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.
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.
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.
Marketing Associate — Kate Pistone is an Allentown native who has been involved with the theatre all her life. After graduating from Parkland High school, she relocated to New York City to pursue her undergraduate degree. She attended New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she created her own curriculum, concentrating in business, writing and performance. She studied Italian opera at NYU in Florence and classical theatre with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon. After graduating from NYU with honors, she completed the Atlantic Acting School’s 2-year professional conservatory where she mastered Practical Aesthetics, the acting method developed by David Mamet and William H. Macy. She is one of the founding members of The Common Tongue, a non-profit production company dedicated to achieving artistic excellence through the development of new works by both established and emerging writers. The company has been fortunate enough to work with Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Obie Award Winning artists. Collaborators have included Edward Albee, Hal Brooks, Eric Bross, Tom Cudworth, Kathleen Butler, Brenda Currin, Bruce Dow, Wendy MacLeod, Marian Seldes, John Shea, Lucy Thurber, Angelica Torn and Neil Wechsler. During her time in New York City, Kate performed at the Cherry Lane Theatre, The Atlantic, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, The Kraine, The Gene Frankel Theatre, and many others. She has headlined cabarets at The Duplex and Don’t Tell Mama. Film credits include Family Feast, That Boy, and The Female Orgasm Law. Kate worked in Marketing/PR for the New Victory Theatre, New York City’s oldest theatre, in conjunction with The New 42nd Street Project. There, she developed VicTeens, an outreach program encouraging underprivileged youth to become involved with the theatre. Kate is also an accomplished writer and editor. She spent many years at Kirchoff/Wohlberg, a development house for educational publications in New York City. While at Kirchoff/Wohlberg, she produced programs for major publishers such as Harcourt, Houghton-Mifflin and Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. In 2013, Kate returned to Allentown with the goal of improving the arts in the Lehigh Valley. Locally, she has performed at Civic Theatre, Pennsylvania Playhouse, Touchstone Theatre, Pines Dinner Theatre and Star of the Day Event Productions.
Graphic Designer — “Success Is No Accident” It is hard work, sacrifice, perseverance, knowledge, dedication to your art and most of all, the love of what you are doing. My name is Kenn Colodonato and I am honored to have the opportunity to introduce you to my work and my passion. I am an award winning designer with District, Regional and National recognition. I have worked in all aspects of marketing, traditional print advertising, packaging design, web design and social media. This experience equips me with impeccable and innovative design ability. I have a keen focus on quality and the skill to provide high-caliber work. Visit klccreative.net Please, stay awhile and take a look through my portfolio. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss any thoughts, concepts, ideas or future plans you may have.
Arts Marketing Intern —
Katie Ninivaggi is currently a senior at Muhlenberg College, earning her Bachelors of Arts in both Psychology and English. Her previous work experience includes interning in the Group Sales and Marketing Department of 321 Theatrical Management, the Tony-Award winning management company behind Broadway’s Wicked, If/Then,
and Fun Home
, as well as interning Off-Broadway with the Marketing Department of Primary Stages. Katie is also a Cast Member at Walt Disney World, having completed the Disney College Program in May of 2015, and a member of The American Theatre Wing’s Theatre Intern Network, having assisted with the production of both The Tony Awards and The Obie Awards.
Production Management Intern — Samantha Walsh is a senior Theatre (State Management) and Psychology major at Muhlenberg College. She has stage managed many productions during her time at Muhlenberg. Previously, she has worked at Quogue Junior Theater Troupe on Long Island.
Arts Administration Intern — Sean Watkins