Staff directory

Please feel free to contact any of the Surflight team via email:

Steve Steiner (Producing Artistic Director)

Steve Steiner has had a long career in the performing arts, beginning nearly 50 years ago when his first paying job at 14 was in a rock and roll band. Steve attended Webster University studying music. Following several years as a professional musician and a vocational actor, Steve headed to NY at age 30 to give Broadway a try. Over the next 16 years he was fortunate to work almost nonstop in the theatre, including 3 Broadway, 3 Off-Broadway, 4 National Tours and dozens of Regional Productions. As he began to direct, the next step was an offer to become the Artistic Director of Surflight Theatre. During Steve’s tenure here, Surflight’s professional profile grew exponentially. Achieving an unprecedented attendance increase averaging over 10% per year for 12 seasons, Main Stage attendance increased more than 130%, Children’s Theatre increased more than 35%, a concert series was created, a Touring Educational Theatre Company was created, a school with classes for young people was formed and the Intern/Apprentice program was revitalized to become one of the most sought after programs for theatre students on the east coast. In August 2010 the Surflight Board made the unfortunate decision to change leadership, a move which ultimately caused Surflight’s bankruptcy.

Steve has directed 2 National Tours, 8 major Casino Productions and more than 50 Regional Productions in 17 states, Including Ring of Fire, All Shook Up and Buddy…the Buddy Holly Story for Laguna Playhouse. In addition to his work in the theatre, Steve is on the boards of: The South Jersey Cultural Alliance (Past President), ArtPride New Jersey (Arts Advocacy) and Ocean County Tourism Advisory Committee (Former Chair). He served 10 years on the Council (Board) of Actors Equity Association. Steve is the proud recipient of The Cultural Access Task Force’s Innovator Award for his forward thinking and hiring practices for Artists with Disabilities. In 2013 the Cultural and Heritage Commission awarded Steve a Special Recognition for the Advancement of the Arts in Ocean County, New Jersey. Steve is proud to have led the 2 year effort to successfully re-open Surflight Theatre and is pleased that we exceeded attendance projections by 45% giving us the wherewithal to begin the several year process of rehabilitating the physical structures on the Surflight Campus.

Gail Anderson (Associate Artistic Director / Production Manager/Press Director/Casting Director)

Gail Anderson has been involved in the theatrical business in many capacities for over 30 years. Originally a ballet dancer, she went on to perform in various roles in musical theatre; some favorites including Mona in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Sheila and Cassie in A Chorus Line, Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street, Velma in Chicago as well as numerous ensemble roles as a dancer.

A graduate of the University of Virginia in Technical Theatre, Ms. Anderson went on to Stage Manage professionally as an AEA Stage Manager in various venues regionally and in NYC specializing mostly in large musicals, but also including Opera and Dance. She also served in numerous theatres in other technical and design capacities as Costume Designer, Scenic Designer, Wig and Makeup Designer, Electrician, Carpenter, Public Relations, Press, House Manager and now enjoys Producing, Production and Tour Management as her career. She is also proud to serve as a Master Class teacher for several Universities and High Schools.

Paula Hammons Sloan (General Manager / Director of Education)

Along with a background in mathematics, Paula Hammons Sloan’s work as Director/Choreographer and Master Teacher has been recognized nationally for almost 40 years. Ms. Sloan has directed or choreographed numerous National tours including: Music Man, Cabaret, Bye Bye Birdie, Little Women, Urban Cowboy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Copacabana, Funny Girl, George M, Singin’ in the Rain, Titanic, My One and Only, Crazy for You and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Having mounted several productions at the Tropicana Resort and Casino and Resorts in Atlantic City she also directed and choreographed Miracle on 34th Street (Jersey Shore Entertainment) on the West Coast and at the Tropicana Resort and Casino. She was choreographer for Jekyll and Hyde and Singin’ in the Rain for the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino Broadway Series in Atlantic City which also played for an extended run at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood Florida. Ms. Sloan has directed and choreographed regionally including, Kansas City Starlight (The Producers, Anything Goes), Casa Manana (Oklahoma), West Virginia Public Theatre, Surflight Theatre (On Your Toes, Sisters of Swing, Lady Be Good, Ragtime, Joseph, Will Rogers, White Christmas, Ebenezer), Gateway Playhouse, Plan B Productions (The Producers, Footloose), Theatre Under the Stars (Houston) (110 in the Shade, Wonderful Life, Disney’s When You Wish), the Houston Symphony, the Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade and opening ceremonies of the 100th Anniversary Convention of Girl Scouts.

Ruth Blankemeyer (Group Sales director)

Ruth joined the staff at Surflight Theatre in 2003 as a Group Sales Associate. Over the years, she has served in many different positions including General Manager, Business Director, Group Sales Director and Marketing Director. When the theatre reopened in 2017, Ruth happily returned to reprise her role as Group Sales Director. She has fond memories of attending Surflight’s Children’s shows in the 1960s before the new theatre was built. Originally from Moorestown, New Jersey and a lifelong summer resident of Long Beach Island, Ruth has lived year round in Surf City since 1999. She is a graduate of Drexel University with a degree in Human Behavior and Development and holds several professional designations from her previous field of employment. Prior to coming to Surflight, Ruth spent seventeen years working in the glamorous insurance industry in Marketing, Customer Service and Compliance positions. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and dachshunds: Joey & Jesse.

Mary Beth Smartt (Box Office Manager / Development Manager / Playbill ad manager)

After 20+ years in software, Mary Beth Smartt semi-retired from technology and became a real estate agent on LBI. She then went to work for a mortgage company and was there for over 8 years. From 2004-2012, she worked part-time in the Surflight Box Office. In 2017, she was offered the full-time positions and accepted with enthusiasm!

Devon Perry (Facilities Manager)

Devon Perry’s performance career began in 1999 after being cast as Little Joey in Surflight’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He has completed the Apprentice and Intern programs with Surflight, while attending high school at the OCVTS Performing Arts Academy in Lakehurst. He continued his studies with Montclair State University for his BFA in Musical Theatre. Devon is now an accomplished songwriter and currently works as the Facilities Manager for Surflight.