Producing Artistic Director
Adam Knight joined Riverside Theatre in Fall 2018, after seventeen years in New York City. He was founder and co-Artistic Director of Slant Theatre Project, an Off Off-Broadway company that produced more than two dozen world premieres, working with a large roster of emerging artists. Past directing includes: Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. From 2002-08 he was Management Associate for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). BS in Theatre: University of Evansville.
Aaron Weiner is an Iowa City based theatre artist who first worked with Riverside Theatre as a performer in 2004. Since that time he has accumulated a litany of acting and directing credits across the midwest, but his artistic home has always been with Riverside and the performing arts community in Iowa City. Aaron joined the Riverside team as Development Director in 2021 as part of his continuing mission to help the performing arts thrive and grow in the city he calls home.
Crystal Marie Stewart
Artistic Associate / NNPN Producer-in-Residence
Crystal Marie Stewart is thrilled to be on staff at Riverside Theatre! A recent graduate of the MFA Acting program at the University of Iowa, and recipient of an upcoming NNPN Producer-in-Residence fellowship for the current ’21-’22 season, she originally hails from Greenville, South Carolina. While there she performed in several shows with The Warehouse Theatre; including In The Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Twelfth Night, and A Streetcar Named Desire. While at the University, she performed in several productions, and helped develop a new curriculum for the “Drama in the Classroom” course, for which she won the Outstanding Teaching Assistant award from the University Council on Teaching in 2021. She is looking forward to developing season 2 of the “Will Power” series, and hopefully working (safely) with as many lovely and brilliant local artists as is humanly possible this season!
Irena Saric has been with Riverside Theatre since July of 2015. Before joining Riverside’s staff she worked as a Programming Coordinator for Eurokaz – one of the most important festivals of new theatre in Europe. In 2017 she was a recipient of National New Play Network’s Producer in Residence award. She holds a Master’s Degree in Performing Arts Management from the University of Zagreb in Croatia.
Chris is Technical Director for Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, IA. He started with Riverside in 2019 as a freelance scenic designer. Since then, Chris has worked in technical direction, lighting design, scenic design, and sound designer. He moved to Iowa City in 2018 with over twenty-five years’ professional and academic experience and found a welcoming community and thriving theatre scene. Credits for RT include How I Learned What I Learned, Men On Boats, Stages and FEAST. He also works with Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and Pyramid Theatre Company of Des Moines. Beyond the theatre, Chris volunteers with the VA Hospital of Iowa City and serves as host of Sound Salon, a monthly Iowa City based community event that incorporates storytelling around the music of our lives.
Patron Services Manager
Madonna Smith began working as Patron Services Manager in 2017. Always involved in local theatre, she enjoys acting, directing, writing, producing, and stage managing. Her other passions are library work, and community outreach. Madonna serves as president of the board for Dreamwell Theatre. In 2019, Madonna helped Dreamwell bring QueertopIA, an annual variety show showcasing local talent, to Iowa City with 50% of proceeds going to Iowa City Pride. (She’s currently working on bringing it back this year!) Madonna loves working at Riverside Theatre. “Riverside has been a part of this community for 30 years, and it shows. I’m especially proud of Shakespeare in the Park, and Will Power. I work with some of the most talented, and caring people in the area. Being Patron Services Manager brings me a lot of joy, and satisfaction. I interact with our audiences, which is a big part of why we’re here.”
Lesanne Fliehler works part-time in the Riverside Theatre box office. Her career began as a teacher at Iowa City’s South East Junior High School from 1977 to 1980. She then enrolled in the journalism program at the University of Iowa, graduating in 1986 with an M.A. in journalism. Her career at the University of Iowa lasted 33 years, where she served in various editorial positions in the public relations department and ending with the UI Tippie College of business as a communications specialist. Lesanne retired in June 2019 and lives in Coralville with her husband, Jack. Lesanne is a former Riverside Theatre board member, and she currently volunteers with TRAIL of Johnson County, the UI Senior College, and the UI Retirees Association.