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Heather M. Kitchen

Heather M. Kitchen is a theater administrator with more than 40 years of professional experience, specializing in strategic and program planning, fundraising, financial analysis, board development, and union negotiations. During her illustrious career, Ms. Kitchen has led several performing arts organizations in both the United States and Canada. She has also had a noted international career in production and stage management.

Prior to joining the Arts Consulting Group (ACG), Ms. Kitchen served as Managing Director of Dallas Theater Center (DTC) for five seasons. While at DTC, the theater grew its budget of $7.5 million to more than $12 million and successfully completed a $13.1 million capital campaign, helping solidify the organization as a leading player in the American regional theater movement. As Executive Director of American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco for 14 seasons, Ms. Kitchen grew the organization’s budget from $11 million to $20 million and eliminated $2.6 million in debt and deficit. She also led the first ever endowment campaign to strengthen A.C.T.’s financial position, allowing an expansion of its artistic goals and achieving $31 million in support. Ms. Kitchen was instrumental in the further development of the famed Conservatory at A.C.T. and its top-five ranked Master of Fine Arts program.

Ms. Kitchen held the position of General Manager of the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta for four seasons.  Working with General Director Robin Phillips, she oversaw the management of the company, which annually produced up to 14 plays, an International Children’s Festival, a Teen Festival, and the school programs in its five-theater complex. As Production Manager at Theatre New Brunswick, Ms. Kitchen reduced production costs by 30 percent. She worked in stage management for 15 years in many of the major regional theaters across Canada, including six seasons at the Stratford Festival, five seasons with The Neptune Theatre, and four seasons at Canadian Stage Company.

Ms. Kitchen is a noted teacher of stage, production, and theater management, having taught and guest lectured at more than 20 universities and colleges throughout Canada and the United States, including Stanford University, Ryerson University, University of California Berkeley, and the Universities of Waterloo, Western Ontario, Guelph, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, among others.


Emma Palzere-Rae

When pounding the pavement in NYC seeking acting work, Emma began producing in order to perform the kind of work she was interested in. This not only improved her acting career, but it also gave her practical knowledge which led her into a career in arts and nonprofit administration. Emma has been a leader at several nonprofit organizations, having served as artistic director of NYC’s Plays for Living, and executive director of the Chorus of Westerly (RI) and Director of Development and Communications of Safe Futures (New London, CT), where she oversaw the re-branding of the organization from the Women’s Center. As an actor, she most recently appeared as Essie Miller in O’Neill’s “Ah, Wilderness!” at East Lynne Theater Company in NJ. Emma’s Be Well Productions also tours her original one-woman plays about Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emily Dickinson, and Victoria Woodhull throughout the country. Annually, Emma co-directs Mystic Seaport’s holiday program, Lantern Light Tours. Member Association of Fundraising Professionals, Actors Equity Association and the Dramatists Guild.