Our Staff

Michael Cochran

Executive Director
Michael Cochran in his 38th year with MHT has a Bachelors degree in theatre from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. He attended Graduate school at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre from Southern IL University at Carbondale. Michael is a past board member of Arts KY and the Kentucky Theatre Association and is currently on the board of American Association of Community Theatre. He has worked in a variety of professional theatres and theme parks. In addition Michael has worked professionally in dance, television, and film and has won awards for design and acting. His original play ETERNITY was selected as one of the winners of the AACT NewPlay Fest 2018 and was published by Dramatic Publishing. He is married to April Cochran. Michael and April were awarded the City of Paducah Mayors Award of Merit and the Chamber of Commerce Summit Award for their 30+ years of work at MHT. Contact info for Michael Cochran 270-444-6828 ext. 105 michael@mhtplay.org

Emily Griffin

Education Director
Emily Griffin graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in Communication and Theatre Education. She was also the recipient of the Purple and Old Gold Award for Conspicuous Achievement in Performance Studies. She completed her student teaching in St. Paul, Minnesota at Central High School working with the Central Touring Theatre. In addition to her student teaching, Emily completed two summer internships at the Des Moines Playhouse. She continued to teach for the Playhouse’s Education Department for ten years after her internships. Emily’s first teaching job was at Central Middle School in Columbia Heights, Minnesota before returning to Iowa to take over as the director of Hoover Drama at Hoover High School in Des Moines Iowa. In addition to directing an award-winning theatre program, Emily taught classes in performance, technical theatre, and musical theatre. Outside of the classroom Emily enjoyed acting, stage managing, choreographing, costuming, and doing props around the community with the Ames, Ankeny, and Des Moines Community Theatres. She also enjoys writing plays for young actors and has had several plays receive All-State nominations with the Iowa High School Speech Association. She comes from a wonderful family back in Iowa and loves to spend time with her three nephews, Arlo, Hayes, and Gabriel. Contact Emily at 270.444.6828 ext. 102 or via email at egriffin@mhtplay.org.

Alex Hilkey

Marketing Director
Alex received her bachelor's degree in Public Relations at Murray State University in 2015 and continued on to receive her master's degree in Mass Communications in 2016. She also worked to double minor in advertising and music while remaining active in band and ensemble music. She's excited to be able to combine her love of graphic design and marketing with her love of the arts. Contact Alex at 270-444-6828 ext. 113 or via email alex@mhtplay.org.

Ronda Gibson

Development Coordinator
Market House Theatre welcomes Ronda Gibson to our development team! Ronda has been involved in development for non-profits since the mid-1990’s with experience ranging from public radio to human service. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Murray State University, studying Public Relations and Journalism/Radio TV Production. Ronda and her husband Brian and son Hayes live on a farm in rural Ballard County. In her free time, Ronda enjoys her family (including their seven cats!), cooking, jiu-jitsu, and photography. Contact Ronda at 270.444.6828 ext. 103 or by email at ronda@mhtplay.org.

Travis Hensel

Facility & Equipment Coordinator
Travis Hensel joined the MHT staff Jan. 7 2015 to help coordinate and maintain the many buildings and rentals at MHT. He is married to Emi Hensel and they have four children Jack, Norah, Jude, and Selah. Travis graduated with a BS in Education from Murray State University and taught at Hendron Lone Oak Elementary before leaving for one year with his family to work in Uganda. Contact Travis at travis@mhtplay.org or 270-444-6828, ext. 107.

Emi Hensel

DanceMHT Program Director
Emi has been the principal choreographer for The Market House Theatre since 2009. A dance graduate from Belhaven University, Emi helped found and is now the Dance Program Director for the Theatre’s premier dance program, DanceMHT, where she teaches dance classes for preschoolers to adults. When Emi isn’t dancing, she is homeschooling her four wonderful children. emily@mhtplay.org

April Cochran

Education Instructor
April Cochran is the founder of FOOTLIGHTS and STORY THEATRE programs for MHT, as well as having served as president of the Kentucky Theatre Association, and board member of the American Association of Community Theatre. April has worked as a creative drama specialist and director of children’s theatre productions for over 30+ years for school systems, parks and recreation programs, professional theatre and community theatres throughout the Midwest. April was awarded the Distinguished Merit Award from the American Association of Community Theatre in 2011 for her work at MHT and in Western Kentucky Schools. April and Michael were awarded the City of Paducah Mayor's Distinguished Merit Award in June of 2013 for their 30+ years of work at MHT. Her greatest joy is her role as mom to Jade who is a fashion design student at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Contact Info for April 270-444-6828 ext. 106 april@mhtplay.org