Liz Conway - Chair
Liz Conway has over ten years of experience within the arts & culture field, both as a performer as well as an administrative professional. She currently serves as Institutional Giving Manager at the Cleveland Play House and has worked with the Cleveland Museum of Art, Apollo's Fire and Chagrin Arts in a variety of development capacities. Artistically, Liz has worked with many of Cleveland's theatrical institutions, such as Cleveland Public Theater & Great Lakes Theater, as an actor, educator and writer. She serves on the Board of Directors for Buzz & Growl, the non-profit fashion incubator founded by Project Runway's Valerie Mayen, and is a member of Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio's Cleveland Leadership Council. As a life-long Clevelander, she is devoted to the revitalization of the city through both arts and education.
Amy Bistok - Vice Chair
Amy Bistok is proud to serve TCT and and looks forward to contributing to the success of the company alongside the amazing TCT board and staff! Amy is a local theatre artist and an advertising and marketing professional with expertise in digital marketing.
In addition to her non-profit marketing experience, Amy has worked to develop and promote brands in an array of fields including travel and tourism, special events and festivals, real estate, property management and more. She received her bachelor's degree in theatre from Kent State University and is an ensemble member at Tremont-based convergence-continuum where she has appeared in numerous productions.
Amy is passionate about TCT's aim “to bring theatre to the community in its fullest form providing excitement, growth and joy for all who are involved in and/or touched by its work” and thanks you for your current and future support of this mission.
Laurel Hoffman — Secretary
Laurel is a Cleveland Actress, Recruiting Technology & Operations Consultant and Mother to two amazing boys who love TCT. She has been performing on Cleveland stages since 2006 - most notably: Claire (Proof), Jolene (Self-Defense), Jo (boom), Sarah (Antebellum), Amalia (Freakshow), Christine (Red Light Winter). Laurel received a BA in Linguistics from Brandeis University before relocating to New York City to continue her theater training in the Meisner technique at the Esper Studios. A native Clevelander, she returned to the city in 2006 and immediately joined this incredible theater community. She is proud to join the Board of TCT as Laurel is extremely passionate about making theater accessible and available for audiences of all ages.
Rick Garcia - Treasurer
Rick Garcia is a lifelong Clevelander and has been in the employ of Squire Patton Boggs for more than 20 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Computer and Information Science degree from Cleveland State University. Rick's notable pubic appearances include Chino in Fairview High School's 1988 production of West Side Story and being "Fresh, homemade, and occasionally good for you" in the 2008 Harry Buffalo menu. He also was a sound operator during an Ohio State University production of Twelfth Night in 1990. Rick is obviously not a theater professional, but that's not why he's here. Rick expects to bring fresh insight as a parent and theater audience member to the Board while helping TCT achieve its mission to "reach across socio-economic, cultural and traditional boundaries." In addition to being a father, Rick is a long standing member and former treasurer of the Cleveland Colectivo. He's also been captain of the Bike MS team Patti's Paladins for more than a decade, having been decorated as an Up and Coming Team Captain (2006) and bringing back team awards including Top Fundraising Team (2007), Outstanding Team Award (2011) and multiple Platinum Awards. Rick enjoys a rich life with Maggie, Rowan, Aidan and Abby both at home and out about town.
Josh is honored to join the board for Talespinner after serving as the website designer and maintainer for the past seven years. As a theater artist, Josh has performed, written, choreographed, designed and assisted all over the Cleveland/Northeast Ohio scene. As a multimedia designer his video work has been featured in “Kill Will” (co-written by Josh and his wife Kelly, and directed by Ali Garrigan), “I Hate This/And Then You Die” (also directed by Ali Garrigan), and “Fever/Dream” - all of which appeared at Cleveland Public Theatre. Josh studied acting at Case Western Reserve University and graphic design and multimedia at Virginia Marti College of Art and Design. He is currently the Lead Front End Developer for dreambook.us. He is father to identical twins Clara Jane and Ruby Kate and husband to Kelly Elliott, all of whom are proud to be a part of the Talespinner family.
Sheffia Randall Dooley
Sheffia Randall Dooley is a theatre graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University and has been an arts educator and administrator for over 20 years. She is currently the Assistant Director for Community Engagement and Education at Playhouse Square, the largest performing arts center outside of New York City. She is responsible for the implementation of community engagement programming including the Disney Musicals in Schools program, the Dazzle Awards and Family Weekend Workshops for the Children’s Theater Series. She has also held positions as the Director of Education at Karamu House, Master Teaching Artist for the Musical Theatre Project, and Teaching Artist at several organizations including Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theatre, and the Cleveland School of the Arts.
As a member Actors’ Equity Association Sheffia has extensive acting experience having appeared as Mama Nadi in Ruined, the title role in Caroline, or Change and a reprised role in Simply Simone as Nina Simone 4 at Karamu House. Regional credits include: The Crucible, The Tempest and Blithe Spirit at Great Lakes Theatre; Pulp, Our Town, The Secretaries, and Nickel and Dimed at Cleveland Public Theatre, and RESPECT, a Musical Journey at Playhouse Square’s Hanna Theater. Other notable credits include: Sophia Jones in Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea, Aiofe in Open Mind Firmament, as well as a recurring role as Butter Rum in The Loush Sisters Do the Nutcracker, and The Loush Sisters Love Dick’ns: Great Expectations and The Loush Sisters Get Hard for the Holidays (Yippe Kai Yay Mother Loushers) all at Cleveland Public Theatre. Directing credits include Jiminirising and The Book of Grace at Cleveland Public Theatre, Fences (AD), Sister Act and Aladdin at Karamu House.
Throughout her work as an artist and administrator, Sheffia has also been involved in organizational development and Diversity Equality and Inclusion initiatives. She has served as a trainer and coach for Kaiser Permanente and Health Span, leading the organization’s cultural competency initiatives while also serving as chair for the Kaiser Permanente Diversity Council. She currently partners with Better Health Partnerships and the MetroHealth System training health providers on communication and population health and acts as cohort with Disney Theatrical Group and the Broadway League speaking on DEI hiring and retention practices.
Nina Domingue Glover
Nina Domingue Glover (AEA, MFA) is a critically acclaimed multi-faceted actress known for her moving and skillful portrayals and solo shows and Theatre for Young Audiences. Most recently she wrapped filming Bringing Henrietta to Life in conjunction with Cleveland State University, where she portrayed Henrietta Lacks. Nina made her FringeNYC debut in August 2011 with Ya Mama! first seen in CPT's Big Box series. The "nytheatre.com" critic Andrew Rothkin said the show was, “beautifully written and exquisitely performed.” Nina has also been a teaching artist for over 15 years, teaching with Young Audiences, The Great Lakes Theater Festival, Karamu House, the Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theater and The All City Arts Program. She has been a part of the Cleveland Play House's esteemed Playwright's Unit, and is now a member of Artistic Staff.
Nathan A. Lilly is a Cleveland native and has worked as a producing theatre artist and theatre educator for nearly twenty years. He served as Artistic Director of St. Richard Theatre Company, a youth theatre company on Cleveland's west side for 11 years, and taught drama and dance at The Cleveland School of the Arts for eight years. He also sat on the Board of Directors for Western Reserve Playhouse, where he assisted with the development of the community theatre's youth theatre programming. Nathan has worked with the Tony Award-winning Cleveland Play House for 13 seasons, and now serves as the Wraparound Site Coordinator for Adlai E. Stevenson School a CMSD Investment School. NOTABLE CREDITS: director-choreographer of the regional premiere of Lee Summer's From My Home Town; artistic liaison for the World premiere of Eric Coble's Fairfield, directed by CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley; director-choreographer of Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida, Seussical the Musical, Anything Goes, Guys and Dolls, Once on This Island, Smokey Joes Café; choreographer of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Les Miserables, Man of LaMancha, and Pippin. As a professional actor, Nathan has been seen in numerous World, regional, and/or Ohio premiere productions with The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts TYA/USA, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Dobama Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Karamu House, The Maltz Museum, The Musical Theater Project, and Kent State University. UPCOMING PROJECTS: the regional premiere of Tonya Barfield's The Call at Dobama Theatre, and the World premiere/pre-Broadway workshop of Kris Kringle The Musical. WORLD PREMIERES include: Eric Coble's Ten More Minutes From Cleveland (Dobama Theatre); Eric Schmiedl's Browns Rules (Cleveland Public Theatre); Nina Domingue's Jack & Jill's Super Colossal Storybook Adventure (Cleveland Play House); and Eric Coble's Let Freedom Ring (Ensemble Theatre & The Musical Theatre Project). TOURS: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been (Great Lakes Theatre); May 4th Voices; My Portage World. OTHER REGIONAL: Porthouse Theatre, Cain Park, and The Beck Center for the Arts. ALMA MATER: Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. MEMBER: Theatre Communication Group.
Miguel Lopez is the Assistant Branch Manager for Ohio Savings Bank, who is currently sponsoring TCT’s Pay What You can Program. Miguel has helped sponsor numerous non-profit events through Ohio Savings Bank within the Ohio City, Hinge Town, Tremont and Gordon Square areas. He’s helped organize and facilitate Financial Literacy classes for the local community youth students, such as the importance of banking/saving and even Soft Skills for interviews. Miguel believes whole heartedly in TCT’s motto that “The Arts Belong In the Community and the Community in the Arts”. Miguel has admired art in many forms since he was a child. Some of his hobbies and interest include drawing, reading, and scrapbooking. He is the seventh child of eleven children and is now the proud uncle of 11 nieces and nephews. Miguel believes that our future is in the hands of the youth and we need to do everything within our power to help secure their future.
Katy Maistros has been a resident of the Near West Side for 15 years. Remembering the warm welcome she and husband Steve received has fueled a passion for creating community and connections. Her family has been a part of TCT since the first education class, rarely missing a performance. Katy and Steve firmly believe in the arts, and especially theater, to promote understanding and empathy in children and adults. Katy's professional life as a Nurse Midwife at Neighborhood Family Practice allows her to connect with and see families grow. As a community midwife, she enjoys meeting the young people she helped into the world while out in the community. Katy and Steve are proud parents of three amazing sons who have profited from the energy and guidance of the arts community. She firmly believes in the mission of TCT and hopes to give back a small portion of what her family has received in abundance!
Claire Robinson May
Claire Robinson May is a playwright, professor, and attorney. Her plays have been performed on the stages of convergence-continuum, Cleveland Public Theatre, and other venues. She recently received her MFA in creative writing from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program (NEOMFA). Claire has been a Legal Writing Professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law since 2001, and is a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio. She practiced law as a business litigator in Washington, D.C. and Cleveland before embarking on her teaching career. Claire grew up in Cleveland Heights, where she was surrounded by the arts as an integral part of a diverse and vibrant community. Claire is proud to support Talespinner Children's Theatre and its mission to "develop and produce highly imaginative, original, collaborative and interactive professional works" for children of all ages.
Lisa Ortenzi currently serves as the Director of Educational Programming for Great Lakes Theater. Lisa directs the Great Lakes Theater School Residency Program, the English Speaking Union Shakespeare Competition, the Camp Theater! Program and continues to teach. Lisa's Outreach Tour directing credits include: Ten in One, The Decameron, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Seven Ages, and Double Heart which was chosen for the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.
Lisa serves as Adjunct Faculty for the Theater Department and Artistic Director of the Baldwin Wallace University Triple Threat Music Theater Program for the Conservatory Outreach. Lisa has also served as the Education Director/Artistic Associate of the Cleveland Youth Theatre, directed for the Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Baldwin Wallace University and a variety of Community Theaters and High School Drama programs including the All-Ohio Thespian and North Area Thespian Productions for the Ohio Education Theater Association.
Lisa holds BAC degrees in Theatre and Radio/TV/Film from Bowling Green State University and a Master's in Directing from Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts.
John Stuehr - Founding Chairman
John has a 50 year background in theatre, from his first performance at Parma High School, through his most recent visit onstage in a Leap/Conceive production at Cleveland Public Theatre. In between, he has acted in college productions at Kent State University, professional summer repertory at Porthouse Theatre, and in New York City at La Mama and New York Theatre Ensemble. He has directed productions while in high school and college, in various community theatres, and most recently at Lorain County Community College. He has also written plays — “Fate is a Woman”, which he directed while in high school for an all-school assembly, “House Plan Template”, performed at Kent State University and “Geronimo”, performed at the WPA Theatre in New York City — and is currently working on a new play about his experience as a child in the Parmadale Orphanage.
None of these endeavors, of course, paying the rent, John has also maintained various professional careers. As a bookseller, he was general manager for two Fifth Avenue bookstores in NYC, at Brentano's and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Also in NYC, he designed window displays for another Fifth Avenue bookstore, Scribners, and managed Hackers Art Books. John has been a buyer at a national book warehouse, where he also served as Education chairman for the Great Lakes Booksellers Association. And after a stint in the banking industry, in the Human Relations department at Charter One Bank, John became coordinator for the Gordon Square Arts District, where he currently is employed as a grant writer and general handyman.