New Repertory Theatre Adds Nine Diverse New Members to the Board of Directors

By: Dec. 02, 2020

New Repertory Theatre Adds Nine Diverse New Members to the Board of Directors

New Repertory Theatre has added ten fantastic new members to its Board of Directors. Working alongside New Rep's Anti-Racism Action Plan, which states that board will be comprised of 50% members of color by July 2023, members who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color now account for 33.3% of the board.

Joining New Rep's Board of Directors are Michelle Aguillon, Benny Sato Ambush, Nicole Dumas, Shannon Fairley-Pittman, Christopher Jones, Cheryl Price, Christopher Shearer, Natalie Stevenson, and Dr. Robert M. Turner.

"One year ago, New Rep had only one person of color on our Board of Directors," shares New Rep Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt. "This was not at all conducive to our efforts in EDI and anti-racism, or to our goal to be a truly multi-cultural theatre. Walking our talk begins at the board level, and we needed to add different voices to strengthen our leadership. I have had numerous conversations with many wonderful people, and am thrilled to welcome these new board members to the New Rep team. Our board will continue to grow as we work to achieve 50% BIPOC representation in our board, staff, and artists."

About New Rep's Members of the Board of Directors

Michelle Aguillon has been a director, producer, and actor in the Boston area for over 25 years, and is a current member of the Asian American Playwright Collective (AAPC). She is the Executive Director at Creative Arts in Reading, MA. She also serves as the VP of the executive board and the #DoBetter initiative at StageSource. Michelle also serves on the DE&I Task Force for the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters (EMACT) and on the New Rep Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, Accountability (IDEAA) Committee.

Lillian Sober Ain, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who works with children, couples, families, and adults. Her specialties include the following: the treatment of trauma; the fostering of resilience; hypnotherapy and focusing-oriented psychotherapy (see, and the therapeutic uses of rhythm. In addition to playing the flute, percussion, and hand drums, Lillian leads experiential rhythm workshops entitled "Drumming for Health and Transformation." She is also a board member of several arts and educational organizations, including a school that works with children and families with special cognitive and emotional needs.

Albie Alvarez Cote has over 20 years of experience as a financial advisor. Albie is the Director of The Financial Education Institute, where she and her team provide financial education to the public. She is passionate about the work she does and is committed in advocating for the Latin Community. She is also a financial advisor with Concord Wealth Management.

Benny Sato Ambush is an SDC freelance director, educator (BA, BFA, MFA levels), consultant, former National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) panelist/site evaluator, published commentator. He recently served nine years as Senior Distinguished Producing Director-In-Residence of Emerson Stage, the producing wing of the Department of Performing Arts (PA) at Emerson College, where he also taught on PA's acting and directing faculty. Prior artistic leadership (select): Acting Artistic Director - Rites and Reason Theatre Company, Providence, RI; Producing Artistic Director - Oakland (CA) Ensemble Theatre (SPT); Associate Artistic Director - San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater (LORT B); Co-Artistic Director - San Francisco Bay Area Playwrights Festival; PEW Charitable Trust/TCG Director in Residence - Florida Stage (LOA); Associate Artistic Director - Anna Deavere Smith's Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue at Harvard University; Producing Artistic Director - TheatreVirginia (LORT C). Formerly at New Rep: The Whipping Man; Thurgood. Benny holds numerous directing credits at professional regional theatres and universities throughout the U.S. and the Boston region. He has served on numerous regional and national boards, including Theatre Communications Group (TCG). He adjudicates nationally and internationally for the American Association of Community Theatre, is a Steering Committee member of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers, a member of The National Theatre Conference, and is a panelist for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. In April 2019, he will be inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. MFA - University of California, San Diego; BA - Brown University.

Lisa Breit is a retired organizational consultant, curriculum designer, and educator. As an organizational consultant, she worked with a wide range of nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, program design and evaluation, technology integration, fundraising, and marketing strategies, as well as searches for key executives. As an educator, she ran programs to help public and private schools and community education programs to integration technology and the Internet, and led teams that designed innovative curricula for urban schools. She has extensive experience training staff at community organizations and has developed workshops and courses to help teachers to implement project-based learning, integrate multicultural perspectives, and teach with new technology, including as an instructor at Harvard Extension School and Lesley University. Her lifelong love of theater includes acting, set design and costume production for community, school and college productions. Currently, when not at the theater, she spends most of her time traveling, gardening, and creating art quilts.

Ruth Budd grew up in Denver, Colorado and came east to attend Smith College (BA), Harvard Graduate School of Education (MAT), and Boston College Law School. She practiced law for more than 30 years, specializing in family law. She was the first female partner of Hemenway & Barnes, now the oldest firm in Boston. She chaired both the Family Law Section of the Boston Bar Association and the Family Law Section of the Mass. Bar Association. She was a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, serving as President of the MA chapter and on the National Board of Governors. For more than two decades she taught Divorce Law Basics for Mass. Continuing Legal Education and was listed annually in The Best Lawyers in America. In retirement Ruth, serves on several boards, reads for two book clubs, wrote her family history and was on the Board of the Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick, Maine. She has been on the Board of the New Rep for 6 years and is currently Clerk. She and her husband, John Ehrenfeld have four children, and nine grandchildren. They spend all summer at their second home in Brunswick, Maine.

Nicole Dumas, CEFL, is the Director of Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy with the Boston Latin School Association. With over twenty years' experience in corporate sales, relationship management and training previously with Fidelity Investments and KPMG LLP, she is responsible for strategically cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding prospective donors to advance Boston Latin School and the Association's mission. Among her duties are developing major and planned gift fundraising strategies, organizing 25th reunion class fundraising, stewarding the BLSA's Black Alumni Advisory Committee, and creating affinity-based networks to increase alumni engagement. Ms. Dumas serves on the board of directors for Women in Development of Greater Boston (WIDGB) and co-chairs its Membership Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the board of directors for the New Repertory Theater in Watertown, MA, and serves on their Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and Accountability (IDEAA) Committee.

Shannon Joseph Fairley- Pittman, Ed.D is a committed professional that works to inspire a world of good. He is an alum of Wheelock College and a double husky from Northeastern University. Dr. Fairley-Pittman has remained committed to advocating for students through avenues of student success, scholarships, college readiness, and community engagement his entire career. His board involvement has ranged from past President of the Wheelock College Alumni Association; Board of Trustees member and currently serves on the Boston University Board of Trustees Academic Affairs committee due to the recent Wheelock College merger in 2018. Most recently he joined Lucy Legacy Foundation to support educational resources for the BU Wheelock community. Currently, Dr. Fairley-Pittman serves as the Associate Director of the University Honors Program at Northeastern University.

Donald Giller (Outreach Chair) independently and with partner organizations, helps organizations define their differentiating position and organize strategic branding programs. Principal focus is on healthcare, life sciences, biomedical research and senior services sectors.

Chris Jones is a novelist, playwright, lyricist, and former science journalist. Writing under the name Johnnie Dun, his work includes BACKSTRAP (2016), a literary crime novel about immigrants and trafficking. He has published journalism and literary criticism in a variety of media and scholarly outlets, including, The Cortland Review, and Early American Literature. He is currently focusing on theatrical work, including a full-length play about roadies on tour and a screenplay about his experience developing therapies for rare diseases. In his day job, Chris has over twenty-five years of experience growing businesses and advising organizations in the biotech industry. He is currently CEO of iTakeControl Health, a professional services and technology company focused on novel research approaches for rare diseases. He spent ten years with Genzyme in various positions in the Rare Genetic Disease group. A native of Philadelphia, PA, he has lived in Boston for the past twenty years.

David Kluchman currently sits on the Board of the New Repertory Theatre and on the Finance and Governance committees. In the past, he has been a Board member the New England Aquarium, the Cambridge School, (Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer), the Lexington Montessori School (Treasurer), and a charter school in Boston. His past professional life was spent in public television, strategy management consulting and as CFO for a start-up biotechnology company. He currently plays tournament poker when not caring for a menagerie of (mostly) domesticated animals and children. He resides in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Shari Malyn is an artist and producer living in Newton, MA. To date she has had three exhibitions of her work. She has been on three Academy Award winning crews at ILM, George Lucas's special effects company. While in San Francisco, Shari also worked at Esprit's national headquarters, in their advertising department, producing large scale photographs. In Boston, Shari creative produced ArtsEmerson's first original production, "Baritones Unbound." She was also an events producer for M.I.T.'s Image & Meaning Conference. While living in Washington, DC, Shari worked at the National Digital Library at The Library of Congress and Koch TV documentarians as their production manager. In NYC, she represented fashion and celebrity photographers and produced photo shoots.

Caroline Mortimer is an artist at heart. She is graduate of Wellesley College and holds an MA from Parsons School of Design/Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Professionally she was an art historian, museum administrator, and editor in New York City. Caroline is currently a Trustee at North Bennett Street School, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, an Overseer at WGBH and a member of the Neurosciences Advisory Board at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She volunteers for More Than Words, a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.

Laurie H. Nash received a doctorate in human development from Harvard University in 1989. She then spent the next 30 years in private practice, working as an educational consultant, where she has successfully assisted students with the high school and college application process. These days, when not attending a New Rep meeting or performance, Laurie can be found at Brandeis University's lifetime learning program, BOLLI, taking courses on subjects that range from the Kennedy assassination to Harry Potter. Laurie has been involved with theater since the age of 9. New Rep became part of Laurie's life when she attended The Barnes Exhibit, a show performed in the Newton church, the theater's previous location. She immediately became a New Rep subscriber, a commitment she has continued through all those years. Becoming a member of the New Rep Board was a natural progression of Laurie's love of and for the theater.

Danielle Naugler hails from the world of musical theatre originally where she spent years playing ditzy blonde sidekicks such as Minnie Fay in Hello, Dolly! and Holly in The Wedding Singer. A Newton native originally, she graduated from Boston College with majors in Human Development and Theatre and jumped in to a career representing stylists and hair & makeup artists at ENNIS INC, a boutique agency with clients in New York, LA and Boston. Mobile officing for the company allowed her to live in NYC for five years and Los Angeles for two before she returned to the area and settled in where she lives now in the South End. Since 2017, she has very much enjoyed getting involved at New Rep via participation in the Gala and Outreach committees, formation of the theatre's Guild for Young Professional Leaders, and the honor that was being a member of the Succession Planning committee. She was excited to join the board in 2019 and looks forward to working to further the theatre's mission and impact in and on the surrounding community.

Chris Noble retired in 2016 from a private law practice in which he specialized in design and construction law. He chaired the Construction Law Practice Group at Hill & Barlow in Boston before co-founding a small boutique law firm in Harvard Square in 2003. He provided legal services to owners, architects and contractors for building projects throughout the United States and in more than 25 foreign countries. He is a founding fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and an honorary member of the Boston Society of Architects. He graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School, and studied religion and philosophy at Banaras Hindu University. Chris has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including an architectural school, a Boston-area chorus, and local and national affordable housing developers. He and his wife Chris Farrow-Noble are avid playgoers and have had the pleasure of appearing in several theatrical productions on Maine's Blue Hill Peninsula. They also share a love of cooking, travel, and lifelong learning classes at Tufts University.

Cheryl L. Price, Ph.D. has more than 15 years of experience as a Higher Education Administrator. She is currently the Director of TRIO Student Support Services at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA where she provides programming and academic support to first generation, underserved college students. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Cheryl received her Bachelor's Degree from Eastern Michigan University, as well as her M.S., and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Community College Leadership. Cheryl has co-authored several book publications and articles throughout her career that focus on the diverse lived experiences of African American students in K-12 and Gifted Education. In her volunteer work, Cheryl has served as Detroit Public Schools Higher Education Consortium Member, Young Educators Society (YES) Executive Board Member, and Second Vice President and Nominating Committee Member with Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. In her free time, Cheryl loves spending time with her family and friends, listening to contemporary jazz music, reading, cooking, old movies, and attending the Theatre.

Anush Sahakian. A dedicated and diligent internist caring for the Brighton, MA community. Dr. Sahakian attended the St. George's University School of Medicine, where she received her medical degree. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Steward Health Care System, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.

Christopher Shearer is the founder of Third Sector Strategy LLC, a firm that provides consulting in the nonprofit sector on strategy, program design and impact, field positioning, communications and outreach, and best practices. A seasoned grantmaker, Chris has served at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the National Geographic Society Education Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts. A long-time theater fan, his Master's thesis examined the use of science by noted British playwright Tom Stoppard. His Master's and undergraduate degrees both come from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in his home town. Chris also serves on the board of the Oakland, CA-based creative youth development nonprofit, YR Media. He lives in Boston with his spouse, Elizabeth.

Natalie Stevenson is a healthcare management consultant based in Boston. Prior to working in healthcare, Natalie worked on a multitude of consulting projects for clients that include the Center for Disease Control and US Military. Natalie is responsible for Change Management, Strategic Development and Brand Management for those she works with. Originally from Alabama, Natalie received her Bachelor's degree from Auburn University and earned an MBA from Boston College. In her free time Natalie enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, tailgating, attending baseball and football games and attending the Theatre.

Pamela Taylor matriculated at Northeastern University and while there was very active with The Black Student Union and true to the student unrest and volatile climate on college campuses across the country (it was the 60's after all), she was politically active, protesting everything especially the Vietnam War, staging demonstrations and organizing sit-ins in the quadrangle and her favorite in the University President's office where he was presented with a long list of student demands. In short time victory came in the form of consent to fund and provide necessary resources to establish the first Afro-American Institute on campus. Pamela graduated cum laude from Northeastern University College of Liberal Arts with a double major in sociology and political science. Pamela did short stints as a GED instructor and 8th grade guidance counselor in the Boston Public School system before finding her calling as a human resource generalist and specialist for 20+ years at Digital Equipment Company and in the healthcare industry New England Deaconess Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. She retired in 2011 from Partners Healthcare System Inc. /MGH having received over the years numerous awards for excellence in customer service, teamwork and her diversity work and initiatives. Pamela has served on the boards and advisory councils and committees of, Dorchester YMCA, a local children's choir, as president of her neighborhood association, with her beloved sorority and at Hibernian Hall, the arts and culture division of Madison Park Development Corporation, Pamela has always had a passion for dance, ballet and attends the performances of the Boston Ballet, the Joffrey and the Dance Theatre of Harlem when they are on tour in Boston.

A finance executive with worldwide leadership experience with multinational companies, Jo is currently leading the Financial Planning and Analysis department of Hollingsworth and Vose, a Global manufacturer of advanced materials for filtration, battery, and industrial applications. Born in Belgium and having lived in France, UK, Venezuela and Mexico before coming to the United States, Jo is fluent in 5 languages. Jo has a Bachelor's degree in Applied Economics from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), a Masters in Business Administration from the Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico) with specialization in Finance from the Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) and an Advanced Certificate for Executives in Management, Innovation and Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management (Cambridge, MA). Jo splits his time between Boston and Harpswell, Maine and is the proud "Father" of two Italian Water Dogs.

Dr. Robert M. Turner is the Assistant Dean of Enrollment and Associate Professor of Accounting at Babson College. Professor Turner has taught in the financial accounting area at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for the past thirty years. He served as the Director of the Undergraduate Honors Program for nine years, and three years as the Associate Dean of the F.W. Olin Graduate School at Babson College. Previously, he was the Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Boston College. He began his professional career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. His consulting work involves delivery of professional development programs to firms throughout New England and beyond. Dr. Turner's research interest has been in financial reporting for not-for-profit organizations as well as sustainability reporting for for-profit companies. He holds a Doctorate from Boston University, an MBA from Boston College, a MS in Educational Administration from Syracuse University, and a BS from LeMoyne College. He served on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, LeMoyne College, for twelve years, the last three years as Board Chair. He was also a previous Board member at The Gifford School. He is married to Leslie Turner and is the father to two sons, Ryan and Marc.