I’ve been at Krannert Center for more than 20 years and work as a ticket office supervisor. I also work as a freelance American Sign Language/English interpreter and teacher. I had been in Champaign-Urbana for only two years when I started working here. I grew up in Michigan but have lived on both coasts, in Seattle and New York City. I love to travel, bicycle, work in my garden, and make art-collage and photography. I have two wonderful sons.
Before coming to Krannert Center 22 years ago, I was in the Purchasing Division at the U of I. As an account technician, I approve iBuy purchases and place orders through iBuy; order items that can’t be purchased through the university’s systems; reconcile P-Card charges; pay bills and handle subscription and membership renewals; add and approve Travel and Expense Management records; create all standing purchase orders; handle requisitions and purchase orders; create complimentary ticket usage reports; handle audits for performances; recount funds in money bags; count money in the Ticket Office safe; handle key and uniform deposits; and take care of change orders for the Ticket Office and for purchase orders. I’ve been riding motorcycles and working on cars since 1973. Once cars started having computers in them, I stopped working on them. I also love animals.
Since June 2004, I have worked for the U of I, becoming part of the Krannert Center Marketing team in April 2007 as a graphic designer specializing in print, web, and video communication. I have also worked on campus as a graphic designer for University Housing and a staff technology training instructor for CITES. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, I met my husband in a U of I drawing class, and we decided to make our home here. We have two feline roommates—Golly and Titan. I also do volunteer work for Catsnap (Champaign Area Trap Spay/Neuter and Adoption Program)—did I mention I love cats?
After 10 years as catering manager here at Krannert Center, I eagerly anticipate the challenges my new position as food and beverage director will bring. When I’m not at work or cooking for my family and friends, you might find me riding my Harley Davidson around Champaign County.
Terri is the interim associate director of production and the director of New Work at Krannert Center as well as the chair of the Stage Management Program for the Department of Theatre. Originally from New York City, Terri was the production manager and production stage manager for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet prior to joining Krannert Center in 2007. She has stage managed for the Yale Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and Maryland Stage Company and has toured with Ralph Lemon, Urban Tap, and American Repertory Ballet, among others. Terri has served as an adjunct professor at NYU, teaching theatre organization and management at the Tisch School, and earned her MFA in stage management at the Yale School of Drama.
I spent the first five years of my Krannert Center life in the Ticket Office. I have been the marketing services coordinator for 17 years now. My husband, Rick, and I have been married for 24 years and have a 16-year-old son. I’ve spent 14 hours on a motorcycle just because, danced when there’s no music, and screamed at stock car races. My favorite pastime until recently was chauffeuring our son, Troy, to his various sporting events and being a cheerleader. But these days I’ve been rediscovering a few of my old favorites: sewing, jewelry making, scrapbooking, and spending time in the yard.
Anne C. de Velder is an assistant professor on the Design, Technology, and Management faculty and is the costume shop manager. She has designed and/or built costumes for leading dance companies including the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the Stuttgart Ballet, Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. She served as the master tailor for the Cleveland Ballet for four seasons and for many Broadway and off-Broadway shows. She has also worked on costumes for films including Splash, Big, The Great Gatsby, Wall Street, Broadcast News, Fatal Attraction, Hannah and Her Sisters, and New York Stories. In addition, Anne was the founder of the original costume collection for the New York State Council on the Arts. She has taught tailoring and costume technology at many colleges and universities, including the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College. Needless to say, she’s never been bored.
I started working for Krannert Center in December 2007. I am an account technician in the Business Office. I grew up in Tuscola and now live in Gifford. I am married and have three beautiful daughters. I enjoy just hanging out and spending time with family and friends.
Adriane Binky Donley is the properties director at Krannert Center as well as the chair of the Properties Design and Management Program for the Department of Theatre. Originally from Florida, Binky was previously an assistant professor at Ithaca College heading the areas of props and scenic art. She has also worked as a prop master at the Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival and the University of Virginia. As a prop artisan, she has had the privilege to work at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alley Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Seaside Music Theatre, and Virginia Shakespeare Festival, among other venues. She has a BA from the University of South Florida and an MFA from North Carolina School of the Arts. This is her seventh year as a member of the Krannert Center family.
Born and raised in France, Nicole Faurant moved to the United States some 20 years ago and received an MFA in costume design from the University of Georgia at Athens. In France, she designed costumes for children’s movies, musicals, and plays. In the United States, she designed costumes for venues in Georgia, North Carolina, and Illinois. She also designed textiles for a French company based in Georgia. Her textile designs have been featured in leading trade magazines. She is currently the costume rental manager at Krannert Center and a clinical assistant professor of costume design for the Department of Theatre at the U of I.
Through a partnership of leading cultural arts institutions and programs in the College of Fine and Applied Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the U of I, Jason Finkelman was established as director of Global Arts Performance Initiatives in August 2012. From a foundation of established programming that includes the Sudden Sound concert series, Global Transfer Afterglow concerts, and the AsiaLENS film series, this position consolidates Finkelman’s distinct perspective as a curator of genre-blurring music and international performing arts and allows for development of new programs that expand campus and community engagement. Cultural arts programming in 2013-14 on behalf of the Spurlock Museum and the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music included musical performances and classroom engagements with artists from Tuva, Syria, Ghana, and Haiti.
Since October 2013, Lexie has been a proud member of the Krannert Center family. As an accomplished violinist, violist, pianist, and ballet dancer, Lexie is the outcome of how the arts can transform, enhance, and empower. As a native of Murray, Utah, she performed in the ceremonies at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and graduated from Ballet West Academy. Lexie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College, where she majored in interdisciplinary studies (business, education, and the arts) with minors in music performance and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Additionally, she received a Master of Science degree in arts management from the University of Oregon and concentrated in community arts management. Lexie has been called a “service junkie” for her volunteer work at a variety of arts and nonprofit organizations across the United States. These include the Utah AIDS Foundation, the Right Brain Initiative, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Mobile Mutts. When Lexie is not practicing, teaching, serving, or learning, you can find her chillaxing with LuLu, her rescue dog.
I have been at Krannert Center since 1998, when I was hired to run the kitchen at Intermezzo during the day. When I first started it was very slow during the school year, but it has grown to a very busy and fun place to work. My food service career started in 1977 by working at the Round Barn Restaurant and then Domino’s Pizza. I also spent more than 20 years in the Illinois Army National Guard as a combat medic and later as a cook. I’m married to Beth and we have two small and beautiful children, Gracie and Curtis.
Whitney Havice is the assistant ticket services director. Whitney is also actively involved in several local theatre organizations in the Champaign-Urbana community as a performer and choreographer.
As the facility manager for Building Operations, I manage the night-shift attendants, order supplies for the department and the building, handle payroll and attendants’ work schedules . . . and lots of other things. Before I started at Krannert Center more than nine years ago, I worked as a crane operator doing refinery construction and maintenance and even worked on a farm. My favorite leisure activity is going to late-model dirt track races. My wife and I love to camp at various racetracks. My favorite track, by far, is Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, which is owned by Tony Stewart. We camp for a week in June there every year.
After working as a graphic designer for Jimmy John’s Headquarters for eight years, I joined the Krannert Center team in June 2014 as a graphic designer. I have a strong background in branding and environmental design and a love for typography. Outside of Krannert Center, I am involved in CUDO (Champaign-Urbana Design Org), I decorate cakes, and I’m learning calligraphy.
I joined the Krannert Center team in the fall of 2009, when I was hired into my current position as the director of business and operations. My primary responsibilities include overseeing the finance, human resource, and building operations of Krannert Center as well as acting as our liaison to FAA IT. I earned my bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2004 and my master’s degree in human resources in 2012. My husband and I live in a small town about 20 minutes south of Urbana with our two amazing children, Courtney and Carson, who keep us busy hopping from one sporting event to another.
Lisa has spent 20+ years in the entertainment industry and 13 of those years at Krannert Center. Before coming here, she was a freelance lighting designer and technician working in many venues around the country.
While I was en route to Krannert Center, my degree in music led me to educational, management, and performance-based work for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, WFMT Fine Arts Radio, WILL-FM, and the Arts and Lecture Series of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The people I’ve met along the way have inspired me with their ideas, passion, creativity, and dedication. Amidst the challenges of selecting and scheduling a diverse season of artistry with Director Mike Ross, I enjoy working through the details of contract execution, developing collaborative partnerships and initiatives that contextualize performance experiences and bring them to a wide-ranging public, and advocating for the power and positive impact of the arts in our lives.
In addition to being the production stage manager, Cynthia also serves as an assistant professor of stage management at the U of I. Previously, she taught in the BFA Stage Management Program at the University of Miami and served as the associate chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. Her Broadway stage management credits include August Wilson’s King Hedley II and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Regina Taylor’s Drowning Crow. Regionally, she has worked at theatres such as the Goodman Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Connecticut Repertory, and Westport Playhouse. She has also worked at various opera companies including the Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, the Florida Grand Opera, and the Opera Festival of New Jersey. Cynthia holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association.
Tom hails from Minnesota and has completed degrees at Southern Methodist University and the University of Minnesota. He has been the technical director at Krannert Center and has been an assistant professor in the University of Illinois Department of Theatre since 1989. He currently is the interim assistant director for production and the co-director of LEVEL21. Tom has worked for a variety of performing arts organizations, including Fort Worth Ballet, TW Designs (a commercial production company), and the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas. Since beginning his academic career in 1984, he has taught lighting and technology at universities in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois. Currently he teaches graduate coursework in fluid power, motors and motor control, health and safety, and technical management. He has been a primary and secondary investigator on the research projects “Application of Industrial Motion Control Systems to Moving Theatrical Scenery” and “Application of Industrial Fluid Power Systems to Theatrical Scenery.” He is very active with the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), serving in numerous elected positions at the national and regional levels. Notably he served for three years as the commissioner for the Technical Production Commission and as the vice commissioner/exhibits project manager for the US entry for the 2007 Prague Quadrennial. He has presented numerous workshops and seminars at USITT national and regional conferences, Illinois Theatre Association conferences, and regional festivals of the American College Theatre Festival.
Elina Kotlyar is one of Krannert Center’s event coordinators and is part of a team that oversees the logistics and production elements of the Marquee season, School of Music concerts, and facility rental events. She is a UI alumna, holding an MFA in theatre (stage management). She is also a pediatric speech language pathologist. When not at Krannert Center, Elina volunteers at Crisis Nursery and stage manages the Champaign Urbana Ballet productions. Elina grew up in Kiev in the Ukraine (Soviet Union) and loves to travel and explore the world.
Emily Laugesen began her work with Krannert Center in 2009. As director for the Youth Series, she participates in artist selection, curriculum materials development, and ticket order processing and loves the energy that children and young adults bring to Krannert Center on performance days. Emily is also an active member of the Krannert Center engagement team, which extends the reach of our touring artists and resident productions beyond the stage through master classes, workshops, lectures, seminars, and smaller-scale performances both within the University of Illinois and throughout the community. Born and raised in Indiana, Emily feels at home in the Illinois prairie but has also enjoyed living in St. Louis and New York as she completed degrees in comparative literature, Italian, and musicology/music theory.
Bridget Lee-Calfas has been at Krannert Center since 2006, when she relocated from sunny North Carolina to once again face the frozen (yet still beloved) plains of her native state. As the primary media correspondent for the Center, Bridget is thrilled to share the numerous performances, initiatives, and ongoing projects of the Center with our community through managing media relations, assisting with the marketing and patron relations efforts, and participating in the strong public engagement campaign that is central to Krannert Center’s mission. Prior positions include director of marketing and development for the Temple Theatre in Sanford, North Carolina; theatre manager for Harper College in Palatine, Illinois; and roles in marketing, programming, and event planning for the U of I, Yale University, and other nonprofit organizations.
Verda Beth Martell is the opera technical director/interim technical director for Krannert Center and an assistant professor of theatre at the U of I. Beth is an active member of USITT, for which she has presented a number of workshops, including the Physics of Theatre series with her research partner (and husband) Eric Martell. She currently serves as vice-commissioner for programming for the Technical Production Commission and sits on the board of the Midwest Section. Beth holds an MFA in theatre technology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has worked extensively at such theatres as Steppenwolf, Light Opera Works, and Victory Gardens in Chicago, as well as the Santa Fe Opera and the Spoleto Festival U.S.A.
Rebecca McBride is the senior associate director of Krannert Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre at the U of I. Since earning her MBA and BS degrees from the U of I, she has been committed to applying her leadership, management, and strategic planning skills to the nonprofit arena. During her tenure at Krannert Center, Rebecca has been recognized for her leading role in developing groundbreaking public engagement and marketing initiatives, her sustainability advocacy, and her leadership in reimagining and developing the Center’s capacity to support new work.
Since earning a Bachelor of Arts in music performance from the U of I, Deborah focused her career in arts administration, development, and advancement for organizations including the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During her 19-year tenure at Krannert Center, Deborah has utilized her relationship-building skills and passion for the arts to steward a generous collective of individual, corporate, government, and foundation donors. Deborah and her husband have two active and talented daughters and two standard poodles.
I got connected with Krannert Center through my grad assistant position as a stage manager while finishing my master’s degree in vocal performance. Prior to that, I was in Orange County, California, where I finished my second bachelor’s degree—this one was in music with an emphasis in vocal performance. My first bachelor’s degree, which was in business administration, I received from the Universidade São Francisco in Brazil, where I’m originally from. I usually say that I’m a fake Brazilian because I can’t dance, I love winter (hate summer), and I can’t play soccer!! But I love Brazil and I love F-1 racing (in Brazil, it’s like NASCAR is here), so I guess I’m Brazilian after all! My love for this job comes from the constant connection and interaction with artists from all over the world. That makes life much more interesting.
I grew up in nearby Hoopeston and received a degree in marketing from the University of Illinois in 2000. Growing up attending Krannert Center events, I developed a great respect for the work that the Center does for Champaign-Urbana and the international arts community. While working toward my MBA in arts administration from Illinois State, I worked as the producing director for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. I also currently teach acting, film, and theatre appreciation classes at Parkland Community College, and I volunteer as an actor, director, sound designer, and producer at many local theatres. I started working here as the ticket services director in 2008 and am proud to be part of the Krannert Center family.
Nicholas joined the Krannert Center staff in September 2013 after working as the assistant box office manager for the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Nicholas completed an undergraduate degree in accountancy at Northern Illinois University and an MBA with a concentration in theatre management at Illinois State University. A lifelong artist and musician, Nicholas enjoys attending music and theatre performances, working on his own music and art, and spending any remaining free time with his wonderful and supportive wife.
I began my time at Krannert Center in 1987 as a student employee—and I’m still happily working! As the assistant director for marketing and patron services, I focus on staff management, the collaborative development and implementation of a variety of initiatives for audience growth, and oversight of advertising and graphic design. I hold not one but two degrees (and I’m at work on a third!) in euphonium performance from the U of I.
A native of Key West, Florida, Monique earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Florida State University and honors in French language and phonetics while studying at L’Institut Catholique in Paris. Since 1995, she has held positions as a foreign-language instructor and translator (Illinois and Florida), a human resources assistant in hospitality (New Mexico), and a group tour coordinator and event planner (Washington). In 2006, she joined the University of Illinois as the senior program coordinator in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access. Currently, she serves as the visiting academic engagement liaison at Krannert Center and is excited to do great work with great people! She is honored to be the mom of an amazing son and is passionate about celebrating their Cuban heritage through genealogy research and photojournalism.
Mike Ross became the sixth director of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in 1997. He came to the Center from the Miller Theatre at Columbia University in New York City, where he received his doctorate with distinction in music composition and where, under his direction, the Miller Theatre was recognized by The New Yorker as “the city’s hottest hotbed of innovative programming.” Deeply committed to embracing the art of the past as well as the art of our time across disciplines, aesthetic sensibilities, and cultural legacies, Mike views Krannert Center as a potent blending of classroom, laboratory, and public square. He attributes his experience as a professional classical, jazz, and rock musician and his interest in the visual and environmental arts, broader cultural history, and explorations into the nature of creativity writ large as major influences on his collaborative approach to arts administration. He has served as board chair for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters and as board president of Arts Alliance Illinois and is a founding member of 40 North, the Champaign County Arts Council. He is a recipient of the North American Performing Arts Agent and Managers Association’s Award for Excellence in Presenting the Arts and was selected by National Arts Strategies to participate alongside 100 national and international cultural leaders in its inaugural Chief Executive Leadership Initiative. Mike is an associate dean in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, has served on numerous campus committees, and chaired the cross-campus Seedbed Initiative for Transdomain Creativity, which led to the establishment of the eDREAM Institute (Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media), for which he now serves as an advisor. Mike is a passionate advocate for the micro-urban Champaign-Urbana community and is co-chair of the 2013 Champaign County United Way Campaign.
Julie Rundell has been the assistant properties director at Krannert Center since 1990. She was the first student at the North Carolina School of the Arts—and possibly the first in the nation—to receive a degree in props. She’s worked in theatres in Michigan, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, as well as Illinois (both downstate and Chicago). She is an active member of her field’s professional organization, S*P*A*M (Society of Props Artisan Managers). Her favorite thing is hanging out with her son, Asher, and she also enjoys reading, cooking, and riding her bike.
I work as the engagement director at Krannert Center and am often focused on cultural, community, and youth engagement. My role is to extend the impact of Krannert Center specifically and the role of the arts more broadly. To accomplish this, I manage and participate in a number of projects and activities with schools, local organizations, and other university departments. I have local, national, and international interests and serve primarily as a connector and point of access to both Krannert Center and the College of Fine and Applied Arts. I am most concerned and committed to engagement projects that unite diverse audiences, address significant and meaningful issues, and accomplish substantive change. I am currently involved in a poverty eradication sister city project with Urbana and Zomba, Malawi; an African studies via arts and technology program with a local elementary school; a rural bridge-building project in China; and several local community and economic development initiatives. I believe that the arts have enormous transformative potential and that those energies, like chi, can be gathered, cultivated, and directed toward important human accomplishments.
Michael Williams, lighting director, has been here for the last 16 years. Michael has been the primary lighting designer for Dance at Illinois’ annual Festival Dance concert since coming to Krannert Center. Before coming here, he served as the master electrician at Cornell University’s Theatre Arts Complex, where he taught lighting design and designed the lighting for many of the university’s drama and dance department productions. Prior to being at Cornell, Michael was the master electrician for the St. Louis Black Repertory Company for its opening season in the Grandel Theatre. While with that company, he designed the lighting for The Meeting. Michael holds an MFA in lighting design from the U of I and a BM and an MM in vocal performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
As the outreach director, I work with an amazing group of individuals, our volunteers! Our Krannert Center Community Volunteers usher daytime and evening performances as well as staff special events throughout the season! As an advisor for the Krannert Center Student Association, I have the pleasure of working with one of the oldest registered student organizations on campus that was established in 1969 to unite the Center, campus, and community by celebrating the power of the arts. In addition, I coordinate special presentations about Krannert Center events to a variety of community groups and campus organizations through information fairs, expos, and promotion of our groups sales program.