Administrative Staff

Producing Artistic Director

Owen M. Smith


Owen is a proud resident of the City of Albany and former Park Playhouse student, and has served as the Producing Artistic Director of Park Playhouse for the last nine years. From 2012-2018 Owen also served as the Managing Director of the Palace Theatre where, alongside Holly Brown and the wonderful Palace team, he helped to lead significant growth in the historic venue’s programming and financial performance.  In 2014, he was pleased to be named one of the Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40, and he received The Norman Rice Arts, Culture & Education Award from the Downtown Albany BID in 2015.  Before returning to the Capital Region in 2010, Owen was a founding member of The Clockwork Theatre in New York City, and directed several productions off-Broadway for the company. During his time in New York, Owen served as the Assistant General Manager at New York’s Theatre for a New Audience, and his work as an actor was seen in the 40th Anniversary National Tour of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Owen is a native of the Capital Region and was inducted into the Bethlehem Central High School Hall of Fame in 2017.


Director of Education/Associate Artistic Director

Ashley-Simone Kirchner
Ashley is in her 9th season with Park Playhouse. Ashley grew up in Harrisburg, PA, where she trained in dance 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 the country. She was the lead dance instructor and choreographer for the Musical Theater Department of Regional Center for the Arts in Trumbull, CT from 2010-2016 and served as the Director of Education at the Palace Theatre from 2015-2018. As the resident choreographer of Park Playhouse, her work has been called "captivating", "utterly sublime" and "spectacular". Park Playhouse credits as choreographer: DAMN YANKEES, SPELLING BEE, RAGTIME, CHICAGO, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. As director/choreographer: PINKALICIOUS, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!, POLKADOTS, FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY, FREEDOM TRAIN, FROG AND TOAD, FLAT STANLEY, MAIN STREET KIDS CLUB, FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOON. Park Playhouse II credits as choreographer include: HOW TO SUCCEED, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, GODSPELL, THE MUSIC MAN, THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE PAJAMA GAME, OLIVER, SHREK, HAIRSPRAY. Park Playhouse II director/choreographer: THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. Park Playhouse performance credits include: ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, THE PRODUCERS, CABARET, SPAMALOT, HAIRSPRAY.


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), Hartford Stage (Hartford, CT), Palace Theatre (Albany, NY). For the Playhouse, he has directed productions of ALWAYS… PATSY CLINE, GODSPELL and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.