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Leadership

Meet the Penobscot Theatre Company Team 

Here are the people who make the magic happen at Penobscot Theatre Company. 

Leadership

 

Jonathan Berry

Artistic Director
he/him

Jonathan Berry

Artistic Director
(he/him)
Jonathan@penobscottheatre.org

Jonathan Berry is a director, producer and teacher from Chicago.  He spent five years as an Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and he remains a proud ensemble member of both Steep Theatre and Griffin Theatre. Steppenwolf directing credits include: Lindiwe (Co-directed with Eric Simonson and featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo), The Children, You Got Older, Constellations, and the SYA productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Crucible, and A Separate Peace.  Steep Theatre productions include: Paris, Red Rex, Earthquakes in London, Posh, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle, If There Is I Haven’t Found it Yet, The Knowledge, Festen, Moment, The Hollow Lands and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.  At Griffin, productions include: The North American premiers of Simon Stephens Punk Rock (Jeff award Director, Lead Actor, and Ensemble) Port, and On the Shore of the Wide World, as well as The Harvest, Winterset, Pocatello, Balm in Gilead, Golden Boy, The Burnt Part Boys, Spring Awakening Company, Picnic, Time and the Conways, Dead End, The Hostage and Journey’s End.  He directed the NY premiere of Andrew Hinderacker’s Suicide, Incorporated for The Roundabout.  His work has been honored with numerous Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, as well as frequent representation on the end of year Top Ten lists of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times and Timeout Chicago.  He won the Joseph Jefferson award for directing for his work on Simon Stephen’s Punk Rock.  

He served as Assistant Director for Anna D Shapiro’s Broadway productions of Of Mice and Men and This is our Youth.  At the Gift Theatre, he directed the world premieres of Andrew Hinderacker’s Dirty and Suicide, Incorporated. At the Goodman Theatre, he directed the New Stages productions of Martin Zimmerman’s The Solid Sand Below and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s The World of Extreme Happiness. Other work includes: American Theatre Company;  Kill Floor, American Blues; Little Shop of Horrors and Sideman; Redtwist; Look Back in Anger  and Reverb, Chicago Dramatists:  I am Going to Change the World, Jackalope Theatre: The Casuals, Strawdog: Conversations on a Homecoming, Remy Bumppo: The Marriage of Figaro, Theatre Mir: The Sea and Caucasian Chalk Circle,  Lifeline Theater: The Piano Tuner (Afterdark award – Best Production)  He pursued his MFA in directing from Northwestern University under the tutelage of Anna D. Shapiro.  He has taught acting, directing, and viewpoints at University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois – Chicago, Vagabond School, Act One Studios, and Columbia College Chicago.  For 17 years he played an integral role in the esteemed ensemble training program The School at Steppenwolf, serving as director of the program from 2015-2019. 

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Jen Shepard

Executive Director
she/her

Jen Shepard

Executive Director
(she/her) 
Jen@penobscottheatre.org

Jen is thrilled to join the staff of The Penobscot Theatre Company.  She’s the proud co-owner of ImprovAcadia in Bar Harbor.  She moved to Maine in 2004 to open ImprovAcadia and has been operating and performing there since the beginning.  A graduate of University of Iowa and an improv alumni of iO and The Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, she also worked for The Second City on Norwegian Cruise Lines.  Her Bangor artistic home is The Penobscot Theatre Company and she’s appeared many times on stage most recently as Suzette in Don’t Dress for Dinner. Shepard applies a “Yes, and..” philosophy to her day to day and business life. 

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Andrew Speed

Business Manager
he/him

Andrew Speed

Business Manager
(he/him)  
businessmanager@penobscottheatre.org 

Andrew is excited to join the team at penobscot theatre company. He is a Maine native and current resident of Bangor, me. he attended the university of Maine Orono and is excited to be back in penobscot county after an almost 20 year career in finance & administration in southern Maine. Andrew is a visual artist and poet and has been in numerous group and solo shows with paintings in collections across the country and abroad. other interests include cooking and spending time with family.He would like to thank his wife Lori and her “let’s just ask the question” philosophy that has made so many things possible. 

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Amanda Neitz

Operations Administrator
she/her

is thrilled to join the staff of the Penobscot Theatre Company. She moved to Maine from Georgia in 2021 with her family in search of cold weather. As a graduate of the University of South Carolina and a lifelong lover of the arts, Amanda has honed her craft as a bassist in orchestras and in folk band settings.

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John Siedenberg II

Director of Marketing
he/him

John Siedenberg II

Director of Marketing
(he/him) 
Marketing@penobscottheatre.org

John fell in love with Penobscot Theatre Company after heading the Tech team for PTC’s Dramatic Academy in 2016 with School of Rock and Transformer Tales. As the former Box Office Manager at PTC, John’s dedication to Bangor, its artists, and PTC has only grown. Originally from Kentucky, John is an alum of Morehead State University where he became a “chameleon of the arts”. John has acted, designed, and taught for companies all over the country including Stage Right Theatre Company, The National Theatre for Children, Missoula Children’s Theatre, Shooting Starts Youtheatre, and Stagedoor Manor. His favorite credits include Noises Off (Actor), The 39 Steps (Actor), Amelia Earhart (Scenic Design), School of Rock (Design), Aida (Design), Jesus Christ Superstar (Design), Jekyll & Hyde (Design), An Evening of Culture (Director), The Wizard of Oz (Director), and The Boys Next Door (Director). Recently John’s favorite PTC credits include Don’t Dress for Dinner (Actor), Mamma Mia (Prop Design), and Woody Guthrie’s American Song (Projection Design).  

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Christopher Gardner

Box Office Manager
He/Him

Christopher Gardner

Box Office Manager
(he/him)
BoxOffice@penobscottheatre.org

Christopher is originally from Connecticut, where he worked in educational theatre. He now resides in Maine with his partner, and their cat and dog. He is a recent graduate of the University of Maine with a Master’s Degree in English with a concentration in Poetry and Poetics. He hopes you enjoy the show!

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Ben Layman

House Manager
he/him

Ben Layman

House Manager
(he/him)
HouseManager@penobscottheatre.org

Ben Layman is a Bangor resident and Maine native and has been a company member for 16 years. In that time, Ben has served as the Box Office manager for multiple seasons and as a teaching artist and Director of Education for the Dramatic Academy. During his time with the DA program, he has directed more than 20 youth productions. Ben has also travelled the state of Maine with PTC’s Shakespeare in the Schools program, which he helped to create. As an actor, Ben has been seen in many mainstage productions including Peter Pan, Little Shop of Horrors, A Year with Frog and Toad, Forever Plaid and Plaid Tidings, Last Gas, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Annie, Cinderella, The Fox on the Fairway, The Wizard of Oz, Guys on Ice, Rock of Ages, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, Doctor Cerberus, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Full Monty, Lumberjacks in Love, Oliver, Misery, Beauty and the Beast, Wait Until Dark, Elf, Ripcord, Matilda, A Miracle on 34th Street, Trapped, Mary Poppins and Dirty Deeds Downeast. Ben is currently serving as the companies’ House Manager.

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Ira Kramer

Development Associate
he/him

Ira Kramer

Development Associate
(he/him) 
Ira@Penobscottheatre.org 

Development Associate. Originally from London Ontario, Canada Ira (AEA) has lived, worked and studied (UMaine graduate) in the United States since 2008. Ira began working as an actor at PTC in 2012 and has worked there consistently since. In 2019 he joined the PTC Team as a Development Associate. With many years of experience in hospitality Ira is well equipped to continue growing relationships within the community. Additionally, Ira works with the Marketing Department, filming and doing voice over work. Ira is a 2019 NH Theatre award nominee and continues to work both on and off stage with The Penobscot Theatre Company and the Weathervane Theatre NH.  

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Thomas Demers

Media Apprentice
he/him

Thomas Demers is a born and raised Mainer and has been a part of PTC since his mainstage debut in Matilda The Musical in 2019. Since then he’s played Percy Jackson in DA’s production of The Lightning Thief, worked with DA as a props designer and assistant stage manager, and is now the Media and Marketing Apprentice for PTC!

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Frank Bachman

Bar Manager: The Stage Door
he/him

Frank Bachman

Bar Manager: The Stage Door
(He/Him) 
Stagedoor@penobscottheatre.org 

Frank joined the PTC team in the spring of 2021 as House Manager and Box Office Associate. When the concept of the Stage Door was being developed on the spring of ’23, he jumped at the chance to be involved. He brings many years of hospitality experience having worked in Bar Harbor at the former George’s Restaurant, The Ivy Manor Inn and the bar at ImprovAcadia.

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Dramatic Academy Staff

 

Nellie Kelly

Education Director
she/her

Nellie Kelly

Education Director
(she/her)
Nellie@penobscottheatre.org

A UMaine graduate, she recently moved back from Salt Lake City where she was the Production Manager and Theater School Director for the Utah Children’s Theatre. Nellie previously worked with DA’s summer programs Stage Managing School of Rock, Transformer Tales, The Addams Family and Something Wicked This Way Comes. She’s thrilled to help foster youth theater in the Bangor community and continue to build Dramatic Academy’s programming through acting and technical theater classes. 

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Grace Livingston Kramer

Education Development Director
she/her

Grace Livingston Kramer

Education Development Director
(she/her)  
Grace@penobscottheatre.org 

Originally from Maine, Grace’s love for theatre began when she attended Penobscot Theatre Company’s summer camp program at the age of six. For the next 12 years, she participated as a camper and teaching apprentice. Grace continued her love of theatre throughout high school in the former Intern Program at PTC and in the 2003-2004 season joining the staff as House Manager. Since then, she has been a performer, teacher, admissions assistant and guest director for an international educational non-profit. With stints as a social media marketing manager for Rise Up for You (Southern California) and Heart Global (International), Grace has continued to cultivate both her administrative and marketing skill sets while staying active as a performer and director. For the past three years, Grace served as Company Manager, Intern Company Guest Director, Summer Camp Co-Director and Professional Company actor at Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield, NH. Grace is over the moon to be a part of Dramatic Academy’s next chapter and hopes to help young artists fall in love with theatre the same way she did!

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Production Staff

 

Ben Wetzel

Production Manager
he/him

Ben Wetzel

Production Manager
(he/him) 
Ben@penobscottheatre.org 

Originally from Minnesota, Ben received his BFA from North Dakota State University in 2013. A professional carpenter, he spent time at American Players Theatre (Wisconsin), Maples Repertory Theatre (Missouri), and Northern Stage (Vermont) before finding his way to PTC prior to their 43rd season. Ben is grateful for his family (here and back home) and for their support. 

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Zac Whitenack

Technical Director
he/him

Zac Whitenack

Technical Director
(he/him) 
Zac@penobscottheatre.org 

Hails from Northern New York and most recently from Memphis. Zac joined the Penobscot Theatre Company team in 2019. He has a BA in Anthropology and when not building sets for the stage, he can be found playing the steel drum or in used record stores looking for Zappa. He looks forward for what the season has in store! 

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James Kuzio

Assistant Technical Director
he/him

James Kuzio

Assistant Technical Director
(he/him) 
Headcarpenter@penobscottheatre.org 

grew up in Vermont and fell in love with theater in high school and graduated from Skidmore College with a B.S. in Theater with a concentration on production and design and minors in physics and music. Since graduating he has worked at Goodspeed Musicals (stage carpentry apprentice), Williams College (Theatre Technician), and Waterville Opera House (Carpenter/Theatre Technician) among others. He is excited to have landed at PTC and is looking forward to being a part of this amazing community! 

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Aaron Kircheis

Carpenter
he/him

is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, where he studied Musical Theater and Dance. Most recent credits include: MARY POPPINS (Von Hussler/Constable), PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (Captain Scott), URINETOWN (Bobby Strong), SHREK (Pinocchio) and more.

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Kevin Koski

Costume Department Manager / Resident Costume Designer
he/him

Kevin Koski

Costume Department Manager / Resident Costume Designer
(he/him) 
 Kevin@penobscottheatre.org 

Kevin Jacob Koski is a Maine native and awarded graduate of the University of Maine’s 2011 Theatre Arts program. He focused on costume design and construction while also designing multiple productions and minoring in Permaculture. With a nearly 10 year tenure at Penobscot Theatre Company, he has designed many main-stage and dramatic academy productions. Some of these credits include: WIT, One Blue Tarp, Alice in Wonderland, Doctor Cerberus, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, Calendar Girls, Rock of Ages, The Full Monty, Misery, Ugly Lies the Bone, The Graduate and Gaslight. In 2012, Koski opened his own design firm and alteration shop, where he tailors garments for formal events. With his background in retail management, visual displays and stockroom coordination, he continues to work on inventorying our extensive costume stock for a future, worldwide rental program. 

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Caitlyn Collins

Costume Shop Apprentice
she/her

is the costume shop apprentice here at PTC and she is excited to make her professional design debut for this unique spin on a Christmas classic!

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Jenna Gripshover

Production Associate
she/they

Jenna Gripshover

Production Associate
(she/they) 
ASM@penobscottheatre.org 

Jenna Gripshover joins the PTC team this season as the Stage Management Apprentice. A recent graduate from Kentucky’s Centre College, she is excited to help bring the joy of theatre to the Bangor community! Previous credits include THE WOLVES, GREEK TRAGEDY, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (Centre College). She would like to thank her family, especially her niece Harper and nephew Hunter. 

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Reed Davis

Resident Stage Manager
he/him

Reed Davis

Resident Stage Manager
(he/him) 
 Reed@PenobscotTheatre.org 

is thrilled to be starting another season with PTC. After receiving his B.A. in Theatre from the University of Maine in 2020, Reed joined the PTC team for their digital season, Digitus Theatrum. Since then, PSM credits include BECOMING DR. RUTH (PTC), HOCKEY MOM (PTC), MAYTAG VIRGIN (PTC), and DESDEMONA, a play about a handkerchief (Opera House Arts). 

Q

 

Jess Ploszaj

Lighting Supervisor
she/her

Jess Ploszaj

Lighting Supervisor
(She/Her) 
Lighting@penobscottheatre.org

Jess is a Artist/ Designer/ Creative type who is excited to be working with Penobscot Theatre Company on this venture. For past work and portfolio please visit https://jessploszaj.wixsite.com/jessploszaj Enjoy the show! 

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Neil Graham

House Sound Engineer / Resident Sound Designer
he/him

Neil Graham

House Sound Engineer / Resident Sound Designer
(He/Him) 
Neil@penobscottheatre.org 

Mr. Graham brings a lifetime of performing arts experience to PTC. His diverse background includes roles as a musician, actor, production engineer, singer, and voice-over artist. Alongside hosting the nationally syndicated radio show “The Dark Side of the Tune”, Neil can often be found rummaging through rare stacks of vinyl, or making questionable life decisions.
Neil’s unique take on sound design is marked by a cinematic and delightfully eclectic style. His work at PTC ranges from performance: “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” “Rock of Ages” and “OLIVER!” to sound design for productions like “Ghost Postcards From Maine” “Maytag Virgin” “Miracle on 34th St.” “Tell Me on a Sunday” “Hockey Mom” “9 to 5: The Musical” “Becoming Dr. Ruth” “and “Clarkston”. Recent favorites include: “Peter & The Starcatcher” “Mary Poppins” “TRAPPED! The Musical,” “Dirty Deeds Downeast” and yes, “A Christmas Carol”
Neil also sometimes contributes as a designer and educator for PTC’s Dramatic Academy Program, working on shows like “Night of the Living Dead”, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and “The Hobbit.” His non-PTC sound designs include notable works such as “SHUDDERSOME”, “Welcome to my Nightmare: The Opera”, and “SPIDER! An Arachnid’s Adventure”
Neil’s patented™ blend of fearlessness, passion, and creativity make him a mysterious, albeit important figure in PTC’s success.
Like any great soundscape, you’ll miss it if it’s gone.

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Board of Directors

Officers

Sundance Campbell
President
Morgan Stanley

Benjamin Johnson
Vice President
Teacher, Hampden Academy

Dave Barrett
Treasurer
Professor of Accounting, University of Maine

Kathryn Olmstead
Secretary
Retired

Jonathan Berry
Artistic Director
(ex officio)

Jen Shepard
Executive Director
(ex officio)

Board Members

Bridgette Chalila
Occupational Therapist, ME Public Schools

Jocelyn Cogen
Retired

Ellen Conway
Retired US Foreign Service Officer

Kate Dickerson
Director, Maine Science Festival

Beth Hagerty
Community Volunteer

Lisa Frazell
Ex. Director of Development, Husson

Tony Pellegrini
Attorney, Rudman Winchell, Attorneys at Law

Tim Stout
Owner, LIFT-Marketing and Messaging Consultant

Gloria Vollmers
Retired, Professor of Accounting, University of Maine

Jonathan Wood
Senior Lead Physician for Pediatrics, EMMC Medical Group

Margo Lukens
Retired

Jillian Sarnacki-Wood
Admin for Pike Project Development

Bethany Stough
Marketing Director

Dave Shove
Retired