Our Staff

Michael Cochran

Executive Director
Michael Cochran in his 38th year with MHT has a Bachelors degree in theatre from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. He attended Graduate school at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre from Southern IL University at Carbondale. Michael is a past board member of Arts KY and the Kentucky Theatre Association and is currently on the board of American Association of Community Theatre. He has worked in a variety of professional theatres and theme parks. In addition Michael has worked professionally in dance, television, and film and has won awards for design and acting. His original play ETERNITY was selected as one of the winners of the AACT NewPlay Fest 2018 and was published by Dramatic Publishing. He is married to April Cochran. Michael and April were awarded the City of Paducah Mayors Award of Merit and the Chamber of Commerce Summit Award for their 30+ years of work at MHT. Contact info for Michael Cochran 270-444-6828 ext. 105 michael@mhtplay.org

Emily Griffin

Education Director
Emily Griffin graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in Communication and Theatre Education. She was also the recipient of the Purple and Old Gold Award for Conspicuous Achievement in Performance Studies. She completed her student teaching in St. Paul, Minnesota at Central High School working with the Central Touring Theatre. In addition to her student teaching, Emily completed two summer internships at the Des Moines Playhouse. She continued to teach for the Playhouse’s Education Department for ten years after her internships. Emily’s first teaching job was at Central Middle School in Columbia Heights, Minnesota before returning to Iowa to take over as the director of Hoover Drama at Hoover High School in Des Moines Iowa. In addition to directing an award-winning theatre program, Emily taught classes in performance, technical theatre, and musical theatre. Outside of the classroom Emily enjoyed acting, stage managing, choreographing, costuming, and doing props around the community with the Ames, Ankeny, and Des Moines Community Theatres. She also enjoys writing plays for young actors and has had several plays receive All-State nominations with the Iowa High School Speech Association. She comes from a wonderful family back in Iowa and loves to spend time with her three nephews, Arlo, Hayes, and Gabriel. Contact Emily at 270.444.6828 ext. 102 or via email at egriffin@mhtplay.org.

Emi Hensel

DanceMHT Program Director
Emi has been the principal choreographer for The Market House Theatre since 2009. A dance graduate from Belhaven University, Emi helped found and is now the Dance Program Director for the Theatre’s premier dance program, DanceMHT, where she teaches dance classes for preschoolers to adults. When Emi isn’t dancing, she is homeschooling her four wonderful children. emily@mhtplay.org

April Cochran

Teaching Artist
April Cochran is a theatre teaching artist who recently retired from Market House Theatre after a 35 year career, including 10 years as Artistic Director and the last 21 years as Education Director. She is the founder of PLAYTIME, FOOTLIGHTS and STORY THEATRE programs for MHT. April has worked as a creative drama specialist and director of children’s theatre productions for over 40 years for school systems, parks and recreation programs, professional theatre and community theatres throughout the Midwest. She was awarded the Distinguished Merit Award from the American Association of Community Theatre in 2011 for her work at MHT and in Western Kentucky Schools. April and her husband Michael were awarded the City of Paducah Mayors Award of Merit and the Chamber of Commerce Summit Award for their 30+ years of work at MHT. In 2017 she was named a Commonwealth Ambassador. April is also a Duchess of Paducah, a Kentucky Colonel, and a board member of Paducah’s Creative and Cultural Council. Contact April at april@mhtplay.org.

Charlotte Campbell

Costume Director
One of Charlotte’s earliest memories is draping herself in fabric and singing and dancing along with the television as Marilyn Monroe performed “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.” Sometimes, you sense your calling from a young age. But, sometimes that calling seems impractical, so you find yourself enrolled at the University of Louisville pursuing a “sensible” major (read: not theatre.) While there, you spend all your free time performing in and costuming shows around the city instead of focusing on your degree. The second you graduate, you decide to pursue theatre full-time! Your inner child (dressed in pink sparkly fabric and wearing every piece of plastic jewelry she owns) rejoices. In spite of having no formal education in her chosen field, Charlotte has over a decade of professional experience performing and costuming at theatres in Colorado, California, Vermont, Florida, Indiana, Washington D.C., and, of course, her home state of Kentucky. She has served as the Head Costumer of The Stephen Foster Story in Bardstown, KY for the last two years. When she isn’t costuming other people, she is costuming herself—her current personal project is making her gown for her upcoming wedding to her fiancé, Joshua. You can contact Charlotte at charlotte@mhtplay.org.

Jerome Veit

Technical Director
Jerome graduated from Southern Illinois University (SIU) with a degree in theater, specializing in technical direction. While at SIU, he was hired as Carpenter and Sound Technician for the theater as well as having sound designed several shows including The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Pippin, Punk Rock, and many others. In his final year he technical directed a production of To Kill a Mockingbird and was Assistant Technical Director for Sunday in the Park with George. Jerome also spent three summers working at McLeod Summer Playhouse as Carpenter, Lead Carpenter, then finally Sound Designer, working on such productions as Sister Act, Mamma Mia, 9 to 5, Gypsy, and eight additional shows. Jerome has been participating in theater in some capacity for over 15 years and has worked on over 40 productions. Contact Jerome at jerome@mhtplay.org.

Ronda Gibson

Development Director
Ronda joined the Market House Theatre staff in 2019. Though she has no theatre experience, Ronda prides herself on being "very dramatic." She's been involved in development for non-profits since the mid-1990s with experience ranging from scouting to public radio to human service. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Murray State University, studying Public Relations and Journalism/Radio TV Production. Ronda lives with her husband Brian and son Hayes (and six cats) on a family farm in rural Ballard County. Contact Ronda at 270.444.6828 ext. 103 or by email at ronda@mhtplay.org.

Caleb Buford

Director of Marketing & Communications
Caleb is dedicated to creating and developing ways to share the power of the arts and arts education with the community through engaging content and effective media. Caleb’s work has been featured in many local publications such as the Paducah Sun and Vue Magazine and by other organizations like the Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center. “The arts are for everyone. Art provides an opportunity for individuals to explore the world, society, and personally reflect. Market House Theatre works to make the arts accessible to all which drives me to continue to be a part of their mission.” Caleb is an Eagle Scout and Alumni of West Kentucky Community & Technical College (WKCTC). He recently earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Northern Kentucky University (NKU). Outside of his work, he continues to be involved in the Scouts BSA program and directs Merit Badge College at WKCTC. Contact Caleb at (270) 444-6828 ext. 113 or at caleb@mhtplay.org.

Travis Hensel

Facility & Equipment Coordinator
Travis Hensel joined the MHT staff Jan. 7 2015 to help coordinate and maintain the many buildings and rentals at MHT. He is married to Emi Hensel and they have four children Jack, Norah, Jude, and Selah. Travis graduated with a BS in Education from Murray State University and taught at Hendron Lone Oak Elementary before leaving for one year with his family to work in Uganda. Contact Travis at travis@mhtplay.org or 270-444-6828, ext. 107.

Lisa Humphrey

Box Office Manager
Lisa Humphrey joined the staff of Market House Theatre as Box Office Manager in January, 2020. However, she has been involved at MHT since 1980. Lisa has worn many hats over the years; she has acted in multiple shows, worked as both light and sound board operator, served as assistant director/stage manager, built sets, served on the Board of Directors, and even directed several shows. “I have a deep love for Market House Theatre and felt like I was coming home when I joined the staff.” Prior to working here, Lisa owned the Itty Bitty Knitty Shop and is still an avid knitter and crocheter. Lisa earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and History from Murray State University. She loves spending time with her dog, Rosie. Contact Lisa at 270-444-6828, ext. 1, or info@mhtplay.org