The Aurora Theatre Staff is a unique group of human beings. We often refer to our motley group as “The Island of Misfit Toys.” Although we are each enigmatic, together we manage to produce 300 events and entertain 50,000 patrons each season. So how do we do it? We dream big. We think fast. We work hard. We take blame. We share credit. We collaborate fully. And above all, we hold each other high.
“Out of the exhaustion of argument, what I call the third idea arises between us, the idea that serves the great god above us, which is Story.”—noted director, screenwriter and producer Baz Luhrmann
Anthony Rodriguez (Producing Artistic Director) has been with the Aurora Theatre since 1996, Aurora’s inaugural season. One year later, he was asked to serve as managing director. In March of 1999, he was named Producing Artistic Director and established Aurora Theatre, Inc. as a non-profit organization. Under his leadership, the theatre grew from 120 season subscribers to the 3,200 subscribers Aurora Theatre currently boasts. His success led to an ABBY Award nomination in 2002 for Arts Professional of the Year. Mr. Rodriguez’s greatest accomplishment to date was his successful negotiation to relocate Aurora Theatre to downtown Lawrenceville, Georgia where it serves as the cornerstone for their revitalization. This $7 million complex houses 2 theatres, rehearsal space and offices and opened in the spring of 2007. As an actor, his theatre credits include: Georgia Shakespeare, Theatre in the Square, Horizon Theatre, Actor’s Express, Center for Puppetry Arts, Chicago Light Opera Works, Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Theatre Company and a wide range of characters at Aurora Theatre. Mr. Rodriguez serves on the board of directors of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful. Mr. Rodriguez is a member of Screen Actor’s Guild, Duluth Rotary Club, and the Atlanta Coalition for Performing Arts. Mr. Rodriguez has held management positions with the Ritz-Carlton (Atlanta) and Millennium Events (Chicago). This blend of art, business, and customer service helps to ensure that each Aurora patron’s theatrical experience is a memorable one. Mr. Rodriguez is a graduate of Marist High School and the University of Georgia with a BFA in Theatre. He dedicates his work to the memory of his parents Lucy and Jose who always encouraged him to “do what you love.”
Ann-Carol Pence (Associate Producer) arranged the music for Aurora’s first Christmas Canteen in 1996, was hired full-time in September of 1998 as Resident Musical Director, and became Associate Producer in 2000. As a musician, she created Aurora’s Musicals by Moonlight, a summer concert series and Aurora’s New Musical Initiative. She has performed nationally (Goodspeed Opera House, Pasadena Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Kennedy Center) and locally at most professional venues. Career highlights include: Vocal Supervisor for Ellis Island Entertainment, producing in-house reviews for Holland America Cruise Lines, vocal direction for the gala celebrating Andrew Lloyd Webber’s honorary doctorate, assistance in music direction for Heartstrings: An Evening of Hope for the Healing of AIDS and music direction of several productions of Heartbeats (where she appears on the recording as well). As a proud citizen of Gwinnett, Ann-Carol is most proud of Aurora Theatre winning the first ever Pinnacle Award for Large Non-Profit. This goes well with her Suzi Bass Awards for Outstanding Music Direction for Clyde ’n Bonnie: A Folktale and A Catered Affair.
D.H. Malcolm, III (General Manager) joined Aurora Theatre part-time in 2007 as the bookkeeper and business manager for the new facility. Now in charge of day to day operations, D.H. manages the $1 million Aurora Theatre budget and creates community connections by spearheading development and providing the theatre with sound business advice. His background includes graduating from Marist School with Anthony, obtaining a BS from Duke University, and later an MBA from Georgia State University. D.H. has extensive management experience in both entrepreneurial and large businesses. In his other life, he is an avid golfer, a professional club fitter for Callaway Golf and a certified Impact Zone Associate Instructor. D.H. has two wonderful children, Katie and Cam.
Jaclyn Hofmann (Director of Education/Casting Director) has a BFA in Theatre Performance from Jacksonville University and an MFA in Acting from Michigan State University, where she taught undergraduate acting courses for three years. She’s taught locally for Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Aurora Academy, and Kennesaw State University. Jaclyn is currently an Adjunct Theatre Teacher at Georgia Gwinnett College. She is also a proud co-founding member of The Weird Sisters Theatre Project. Some local acting credits: All’s Well that Ends Well and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Altanta Shakespeare Company), Anton in Show Business (Weird Sisters), The Music Man (Fabrefaction) and Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom (Aurora). This season she’s excited to direct Aurora Learning Library’s Robin Hood and in the Studio “Master Harold”… and the Boys. Love and thanks to my family and Nick!
Al Stilo (Director of Sales & Marketing) is now in his eighth season at Aurora Theatre — Al is proud to be a part of the fastest growing theatre in the region. During his tenure, Aurora Theatre has nearly doubled the season ticket base, expanded to its new facility, received the 2009 Pinnacle Award for Large Non-Profit and was named Best Theatre Company in Atlanta in Creative Loafing’s 2010 Best of ATL. Al has received multiple professional distinctions for marketing from the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau. Al has been a professional actor for over 20 years, onstage at Aurora he has appeared in Kiss Me, Kate, Bach at Leipzig, Italian American Reconciliation, Guys & Dolls, Chicago, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Golden Boy. Al started his arts administration career with Soul‑stice Repertory Ensemble from 1995‑2001 before serving as Sales Manager for Georgia Shakespeare from 2000‑2004. Al is a true native son, having graduated from Avondale High School and Georgia Perimeter College. All my love to my wife Holly and son Dominic.
Britt Hultgren Ramroop (Production Manager) graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington with a BFA in Technical/Design Theatre. Prior to moving in to Atlanta in 2004 Ms. Hultgren worked with theatres in Olympia, WA, Washington DC, Northglenn, CO and Cheyenne, WY. Since relocating she has kept plenty busy working as technical director with Salem High School in Conyers, GA, Synchronicity Performance Group, and Stone Mountain Parks Entertainment Department. Ms. Hultgren’s resume also includes design and other technical credits from the Alliance Theatre, Shakespeare Tavern, Synchronicity Performance Group, and Horizon Theatre. Ms. Hultgren’s relationship began with Aurora Theatre in 2005 and continues to grow as she discovers all the challenges of a new job title. She looks forward to all this season has in store and would like to thank her husband Randy and son Zaid for all their support.
James M. Helms (Technical Director) has been the Technical Director for Aurora Theatre since the start of the 2009 season. In a previous short stint he was the TD for Damn Yankees in 2008. In the Atlanta area, James has worked for a variety of theatres and companies in one capacity or another, including Georgia Shakespeare (Assistant Technical Director/Shop Foreman), Center for Puppetry Arts (Carpenter), Actor’s Express (Carpenter/Electrician), the Alliance Theatre (Carpenter), and All About Props (Master Artisan). Regionally, James has served as the Technical Director for Peach State Summer Theatre (2006 & 2009) and Valdosta State University (2006) in Valdosta, GA, and as the Production Coordinator for Appalachian Light & Production in Tennessee (2005). Also a Lighting Designer, James has been the resident lighting designer for the GGC Lab Series at Aurora since its inception; recent credits include Storytelling Ability of a Boy, Circumference of a Squirrel (Suzi Award Lighting Design Nominee), Barrio Hollywood, A Christmas Carol (2009 & 2010); regional credits include: Flyin’ West, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Lighting Assistant) at the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, TN. James is a proud graduate of Valdosta State University, where he obtained his BFA in Theatre in 2005.
Rachel Hamilton (Director of Patron Relations) graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2009 with a degree in Theatre and Performance Studies She has been working as a theatre artist around Atlanta, most notably with Georgia Ensemble Theatre (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Forbidden Broadway) and Atlanta Lyric Theatre (Leader of the Pack, The Mikado, and Rent). Though she sometimes misses building sets, playing with power tools, and getting dirty, she could not ask for a better place to work, and loves meeting the 3,100 loyal subscribers and serving the 50,000 patrons that call Aurora Theatre home.
Mark Hesselgrave (Graphic Designer/Marketing Associate) hails from Los Angeles, but spent his teenage years in the Peach State. With theatre experience from UGA and an AA in Theatre from DeKalb College, Mark completed his BA in Art with a concentration in graphic design from California State University, Northridge. Employed for most of his career in Hollywood’s advertising and marketing industry, Mark worked his way up to Art Director designing movie posters and related marketing campaigns for major studios. After two decades in California, Mark returned to Georgia and is proud to be a part of the amazing cultural asset that is Aurora Theatre.
Daniel Terry (Assistant Technical Director/Sound & Video Associate) is proud to be a member of Aurora Theatre’s staff! Daniel has worked with several theaters around Atlanta including Theatrical Outfit, Out of Hand Theater, The Alliance and most recently as Assistant Technical Director at Georgia Ensemble Theatre for two seasons. As a Sound Designer, his most recent credits with Aurora Theatre include The Storytelling Ability of a Boy and Singin’ In The Rain, for which he received a Suzi Award nomination. Daniel is a proud graduate of Kennesaw State University earning a BA in Theater & Performance Studies, with a concentration in Design/Tech in the Spring of 2011.
Kathryn M. Pelkey (Resident Stage Manager/Educational Resources Associate) is delighted to return for her fifth season with Aurora. In addition to her work as Resident Stage Manager, Kathryn develops educational curriculum for teachers to use in conjunction with Aurora’s TYA offerings. New York credits as a teaching artist and stage manager include: New Plays for Young Audiences Play Development Series (2005-2012), study guide development for Second Stage Theatre, and public relations liaison for two New York Fringe Festival productions with joes & co. She received her BA in Educational Theatre from New York University with a minor in Dramatic Literature in 2008.
Heather Rose (Front of House Manager/Box Office Associate) is excited to be in her second season with Aurora Theatre. This time she is not only a part of the box office, but also managing the bar which Aurora now runs in house! Heather was raised in the military lifestyle, traveled and lived all over the world and came back to Georgia for college. She is a graduate of Piedmont College where she earned a BA in Theatre Arts. Outside of college she worked with such places as Highlands Playhouse and SNCA. She’s dabbled in Stage Managing (Kiss Me Kate), Directing (Chicks), Acting (You Can’t Take It With You) and Design (As You Like It), just to name some favorites. You also might have caught a glimpse of her as a core extra in the movie Wanderlust which was filmed in Clarkesville. Heather now lives in Lawrenceville with her husband Patrick and their puppy Riley. She looks forward to either helping you purchase some tickets or serving you a tasty drink this season!