MARK CUDDY is celebrating his 26th season as Artistic Director of Geva Theatre Center. During his tenure he has worked alongside talented and dedicated staff, artists and trustees to build Geva into a regional theatre powerhouse. Geva boasts one of the largest audiences of any professional regional theatre in the Northeast, and has a reputation for excellence in education programming and new play production. Having just completed a nine million dollar facility renovation including the purchase of fourteen new artist lofts, Geva is now focusing its future on engaging the Rochester region in meaningful theatrical experiences that unite and strengthen our community through the celebration of our shared humanity. Mr. Cuddy has directed over fifty productions here, and has appeared as Georges in Geva’s 2019 production of La Cage aux Folles, and in the 2018 world premiere of Heartland. Mr. Cuddy is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Fringe Festival, and served on the Board of Directors of the national organization for non-profit theatres, Theatre Communications Group. Mr. Cuddy has also served as Artistic Director of Sacramento Theatre Company, Producing Director of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and on the directing staff of the Denver Center Theatre Company. He received his B.A. in Theatre/Honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. He resides in the Highland Park neighborhood with his wife, theatre and visual artist Christina Selian. Their older son, Maximilian, is writing his doctoral dissertation in Sociology at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Their younger son, Augustus, is an actor in New York City.
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.
Director of Education/Artist in Residence
Director of Literary and Artistic Development Programs
Director of Production
Director of Finance and Operations
Director of Institutional Advancement
Director of Marketing
Jean Gordon Ryon
LIGHTING & SOUND
Derek A. Madonia
Andrew Mark Wilhelm
MARKETING & ADVANCEMENT
FINANCE & OPERATIONS
Frank Del Vecchio
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 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 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 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 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 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.
Maggie Symington, Chair
William Weir, Treasurer & Chair, Finance Committee
Stephanie Caffera, Secretary
Philip Burke, Chair, Advancement Committee
Margaret Busch, Co-chair, Education/Curtain Call Committee
Dennis Bassett, At-Large, Immediate Past Chair & Chair, Committee on Trustees
Faheem Masood, At Large
Essie Calhoun-McDavid, At Large
Dr. Dawn F. Lipson
Jean Gordon Ryon
Kathleen R. Whelehan
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
|Helen H. Berkeley*
William A. Buckingham
David L. Fiedler*
Ronald H. Fielding
Betsy T. Friedman*
A. Thomas Hildebrandt
David L. Hoffberg*
Maureen D. Holtzman
John F. Kraushaar*
Michael B. Millard*
John C. Rasor*
Paul L. Smith
Mary Kay Taber
John Tyler Jr.
Linda Cornell Weinstein*
Henry W. Williams, Jr.*
*Indicates Former Board Chair