Artistic Staff Bios
KAREN AZENBERG (Director/Choreographer) This marks Karen Azenberg’s tenth season as Artistic Director at PTC. Favorite projects include the world premieres of Alabama Story and “i”; the regional premieres of Sting’s The Last Ship, and Les Misérables; and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Newsies, Sweet Charity, and The Play That Goes Wrong. 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 Theatre Company). Among her other credits are National Tours of Carousel and Brigadoon, West Side Story (over 15 productions), and productions at Indiana Repertory, Geva Theatre Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Goodspeed, and Utah Shakespeare Festival. Karen is a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Her favorite productions are her son Alexander and her daughter Emelia.
LENNY DANIEL (Associate Director/Choreographer) Choreographed Mary Poppins (Utah Shakespeare Festival) and Spamalot (Geva Theatre Center and Arkansas Repertory Theatre). Directed and choreographed Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical (TexARTS); choreographed The Little Mermaid (Forestburgh Playhouse); assistant directed The Wizard of Oz National Tour starring Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt; assistant choreographed Gigi (Paper Mill Playhouse), assisted Ann Reinking and performed in Here Lies Jenny starring Bebe Neuwirth (NYC & SF). Performing credits include Broadway: Cats (final original company) and The Wizard of Oz. NYC: Sinatra (Radio City Music Hall), Wonderful Town (NYC Opera). Tours: Spamalot, Chicago, South Pacific, Camelot, Jekyll & Hyde. Favorite Regional: La Cage aux Folles, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Newsies, Chess, Oliver!, The Last Ship, (PTC), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Baltimore Center Stage), Mary Poppins, Peter Pan (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Gigi, and Evita (Paper Mill Playhouse).
PHIL RENO (Musical Director) has been Music Director/Conductor for numerous Broadway shows : Something Rotten! ; Elf ! ; Promises, Promises ; The Drowsy Chaperone ; The Producers ; Thou Shalt Not ; Dame Edna : The Royal Tour and Back With a Vengeance ; Cats . Phil also conducted the Rockettes for six seasons at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. National Tours: Joseph… (with Donny Osmond), original company Music of the Night, Starlight Express, Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity. Off-Broadway : A New Brain, Nightmare Alley, Enter Laughing, Chess. Phil has conducted seven original cast albums, and is a two-time Grammy nominee as producer of the Something Rotten! and The Drowsy Chaperone cast recordings. Previously at PTC : Sweet Charity, Chess, The Will Rogers Follies, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Sweeney Todd.
JAMES NOONE (Scenic Designer) returns to PTC after designing 2016’s The Last Ship. Broadway: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Jekyll and Hyde, Class Act, The Persians, Judgment at Nuremberg, Night Must Fall, The Sunshine Boys, The Gin Game, A Bronx Tale and Come Back Little Sheba. Off-Broadway: Terrance McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Edward Albee’s play Three Tall Women, Full Gallop and Fully Committed, Cowgirls and Breaking Legs, A Bronx Tale, Boys in the Band and Ruthless!. He has designed national tours and at leading regional theatres across the country. TV: Designed “The Tale of Sweeney Todd,” “Candide,” “Passion,” “Camelot,” Stephen Sondheim’s 80th Birthday Concert for PBS, and “Company,” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” for HBO.
EDUARDO SICANGCO (Costume Designer) lives in New York and continues to enjoy a forty-year career designing sets and costumes for a wide range of genres including plays, musicals, opera, ballet, film, Las Vegas spectaculars, circuses, ice shows, cruise ship entertainment and theme parks. His work has been seen at various venues including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional Theater, Radio City Music Hall, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, New York City Opera, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Dollywood. Originally from the Philippines, he moved to New York where he was mentored by Oliver Smith, Fred Voelpel, Carrie Robbins, Ben Edwards and Douglas Schmidt. Website: www.eduardosicangco.com
CAT TATE STARMER (Lighting Designer) Cat Tate Starmer is happy to be making her debut at PTC. Recent designs include Steel Magnolias at the Guthrie Theater; 1984 and Murder on the Orient Express at Alley Theater; Hurricane Diane at The Old Globe; and off-Broadway’s Georgia Mertching is Dead at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Cat is a professor at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross of the Arts.
AARON HUBBARD (Sound Designer) is enjoying his 14th season with Pioneer Theatre Company in sound mix and design. His favorite productions have been Sting’s The Last Ship, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Next to Normal, and One Man, Two Guvnors. Aaron teaches sound production and recording at Weber State University, and his spare time he records and produces music. His favorite star is his wife, Melissa, who puts up with all the late theatre nights.
SAMANTHA M. WOOTTEN (Hair & Makeup Designer) is excited to join PTC and the University of Utah as Wig Master. Previous career highlights include Wig Master for the Washington National Opera in D.C., Wig and Makeup Designer for Glimmerglass Opera in N.Y., Associate Wig Master for the Los Angeles Opera in CA, and Wig Master for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
MARY P. COSTELLO (Production Stage Manager) She has worked on over 60 productions during 11 seasons with PTC. Favorites include Sting’s The Last Ship, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Les Misérables, In the Heights, Next to Normal, and Rent. Other stage management teams: Indiana Repertory Theatre, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Boston Theatre Works, Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Proud Equity member. #blacklivesmatter #translivesmatter
EMILY NACRISSA GRIFFITH (Assistant Stage Manager) graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts with emphases in performance and design/technology. Griffith earned the Kennedy Center’s Meritorious Achievement Award for her work as the production stage manager of UVU’s Next to Normal, which received the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival national award for Outstanding Production.
KELSEY JAMES (Assistant Stage Manager) is happy to be returning to Pioneer Theatre Company where her credits include previous Play-by-Play readings The Fifth Domain, Art & Class, Requiem for August Moon and Perpetual Girl and Assistant Stage Manager for In the Heights – Concert Edition. Other regional stage management credits include: My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, The Winter’s Tale, Henry IV Pt. I and Julius Caesar (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre); Swing! The Musical (Little Theatre of the Rockies) and a collection of Cabaret productions (Florida Studio Theatre). She is a graduate of The University of Iowa stage management MFA program and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
MASON TURTON (Assistant Stage Manager) This is Turton’s sixth production with Pioneer Theatre Company and first season with the company!, Previous Pioneer Theatre Company credits include: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Elf: The Musical, The Messenger, Something Rotten, and Fireflies. Other credits include: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Pace University), The Wolves (Pace University), and The Post Office (Plan B Theatre Company) among others. Mason would like to thank all of his family and friends for their unconditional support of love towards him, “I love you all so very much! I hope you enjoy this work of art!”
MICHAEL STEWART (Book) (1924 – 1987) scored on Broadway the first time when he won a Tony Award for his Bye Bye Birdie libretto. He was the librettist for Carnival (Drama Critics Circle Award) and Hello, Dolly!, which earned him both a Tony and Drama Critics prize. Stewart also wrote the lyrics for Barnum and the book for: George M! (with Francine and John Pascal); Mack & Mabel; The Grand Tour and 42nd Street (with Mark Bramble); Harrigan and Hart; and I Love My Wife.
JERRY HERMAN (Music and Lyrics) (1931 – 2019) Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage Aux Folles are home to some of the most popular, most-often performed and most successful musical hero(in)es of all time, and have given Herman the distinction of being the only composer/lyricist in history to have had three musicals that ran more than 1,500 consecutive performances on Broadway. His first Broadway show was Milk and Honey (1961), followed by Hello, Dolly! (1964), Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), Mack & Mabel (1974), The Grand Tour (1979), La Cage Aux Folles (1983), Jerry’s Girls (1985) and Mrs. Santa Claus (1996), a CBS TV special starring Angela Lansbury. His string of awards and honors includes multiple Tony Awards, Grammys, Olivier Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and more.
THORNTON WILDER (Playwright) (1897-1975) born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at Yale and Princeton, was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience. The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of his seven novels, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, and his next-to-last novel, The Eighth Day, received the National Book Award (1968). Two of his four major plays garnered Pulitzer Prizes: Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1943). His play The Matchmaker ran on Broadway for 486 performances (1955-1957), Mr. Wilder’s Broadway record, and was later adapted into the record-breaking musical Hello, Dolly! For more information, visit thorntonwilder.com.
BOB CLINE (Casting) is the founder of Bob Cline Casting in New York. He has cast film, TV, commercials, over 75 national tours, and numerous regional theaters across the country and has been associated with the casting for PTC for many years. Cline is currently a proud faculty member in Pace University’s theatre program, in charge of the senior BFA musical theatre majors. He is the Associate Director of Broadway Artists Alliance, enjoys working with The Open Jar Institute, and often teaches through The Growing Studio and The Actor’s Loft.
PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY (PTC): Now celebrating its 60th season, the award-winning PTC is Utah’s premiere professional theatre and a leading arts organization of the West. Led by Artistic Director Karen Azenberg and Interim Managing Director Diane L. Parisi, PTC promotes community-building and education through presenting world-class productions; developing new socially resonant and universal work; hosting talks, lectures, and workshops that engage a versatile and inclusive demographic, while celebrating diversity in culture and society; and serving as the connecting bridge between art and scholarship as an affiliate of the University of Utah.
ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION (AEA): founded in 1913, represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers nationwide. Equity seeks to foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. #equityworks