Karen Baltzley

Karen Baltzley

The Marjorie Luke Theatre Board of Directors has named Karen Baltzley as its new managing director. Baltzley will be responsible for maintaining the legacy of the Luke Theatre and will ensure the organization evolves to thrive in the ever-changing, competitive, nonprofit environment.

Baltzley has been at the Luke Theatre since 2016 as house manager and administrative assistant. She is originally from the Kansas City area and earned her BA in theater from Drury University in Springfield, MO. Her theatrical and arts administrative studies in college sparked a love of stage managing, and making herself useful anywhere in a theater.

She’s a manager and producer at heart with a deep love of theatrical make-up. In 2018 Baltzley co-founded Roaming Theatre Collaborative in Santa Barbara, and still serves as a producing artist. She said she is proud to have made the Luke Theatre her home, and looks forward to building up an invigorated, flourishing theater for future generations.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to see the Luke Theatre through this pandemic and into a brand new age of performing arts,” said Baltzley. “Our industry has had to adapt so quickly, I can’t even imagine the amazing things Santa Barbara will be producing a year from now. We have a resilient community that grows stronger together through each trial and test.

“I’m very excited to focus on our community, our history, and the diverse under-represented talent that is thriving behind the scenes. I’m proud of what the Luke Theatre has accomplished so far, and I’m extremely driven to realize our bright future.”

Marjorie Luke Theatre Board members elected this year include John Becchio, Santa Barbara School District assistant superintendent of human resources; Santa Barbara Junior High Principal James Koenig; and Rich Hoag and John Ogilvie as co-vice presidents.

Continuing board members include Rod Lathim, president; Gerrie Fausett, co-vice president; Rosemary Schmoller, treasurer; and Dawn Ziemer, secretary. Laura Battle, Liz Butcher and Pam McLendon continue to serve as board members.