Center Theatre Group Unveils 2024 CTG Leadership Circle Cohort

Center Theatre Group has revealed its 2024 CTG Leadership Circle Cohort, featuring five staff members to participate in this annual career development program. The latest cohort includes Caylyn Dabney (Production), Devany Star Harden (Marketing), Kerry Beth Larick (Finance), Katharine Means (Marketing), and Carene Rose Mekertichyan (Education & Community Partnerships).

The CTG Leadership Circle was developed to uplift, celebrate, and support exceptional early- and mid-career staff members in the company. This program invites staff members who are looking to continue to grow as arts leaders and professionals to participate in discussions and sessions exploring different leadership styles and practices and identifying resources to support their individual career advancements, as well as part of the CTG community.  

“The CTG Leadership Circle explores what it means to be an arts leader today and celebrates the leaders of the future,” explained Aurora Ilog, Center Theatre Group’s Creative Workforce Initiatives Director. “These hour-long sessions allow members of our staff to have the space to cultivate and navigate their individual career journeys. From learning what it means to develop strong teams, identifying components to a shared leadership model, and cultivating their own unique leadership style, the CTG Leadership Circle provides a unique opportunity for staff to grow as leaders in their own regard and within our organization.” 

The CTG Leadership Circle was created to connect participating staff members to facilitated group sessions focused on building skills in arts management leadership. Participants also engage in additional one-on-one and small-group networking opportunities, from informational interviews to topic-based sessions on everything from personal financial management to connecting with CTG Board members to learn about their commitments and responsibilities. In addition, each member is given additional access to professional development.

“Being able to expose participants in the CTG Leadership Circle to not only the importance of developing one’s own authentic leadership style no matter what position they lead from, but also giving them an introduction to the value of executive coaching earlier on in their creative careers has been a full circle professional highlight for me,” shared Elena Muslar, Chief Empowerment Office and Founder of Confide Creative, who works as the Project Advisor for the CTG Leadership Circle. “The significance of this program is unveiled with each participant’s deeper discovery and exploration into who they are, can be, or want to allow themselves to step fully into at work. I always tend to say professional development is personal development. You can’t grow one from a place of intentionality without the other. It’s the confidence one builds in understanding the conversation between the two that truly prepares them for their next phase.”

For more information on Center Theatre Group’s Educations and Community Partnerships programs, initiatives, and opportunities, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org. 

BIOGRAPHIES

CAYLYN DABNEY

is the Resident Assistant Costume Designer at Center Theatre Group. Coming from Atlanta, GA in 2022, Caylyn’s been with Center Theatre Group for two years. As the Resident Assistant Costume Designer, she works closely with Costume Designer’s to help realize their vision for the productions and works as a liaison between designers and Center Theatre Group’s Costume Shop, communicating with the Shop Manager and Director to help execute those visions. With a young career stunted by Covid; Caylyn got her start in 2019 working as a Costume PA on The CW’s Dynasty reboot three months after graduating college. Six months later everything stopped when Covid-19 shut down production. Working during the Covid error, Caylyn picked up work, day playing as a BG Costumer in TV and for Music Videos. Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Caylyn moved to Georgia for college where she Graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) receiving a B.F.A in Production Design with a Concentration in Costume Design, and a Minor in Fashion Design. Currently residing in Pasadena, Caylyn enjoys traveling, going to the beach, reading, puzzles, watching crime shows, and is a big Baltimore Raven’s Fan. Caylyn also enjoys baking and using her eager coworkers as guinea pigs to try new recipes on.

DEVANY STAR HARDEN

is a performer-turned-marketer from Moreno Valley who loves connecting with audiences. Her specialty is elevating brands in the arts and entertainment industries through effective email marketing, impactful copywriting, and smart ideas that cultivate customer loyalty. Since 2022, Devany has served as the Manager of CRM & Email Marketing at Center Theatre Group. Working in the Marketing Department at CTG became a dream of hers after participating in the August Wilson Monologue Competition in high school. She is so proud to work at one of the nation’s most iconic not-for-profit theatre organizations. Prior to working at CTG, Devany worked with clients around the globe as a freelance copywriter, immersed herself in the L.A. art scene at Curate LA, and revamped the digital presence of UCR ARTS as the museum’s first Social Media Assistant. Devany graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Riverside, holding a B.A. in Theatre, Film, & Digital Production, with an emphasis in Acting & Directing, and a minor in Marketing. As an actor, dancer, choreographer, and poet, Devany is drawn to work that pushes boundaries and subverts expectations. She especially loves studying and working on projects that uplift Black stories and voices, hoping that one day the art on our stages will better reflect the diversity of our communities. When Devany’s not at the theatre or writing conversion-driven emails, there’s a good chance she’s watching scary movies, taking a Peloton class, or running around Disneyland.

KERRY BETH LARICK

has been an Accounting Assistant in the Finance Department at Center Theatre Group since 2017. While her primary role is supporting Accounts Payable, she also undertakes clerical, administrative, accounting, and technological support for her department. Kerry Beth’s goal is to help ensure financial integrity is collectively built from the ground up especially when onboarding or training new hires. She loves helping her colleagues solve financial conundrums and investigating why numbers in spreadsheets don’t add up. Pun intended. Prior to working in Finance, Kerry Beth served as the 50th Anniversary Gala Assistant and Special Events intern in Institutional Advancement. Before her time at CTG, she was the Managing Director of Theatre Threshold and a board member of Artists in Black at California State University, Long Beach where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts in 2016. Before earning her degree, she spent six years as a stagehand and event production assistant working gigs at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, International City Theatre, Cal Rep, Civic Light Opera, El Camino College, The Geffen, and Musical Theatre West while simultaneously working odd jobs as a licensed phlebotomist, a fez hat maker, a production coordinator for FedEx, and as a service writer at Sears Automotive. Born and raised in LA County, Kerry Beth currently lives in Long Beach with her fiancé Robert and their dog Lucky. In her spare time, she advocates for safe streets and active and alternative transportation. As an organizer for Car-Lite Long Beach and Bike Long Beach, she is heavily involved in the local cycling community, leading bike rides and mural tours throughout the year.

KATHARINE MEANS

is an L.A. born and raised actor and theatermaker. She has worked at Center Theatre Group since 2022, but her journey with the organization began back in 2012 when she joined CTG’s Student Ambassadors Program as the youngest ever ambassador (fact check pending!). In her current position as Advertising Manager at CTG she leads advertisements from concept through creative execution and delivery. She also coordinates CTG:Creators , CTG’s in-house influencer program. She received a BFA in Acting from CalArts and has trained with SITI Company, British American Drama Academy and Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford. She is the Season Marketing & Creative Content for IAMA Theatre Company, where she was also a member of the inaugural IAMA Actors Summer Intensive. www.katharinemeans.com @meanskatharine

CARENE ROSE MEKERTICHYAN

has been a Teaching Artist at Center Theatre Group for just over two years but already feels so seen and uplifted by her CTG family! In addition to immersing local high school students in the world of theatre as part of the Storytelling Residency, she is a regular guest lecturer and panel facilitator at CTG’s Going Pro and College and Career programming. Outside of her work with CTG, she is an artist, organizer, and proud Angelena whose identity and upbringing in Los Angeles informs both her art and intersectional activism. As a Black Armenian woman, she is drawn to storytelling that centers marginalized narratives and believes true art exists to create empathy and social change. She has guest lectured and facilitated programming at USC, UCLA, PCC, Pomona College, and Boston College and is also a Teaching Artist at Creative Acts and About Productions. She serves as the Artistic Associate for Social Justice at Independent Shakespeare Co., Program Coordinator at Support Black Theatre, and is co-author of the LA Anti-Racist Theatre Standards and a Blklst Contributor. In 2021 she was selected as an Arts for LA Activate Delegate. She has performed with numerous theater companies and her plays and spoken word have been produced at Edinburgh Fringe, MeetCute LA, Company of Angels, Independent Shakespeare Co., and “We the People Theater Action”. She is also an essayist, with work published by University of Texas Press, LAist, The Armenian Weekly, HyeBred Magazine, and Kooyrigs. She is Cofounder of Yerazad, an organization centered on coalition building and transnational solidarity and received her training from Dartmouth College and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). carenerose.com

Center Theatre Group Unveils 2024 CTG Leadership Circle Cohort

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About the Author: Rayne Chancer