Theater Makers Lab
The Board of Directors intentionally represents multiple disciplines within the Theater Makers community. The Board serves as the heart of Theater Makers Lab and is deeply collaborative and purposefully non hierarchical. Do we have officers? Sure but not because we believe in traditional power structures, but because we are systemically forced to have them in order to qualify for tax exempt status. We see the board as a living microcosm of a production team – each bringing unique skills, perspectives and a willingness to roll up our sleeves to get the job done.
Please consider joining our board – or contact us with your ideas! You do not have to be on the board to love theater and be on the lookout for the kind of resources we are building and we welcome partners and collaborators, especially where resources can be shared with the community.
Teresa Langston – President
Through the years, Teresa Langston has performed, directed, taught, designed, and collaborated on stage and film. She brought years of Professional, entrepreneurial experience from the business world into development and management of a number of nonprofit theaters in CT and VT.
She has worked with a number of seasoned professionals learning the basics of ‘The Method’ as brought to the US by Strasbourg and later expanded on by Stella Adler and Sandy Meisner. Feeling constrained by the application of focused intellect over imagination; she serendipitously discovered the teachings of Michael Chekhov and has spent many years focused on understanding and applying his inspiring technique as an actor and a director.
A member of MICHA, Teresa has studied with Joanna Merlin, Jessica Cerullo, Lenard Petit, Ted Pugh, Fern Sloane and many others. She spent the summer of 2013 in London, studying with Graham Dixon of the Michael Chekhov London Studio.
She has received critical praise for directing – most recently staging CT playwright – Kristen Palmer’s “Mentors” for Backyard Theater Ensemble (BTE). In 2022 she directed Robert O’Hara’s ‘Barbecue’ for Hole in the Wall Theater and Carol Churchill’s ‘A Number’ for Backyard Theater Ensemble.
She is a member of the CT Chapter of the League of Professional Theater Women and is a Regional Green Captain for Broadway’s Green Alliance and brings decades of experience to Theater Makers Lab governance. She recently received a certificate program in Performing Arts from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.
Laurie Maria Cabral – Vice President
Laurie Maria is a 60-year theater producer, teacher, community leader, organizer, and advocate of the importance of black-themed stories being told from the perspective of those who have lived them. Laurie Maria has directed at Hole in the Wall Theater, The Windsor Jesters, and numerous area churches and schools.
Laurie Maria has been a member of Hole in the Wall Theater in New Britain since its inception in 1972. and serves on the Board of Directors for Hole in the Wall Theater’s Diversity/Ombudsman/Showcase Contract Coordinator Committees.
Laurie Maria created the Day of Tears Touring Company in 2014 based on Julius Lester’s award-winning novel, Day of Tears which tells the true story of the largest slave auction in the South.
Laurie Maria serves on the Greater New England Alliance of Black School Educators Board of Directors as Recording Secretary. The mission of the Greater New England Alliance of Black School Educators is to promote and facilitate the education of all students, Black students in particular. Theater Makers Lab is thrilled to have Laurie on our board of directors.
Pamela Gagnon – Treasurer
Pamela is a CPA who has run her own accounting firm and practicing for over 47 years in north central VT.
Evan has been working in a variety of capacities in the entertainment world for the past twenty years. Design credits include Production Designer for Animal Planets “PuppyBowl”, CNN’s nominated “This is an Apple” and “U-by Kotex”. He’s also done various design work for Stephen Misel, Annie Lebowitz and Vogue. Some stage designs include “Lauryn Hill – Rock The Bells tour” and 300+ other ridiculous shows. Evan also enjoys whiskey, taking naps and deep conversations with his cats. @ctfable @ev_ny
Hilary has been designing lights professionally since the 1990s. She attended Emerson College, where she majored in lighting design and stage management. Since then, she has worked on productions at many phenomenal companies, including American Repertory Theatre, Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Centennial Theater Festival, Chestnut Street Playhouse, Company One, Little Theater of Manchester, Playhouse on Park, and Valley Light Opera.
Some of her most recent lighting design credits include Kinky Boots at the Thomaston Opera House, A Number for the Backyard Theater Ensemble, A Doll’s House Part 2, Papermaker and Private Wars for the Dionysus Theater Company, Sister Act and Grease for Shared Stage Productions at The Kate, Renewal: The Beman Project at Oddfellows Playhouse, and DOT: A Silent Comedy for Hope Salas and Jenny Lee Miller. At Hole in the Wall Theater, where she is the resident Lighting Designer, her design credits include Final Arrangements, Macbeth, The Haunting of Hill House, Our Town, Waiting for Godot, Completeness, Heartless, She Kills Monsters, Day of Absence, Barbecue, Proof, and this season’s Wife/Worker/Whore and The Niceties.
Jason is a theater maker from Wallingford who is currently running for Town Selectman. He has a solid background in business management and is a leader in his field. He believes in the power of community and bringing diverse groups together to solve community problems.
Creative, outside of the box thinker and proven results-oriented leader. Over 20+ years working in the beverage alcohol space, from restaurant and hospitality to wholesale distribution and supply. She is currently Luxury Sales Brand Manager – New England, for Constellation Brands. Host of The Booze Hustle, Christen LaRochelle (https://theboozehustle.com) studied journalism at Columbia College Chicago, and now lives in the woods on the East Coast with her husband, two daughters and a spastic dog named Punky.
On the books, she is a professional booze-hustler in the wine and spirits industry, but her heart remains in finding the stories worth telling. She has an advanced certification in wine (WSET 3) and is in the process of obtaining her advanced spirits certification. There are few things she loves more than traveling, humor and a well-timed obscenity.
In January 2014, Governor Dannel P. Malloy appointed Jonathan Slifka as the Governor’s Liaison to the Disability Community. As the Governor’s Liaison to the Disability Community, Mr. Slifka’s mission is to increase outreach between the Governor and the executive branch agencies to those in the community with disabilities. This position allows for recommendations to be presented on behalf of those with disabilities regarding areas of development such as programs, services, employment, and advocacy. He oversees the 17-member Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Working Group to ensure services are provided to people with disabilities in the most efficient way possible. He also works to improve communication on behalf of the state with individuals with disabilities.
A resident of West Hartford, Mr. Slifka most recently worked in the Admissions Office at Goodwin College and has served in numerous voluntary roles to advocate for people with disabilities, including as Commissioner in the West Hartford Advisory Commission, member of the Board of Directors for the Miracle League of Connecticut, and Representative for the West Hartford Democratic Town Committee. He also continues to devote 1 week every summer to coaching/and mentoring children with disabilities at the Ivan Lendl Adaptive Sports Camp, which his mother started in 1991.
Not only has Jon advocated for others living with disabilities, but he has also taken risks in regards to his own. He was one of the first students with a disability mainstreamed through the West Hartford Public School System. Mr. Slifka also strove to succeed athletically and became the first member of the West Hartford Little League to have a disability. He continued on to be the first student in a wheelchair to play on the West Hartford High School Tennis Team. Mr. Slifka, who received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina, continues to break barriers for individuals living with disabilities.