Laguna Playhouse Appoints Michael G. Murphy as Director of Advancement and Karyn Philippsen as Community Relations Liaison

New hires join Laguna Playhouse to enhance organizational growth and community relations.

By: Nov. 28, 2023
Laguna Playhouse Appoints Michael G. Murphy as Director of Advancement and Karyn Philippsen as Community Relations Liaison
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Laguna Playhouse has revealed that Michael G. Murphy will assume the newly created position of Director of Advancement and Karyn Philippsen will be the Community Relations Liaison for the Playhouse, effective immediately.  The addition of these two positions is part of the new course being charted for the Playhouse by Artistic Director David Ellenstein and Managing Director Bill Kerlin, who were both appointed to their positions last spring. “We are so happy to have these two remarkable leaders in their fields bring their passion and expertise to the Laguna Playhouse. We look forward to collaborating with them on our many future plans, goals and initiatives we are implementing at the Playhouse, and feel so fortunate to have them as part of our team,” comments David Ellenstein and Bill Kerlin.


ABOUT Michael G. Murphy

Michael G. Murphy (Director of Advancement) was most recently President of Shea's Performing Arts Center in his hometown area of Buffalo, NY. He previously served as Managing Director of The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Prior to the Globe, he was the Managing Director of Austin Lyric Opera in Austin, Texas; Director of Administration of San Diego Opera; and General Manager of San Diego Repertory Theatre. Before relocating to San Diego from New York City, he held similar positions at Theatre for a New Audience and the Joyce Theater Foundation's American Theater Exchange. He also served as negotiating assistant for the League of Resident Theatres and sales representative for Columbia Artists Theatricals Corporation. Mr. Murphy is the immediate past president of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. He has served on various boards including the National Corporate Theatre Fund and Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, and as a Management Trustee for San Diego County Theatrical Trusts, the pension and welfare trust for IATSE stagehands in the San Diego region. He was also an adjunct faculty member of the Music Department at the University of San Diego. Mr. Murphy earned his B.F.A. degree in Stage Management from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and his M.F.A. in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


Karyn Philippsen (Community Relations Liaison) is a native Californian and long-time resident of Orange County. Karyn Philippsen's multi-faceted career encompasses over forty years' experience in the hospitality industry.  She was recognized by the Laguna Playhouse in 2019 when she received the “Legend Award” for dedication to the arts, and the Hospitality Industry “Visionary Award” in 2003 that resulted in major funding for the arts with the creation of the “Tourism Marketing District” (TMD) for Laguna Beach. As an influential and active community leader, she has served on several non-profit boards, and currently serves on the board of Laguna Beach Sister Cities, Friends of the Laguna Beach Library, and Visit Laguna Beach.  Karyn was part of the leadership Opening Team for the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Montage, Laguna Beach.  She continues to weave her hospitality and marketing experience with her devotion to all things Laguna Beach including being honored with “Citizen of the Year” in next year's Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade.


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