Richard Carrothers
Dennis D. Hennessy

Founder, Advisor and Board Member

Dodie Brown


President Gary Krings
First Vice President Lora Smith
Second Vice President John Wittenborn
Recording Secretary Penny Gamm
Corresponding Secretary Caryn Hastings
Treasurer Wendy Pitts
Member at Large Hank Rector
Immediate Past President Barbara Holzmark

Standing Committees & Chairs


Advisory Chair Karl Roscoe
Benefit Chair Margot Matteson
By-Laws and Parliamentarian Chair Arlene Krings
Culinary Chair Jim Holzmark
Dress Rehearsal Chair Bob Wise
Historian Chair Janis Rovick
Hospitality Chair Sue Houdek
Membership Chair Jim Johnson
Publications Chair Sharon Pearce
Scholarship Chair Ed See
Social Media / Public Relations Chair Lora Smith
Telephone Committee Chair John Wittenborn
New Theatre Restaurant Liaison Doug Woolery

University Representatives & Guild Liaison


Kansas State University Jerry Jay Cranford Jerry Ogden
University of Central Missouri John Wilson Jeanne McDowell
University of Kansas  Katherine Pryor Judy Horn
University of Missouri-Kansas City  Jason Franceson Sharon Pearce

Past Presidents

Barbara Holzmark 2016 – 2018
Linda Khan 2014 – 2016
Dick Horn 2013 – 2014
Seth McClintock 2011 – 2013
Ed See 2010 – 2011
John Cessna 2008 – 2010
Jim Johnson 2006 – 2008
Jim McDowell 2004 – 2006
Paula Simkins 2002 – 2004
Jane Douglas 2001 – 2002
Jeanne McDowell 1999 – 2001
Joan Singer 1998 – 1999
Ruthie Hoffman 1997 – 1998
Judy Horn 1996 – 1997
Sharon Pearce 1995 – 1996
Shirley Brown 1994 – 1995

Gary Krings President (2018-2019)untitled - Copy

Gary was born and raised in Kansas City, where he graduated from Pem Day, prior to receiving a BBA in Finance from the University of Miami.  His early business career was in real estate development in Lenexa, before entering the field of financial planning over 35 years ago. He is active as a Financial Advisor with the investment firm of Ameriprise Financial in Overland Park.

Gary and Arlene live in Fairway, have six children and eighteen grandchildren between them, spread across the country, which keeps them hopping! (as Gary says, “We have to have good records because it’ s always someone’s birthday, happily!”) They love to travel and cruise whenever possible.

His hobbies include photography, “and anything having to do with cars” since age 3! His favorite car is a 1981 red (Magnum P.I.) Ferrari that he has owned for over 30 years. Gary founded Car Guys of Kansas City, a group that is active with over 200 members which meet monthly to, of all things, talk cars!

Gary and Arlene share a keen interest in church and charitable activities including the arts, so the New Theatre Scholarship Guild (NTSG) was a natural passion that has been a part of their lives for 12 years.  They believe that the arts and, in particular, that performing arts are a very important part of our culture. Last year they started a scholarship for the performing arts at the University of Central Mo. to help in this regard, and count it as one of their most rewarding activities.

Gary is so honored to be the incoming President of NTSG because, as he says, “NTSG has one goal, and only one: ‘to raise money for deserving performing art students that may not otherwise be able to follow their dreams.'” He gratefully acknowledges the hard work that the Board of Directors does to further the organization’s goal that makes his role so rewarding and is looking forward to a banner year for the students!

Seth McClintock President (2011)seth_mcclintockseth_mcclintock

Retired Shawnee Mission West theatre teacher, he was a member of the first New Theatre Guild board. A graduate of Pittsburg State University and a Fulbright Exchange teacher, he has always supported Fine Arts programs in public school. He served as president of the NEA of Shawnee Mission and on the Kansas NEA board. He has a directed 136 theatre productions. Some of these were produced outside the USA in several counties including the U. K, Holland and Zambia.

Active in supporting theatre in the Kansas City area, he served as president of the Friends of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, as vice-president for Education of the Festival. He is a member of the Friends of the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Kansas City Ballet Guild, and Paul Mesner Puppets Board.

Ed See – Past President (2010)Ed See (2)ed_see_today

The following is presented with permission from “Today” magazine, Summer 2008, vol. 8 no.1, University of Central Missouri


Throughout the 50 years of Then Honors College, Professor Emeritus of Theatre Ed See witnessed it’s progress first hand and helped it along its way.

One of the 12 students who comprised its first class, See says, “It was a tremendous experience. We were sort of guinea pigs I guess.” He remembers his English honors communication class. They met at 8 a.m. with Catherine Titus, then head of the program. “She was quite a demanding taskmaster,” he says with a laugh.

Ed See says that the program was especially effective because of Titus and then chief academic officer Dean D.W. Tieszen worked to establish high standards and pushed participants to compete against other students who were all exceptionally bright.

Longtime UCM theatre department chair, See says that he always valued his experience with the honors program. “There was so much expected of us, so we rose to the challenge.”

John Cessna Past President (2009) john_cessna

John has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas, a Master’s of Business Administration from UMKC and a Mater’s in Computer Science from UMKC. He holds several patents.

John and his beautiful wife, Joyce, have been members of People to People for the past 36 years with John serving as its president for several of those years. As a result, John and Joyce have friends around the world, and even a godson in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has also served on the board of People to People International and was a member of Sister Cities.

John worked for The Vendo Company for 5 years, then joined Electro-Dynamics Corporation for 10 1/2 years, and finally worked for Honeywell for 18 1/2 years before retiring. His last task was to serve on a team of engineers building a satellite communication system capable of communicating anywhere in the world.

Finally, John has spent the last twenty years hand-digging ponds and waterfalls in his backyard. He has moved over 220 tons of Colorado Moss Rock from the front to back. As a result he created three ponds and waterfalls. The largest pond is 30,000 gallons, and the largest waterfall is twenty feet tall. He has created a website project, and you can visit it at Zenpond has recently been featured in both the Kansas City Star newspaper and in “Water Gardens” magazine.

John Pearce – NTG Extraordinairejohn_pierce

John Pearce, who is serving his third year on the New Theatre Guild board, is a Jayhawk. KU Journalism degrees are a B.S. in Advertising & Business and M.S. in Radio and Television. His business background includes that of public relations manager, magazine editor, corporate business trainer, director of the department of community development for Johnson County, and Johnson Count Community College dean and foundation director. John’s first assignment at JCCC was to design and conduct the public drive for the support of a $12,900,000 bond issue in 1969 to build the new campus.

His current responsibility on the New Theatre Guild board, as chairman of the fundraising committee, is to build financial support to fulfill the mission of the Guild: providing scholarships for theatre arts students at UMKC, KU, and UCM.

John and his wife, Sharon, have a long association with Guild founder Dodie Brown. Dodie sang at their wedding. By Dodie’s invitation, they were extras in three New Theatre Restaurant productions: Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof and Arsenic and Old Lace. Dodie founded the Guild in 1994 and John and Sharon became charter members.

When you talk with John, you soon discover his hobby. He’s an avid traveler. He has vacationed in all 50 states. As a corporate business trainer for 13 years, he also worked in all 50 states as well. as other locations in North America and in Europe. And he has traveled to every continent except Antarctica.

If you would like information about ways you can participate in your Guild’s fundraising activities, call John at 913.381.1356 or email him at He would enjoy talking with you.

George Hartergeorge_harter

George began in radio in 1976 at KCUR-FM in Kansas City, first as a late night host and then as News Producer. He majored in Theatre and completed studies at the University of Kansas. George joined the announcing staff of Classical 96.6 KXTR, in 1980 and created “A Night on the Town”, a program celebrating the music of Broadway and films.

In 1977, George founded Musical Theatre Heritage, as a non-profit production company to develop the program for national syndication on the WFMT Fine Arts Network.

Today, Musical Theatre Heritage distributes “A Night on the Town” nationally (sponsored by the Algonquin Hotel in New York), organizes fundraising theatre trips to New York and London for a variety of art groups and produces performances of classic American musical comedies at the new Off Center Theatre at Crown Center.

Betty Bushman, a KC Sweetheartbetty_bushman

Betty Congour Caywood Bushman graduated from Westport High School in Kansas City. She was an airline attendant with Mid-Continent Airlines and then later, became a PGA Field Secretary. She completed her education degree at Marymount College, taught school for a matter of years, and had two children: Jeff and Michelle. She received her Master’s degree in Speech from Northwestern University in Chicago.

She began modeling and doing television commercials, which led to a career in broadcasting. She met her long-time dear friend Maggie Jacobs when they performed in television together. Later, she was hired by ABC as a “Weather-Girl.” She had several other shows, such as “Great Ideas from Great Books,’ with Hans Conreid and Mortimer Adler, and a 90-minute daily show called “Women on the Go.”

When Charles Finley decided to hire a female Baseball Broadcaster, Betty was offered the job. It was during this period that she met the love of her life, Jordan Bushman. They had two sons together: Stephen and Craig. After living in St. Joseph for 10 years, they moved to Kansas City. In 1975 Betty embarked on a life of volunteerism in Kansas City’s cultural community, which quite recently resulted in her chairing The New Theatre Guild’s spectacular fundraiser, “Celebration of the Arts.”