Meet Our Staff
Chief Executive Officer
Margaret joined The National Theatre for Children over 20 years ago, after many years of working in the graphic arts industry. As the owner and CEO of NTC, Margaret oversees the company’s employee benefits plan, accounts receivable and payable, the company payroll and monthly financial statements, as well as general office management. Margaret is extremely proud of the work NTC accomplishes on a daily basis and is thrilled to have made a difference in the lives of so many students and families over the past 40 years.
In 1978, Ward founded NTC to deliver entertaining and engaging programs that motivate families, students and educators. For over 40 years, organization have used NTC’s engagement strategies and tactics to enhance their reputations and visibility in the communities they serve. Ward has worked with clients in the energy, financial services, health, technology, environment, recycling and consumer products industries, among others, and has produced a nationally broadcast TV series for tweens and teens called M@dAbout. As NTC’s founder, Ward now spends his days pursuing and running new opportunities, like the Livestream Learning Studio.
In 1998, Patrick started his career at NTC by educating and performing for children all across the country. During this experience, he quickly realized and saw firsthand the important impact that NTC’s programs have in in the lives of students and their families. This unique opportunity to make a difference in the world is why so many organizations have hired NTC over the past 40 years and it’s what keeps Pat energized and excited to come to work every day. Mr. Rowan comes from a long line of educators and has helped NTC to grow and evolve. Over the years, Pat has been responsible for all the operational aspects in producing educational programs, school assemblies, special live events, livestream events, video productions, digital activities, social media, educational curriculum, print materials, distribution and product development. He works constantly with executive management to run the business, as well as manage an immensely talented staff filled with knowledgeable, aware, creative, stimulating, fun, caring personalities, who have helped to build NTC into the largest educational touring theatre company in the country. Pat is passionate about the work we do here at NTC and leads the company from a pragmatic point of view, with clear intentions, communication, humility, collaboration, consideration, common sense, creativity and comradery. As NTC’s president, Patrick Rowan oversees all departments by keeping a finger on the pulse of the day-to-day operations and overall management of the organization. Pat is happily married to his wife, Jennifer, a High School teacher, and a proud parent of identical twin daughters and a son.
Chief Marketing Officer
Becoming a full-time part of the NTC team in August 2009, Eddie has a unique perspective on NTC’s operations. A Marketing & Communications major and graduate from the University of St. Thomas, he analyzed the NTC business model and practices. Now as the Director of Marketing, Eddie is responsible for managing NTC’s business development and content marketing areas and is tasked with creating relationships with corporate, governmental and non-profit sponsors who want to partner with NTC to actively engage students, teachers and families on important societal issues through the school channel. Prior to this role, Eddie has spent time executing projects in numerous areas of NTC ranging from Client Services, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service departments. http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/32228
Client Services Manager
Marvin joined the NTC team in August, 2021. Marvin’s career prior to NTC was in the Travel Industry, having held positions in the areas of sales, training, client relations management and technology solutions consulting. Marvin is excited with the opportunity to parlay his career experiences into a positive and success focused career with NTC.
A little about Marvin who is originally from Tampa, FL and discovered the Twin Cities by way of attending and graduating from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Finance. Marvin’s leisure time includes traveling, cooking & dining out, sports- watching and playing, listening to, primarily, jazz, r&b, reggae and classic rock music and volunteering within the communities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Bill Turner began working for NTC in 1995 as an actor. He was instrumental in developing characters for such shows asWhere in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and 2Smart 2Smoke. As an artistic associate, Bill began directing and building shows. As Technical Director, Bill managed set design and construction, prop design, costume development, and production budgets. He also served as Technical Producer forShakespeare in the Park. Bill also served as Director of Production, and General Manager of The National Theatre for Children. Bill currently manages the technical infrastructure at NTC.
Director of Sales and Marketing
Nikki Swoboda is thrilled to be joining NTC as Director of Sales and Marketing. A career arts administrator and education advocate, Nikki connects the dots across NTC departments to ensure a streamlined, communicative, and fulfilling experience for NTC’s clients and students – so that as many students get to have theatre in their lives as possible. She is tasked with managing business development and content marketing, acting as a liaison between NTC and various stakeholders, and supporting school communications through Marketing and other initiatives. Nikki serves on the Strategic Planning Committee of NTC as well and greatly believes in the power of arts integration.
Prior to NTC, Nikki has served as Education Director at Stages Theatre Director, Program Director at West Coast Dance Explosion, Professor of Theatre at St. Kate’s and director to a whole bunch of original musicals at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and beyond. She proudly holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts and is published in the subjects of diversity and innovation in arts classrooms, best practices for working with youth, and body politics in movement. Her best gig of all time, however, is being on Team Theisen, where she gets to be Ben’s partner, and mom to Lynnea and Van.
Director of Video Production
As the Director of Video Production, Frank oversees the production of NTC’s educational video content. He is also the Creative Director for Livestream Learning Studio, an educational livestream subscription service that delivers virtual events to schools across the United States. Frank has worked with NTC for over twenty years, touring as an actor; writing for the educational TV series M@dAbout; and hosting KiDSNEWS, an educational news and current events program, produced by NTC. As a current member of the Creative Services team, Frank creatively sticks his nose in as many NTC projects as possible. Prior to his work with NTC, Frank worked extensively with the Walt Disney Company in California, writing and directing stage productions for their theme parks and teaching improvisation through Disney Performing Arts, a program that focused on teaching creative arts-related skills to students in grades K-12.
Director of Creative Services
John Trones joined NTC in 2008 as a part-time employee in what was then known as the School Marketing Department, and later transitioned to a full-time tour coordinator in 2009. In 2011 Trones stepped into the role of the Director of School Communications where he coordinated the scheduling and communications efforts for thousands of schools and dozens of clients every school year. In 2017, John made the move to Director of Production where he oversees all aspects of Production for NTC. An avid musician and actor, Trones enjoys performing at a variety of venues when not at NTC.
Director, School Communications
Derek Meyer began his career at NTC as an actor in 2008 and performed in over 25 different shows, touring to schools across the country, through 2014. Since then, Derek has been focused on making sure that every school NTC performs for gets the same great experience. He is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay with a degree in Theatre. When Derek isn’t at NTC, he can probably be found riding his bicycle, performing in a show, or baking something tasty.
Phone:18008583999 ext. 216
Office Management Coordinator
Jenny came to NTC with years of experience in Business Administration, Office Management, and Accounting. She started at NTC as a sales caller, help the title of Marketing Coordinator and has moved on to Office Management. As the Office Management Coordinator, she is the gate keeper of our client database. She manages NTC’s Salesforce prospect marketing, manages conference events and helps maintain budgets. She assists with coordinating NTC’s Pardot Software, MPI Data, and Conversica System. She supports Client Services and our Accounts Payable/Receivable Department. Jenny is in charge of ordering all NTC office supplies and equipment. She also manages landlord maintenance and deals with vendors for office related supplies and services. In general – she helps out where ever needed. Jenny lives in Minneapolis with her family. She enjoys photography, spending endless hours with her two crazy kids, and is always up for whatever adventures that may come her way.
Sales and Marketing Content Manager
Jeannine Coulombe joined NTC in 2022 as the Sales and Marketing Content Manager. Prior to coming to NTC, Jeannine was the Manager of New Plays and Conservatory Director at Stages Theatre Company for 14 years. She developed over 25 stage adaptations of children’s literature with playwrights and composers hailing from around the country. As a teaching artist Jeannine taught students ages 3-18 for 25 years in schools and classrooms throughout Minnesota. As a theatre professional she has worn many hats and co-founded two professional theatre companies in the Twin Cities. She has worked as a professional playwright, director, dramaturg and producer. As a creative writer Jeannine has written plays for both youth and adult audiences and currently finished her first novel. As a professional writer Jeannine has written grants, blogs, digital and print marketing copy, website content, and hundreds of teacher resources guides. At NTC she is thrilled to bring her theatre, teaching, writing and marketing background together into one job. Jeannine grew up in Northern Minnesota within shouting distance of Canada. She lives in St. Paul with her husband and two daughters and enjoys hiking, reading and traveling to places she has not yet experienced.
Jon serves as Artistic Director at The National Theatre for Children. He began working with NTC in 1992 as a freelance performer, writer and director. He became an Artistic Associate in 1998 and Creative Director in 2004. He has written dozens of programs for NTC and was head writer on the nationally syndicated sketch comedy program, M@dAbout. During his free time, Jon writes and performs with various theatres in the Twin Cities. He has performed with Gaydar Productions, Outward Spiral and the Minneapolis-based comedy troupe HOT DISH and he co-founded 8 Ball Productions with John Trones. Jon is also an author, having published a five book series entitled We Are Heroes which explores how kids can volunteer and contribute to their communities.
L.A. Operations Director
Born and raised in the Midwest, Phil has lived in Los Angeles since 1983. He was a touring actor with NTC in the early 90s and at one time held the record for the most NTC performances. These days, when he’s not casting and directing NTC tours for the Southwestern U.S., he can be found performing with the improv group ComedySportz Los Angeles, where he is the Managing Director. He is a longtime ensemble member at Theatre of Note in Hollywood, where he has served as an actor, director, writer, composer and musician. He has also written and directed plays for the Repertory Theater of America in Baltimore.
You can also see Phil in a handful of independent films, including Robert Altman’s STREAMERS, and hear him on a handful of albums, including his live CD “Easily Amused,” featured on the Dr. Demento radio show.
Evan started his career at NTC as a touring actor in 2014, completing seven tours over a three-year period before moving to the Twin Cities to fulfill the role of Production Writer and Coordinator and has since transitioned to Casting & Company Manager. Prior to working full time for NTC, Evan worked for various companies and theatres across the Midwest and Eastern United States as an actor having done over 1,200 performances in 21 different states. Evan is a native of Lafayette, Indiana and a graduate of Purdue University where he studied Mass Communications and Acting. Outside of the theatre world, Evan enjoys watching sports, playing card games, doing crossword puzzles and a strong cup of black coffee.
Director, Digital & Video
Morgan joined NTC’s Production Department in 2015, as the Digital Manager. It’s her job to create and manage NTC’s web and multi-media materials. Besides her work at NTC, Morgan is a freelance videographer and an experimental cook/baker.
Matt Levine started with NTC as a School Communications Representative in November 2016, and soon after made the move to Client Services. Working with corporate, government, and non-profit clients, he helps facilitate partnerships that bring educational opportunities to schools throughout the country while enhancing clients’ visibility in their communities. Outside of NTC, he is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance editor, and avid movie-watcher.
Data Manager, School Communications
Phoua joined the NTC team in May, 2021. As the Data Manager she is responsible for cleaning, organizing, and maintaining data. Phoua graduated from Metropolitan State University with her degree in Management Information Systems. On her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her two dogs.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Seth Campbell began his career with NTC as a touring actor in the fall of 2019. He later appeared in numerous educational videos for NTC’s new livestreaming platform. In 2020, Seth joined the Creative Services team as part of the livestream and video production crew. He quickly became an invaluable resource doing everything from camera and sound design to editing video and producing livestreams. In 2023, he began his role as Company Manager, becoming more invested than ever in the success of NTC and its company of actors. In his spare time, Seth can be found hosting his own livestreams and talking about sports, as well as enjoying frequent trips back to his homeland, Madison Wisconsin.
PRINT & DESIGN MANAGER
Kezia Florence (she/her) is thrilled to be a part of the NTC team! After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a customized degree in theater and interdisciplinary design, she split her time between working on props and scenery for local theater companies, designing logos and promotional materials as a freelancer, and designing jewelry and packaging for a wholesale fashion company. After years of building a strong interdisciplinary base of design knowledge through these varied mediums, Kezia now focuses her talents on graphic design and is proud to support the NTC mission and work with visually pleasing and effective graphics and print materials.
When she’s not making magic with Adobe Illustrator, you can find Kezia roller skating (yes, I can do tricks), performing long-form improv with her group “Denim on Denim,” or cuddling her cat, Yo-Yo.
Kim Lartz is a scenic designer and technical director based in Minneapolis, MN. Originally from Maryland, she comes to Minneapolis by way of Chicago, where she served as the resident scenic designer and technical director for The Theater of Western Springs. Kim holds an MFA in scenic design from Illinois State University where she also served as the prop shop manager. Kim has worked as a theater carpenter and prop master from the mountains of West Virginia to the vineyards of California. You can find Kim cooking or working on original illustrations for a children’s book in her free time.
Staffing Manager, School Communications
As Staffing Manager, Turi (she/her) onboards our seasonal School Communications Representatives, manages their schedules, and oversees the scheduling of several tours. Turi studied Theatre Arts and Communication Studies at Southwest Minnesota State University, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Human Resources at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. In her spare time, she enjoys playing video games, reading and spending time with family (not necessarily in that order.)
Manager, School Communications
Helena started to work at NTC as a School Communications Representative in the fall of 2018 after graduating from the University of Iowa with a BFA in Dance. Now, as a School Communications Manager, she facilitates school programs all across the country. Through marketing, strategic expertise and coordination with the School Communications team, Helena aims to share NTC’s free educational programs and resources with as many students and educators as possible. Besides her work with NTC, Helena is a company member of Concerto Dance by Jolene Konkel and enjoys spending time biking, baking, reading and with friends.
Manager, School Communications
Sophie came to work at NTC in August of 2018 after graduating from Ripon College with a degree in Theatre and Music. Sophie was first hired as a School Communications Representative where she called schools across the country informing them about our incredible programs. In February of 2020, Sophie was promoted to be one of the School Communications Coordinators, helping negotiate tours and plan marketing strategies for NTC’s programs. Now as a School Communications Manager, among many other things, Sophie is primarily responsible for planning, tracking and updating the strategic communications for all scheduling and activation campaigns. While not at work and in her spare time, Sophie enjoys acting in the performing arts community, attending shows throughout the area and exploring state parks.
MANAGER, SCHOOL COMMUNICATIONS
Jordan is thrilled to be continuing her NTC journey as a School Communications Manager. Beginning as a Lead Communications Rep, she worked with schools across the country encouraging them to take advantage of NTC’s amazing programs. After graduating with a B.A from Columbia College Chicago which encompassed music, theatre, management, and education she taught a wide variety of classes/workshops at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and was an integral part of the store leadership team with Target here in the Twin Cities. As a Communications Manager, she will facilitate school programs across the country with the sole purpose of engaging, and educating students through a collective theatre experience. In her spare time, Jordan enjoys crafting, singing, and snuggling with her 12 yr old pup.
Phone:1-800-858-3999 ext. 455
Campaign Manager, School Communications
Tori started with NTC as a Lead Communications Rep in fall 2021, working to connect directly with schools to bring them our exciting educational programs. She transitioned to our full time staff as a School Communications Campaign Manager in May 2021, and is excited to continue bringing quality programming to students, while collaborating with her fellow staff members to improve the work they do. She values always working towards more equitable practices, and being an advocate in her community. In her free time Tori can be found sewing, crafting clay gnomes, and doting over Thunder and Mowgli; her cat and dog.
Creative Director, NTC Australia
As Creative Director of NTC Australia, Amanda draws on extensive experience in both education and performing arts in Australia and overseas. Originally trained as a performer at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Amanda spent over 20 years performing in professional musical theatre, theatre, TV and film throughout Australia and in cities such as New York, Seoul, Singapore and Edinburgh. As a teacher in some of Melbourne’s most established performing arts schools Amanda began to observe the power of theatre as an educational tool. This led to the establishment of Perform Education, an award winning educational theatre company working with schools throughout Australia and New Zealand. As Creative Director for the past 20 years, Amanda has overseen performances touring to millions of students, covering curriculum areas such as Literacy, Cyber Bullying, Energy Sustainability, Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Financial Literacy. Amanda continues to be inspired by the power of theatre to entertain, educate and empower children – simultaneously!
Managing Director, Australia
As Managing Director of NTC Australia, Tobias manages all day to day operations of the Australian business including corporate and government client relationships. Tobias is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and also of Live Performance Australia. Tobias is a qualified chartered accountant with over 35 years experience across a range of industries, including running his own theatrical production company since 2000. Starting his career at Ernst & Young, Tobias has worked in a variety of financial services and mining groups. Tobias has worked extensively in the entertainment industry and through his own production company developed the largest educational theatre company across Australia and New Zealand, which is now part of NTC, the largest global educational theatre producing group.
School Communications & Staffing Manager, NTC Australia
Sarah joined NTC in 2019 as the School Communications Coordinator, leading the team and bringing over 10 years’ experience within the Public Relations sector in London. Sarah and her family moved from the UK in 2010 to start a new life in Melbourne and now would not want to live anywhere else. She graduated with a Bachelors of Honours Degree in Performing Arts in London, where her passion has always been the arts. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys camping, surfing, and skiing with her family and is always up for whatever adventures that may come her way.
School Communications & Content Manager, NTC Australia
Alicia has worked with NTC for 9 years in the School Communications Team and is the Content Manager. Prior, Alicia performed professionally in Musical Theatre and is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne where she grew up. Alicia also teaches Pilates at various boutique studios around Melbourne. She is passionate about all things health and fitness and loves camping, travelling, watching a good movie, delicious food and enjoying a wine with friends.
Operations Manager, NTC Australia
Nick crossed the ditch from New Zealand to join NTC in 2020. He has a background in theatre, having graduated from NASDA with a Bachelor of Performing Arts. Since then he’s performed in schools all over Australia. Now working behind the scenes as Operations Manager, he oversees the production creation and fulfillment, plans upcoming tours and programs, as well as managing our creatives, actors, directors and teams on the road. When he’s not at work, Nick likes to play guitar, as well as run ‘the tan’. You may also find him outside in the garden, enjoying a game of Catan, or away on a weekend tramp.
School Communications & Activations Manager, NTC Australia
Megan joined NTC as a School Communications Representative in 2017. In her current role as Communications Supervisor, Megan works closely with the rest of the Communications team and manages scheduling for all current NTC tours. As a 2015 graduate of the WAAPA Music Theatre course, Megan has also completed two school tours as an actor. Originally from Perth, she now works in the Melbourne office and spends most days drinking copious cups of tea.
Business & Creative Development, NTC Australia
Evan started his career at NTC as a touring actor in 2017’s National Science Week show ‘Global Gamble’. He now leads the business development of our sponsor relationships and program conceptualisation, creative writing of scripts, and occasionally can still be seen performing in a variety of NTC sketches. Originally from Adelaide, Evan trained at the Victorian College of the Arts and has appeared in Muriel’s Wedding the Musical, Legally Blond, Rent, Anything Goes, La Cage Aux Folles and Cat Steven’s Moonshadow the Musical. If he sounds like your perfect match you can find him on Instagram @evanlever
IT & Design Manager, NTC Australia
Chief Video Editor & Company Manager, NTC Australia
Originally from Sydney, Nathan has a long history with NTC. He initially toured as an actor in 2005, moved into an assistant director role in 2009, spent a few years working as a Communications Rep in 2014, and since 2021 has worked as Chief Video Editor & Casting Manager. Nathan also has an established career as a professional actor touring both Australia and internationally in such diverse productions as Wicked (GFO), Kinky Boots (Michael Cassel Group), Come From Away (New Theatricals), and My Fair Lady (Opera Australia). Nathan is also proud to have been a part of Monkey Baa Theatre Company’s Helpmann Award winning production Hitlers’ Daughter which toured to school children around Australia in 2006 and the USA in 2013. His screen credits include Neighbours, Winners and Losers, and Breakers. Nathan has a Bachelor in Music Theatre from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and an Associate Diploma in Performing Arts from UNSW.
Digital Content Coordinator, NTC Australia
School Communications Representative, NTC Australia
Jenni (she/her) is a multi-passionate theatre artist with over 10 years experience in arts education which she is excited to bring to her role at NTC. She grew up on Dharug land in NSW, made the move to Naarm to study at the Victorian College of the Arts and loved it so much here that she decided to stick around. Since she graduated you might have seen her on stage in School of Rock the Musical (GWB Entertainment) or Kinky Boots (Michael Cassel Group).
School Communications Representative, NTC Australia
Charmaine has been working extensively in children’s theatre for over 25 years both in Australia and Germany. She first worked for NTC over 20 years ago and returned to the company in 2020 as a School Communications Representative. She divides her time in the office and working for her own production company Baby Banksia. She is an actress, writer, producer, and mother of two primary aged children, who also enjoy NTC incursions!
School Communications Representative, NTC Australia
Born and raised in England, Ryan eventually made his way to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Film and TV at Swinburne University of Technology. While there he had the opportunity to work on multiple short films, a TV show for CBS, and had his directorial debut short film Without Water selected for the 2019 Environmental Film Festival of Australia. Since graduating, he has found a passion for communications which he’s excited to bring to his role at NTC. When he’s not at work you can find him writing scripts, drinking coffee, and paying for expensive gym memberships he doesn’t use.