Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Staff
BRENT HAZELTON (Artistic Director)
A Whitewater, Wisconsin, native and longtime Milwaukee resident, Hazelton enthusiastically joins Milwaukee Chamber Theatre after two decades on the Artistic Staff of Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Most recently at The Rep, Brent served for ten years as Associate Artistic Director, and built The Rep’s John (Jack) D. Lewis New Play Development Program as well as spearheaded the season planning process and participated in ongoing strategic planning. Prior to that, he built The Rep’s Emerging Professional Residency into one of the two strongest such programs in American regional theater. As a director and playwright, his work has set all-time sales records in two of The Rep’s three core performance spaces.
AMY ESPOSITO (Managing Director)
New to the team in June of 2020, Amy comes to MCT with a strong arts leadership background. Most recently, she was on staff with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in a communications and producing role. Prior to that, she spent some years in Chicago, most notably as the Associate Director of Marketing for Chicago Opera Theater. In that role she discovered the importance of audience experience, organizational transparency, and community relations. Her core beliefs as an arts leader are around removing barriers to the performing arts while finding sustainable ways to develop earned revenue. Amy is finishing her M.P.S. in Arts & Cultural Leadership from the University of Minnesota and continues her board service with Theatre Unbound, a small theatre company focused on the voices of women in the Twin Cities.
MARCELLA KEARNS (Associate Artistic Director)
Marcella is a Milwaukee-based actor, director, theatre educator, and coach. She teaches acting and theatre skills to students level K-4 through lifelong learners as an independent coach and as an adjunct instructor for Carthage College and First Stage. In July 2013, she joined the staff of MCT as lead educator/literary manager and has served as associate artistic director since 2016. Marcy earned an MFA in Acting from the University of South Carolina and completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Vienna, Austria, where she studied dramatic literature. In 2008, she was the recipient of a TCG Observership Program grant to study theatres' approaches to teacher training. The former education director of Milwaukee Shakespeare, Marcy spearheaded the company's multi-year participation in the National Endowment for the Arts Shakespeare For a New Generation initiative. She is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.
MEGHAN ROESNER (Director of Development)
Meghan is MCT’s Development Director, leading all fundraising efforts for the organization, including individual donations; major gifts; legacy giving; corporate, foundation, and government grants; and special events. Prior to joining MCT in 2019, she worked at Milwaukee Repertory Theater for three seasons as the Associate Director of Development, Institutional Giving, where she led many grant writing, volunteer management, and donor stewardship efforts. She has held other arts administration positions at the United Performing Arts Fund and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Meghan is a Milwaukee native who attended Nicolet High School (as an active participant in their theater department) and now resides in the Washington Heights neighborhood on the near West Side. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Arts Management from Indiana University – Bloomington.
Colin Gawronski (Production Manager/Company Manager)
is very excited to be part of the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre staff and to contribute to the vibrant theatre community in Milwaukee. Colin is a lighting designer and theatrical technician native to Milwaukee. They have worked extensively with Danceworks, Inc. as well as such local companies as Renaissance Theaterworks, Skylight, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, UWM Dance, Next Act, Kohl's Wild Theater, PrideFest Milwaukee, Bard and Bourbon, Gina Laurenzi Dance Project, Black Arts Milwaukee and the Bronzeville Arts Ensemble. They have also worked with the Sacramento Music Circus, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Lila and has taken productions to the Indianapolis and Chicago Fringe Festivals. Favorite productions include: Ignite: A Hip Hop Experience, Secrets From the Wide Sky, Black Nativity, Russian Transport, Frankie and Johnny, Stories From a Life, King Lear, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Glass Menagerie, Serendipity, Any Given Monday, Mauritius, My Fair Lady, Lamps for My Family, and Vagabondare. Give Love Always.
LIZ SHIPE (Marketing and PR Manager)
Liz is so excited to join the staff of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. In just over a decade Liz has worked in the Milwaukee Theatre community as an actor, costumer, playwright and marketing professional. She was named one of Milwaukee's most prolific playwrights in 2014 by M - Milwaukee’s Lifestyle Magazine. Her most recent work, THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE OF ALVIN TATLOCK enjoyed multiple productions in Wisconsin and was nominated for a Footlights award for Best Play 2017 and toured in the summer of 2019. She also penned the Sherlock Holmes-focused BAKER'S STREET TRILOGY featured at Old World Wisconsin. Her pirate-themed spectacle BONNY ANNE BONNY, was also given honorable mention as one of the best plays of 2016 by both the Journal Sentinal and OnMilwaukee.
C. MICHAEL WRIGHT (Artistic Director Emeritus)
From September of 2005 through June of 2020, Michael served as Producing Artistic Director of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. He directed countless productions here, including JEEVES AT SEA, DOUBT, CHRISTMAS IN BABYLON, THE FEW, PICNIC, THE LION IN WINTER, SLOWGIRL, HEROES, DRIVING MISS DAISY, THE DALY NEWS and DICKENS IN AMERICA. Before MCT, he spent eight years as Associate Artistic Director at Next Act Theatre. Since moving to Wisconsin in 1988, he’s directed over 100 productions. Other favorites have been A NIGHT IN NOVEMBER at Next Act Theatre, THE SYRINGA TREE for both Renaissance Theaterworks and American Players Theatre and LOBBY HERO for Madison Repertory Theatre. Michael has also been acting professionally for 43 years, appearing in regional theatres all across the country. Many moons ago, he played Hally in ‘MASTER HAROLD’ ...AND THE BOYS on Broadway and in the National Tour. At MCT, he was seen in GENTLY DOWN THE STREAM, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, ART, MAURITIUS and DUET FOR ONE. In 2009, Michael was honored with an “Artist of the Year” award by the City of Milwaukee Arts Board. He and his partner, Ray Jivoff, are now residing in Sturgeon Bay, where Michael currently serves on the board of Third Avenue Playhouse.
Samantha Martinson (Education Associate)
Samantha is a theater artist and teacher - she has worked in administration, education, and production at several regional theaters. At MCT, Samantha facilitates high school playwriting residencies across the greater Milwaukee area and biennially assistant produces the Young Playwrights Festival Showcase. Samantha also works with the Zoological Society of Milwaukee as the Manager of Innovation and Community Engagement. There she oversees several major grant programs focused on increasing access for Milwaukee community members, the development of Kohl's Wild Theater's education content, ZSM's DE&I initiatives. Samantha has presented at national conferences (AZA & ACE for Wildlife) on the importance of putting empathy into practice. Within the region, Samantha has worked with Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, First Stage, and Door Shakespeare.