101 Stories: TCT Board Presidents and Chairs Throughout TCT History

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. 

Without strong leadership, an organization is nothing. Kudos to our fearless leaders, beginning in 1948 when TCT officially incorporated; these brave, arts-inspired community leaders propelled The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati throughout its century-long, magical journey and into the company’s next 100 years of imagination.

1948-1950

Marjorie McCullough Lunken Ittman Hiatt Motch

“The Children’s Theatre promises to become a Cincinnati institution to boast about.”

Marjorie Lunken in a letter to Miss Weisgerber, November 13, 1949.
Marjorie McCullough Lunken Ittman Hiatt Motch
First TCT documented Board President, founder and long-time community leader with causes ranging from health to the arts and civic affairs.

1950 – 1952

Worthington Kite Minor

Mrs. Minor was a founder of what is now Cincinnati Children’s Theatre.  A former board member of the Junior League of Cincinnati, she was an active member of the Junior League Players.  Theater was her main interest, her son said.  Mrs. Minor had directed plays at Cincinnati Country Day School.

The Cincinnati Enquirer

1952 – 1953

Edith Wyman Prosser

1953 – 1955

Fanny Smith

1955 – 1957

Mary Callaway Gores

A former New Yorker, Mrs. Gores moved to Cincinnati in 1949 and quickly became involved in the world of theater, art and community service.  A leader who exuded confidence, Mrs. Gores devoted decades of volunteer service to her new hometown.  According to her son she was in children’s theatre and had leading roles when she was younger.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer, November 19, 1999 
Mary Callaway Gores

1957 – 1959

Emily Frank Adler

1959-1961

Betty Baker Sheffield

1961 – 1963

Mary Florence Wydman

“Mary loved acting in the early days of Children’s Theatre, was a sharp bridge player, was President of the Junior League and Seven Hills PTA. She later became a business leader guiding Witt Industries to new heights as Chairman and CEO.” 

From Cincinnat.com, powered by Legacy in her obituary
Mary Florence Wydman

1963 – 1965

Mary Bruce Cobb

“Mary Bruce Cobb, an artist noted for her portraits and sketches, was a lifelong student of art.  Her art expanded her world as she sketched the peoples of Morocco, Ghana and elsewhere.  NBC featured her courtroom drawings.  Her work shown in many galleries, the book Waiting and Being as well articles, and interviews.  Family and friends were accustomed to hearing her say, “The light is perfect.  Sit down and let me draw you.”

From Ms. Cobb’s obituary

1965 – 1967

Martha Seaman

1967 – 1969 

Ellie Shepherd

“Ellie along with her partner and husband Bill Hartnett were inducted into the 2008 CEA Theater Hall of Fame.  Ellie was part of The Junior League and got involved with The Children’s Theatre.  When asked about her work on the TCT board, she remarked, “Well this is fun.”  Ellie was a regular, directing children’s plays, acting, painting scenery and handling all sorts of other tasks that engage volunteers in community theatre.”

CityBeat on Aug. 20, 2008

1969 – 1971

Helen Beam Hummel

“A registered nurse and community volunteer.  A longtime member of the Junior League Players, she volunteered her time to put on plays for local school children.  She served The Children’s Theatre helping to set up bylaws and financing.”  

The Cincinnati Enquirer, January 29, 2006.

1971 – 1972

William Sullivan

1972 – 1973

Sheila Coxworth Dinsmore

“She was the type of lady that everyone looked to for leadership,” said her husband, Wiley Dinsmore. “She was a very strong, active person.”  Amongst other volunteer endeavors she was in charge of membership at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, a former board and treasurer of the Children’s Theatre and Friends of the Cincinnati Parks.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer

1972 – 1975 

Ruth Upson

“She was a “professional volunteer,” giving countless hours of service through The Junior League and to Children’s Theatre, The Christ Hospital, and The Church of the Redeemer.  

From Ms. Upson’s obituary
Ruth Upson

1975 – 1977

Sallie R. Wadsworth

“Sallie was deeply committed to Greater Cincinnati and left a legacy of philanthropic support in the visual arts, music, and theater communities.”

A press release published January 10, 2018
Sallie R. Wadsworth

1977 – 1979

Bourque Minor

1979 – 1981

Anne Drackett Thomas

“In the 1970s when I was actively volunteering for Children’s Theatre, I found it irresistible to see the reaction of the children coming to the theatre for the first time.  Their eyes would get so big with excitement at seeing the characters come to life on the stage.  Now, all these years later, my granddaughter enjoys having the same experience and being able to meet the characters after a show.”

Anne Drackett Thomas
Anne Drackett Thomas

1981 – 1983

Barbara Wagner

1983 – 1986

Leslie Brueggeman

1986 – 1987

Linda Elam Young

Linda Elam Young

1987 – 1989

Rosemary Haverland

Rosemary Haverland

1989 – 1990

Patti Gaines

1990 – 1992

Skip Merten

At 31 years , Skip is the longest-serving Board member in TCT history

1992 – 1994

Nancy Brinker

1994 – 1997

Lee Mehnert

1997 – 2003

Chris Stubbins

Chris Stubbins

2003 – 2005

Karen Hoguet

Karen Hoguet

2005 – 2007

Nancy Grote

2007 – 2011

Owen Wrassman

Owen Wrassman

“Because I’ve been on the board over 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to watch not only the board and staff grow and mature, but the number of people we’ve touched in the community has also grown exponentially not only locally but globally.  Even though the basic mission has not changed, the current TCT organization is now recognized nationally (globally) for its work. That is what I am most proud. “

Owen Wrassman

2011 – 2015

Craig Hurwitz

Craig Hurwitz

2015 – 2019 

Scott Stubbins – TCT Board Chair

“Performing on stage gave me confidence that was difficult to find in those searching years.  My career led me to New York, but Wall Street instead of Broadway.”

Scott Stubbins
Scott Stubbins

2019 – Present

Greg Adams – TCT Board Chair

Greg Adams

Would you honor TCT’s Past Board Presidents and Chairs with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?