Forward Theater Company has a unique three-branch organizational structure, created to reflect our core belief in the importance of communication and maintaining a balance between the artistic choices and financial health of our company.
The first branch is our administrative staff which is responsible for the daily operations of the theater.
The second branch is our board of directors which is responsible for financial oversight of FTC and long-term fiscal planning.
The third branch is our advisory company, made up of local professional theater artists, which is responsible for guiding FTC’s long-term artistic plans.
Our bylaws have mandated paths of communication between these three branches and a system of checks and balances to keep FTC strong, focused on our artistic role in the community and fiscally responsible.
Jennifer Uphoff Gray most recently directed A Thousand Words, by Gwendolyn Rice, for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Love’s Labour’s Lost for Milwaukee Shakespeare (“Best of 2008”) and The Diary of Anne Frank for Madison Repertory Theatre (“Best of 2008”). She produced (and directed for) the Madison Rep’s 2007 New Play Festival. Other credits include: the National Tour of Copenhagen, Associate Director of Copenhagen, Cabaret, The Blue Room (starring Nicole Kidman) and The Life on Broadway. Off-Broadway, she directed the world premiere of the musical Suburb. Her work has also been seen at Second Stage, Musical Theater Works, Ensemble Studio Theater, HERE (all in New York City) and the Chunchon International Theater Festival in South Korea. She holds a degree in Dramatic Literature and Stage History from Harvard College. Jen was born and raised in the Madison area and is now raising her family on the near West Side.
Sarah Marty oversees the business functions of the company and serves as FTC's production manager. She is the 2008 recipient of the Bartell Award for Excellence in the Arts. She has a Master’s degree in Business from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration, an MS in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from UW-Madison. Sarah is a Program Coordinator UW-Madison Continuing Studies (Wisconsin Wrights New Play Development Project, Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival, Wisconsin Theatre Auditions and Technical Interviews). In addition she works with several of arts organizations in the Madison area including Four Seasons Theatre, UW Varsity Band Spring Concert, Madison Early Music Festival, and Madison Opera.
Director of Communications
Gwendolyn Rice manages marketing, public relations, and outreach programs for the company. She holds a Master’s degree in Theater Literature, History, and Criticism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Gwen has worked in marketing, communications, and fundraising for a variety of non-profit arts organizations including First Stage Milwaukee, the Friends of the Coronado, and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. She is also the author of A Thousand Words, which FTC produced in its 2011-2012 season.
Director of Advancement
Julia Nicholas manages community engagement, individual giving, sponsorships and audience services. Julia has a Master’s degree in arts administration from the Bolz Center as well as an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She previously led marketing and public relations efforts for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and marketing research for Lands’ End. In addition, she’s worked in marketing and public relations for the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival at Yale’s Summer School of Music and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.
Celia A. Klehr started her professional life as a non-Equity actor in 1976. Because she believes that theater is most relevant when it is for, by, and of a community, Celia has made Madison her home, both professionally and personally. She was a founding member of Forward Theater Company and the Madison Repertory Theatre Acting Company. During her 14 years with the Rep she appeared in more than 20 productions, served as company manager for three years, and earned her Equity status. She has played leading roles in three feature-length films and several documentaries, and has served on the Madison Arts Commission, Madison Sesquicentennial Committee and the State Street Committee. Celia is dedicated to creating work for theater professionals in Madison and strongly believes that theater is a vital part of Madison’s culture.
Frank Honts works behind the scenes doing historical research, organizing pre-show talks, and discussing issues raised in the texts, in addition to assistant directing many of FTC's productions. He also coordinates auditions and works with the literary committee of the advisory company. Frank served as the assistant director for Madison Opera’s recent production of The Threepenny Opera. In spring 2011, Frank directed and served as a reader for the Madison Young Playwrights Festival. He also contributed his talents as dramaturg to a staged reading of October, Before I Was Born for the Wisconsin Wrights New Play Project. Frank received his Bachelor's degree in history and educational studies from Brown University, taught high school history in Massachusetts, and worked as a researcher and professional development coach for nearly a decade.
Alex Moskoff handles bookkeeping, maintains FTC's database, and manages the office. He has a Bachelor's degree in legal studies (and studied film and television) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Most recently, Alex was a production accountant at Warner Bros. Television in Los Angeles, where he also worked in the finance and post-production departments. A native Madisonian, Alex just moved back to the area with his fiancee, a professional chef/baker.