About Metro

Staff

With a collective 85-plus years of experience in theater for young audiences among them, our staff brings a remarkable depth of passion and artistry to every aspect of our work.

Julia Flood
Artistic Director
julia at metroplays dot org

Julia Flood has more than 30 years of experience in the professional theatre as producer, director, playwright, actor and teacher. Most recently, Julia served as Producing Artistic Director of Eckerd Theater Company (ETC), a professional theater for young audiences based at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL. In her16 years at ETC, she commissioned, developed and produced many new works for young audiences including VOTE? by Eric Coble, and BATTLEDRUM by Doug Cooney with music by Lee Ahlin. A graduate of Northwestern University, Julia did post-graduate study with famed teachers Robert Lewis and Alvina Krause before spending 7 years as a resident member of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in Pennsylvania. A native of New England, she traveled throughout the US as a free-lance theater artist before settling in Florida in 1996. Julia is the author of more than a dozen produced plays for youth and family audiences, including THE SNOW QUEEN, music by Lee Ahlin (Eldridge Press 2000) and THE GREAT ALPHABET ADVENTURE (Anchorage Press Plays 2010). Julia is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and Dramatists Guild and serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of TYA-USA, the US chapter of the International Association of Theater for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ).

To learn more about Julia, click here.

Matthew Neufeld
Managing Director
matt at metroplays dot org

Matt joined the Company in 2009 with an eclectic background as an arts manager, administrator, consultant, teaching artist, director, and actor.  A St. Louis native, Matt was first drawn to theater after seeing Metro Theater Company’s production of Beowulf.  Prior to coming to the Company, Matt served as the assistant to the managing director at Hartford Stage (CT), where he worked closely with the board of directors, helped coordinate a capital campaign, organized its new work festival, and developed an improvisational training program.  Matt is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts in New York University, and a graduate of the Field’s Artist-Manager Partnerships Program.

Karen Weberman
Education Director
karen at metroplays dot org

Karen joined Metro Theater Company in 2011. Originally from Michigan, Karen delights in working with youth of all ages. She has taught with Northlight Theatre, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Emerald City Theatre Company, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, UCP of Central Florida and ArtsBridge America. Karen is also an adjunct professor in the School of Education at Maryville University. She combines her passions for arts education, community engagement and inclusive arts experiences to help realize the mission of Metro Theater Company. Her creative and research interests focus on arts integration, applied theatre with marginalized populations, theatre for social change, and professional development for teaching artists and pre-service and in-service teachers. She holds an MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida and a BA in Theatre Arts from Michigan State University.

Ron James
Marketing and Communications Director
ron at metroplays dot org

Ron James

Ron James has more than 25 years experience as a communicator, marketer and arts administrator.

Ron headed the marketing department for the Innsbrook Corporation for more than 20 years where he was responsible for external and internal communications, marketing and public relations for the corporation and the Innsbrook Property Owners Association.  Ron also cofounded and managed the Innsbrook Institute, an international Classical Music Festival and the Warren County Fine Arts Council. Ron also managed the Innsbrook Community life program which offered more than 100 events annually.

Ron graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where he earned Bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and in Philosophy. Ron is and Eagle Scout and is a graduate of the Focus St. Louis Leadership program. He has served in numerous volunteer positions including Marketing Chair for the Webster University Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts and as Committee Chair for the Community Music School of Webster University Strategic Plan Committee.

Jessie Youngblood
Director of Development
jessie at metroplays dot org

Jessie Youngblood

Jessie Youngblood came to Metro Theater Company from the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM), where she was the Assistant Director of Development.  Prior to CAM, Jessie worked at Jazz St. Louis in the role of Donor Services and Database Manager and at the St. Louis Symphony.

Jessie is passionate about local arts and culture and serves on the Board of Directors of the Left Bank Book Foundation, the Young Friends Steering Committee of Opera Theatre St. Louis, the Young Friends Board of Jazz St. Louis, the Government Relations Committee of the St. Louis Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and as VP of the St. Louis Region for the Missouri Citizens for the Arts Board of Directors.

Originally from Boise, Idaho, Jessie relocated to St. Louis in January of 2013 after completing her Master’s of Music in Violin Pedagogy at Boise State University. She has been playing the violin for twenty-two years and the trumpet for eighteen and has performed in a variety of ensembles; from a 180-person full orchestra and chorus in Eisenstadt, Austria, to a string quartet behind legendary jazz pianist Billy Childs.

John Wolbers
Resident Teaching Artist
john at metroplays dot org

John WolbersJohn joined the Company in 2012 after working with Metro Theater Company in various capacities onstage, backstage and as a freelance teaching artist. Previously he served for four years as the Youth Theatre Coordinator and Camp of the Arts Director for the St. Louis Jewish Community Center. In addition, John has worked in the St. Louis region as a teaching artist, actor, director and playwright. A transplant from the Lone Star State, he earned his B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

Michael B. Perkins
Community Engagement Manager
michael at metroplays dot org

Michael B. PerkinsMichael is a St. Louis native with over a decade of experience in Theatre for Young Audiences and a diverse skill set that includes teaching artist, program manager, director, designer, and actor. Before joining MTC full-time in the summer of 2017, he served as Education and Community Programs Manager for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, as well as a local freelance audio/visual designer for many local companies, including the MTC productions And In This Corner…Cassius Clay and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. He also holds a BFA in Directing Theatre from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO.

Erik Kuhn
Production Manager & Technical Director
erik at metroplays dot org

Erik Kuhn

Erik is a St. Louis-based actor, technician, and stage combatant. While working in the scene shop at Washington University in St Louis, he began serving as a technical director for various student projects and developed an interest in working in technical theater, while continuing to study acting. After graduating with his degree in drama, he also began studying stage combat with the Society of American Fight Directors and Dueling Arts International, where he recently earned a DAI Associate Instructor certification. As a freelance theater professional, he has worked as a technical director, carpenter, electrician, fight director, stage combat instructor, and actor on over two dozen productions, with educational institutions and professional companies. He has served as the Technical Director for St Louis Shakespeare’s 31st summer season and Upstream Theater in Seasons 11 & 12. He also serves as the Resident Lighting Designer with Equally Represented Arts (ERA) and as Technical Director as Visitation Academy. He has worked on and offstage with Metro Theater Company in the past and is thrilled to be serving as Technical Director on another magical MTC production!

David Blake
Resident Designer
davidb at metroplays dot org

David Blake

Technical Director: David Blake’s past work with Metro includes lighting design for Unsorted. Other St. Louis scenic design credits include Stray Dog Theatre’s The Great American Trailer Park Musical (St. Louis Theatre Circle Nomination), Spring Awakening, Gypsy, and Little Shop of Horrors (St. Louis Theatre Circle Nomination), Winning Juliet (Shakespeare Festival St. Louis), Kosher Lutherans (HotCity), and Mary Shelley Monster Show (Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble) David is also technical director for Clayton High School’s theater department.

Tracy Vail
Bookkeeper
tracy at metroplays dot org

Tracy Vail

Tracy joined Metro Theater Company in January, 2016. Prior to her return to St. Louis, Tracy lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she was a Payroll Supervisor for Aegon USA and then a Product Manager in renewable energy for Alliant Energy. While in Cedar Rapids, she served on the board for Children’s Theater of Cedar Rapids. Tracy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Mount Mercy University.

Amanda Weiss
Executive Assistant
amanda at metroplays dot org

Amanda Weiss

Amanda has worked as Marketing and Development Coordinator at Grand Center Inc., and also with Kids In Danger (KID) in Chicago where she served as the Event Planning & Fundraising Assistant.  She has been involved in the arts her entire life and is a passionate supporter.  A Chicago native, she has a degree from Loyola University with a BA in Sociology and a Minor in Music.