Theatre Nova Adds Leadership Positions to Management Team for 2017
Theatre Nova, Ann Arbor's professional playwrights' theater, now finishing up its second year of operations, is proud to announce additions to its leadership team. Founding Artistic Director, Carla Milarch, will be joined by Diane Hill and David Wolber who will both serve as Producing Artistic Directors. These experienced administrators will join the existing Theatre Nova team of Daniel C. Walker, Becky Fox, and Emilio Rodriguez in their quest to establish the group as a major theatre destination. The new, expanded team is excited to help lead the organization forward and is preparing for a number of new and exciting developments including announcing a "Supra-Season," establishing a season subscription program, continuing to improve the facility, and announcing special partnerships in the community. Theatre Nova is making a name for hot-off-the-press new works, with plays such as the new musical "Irrational" by David Wells and R. MacKenzie Lewis, and local playwright Kim Carney's poignant new work, "Katherine," along with "Mr. Joy" by Daniel Beaty, all recent critical and box office hits.
Says Founding Artistic Director Milarch, "I've been a fan of both Diane and David's work for many years, and couldn't be more excited about the experience and artistry that they bring to Theatre Nova. We've been collaborating as a leadership team for just a short while now and it already feels like we are moving to the next level organizationally. I'm very excited about what 2017 will bring for Theatre Nova and the Ann Arbor theater community, with all three of us at the helm."
Since moving into the space in January of 2015, Theatre Nova has made numerous upgrades to the space, turning the barn into a unique, 85-seat "micro-theatre" complete with prop/costume storage and shop, rehearsal hall, dressing rooms, lobby, comfortable raised seating, around a 3/4 "thrust" stage (with seating on three sides), and a new ADA compliant wheelchair ramp on the front of the building.
Theatre Nova is Michigan's only theater exclusively producing brand new plays. Its mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and new playwrights, and provide resources and outlets for playwrights to develop their craft, by importing, exporting, and developing new plays and playwrights. Its goal to create a sustainable theater for generations to come is built on the four cornerstones of accessibility, transparency, artist-leadership, and equality.
Diane Hill founded Two Muses Theatre, a nonprofit, professional theatre in West Bloomfield, where she served as Artistic/Executive Director for the last five years. There she performed in and directed many plays and musicals each year and did the work of technical director, publicist, Sound Designer, webmaster, and graphic designer for every production. Diane was also a professor at University of Detroit Mercy and Oakland Community College, where she originated and designed the Theatre degree program. She has a Ph.D. in Theatre from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in Theatre from the University of Michigan. She previously taught high school drama and music in the public school system (Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor) for 20 years. Diane has additionally produced and directed shows for professional theatre companies including Breathe Art Theatre Company in Detroit, Opus Mime in Ann Arbor, Jewish Ensemble Theatre in West Bloomfield, Tipping Point Theatre in Northville, and Heartlande Theatre Company in Detroit. Diane is an award-winning actor and member of Actors' Equity Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists and has performed at many professional theatres in southeast Michigan, including the Fisher Theatre, Meadow Brook Theatre, Masonic Temple, Michigan Opera Theatre, Gem Theatre, Purple Rose Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Encore Musical Theatre, Croswell Opera House, and Cherry County Playhouse. She was awarded a Wilde Award for her portrayal of Professor Vivian Bearing in Wit, a Rogue Critic's Award for her work as Mama in 'night, Mother, both with Breathe Art Theatre Project, and an Ann Arbor News Award for her work as Agnes in I Do! I Do! at Kerrytown Concert House. Diane also has performed leading roles in several independent films, television and radio commercials, and industrial films. She played Miss Caroline in the feature film, War Flowers with Christina Ricci and Tom Berenger, Pam in the feature film, She Lights Up Well with Tsai Chin (The Joy Luck Club) and was featured in Heartlock. Also a singer and voice teacher, Diane has served as a district and state-wide vocal adjudicator for Michigan School Vocal Association, and was Editor in Chief and monthly columnist for three years for VocalEase Magazine, a national publication for choral educators.
David Wolber is an actor and director and was the Artistic Director at Performance Network Theatre from 2007 to 2014. Favorite shows he directed include 2.5 Minute Ride by Lisa Kron, Katherine by Kim Carney (World Premiere), Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl, The Velocity of Autumn by Eric Coble, A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle, Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, I and You by Lauren Gunderson, Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, Dead Man's Shoes by Joseph Zettelmaier (Best New Script - Wilde Award 2012, and a co-production with Williamston Theatre) The War Since Eve by Kim Carney (Best New Script 2011- Wilde Award), The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, Necessary Targets by Eve Ensler, The White Rose by Lillian Garret-Groag and many more. David has performed and directed shows at Meadow Brook Theatre, Theatre Nova, Performance Network, Tipping Point Theatre, Matrix Theatre, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Williamston Theatre, Boarshead Theatre, Detroit Repertory Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland, as well as appeared in a handful of commercials and independent Michigan films. Favorite performances include Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ken Ludwig, Leaving Iowa by Tim Clue & Spike Manton (Best Comedy 2015 - Wilde Award,) Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo, Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg, The Home Team by Kim Carney (Favorite Male Performer-Comedy - Wilde Award,) and Three Days of Rain by Richard Greenberg (Best Actor - Ann Arbor News, Best Ensemble - Oakland Press,) among many others. David is an alumnus of Wayne State's theatre program, and is a member of Actors' Equity Association and Americans for the Arts, and has served on several committees for The Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County, the National New Play Network, the Cultural Alliance of Southeast Michigan, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. David is proud to be an Associate Producer on Detroit filmmaker Jasmine Rivera's short independent film American Prophet, and will be appearing in an adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 by Michael Gene Sullivan at Williamston Theatre in Mar/Apr and will be directing Dream Deferred: Detroit '67 at Matrix Theatre in June. Follow your path.
Carla Milarch is a former Artistic Director of Performance Network Theatre, whose passion for new plays led her to co-found Theatre Nova. As a Dramaturg and Director she has helped bring over twenty brand new plays to fully-staged productions, as well as hundreds to staged readings, including those at the Fireside New Play Festival, the NNPN National Showcase of New Plays, and the Kennedy Center's MFA playwright's showcase. Some awards include "Best Overall Season/Artistic Direction" from the Oakland Press, "Outstanding Contributions to an Ensemble" from The Detroit Free Press, "Most Valuable Performer" from the Oakland Press, and the Between the Lines "Angel" award for outstanding contributions to the LGBT community, as well as numerous awards for acting and direction. Carla started her career as an actress. By her early teens, Carla's love for the arts flourished and she was accepted to the world-famous Interlochen Arts Academy in the acting department. Attending high school with Jennifer Ehle, and later college with Parker Posey at State University of New York at Purchase, Carla studied alongside some of today's most talented actors. Carla's love and experience for both sides of the stage have taken her from producing theater at The Barn Theater in Port Sanilac Michigan, to co-founding a theater in Amarillo, TX with her Purchase classmates, to helping establish Performance Network as an artistic leader in Michigan, to producing theater in a barn again, this time in the middle of a world class city. She is a proud resident of Ann Arbor, where she lives with her husband Phil Powers and son, William Tyrone, a proud producer of regional theater, and a proud advocate of the American New Play.