Milwaukee Chamber Theatre Staff
BRENT HAZELTON (Artistic Director)
A Whitewater native, Brent succeeded Michael Wright as MCT’s Artistic Director on July 1st, 2020. After graduating with a Bachelor of Special Studies Degree (Integrated Theater Studies), from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, he returned to Wisconsin for an Acting Internship at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. He would go on to serve at The Rep for twenty seasons, including the final ten as Associate Artistic Director, in which position he spearheaded the season planning process, collaborated on ongoing strategic planning and initiative development, and created cross-departmental pathways to program and support productions. From 2003 to 2010, he expanded The Rep’s Artistic Internship Program (now Emerging Professional Residency), into one of the premier professional transition programs in regional theater. From 2011 to 2019, he built and oversaw all aspects of the John (Jack) D. Lewis New Play Development Program including supervising the development of nearly two dozen new plays and served as production dramaturg for the world premieres of FIVE PRESIDENTS, AMERICAN SONG, and ONE HOUSE OVER, among others. His directing work set three all-time Rep sales records, and he is one of only three directors to have staged productions in all four of The Rep’s core performance spaces. At The Rep, he wrote and directed LIBERACE! (subsequently produced at two dozen theaters nationally), conceived the premiere and 2019 installments of REP LAB, directed SONG MAN DANCE MAN, HOW THE WORLD BEGAN, THE WHIPPING MAN, the final installment of the Hanreddy/Morgan A CHRISTMAS CAROL, MCGUIRE, OUR TOWN, and GUARDS AT THE TAJ, as well as numerous readings in collaboration with Ten Chimneys Foundation. Brent is also a former member of the adjunct faculties of Carthage College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and has taught development workshops at colleges, conservatories, and universities both locally and across the country. As an institutional leader, Brent is eager to explore how a regional theater can speak directly to the experience of its community and include everyone who chooses to call it home in that conversation.
AMY ESPOSITO (Managing Director)
Amy Esposito has been the Managing Director of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre since June 2020. Her career focus has been in arts leadership and finding sustainable ways to evolve the nonprofit performing arts sector to be more inclusive and representative of the world we live in today. Prior to moving to Milwaukee she was on staff with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities as the Marketing and Communications Specialist for the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, a multifaceted producing and communications role with an emphasis on professional development for graduating seniors. Prior to that, she served as the Associate Director of Marketing for Chicago Opera Theater. Her professional experience includes theatre, classical and contemporary opera, museums, higher education, special events, and website development. Amy has her B.S. in Theatre Arts Management from Ithaca College and is finishing her M.P.S. in Arts & Cultural Leadership from the University of Minnesota.
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.
Malkia Stampley (Milwaukee Black Theater Festival Artistic Producer)
Malkia is an actor, director, and producer born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Malkia made her Chamber Theatre debut in DOUBT. She received her training at Marquette University, Skylight Music Theatre and Milwaukee Rep. She has worked and traveled worldwide as a performer and in 2013 she co-founded Bronzeville Arts Ensemble in Milwaukee where she served as Artistic Director for three years. Malkia has worked as a performer in Chicago, New York, and all over Wisconsin. Favorite productions include TWO TRAINS RUNNING (Milwaukee Rep/Cincy Playhouse), TALENTED TENTH (Congo Square), GOOD PEOPLE (Forward Theater), FLYING WEST (Bronzeville Arts Ensemble), and A MIDNIGHT CRY (First Stage), among many others. Malkia began directing in 2016 with Black Arts MKE and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts' annual production of BLACK NATIVITY. As a TV and film actor, Malkia has appeared on Showtime (Work in Progress, Shameless, The Chi), NBC (Chicago Med, Chicago PD), HBO (Native Son), Fox (Empire), Netflix (Beats), and in a host of independent short and feature films.
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)
Colin 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.
SAMANTHA MARTINSON (Education Associate)
Samantha Martinson is a theater artist and educator—she has worked in administration, education, and production at several regional theaters including Milwaukee Repertory Theater, First Stage, and Door Shakespeare. At Chamber, Samantha facilitates high school playwriting residencies across the greater Milwaukee area and biennially assistant produces the Young Playwrights Festival Showcase. Samantha previously worked for the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, focusing the majority of her work on grant programs, DE&I initiatives, and the power of fostering empathy for one another. She has presented at national conferences with the Association for Zoos and Aquariums and Advancing Conservation through Empathy for Wildlife Network on the importance of cultivating empathy to increase social action. Her recent directing credits include: LEONA LIONHEART SAVES THE WORLD (Kohl's Wild Theater), STITCHED WITH A SICKLE & HAMMER (Renaissance Theaterworks, Br!nk), THE TEMPEST (Mad Rogues), MISS LULU BETT (Voices Freed Reading Series), TWELFTH NIGHT (Milwaukee Youth Theater). Assistant Directing: THE ROOMMATE (Renaissance Theaterworks), MILWAUKEE CARRIES (Cooperative Performance). Recent performances: SAVIOR'S GRACE (Renaissance Theaterworks, Br!nk Briefs); RICHARD III, THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Mad Rogues).