Artistic Staff Bios
KEN LUDWIG (Playwright) is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright whose work is performed throughout the world in more than thirty countries and over twenty languages. He has written twenty-four plays and musicals, with six Broadway productions and seven in London’s West End. His Tony-winning play Lend Me A Tenor, was called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by The Washington Post. His other plays and musicals include Crazy For You (5 years on Broadway, Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical), Moon Over Buffalo (Broadway and West End), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Broadway), Treasure Island (West End), Twentieth Century (Broadway), Leading Ladies, Shakespeare in Hollywood, The Game’s Afoot, The Fox on the Fairway, The Three Musketeers, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Baskerville and A Comedy of Tenors. In 2017, his critically acclaimed adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, written at the request of the Agatha Christie Estate, premiered at the McCarter Theatre; and his newest play, Robin Hood!, opened at The Old Globe, both to sold out houses. He has received commissions from the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Old Globe and the Bristol Old Vic, and he is a Sallie B. Goodman Fellow of the McCarter Theatre. His many awards and honors include the Charles MacArthur Award, two Helen Hayes Awards, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery and the Edwin Forrest Award for Contributions to the American Theater. His book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare (Random House) won the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of the Year and his essays are published by the Yale Review. He holds degrees from Harvard and Cambridge University. Ken’s plays and musicals are produced somewhere in the United States and abroad every night of the year. www.kenludwig.com
WES GRANTOM (Director) is thrilled to be back at PTC after directing two Play-by-Play presentations. He is currently developing Civics and Humanities for Non-Majors by Jeff Talbott and a multimedia clown experience created with Richard Saudek for Crowded Outlet/Ars Nova. Recent credits include Toxic Avenger by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro at Pittsburgh CLO, Lone Star Spirits by Josh Tobiessen with Crowded Outlet and Eager to Lose by Matthew-Lee Erlbach at Ars Nova, as well as The Cloud by Matt Moses, The Steadfast by Mat Smart and Mine by Bekah Brunstetter. Grantom has a number of Broadway credits as resident and associate director, working alongside James Lapine, Emma Rice, John Rando, Anthony Page and Rufus Norris. He is a recipient of multiple Drama League Fellowships, a member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a graduate of the University of Evansville and artistic director of Crowded Outlet, based in Queens, NY.
ERIC RENSCHLER (Scenic Designer) A Comedy of Tenors is his first production at PTC. Broadway designs include scenery for Mamaloshen and As Long As You Both Shall Laugh. As an associate designer, he contributed to over 40 Broadway shows, national tours and international productions, including The Color Purple, Doubt, Chicago, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, 45 Seconds from Broadway, Footloose, Proof, Wonderful Town, The Redwood Curtain and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Off-Broadway designs for: New York Shakespeare Festival, Circle Rep., Pan-Asian Rep., Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and The Juilliard School. Regional: Seattle Rep., Indiana Rep., Cincinnati Playhouse, Chautauqua Opera, Barrington Stage Company and Merrimack Rep. Renschler currently serves as chair of the department of theatre at the University of Evansville, is a frequent grant reviewer for the Indiana Arts Commission, and is a member of the United Scenic Artists. He and his wife Robin are the parents of two daughters, Alisha and Zoe.
SUSAN BRANCH TOWNE (Costume Designer) is overjoyed to return to PTC where she has designed costumes for 19 productions including Other Desert Cities, The Tempest, Hamlet, My Fair Lady, Chicago, Romeo & Juliet, Sophisticated Ladies, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Other engagements include the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Geva Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, New York City Opera’s New Works Festival and off Broadway productions of Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and She Loves Me. Susan is based in Austin, Texas where she is on the faculty at St. Edward’s University and designs for Zach Theatre, Austin Opera, and Ballet Austin. Susan holds a B.F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon, and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama, and is a 30 year member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829. Website: susanbranchtowne.com
KENDALL SMITH (Lighting Designer) is happy to return after lighting Dracula, Emma and A Christmas Story. Other theatre credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Walnut Street, GEVA Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage and North Shore Music Theatre. As the resident designer for Michigan Opera Theatre for the last 25 years, he has designed over 70 productions. Regional opera companies include Florida Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Minnesota Opera, Kentucky Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Virginia Opera.