A CONTEMPORARY THEATRE COMPANY

WELCOME TO CATCO

OUR PURPOSE

Our purpose is to harness the transformational power of theatre that engages with our current moment to inspire a community of empathy.

OUR MISSION

We achieve our purpose by being responsive to community needs through exceptional:

  • Productions for adults and young people that immerse audiences in a communal experience, captivating senses and emotions.
  • Education Programs that foster creative curiosity, personal growth, and connections rooted in empathy.
OUR VISION

CATCO strives to become a nationally recognized, anti-racist contemporary theatre company that anchors a thriving Columbus theatre ecosystem in an empathetic, equitable world.

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children and adults served through classes
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seats filled during our 2016-17 season
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hours spent learning

CHRISTY FARNBAUCH

Executive Director

Christy Farnbauch became CATCO’s executive director in April 2020. She is a highly respected leader in central Ohio’s arts and cultural sector, as well as nationwide. Her professional journey has included managing funding and programs for the Ohio Arts Council, building community partnerships for Hilliard City Schools, managing a first-of-its-kind national study of jazz audiences, and serving as executive director of an association for women business owners. She founded her consulting business in 2006 to support nonprofits and small businesses through strategic planning, board development, and fundraising. Her entrepreneurial and innovative mindset has led to the creative transformation of organizations while strengthening their governance structures. Christy holds degrees from Otterbein University in music performance and business administration. In her free time, you can find her playing cornet in the Brass Band of Columbus, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family.

CHRISTY FARNBAUCH

Executive Director

Christy Farnbauch became CATCO’s executive director in April 2020. She is a highly respected leader in central Ohio’s arts and cultural sector, as well as nationwide. Her professional journey has included managing funding and programs for the Ohio Arts Council, building community partnerships for Hilliard City Schools, managing a first-of-its-kind national study of jazz audiences, and serving as executive director of an association for women business owners. She founded her consulting business in 2006 to support nonprofits and small businesses through strategic planning, board development, and fundraising. Her entrepreneurial and innovative mindset has led to the creative transformation of organizations while strengthening their governance structures. Christy holds degrees from Otterbein University in music performance and business administration. In her free time, you can find her playing cornet in the Brass Band of Columbus, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family..

LEDA HOFFMANN

Artistic Director

Leda Hoffmann became CATCO’s Artistic Director in August 2020. Previously, Leda was Artistic Director at Strawdog Theatre Company in Chicago. Before that, Leda served on Milwaukee Rep’s artistic staff for seven years, working in the Education and Literary departments and founding Milwaukee Rep’s Community Engagement Department. Also in Milwaukee, as the Artistic Director of Luminous Theatre, Leda produced and directed site-specific productions of Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play and The Penelopiad. Leda’s work as a director has been seen across the country at Milwaukee Rep, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Texas Shakespeare Festival, University of Miami, Door Shakespeare, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, Northbrook Theatre, The Alchemist Theatre, Max and Louie Productions, and Riverside Theater Iowa City. Leda has also been a teaching artist for over ten years, directing youth and teaching with Hartford Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Mudlark Theater, Northbrook Park District, and Skyline Studios. Leda is a proud graduate of Grinnell College, a former Milwaukee Rep directing resident, Hartford Stage apprentice, SDCF Observer and a member of Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

LEDA HOFFMANN

Artistic Director

Leda Hoffmann became CATCO’s Artistic Director in August 2020. Previously, Leda was Artistic Director at Strawdog Theatre Company in Chicago. Before that, Leda served on Milwaukee Rep’s artistic staff for seven years, working in the Education and Literary departments and founding Milwaukee Rep’s Community Engagement Department. Also in Milwaukee, as the Artistic Director of Luminous Theatre, Leda produced and directed site-specific productions of Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play and The Penelopiad. Leda’s work as a director has been seen across the country at Milwaukee Rep, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Texas Shakespeare Festival, University of Miami, Door Shakespeare, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, Northbrook Theatre, The Alchemist Theatre, Max and Louie Productions, and Riverside Theater Iowa City. Leda has also been a teaching artist for over ten years, directing youth and teaching with Hartford Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Mudlark Theater, Northbrook Park District, and Skyline Studios. Leda is a proud graduate of Grinnell College, a former Milwaukee Rep directing resident, Hartford Stage apprentice, SDCF Observer and a member of Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

ALEESHA NASH

Marketing Director

Columbus native Aleesha Nash, who has experience in theatre and film directing; play and television writing; and theatre marketing, previously oversaw audience development at The Flea Theater in New York City. Before that, she worked in marketing roles for Manhattan-based global nonprofits, collaborating with diverse stakeholders to plan and implement strategies for fundraising, recruitment, and community and government relations. In addition to writing, directing, and producing new works on Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway, director and playwriting credits include Cherry Lane Theatre, the National Black Theatre, The Flea Theater, Primary Stages, The Wild Project, The Arctic Group, Goddard College, the Kraine Theatre, and the Drama League in New York City. Nash is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab and the Stage Directors and the Choreographers Foundation Observership Program. A graduate of Otterbein University, she also received an MA from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and an MFA in dramatic writing from Goddard College, where she received its Engaged Artist Award.

ALEESHA NASH

Marketing Director

Columbus native Aleesha Nash, who has experience in theatre and film directing; play and television writing; and theatre marketing, previously oversaw audience development at The Flea Theater in New York City. Before that, she worked in marketing roles for Manhattan-based global nonprofits, collaborating with diverse stakeholders to plan and implement strategies for fundraising, recruitment, and community and government relations. In addition to writing, directing, and producing new works on Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway, director and playwriting credits include Cherry Lane Theatre, the National Black Theatre, The Flea Theater, Primary Stages, The Wild Project, The Arctic Group, Goddard College, the Kraine Theatre, and the Drama League in New York City. Nash is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab and the Stage Directors and the Choreographers Foundation Observership Program. A graduate of Otterbein University, she also received an MA from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and an MFA in dramatic writing from Goddard College, where she received its Engaged Artist Award.

FRANCINE MARCHELLE

Education Director

Francine Marchelle, an educator, producer, director, actress, and singer, who has more than 20 years of youth program leadership, curriculum development, youth development, child-care, and education experience, most recently was the director of after-school and summer programming at Broad Street Presbyterian Church. She has a master’s degree in educational leadership, curriculum, and instruction from the University of Phoenix, and has also led youth education initiatives at the YMCA, Crittenton Community School, and Directions for Youth and Families, where she also was the theatre director. Founder of the Achievement Retro Awards, a youth research arts project based in Atlanta, and the founder and director of Amateur Community Theater, a youth academic arts program also based in Atlanta, Marchelle has produced and directed her own staged plays, including a gospel musical love story, A Trip to God’s House, an autobiographic story, For the Love of Me!, and monologues, We the People Telling Hour Story and Men on Pause.

FRANCINE MARCHELLE

Education Director

Francine Marchelle, an educator, producer, director, actress, and singer, who has more than 20 years of youth program leadership, curriculum development, youth development, child-care, and education experience, most recently was the director of after-school and summer programming at Broad Street Presbyterian Church. She has a master’s degree in educational leadership, curriculum, and instruction from the University of Phoenix, and has also led youth education initiatives at the YMCA, Crittenton Community School, and Directions for Youth and Families, where she also was the theatre director. Founder of the Achievement Retro Awards, a youth research arts project based in Atlanta, and the founder and director of Amateur Community Theater, a youth academic arts program also based in Atlanta, Marchelle has produced and directed her own staged plays, including a gospel musical love story, A Trip to God’s House, an autobiographic story, For the Love of Me!, and monologues, We the People Telling Hour Story and Men on Pause.

TONY KOEHLER 

Production Manager

Tony Koehler, teaching artist, actor, director, and designer, most recently was production manager at GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C., and a teaching artist at The Theatre Lab School of Dramatic Arts also in Washington, D.C. Other positions include properties master at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, and theatre credits at Constellation Theatre Company and Rainbow Theater Project in Washington, D.C., and Piven Theatre Workshop, Redmoon Theatre, and Northwestern University in Chicago. A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BA in theatre, he has received numerous awards including a 2019 Helen Hayes Award for Best Musical and Best Ensemble and Broadway World’s 2019 regional award for Best Musical in the Small Professional Theatre Category for FAME: The Musical, and a 2017 Helen Hayes Award for the Spanish language premiere of In the Heights. In addition to his theatre background, he also has several years of business management experience as an operational manager at J.Crew.

TONY KOEHLER 

Production Manager

Tony Koehler, teaching artist, actor, director, and designer, most recently was production manager at GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C., and a teaching artist at The Theatre Lab School of Dramatic Arts also in Washington, D.C. Other positions include properties master at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, and theatre credits at Constellation Theatre Company and Rainbow Theater Project in Washington, D.C., and Piven Theatre Workshop, Redmoon Theatre, and Northwestern University in Chicago. A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BA in theatre, he has received numerous awards including a 2019 Helen Hayes Award for Best Musical and Best Ensemble and Broadway World’s 2019 regional award for Best Musical in the Small Professional Theatre Category for FAME: The Musical, and a 2017 Helen Hayes Award for the Spanish language premiere of In the Heights. In addition to his theatre background, he also has several years of business management experience as an operational manager at J.Crew.

CHRISTOPHER AUSTIN

Casting Director

Christopher Austin, who graduated with a BA in theater from Otterbein University, and earned his MA in pastoral and professional counseling from Methodist Theological School in Ohio, has worked in voice-over, film, and stage productions in Ohio and abroad. His performances as Othello in Othello and John in The Whipping Man received critical acclaim and award recognition. He served as the emcee for CATCO’s 2021 gala, and performed in CATCO’s virtual productions of Short Plays Toward an Antiracist Tomorrow and A Columbus Christmas Carol last season.

CHRISTOPHER AUSTIN

Casting Director

Christopher Austin, who graduated with a BA in theater from Otterbein University, and earned his MA in pastoral and professional counseling from Methodist Theological School in Ohio, has worked in voice-over, film, and stage productions in Ohio and abroad. His performances as Othello in Othello and John in The Whipping Man received critical acclaim and award recognition. He served as the emcee for CATCO’s 2021 gala, and performed in CATCO’s virtual productions of Short Plays Toward an Antiracist Tomorrow and A Columbus Christmas Carol last season.

SARAH MILLS BACHA

Press Representative

Sarah Mills Bacha is a professional writer and communications/marketing consultant. As president of her own firm, SMB Communications Ltd., which she founded in 1994, she has assisted numerous national and central Ohio companies and organizations with their marketing and communications needs. Before becoming a consultant, she worked as a journalist at daily newspapers. Previous positions include business reporter at The Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, OH, comment page editor at The Journal-Gazette in Fort Wayne, IN, and stringer for Reuters.

SARAH MILLS BACHA

Press Representative

Sarah Mills Bacha is a professional writer and communications/marketing consultant. As president of her own firm, SMB Communications Ltd., which she founded in 1994, she has assisted numerous national and central Ohio companies and organizations with their marketing and communications needs. Before becoming a consultant, she worked as a journalist at daily newspapers. Previous positions include business reporter at The Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, OH, comment page editor at The Journal-Gazette in Fort Wayne, IN, and stringer for Reuters.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

DR. KRISTA HAZEN  ·  PRESIDENT
Mynaric
ED HOFMANN  ·  VICE PRESIDENT
Chute Gerdeman
JOSH HALTER  ·  TREASURER
Key Bank
JOSHUA SCHONAUER ·  SECRETARY
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

DIRECTORS

DONNA J. ANDERSON
Ohio Excels

BRENT BADGER
Cardinal Health

TERI BERLINER
Community Volunteer

SONYA M. BROWN
National Church Residences

BLYTHE COONS
Articulation

STEVEN FIELDS
Cramer & Associates

KATHLEEN M. FOX
Community Strategy Partners, LLC

SYLVIA GARRETT
Sylvia A. Garrett Agency, LLC

MICHAEL C. GRIFFATON
Vorys, Saler, Seymour and Pease LLP

JOHN HART
US Bank

ANDY HOUSE
Landor & Fitch

DR. JEFF S. KEYES
Central Ohio Newborn Medicine, INC.

ALEXA KONSTANTINOS
Cover My Meds

BRAD RICHEY
Turner

MICHAEL V. WIBLE
Thompson Hine