Staff & Board
Geddie holds a BFA in Musical Theatre, an MA in Arts Administration, and has performed on stages around the world. He has directed productions such as Once On This Island, Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Fences, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and Dreamgirls. Prior to his arrival in Venice, FL, he cruised the world as a Company Manager and Principal Singer for Jean Ann Ryan Productions on Norwegian Cruise Line. His theatre performance credits include Ragtime, Twelfth Night, Race, Intimate Apparel, Falsettos, the premiere of the one-man show Bert Williams, Broadway Star; Angels in America, Dreamgirls and the role of “Judas” in Jesus Christ Superstar.
In addition to Geddie’s duties at Venice Theatre, he serves on the Ambassador Circle for Embracing our Differences; the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Access+ committee for Southeastern Theatre Conference, is the treasurer of the Florida Theatre Conference, the Florida State community theatre representative, and is a Board Member of the Friends of the Venice Public Library, Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative, Squeaky Wheel Theatre Group, and Vice President of the American Association of Community Theatre.
Murray Chase served as Venice Theatre’s Executive Director since 1995. As of June 2023, he is now focused on overseeing the restoration of the theatre after it sustained severe damage from Hurricane Ian.
He has been an active participant — and former board member — of Florida Theatre Conference and Southeastern Theatre Conference. He has served as President of the American Association of Community Theatre, and currently works with the organization as a member of the national Festival Commission. He has been a frequent grant review panelist for both the Florida Arts Council and the Mississippi Arts Commission. Recently he represented the United States as a delegation member to the World Congress of the International Amateur Theatre Association. Under his leadership, Venice Theatre has hosted the international theatre festival, actWORLDFEST, four consecutive times. Chase is also a former chair of the CEC for Sarasota County Arts Council and a former president of Venice MainStreet.
Actor/Director Credits: Besides the daily aspects of his job here, directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Mary Poppins, Our Town and the award-winning productions of The Pillowman, The School For Wives, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Tartuffe and Fool For Love. He has also played a few roles on the VT stage, including Johnny in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Stuart in the Award-winning Boom Town, and George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? all with wife Lori
Benny Sato Ambush ‡
Benny Sato Ambush is a veteran professional director, institutional theatre leader, educator, published commentator, and consultant. He has been Artistic Director of TheatreVirginia (Richmond, VA), Oakland Ensemble Theatre (Oakland, CA), and Rites and Reason Theatre Company (Providence, RI). Previously, he was Associate Artistic Director of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater; Co-Artistic Director of San Francisco Bay Area Playwrights Festival; PEW Charitable Trust/TCG Director-In-Residence for Manalapan, Florida’s Florida Stage; and Associate Artistic Director of Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue at Harvard University.
He has directed at numerous professional regional theatres and has taught and directed at many university training programs (partial list): Old Globe Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival-Portland, South Coast Rep, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, Geva Theatre, Playwrights Horizon, Ford’s Theatre, Triad Stage, American Repertory Theater Institute, Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays, Lincoln Center Theater Institute, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Actors Guild of Lexington, KY, Alaska Theatre of Youth, International Theatre Festival of Chicago, Sacramento Theatre Company, National Black Theatre Festival, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Gloucester Stage Company, New Repertory Theatre, TheatreSquared, The Lost Colony, Underground Railway Theater, Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, Circle in the Square Theatre School, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Brooklyn College.
Ambush has a BA in Theatre Arts and Dramatic Literature from Brown University and an MFA in Directing from the University of California, San Diego. In 2020, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.
* indicates member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
‡ indicates member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)
Design and Production
Production Manager/Technical Director: John Andzulis
Special Events Production Manager: Alyssa Goudy
Assistant Technical Director: Brian Freeman
Resident Scenic Designer: Tim Wisgerhof
Production Stage Manager & Props Mistress: Lisa Million
Resident Sound Designer: Nate Blaweiss
Costume Shop Manager: Ross Boehringer
Resident Music Director: Michelle Kasanofsky
Director of Advancement: Camille Cline
Advancement Associate: Christine Pitts
Donor Services Coordinator: Melissa Cripps
Director of Marketing and Public Relations: Laurie Colton
Publications Director: Rhonda Sudik
Director of Advertising: Dennis Berkery
Box Office Manager: Barbara Mullen
Front of House and Bar Manager: Jeff Hyde
Box Office Associate: Keith Patrick Kelley
Education & Community Engagement
Director of Education & Community Engagement: Sandy Davisson
Assistant Director of Education & Community Engagement: Kelly Duyn
Lead Teacher and Silver Foxes Director: Brad Wages
Arts Integration Specialist: Tarah Hart
Facilities Manager: Kim Kollar
Volunteer Manager and Human Resources Director: Madeline McGrail
Jean is a retired business owner, longtime community activist, and has been an active volunteer with Venice Theatre since 1967. Her family has been theatre volunteers starting with her parents, herself, her sons and her youngest grandson.
Gar was the theater’s insurance agent for many years before retiring in 2017. In that time he and his wife Nancy became sponsors, donors, saw many great shows and made friends. “Everyone in Venice benefits from Venice Theatre!”
Lynn retired as Vice President Finance and Operations from Kuczmarski Innovation, a Chicago innovation consulting firm. She is very passionate about the theatre and is thrilled to be helping guide its finances.
Carroll M. Hunter
Carroll is a retired Deputy Director with the New York City Department of Correction, and worked with the NYCPD and law enforcement agencies around the world advocating for LGBT officers. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Black Studies and a Master Degree in Counseling/Mental Health.
Jim retired from IT, consulting and finance, mostly with Deloitte, in the US and Canada. He has appeared in several shows with VT since 2014. Previous Board experience includes the Cedar Point Yacht Club in Connecticut and the Charlotte Chorale.
Maria is retired from her position of Senior Vice President at Fidelity Investments. She is a dancer and active member of The Silver Foxes, and has worked in many areas of the theatre, including marketing.
Neil is a longtime board member and volunteer. He’s performed in many shows over the years. Neil is a financial advisor for Raymond James.
Former municipal planning director, commercial pilot and flight instructor, Carole, contractually consulted for the Rockefeller Foundation, US Chamber of Commerce, Cornell University, and U.N. She has served on the executive committee of eight national organizations and feels privileged to be associated with VT.
Douglas B Taylor
Douglas is a retired financial market news and data industry executive. He followed his mother (Helen, VT costume shop seamstress), wife (Mary, VT stage manager), and daughter (Natalie, VT student & actor) to become a VT fly rail operator.
Ex Officio Member