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About The Playhouse
Senior Staff
Christopher Ashley
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 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
Michael S. Rosenberg Managing Director

has served as Managing Director of La Jolla Playhouse since April, 2009. Working in partnership with Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, he has produced 16 world premieres, 10 Playhouse commissions, 11 co-productions with theatres across the country and countless shows and education programs in and around San Diego. Together with the Board of Trustees, they have grown the Playhouse’s endowment and cash reserves to foster dynamic artistic risk-taking. He serves on the boards of the Theatre Communications Group, La Jolla Country Day School and the NBC-San Diego Community Advisory Board. Previously he was a co-founder and Executive Director of Drama Dept., a New York not-for-profit theatre company that was the home to artists like Christopher Ashley, Douglas Carter Beane, Cynthia Nixon, Paul Rudnick and David & Amy Sedaris. He was also a part of the producing teams for the Broadway productions of Grey Gardens and American Buffalo.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Linda Cooper Production Manager

Linda has recently taken on the role as the Production Manager at La Jolla Playhouse, and has already helmed productions such as Hands on a Hardbody, Sleeping Beauty Wakes, Milk Like Sugar, and oversaw the transfer of Jesus Christ Superstar from Stratford Shakespeare Festival and looks forward to culminating her 1st year with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. For the 8 years prior to this, she served as the Associate Production Manager. Previous to her work at the Playhouse, she worked as the Assistant Production Manager for Santa Fe Stage and Theatre Instructor and Director at Philos Learning Center both in Santa Fe, NM; Associate Artistic Director at SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development in St. Paul, MN. She is a native to Illinois where she received her BFA in Theater and Stage Management at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.


Mary Cook Director of Communications


Becky Biegelsen Public Relations Director


Ned Collins Director of Operations