The APP Family

Robin Irwin (Executive Director): Robin Irwin has appeared in Tony award winning shows on Broadway and National tours, at regional theaters around the nation, and on television for 30 years. She has been a featured soloist with symphonies from Berlin to Barbados. She’s an award-winning director and educator who has degrees from Northwestern University and Roosevelt University as well as graduating from prestigious programs at NYU and The Commercial Theater Institute. She took the reins as Executive Director of The Appalachian Center for the Arts when it opened in April of 2019.



Erick Buckley (Director of Education): was most recently seen across the country and on Broadway in Motown. He was the first person in the world to perform both the roles of Marius and Jean Valjean in the Broadway production of Les Misérables. He has appeared in the original  Broadway production of The Addams Family where he performed the role of Uncle Fester with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. On Broadway and nationally he has appeared as Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 in Kiss Me, Kate and Roger in Grease!. He has appeared at theaters around the country as Frederic in Pirates of Penzance, Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls and the Padre in Man of La Mancha. Erick has been a professor at NYU, NYFA, and The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute. He has also toured as a featured soloist in concerts from Tampa to Tokyo and Barbados to Berlin. (His favorite roles are husband to Robin Irwin and father to Miranda)

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James Cantrell (Technical Director): James is an Air Force veteran, recent graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA degree in Technical Production, and has a BS in Business Information Technology from Virginia Tech. His recent previous show credits include: The Addams Family as Head Carpenter, The Wolves as Assistant Technical Director, and Little Shop of Horrors as Technical Director at VCU.

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Shannon Kirkpatrick-Daniels (Production Manager): has called Eastern Kentucky home since 2011.  Originally from Milwaukee Wisconsin, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance from Nebraska Wesleyan University.  Throughout her career she has held many positions in the theatre world including Props Design, Stage Management, performing, teaching, directing, and much more.  She is very excited for the opportunity to share her love and passion of the theatre and arts with the Eastern Kentucky community.


Malcom Gabrielle Johnson (Sound Design/Engineer): Happy to be returning to theatre after a long hiatus, he started a path as an actor later than most pursuing a BA in musical theatre performance at Northern Kentucky University. Having tried a hand at several aspects of theatre, his sights rested on technical theatre and sound. He looks forward to the great work coming out of the App.