Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is excited to share four exciting staff updates. These individuals have served the organization in their previous positions since 2021 and have been promoted.
Please join us in congratulating:
Max has been with the Civic box office team since the 2021 reopening of the theatre when he joined the staff as a Customer Service Associate; if you joined us as an audience member over the course of the last two seasons, you have probably met him. Max earned his Computer Support Specialist Associates Degree in 2023; GRCT’s team jokes that they’re responsible for “dragging him into theater-world.” Max has jumped headfirst into the Grand Rapids theatre community since becoming a part of the Civic staff and is enamored by all the new talent and storytelling he has experienced. In his free time Max loves cooking, playing video games, and lifting.
Jess Burke, Director of Audience Experience
Jess has been working both on and off stage for nearly 10 years, and became a West Michigan resident when she joined the Civic staff as Audience Experience Manager in June 2021. During that time, she has collaborated with multiple arts organizations including Midland Center for the Arts, Andersen Enrichment Center, Florida Studio Theatre, and Saginaw Valley State University, where she earned her Bachelors in Theatre, Management, and Criminal Justice. While abroad in Argentina, China, Taiwan, and Japan, she studied topics of theatre and leadership. Over the years, her passion has consistently resided in removing barriers and making art accessible for all people. When not at the theatre, she enjoys exploring nature with her husband and puppy or diving into a new book.
Noddea Skidmore, Director of Marketing and Communications
Noddea is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a degree in advertising and public relations. She discovered the world of community theatre after moving to Grand Rapids in 2004 to work in campus life at Aquinas College when a mentor invited her along to experience the vibrant storytelling on the stages of GR. A few months later, Noddea made her mainstage theatre debut right here at Civic. Since then, she’s served the non-profit arts sector of our city in the areas of event programming, marketing, communications, and audience engagement, and in July 2021 she joined the Civic staff as Marketing and Communications Manager. A true lover of theatre, Noddea has experienced nearly 100 plays and musicals on and off Broadway, and in addition to Civic, has performed on numerous stages across West Michigan. She is passionate about mentoring and empowering young artists, and connecting our communities with the magic of what’s happening both on stage and off at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. When not at the theatre, you can find her spending time with friends, playing MarioKart, supporting the local drag community, and planning Disney trips as a Travel Consultant and Manager with Goofy Getaways.
Jenna Betka-Pope, Director of Education and Outreach
Jenna received her Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in Special Education, English Education, and the Spanish Language and her Master’s degree from Grand Valley State University in Literacy Studies: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. After graduating from college, Jenna taught middle school special education while also working as the Summer Camp and Low Sensory Night Coordinator and a teaching artist at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre prior to joining the Civic staff as Education and Outreach Manager in June 2021. She has been a performer and volunteer within the Grand Rapids community theatre world for over twenty years. When not working, Jenna enjoys traveling as much as possible, cuddling her puppy Cornelius, and reading thrillers and fantasy novels!