Producing Artistic Director, Founder
Chris Saunders (Producing Artistic Director, Founder) along with his wife, Alison Saunders, founded KSMT in 2013. In addition to overseeing the organization's year-round management, he has produced 60+ productions at KSMT, ranging from professional musicals, to showcases, to academy musicals, to Broadway in the Park concerts. He has directed and choreographed over 25 musicals at KSMT, ranging from classics like the Wizard of Oz and Les Miserables to more contemporary favorites like Newsies and Rock of Ages. He is an instructor at the KSMT Academy and has taught hundreds of students in the acclaimed Total Broadway Program, as well as Tap, Men’s Technique, and College Preparation Programs.
In addition to his work at KSMT, Chris's direction & choreography has been seen on stages near and far - from New York to New Delhi. He has appeared on New York City’s largest stage, Radio City Music Hall, with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular alongside the Rockettes. His association with the Spectacular spanned a decade and took him from New York to Detroit, Toronto, Phoenix, Costa Mesa, and Chicago. Chris’s choreography has been seen across the country in the celebrated 10th Anniversary National Tour of Footloose. Other direction and choreography credits include: Marvelous Wonderettes, Godspell, Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hairspray, and Chicago at West Virginia Public Theater; Happy Days: The Musical at LaComedia Dinner Theater in Ohio; How to Succeed in Business…, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels & Full Monty at Theatre-by-the-Sea in Rhode Island; The Melody Lingers On: The Music of Irving Berlin at Surflight Theatre in New Jersey; and The Sound of Music at the Jenny Wiley Theater in Kentucky.
In addition to his work behind the scenes, Chris is a critically praised performer. His work has been seen across the country in 50+ productions. Favorites include: Cats, the regional premiere at Chicago’s Marriott Theater; Carousel at the Fulton Theater; Swing! at the Sacramento Music Circus and Houston’s Theater Under the Stars; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers the National Tour; Damn Yankees at Boston’s North Shore Music Theater; West Side Story at Utah’s Pioneer Theater.
Chris is originally from Pittsburgh, and is a graduate of Point Park University. His involvement in Pittsburgh Theater spans 30 years. Highlights include performing in Grand Hotel at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, eight productions with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and 20+ with Pittsburgh Musical Theater.
Chris now calls Cranberry Township his home with his wife Alison Rose. He is excited about all the future endeavors with the KSMT, and to continue the positive impact this institution has on the region. He is most proud of his greatest collaboration with his wife Alison: their son Geo!