UFPA Staff Directory

Questions about Tickets?

For all ticket inquiries please call the Phillips Center Box Office at (352) 392-ARTS. The box office is open Monday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m.

For other questions refer to the guide below:

Media Inquiries
Nicholas van der Meer

Volunteer Ushers
Jon Prevost
(352) 273-2463

Affiliate Membership
Sara Stallings
(352) 273-2703

Phillip Center Rentals
Matt Cox
(352) 273-2474

University Auditorium Rentals
Jason Degen
(352) 392-2346

Baughman Center Rentals
Brianna Blassneck
(352) 294-0049

Website Questions
Allison Stevens

Employment Opportunities
Click here to see information regarding employment opportunities with UFPA »


UFPA Staff and Administration


Brian JoseBrian Jose
More About Brian »

Brian’s Performance Picks »

    “I have taken the liberty of creating a list of ‘Brian’s Picks.’ Although it is something tantamount to choosing your favorite children, I’ve chosen ten performances that I believe honor our history and portend where I’d like to take the program in the future.”

  • Dorrance Dance
    I love the way Michelle Dorrance reimagines the art of “tap.” Yes, this show has mind-blowing tap dance, but there’s so much more. Great soul-singing, the use of technology and physics with her dance platforms, elements of hip hop and street dance. To me, her show is the perfect season opener. My wife, Patty, may have even liked this show more than I did.
  • Gare St Lazare Ireland – Moby Dick
    I know, I know, a one-man performance of Moby Dick seems unfathomable, yet I’ve seen Conor Lovett pull off this performance and he is spectacular. The way he shares this great Melville story with the audience is a treat for the senses. After I saw it the first time, the audience member sitting to my left turned to me, unable to control his enthusiasm, and said, “I have salt-water in my mouth, I was just on the Pequod.”
  • Ifrikya Spirit
    It makes me so happy when an artist can make our world a little bit smaller. Ifrikya Spirit does just that. They take traditions foreign to many of us and make them familiar and comfortable, all the while challenging us to join them on a journey of discovery. This is a great band, with a great sound, and a great story to tell.
  • L.A. Theatre Works
    L.A. Theatre Works never disappoints! Their dramatic readings are so captivating, and so stunningly delivered. Isn’t it great when you have an arts experience that entertains you to your very core while leaving you with profound insights and new knowledge?
  • Igudesman & Joo
    Trust me on this one – these guys are big-time funny! Not only that, but they are amazing musicians. My sides hurt after I saw Igudesman & Joo, and yours will as well. Patty, my better half, loves this show too! Check out their YouTube videos with Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell and Roger Moore.
  • PKF – Prague Philharmonia with Sarah Chang
    I’ve been a fan of Sarah Chang for years, and to hear her with such a storied orchestra should make for a superb evening.
  • Cyrille Aimée
    Jazzers and non-jazzers alike love Cyrille Aimée. She’s charming, beautiful and has a great voice. Further, her band is so tight! We’ll have this show set up like one of the great New York City jazz clubs – a winner!
  • The Accidental Hero
    This is storytelling at its finest. My middle school and high school kids loved this show as much as me. In fact, they’ve gone to see it twice. If you have a Veteran in your life, please bring them.
  • Ada/Ava
    I love how Manual Cinema has reinvigorated the art of shadow puppetry. A combination of shadow puppets with live action theater, Ada/Ava weaves a great story into a trippy, Hitchcock-like experience. My 15-year-old son also loved this show.
    Amazing athleticism, strength and imagination are the hallmark traits of Momix. Their shows always dazzle and astound.

Elizabeth Auer
Assistant Director

Elizabeth’s Performance Picks »

    Here are some of the events I’m particularly excited about this season:

  • Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet
    The last time LINES Ballet was with us in Gainesville, it was two weeks after 9/11, and they were appearing with the BaAka Pymgy clan from the central African rainforest. Fast forward 15 years and it’s time for this beautiful company to return to our stage. Their images of company members are some of the most beautiful work in the field and the dancers are lovely to watch for their fluidity, athleticism and grace.
  • Ifrikya Spirit
    I traveled to Algeria in April 2015 as a guest of the State Department’s Center Stage program. The group interviewed potential artists who had applied to take part in Center Stage. We heard them in their small studio space, everyone packed into the tiny room – it was mesmerizing. From traditional gnawa music and instruments like the guembri and qaraqib, Ifrikya Spirit plays with their heart and soul and are truly excited about the opportunity to have this cultural exchange in the United States.
  • Renee Fleming
    While the audience sees the public persona of artists, those of us backstage see regular people getting dressed to do their job and step out of stage to share their talents. Renee Fleming continues to be one of the most down to earth, kind and generous artists we’ve presented during my time with UFPA.
  • Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds
    Who doesn’t love a show that includes a dog?
  • Rosi Golan
    Rosi is a pick because of how she ended up on our season. I listen to Pandora, where you choose musical selections based on artists you like. In addition to hearing those artists’ songs, you have the opportunity to hear similar artists. On more than one occasion, when listening to the Dala (previous artists of UFPA) station, I heard a voice and went running to see who the artist was because of the warm smooth voice coming through the speakers. After the third time this happened with Rosi Golan, I felt it was important to share this great talent with our Gainesville community.
  • Germán López
    I attend WOMEX 2014 (World Music Expo) in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where Germán López was one of the artists presented during the opening event. Hailing from the nearby Canary Islands, Germán’s mastery of the timple (their ukulele) absolutely blew the audience away. Of the more than 80 artist showcases I attended, his was the highlight due to his incredible talent and musicianship. From that showcase he found a U.S. agent to represent him and he will perform in Gainesville in March.

Business Office

Irina OlsenIrina Olsen
Accounting Coordinator

vroyerVivian Royer
Human Resources/Accounting

Vivian’s Performance Picks »

    Here are some of the events I’m particularly excited about this season:

  • Ifrikya Spirit
    I love their unique sound with unique instruments. Great sound!
  • Igudesman & Joo: And Now Mozart
    I love anything that can make me laugh out loud and these guys do that in spades.
  • Naturally 7
    I’ve always been a huge fan of a cappella music and have never heard these guys. I’m looking forward to something different.
  • Itzhak Perlman
    He is simply a classic and I will always take any chance to see Itzhak!
  • MOMIX: Opus Cactus
    The things they can do combining dance and illusion are amazing to watch.
  • David Sedaris
    I’ve read and re-read most of his books. I just love his type of humor.

Derek Wohlust
Financial Assistant/Education Coordinator


Shannon Sumerlin
Director of Development

SaraSara Stallings
Development Assistant


Nicholas van der Meer
Director of Marketing

Joe Osburn
Publications Coordinator

sam-120x120Sam McKee
Marketing Specialist

Allison Stevens
Website Design

Box Office

Robbie Stevens
Box Office Manager

Robbie’s Performance Picks »

    Here are some of the events I’m particularly excited about this season:

  • Cyrille Aimée
    Cyrille’s vocal stylings have just the right touch for the gypsy jazz form of music. A terrific singer with a very talented group of musicians, performing one of the more fun forms of jazz music, makes for a can’t-miss show.
  • Orchestre National de Lyon
    I have a large amount of respect for Leonard Slatkin. He increased the stature of the St. Louis Symphony to the level of being one of the most important orchestras in the United States. It will be a privilege to see a legend on our stage here in Gainesville. As a huge bonus, Orchestre National de Lyon is performing one of my favorite orchestral pieces, Symphonie Fantastique composed by Hector Berlioz.
  • ADA/AVA by Manuel Cinema
    This will be the kind of unique experience that doesn’t come around often enough.
  • David Sedaris
    If you have ever had the pleasure of listening to David read his from his books or essays, you have probably already bought your tickets. Few writers can make me laugh to the point of tears, but David Sedaris is definitely one of them.

drewDrew Clay
Assistant Box Office Manager

Facility Operations and Technical Services

Matt Cox
Operations Director

Matt’s Performance Picks »

    Here are some of the events I’m particularly excited about this season:

  • Dorrance Dance
    Michelle Dorrance is an amazing choreographer and MacArthur Fellow who inspires a wonderful group of artists to follow her lead.
  • Step Afrika!
    Step Afrika! is a fantastic dance company from Washington D.C. working alongside community youth and artists all over the world.

Jason Degen
UFPA Production Services, University Auditorium

Jason’s Performance Picks »

    Here are some of the events I’m particularly excited about this season:

    I enjoy finding those pieces we present each season that challenge me to move outside of my comfort zone in order to experience something new & beautiful.

  • Trisha Brown Dance: In Plain Site
    I’m thrilled that this company will be placing works throughout campus and Gainesville. Placing the art outside of the theater in non-conventional spaces will be an exciting challenge for UFPA and a wonderful gift for our town.
  • ADA/AVA by Manuel Cinema
    Performances that move the art form forward are why I joined UFPA in 2003 and continue to be committed to why we exist. Ada/Ava exemplifies artists who explore the possibilities of theatrical presentation with inventive means to tell great stories.
  • Ifrikya Spirit – On Tour as Part of Center Stage
    Creating a sense of community is the other “Why” that motivates my work with UFPA. As my third pick for this season, Ifrikya Spirit brings to our stage Algerian musicians, reminding us that our human experience has many flavors, many sounds, many textures that enrich our global community.

Technical Staff

Ian Boze
Technical Director

Ian’s Performance Picks »

    Here are some of the events I’m particularly excited about this season:

  • Gare St Lazare Ireland – Moby Dick
    The Squitieri Studio Theatre is a great space for performances such as this. I loved EarFilms when we presented it a few years ago. I like performances that allow the audience member to sit and listen to a story, be transported to another place in another time, and live the story – with each person have a slightly different experience.
  • Ifrikya Spirit
    The last Center Stage performance that UFPA presented was the group Ribab Fusion from Morocco. They were a great group to work with. They were talented and their music was amazing. I expect nothing less from Ifrikya Spirit when they visit. If you want to hear some good music and have a great time take a chance and join us!
  • L.A. Theatre Works – Judgement at Nuremberg
    L.A. Theatre Works always does amazing work. As a history buff I am looking forward to this performance.
  • Cyrille Aimée
    Jazz is one of the true American musical art forms that tends to have the connotations of just being that is listened to in the elevator or while on hold; however, this group is about as far from that as you can get. Come and enjoy some truly amazing jazz musician practicing their craft while sitting on the stage with them in our Main Stage jazz club.
  • The Accidental Hero
    Again, I enjoy seeing performances in the Squitieri Studio Theatre and am really looking forward to this storytelling experience. As someone who has had family serve and not really talk about their experiences, I am excited for this event.
  • The Slocan Ramblers
    I love a good bluegrass band, and look forward to this performance by such a talented group of people.

Bryan Reilly
Assistant Technical Director

Nicole Lee
Lighting Supervisor

Nicole’s Performance Picks »

    Here are some of the events I’m particularly excited about this season:

  • Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
    The first time I saw them I did not know what to expect, but by the time the show was over I was mesmerized. Not only do they play classical music expected from an orchestra but they also perform pop, rap, grunge, punk and country hits from artists like Queen, Prince, Talking Heads, and Nirvana. They are very entertaining to watch and I found myself laughing out loud more than once. I am so happy we are bringing them back.
  • The Hot Sardines
    I have had the pleasure of working with this group before and am looking forward to their return this season. They are very talented musicians and they put on a fantastic and enjoyable show.
  • Cyrille Aimée
    I was not familiar with her until this season, but after watching a few videos of her, I think this will be a very good show.
  • Ada/Ava by Manual Cinema
    I am always intrigued when we bring in artists that combine different elements to form a complete piece of work. With puppets, live actors, live musicians and a dark, thought provoking story, Ada/Ava looks to be a performance well worth attending.

Eric Ross
Audio Supervisor
In memory of our friend and colleague

Eric’s Performance Picks »

    In memory of our friend and colleague, here are some of the events he was excited about this season:

  • Igudesman & Joo: And New Mozart
    I am basing this pick strictly on clips that I have seen of their performances. Great comedy and even better musicianship, I find this to be an accessible step into classical composition for those who may require a little more “liveliness.”
  • Capitol Steps
    This troupe has been laugh out loud funny every time I have worked with them. Given the current political climate, I imagine they will have no shortage of material. This is one that my coworkers always get excited to hear is coming our way.
  • Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain puts on one of the funniest musical performances that I have ever seen. They play fully-arranged music that spans genres including past and present pop music. Musically spot on with some dry British humor thrown in makes for a great evening.
  • The Hot Sardines
    I have had the pleasure of working with The Hot Sardines in the past. They are excellent musicians that bring a great sound and experience to anyone seeking a fun night out with a great band.
  • Ada/Ava by Manual Cinema
    Manual Cinema integrates technology, shadow puppetry, and live music to create a unique storytelling experience. As someone who always appreciates a reinvention of an art form, I can’t wait to see this one.

Jonathan Prevost
Event Staff Coordinator

University Auditorium

Steve Schell
Assistant University Auditorium Manager

Baughman Center

briannaBrianna Blassneck
Baughman Center Manager

Baughman Center Phone: 352-294-0049

Head Ushers

Joy Clawson
Annemarie Furlong
Fern Gold
Jennifer Moore
Carter Nute
Elizabeth Phillips
Patricia Rayside
Carmina Valdez