101 Stories: TCT’s Current Staff

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. 

About Natalie Bird, TCT Academy Manager: Natalie has performed on stage, screen and in the sound booth professionally since the age of 11. She returned to her hometown of Cincinnati after spending nine years in NYC. She has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Wright State University. New York City theatre credits include The Cherry Orchard, The Top Job, and Edward II. Most recently, she appeared as Emma in Lizzie at The Human Race Theatre Company and as Adult Alison in Fun Home at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Regionally, she has performed with many theatre companies, including Commonwealth Theatre Company, Athens West, and here at TCT in Disney’s High School Musical ON STAGE! You can catch her on film in The Bourne Legacy, on TV, and on the web in Unforgettable and Dominatrix Breakroom (for which she also wrote) and commercials for Time Warner Cable, Sleep Inn Hotels, and MoveOn.org. You’ve also probably heard her on the radio for various commercials. She has taught at several high schools in the area, as well as mommy and me classes with Little Maestros in NYC. Natalie is TCT’s Academy Manager. 

Natalie says: “A parent told me they’ve had their son in speech therapy for a year without really seeing results. They started classes at our Academy and said they’ve seen more growth in these four weeks than with anything else they’ve tried. They said they think because he is engaged and excited to come, he is more interested in trying to communicate. I thought it was a really good reminder that theatre education isn’t just about creating performers, but also creating a nurturing and safe environment for a child to find their voice.”

Natalie Bird teaching an online TCT Academy class during the pandemic.

About Jennifer M. Picone, TCT Production Stage Manager: Jenn has been with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati since 2003. She graduated from Miami University with a B.F.A. in theatre production and design. When she’s not in production with The Children’s Theatre, Jenn can be found managing the stage for the Cincinnati Opera, where recent credits include the U.S. premiere of Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera, and Francesca Zambello’s production of Porgy and Bess. Her previous stage management includes work at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Miami University Opera, Dayton Opera, and the Village Playhouse in Oxford, Ohio. Jenn is grateful for the unending support from her husband and parents, who also work in the performing arts and can often be found backstage working with TCT!

Jenn says: “I love stage managing for shows at The Children’s Theatre. I love calling the cues, and seeing (or hearing) the kid’s reactions to the production. Knowing that I am a part of causing these reactions and sparking a child’s love of theatre brings me joy.” 

From left to right: Roderick Justice, Eric Byrd and Jenn Picone at the 2017 TCT Family Gala.

About Pamela Young, TCT Operations Manager: Pam started working for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati in 2007 as a part-time book keeper. She soon became full-time, adding MainStage School Coordinator and Office Manager to her resume. She now serves as Operations Manager. Before that, she raised her five children. Pam lives in Madisonville with her pup, and TCT official Office Dog, Bonita. Spare time is spent with family and friends or volunteering at school or church. Pam says one of the best things about The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is sitting in a theater full of school-aged children and watching the amazement on their faces. 

Pam says: “I love being at the Taft Theatre, and seeing the children walk through the doors for the school shows. Many of them have never been to the city before nor have they ever experienced live theatre. TCT is their first experience with live theatre. I love seeing this audience of children engage with the show and fall in love with theatre.” 

Emilie Dressler and Pam Young at the 2013 TCT Family Gala.

Would you honor the current TCT Staff with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?