Tom Vaaler (Chair)
“I am excited about the opportunity to serve once more in developing a truly ‘open door’ community theater.”
Tom Vaaler’s career included 35 years in human resources at 3M, and seven years as an interim executive with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Tom and his wife have lived in Woodbury since 1965 and have four children who were active in school theater and sports. In 1975, Tom joined a group of parents to start Woodbury Community Theatre, where he served as a board member (two terms as chair) and was involved in fundraising. Tom appeared on stage in over 40 performances with Woodbury Community Theatre, having the good fortune to sing and act with all of his children and three of his grandchildren. He has served as president of the congregation, chair of the elders and chair of two major building projects at Woodbury Lutheran Church, and was board chair of the nonprofit mental health agency Family Means when they launched their building program. A proud graduate of Luther College, Tom has served his college as a member of the President’s Council, annual fund chair and chair of his 50th class reunion.
Colleen Cullen – Vice Chair
“I love theater and I love my community. Open Door Community Theatre brings together these two passions in such a beautiful way.”
Colleen Cullen has worked for the Social Security Administration for 30 years in the Twin Cities, Chicago and Baltimore, and is currently the deputy area director for Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin. She lives in Woodbury with her husband, and they have two young adult daughters. Over the past 10 years, Colleen has been involved both on stage and behind the scenes with Woodbury Community Theatre, Ashland Productions and Stillwater Community Theater. She is happy to be contributing her time and talents with Open Door Community Theatre, working with a strong group of people to support live theater and strengthen the community – a “win-win!” as she likes to say. Colleen’s community service includes the parish pastoral council and music ministry at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Church and volunteering with the Irish Fair of Minnesota, working with Irish chefs to bring their delicious cuisine to the Minnesota palate. An avid reader and cook, Colleen’s secret aspiration is to own her own catering business.
Lisa Cressy (Secretary)
“Knowing that the proceeds from Open Door Community Theatre stay in the community and benefit those that most need it makes it all worthwhile, and binds us all together with an even greater purpose.”
Lisa Cressy, volunteer coordinator for Lakeview Hospice, grew up in St. Paul Park, participating in music and theater in elementary/middle/high school and college. One of her daughters got involved in local community theater and encouraged Lisa and the rest of the family to as well, which led to special times when all four Cressys appeared together in the same shows. Lisa has contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to local community theater, St. Ambrose, Music Ministry Alive and Woodbury High School. Her desire to join Open Door Community Theatre comes from her strong belief in its mission of being rooted in the community: high quality theatrical productions produced, developed and performed by people from our own community. She notes that it’s pretty fun to see your lawyer, dentist or even your teacher up on stage, in the pit or back stage.
Justin Madsen (Treasurer)
“Performing arts serve a much bigger purpose than simple entertainment. Organizations like Open Door Community Theatre enrich the community by expanding horizons, sharing stories and connecting individuals on and off the stage.”
Justin Madsen graduated from Luther College with a degree in both accounting and theatre/dance. As a real-life Leo Bloom (a la Mel Brook’s The Producers), his equally left and right-brained disposition makes him a lover of all things creative and analytical. By day, Justin is a senior manager of merchandising finance at Target Corp. By night, he is an active actor, dancer, singer, pianist, director and volunteer at local theaters. He has performed in countless productions in the Woodbury and broader community theater scene, and his resume includes professional stage and film work as well. Justin is thrilled to be a part of something so meaningful with the creation of Open Door Community Theatre, which he hopes will be a theatre company that welcomes any and all performers, patrons and lovers of the arts to enjoy high caliber productions that serve the broader community.
“It’s important to give back to the communities that have helped shape our success. Volunteering helps us stay connected and grounded. I have good leadership skills and financial insights, and am pleased to share those with Open Door Community Theatre as a board member.”
Robin Giguere of Gebhard & Giguere, Ltd, has provided business and individual tax and accounting services since 1989. She has always enjoyed theater; during her college days, she volunteered as an usher so she could see plays. Robin now enjoys watching her granddaughter perform on stage. Her rich history of community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce and Woodbury Days Council as well as providing foster care for the Animal Humane Society. Robin is passionate about aviation and enjoys taking to the sky to fly. When on the ground, Robin likes to hang out with her two German Shepherds.
“As Open Door Community Theatre continues its journey, it is important to stay true to our roots, drive greater engagement with the community, grow talents in individuals, and give to deserving charities.”
Craig Hamer has worked for 3M as a chemical engineer for 31 years, where he creates process and product solutions for a wide variety of global products. His first interaction with theater was in high school, as a lighting crew member at Woodbury High School. The arts are important to Craig’s entire family, with his wife and son spending time in orchestras, St. Ambrose music ministry and theater pit orchestras, and a daughter who works in ceramic fine arts. Craig was also involved with First Robotics through East Ridge High School as a mentor. In his free time, he enjoys participating in a golf league, curling league, boating, biking and crosswords.
“I am delighted to be on the board of Open Door Community Theatre, an organization that is dedicated to inclusivity, kindness and respectful volunteerism as well as quality performances.”
Norma May served as a school and church choral director, private voice teacher and public school vocal music specialist for 40 years, including 31 years with South Washington County Schools. Now happily retired, she sings in “Encore” with Aspire Music Academy and Voices of Opera. She supports and encourages young teachers as a member of SongWorks Education Association, an international music community whose purpose is to search for and practice ways of making music and interacting with people that preserve and celebrate the dignity of both. A grandmother with two delightful granddaughters, Norma has been involved with professional and community theater in several states but found her theater family here in the Woodbury community, where she has participated in over 30 shows as an actor, vocal director and vocal coach. Norma brings creativity and balance to any situation, and is excited to encourage new talent, both on and off stage, to join Open Door Community Theatre.
“Being a part of community theater has allowed me to experience the creative process – from vision to a final production – with an incredible group of people working together for the benefit of our community.”
An active member of the Woodbury community since 1984, Tom Musser is a dentist and owner of Art & Science Family Dentistry in Woodbury, where he resides with his wife and where they raised their three children. Tom initially became involved with local theater as an audience member and small business owner who has sponsored many local high school and Woodbury Community Theatre productions. He has performed in three Woodbury Community Theatre Stars on Broadway shows as well as Les Miserables. Tom served in a leadership role on the Woodbury YMCA Board which was instrumental in fundraising for and building the city’s Y. Singing has been a big part of Tom’s life since his high school days, and he enjoys participating in the music ministry at St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Church. He loves spending as much time as possible with family and friends at the cabin.
“Having the opportunity to be on the board of Open Door Community Theatre, with others who love the process of putting on a show, is exciting and enriching. This new organization has become a truly open door for all those who love the arts in our community.”
A former elementary school teacher for many years in both Minnesota and Ames, Iowa, Lenore Weir learned all about theater from Marge Wetz, who started Woodbury Community Theatre in 1975. Following Wetz’s passing in 1990, Lenore took over directing for the local community theater group. She is passionate about theater, enjoys all types and loves everything about the process – taking a script, auditioning a cast, rehearsing and then performing for a live audience. Lenore’s two daughters live in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, so it’s one plane flight for her to visit them and her three grandchildren. A former volunteer with the League of Women Voters, Lenore enjoys playing golf and riding her bike.