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The Schoolhouse Theater & Arts Center

Board of Directors

 

Doug Abdelnour

Proprietor, Bedford Photo-Graphic

Bedford, NY

16 years on Board

Doug Abdelnour is a professional and artistic photographer. He is the founder and owner of Bedford Photo-Graphic.  Mr. Abdelnour has a broad range of photographic expertise with years of experience producing business and marketing art, video and digital content, image preparation for custom projects, and covering special events.  He has been The Schoolhouse Theater & Art’s Center photographer for 15 years.

 

Michael Barker
Theater Manager and Consultant

Trumbull, CT

1 year on Board
Michael Barker is a theater manager and consultant.  He was the managing Director of the Westport Country Playhouse for 7 seasons.  He lives in Trumbull Connecticut with his wife Heidi, a costume designer, their son Lawrence, and dog Luke Skywalker. 

 

David A. Browne

Consultant 

Westport, CT

9 years on Board

David Brown is the founder and owner of ToughLove Corporation, a venture improving and reinventing the automotive seatbelt.  Breakthrough patented and pending products.  Mr. Browne was a previous partner at Accenture and led a private investment company and consulting practice.

Tom Christopher

American Artist

Croton Falls, NY

4 years on Board

Tom Christopher is an expressionist artist painting urban scenes and murals, mostly of New York City. Christopher began as a commercial artist, and has become a painter with worldwide galleries and exhibitions.  He resides in Croton Falls.

Ellen Dulberger

Retired Senior Executive at IBM

Mahopac, NY

2 years on the Board

For many years a resident in the community, Ellen and her husband Paul have been longtime subscribers to the Schoolhouse Theater. 

Joan Gilbert

Retired Director of Community Relations at Texaco, Inc.

Ossining, NY

years on the Board

Joan Gilbert, retired Public Relations Executive served on over 30 Boards during her career. She proudly served on the Phoenix Theater Board when Bram was Artistic Director and then as Chair of the Schoolhouse Theater Board from 2015-2020. Her professional life included working for the Lighthouse for the Blind, as Executive Director of The American Heart Association and for 20 years as Director of Community Relations with Texaco Inc.

Anthony Hairston (Treasurer)

Actor                                      

New York, NY

9 years on the Board

Anthony “Tony” Hairston (SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP) has had a long career in business in New York where he was a vice president with Credit Suisse and also working with Bankers Trust and Hanwha International Corporation.  For fifteen years, he was the director of human resources for Leake and Watts in Yonkers.  He’s been a member of the board of The Schoolhouse for eight years.  Tony has been happy to throw his hat in the ring backstage and on stage and recently gained his Actors Equity card.

Lorraine Janus Hathaway, Ph D

Retired Limnologist; Chief, Water Quality Science & Research, NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP)

North Salem, NY

1 Year on the Board

Lorraine, a native of North Salem, worked in Canada and the US as a limnologist. Her recent work was to ensure water quality of the reservoirs that provide more than one billion gallons a day of the excellent water enjoyed by NYC residents. (This water is also undoubtedly responsible for the best bagels and pizza in the world!)  As co-founder of the the Norm Hathaway Big Band in 1990, she assumed leadership in 2021 after Norm's passing. The band has performed at the world-famous Iridium jazz club in Manhattan, appeared on Saturday Night Live, as well as many local venues.

Emily Kingsley (Chair)

Writer/Producer

Briarcliff, NY

9 years on the Board

Emily Kingsley is the recipient of 23 Emmy Awards for her work writing on “Sesame Street.”  She was an accomplished television writer before joining the Children’s Television Network in 1970.  She has an additional 22 nominations and recently The Writers Guild of America congratulated all the writers of “Sesame Street” for writing one of the 100 Best TV series in history.  Emily is a Parent Advocate and nationally recognized lecturer on Down syndrome and disability rights.

 

Janine Kourakos

Chief of Staff, Town of North Salem

Briarcliff Manor, NY

2 years on the Board 

An advocate for the arts and education, Janine recently transplanted from Brooklyn, NY to go to work for Warren Lucas and the town of North Salem. 

 

Bram Lewis

Producing Director

New York, NY

9 years on the Board

Bram Lewis was called to be Producing Director of The *Venerable Schoolhouse Theater by Lee Pope in 2015. A veteran producer, director and actor of more than 200 professional shows, plays, musicals and premieres, Mr. Lewis has worked onstage/off stage, on camera/off camera as a performer, director or writer for more than four decades in New York, London and coast to coast.  He makes his home on Pomander Walk, New York City. To learn more, visit www.BramLewis.com.

*From the NY Times 

Sharon McCune 

Actor/Producer

Pittsburgh, PA

2 years on the Board

Until recently, Sharon was one of three people running Pict Theatre in Pittsburgh. Her long theater background includes having been directed by John Barton of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Randall Duk Kim at Playmakers Rep and Morris Carnovsky, three of the greatest Shakespearians of our age.

Kenneth Miller

Emeritus Chair Cooper Hewitt Museum

New York, NY

3 years on the Board

Until recently, Kenneth served for many years on the board of the Smithsonian Museum, in particular helping to create their education foundation. 

Carla Palma

Retired Senior Executive at PepsiCo

North Salem, NY

2 years on the Board

Carla Palma has been a longtime resident of North Salem, NY where she raised a family while serving as an executive for Hitachi, IBM, PepsiCo, and other well-known multinational corporations.

 

Vincent Park

Writer/Producer

White Plains, NY

8 years on the Board

Vincent Park is a Tony Award-nominated writer for “The News.”  He was the co-founder and artistic director of Main Street Extravaganzas, the resident theater company at the Perry Street Theater in Greenwich Village and of the Hanlon-Less Action Theater, longest-running joust company in America.  He is a writer and director of several plays and musical theater pieces, including “Axiel Himelo’s Christmas Fish Tale,” which had its world premier at the Schoolhouse in 2018.

Brinton Taylor Parson
Headmistress, Alexander Robertson School

New York, NY

1 year on the Board
Is an educator and administrator with more than 40 years of experience in schools around the country.  She is a true believer in the educational, societal and personal value of the Performing Arts.

James Sheldon

Playwright

New York, NY

1 year on the Board

James's latest play, Reparations, drew record crowds at Brooklyn’s Billie Holiday Theatre and was named Best Play of 2019 by the Audelco Awards,recognizing excellence in Black theatre. The 2021 revival of Reparations, at the Gloucester Stage Company outside Boston, garnered Best Play of the Year honors from Broadway World (Boston). James’ other produced plays include the London premiers of Shiverman, nominated as Best Play of 2012 by the Off-West End Awards, and A Model for Mankind in 2010. He has also written two screenplays and is currently working on a family drama set in the post-Covid era.

J. Stephen Sheppard 

Attorney

New York, NY

4 years on the Board

Stephen Sheppard is a Founding Partner of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, and is a leading transactional attorney with over forty-five years of experience representing a broad range of individuals and companies in the publishing, digital, motion picture, television and other entertainment industries.

 

Alan Sklar

Voiceover Actor

Somers, NY

9 years on the Board

Alan Sklar is an accomplished voice actor for over 30 years.  He has narrated over 200 audiobooks, provided voice over for radio and television commercials, and served as an announcer at live corporate events.  Alan is the former announcer at WPIX in NYC.  

Fenton Soliz

Finance, Banking at US Federal Bank

White Plains, NY

2 years on the Board

Fenton Soliz was a pioneer in the mortgage and real estate financing industry in Westchester over the last thirty years. He founded well-known firms, Wall Street equity brokers, and mortgage experts, which for many years had the privilege of helping thousands of families acquire their first home. A longterm member of the board of the White Plains hospital, Fenton served for many years as chair of the Red Cross in Westchester.

Owen Thompson

Artistic Director

New York, NY

2 years on the Board

Owen Thompson is an award winning director and educator whose productions have been seen all over New York City and across America. As Producing Director of the River Rep Theatre Company at the Historic Ivoryton Playhouse he produced or co-produced over 100 productions, directing many (including The Mikado for which he received the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical. He has served as Artistic Director of NYC's Protean Theatre Company and as Producer and Developer of new plays for TACT (The Actors Company Theatre). Owen is also an educator and has taught in numerous institutions of higher learning and in the New York Public School System.

Bill Toles

Audio/Visual Artist

New York, NY

2 years on the Board

Bill Toles is an AUDELCO Award-winner and Grammy nominee working across specialties as a composer, designer, director, creator, and producer in theater, film, performance, installation art, and music. He has had a relationship with the Schoolhouse Theater, designing and directing for nearly ten years.

The Schoolhouse Theater & Arts Center Staff 

Bram Lewis

Producing Director

New York, NY

Bram Lewis was called to be Producing Director of The *Venerable Schoolhouse Theater by Lee Pope in 2015.  A veteran producer, director and actor of more than 200 professional shows, plays, musicals and premieres, Mr. Lewis has worked onstage/off stage, on camera/off camera as a performer, director or writer for more than three decades in New York, London and coast to coast.  He makes his home on Pomander Walk, New York City. *from the NY Times

Owen Thompson

Artistic Director

New York, NY

Owen Thompson is an award winning director and educator whose productions have been seen all over New York City and across America. As Producing Director of the River Rep Theatre Company at the Historic Ivoryton Playhouse he produced or co-produced over 100 productions, directing many (including The Mikado for which he received the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical. He has served as Artistic Director of NYC's Protean Theatre Company and as Producer and Developer of new plays for TACT (The Actors Company Theatre). Owen is also an educator and has taught in numerous institutions of higher learning and in the New York Public School System.

Ulker "Ker" Berdimurat

Curator

Croton Falls, NY

Ker Beckley has been an art advisor of and curator to Lee Pope throughout Lee’s philanthropy and gallery businesses.  Ker is an accomplished artist and ceramist.   Known throughout the county and region as a collaborator with cultural organizations – bridging artists and institutions. 

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