Our Mission

The Story Theatre seeks to pose questions rather than supply answers. We produce theatre that focuses on the poetry of text and form, the possibilities of the human imagination, and the gateways for emotional and intellectual investment. We are committed to and excited by diversity, inclusion, and collaboration among a myriad of artists.

Our Team

Matt Bowdren

Executive Director, Artistic Director

Matt is a founding member of The Story Theatre. Matt holds an M.F.A in performance from the University of Georgia. He served as a faculty member at Pima College and as a Faculty Fellow and teaching artist at the University of Arizona. Matt is an Artistic Associate for The Rogue Theatre and served as the Education Director. Recently relocating to Chicago, Matt has been fortunate to perform with The Shakespeare Project of Chicago in As You Like It and Women Beware Women. Matt has performed in over 30 productions with the Rogue Theatre, favorites include Hamlet (Arizona Daily Star MAC award best actor), Waiting for Godot, The Grapes of Wrath, Uncle Vanya, and many others. As well as being a part of original adaptations of literary classics such as As I Lay Dying, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and Tales of the Jazz Age. Matt has also performed regionally with Southwest Shakespeare, The Arizona Repertory Theatre, The Rose of Athens, Hudson Shakespeare Company, and Collaborative Stages. Matt has directed productions of Angels in America pt. 1 (Arizona Daily Star MAC award best director) and Macbeth, Mr. Marmalade, and many more. Matt is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Brenna Welsh

Casting Director, Artistic Director

Brenna is an actor, and founding member of The Story Theatre. Some of her credits include: Book of Will (Northlight Theatre); What's the Name... (Arc Theatre); Steel Magnolias (Ignite Theatre); Romeo & Juliet, Other Desert Cities (Arizona Theatre Company); Vanya , or That's Life!, Multitudes (Rasaka Theatre); How I Learned to Drive, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar, Lend Me a Tenor (Arizona Repertory Theatre) among others. Independent film credits include The Writer (Sundog Studios); Dream Fish (One Panda Films). Brenna received her BFA in Acting from the University of Arizona. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent.

Paul Michael Thomson

Managing Director, Artistic Director

Paul Michael is an actor, playwright, and founding member of The Story Theatre. As an actor, he has worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Greenhouse Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Teatro Vista, among others. His plays have been produced by Other Theatre Company, Arc Theatre, North Central College, Arizona Repertory Theatre, and the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He holds a BFA in Acting, a BA in Africana Studies, and minors in Spanish and Art History from The University of Arizona. He is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Sydney Haliburton

Casting Associate, Head of Diversity and Inclusion

Sydney Haliburton is a writer, researcher, and sometimes musician. They graduated from the University of Arizona in 2016 with degrees in Africana Studies and Journalism, and are currently finishing up a graduate program in Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul University. Their research interests include the intersection of popular culture and politics, queer performance and cultural production, quotidian acts of resistance, and black women’s experiences. Some of their work has been featured in INTO magazine and Queertopia 2018: Queer Community, Queer Care.

Nadine Merheb

Financial Director, Artistic Associate

Nadine graduated from the University of Arizona in 2015 with a degree in Accounting and Business Economics. She is a strategy consultant at Accenture with a love for the arts. When she's not baking, she enjoys exploring the museums and theaters around Chicago. Nadine is honored to be making her Chicago debut in That Psychologist with Arcitext Festival.