About the Staff
In Memoriam - Robert J. Farley Artistic Director
Robert Farley - as the co-founder of the Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory, Bob was the Artistic Director since its inception in 1992. He has been a vital part of the Atlanta theatre scene for a quarter century, beginning in the late 80s as Artistic Director of the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center. While at the Alliance, he directed the area premiere of Driving Miss Daisy which went on to become the biggest hit in the history of theatre in the Southeast. He has directed many shows here at GET including recent productions of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Inherit the Wind, Arsenic and Old Lace, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and Ring of Fire, the Johnny Cash Musical Show. In recent years his work has been seen elsewhere including the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, and here in Atlanta at Theatrical Outfit, and Theatre in The Square. He directed John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath for Gainesville Theatre Alliance, and a revival of Driving Miss Daisy in Hilton Head, South Carolina last spring. He has had the humble good fortune to be the recipient of several awards and honors in recent years. These include a Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions to the American Theatre from the Pasadena Playhouse (the State Theatre of California), and, with co-founder Anita Allen-Farley, Public Broadcasting Atlanta’s Lexus Leaders of the Arts, and the Leitalift Foundation’s Visionary Leaders Award. In September, 2011, Bob was honored as a significant Arts Leader for his body of work in the metropolitan Atlanta community by Kennesaw State University with the 2011 Flourish Award. He passed away November 30, 2017.
Anita Allen-Farley Producing Artistic Director
Anita Allen-Farley, co-founder of Georgia Ensemble Theatre, has held the position of Managing Director for 25 seasons and now takes the role of Producing Artistic Director. She studied theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, where she met co-founder and partner Bob Farley. As Managing Director, she has produced over 150 shows over the past 25 seasons. By far, her most ambitious production and the one she is proudest of are two beautiful, talented and gracious daughters, Laurel and Heather, who have blossomed into strong and capable women in their own right. She has served on the Atlanta Arts and Business Council, Atlanta Arts Think Tank, the Board of the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts, is a member of the Cottage School Advisory Committee, was District Chair of ALL-GA, a graduate of the MAACC Arts Leadership Program and is a member of the Johns Hopkins Listening Post Project. She is a proud member of the Roswell Leadership Exchange, and serves on both the vision and project committee.
James Donadio Associate Artistic Director
James Donadio is the new associate artistic director here at GET, but audiences will know of him as an actor and director in many shows since he was a member of the original core company in the inaugural 1992 season. His professional background includes working at theatres all over the country, including the Oregon, Colorado, and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals, the Asolo State Theatre, and here in Atlanta at the Alliance Theatre and every professional theatre in the area. While being a principal actor and director for Alabama Shakespeare Festival, James created the Master of Fine Arts/professional actor training program for the University of Alabama in residence at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He has also had artist in residencies at a number of colleges and universities including Tulane, University of Wisconsin, and San Francisco State University among others.
Laurel Crowe Education Director
Laurel Crowe has the distinct pleasure of being the very first student in the Conservatory back in 1992, and celebrates her 10th season this year since joining the Education Department in the 2009-2010 season! Laurel holds a B.A. in Speech and Theatre Arts from the University of West Georgia. She has worked in the Conservatory in every position including Director of the Performance Camp productions Seussical the Musical, Peter Pan, Willy Wonka Junior, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. and most recently, Mary Poppins Jr . Laurel appeared as “Mrs. Little” in the 2008 Theatre for Youth production of Stuart Little, and has directed the Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) productions of Ramona Quimby, James and the Giant Peach , Junie B. Jones the Musical, The Giver, and The Jungle Book. In our 26th season, Laurel will embark on the thrilling tale, A Wrinkle in Time and will bring the S.T.E.A.M. TEAM back for another adventure. Her greatest honor in season 26 (The Stories We Tell), will be to direct Driving Miss Daisy on our main stage, taking the helm of a ship that her father steered for so long.
Zoe Helke-Pierce Box Office Manager
Zoe Helke-Pierce wasn’t “born in a trunk in the Princess Theatre” – but close. She comes from a professional theatre family and has experience in every facet of production, performance, management, sales and fundraising. She is a graduate of Columbus State University with a B.A. in Theatre and studied at the Springer Theatre Academy at the State Theatre of Georgia for thirteen years. Zoe served as a development and box office associate at the Springer Opera House and as a box office sales associate at the Fox Theatre. Her passion is building audiences at GET and enhancing the theatre experience for our patrons.
Mary Saville Marketing & Development Associate
Mary Saville earned her Master’s degree in Theatre Education from Emerson College (Boston). She has appeared on stage at GET (in Ramona Quimby) and has taught in the Conservatory since 2008, and is now in her fourth season as a full-time member of the Resources Department. Mary has taught theater in high schools and extra-curricular programs for over 15 years. She has also worked as an actor and director with companies such as Synchronicity, the Shakespeare Tavern, Stage Door Players, and many others in both Boston and Atlanta.
Taryn Spires Education Associate
Taryn Spires is the Education Associate of Georgia Ensemble theatre and is a graduate of Oglethorpe University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Japanese. She works in conjunction with the education department to develop arts based programming for local and global students. Taryn has been involved with multiple facets of the theatre community – from being the Leitalift Intern where she focused on production management, an Atlanta teaching artist, to a performer – she is always involved in new and exciting projects. She is beyond thrilled to be a part of the Georgia Ensemble Theatre family and is so proud to be joining their mission.
Michael Van Osch Marketing & Development Director
Michael Van Osch is a veteran of both the arts and corporate marketing worlds having worked in the U.S., Canada and Europe on many brands over the last 20 years. He holds and MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. Also an actor, he has been seen in commercials, One Life To Live, independent movies, and onstage in many Atlanta productions. Most notably, Michael toured the hit Broadway one-man show, Defending the Caveman, throughout North America for over 4 years.
Michael Vine Education Manager
Michael Vine is a proud alumnus of the University of Alabama, where he earned a BA in Communication while double-majoring in Public Relations and Theatre. He then spent a few wonderful years in Abingdon, VA, where he appeared in more than 20 productions at the Tony award-winning Barter Theatre. Since moving to Atlanta, Michael has enjoyed working with The Shakespeare Tavern, Marietta's New Theatre in the Square, Shakespeare on Draught, and the Alliance Theatre. Michael is THRILLED to join the team at Georgia Ensemble Theatre and serve students and audiences throughout Georgia. In his spare time you can find Michael cheering for his Alabama Crimson Tide, playing golf, and asking if he can pet your dog.
Tim Whitson Business Manager
Tim Whitson is a theatre professional whose work has spanned the last 10 years across 4 continents. He has been married for four years and counting and loves a good cup of coffee. After graduating from North Greenville University in South Carolina he began an apprenticeship with Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville, which launched his theatre career in the Atlanta area. Once he was finished with his apprenticeship he worked for 6 months in the area and was then offered the opportunity to co-create and direct a production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on the Logos Hope, a ship sailing around the world. Following 15 months of traveling with the Logos Hope he returned with his wife to Atlanta, where he still resides. His work has been seen at The Center for Puppetry Arts, Stone Mountain, the Aurora Theatre, across the world on the Logos Hope, and currently he can be found at Georgia Ensemble Theatre as their Business Manager and occasionally around town as an actor and storyteller.