• Morton Theatre Corporation

    Contact the Board directly at mortontheatrecorporation@mortontheatre.com

  • Morton Theatre Corporation Mission Statement

    While preserving and honoring its rich African-American history, the Morton Theatre is a community-based performing arts venue committed to providing and cultivating diverse programming that will enrich, educate and inspire current and future generations.

  • 2014-15 Board Members

  • Kizzy Wingfield

    Co-President

    Member since July 2013

    Ms. Wingfield is an Athens native who enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a Masters of Education with a concentration in Psychology and Counseling. She is currently employed with Easter Seals North Georgia as the Family Services Supervisor, ensuring that families receive resources and support in order to become self-sufficient and advocates for their children as they grow and develop. She has over eight years experience providing counseling support and services to a variety of individuals and families.

    Kizzy is the Executive Director of “A Better You”, a consulting agency that provides training in parenting skills, crisis intervention, positive self-image, anger management, and job readiness. In all that she does, Kizzy's attitude toward success is “Achieving Through Believing”. Through this attitude and belief, she spends her time volunteering with the Oglethorpe County Department of Juvenile Justice, Women to the World, Friends for Life Mentoring, Miss Black Athens Teen Pageant, Women of Excellence, and the Boys and Girls Club.

  • Robert Tucker

    Co-President

    Member since July 2013.

    Robert Tucker is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After completing studies in psychology and dramatic arts at the University of South Alabama, Robert moved to Athens and earned his Master's degree in Social Work.

    Robert currently works at Impact Counseling and Consulting as a family and individual counselor. Robert also performs evaluations for the county court system, the Department of Family and Children Services, and the Department of Juvenile Justice.

    In addition to his professional duties, Robert is also a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church West where he plays bass guitar for the choirs and he also writes and directs plays for the creative arts ministry at the church. As a board member, Robert is honored to be part of the Morton Theatre and he enjoys the rich history it provides.

  • Robert Harrison

    Vice President

    Member since July 2012

    Dr. Robert Harrison is a graduate of University of Georgia (EDD Adult Education, EDS Student Personnel and MED Rehabilitation Counseling) and of Mississippi Valley State University. He is the current Executive Director of the Institute for Community and Organizational Development, Inc. and Director of the Vistas Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In the past, Robert was the Project Director for Friends For Life Mentoring, NETSPAN Community Technology Network, Adolescent Health and Youth Development Statewide Training, IHDD, UGA, as well as Educational Opportunity Center, Talent Search, Upward Bound – UGA. He is a former panel member of the vision committee of the Athens-Clarke County Department of Human and Economic Development and former board member of Hope Haven, Inc. Robert is currently a board member of the Morton Theatre, Renaissance Development Consortium, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and is a member of First African Methodist Episcopal Church.

  • Richard Alexander, CPA

    Treasurer

    Member Since 2015

    Mr. Alexander, a native New Yorker, earned his bachelor’s degree at Syracuse University. Mr. Alexander’s 35 year accounting career was spent in a variety of capacities ranging from a tax expert with both the highly esteemed public accounting firms of Touche Ross & Co. (Manhattan, NY) as well as Coopers & Lybrand (Miami, FL), to various roles running accounting and finance departments in private industry as recently as 2010 when he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of U.S. Gas and Electric, a $200mm natural gas reseller headquartered in North Miami Beach, FL.

    After making his living as a successful accountant, Mr. Alexander relocated to Athens where he and his wife have made their home for the past five years. Mr. Alexander and his wife are the owners of downtown Athens based Tella To You, the only all organic hair studio in the area.

    Mr. Alexander is a St. Mary’s hospice volunteer; and has been active the last couple of years helping out with the In Their Shoes 13.1 mile one day walk in Athens, which raises money to help support the no charge programs and services offered by the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support at Athens Regional Medical Center while also raising awareness and recognition for women who have lived with breast cancer.

    In his spare time, Mr. Alexander pursues his passion for athletics by officiating high school football, baseball and basketball through NEGOA (Northeast Georgia Officials Association) which includes covering a territory extending up to 70 miles in any direction from Athens.

  • Kate Smith

    Secretary

    Member since July 2013.
    Kate Smith (B.S., psychology/speech, Emory University and University of Georgia) serves as lead support for UGA Fanning Institute’s youth leadership programs as well as leadership programs focusing on individual and community growth. Additionally, she currently supports the presentation of both individual leadership and entrepreneurial leadership programs focusing on persons leaving prison, self-renewal, non-profit development, and community boards and foundations. Smith's resume includes 30+ years of organizational, meeting, and project management experience both on and off the UGA campus.

  • Melanie Burden

    Board Member

    Past Service:
    President
    Treasurer
    Fundraising Committee
    Membership Committee, Chair
    Finance Committee, Chair

    Ms. Burden hails from Newport, Rhode Island and is currently a resident of Athens, Georgia. She recently retired from the University of Georgia after thirty years of service. Ms. Burden is the past president of the Morton Theatre Corporation and has been affiliated with the Theatre over the past seven years.

    Ms. Burden has also served as secretary to the Board of Directors at The Cottage, Sexual Assault Center and Children’s Advocacy Center and as a Board Member for the Athens Area Arts Council. A member of the Athens Chapter of the Links, Incorporated since 2006, she has also served as treasurer.

    In her spare time, Ms. Burden enjoys gardening, dancing, reading, photography and fishing.

  • Freda Scott Giles, PhD

    Board Member

    Member since 1997-99, 2012

    Dr. Giles earned her PhD at the City University of New York. A specialist in African-American Theatre, directing and acting, she is the author of articles focusing on early African-American Theatre, drama and theatre of the Harlem Renaissance, and contemporary African American theatre practitioners. She has presented papers at national and international conferences, such as Black Theatre Network, ATHE and ASALH. She has several play scripts to her credit, and has directed a number of productions in New York and Georgia. A professional actor and member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, she has performed a number of roles off-Broadway as well as in film, television and radio. Before coming to the University of Georgia, Freda taught at State University of New York at Albany and City College, City University of New York. She currently teaches courses in African American theatre, African theatre, and directing for the stage. She recently retired from the University of Georgia where she was jointly appointed in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies and the Institute for African American Studies.

  • Jarrad Holbrook

    Board Member

    Members Since 2015

    Jarrad Holbrook spent eight years as an ensemble member with Paragon Theatre in Denver, Colorado prior to returning to the University of Georgia for his Master of Historic Preservation degree and Graduate Certificate in Historic Landscapes. His thesis, “From Ghost Lights to Curtain Calls: Reading the History of American Theatre in the Historic Playhouses of Georgia,” examined the state’s theatrical resources including restoration and rehabilitation efforts. He also designed and developed the Georgia Historic Theatres Project for the state historic preservation office and Fox Theatre Institute.

  • Karen Russell

    Board Member

    Member Since 2015

    Dr. Russell is a Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. A graduate of the University of West Georgia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has taught public relations at UGA for more than 20 years, with special interest in social media and online reputation management. She edited the Journal of Public Relations Research from 2009-2015, and her students have won numerous awards, including a national championship in the Public Relations Student Society of America’s case study competition in 2007. When Karen is not on Twitter (@karenrussell), she’s probably reading a good mystery or watching The Voice with her daughter, who has danced more than once on the stage at the Morton Theatre.

  • Russell Studevan

    Board Member

    Members Since 2015

    Dr. Russell H. Studevan is a retired public school administrator and college professor. He received a Bachelors of Arts degree from Cheyney State University in Pennsylvania, and Masters, Education Specialist and Doctorate degrees from Clark Atlanta University. Russell began his career as a high school classroom teacher in 1967, became a school administrator in 1973 and retired in 2013 as an associate professor of Education at Piedmont College.

    Throughout his life, Dr. Studevan has received a number of significant accolades and recognition: Eagle Scout, Teacher of the Year, High School Principal of the Year, President of North Georgia High School Association, and Outstanding Alpha Phi Alpha Man. His commitment to service has provided him an opportunity to perform as a Trustee, Steward, and Sunday School Superintendent at First A.M.E. Church. Additionally, Dr. Studevan has continued his affiliation and work with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated; Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; Athens Rotary; North Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Cavaliers Club, Morton Board; North Georgia High School Association, where he served as its president; Georgia Museum Of Arts Friends and Collectors; and the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation.

    Dr. Studevan has been instrumental in developing programs to mentor young men in preparation for manhood, most specifically the Adelphi and Delta Psi Boule Scholars programs. His motto is “To Believe is to Achieve”.

  • Barbara Taylor

    Board Member

    Member since July 2013

    Ms. Taylor, a native Athenian, attended North Athens Elem. School, Lyons Junior High School, Burney Harris High School and was a member of the first graduating class of Clarke Central High School. She attended Paine College and graduated with a BS in Elementary Education. After 35 year of teaching in Morgan and Clarke County School Districts, she has recently retired.

    Barbara has also worked with the city of Athens as a Rec Leader at Central Athens Community Center and as Summer Camp Co-director. She worked many years as YWCO Summer Girls Club Director.

    Barbara enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, traveling and running marathons all over the USA, biking, hiking and any thing outdoors.

  • Dawn Walker

    Board Member

    Member Since 2015

    Dawn Walker is a graduate from the University of Georgia. She received her bachelors of science degree in psychology with minors in criminal justice and philosophy. She later earned her law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. Dawn has served the Athens community as a member of the Junior League of Athens as public affairs co-chair and chair. She has also served as secretary and treasurer of Business Networking International (BNI) of Athens. Dawn is currently the Assistant Director of the non-profit organization, Real LEDGE, Inc., which works to advance and promote social and business entrepreneurship in communities through experiential education and economic development.

  • Betty Brown Williamson

    Board Member

    Ms. Brown-Williamson is the CEO of We Care Enterprises, Inc., the management company for several entities including Gardenview Funeral Chapel, LLC and Grandview Car Wash in Athens, Georgia, and Williamson Mortuary, LLC and Riverdale Crematory, LLC in Riverdale, Georgia.

    Betty has been serving the Athens are since 1974 as a long term health care owner and administrator. Though she retired in 2009 from day-to-day operations, Betty serves as a consulting and interim administrator in the state of Georgia and remains an active member of the Georgia Health Care Association. In addition to her work with the Morton Theatre Board, she is also an active member of the Ebenezer Baptist Church West, current member and past chairman of the Stillman College Board of Trustees, the Athens Technical School General Education Advisory Board, The Links, Inc., and a life member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the NAACP.

    Betty is a loving mother and grandmother to her daughters and three wonderful grandchildren.

  • ___________________________________________________________________

  • Sige Burden, Jr.

    ex-officio

    Past Service:
    President
    Programming/Outreach/Volunteers Committee
    SPLOST

    Mr. Burden is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and holds a BS degree in Business & Human Resource Management from Troy State University and a Masters degree in Human Resources and Organizational Design from the University of Georgia. He has been employed for 14 years with the University of Georgia Human Resources Division and currently holds the position of Senior Managing Director of the Faculty & Staff Relations Department. Sige is Past President of the Black Faculty & Staff Organization University of Georgia, Past-President of the Morton Theatre Board of Directors and a military veteran. He is currently a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Sigma Phi Psi Boule’, and of Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church.

  • Pattie Strickland

    Ex-Officio

    Past President
    Member since March 2011

    Ms. Strickland is a graduate of Georgia State University and has been employed at the University of Georgia since 2006. She is a Past President of the Morton Theatre Board of Directors. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family, reading and watching movies. She is also a member of the Junior League of Athens.

  • ________________________________________________________________

  • Past Presidents

    Linney Bailey
    Larry Blount
    Dr. Katherine Boardman
    Melanie Burden
    Sige Burden, Jr.
    Hue Henry
    Bill Herringdine
    Heather Hogan
    Janice Mathis
    Warren McPherson
    Mrs. Ronnie Morton
    Dr. Ronald Schoeffler
    Pattie Strickland
    Howard Stroud
    Rodney A. Thomas
    Bruce Williams
    John Vance

  • Board Members 1981-1995

    Linny Bailey
    Leslie K. Bates
    Robert T. Billups
    David R. Bishop
    Julius Bishop
    David Boardman
    Katherine B. Boardman
    Essie Bone
    Ned Bridges
    Joe Burnett
    Laura Ludwig Cater
    Joel Cordle
    E.H. Culpepper, III
    W.E. (Del) Delaper
    Kenneth Dious
    Cathi Doherty
    LaGrange Dupree
    Steven Elliott-Gower
    Thomas Ellis
    Barbara F. Epting
    Leroy Ervin
    Sissy Erwin
    J.W. Fanning
    Bill Foster
    Tom Glaser
    Lane Greene
    Louis T. Griffith
    Bill Herringdine
    Jim Hill
    Bettye Holston
    Mary W. Horton
    Jewel John
    Milton Leathers
    James Locklin
    Nancy Lukasiewicz
    Jeanette Lund
    Carol Lunde
    Janice L. Mathis
    Rowena McCoy
    Mary Frances McDow
    Lee Hunt McNaughton
    Keith McNeely
    G. Barton Middleton
    Jimmy Morris
    Clarissa Myrick-Harris
    Connie Nelson
    Ronnie Norton
    David H. Nunnally, Sr.
    Jill Jayne Read
    Thomas L. Riis
    Henry Rosenthal, Jr.
    Marsha Rosenthal
    Elmer Schact
    Ronald W. Schoeffler
    Howard Scott
    Edward T. Shelton
    Jim Simmons
    Robert Spell
    Mary E. Stakes
    W. Joseph Stell
    Howard Stroud
    Cordelia Taylor
    Michael Thurmond
    John W. Townsend, Jr.
    Joanna Traylor
    Matthew Ware
    John Waters
    Gene G. Weeks
    Mark Wheeler
    Bruce Williams
    Jerry-Lynn Williams
    Roycelynn Williams
    Sally Pat Williams
    Homer Wilson
    Jackie Wright

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