Administrative Staff

Executive Director:
Erin Anderson Whiting

Erin Anderson Whiting holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she majored in Creative Writing and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Co-founder of Parallel 45 Theatre, Erin has enjoyed a 14-year career in nonprofit development, spending 6 years as Charitable Giving Specialist at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and 5 years as Charitable Gift Officer at Interlochen Center for the Arts before assuming her current role: directing philanthropy to Parallel 45 and managing its general operations. The author of Look About You: A Magical Childhood in Michigan’s Wild Places, Erin is also the co-owner of Mr. Music DJ & Event Services and a proud board member of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology.

Artistic Director:
Kit McKay

Kit McKay is proud to have spent the last seven years bringing professional artists from across the country and around the world to northern Michigan as the co-founder of Parallel 45 Theatre, creating immersive, cutting-edge theatrical experiences. At Parallel 45, she directed Our Town, Metamorphoses, A Christmas Carol in Prose, Shakespeare’s R&J, 30 Neo-futurist Plays from “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” (30 Plays in 60 Minutes), Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and A Streetcar Named Desire. Kit attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Sarah Lawrence College, and Northwestern University’s Master of Fine Arts directing program, where she had the good fortune to work closely with such artists as Anna D. Shapiro, Mary Zimmerman and Jessica Thebus at Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Upon her master’s graduation, she studied at the Yale School of Drama masters program in theatre management and worked as a Yale Fellow at Seattle Repertory Theatre. She is now a curator and producer for LUMBERYARD Contemporary Performing Arts, a New York City producing organization, where she helped herald the Incubator program, a late-stage technical residency for choreographers and performance artists. Her recent two stage productions at the Rose Theatre of Omaha have been nominated for 10 OEO awards, including Best Direction for Tarzan. She directed the Intermediate Repertory and/or Musical Productions at Interlochen Arts Camp for ten summers.

Communications Director:
Noah Durham Fried

Noah Durham Fried works as a graphic designer, web developer, and video editor for LUMBERYARD Contemporary Performing Arts, a New York City producing organization, where he has created designs and branding for dance icons including Jack Ferver, Yvonne Rainer, Susan Marshall, Doug Elkins, Jane Comfort, Brian Brooks Moving Company, and Joe Goode Performance Group, among others. His design work has been seen in The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, and Dance Magazine.

Finance & Operations Manager:
Susan Boyd

Susan Boyd is a Suttons Bay resident and career finance/operations professional. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Accounting, as well as an MBA, and has enjoyed the roles of Controller, Accountant, and CFO with several well-regarded for- and non-profit businesses in northern Michigan, including CMS Energy, United Waste, Great Lakes Environmental Center, and the Traverse Health Clinic & Coalition. Experienced in financial forecasting and project management, Susan embraces the challenges and opportunities of taking organizations to the next level through sound fiscal management and detailed analysis. She has also founded, and continues to operate, an animal-related non-profit organization, giving her insight into the unique challenges of early to mid-stage non-profits.

Company Manager:
Ben Whiting

Ben Whiting received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from Wake Forest University and is a graduate of the Chicago School at Steppenwolf Acting Conservatory. Parallel 45 credits include: The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol in Prose, Shakespeare’s R&J, The Shrew, The Complete Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), 30 Neo-Futurist Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (30 plays in 60 minutes), The Oz Project, and Cyrano. His Regional credits include: Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Steppenwolf Theatre); The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Victory Gardens); Much Ado About Nothing (First Folio Shakespeare Festival); Romeo and Juliet (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks); Woman in Black, Our Town (Twin City Stage); Robin Hood (The Rose Theater); American Gypsy, Awakening, Rubber Doves, Virtual Reality (MagicMouth Theatre); Hamlet, The Tempest (Interlochen Shakespeare Festival).

Production Staff

Production Manager:
Linda Osborn

Linda Osborn is a Michigan native and a founding member of Parallel 45. She is the Production Stage Manager for the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival and the Associate Director of the High School Repertory theatre program at Interlochen Arts Camp, where she is also an instructor of theatre. She is on staff at Leland Public School and directs the after-school drama program. Previously, Linda worked as a stage manager and production assistant at The Juilliard School and as a studio/props coordinator for the Emmy Award-winning Production Design Group. Linda earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University.

Resident Lighting Designer:
Brian Elston

Brian Elston is a freelance lighting designer and electrician based in Chicago, where he regularly works at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (assistant LD, Sense and Sensibility), Court Theatre, and the Goodman Theatre (assistant LD: Twist Your Dickens and Rapture, Blister, Burn). Brian holds a BFA in Design and Technology from Columbus State University and an MFA in Lighting Design from The Ohio State University. He has worked the past seven summers at Interlochen Center for the Arts, holding the positions of assistant technical director, electrician, master electrician and lighting designer.

Resident Projection Designer:
Brittany Powell Merenda

Brittany Powell Merenda is a freelance projection designer based in Traverse City, Michigan. She received her Masters of Arts in Digital Arts and Sciences from the University of Florida specializing in projection mapping on non-traditional surfaces and received a Barbizon Award for her projection design at the KCACTF for her work in dark play, or stories for boys. She has also presented her work at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in “Digital Media: A New Collaboration in Theatre” and “Projection Design: Video Mapping onto Non-Traditional Surfaces,” and has taught several master classes in Digital Media Design and Interactive Theatrical Control Technologies. As the resident projection designer for P45, Brittany has designed A Streetcar Named Desire, Medea, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Cyrano, The Oz Project, Shakespeare’s R&J and The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan. Other recent works include Mary Poppins with Old Town Playhouse, And Then They Came For Me with Louisville’s StageOne Theatre, A Streetcar Named Desire with the Cleveland Opera Theatre, Tosca with Opera Grand Rapids, Oklahoma! at the Wick Theatre, The Grocer’s Goblin,
The Little Mermaid
and A Wrinkle in Time for the Rose Theatre.

Resident Stage Manager:
Caleb Wimbrow

Caleb Wimbrow is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. After serving as set carpenter at Interlochen Center for the Arts for two years, he toured with The Unexpected Laboratory performing Surrounded across North America as an actor, writer, and vocal foley artist.

Board of Directors

Christal Frost Anderson
(Board President)

A northern Michigan native, Christal has enjoyed a dynamic career in broadcasting, including serving as producer for northern Michigan’s No. 1 morning talk show, The Ron Jolly Show, and now hosting her own 2-hour talk program 5 days a week–The Christal Frost Show–on WTCM-AM580. Christal is President and Founder of the CherryT Ball Drop, a New Year’s Eve community event that supports local human services charities. She is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Grand Traverse and has been named one of northern Michigan’s most influential people under the age of 40 for 2013, 2014, and 2015. Christal serves on the Athena Awards committee and is an advocate for child abuse survivors through her work with the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center. She is a proud board member of the National Cherry Festival and also chairs an outreach event to help at-risk teens through the festival.

Andrew S. Buchholz
(Board Director)

Now Senior Charitable Gift Officer at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Andrew also currently serves as the Governor-appointed Chair of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Once the Director of Public Policy at ArtServe Michigan, he spent the early part of his career working as a legislative assistant in the Michigan House of Representatives and later as Project Director for the Michigan House Civics Commission initiative. He sits on the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee.

Paula Jo Kemler
(Board Director)

Paula earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Classics from Miami University. In 1987, while living in Munich, Germany, she created the concept, and managed all aspects of, Munich’s first English-language periodical: Munich Found Verlag. Back in the States, Paula served as Print Coordinator for the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association, designing course catalog and print materials for this organization providing recreational opportunities for children and adults with physical and mental disabilities. After a move to the east coast, Paula served as Materials Librarian at Boston Architectural College where she transformed the architectural and interior design materials library. It was from this institution that she also received her certificate in Decorative Arts. For 4 years, she served as House Committee Chair of the College Club of Boston, and was a Council Member of the Lexington History Society for 7 years. For 5 years, she served as President of the Lexington Education Foundation. Now based full time in Traverse City, Paula is a professional organizer, founding Content Organized Interiors, LLC, where she has spent the past 8 years working with clients to make problem residential and office environments more efficient and comfortable. Paula is also President of the Green Brick Foundation, a private foundation assisting organizations that support and uplift others. She is a founding board member of Impact 100 Traverse City, and a founding board member of the Grand Traverse Cultural Center. She is an organizer of Born to Read, which provides reading opportunities to families in need and is sponsored by Traverse City Rotary Twilight. She serves as an Exhibition Committee member of the Glen Arbor Art Association. Paula has enjoyed a life-long interest in live theatre nurtured by her grandparents who operated the Summer Theatre School in Bloomfield Hills. She has enjoyed the innovative performances at Steppenwolf when she lived in Chicago in the ‘90s and at the Huntington Theatre during her stay in Boston.

Molly Kuras
(Board Director)

A native of Traverse City and a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Molly is an attorney in private practice, focusing on the business and real estate arena. She studied Great Books at the University of Notre Dame, graduating with honors in 2002, and earned her J.D. from Cornell Law in 2007.

Christopher M. Lamb
(Board Director)

Christopher is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Old Mission Investment and Trust Company. Christopher earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and management from Albion College. He joined Prudential Securities in 1993 as a Financial Advisor and, through a firm merger, transitioned to Wachovia Securities as a Vice President of Investments. In 2000, he received his Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation from the Investment Management Consultant’s Association following coursework and evaluation from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In October of 2010, Christopher received his Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers, demonstrating his competency in areas involving trust administration, and matters involving tax, probate and estate planning. He is a competitive sailor–both big boat and small–competing in numerous annual regattas and distance sailboat racing events, recently completing his 14th Chicago to Mackinac race. He loves to mountain bike in both the summer and the winter months. Christopher has been a musician since the age of 5, studying classical, jazz, and electronic keyboard. He is married to his wife Autumn, and they’ve lived in the Traverse City area since 1993.

Tracy Magoon
(Board Treasurer)

The owner of Social Butterfly Weddings and Events, Tracy also holds a full-time position with Grand Traverse County. Tracy is a passionate community volunteer, particularly with March of Dimes and breast cancer-related causes.

Diana Milock
(Board Director)

A life-long community leader, Diana currently sits on the boards of the National Writers Series and the Northwestern Michigan College Foundation. She is also active in supporting Child & Family Services of Northwest Michigan and serves as President of the Begonia Charitable Foundation.

Royce Ragland
(Board Director)

Royce Ragland’s career centered on management development and education in universities, state and federal governments, and private organizations. She has served on the boards of the Botanic Garden, Michigan Land Use Institute, Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, and FLOW. She sits on the Elk Rapids village planning commission, and is a founder and chair of Green Elk Rapids.

Meg Staley
(Board Director)

Meg graduated from Smith College in art and art history, then worked as a stock girl at Nordstrom, headquartered in Seattle. Four years later, she was a buyer with 28 people under her and she knew she didn’t want to work in corporate America. She made her way to New York in 1979 and started her own business, Soho Showroom, which represented small, avant-garde clothing designers. She collaborated with husband Jerry on a wearable art clothing line in 1986, featured in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and carried by Bergdorf’s and Bloomingdales. For 23 years, Staley/Gretzinger provided her family and their employees a platform to live and work creatively in the city. Eventually, they moved north along the Hudson to Cold Spring, NY and became deeply entwined in the fabric of a small creative community with many opportunities to build and serve. They bought a farm in Leelanau County in 1988 and began annual summer treks. Now they’re lucky enough to call Maple City their home, as of 2012. She makes one-of-a-kind clothing and home goods for a small audience out of her Cedar studio under the label Meg Staley Handmade. She was heavily involved with the lauded and beloved Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in numerous capacities during a period of great growth when her husband served as board chair, and her son is also an Equity actor living in NYC.

Erin Anderson Whiting
(ex officio)

Erin Anderson Whiting holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she majored in Creative Writing and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Co-founder of Parallel 45, Erin has enjoyed a 13-year career in nonprofit development, spending 6 years as Charitable Giving Specialist at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and 5 years as Charitable Gift Officer at Interlochen Center for the Arts before assuming her current role: working full time directing philanthropy to Parallel 45 and managing its general operations. The author of Look About You: A Magical Childhood in Michigan’s Wild Places, Erin is also the co-owner of Mr. Music DJ & Event Services and a proud board member of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology.