Kickshaw Theatre

The Team

profile-filler.png

Lynn Lammers

Founder, Artistic Director & Board Vice Chair

Lynn is a director, producer, and arts leader. She serves as a mentor for the Wharton Center’s Young Playwrights Festival, is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab in New York City, has been published on Theatre Communications Group’s Circle Blog, and presented at LaMaMa Theatre Company’s 2008 Directors Symposium in Spoleto, Italy. Lynn has a Master’s Degree in Theatre from Michigan State University and is an Associate Member of the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers. Beyond theatre-making (which is what she spends most of her time thinking about), Lynn is obsessed with her “weird and hilarious” niece and nephew! She’s also into making this world as inclusive and just as it can possibly be.

Why live theater? “The theatre is an active space, where we share moments both profound and funny with utter strangers. When a show ends and we look around at our fellow audience members to see the same stunned, amazed, or delighted feelings that we're experiencing, there is a deeply felt sense of community."

Why Kickshaw? “You come to Kickshaw because you want to be surprised. You want to see something unusual. You want to open your mind and heart to a new experience."

My commitment: "I set the artistic vision for Kickshaw's work. It's work I delight in, but treat the responsibility with great seriousness. I am committed to making theatre that is unlike anything else in Michigan."


profile-filler.png

Jane Griffith

Executive Director & Board Chair

Jane is a former gorilla caretaker, Organizational Development professional, and salesperson. Currently, a happy wife, doting mother, grateful friend, aspiring writer, lover of good food and wine, novice gardener, and devoted community volunteer.

Why live theater? “We need LIVE-NESS. To be in a room with others and share an intellectual and emotional experience...the energy of the people around us and the actors on stage...we are reminded of what it is to be human.”

Why Kickshaw? “Ann Arbor needs theater that asks big questions and respects the audience’s need to find their own answers. We can celebrate together, cry together, anguish together, laugh together...or we can go our separate ways with respect for each other.”

My commitment: “I am a prudent manager of the funds entrusted to Kickshaw by donors and patrons. I am dedicated to leading my team, securing the resources they need to be their best. I am passionate about Kickshaw being a vital, dynamic organization that makes great art, while being good to people.”


profile-filler.png

HEidi Bennett

Connectivity Director & Board Secretary

Heidi is a self-described nerd with a passion for unique and provocative theatre, history, social justice, her family, and her ridiculously cute dog. When she’s not working on connectivity and marketing for Kickshaw, she’s studying for her master’s degree in higher education and working as an event planner at the University of Michigan.

Why live theater? “Theatre changed my life. Acting and being with fellow odd-balls in theater provided me with experiences and a view of the world that was bigger and broader than my reality. It opened my eyes to the richness of humanity and to the value of community and catharsis.”

Why Kickshaw? “Lynn’s artistic vision is what inspired me to join the team in 2015. It’s what keeps me coming back for more.”

My commitment: “I’m a fierce advocate for inclusion and equity and will work hard to ensure that Kickshaw is accessible to people from all walks of life and all parts of our community. I will strive to reach new audiences and build mutually beneficial relationships with community members with whom our work resonates.”


shawn-web.jpg

Shawn Preissle

Finance director & Board Treasurer

Shawn spends her days as a business consultant guiding entrepreneurs and small businesses to start and stay in business. As a rare individual who actually likes working with numbers, she is excited to bring that passion to Kickshaw. She likes to consider herself adventurous, but it may be more of a state of mind than an actual trait. Although, if told there was a winery at the top of a mountain, she would very likely climb it. She fancies herself a gardener and likes to go one step further than farm to table, she can often be found eating vegetables straight from the garden.

Why live theater? “The creativity and talent of the actors are astounding and allows me to get lost in the moment. Their physical presence allows me to feel the characters anguish, excitement or sadness.”

Why Kickshaw? “This team cares! We care about each other, the work we produce, and the actors we hire and especially the audience. Our Creative and Executive Directors lead with sincerity and allows us all to have a voice.”

My commitment: “As Finance Director, keeping this organization on a solid financial footing is my commitment. I analyze budgets and share a clear picture so we all know what we need to do to be fiscally responsible.”


Chin-May Aradhye

Board Member

Chin-May is a time traveler, born-again Midwesterner, technophile, and musing robot. Although not from a performance arts background, he is an avid observer of culture and a curious follower of human experience. It is this curiosity that made him pursue his PhD in Experimental Psychology. He is currently the Director of User Experience at GreenPath Financial Wellness in the metro Detroit area where he works with artists and scientists to better businesses.

Why live theater? “I'm continually impressed by the performance talent.”

Why Kickshaw? “The team needed a sample audience member as a test subject. I was the first one to show up.”

My commitment: “Unleashing the power of technology, design, and data for theater.?


Julia Baevsky

Board Member

Julia is a connoisseur of classical arts, dark chocolate aficionado, walking movie encyclopedia, shy extrovert. Starting her journey into that world early in her life thanks to her mother Sophia, Julia developed her taste for artistic experience in renowned theaters around Moscow, Russia, from the young age of 12. Now on the other side of the world, in Michigan for many years, she is a walking encyclopedia of art & culture. Outside her role as an accomplished Sr. Business Analyst for Urban Science, she loves watching the talented theater performers all over the world. She is beyond excited to join Kickshaw Theater in their mission to introduce a new flavor of art to the local community. 

Why live theater? “One of the most ancient & natural form of storytelling, I've been hooked on it since age 12.”

Why Kickshaw? “Apart from the amazing productions, it’s hard to find such a great group of people.”

My commitment: “Marketing, education, engagement, etc. whatever is the need of the hour.”


textgram_1486834420_2.jpg

Aral Gribble

COnnectivity Associate

Aral is a professional actor living and working in Michigan who's passionate about being a part of creating exceptional, innovative, and inspiring works of theatre.

Why live theater? “Because it's LIVE! It's more real, more immediate. It's the only artform where the audience is directly involved in the creation of the Art. Their reactions, their enthusiasm, has a genuine effect on the performance. I mean, they're literally in the same room as the story! Great theatre needs great audiences, and Ann Arbor has some of the best.”

Why Kickshaw? “Because they care about serving their audience, and embrace their role in creating great theatre. Kickshaw Theatre utilizes "Connectivity," a groundbreaking new outreach strategy that uses Consensus Organizing for Theatre to create unique, collaborative partnerships with the community for each production, influenced by the production. The goal is to reach out to some of those individuals in Ann Arbor that will be most impacted by the story, therefore having the most impact on the storytelling itself. They not only care about what shows they do, but who comes to see them, and how they can inform the creative process!”

My commitment: “I'm a "Connectivity Associate," who at times looks for and reaches out to the community for opportunities to collaborate. I'm also a frequent volunteer, doing anything I can with my limited skills to help Kickshaw. Also, if I'm lucky, sometimes, I get to perform with Kickshaw! I am committed to this town. I went to college here, became a union actor here, fell in love here, got married by the Mayor! I know great things happen here, and, with Kickshaw, I know great Theatre happens here!”


sandy-square.jpg

Sandy Lemkin

Bookkeeper & Board Member

When Sandy is not busy providing care to patients as a registered nurse she likes to spend her time reading, traveling, and attending live events with friends.

Why live theater? “Audience reactions in live theatre is a one of kind experience. The talent of live theatre actors and their interpretations of characters is compelling.”

Why Kickshaw? “Kickshaw uses professional actors who are dedicated to their art. Their plays are enthralling and entertain unlike any other theatre groups around the Ann Arbor area.”

My commitment: “Being part of an organization that brings art to my local area is important to me. Our team members are all dedicated to the success of Kickshaw and all it has to offer our community.”


Ohtonen_Holly72dpi.jpg

Holly Ohtonen

Board Member

Holly manages Liberty Athletic Club in Ann Arbor and has done so since she was a babe. A former Musical Theatre major from the University of Michigan, Holly considers herself a superhero of emotions, community-driven, filled by people, and understands that even the smallest interactions can make a big difference in someone's life. Her first love is to her family - both her immediate and extended tribes!

Why live theater? “Live theater inspires thought - often with a self-reflective spirit that encourages growth and evolution. Theater offers every person the opportunity to engage and be present in something utterly creative and soulful. Theater is a gift; when performed from the heart it is incredibly powerful.”

Why Kickshaw? “Kickshaw's efforts are completely in service of our community - we support the absolute NEED for music and arts in Michigan. Kickshaw values theater as an artform and reveres our actors by treating them as the professionals they truly are.”

My commitment: “I do my best to lend two hands and two feet to any logistical need necessary to get a production or event off the ground. 'Many hands make light work', and I am deeply grateful to be apart of a kickass team who have magnificent strength and talents.”


miriam.jpg

Miriam Weininger

Board Member

Miriam has loved theater since she saw her first play, Death of a Salesman, when she was 14 years old during her summer vacation in upstate New York. She is a mother, grandmother, artist, real estate agent and has more energy than most people.

Why live theater? “I love watching actors portray their characters"!”

Why Kickshaw? “I was thrilled to discover Kickshaw Theatre because the plays are unique, challenging and have actors who are members of Actors Equity. The plays are shown in intimate settings so a visitor can see every expression and feel part of the play.”

My commitment: “As a Board member I help share and spread the word about this wonderful local gem to the Ann Arbor Area public.”