EDI Mentorship Program

The LORT EDI Mentorship Committee is excited to announce the 2022-23 Mentorship Program cohort.

Our intention with this program is to address the barriers that have prohibited the diversity of racial and gender composition in LORT managing and executive leadership.

The program pairs industry professionals with mentees that currently work for LORT theatres interested in administrative leadership including aspiring Executive Directors, Managing Directors, General Managers and Senior Department Managers including Marketing, Production, Development and Human Resources.

 The objectives of the LORT EDI Mentorship Program are:

  • For current senior leaders to become proactive advocates for rising leaders as they make their transition to more senior leadership positions; and
  • For rising leaders to develop the skills and networks necessary to make the move to executive and senior leadership.

We were thrilled with the responses to the call for applicants. The Mentorship Committee selected and matched the following 7 pairs of participants. Please see all participant bios on the pages that follow.

 LORT EDI Mentorship Program 2022-23 cohort:

• Jessica Eckenrod, Artistic Administrator at Asolo Repertory Theatre will be mentored by Samantha De La Riva, General Manager at Two River Theater;

• Tanesha Ferguson, Development Operations and Institutional Giving Coordinator at Alliance Theatre will be mentored by Meredith Suttles, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Marin Theatre Company;

• Shayla Hines, Director of Institutional Relations at Arena Stage will be mentored by Marissa Ford, Associate Managing Director at Goodman Theatre;

Pablo Lopez, Manager of Wraparound Services at the Cleveland Play House will be mentored by Juan Manzo, Director of Education and Community Programs at A.C.T.;

Viguens Louis, Major Gifts Officer, Trinity Rep will be mentored by Kristen Mitchell, Development Director at Roundabout Theatre Company;

• Carmen Quiñones, General Manager at the McCarter Theatre Center will be mentored by Khady Kamara, Executive Director at Second Stage Theater;

• Malkia Stampley, Producer at the Goodman Theatre will be mentored by Maria Goyanes, Artistic Director at Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company.


Jessica Eckenrod (she/her) grew up in East Tennessee and is very much a product of Dolly Parton and the mountains. Always eager for knowledge, she is a first-generation graduate, and holds a B.A. in Music and Theatre from Carson Newman University, where she composed her first musical Story. A creative since she could speak, Jessica is passionate about her craft and dedicated to cultivating original works. Serving as a director, writer, and lyricists across South Carolina and Tennessee, she has produced alongside playwrights and musicians, and stands firm on the transformative power of creative collaboration. She has created meaningful works for Upstate community groups Dining for Women and Glow Lyric Theatre, in addition to establishing Letters from the Public. Jessica currently serves on staff at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Florida, and has thoroughly enjoyed working in the arts professionally for just shy of ten years.

Shayla Hines is an energetic arts management professional with a background in performing arts. In 2010, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recording Arts at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and in 2012 received a Master of Arts in Arts Management at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Her experiences in fundraising and development at the Washington National Opera, DC Jazz Festival, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, led her to a position as Advancement Manager at the American Film Institute (AFI) for the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. Shayla led the implementation of their fundraising and constituency-building efforts for corporate, foundation, and individual giving. She was civically engaged in her community as an active member of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras at Strathmore from 2013-2015. Shayla is a graduate of the 2015 class of Emerging Leaders in the Leadership Montgomery program, an organization that builds a diverse group of informed community trustees who create collaborations and partnerships to impact community needs. In 2015, Shayla's professional career led her to Chorus America, a national service organization providing professional development for choruses across North America, including Canada. As the Associate Director of Development, Shayla was the principal fundraiser raising nearly $700,000 in corporate, foundation, individual, and government support annually. After three years of growing Chorus America's operational budget and implementing effective fundraising strategies, Shayla started her career at Arena Stage as the Director of Institutional Relations in 2019. Shayla and her direct team raise over $2M in institutional support. In addition, her passions led her to participate and lead various diversity, equity, and access initiatives to support Arena Stage’s journey towards being an anti-racist and inclusive arts institution. Most recently, Shayla has been selected to participate as the staff representative on the Artistic Director Search Committee, alongside ten Arena Stage Trustees and playwright Karen Zacarias. Shayla has also served as a Board of Directors at Theatre Washington since 2021, where she supports their fundraising efforts and co-lead their Taking Care Fund, which assists area theater professionals in times of unforeseen medical hardship.

Tanesha Ferguson is a Development Operations and Institutional Giving Coordinator at Alliance Theatre, an Atlanta-based theatre committed to expanding hearts and minds on stage and off. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at Vassar College, where she completed her thesis on how young Black women construct their love narrative by prioritizing self-definition and self-preservation. She has a long standing passion for the arts and studied dance throughout college. In 2017, she began her career in arts administration as an Artistic and Community Programming Intern at Dance Place in Washington, D.C. As an arts administrator, she is keenly interested in how the arts can be used as a tool for social justice and activism. When she isn’t working, Tanesha practices her writing skills, recreates meals in the kitchen, and catches up on her favorite television shows and movies.

Pablo Lopez is originally from São Paulo, Brazil, He started his musical studies when he was seven years old. He earned a Music Education Degree from the Catholic University of Santos in São Paulo, a Cello Performance Degree at the University of Central Missouri, graduating with honors, and a master’s degree in Cello Performance from Cleveland State University under the leadership of Mr. Allen Harrell and Mr. Charles Bernard, from the Cleveland Orchestra. Pablo has always believed in the power of arts and education to address social ills. He has taught at elementary schools as well as private lessons for all ages. Currently, he is the Manager of Wraparound Services at the Cleveland Play House, where he designs plans to give community members and students supports throughout the school day and afterschool, whether it is academic, social, or behavioral. Pablo designs and supervises the implementation of Out-of-School-Time programs and extended learning opportunities. He curates services related to arts enrichment, academic enhancement, health and social services for children, families, and community members.

Viguens Louis (he/him/his) was born and raised in Queens, NY before migrating to Providence, RI. He has been involved with non-profit community-based work since 2011 and philanthropic work since 2019, coming to Trinity Rep from Atlantic Theater Company’s development team. Viguens found his love for theater in college. While grasping various parts of the industry, he pivoted to fundraising after attending the John F. Kennedy Center’s KCACTF arts management track on a national level in Washington, D.C. Viguens is a part of the inaugural members of the ASPIRE Leadership Fellows Program (ASPIRE), a program whose focus is on cultivating a new generation of diverse and underrepresented administrative leaders. On top of that, he is also a fellow under the Artists as Leaders capacity of the non-profit Artists Striving to end Poverty (ASTEP), an organization connecting arts to youth and underserved communities around the world. Viguens’ alma maters are LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY, and Dean College in Franklin, MA. Besides his enjoyment in working alongside some amazing people at Trinity, he also enjoys traveling with his loved ones, making music, and spending time with those close to him.

Carmen A. Quiñones is an East Coast-based arts administrator hailing all the way from San Diego, CA. She currently works as the General Manager of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ. After attending Syracuse University where she earned her BFA in Stage Management, Carmen moved to New York City interning and working at numerous companies including Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, The Rolfe Company, and Musical Theatre Factory. Other theaters she has been involved in include La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, and Syracuse Stage. Carmen enjoys producing a range of projects, from plays to musicals, traditional to experimental, all while highlighting historically underrepresented voices in American theater. Carmen is also passionate about creating equitable spaces in the American Theater and engaging with this work locally and globally.

Malkia Stampley is a Milwaukee native multi-hyphenate arts leader, having attended Marquette University for Theater Arts with internships at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Skylight Music Theater and served as Artistic Associate with Congo Square Theatre. She joined Goodman Theatre as Producer in October 2021 after serving as founding Artistic Producer for the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival, curating the past two seasons. Select Producing credits include: GOODNIGHT OSCAR world premier, GEM OF THE OCEAN, NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI, LIFE AFTER (Midwest Premier,) STEW (Midwest Premier), PRETTY FIRE. She is an alum of Theatre Producers of Color’s “Producing 101” and Broadway for Racial Justice’s Casting Directive Fellowship. Malkia is also a founder of Bronzeville Arts Ensemble where she served as Producing Artistic Director for three seasons. Select directing credits include: SHAKESFEST (Chicago Shakespeare); LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL (Farmer's Alley); THE GIFT OF THE MAGI (American Players); BLACK NATIVITY (Black Arts MKE/Marcus Center, three years); STEW (Milwaukee Chamber); NUNSENSE (Milwaukee Rep); FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE (Skylight Music); ANTARCTICA, WI (First Stage) with workshops and readings at Congo Square, American Players Theatre, #ENOUGH and Texas State University Black and Latino Playwright Celebration. Malkia is also an actor for tv/film and stage.


Samantha De La Riva (she/her/ella) is the General Manager for Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ. Originally from San Diego, CA, Sam was most previously the Assistant General Manager at La Jolla Playhouse but held various positions, from her original start as an intern. During her tenure, the Playhouse transferred five productions to Broadway, including Come From Away, Indecent, Diana, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, and SideShow, and developed the Without Walls (WOW) Festival into an annual site-specific festival, where she served on the producing team. She is a proud mentee of the inaugural 2019 LORT EDI mentorship cohort. Other prior institutions include Asolo Repertory Theater and The Eugene O’Neil Theater Center. When away from the American Theater, Sam trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and raises an amazing human, Ashton Mackenzie who terrorizes their dog, Princeton.

Marissa Lynn Ford is the Associate Managing Director at Goodman Theatre and will begin her tenure in October as the Executive Director of the League of Chicago Theatres. She was the first participant in Goodman’s executive apprenticeship program where she led projects including the Chicago August Wilson Festival and the Goodman’s first Black Theatre Summit. She spearheaded the Black Words Matter Celebration, managed the opening festival of the Alice Center for Education and Engagement, and curated Goodman’s first sensory friendly and touch tour performances. She is currently managing the implementation of Goodman’s strategic planning around Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Access. Marissa serves on the LORT EDI and Mentorship Committee and is a board member for Haven Theater Company. Previously she served at Collaboraction Theatre, Broadway in Chicago and American Theatre Company. Marissa is a Chicago native and graduate of Drake University with a BFA in Acting and BSBA in International Business.

 Maria Manuela Goyanes (she/her/hers) is the Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Prior to joining Woolly, she served as the Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater, where she oversaw the day-to-day execution of a full slate of plays and musicals at the Public’s five-theatre venue at Astor Place and the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. Earlier in her career at The Public, she managed some of the theatre’s most celebrated productions, including Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Maria is a first-generation Latinx-American, born to parents who emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Spain. She was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and has a collection of hoop earrings to prove it. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2001 from Brown University.

Khady Kamara is the Executive Director of Second Stage Theater in New York City and has over 24 years of theater management experience with a proven record of significantly increasing earned and contributed revenue streams, researching and launching new revenue streams. In addition to managing strategic planning efforts, a core focus is strengthening community relations and developing new audiences with a focus on diversity and inclusion. Previously, as managing director of Arena Stage in Washington, DC, Kamara oversaw general management, production, building operations, and revenue. During her 20-year tenure, Kamara doubled the company’s subscription base, increased patron engagement, and contributed to the world premieres of Dear Evan Hansen and The Originalist, both of which transferred to New York. Kamara also serves as trustee of the League of Resident Theaters and serves on Board of Governors of the Broadway League.

Juan Manzo is an Arts Education professional & advocate with almost two decades of experience in the field. He has led arts education programs and professional development workshops in Arts Integration for teachers and young people in New York and California. Juan has worked as a Teaching Artist and Arts Education Consultant for multiple organizations including StageWrite, The Old Globe, San Francisco Opera, Young Audiences of the Bay Area, La Jolla Playhouse and Center Theater Group. As a member of the Board of Directors for the Arts Education Alliance of the Bay Area, he has worked for a stronger and more equitable arts education community in the Bay Area. A strong believer in using the arts for creative engagement and problem solving, he is deeply committed to ensuring access to the arts to all students regardless of socioeconomic status or race.

Kristen Mitchell earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Fine Arts Management and Minor in Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. In 2017, she completed the Association of Fundraising Professional’s inaugural Diploma in Fundraising Management program in partnership with the University of Plymouth’s Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. Currently a nonprofit arts fundraising professional with 15 years of experience, Kristen is a Development Director at Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City having formerly worked with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC and the Richmond Ballet.

Meredith Suttles is an arts leader with an extensive background in creative and performing arts in the areas of development, management, strategic planning, fundraising, and performance. She is currently the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Marin Theatre Company. She has held senior leadership roles at TheaterWorksUSA, Soho Repertory Theatre, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), and the New York City Opera. Meredith is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and former EmcArts: Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators (ALACI) Fellow. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a Steering Committee Member of the Black Theatre Commons. As a visionary leader known for her ability to win community support, develop key coalitions and build strong relationships with a shared sense of purpose, she is passionate about devising meaningful ways to address and further the goals of organizations within the nonprofit arts and culture sector.

LORT EDI Mentorship Committee:

Amy Dalba, General Manager, American Conservatory Theater 

Corinne Deckard, General Manager, Asolo Repertory Theatre

Marissa Ford, Associate Managing Director, Goodman Theatre

Khady Kamara, Executive Director, Second Stage

Jeff Rodgers, Member at Large & Chief Financial Officer, Showing Up for Racial Justice