James Nadeau - Executive Director

James has been involved in the entertainment business for over 35 years and he is very excited to call the Totem Pole Playhouse his home. Totem Pole guests and colleagues already know James from his most recent role as Associate Producer.  Just prior to coming to Pennsylvania and joining the Totem Pole family, James finished a ten-year contract with Stiletto Entertainment in Los Angeles as Casting ...

Director. Previous experience includes House Manager for The Geffen Playhouse as well as Production Manager for several other theatres in the Los Angeles area. In New York, James worked in the role of Assistant Box Office Manager for the Astor Place Theatre (home to the popular production Blue Man Group), as well as The Century Center for the Performing Arts, where he played an essential part in its opening as the Assistant Box Office Manager and House Manager.  James has also had the pleasure of performing nationally and internationally in numerous productions including “Music of the Night,” working closely with the Andrew Lloyd Webber team, as well as with Cameron Mackintosh in The Really Useful Group’s “Hey, Mr. Producer!”  Some of James’ favorite roles include, Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Hannah in La Cage Aux Folles, Freddie in My Fair Lady and Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street.  James is thrilled about his role as Executive Producer with Totem Pole Playhouse and has already begun working tirelessly on the next season ahead.


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David Hemsley Caldwell - Artistic Director

David Hemsley Caldwell began his professional career working in casting for NBC Television, Broadway and Film.  He then moved to Actor/Literary Representation with Bret Adams Ltd. and the Agency for Performing Arts working with such artists as Judy Kaye, Robert Harling, Phylicia Rashad and Donald O’Connor. David served as Artistic Director for The Gretna Timbers Theater from 1996 through 2001...

and was a visiting artist for the Conservatory Theatre Arts at Webster University and Otterbein University. Caldwell has  directed nearly 100 productions in New York, Los Angeles and across the country. Most recently he directed The Best Little Wh@#%house in Texas, for Totem Pole Playhouse, Million Dollar Quartet  for the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, The Cake for Cape Fear Regional Theatre and Oystertown: An Original Evening of Storytelling and Music conceived and written by Mr. Caldwell for the Dixie Theatre Foundation, as well as nearly a dozen special events for CFRT and Otterbein University, including their annual Alumni Awards since 2014. David has worked regionally for: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Rep., McCoy Rigby Entertainment, Meadowbrook Theatre, Riverside Theater, Montana Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theater, CATCO, Pennsylvania Stage Company, Downtown Cabaret Theatre, Allenberry Playhouse , Flat Rock Playhouse, Max & Louie Productions, and Little Theatre on the Square. Past Productions include: The Full Monty, Speed the Plow, Mrs. Mannerly, The Fantasticks, Hay Fever, Hank Williams – Lost Highway ( 2014 DC Metro Award – Best Direction & Musical Direction) , Gypsy, The Drowsy Chaperone (2011 Columbus Theatre  Critics Awards –  Best Musical & Best Direction)Almost Maine, Urinetown ( 2007 Columbus Dispatch Top 10 Musicals), Loot, Hello Again, A New Brain (2006 Best Musical –  St Louis Riverfront Times)25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2010 Best Musical – Columbus Alive)The Pavilion, The Spitfire Grill (2005 Best Musical -Heidi Awards) and Company. Past Totem Pole productions include; Smoke on the Mountain, Pump Boys & Dinettes, Radio Gals, Sanders Family Christmas, Oil City Symphony, My Way – Sinatra, Tintypes, Mixed Emotions, Forever Plaid, Homecoming, The Taffetas, I love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Ruthless!, Hank Williams – Lost Highway, Chaps! Travels With My Aunt, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, The Nerd, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I Love a Piano – The Music of Irving Berlin, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Mamma Mia. Mr Caldwell is honored and humbled to follow in the footsteps of so many talented and innovative leaders: Rowan Joseph, Ray Ficca, Carl Schurr, William Putch and the Putch family, and the founding artistic directors Carl Genus and Muriel Benson. David has happily called Pennsylvania his summer home for nearly three decades. He is grateful and elated to begin this next chapter with Totem Pole Playhouse.


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Sue McMurtray - Director of Marketing and Communications

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 Radiolog...

ic 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.


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Renee Rankin - Director of Ticketing and Patron Services

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 Sep...

tember 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.


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Josh Zietak - Production Manager / Technical Director

Joshua Zietak (Production Manager/Technical Director) is thrilled to be starting his third Summer with Totem Pole Playhouse.  Josh is also the Technical /Lighting Director for the national tour of Menopause The Musical and slips away to do a few cities when Totem Pole is dark.  Before joining the Totem Pole team, Josh was Technical Director for the educational division of The Appell Cente...

r for the Performing Arts.


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Luke Reed - Director of Children's Theatre & Educational Outreach

Luke Reed is a local director, performer, and education artist, and is thrilled to be returning to the Totem Pole family for his sixth season.  Since graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he has been working steadily in the field of the theatrical arts.  Most notably he was a longtime member of the internationally acclaimed and awarded Department of Education at Lenox’s Shakes...

peare & Company, where he also starred in and composed for multiple regional productions.  Perhaps most treasured of all, Luke has proudly led the Shippensburg Area Senior High School’s Drama club for over 5 years and 12 shows…with many more to come.


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