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Marissa Kurtzhals is Performance Network Theatre's new director of marketing and public relations.
Posted: Aug. 25, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
Performance Network Theatre is under a major transition phase in preparation for the upcoming 2012-2013 Great American Theatre Season along with the fresh additions to the staff, including Marissa Kurtzhals as director of marketing and public relations, Logan Ricket as company manager, and Paul Keifer as finance manager.
Kurtzhals is thrilled to be a part of Michigan's most award-winning theater, and she's ready to make an impact on Southeast Michigan.
Not quite a graduate, Kurtzhals still has a few courses to wrap up for her degree in arts management with concentrations in theater and marketing from Eastern Michigan University. Kurtzhals has been a thespian since the age of 6 with her debut performance as a sheep in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" with the Southgate Community Players. She attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Wyandotte, which closed this past year. Kurtzhals moved on to Woodhaven High School to participate in theater under the direction of Eastern Michigan University alumni Michael Clemmons. He helped Kurtzhals acquire a theater scholarship at EMU, which led to her heavy participation at EMU Theatre. Kurtzhals performed in several productions at EMU Theatre, including Joseph Zettelmaier's "Dead Man's Shoes" and "Blackwater Ballad," as well as "Nora/Julie," "Pippi Longstocking" and "Dead Man's Cell Phone."
In 2011 Kurtzhals moved to North Adams, Massachusetts to intern in the marketing department at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. She returned to Michigan and immediately took over as the social media specialist at EMU Theatre. Kurtzhals received a grant to perform research on the effects of social media in the theater industry under the mentorship of Ken Stevens, founder of EMU's Arts Management Program.
"I'm ready to swing our doors open and include the community on all of the wonderful work that happens in our intimate theater," said Kurtzhals. "Our upcoming season has something to offer to every theater goer. From musicals to Michigan premieres to a full Children's Theatre Season, it's a very exciting time to be a part of the Performance Network."
Logan Ricket and Paul Keifer are part of the restructuring process that the award-winning professional theater is undertaking as part of a strategic plan to increase productivity.
Ricket will be the first company manager at Performance Network Theatre. Ricket earned his B.A. in theater with a focus in acting from Alma College and served as a director at the Hans Christian Anderson Children's Theatre, as well as the casting director for Alpha Psi Omega at Alma College. Ricket has performed in various productions throughout Michigan, including "Richard III," "Dancing at Lughnasa," "Book of Days" and "Crimes of the Heart." Recent local credits include The Sandbox festival at Tipping Point Theatre and The Raw Festival in Detroit. Ricket most recently finished his apprenticeship for the 2011-12 season at Performance Network and has been cast in the upcoming production of "Good People," which opens in February at Performance Network.
Keifer is a managing associate for one of the nation's largest financial services companies, and directs and executes the fiscal policy and processes to ensure that Performance Network Theatre continues to grow and develop. He is a long-time supporter of the performing arts, and has been seen onstage with The Encore Musical Theatre Company of Dexter, The Box Theatre in Mt. Clemens, and the Lexington Music Theatre in Michigan's thumb. He received his undergraduate education from Michigan State University, and is pursuing his M.B.A. through Columbus State University.
With Carla Milarch back on the artistic staff as the associate artistic director and Erin Sabo as the new managing director, Performance Network finds itself growing and expanding in all directions.
"Every Friday a new staff member gets to play music and we all make a point to take a minute out of our day and dance. We're a group of seriously passionate professionals who believe Performance Network Theatre is one of the most fun places to be in Ann Arbor," said Kurtzhals.
For information about Performance Network's upcoming 2012-13 season, log on to www.performancenetwork.org