153 North 10th Street (Corner of 10th & Walnut) Reading, PA 19601
We believe that the best theatre is an experience of living and feeling, changing and growing, challenging and becoming. We trust in the power of this inspiring and dynamic medium to transform the artists who create it, the audiences who enjoy it, and the patrons who support it. We exist to produce and present entertainment in all phases of the performing arts that entertains audiences, educates and trains artists,
nurtures emerging art, and enriches the cultural community for people of all ages in Berks County.
Founded in 1971 by Jane Simmon Miller and Michael O’Flaherty, Genesius Theatre is named after
Saint Genesius, Patron Saint of Actors.
Jane Simmon Miller dreamed of a theater group where young people could participate, learn and grow in every aspect of show production. In 1971 she founded Genesius Theatre, first in a storefront at 711 Penn St, and then in 1974 at our own building at 153 N. 10th St.
Board of Directors
President: Brian Fichthorn
Vice President: Christopher Sperat
Secretary: Kathi Christi
Treasurer: Dave Neel
Board Members: Bob Aregood, Jordan Baylor, Ann Cusano, Barry Ewald, Christina Ferlazzo, Zachary Frantz, Laura Kruse, Katie Mohn
Departments & Staff
Box Office Manager: Zachary Frantz
House Managers: Brandon Kegerize & Christina Ferlazzo
Artistic Producer – L J Fecho
Education Director: Christine Cieplinski
Marketing: Jordan Baylor, Ann Cusano, Shannan Denlinger, Marjory Ewald, Brian Fichthorn, Nathan Matz, Christopher Sperat
• Web Developers: Jordan Baylor, Shannan Denlinger, Alyse Mitten
• Photographers (Archives & Advertisements): Shannan Denlinger & Kathi Christie
• Videographers (Archives & Advertisements): Jordan Baylor, Mike Benjamin & Donna Ott
• ’12-’13 Season Poster / Logo Design: Jordan Baylor
• Footlights Graphic Designer: Jordan Baylor
• On-Screen Advertising via ReplayMedia from 29.97 Film & Print Media Solutions: Jordan Baylor
• Newsletter – Ann Cusano
Grant Writing: Robert Aregood (Chair), Brian Fichthorn
Bookkeeper: Brian Fichthorn
Membership: Laura Kruse
Musical Supervisor: Ann Cusano
Readers Theatre: Marjory Ewald (Chair), Abbe Dillon
Technical Consultant: Dave Neel
Who was St. Genesius?
03 A.D. – Emperor Diocletian, the last and greatest of the Roman Empire’s persecutors of Christians, came to Rome and was given a festive welcome. Part of the celebration was a play. Genesius, the producer and comedian, had thought that the emperor would be pleased by a play mocking the martyrdom of a follower of Christ.
In preparation for the skit, Genesius decided to make fun of the Christian baptism ceremonies. This would amuse the people who held religion in contempt. At the start of the play Genesius lay down on the stage as if sick. Two other actors asked what ailed him. Genesius said he felt a great weight that he wanted removed. Hence, two other actors, dressed as a priest and exorcist, were called in. They asked what the star wanted. He replied, “A baptism.” There upon, he said, he saw a vision of angels bearing a book with all his sins inscribed. The actor portraying the priest asked him: “My child, why did you send for me?”
According to legend, Genesius was suddenly converted by divine inspiration and asked to be baptized himself onstage. The Emperor was enraged, and ordered Genesius to be beaten and tortured. Clinging to his newfound faith, he refused to recant. In the midst of his pain, Genesius kept crying out that he would cling to his baptism even if it meant suffering a thousand deaths. Finally, the Emperor ordered his head to be cut off. For his martyrdom, Genesius was bestowed as the patron of actors. His Feast day is Aug. 25th.