Artistic Staff Bios
KAREN AZENBERG (Director/Choreographer) This marks Karen Azenberg’s fifth season as Artistic Director at PTC. This season she directed the Regional Premiere of Sting’s The Last Ship. Last season she directed Fiddler on the Roof, The Rocky Horror Show Concert Version and It Happened One Christmas. In previous seasons she has directed and/or choreographed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Rocky Horror Show, Alabama Story, The Music Man, Something’s Afoot, A Few Good Men, Sweet Charity, A Christmas Carol–The Musical, Next to Normal (Regional Premiere), Rent, Miss Saigon, and she created the musical staging for the record-breaking 2007 production of Les Misérables. Originally from New York, her work there includes Lyrics and Lyricists (92nd St. Y), Blocks (a collaboration with Jonathan Larson), Prom Queens Unchained, and choreography for Richard Greenberg’s The Dazzle (Roundabout). Other credits include national tours of Carousel and Brigadoon, West Side Story (over 15 productions), and productions at Indiana Rep, Geva, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Goodspeed, and many others. Karen is on the Board of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and a past President of the Stage Director and Choreographers Society (SDC). Her favorite productions are her son Alexander and her daughter Emelia.
TOM GRIFFIN (Musical Director/Conductor) is a nationally recognized musical director and conductor for professional musical theater. Recent productions: It Happened One Christmas, Peter & The Starcatcher, Elf—The Musical and A Christmas Carol: The Musical at Pioneer Theatre Company, 13, The Musical; the West Coast and Los Angeles premieres of The Last Five Years, Sweet Charity, Sweeney Todd and The Music Man; the West Coast premiere of Spitfire Grill; Annie, West Side Story, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Bye Bye Birdie; the national tour of My Fair Lady for Theatre Of The Stars; and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s productions of Disney’s Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Peter Pan and A Christmas Memory. Awards: Broadway revival of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Los Angeles premiere), Garland Award Best Musical Direction; and Side Show (Los Angeles premiere), Los Angeles Drama Critics Award Best Musical Direction. Tom was the musical conductor of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on two national tours.
GEORGE MAXWELL (Set Designer) has been the resident scenic designer at Pioneer Theatre Company for over 25 years and has had the distinct pleasure of designing over 90 productions for the company. Last season he designed Fiddler on the Roof and It Happened One Christmas. A few of his favorite PTC designs include Next to Normal, Rent, White Christmas, A Christmas Story, Chicago, Metamorphoses, Enchanted April, West Side Story, Proof, Peter Pan, Noises Off, Man of La Mancha, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Miss Saigon and A Christmas Carol: The Musical. He was tapped by the Utah Opera Company to design The Coronation of Poppea and The Ballad of Baby Doe. Maxwell has also designed for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and for the Utah Shakespeare Festival. George is a member of United Scenic Artists. To see more of his work visit http://gmaxwell.weebly.com/
K.L. ALBERTS (Costume Designer) This season marks K.L.’s 29th season with the Pioneer Theatre Company. In those years he has designed a wide range of shows. Small intimate dramas like Of Mice And Men and Proof, the comedies Private Lives and Scapino! and many large scale musicals including Les Miserables (both PTC productions), The Producers, Elf-The Musical and The Music Man. K.L. was also honored to design the world premieres of three PTC productions: It Happened One Christmas, Dumas’ Camille and Laughing Stock. For the University of Utah’s Babcock Theatre he has designed On The Verge, Edward II and The School For Scandal among others. K.L. recently designed Beowulf, as well as Infantry Monologues and Shadows Of The Bakemono for Meat and Potato Theatre Company, and has spent many summers with the Utah Shakespeare Festival where his designs include South Pacific, Anything Goes and Les Misèrables (yet again!).
KIRK BOOKMAN (Lighting Design) designed PTC’s recent production of The Glass Menagerie. New York credits include Charles Busch’s The Tribute Artist, The Divine Sister. Off–Broadway: What Then at the Ohio Theater, The Cook at Intar Theatre 53, Recent Tragic Events at Playwrights Horizons (starring Heather Graham). Broadway (National Actors Theatre): The Sunshine Boys (Jack Klugman and Tony Randall), The Gin Game (Julie Harris and Charles Durning), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Right You Are. Irish Repertory Company: Playboy of the Western World, Eclipsed, The Importance of Being Earnest and Major Barbara. Other New York: Mondo Drama, Havana is Waiting, Force Continuum (Atlantic Theater Company), My One Good Nerve (starring Ruby Dee), The Green Heart at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Shawl, Rude Entertainment, The Book of Liz (David and Amy Sedaris), Les MIZrahi (Isaac Mizrahi), Hope is the Thing with Feathers, As Thousands Cheer and June Moon. Regionally, Mr. Bookman has designed at such notable theaters as Goodspeed Opera House, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Pittsburgh Public Theater, Repertory Theatre of St Louis and Utah Shakespeare Festival. Ballet: English National Ballet, Santiago Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Hungarian National Ballet. Projects with the San Francisco Symphony include The Thomashefskys, Of Thee I Sing, Oedipus Rex, The Nightingale and A Flowering Tree directed by Peter Sellars.
JOSHUA C. HIGHT (Resident Sound Designer) A Graduate With Distinction of London’s Alchemea College of Audio Engineering, Hight comes to PTC with many years of experience in professional audio systems repair and design, and has established himself as an exceptional live sound engineer in both London and Salt Lake City. Hight is looking forward to a successful fourth season working in theater design with Pioneer Theatre Company. His other projects of note include working with Sommerset House for the 2012 Olympic Games, and PTC’s Elf—The Musical, A Few Good Men, Much Ado About Nothing, Deathtrap, Sweet Charity, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Rocky Horror Show, One Man, Two Guvnors, Alabama Story, The Crucible, I Hate Hamlet, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, Outside Mullingar, It Happened One Christmas, Two Dollar Bill, An Inspector Calls, Cowgirls and The Count of Monte Cristo.
AMANDA FRENCH (Hair and Makeup) has been a Makeup and Hair Designer for over 25 years. She has worked for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Utah Opera, Egyptian Theatre Company and the University of Texas at Austin. She is a contributing writer in the tenth edition of Stage Makeup by Corson, Glavan and Norcross, and her work can also be seen in The Costume Technician’s Handbook by Ingham and Covey, and Wig Making and Styling: A Complete Guide for Theatre and Film by Ruskai and Lowery. She attended the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where she studied with Hair and Makeup Designer Lenna Kaleva. She is a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and a current University of Utah adjunct professor of wigs and makeup.
CHRISTOPHER DUVAL* (Resident Fight Choreographer) returns to Pioneer Theatre Company as Resident Fight Choreographer, having fight-directed such productions as The Count of Monte Cristo, Deathtrap, I Hate Hamlet, and others. At PTC he played the role of Francis Henshall in One Man, Two Guvners and Don John in Much Ado About Nothing. He has also worked throughout the country acting, directing, or fight directing at such theatres as Syracuse Stage, Dallas Theatre Center, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Orange County, Idaho Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Salt Lake Acting Company, Sacramento Theatre Company, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, and the Laguna Playhouse. He has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 17 years as a guest teacher, fight director and actor for such productions as Twelfth Night, Troilus and Cressida, Henry V, Great Expectations, River Bride, Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Othello, Robin Hood, Trip to Bountiful, Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Henry VI Parts 1-3, Noises Off, Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and many others. In 2017, he will be returning to OSF for his 18th season, fight-directing productions of Henry IV Part 1 and Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles; as well as serving as the director for Taming of the Shrew at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and as director for Hand to God at Salt Lake Acting Company. He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of California Irvine, is a Certified Teacher of Stage Combat with the Society of American Fight Directors, a Master Teacher with Dueling Arts International, holds a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido, and is recognized as an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. Chris is the incoming Head of the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah, and is the author of “Stage Combat Arts: An Integrated Approach to Acting, Voice, and Text Work.”
SARAH SHIPPOBOTHAM (Dialect Coach) is a Full Professor and Head of the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. Her work as dialect coach for Pioneer Theatre Company includes this year’s production of Sting’s The Last Ship, as well as prior productions: Outside Mullingar, One Man, Two Guvnors, Something’s Afoot, A Christmas Carol: The Musical, In the Heights, Sunset Boulevard, Our Town, Dial ‘M’ for Murder, The Light in the Piazza, Noises Off, Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mousetrap, Communicating Doors, Joyful Noise, A View From the Bridge and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Shippobotham has also worked for Salt Lake Acting Company, coaching The Overwhelming, Going to St. Ives, The Beard of Avon, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and White People. She also works as the Resident Voice and Dialect Coach for The Shaw Festival in Canada. She was the Additional Dialect Coach on The Hobbit films.
This production is sponsored by:
Student Matinee Sponsor:
The Richard K. and Shirley S. Hemingway Foundation