Artistic Staff Bios
PIRRONNE YOUSEFZADEH (Director) is the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Engagement at Geva Theatre Center. She has directed and developed new work at The Public/Joe’s Pub, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Ars Nova, Soho Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, InterAct Theatre Company and Hangar Theatre, among others. Yousefzadeh is a Usual Suspect at NYTW, New Georges Affiliated Artist, member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, a recipient of SDC’s Denham Fellowship and Williamstown’s Sagal Fellowship, and an alumna of the 2050 Fellowship at NYTW, Drama League Directors Project, Lincoln Center Directors Lab and Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. She is a founding member of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. MFA, Columbia University. Member SDC. www.pirronne.com; www.maiadirectors.com
TOM GRIFFIN (Musical Director) is a nationally recognized musical director and conductor. Recent productions: Newsies, Oliver!, It Happened One Christmas, Peter and the Starcatcher, Elf – The Musical and A Christmas Carol: The Musical at Pioneer Theatre Company; 13 the Musical; the west coast and Los Angeles premieres of The Last Five Years, Sweet Charity, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and The Music Man; the west coast premiere of Spitfire Grill; Annie, West Side Story, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Bye Bye Birdie; the National Tour of My Fair Lady for Theatre of the Stars; and Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s productions of Disney’s Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Peter Pan and A Christmas Memory. Awards: Broadway revival of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Los Angeles premiere), Garland Award Best Musical Direction; and Side Show (Los Angeles premiere), Drama Critics Award Best Musical Direction. Musical Conductor of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on two National Tours.
LAINIE SAKAKURA (Choreographer) Recipient of the Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography – Red Eye of Love, Off Broadway and the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography Damn Yankees, Marriott Theatre, and Nomination for Hot Mikado. Extensive Bob Fosse Dance Reconstruction for the Broadway company of Fosse, 1999 Tony Award Best Musical. In NYC, Sakakura has directed at Cherry Lane Theatre, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Summer Stage and Neighborhood Playhouse. Performed in the original casts of 6 Broadway shows. Adjunct professor at Pace University and NYU New Studio on Broadway. Currently developing the new musical, Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Musical adaptation of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. Book by Lainie Sakakura Music/Lyrics by Paul Fujimoto. Proud Mother of beautiful Avelina & Isabela.
YOON BAE (Scenic Designer) is delighted to make her debut in PTC.
She is an award-winning designer working internationally, including London’s West End, Norway, Korea, Japan and in the USA. Highlights: Don Giovanni (Welsh National Opera), Candide (Tokyo), Oedipus El Rey (San Diego), Evita, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Disconnect (Winner Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for best set design), The Great Gatsby and The Importance of Being Earnest (Arizona). In London’s West End; Gone with the Wind, Birdsong, Skellig, Equus and Three Thousand Troubled Threads (Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival). Other work includes Caridad Svich’s Archipelago, Jane Austen’s Emma, The Sunshine Boys, The Magic Flute, Anything Goes, As You Like It, Private Lives, The Full Monty, Closer. She is Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at University of Kentucky and a member of Local USA 829 www.yoonbae.com
KIRK BOOKMAN (Lighting Designer) designed PTC’s recent productions of Twelfth Night, Newsies, Oliver! and The Glass Menagerie. Broadway (National Actors Theatre): The Sunshine Boys (Jack Klugman and Tony Randall), The Gin Game (Julie Harris and Charles Durning), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Off-Broadway credits include Charles Busch’s The Tribute Artist, The Divine Sister, What Then at the Ohio Theatre, The Cook at Intar Theatre 53, Recent Tragic Events at Playwrights Horizons (starring Heather Graham), Right You Are (Tony Randall’s last stage appearance), Mondo Drama, Havana is Waiting, Force Continuum at Atlantic Theater Company, My One Good Nerve (starring Ruby Dee), The Green Heart at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Shawl, Rude Entertainment, The Book of Liz (David and Amy Sedaris), Les MIZrahi (Isaac Mizrahi), Hope is the Thing with Feathers, As Thousands Cheer and June Moon. For the Irish Repertory Company: Playboy of the Western World, Eclipsed, The Importance of Being Earnest and Major Barbara. Ballet: English National Ballet, Santiago Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Hungarian National Ballet.
GREGORY GALE (Costume Designer) is a two-time Tony Award-nominated designer for Rock of Ages and Cyrano de Bergerac, which can be seen on Amazon. This is his fifth production at PTC, having designed The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, Cowgirls, The Last Ship and /i/. Other Broadway include: The Wedding Singer, Urinetown, Arcadia and Band in Berlin. Off-Broadway he designed the costumes for the World Premieres of To Wong Foo, Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure, and Fairycakes. His opera productions include world premieres of The Prince of Players by Carlisle Floyd for Houston Grand Opera and An American Soldier by Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang for Opera Theater of St. Louis. Gale designed two films that will be released in 2019: The Mental State and Real Drag. He is currently designing the feature film Blinded by Ed.
ALLAN BRANSON (Resident Sound Designer) is thrilled to be a part of the Pioneer Theatre Company. He previously worked at The Arkansas Repertory Theatre as their resident sound designer for six seasons, where he designed such shows as Because of Winn-Dixie (world premiere), The Bridges of Madison County (regional premiere) and Memphis (regional premiere). Branson is a proud member of The Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association.
SARAH SHIPPOBOTHAM (Dialect Coach) is a graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She teaches in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. Her work as dialect coach for PTC includes Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Sweeney Todd, Oslo, Twelfth Night, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Last Ship and Oliver!. She was seen on stage at PTC in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and King Charles III. Shippobotham has also worked as resident voice and dialect coach for the Shaw Festival in Canada for the past 17 years.