The Gesa Power House Theatre team works together to design, create, produce, and support its mission to generate a strong, inclusive community through performing arts. Our small team includes a diverse mix of staff, contractors, and volunteers.
Gesa Power House Theatre Team:
Amy Watkins moved to Walla Walla full time from the Seattle area in March of 2017. Amy and her husband Mike were thrilled to discover Gesa Power House Theatre and attend as many performances as possible. Amy’s professional experience with nonprofits includes working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Whitman College and Providence St. Mary Foundation. She also has served on several nonprofit boards and is an active community volunteer. She holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Washington.
Outside of work, Amy’s hobbies include reading, yoga, travel, listening to live music and spending time with her family and rescue golden retriever, Poppy.
Business and Operations Manager
Heather Schermann began working as the bookkeeper for Gesa Power House Theatre in 2015, has worked in the roles of Theatre Manager and Executive Director and is currently the Business and Operations Manager for the Power House nonprofit. She has served as a City Councilmember for the City of College Place since 2015, and is treasurer of the Walla Walla Exchange Club.
Heather loves to travel to attend concerts and Broadway shows. In 2019 she achieved her goal of visiting all 50 states.
Donna Ledford is one of the Power House founders and has been the volunteer coordinator since 2008. In 2017, she transitioned to being Artistic Director and loves communicating with our performers to set up their visits to Walla Walla. Donna is a native Oregonian but has called Walla Walla home since kindergarten.
Donna and her husband, Dennis, have owned and operated Coldwell Banker Walla Walla since 1979. She loves to travel, especially when it involves visiting her kids and her four grandchildren.
Mary Aparicio Castrejón
Mary Aparicio Castrejón joined the team in 2022. She graduated from Walla Walla University with degrees in both English and Graphic Design. She spends most of her time exploring the Walla Walla wilderness with her dog, Kika, foraging for wild snacks and hiking. When indoors, she likes reading, writing, hosting candle-lit dinner parties, making art and playing the nearest instrument. Mary also enjoys traveling and hopes to one day say she’s visited every continent.
Kevin Coleman joined our team in 2022, at first to lend his skills as a web integrations developer. He grew into the role of a marketing specialist as well, and has been using his skills in web administration, email production, and graphic design to keep our online and local presences tip-top.
Kevin is a Walla Walla native—a graduate from Walla Walla University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in New Media Imaging. He spends his time with his family, teaching at the University, and also making ceramics.
Production and Events Lead
Becky Hatley joined our team as Technical Director in 2018, and is responsible for coordinating schedules and resources needed for all events and rentals. Becky has a Master of Business Administration in Human Resources degree, and has turned her passion for the performing arts into a successful career through her work with local arts organizations.
In her spare time, Becky enjoys watching films and has a collection of more than 600 movies in her home library.
Volunteer & Events Coordinator
Kalista brings nearly a decade of theater work in the Seattle area to this role, including as a volunteer for Jet City Improv. She is especially fond of improv theater and musicals and grew up performing in both throughout middle and high school.
Kalista is an above-average karaoke performer, and below average dancer, and in her free time she enjoys audiobooks, hiking, rock climbing, and playing guitar.
Tina Yentzer comes to Gesa Power House Theatre from Seattle, where she was an active community volunteer and served on the boards of two non-profit arts organizations, Seattle Music Partners and Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council. Tina's role at the Power House includes community outreach to sustain current theater patron and sponsor relationships and development of new theater supporters.
Tina has a passion for the arts. She has a degree in interior design, loves to travel, read, cook, sew and spend time with her friends, family and pets.
Director of Film Programming
Warren Etheredge is a teacher, producer, author, playwright, interviewer, public speaker, and veteran festival programmer. He is one of the founding faculty of TheFilmSchool, helping filmmakers translate their stories for the screen, and The Red Badge Project, helping combat veterans work through PTSD and other issues by teaching them the art of storytelling.
Warren is the co-founder and artistic director of the Walla Walla Movie Crush festival of short films, and former curator of the 1 Reel Film Festival at Bumbershoot.
Jenna Ables serves as a Fundraising and Nonprofit Consultant for Gesa Power House Theatre, where she helps to amplify the power of the arts. She has more than 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, with a background in animal welfare, communication, and recreation. She has a BA in Speech Communication and a MA of Communications Studies from Baylor University, and teaches "Strategies for Fundraising" at Walla Walla University.
Jenna and her husband, Austun, have a red dog and grey cat.
Alicia Ruiz has worked at Gesa Power House Theatre since 2011 - she was our first employee! She works all (sometimes unusual) hours of the day to ensure that the theater is ready for each upcoming event.
Alicia loves to dance, enjoys attending live shows, and traveling to Mexico with her family. In her spare time, she spends time with her 5 children and 5 grandchildren.
LeRae Templeton has volunteered at Gesa Power House Theatre since 2018, and now serves as our House Manager. Although she grew up in the valley, LeRae's 40-year career in the banking industry took her to Colfax, WA and Pullman, WA. She and her husband moved back to Walla Walla in 2011.
LeRae is currently the secretary/treasurer of the Youngsters Bowling League and enjoys spending time with her three adult children and five grandchildren.
Beth Kreger has volunteered with Gesa Power House Theatre since the beginning! She has been an usher, worked in the box office, helped at will call, and is now our head bartender. Since she retired from her career as a dental hygienist, she spends her time volunteering for Catholic Charities Walla Walla, Meals on Wheels, the YWCA, and AAUW. Beth also serves as president of Shakespeare Walla Walla's board of directors.
Her greatest joy is watching her four children laugh when she tells them about her adventures in bartending,
Amanda Wuest joined the Gesa Power House Theatre team in 2021, and now works in the box office, as well as assisting with other tasks surrounding productions. Amanda loves nature and wildlife, as well as art; in her spare time she enjoys drawing, writing, and acting on local stages.
Michael Howell, President; Karl Eckhardt, Secretary; Michelle Conner, Treasurer; Douglas Carlsen; Melissa Clubb; Bryan Ford; John Jamison; Rodney Moll; Brad Rice; Donna Ledford; Liz Knapke; Peter Crook; and Tricia Rice.
Many people make what we do possible! A special thank you to our volunteers and additional contractors who share their skills and expertise. Interested in joining our team? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.