office: 502.589.0084    fax: 502.589.0225 mail@commonwealththeatre.org

People

Charlie

Artistic Director — Charlie Sexton

e: charlie@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext. 301

About Charlie

Charlie has proudly carried on the theatrical traditions and values of Walden Theatre founder Nancy Niles Sexton, his mother, since her retirement in 1999. He was among the first class of Conservatory students, and he performed in, directed, and wrote numerous Walden Theatre productions before receiving his B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. Prior to returning to Walden, Charlie was the Education Director for Wheelock Theatre in Boston. During his tenure as Artistic Director, Charlie has created the largest performing arts summer training program in Louisville as well as the Young American Shakespeare Festival, which was the first of its kind in the nation. He has also expanded professional opportunities for Conservatory alumni through alumni and staff productions, touring shows, and Outreach Education programs. Charlie’s resume includes many artistic accomplishments as an actor, director, and playwright, but his proudest achievement is the professional training and mentoring of thousands of students through the Conservatory program. His students have been accepted into the nation’s best college theatre programs, including Juilliard, Carnegie Mellon, New York University, Northern Illinois University, and the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater. Notable students include Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Jess Weixler (The Good Wife), Wes Ramsey (Charmed), Tom Graves (The Rude Mechanicals), Gisela Chipe (Asolo Rep’s Hamlet, Prince of Cuba), and Adam Wesley Brown (Once on Broadway). Charlie and his wife, costume designer Laura Patterson, have two sons: Aaron & Ian.

Alison

Managing Director – Alison Huff

e: alison@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext. 304

About Alison

Alison has led the merger process between Walden Theatre & Blue Apple Players and is thrilled to help create the largest, most comprehensive arts-based youth development program in the region, providing a meaningful continuum of efficient, best-in-class programming for 50,000 students per year, from pre-school to high school. Prior to merger, her eight years with Walden have yielded a three-fold increase in net assets, creating stability and establishing a significant cash reserve. She has also played an active role in the development of innovative new programs, including creating & producing the acclaimed Slant Culture Festival and initiating cross-curricular Math & Science through Drama residencies, which in 3 years have raised student test scores by an average of 2.5 letter grades. Alison currently serves as President of the board of directors for the Arts & Cultural Attractions Council (ACA), a membership organization of 100+ regional groups. Additional leadership roles include Fund for the Arts’ Impact Advisory Committee, the Arts Master Plan Steering Committee, Louisville Visual Arts Association’s Education Committee, and Greater Louisville Inc.’s Education Policy Advisory Committee. Last year Alison was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Allan Cowen Innovation Fund for Advancement of the Arts, through which she attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program for Nonprofit Leaders last summer. She was also named to the Business First 2014 “Forty Under 40” list in recognition of her leadership and accomplishments. Alison holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a specialization in nonprofit management at University of Louisville.


donna2

Business Administrator – Donna Adams

e: donna@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext. 302

About Donna

Donna joined Walden in 2013 to manage accounting & business affairs. Previously, she was Controller for Air Logistics Inc., a logistics provider of fueling and ground handling services to the airline industry where she was responsible for accounting and financial operations. Donna also worked as an IT Systems Analyst with Kforce Inc. where she specialized in problem research, solution planning and software recommendations to meet business requirements. Donna attended Bellarmine College; coursework included Business Administration and Computer Science.

Heather-Burns2

Outreach Director – Heather Burns

e: heather@commonwealththeatre.org |  p: 502.587.7990 ext 103

About Heather

Heather joined Blue Apple Players in the spring of 2006. As Outreach Director, she oversees programming, including the design and development of new projects. Heather has led development of 6 new scripts for Blue Apple audiences. In 2014, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood invited her to be a plenary speaker at the Ready Kids Conference, where she also co-presented a session on process drama in the early childhood classroom with Dr. Kathryn Whitmore, Director of the University of Louisville Early Childhood Research Center. In 2009, Heather joined Walden Theatre as a director for summer academies, including Grimm Tales, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit, and The SeussOdyssey. As a Co-Artistic Director of Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble, Heather co-created over 10 new plays. Heather is a proud alumna of the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. She has worked with Missoula Children’s Theatre, Kentucky Shakespeare, Louisville Science Center, Frazier History Museum, and other Louisville theatre companies. Heather holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts from Northern Kentucky University.

Artistic Associate – Meg Caudill

e: meg@commonwealththeatre.org |  p: 502.589.0084 

About Meg

Meg has been a teaching artist with Walden Theatre’s Education Outreach programming since 2012. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and the M.A. in Communications and Theatre from Morehead State University. At Morehead, she worked as both the box office manager and the tour manager for their children’s theatre troupe “The Little Company.” She moved to Louisville in 2007 where she worked as a teaching artist and tour actor for Kentucky Shakespeare. Meg has performed with several local theatre companies as well as working special events at the Louisville Zoo. She is a proud alumna of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) and has returned every summer since 1999 to work in some capacity with the new scholars. Most recently, she served as the Dramatic Expression faculty and Showcase Director on the GSP Bellarmine campus.

     mera-web

Artistic Associate – Mera Kathryn Corlett

e: mera@commonwealththeatre.org |  p: 502.587.7990 ext 109

About Mera

Mera Kathryn began her work at Blue Players as a member of the touring company in 2011. Currently, she serves as an Artistic Associate where her focus has primarily been on early childhood and elementary programming. Mera Kathryn has played an active role in Blue Apple’s StoryTime Theatre, touring musical productions, drama residencies, and professional development for teachers. Before merger, she also served as a guest instructor for Walden Theatre. Prior to Blue Apple, she worked for Kentucky Shakespeare as a touring actor, workshop facilitator, and lead teacher for Camp Shakespeare. Upon graduating Cum Laude from Hanover College with degrees in theatre and theology, she received the Henry C. Long Citation for Scholarship and General Excellence, the most distinguished award a female graduate can receive.

Melinda-web

Associate Outreach Director – Melinda Crecelius

e: melinda@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext. 304

About Melinda

Melinda joined Walden Theatre in spring of 2012 and in addition to Outreach she teaches in the Advanced Conservatory classes. In 2013 she presented the that year’s Connecting Cultures project at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education Conference and at the Inclusivity and Diversity Conference at Indiana University–Southeast. Prior to Walden, she was Education Programs Manager for Kentucky Shakespeare. Melinda is an adjunct professor at Indiana University–Southeast and has led workshops at Kenyon College and Mercy Academy. For Walden, she directed The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, 1,001 Nights, Dorina and the Plague, The Baker Goes to War, and co-directed Connecting Cultures/Kentucky 2014 and Connecting Cultures 2013 and 2015. Melinda has directed for The Bard’s Town’s Ten-tucky Festival of Ten Minute Plays, Finnigan Productions’ Festival of Funky Fresh Fun, and served in various capacities for Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company, Theatre [502],  Actors Theatre of Louisville, New Jewish Theatre (St. Louis), and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Melinda holds a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Centre College and an M.A. in Theatre Education from Fontbonne University (St. Louis).

Lead Artistic Associate – Hallie Dizdarevic

e: hallie@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext. 304

About Hallie

Hallie has worked with Walden Theatre since 2006, and joined the team at Blue Apple Players in 2008. She teaches Imagination, Studio, and Playmaking in the Conservatory and PreK-12 workshops in the Blue Apple Outreach program. This season, Hallie will be directing the fall touring musical, The Boy Who Cried Wolf for the Outreach Department, and A Bright Room Called Day by acclaimed playwright Tony Kushner in the Conservatory. Additional Walden Conservatory directing credits include: Kafka’s Metamorphosis, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Harvey, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Connecting Cultures 2013 & 2014, Quilters, A Night of Poe (with the Young Company), and many Summer Academy and Jr. Academy shows. Hallie is a proud Walden alumna, and she holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Associate Artistic Director – Julane Havens

e: julane@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext. 306

About Julane

Julane has directed over 20 productions for Walden Theatre including Camino Real, Anon(ymous), Oresteia, Pericles, and Romeo & Juliet. She is on the drama faculty for The Kentucky Center’s Governor’s School for the Arts and an Instructor and Director for Perry-Mansfield’s theatre program in Colorado. She played Shelly in the Louisville premiere of Buried Child at Bunbury Theatre, Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest and Viola in Twelfth Night with Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company, Juliet in Romeo & Juliet with Kentucky Shakespeare, and Sonya in Walden Theatre’s staff production of Uncle Vanya. She is proud to have directed the first Walden productions of Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 for the Young American Shakespeare Festival, to have led two arts-immersion trips to Nicaragua with Hand in Hand Ministries, and to have founded the Summer Shakespeare Intensive at the company in 2011. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri, Kansas City/Kansas City Rep.

paul-2

Senior Fellow – Paul Lenzi

e: paul@commonwealththeatre.org |  p: 502.587.7990 ext. 101

About Paul

Paul co-founded Blue Apple Players in 1976 with his wife Geraldine Ann Snyder, and has directed over 100 musicals & worked in virtually every aspect of theater administration with organizations including the Coconut Grove Playhouse and the Miami Philharmonic. He’s directed & performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., The Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, and Miami Dade County Auditorium. Paul has also been active in the community networking with the arts & culture community and among social service organizations. Serving as Co-Chair of ACA’s Education Committee with Alison Huff, he’s helped lead an effort to illustrate the value that member organizations bring to the community. Paul has worked with politicians & CEOs of major corporations as a speech coach and has produced & directed industrial theater productions for conventions from Las Vegas to Toronto. Mr. Lenzi has a B.A. in Theatre from Florida State University and has been a member of Actor’s Equity for over 40 years. Favorite roles include Iago in Othello, Duperret in Marat/Sade, and Sheriff John Wolf in The Three Pigs: The Wild West Will Never Be The Same.

Technical Director – Clay Marshall

e: clay@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext 312

About Clay

Clay joined the company full time in 2015 after years of production design and technical work. He is a Walden Theatre alumnus and holds a degree in Community Entrepreneurship from University of Louisville. He’s appeared in close to 30 productions and worked backstage on ten seasons of shows. In addition to building shows, Clay does educational outreach, he teaches Stagecraft and ballroom dance, he also performs with the Va Va Vixens.

Ben-program-web

Artistic Associate – Ben Park

e: ben@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext 314

About Ben

Ben is a Walden alum who started working at Walden as a summer instructor in 2009 while getting his BFA in acting at Northern Illinois. After graduating in 2012, he joined Walden as a teaching artist and artistic intern. He also heads up the Walden Alumni Theatre Company which has produced works ranging from Pinter to Mamet to local playwrights under his direction. Ben studied at the Moscow Art Theatre in 2011 and much of his classwork is derived from his time working on Chekhov and watching theatre in Russia. Sometimes, he does props.

Jen-headshot2

Artistic Associate – Jennifer Pennington

e: jen@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.587.7990 ext 405

About Jennifer

Jen, recommended to Blue Apple by Walden Theatre, joined the full time staff in January 2013. She holds a B.F.A. in Acting from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Tennessee’s International Actor Training Academy. Jen, having transplanted from Los Angeles, has taught & trained with companies all over the country including: South Coast Repertory Theatre Company, P.S.Arts, EastLA Classic Theatre, Inside Out Community Arts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Michigan Theatre Festival, Ann Arbor Public Schools, Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, Clarence Brown Theatre, Arizona Shakespeare Festival, Kentucky Shakespeare, Savage Rose, Theatre 502, Bunbury, and CenterStage.

Grants Manager – Margaret Phillips

e: margaret@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.587.7990 ext 405

About Margaret

Margaret is excited to be one of the newest staff, having joined in August 2015. After more than a decade as an editor & freelance journalist, she began grant writing in 2009—providing her a basis for translating her passion for storytelling into the cultivation of funding sources and grant proposals. She’s crafted successful proposals for Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Volunteers of America Mid-States, Frazier History Museum, Kentucky College of Art & Design at Spalding University, the Center for Accessible Living, and for Squeeze Art Collective in Long Beach, Calif.  Margaret holds a M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University and a B.A. in English from U of L.

Technical Associate – Jacob Riche

e: jacob@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext 

About Jacob

(Check back later for updates!)

annie-main

Communications and Artistic Associate – Annie Smith

e: annie@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.587.7990 ext 107

About Annie

Annie began work with Blue Apple Players in 2000 as a cast member of touring musicals. Throughout her 15+ years with the company, she has performed lead roles in more than ten musicals, including the 2014 tour of The Three Pigs: The Wild West Will Never Be the Same. Annie is also a teaching artist for Outreach Programs. She has brought prior administrative & marketing experience from Dinsmore & Shohl Attorneys and top hotels in the area to lead special events, marketing, and other administrative areas. Annie has volunteered for Walden’s Slant Culture Theatre Festival for the last two years in addition to time in support of the school her young children attend. Annie is married to Corey Smith, a sound technician she met through Blue Apple more than 12 years ago.

IsaacSpradlin-Headshot2-2

Communications Manager – Isaac Spradlin

e: isaac@commonwealththeatre.org  |  p: 502.589.0084 ext. 303

About Isaac

Isaac joined in 2009 and is responsible for PR, marketing, art direction & design of print/electronic assets (including development of a new website), and other communications for the company & its Slant Culture Theatre Festival. Two Shakespeare Festival posters he art directed/designed were selected for the new book Presenting Shakespeare: 1,100 Posters from around the World. He’s an internationally published arts & culture writer whose feature about Turkish artist Serkan Ozkaya was collected in Today Could Be a Day of Historical Importance, a limited-edition book packed in a large tin can. Isaac was a freelance arts/culture writer; contributed interviews for art gallery guides; wrote for Forbes; reported for public radio; and spent years in the books biz as training/store-launch specialist. He holds an M.A. in Arts Journalism from Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a B.A. in Humanities (20th Century Culture) from U of L. Isaac is an avid reader, baseball & soccer fan, and a visual ecosystem enthusiast.

Board of Directors

President: Brad Keeton – Stoll Keenon Ogden
Vice President: Mark Robich – Fifth Third Bank
Treasurer: Tim Horton, CPA – Brown-Forman

Patti Clare – Neel-Schaffer
Susan Osmanski Cohen – Norton Healthcare Children’s Hospital Foundation
Tim Horton, CPA – Brown-Forman
Tracy Karem – Louisville Public Media
Michele Koch – Humana
David Phillips – SinglePoint Solutions
Greg Simms – Murphy & Associates, PLC
Robert Strobo – Republic Bank & Trust Co.
Vickie Wesley – Re/Max Properties East

Back to Top