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Alana Barragan-Scott, Vice President

Alana Barragan-Scott grew up in St. Louis and has lived in Columbia since the 1980’s when she met her husband to-be in a class at MU.  She is a lawyer and worked for the State of Missouri in the executive and judicial branches for almost 24 years.  She has also taught at the MU School of Law and most recently served the Federal judiciary branch.  She became involved in mid-Missouri theatre after seeing how much her three children enjoyed it, and has acted and sung in almost three dozen plays, musicals, and singing ensembles.  When she is not in a show, she enjoys reading, and her latest hobby, learning to play the violin.  She previously served for six years on the Board of the Maplewood Barn Community Theatre, and is happy to have joined the Talking Horse Board in 2016.

Mark Baumgartner, Board Member


Ed Hanson, President

Ed Hanson, the founder of Talking Horse Productions, has called Columbia, MO home since 1978. A retired music educator, Ed launched his professional acting career in 2008 and started up THP in late 2011.  He stepped aside from the day-to-day running of the company in 2018. 


Since starting professional work in the theatre, Ed performed for companies in Missouri, Kansas, Arizona, Mississippi, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. While his formal training is in vocal music, he loves acting in dramas and comedies as well as musicals. New, original projects are of special interest to Ed.  He is occasionally seen as a Guest Artist at Stephens College and the Lyceum in Arrow Rock, as well as on the Talking Horse stage. He is proud to serve the company as the president of the Board of Directors. 

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Lorrie Evelyn Furrer, Secretary

Lorrie Evelyn Furrer has been a Board member since 2013. Lorrie has acted in and directed shows in St. Louis and mid-Missouri, including several stage appearances at Talking Horse. Her backstage activities include costume construction, props, set dressing, stage management, fundraising, and box office duties. Lorrie is particularly proud of serving on the committee for the Starting Gate New Play Festival since its inception in 2015. She obtained her degree in Theatre Literature from Smith College in 1980, taught children’s theatre classes at the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves, and was a member of the Board of River City Theatre in Rocheport, Missouri. She has worked in radio broadcasting, has taught middle school English and preschool, and now works in Community Relations for the City of Columbia. Lorrie is thoroughly committed to advancing the Talking Horse mission of producing high-quality, character-driven plays that allow the audience to connect with the actors and the storylines in rich and meaningful ways.


Erin Hanson, Board Member

Erin Hanson has been a fan, supporter, and actress with Talking Horse Productions since its founding. Erin earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an acting emphasis from Stephens College in 2011 and stayed in Columbia for a few years after college before migrating to Seattle. She had a brief stint back in Columbia starting in 2019 but recently boomeranged back to Seattle. She currently works at Zulily as a Technical Recruiting Manager and proudly serves as a virtual board member and THP supporter.  

Erin’s acting credits include: The Little Mermaid in Disenchanted (CEC), Babe in Crimes of the Heart (THP), Susan in [title of show] (THP), and Kate Keller in All My Sons (Stephens College) among others. 


Angela Pirrello Howard, Board Member

Angela Pirrello Howard has been involved in theatre as a director, actor, singer, dancer, makeup artist, and teacher in Denver, CO, San Diego, CA and Columbia, MO.  Angela has directed over 60 main stage shows: most recently, August Osage County, It’s a Wonderful Life at CEC and Steel Magnolias for Fayette Community Theatre.  She participated in every Guerl-rilla Theatre production as either an actor or director since its inception.  By day, Angela is the theatre teacher at Oakland Middle School where she plans to train up another generation of theatre artists.



Mary Paulsell, Board Member

Mary Paulsell has been involved in Columbia’s theatre community since 1982 and has acted in or directed more than 20 productions at Maplewood Barn Community Theatre and Columbia Entertainment Company. Favorites include Man of La Mancha, HONK!, Civil War, My Favorite Year, Showboat, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Beauty and the Beast and City of Angels. She has served as president of both Maplewood Barn Community Theatre and Columbia Entertainment Company. She took a hiatus from theatre in 2009 to serve as president of Central Missouri Honor Flight, a position she still holds. She retired from MU in January 2022 after 40 years and is enjoying her re-entry into Columbia theatre with this innovative and exciting company.



Nathan O'Neil, Executive Director


Rochara Knight, Artistic Director

Rochara Knight has been active in the Columbia theatre community since 2009. She has served on the Talking Horse Productions board for 3 years as Vice President and Fundraising Committee Chair prior to stepping in as Executive Director. She holds a MPA in Non-Profit Management from University of Missouri-Columbia. 


Rochara has been involved with several theatre projects over the years not only as a performer, but has also served on production teams as an assistant director, stage manager, and costumer. Her most recent roles include Vera Stark in By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Jacklyn in Rasheeda Speaking, Othello, in Guerl-rilla Theatre’s production of Othello, and Pearl Johnson in Black Pearl Sings. Along with her executive duties, Rochara also assists in producing THP’s annual touring children’s show with Dana Bocke, and is the co-founder and producer of Cabaret for a Cause with friend and fellow performer, Audra Sergel. 


Rochara hopes to use her education and experience to continue the mission and vision that Talking Horse was founded on, as well as make sure that the theatre is always an open and welcoming space for all creatives, offering opportunities to those who haven’t had the chance to display their talents in the past. 


In addition to her time spent with Talking Horse, Rochara is also a singer and songwriter with her band, The Honey Doves, and works for St. Raymond’s Society, a non-profit organization that assists young mothers in becoming self-sufficient. 


Mary Shaw, Board Member


Carol Denninghoff, Treasurer

Carol Denninghoff, a native Missourian, has lived in Columbia since 1958 and has been an active member of the real estate community since 1975. She is a founding partner of House of Brokers Realty, Inc. and is a member of the Columbia and National Boards of Realtors. Over her years as a Realtor, she has earned the designations of Certified Residential Specialist, and Accredited Buyer's Representative.  In her spare time, Carol enjoys attending plays, concerts and movies, traveling, playing bridge, and is involved in the music and art community in Columbia. She has one daughter, Caroline Casati, who lives and works in New York.


Dana Bocke, Board Member

Dana Bocke has been active in the Columbia community theatre scene since 2011, performing with Talking Horse Productions, Columbia Entertainment Company, and the Maplewood Barn Theatre. In addition to her work on the board, Dana is also the Starting Gate Committee Chair. She’s been involved with Talking Horse Productions Children's Theatre since 2012.  Dana is a library associate on the Children’s  Team at the Columbia Public Library, a taphophile, and a proud nerd.

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Barret Brooks, Board Member

Barret Brooks has been in the Columbia Theater community since 2005 and has performed at Talking Horse, CEC, and the Maplewood Barn. Some of his favorite performances were Ripcord, A Raisin in the Sun, and The Full Monty. You can see him currently as a member of the Ponies Improv group here at Talking Horse.

He has been working in education for over 20 years and currently works as a Home School Communicator with Columbia Public Schools. In his free time, he enjoys karaoke, pursuing his nerdy exploits, and spending time with his new daughter, the cutest baby in the world.

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