Luke Ricca (Assistant Production Manager) A native of Illinois, Luke Ricca joined Aurora in 2015 after transplanting himself from Chicago, a decision he increasingly questions after the Cubs 2015 and 2016 seasons. Luke worked at Broadway In Chicago supervising all production activity across four venues including pre-Broadway try-outs, national tours, concerts and corporate events. Luke holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Ryan Murphy (Production Manager) Ryan joined Aurora Productions in August 2015, having previously been the Production Manager for Troika Entertainment. Over nine years with Troika, Ryan worked on over 50 national and international touring productions. Prior to that, he spent 4 years as the Production Supervisor for a children’s entertainment company in Niagara Falls, NY. Ryan is a BFA graduate of Niagara University and holds an MA from the University of Rochester. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking amazing meals for his husband Joe and their friends and family, spending time outside, and lounging on the couch with his crazy dog, Lucas.
Cori Gardner (Business Affairs Manager) joined the Aurora team in November of 2016. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Producer of The PATH Fund, Inc. and the annual ROCKERS ON BROADWAY concert. Cori was Talent Manager for Whole Artist Management (2012-16), the General Manager for Gingold Theatrical Group (2011-15) and Managing Director for Wingspan Arts, Inc (2004-08). Stage Management - Broadway: TRIUMPH OF LOVE (ASM) and Off-Broadway: I DO! I DO! and NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY, Tour: DAVID COPPERFIELD: DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES (US & Asia). Cori was a Managing Partner in RIOT Entertainment, which was a lead producer on the smash Off-Broadway hit BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL, which won both the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
Geoff Quart (Production Manager) Geoff joined Aurora in January of 2015. Before joining Aurora, and after pulling up his Canadian roots, Geoff has served as Foreman for Showman Fabricators and Production Manager with Troika Entertainment and Hudson Theatrical Associates. When not working Geoff is a dedicated Husband To Anne, and father to Madelyn and Zoey, and spends too much time watching Football (Soccer) with a big bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Come on you Irons!
Steven Dalton (Production Manager) Steven rejoined Aurora in the winter of 2016 after an internship in the 2011-12 season. Since then he was an Assistant Production Manager at Manhattan There Club and Business Operations Manger for Ars Nova. A native of Littleton, Colorado, Steven attended the University Colorado at Denver where he received a degree in Theatre, Film and Television.
Martijn Appelo Princeton, NJ University of Michigan
Ben King Pittsburgh, PA Carnegie Mellon University
Michael Shannon Greensboro, NC University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Savannah Grinell Chicago, IL NYU Tisch (class of 2019)
Chris Minnick (Production Coordinator) Chris hales originally from the great state of Georgia. After obtaining his BS in Theatre Management from the University of Evansville, he spent time in Company Management with Roundabout Theatre Company, Great River Shakespeare Festival, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Chris joined Aurora in the Summer of 2013. During his free time at his home in Brooklyn, Chris can be found grilling in his yard, reluctantly performing gardening work in the same yard, and continuing his life long pursuit of the perfect old fashioned. Chris is #blessed to have two sons with his wife Eileen. He believes the perfect sauerkraut is made with a head of green cabbage, a tablespoon and a half of sea salt, and a tablespoon of caraway seeds. Shred and salt the cabbage, pack under airlock in the brine, and ferment until delicious.
Ben Heller (President) Ben Heller has been at Aurora Productions since 2003. Prior to joining Aurora, he was the Production Manager at Manhattan Ensemble Theatre as well as a freelance Off Broadway manager and stagehand. His production management philosophy is to provide the creative team and production staff with the best possible tools and support to realize their goals, while also providing general managers and producers with the most efficient and fiscally responsible methods to do so. Ben is a graduate of NYU's Production and Design track in the Drama department at the Tisch School of the Arts. He has guest lectured at NYU, The Broadway League, and Broadway Master Class. He lives in Brooklyn.
David J. Elmer (Production Manager) Dave joined Aurora Productions in 2018. Prior to joining the team, Dave worked closely with Aurora as a Production Carpenter, Head Carpenter, or Automation Carpenter since 2013. He has worked in commercial Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring theatre since 2004.
Liza Luxenberg (Production Manager) Liza has been a member of the Aurora family since 2009. She joined Aurora shortly after graduating from Indiana University where she double majored in Theatre and an Individualized Major Program in Stage Management. She was interviewed for a production management handbook called The Production Manager’s Toolkit and has guest lectured for The University of Maryland, Columbia University, New York University and her Alma Mater, Indiana.
Gene O'Donovan (Founder) Gene was the founder of Hudson Scenic Studio in 1980 and its President until 1994 when he left to pursue Production Management on a full-time basis as Aurora Productions. He retired in January of 2015 but continues his commitment to Aurora as a consultant. Gene teaches, inspires and shares his theater experience in Production Management at SUNY Purchase and Columbia University. He is the recipient of the Broadway Masters and Legends Award and a TONY Honors Award For Excellence In The Theater. Gene is married to Linda Batwin O'Donovan (principle of Batwin+Robin Productions). They have five children and six grandchildren.
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