Meet some of our key folks…
Founder & President / CC’s Original Automation Junkie
Gareth has been in the business of making scenery move for more than 20 years, but theatrical automation hasn’t always been his passion. At age 3, after loving encouragement from his parents to be anything he wanted, he decided he wanted to be a whale. Whales are really neat. By age 5, he had recovered from that obvious disappointment and excitedly asked for a set of “real” tools for Christmas. The heartbreak at receiving plastic “toy” tools served only to inspire. Luckily, Gareth eventually got his hands on real tools, dove into theatre and became hooked on automation.
Years later, Gareth had acquired experience automating scenery using a range of mechanical and electronic techniques (some of which are better left forgotten) for clients from regional theatres to automation giants including Disney and Universal. After working with budgets ranging from dozens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, he was convinced he could create a system of automation components that would reduce the cost and complexity of scenic automation. That conviction inspired Creative Conners, Inc., and it’s been the most fun job yet. Even better than being a whale.
Co-Owner & Vice President / Corporate Treasurer / Wrangler of the little Creative Conners / Depletor of excess funds
Emily earned a degree in Drama from University of Dallas in 1993, followed by seven years sewing in regional theatre costume shops. One of these was the Alley Theatre, where she met Gareth. Eight years after their fateful first date she found herself standing in their kitchen fearlessly proclaiming, “Sure, let’s borrow against the house to finance an automation business.” Some decisions really are that easy.
As co-owner of Creative Conners, Emily spends most of her time managing the little creative Conners, Isabella and Violet, but still finds time to tidy up insurance paperwork, do a little bookkeeping and brainstorm about the next big moves for Creative Conners.
Peter comes to Creative Conners after project managing the creation of an attraction in a casino in Macau, years of sales at Rose Brand, an assortment of theatrical positions around the Los Angeles and Chicago areas (plus an international children’s theatre tour). Peter loves to talk with people as they explore turning their designs into dynamic, moving, automated scenery. He claims that all of life’s lessons can be learned from playing Monopoly – how to make your own luck, find solutions in spite of overwhelming odds, and how to deal with the best & worse of humanity.
Director of Technical Services
Mike joins Creative Conners after almost 20 years in the field, and just about 13 years since Beta testing the first Stagehand system and Avista controller at Williamstown Theatre Festival where he was the Technical Director. Since then Mike has lived in NYC and held positions with Showman Fabricators, Daedalus Design and Production, Williamstown (this time as the Production Manager), and most recently as the Production Manager for the Atlantic Theater Company. Mike has installed and programmed Spikemark systems at every opportunity and is looking forward to bringing his experience to the table with CCI. When presented with any free time, Mike enjoys hanging out with his family, biking and baking.
Sylvia comes to Creative Conners with more than 20 years professional experience in the theatrical and event industries. Her most influential family member was probably her grandfather, who helped teach her which end of the hammer was the bonky part when she still needed a step stool to reach the work bench. Now she just needs a step stool for all the important things on the top shelf. (She’s not short, she’s just concentrated for maximum effect.)
After numerous (very) odd jobs, she is happy to be following in the footsteps of various ancestors (women and men alike), building useful machines. While she’s pretty sure Gareth won’t ask her to cover a 17′ tall elephant in jelly beans, or repair an ostritch with a football, or teach third graders why cotton candy is a highly scientific snack, she’s certain her adventure here will be interesting.
Bill joins Creative Conners hot off the press [brake] from Mystic Scenic Studios where he worked for 2 years on their waterjet and press brake machines. Enthusiastic about fabrication, he particularly likes custom jobs with new parts to design, and appreciates professional freedom. Outside of manufacturing, Bill refines his emerging carpentry skills, explores the Ocean State, and recreates Chipotle in his kitchen. Looking ten years down the road, he sees himself either using his fabrication skills to create new products, or possibly programming, but definitely having a dog either way.