Staff Bios

The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati Staff

Kim Kern (Managing Director & CEO)

Kim Kern Kim is a native Cincinnatian and graduate of the Cincinnati Country Day School (’87).  Kim left Cincinnati to attend Vanderbilt University (’91) where she received a Bachelor of Science in Education, and then quickly returned to Cincinnati which she and her family continue to call home. Kim assumed the role of Managing Director of the Children’s Theatre in September of 2013.  Kim’s expertise spans non-profit management, fund raising, strategic planning, market media development, public relations, special events, grant acquisition and major gift acquisition. Prior to joining The Children’s Theatre Kim worked as the President of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National MS Society, as the Director of Major Gifts for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and prior to that as the Director of Market Development for Local 12 WKRC-TV and Clear Channel Broadcasting. She served as the Executive Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and spent time operating her own consulting company, advising both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in the area of special events, board building, marketing, corporate sponsorship, public relations, fundraising and promotions. Kim was raised in the nonprofit world as her mother served as the Executive Director for a local nonprofit for 24 years. Kim resides in Loveland with her husband, Don Kern. They have eight wonderful children:  Merrell, Kealy, Bryson, Brooke, Paige, Olivia, Jordan and Ashley. Kim has watched her daughter Kealy flourish as a vocal and drama major at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Roderick Justice (Producing Artistic Director)

Roderick Justice Roderick is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance. Select directing, choreography, and costuming credits include: Seussical JR.Holiday Follies 2011, Disney’s High School Musical On Stage!, Disney’s High School Musical 2 On Stage!, A. Lincoln: A Pioneer Tale, Music Man, Fantastic Toy Shoppe- tour, A Christmas Carol- tour, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR., Disney’s Mulan JR., I Love a Piano, Church Girls, Forever Plaid, Taffetas, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Roderick choreographed for the national concert tour of the music group, Midnight Star. He is the director for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati's STAR Program, which is an intense four-week summer musical theatre training camp for kids ranging from age 9 to 17. He has worked and trained in cities across the United Stated as an actor, choreographer, and director in places like New York City, Orlando, Las Vegas, Maui, Chicago, and right here in Cincinnati, where he proudly calls home.

Madeleine Burgoon (STAR Cabaret Coordinator)

Madeleine Burgoon

​Maddie Burgoon is a Junior BFA Musical Theatre Candidate at Northern Kentucky University.  She is currently teaching Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz and Musical Theater dance at several Tri-State dances studios, including Revere Dance Studio and the Studio for Dance, where she has choreographed National Champion routines.  Maddie herself has also won numerous National Championships in Musical Theatre and Tap.  Maddie is the choreographer for the Junior Musical Theatre Department at the School for Creative and Performing Arts and several schools and community theaters, including Acting Up’s Beauty and the Beast, in which she earned a 2015 ACT Orchid Award for her choreography.  She was a member of the award winning all female a capella group, the Baby Grands and Chorale, performing for audiences around the US and China.  In addition to her performances with NKU in South Pacific (Nurse Cora McRae), The Wedding Singer (Imelda Marcos) and Les Miserable (Young Eponine/Ensemble), Maddie was also the Associate Choreographer for Spamalot.  She was part of the Fringe Festival’s Best of FringeNext’s ensemble cast of The Bible, the Book of Genesis. Maddie has been performing with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati for 10 seasons and her favorite roles have included Santa’s Toy Factory (Carol the Elf), The Day Before Christmas (Lucy/Rudolph), Pinkalicious (Allison),Disney's My Son Pinocchio JR. (Viola) and Seussical JR. (Bird Girl).

Eric Byrd (Associate Artistic Director)

Eric Byrd

​Eric is a Cincinnati native and a recent transplant from New York City, where he spent the past years working in commercial theatre and live entertainment.  He got his start as a performer at Paramount's Kings Island and since has performed across the country and across the world.  Favorite performance credits include Legally Blonde, Fiddler on the Roof, 42nd Street, The Drowsy Chaperone, Urban Cowboy, The Producers, High School Musical & West Side Story, as well as multiple contracts on board Holland America Cruise Lines, where he also served as Company Manager.  

This past year, he worked in the Broadway casting office of Stewart/Whitley where he assisted on the Broadway productions of On The Town, Chicago, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (starring Josh Groban) as well as the national tours of Bullets Over Broadway, Once, Shrek, Into the Woods and Elf, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and The Forgotten Woman at Bay Street Theatre, AIDA Cruise Lines and West Side Story (starring Skylar Astin) at Carnegie Hall.  He was responsible for expanding the talent search on London's West End for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's productions of We Will Rock You, Cats, Saturday Night Fever, Mamma Mia! and Grease.  

Additional casting credits include work at the Roundabout Theatre Company/Jim Carnahan Casting, assisting on the Broadway productions of Once, Matilda, and Anything Goes.  Eric served as a choreographer and assistant director at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp for two summers, and has served on panels and taught master classes for Broadway Artists Alliance, Actors Connection, Students Live, and The Growing Studio in New York City.  He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Management from Wright State University and is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Julia Dose (Marketing Coordinator)

Julia Dose

​Originally from the Chicago area, Julia is a theatre tech nerd turned marketing specialist. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Visual Communication from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio with supplementary degrees in Spanish and Anthropology. Throughout her undergraduate career, she worked as a master electrician and spotlight operator for the Templeton Blackburn Memorial Auditorium. Since leaving OU, Julia has been a contributor on marketing teams for a variety of industries including tourism, industrial chemicals, package design and food science. Most recently, Julia completed her Master's degree in Marketing with a certificate in Market Research at the University of Cincinnati. Julia is an adventurous person with a passion for creative storytelling and marketing strategy, and looks forward to sharing The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s story with a wider audience through many channels. Julia is excited for the opportunity to let her inner theatre nerd thrive again! Be sure to connect with Julia through any of TCT’s social media channels.

Jay Goodlett (Artistic Director of Education and Outreach)

Jay Goodlett Born at Dayton’s Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Jay Goodlett attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati for nine years majoring in dance, drama, and musical theatre. By the age of 18, Jay joined the Cincinnati Ballet and rose quickly to the rank of Senior Soloist by 2002.  Jay enjoyed 17 seasons with Cincinnati Ballet retiring in 2008. In 1991, Jay began his career as choreographer and has worked with Cincinnati Ballet, The Saint Louis Opera and the Cincinnati Opera. He has choreographed and directed for numerous high schools and community theater groups as well as The Carnegie Center, William Peace University, Purdue University and Miami (Ohio) University. He is currently a guest lecturer at Northern Kentucky University, teaches for the International Cecchetti Council of America and judges for Ohio Dance Masters. Jay directed The Snow Queen (2014-15), Ronald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. (2013-14), Disney’s Cinderella KIDS (2012-13) and Jack and the Beanstalk (2009-10) for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. Jay and his wife Jenny (former CBC dancer) are blessed to have a performing family that includes their children Megan, Nathan and Amelia.

Tina Marshall (Sales Director)

Tina Marshall

Tina joined TCT as Sales Director in the fall of 2012. A career working for a non-profit serving children has been a long-time goal realized. A lifetime resident of Cincinnati, Tina, along with her husband Dan and three children, resides in Oakley.  Her children attend Cincinnati Public Schools (Kilgour Elementary and Walnut Hills). Having been to many TCT shows on school field trips, Tina came to us already very familiar with all we have to offer.   She brings years of experience in customer service as well as business and brand development from her corporate life working on world brands such as GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and more.  Tina has managed on all levels of retail as well as in corporate settings.  She also brings experience as a Technology Specialist working with website content management systems, email marketing, social networking and search engine optimization.  Tina looks forward to utilizing her experience working with her own children's PTA and schools to help bring more children to the theater.

Deondra Kamau Means (Artistic Coordinator of Education and Outreach)

Deondra Kamau Means Deondra is a proud husband and father of two who has performed for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati for the past 20 seasons.  He’s happy to be performing on stage and on the staff of The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati as a teaching artist. Past productions include Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS, Holiday Follies and Holiday Follies 2 (Jimmy), Charlotte’s Web (Templeton), Disney’s Mulan, JR. (Mushu), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Mr. Salt), Robin Hood (Alan-A-Dale), Seussical, JR. (Mr. Mayor), The Rockin’ Adventures of Peter Rabbit (Benjamin Bunny), Noah’s Ark (Ham), The Wizard of Oz (The Lion), Little Red Riding Hood (The Big Bad Wolf), The Piano Lesson (Lymon), The Crucible (Cheever), Snow White (The Apprentice), and Man of La Mancha (Dr. Carasco) which was performed at the Sibui Festival in Sibui, Romania.

Bree Ann Murdock (Development Director)

Bree Ann Murdock

Bree Ann is a native Cincinnatian and graduate of the Cincinnati Country Day School (’90). In 1994, she graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. Bree Ann began her career in programming as intern at the Chicago International Film Festival with Marc Evans. She then went on to direct and produce programming with Michael Hoff Productions and Indigo Films, in the San Francisco bay area, for the Discovery Channel networks.  After returning to Cincinnati in 2006, she joined the Kroger Company to produce original programming for KTV, an internal enterprise wide television network. Bree is a highly creative and results-driven management professional with entrepreneurial spirit, drive and vision. More than 10 years’ experience and expertise generating revenue and increasing support bases for expanding national and local for profit organizations. Bree resides in Kenwood with her daughter Ava Grace, their dog Oliver and cat Zipper.

Jennifer M. Picone (Production Stage Manager)

Jennifer M. Picone Jenn has been with The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati since 2003. She graduated from Miami University with a B.F.A. in Theatre Production and Design. When she’s not in production with The Children’s Theatre, Jenn can be found at Music Hall stage managing with the Cincinnati Opera. Other previous stage management engagements include Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Miami University Opera, Dayton Opera and the Village Playhouse in Oxford, OH.

Krista Katona Pille (Creative and Marketing Director)

Krista Katona Pille Krista has worked for The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati since 2001. Before The Children’s Theatre, she worked for the Cincinnati Division of Time Warner Cable as the Manager of Public Relations. Prior to that, Krista worked for LOCAL 12, as the Public Service/Creative Projects Coordinator. While there, she garnered three Regional Emmy Awards for producing, and her work was selected as a finalist in the 1999 National Emmy Awards. Krista graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Electronic Media and a Writing Certificate in Journalism. She's worked at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles, and in New York, on the set of the daytime drama, As the World Turns. Krista’s husband, Rodger, has performed in many Children’s Theatre productions. Her son, Charlie, is a Children’s Theatre fan and future performer.

Jennifer M. Rhodus (Charge Scenic Artist)

Jennifer M. Rhodus

​Jennifer has been with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati since 2012, and is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she earned her B.F.A. in Theatre Design & Production. During the summer season, she is the Scenic Charge Artist for the Cincinnati Opera and has designed sets for their Outbound Touring Program. As a freelance Assistant Designer, she has worked with David A. Centers on numerous shows at Dayton’s Human Race Theatre and the Cincinnati Opera; interned twice with NYC-Designer David Gallo at Playhouse in the Park; and has designed props for 19 productions at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Jeff Shearer (Resident Costume Designer)

Jeff Shearer

​Alice in Wonderland marks Jeff's first official show as Resident Costume Designer for TCT. Most recently he has designed shows at Northern Kentucky University. He has also designed for Shawnee Playhouse in the Poconos and served as Assistant Costume Designer for San Diego Repertory Theatre. Favorite projects include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Mame, Gypsy, and Little Shop of Horrors. Jeff has also designed for theme parks such as Paramount Parks, Cedar Point, and Kennywood, and corporate clients such as Lucent Technologies and Cincinnati Bell Wireless. Cincinnati audiences have seen Jeff’s work at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts, the Cincinnati Opera’s outreach program, the Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights, and the CSO’s Home for the Holidays.

Laura Stenger (Associate Stage Manager)

Laura Stenger

​Laura is overjoyed to be joining the company for her first season with TCT as the Associate Stage Manager! Laura grew up outside of Cincinnati on a farm in Southeast Indiana where she raised angus cattle, alfalfa hay and trained horses. In addition to her agricultural upbringing, she pursued theatrical and fine arts. She recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where she studied theatre design and production and stage management. Laura has recently worked at Cirque du Soleil, the New York Musical Festival and La Jolla Playhouse; as well as locally in Cincinnati at Ensemble Theatre and Cincinnati Opera. When she’s not helping to create art, you can find her indulging in $5 Movie Tuesdays and pursuing some new adventure!

Chad Stewart (Finance Director)

Chad Stewart

​Chad Stewart comes to The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati with several years of nonprofit arts finance and accounting experience. Having worked for such institutions as the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center, and the Arizona Theatre Company, Chad enjoys interacting with creative and dynamic individuals.  In addition to numbers, Chad also has an affinity for words. Chad received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky and is currently a graduate student in English/Creative Writing at Northern Kentucky University.  In addition to being a voracious reader of English (and French) literature, Chad’s interests include travel, art, and spending most weekends puttering around in his cottage garden with his wife Laura. Last, but certainly not least, Chad is a cat person.

Violet Rae Webster (Sales Manager)

Violet Rae Webster

​Violet Rae joined the staff of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati in July 2016.  She is a proud Northern Kentuckian who studied Theatre Arts in college receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree for an Area of Communications with Theatre Emphasis from Morehead State University.  In college, she performed with a touring children’s theatre ensemble plus had many dramatic, comedic and musical theatre rolls on stage.  Following school her career took a different path of 30+ years in sales and marketing management for travel and tourism attractions, festivals and a convention and visitors bureau.  She feels her education and professional experience and training will be an asset to selling TCT On Tour productions and TCT On Tour WorkShops.  In her spare time she is a singer-songwriter performing folk, Americana, traditional and period music with the women’s folk trio, Raison D’Etre.

Noelle Wedig (TCT On Tour Costume Designer)

Noelle Wedig

​As a native Cincinnatian, Noelle is honored to have the opportunity to join The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati production team. Noelle’s background is creating mascot characters, puppet making, and fabric art & design (BFA Fibers, College of Mount St. Joseph ), (MFA Textile Design, Savannah College of Art & Design), which enabled her to meet the challenges of costume designing. Locally, Noelle has also worked with Know Theatre of Cincinnati, ArtWorks, Madcap Puppets, Kings Island, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

Mary Wright (Development Manager)

Mary Wright Mary is an Army Brat who was born in Nuremburg, Germany and is one of five daughters.  She resides in Mason, Ohio.  Mary came to The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National MS Society  where she was in charge of Development events such as the Women on the Move Luncheon and Dinner of Champions, as well as donor relations, IT and office management.  Mary also worked at Hospice of Cincinnati as the Volunteer Coordinator for seven years and has worked in residential and commercial building in Greater Cincinnati.  Mary was on the Board of Trustees for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Volunteer Coordinator for the Duramed Futures Tour of the LPGA, Standard Bearer Chair for the Kroger Classic of the Champions Tour of the PGA, where she was the National Volunteer of the Year.

Alicia Wylie (Master Carpenter / Shop Foreman)

Alicia Wylie

​Alicia was born and raised in Texas, but soon moved to New Orleans where she lived for five years doing freelance carpentry and working in a fabrication shop making floats, walking heads and props.  During this time, she obtained her Fine Arts degree from the University of New Orleans.  Her next adventure brought her to the Cincinnati area to live with her wonderful partner, Rachel, and work for The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati as a carpenter. Alicia enjoys riding motorcycles, working on cars and playing video games.

Pamela M. Young (Operations Manager)

Pamela M. Young Pam started working for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati in 2007 as a part time bookkeeper. She soon became full time, adding MainStage School Coordinator and Office Manager to her resume. She lives in Madisonville with four of her five children. Spare time is spent with family and friends or volunteering at school or church. Pam says one of the best things about The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is sitting in a theater full of school-aged children and watching the amazement on their faces.