Staff Member Biographies
Connie Brinda (Operations/Finance Director)
Connie is the co-founder of Prime Stage. As a supporter of the arts for many years she understood the need for a theatre that bridged the gap between children and adult theatre. Her foundation started with her family owned business and continued her education in business management at Point Park. She services on the board of directors as the secretary/treasurer along with the executive and fundraising committees. As the finance/billing manager for Reed Smith, LLP, she oversees the client billings for their Chicago, Houston, Pittsburgh and Princeton offices. Prior to Prime Stage, Connie volunteered with the television ministry at the First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.
Wayne Brinda (Production Artistic Director)
Wayne is Co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Prime Stage where he directed Treasure Island, The Outsiders, Twelve Angry Men, I Never Saw Another Butterfly and The Terezin Promise, and the premiere of The Giver. He is Associate Professor of Secondary Education at the University of Pittsburgh Bradford where he teaches and conducts research on adolescent literacy. Prior to Pitt, he was Director of Playhouse Jr., Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Duquesne University, an instructor at The Oakland School, and Director of the Senior School Theatre Department at Sewickley Academy. As a Museum Teaching Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, Wayne produces several Holocaust theatre productions and conducts presentations on using literature and theatre to teach the Holocaust. Locally, he has directed for Apple Hill Playhouse, Little Lake Theatre, Red Barn Theatre in Allison Park, and South Park Theatre.
John Clark (Webmaster)
John was first introduced to Prime Stage in 2003 when his ten-year-old son was cast as Ollie Herdman in their production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Since John was attending most of the rehearsals he was "lucky" enough to earn the part of Fireman #1. This was an awesome experience for both John and his son. Ever since he has been volunteering his time to Prime Stage - spending many hours working on their website, marketing and even as a Board Member. He is proud to be part an organization that does such wonderful work “bringing literature to life” for the community. His real-time job is with State Farm as an business analyst and that ten-year-son is now a Graduate Assistant at Indiana University of Pennsylvania pursuing a Masters degree.
Jody Cohen (Production Manager)
Jody is thrilled to be joining the team at Prime Stage Theatre. Currently, she also is the Production Manager for Front Porch Theatricals here in Pittsburgh. Previously, she has worked in production management for Williamstown Theatre Festival. Other Stage Management credits include Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, B Street Theatre, G4 Productions, and Busch Gardens Entertainment. Jody received her training from Elon University and Carnegie Mellon University.
Linda Haston (Education Director)
Director/Performer/Teaching Artist) a professional (AEA) actress, singer, dancer and director and had resided in New York City for 10 years where she has performed her own cabaret act, did National and Regional tours, from musicals, dinner theatre to outdoor drama. She has directed and performed in the past and present seasons with various major Pittsburgh theatre companies. She also is a teaching artist in the educational system in Pittsburgh. Her background includes a BFA and MFA in theatre. She heads the Teacher’s Advisory Committee (TAC), the Litearcy in ACTion Program, the Discover Your Inner Hero Program, and Global Learning Program for Prime Stage’s Education Department.
Matt Henderson (Social Media Manager)
Matt Henderson has worked in Pittsburgh theatre in a variety of capacities. In addition to his social media work with Prime Stage, he has appeared in their productions of Walk Two Moons, The Scarlet Letter, and The Westing Game as well as 2nd Stage readings of The Exonerated and Abigail/1702. Other acting work includes appearances at Bricolage (B.U.S., Midnight Radio, Speech & Debate, Weightless), City Theatre (the Young Playwrights Festival), No Name Players (Fixing King John), Off the Wall (boom), Saint Vincent Summer Theatre (Suite Surrender), Cup-A-Jo Productions (Hospitality Suite), TACT (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), and PICT Classic Theatre (The Lion in Winter). As a playwright, his work has been seen throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada, England, Scotland, and Finland. Local productions include Existence and the Single Girl with 12 Peers Theater, The Roar of the Crowd in Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company’s Theatre Festival in Black and White, Strutting and Fretting with Stage Right and the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, and The Most Epic Awesomest Superhero Movie Ever with In Between Theatre. He is also the Literary Manager and Marketing Director of 12 Peers Theater, where he has performed in productions of White Rabbit Red Rabbit, the Pittsburgh Monologue Project, and Colorado.
Laura McArthy-Blatt (Box Officer Manager)
Caitlin Skaff (Assistant Operations Director)
Caitlin joins the administrative side of the company after serving on the production side as Production Stage Manager for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons and the Production Manager for the 2015-16 season. Outside of Prime Stage, Caitlin has worked as a stage manager in Pittsburgh for the last six years on more than 20 productions with City Theatre, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, South Park Theatre, Stage 62, and the Theatre Factory. Caitlin is also an actor with local theatre companies and a performing member of Pittsburgh Playback Theatre, as well a steering committee member for the Pittsburgh Emerging Arts Leaders (PEAL). In addition to her work at Prime Stage and her freelance theatre work, Caitlin is currently the Grants and Resource Management Specialist for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and volunteers for a number of events and programs throughout the year. Caitlin is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Political Science with a minor in History. In her spare time when she's not at the theatre, she enjoys baking cupcakes, traveling, and running in local races - particularly the Great Race every fall!
Ken Lutz (Education Coordinator)
Vince Ventura (2nd Stage Program Director)
Vince Ventura, a Pittsburgh native, completed his Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theater at Point Park University. Currently, Vince is the Artistic Director of 12 Peers Theater. He has directed for 12 Peers Theater, South Park Theatre, 2nd Stage@Prime Stage, The Pittsburgh New Works Festival, The Theatre Festival in Black and White, and StoRox High School. He has Assistant Directed at Quantum Theatre, and was a part of the Directing Observership Program at City Theatre in 2015. As an actor, Vince has performed with 12 Peers Theater, The REP, The Jewish Theater of Pittsburgh, Unseam'd Shakespeare Co., The City Theatre Company, The Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co., Prime Stage Theatre, Open Stage Theater, and The Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Vince has also spent the last 10 years as a teaching artist and has worked with Carnegie Mellon University, The Gemini Theater, John Robert Powers, where he was the Director of Education, and for his own Side Project Studios and 12 Peers Theater.
Mary Windstein (Student Box Office Manager)
Mary Windstein has worked at a number of Pittsburgh theaters, including The Lovelace Marionette Theatre, The Odd Chair Playhouse, Little Lake Theatre, and South Park Theatre, where she not only performed in numerous productions, but also ran the box office for twelve years. Favorite roles include Maisie in The Boyfriend, Fern in The View From Here, Jean in Funny Money, Myrtle in Morning's at Seven, and both Millie and Rosemary in Picnic, albeit many years apart! Mary joined the Prime Stage family in 2004, and has been booking student matinees ever since. She also works for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as a standardized patient, where she has gall bladder attacks one day and schizophrenia the next!