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Partners and Advisory Boards

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra logo

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

The UCF School of Performing Arts and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra share a common goal of promoting music education in Central Florida and beyond and support each other in that mission. Two musicians from the Orlando Philharmonic serve as instructors in the school and many more UCF instructors perform with the orchestra. Members of the Orlando Philharmonic also participate in the annual National Young Composers Challenge Composium during UCF Celebrates the Arts. UCF choirs also perform with the orchestra on a regular basis.

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is led by Music Director Eric Jacobsen and is comprised of creative musicians and artists from around the world. The Philharmonic annually presents the FAIRWINDS Classics Series and Pops Series at Bob Carr Theater and its Focus Series at The Plaza Live, a historic Central Florida venue. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s mission is to enrich and inspire the diverse communities of Central Florida through the transformative power of live music, and it presents more than 170 live concerts and impacts more than 70,000 children, youth and families annually through its Young People’s Concerts, Symphony Storytime Series, Notes in Your Neighborhood program, and free outdoor community concerts. A resident company of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Philharmonic will perform in Steinmetz Hall when it opens in 2020. Learn more at

Orlando REP Logo

Orlando Repertory Theatre

Housed in a three theatre complex in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park, Orlando REP is Florida’s only professional Theatre For Young Audiences with a mission to create experiences that enlighten, entertain, and enrich families and young audiences. In addition to onstage productions, Orlando REP conducts community engagement and educational initiatives. The award-winning REP Youth Academy provides classes and workshops for children, along with professional development opportunities to classroom teachers.

There are fewer than 10 MFA programs in Theatre for Young Audiences in the country, and only one in the state of Florida. Orlando REP’s partnership with UCF is the only program in the country in which a direct partnership exists between the university and a professional Theatre for Young Audiences. This partnership allows a dual focus on theory and practice. Students spend their first two years in residency at Orlando Repertory Theatre, working in administration, production, and education departments. Students are integrated into Orlando REP’s season, affording them the opportunity to work alongside professional artists and administrators. MFA students also teach in Orlando REP’s award-winning Youth academy classes, camps and productions, all while studying with UCF’s esteemed theatre faculty. To learn more about this unique partnership, please visit

Orlando Shakes Logo

Orlando Shakes

Orlando Shakes has enjoyed a long-term partnership with the UCF. Staff from Orlando Shakes teach courses, including Artistic Director Jim Helsinger, who teaches a graduate course in Shakespeare, UCF faculty frequently design, act and direct at Shakes and UCF alumni regularly perform in productions. UCF and Orlando Shakes also collaborate on the development of new plays, with PlayFest at Orlando Shakes and Pegasus PlayLab at UCF.

boasts a multifaceted, long-term partnership with the University of Central Florida. In addition to designating representatives to the Theater’s Board of Directors, UCF provides necessary philosophical and financial support each season. In return, the Theater provides a thriving Acting/Education Internship program which gives UCF students the opportunity to fulfill their MFA and undergraduate BFA requirements. University faculty and students also participate as actors, designers and directors for various projects, adding professional credits to their university experience. Additionally, the Theater’s Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development teach classes and serve as faculty members for Theatre UCF.

Founded in 1989, Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF produces classic, contemporary, and children’s plays. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert, Orlando Shakes is one of the region’s most acclaimed professional theaters, garnering national recognition from The Wall Street Journal, “Spectacular and satisfying…Broadway-quality…impressive…come to Florida and plunge yourself in…”

With ambitious, high-caliber productions like 2018’s Twelfth Night and In the Heights, and 2017’s The Great Gatsby and Man of La Mancha, the Theater continues to provide an innovative world-class theatrical experience to its guests, while showcasing William Shakespeare’s legacy as the cornerstone of the company. Orlando Shakes also offers immersive educational programming that serves Central Florida schools and the local community at large. For more information visit

Themed Experience Advisory Council

The Themed Experience Advisory Council is a group of top themed experience industry professionals. The council aids in the development of the program to best prepare students for current industry standards and needs. They also assist in creating and identifying internship opportunities for effective hand-on learning that matches the needs of potential employers as well as facilitate and strengthen the relationship between the industry, UCF and students. Members of the council include representatives from most of the major themed experience companies in Central Florida. Click here to learn more about the Themed Experience Track at UCF.

Theatre Professional Advisory Board

Theatre UCF’s Professional Advisory Board is a volunteer committee comprised of Entertainment Industry professionals representing all aspects of theatrical work in the central Florida region including Walt Disney Entertainment, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, touring companies, private production companies and more. They are committed to helping our students move forward in their chosen careers after college life.

The board meets regularly to discuss opportunities to assist Theatre UCF in its mission of educating tomorrows Entertainment Industry professionals. They also conduct workshops throughout the year with students on topics such as networking, interview skills and presenting portfolios.

Ben Adams

Glenn Anderson
Sr. Designer and Design Manager
FX Design Group

Chris Brown

Art Bundey
Walt Disney World

Gene Columbus
Executive Director
Orlando Repertory Theatre

Max Croft
UCF Digital Media

Sheri Croft

Michael Fletcher
Sea World

Lawrence Haber
Entertainment Lawyer

Tim Hamilton

Jim Helsinger
Artistic Director
Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Tad Ingram
Professional Actor

Vicki Landon
Development Director Orlando Repertory Theatre

Ron Legler
Florida Theatrical Association

Jessica Leiby
Universal Studios Full-Time Scenic Painter

Robbi Lepre
Director of Theatrical Services
Busch Gardens Tampa

T.J. Mannarino
Director of Art & Design
Universal Orlando

Mack McLaughlin
CEO / Creative Director
FX Design Group

Ern Messina
Entertainment Manager (retired)
Walt Disney World

Lyle Moon
Universal Orlando

Mark Nichols
VP of Design & Development

Jim Ohrberg
Candela Controls, Inc.

Guy Petty
Walt Disney World

Grace Richardson

Marc Rothschild
Walt Disney World

Rich Taylor

Art Thomas
Freelance Producer and Business Consultant

Jim Timon
Universal Orlando Resort

Dale Ward
Ward Entertainment Services

Alisa Schwartz Zinovoy
Event Producer

UCF Opera Board

The mission of the UCF Opera Board is to support and promote the study and performance of opera at the University of Central Florida, while enhancing the general public’s awareness and appreciation of opera in Central Florida. The board meets four times a year for the purpose of reviewing the past semester/academic year and previewing plans for current and future semesters/years. Meetings take place on the UCF campus and include a light repast, a brief UCF Opera student performance, followed by a business meeting, at which each of the committees reports its activities to the Board.

Current members of the UCF Opera Board as of July 2022:

Treva Marshall
Board Chair

Sibille Pritchard
Board Vice-Chair

Thomas Potter
UCF Opera, Director

Robin Jensen
UCF Opera, Music Director

Ginny Osborne

Cullen Heuman
UCF Student Representative

Caroline Smith
UCF Student Representative

Judy Lee

Florin Mihai

Mary Palmer

Deede Sharpe

Rita Wilkes

Persons interested in being considered for a position on the board or interested in contributing as a volunteer should send an email to [email protected].