Venture Faculty and Staff

What matters is this: can you make a rehearsal into a lively experience for those taking part? Can you feel the material growing and taking shape and beginning to live as you and your collaborators work? Do you get a passionate satisfaction out of this work? If these three questions get from you a ringing and spontaneous affirmative, then press on. If not, better stick to that nice steady job in the bank, or go chase wild bulls and bears on Wall Street or elephants in Africa
— Sir Tyrone Guthrie

Founding Artistic Director
Kirstin Leigh Daniel

Education: BA Theatre Education Emerson College,
MTS in Production and Design Southern Oregon University,
MA Shakespeare and Creativity a Shakespeare Institute and Royal Shakespeare Company Collaboration.
Work: Theatre Instructor at Young Harris College in North Georgia. She is a company member of Asheville's The Cardboard Sea. NC Licensure K-12
Passions: Teaching, Baking Pies, Toby (her cat), Laughing, Loving Big, Shakespeare, Old Homes, Podcasts and Swimming in Lakes.

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Acting Instructor
Andrew French

Education: BA Renaissance Combined Studies
Work: Professional Actor in the UK on stage and on screen. Worked at The Bush, The Gate, Manchester Royal Exchange, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Paines Plough, The National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, The RSC and many more. He is currently playing Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has taught Drama and Theatre in the UK, Japan and USA
Passions: Shakespeare, Hip Hop, Arsenal FC, The West Wing, Art, Love, Toni Morrison, The American Civil War, Trees, Curves.

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Alexander Technique
Monika Gross

Education: BFA Drama, UNC School of the Arts
Certified Alexander Technique instructor
Work: Executive Director, The Poise Project® - nonprofit with the mission of maintaining natural poise throughout all stages and challenges of life
through the principles of Alexander technique, and removing barriers to
broader access across socio-economic groups. Co-Owner, Form Fitness & Function - Private Alexander technique instruction. Artistic Director, At-A- Site Theater: " Theater in unusual spaces. Theater in familiar spaces in unusual ways. Theater and audience meeting unexpectedly. Taking time to bring meaning to space."
Passions: Imagination. Live Performance. Trees. Words.


Text Coach
Ashleigh Stochel

Education: BA from Saint Mary’s College in Nortre Dame, IN
Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law
MFA in Acting from University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Work: Associate Attorney with Lowis & Gellen, LLP in Chicago, IL
Passions: All Things Shakespeare, Yoga, Running, Collecting Fountain Pens, Journaling, Frolicking in the grass with Niece and Nephews, Candy. 


Shakespeare Scholarship
Karen Harker

Education: BS English Education, ECU, NC Teaching Fellow.
MA Shakespeare Studies, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. PhD Candidate: Shakespeare, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
Work: Post-graduate Teaching Assistant for Plays and Performance and Shakespeare's Craftsmanship courses, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. Contract English Language and Literature lesson writer, Former HS English teacher, Pitt and Wake County Schools
Passions: Archival Research, Music, Reading, Attending Theatre, Hiking and Outdoor Adventures, Yoga and Mindfulness, and hanging out with my constant feline companion, Monkey

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Lighting Designer
Emily Erb

Education: BFA in Technical Theatre from University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a concentration in Lighting Design
Work: LD for Kirstin Daniel at AC Reynolds High spring musicals, freelanced in Washington DC, Kenan Lighting Fellow at the Kennedy Center, assisted Tony Award winning designers, Mother of 4
Passions: Sleeping Through the Night, Outdoor Adventuring, Beauty and Design

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Costume Designer
Tyler Ogburn

Education: BA in Theatre from Young Harris College
Work: Photographer and freelance designer. Previously worked as a stylist in NYC and taught costume courses at Young Harris College
Passions: Taking Pictures, Petting Puppies, Sewing Things, Drawing Stuff, Eating Food, Drinking Drinks and Creating Art.


Front of House and 2018 Production Manager
Kim Garner

Education: Design at Brigham Young University
Work: Administration, management,and fundraising for plays, musicals, and concerts in multiple Buncombe County Schools. Previously Camp Director for LDS Young Women's camp in Clemson, SC and Executive Board Member of multiple Parent Teacher Organizations in NC and GA, including President of the Fairview Elementary Parent Teacher Association.
Passions: My 4 kids, Chocolate, Photography, & Genealogy Research


Twelfth Night 2019 Workshop Manager
Ann Forster

Education: BA English and American Literature, Minor in History from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; Single Subject Teaching Credential English from Cal State Fullerton; California Cleared Secondary Credential from National University; MA Shakespeare and Creativity from The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, UK
Work: Taught English and American literature at both Tustin High School and JSerra Catholic High School in Southern California; 2009 Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Nominee; seasonal event staff support at the Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, CA
Passions: William Shakespeare, Henry David Thoreau, live music, world traveler, BBQ/bourbon/beer/bacon enthusiast, avid NASCAR fan, lifetime member of the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society