OUR PEOPLE

 

Mark Baumgartner, Board Member

 

Dana Brock, Board Member

 

Barret Brooks, 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.

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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.

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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. 

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.

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Erin Hanson, Board Member

Erin Hanson is one of the newer board members but has been a fan and supporter of Talking Horse Productions since its founding. Her father, the incomparable, Ed Hanson, founded THP in 2011 and brought Erin along for the ride until she moved to Seattle in 2013.  
 

Erin earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an acting emphasis from Stephens College in 2011. Post college she stayed in Columbia for a few years before migrating to Seattle and working for e-commerce company, Zulily. She migrated back to Columbia in late 2019 to spend more time with family and also enjoy the amazing theatre scene that Columbia has to offer. She currently works at Veterans United as a Recruiter and along with serving as a board member for THP, enjoys volunteering for Second Chance as a cat foster.  
 

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

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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. 

 

Nathan O'Neil, Executive Director

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Meg Phillips Crespy, Board Member

Meg Phillips Crespy is a writer, director and performer. Directing credits include Rent, the Diary of Anne Frank, Bent and Other Desert Cities. Favorite roles include Diana in Next to Normal, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, for which she received a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival nomination. As a playwright and composer, Meg has had works performed across the county and as part of Cherry Lane Theatre's "Tongue Series" in New York. She won the 2018 Jackie White National Memorial Playwriting Competition and the 2019 Missouri Stories international screenwriting fellowship. At Talking Horse, Meg has been a performer and set designer, and she wrote two of THP's children's touring plays. Her most recent full-length work, Mostly Sweet, had its world premiere at THP in June 2015. In 2018, Meg launched Guerl-rilla Theatre, which provides expanded opportunities to female-identifying performers via dynamic staged readings at Talking Horse.

 

Mary Shaw, Board Member