creative team

Ben Clark BEN CLARK (MUSIC/LYRICS) is a singer, songwriter, composer and an Indiana native. Ben has been writing music since age 14, and The Circus in Winter marks his full-length musical debut.  For this piece he has received overwhelming response from both educational and professional worlds including the Kennedy Center Award for Outstanding Musical Composition. In 2012, he received a fellowship at the O’Neill Center and was an invited artist at the Johnny Mercer Writer’s Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. Ben works in New York as a recording artist with his band, Ben Clark and the Long Shadows. He is releasing a full-length solo album in the spring of 2014, called Time and the Miles Apart. He is a graduate of Ball State University and currently lives in Brooklyn. @blcofficial
hunter foster HUNTER FOSTER (BOOK) wrote the books for the Off-Broadway musicals Summer of ‘42, Bonnie and Clyde: a Folktale and The Hollow. Additionally, Hunter has starred on Broadway: Leo Bloom in The Producers, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (Tony® nomination), Bobby Strong in Urinetown (Outer Critic nomination), Les Misérables, Grease, Footloose and Alan Menken’s King David. Off-Broadway: Ordinary Days at Roundabout Underground, Lincoln Center Theater’s Happiness (Drama Desk nomination), Frankenstein (Victor Frankenstein), Dust, Modern Orthodox, Urinetown (Lortel nomination). Regional: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Signature Theatre – Helen Hayes nomination), The Government Inspector (Guthrie), Mister Roberts (Kennedy Center), Party Come Here (Williamstown), and Children of Eden (Papermill). He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program. @hunter_foster
Beth Turcotte BETH TURCOTTE (BOOK) has been an inspirational theatre artist and educator devoted to the development of new work and emerging talent for the past 30 years. She has earned accolades in both professional and educational arenas for her visionary projects and passion for arts education. Beth is the recipient of the 2012 Creative Endeavor Award for her dedication to arts education and the creative process. In her community work, she created the Cornerstone Center for the Arts, an inner-city arts institution discovering young unheard voices and exposing over 15,000 children to theatre, dance and music. She is a Professor of Theatre and Dance Performance at Ball State University and received her MFA from Southern Methodist University.
Joe Calarco JOE CALARCO (DIRECTOR) is a director and playwright who has worked at some of the best theaters in the country including Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Primary Stages, Lincoln Center, The Transport Group, Goodspeed, Signature Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Old Globe, The Shakespeare Theater Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Folger, Barrington Stage Company, Theater J, Philadelphia Theater Company, Dallas Theater Center, Weston Playhouse, The Hangar Theater, The O’Neill Musical Theater Conference, and The Yale Institute For Music Theater. He is an Artistic Associate at Signature Theatre, a New York Theater Workshop “usual suspect” and a Drama League directing fellow. He has been nominated for the Drama Desk Award, the Jeff Award, the Evening Standard Award, and has won a Lucille Lortel Award, two Barrymore Awards, and five Helen Hayes Awards. His published works as a playwright include Walter Cronkite is Dead, In The Absence of Spring, and Shakespeare’s R&J. He sits on the Executive Board of SDC.  @joecalarcoNYC
Spencer Liff SPENCER LIFF (CHOREOGRAPHER) choreography can most recently be seen on Broadway in Hedwig and The Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris. Spencer’s choreography has been seen in various regional productions, workshops and cruise ships including Sleepless in Seattle, Two Gentleman of Verona: A Rock Opera, Oliver!, Spring Awakening, Aladdin, On a Clear Day… (director /choreographer). In television, Spencer’s work on the past five seasons of the hit FOX television show So You Think You Can Dance earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Choreography. Spencer also choreographed the 2014 Emmy Awards. As a performer, Spencer earned his equity card at the young age of 7 in the 1st National tour of The Will Rogers Follies. He made his Broadway debut in Big-The Musical, followed by The Wedding Singer, Cry-baby (2008 Fred Astaire Award as Best Male Dancer on Broadway), Equus, and 9 to 5. Film and TV credits include, Hairspray, Across The Universe, Footloose, Smash, and Gypsy. @spencerliff
Matt Hinkley MATT HINKLEY (MUSIC DIRECTOR) Broadway: Violet (guitars), First Date (associate MD, keyboard, guitars), Godspell (associate MD, keyboard, guitars); cast albums for the above and for Glory Days (guitars). Off-Bway includes ROOMS (MD), [email protected]%king Up Everything (Supervisor, Orchestrations), Bloodsong Of Love (Supervisor, Orchestrations), 35MM (guitar, guitar arrangements), and The Burnt Part Boys (associate MD, guitar, piano). Regional includes White Noise (associate MD, keyboard, guitars) and Son Of A Gun (MD, piano, guitar).  Studio supervision, arranging, and producing credits include Caissie Levy’s With You, Joe Iconis’s Things To Ruin and Rock ‘N’ Roll Jamboree, Natalie Weiss’s self-titled EP, and Jonathan Reid Gealt’s Here For You; Matt’s playing can be heard on numerous records, including Kelli O’Hara’s Always, Miller & Tysen’s Fugitive Songs, and Kerrigan & Lowdermilk’s Our First Mistake. B.M. in Vocal Performance from NYU. Originally from Midland, Texas, Matt lives in Manhattan with his wife, Kymberly, and their two cats. @hinkleystomp
Sean Cercone SEAN CERCONE (PRODUCER) is a producer with a consuming passion for new musical theater. Among the 50+ musicals Cercone has produced, his credits include the Tony® nominated Broadway production of Hands on a Hardbody, starring Hunter Foster & Keith Carradine; Southern Comfort, starring Annette O’Toole & Jeff McCarthy, which was named a Critics’ Pick in The New York Times and Time Out; and the Chicago premiere of The Story of My Life, directed by Tony® Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. Additionally, Cercone founded the West Virginia Shakespeare Festival, sold over 1.4 million tickets as Producing Artistic Director of The Carousel, worked as a Musical Theater Specialist for the NEA, and served on the board for the National Alliance of Musical Theaters, Co-Chair of NAMT New Musical Theatre Festival, and as Board President of the Cleveland Theater Collective. Cercone was named to Crain’s Business Top 40 Under 40 and is an avid Ironman. @seancercone
Ken Dingledine KEN DINGLEDINE (PRODUCER) is the Vice President and Director of Operations for Samuel French, Inc., the largest theatrical publishing and licensing company in the world. He has brought over 800 new works in print and available for performance licensing during his tenure at French. In addition to catalog development, Ken was the Festival Coordinator for French’s popular Short Play Festival for emerging playwrights. Prior to Samuel French, Ken was the founding Managing Director of Spiral Theatre Company, a company dedicated to bringing new, previously unproduced work to the New York stage. Ken is a graduate of Ball State University and lives in Brooklyn.
Claire Buffie CLAIRE BUFFIE (PRODUCER/MARKETING DIRECTOR) is a marketing and branding professional with a specific focus in the performing arts. She has a Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. For her Master’s thesis, Claire wrote a strategic marketing communications plan for Circus, which she is now fully implementing. In recognition of her continued relationship with her undergraduate alma mater, she recently received the Graduate of the Last Decade Award from Ball State University, where she received her BFA in Visual Communications. Claire is a commercial photographer and marketing consultant in Manhattan. @clairebuff
MELISSA JONES (PRODUCER) is a founding employee and Vice President US Sales and Relationship Management, for Planet Payment Inc., a global credit card processing company, as well as an avid theatre and arts enthusiast!  She is a graduate of Ball State University’s department of Theatre & Dance and has continued performing throughout her business career, including showcase and improv troupe productions in NYC and Westchester, “Brass Theatre and the Canadian Brass” at the Lincoln Center/Avery Fisher Hall, a brief foray into reality TV in 2005 on “The Real Gilligan’s Island”, and an acclaimed cabaret production in NYC that same year.  Melissa is also a supporter of Drum Corps International, Ball State University, the NEA.BPD/education on mental health issues, and lives in Purchase, NY.  @melissamasonj
Foresight Theatrical FORESIGHT THEATRICAL (GENERAL MANAGEMENT) Under the supervision of Alan Wasser, Allan Williams, Aaron Lustbader, and Mark Shacket, Foresight Theatrical provides general management services for the Broadway Productions of The Phantom of the OperaSpider-Man Turn Off The Dark, and Kinky Boots as well as Million Dollar Quartet on tour.
 Center Ring Theatrical CENTER RING THEATRICAL (PRODUCTION COMPANY) is a New York City based production company dedicated to developing commercially impactful works of theatre which inspire audiences, discover new talent and redefine the industry.
The Circus in Winter was developed at Ball State University. The following students participated in the Spring 2010 Virginia C. Ball seminar led by Beth Turcotte that developed the musical play adaptation The Circus in Winter: Ben Clark, Justin Swader, Christopher Swader, Jonathan Jensen, Erin Spahr, Ryan Pendergast, Ranger Puterbaugh, Maren Ritter, Emily Behny, Max Gosman, Eric Byrer, JD Mitchell, Nick Rapley, and Brianna Clark.