Civic Theatre Staff

Artistic Staff

William SandersWill MorrisAlexander MichaelsSuzanne Baltsar
Artistic Director — William Sanders is celebrating thirty years as a working theatre professional, twenty one of those at Civic, leading the organization to produce acclaimed area premiere productions such as Angels in America Parts 1 and 2; Falsettos; Search for Signs…, Lips Together Teeth Apart; Marvin’s Room; The Normal Heart; The Grapes of Wrath; The Film Society, Six Degrees of Separation; Follies; The Scarlet Letter; Passion; The Cider House Rules Parts 1 & 2; tick…tick…BOOM!; RENT, August: Osage Count, Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, Other Desert Cities and A Man of No Importance.  He has had the pleasure of working at Lincoln Center Theater, the Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Ahmanson/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles as assistant director to Joe Mantello on several Broadway and Off-Broadway productions including the Tony-award winning Love! Valour! Compassion!, Design for Living, Blue Window, Proposals and A Man of No Importance. Also in New York he enjoyed stage-managing the Off-Broadway productions of The Vagina Monologues and the Obie Award-winning Saved or Destroyed? for Rattlestick Theatre, where he briefly served as Associate Artistic Director. Off -Off  Broadway he has directed JasonSongs, Dance In The Giddy Circle, Trust, How Far Will You Go?, A Girl You Should Know, Genesius, and Mommalogues.

He has directed and/or choreographed at Goodspeed Musicals, The Sharon Playhouse, American Family Theatre, YOLO Theatre Group, manhattantheatresource, New York City Opera Education Department, Shepherd Hills Dinner Theatre, The Trilogy Theatre, and PA Stage. Locally he has worked at Muhlenberg (Little Shop of Horrors, Damn Yankees, Joseph…, Schoolhouse Rock Live, and others) and the Theatre Outlet (jasonSongs, The Laramie Project, Bricks, Lysistrata). He has created choreography for all the musicals he directed locally, as well as productions of My Fair Lady, On the Twentieth Century, The Sound of Music, and Once Upon a Time in New Jersey at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, The Cradle Will Rock at Theatre Outlet, and Angry Housewives, Over Here, Irma La Douce, Mack and Mabel, Company, Gypsy and others elsewhere. His choreography for the 2003 production of The Wiz at Emmaus H.S. was the recipient of the first FREDDY award for choreography. Bill received the Arts Ovation Award in 1998 for Outstanding Acheivement in the Performing Arts and his production of Gypsy was honored with an unprecedented 25th anniversary special recognition award from Arts Ovation. He has been a recipient of the Community Arts Award from the Pennsylvania Diversity Network for his commitment to bringing LGBT themed work to the Lehigh Valley and has been honored with the prestigious Allentown Human Relations Award.  He holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and is a member of Actor’s Equity and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

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Associate Artistic Director/Production Manager — Will was a member of Civic’s Resident Company for the 2005-2006 season. He has performed numerous roles on the Civic stage, including Homer Wells in The Cider House Rules and Jacob Marley in Civic’s annual A Christmas Carol. He served as Technical Director of Civic Theatre from 2007-2015. During his time at Civic, he has costume designed and lighting designed numerous productions including but not limited to Gypsy, Next to Normal, 33 Variations, August: Osage County, Cabaret, Rocky Horror, and numerous productions of A Christmas Carol. Will has also directed productions of Beyond the Veil, Music from Down the Hill, and Why We Have a Body for Civic Theatre. Will was educated at Furman University located in Greenville, SC where he graduated magna cum laude, receiving a B.A. in Theatre Arts. He has also performed and toured with the National Players based out of the Washington D.C. area. National Players is America’s longest running touring company, and Will was fortunate enough to be a member of its 58th annual tour. In addition to serving as the tour’s Master Electrician, he played Cassio in Shakespeare’s Othello and Merriman in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Finally, Will is a recipient of the Emerging Artist Arts Ovation Award bestowed upon him by the Allentown Arts Commission.

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Technical Director — Alexander Michaels is a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College where he received a B.A. in both Theatre, with a concentration in design, and Music, with a concentration in music composition. Alex received the Seena Marcus Art scholarship upon graduation. Alex has performed in many local venues including Pines Dinner Theatre in Happy Days and Civic Theatre as Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening. He is currently working as the technical director and designer at Parkland High School in addition to his work at Civic Theatre. An Allentown native all his life, Alex is glad to contribute to arts in the Lehigh Valley.
Film Manager— Suzanne has been a member of the Civic Theatre staff for 2 years. She graduated from DeSales University in 2008 with a B.S. in Education. She owns her own film company called Tinker Films, which debuted in 2014 at Civic Theatre. Suzanne was a choreographer at Central Catholic High School for 9 years and you can often find her dancing around the Civic offices. Her favorite film is Almost Famous and her favorite musical is Oklahoma!

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Administrative Staff

John HedgesShirley KlineAlan RaismanSue SneeringerZachary EinsteinJenni MindockSusan Fread
Managing Director — Prior to being named Managing Director of Civic Theatre of Allentown, Mr. Hedges was Executive Director of the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the oldest and largest community-based theatres in the country.  While there he developed and instituted a new strategic plan and branding initiative, restructured the company to balance and stabilize its finances, and spearheaded the most successful fundraising event in the theatre’s history, raising over $100,000 to commemorate its 100th Anniversary.  Prior to that, Mr. Hedges served as Executive Director of Weathervane Playhouse in Akron, Ohio for seven years where he led the theatre into a new era of vitality.  Among the many accomplishments during his tenure at Weathervane were growing the audience base by 24%, increasing total revenue by 31%, growing individual contributions by 57%, and successfully completing a $1.1 million capital fundraising campaign to expand and renovate the theatre.  A professional actor for over 20 years, John spent ten seasons in the Resident Acting Company at the historic Barter Theatre in Virginia where he performed in over sixty shows.  He has acted at theatres across the country including the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, Town Hall in New York, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the American Stage Festival in New Hampshire where he appeared opposite Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis in The Cherry Orchard.  In 2012 John won a BroadwayWorld Award for his performance in the Cleveland premiere of God of Carnage and followed it with a critically acclaimed production of Heartbreak House, which received Special Recognition from the Cleveland Critics Circle.  An accomplished arts executive, Mr. Hedges led First Stage Milwaukee in the 1990s as their first Managing Director, where he successfully orchestrated the planned separation from the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center while growing the audience base by 51%, increasing contributed income by 63%, and doubling the annual operating budget to $1.3 million.  In addition, John has been Business Director of Gloucester Stage Company in partnership with internationally-known playwright Israel Horovitz, General Manager of New York’s award-winning Pearl Theatre Company, and Research Coordinator for Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for the nonprofit, professional theatre.  He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, served on the boards of Boston’s StageSource and the Akron Area Arts Alliance, been a Conference Panelist for the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, and written for American Theatre magazine.  He studied at Indiana State University, the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware, the National Shakespeare Conservatory, and holds an MFA from Stafford University.

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Development Director — Shirley Kline joins Civic Theatre of Allentown with over twenty years of development and marketing experience having worked for local nonprofit institutions such as Wildlands Conservancy, Lehigh County Historical Society, and Lehigh Valley Zoo. Shirley brings a broad range of expertise and passion to advance the quality of life of our community.  As Director of Development and Marketing at Lehigh Valley Zoo, she developed and implemented annual plans to grow revenue through membership, signature events and guest engagement activities, business partnerships, grants, EITC contributions, individual donations, facility rental, matching gifts and in-kind donations, and increased brand awareness of the Zoo as a Smart Fun destination through compelling signage and advertising campaigns.  While at Lehigh County Historical Society as Development Director, Shirley assisted the Executive Director with successfully closing the $8.5M Centennial Capital Campaign and creating the Society’s memorable Hess’s Cuisine & Couture Gala.  At Wildlands Conservancy, Shirley served various roles within the development department to increase membership, corporate, and foundation support, publish quarterly newsletters and annual reports, and orchestrated special events such as the annual dinner auction and Lehigh River Sojourn.  Shirley studied Interior Design and Fashion Merchandising at the Art Institute of Atlanta. She resides in Emmaus with her husband, Scott, and has a son, Joshua, who proudly serves our country as a Captain in the United States Army while completing his APA-accredited doctoral internship in clinical psychology.

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Marketing Director — Alan Raisman joins Civic Theatre of Allentown with over five years of development and marketing experience having worked for local nonprofit institutions such as Lehigh Valley Zoo and Wildlands Conservancy.  As Marketing and Events Manager at Lehigh Valley Zoo, he developed and implemented annual plans to grow revenue through membership, signature events and guest engagement activities, business partnerships, individual donations, facility rentals, and in-kind donations.  While at Lehigh Valley Zoo and Wildlands Conservancy, Alan increased brand awareness through compelling signage, advertising campaigns and social media.  Alan graduated from Lafayette College in May 2010 and currently resides in Breinigsville.  In addition to his role at Civic Theatre, Alan serves on the Board of Trustees of People to People International, on the Board of Associates for Muhlenberg College, on the Board of the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley and on the Committee of the Philanthropy Institute for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

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Business Manager — Sue Sneeringer is a published playwright who earned her theatre degree from Penn State and also studied screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.
Box Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator — A 2003 graduate of Muhlenberg College with a bachelor of arts degree in theatre and music, Zachary Einstein most memorably played Fr. Karolyi in Pentecost, Jack in Into the Woods, and Mr. Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera, all produced by the Muhlenberg Theatre Association. A third-generation Californian and a graduate of the musical theatre department of the Orange County High School of the Arts, Zack played Young Ebenezer in South Coast Repertory’s A Christmas Carol and Arty in Lost in Yonkers at the Long Beach Playhouse, for which he received the Ethel Case Award. Zack was a member of Civic’s Resident Company for the 2003-2005 seasons. While here, he played Bob Cratchit in 2003’s A Christmas Carol (where he and his wife met), and was in Poe! Poe! Poe!, Aesop’s Fables, Jesus Christ Superstar, And Then They Came for Me, A Christmas Carol ’04, Stephen Sondheim’s Passion, and Jack Tales. He was production stage manager for “Art”, The Vagina Monologues, Stage Door, and To Kill a Mockingbird, and designed sound for the majority of the shows during his previous tenure. After doing some theatre work in New York City, Zack returned to the area where, most recently, he was seen as Mr. Sowerberry and Bill Sykes in Oliver! at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley. Zack lives with his wife, Jen, and their daughter, Ellery.

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Graphic Designer — Jenni Mindock graduated from the Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Prior to Civic Theatre, she worked with Anthropologie and Thunder Bay Theatre.
House Manager