High Springs Playhouse

High Springs Playhouse

High Springs Playhouse

High Springs Playhouse - Let us Entertain You!

Officers and Managers

Suzanne Richardson

Suzanne Richardson (President) [email protected]:

Suzanne began studying theatre in High School in St. Charles, MO. She studied Direction and Writing at Stephens College in Columbia, MO and then went on to get her degree in Arts Management from Lindenwood University. While in college, she started up a ‘Sketch Comedy Group’ as well as a new play production company called ‘The Backstage Productions’. After graduating in 2011, she and her wonderful husband William moved to Gainesville. She went on to stage manage ‘Dearly Departed’ and ‘The Dixie Swim Club’ before joining the board in 2015. Suzanne has also Directed ‘Broadway Music Madness’ and was the Technical Director for HSP’s production of ‘Harvey’.


Donny Smith (Vice President) [email protected]

Donny has shared his talents on stage and off at HSP. He is open minded and willing to help out where he can. We will be welcomingDonny as a board member starting in January of 2017. A chance encounter with a friend in Gainesville lead to a part in The Art of Murder at the High Springs Playhouse in April of 2015. It was so much fun he has appeared in two more productions, Blind Intuition and Blithe Spirit. Additionally, he has found set construction to be a fascinating pastime and has assisted where needed.


Lorraine Kirkland (Secretary) [email protected]:

Lorraine saw her first play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in NYC and vowed then to one day be connected to a theater. Decades later, in 1996, she filled in for an ailing actress at High Springs Community Theater, then housed in the New Century Women’s Club. Finally she had found her “home” and to date she’s acted in 20 plays here: favorite roles include “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Barefoot in the Park,” “Rumors,” “Lost in Yonkers,” and “The Odd Couple–Female Version.” A High Springs Playhouse Board member for many years, Lorraine has served as Publicity Chair, Vice President, President, and Play Search Chair.


Shasta Schoellhorn (Treasurer): [email protected]

Shasta is delighted to be on the Board at HSP. She first experienced HSP in the role of Nurse Ruth Kelly in the production of ‘Harvey’. She previously worked with ‘A Theater Group’ in Silverton, Colorado where she played in ‘Naomi in the Living Room’ by Christopher Durang and ‘Brilliant Traces’ by Cindy Lou Johnson. Off stage, Shasta spends her time with her young daughters and loving husband. She is a chicken enthusiast and novice gardener.

Matthew Walters (Director At-Large & Season Technical Director) [email protected]:

Matt started in Community Theater at a very young age (single digits) in Columbia, Mo. He was fortunate to perform in numerous productions with the Maplewood Barn Community Theater, the Columbia Entertainment Company and then with the Independence Community Theater in the Kansas City metro area. From Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’ and ‘Servant of Two Masters’ up to large production musicals including ‘Oliver’, ‘Lil Abner’ and ‘The Music Man’. He also learned the ‘Technical’ side of Theater from experienced craftsmen and worked his way up to Technical Director for MBCT. He and his beautiful wife Suzi, worked together to produce and direct a renewed ‘BETHLEHEM LIVE’ at Fellowship Church in High Springs in 2011 with a cast of approximately 100. This was a free outdoor, live inter-active city marketplace accompanied by a repeating stage production, presented for the Christmas season. Together, they also have facilitated the ‘Improv Workshop & Showcase’ at HSP. Matt has directed for and serves on the Board at HSP. He has also filled the role of the Season Technical Director since 2014.

Arlene Levine

Arlene Levine (Director, Box Office Coordinator) [email protected]:

Arlene moved to High Springs in 2005. Even though she had never been involved with theater she inquired if they needed help with anything and instantly became a volunteer and shortly thereafter a board member. Several years later the lead actress in the show “Cemetery Club” needed to drop out only one month before opening. The director implored Arlene to take over the role, even though she had never acted before. She went on to win the ‘Best Actress Award’ for the part that year. Needless to say, she was bitten by the acting bug and has been in many stage productions and dinner theater presentations since. She continues to act and also serve on the board where she is instrumental in dealing with patrons and ticket purchases.

Deborah Salmi (Artistic Director)

Deborah has been involved in High Springs Playhouse productions since her debut as Lexie in Dixie Swim Club in 2015. She joined the board in 2017 as an At-Large Board Member and assumed the role of Artistic Director in January 2018. Deborah is a Digital Marketer by day, plays clarinet with the Gainesville Pops, is a foster for the Florida Poodle Rescue, runs marathons, and enjoys life and adventure with Ken, her mom, and their dogs.


Audrey Copenhagen (Director At-Large): [email protected]

Audrey is a native Floridian. For the past 17 years, she spent 3 in Washington, D.C. then 14 in California. She spent most of her career as a critical care Registered Nurse. In her most recent position, with the State of California, she instructed nurses to survey health care facilities for regulation compliance. While in D.C. , she was privileged to be a backup artist in the film, “Gods and Generals”, starring Robert Duvall.  She stated, “It was fun being treated like a movie actor for a few days”. Her inauguration to HSP was with the delightful “Harvey” production. She subsequently had roles in “Dashing thru the Snow” and hopes to obtain other HSP acting opportunities. She looks forward to assisting the great HSP as needed.

Julie Macklin (Director at Large)

Julie is a stay at home mom to her two girls and a freelance graphic designer. She has spent numerous hours watching her daughter perform in acting classes and play rehearsals and loves what HSP brings to this small town. Before moving to High Springs in 2002, she coordinated special events for a non-profit industry association for 4 years. A volunteer at heart, she serves frequently at High Springs Community School notably as president of the HSCS PTSA from 2013-2015 She is also very active at First United Methodist Church of High Springs and recently started the Grace Girls ministry for “tween” girls. She is excited to take all that she has learned and bring it to HSP.

Rob Sowers (Director at Large)

Originally from rural Ohio, Rob spent several years in the Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and then attended and graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelors and later a Masters from Florida Gulf Coast University.  Rob relocated to High Springs in 2016 and became involved with the Playhouse when he brought his daughter Ripley to an audition.  Rob performed in the 2017 production of “Rehearsal for Murder” and was nominated to be a member of the board of directors which he happily accepted.  Rob also functions as Facility Manager for the Playhouse and looks forward to performing again with the many friends he has found at the theatre.