Association of Community Theatre of Greater Cincinnati


Dennis Murphy


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Cindy Emmer

First Vice President (OCTAfest Coordinator)

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Arlene Borock-Balczo

Second Vice President (Judging Program)

Arlene has been a Language Arts and Performing Arts teacher at Mason High School since 1989 with a degree in Telecommunications from Indiana University, a degree in Education from the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s degree in Education Language Arts from Miami University.  Over the last 27 years she’s directed over 50 plays and musicals as well as choreographed, produced and acted in shows, in fact, directing Mary Poppins for Cincinnati Music Theater this past season marked her 60th show she has directed.  She developed then led the drama program at Mason High School for 13 years; helped to start the young performers’ group, Acting Up and co-founded Brieabi Productions as well as served as their 1st Vice President for 4 years. Arlene currently serves as a Judging Assistant for ACT Cincinnati, is on their Long Range Judging Committee, is their current 2nd Vice President in charge of judging, served 2 terms as 1st Vice President in charge of the OCTAFest Convention, served as Secretary for ACT Cincinnati for three years and has been an Adjudicator for ACT Cincinnati since 1991.  Besides theater Arlene loves running and being a Philadelphia Flyers Fanatic.

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Melissa M. Smith


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Amanda Emmons-Shumate


Amanda is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University where she received her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Education, Instructional Leadership, and Arts and Humanities. Amanda is thrilled to serve as Secretary for ACT Cincinnati. When she isn't prancing around her elementary classroom teaching, you can usually find her near a stage. Amanda has acted, choreographed, directed and produced at the collegiate, community and professional setting all over the Tri-state. She is the co-founder of Union Community Theatre and has been a member of Footlighters, inc., her home theatre, for 12 years, where she also serves on their Board of Directors. In addition, Amanda serves on the Long Range Judging Committee for ACT and is a judging assistant. If you can't find her in the theatre, then she is likely baking cakes! Amanda owns Shu's Sweets, a local bakery! Amanda and her husband, Kyle, live in Fort Wright, KY with their two dogs Kimbo and Dexter. They love traveling the world and cheering on Cincinnati sports!

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Dan Maloney

Awards Chair

Dan is an actor, writer and director originally from Columbus, OH. He has performed in over 50 productions and in nearly a dozen states. A graduate of Xavier University, he served as President of Xavier Players and received the prestigious Otto Kvapil Award for Stage Performance in recognition of his work there. Currently, he serves on the boards of Mariemont Players, Village Players, the Ohio Community Theatre Association and the ACT-Cincinnati Executive Board. Dan has been an ACT judge and OCTA responder since 2013. He has also served as a judge for the AACT National Playwriting Competition. In addition, he is a founding member of OTRimprov, Know Theatre’s house improv comedy group. Acting credits include touring with Madcap Puppet Theatre; Chris Keller in All My Sons; Tony Kirby in You Can’t Take It With You; George Gibbs in Our Town; Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace; Jeff in Lobby Hero; Asher in Asher’s Command; Detective McPherson in Laura; Joel in The Blue Moon Dancing; Pete in In the Heat of the Night; Bill in Darkside; Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Roberto Miranda in Death and the Maiden; and Uncle Peck in How I Learned to Drive. Directing credits include 12 Angry Jurors; Almost, Maine; The Curious Savage; and his original one-act play Defining Hope.

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Linda Roll


Linda Roll has been acting since she can remember. Her love for entertaining began as a preschooler when she would entertain her great-grandmother at family reunions. After college, she took time o˛ to raise her family. In 1994, she began the Milford Theatre Guilde, in hopes of bringing quality theatre to the Milford-Miami Township area. She felt the time was right and the community was large enough to support community theatre. She was right. Milford Theatre Guilde is still going strong.

She has been involved with ACT since 1996 and has served as it's librarian/historian and newsletter editor for the last several years. She has also been a regional representative to OCTA and has served on their board for several years. She was the conference chair for the OCTA conference held in Cincinnati in 2003. She is an award winning actress, costumer and director on both the local and state levels.

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Lynne Aronson

Scholarship Chair

Lynne is a native of Chicago, IL where she completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Education. She was also actively involved in theatre both at her colleges and in local theatre. She was involved with The New Compass Players, an improv group associated with Second City. After she and her husband moved to Cincinnati, she also taught high school vocal music and theatre. To facilitate this, she took another Bachelor’s Degree in theatre at Northern Kentucky University.

This led to Lynne's involvement with the Kentucky Thespian Society, which she headed up for 11 years. At the time, KTS was totally inactive. She built the organization, started a yearly theatre conference and established scholarships.

After leaving KTS, Lynne plunged into local theatre, both community and professionally. She is a voice-over talent represented by CAM Talent and actually became the Cincinnati Associate Director for the agency.

She has acted in, directed for and produced for many theatre companies in the area. She also has directed an original play for the Indianapolis Fringe Festival, which was then produced in Cincinnati as well. Along with continuing to work in community theatre, she was the Executive Producer for The Clermont Players in Batavia. This was a dinner theatre company at The Clermont Inn. There she wore every hat there was including acting and directing for the company.

She started an acting company for seniors at The Anderson Senior Center. By necessity, she wrote several shows for these actors. The playwriting bug is still at work as she and her husband are creating a musical adaptation of a fairy tale and hope to produce this when it has been completed.

Along the way she was an ACT representative for The Footlighters.

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Ray Persing

Long Range Judging Standing Committee

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John Wesseling

Membership Standing Committee Chair

John has been involved with Community Theater for over 30 years, most of it with the Sunset Players, Inc. and ACT Cincinnati, Inc. He is an award winning actor, director, technician and producer. He has served on the board of the Sunset Players for almost 30 years, and has served on the ACT board 20 out of the last 26 years. He recently completed his 7th term as President.

He was the first individual to win both of the ACT Cincinnati Inc. major awards, the Mario Pitocco Award for Excellence in Technical Theater, and the Art Rouse Award for Dedication to Community Theater. John is also a four time President’s Award honoree.

As President of the Sunset Players, John led the charge of assuming control of the Dunham Recreation Complex’s historically significant Arts building and turning it into The Arts Center at Dunham, a complete Arts center for the west side of Cincinnati.

He is also the creator/ moderator of – an e-mail list serve to share theater information in the Greater Cincinnati area with over 1,200 theater members.

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Chuck Ingram

Publicity Chair/Website

Chuck has been involved in community theatre since 1977. His high school drama teacher was directing for CMT and needed help with the running crew. Since that time Chuck has appeared in over 50 community theatre productions with CMT, Footlighters, Beechmont, Drama Workshop, Showbiz and Brieabi. 

He helps out at three local high schools (Villa Madonna, McNicholas and Madeira) with the technical aspects of theatre.

When not working in the theatre he can be heard as the morning traffic reporter on radio stations in Cincinnati, Dayton and Louisville.

Joy Sharp


Joy Sharp is pleased to have been the ACT pre-registration chair for approximately 13 years. She has met so many great theatre people making nametags!! Past ACT offices in which Joy has served include: President for three years, 1st VP of Convention for one year, 2nd VP of Judging for eight years, Secretary for more years than she can count, Treasurer for nine years, Awards chair for three years, Membership chair, Long Range Judging Committee for many years, by-laws committee (establishing job descriptions for all ACT positions), and the committee for the 50th anniversary of ACT. Joy has received the President’s Award several times, the Art Rouse Award and OCTA Spirit of Community Theatre award. She has performed in a boucoup of community theatre productions since 1975 including theatres in Hamilton, Middletown, and Landen-Deerfield, and with groups such as Stagecrafters, Sunset Players and Footlighters in Kentucky. She has many life-long theatre friends through theatre and am meeting more each year. These days, she does a lot of singing in orchestras and churches all over the place but hopes to get back on stage very soon. “I miss all that fun!!”

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