KATE SCHWARTZ, Ed.D.
Kate Schwartz is a retired superintendent of Catholic schools. She was previously a principal, a Drama teacher, and an English teacher both in the US and in Japan. She has also served as president of her condo association. Kate’s experience at Surfside Playhouse, on and off the stage, has affirmed her belief in the importance and power of community theatre to unite an audience and volunteers in the creation of something beautiful, meaningful, and larger than oneself. During her time on the board, Kate served as secretary, and was also instrumental in initiating Surfside’s annual fundraiser, the Party for the Playhouse, which she chaired for two years. As president of the board, Kate seeks to promote, support, and enhance Surfside’s efforts in all aspects of its mission to provide excellent live theatrical experiences and education to the community.
Jeff has lived in Brevard County for 32 years. During that time, he has enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with several theatre arts organizations, serving in many capacities. These organizations include Surfside Playhouse, Melbourne Civic Theatre, Henegar Center for the Arts, Palm Bay Players, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Community Band of Brevard and Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (Orlando). Serving on the board as Vice President for the past 2 years, making Surfside the BEST community theatre in Brevard County and helping it reach its financial and fiscal goals is a priority. Jeff’s business background includes working for the largest funeral service corporation in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico for 29 years. He currently serves as Area General Manager for the East Florida market which includes five funeral homes and three cemeteries in Brevard County.
Gordon is a semi-retired engineer, happily residing in Cocoa Beach, where he is attempting to write as a second profession. In addition to several short-story collections that have been published, he has also written several one-act plays which have been produced by Playwrights Workshop of Brevard. With his actress wife’s encouragement, he has learned to enjoy and appreciate the theatre world over the last 25 years. As a board member, he has served in several capacities, including secretary as well as facilities manager.
Marilyn Rigerman is the sole proprietor of M. A. Rigerman & Associates, a full-service accounting and tax return preparation business, established in 1976. She is also the owner of MRS Management, Inc., established in 1996, specializing in management of small condominium properties. Marilyn has been on the Board of Governors of Surfside Playhouse for over thirty years and serves on numerous other arts related boards on the Space Coast. A strong believer in community service, Marilyn has been a member of the VFW Auxiliary for 35 years. Marilyn has served as the treasurer of Cocoa Beach Main Street, Inc., as well as the Cove Merchants Association in Port Canaveral. Her role on Surfside’s board is that of treasurer.
Mario has held positions in both industry and the federal government over the course of his career, and has managed large and small teams. In 2003, he formed the company KeyStone Strategies to provide services to organizations that seek better solutions for leadership and group interactions. Mario is a certified facilitator for the Franklin Covey course 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and the 7 Habits Maximizer and has trained over 1500 people. He is the founder of the FIBers, Surfside’s improv group, and continues to offer Surfside’s improv classes. As a member of the board, Mario has served in various capacities, including vice-president, nominations committee chair, and by-laws revision chair.
Deborah Frey, Ed.D., retired from 28 years as a teacher, instructional coach, national consultant, curriculum writer, principal, and district director. She coached Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination student performance teams for 25 years. She has written for national magazines, weekly, and monthly publications. She has also been a very successful grant writer. Debbie served as tourism director for two years, writing advertising copy and promoting her county’s attractions. In West TN, she volunteered with the Dreamweavers, running the box office and helping with concessions and costumes. At Surfside, Debbie and husband Joel have volunteered in the front of house, while Joel also builds sets and acts. Debbie and Joel are the owners of Cocoa Beach Essentials in downtown Cocoa Beach. As a board member, Debbie will be assisting in seeking grants to help Surfside continue to prosper.
Donna brings over 20 years of diverse and challenging experience in positions of increased responsibility as a paralegal and law office manager in the Judge Advocate General’s Department in the United States Air Force. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from The University of Oklahoma, a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Mansfield State College, and Associates in Paralegal Studies from the Community College of the Air Force. Donna was awarded the 2002 Best Supporting Actress Award in the U.S. Army Festival of Performing Arts and Recreation Center Competition (FORSCOM) and a Stage Crafters Community Theatre Award for Best Cameo Performance. Having been involved in various theatres for over 35 years, Donna is a strong believer in community theatre. Surfside has always been a special place since she first performed here in 1997, and she has enjoyed playing many roles here since. She currently serves on the Surfside play selection committee and is the board’s liaison to the Association for Community Theatres.
Linda currently resides in Cape Canaveral and is married to Rod Hagen who proposed to her in 2013 on stage during “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”. Now retired, she served in the US Air Force for over 22 years on active duty and is a former small business owner. Linda also served as a board member for Studios of Cocoa Beach, a nonprofit art gallery, for two years. She is currently serving as the chairperson for “Party for the Playhouse”, Surfside’s annual fundraising dinner event. She is also the co-chair (with Jeff Oliver) for Surfside’s 60th anniversary fundraising drive and serves as a representative for Surfside Playhouse at the Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne and Cocoa Beach. As a performer, she has appeared on the Surfside stage in “Gotta Dance 3”.
Linda has worked at Surfside for the past several years assisting with props, costuming, and set building. She has assisted with the “Gotta Dance” program and the Arlan Ropp Playwriting Competition. Along with her husband, Linda also enjoys activities associated with the Model A Club, and has won awards for authentic costuming. She also enjoys painting. When not in Florida, she can be found at her farm in Kentucky. As a board member, Linda has helped to write grants for the needs of the theatre. She has also served as Surfside’s representative on a panel of performance judges for a community theatre in a neighboring county.
Sharyn, who has served on the board for several terms, started as an actress at Surfside Playhouse and felt right at home ever since. She continues to perform on Surfside’s stage at every opportunity. Sharyn has also done improv with Surfside’s FIBers (Fearless Improv Brigade). Her focus, however, is offering hospitality by serving as Surfside’s café manager. As a board member, she wants to ensure that Surfside continues to be a place where the arts can blossom in young people (and not-so-young people) throughout the community.
Bryan is starting his fourth season as Surfside’s full time Artistic Director, but this is not his first time to play this role for the playhouse. He also served as director from 1989 to 1999. Bryan has quite a diverse background in the entertainment industry. His career includes production management, festival management and concert production including too many artists to list here. From 2000 to 2008, he owned Looking Glass Entertainment where he toured 50 shows throughout Florida. This adventure was sadly cut short by the recession in 2008. With 230 shows under his belt, Bryan is very happy to have returned here to Surfside Playhouse where there are friendly people, a community mindset and clean ocean air. Who could ask for more?
Box Office Manager
Jeanne has been on the board at Surfside for about fifteen years. During that time, she has had the privilege of serving on many committees; everything from the nominating committee to the volunteer committee. Her primary focus has always been the box office which she has managed since she first became a board member and currently still manages. She loves the box office because of the very close contact it allows her to have with the wonderful Surfside patrons. Jeanne’s last job in the private sector before retiring to Cocoa Beach was as a senior analyst with WebMd.
Kathryn has lived in several states before moving to Florida and has held a variety of positions. She has been a hospital office manager, a patient representative for kidney patients, a revenue officer for the IRS and has owned and run an Angel Store, to name a few. Kathryn is also a writer, having written an anthology of short stories and poems entitled Beyond the Fine Line which is available on Amazon. As a playwright, she has had the privilege of seeing three of her plays performed here on the Surfside stage. Kathryn has been a member of the Fearless Improv Brigade and Certain Age Players and has performed in two plays here at Surfside. She loves serving as Surfside’s house manager as it allows her to socialize with the playhouse’s patrons – a favorite pastime.
Having received her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and her master’s degree from New York University, Liz comes to the playhouse after twenty-two years in the field of education. During those years she had served as a classroom teacher as well as a school administrator where she directed, facilitated and coordinated activities among the school staff and families. She attributes much of her professional success to keeping the ‘customer’ as the primary focus. Liz’s love of theater is no secret and she brings that love and passion for the theater to her role as the communications manager. An active thespian, Liz has appeared on the Surfside stage in numerous productions since 2014. In addition, she has performed in several other community theaters in Brevard and Indian River Counties. Liz is also an enthusiastic ballroom dancer, having won several competitions with her husband.