Meet Our Staff

Meet the 2024 Staff for all of our theatre productions.

We are still taking applications for our 2024 season!

Brendan Ragotzy 2019 resized

Brendan Ragotzy

Brendan literally grew up in the business, from his walk-on debut in 1966’s OLIVER! to his work as a stagehand, spot operator, stage manager, actor, director, assistant producer, and now Producer/Director. Combining his parents’ attributes with his own practical expertise, the Barn has an ideal leader for its second generation of Ragotzy ownership. In 1989 he made his directorial debut with HAIR, followed by our all-time hit THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, PHANTOM, A FEW GOOD MEN, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, TOMMY, BIG RIVER, FOOTLOOSE, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (also playing Pontius Pilate), ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT, THE WIZARD OF OZ, SHENANDOAH, THE CIVIL WAR (one of his favorites), CINDERELLA, MAN OF LA MANCHA, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, MOVE OVER, MRS. MARKHAM, AMERICAN IDIOT, ROCK OF AGES, WE WILL ROCK YOU, BONNIE & CLYDE and MAMMA MIA!, and original comedies THE WHISTLE PIG’S REVENGE, and DOUBLE “0” 69. 

Penelope Alex_color

Penelope Alex

School Dean, Marketing, Equity/Staff/Apprentice Coordinator

In her 37th season, Penelope has more than established herself as the Barn’s quintessential leading lady. Her resume here is highlighted by a series of compelling performances. Mrs. Lovett in SWEENEY TODD, Donna in both of the Barn’s MAMMA MIA! productions, Golde in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Aldonza in MAN OF LA MANCHA, Mona in THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, (all opposite Robert Newman), and opposite Tom Wopat as Annie in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN.

patrick hunter

Patrick Hunter

Managing Director/Box Office Manager

Patrick returns this summer for his twelfth season on the Barn stage. Favorite Barn roles include Beadle Bamford in SWEENEY TODD, Judah Ben Hur (and many others) in BEN HUR, Father Flynn in DOUBT, Ned Ryerson in GROUNDHOG DAY and Nicely Nicely in GUYS AND DOLLS. Directing credits include two productions of DISASTER! The Musical, 9 to 5, BIG, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, GROUNDHOG DAY and MISERY. Patrick's original farces, IN HOT WATER and A SLIPPERY SLOPE received world premiere productions on the Barn stage in 2020 and 2021.

Luke Headshot

Luke Ragotzy

The Rehearsal Shed & Miss Penelope's Bar Manager, and Bar Show Director

Audiences have seen Luke on the Barn stage literally all his life! Having fulfilled many staff positions at the Barn, performing has now taken more of a focus. Along with being a member of the Equity company, Luke is the Bar manager of the Rehearsal Shed, Miss Penelope’s Saloon and he also directs Bar Shows. Some of Luke’s favorite roles include Rocky in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, Stacee Jaxx in ROCK OF AGES, Gus in GROUNDHOG DAY, Agent Willcall in DOUBLE “O” 69, Remnar Soady in ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT, and Pepper in MAMMA MIA!

Staff Troy Benton NEW Headshot color

Troy Benton

Sound Designer

This is Troy’s 21st season at the Barn Theatre. Though he can primarily be found in the orchestra pit he does come up for food, water, and to make guest appearances in the Rehearsal Shed Lounge. As a composer, he has penned music and songs for Barn Productions, such as OLD TIMER, RAUNCH AND ROLL, IN HOT WATER, and more.

Assistant Stage Manager Emily Boomer

Emily Boomer

Assistant Stage Manager

Emily is excited to be returning to the Barn for her second summer as an Equity ASM! She started her time at the Barn assisting for THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW in 2019 and 2021, and jumped at the opportunity to work her first full summer in 2022.

Technical Director Brett Buradell

Brett Burradell

Technical Director

After many years away working as a musician, audio engineer, video/projection mapping designer, screen printer, technical director, and music venue manager in Chicago, IL and New Orleans, LA, Brett has returned to his home state of Michigan and excitedly joins the Barn's staff for his first season in 2022.


Steven Lee Burright

Scenic Designer/Painting Artist

Steven returns to the Barn for his Seventeenth Season! He can’t believe it! Steven is thrilled to add the position of “Props Master” to his already impressive list of talents. In many ways, the Barn’s former Properties Master, James Knox, was a mentor to Steven, back when the world was young. Learning from the consummate Props Master, he is honored to apply what he learned from Mr. Knox. 

john jay espino

John Jay Espino

Rehearsal Shed Bar Show Musical Director

This is John’s 13th season here since ’92! Barn audiences will remember him from many roles including Igor in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, Plankton in SpongeBob Squarepants, Cogsworth in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Julian Marx in BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, Herod in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, the Narrator in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW and Sancho in MAN OF LA MANCHA.

jeannette fischer

Jeannette Fischer

Costume Coordinator

Nettie (as she is known at the Barn) is an energetic, indispensable member of our team. As manager of our costume shop and storage, Nettie has kept that department running smoothly for over twenty years.

Her favorite show was CAUGHT IN THE NET, which she designed and built herself.

Calli Headshot cropped

Calli Hudson


Calli graduated this April from Western Michigan University with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. She recently passed her “boards” which makes her parents and family so proud they could burst! Even though she is not going down the traditional route of theatre or film like her siblings and family, she still is able to incorporate her creative side into her future profession through interventions and unique, individualized care. 

melissa hunter

Melissa Cotton Hunter


Melissa is celebrating her twelve-year Barniversary this year and thrilled to be spending it back on the Main Stage as actor and choreographer! Barn audiences will undoubtedly remember her recent roles as Millie Braden in SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, Elizabeth Benning in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, Julia in THE WEDDING SINGER, Sophie in MAMMA MIA!, Shelby in STEEL MAGNOLIAS, and a three-time Janet in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (2012, 2019, and 2021).

Jerry McAllister

Jerry McAllister

Stage Manager

This is Jerry’s 10th season at the Barn, and we celebrate his decade of work with us! Jerry has served as stage manager at 3 Below Theatre and The Retro Dome in San Jose, CA as well as production managing. He has also stage managed at the Brava Theatre in San Francisco, CA, Theatreworks USA and Kraine Theatre, in New York City. He is a founding member of the Hope Theatre with siblings Heather and Kelly (a Barnie from season ’90), where they produced the American professional premiere of Shakespeare’s EDWARD III. 

Garrylee-McCormick bw

Garrylee McCormick

Hair/Wig/Make-up Master

Garrylee has served as the hair and wig master for the Barn Theatre since 1961. In addition, he is the hair and wig master for Western Michigan University’s Theatre Department and is a freelance wig master for national tours playing at Miller Auditorium and DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids. He is a member IATSE Local 26, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

joe pehrson

Joe Pehrson

Back 40 Pizza Staff

Joe was an apprentice at the Barn Theatre from 1994-1996. He appeared in many productions, his favorites being HAIR, LA CAGE…, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, and the world premiere of BILLY THE KID.

Jake Ragotzy

Jake Ragotzy


Jake is ready to get whipped back into shape here at the Barn! He is the sound designer for the main stage shows and functions as the landscaping manager. He has recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Film Studies and a Minor in Fiction Filmmaking.

Musical Director Matt Shabala

Matt Shabala

Musical Director

Matt is over the moon to be returning for Barn’s the 77th and we couldn’t be happier he’s with us!  Matt spends the off season at WMU working for the musical theater department, where most recently he has music directed On the Town, The Lightning Thief, and Head Over Heels.