Meet Our Staff
Tim has been with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival as a performer since 2007 and joined the staff as the associate producing director in 2011 and became Producing Artistic Director in 2013. During his tenure at CSF he has helped found the CSF School of Theatre and CSF’s nationally recognized Shakespeare anti-bullying school tour, he began the original practices series of Shakespeare’s plays and led CSF through several successful capital and endowment campaigns. As an actor he has appeared in 10 productions at CSF and numerous theaters across California. CSF directing credits include I Hate Hamlet, Wittenberg, and several touring productions. He has held lecturer positions in classical acting, voice and musical theater at the University of California at Davis, University of Colorado Boulder, and the Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre (CA). He holds degrees in music and arts management from California State University, Sacramento, and an MFA in Theater from the University of California at Davis and was a Fellow with the League of American Orchestras.
Joan McLean Braun is currently the Executive Director of CU Presents at the University of Colorado Boulder, having served the College of Music in several positions since 1993. Under her leadership, CU Presents has become recognized as the organization offering the best in performing arts on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, including the Artist Series, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, College of Music, Holiday Festival, CU Opera, Takacs Quartet Chamber and Encore Series, and Theatre & Dance. Joan has established a record of excellence in all aspects of the presenting field, including artist selection, contract negotiation, concert production, public relations, marketing, advertising, box office operations, fund raising, and outreach. Because of her extensive expertise, students from across the campus have benefitted from her mentorship and arts administration courses. Joan received a Bachelor of Music in flute performance with highest honors (’81) and a Masters of Business Administration (’93) with an emphasis in Organization Management from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Kelsey Didion is an actress, teacher, musician and big-time Packers fan. Originally from Wisconsin, she is a graduate of the University of Evansville and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MFA). She is grateful to have acted with many different theaters across NYC and regionally, including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, PlayMakers Rep, the Chautauqua Theater Company and the New Harmony Project. As a teaching artist, she has worked with the New York Shakespeare Exchange, the Harlem Boys & Girls Harbor and ArtsWestchester, as well as teaching at the University of North Carolina. She is a long-distance teaching apprentice with the Miller Voice Method, a voice studio in NYC, and completed two years of teacher training under faculty in the graduate acting program at NYU-Tisch.
Since 2001 Wendy has directed, produced, and designed sound for numerous productions in the Front Range region, as well as served in arts administration roles in professional theatre and academia. She was a charter ensemble member and served as Production Manager for Denver’s critically-acclaimed Paragon Theatre and has also worked with CU-Boulder’s Department of Theatre & Dance, Ashton Productions, square product theatre, Goddess Here Productions, Curious Theatre, Santa Fe Opera, Colorado Dance Theatre, and Little Theatre of the Rockies. Wendy received her BA in Theatre Directing and Design/Technology from the University of Northern Colorado.
A Massachusetts native, Amanda joined CSF in 2004 as a graduate student, and became a full-time staff member in 2011. She received her MA and PhD in Theatre from the University of Colorado in Theatre History and Criticism, and has taught undergraduate courses at CU-Boulder, the University of Northern Colorado, and Lingnan University. Her book, The Plays of Yasmina Reza on the English and American Stage, was published in 2010. She completed her undergraduate work at Trinity College (Conn.) in Theatre and French, taught in Hong Kong for two years, and has worked with Curious Theatre, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Rebel Shakespeare Company, North Shore Music Theatre, and Cleveland Play House. Dr. Giguere's research and work in developing CSF's Shakespeare in the Schools Tour: Shakespeare and Violence Prevention has been nationally recognized.
Laima Haley received a master's degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from the University of Colorado in 2001. Her duties at CU include marketing CU Presents, which include the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Theatre & Dance, Artist Series, CU Opera, Holiday Festival and Takács Quartet Series.
Mary Jarchow moved from her hometown in Steamboat Springs, CO, to Boston MA, to further her education and pursue a career in the arts at Berklee College of Music. Through her love for music and the arts she found her niche in development supporting fundraising, donor cultivation and stewardship. In 2012, this path led her to the University of Colorado, aptly fundraising for Music, Arts and Culture in Boulder, and she has been the principle fundraiser for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival since the fall of 2014. Mary aspires to campaign for the arts in order to escalate awareness of its magnitude, contribute to current and future ambitions of the arts community, and improve the quality of future growth in Colorado.
Jill Kimball joined CU Presents as its Public Relations Manager in 2015. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon and worked for a year as a breaking news reporter at The Seattle Times. She spent more than three years at Classical KING FM, one of the nation's largest and highest-rated classical radio stations, designing and maintaining its website, spearheading successful social media campaigns and writing on-air promotional copy. She has been a choral singer for more than 15 years and has recorded with Grammy-winning artists Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman. She is a proud native of sunny Santa Cruz, California.
Daniel is an MBA candidate at the CU-Boulder Leeds School of Business. He received his BFA in performance from the University of Colorado Boulder, concurrent to a BA in English composition. As a member of the CU Presents communication team, Daniel is the Marketing Manager for Takács Quartet, CU Artist Series, Eklund Opera Program, CU College of Music, CU Theatre & Dance and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Since joining the company in 2010 he has also been an actor, technician and assistant director with the festival.
Kurt Mehlenbacher is entering his 3rd year at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Music Composition. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Colorado New Music Ensemble and is an active member with the Pendulum New Music concert series and the University Singers at the CU College of Music.
Andrew Metzroth received his BFA in Theatre Technology and BA in Religious Studies in 2005, and his MA in Theatre in 2012, all from CU Boulder. As an undergraduate he worked four seasons at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Audience Services, then worked at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA before returning to Colorado in 2006. In addition to being the box office manager for CU Presents, Andrew is the Production Manager for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and a freelance theatre designer whose work can be seen throughout the Denver-Metro area.
Heidi Schmidt is a director, dramaturg, and teacher. Dramaturgy: Denver Center Theatre Company (Disgraced, The Christians, Tribes), Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Equivocation, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth, Richard III, Inspector General), Local Theater Company (Faith). Directing: CU Boulder (Picnic, Melancholy Play), CSF Education (King Lear, As You Like It), readings for Curious New Voices, Athena Project, and Paragon Theatre Ensemble. Administrative positions: Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Local Theater Company, Repertory Dance Theatre (Salt Lake City), Women and Theatre Program. As an all-around theatre maker, she had designed props for Curious Theatre, presented pre-show talks at the Arvada Center, served as voice coach for CSF's Camp Shakespeare, and performed in a devised ensemble piece on the National Mall in Washington, DC. She also teaches regularly at CU Boulder, where she recently completed her PhD.
Jarid Sumner (Production Manager) is thrilled to be part of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival team after a decade of living and working in New York City, where he production-managed dozens of Broadway and off-Broadway shows. He also previously served as the Technical Director for American Ballet Theater, a job that took him to cities all over the world. He has also worked as a stage carpenter and welder and is a proud graduate of the SUNY-Purchase Theater Arts Program. Jarid hails from Massachusetts, and after spending his entire life on the East Coast, he is interested to experience this "dry heat" that his wife--a Colorado native--is always talking about. Jarid is thrilled to be in living in beautiful Colorado, and after the experience of flying cross-country with two cats, he is never moving again.
Nicholas Vocatura, a Colorado native, graduated with a BM in clarinet performance from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2004. While a student, he served as box office assistant for CU Concerts and upon graduation served as box office manager. After a brief hiatus traveling the world and performing with Princess Cruises, Nicholas rejoined the CU Presents team in 2009 as operations director.