Paper Mill Playhouse Appoints New Senior Staff Members

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Artistic Director, Mark W. Jones-Executive Director) is proud to announce the appointment of several senior staff members to the Millburn Theatre.  Alora Chirchick of Short Hills has been hired to fill the Director of Marketing position.  Lisa E. Cooney of Woodbridge has been promoted to Director of Education. Shayne Austin Miller of Millburn has been promoted to Director of Press and Public Relations.  David Topchik of Montclair has been hired as Director of Finance and Administration.

Alora Chirchick (Director of Marketing), a resident of Short Hills, New Jersey,  comes to Paper Mill Playhouse with two decades of marketing experience.  From 1996 to 2006 Alora worked for Grey Worldwide in New York City, for the last five years as a Senior Vice President and previously as a Group Management Supervisor and Management Supervisor.  Among her accounts were Procter & Gamble's Nice 'n Easy, Febreeze, Mr. Clean, Joy, Jif and Sure,  E&J Gallo Winery, and Dannon Natural Spring Water.  She began her career in 1986 at Backer, Spielvogel, Bates and also worked at Lintas and TBWA/Chiat Day.   A native of New York City, she received her BA in English from Tulane University, where she also pursued her interest in theatre.  Ms Chirchick comments, "I'm ready to make the move out of the traditional marketing route and follow my passions. As the daughter of a playwright, my love for live theatre was instilled early on and as a township resident I have a vested interest in seeing Paper Mill succeed."

Lisa E. Cooney (Director of Education) has served the Paper Mill Playhouse Education and Outreach department since 1998 as the coordinator of the nationally acclaimed Rising Star Awards program.  Ms. Cooney assisted in managing several of Paper Mill's education programs including The Theatre School at Paper Mill and the competitive Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory.  Ms. Cooney has a long history in the New Jersey arts-in-education community and has run many successful programs for a variety of arts education providers in the state.  From 1989-1993 Ms. Cooney was the Director of the NJ Summer Arts Institute at Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts.  This intensive, five week, inter-arts residency program was sponsored by the Institute for Arts & Humanities Education, an organization for which Ms. Cooney served as a Board Trustee for 10 years until their recent 2007 merger with Young Audiences of NJ.  In 1993, Ms. Cooney was the Production Coordinator for Newark Symphony Hall where she managed several school residency programs and booked and produced their Community Arts Series, making the Hall's facilities available to Newark community-based organizations for a greatly reduced fee.  Lisa also worked for several years as an event planner for the arts advocacy group ArtPride NJ, as well as NJ ArtsMART, an independent showcase of NJ children's theatre presenters. Ms. Cooney graduated from Rutgers University in 1989.

Shayne Austin Miller (Director of Press and Public Relations) was hired as Paper Mill's Press Manager in December 2005.  As Press Manager, Mr. Miller was charged with managing press and public relations for the theatre. For the past several years Mr. Miller has increased Paper Mill's media contacts and visibility through feature stories, critical reviews and public relations events. Previous to his employment at Paper Mill Playhouse he served as Press Secretary for a successful congressional race in Seattle, Washington.  In 1999, Mr. Miller was hired as the first staff publicist for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark.  Mr. Miller also served as Director of Recruitment for Consumer Product Testing Company in Fairfield, New Jersey and as Director of Public Affairs for E-Source Corporation in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey. Mr. Miller has performed and directed throughout the state including productions at the Cranford Dramatic Club, Theater Under the Stars, and Kean University. Mr. Miller currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Millburn Downtown Development Alliance. Mr. Miller has a Theatre Degree from Kean University where he was founding president of Alpha Psi Omega, Kean's Chapter of the National Theatre Honor Society.

David Topchik (Director of Finance and Administration) brings many years of arts administration experience to Paper Mill. Prior to joining Paper Mill Playhouse, David was the General Manager at TheatreworksUSA for nine years.  He also served as General Manager for the Atlantic Theater Company (founded by playwright David Mamet and William H. Macy) and as the Director of Finance and Administration for The Performing Arts Center at Purchase.  A graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, he also received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School at Penn and then spent 10 years managing an insurance brokerage firm.  A major career change then landed him in his first full-time theater job in the business office of Playwrights Horizons.  His non-business pursuits include co-writing the book and lyrics for The Game, a musical based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The Game was a finalist in the Dramatist Guild New Musicals Competition and was recently produced at Barrington Stage Company starring Sara Ramirez (Grey's Anatomy).

Paper Mill's season continues with the enduring comedy Steel Magnolias (March 5-April 6), the classic Cole Porter Masterpiece Kiss Me, Kate (April 16-May 18) and the  musical Little Shop of Horrors (June 4-July 6). Visit Paper Mill's website for a complete list of programming at

Paper Mill Playhouse, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theatres and is supported in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to contributions from many corporations, foundations, and individuals.  Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.                                                             

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