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Independent Shakespeare Co. Announces Two Additions To Its Board Of Directors


Learn more about the two new additions!

Independent Shakespeare Co. Announces Two Additions To Its Board Of Directors

Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC), announces that Ebony Murphy-Root and Gillian Wagner have unanimously been elected to its board of directors.

Artistic Director and co-founder Melissa Chalsma comments, "As we look forward to the possibilities and challenges this new year will bring, we are thrilled to be joined in partnership by our new board members. Their commitment to the community of Los Angeles, to the arts, and to the belief that theater matters is galvanizing. Independent Shakespeare Co. is very lucky indeed, and I personally look forward to working alongside them to bring Angelenos joyful, nurturing, theater experiences."

Ebony Murphy-Root views access to cultural arts and theater as social justice and educational access issues, and is excited to serve ISC. Ms. Murphy-Root teaches 8th grade humanities at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica and serves as Emerge California SoCal Class of 2021 Representative. Recently she trained with Los Angeles African American Women's Public Policy Institute and ADL LA's Michael LaPrade Holocaust Education Institute and was selected for Facing History's new California Civic Fellows Program. In 2018 she was a fellow of the Religious Literacy Summer Institute for Educators at Harvard Divinity School. In addition to a wide breadth of teaching and facilitating experience, she has appeared on WNPR to discuss teaching and learning. She holds a BA in English and African American Studies and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut and is passionate about community engagement; she serves on the boards of NARAL Pro-Choice California PrivacyPAC and Bitch Media.

Ms. Murphy-Root comments, "I've spent most of my career as a middle and high school English teacher and truly believe theater can help shape and heal humanity. ISC's aim to serve never wavered during the past few very challenging years and I think it's imperative to pitch in. The organization's commitment to bringing Shakespeare and other theater to underserved communities is quite inspiring. I hope to share the good word of ISC's great work far and wide and continue to sharpen my fundraising skills in support of this important mission."

Gillian Wagner is an outstanding volunteer in the community. She was born in England and moved to Los Angeles in her early twenties. Ms. Wagner serves on the boards of the Weingart Center, the LA Opera, and Thrive in Joy. Ms. Wagner is a member of the Blue Ribbon and the Garden Club of America, through her membership of the Hancock Park Garden Club. With her husband, John, they own Peake Ranch Winery in Santa Barbara County. They have two adult sons, Tom and Joe.

Comments Ms. Wagner, "I am a long-term fan of ISC and have always admired their passion. The ensemble and the audience reflect the wonderful diversity of Los Angeles. I especially enjoy when the audience is laughing - yes, Shakespeare is very funny and accessible. I am excited to be a part of the team and look forward to contributing in new ways to support ISC's mission to enrich our community."

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