Board of Directors

Bob Van Valin


Bob is PIP’s Artistic Director as well as President of the board. He moved to Buffalo on his fourth birthday and has called it his home ever since. He graduated from University at Buffalo with a BA in 2010, majoring in both Theatre & Media Study, and an MA in Theatre & Performance in 2016. Bob has been an active member in the theatre community for nearly ten years as a director, videographer and sound designer. Some favorite credits include: as Director, THIS IS OUR YOUTH (PIP), A MAN’S A MAN (Subversive & PIP), AFTER THE FALL (Subversive & PIP); as Assistant Director, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (RLTP), THE GRAPES OF WRATH (Subversive), ALL MY SONS (Irish Classical); as Video/Sound Designer, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (Subversive), THE FULL MONTY (Subversive), FAHRENHEIT 451 (Subversive), MEDUSA UNDONE (PIP). In 2012, he spent several months volunteering with Give for Greatness to raise funds and advocate for local arts non-profits.

Andrea Gollhardt


Andrea serves as Assistant Secretary of the Board of Directors, as well as the Managing Director of PIP. A born and raised Buffalonian, she has experienced first-hand the power of a thriving theatre community and its ability to bring meaning to the lives of young individuals. Andrea received her BFA from Niagara University in 2012, majoring in Theatre Performance with a minor in Fine Arts. She had the privilege of interning at the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire, and went on to be a part of the Buffalo theatre community both on stage and behind the scenes. Off the stage, Andrea has served as a member of Independent Health’s United Way Community Ambassadors committee. Past acting credits include HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (Lil Bit), AN IDEAL HUSBAND (Mabel), THE LIAR (Lucrece), A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (Catherine) Artie Nominee, THE LITTLE FOXES (Alexandra), DANCING AT LUGHNASA (Chrissy). Her work as a costume designer includes THE LOVE SONG OF J ROBERT OPPENHEIMER (Subversive), BEAUTY QUEEN IF LEENANE (ICTC), THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS (ICTC), MEDUSA UNDONE (PIP).

Josh Robinson


Josh serves as PIP’ Marketing Director and is responsible for designing all aspects of the organization’s visual identity. A Canisius College graduate, Josh was heavily involved in the school’s Little Theatre club, where he served not only as an actor in productions like MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, but also doubled as a set designer, producer, and even the club’s treasurer. In 2011, he co-directed a student production of SWEENEY TODD, which he considers a high mark in his collegiate career. After graduating in 2012, Josh became involved in the Buffalo theatre community with roles in THE GRAPES OF WRATH and END DAYS at Subversive Theatre, as well as a leading role in PIP’s 2016 production of THE TASK. He has also assistant stage managed several shows at Kaleidoscope Theatre, and designed sets for WHITE BOY OTHELLO at Subversive and MEDUSA UNDONE with PIP.

Matthew Chavez


Matthew serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors. A contributing member of the Buffalo theater community since 2006, he began as assistant to director Brother Augustine Towey, CM, on Irish Classical’s Artie-award-winning musical A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE. Some favorite credits include hosting late night improv at the Road Less Traveled Theatre, stage managing THE DEAD ENGLISH at American Repertory Theater of WNY, playing Albert Einstein in PICASSO AT THE LAPIN ANGLE (Art of WNY), and starring in the locally-produced movies GAMECHANGERS and FREEFALLERS, both of which won awards at local film festivals. In 2015, he became a proud member of the I.A.T.S.E. Local #10 union, and has experience working with large crews at Artpark and Old Falls Street, as well as organizations like Comcast, Delaware North, USANiagara, and Empire State Development.

Bella Poynton


Bella is a playwright, director, and scholar from Buffalo, NY. She was a Regional Playwriting Resident at Road Less Traveled Productions from 2016-2018 and is the director of Queen City Playwrights, Buffalo’s new play development workshop for area playwrights. Recently, her work has been produced and developed by The Bechdel Group, MadLab Theatre, Quantum Dragon Theatre Company, Alleyway Theatre, The Great Plains Theatre Festival, Panndora Productions, Otherworld Theatre Company and Post-Industrial Productions among many others. She has been a finalist for the Heideman Award, the Woodward/Newman Drama Award, and the Sam French OOB Festival. She holds a BFA in Acting from Boston University, an MA in Theatre Arts from The University at Buffalo, an MFA in Playwriting from The University of Iowa, and is currently PhD candidate in Performance Studies at The University at Buffalo. She is excited to be taking on the role of literary manager at Post-Industrial Productions, and curate the Post-Industrial Plays in Progress Reading Series.

Rachel Macklin Olszewski


Rachel serves as the board’s Secretary. She graduated in 2012 from Niagara University with a BFA in Theater Performance, and began her career in Arts Administration at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center with a mission in mind: to continue to promote the cultural and artistic resurgence in the Buffalo-Niagara region. As the former Rentals and Program Director at the NACC, Rachel coordinated dozens of art exhibitions, performances, programs, lectures, workshops and events. In 2015, Rachel attained an MA in Arts Management from the University at Buffalo. Since leaving the NACC in 2019, Rachel now serves as Graduate Program Manager and Staff Assistant at the UB Department of Theatre and Dance, where she helps foster the next generation of theatre practitioners and scholars. In her spare time, Rachel acts as an independent consultant for nonprofit arts organizations in the Buffalo-Niagara Region, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Big Easy in Buffalo, which brings New Orleans and Louisiana music and culture to WNY several times a year for live performances.

Ashlyn Zgoda


Ashlyn serves as the board’s Outreach Coordinator and is responsible for building relationships with other nonprofits and community organizations. A lifelong lover of theatre and the performing arts, Ashlyn was heavily involved in Canisius College’s Little Theatre club with roles in productions like MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, FOR THE LOVE OF JULIET, and SWEENEY TODD, while also pursuing a Vocal Performance minor with a focus on opera. After graduating from Cansius in 2014, Ashlyn began pursing a career in social work by enrolling in UB’s MSW program, while also staying involved in theatre by building sets with her husband on productions like WHITE BOY OTHELLO at Subversive and MEDUSA UNDONE at PIP. Ashlyn graduated with her MSW in the summer of 2018, and has recently reignited her love of opera by joining Buffalo Opera Unlimited’s May 2020 production of CARMEN.