Meet the Players Guild Professional Staff

Joshua Erichsen
 

Joshua Erichsen, Producing Artistic Director

Email Josh (jerichsen@playersguildtheatre.com)

Josh is launching into his twelfth season as Producing Artistic Director, and is celebrating two decades with this world-class organization!  Josh first joined the PGT in 1999 as an assistant to the late Richard Boczek and Bil Pfuderer. During his tenure, he has had the pleasure of producing, directing, designing and contributing to countless productions. Prior to his appointment as Producing Artistic Director, Josh served as Production Designer, overseeing the artistic integrity of all production elements, and designing sets and costumes for both Mainstage and Downstage productions. His list of design credits continues to grow and includes, Players Guild: Titanic, Next To Normal, Jesus Christ Superstar, Memphis, Ragtime ('08 and '18), Hunchback..., Assassins, Cabaret, Les Miserables, A Christmas Carol, The Full Monty ('10 and '18), A Few Good Men, Beauty and the Beast, 1776, and Jekyll and Hyde. Ohio Shakespeare Festival: Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, and The Tempest. Other credits include: Romeo and Juliet (Magical Theatre Company), Joseph...Dreamcoat (National Tour), and was producer for An Evening with George Takei starring Mr. George Takei. Additionally, Josh is a co-founder of and Executive Producer for, Red Fig Productions, a live event production company.  He is also an accomplished magician and illusionist who stars in a one-man show, Strange Things.  Josh is a graduate of Kent State University's School of Theatre and Dance, and is the recipient of the 2007 Spotlight Award from AACT for outstanding contributions to theatre.

     
   

Beth Knox, MANAGING DIRECTOR

Email Beth (bknox@playersguildtheatre.com)

Beth is in her eleventh season at the Players Guild Theatre.  She earned her degree in Business Management and Marketing from the Ohio State University.  Beth spent the majority of her career in management in the cosmetic and fashion industry in the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and NYC markets for brands including Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Yves St. Laurent, Paloma Picasso, and Giorgio Armani.  Her background also includes grant writing, event planning, and fundraising. Writing credits include new adaptations of Cinderella and A Christmas Carol. Beth is a co-founder, Executive Producer, and playwright for Red Fig Productions.

     
 

TYRA GRISAK, guest services MANAGER

Email Tyra (tgrisak@playersguildtheatre.com)

Tyra is absolutely thrilled to be a part of this exciting Season! And looking forward to new beginnings in the Theatre's new space at Kent State Stark Campus Fine Arts! This is Tyra's 9th season and 7th year with the Players Guild Theatre.  With a career in the Cosmetics Industry as a special event manager, make-up artist, and account coordinator, Tyra couldn't be prouder to be a part of the Players Guild Theatre staff as Guest Services Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. The arts and dance have always been a passion of hers, and it is her sincere pleasure getting to know the numerous talented performers in our community, and the incredible Volunteers that give a hand towards the theatre's success.

 

     
 

MATTHEW HEPPE, ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Matthew is ecstatic to be joining the Players Guild Theatre Team where he has worked both on stage and off since 2013. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Theatre Studies and Business Management from Capital University in 2011 and currently works in the Scholarships and Student Financial Aid Office at Kent State University where he is pursuing his master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs. Matthew is extremely grateful for the various artistic opportunities which he has been able to take part in while working with theaters across Northeast Ohio, but he is proud to consider the Players Guild to be his home base. At the Players Guild, he has been an Assistant Director for the past several seasons and some of his favorite shows include Jesus Christ Superstar, A Christmas Carol the Musical (2018 & 2019), Rock of Ages, Chicago, and Aida.

 

   
 

STEVE PARSONS, RESIDENT MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Steve is the Resident Musical Director at the Players Guild of Canton, having served in the same capacity at Carousel Dinner Theatre from 2004-2009, where his work received the 2006 Cleveland area Times Newspapers “Outstanding Musical Direction” award. Other credits include The Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida, The Ohio Shakespeare Company, Carnation City Players, and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Additionally, he provided new arrangements for Dean Pitchford’s official revised version of FOOTLOOSE, created new versions of the NUNSENSE scores for creator Dan Goggin, wrote original music and fight song arrangements for the hit video game COLLEGE SLAM, and performed in the “Tickestra” for the FOX animated television series THE TICK. Steve was also the arranger for the Grateful Dead musical CUMBERLAND BLUES, which was presented at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and orchestrated the regional musical IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. An active composer, Steve has a Master’s degree in composition and numerous published symphonic pieces and choral works. His original musical version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL is published by Steele Spring Stage Rights, and has received an NYC Off-Off Broadway production, a fully staged production in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, numerous regional theatre performances across the United States, and is presented annually at The Players Guild. Steve arranged and orchestrated the hit LA musical LIFE COULD BE A DREAM and is a consultant and contributor to Defying Gravity, the biography of legendary songwriter Stephen Schwartz. He presently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University – Stark Campus in the areas of Musicology, Piano, Ensemble Direction and Conducting, and is a proud member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild of America.

 

   
 

BREANNA MORTON, PRODUCTION MANAGER/STAGE MANAGER

Breanna Morton is starting her third season at the Players Guild and is excited to take on her new role as Production Stage Manager for the theatre! Prior to her work here, Breanna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Studies with a concentration of Theatre Production and a minor in Theatre Performance from Kent State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She also worked as a theatre technician, stage manager, assistant director, and even performed in a few of the shows during her time at Kent State. While she has worked at a few other theaters in the area, the Guild has become her second home and she could not be happier that she gets to work in a career she is so passionate about.