Claire Avitabile: Executive Artistic Director / Founder
- A 2005 Minnesota transplant from New England, Claire Avitabile has been teaching, directing, and producing theatre for youth and adults for over a decade. She graduated from Smith College in Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s degree in theatre, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and currently works fulltime at the Sabes Jewish Community Center as Director of Performing Arts, overseeing the JCC’s professional season and organizing challenging enrichment classes and youth programs. In 2006 she founded 20% Theatre Company and has been leading the company ever since. Directing credits include the critically-acclaimed Anon by Kate Robin, Perfect Pie by Judith Thompson, Hot ‘n’ Throbbing by Paula Vogel, The Pink Unicorn by Elise Forier Edie, Femmes: A Tragedy by Gina Young. and the world premieres of Standards of Care by Tobias K. Davis and Changes In Time by EB Boatner, among others. She has produced all 30+ productions for 20% Theatre Company, including our now-annual Q-STAGE: New Works Series that features new works created and developed by local LGBTQ artists. Claire has been a guest speaker/presenter at numerous colleges, universities, and conferences both locally and nationally. She has been recognized by Lavender Magazine as a Top GLBT Leader in the Twin Cities (2012) and as Artistic Director of the Year (2014, small theatres), and has also received the Women of Distinction prize from Century College (2012).
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Ryan Cooley
- Suzanne Cross
- Zealot Hamm
Melissa Harl: Secretary
- Jo Lum: Chair
Jo holds a Bachelor of Arts in education studies from Eugene Lang College and an Associate of Applied Science in American Sign Language interpreting from Saint Paul Community and Technical College. A native New Yorker, Jo is founder of the non-profit Friend of Camp Little Notch, an organization that owns and operates a summer camp in the southern Adirondacks. Jo works as a Gift Officer at Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, providing relational attention and gratitude to donors at all giving levels. Currently, Jo serves as vice-chair of the board of 20% Theatre Company, is an active member of the Twin Cities chapter of Resource Generation, regularly serves on community grant review panels for Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and is a member of RECLAIM's finance committee. Previously, Jo worked as development director at ASLBlend, a non-profit that provides services to the Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing community. Jo is fluent in American Sign Language, and leads 20%'s ASL Access Committee. For fun, Jo co-hosts Queering Little Women, a podcast about Jo March, a transman trying to make it as a writer in Concord, Massachusetts in the 1860s. Jo lives in Minneapolis with a well-traveled adventure cat, Hatten.
Mykel Pennington has been on the Board of 20% Theatre since 2009, serving at Vice Chair for 4 of those years. Mykel’s background is diverse and interesting, working in marketing at one of the largest performing arts organizations in Seattle – The Seattle Theatre Group, to scanning your Delta boarding pass as you board your flight to Paris. Mykel has also spent time teaching preschool, waiting tables, assisting executives in Fortune 50 companies and raising children. Her passions are acting, throwing great parties and creating intentional communities.
- Maureen Stoltzman: Treasurer
- Maureen Stoltzman joined the board of 20% Theatre Company in December 2013 to reignite a long time love of theatre. She has a BA in Humanities and Literature from National University Ireland-Maynooth and an MBA from Manchester Business School in the UK. She spent many years woring and traveling in Europe and finally returned to the US in 2010 to work as a finance manager with a local corporation. Maureen was involved in theatre in college and acted as a stage manager for several productions. She currently volunteers as a Study Buddy with Common Bond Communities, working with the same young man for four years.
Katonya Strickland: Vice Chair
- Corinna Troth
Corinna Knepper Troth has been at home in the theater for more than 25 years, and joined the board of directors of 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities in the fall of 2012. She has a B.A. in Theater and Latin with departmental distinction in design from St. Olaf College and has worked on numerous productions in a variety of capacities including marketing and publicity, running crew, lighting, stage management, and scenic design, construction and painting. Her skills have been applied to shows produced by The Chameleon Theatre Circle, Minneapolis Musical Theater, nimbus theatre, Black Dirt Theatre, The Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Theatre Unbound, St. Paul Academy and Summit School and Theatre in the Round.