Administrative Staff

Producing Artistic Director

Owen M. Smith

A proud resident of the City of Albany, Owen serves as the Producing Artistic Director of Park Playhouse and the Managing Director of the historic Palace Theatre. A graduate of the Park Playhouse II youth theatre program, Owen worked with Park Playhouse for over a decade as a director and performer, and has led the company in his current role since 2010.  The company has since seen resurgence in its artistic accolades, as well as significant growth in contributions and sponsorship. In 2012, Park Playhouse entered into a strategic alliance with downtown Albany’s Palace Performing Arts Center, leading to Owen’s shared position between the two area arts organizations. In 2014, he was pleased to be named one of the Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40.  Before returning to the Capital Region in 2010, Owen was a founding member and the Producing Director of The Clockwork Theatre in New York City, and directed several productions off-Broadway for the company, including the Drama Desk nominated world premiere of Underground. Smith is a published co-adaptor of award-winning playwright David Ives’ comedy Don Juan in Chicago.  During his time in New York, Owen served as the Assistant General Manager at New York’s Theatre for a New Audience. His work as an actor was seen on tour in the 40th Anniversary National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof, as well as in productions in New York and regionally. Owen originally hails from Delmar, New York and is a graduate of the theatre arts program at New Paltz.


Associate Artistic Director

Ashley-Simone Kirchner
Ashley grew up in Harrisburg, PA, where she trained under Marcia Dale Weary at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Sandra Carlino at Pennsylvania Regional Ballet. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marymount Manhattan College, under the direction of Katie Langan, with a BFA in Dance. Ashley has danced professionally in NYC, taught at theaters and dance studios across Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York, and performed regionally in New York and Pennsylvania. She is the former lead dance instructor and choreographer for the Musical Theater Department of Regional Center for the Arts in Trumbull, CT. She has been involved with Park Playhouse since 2010 and currently serves as the Arts & Education Coordinator at The Palace Theatre.


General Manager

Chuck Kraus
Chuck is a native of East Greenbush and a graduate of the Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz. Chuck has been affiliated with Park Playhouse in multiple facets since 1998, when he began as a student in the Park Playhouse II program. Arts administration credits include Theatre for a New Audience (NYC), and Hartford Stage (Hartford, CT). Chuck also currently serves as the Marketing & Community Relations Manager at The Palace Theatre in Downtown Albany.