VANESSA BECKER WEIG, Artistic Director.
Vanessa is no stranger to Woodford Theatre, having worked for the theatre since 2014, she is thrilled to lead the incredible team as Artistic Director. Since 2014 she has directed and/or choreographed 13: The Musical (2014, 2019), A Christmas Story: The Musical, Return to The Forbidden Planet, Into the Woods Jr., Hairspray, Elf jr. School of Rock, The Addams Family, The Lion King Jr., Big Fish, Mary Poppins Jr., and The Producers. In 2015 she became the Education Director for the theatre bringing with her The Girl Project and creating the award winning Woodford Theatre Young Artist program.

Ms. Weig was born and raised in Central Ohio where she earned a B.F.A. in Acting at Wright State University in Dayton. After college, Ms. Weig spent two years training and working in Chicago before moving to Columbus, Ohio where she served for ten years as the Education Director and Resident Director/Actor for the Phoenix Theatre (now CATCO). At the Phoenix, she directed, choreographed and appeared in over fifty productions as well as designing and implementing classes, camps, workshops, and in school residencies. Ms. Weig specializes in movement theatre and theatre styles such as Kabuki, Commedia Del ‘Arte, Laban, Puppets and Masks and Musical Theatre.  Ms.Weig worked with several Central Ohio Theatres as an actor, most notable roles include Anita in West Side Story,  Leading Player in Pippin and an award winning, regional tour of the musical The Secret Garden which incorporated both deaf and hearing actors.

Since moving to Central Kentucky ten years ago, Ms. Weig worked with several area theatres before making her way to Woodford Theatre. She directed, choreographed, or was an educator for The UK Opera Theatre Broadway Bound and Academy for Creative Excellence, Kentucky Conservatory Theatre, School for  Creative and Performing Arts in Lexington, Dunbar High School and several other Central Kentucky schools. Ms. Weig is a member of the coveted Freddie G. Fellowship, a national award that recognizes theatre educators from all over the country for their contributions to young artists through Music Theatre International and Itheatrics. On occasion she has appeared in productions in the area The Bald Soprano (Mrs. Martin) with Balagula Theatre, Holes (The Warden), Cinderella (Stepmother), and Beauty and the Beast (The Wardrobe) with Lexington Children’s Theatre, Pride and Prejudice (Miss Bingley/Mrs.Gardiner) and Legally Blonde (Paulette) with Summerfest.

ALEX MADDOX, Business Director.
Alex Maddox was born and raised in Lexington where he earned his B.A. in Theatre from the University of Kentucky. He is a very proud Kentuckian, Wildcat superfan, and bourbon aficionado. An actor at heart, Alex has appeared in countless productions with StudioPlayers, Actors Guild of Lexington, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Balagula Theatre, KCT SummerFest, Berea Arena Theater, and UK’s Department of Theatre.

In 2016, Alex travelled south to Alabama where he had the opportunity to work two full seasons at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival – the largest professional theatre in Alabama and one of the largest Shakespeare festivals in the world.

Alex joins the staff at Woodford Theatre after several years in healthcare administration and management, having previously worked with Baptist Health Medical Group and UK HealthCare. He is overjoyed at the opportunity to unite his two career aspirations and to help promote the importance of theatre in our communities.

JENI BENAVIDES, Education Director.
Jeni is thrilled to call Woodford Theatre her artistic home, and to serve as the Education Director, and one of the team leaders of The Girl Project (TGP). She is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina and attended the University of South Carolina where she studied theatre, focusing in performance.

After receiving her B.A., Jeni went on to study at the University of Kentucky, where she received her M.A. in Theatre. Her master’s thesis, Cultivating the Unassailable, analyzed the pedagogy and application of The Pacific Performance Project (also known as P3/East), which integrates the Suzuki method, Shogo Ohta’s slow tempo work, as well as principles of aikido training. Jeni has trained with P3 in both South Carolina and most recently in Seattle. As an actor, Jeni has performed with Woodford Theatre, Kentucky Conservatory Theatre and Studio players, recently roles in Frankenstein (Justine), Twelfth Night (Fabian), and Beyond Therapy (Prudence). She also is a passionate storyteller for The Girl Project, doing a lot of documentary theatre work for the high school program as well as TGP’s community event Voices Heard: Kentucky.  She is a passionate theatre educator who teaches part time at the University of Kentucky and has taught with Campbellsville University, and the Academy for Creative Excellence. 

DAWN CONNERLEY, Technical Director.
Dawn is happy to be returning to the Bluegrass after a three year hiatus.  Mrs. Connerley left Lexington to pursue her M.F.A. in Technical Production at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Previously you may have seen her work on the Lexington Children’s Theatre stage or Berea College’s Theatre Laboratory. She is looking forward to a great experience with the wonderful staff at Woodford Theatre.