Meet the Candidates!
Way Off Broadway would like to present the candidates for the 2020-2021 Board of Directors! Each of the candidates are sharing a bit about why you should vote for them. They will also share for 30 seconds at the AGM. All current members will be able to vote for the board on Thursday, July 30 at 7 pm.
Hello WOBCP membership! My name is Melinda Szabo and I am running for President of the board. I have been involved with Way Off Broadway, on stage, backstage, and off stage for the last 12 years. I'm sad we're losing a great space but I'm excited to see where this organization goes to the future. My biggest goal this year is for the board and the community to plan out what theater looks like in Leander and how WOBCP will fit in, given that theater is going to look different for awhile. I hope to accomplish that with the amazing board of directors presented before you. I hope you vote for me as President as we continue to move forward. Thanks for being a member!
I moved to Leander in 2018, and have been seeking a community-based organization with goals that promote cultural awareness or the arts for our community and its youth. I am a devoted theatre and film enthusiast and Thespian. I have three children all grown, a grandchild and a grandson coming in November My wife, Heather, grew up in Lago Vista, and has owned her own cosmetology business for over 25 years. We both love music, theatre and movies.
When I saw the barriers that WOB board was facing, I immediately reached out to propose using my expertise and network to assist in this organizations survival.
As I discussed in my interview, my commitment is to work with WOB members, the board and its officers to help establish structure for long-term stability and growth, in order to keep WOB organization a mainstay of Leander and the surrounding community. I am eager to learn from you, and provide ideas to create processes and revenue flows to make our survival the main focus of the coming 12-18 months. While, I love acting, I will focus my efforts on board activity and community relations with surrounding cities and county governments to seek funding, grants, and collocation of facilities, to assist in our immediate transition.
I place my candidacy in your hands, and stand committed to working in whichever position the board deems that my skills can best contribute to our success.
I would like to thank you for your consideration for the role as either Vice President or Member at Large on the WOBCP upcoming Board.
I am a six year veteran of this theatre and 20 year veteran of Live theatre in general. I would bring a highly engaged service to the VP role. I am diligent, responsible and personable in the work I do. Above all else, I want what is best for the theater and will bring hard work to see our community come together and create wonderful live theatre for everyone!
My name is Christian Huey. I'm a native Austinite and proud alumnus of UT Austin. My roots in the community run deep, and across multiple generations. I am a lifelong student and practitioner of the performing arts, the dramatic arts in particular. Theatre is in my blood. It's been a bottomless well of nourishment for my mind and my soul.
Marlon Brando proposed that acting is fundamentally about compassion. I agree and wish to augment that assertion: acting - and the dramatic arts in general - is also about empathy and a deeper understanding for one's fellow human. It strengthens the bonds between the reader/viewer/listener and his or her neighbor, family, community, country, and the world writ large.
As a local theater organization, WOBCP has a unique power to speak to and represent the residents of Central Texas, and to foster an enduring sense of community among us all. Without digressing into a political message, suffice it to say that a shared sense of community is value that sorely needs expression in this contentious national (and global) climate.
Where I see myself in helping to support these values is in finding and helping to execute new ways for WOBCP to engage our community, and conversely to encourage members of our Central Texas community to feel a connection to our organization.
I propose three initiatives to stimulate the continued success of WOBCP, and to help us reach our philosophical and - crucially - our financial goals.
1) Connecting with members of our community and offering the opportunity for them to stage original works through WOBCP. This puts more skin in the game among local voices and expands our audience base.
2) A more robust outreach to local media outlets, both traditional and nontraditional. This includes local papers like Hill Country News, Round Rock Leader, Austin Chronicle, Austin American Statesman, KUT, Austin PBS, and the list goes on. Nontraditional entities include independent YouTube, Tipton, or Twitch channels, as well as relevant podcasts with local audiences.
3) Online content. It is frankly impossible in the age of Covid not to offer something for virtual audiences and expect to survive. This means producing both video and audio content for outlets like YouTube, as well as audio podcasts. There are a multitude of ways to produce said content with minimal expense and with little legal exposure due to copyright concerns. We can offer to subscribers both free content and paid content through services such as Patreon.
I have several other ideas worth consideration, but I'll leave at that for now as I humbly propose that I both can and would be enthusiastic about initiating and helping to manage the endeavors I delineated above.
WOBCP is an integral and indispensable part of our Central Texas community. I love the people who have made the organization what it is today, and I can't emphasize just how much their efforts mean to me personally. This is an uncertain time, but one filled to the brim with opportunity. I'd like to help WOBCP meet the demands of the coming years and decades, and continue to be a crucial part of our community.
Thank you for your time and for your nomination.
Hi, my name is Yinni Chen and I was introduced to Way Off Broadway by my good friends/colleagues. I was blown away by the creativity and community after seeing Why Bump Off Barnaby in early 2020. I grew up in San Antonio and have been in Austin for 11 years. I live with my super sweet Maltese pup named Pickles. I have 8 years of accounting and financial planning experience working in established companies, one of the big four accounting firms, at startups and non-profit environments. I hope to bring my professional knowledge to help build a strong foundation for WOBCP and also get to experience serving on a board. Community is so important and I love the way WOBCP fosters that togetherness of creating a place we all enjoy living and thriving in.
Members-At-Large (6 positions available)
Scott is a high school teacher and football coach who lives in the Leander area with his family. He is an avid theater-goer and is beginning to try his hand at acting and performing in theater productions. He has a strong background in marketing and digital media and is hoping to help the theater move forward and find growth during this transition period.
Hi! I’m Katrina Hogue and I love the theatre! I began performing in musical theater productions at age 6, studied music in college and came to Texas to study music further. I’m now a music teacher in Liberty Hill and want to invest myself even more in growing performing arts in our area by joining the board of WOB. I have experience in organizing events and volunteers and know firsthand how rewarding this type of hard work is. Please lend me your vote!
As an upbeat individual who is passionate about community theatre, Nikki Hsueh is excited to be nominated as a Member-at-Large for the Way Off Broadway Board. An outgoing, energetic, and organized event coordinator, she feels that her vast professional and personal experience will help the theatre in a variety of ways. She hopes to offer a fresh perspective as a newer member not only of Way Off Broadway but also the Austin community theatre scene, having moved from southern California (LA & SD) almost two years ago. Nikki strongly believes in the importance of building relationships, and if offered the opportunity to serve as Member-At-Large, looks forward to contributing to community theatre and positively affecting change for Way Off Broadway and the new direction it is heading in.
I have extensive volunteer and Board experience in non-profit groups in various capacities. Those groups include: WOBCP; Thundercloud/Caritas Turkey Trot; youth dance groups (also as Board member); band booster groups (also as Board member); Meals on Wheels; Pflugerville ISD (including member on numerous ad hoc committees); Long Center; and Caritas community kitchen.
I am motivated, organized, experienced in problem solving, communication, fund raising and event planning, and enjoy challenges.
I am interested in serving on the WOBCP Board to help it survive the current crisis and establish the groundwork necessary to help it grow into a greater community asset in the future.
*The candidates that are running for Vice President are also running for Member-at-Large.