Staff & Board
Producing Executive Director
Murray Chase is the Producing Executive Director of Venice Theatre, a position he has held since 1995. He is an active participant — and former board member — of Florida Theatre Conference and Southeastern Theatre Conference. He recently completed his term 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 served as 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 will host for the fourth time the aactWORLDFEST June 20-26, 2022. 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 director, institutional theatre leader, educator, published commentator and consultant. He has been Artistic Director of TheatreVirginia (Richmond, VA) and Oakland Ensemble Theatre (Oakland, CA).
Previously, he was Associate Artistic Director of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater; Acting Artistic Director of Providence, RI’s Rites and Reason Theatre Company; 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 with numerous professional regional theatres including 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; Indiana’s New Harmony Project; 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; The New Rep; TheatreSquared, The Lost Colony; Underground Railway Theater, Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, and Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.
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.
General Manager. Director of Diversity
A North Carolina native, Kris came to Venice Theatre via New York to play “Coalhouse Walker” in Ragtime and never left. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Mars Hill College, and has performed with various theatres and cruise ships worldwide. As well as serving as General Manager and Director of Diversity, he is VT’s education liaison for area schools and organizations.
* 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
Assistant Costume Shop Manager: Brittany Hardison
Resident Music Director: Michelle Kasanofsky
Director of Development: Eric Watters
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
Bookkeeper: Linda Mangold
Facilities Manager: Kim Kollar
Volunteer Manager and Human Resources Director: Madeline McGrail
President: Laura Kopple
Broker/Manager, RE/MAX Palm Realty
Vice President: Jean Trammell
Treasurer: Lynn Crandall
Retired Vice President of Finance and Operations, Kuczmarski Innovation
Secretary: Carroll M. Hunter
Retired Corrections and Law Enforcement Officer. Community Activist.
Retired Supervisor of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
Retired Managing Director, Deloitte Global
Retired Senior Vice President, Fidelity Investments
Associate Vice President, Investments of Sommerville Financial Group of Raymond James
Retired Community Planner from New York State
Principal Owner and CEO of Moody Insurance Agency, Retired
Douglas B. Taylor
Retired financial market data consultant