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, 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.

Artistic Director:
Kit McKay

Kit McKay is proud to have spent the last six years bringing professional artists from across the country and around the world to northwest 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 and Sarah Lawrence College, as well as Northwestern University’s MFA 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 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 the American Dance Institute, a New York dance-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 10 summers.

Communications Director:
Noah Durham Fried

Noah Durham Fried works as a graphic designer, web developer, and video editor for the American Dance Institute, a New York dance-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. As an actor, Noah has been seen at Parallel 45 as Petruchio in The Shrew, Hook in The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan, and in Our Town, The Complete Wrks of WLLM SHKSPR, and Metamorphoses. He has been a part of the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival since its founding, playing many roles including Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Horatio in Hamlet, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and Sebastian in Twelfth Night. Noah has graced stages around the world including Russia’s Moscow Art Theatre, The New American Theatre, Romania’s Underground Theatre Festival, Omaha’s Rose Theatre, and as a company member with Chicago’s Trap Door Theatre. He is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and Northern Illinois University and has served on theatre faculty at Interlochen Arts Academy, as well as at Interlochen Arts Camp for nine years. Up next, will direct Parallel 45’s upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland.

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).

General Manager:
Jody Burns

Jody Burns was born and raised in Traverse City. Jody earned her BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University and a diploma from Interlochen Arts Academy.

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 Wilcox Frost
(Board Vice 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.

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.

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.

Katherine Dillingham Mazer
(Board Secretary )

A native of Oklahoma and a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Katherine holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from the Hartt School Conservatory and a Master of Arts in Drama Therapy from New York University. She has performed in a variety Off-Off Broadway productions in New York City, as well as with Boston’s Commonwealth Shakespeare Co. and the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival. She is a member of the summer theatre faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp and stars in the suspense-thriller Division, a feature film scheduled for release in 2016. She is a Registered Drama Therapist who has served, among others, children and mothers affected by domestic violence, adults with mental illness who are chemically addicted, and children in military families. She currently serves as Director of Rehabilitation Services at an acute care in-patient psychiatric facility in California’s Central Valley.

Kit McKay
(Board President)

Kit McKay is proud to have spent the last six years bringing professional artists from across the country and around the world to northwest 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 and Sarah Lawrence College, as well as Northwestern University’s MFA 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 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 the American Dance Institute, a New York dance-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 10 summers.

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.

Founding Members

Erin Anderson Whiting
Katherine Dillingham Mazer
Gary Gatzke
Sadie Grossman
Kit McKay
Linda Osborn
Justin Perez
Kristina Corcoran Williams