(if you’re looking for cast and crew bios visit the individual show pages)
Krista Schafer Ewbank, Founding Artistic Director
Krista earned her degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has additional training from Arden Theatre Company, SITI company, Fringe Benefits and Augusto Boal. Krista has performed on professional stages large and small across the country. Since returning to her home state of Michigan she has worked with AKT Theatre Project, The Abreact, Shakespeare in Detroit, Matrix Theatre Company, Drastic Theater Company, Broadway OnStage, KHOROS Inc., and the Gottlieb Music Festival. Krista also has over 20 years of experience directing, leading drama workshops and teaching theatre to all ages. She serves as the president of Open Book’s board of directors, and on the board of directors for Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival. She is the drama director at Grosse Ile High School. This season Krista will be directing Ada and the Engine, and will be on stage in both Wonder of the World and Fool for Love.
Harley Miah, Resident Lighting Designer
Harley is a professional in the entertainment technology industry. He is a freelance lighting programmer for a large number of nightclubs, concerts and festivals across the country, and the chief lighting designer for IKO Global Productions. He has designed the lights for all of the shows in Open Book’s first three seasons and earned a Wilde Award for Best Design – Lights for his work on Red in 2015. Harley has been involved in the technical design of the new performance space from the ground up. He is also the resident lighting designer for the AKT Theatre Project in Wyandotte, and Outvisible Theatre Company in Allen Park.
Danielle Gilbert, Stage Manager
Danielle fell in love with theatre while a part of the Redford Union Theatre Company in high school. After high school Danielle went to college at Specs Howard School of Media Arts for film production, and in the midst of deciding what to do after graduation, the pull of the stage guided her to Open Book Theatre Company, where she served as stage manager for Calypso’s Corner in the spring of 2016, and has worked with Open Book in some capacity for every show since.
Jillian Joie Dahl, Stage Manager
Jillian is a Detroit based stage manager, hailing from the East Coast where she received her BA in theatre from Susquehanna University and got her start with regional theatre. She began working with Open Book for our production of Emilie. Past select credits include – Apprentice Delaware Shakespeare Festival: Midsummer’s Night Dream (ASM); Apprentice at The Purple Rose Theatre: 2AZ (HM), Casting Session (RA); Apprentice at Tipping Point Theatre: The Odd Couple (ASM), Stella & Lou (ASM), Don’t Dress for Dinner (ASM), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (ASM); City Theatre: Hockey the Musical (ASM,) Open Book Theatre: Emile (SM), Time Stands Still (SM); Outvisible Theatre: The JRB Musical Festival (SM). You can follow her on twitter: @BrunetteHeadset
2018-2019 Season Directors
Krista Schafer Ewbank (director for Ada and the Engine) * see Artistic Director bio above
Wendy Katz Hiller (director for Doubt) is thrilled to be returning to Open Book Theatre after directing Time Stands Still last season, and performing in 3 shows. Wendy has been active in the southeast Michigan professional acting scene for over thirty years. With a BA in English from UCLA and acting training from New York’s National Shakespeare Conservatory, Wendy recently retired from teaching to pursue her love of theatre full time. In 2016 she won a Wilde Award for her performance as Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals with The Michigan Shakespeare Festival. She has recently directed for BoxFest Detroit and the New Playwrights Festival at Theatre Nova and assistant directed Camelot at The Encore Musical Theatre Company.
Sarah Hawkins (director for Wonder of the World), a native of Indiana, has been working as an actress, director, and educator across the country for the last ten years. Sarah received her MFA from Wayne State University and BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Previously at Open Book, Sarah directed Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight, receiving accolades for her “superb direction” (Detroit Free Press) which gave “flair and cohesiveness to Gunderson’s script which could very well lapse into disarray in less capable hands” (It’s All Theatre blog). Sarah has also directed at Outvisible Theatre, Warren Civic Theatre, Wabash Area Community Theatre, Wabash County Summer Youth Theatre, Wagon Wheel Theatre, Motor City Youth Theatre and Matrix Theatre Company, most recently winning the Tipping Point Theatre Sandbox Play Festival Directorship through BoxFest Detroit. As an actress, Sarah has performed with Tipping Point Theatre, Planet Ant, Matrix Theatre, and Open Book Theatre. Regionally, Sarah has worked with the Commonweal Theatre Company (Lanesboro, MN), CLIMB Theatre (St. Paul, MN), and Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede, CO). Sarah is a certified teacher in the Michael Chekhov technique and teaches theatre at Eastern Michigan University, University of Detroit-Mercy and Henry Ford College.
Adriane Galea (director of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) has been involved with the arts for almost the entirety of her life, having started playing the piano at age two. Adriane has been teaching for 20 years and in 2010 started Center Stage Studios, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing educational and professional opportunities within the performing arts and has two main components: 1) Arts Detroit, a performing arts studio which focuses on piano, voice, and theatre education, and 2) Outvisible Theatre Company, a small Equity theatre which operates in a 20-40 moveable black box space. Additionally, Adriane has performed and directed throughout the Detroit area. In addition to the arts, Adriane is an advocate for education in general and enjoys being active throughout the Detroit community. She serves as Co-Chairperson and Youth Board Adviser for An Amazing Woman Foundation, which promotes independence and confidence for young women and girls through the arts and is also a professional member of the American Guild of Music, for which she also sits on the Board of Directors and serves as Co-Contest Director and Student Council Adviser. Adriane holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Michigan and looks forward to continuing her education at the doctoral level in the near future.
D.B. Schroeder (director, Fool for Love) is the Education and Outreach Coordinator of the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts and the Lorenzo Cultural Center as well as the Producing Artistic Director of Puzzle Piece Theatre. His career in theatre spans more than 20 years working in both the educational and professional levels of theatre as an actor, director, and designer. A Michigan transplant, he served as the Artistic Director of the Chicago based Thunder and Lightning Ensemble from 2004-2008. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Missouri State University, and apprenticed at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. He has taught theatre for The Magic House and Characters and Co., both in St. Louis, MO. Favorite past directing credits include: R.U.R., The People’s Temple, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Macbeth, Henry V, and two productions of Ambition Facing West (Chicago premiere and Michigan premiere). Fool for Love marks his Open Book debut.
Open Book Theatre Company Board of Directors
Our volunteer board has a wide range of experience and is active in our community in many ways!
Krista Schafer Ewbank, President
• Bachelor of Science in Theatre, Northwestern University
• Additional training with Arden Continuing Training (Philadelphia, PA) and in Los Angeles with the NYC-based SITI Company
• 20+ years of professional acting experience
• 2004 Best Supporting Actress Empty Award (Bakersfield, CA), 2006 Best Ensemble Ambie Award (New Orleans, LA), 2008-2009 Leading Actress Award Playmakers Theater (Covington, LA), 2018 Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Play Wilde Award (for Emilie, Open Book Theatre)
• Drama Director, Grosse Ile High School, Fall 2016 – present
• Pageant Director, Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival
• 20+ years of theatre directing and teaching experience with various community and arts programs
• Additional experience working with children as a preschool teacher with Hosanna Lutheran Preschool, Mandeville, LA; Director of youth and family ministry at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Grosse Ile, MI; and many other volunteer positions in schools and churches
• Current board member, Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival
• Past board member of Bear Creek Camp, Wilkes Barre, PA
• Past board member and Vice President, The Downriver Council for the Arts
Madeleine GB Jones, Vice President
• Bachelor of Science, Wayne State University
• Masters Degree in Education, Wayne State University
• Fulbright-Hays, MSU, Nepal
• Southgate Community Schools, MI Teacher, (K-8) 34 years (Science Department Head, Shelters Elementary, Gerisch Middle School)
• Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, St. Helena Island, Straits of Mackinac, MI (Summer Educational Director and Curriculum Head, 12 years ; Treasurer, 3 years)
• EarthWorks and Exchange City, Taylor, MI (Habitat Manager, City Facilitator 8 years)
• Tutor at Harms Elementary School, Detroit, MI (2 years)
• Committee, WCCC Taylor, MI 2 years
• Episcopal Church Women, St. James Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile, MI (President 3 years, Treasurer 5 years, Greens Market Chairwoman 3 years)
• CoSenior Warden , St. James Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile, MI (2 years)
• Choir and Bell Choir , St. James Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile, MI (34 years)
• Grosse Ile Interfaith Council (Boar’s Head Festival, choir and bell ringing 10 productions)
• Singer with Dr. J. Parker Grosse Ile Chorale
• Singer with Detroit Community Chorus
• Board Secretary , Grosse Ile Garden Club (2 years)
• Board Member, Grosse Ile Book Club (3 years)
• Season Patron , Wayne State University’s Graduate Hilberry Theater, Detroit, MI (44 years)
William Jasman, Secretary
• Biographical information to come!
Erin Shelton, Treasurer
• Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, University of Michigan
• 10 years non-profit experience, including start-up
• Wrote many successful grants, both private foundations and public
• Developed educational programming for special needs children
• Current board member, Trenton Business Association
• Former Church Council member and Secretary, St. Thomas Lutheran Church
• Former Call Committee member, St. Thomas Lutheran Church
• Current Financial Advisor, Key Concerns, Inc.
Diana Mente, Member At Large
• Retired Laboratory Technologist
• BA Biology, SUNY Geneseo
• Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital Star of Excellence awardee
• Served on Service Excellence Leadership Development team at HFWH
• American Association of University Women, Wyandotte-Downriver branch. Current member, has served as Co-president, senior advisor, newsletter editor, book sale co-chair, publicity, national convention delegate
• Childbirth Preparation Association. Past President, teacher trainer, Lamaze instructor.
• American Cancer Society. Reach-to-Recovery volunteer and trainer
• Artemis Studio Photography. Wyandotte business owner and photographer
• Woodhaven Glens Condo Association. Board member 2010 – 2017.
• Downriver Cycling Club. Current member, past Pres., VP, newsletter editor positions. Chaired Metro Grand Spring Tour event involving 1000+ cyclists on 100 miles of road for several years • Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church – Deacon, choir member
• Certified Master Gardener, Wayne County
• Member Thunderbird Ski Club
• Member Grosse le Racquet Club and Monroe YMCA
• Member Michigan Theatre
Brett Chittum, Member at Large
- Bachelor of Science, Business Management, Western Governors University – Washington
- Former Youth Disaster Action team member, American Red Cross, Whittier, CA
- Former First Responder, Seattle, WA & Los Angeles, CA
- Former Youth & Worship Pastor, Mountlake Terrace COC, MLT, WA
- Former Board Member, Northlake Little League, WA
- Former Board Member, Little League International Washington District 8
- Former Community Committee Member, City of Lake Forest Park, WA
- Former Insurance Agency Owner, Chittum Insurance Agency, Washington
- Current Ambassador, Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Current Baseball Coach, Grosse Ile High School
- Current Board Trustee, Grosse Ile Music Boosters
- Current Board Member, Taylor Kiwanis
- Current Business Consultant, Chittum Consulting
- Current Voice Over Actor, Chit Chat Voice Overs
- Current Notary Public, Michigan
Our by-laws state that our board must be comprised of four to eleven members. We are looking to grow our board by adding individuals dedicated to working towards our mission. Board members are not paid, but serve as volunteers for the organization. Terms are for one year, but there are no term limits. The board is responsible for ensuring that the activities of Open Book support our mission and meet its legal and financial goals and obligations.