Metro Theater Company Ushers In Next Stage Of Growth With New Board Members, Associate Artists, And Staff

New board members include Julius B. Anthony, Kristin Guehlstorf, LaTonya Jackson, MBA, Jennifer Walton, PMP, and Pamela Washington, Ph.D.

By: Sep. 15, 2021

Metro Theater Company Ushers In Next Stage Of Growth With New Board Members, Associate Artists, And Staff

Metro Theater Company has named five distinguished professionals to its board of directors and four new staff to its existing team. The nationally recognized TYA (theater for young audiences) company, which reaches tens of thousands of St. Louis-area students and families each year, has also appointed two celebrated St. Louis theatre performers/directors as associate artists.

The recent additions reflect Metro Theater Company's continued growth as it approaches its 50th anniversary and launches its long-range goals, including reaching every child in St. Louis at least once by age 18 between the company's 50th and 60th season as part of Metro Theater Company's Every Child Initiative.

Metro Theater Company has elected new board members Julius B. Anthony, Kristin Guehlstorf, La Tonya Jackson, Jennifer Walton, and Dr. Pamela Washington. The company also adds four new staff: Corey Mingo as accounting manager, Jimmy Bernatowicz as production stage manager, Eleanor Marsh as school bookings and audience services manager, and Tawaine Noah as admin and operations associate.

Jamie McKittrick and Jacqueline Thompson, who have both directed and performed in MTC productions over the past decade, have been formally designated as associate artists. The new appointment acknowledges their significant artistic achievements and past contributions, supports ongoing advisory work to forward and nurture MTC's artistic vision, uplifts them as ambassadors for MTC, and provides additional opportunities for future projects.

"Metro Theater Company is growing!" said MTC Artistic Director Julia Flood. "As we all emerge into a world where live theater is possible again and as MTC approaches the celebration of 50 years of sharing stories with St. Louis families and young people, we are filled with excitement by the energy and enthusiasm that our new team members bring to the work."

"MTC is thrilled to incorporate the experience and perspective of these deeply talented, committed leaders across each level of the company," said MTC Managing Director Joe Gfaller. "These new board members and these new roles will help us continue to thoughtfully grow to best understand and serve our community, with continued responsible financial management and oversight. We are deeply grateful to welcome them all."

New Board Members

Julius B. Anthony
is the president of the St. Louis Regional Literacy Association and the St. Louis Black Authors of Children's Literature. He first came to be involved with MTC in 2020 as the moderator for a panel about representation in children's literature during the rolling world premiere of Ghost. He subsequently also served as a reader during MTC's virtual reading of A Christmas Carol. Over his two-decade career, he has served as a classroom teacher, the founding principal at City Academy, director of educational services at ARCHS, and adjunct professor at St. Louis Community College. In his two current professional non-profit leadership roles, he is committed to fostering awareness about early literacy by creating innovative opportunities for all young people to access Black children's literature. His Believe Project literacy labs are present throughout community centers, private schools, and public schools in the region. He currently serves on several boards, including the Riverview Gardens Education Foundation and the Howard University Alumni Club of St. Louis.

Kristin Guehlstorf
is a PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP healthcare risk assurance partner with more than 30 years of client service experience providing external and internal audit services, SOX, third-party assurance, and other attestation services, as well as a wide range of consulting services to help clients enhance their business and IT processes and controls. She has extensive experience serving healthcare clients as well as clients across other industries, such as higher education, retail and consumer, broker/dealer, and payment card processing. Kristin holds a B.S. in accounting from Marquette University and is a CPA, member of the IIA, ISACA, the AICPA, MOCPA, and AHIA. Kristin also serves on the SSM Cardinal Glennon Foundation Board of Governors (Advocacy, Finance and Development Committees), the Finance Council of St. Mary's, the American Heart Association Go Red for Heart ELT, and the United Way Women's Leadership Giving Initiative.

LaTonya Jackson, MBA
began her career in the nonprofit sector but moved into the banking industry in 2016 as a community development specialist first for Midwest Bank Center and, since 2019, for Bank of America. In her role, she works to help connect St. Louisans who are unbanked to banking resources, to support investment and development in the region's Promise Zone (in north St. Louis city and county), and to teach financial literacy. She is a lifelong St. Louis resident and earned her MBA from Fontbonne University.

Jennifer Walton, PMP
serves as the director of technology services for the Saint Louis Zoo. Jennifer oversees the planning, implementation and management of the Zoo's technology and audio-visual systems. She has always had a love for problem solving and learning. For more than 20 years, she has worked in various IT roles (helpdesk, networking, infrastructure, voice) and industries including insurance, healthcare, workforce development and the world-famous Saint Louis Zoo. Jennifer is a member of the Society of Information Management (SIM - St. Louis) and Project Management Institute of St. Louis and is a mentor for Boys Hope Girls Hope. She is a native of St. Louis, a graduate of University of Missouri-St. Louis, a lifelong learner, and an advocate for providing avenues to success through nontraditional pathways.

Pamela Washington, Ph.D.
is the gifted curriculum coordinator for the Webster Groves School District. As a parent in the Clayton School District, she experienced MTC's programs through her children at the Family Center, and as an administrator in Webster Groves School District, where she has championed MTC's programs in the district - working closely with MTC Education Director Karen Bain over the years. In her work, she studies identifying targeted populations of students that are gifted and served on the University of Missouri Commission examining diversity and Title IX programs for the system across the state. She serves on the board of We Stories and is a strong advocate for equity in education and social justice.

Associate Artists

Jamie McKittrick
has a long history with Metro Theater Company, ranging from starring in in MTC's production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show and Eric Coble's one-woman play The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus to directing MTC's virtual production of Idris Goodwin's Jacked! and Wonderland: Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure. She straddles the modes of theatre, dance, and performance art as performer, creator, choreographer, director, and teacher. Her credits are vast and long, with more MTC productions as well directing productions for Creative Inhabitor, UMSL, and Webster Conservatory of the Arts. Notable original work includes Sparkle-TA-DAAA!!! (Critic's Choice Award winner of the St. Louis Fringe Festival), SURVIVE! ("Best of the Year" - Philadelphia Weekly), Lady M (curated by LiveArts Fest), and national tours with Enchantment Theatre Company. Jamie is a Kevin Kline Award nominee. She's been on faculty at Muhlenberg College, UMSL, Lindenwood University, and Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre teaching directing, acting, movement, and storytelling.

Jacqueline Thompson
is an accomplished actor, director, and educator. As an assistant professor of theater at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she is passionate about providing students opportunities to explore their creativity and embrace their individuality. She recently directed MTC's production of Idris Goodwin's Ghost and Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 at COCA. She also directed MTC's Games Dad Didn't Play and performed in Afflicted: Daughters of Salem. As an actor she has a performed with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Black Rep, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Upstream Theater, Mustard Seed Theatre, and New Jewish Theatre. In March 2018, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recognized Jacqueline not only as one of St. Louis' most versatile performers, but also as one of six women shaping the arts and entertainment in St. Louis. She received a St. Louis Theater Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama as well as an artist fellowship from the Regional Arts Commission. In 2019, she received a Saint Louis Visionary Award. She was also selected by Theatre Communications Group (TCG) to participate in The Rising Leaders of Color program.

New Staff

Corey Mingo (Accounting Manager)
brings more than 20 years of experience as an accounting and financial analyst professional to Metro Theater Company. He previously worked for Bayer/Monsanto and Anheuser-Busch InBev. He also spends his time as a mentor to inner city youth through Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity's National Guide Right Program. Corey also serves as board member of Kappa League Scholarship Foundation.

Jimmy Bernatowicz (Production Stage Manager)
is a stage manager, director, and producer, who has worked with Metro Theater Company in various capacities before joining the staff full time. He has stage managed MTC's productions of Frida Libre, The Hundred Dresses, The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus, Jacked!, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, and Say Something, Do Something. He has also worked in other roles at MTC as house manager, props master, and audience outreach coordinator. Jimmy has stage managed with other institutions, including Equally Represented Arts, Prison Performing Arts, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, COCA, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is a graduate of Saint Louis University, holding a BA in theater and English.

Eleanor Marsh (School Bookings and Audience Services Manager)
has been an active participant in the St. Louis theater community from her first onstage appearance at the age of six weeks to her most recent performance in Hawthorne Players' 2019 production of Footloose. Prior to joining the MTC team in March 2021, she was the box office assistant for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and a field organizer for the Nicole Galloway campaign. A Florissant native, she relocated back to the St. Louis area after graduating from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida with a BA in creative writing and religious studies.

Tawaine Noah (Admin and Operations Associate)
comes to Metro Theater Company with a background in event management and the performing arts. He served as house and event manager at Left Bank Annex in Portland, Oregon for five years, and has also worked in various facets in the St. Louis theatre scene, including stage management, lighting tech, and sound tech with First Run Theatre as well as projects with New Line Theatre and Clayton Community Theatre. Away from the Metro Theater Company Tawaine stays busy as a talented singer, writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

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