WILMINGTON — The Murphy Theatre recently added four members to its Board of Trustees — Audrey Wagstaff, David Wagenseller, Cheri Cleaver and Eileen Brady — joining Cindy Camp, Dave Morgan, Paul Fear, Jean Black, Leslie Keller-Biehl, Scott Holmer, Jennifer Hollon, Doug Borton and Laura Railing Gibson.
Wagstaff is a Wilmington native and an associate professor of Social Science at Wilmington College. Along with teaching courses in the social and political sciences, she conducts research about scholastic journalism, censorship, and political communication. Wagstaff serves the college on assessment and accreditation committees. She is also on the Ohio Scholastic Media Association Board.
At the national level, Audrey serves as a member of the Scholastic Press Rights Commission for the Journalism Education Association and the membership and special projects chair for the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Wagstaff holds a Ph.D. in communication studies, a master’s degree in journalism from Kent State University, and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Hiram College. Wagstaff remembers fondly performing on the Murphy stage in countless childhood dance recitals. She resides in Wilmington with her daughter, Maura, and her pug, Roy.
Wagenseller is a son of Carolyn and Robert Wagenseller. He earned a Jack Nicklaus full scholarship to The Ohio State University in 1998. He later played professional golf on the Canadian Tour until late 2003, when he was in a serious automobile accident. Wagenseller later held several positions in medical device companies, ranging from territory manager, senior territory manager, director of sales, and business owner. He sold his medical device distributorship in 2013 after living in Houston, Texas, for seven years. He and his wife, Lea Ann, and their two children, Austin and Lila, moved back to Wilmington, where they currently live.
Cleaver graduated from Wilmington High School and has resided her whole life in Clinton County. The Murphy Theatre has been one of the most important buildings in her life. Cleaver is an alumnus of the Clinton County Leadership Institute and has served two terms on its board of directors. She is a member of First Christian Church and the Health Alliance. She and her husband, John, have served as ushers at the theater for a few years.
She retired from Irwin Industrial Tool after 45 years, 25 of which were in customer service.
Brady is a graduate of Wilmington High School and Bowling Green State University. She has lived across the United States, from California to North Carolina, with her husband, Maj. Brian Spurlock, who is serving on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. She and her husband were married on the stage of the Murphy Theatre in 1993, and they have a daughter, Pearl, a seventh-grader.
Brady worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for 10 years, has written a column for the News Journal, and co-authored the book “Images of America: Wilmington” for Arcadia Publishing. She continues to write and edit on a freelance basis. She serves on the Clinton County Reads steering committee and is a volunteer for the Clinton County Humane Society.
The Murphy Theatre is still a work in progress, with many volunteers and supporters continuing the work of protecting the magnificent building. Structural issues and deterioration of decorative elements are projects included in the strategic plan developed by the Board of Trustees. Through the financial and in-kind donations of community members and businesses, the restoration continues to be addressed over time.
The Murphy remains a community center, providing a venue for touring performers, local theater productions, school events, performing arts education, business meetings, and weddings.
For more information, visit www.themurphytheatre.org.