Board Members

Staff

Alison Garrigan

Alison Garrigan — Executive Artistic Director

Ali is a long-time professional in the theatre who has worked locally, regionally, and nationally as an actress, director, designer, puppet-maker, and teacher. She became dedicated to creative, intelligent and playful Children's Theatre in her late teens, and has returned to work with children and students frequently throughout her career. Her professional work in the Cleveland area has been seen and produced at such venues as Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Institute of Music's Opera Stage, Beck Center for the Arts, Dobama Theatre, and Great Lakes Theatre Festival, to name a few. No stranger to starting up a new company, she was one of the original members/board of the critically acclaimed Bad Epitaph Theatre Company. Alison has always felt that Children's Theatre needs to be intelligent, creative, playful, and educational, and should engage every aspect of its audience, and its artists — minds, eyes, ears, hearts, imaginations… and energy.

Lisa Oretnzi

Lisa Oretnzi

Lisa Ortenzi currently serves as the Director of Educational Programming for Great Lakes Theater. Lisa directs the Great Lakes Theater School Residency Program, the English Speaking Union Shakespeare Competition, the Camp Theater! Program and continues to teach. Lisa's Outreach Tour directing credits include: Ten in One, The Decameron, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Seven Ages, and Double Heart which was chosen for the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.

Lisa serves as Adjunct Faculty for the Theater Department and Artistic Director of the Baldwin Wallace University Triple Threat Music Theater Program for the Conservatory Outreach. Lisa has also served as the Education Director/Artistic Associate of the Cleveland Youth Theatre, directed for the Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Baldwin Wallace University and a variety of Community Theaters and High School Drama programs including the All-Ohio Thespian and North Area Thespian Productions for the Ohio Education Theater Association.

Lisa holds BAC degrees in Theatre and Radio/TV/Film from Bowling Green State University and a Master's in Directing from Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts.

John Stuehr

John Stuehr — Founding Chairman

John has a 50 year background in theatre, from his first performance at Parma High School, through his most recent visit onstage in a Leap/Conceive production at Cleveland Public Theatre. In between, he has acted in college productions at Kent State University, professional summer repertory at Porthouse Theatre, and in New York City at La Mama and New York Theatre Ensemble. He has directed productions while in high school and college, in various community theatres, and most recently at Lorain County Community College. He has also written plays — “Fate is a Woman”, which he directed while in high school for an all-school assembly, “House Plan Template”, performed at Kent State University and “Geronimo”, performed at the WPA Theatre in New York City — and is currently working on a new play about his experience as a child in the Parmadale Orphanage.

None of these endeavors, of course, paying the rent, John has also maintained various professional careers. As a bookseller, he was general manager for two Fifth Avenue bookstores in NYC, at Brentano's and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Also in NYC, he designed window displays for another Fifth Avenue bookstore, Scribners, and managed Hackers Art Books. John has been a buyer at a national book warehouse, where he also served as Education chairman for the Great Lakes Booksellers Association. And after a stint in the banking industry, in the Human Relations department at Charter One Bank, John became coordinator for the Gordon Square Arts District, where he currently is employed as a grant writer and general handyman.

Ashley Davenport — Treasurer

Ashley Davenport

Ashley has been active in the Cleveland Theatre Community as an actor, designer, singer and stitcher since moving to this great city in 2006. He and his partner, Dr. Michael Mauldin of Cleveland State University moved here from Orlando, FL where Ashley was an Entertainment Costumer for Walt Disney Entertainment, specifically for Disney Cruise Lines. Ashley received a Bachelor's of Art degree in Theatre, with a focus on costume design, from Drury University in Springfield, MO. Currently, he works at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is originally from Beaumont, TX.

Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams — Volunteer Coordinator

Carrie is thrilled to be a part of Talespinner Children's Theater! She has been involved with theater for youth since taking part in a summer drama program at age twelve. She served as a performer, educator, stage manager, and director for the Perrysburg Area Arts Council Summer Theater, Treehouse Troupe, and Horizon Youth Theater respectively before receiving a BA in Theater from Bowling Green State University, with a minor in Arts Management. Over the last two years Carrie has been involved with Cleveland Public Theater, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, and is an Actor-Teacher with Great Lakes Theater's school residency program.

Josh Brown

Josh Brown — Web Design

As a theater artist, Josh has performed, written, choreographed, designed and assisted all over the Cleveland/Northeast Ohio scene. As a multimedia designer his video work has been featured in “Kill Will” (co-written by Josh and his wife Kelly, and directed by Ali Garrigan), “I Hate This/And Then You Die” (also directed by Ali Garrigan), and “Fever/Dream” - all of which appeared at Cleveland Public Theatre. Josh studied acting at Case Western Reserve University and graphic design and multimedia at Virginia Marti College of Art and Design. He lives in Staunton, Virginia where his wife is studying for an MLitt/MFA in Shakespeare and Performance. He is currently the Senior Graphic Designer at Aztek, a Cleveland web design and applications firm. He looks fantastic in a kilt.

www.joshuadbrown.com

Amy Bistok Bunce

Amy Bistok Bunce

Amy Bistok Bunce is proud to serve TCT and and looks forward to contributing to the success of the company alongside the amazing TCT board and staff! Amy is a local theatre artist and an advertising and marketing professional with expertise in digital marketing.

In addition to her non-profit marketing experience, Amy has worked to develop and promote brands in an array of fields including travel and tourism, special events and festivals, real estate, property management and more. She received her bachelor's degree in theatre from Kent State University and is an ensemble member at Tremont-based convergence-continuum where she has appeared in numerous productions.

Amy is passionate about TCT's aim “to bring theatre to the community in its fullest form providing excitement, growth and joy for all who are involved in and/or touched by its work” and thanks you for your current and future support of this mission.

Katelyn Cornelius

Katelyn Cornelius — Director of Education and Outreach

Katelyn is a proud graduate of the Cleveland State University Theater program, and passionate about supporting arts in and around Cleveland. For the past four years, Katelyn has traveled North East Ohio as an Actor-Teacher for Great Lakes Theater, where she worked with grades K through 12, bringing literature to life ranging from classic children's stories to Shakespeare. Prior to GLT, Katelyn taught for the East Cleveland Adult Activities Center and directed quarterly performances with the residents. Katelyn is also an actor, and has been seen onstage at such venues as Cleveland Public Theater, Theater Ninjas, Karamu House, Ensemble Theater, The Bang and the Clatter, and of course, Talespinner Children's Theater. (Red Beard in TCT's Aesop's Pirate Adventure will forever be a favorite role.) She is also a Movement Specialist - recent work includes TCTs Loki & Lucy.

Emily Hanson

Emily Hanson — Vice Chair

Emily has over ten years of experience in education as both a teacher and administrator. Currently she is the Assistant Principal at Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood. Emily has had a love and appreciation of theatre from the time she was a child. She is thrilled to be a part of a group that wants to bring that same love to the next generation of children. She strongly supports the mission of reaching “across socio-economic, cultural and traditional boundaries to help awaken and bring better understanding by opening eyes, ears, hearts and imaginations” because indeed that will change the world. Emily currently assists TCT in creating its educational surrounds and outreach programs.

Claire Robinson May

Claire Robinson May

Claire Robinson May is a playwright, professor, and attorney. Her plays have been performed on the stages of convergence-continuum, Cleveland Public Theatre, and other venues. She recently received her MFA in creative writing from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program (NEOMFA). Claire has been a Legal Writing Professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law since 2001, and is a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio. She practiced law as a business litigator in Washington, D.C. and Cleveland before embarking on her teaching career. Claire grew up in Cleveland Heights, where she was surrounded by the arts as an integral part of a diverse and vibrant community. Claire is proud to support Talespinner Children's Theatre and its mission to "develop and produce highly imaginative, original, collaborative and interactive professional works" for children of all ages.

Nina Domingue Glover

Nina Domingue Glover

Nina Domingue Glover (AEA, MFA) is a critically acclaimed multi-faceted actress known for her moving and skillful portrayals and solo shows and Theatre for Young Audiences. Most recently she wrapped filming Bringing Henrietta to Life in conjunction with Cleveland State University, where she portrayed Henrietta Lacks. Nina made her FringeNYC debut in August 2011 with Ya Mama! first seen in CPT's Big Box series. The "nytheatre.com" critic Andrew Rothkin said the show was, “beautifully written and exquisitely performed.” Nina has also been a teaching artist for over 15 years, teaching with Young Audiences, The Great Lakes Theater Festival, Karamu House, the Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theater and The All City Arts Program. She has been a part of the Cleveland Play House's esteemed Playwright's Unit, and is now a member of Artistic Staff.

Liz Conway

Liz Conway — Chair

Liz Conway has over ten years of experience within the arts & culture field, both as a performer as well as an administrative professional. She currently serves as Institutional Giving Manager at the Cleveland Play House and has worked with the Cleveland Museum of Art, Apollo's Fire and Chagrin Arts in a variety of development capacities. Artistically, Liz has worked with many of Cleveland's theatrical institutions, such as Cleveland Public Theater & Great Lakes Theater, as an actor, educator and writer. She serves on the Board of Directors for Buzz & Growl, the non-profit fashion incubator founded by Project Runway's Valerie Mayen, and is a member of Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio's Cleveland Leadership Council. As a life-long Clevelander, she is devoted to the revitalization of the city through both arts and education.

Rick Garcia

Rick Garcia

Rick Garcia is a lifelong Clevelander and has been in the employ of Squire Patton Boggs for more than 20 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Computer and Information Science degree from Cleveland State University. Rick's notable pubic appearances include Chino in Fairview High School's 1988 production of West Side Story and being "Fresh, homemade, and occasionally good for you" in the 2008 Harry Buffalo menu. He also was a sound operator during an Ohio State University production of Twelfth Night in 1990. Rick is obviously not a theater professional, but that's not why he's here. Rick expects to bring fresh insight as a parent and theater audience member to the Board while helping TCT achieve its mission to "reach across socio-economic, cultural and traditional boundaries." In addition to being a father, Rick is a long standing member and former treasurer of the Cleveland Colectivo. He's also been captain of the Bike MS team Patti's Paladins for more than a decade, having been decorated as an Up and Coming Team Captain (2006) and bringing back team awards including Top Fundraising Team (2007), Outstanding Team Award (2011) and multiple Platinum Awards. Rick enjoys a rich life with Maggie, Rowan, Aidan and Abby both at home and out about town.

Nathan Lily

Nathan Lilly

Nathan A. Lilly is a Cleveland native and has worked as a producing theatre artist and theatre educator for nearly twenty years. He served as Artistic Director of St. Richard Theatre Company, a youth theatre company on Cleveland's west side for 11 years, and taught drama and dance at The Cleveland School of the Arts for eight years. He also sat on the Board of Directors for Western Reserve Playhouse, where he assisted with the development of the community theatre's youth theatre programming. Nathan has worked with the Tony Award-winning Cleveland Play House for 13 seasons, and now serves as the Wraparound Site Coordinator for Adlai E. Stevenson School a CMSD Investment School.  NOTABLE CREDITS: director-choreographer of the regional premiere of Lee Summer's From My Home Town; artistic liaison for the World premiere of Eric Coble's Fairfield, directed by CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley; director-choreographer of Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida, Seussical the Musical, Anything Goes, Guys and Dolls, Once on This Island, Smokey Joes Café; choreographer of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Les Miserables, Man of LaMancha, and Pippin. As a professional actor, Nathan has been seen in numerous World, regional, and/or Ohio premiere productions with The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts TYA/USA, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Dobama Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Karamu House, The Maltz Museum, The Musical Theater Project, and Kent State University. UPCOMING PROJECTS: the regional premiere of Tonya Barfield's The Call at Dobama Theatre, and the World premiere/pre-Broadway workshop of Kris Kringle The Musical. WORLD PREMIERES include: Eric Coble's Ten More Minutes From Cleveland (Dobama Theatre); Eric Schmiedl's Browns Rules (Cleveland Public Theatre); Nina Domingue's Jack & Jill's Super Colossal Storybook Adventure (Cleveland Play House); and Eric Coble's Let Freedom Ring (Ensemble Theatre & The Musical Theatre Project). TOURS: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been (Great Lakes Theatre); May 4th Voices; My Portage World. OTHER REGIONAL: Porthouse Theatre, Cain Park, and The Beck Center for the Arts. ALMA MATER: Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. MEMBER: Theatre Communication Group.

Devon Turcahn

Devon Turchan

Devon Turchan earned his B.S. from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism in 2011. While at School, he had the opportunity to work for radio and television news outlets in Athens and complete internships at WEWS in Cleveland as well as Channel One News and NBC’s Today Show in New York City. After school, Devon worked as a staff writer at The News-Herald, then as a marketing associate at The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. His passions are rooted in exploration in the form of traveling, tasting coffee, making visual art and, yes, performing! Devon couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the performing company at TCT as well as working to spread the word about the enormous impact this theatre makes on his life as well as the young (and young at heart) of Cleveland.

Laurel Hoffman

Laurel Hoffman

Laurel is a Cleveland Actress, Recruiting Technology & Operations Consultant and Mother to two amazing boys who love TCT. She has been performing on Cleveland stages since 2006 - most notably: Claire (Proof), Jolene (Self-Defense), Jo (boom), Sarah (Antebellum), Amalia (Freakshow), Christine (Red Light Winter). Laurel received a BA in Linguistics from Brandeis University before relocating to New York City to continue her theater training in the Meisner technique at the Esper Studios. A native Clevelander, she returned to the city in 2006 and immediately joined this incredible theater community. She is proud to join the Board of TCT as Laurel is extremely passionate about making theater accessible and available for audiences of all ages.