PEOPLE

Staff

Amy Ryan
Executive Director | amy@bensontheatre.org

Amy Ryan was raised in North Omaha. After college, she served as a women’s advocate and director of children’s programs at the Newhouse Shelter for Domestic Violence. She returned to Omaha in 1995 to pursue a graduate degree in counseling psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Prior to beginning her full-time duties as the theatre’s executive director, Ryan owned and operated a successful Benson restaurant, The Pizza Shoppe & Pub, for 22 years. In 2005, she opened the Pizza Shoppe Collective, an event venue connected to the restaurant.

Ryan was named SCORE’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007 and received 40 Under 40 recognition from the Midlands Business Journal in 2009.

Parker Brown
Executive Assistant & Office Manager | parker@bensontheatre.org

Parker is a current Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha studying Political Science, International Studies, and Nonprofit Management. Put simply, he studies systems and figures out how to make them effective. Ultimately, he wants to use his expertise to help nonprofits streamline their services and achieve their missions.

After his graduation in May 2020, he intends to devote much of his time to supporting local nonprofits in any way possible. He currently volunteers with Medical Reserve Corps. Brown has a passion for administration and developing systems that boost efficiency and synergize programs with other organizations.

Though Brown is the youngest member of the Benson Theatre Team, he has been with the organization for over two years. He is one of the longest serving staff members in Benson Theatre history.

Michal Simpson
Programming | michal@bensontheatre.org

Michal began performing at the age of 4. As a founder and longtime board member of SNAP! Productions, Michal served as Artistic Director for 26 seasons; directing, choreographing, staffing, designing and overseeing show and season selection.

Michal has appeared in numerous theatrical productions, cabarets, films, commercials, and training films as well as voice work for local and regional distribution. He has acted, designed, directed and/or choreographed in multiple professional and amateur theatrical venues in the area, as well as local and regional High School productions and show choirs.

A long time Theatre Arts Guild (TAG) member, he has been the recipient of multiple TAG Awards for directing, choreography and performance. He has been honored with the Norm & Louise Filbert TAG Lifetime Achievement Award.

Caitlin Little
Operations | caitlin@bensontheatre.org

Caitlin Little is a performance artist, musician and arts advocate. A true renaissance person, Little’s artistic outlets span across genre and often push traditional structural conventions-most recently they were featured in Omaha Magazine for their work with non-traditional mediums. 

Little is passionate about the Omaha Community and continuously strives to create positive contentedness through their various volunteer efforts including Omaha Girls Rock and The National T.T.T Society.

Little is a co-founder of the now, Petshop Gallery and currently serves on the Executive board as Director of Development for BFF Omaha.

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Board of Directors

Teri Corcoran | Interim Board Chair
Stephen Center

Liz Kerrigan | Vice President & Board Chair-Elect
Greater Omaha Chamber

Tyler Wilcox, CPA | Treasurer
Velu Accounting

Michele Shearer | Secretary
Habitat for Humanity of Omaha

Tower Kountze
Presbyterian Ministry

David Maenner
CBRE | MEGA

Kara O’Connor
Morgan Stanley

Michael Vann
Vann Reality

Amy Ryan | Ex Officio
Benson Theatre