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.
Luke Ricca (Account Manager / Production Manager) Luke joined Aurora in 2015 after relocating from Illinois. Luke worked with Broadway In Chicago, first in the theatre operations department before leading the production team. Through his work bringing pre-Broadway premiers, national tours, and concerts to Chicago, Luke began a relationship with Aurora that eventually brought him to New York. Luke earned a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. If he’s not in a theatre, you’re like to find him on a trail headed for the backcountry with a camera in hand.
Liza Luxenberg (Senior Vice President) 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.
Jack Rhea (Special Projects Assistant) Jack joined Aurora Productions in July 2018, having worked as a Production Management PA on Tootsie: A Comedy Musical in Chicago and moved to New York to join the cohort of interns in January. Jack holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Jack worked for Broadway in Chicago in the operations department and worked on multiple pre-Broadway tryouts. Regional and other credits include NYSAF/Powerhouse Theatre, WPPAC, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Steven Dalton (Account Manager / 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.
Tor Rametta (Production Manager) Tor joined Aurora as an intern during the 17-18 season, and came back as an Assistant in November 2018. While not at Aurora, she worked as a freelance production manager and stage manager. She holds a BFA in Theatre and Design Technology with a concentration in Stage Management from SUNY Purchase College. She is originally from Staten Island (known in the Aurora office as the ‘Island Fortress’) and she thinks who she is.
Cori Gardner (Business Affairs Manager) joined the Aurora team in 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.
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.
Ryan Murphy (Vice President) 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.
Chris Minnick (Director Of Communications) Chris joined Aurora Productions in July 2013, having previously been the Company Manager for Williamstown Theatre Festival. Over 5 years with WTF, Chris worked on over 50 productions. Prior to that, he spent 2 years in Company Management at a not for profit theatre in New York City, NY. Chris is a BS graduate of University of Evansville, but does not hold an MA from the University of Rochester. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking amazing meals for his wife Eileen and their friends and family, spending time outside, and lounging on the couch with his crazy dog, Mr. Huckleberry.
Martijn Appelo (Production Manager) Originally from the Netherlands, Martijn joined Aurora full time after an internship in the 2018-19 season. Prior to Aurora, Martijn interned at Hudson Scenic Studio and worked for both Spoleto Festival USA and I.A.T.S.E. Local #395. He is a graduate of University of Michigan’s BFA theatre design and production program and enjoys playing piano in his free time.
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