Artistic Staff Bios
KAREN AZENBERG (Director/Choreographer) This marks Karen Azenberg’s sixth season as Artistic Director at PTC, and she directed the season opener, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as well as Newsies and the World Premiere of i. 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 Theatre Co.). Among her other credits are National Tours of Carousel and Brigadoon, West Side Story (over 15 productions), and productions at Indiana Rep., Geva Theatre Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Goodspeed and Utah Shakespeare Festival. Karen is on the Board of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Her favorite productions are her son Alexander and her daughter Emelia.
HELEN GREGORY (Musical Director) is returning to conduct her ninth production for the Pioneer Theatre Company (Rent, In the Heights, Something’s Afoot, 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, The Rocky Horror Show (2014 & 2015), Fiddler on the Roof and The Last Ship). Off-Broadway credits include: NY Theatre Workshop, Vineyard Theatre, The Public Theater, La Mama E.T.C. Regional theatres: Maltz Jupiter Theatre—(received 11 Carbonell nominations, Winner 2011 for Crazy for You), Asolo Repertory Theatre (Winner Sarasota Magazine Theatre Awards 2009—Best Musical Direction for Barnum), Alliance Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, The Human Race Theatre Company, New Jersey Repertory Company, Paper Mill Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse and Hangar Theatre. Gregory lives in Durango, Colo.
LENNY DANIEL (Associate Director/Choreographer) has assisted Ms. Azenberg on too many shows to count and for too many years to count. Productions he has choreographed include Mary Poppins at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Spamalot at both the Geva Theatre Center and Arkansas Repertory Theatre. He also directed and choreographed Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical at TexARTS, assistant directed The Wizard of Oz National Tour starring Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt and assistant choreographed GiGi (Paper Mill Playhouse). Daniel assisted Ann Reinking and performed in Here Lies Jenny starring Bebe Neuwirth (NYC & SF). Performing credits include: Broadway: Cats – final original company, The Wizard of Oz. NYC: Sinatra (Radio City Music Hall), Wonderful Town (NYC Opera). Tours: Spamalot, Chicago, South Pacific, Camelot, Jekyll & Hyde. Regional: Newsies, Chess, Oliver!, The Last Ship, Sweet Charity, A Christmas Carol: The Musical (PTC), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Baltimore Center Stage), Mary Poppins, Peter Pan (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), GiGi and Evita (Paper Mill Playhouse). Grammy-nominated cast album The Wizard of Oz.
BRENDA VAN DER WIEL (Costume Designer) is part of the design faculty for the University of Utah Theatre Department and serves as head of the Performing Arts Design Program. She designs regularly for that department as well as for Pioneer Theatre Company and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Recent works in Utah include Hello Dolly!, the masks for Animal Farm, Blue Stockings and the Avenue Q puppets for the Babcock Theatre. Some favorite designs for Pioneer Theatre Company include Outside Mullingar, Alabama Story, Rent, Emma and A Christmas Story. Some favorite designs for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Comedy of Errors and The Count of Monte Cristo. Her work was seen at Utah Shakespeare Festival this past summer in Treasure Island and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
KIRK BOOKMAN (Lighting Designer) designed PTC’s recent productions of Newsies, Oliver! and The Glass Menagerie. Broadway (National Actors Theatre): The Sunshine Boys (Jack Klugman and Tony Randall), The Gin Game (Julie Harris and Charles Durning), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Off-Broadway credits include Charles Busch’s The Tribute Artist, The Divine Sister, What Then at the Ohio Theatre, The Cook at Intar Theatre 53, Recent Tragic Events at Playwrights Horizons (starring Heather Graham), Right You Are (Tony Randall’s last stage appearance) Mondo Drama, Havana is Waiting, Force Continuum at 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. For the Irish Repertory Company: Playboy of the Western World, Eclipsed, The Importance of Being Earnest and Major Barbara. Ballet: English National Ballet, Santiago Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Hungarian National Ballet.
KATE WECKER (Sound Designer) This is Wecker’s debut season as the resident sound designer for PTC. She is excited to be returning to the Utah theatre community after several years as the audio supervisor on the national tour of Menopause: the Musical. Wecker has previously designed for Fox Valley Repertory, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre and the Neil Simon Festival.
AMANDA FRENCH (Hair and Makeup Design) has been a makeup and hair designer for over 25 years. She has worked for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, 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.
MARY P. COSTELLO (Production Stage Manager) has worked on over 40 productions during seven seasons with PTC. Favorites include Newsies, Sting’s The Last Ship, Other Desert Cities, Les Misèrables, In the Heights, Next to Normal and Rent. Other stage management teams: Indiana Repertory Theatre, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Boston Theatre Works, Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Proud Equity member.
KELSEY JAMES (AEA Assistant Stage Manager) is happy to be returning to Pioneer Theatre Company, where her previous credits include Requiem for August Moon and Perpetual Girl for the Play-by-Play reading series. Other regional credits include West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and Julius Caesar at the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre; Swing! The Musical at the Little Theatre of the Rockies; and a collection of cabaret productions at the Florida Studio Theatre. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa Stage Management MFA Program and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
AUGIE K. MERICOLA (AEA Assistant Stage Manager) is happy to return to PTC. An Equity stage manager for more than 30 years, his credits include Broadway, National Tour and regional productions. On Broadway, he stage-managed Jonathan Larson’s Rent, Neil Simon’s Proposals and Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel. National Tour credits: First National Tour of Rent, The Sisters Rosensweig, Lost in Yonkers, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Driving Miss Daisy, Grease and Those Were The Days. He also spent nine years as an SM and ASM at Indiana Repertory Theatre, where he worked on too many shows to list. In addition to stage management, he served as assistant and head props on several Broadway shows, including Movin’ Out, The Odd Couple, The Drowsy Chaperone and Wicked.
KALLIE ERICKSON (Non-AEA Assistant Stage Manager) is a senior in the Stage Management Program at the University of Utah. Most recent credits include Stags Leap (SLAC), You Never Can Tell (U of U), Dogfight (U of U), Stage Kiss (Wastach Theatre Company), and The Importance of Being Earnest (U of U). She has had the best time working run crew for PTC and is so excited to be ASMing here.