Director of West Chester Studio for the Performing Arts, which she founded in 2009, Therese is a professional actress who has performed in New York City, Los Angeles as well as regional theaters across the country. She holds an MFA in Classical Theatre from the Old Globe Theater Professional Actor Training Program and has been seen and heard in Commercials, Voice-overs, TV, Soap Operas, Industrials, Film, and on Stage. Therese joined the closing cast of the 1997 Broadway Company of Annie as Martin Charnin’s assistant director and continued on with the National Tour. Therese received a Best Actress Dramalogue Award for her work as Grace in Annie and was nominated for a Best Actress Robby Award for her work as Fiona in Brigadoon, both while working in Los Angeles. In addition to performing Therese has taught Musical Theatre, Shakespeare, Acting and Speech for over 30 years at many theaters and performing arts schools across the country. Therese is a proud member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA.
Box Office Manager
Kennedy Bernard has been involved in the performing arts since the first grade when she first fell in love with the art of performing. She began by taking acting classes and being part of the cast for shows. She then began stage managing at 16 and teaching classes at 20. She has been with the resident theater school, West Chester Studios, since 2012 and has loved every second of it.
Kennedy is thrilled to be part of the team bringing the arts to West Chester and to grow with Uptown!
Audience Services Manager
Charlotte Kroft is one of two Administrative staff at Uptown! In addition to general administrative duties such as box office, house management during performances, and coordinating memberships, Charlotte is on point for scheduling and training the theater’s cadre of volunteers. Prior to joining the staff, Charlotte volunteered at Uptown! and enjoyed a long-term and diverse career at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. She was a member of Concordia Choral Arts for many years and served as both Secretary and President. At Uptown!, Charlotte enjoys the diverse and fast-paced nature of the theater, especially interacting with patrons and tremendously talented performers!
With a passion for excellence in live production and over 10 years in production management, Josh comes from a rich background in the arts both professionally and personally. As a multi-instrumentalist musician, he directs and produces with unique insight and perspective.
Josh has been in Lighting & Sound America Magazine for his work in bringing the L-Acoustic K2 Audio system to the Historic Loew’s Wonder Theatre, now the United Palace theater on Broadway, New York City, where he has worked on numerous movie and television sets.
George has been studying sound for over twenty years as a performer, producer, and designer. After learning instruments and music theory in middle school, he studied jazz and classical guitar at school in New Hampshire. Years later he went on to complete a bachelor’s in audio production in Philadelphia, where he currently resides. George began working at Uptown in June of 2022 as an Audio Technician under Josh Zettlemoyer. Over time he became the Monitoring Engineer for concerts, as well as Sound Designer for Uptown Studio Theater under the direction of Therese Walden-Murphy. He is currently pursuing the Dante Certification Program through Audinate. His favorite show at Uptown has either been the Relache Ensemble’s performance of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Lodger” or Uptown Studio’s performance of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods”. Outside of theater work, George enjoys hiking the Wissahickon trails with friends and exercising.
Becs Smith is a Maryland native, and a West Chester/Philly based artist. Throughout their career they have worked for various styles and sizes of shows including Theatre, Dance, Corporate, and Concert. After graduating from West Chester University in 2021, Smith’s design and work credits include QVC, Longwood Gardens, Carnival of Ruin, West Chester Studio, Kun Yang Lin Dance Group, Uptown Knauer Performing Arts Center, and Windish Music Group. Smith has been working with the UptownStudio education program as a teacher and lighting designer as well as Uptown’s Lighting Director for over 2 years. When Smith is not working on the lighting board they can be found going out with friends or baking delicious desserts!
Board of Directors
Holly Brown, – At Large
Neil E. Weissman