NTC strives to be knowledgeable, aware, stimulating, caring, fun and creative. We do this every day with the help of some incredible people. To get to know each member of our staff, click on the photos below.
AllAccountingClient ServicesITProductionSales and MarketingSchool Communications
In 1978, Ward founded NTC to deliver entertaining and engaging programs that motivate families, students and educators. For nearly 35 years, organisations have used NTC’s engagement strategies and tactics to enhance their reputations and visibility in the communities they serve. Ward has worked with clients in the energy, financial services, health, technology, environment, recycling and consumer products industries, among others, and is in the third year of producing a nationally broadcast TV series for tweens and teens called [email protected] Under Ward’s supervision, NTC has developed the art of teaching using live theatre into a science of its own. With a keen eye for talent, he has assembled a staff filled with knowledgeable, aware, creative, stimulating, fun, caring personalities, building NTC into the largest educational touring theatre company in the country. As founder and president, Ward Eames oversees all departments by keeping a finger on the pulse of the day-to-day operations of the organisation.
As NTC’s COO, Pat is responsible for the management and oversight of all the operational aspects in NTC’s Theatre Production, Print Production, Digital Production and School Communications Departments. This responsibility of daily operations at NTC includes all programs and school assemblies, special live events, video, digital activities, social media, educational print materials, distribution and product development. He works with executive management to help grow the business as well as on budgets, directing, hiring, training, leading tactical staff meetings, creative sessions, troupe logistics, scheduling, school activations and strategic planning. Patrick began his career at NTC in August of 1998 as a touring actor, educating and performing for children all across the country and has since built sets, props, costumes, hired over 1,400 actors and helped produced 1,000’s of educational programs, including NTC’s nationally syndicated TV show [email protected]™ and has helped make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and their teachers and families all over the US. Pat is passionate about the work we do here at NTC and is happily married to his wife, Jennifer, a High School teacher, and proud parents of identical twin daughters and one son.
After 15 years in the graphic arts industry, and two children, Margaret joined The National Theatre for Children. As a co-owner of NTC, the financial and human resources department seemed a natural fit. Over the past eight years she has taken control of the accounts receivable and payable, the company payroll and monthly financial statements. She also oversees the company’s employee benefits plan as well as the general office management.
Katie started working with The National Theatre for Children in 1990 as the assistant to the President. Currently Katie is the Director of Client Services and is responsible for negotiating and executing contracts between NTC and its sponsors, PR, and newsletters. She also works in conjunction with NTC senior management and production staff on new product development. Katie lives in Minneapolis.
Becoming a full-time part of the NTC team in August 2009, Eddie has a unique perspective on NTC’s operations. A Marketing & Communications major and graduate from the University of St. Thomas, he analyzed the NTC business model and practices. Now as the Director of Marketing, Eddie is responsible for managing NTC’s business development and content marketing areas and is tasked with creating relationships with corporate, governmental and non-profit sponsors who want to partner with NTC to actively engage students, teachers and families on important societal issues through the school channel. Prior to this role, Eddie has spent time executing projects in numerous areas of NTC ranging from Client Services, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service departments. http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/32228
Frank Maciel’s first paid acting gig was touring Los Angeles with Alice in Waterland for NTC in 1989. After moving to Minneapolis from his native California, he worked as a Tour Coordinator at NTC, writing scripts for the company on the side. Frank hosted Kids News, an NTC educational video project launched in the early 90’s, and worked as a staff writer for the TV show, [email protected] About. Recently, he supervised Acting Out! — NTC’s first peer to peer anti-bullying program, coaching student groups from four Minnesota high schools. Frank’s quirky resume includes improvising with Comedy Sportz in the Twin Cities & LosAngeles; hosting the afternoon kids’ show, Club Fun TV on KMSP Channel 9; startling guests at Disneyland as Sally Mae, the Ugliest Girl in Frontier land; appearing on television in improv and sketch comedy based programs; and one of his favorite jobs — behind the scenes work on a game show hosted by Dick Clark, getting the chance to chat up Betty White, Ed McMahon, Rip Taylor, Dawn Welles, and Adam West. He even helped push the original TV Bat mobile when it died unexpectedly outside the soundstage! Currently Frank’s duties as NTC’s Manager of Product Development include work on marketing pieces, RFPs and grant applications while heading up the Business Development Call Center as well. He lives in the Loring Park area of Minneapolis and FINALLY has underground parking.
Jenny came to NTC with years of experience in Business Administration, Office Management, and Accounting. She started at NTC as a sales caller, help the title of Marketing Coordinator and has moved on to Office Management. As the Office Management Coordinator, she is the gate keeper of our client database. She manages NTC’s Salesforce prospect marketing, manages conference events and helps maintain budgets. She assists with coordinating NTC’s Pardot Software, MPI Data, and Conversica System. She supports Client Services and our Accounts Payable/Receivable Department. Jenny is in charge of ordering all NTC office supplies and equipment. She also manages landlord maintenance and deals with vendors for office related supplies and services. In general – she helps out where ever needed. Jenny lives in Minneapolis with her family. She enjoys photography, spending endless hours with her two crazy kids, and is always up for whatever adventures that may come her way.
Bill Turner began working for NTC in 1995 as an actor. He was instrumental in developing characters for such shows asWhere in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and 2Smart 2Smoke. As an artistic associate, Bill began directing and building shows. As Technical Director, Bill managed set design and construction, prop design, costume development, and production budgets. He also served as Technical Producer forShakespeare in the Park. Bill also served as Director of Production, and General Manager of The National Theatre for Children. Bill currently manages the technical infrastructure at NTC.
Matt Levine started with NTC as a School Communications Representative in November 2016, and soon after made the move to Client Services. Working with corporate, government, and non-profit clients, he helps facilitate partnerships that bring educational opportunities to schools throughout the country while enhancing clients’ visibility in their communities. Outside of NTC, he is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance editor, and avid movie-watcher.
John Trones joined NTC in 2008 as a part-time employee in what was then known as the School Marketing Department, and later transitioned to a full-time tour coordinator in 2009. In 2011 Trones stepped into the role of the Director of School Communications where he coordinated the scheduling and communications efforts for thousands of schools and dozens of clients every school year. In 2017, John made the move to Director of Production where he oversees all aspects of Production for NTC. An avid musician and actor, Trones enjoys performing at a variety of venues when not at NTC.
Jon serves as Artistic Director at The National Theatre for Children. He began working with NTC in 1992 as a freelance performer, writer and director. He became an Artistic Associate in 1998 and Creative Director in 2004. He has written dozens of programs for NTC and was head writer on the nationally syndicated sketch comedy program, [email protected] During his free time, Jon writes and performs with various theatres in the Twin Cities. He has performed with Gaydar Productions, Outward Spiral and the Minneapolis-based comedy troupe HOT DISH and he co-founded 8 Ball Productions with John Trones. Jon is also an author, having published a five book series entitled We Are Heroes which explores how kids can volunteer and contribute to their communities.
Nate Metcalf has been one of the most active performers in NTC’s history. After 10 years on the road as a touring actor, Nate still holds the company records for most tours (over 50) and most performances (well over 4,000)! Even now that he’s in the office, he’s still a little hard to pin down. Serving as the Technical Director, Nate oversees the construction of all NTC’s props, costumes, and scenery. When not in the shop he can be found at his laptop working on the script for a new show, or staying in touch with his actors on the road. He has written (or co-written) over 30 shows for NTC. Outside of the office, Nate can’t stop writing, turning his talents to scripting one-acts, ten-minute plays, and currently, his first full-length endeavor. He can also be found horsing around with several of the community theatres around town. A lover of all game shows and trivia contests, Nate had a moment in the sun when he went on the tv show Jeopardy! in 2007 and walked away with enough money to pay for his wedding to the Lovely Jolene. The two currently live at Fort Awesome, with their trusty guard DOGS, Spaghetti and Norman.
As the Casting and Company Manager, Joe is responsible for auditioning and hiring actors, directing troupes, maintaining and building relationships with actors, and helping to create new shows. He is also a talented writer and director. Joe began working with NTC as an actor in 2011 and started in School Communications in 2014 and most recently transitioned over to Production. Outside of NTC, Joe is a writer, director, film-buff, and baking enthusiast.
From small town treasures to some of the biggest names in retail, Jill Van Heel, NTC’s Art Director, has been thriving in the world of design for over twenty years – and what a ride it’s been. Jill has worked for some of the top retail companies in North America as well numerous print shops, newspapers, travel agencies, etc and believes design is much more than aesthetics. It’s a science, a strategy. There’s a method to the madness. Jill holds a BS in Graphic Design, AAS in Multimedia Technologies and a diploma in Commercial Art & Design and has had her hand in just about every type of project. In addition to NTC, Jill also works as a makeup artist for MAC, is addicted to lip gloss and has an extreme love for 80’s hair bands, country music and just about everything in between. She loves to see live music (has been known to travel over eight hours to see a show), collecting obscure items from the 80’s, traveling anywhere that isn’t hot and humid, is serious about her Diet Coke and Vanilla Iced Nirvana from Dunn Bros., laughing for no reason, doing arts and crafts when time permits, playing old school Super Mario Bros with her nephews and embracing her crazy cat lady status.
Morgan joined NTC's Production Department in 2015, as the Digital Manager. It's her job to create and manage NTC's web and multi-media materials. Besides her work at NTC, Morgan is a freelance videographer and an experimental cook/baker.
Evan started his career at NTC as a touring actor in 2014, completing seven tours over a three-year period before moving to the Twin Cities to fulfill the role of Production Writer and Coordinator and has since transitioned to being our Company Manager. Prior to working full time for NTC, Evan worked for various companies and theatres across the Midwest and Eastern United States as an actor having done over 1,200 performances in 21 different states. Evan is a native of Lafayette, Indiana and a graduate of Purdue University where he studied Mass Communications and Acting. Outside of the theatre world, Evan enjoys watching sports, playing card games, doing crossword puzzles and a strong cup of black coffee.
As Director of School Communications, MaryLynn oversees the team who coordinates NTC’s programs at schools across the nation and who are dedicated to providing a phenomenal experience for educators who work with us. MaryLynn is proud to be part of the mission of NTC in providing quality educational theatre to students – for FREE! MaryLynn started working at NTC in 2010, after several years freelancing as a performer and educator in the Twin Cities. In addition to her work at NTC, she currently serves as the Director of Music at a Lutheran church where she directs the choir and plays piano, cello and ukulele. She also is an avid world traveler. Her last tally: 5 continents and 19 countries visited!
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Born and raised in the Midwest, Phil has lived in Los Angeles since 1983. He was a touring actor with NTC in the early 90s and at one time held the record for the most NTC performances. These days, when he's not casting and directing NTC tours for the Southwestern U.S., he can be found performing with the improv group ComedySportz Los Angeles, where he is the Managing Director. He is a longtime ensemble member at Theatre of Note in Hollywood, where he has served as an actor, director, writer, composer and musician. He has also written and directed plays for the Repertory Theater of America in Baltimore. You can also see Phil in a handful of independent films, including Robert Altman's STREAMERS, and hear him on a handful of albums, including his live CD "Easily Amused," featured on the Dr. Demento radio show.
Derek Meyer began his career at NTC as an actor in 2008 and performed in over 25 different shows, touring to schools across the country, through 2014. Since then, Derek has worked for the company in a variety of roles in the Production and School Communications departments. In his current role as Distribution Manager, Derek makes sure all program information and materials get to the schools in conjunction with their scheduled programs. He is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay with a degree in Theatre. When Derek isn’t at NTC, he can probably be found riding his bicycle, performing in a show, or baking something tasty.
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Alyssa’s passions for education and the arts are what originally drew her to NTC. Her background in music and math prepared her for a position in arts administration, so she likes the creative problem solving within School Communications! When she’s not working, you’ll probably find Alyssa playing board games with friends or biking the Chain of Lakes. Outside of NTC, Alyssa also enjoys indulging her love of math through tutoring, singing with the choir Magnum Chorum and leading the alto section in the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Choir in Northeast Minneapolis.
Lindy joined NTC in 2016 as a School Communications Representative. In her current role as Content Manager, Lindy’s main focus is serving as a creative writing voice – creating copy, proofreading and editing, and overseeing the department’s written content. Lindy studied Theatre Arts and Communication, Media & Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Outside of work at NTC, Lindy enjoys acting with local theater companies, traveling, fashion, food and fun.
Turi Jystad came to NTC in 2017 as a School Communications Representative. As Staffing Manager, she now works closely with representatives on daily schedules, training and hiring needs. Turi studied Theatre Arts and Communication Studies at Southwest Minnesota State University. In the evenings, Turi works as a stage manager and enjoys playing video games, reading, spending time with cats and learning new yo-yo tricks.
Lizzie joined NTC in fall 2018 as a School Communications Representative. She enjoys making a positive impact on the lives of students through theatre, since she has a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a focus on Social Justice. She has worked in theatre and performance for five years and the service industry for six years, making her a perfect fit for School Communications! Her spare time is spent snuggling with her dog Lily, performing in plays, musicals and films in the Twin Cities, playing video games and designing costumes for Cosplay conventions.
Helena joined the NTC team in fall 2018 after graduating from the University of Iowa. As a School Communications Representative, she coordinates with schools to bring in educational shows for students throughout the year. Working at NTC combines her love for the arts and desire to support childhood learning. Outside of the office, Helena enjoys being involved in the performing arts.
Kaysie has a background in journalism and marketing communications. Prior to her position with NTC, she has also worked as an ESL and arts educator. Kaysie is delighted to join NTC as a member of the School Communications team.
Laila started working with NTC in fall 2018. She is incredibly passionate about theatre and arts education, and being able to work with School Communications to bring theatre to young people has been incredibly rewarding. Laila also performs in shows in the Twin Cities. In the little free time she has left, she can be found trying out a new recipe or scouring the shelves of the nearest bookstore.
Sarah started working at NTC in August 2018, reaching out to schools and offering them our educational programs. She worked previously as a paraprofessional educator, in a school library and as an employment counselor – so she greatly values education of all kinds, and is happy to be at NTC in an education-related role! When not working, Sarah is likely reading or spending time with friends and family.
After graduating from Ripon College with a degree in Theatre and Music, Sophie was very excited to start working at NTC in August 2018. As a School Communications Representative, Sophie reaches out to schools across the country to offer our hilarious and educational programs. She also works behind the scenes with social media. In her spare time, Sophie enjoys acting in the performing arts community of the Twin Cities, exploring state parks and attending shows throughout the area.
Schoua Na (Sonic) started working at NTC in winter 2017. She has a background in community organizing within the arts and is passionate about creating change. Outside of work at NTC, Sonic enjoys making music.
Trevor began working at NTC in fall 2018. A graduate of St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Music in music performance, Trevor is thrilled to be working for a company that utilizes the performing arts to teach students important lessons. Trevor assists schools with scheduling shows and interacts with educators and parents on NTC’s social media. While not at work, Trevor enjoys performing art song, opera and musical theater, as well as playing basketball and spending time with his partner.
Shana began working at NTC in August 2016 as a School Communications Representative. Prior to working at NTC, Shana spent 15 years working in Veterinary Medicine while pursuing theatre on the side. Now, acting is Shana’s main pursuit while working at NTC and teaching children’s music at several synagogues and pre-schools around the Twin Cities metro. When not working, Shana loves spending time with her family and menagerie of dogs & cats at home.
John Kunik joined NTC in 2015 as a member of the School Communications team, reaching out to schools and scheduling programs, a position that makes good use of his past experiences in public relations, sales, teaching, and customer service. In addition to his departmental duties, John is also involved in several writing and client projects for NTC. When not at the office, John is active in the Twin Cities theatre scene as an actor and director as well as sharing his knack for stand-up comedy locally and at regional comedy festivals.
Grant Hooyer is the Print Distribution Coordinator for NTC. He is in charge of shipping and distribution of printed materials for the schools our actors visit. Grant has also been a touring actor for NTC, performing in shows like The Treasure Trove of Conservation Cove, Men in Plaid, and The Energized Guyz. Originally from Sioux Falls, SD, he graduated from Augustana College with B.A.’s in Psychology and Theatre. Grant moved to the Twin Cities in 2013 to pursue theatre, and has worked for various companies around town such as Theatre in the Round, Lyric Arts, and Artistry.
Alana started working for NTC in the fall of 2015 and she couldn’t be happier. She has a background in theatre, arts administration, and retail, so working in school communications is a perfect fit! She enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 sons. When not travelling or working, she likes to perform in plays and musicals around the Twin Cities.
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