In Memoriam: Lina (Jean) Burch

January 14, 2022

Lina (Jean) Burch standing on a set of stairs near a body of water
Lina (Jean) Burch

Lina (Jean) Burch, 47, passed away quietly in her home in Kenosha, WI on December 1, 2021.

Jean Burch’s path to technical director, project manager, educator, and collaborator started in Salem, OH on August 30, 1974. Like so many of us, Jean was pulled into theatre in High School, where she found her people. 

Jean, who spent most of her career in project management, had a drive to give back. She was a regular judge for the Midwest Mechanical Design Competition, author for Stage Directions, and mentor for theatre students doing independent studies in management – a topic she hoped more technical direction programs would take on. Her desire to connect people on the commercial side of the industry with students, young professionals, and educators was the inspiration for “Drinks with TDs,” an annual event that brings employers and educators together to bridge the gap between graduation and work.

For USITT, Jean presented sessions at the national conference, specifically focusing on fabrication and project management. She was an active member of the Technical Production commission, led the initial development of the Scenic Construction working group for eSET (the Essential Skills for Entertainment Technicians), presented technical solutions and adjudicated entries for the Tech Expo. For the Midwest Regional Section, Jean hosted numerous workshops and served on the board of directors.

Outside of theatre, Jean was the loving mother of two extraordinary daughters, Kalynn and Riley, who are both competitive gymnasts. To allow them to pursue gymnastics, Jean and their other mother, Heather, home school the girls. Jean spent many happy days in the past few years taking the girls to museums and generating hands-on science experiments to supplement their home-school curriculum. 

Jean is survived by her daughters Kalynn and Riley; Heather; Debby and Paul Mora; siblings Paul, Mark, and Pam; as well as nieces and nephews Benjamin, Joey, Jeremiah, Brooklyn, and Braden.

In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted to help the girls continue their gymnastics training.