Berkeley Repertory Theatre proudly welcomes four exceptional new hires: General Manager Theresa Von Klug; Director of Marketing, Communications, and Patron Engagement Polly Winograd Ikonen; Associate Managing Director Sarah Williams; and Artistic Associate Sarah Rose Leonard

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Theatre taps four dynamic women to fill key positions across the organization


May 13, 2015 — This month Berkeley Repertory Theatre proudly welcomes four exceptional new hires: General Manager Theresa Von Klug; Director of Marketing, Communications, and Patron Engagement Polly Winograd Ikonen; Associate Managing Director Sarah Williams; and Artistic Associate Sarah Rose Leonard. Together they bring to the award-winning Theatre a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience working in the arts and not-for-profit performing arts sectors.


“We welcome these four vibrant women to Berkeley Rep. They are formidable stewards of the arts and have demonstrated strong leadership and expertise in their previous positions,” says Managing Director Susan Medak. “Their combined skills and passion for the arts will be vital assets as we carve out an exciting new chapter for the Theatre.”


Theresa Von Klug, formerly interim general manager of the Public Theater, has been tapped to succeed Karen Racanelli, Berkeley Rep’s general manager of 21 years. Von Klug brings to the Theatre 20 years of experience in the New York not-for-profit performing arts sector where she has planned and executed events for dance, theatre, music, television, and film. Most recently she was general manager/line producer for Theatre for a New Audience, where she opened its new state-of-the-art theatre in Brooklyn, and filmed a major motion picture of the inaugural production of Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, set for release June 2015. Von Klug has worked as a production manager at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and New York City Center, including the famous Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert, and as a field representative/lead negotiator for Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers. She is a graduate of Baruch College where she received her MS in Labor Relations and Human Resources Management and Arizona State University where she earned a BA in Theater.


Polly Winograd Ikonen has been named director of marketing, communications, and patron engagement. She replaces Robert Sweibel, Berkeley Rep’s director of marketing and communications of 10 years, who is now director of marketing and audience engagement at Roundabout Theatre Company in New York. Ikonen has amassed two decades of experience in communications and marketing for major nonprofit arts institutions, such as the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and New York Philharmonic. She will oversee strategic marketing and communications plans for the Theatre’s acclaimed seven-play subscription season and special events, audience development, box office, and house management. Ikonen will manage a 10-person staff, including Peter Yonka, who has been promoted to marketing director after serving in that capacity on an interim basis following Sweibel’s departure.


Ikonen most recently served as vice president of marketing for Motive Medical Intelligence in San Francisco and has also led marketing and communications departments in the European luxury retail sector. Ikonen graduated with a BA in English, magna cum laude from Amherst College.


Sarah Williams was appointed the role of associate managing director, taking over for Karena Fiorenza Ingersoll, now general manager of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In her role, Williams will work closely with Managing Director Susan Medak and manage The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work, as well as special events, and will represent the Theatre to various business and cultural organizations. Williams comes to Berkeley Rep from New Haven, Connecticut where she most recently served as associate managing director of Yale Repertory Theatre. Other positions held at Yale include company manager for Yale Repertory Theatre and Yale Institute for Music Theatre. Prior to Yale, Williams held positions with the Huntington Theatre Company and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She currently serves as a member of the LORT Recruitment sub-committee, part of the LORT Diversity Initiative. She holds a BA in Theater Arts from Boston College and an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama.


Sarah Rose Leonard joins the staff as artistic associate. Leonard was a participant of Berkeley Rep’s School of Theatre’s inaugural Teen Council class and was a frequent participant in the School of Theatre’s classes as a student and intern. Berkeley Rep welcomes her back to support the work of Michael Leibert Artistic Director Tony Taccone, the artistic team, and The Ground Floor. Leonard replaces Mina Morita, now artistic director of Crowded Fire Theater. A dramaturg, director, and creative producer, Leonard has worked as the literary associate at Signature Theatre, the associate agent at AO International, the Next Generation Fellow at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the CUNY Graduate Center, and the literary resident at Playwrights Horizons. She is a graduate of NYU where she received a BFA in Theatre and minor in English from Tisch School of the Arts.



Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed more than 300 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities – the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the 400-seat Thrust Stage, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley – are helping revitalize a renowned city. For more information, visit:



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