Kristy Grimes

[Managing Director] | Contact

Kristy started her career in public relations at The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts before serving as PR and Marketing Director at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. She completed two years of the Theatre Management program at the Yale School of Drama before transferring to the Yale School of Management to graduate with an M.B.A. Upon graduation, Kristy worked as a consultant for the renowned corporate branding firm, Siegel & Gale. She then was the Director of Client Services at the DDB subsidiary, Tribal DDB, where she supervised interactive branding and advertising projects for a variety of clients including Sony, Hershey, The New York Lottery, and Amtrak. She also worked in marketing and fundraising at the League of American Theatres and Producers in New York.

Molly Renfroe Katz

[Executive Director] | Contact

BWY: By Jeeves (Stiffy Byng) music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, book/lyrics/direction by Alan Ayckbourn. Molly is a founding member and producing director of Half Moon Theatre, a new professional theater company in Dutchess County. NAT’L TOUR/REGIONAL: First National of City of Angels (Bootsie), The Man who Came to Dinner at The Cleveland Playhouse, among others. She is a member of NY’s critically acclaimed adobe theatre company. Work there includes The Handless Maiden (Handless Maiden), The Eight Reindeer Monologues (Blitzen), Deception (Susan), Blink of an Eye (Kiki), among others. NYSAF’s Powerhouse Theater: Notes to Marianne. Molly has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, The Kennedy Center, Goodspeed Opera House and The Vineyard Theatre. Film and TV credits include Hillary in The Dark Half by Stephen King, dir. George Romero, and the ABC-TV MOW Guilty Til Proven Innocent. Addt’l TV credits: One Life to Live, All My Children and she anchored Sci-Fi channel’s FTL Newsfeed for two years. She trained under William Esper in New York and is a graduate of Wesleyan University.

Michael Schiralli

[Artistic Director]

For Half Moon Theatre: A Christmas CarolI Love, I Lost, I Made SpaghettiThe FantasticksIt’s A Wonderful LifeThe World Goes Round, Ten Minute Play Festival (Marriott Pavilion)  Side By Side By Sondheim, The Magic Fish and the popular Dutchess Divas extravaganzas.  Some recent Off-Broadway credits include: Nico Underground (NY Times critic’s pick), The critically acclaimed A Chanukah Charol(New World Stages) and David Simpatico’s Prom Queen (Playwrights Horizon).  Other notable productions:  Sleepless Variations with Mary Testa & Michael Starobin (Barrington Stage), Jackie Hoffman’s solo shows including The Kvetching Continues (Time Out Award) and The Tragic And Horrible Life Of The Singing Nun (NYMF, 3 awards), Varla Jean Merman shows and videos including Enough About Me: An Unauthorized Biography, Coco Peru shows including: Undaunted (GLAAD Award), The Vendler Television Playhouse (Guiding Light TV Cast), Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice with David Rackoff (Culture Project), Born Again Again! with Tammy Faye Starlite (Ars Nova), Valentine’s Day Massacre (Drama Dept.), Nothin’s Easy and Nobody’s Happy with Colette Hawley, Gas, Food, Talent (West Bank), Darlene Love’s True Love (N.Y., L.A.), Songs for a New World (with Beth Leavel and Jason Robert Brown),Damaged Care (U.S. House of Congress), Everything’s Coming Up Moses with Seth Rudetsky, MTW’s Holiday Extravaganza with Kristin Chenowith, Free & Equal (Yip Harburg Foundation) and the feature film, Varla Jean And The Mushroomheads.

Patty Wineapple

[Producing Director] | Contact

The majority of Patty’s career as a Senior Vice President/Group Executive Producer was spent at Grey Worldwide working on a variety of accounts including 3M, Olive Garden, Time/Warner, Conagra, Remington, Kraft and Proctor & Gamble. In addition to her work at Grey, Patty co-produced a short film directed by Bob Balaban and Broadway My Street!, a television special devoted to the musical theater starring Jerry Orbach, Florence Henderson and the casts of several Broadway musicals. Her documentary work includes Animated Women, an Emmy winning four-part series funded by ITVS for public television showcasing the work of four animated filmmakers. Her most recent producing credit was Independent Spirits: Faith Hubley/John Hubley, a documentary on the lives and work of animators, Faith and John Hubley.

Merritt Minnemeyer

[Education Outreach Director] | Contact

Merritt Minnemeyer comes to Half Moon Theatre with 20 years of experience in the Arts and Education. She has worked with thousands of students of all ages, learning styles and backgrounds on both coasts as an educator, facilitator, program/curriculum developer and administrator. Merritt began as a teaching artist in New York City at the renowned Off-Broadway American Place Theatre under the legendary Director and acting teacher Wynn Handman. She went on to the Pacific Northwest as  Outreach Director for Youth Theatre Northwest, as a touring actor/educator for Book-it Repertory’s production of The Phantom Tollbooth, and as a teaching artist for the acclaimed Seattle Children’s Theatre. A California native, Merritt served for three years in the administration at a private all-girls boarding school on California’s Central Coast, working closely with students, families and teachers on student academics, social concerns, and resident life. In Western New York, she spent 5 years with youth and adults in the public and private sector working on leadership, diversity, and anti-oppression issues with the social justice nonprofit National Federation for Just Communities. There she was on the planning committee and a presenter for the Anne Frank Project, an international arts and human rights conference, and went on to spend two years as a Lecturer for SUNY Buffalo State College’s Theater Department. Also in WNY, she served in various capacities at The Gow School, an internationally acclaimed boarding school for students with Dyslexia and other Learning Differences.

As a theatre practitioner, Merritt started performing at the age of 4. She began her professional career as a technician and stage manager for the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY with Bob Moss and Joe Calarco. In NYC she worked on many independent projects at downtown theatres including productions directed by Joseph Chaikin and Maria Irene Fornes, and appeared as "Punch" in the play Interferon in the first NYC Fringe Festival in 1996. She soon found herself at backstage at Manhattan Theatre Club, including the glamorous position of “rain maker” in the original production of Richard Greenburg’s Three Days of Rain, during which she soaked John Slattery, Patricia Clarkson and Bradley Whitford with a watering can. Since these "character building experiences," Merritt has performed in, directed, and produced projects with award-winning companies both in New York and regionally, on stage, in films, and on the web, with renowned artists and aspiring original voices alike.  She has been featured as a writer and storyteller both live in NYC (No, You Tell It!) and online (Lipstick & Politics) and has collaborated on many original works and adaptations. She is particularly proud to have produced Peter’s Mission: The Power of Hope a play with music by her late husband, actor Peter Weisenburger, about his experiences with terminal brain cancer, which played to hundreds of students, teachers, patients, health care providers, and patient advocates. 

Merritt studied theatre and writing in the UK, trained in Viewpoints and Suzuki with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, and holds a BFA in Acting from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts (Playwrights Horizons, Experimental Theater Wing). In 2015, she earned her Master’s in Humanistic/Multicultural Education from SUNY New Paltz. Merritt has served on several nonprofit boards as a producing and/or education consultant, and is a member of NYSTEA. She is most deeply honored by current role of Partner to her incredible husband Thomas, and Mom to her three awesome boys. She lives in New Paltz with her family and two goofy pound pups.


HMT School Director/ Instructor | Contact 

Denise has appeared on Broadway in such shows as the Rosie O’Donnell/Boy George musicalTabooThe Rocky Horror Picture Show, Saturday Night Fever and Grease. She has played leading roles in the Broadway touring companies of Leader of the Pack, Grease, Company and The Who’s Tommy. Denise recently received a Drama Desk Award for her work in the hit a cappella musical In Transit and was also in the original cast of the Off Broadway musical Shout!. Regionally, she has performed at The Ford’s Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, Trinity Rep, and The McCarter Theatre to name a few. She has created roles in the development of many new plays and musicals most notably In Transit and Duncan Sheik /Steven Sater’s The Nightingale at The O’Neill Theatre Center as well as Dollface andBehind the Limelight (Broadway’s Chaplin) at Powerhouse Theatre/ New York Stage and Film. She has choreographed many musicals, cabarets and concerts including 42nd Street, How to Succeed in Business, Oliver and Bye Bye Birdie. A dynamic singer, Denise has drawn praise from around the music scene with her series of solo concerts in and around NYC and can be heard on various voice-overs, jingles and recordings. She has had the distinguished honor of singing at the White House for the President and First Lady and has sung with many national and international recording artists. She is a Half Moon Theatre company member and has performed in Dutchess Divas and in the new salon show Moms the Word. She has a BFA in acting and has taught master classes at the Governor’s School in NJ, Rosie’s Broadway Kids in NYC, and is a private acting coach for adults and children. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, SAG/AFTRA as well as the musicians union Local 802.


 HMT School Co-Director/ Instructor | Contact

John has performed in New York City and across the country in numerous productions includingTwelfth Night (Orsino), Falling (Bill), Dinner with Friends (Tom), Company (National Tour), Godspell (Jesus), Sweeney Todd (Sweeney) and  Radio City Christmas Spectacular at theaters which include Carnegie Hall, Trinity Repertory Company, The York Theatre Company, The New Harmony Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse and The Cape Playhouse.  John is a Half Moon Theatre company member and has also performed locally with Powerhouse Theater/New York Stage and Film, Shadowland Theatreand with River Valley Repertory. He canbe heard singing with Faith Prince on bonus tracks of Fynsworth Alley’s re-release of the original Gwen Verdon Cast Recording of Redhead. Off-Broadway, John has served as Assistant Director on Sin: A Cardinal Deposedstarring John Cullum for The New Group (OBIE Award & 2 Drama Desk Nominations) and Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano & The Lesson for Atlantic Theater Company. Other Directing credits include productions ofDesign for Living, Anything Goes, Babes in Arms, as well as numerous Benefit Galas and One-Act Festivals. John is an alumnus of the Atlantic Theater Company Acting Program and proudly carries union cards for Actors Equity Association, SAG/AFTRA and AGVA. John has taught acting at Usdan Center for the Performing Arts as well as privately in New York City. In addition, he holds a degree in Economics from Trinity College and has great memories of his year at La Universitá Cattolica in Milan.