Artistic Staff Bios
KAREN AZENBERG (Director) has just relocated to Salt Lake City with her family to become Artistic Director here at PTC, and A Christmas Carol: The Musical marks her directorial debut since assuming that position. In previous seasons as a guest artist, she directed Next to Normal(regional premiere), Rent and Miss Saigon, and she created the musical staging for the record-breaking 2007 production of Les Misérables. Originally from New York, her work there includesLyrics and Lyricists (92nd St. Y), Blocks (a collaboration with Jonathan Larson), Prom Queens Unchained, and choreography for Richard Greenberg’s The Dazzle (Roundabout). Other credits include national tours of Carousel and Brigadoon, Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor(Regional Theatre Premiere at Geva), West Side Story (over 15 productions; Dramalogue Award for Outstanding Choreography), A Christmas Memory (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), andSame Time Next Year (Indiana Repertory Theatre). Later this season Karen will be directing The Odd Couple and recreating her musical staging for Les Misérables. Karen is on the board of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and is the President of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
MICHAEL SCHWEIKARDT (Scenic Designer) designed the world premiere of the new Duncan Sheik/Kyle Jarrow musical Whisper House at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. He has created sets for several musicals by Joe Iconis, including Bloodsong of Love at Ars Nova, ReWrite at Urban Stages, The Black Suits at The Public Theater, The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks for TheatreworksUSA, and Things to Ruin at both The Zipper Factory and Second Stage Theatre. Recent credits include Jeffrey Hatcher’s Ella, appearing in cities all across the country; the critically acclaimed productions of Annie Get Your Gun, 1776, Big River and Camelot for Goodspeed Musicals; Barnum for Asolo Repertory Theatre’s 50th anniversary season;Oklahoma! starring Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase celebrating the Oklahoma State Centennial; the American premieres of Frank McGuinness’ Gates of Gold and The Bird Sanctuary, and national and international tours of James Taylor’s One Man Band. Mr. Schweikardt’s online portfolio can be seen at www.msportfolio.com.
BRENDA VAN DER WIEL (Costume Designer) is happy to be designing again for PTC. As costume shop manager for the University of Utah’s Theatre Department, Brenda has designed several dozen shows for the Babcock Theatre and the Classical Greek Theater Festival. Some favorites include designs for The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice and Libation Bearers. Some favorite designs for PTC include Emma, Rent, The Foreigner, You Can’t Take It With You andOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Favorite recent work for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival includes Macbeth, Merry Wives of Windsor and Much Ado About Nothing. Brenda also frequently designs for Salt Lake Acting Company. Before moving to Salt Lake City, Brenda worked with Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera and the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
MICHAEL GILLIAM (Lighting Designer) Broadway credits include: Bonnie and Clyde, Brooklyn,Big River and Stand-Up Tragedy. West End credits: Gershwin Alone. Off-Broadway: Mr. Joy,Striking 12, Blue, End of the World Party, Zooman and the Sign and Menopause The Musical. National tours include Peter Pan, Brooklyn, Guys and Dolls and Big River. Regional: Arena Stage, The Globe Theatres, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory, The Goodman Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, The Pasadena Playhouse, The Geffen Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Prince Music Theatre, Denver Center and Arizona Theatre Company. Awards: Los Angeles Ovation Award, Drama-Logue Award, Garland Award and the 1999 Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.
MATTHEW TIBBS (Sound Designer) is Pioneer Theatre Company’s Resident Sound Designer and Adjunct Faculty teaching sound design for the University of Utah. Favorite sound designs for PTC include Emma, Next to Normal and the world premiere of Find and Sign. Favorite designs for University of Utah include Rare Bird and The Adding Machine. Matthew has previously worked for Portland Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Artists Repertory Theatre and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. MFA: University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) BA: George Fox University.
AMANDA FRENCH (Hair and Makeup Designer) has been a Makeup and Hair Designer for over 20 years. She has worked for The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The 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 inThe 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 instructor of wigs and makeup.