Christopher Ashley Artistic Director
has served as La Jolla Playhouse’s Artistic Director since October, 2007. During his tenure, he has helmed the Playhouse’s productions of Chasing the Song, His Girl Friday, Glengarry Glen Ross, A Dram of Drummhicit, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Restoration and the acclaimed musicals Xanadu and Memphis, which won four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical. He also spearheaded the Playhouse’s Without Walls (WoW) series, the DNA New Work Series and the Resident Theater program. Prior to joining the Playhouse, he directed the Broadway productions of Xanadu (Drama Desk nomination), All Shook Up and The Rocky Horror Show (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), as well as the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along. Other New York credits include: Blown Sideways Through Life, Jeffrey (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla, Regrets Only, Wonder of the World, Communicating Doors, Bunny Bunny, The Night Hank Williams Died and Fires in the Mirror (Lucille Lortel Award), among others. Mr. Ashley also directed the feature film Jeffrey and the American Playhouse production of Blown Sideways Through Life for PBS. Mr. Ashley is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, the Drama League Director Fellowship and an NEA/TCG Director Fellowship.
Michael S. Rosenberg Managing Director
has served as the Managing Director of La Jolla Playhouse since April, 2009. Working in partnership with Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, he has developed and produced new work by Ayad Akhtar, Trey Anastasio, Amanda Green, John Leguizamo, Carey Perloff, Herbert Siguenza, Basil Twist, Sheri Wilner, Doug Wright and The Flaming Lips. Playhouse collaborations have included projects with UC San Diego, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The New Children’s Museum, San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Rep, Tectonic Theatre Project, the I.D.E.A. District and the cities of Escondido and Chula Vista. Additionally, he fostered the growth of the Playhouse’s award-winning Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour, achieving the most performances at local schools in Playhouse history. Previously, Rosenberg was Co-Founder and Executive Director of Drama Dept., a New York non-profit theatre company, where he produced new works by the likes of Douglas Carter Beane, Warren Leight, Isaac Mizrahi, Paul Rudnick and David & Amy Sedaris. His early work included stints at the Kennedy Center and the National Dance Institute. As a Theatre Communications Group Board member, he is proud to be on the Global and Diversity & Inclusion Committees.
Jaime Castañeda Associate Artistic Director
joined the Playhouse in November, 2014 from Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theatre Company, where he served for five years as Artistic Associate. Prior to that, he was the founding Artistic Director of FireStarter Productions in Texas, as well as an ensemble member with American Theater Company in Chicago since 2009. His directing credits include The Royal Society of Antarctica at Portland Center Stage/JAW, Tiger Style! at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Dallas Theater Center, Chimichangas and Zoloft at Atlantic Theater Company, How We Got On at Cleveland Playhouse, Welcome to Arroyo’s at The Old Globe and American Theater Company, Red Light Winter at Perseverance Theatre, The Motherf**ker with the Hat at Kitchen Dog Theater, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant at Circle Theatre and Blue/Orange and Sonnets for an Old Century at FireStarter Productions. A Drama League fellow and recipient of the Princess Grace Award and the TCG New Generations Grant, Castañeda holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin.
Debby Buchholz General Manager
has served as General Manager of La Jolla Playhouse since 2002. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the League of Resident Theaters (LORT). In 2009, she received a San Diego Women Who Mean Business Award from San Diego Business Journal. Previously she served as Counsel to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.. She was a faculty member of the Smithsonian Institution's program on Legal Problems of Museum Administration. Prior to the Kennedy Center, she served as a corporate attorney in New York City and Washington, DC. She is a graduate of UC San Diego and Harvard Law School. Ms. Buchholz and her husband, noted author and White House economic policy advisor Todd Buchholz, live in Solana Beach and are the proud parents of Victoria, Katherine and Alexia.
Shirley Fishman Resident Dramaturg
In addition to her duties as Director of Play Development, Ms. Fishman has served as dramaturg on Carmen, The Deception, Most Wanted, The Wiz, Culture Clash's Zorro in Hell, The Scottish Play, Palm Beach, Eden Lane, When Grace Comes In, Adoration of the Old Woman, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Diva, I Am My Own Wife (2004 Pulitzer Prize) and Dracula, The Musical. At the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Ms. Fishman dramaturged such projects as Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters, directed by Michael Greif; Two Sisters and a Piano by Nilo Cruz; Tina Landau's Space; Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mount Morgan; Tony Kushner's A Dybbuk: Or Between Two Worlds; David Henry Hwang's Golden Child; numerous works-in-process, readings and workshops and co-curated the Public's annual New Work Now! Festival. She has been a Creative Advisor/Dramaturg at the Sundance Theatre Lab, working on such projects as Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife; Naomi Iizuka's 36 Views and Moises Kaufman's The Laramie Project. She is an M.F.A. graduate of Columbia University's Theatre Theory/Criticism/Dramaturgy program, has lectured at UCSD's Department of Theatre and Dance and is a Dramaturg for UCSD's Baldwin Playwrights Festival. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Performing Arts League.
Gabriel Greene Director of New Play Development
joined La Jolla Playhouse's artistic staff in 2007; since then, he has dramaturged nearly a dozen productions of new plays and musicals, including Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (off-Broadway transfer; Obie Award), Joe DiPietro and David Bryan's Memphis (Broadway transfer; four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical), Claudia Shear's Restoration (off-Broadway transfer), Rick Elice's Peter and the Starcatchers, Christopher Curtis and Tom Meehan's Limelight (2010 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award, Best New Musical) and Sean Cunningham and Michael Friedman's HOOVER COMES ALIVE!. From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Greene was the Literary Manager at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he served as a dramaturg on their annual First Look Repertory of New Work and co-adapted I Sing America (performed at Millennium Park). Other dramaturgy: Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, South Coast Rep, 5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle), TimeLine Theatre Company, Noble Fool and Shattered Globe (all in Chicago). He is a graduate of University of Michigan and Trinity College, Dublin.
Audrey Hoo Production Manager
Audrey most recently served as a Production Supervisor at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). During her tenure at BAM, she worked with a wide variety of artists, such as Robert Lepage (Blue Dragon), Moisés Kaufman (Laramie Project Cycle), Jimmy Kimmel (JK Live from Brooklyn), Geoffrey Rush and Catherine Martin (Diary of a Madman), Sam Mendes (Bridge Project 2009, 2010, 2012), Paul Simon and Phil Ramone (Songs from the Capeman) and John Turturro and Elaine Stritch (Endgame). She has also held production management positions at Vermont’s Weston Playhouse, Santa Fe Opera and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Hoo moved to the U.S. from Singapore, where she was an active member of the performing arts scene, working with The Necessary Stage, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Theatreworks (Singapore) Ltd. Audrey is an M.F.A. graduate of the UNCSA Technical Direction program.
John T. O'Dea Director of Finance
Mr. O'Dea joined the Playhouse in 2006. Mr. O'Dea received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and has an active CPA license. In addition to his extensive experience as a senior accountant for Price Waterhouse, he has worked closely with several publicly traded high-tech companies as a controller. His experience working with outside auditors and with budget preparation, cash flow management and staff supervision, as well as the presentation of financial material to trustees and board committees, made him exactly the right fit for La Jolla Playhouse. Originally from New York, Mr. O'Dea moved to La Jolla in junior high school and has lived in San Diego ever since. O'Dea stays connected to his community by staying highly involved. He serves on both the board of his church and the board of the local UCLA Club of San Diego.
David Hanses Director of Development
David comes to the Playhouse from Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), where he held the position of Director, External Affairs for the past seven years. In this role, he contributed $97 million of individual gifts to a $210 million capital campaign and worked on the team that raised funds to design and create the critically-acclaimed Science Storms exhibit. In 2013, he spearheaded the museum’s 80th anniversary gala celebration, raising more than $2.2 million. Prior to joining MSI, David was Vice President of Development at the MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter, where he introduced a major gifts program and increased gala revenues by 20%. David has also served as Vice President of Resource Development at The Georgia Conservancy and as Vice President of Development and Public Relations at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. He holds a Bachelor of Special Studies from Cornell College and spent part of his early career on staff as the College’s Director of Alumni Programs and as part of the development team on a $42 million capital campaign.
Stephen McCormick Director of Education and Outreach
Mr. McCormick completed his Master of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University in 2001. He has been the Director of Education and Outreach for La Jolla Playhouse since 2006. During his time at the Playhouse Mr. McCormick has commissioned world premiere productions for youth from high profile playwrights such as Will Power, Kathryn Walat and Rhiana Yazzie. Prior to his time at the Playhouse, Mr. McCormick served as Associate Artistic Director and Education Director for First Stage Children’s Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over the course of his 15 year relationship with First Stage Mr. McCormick directed productions including Sideways Stories From Wayside School, Two Donuts, Ramona Quimby and A Taste of Sunrise and appeared in numerous productions as an actor. Mr. McCormick has also worked as an educator and/or performer for Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Nashville Children's Theatre, Childsplay, Arkansas Children's Theatre, National Theatre of the Deaf, Arizona State University, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Springer Opera House and the Tennessee School for the Blind. He can also be heard playing various aquatic life in multiple video games for the SpongeBob Squarepants TV series.
Mary Cook Director of Communications
Mary joined the Playhouse’s Communications team in 2007. During her tenure she has overseen the launch of the marketing campaigns for the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, the Page To Stage Production of the on and Off-Broadway hit Peter and the Starcatchers, the West Coast premiere of the Tony-nominated play 33 Variations and the world-premiere musicals Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Side Show and Little Miss Sunshine. Under her direction, the Playhouse was named one of the “Top 100 San Diego Brands” by the San Diego Ad Club and was the recipient of a 2011 Telly Award. She and her team played an instrumental role in launching the Playhouse’s groundbreaking Without Walls Festival in 2013, which garnered major national press coverage. Prior to joining the Playhouse, Mary held a marketing position for Advanced Marketing Services, a national book distributor that serviced Costco and SAM’S Club. In this role she managed a $4 million cooperative advertising budget and launched the in-store promotional campaigns for numerous major book releases, including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Jimmy Carter’s Our Endangered Values. She attended the University of California Irvine where she graduated Cum Laude and was a member of the Humanities Honors Program.
Becky Biegelsen Director of Public Relations
Becky joined the La Jolla Playhouse staff in 2009. During her tenure, she has garnered major national coverage in such publications as The New York Times, Time Magazine, American Theatre, LA Times, USA Today for the Playhouse’s world-premiere productions of Hands on a Hardbody, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, The Who & The What and the 2013 Without Walls Festival, among others. Prior to working at the Playhouse, she served as Associate Director of Alumni Communications at UC San Diego and as Director of Public Relations Director at The Old Globe. She has also held communications positions at Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center and WNCN-FM classical radio station. Alongside her career in arts administration, Becky has performed professionally, with credits ranging from a European tour of Jesus Christ Superstar to regional productions of Into the Woods, Once Upon a Mattress and The Gift of the Magi, among others. She is a graduate of Carleton College and the American Musical & Dramatic Academy.
Ned Collins Director of Operations