2022 OC THEATRE GUILD BOARD CANDIDATES

MOLLY HARDY

Greater Orange County

I am a playwright, director, producer and lyricist. I’ve toured with several of my plays, and worked professionally in Los Angeles theatres including Stella Adler. I’ve collaborated with Emmy award composer Larry Blank, Sally Kellerman and non-profit organizations including AIDS Project LA, USC, community colleges throughout LA, probation and foster care county programs. I’ve produced and directed plays at various high schools and colleges throughout the country including Harvey Milk High School in New York, the US military and Los Angeles School District.

Why do you want to serve on the board and what skills, knowledge or abilities do you feel you could offer in this role? 

I’ve moved to Orange County from Los Angeles and would like to participate in theatre locally. My skills as a producer working with non profit organizations, youth and schools could contribute to your organization.

Do you have any previous experience that would be relevant to serving on this board? 

Engaging audiences of various backgrounds and my work as a stage director and producer. I’m currently completing a book being edited by Stanford award-winning writer and professor John William Evans.

Any additional information you would like to share? 

Please feel free to review my website at www.mollyhardy.com for further information.

GINA SIMMS

Yorba Linda

I have a love for the theatre and understand the process. There are so many moving parts from writing, casting, rehearsals to closing night. The audience leaves the theatre feeling rejuvenated and for a moment in time have forgotten their problems. My background started in dance and theatre, and has transitioned to film and TV, yet my heart has always been live theatre. There is nothing like live theatre. I challenged myself to write a screenplay over the course of the pandemic, and have had success in film festivals. I have owned and operated two successful dance schools for children and adults, and have directed and produced countless Nutcracker and dance recitals. I will be starting a distance delivered MFA curriculum for professional theatre artists in January. My ultimate goal is to teach acting at the University level and one day have a dance and acting conservatory. Playwriting is also something I would like to pursue. Directing would be a dream.

Why do you want to serve on the board and what skills, knowledge or abilities do you feel you could offer in this role? 

I would love to be a part of the theatre scene in my city and help where I am needed, while earning a MFA. I believe education and experience goes hand in hand and working collectively helps the community where I live.

Do you have any previous experience that would be relevant to serving on this board? 

I'm really not sure what my duties would be, however I have owned and operated two successful dance schools, teaching hundreds of students while being a full time mom. If I can handle competition dance moms, I am sure I can do whatever is needed to be of help and service :). I'm a great organizer and problem solver too.

Any additional information you would like to share? 

Looking to get involved with the OC Theatre Guild!

CRAIG TYRL

Santa Ana

Craig Tyrl received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He earned a master’s degree in theology from Villanova University soon after. It was not until his thirties that he discovered the world of theatre arts. His first acting, dancing, and singing classes were at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo. By his forties, Mr. Tyrl began a professional acting, directing, and teaching career with the completion of his MFA in acting at California State University at Fullerton where he currently teaches. As an actor, his most memorable role was as Evan in Theresa Rebeck’s adaptation of A Dollhouse for which he was nominated by ACTF for regional festival. His love of Shakespeare includes performances as Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing, Orsino in Twelfth Night, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. As a director, his favorite shows are Godspell, for which he received The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s national award for outstanding direction of a musical, Next to Normal for which he received best direction of a musical StageSceneLA, Ruthless, The Threepenny Opera, and his personal adaptation of Twelfth Night into the Star Wars universe. As a teacher, Mr. Tyrl thrives with beginning actors teaching freshman at CSUF. He also teaches Improvisation and Shakespeare for the actor, script analysis, and theatre appreciation. He is honored to have received the 2014 University Creative Activity and Research Award from California State University, Fullerton, 2015 Perth Fringe Festival’s Critics Choice Award for his direction of Eleanor’s Story-an American girl living in Nazi Germany, and 2016 Outstanding Lecturer Nomination CSUF. However, nothing will come close to the pride he feels as inaugural founder of The Wayward Artist. Voted Best New Intimate Theatre by StageSceneLA in 2019, the theatre continues to grow as Orange County's home for The Wayward Artist.

Why do you want to serve on the board and what skills, knowledge or abilities do you feel you could offer in this role? 

My desire to serve on the board stems from the mutual support and partnerships The Wayward Artist shares with local theatres in Orange County. Albeit cliche, it takes a village. When we needed rehearsal space this summer for Ordinary Days, Alchemy Theatre offered their home practically for free. Costa Mesa Playhouse lent us their wireless microphone system. CSUF lent us their props and costumes. We've shared our space with Project LaFemme, Misfits Theatre, Breath of Fire, OC Centric Playwright Festival, Chapman University, and Santa Ana High School. The sharing of resources and mutual support strengthens all Orange County theatre. By joining the board, I believe I can help strengthen this shared support for Wayward and all OC Theatre Guild members.


I also believe I can grow personally and professionally by serving on the board. As founding artistic director of The Wayward Artist, I am intimately involved in all aspects of our non-profit. It is this experience which makes me a good candidate. Budgeting, communicating, directing, fundraising, managing, marketing, producing and all the other aspects of running a small business constitute my skill set. However, I have a great deal to learn. Serving as a board member allows me to gain insight and best practices from other guild members. Moreover, my service keeps me abreast of an ever evolving industry. I can be of service to others while enhancing my own development at that of The Wayward Artist. 

Do you have any previous experience that would be relevant to serving on this board? 

I believe my life as an educator and active member of Irvine United Congregational Church (IUCC) bring added experience. At CSUF I serve as adjunct representative to the Department of Theatre and Dance. As past coordinator of an annual high school festival, I organized events which brought 500 students to our campus. I'm an active member of the REI committee seeking to create a department of true equity, diversity, and inclusion. Most importantly, I shape and mentor the lives of the students I love. At IUCC, I served on the pastoral search committee of our senior pastor. I serve as worship chair and deacons. I believe both institutions represent administrative, organizational, and leadership qualities. Finally, before my life in theatre, I spent 15 years in restaurant management. I'm an incredible multi-tasker.

Any additional information you would like to share? 

I have often joked that the epitaph on my tombstone will say, he was a hard worker. My commitment to the Guild will always be a priority. You can trust that my involvement will be full and complete. Theatre completely transformed my life. It was a dream at one point in my life I did not even know was possible. That journey gives me a profound sense of gratitude and love of theatre as a sacred art form. I think I bring that attitude to all my work as artist, collaborator, and friend.

DEBORA WONDERCHECK

Costa Mesa

An effective performing arts leader with seventeen years of experience in strategy development, program management and implementation, with a focus on culturally sensitive and inclusive, artistic training for all children in k-12 schools, particularly those who are under-resourced.
As the founder of the nationally acclaimed Arts & Learning Conservatory (ALC), Wondercheck has a proven track record in fundraising, public education, executive leadership, non-profit governance, community building and program development. Her professional interests include arts education sustainability, board development, and equitable access to the arts. Her extensive expertise in music and education, combined with her ability to build strong partnerships across the public and private sector, has delivered powerful results throughout her career.
Wondercheck’s relationships have created artistic experiences for over 40 schools throughout Southern California. She is particularly proud of her recent partnerships with the Orange County Department of Education and the YMCA of Orange County.


In addition to her work at the Arts & Learning Conservatory, Wondercheck serves on the Board of Directors for Arts Orange County, Philharmonic Society, Copper Tree Management, EDIA committee of the OC Theatre Guild, and Waldorf School of Orange County among others. She is committed to using her experience to broaden access to high quality arts by supporting innovation, reducing barriers to entry, and building strong communities. 


Wondercheck holds a Master of Science degree in Education Administration from California State University Fullerton and a Bachelor degree in Music Education from Vanguard University. Some of her accomplishments include: 2021 National Association of Women in Business, Board Pathways Graduate, 2021 Fieldstone Executive Graduate, 2021 Orange County Business Journal Women in Business Nomination, 2019, California State University, and Gianneschi Leadership Fellow. Wondercheck is an accomplished conductor and cellist. She is a product of Orange County, and is married to Gary. They have three teenage children. 

Why do you want to serve on the board and what skills, knowledge or abilities do you feel you could offer in this role? 

I bring to the board experience in fundraising, public education, executive leadership, non-profit governance, community building and program development. However, with having served on the Guild's EDIA committee, I have realized that I have much to offer by furthering the desire of the Guild in helping our theatres (who have a desire) to understand how to diversify their boards, audiences, and casts in a supportive and unifying way.

Do you have any previous experience that would be relevant to serving on this board? 

Currently, I am on four boards and have learned so much for each (three of which are arts). These experiences will allow me to effectively serve, build, and learn on the Board of the Guild (if selected). My experience: fundraising, board development, board governance, equity, diversity, arts, education, unifier in public and private sectors, and arts advocate.

Any additional information you would like to share? 

Upon seeing the amazing production Yellowman at the Chance, I thought to myself, that all theatres that step out and do such deep meaningful work should have the support of the community. Our theatres need practical resources and plans on how to grow their work publicly and grow their organizations.