Laurie Oravec, President
Laurie Oravec joined the Board in January of 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from SUNY at Buffalo. As former director of public relations and brand development for Fisher-Price, Laurie brings new ideas for marketing Aurora Players and its productions as well as a legal point-of-view based on prior experience as a corporate paralegal. She has assisted with props, set decorating, stage crew and appeared in several Aurora Players productions beginning in 2017.
Tim Musial, Vice President
I was invited to audition for a show by a friend from work, some 32 years ago. He’s moved out of the area, but I’m still here. As you might imagine, I have participated in this group in many capacities in that time. The draw of live theatre – of stretching my creative “muscles” – be it through onstage/backstage/production/publicity modes still excites me. To be able to do so – with my family and alongside a fantastic group of like-minded individuals – makes this a fulfilling avocation that is very enjoyable. I’m honored and excited to have the chance to guide the organization in realizing its goals in the coming years.
Catherine Burkhart, Recording Secretary
Originally from Syracuse, NY, Catherine Burkhart holds a BFA in Theater from SUNY Fredonia and has been active in Western NY theater for over 25 years. Her first role with Aurora Players was in 2003’s “See How They Run”. She has been an active member for 19 years and previously volunteered as a Board member. Although her first love is acting, and she feels lucky to have graced the AP stage many times, she has also directed four shows for the organization and produced five. She is a proud recipient of AP’s John C. Briggs Service Award. Catherine has worked for M&T Bank for 13 years. She practices yoga and enjoys hiking, reading and cooking. She is also a volunteer at Beaver Meadow/Buffalo Audubon Society.
Rebecca Caufield, Member-at-Large
Rebecca Caufield holds a BA in Communication Arts: Theater from Eastern Nazarene College where she earned the Betty Blanchard Rice Award for Excellence in the Creative and Performing Arts and served as Assistant to the Technical Theater Director. Her first experience with AP was as an audience member in 2018, and her first on stage appearance was in Bright Star (2019). While not new to board experience this is her first time on the AP Board. “I am looking forward to serving AP in any way I can and am excited about what theater magic we can create for you.”
Kim Hicks, Member-at-Large
Kim has been involved with Aurora Players since 1996 when she moved back to East Aurora and volunteered to help with the costuming of The Music Man. She has costumed many shows since then and chairs the Costume Committee, which maintains our extensive, award-winning costume collection. She has also served on the Play Reading Committee, helped with set decorating and front-of-the-house functions. Having recently retired from her position in soft goods product development with Fisher-Price, she is now enjoying the more in-depth involvement with Aurora Players that comes with serving on the board.
Patricia Hoefler, Member-at-Large
Patricia was first involved with Aurora Players in the early 80’s when she appeared in The Lion in Winter. She recently returned and has since directed Barefoot in the Park, She Loves Me, and Amateurs as well as holding workshops on acting techniques. Patricia has an MFA in Theater, Performance and Society from Rhode Island College, with a focus on directing and playwriting. She has served on the board of directors for Academy Players in RI, and this is her first time serving on the Aurora Players Board
Gail Stengel, Member-at-Large
Gail has been part of the theater community in WNY for over 25 yrs. An alumni of Studio Arena theater school, performing is her first love. However, she can be found lending a hand with stage managing, costuming and/or gathering props for a show at any given time. Having joined Aurora Players in 2018 she is looking forward to joining the Board and participating in whatever capacity needed to insure the continued success of the organization.