Artistic Staff Bios
KAREN AZENBERG (Director/Choreographer) This marks Karen’s second season as Artistic Director here at PTC; last season, she directed and choreographed A Christmas Carol: The Musical, The Odd Couple, and choreographed Les Misérables. In previous seasons as a guest artist, she directed Next to Normal (regional premiere), Rent and Miss Saigon. Originally from New York, her work there includes Lyrics 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), and Same Time Next Year (Indiana Repertory Theatre). On September 24th, she will be honored in New York City as part of the 2013 “Broadway Salutes” celebration. Karen is on the board of the New York Musical Theatre Festival and is the President of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
HELEN GREGORY (Music Director) Helen is returning to the Pioneer Theatre Company (previously the MD for In the Heights and Rent) and is honored to be a part of Something’s Afoot. Her credits include New York Theatre Workshop, The Vineyard, La Mama E.T.C., Hudson Guild, Maltz-Jupiter Theatre (7 Carbonell nominations; winner- 2012 for Best Musical Direction-Crazy For You), Asolo Theatre (winner Sarasota Magazine Best Musical Direction – Barnum), The Alliance Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Riverside Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and the Hangar Theatre. Tours includeOklahoma, Grease and Joseph… Industrials: American Movie Classics and Star Odyssey for the Stardust Hotel, Las Vegas. Many thanks, always, to Karen Azenberg for her friendship and challenges she throws my way. Thanks, too, to Mom for subsidizing years of piano lessons.
GEORGE MAXWELL (Scenic Designer) has been the resident scenic designer at PTC for over 30 years and has had the distinct pleasure of designing over 90 productions for the company. Last season he designed Clybourne Park and A Christmas Carol: The Musical and remounted his designs for Les Misérables. His favorite PTC designs include Next to Normal, Rent, Sunset Boulevard, White Christmas, A Christmas Story, Chicago, Metamorphoses, Enchanted April,The Importance of Being Earnest, West Side Story, Proof, Peter Pan, Noises Off, Man of La Mancha, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Foreigner and Miss Saigon. He was tapped by The Utah Opera Company to design The Coronation of Poppea and The Ballad of Baby Doe. George has also designed for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and 21 productions (over seven seasons) for the Utah Shakespeare Festival. George is a member of United Scenic Artists. To see more of his work visit http://user.xmission.com/~gmaxwell/
PHIL MONAT (Lighting Designer) designed previous PTC productions of A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Man of La Mancha, Annie, White Christmas, Hamlet, Touch(ed), My Fair Lady,Paint Your Wagon, Five Guys Named Moe, Chicago,Copenhagen, Ragtime, Anything Goes, Steel Magnolias and Alexandre Dumas and the Lady of the Camelias. He has designed over 485 productions in regional theatres throughout the country, including productions at The Old Globe in San Diego, The Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Rep, The Alliance Theatre, The Arizona Theatre Co., The Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, The Huntington Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Studio Arena Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Geva Theatre, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, The Alley Theatre of Houston, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse and The Goodspeed Opera, among others. Broadway designs include Legends starring Joan Collins and Linda Evans, Sly Fox starring Richard Dreyfuss,Finian’s Rainbow, Sally Marr…and Her Escorts and Three From Brooklyn. Recent off-Broadway designs include Woman Before a Glass (Obie Award), Adult Entertainment, American Rhapsodyand Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill.
MICHAEL WESCOATT (Sound Designer) is a Salt Lake City native and has spent over 14 years working on large-scale projects in Las Vegas, Nevada, Southern Utah, and in Salt Lake City. Having spent over eight years working with the MGM Mirage/Cirque du Soleil partnership, Michael helped to design and implement some of the largest spectacle theatres in the world including O at Bellagio, Ká at MGM Grand, Zumanity at New York, New York, and Believe at Luxor. He acted primarily as a theatre consultant for lighting, sound, and power systems, but also lent his expertise in the areas of Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP), theatrical rigging, network administration, life safety systems integration, and automation. Michael returns to the University of Utah campus and Pioneer Theatre Company after leaving for projects in Las Vegas in 1998. Previously he worked as a Stage Carpenter for Pioneer Theatre Company, Stage Manager and Sound Engineer for the Departments of Ballet and Modern Dance, including touring productions for Utah Ballet Company. Michael has also served as a Designer and Project Manager for many buildings in Utah and Nevada with architectural firms in St. George and Salt Lake City. He is a proud alumni of the University of Utah, Department of Theatre, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1997. Michael is a proud father of seven children, three girls and four boys, and happily married to his best high school friend, Brenda.
AMANDA FRENCH (Hair and Makeup Designer) has been a Makeup and Hair Designer for over 20 years. She has worked for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, 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 in The 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 adjunct professor of wigs and makeup.
SARAH SHIPPOBOTHAM (Dialect Coach) is a graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She is currently Head of the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. Her work as dialect coach includes PTC’s productions of In the Heights, Sunset Boulevard, Our Town, Dial ‘M’ for Murder, The Light in the Piazza, Noises Off, Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mousetrap, Communicating Doors, Joyful Noise, A View from the Bridge and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Sarah has also worked for Salt Lake Acting Company, coaching The Overwhelming, Going to St. Ives, The Beard of Avon, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and White People. Sarah also works as Resident Voice and Dialect Coach for The Shaw Festival in Canada.