Staff & Admin
Rowan Joseph – Producing Artistic Director
Rowan Joseph has worked in the entertainment industry for over 35 years as a producer, director, and actor; 2016 is his third season at Totem Pole Playhouse.
As founding Managing Director, Joseph built, opened and operated The Century Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, where he presented Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama, How I Learned to Drive, starring Mary Louise Parker and David Morse.
He served as the Executive Director of the Laurie Beechman Theatre, on Theatre Row in Manhattan, for seven seasons presenting hundreds of both new and established artists, including Holly Hunter, Ben Stiller, Robert Sean Leonard, Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke, Lewis Black, and the early work of such acclaimed writers as Aaron Sorkin, Alan Ball, Donald Margulies, and Peter Hedges.
In Los Angeles, he ran legendary film & TV director Garry Marshall’s the Falcon Theatre for five seasons. Under his management the Falcon began a five-play subscription series, a highly regarded children’s theatre program, numerous theatrical & TV events and several workshops of the musical, Happy Days, a New Musical based on Marshall’s hit TV series from the ’70s.
Joseph continues to co-own and operate Theatre A Go-Go, Inc., along with business partner Shane Partlow. TAGG has presented such national tours as An Evening with Jack Klugman and the all-male production of The Queen of Bingo, which Rowan directed and co-stars in with Partlow. Other productions include: Tapestry, The Music of Carole King: Off-Broadway (Union Square Theatre), Cincinnati (Playhouse in the Park), Cleveland (Playhouse Square); The Queen of Bingo: off-Broadway (Greenwich House Theatre), Chicago (Buckingham Theatre), and Los Angeles (Coronet Theatre); Bent, Los Angeles (Coast Playhouse); and One Slight Hitch, Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Rep), Kansas City, MO (Waldorf Astoria DT).
As an actor, Joseph began his career as a member of the prestigious Mirror Repertory Company in New York City alongside Academy Award-winners Anthony Hopkins, Geraldine Page and F. Murray Abraham. He has appeared in leading roles in numerous stage productions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and across the U.S. His TV credits include roles on Gilmore Girls, Boston Legal, Treme and this past May on HBO’s critically-acclaimed series, Veep alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Hugh Laurie. His film credits include Raising Helen starring Kate Hudson, Princess Diaries 2 with Anne Hathaway, The Campaign, with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, and Grudge Match, starring Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone. He was also featured with best friend and business partner, Shane Partlow, on the 23rd edition of the Emmy Award-winning reality series The Amazing Race.
Sue McMurtray – General Manager
Having enjoyed a brief retirement of 10 months from her position as Managing Director in 2013 after 25 years at Totem Pole Playhouse, Sue was delighted to return to her old desk as Director of Marketing and Promotion. Recently she took on the role of General Manager. A local gal, she graduated from Waynesboro Area Senior High with the class of 1965. A graduate of The Wilmington School of Radiologic Technology, her career has been as varied as the web of a spider. Employed as an x-ray technician at The Chambersburg Hospital, she operated Penn National Inn and Caledonia Station restaurants, and was a floral designer for several local florists. During Thunderbird, Ltd’s original production of A Christmas Carol she created the role of Mrs. Fezziwig. Upon retirement she started her own catering business, but believes her best and most fun job was driving Jean Stapleton’s VW Bug cross-country with her best friend, Judy Houser. Some of her most enjoyable catering jobs were catering to the cast and crew of John Putch’s films “Route 30 Three” and “The Father and The Bear” starring veteran actor Wil Love. Sue is a member of The Chambersburg Rotary Club where she has served as a past President, was named Rotarian of the Year, and currently serves as Secretary. A member of St. John’s United Church of Christ, she has served as a Deacon, chair of Fellowship Ministry and Church and Ministry. Sue loves to travel abroad, but found her best trip to be to Poland, homeland of her paternal grandparents. When not at the theatre or catering, she spends her spare time with her Kizhi, her 4th black standard poodle.
Renee Rankin – Box Office Manager
Renee is a native of Chambersburg. She received her MFA in Creative Writing in 2011 from Goddard College in Plainfield, VT. She wrote the INSPIRATION column for JLTNews, the e-newsletter for Juneteenth Legacy Theatre. She’s had ten-minute plays produced by The Queens Players Act 5 New Play Festival in Queens, NY and the InGenius Fesitval and Testogenius Festival at Manhattan Theatre Source. In September 2011, her one-act play, Zap Belly, enjoyed a successful public reading at Manhattan Theatre Source as part of the Writers’ Forum New Play Reading Series.
Cyd Tokar – Marketing Director/Assistant to the Producing Artistic Director
Most recently from Tucson, Arizona, Cyd is returning to her east coast roots and embracing a love for all things theater! A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology with degrees in Graphic Design and Textile Design, as well as a degree in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix, Cyd has put her varied skills and experience to work in fields such as family practice, behavioral health, IT, retail, and event technology. She has worked both on stage and off as actor, set designer/builder, costumer, prop master, lighting tech/designer, and drama teacher, and is looking forward to all that Totem Pole Playhouse has to offer this community.
Robert Towarnicki – Production Manager
This is Robert’s first season with Totem Pole Playhouse. Robert graduated from Gettysburg College in 2010 with Bachelors Degrees in History and Theatre, and from Villanova University in 2012 with a Masters in Theatre (Thesis Candidate). Prior to joining the Totem Pole Playhouse, Robert served as both the Production Manager and Technical Director for the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts. Robert would like to thank his family for their unending support, and his significant other for always having his back.
Wes Jackson – House Manager
This is Wes’ first season working with the Playhouse and is loving it. He graduated from Gettysburg College receiving his B.A. in Theatre Arts and Philosophy. While in college, Wes has worked on over 50 productions as a director, playwright, designer, costumer, actor, set builder, scene shop supervisor, and a props master. Notable achievements include being a three-time KCACTF Irene Ryan Nominee, a National Honor Thespian, and receiving a citation for excellence in Assistant Directing. He also was the President of Gettysburg Student Musical theatre, and he co-president of the Freethinkers Society, and the Owl and Nightingale Players. He is very thankful for this amazing opportunity to work with such intelligent people in an amazing theatre.