Susan V. Booth – Artistic Director
Susan V. Booth joined the Alliance Theatre in 2001 and has initiated the Palefsky Collision Project for teens, the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab, local producing partnerships and regional collaborations, as well as commercial partnerships such as Tuck Everlasting; The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County; The Color Purple; Bring It On: The Musical; Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away; Sister Act: The Musical; Bring in da’ Noise, Bring in da’ Funk; and Jesus Christ Superstar GOSPEL. As a director, she has worked at such theaters as the Goodman, La Jolla Playhouse, New York Stage and Film, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Northlight Theatre, Victory Gardens, Court Theatre, and many others. She holds degrees from Denison and Northwestern universities and was a fellow of the National Critics Institute and the Kemper Foundation. She has held teaching positions at Northwestern, DePaul, and Emory universities. She is the past president of the board of directors for Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for the field; is a trustee of Denison University; and is a member of the Carter Center’s Board of Councilors. Susan is married to Max Leventhal and is the proud mother of Moira Rose Leventhal.
Donya K. Washington – Off-Site Season Producer
During the 2017-2018 season the Alliance will renovate its spaces and produce 12 shows in 12 locations throughout Atlanta. As part of producing that season, linking cohort partners with venue contacts, ensuring that cohort plans align with season plans, and using data given from cohort partners to help shape season plans. Formerly: Three seasons as Producing Assistant, Community, Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Department Administrator, Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, Tisch School of the Arts/NYU. Selected directing credits – Atlanta: Alliance Theatre – Theatre for the Very Young. Oregon: Oregon Shakespeare Festival – OSF Presents and Midnight Project. New York: Playwrights Realm; TheatreWorksUSA; Target Margin Theatre; Tiny Rhino; Rising Circle; Culture Project Women’s Center Stage; The Civilians; Playwrights Horizons Theatre School; Dramatic Writing, Tisch School of the Arts; Subjective Theatre Company; 52nd Street Project; MCC; Rattlestick Theatre. The Bahamas: Shakespeare in Paradise. Maine: Penobscot Theatre. Massachusetts: Williamstown. Training: MFA, Directing – Brown University/Trinity Rep; BFA, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Member of the 2008/2010 Women’s Project Lab. Van Lier Directing Fellow 2009, Second Stage Theatre. Member 2010-2011 Civilians’ R&D Group. www.donyakwashington.com
The Ensemble Theater
Eileen Morris – Artistic Director
Eileen J. Morris, is a director, actress and educator. She worked closely with the founder of The EnsembleTheatre, George W. Hawkins, from 1982 until his death in 1990. As artistic director, she has produced over 78 productions, which include four world premieres and 57 regional premieres. Under her artistic leadership, The Ensemble Theatre received the 2013 Best Season Theatre Award from the Houston Press. In 2007, The Ensemble Theatre was named Best Theatre by the Houston Press and 2007 Best Showcase for African American Actors by the Ultimate Section of the Houston Chronicle. The Ensemble Theatre also presented two out of the 10 best plays named by the Houston Chronicle as the Best of Houston Theatre 2008.
Some of her Ensemble Theatre directing credits include What I Learned In Paris, Women In The Pit, Immediate Family, By The Way Meet Vera Stark, The Old Settler, Race, Broke-ology, The Nacirema Society (Giorgee Award winner for Best Production in 2013) King Hedley II, Cuttin’ Up, Lotto: Experience the Dream, Jitney, The Waiting Room, Stick Fly (named one of the top 2010 plays– Houston Chronicle), American Menu (2010 Giorgee Award winner for Best Ensemble and named one of the top 2010 plays – Houston Chronicle), Seven Guitars (Named one of the top 2009 plays – Houston Chronicle) The Man Who Saved New Orleans, Radio Golf, Ashes to Africa, Christmas is Comin’ Uptown, Sty of the Blind Pig (Giorgee Award winner for Best Production in 2008), and Blue. Her strong Pittsburgh ties are directing at New Horizon Theatre – The Meeting, Do Lord Remember Me, Nothin’ But the Blues, Hi Hat Hattie, I Gotcha: The Joe Tex Story (winner of the 2010 African American Council on the Arts Award) and at a few others such as Pittsburgh Playwright’s Theatre – Radio Golf, King Hedley II, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Liftin’, and Flyin’ West at Kuntu Repertory Theatre.
Her artistic journey with the Alley Theatre includes directing it’s touring production of I, Barbara Jordan for three years and performing in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, A Christmas Carol (for three years) and understudying several productions. She was featured in the Women In Theatre Magazine (December 2011 Issue), a conversationalist with Table Talk through the University of Houston’s 2011 Women’s Studies Department, and honored at the National Black Theatre Festival with the Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award. She received the 2012 Missouri City Chapter of Links Inc. Our Choice Award. She is a board member, secretary and Cultural Arts Committee Chair of the Midtown Management District, and a board member of the national organization, The Black Theatre Network. She is the only woman in the country that has directed eight of the August Wilson Ten Play Cycle.
Rachel Hemphill Dickson – BOLD Associate Director
Rachel Dickson holds her Bachelor of Science in Engineering, where she developed a strong skill set in project and people management. After receiving her Master of Fine Arts from University of Illinois-Urbana, she found she had a passion for connecting people and the arts, which led to pursing her degree in Social Work from University of Houston and becoming a licensed Master of Social Work. Rachel is the founding Artistic Director of Driven Theater Company (DTC), whose focus is issue-driven experiences designed to empower, connect, and entertain diverse audiences for the purpose of healthy development of all participants.
Rachel has functioned as a professional artist for over 20 years. She has worked as an actor, director, playwright, dramaturg, educator, producer, technical staff, and artistic consultant. While she calls The Ensemble Theatre home, she has worked with various theatres throughout the Houston community, including: The Alley Theatre, Main Street Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, Landing Theatre Company, Interactive Theatre Company, and Wordsmyth Theatre. She has worked with all ages from Kindergarten to adult, in a variety of settings, teaching a wide spread of topics from mathematics to theatre. Rachel is the current president of Scriptwriters Houston and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Her most exciting works have included: The Waiting Room, The Ballad of Emmett Till (The Ensemble Theatre at the National Black Theatre Festival); Belonging (Playwright, Producer, Actor – DTC/The Ensemble Theatre); Seven Guitars, An American Menu, Plenty of Time, One Short Sighted Black Woman versus Safreeta Mae and Mammie Louis, Cinderella (Actor – The Ensemble Theatre); Platanos Y Collard Greens (Director – The Ensemble Theatre); Neat, Harlem After Hours (Director – Prairie View A&M University; The Diary of Anne Frank (Director – University of Houston-Downtown); Third (Actor – Main Street Theater); Erie Canal, To Each His Own (Playwright – SWH 10×10 Festival); Trombone Trash (Playwright – published with Next Stage Press); devised work producer for multiple conferences.
Sarah Rasmussen – Artistic Director
Sarah Rasmussen was appointed Artistic Director of the Jungle in the summer of 2015. Since then, she’s carried on the Jungle hallmarks of masterful acting and exquisite design, while also bringing compelling new voices to the Jungle stage. As a director, she loves plays that have a sense of humor, grace and strong roles for women – both onstage and behind the scenes. Sarah directed the first show of the 2016 Season, an all-female production of William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The following season, she directed the 2017 season hit shows Lone Star Spirits and Fly By Night. And, in 2018, she will helm The Wolves, a standout play about a young women’s soccer team. Sarah also directed the Jungle’s production of In the Next Room in 2012, which won the IVEY Award for Overall Excellence. Since becoming Artistic Director, she was named Best New Face in Theater as part of The Star Tribune’s Best of MN 2016, City Pages Artist of the year in 2016, and was one of MPLS. St. Paul Magazine’s 52 Reasons to Love the Twin Cities in 2017. Most recently, Sarah was named one of Minnesota Women’s Press Changemakers in December 2017. Sarah is also a passionate advocate for arts education and engagement. In her tenure, she started JungleWrites, an initiative that teaches playwriting and offers professional theater mentorship to teenage girls, free of charge. She also started Stay Late at the Jungle, which provides an artist-led talkback after every performance.
Before Sarah became the Jungle’s Artistic Director, she served as Associate Professor and Head of the MFA Directing Program at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the recipient of the 2011 Princess Grace Award, Drama League and Fulbright Fellowships, and alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. She also served for three seasons as Resident Director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab, a new-work-development program.
Nationally, Sarah has been a champion for developing and directing new work. Recent directing credits include work at the Guthrie, Dallas Theater Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab, Women’s Project Theater, Ten Thousand Things, and Mixed Blood Theatre.
Christina Baldwin – Resident Director
Christina Baldwin is an actor, singer, writer and director. She has collaborated with Sarah Rasmussen and the Jungle Theater both as an actor and director, and most recently directed their production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly. Christina returns this year to the Jungle to direct Hand to God, as well as The Wickhams. She is an advocate of new work and has served as Artistic Associate, music director, creator, and performer with The Moving Company. A collaborator with Theatre de la Jeune Lune for nearly 10 years, she co-adapted and performed the title role in their critically-acclaimed touring production of Carmen. She directed Lyric Opera of the North’s Hansel and Gretel for children and schools and has created opera outreach programs for the young with her sister, Jennifer Baldwin Peden. Christina’s collaborations as a performer range from Shakespeare and contemporary plays to musical theater and opera. She’s been a recording artist and vocalist with the Minnesota Orchestra, a writer/actor on NPR’s Wits, a performer on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion,” and has lent her voice to animated short films by the Dutch filmmaker Rosto A.D (Cannes Film Festival award-winner). Christina next directs the opera Don Giovanni with the Lyric Opera of the North in Duluth.
Sheena Janson Kelley – Associate Producer
Sheena Janson Kelley is a Minneapolis-based artist, educator, administrator, and arts advocate. Since planting her roots in the Twin Cities area, she has worked as an actor with CLIMB Theatre, Theatre Mu, Theater Latte Da, Mixed Blood Theater, and Ten Thousand Things Theater. After a Performing Apprenticeship with the Children’s Theatre Company, Sheena discovered her passion for arts administration, casting, and EDI initiatives and since 2014 has been Company Manager and Casting Associate for one of the nation’s leading theaters for multigenerational audiences. She is elated to join an amazing group of BOLD female leaders and is looking forward to expanding and learning through this mentoring partnership with Sarah Rasmussen, who in a few short years has led Minneapolis’ Jungle Theater to new heights. Sheena is beyond thrilled this grant has allowed her the space to grow as a female of color and the chance to contribute to the future of the artistic leadership field.
Lisa McNulty – Producing Artistic Director
Lisa is in her fourth season as Producing Artistic Director of WP Theater. Lisa comes to WP from MTC, where she served as Artistic Line Producer for eight seasons, working on more than 30 productions both on and off Broadway, including plays by Lynn Nottage, Sarah Treem, Harvey Fierstein, and Tarell Alvin McCraney, among many, many others. Lisa has a long history with WP Theater. She was originally hired by the company’s founder, Julia Miles, as the Literary Manager from 1997-2000, where she dramaturged work by María Irene Fornés, Julie Hébert, and Karen Hartman, among others, and in 2004, she returned to WP as its Associate Artistic Director. From 2000-2004 she was McCarter Theater’s Producing Associate, and her independent producing career includes projects with Sarah Ruhl, Todd Almond, Lucy Thurber and Lear Debessonet.
Tamilla Woodard – Associate Artistic Director
Tamilla is the co-founder of PopUP Theatrics, a partnership creating immersive and participatory theatre for audiences in Europe, South America, Mexico and the US since 2007 and has also served as Artistic Director of Working Theater’s Five Boroughs/One City initiative. She is an alumnus of The Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, a graduate of The Yale School of Drama’s Acting program and a recipient of The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women. Her work has been presented and developed at the Working Theater, NYTW, The Atlantic Theatre Company, 3/LD, New Georges, HERE, The Lark, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Public Theatre, 3/Legged Dog as well as at venues nationally and internationally.
Rachel Karpf – Artistic Producer
Rachel produces theater and live performance, and was recently named the Artistic Producer of WP Theater. Recent projects include [PORTO] (Bushwick Starr world premiere, WP Theater Off-Broadway remount), comedian Lisa Lampanelli’s Stuffed, and Spar e Rib, a reproductive rights fundraiser with Gloria Steinem and the theater community. She previously served as Associate Director of the playwrights’ incubator Page 73, including on the premieres of You Got Older (2 OBIE Awards) and Grounded. For Beth Morrison Projects: Kansas City Choir Boy feat. Courtney Love (A.R.T.) and Persona (National Sawdust). She has produced, curated, and developed new works with the Public Theater, LCT3, NYTW, New Georges, and 13P. BA: Dartmouth College. rachelkarpf.com
Carol Dunne – Producing Artistic Director
Carol is thrilled to lead Northern Stage for her fifth season as Producing Artistic Director. She brings a wealth of experience from her former position as Producing Artistic Director of the New London Barn Playhouse, a company she transformed from a semi professional summer stock theater to one of the most successful summer theaters in New England which serves as an important training ground for top musical theater students. Dunne also serves as an award winning Senior Lecturer at Dartmouth College.
Since 2013, Dunne and her team have overseen the $9.2 million Campaign for Northern Stage, which culminated in the opening of the theater’s new home, the state of the art Barrette Center for the Arts. During Carol’s tenure, she has introduced the development of new plays to the Northern Stage repertoire with New Works Now, Northern Stage’s annual new play festival. New Works Now has launched five world premiers and two Off-Broadway transfers. Dunne has also overseen the creation of an expansive educational program including the “Youth Ensemble Studio” of 40 students who train and perform at Northern Stage throughout the school year and “Bridge Up: Shakespeare and Musical Theater in the Schools” which brings professional residencies into area schools and serves over 500 school children. She has developed a formal relationship with Dartmouth College through the Experiential Term for Dartmouth students, which provides students with professional experiences in performance, administration and production both at Northern Stage and Off-Broadway. Carol and her team have expanded Northern Stage programming to a year round calendar with the sold out Summer Musical Theater Intensive and the new Summer Shakespeare Intensive. Audiences have grown by 25% and a new membership model is helping to stabilize and sustain the company.
At Northern Stage, Dunne has directed productions of The Importance of Being Earnest, White Christmas, Good People, Into the Woods, Songs for a New World, Our Town, The Mountaintop, the world premier of Trick or Treat by Jack Neary and the record breaking Mamma Mia. This season she will direct Disgraced and Only Yesterday, a world premier about John Lennon and Paul McCartney developed by Northern Stage.
As an actress Carol was a company member of the Cleveland Play House for ten years, where she played such roles as Daisy in Side Show and Rose of Sharon in The Grapes of Wrath. She performed for many years at Northern Stage prior to becoming Artistic Director, appearing as Grizabella in Cats, Agnes in Dancing at Lughnasa, Woman 2 in Songs for a New World, Diana in Lend Me A Tenor and Amanda in Private Lives.
Dunne has served on the Faculty of Dartmouth College as a Senior Lecturer since 2005 where she has directed Hair, The Rocky Horror Show, Angels in America, Eurydice, Hairspray and Chicago. She has also served on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University and Baldwin Wallace College. She was honored by Dartmouth in 2009 with the Distinguished Lecturer award. In 2017 Carol was granted the Helen Gurley Brown Pussycat Foundation Genius Award. With the Pussycat Foundation, she created and serves as director of the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, a $1.25 million annual grant program to nurture women artistic directors in the professional theater. Other awards are the Leadership Upper Valley’s Heroes and Leaders: Mentors award (2016) and the New Hampshire Professional Theater Award for Best Director of a Musical for Pirates of Penzance (2010.) Carol is a graduate of Princeton University and received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee PTTP. She lives in Etna, NH with husband Peter Hackett and children Ellie and Jamie.
Carol’s leadership is underwritten by the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, an initiative to support and promote women’s theater leadership funded by The Pussycat Foundation.
Jess Chayes – Associate Artistic Director
Jess Chayes is an award-winning director and founding co-artistic director of The Assembly, with whom she has created and directed ten original productions over the last decade, including Seagullmachine (La MaMa ETC), I Will Look Forward To This Later (New Ohio/IRT Archive Residency) and HOME/SICK (NY Times and Backstage Critics’ Pick). Recent directing includes productions with the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, SC, the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles, CA, and Dutch Kills in Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as The Juilliard School, The Tank, Lesser America, New Georges, and Ars Nova in New York. She has developed new work with The Vineyard Theatre, The New Group, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Playwrights Center, and New York Theatre Workshop, among others. Jess is a NYTW Usual Suspect, a 2018 Audrey Resident with New Georges and alum of The Civilians R&D Group and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Her Broadway associate directing credits include Peter and the Starcatcher, The Snow Geese, and Misery. Jess is the recipient of the 2017 Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women.
As a producer, Jess co-founded the New Georges Jam, a collaboration-based “performance gym” for early-career theater-makers, and co-curated the Jam on Toast Festival in 2014. She has also worked for The Civilians and The Public Theater, and she produced the Obie-winning premiere of Julia Jarcho’s Grimly Handsome. Jess graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Theater and English. www.jesschayes.com
Virginia Ogden – BOLD Artistic Fellow
Virginia is thrilled to be working at Northern Stage this year a BOLD directing and acting fellow. No stranger to the Barrette, in the fall of 2016 she participated in the inaugural Dartmouth Theater Department’s Experiential Term at Northern Stage as an actress in Macbeth and A Christmas Carol and intern to the Literary Manager and Artistic Director, Carol Dunne. She recently graduated with high honors from Dartmouth where she majored in Theater modified with Film and English. She is proud to have acted in over ten productions at Dartmouth, including the Emcee in Cabaret and Mrs. Daldry in In the Next Room. She is also the director and choreographer of two productions, the play What Every Girl and the musical Hair as her thesis. She believes strongly in Northern Stage’s mission and is looking forward to changing lives one story at a time.