Core Values

  • Artistic excellence in the form of talent and production values
  • Outstanding service and collaboration with partner theaters
  • Expanding artistic scale while protecting affordability 
  • Commitment to a national company of artists in service to regional theater values and sensibility
  • Leadership team with national reputation for exceptional expertise, integrity and vision 

Mainspring Arts Cooperative (MAC) was founded in late 2015 under the leadership of Trish Santini, Peter Flynn and Frank Butler in response to the challenges faced by regional theaters nationally—the increased pressure of capitalizing a full season with a range of robust artistic projects that will engage diverse and complex audiences. The goal is to tour one or two productions per season that can incorporate seamlessly into a subscription season or offer a special event. These productions may be work we produce ourselves or with a partner, or will be the work of other companies that we would present. We expect and desire to have ongoing collaborative discussions with arts leaders throughout the country about what projects have value and what they would be most excited to bring to their audiences. Although based in New York, MAC will engage with artists from cities throughout the country in an effort to create a national company of collaborators—those that have a genuine respect for the work of regional theaters and the donors and audiences who support them—and will therefore be responsive to the needs of the presenting theaters in engaging their unique and distinctive communities.

Our Team

FRANK BUTLER, PRODUCER

Frank's background includes an eighteen-year tenure as Production Director for the Guthrie Theater, under Joe Dowling's artistic leadership. During that time, he led a staff of eighty union and non-union full-time employees. He created partnerships with both international and domestic nonprofit and commercial producers, producing several regional and national tours, as well as Broadway offerings. He served as the theater liaison for the creation of the Guthrie’s new home on the Mississippi River, a $125M three-theater complex designed by Pritzker-winning architect, Jean Nouvel. Prior to the Guthrie, Frank was the Production Manager for the American Repertory Theater, under the artistic direction of Robert Brustein, working with directors such as Andrei Serban, Robert Wilson, Oskar Eustis, Richard Foreman, and Anne Bogart. Frank began his career in the lighting field and has numerous LORT designs to his credit. He holds an MFA in lighting design from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor’s degree in technical theater from Purdue University. He is a founding member of the Production Manager’s Forum.

PETER FLYNN, PRODUCER

Peter is the former Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York, as well as the Artistic Director of the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He debuted Adam Bock’s play The Receptionist, as well as developed new work by Glenn Slater, Stephen Weiner, & Rinne Groff, and collaborated with guest artists Stephen Schwartz, Jeanine Tesori, and Andrew Leynse (Primary Stages). He has also facilitated new work by writers Christopher Diaz, Josh Harmon, Maury Yeston; with directors Jennifer Nelson (African Continuum, Ford’s Theatre), Devanand Janki (BCTR); and worked with actors Danielle Brooks, Robert Cuccioli, Dee Hoty, Isaiah Johnson, Joaquina Kalukango, Emily Skinner, Andréa Burns, Natascia Diaz, Jerry Dixon, and Andrea Martin, among others.  As a freelance director, Peter’s credits include the Actors Fund concert of the 75th Anniversary of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town with Adriane Lenox, B.D. Wong, S. Epatha Merkerson; Lee Blessings’ Two Rooms at the Lion Theatre; On the 20th Century with Douglas Sills & Marin Mazzie; Chess with Josh Groban & Julia Murney; Funny Girl with Whoopi Goldberg, & Andrea Martin; and Rhapsody in Seth - Actors’ Playhouse starring Seth Rudetsky. He has created work around the country at theaters including the Guthrie Theater, Pittsburgh’s City Theatre, the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre, and the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. where he is an Associate Artist. His work has won the Carbonell Award in South Florida and been nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award in New York.  Peter is the Director of Musical Theatre at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, on faculty at New York University’s Tisch Program, a graduate of Northwestern University, and a member of SDC.

Trish Santini, Producer

Trish served as the Senior Producer at the Guthrie Theater, under the leadership of Joe Dowling, and produced shows directed by Leigh Silverman, Mark Rucker, Peter Flynn, Jeremy Cohen and Maria Aitken, and with artists including Whoopi Goldberg, Brian d’Arcy James, T.R. Knight, Jason Robert Brown, Tracie Bennett, Santino Fontana, Kate Wetherhead, Colman Domingo, Helen Carey and Kevin Kling. She also served as the Guthrie representative for the pre-Broadway productions of The Scottsboro Boys and End of the Rainbow.  She joined the Guthrie in 2006 as External Relations Director, overseeing marketing, public relations, education, events, retail and visitor services, and was responsible for earning more than half of the Guthrie’s $27M annual budget.  Prior to the Guthrie, Trish served as Vice President, Broadway Division, at TMG-The Marketing Group, managing campaigns for productions ranging from The Drowsy Chaperone and Mamma Mia!, to WELL and Avenue Q, as well as sponsorship and marketing services for Roundabout Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club.  She was the Marketing Director for the Kodak Theatre (home of the Academy Awards) in Los Angeles and prior to that, served in the marketing division at Dodger Theatricals.

KATRINA FOY, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE

Katrina is currently a Graduate Assistant at the University of Connecticut, completing her M.F.A. in Arts Administration. She has a B.F.A. Acting degree from Ithaca College and has performed regionally with Gulfshore Playhouse (Naples, FL), Connecticut Free Shakespeare (Bridgeport, CT), and the Kitchen Theatre (Ithaca, NY). She is the former co-founding Producing & Managing Director of GF&CO in Brooklyn, an ensemble theater company based on the performance technique, OTOA™, led by theater director, Gia Forakis.  Katrina was the Production Manager for National Theater for Arts & Education, where she also directed touring productions of El Barbero de Sevilla and The Story of Anne Frank.  She has created curriculum and directed for several theater education programs including the Professional Performing Arts Scholarship Program with Connecticut Free Shakespeare, and NYCinMA, a pre-college program for Massachusetts drama students.   Katrina currently leads administration of Counterproof Press, a cross-disciplinary, printmaking initiative at the University of Connecticut.  She is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association and a 500-hour yoga instructor.

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LAURANCE KAUFMAN, board MEMBER

Larry is the Director of Asset Management at World Wide Group, an owner/developer of residential and commercial real estate.  In his 25+ year career in real estate, Larry has been involved in the acquisition, asset management, leasing and management of millions of square feet of office space and thousands of residential units in markets across the country.  Prior to Mainspring, Larry has held leadership and committee positions on not-for-profit boards, including: The Working Group (off-Broadway theater company), Medical Development for Israel, UJA-Real Estate, Congregation Habonim, and various real estate co-op/condo/HOA associations.  Larry received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters in Business Administration from New York University-Stern School of Business.

Jennifer Melin Miller, board member

Jennifer is Principal of JMM Consulting Inc., specializing in business development work. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President of International Development for Minnetonka Moccasin, a global footwear company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to Minnetonka Moccasin, Ms. Miller worked in various sales and marketing management roles in New York City's publishing industry at companies including Time Inc., Advance Publications Inc., and the New York Times Company. In addition, she formed North Star Theatricals to invest in and produce commercial and nonprofit theater productions in New York City and beyond. Ms. Miller currently serves on the nonprofit board of the Guthrie Theater, Achieve Minneapolis, the Temple Israel Foundation, and Mission Animal Hospital, and is a member of Theatre Communication Group’s (TCG) National Council for the American Theatre.  In 2012, Ms. Miller was named a 40 Under Forty honoree from the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. She received her bachelor's of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her master's of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Business, and her master's of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Gregory Ramos, board member

Gregory is a director, playwright, and theater educator originally from Los Angeles; MFA Playwriting: UCLA. He studied acting at Playwrights Horizons and privately with Academy Award winner Ellen Bursytn. His one-act plays Reaching Mercy and Breasts were produced in New York City. The short plays Sunrise at Peaked Hill Bars and Graceful were produced at the Provincetown Playwrights Festival and Queer Shorts in Madison, WI. A Visit from San Cristobal and Our Father’s House were part of the New Play Series at Company of Angels in Los Angeles. Gregory has performed his two solo plays Border Stories and When We Danced at venues around the country. He worked as a marketing executive on Broadway shows and was on faculty at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he created the Border Public Theater and the Latino Guest Artist Program. He has directed many university and professional productions. He teaches directing, playwriting, and courses related to diversity in the U.S. American theater. Associate Professor, Resident Director, and Chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of Vermont, and board member of Vermont Shakespeare Company. Gregory is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

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CHRISTOPHER SCHOUT, BOARD MEMBER

Christopher is the President of Triumph Productions and a partner in Stone Arch Theatricals.  Previously, Christopher spent a decade as the Art and Marketing Director at Mercury Creative Group in Saint Paul, Minnesota, a small boutique firm specializing in brand strategy and marketing solutions.  Christopher’s background includes a degree in Art History and Criticism and completion of the prestigious Shillington School Design course in New York.  He is an alumnus of the 2016 Commercial Theater Institute’s Three-Day Intensive Producers Seminar in Manhattan and has had previous stays on the boards of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation and 7th House Theater in Minneapolis.  As a producer, Christopher has investments in off-Broadway’s Curvy Widow, Broadway’s Waitress, Hello, Dolly! with Bette Midler (Stone Arch Theatricals), 1984, JJ Abrams’ The Play That Goes Wrong, Scott Rudin’s The Front Page, and Escape to Margaritaville, due on Broadway in February 2018.  He has also contributed to the world premiere of The Shining (Minnesota Opera) by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Mark Campbell, The Great Work, The Passage or What Comes of Searching in the Dark and Rhinoceros (7th House Theater), The Parchman Hour (Guthrie Theater), and The Norwegians (Dark & Stormy Productions).