Erie Playhouse Announces New Staff

- The Erie Playhouse has announced the departure of two dedicated staff members and the hiring of two new full-time staff members.

The Erie Playhouse Scenic and Lighting Designer, Joe Hassler, has announced his retirement after 36 years with the Erie theatre. Stepping in to fill his shoes is Christine Carmichael. Christine, a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a BA in Theatre, Design and Technology, spent time in New York City before returning to her hometown of Erie. Since returning home, she has worked on Spamalot, The Perry 200 Pageant and created the lighting design for The Great Gatsby. She has also worked with the Youtheatre program on technical design elements.

Youtheatre/Education Director Emily Cassano will be joining the faculty at Penn State Behrend as the director of the theatre program. In addition to teaching theatre related courses, she will direct all productions at Behrend. Kate Neubert-Lechner, long-time Erie Playhouse performer/director/teacher, is happily joining the staff as Emily’s successor. Prior to relocating to Erie last summer, she was a freelance director/instructor at various venues in Pittsburgh including the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, South Park Theatre and Little Lake Theatre. Before settling in Pittsburgh, Kate served as the executive assistant to Danny Bennett, President of RPM Music Productions in New York City. RPM is the management company for Tony Bennett. Since returning to Erie, Kate has worked for Make-A-Wish as a regional wish assistant.

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