Elizabeth Williamson
Artistic Director

ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON has built a distinguished career as a producer, director, dramaturg, and adaptor. She has worked extensively and to great fanfare throughout the U.S. and around the globe, including on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in London’s West End. She commissioned and served as dramaturg for The Inheritance, by Matthew López, which won four Tony Awards in 2020, including Best Play, and the Olivier Award for Best Play. She was the creative producer, dramaturg, and co-director of Sarah Gancher’s New York Times “Best Theatre of 2020” pick Russian Troll Farm (produced online). Other recent projects include commissioning and developing Kaneza Schaal’s JACK &, directing Henry V and her own adaptation of Jane Eyre for Hartford Stage, and dramaturging Robert Freedman and Steven Lutvak’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, which won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Ms. Williamson’s extensive organizational leadership experience includes producing, new play development, and community engagement. She previously served as Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager at Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City from 2008 – 2012 and as Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage from 2012 – 2020. Ms. Williamson is known for her commitment to centering the work of LGBTQIA, BIPOC, and women artists and looks forward to furthering her dedication to new work and community engagement initiatives in her role at Geva.


Christopher Mannelli                                                                                          Executive Director

CHRISTOPHER MANNELLI joined Geva in 2016 from Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, a Tony Award-winning institution dedicated to new plays and playwrights, where he has served as Managing Director. During his five-year tenure he led the reorganization of the institution and was responsible for the strategic planning, fundraising and audience development initiatives that created the theater’s new business model. Under his leadership, Mr. Mannelli oversaw numerous award-winning productions, increased contributed income, and launched innovative membership and audience engagement initiatives. Prior to his work with Victory Gardens, he served as Deputy Director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, one of the largest nonprofit theatres in Chicago. He oversaw operations and helped to produce the theatre’s “World Stage” international programming, including Chicago Shakespeare’s first ever tour to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Before moving to Chicago, Mr. Mannelli was the Managing Director for HotCity Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. In this capacity, he was instrumental in the company’s financial and programmatic growth, which included educational outreach programs, new play initiatives and several collaborations with prominent arts organizations. He has served on the board of directors of the League of Chicago Theatres, as a steering committee member for Enrich Chicago (a group of arts organizations in Chicago working collectively to address racial equity), as a board member for the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce and the community board of Emerald City Theatre. In 2017 he was appointed to the New York State Council on the Arts’ Theatre advisory panel where he has served for the last two years. He currently serves on the board of directors for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, Washington Square Park Community Association and on the corporate board for the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Mr. Mannelli grew up on Long Island and began his career as an actor and a musician, touring nationally and internationally. He holds a B.A. in opera performance from the SUNY Geneseo School of Performing Arts, an M.F.A. in Arts Leadership from DePaul University, and an Executive Scholars Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.




Executive Leadership

Elizabeth Williamson

Artistic Director

Christopher Mannelli

Executive Director


Staff Leadership

Rachel Y. DeGuzman

Director of Engagement

Patrick Heydenberg

Production Manager

Harrison David Rivers

Playwright in Residence


Lara Rhyner

Acting Director of Education

Alana Sansone

Director of Finance and Operations

Jenni Werner

Director of Literary and Artistic      Development Programs






Olivia Spenard
Education Assistant


Fiona Kyle
Literary and Artistic Associate

Chelsea Whittemore
Assistant Company Manager

Jared Lee Morgan
Stage Operations Supervisor

Katherine Thesing
Resident Stage Manager


Katherine McCarthy
First Hand

Noel O’Day
Costume Craftsperson

Michaela Lincoln
Wardrobe and Wig Supervisor


Derek A. Madonia
Lighting Supervisor

Andrew Mark Wilhelm
Sound Supervisor

Michael Rehor
Electrician/Board Op

Chris Nimick
Electrician/Board Op

John Wilcox
Audio Engineer


Theresa Granger
Props Supervisor

Butch Kane
Props Artisan


Alex Anthony
Technical Director

Jalissa Frey
Lead Carpenter

Elias Koch, Madeline Pike

Sam Burkovich
Crew Swing

Maya Schuetz
Assistant Technical Director

Ola Kraszpulska
Scenic Charge Artist

Irene Brimm
Assistant Scenic Charge


Elaina Bachmann
Manager of Special Events & Donor Relations

Sarah Mayfield
Advancement Assistant & Database Coordinator

Amanda Riekstins
Graphic Designer

Makalah Sizer
Marketing Assistant

Amanda Serianni-Davis
Manager of Annual Giving

Direct Sales
SMART Marketing, LLC


Timothy Intili
Director of Ticketing

John Hamolsky
Senior Manager of Guest Services

Andy Germuga
Box Office Supervisor

Caroline Booth
Deja Cotton
Skyelar Cutter
Jordan Polcyn-Evans
Ashley Robb-Crockett
Maxwell Robbins

Nicole Stein

Box Office Associates

Carlea Grant
Assistant Guest Services Manager

Nicolette Ventimiglia
Bar Supervisor

Laura Chekow
Mark Di Nitto
Chris Nothnagle
House Managers

Matthew Boyd
Melvin Jackson
Chet Parker
Yannotti Richard

Charles Weckworth V

Nanette Falchi
Gift Shop Manager


Frank Del Vecchio
Associate Director of Finance

Cliff Lampley
Facilities Manager

Anna Beck
Finance Assistant

Laurie Masood
Finance Volunteer







Artistic Council

Geva’s Artistic Council is a compensated body of area leaders who are engaged in providing feedback and insights on works under consideration.


Shawn Brown

SHAWN BROWN is the Program Director at Teen Empowerment. His commitment and passion focus on community-building and connections, championing the voices and power of youth, and fighting against the racist systems that oppress black and brown folks in Rochester.








Luticha Doucette

LUTICHA ANDRÉ DOUCETTE graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Bioinformatics where she developed protein surface prediction algorithms. After graduating, she was a Fellow at the University of Rochester where she worked in a genomics lab that focused on analyzing the venom of parasitoid wasps to develop new drug therapies for various diseases. In 2017 she authored a report on wage disparities across race, gender, and disability in Rochester and Monroe County in conjunction with the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, and in 2018 Luticha authored a follow-up report on employment barriers for disabled people in Rochester and Monroe County. She is a graduate of the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship program and an AUCD Emerging Leader. She is the owner of Catalyst Consulting, which helps organizations examine equity across race, gender identity, and disability in policies, practices, procedures, and relationships.


Tonia Iakonikohnrio Galban

TONIA IAKONIKOHNRIO GALBAN (she/her/hers) is a wife and mother of three. She is Mohawk, bear clan, from the Akwesasne reservation. Tonia is a Senior Native Interpretive guide at the Ganondagan State Historic Site, where she has served since 1991. Tonia is also a Haudenosaunee and material culture specialist as well as a traditional Haudensaunee basket-maker, a storyteller, and a lecturer.







Stephanie Paredes

STEPHANIE PAREDES is a passionate and multi-talented Afro-Latina powerhouse. She is the owner of Empanadas by Stephanie, co-owner of Beyond Boundaries Consulting, and co-founder of the Rochester Latino Theatre Company. She enjoys sharing her love and passion for creativity, inclusion and diversity through food, theatre, community engagement, and education. She is committed to building bridges for others to learn about the importance of inclusion, diversity and equity in the theatre community, higher education and the Rochester community. She enjoys getting into “good trouble” to disrupt the status quo and encourage others to step out of their comfort and into the growth zone. She has her BA from SUNY Brockport and is currently working on her Masters of Science in Integrative Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Multicultural Programming in the Division for Diversity & Inclusion at RIT. 



Mojgan Rabbani

MOJGAN RABBANI holds a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin‐Madison. She has been employed at Xerox Corporation since 1995 and prior to that at Eastman Kodak Company for over a decade. Her experience covers research, development, and management roles in various disciplines of digital imaging and printing technologies. She is Green Belt certified and holds five US patents. Mojgan was a key member of the Xerox’s Women’s Council for four years, which advised the company’s research management in recruiting and maintaining women scientists in STEM disciplines. She has been a regular participant at the Electronic Imaging Symposium sponsored by the IS&T professional Society and for the past five years she has authored the Symposium report for the Society’s periodical “IS&T Reporter.”

Mojgan has a rich history of cultural activities within the Rochester community. She was one of the founding members of the Iranian Association of Rochester (IAR) in 1991, whose mission was to promote cultural exchanges. She played a key role in writing IAR’s by‐laws and in establishing it as an official non‐profit organization. She was in charge of IAR’s education subcommittee and was one of its Persian language teachers. She has lectured on cultural topics at several RIT and MAG programs.


Esther Winter

ESTHER WINTER has performed on the West End (Show Boat, dir. Harold Prince, choreographer Susan Stroman), regionally: Geva Theatre Center (La Cage aux Folles), North Carolina Theatre (Dreamgirls), Maine State Music Theatre (Ain’t Misbehavin’), Sacramento Music Circus (The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man, Pirates of Penzance), Westchester Broadway Theatre (Joseph…Dreamcoat), and locally: JCC CenterStage (Caroline, or Change, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Parade, The Hit Factory 1&2, Church and State, Division Street), Blackfriars Theatre (Nusense, Avenue Q).

Choreography/staging credits include JCC CenterStage (Ain’t Misbehavin, Hit Makers: And the Beat Goes On). Directing credits include Hit Makers: Origins of Classic Rock (JCC CenterStage), Level Up (Rochester Fringe Festival), For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday (Blackfriars Hourglass Play Reading Series), Titanic, the Musical (co-director Ralph Meranto, JCC CenterStage), Hit Makers: And the Beat Goes On (co-director Ralph Meranto, JCC CenterStage). Esther has been seen/heard in various regional commercials, radio spots and print ads. She serves as an artist educator for Geva Theatre Center and was creative producer of Recognition Radio for Geva Theatre Center, associate producer of Blackfriars Play Reading Series, and is the owner/center director of Canalside Music Together in Pittsford, NY. BFA Musical Theatre, Syracuse University.




Executive Committee

Christina M. Gullo, Chair

William F. Weir, Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee

Stephanie M. Caffera, Secretary

Philip L. Burke, Chair, Advancement Committee

Faheem Masood, Chair, Audit Committee

Margaret Busch, Chair, Curtain Call Committee

Essie Calhoun McDavid, Co-chair, IDEA Committee

Diane F. McCue, Co-chair, IDEA Committee

Maggie Symington, Immediate Past Chair and Chair, Nominating & Governance Committee

Todd D. Green, At-Large

Shree Pandya, At-Large


Jeanine Arden-Ornt

Dennis Bassett*

Peggy Boucher

Barbara Bruning

Philip L. Burke

Margaret Busch

Stephanie M. Caffera

Essie Calhoun-McDavid

Gloria M. Culver

Barbara de Leeuw

Hope Drummond

Bonnie Garner

Todd D. Green

Christina M. Gullo

Jane Hasselkus

Tomás C. Hernández

Abhas Kumar

Barbara LaVerdi

Dr. Dawn Lipson

Faheem Masood

Diane F. McCue

Steve Metzger

Frank Novak

Shree Pandya

Jean Gordon Ryon

Maggie Symington*

Mimi Tilton

Samuel O. Tilton

Wynndy R. Turner

William F. Weir

John C. Williams

Helen A. Zamboni


All Trustees are volunteers who generously give of their time, talent and resources to support locally produced professional theatre and arts education programs. 
*Indicates Former Board Chair



Honorary Trustees

Helen H. Berkeley*

William A. Buckingham

Sergio Esteban*

David L. Fiedler*

Ronald H. Fielding

Betsy T. Friedman*

Patrick Fulford*

Suzanne Gouvernet

Joanna M. Grosodonia*

A. Thomas Hildebrandt

Maureen D. Holtzman

John F. Kraushaar*

Carol Love*

Peter Messner*

Michael B. Millard*

Emily Neece*

Nannette Nocon

David Perlman

John C. Rasor*

Robert Saltzman

Paul Seidel

Paul L. Smith

Mary Kay Taber

John Tyler Jr.

Linda Cornell Weinstein*

Deborah Wilson


*Indicates Former Board Chair