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Ouriel new director of Fantasy Playhouse

Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre in Huntsville has a new executive director.

Ouriel will be responsible for fundraising and marketing for Fantasy Playhouse.

Karen Ouriel took reign April 1. She will be responsible for fundraising and marketing for Fantasy. She has an extensive background arts administration, theatre and business.

“When I moved to Huntsville, I didn’t have the opportunity to use that background, so I went into business,” Ouriel said.

She previously worked as a national account coordinator for Armstrong Relocation-Huntsville. She came to Huntsville in 2002.

This career move now gives her the opportunity to utilize her experience, which includes seven seasons at Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, Penn.; casting director for more than 50 productions and work in television and radio. She also has experience in improvisational comedy and corporate industrials and regional theatre.

“I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to blend the business side with the artistic side,” she said. “I feel very passionate about theatre and children. I love mentoring, especially the ones here. I feel strongly that Fantasy offers something that no other offers in terms of education.”

Fantasy Playhouse offers classes for in acting, costume design and music.

Ouriel said this is especially important because of recent education budget cuts.

“It has fallen by the wayside,” she said. “The arts are something that instills things in children in ways that will serve them for the rest of their lives in terms of confidence, speaking and working as a team. It also really helps in imagination development.”

Ouriel is active with the Huntsville Chapter of Executive Women International, serves a member of The Arts Council of Huntsville and leads the Dramatic Arts team at Asbury United Methodist Church in Madison.

Fantasy Playhouse’s latest production, Rapunzel, will run April 20-22 and April 27-29.

The Fantasy office is located at 3312 Long Ave. Phone: (256) 539-6829. Office hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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