About Playbill Travel
Since 2011, Playbill Travel has changed the Performance Travel landscape. Now, Playbill Travel can assist with any of your travel needs after joining forces with Empress Travel & Cruises.

Playbill Travel, a subsidiary of the iconic theatre magazine Playbill, has taken travelers and Broadway royalty around the globe to experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of the world’s finest cultures. After taking in exciting excursions by day, guests are treated to world-class concerts at night from the finest Broadway talent, hand-picked by Playbill.

Starting in May 2018, travelers can use Playbill Travel to handle all their travel needs! Playbill Travel and Empress Travel & Cruises have combined to create a new travel company that is both a travel operator and agency. This new and more robust Playbill Travel company will soon introduce a collection of new travel experiences that will thrill clients and deliver terrific, one-of-a-kind adventures.

The Playbill Travel team is thrilled to partner with Empress Travel, who bring decades of knowledge and expertise to every client they cater to. Below, you can meet each new member of Playbill Travel!

Meet Our Team!

Joining us from Empress Travel:


Ed Plog President

Ed joined Empress in 1974, and he believes that his agency offers travel knowledge that can't be found elsewhere. He also believes in agents who focus on solving problems for their clients so they have an exceptional travel experience. Ed is a lifetime member of the Institute of Certified Travel Agents.

Barbara Waterbury VP

Barbara joined Empress in 1978 after receiving her degree in Travel & Tourism. Barbara is proud to be a Certified Travel Counselor, a designation that denotes the pinnacle of travel industry professionalism.

Mindy Walts Travel Planner

Mindy has been a Travel Planner since 1990. She has received an award as top Super Agent from Travel & Leisure Magazine for Caribbean Resorts, and she received the “Extra Mile Award” from the American Society of Travel Agents.

Kathy Deyoe Travel Planner

Kathy has been in the travel business for over 22 years and is proud to be a Travel Planner. Kathy's specialties are both leisure and business travel. When you talk to Kathy, you will know that she truly enjoys her work, her customers and the people around her.

Playbill Travel


Phil Birsh

Mr. Birsh has been the President and CEO of PLAYBILL since 1993. After overseeing PLAYBILL’s evolution into the digital age in the 1990’s through the creation of Playbill.com, Mr. Birsh transformed the company once more in 2010 through the introduction of Playbill Travel.

Alex Birsh

Alex has been Vice President of Playbill since October 2016 and was recently named Chief Digital Officer. Previous to Playbill, he worked for the Topps Company and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He is the third Birsh to join Playbill, after his grandfather (Arthur) and father (Phil).

Jana Mallo Manger of Guest Relations

Jana Mallo has been at Playbill since August of 2016, working as the liaison between Playbill Travel and its guests. She’s happy to talk with you about any Broadway production and ready to answer any of your questions.