Artistic Associates

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An Artistic Associate is a talented professional who is selected by the Founding Artistic Director to become a part of the theater family of Compass Rose. These individuals not only lend their time and talent to the theater, but serve as an integral part of its artistic journey. They help to chart the course of the theater as it grows and develops. They support and guide the artistic future of the theater. It is an honor to be chosen as an Artistic Associate.

Our Artistic Associates

Piers Porfolio

Believing that outreach performances are important to every community, Piers has performed with Discover Opera! in NYC as well as The Motor City Lyric in Detroit, Michigan. In 2014 Piers was able to work with composer Jeff Blumenkrantz in an original musical Moving Right Along: The world of Jeff Blumenkrantz through the Manhattan School of Music. Favorite classical roles include Le chat Noir (L'enfant et les sortilèges,) Papageno (Die zauberflöte,) and Bobby (Das Kleines Mahagonny.) Piers made his Compass Rose debut as Cocky in The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd and is excited to be returning as Motel in Fiddler on the Roof. Piers is honored and grateful to be an artistic associate at the Compass Rose Theater.  Learn More About Piers


Anna DeBlasio

Regional credits include: Guenevere in Camelot (Broadway Theatre of Pitman); Hangar Theatre: Little Prince, Bunnicula, Talk to Me Like the Rain. Compass Rose credits include: Guenevere in Camelot, and The Girl in The Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd.

New works also excite Anna, and most recently she performed as Mama/Ensemble in the developmental lab of new musical, It Happened in Key West, at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, PA. When not performing, Anna works as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. Anna feels honored to be an artistic associate with Compass Rose Theater. Learn More About Anna




Joe Ventricelli

Joe graduated from CMU in 2014 with a BFA in Drama. He moved immediately to Manhattan and has lived there since, taking part in many fulfilling productions. Highlights include: Sleep No More, a national tour of Joseph and the Amazing..., Into the Woods, Barrington Stage Company's Ragtime, as well as shows at the wonderful Compass Rose Theater (Lancelot in Camelot). Learn More About Joe



Jim Bunzli

Producing Director

James began his career as Resident Artistic Director of the Mansfield Playhouse in Ohio. Since then, he has been active in the professional theatre as an actor and director. Credits include Everyman Theatre and Single Carrot Theatre (Baltimore), Mill Mountain Theatre, Wayside Theatre, and Theatre IV (VA), Idaho Repertory Theatre, and the Texas Shakespeare Festival. Since 2017, James has been working with Compass Rose as an actor (Pygmalion, Inherit the Wind) and director (Disgraced, Red). He is an Artistic Associate of the company and was named Producing Director in 2019.

James has also taught Theatre and directed many productions at the University level for over 20 years, most recently at Loyola University Maryland where he is Associate Professor of Fine Arts/Theatre and just completed 10 years as Area Coordinator for the Theatre Program. His research has focused on Autobiographical Solo Performance; he has published articles, created new works with other performers, directed solo shows, and written/performed his own pieces. His work has been seen at theatre festivals in the US and Canada, including New York International Fringe, Thunder Bay Fringe, Minnesota Fringe, and Emerging Artists Theatre’s One Woman Standing in NYC.

James holds a PhD in Theatre from Bowling Green State University and an MFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin.


What do Artistic Associates contribute to Compass Rose?

  1. Artistic Associates are loyal to the theater and dedicate themselves to supporting the mission of Compass Rose.
  2. They make themselves available to consult, to be a sounding board and give feedback and suggestions to the Artistic Director for all things artistic – show choices, special events, educational initiatives.
  3. They give of their time and talents to perform and create artistic excellence.
  4. They lend their energy to improving our physical space and creating a welcoming world for our audiences.
  5. They spread the word about Compass Rose to increase awareness and establish our reputation for excellence in the art of theater throughout the community of Annapolis, and beyond to national and international prominence.

What does Compass Rose Theater do for its Artistic Associates?

  1. We give Artistic Associates an opportunity to use their gifts as talented artists by becoming part of our productions. Although auditions are still a prerequisite for all  of our actors, Artistic Associates have an opportunity to be pre-cast in roles in our shows. Directors and designers who are Artistic Associates enjoy the same privilege.
  2. Artistic Associates are in the inner circle of the workings of the theater. They offer suggestions for play selection. They have advance knowledge of the season of plays which are being considered. They participate in special events and benefit performances.
  3. Compass Rose is the artistic home of these artists. Although they may live far away, they have a home at Compass Rose always. They can visit anytime and use the theater to work on their own personal career development, space and time permitting.
  4. They can use their status as Artistic Associates on their resumes to show their affiliation with a regional theater.
  5. Although the role of Artistic Associate comes with responsibility, there is no obligation to the theater. Artistic Associates are free to pursue their careers and work elsewhere. We support the journey of their own career, wherever it may lead.

     Compass Rose Theater cultivates an atmosphere of caring and a work culture that is nurturing and diverse. The theater is committed to fostering kindness and generosity in a warm, welcoming environment. The staff, crew, and actors generously give their time to mentor younger actors in our productions. Our Artistic Associate partnership with local and out-of-town professional theater artists benefits the theater as well as the artist and it creates a dynamic artistic community within the Annapolis community. Pay What You Can performances are one way we give back to the community and make theater accessible for all. Compass Rose has partnered with The Light House Shelter for benefit performances that help the homeless. We also donate Gift Certificates to local non-profits for their fundraisers and silent auctions. Above all, we value relationships within the theater community and the local community that enrich us all.



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