Artistic Staff Bios
KAREN AZENBERG (Director) This marks Karen Azenberg’s eleventh 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.
JO WINIARSKI (Scenic Designer) Jo’s previous designs at PTC were A Distinct Society, Ass, The Lifespan of a Fact, and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Jo’s Off-Broadway credits include HYPROV, Accidentally Brave, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Regional design credits include Guthrie Theater; Arizona Theatre Company; Utah Shakespeare Festival (over 40 shows); The Old Globe; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Dallas Theater Center; and Geva Theatre Center. Additional credits include Wishes for Disney Cruise Line. Jo was the art director on Late Night with Seth Meyers (episodes 1-844) and received an Emmy nomination for art direction for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.
PHILLIP R. LOWE (Costume Designer) is Pioneer Theatre Company’s Resident Costume Designer and Costume Studio Manager. He previously designed PTC’s 2019 production of The Lion in Winter and the world premiere of Ellen Simon’s Ass. Prior to this, he was the Costume Director for Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre where some of his most notable designs include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma!, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, and Seussical!. Over the past two decades, Phil has designed over 25 productions with Plan-B Theatre including the world premiere of The Laramie Project:Ten Years Later. Phil is an MFA graduate of Utah State University and was the Kennedy Center’s 2002 recipient of the National Barbizon Award for his costume design of The Lion in Winter at The Old Lyric Repertory Company. He continues his work with the Kennedy Center today by serving as a Design, Technology and Management respondent for the American College Theatre Festival, presenting workshops and providing input on the design work of aspiring theatrical designers across the country.
BRIAN TOVAR (Lighting Design) Brian is an award winning and Drama Desk nominated lighting designer who has created original work for major Off-Broadway and regional theaters, everywhere. His body of work spans theater, dance, installations and live events. Brian has developed and collaborated on multiple groundbreaking and award-winning live experiences, earning multiple Clio Awards. Brian is a frequent collaborator with the City of New York and has created and designed multiple art installations in New York City. Past PTC designs include The Messenger and Scapin. @tovarbri, BrianTovarDesign.com
BRYCE ROBINETTE (Sound Designer) is excited to start his first season here at Pioneer Theatre Company. He has toured across the country running theatrical and concert productions such as: the Australian Off-Broadway Company, The Temptations, Pat Benatar, Superband, and many more.
SAMANTHA M. WOOTTEN (Hair and Makeup Designer) is excited to continue another season with PTC and the University of Utah as Wig Master. Previous career highlights include Wig Designer for the Utah Opera and Santa Fe Opera, Wig Master for the Washington National Opera, Wig and Makeup Designer for Glimmerglass Opera, Associate Wig Master for Los Angeles Opera, and Wig Master for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
ALEXANDRA HARBOLD (Dramaturg) has served as dramaturg on PTC’s Mary Stuart, The Lifespan of a Fact, Sweat, Oslo, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Sting’s The Last Ship, I Hate Hamlet, An Inspector Calls, and Of Mice and Men. Recent projects include co-creating To See Beyond Our Time with Daniel Charon (Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company). Harbold is Co-founder and Co-artistic director of Flying Bobcat and Assistant Professor with the University of Utah’s Department of Theatre. AlexandraHarbold.com
HEIDI SCHRECK (Playwright) is a writer and performer living in Brooklyn. Her critically acclaimed, award-winning play What the Constitution Means to Me played an extended, sold-out run on Broadway in 2019, and was nominated for two Tony Awards. It had subsequent sold-out runs at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., as well as at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and will continue its national tour when safe to do so. A filmed version of What the Constitution Means to Me, starring Schreck, premiered this past October exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, and was nominated for a Critics Choice Award, a PGA Award, and a DGA Award. What the Constitution Means to Me was named Best of the Year by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, The New Yorker and more; NPR named it one of the “50 Great Pop Culture Moments” of 2019. Schreck’s other plays Grand Concourse, Creature and There Are No More Big Secrets have been produced all over the country and she has worked as a stage actor in NYC for almost 20 years. Her screenwriting credits include I Love Dick, Billions, Nurse Jackie and shows in development with Amazon Studios, Big Beach, Imagine Television and A24.
As both an actor and writer she is the recipient of three Obie Awards, a Drama Desk Award, and a Theatre World Award, as well as the Horton Foote Playwriting Award and the Hull-Warriner Award from the Dramatists Guild. She was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2019 and was featured on Variety’s 2019 Broadway Impact List. Schreck was awarded Smithsonian magazine’s 2019 American Ingenuity Award for her work in the Performing Arts.
SARAH HUDSON* (Production Stage Manager) hails from Austin, TX and is pleased to be returning to Pioneer Theatre Company for a second season. Previous engagements with PTC include Something Rotten!; Hello, Dolly!; and the 2022 Play-by-Play series. Favorite past credits include: Gold Mountain with Utah Shakespeare Festival and work with The Long Center for the Performing Arts, Summer Stock Austin, ZACH Theatre, Texas Performing Arts, and Zilker Theatre Productions. Proud Equity member.
EMILY NACRISSA GRIFFITH* (Stage Manager) This is Emily’s seventh season with Pioneer Theatre Company. She graduated from UVU with multiple awards for her work, including the Kennedy Center’s Meritorious Achievement Award. She has also managed Sundance’s Summer Theatre for the past two seasons.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States