Our Mission

The Bridge Initiative incubates and celebrates professional theatre artists, promoting gender parity and intersectional representation across all theatrical disciplines, with an emphasis on building community.

Our Vision

The Bridge Initiative builds bridges between underrepresented groups and majority stakeholders. To this end, we:

  • Aspire to anti-racism and amplification of all marginalized populations
  • Hire majority female/trans/non-binary creative teams
  • Provide equitable compensation for all production positions on and offstage
  • Engage with the media
  • Partner with other theatre companies locally and nationally
  • Host community conversations
  • Empower emerging and established local artists from marginalized groups to attain leadership positions
  • Center access for both artists and audience
  • Remain open to unanticipated projects that widen our inclusivity and reach


 Core Values

  • Inclusion
  • Diversity
  • Professionalism
  • Education & Lifelong Learning

Executive Leadership

Brenda Jean Foley (Producing Artistic Director) moved to Tempe from New York City with her husband, Brian, who completed his MFA in Directing at ASU, and daughter, Robyn. Brenda has performed with Arizona Theatre Company (The Diary of Anne Frank, The Music Man), Tempe Center for the Arts (Orange Flower Water – scheduled March 2020), iTheatre Collaborative (By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Love Disorder), AC/TC (Now.Here.This.), Mesa Encore Theatre (Carousel, August: Osage County and The Full Monty, Zoni nom), the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre (The Sound of Music), and readings with Phoenix Theatre, Stray Cat, and Class 6. She started the popular monthly Second Sundays play reading series with Mesa Encore Theatre. Previously, Brenda performed off- and off-off-Broadway, on tour, in regional theatre, and internationally. She founded a theatre company, CEO Theatre, who were the first to revive John Cariani’s Almost, Maine in NYC. Also a writer, her screenplays have placed in national contests, and she wrote the book and contributed lyrics to an original musical, To Find Happy, which was part of the Emerging Artists Theatre New Works Festival in 2013. She has a BFA in Musical Theatre and a BA in English from the University of Michigan.

Kristina Rogers (Treasurer) currently works as a financial analyst for a major multinational technology company. Kristina has performed with numerous theatres around the valley, including Class 6 (Matt & Ben, Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet), iTheatre Collaborative (Gruesome Playground Injuries, Indivisible), Desert Rose (As You Like It, Rozencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead), Desert Stages (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Turn of the Screw, A Man of No Importance), Mesa Encore Theatre (Noises Off), and Theater Works (Speed-The-Plow). Kristina holds a BA in Theatre, an MBA from Arizona State University, and has also studied at the Guanghua School of Management, Toulousse Business School, and Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Members of the Board

  • President: Lindsey Gardner-Penner
  • Vice-President: Natalie Andrews
  • Secretary: Jaime Fox
  • Literary Manager: Laurelann Porter
  • Members-at-Large: Elizabeth Brownlee-Blair, Hira Ismail, Sally Jesse, Daniela Talarico
  • Co-founding Producing Artistic Director Emeritus: Tracy Liz Miller

Additional Staff

  • Web Administration: Natalie Andrews, Elizabeth Brownlee-Blair, David Dickinson, Brenda Jean Foley, Jaime Fox