That path led Cerise to many a main stage production of the Orlando Opera Company as a child chorister, dancer, and actor. She also brings to The REP a great love for children along with refined hospitality skills acquired during her four years in various capacities with Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando. Cerise is ecstatic to be back to a place she called home as a child, helping to bring the same joy to another generation of art lovers and makers.