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 is the artistic director of Forward Theater Company, where she directed 4000 Miles, Mr. Burns (a post-electric play), Silent Sky, Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, From Up Here, Or, Sons of the Prophet, Good People, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, A Thousand Words, The Farnsworth Invention, Moonlight & Magnolias, In the Next Room..., Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, and All About Eve. Regionally, she has directed for Madison Rep and Milwaukee Shakespeare. Also: National Tour of Copenhagen, and Associate Director on Broadway of Copenhagen, Cabaret, The Blue Room (starring Nicole Kidman) and The Life. Jen grew up in the Madison area, holds a degree in Dramatic Literature & Stage History from Harvard College, and with her husband Peter is raising her family on Madison’s west side.
You can email Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Swenson joins Forward as Managing Director after 17 seasons as Producing Director for Renaissance Theaterworks in Milwaukee. Julie received a BA in theater from Illinois Wesleyan University and became a member of Actors’ Equity Association while living in New York city. Julie fell in love with the Forward family when she worked as an actor in Forward’s production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in the role of Masha. Outside of theater she served on the Village of Nashotah board serving as President for two terms and was the host of New Home Building Today on WTMJ-4 in Milwaukee. Julie is happily settled on the west side of Madison and looks forward to many years in this beautiful city working for this incredible company. You can email Julie at email@example.com.
Laura Karavitis oversees the management of Forward Theater's productions, and also works as Forward's Stage Manager. She began her career touring internationally as an illusion specialist for magician David Copperfield, and has since stage managed at several regional and fringe theaters across the country. Favorite credits include August: Osage County with Balagan Theatre of Seattle; One Man, Two Guvnors and The Mystery of Edwin Drood with Barnstorms Theatre of New Hampshire; Violet, The Full Monty, Dead Man’s Cell Phone with Barter Theatre in Virginia. She has also worked locally with Theatre LILA on their recent production of TRASH. She is a proud member of Actor’s Equity, but an even prouder alumna of Washington State University. www. stageleftlaura.com
You can email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julia Nicholas manages individual giving, grants, and fundraisers. Julia has a Master’s degree in arts administration and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin - Madison's School of Business. She previously led marketing and public relations efforts for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and marketing research for Lands’ End. In addition, she has 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.
You can email Julia at email@example.com.
Scott Haden manages the marketing and advertising life of Forward Theater. He returns to Madison after serving as Managing Director of the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre for the last three years. Scott has also enjoyed acting for various regional theatres across the country, including the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Writers’ Theatre (Jeff Nomination), Madison Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Theatre at the Center and the American Players Theatre. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, and a founding member of the Wisconsin Story Project, the Dolphinback Theatre, and the Lovewell Theatre Project, an ensemble of artists that conceive and compose original musicals during intensive three-week collaborations. Scott holds a BFA in Acting from the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis.
You can email Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Most recently, Celia was seen onstage in FTC productions of All About Eve, Moonlight & Magnolias, and Good People.
You can email Celia at email@example.com.
Karen Moeller has been contributing to the artistic life of Forward Theater from its very first season. Karen appeared in Forward Theater's All About Eve; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; The Farnsworth Invention; Sons of the Prophet; From Up Here; and, most recently Learning to Stay. She appeared as Charlotte in the Children's Theatre of Madison's Charlotte's Web, Desiree in Four Seasons Theatre's A Little Night Music, and also appeared in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Alley Stage. She has also worked with Strollers Theatre, Mercury Players, Madison Repertory Theatre, Broom Street Theatre, Are We Delicious, and Riverside Theatre in Iowa City. She can also be seen and/or heard in various commericals throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. Karen studied theater at the University of Iowa and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. A native of Door County, she is proud to call Wisconsin (and especially Madison!) her home. Karen is ever grateful for how rich our community is with actors, designers, writers, and directors, all of whom possess such a deep commitment to the art and craft of theater. You can email Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 recently moved back to the area with his wife, a professional chef/baker.
You can email Alex at email@example.com.