Blake Robison enters his eleventh season as Producing Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. During his tenure, he has diversified the Playhouse’s programming, embraced its tradition of new work, deepened the theatre's community engagement, and ushered in a new era with the groundbreaking of our new $50 million theatre complex.
At the Playhouse, he has directed the world premieres of Karen Zacarias’ Native Gardens, Audrey Cefaly’s The Last Wide Open, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Abigail/1702; adaptations such as Treasure Island, Shakespeare in Love, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Peter and the Starcatcher, Pride and Prejudice, The Three Musketeers, Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace and Stephen King’s Misery; and contemporary works such as Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles, Karen Zacarias’ The Book Club Play, and Dana Yeaton’s Mad River Rising.
Other directing credits include productions at the Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Utah Shakespeare Festival, PlayMaker’s Repertory Company, Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, National Shakespeare Company and Vermont Stage. Internationally, he directed the Tennessee Williams classic Summer and Smoke at English Theatre Berlin and has worked several times at the renowned Avignon Festival in France.
Blake served on the Board of the Theatre Communications Group for six years. He was named a finalist for the 2019 Zelda Fichandler Award from the SDC Foundation honoring extraordinary work in the regional theatre.
Bethany is the Director of Development, overseeing all components of contributed revenue to both the annual and capital campaign. In her fifth season with the Playhouse, she was promoted into her current position from Director of Institutional Giving in November 2020. She earned her MBA at Northern Kentucky University, where she also earned an undergraduate in psychology. Bethany currently serves on the board of the Cincinnati Association of Fundraising Professionals, The Recovery Center of Hamilton County and is an active volunteer with Cincinnati Cares and School Board School. Giving back and helping others fuels her passion and heartfelt desire to be a community change agent.
Josh came to the Playhouse in 2021 from Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., where he held a similar position for six years. He worked in production management for 10 years at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), after more than 20 years in technical theatre. He’s also been the shop manager at Manhattan Theatre Club, a production carpenter, an actor and the manager of his own scenic shop. He is passionate about working to further the Playhouse’s DEIA initiatives and excited to help open the new Moe and Jack’s Place – The Rouse Theatre.
Dawn was recently named Director of HR, Diversity and Inclusion and is excited to help foster a culture that supports diverse perspectives and talent which will enable employee growth and lead the Playhouse into the future. She is a human resources professional with more than 20 years of experience in managing recruitment and staffing, coaching and development, training and additional responsibilities for corporations and agencies across the greater Cincinnati area. Most recently, Dawn was an HR Manager for Zenith Logistics, and she spent 10 years as the HR, Benefits and Compensation Manager for The Children’s Home. In addition to her professional roles, Dawn contributes numerous service hours in the areas of women’s health and the arts as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®. Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University and a Professional in Human Resources Certificate (SHRM-CP) and PHR.
As Director of Marketing and Communications, Kathy is responsible for leading the marketing and institutional communications strategy for the entire organization and oversees the Patron Services department. Now celebrating her 30th season with the Playhouse, Kathy previously held similar positions at The Beach Waterpark and Cincinnati Opera and worked for an advertising and public relations agency. Having lived in Cincinnati for most of her life, Kathy’s love of theatre and dedication to the Playhouse go back to her formative years when her mother was a Playhouse Prompter during the late 1970s. Kathy’s mom not only brought her to shows, but also roped her into volunteering at an early age. The first Playhouse production Kathy remembers seeing was The House of Bernarda Alba in 1978.
Suann is in her 28th season with Playhouse and her 12th in her current position. A former stage manager for Playhouse, she is now responsible for being the main liaison with guest artists including directors, actors, designers, stage managers and various coaches in the season. She works intimately with the AEA, SDC and USA unions and is one of the Playhouse’s representatives to the League of Residential Theatres (LORT). She oversees the departments of Company Management, Facilities and Stage Management and has been one of Playhouse’s Covid Safety Managers while also serving on the Safety Committee. Suann received her undergraduate degree from Wichita State University in Secondary Education, Speech and Communications and her MFA in Directing at Michigan State University. She has taught at Miami University and with CCM Preparatory’s Music Theatre Intensive Program. Her directing credits include productions at Miami and Xavier Universities, among other theatres.
Joanie has served as Associate Artistic Director since November 2021. She is a theatre and opera director, previously based in Chicago, but working around the country. She was previously Artistic Director of WaterTower Theater in Dallas, Texas and Associate Artistic Producer at Victory Gardens Theater. She was a TCG Leadership U Fellow, Goodman Theater Michael Maggio Fellow, SDC Denham Fellow, Drama League Fellow and member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. She’s an ensemble member at Steep Theatre in Chicago and artistic cabinet member at Studio Theatre in DC. She holds an MFA in directing from Northwestern University and BA in directing from Columbia College Chicago. www.joanieschultz.com
Andrea is excited to be celebrating her 22nd season with the Playhouse, having worked on more than 100 productions, including 22 world premieres. This is her second season heading the department as Production Stage Manager. A highlight of every season for her has been stage managing A Christmas Carol. Favorite Playhouse credits include Alias Grace; The Last Wide Open; The Roommate; Treasure Island; Be Here Now; Mr. Joy; Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End; Jane Eyre; Disgraced; Bad Dates; The Revolutionists; Merrily We Roll Along; Behind the Eye; Altar Boyz; Ace; and Rooted. She has also stage managed at Dallas Theater Center, The Old Globe, Cincinnati Ballet, Alliance Theatre, The Second City and Ingenuity Festival of Cleveland. In 2014, Andrea joined the adjunct faculty of Xavier University’s Theatre Program, and in 2018, she became a contributor for Dramatics.org, writing backstage articles for their online content. Andrea is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Bridget comes to the Playhouse having been actively employed in the area of arts administration for approximately 25 years. In that time, she has worked with small presenting organizations, such as the American Composers Orchestra, the New York Chamber Symphony and the Bach Sinfonia, and in larger venues, such as the Aronoff Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Strathmore, in various operation management roles. She currently lives in Mason with her husband John and teenaged daughter Isabella, spending much of her free time in the fall with the Mason Marching Band: Go Comets!