101 Stories: Karen Forgus

By The Children's Theatre

Celebrate TCT’s 101st season as it comes to a close as we applaud and appreciate those who contributed to the organization’s magic throughout our century-long journey.  During 10 weeks of recognition, we honor individuals who have been instrumental in the success of TCT, and who have not only helped TCT grow in mission, but also thrive, thanks to their passion.  It is these people and their moments in our history that shaped TCT to become what it is today. We encourage you to consider giving a gift in their honor to ensure the sustainability of TCT’s mission for the next 100+ years. 

Karen Forgus

Karen Forgus is a native Cincinnatian and lifelong Reds fan who is in her 15th season with the organization, joining in December 2006 as Vice President of Marketing and Communications before later assuming her current role as Senior Vice President of Business Operations. She and Phil Castellini serve as the lead-liaisons for the Reds’ civic, business, and non-profit relationships, as well as with Major League Baseball for business operations. In 2014, Karen was selected as a “Game Changer” by Sports Business Journal. The honor is presented annually to recognize women who are having a major impact in sports business.  Karen is on the boards of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, and the Reds Community Fund.  She serves on the 3CDC Sponsorship & Concessions Subcommittee, the University of Cincinnati Sport Administration Advisory, the Xavier University Leadership Advisory Council, and is a member of the Cincinnati Women’s Executive Forum.   Karen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Dayton. Her daughters Rachel, Leah, and Hope carry the same love of Reds baseball that began with Karen’s parents, Bob and Jean Kraft.  

Ms. Forgus served on The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati Board from 2006 – 2015. She was instrumental in creating TCT’s Crown Club, helping to deepen the engagement of the company’s MainStage patrons each season; and facilitated TCT promotions, including for TCT’s 2010 production of HOW I BECAME A PIRATE (photo above).

How did you become involved with TCT? 

Ms. Forgus first became acquainted with TCT as a patron. She says:  “I have three daughters, and when they were little, there weren’t a lot of activities for them to do – it was pre-Netflix and on-demand television. At our first show, I remember being mesmerized by Jack Louiso and his initial talk with the children about proper theatre etiquette. They know just how to get the children’s attention and hold it for the perfect amount of time. And it’s not just for the children – adults can also enjoy these productions!… Every show is Broadway-ready regardless of the audience.” 

Was there a particular situation where you witnessed the TCT mission specifically enhance the growth and development of children’s imagination or creativity? 

“There is one performance that we attended that stuck with me: it was a shadow theatre production and the main character was deaf. This show was one of the first times that my children saw hearing loss portrayed as a superpower!” 

What do you love most or miss most about your work with TCT? 

“What I love the most is that the Board was so welcoming – TCT had a big Board for a reason – they understood this concept of influencers, getting moms and families from each zip code to ensure that each community is represented – not as a consumer strategy, but as a genuine desire to transform kids through theatre.” 

Would you honor Karen Forgus with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?



Tom Browning (right), Montez Jenkins, Daniel LeClaire, Robbie McMath learning baseball technique for a pivotal scene in TCT’s 2009 production of DISNEY’S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2 ON STAGE!