Meet The Team
Olivia Harris, Executive Director, is an applied theatre artist, educator, and feminist who has been using interactive theatrical tools to create conversations about consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships for almost a decade. Needless to say, she is pretty practiced at talking about sex! She has worked as a theatre educator across the globe, and most recently with the Harlem Children's Zone, Drew University, and Philadelphia Theatre Company. While at Drew, Olivia designed curriculum that trained students to use applied theater techniques to combat sexual violence on their campus. Likewise, students under her mentorship at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, led healthy relationship workshops throughout the city. Originally from Boston and Atlanta, Olivia now lives in West Philadelphia with her husband and pooch, Libby. You can learn more about Olivia's work at www.oliviaharris.com.
Oronde Cruger, Program Manager, has had been involved with Speak About It since its creation at Bowdoin College. He worked as a Speak About It educator for two years, and travelled around the country, eagerly spreading the gospel of sexy consent. Oronde graduated with a degree in neuroscience from Bowdoin, and brings deep love and expert facilitation skills from his work with ResLife while in school. He has worked as an Admissions Officer at Bowdoin, at Mercy Hospital in Portland, and is the proud co-founder of Heart of Hospitality. Oronde is from Ft. Lauderdale, FL but tries desperately to fit in as a native Mainer; he even owns flannel now.
Catherine Buxton, Communications Manager, did two seasons as an educator with Speak About It before they handed her the Instagram password. She collects non-profit jobs like pogs, and has worked for Portland Trails, Planned Parenthood, the Domestic Violence Services of Dutchess County, the Museum of Science, and Science Club for Girls, to name a few. She is also a theater artist with Bare Portland, creating performance pieces that have been described as "alarming" "gripping" and "I liked it better when you just did Shakespeare." If you see a typo in our stuff, it's definitely her fault.
Jenna Scott, Operations Assistant, is a 2019 graduate of Bowdoin College, and is excited to bring her enthusiasm for healthy relationships to Speak About It! At Bowdoin, she worked with the Office of Gender Violence Prevention & Education to put on its own production of Speak About It and the first three productions of RISE: Untold Stories of Bowdoin Women, a play about identifying as a woman on Bowdoin’s campus. Jenna is excited to use her logistical skills for good and help facilitate tour behind the scenes! She is a native Mainer and loves cats and Taylor Swift.
David Surkin is the Creative Director of Speak About It. A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, he has performed in various regional theatre and national tours. He officially received his Actor’s Equity Card while spending two years Off-Broadway in The Awesome '80s Prom. David is excited to return for his 5th year directing Speak About It and having a chance to help start conversations about healthy relationships. David resides in Portland, ME with his wife and son and is the co-owner of Cast Aside Productions and Musical Theater Studio.
Shane Diamond, Founder, helmed the organization since graduating from Bowdoin College in 2010 until 2018. He spent his time at Bowdoin playing ice hockey and talking about sex. Under his leadership, Speak About It grew from a small and great idea into a national non-profit, performing for over 300,000 students at 100+ high schools and universities across the country and around the world. Shane lives in Portland, ME, and can be found drinking fancy coffee, modeling bowties, hanging with his pup Harvey, and writing bad jokes.
Adrian Peguero (Assistant Director) is ecstatic to return to Speak About It! Previously serving as an Actor/Educator, he is incredibly excited to jump into the position of Assistant Director and guide the incoming educators into a fantastic season. Adrian is passionate about new work development, theatre for social justice, and telling stories that culminate into one goal: changing the culture. Adrian is a Leo sun, Taurus moon, with a Virgo rising.
Andrew Cawley is an actor, writer, teacher, and tutor (and waiter and dog walker) who graduated from Bowdoin College in 2017. He remembers Speak About It as a first year at Bowdoin and is so excited to work with other theater artists passionate about building a better world. Originally from Vermont, Andrew now lives in Chicago and spends his time running from his job teaching preschoolers to his job teaching high schoolers, and taking improv classes or playing with his earless cat.
Alexxis Richelle Briviesca cannot truly hush up about her excitement and gratitude to join Speak About It as an educator. Her artistic mission is to provide a vessel of support and advocacy, to give a voice to the silenced, and heal the wounded. Alexxis is a NYC resident, an alumni of Marymount Manhattan College in BFA Acting; a Trader Joe’s enthusiast, and Sierra Boggess worshiper. Recent credits include Difficult Conversations: Race, Gender, and Power with Mass Transit Street Theatre, and her original poetry, Seeds, with IATI Theater.
Becca Barrett is an actor, singer, voice and dialect coach, and theatre-maker in NYC who hails from Waimea, Hawaii. Becca is passionate about theatre for social change, studying dialects, asexual spectrum representation, accessible theatre, and exploring philosophy and healing through art. She is so excited to be joining the Speak About It Team!
Chrissy Margevicius is an actor and musician from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a recent graduate from the CAP21/Molloy BFA program, and is SO excited to join the Speak About It family and spread such an important message with the show! When she’s not onstage, you can probably find her enjoying tacos, iced coffee, or learning how to play her accordion.
Christian Regan is a junior at NYU Tisch School of the Arts' Experimental Theatre Wing pursuing a BFA in Theatre. His hope is that future generations no longer have to learn about queer-inclusive sex education via Tumblr like he did in middle school. The intersection of theatre and sexual education is a vital one and he is proud to be part of a company like Speak About It that is leading the movement."
Cosmo Castaldi is a queer NYC-based performer and nature-documentary enthusiast. They grew up in the vineyards and redwoods of Northern California, and received a BFA in Acting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. They are an experienced playlist-maker, a low-key conspiracy theorist, and an aspiring optimist.
Dharmik Patel is a new Educator at Speak About It. Originally from Massachusetts, he has been residing in Baton Rouge, LA for the last two years while getting his Masters in Acting at LSU. After leaving his program a little early (still graduating!), he’ll make his way to Portland to begin rehearsals. Having been an actor for ten years with experience in theatre and film, he is excited to work with Speak About It and help spread awareness for healthy sexual relationships.
Ella Mock (Tour Manager) is a Texan transplant who has put their roots down in Maine, and is way too excited about the ocean. They are a theater-maker and performer, and an Education Artist with Portland Stage Company. Ella studies socially-engaged arts and sexuality at Goddard College, and is thrilled to spend their second summer touring with Speak About It! They will probably talk to you about their complicated feelings about Shakespeare, and will definitely show you pictures of their cat.
Jacob Osborne (Tour Manager) is an actor, writer, and educator currently based in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in American Studies and has since been making theater, film, and comedy on both coasts. He is passionate about using performance to foster kindness, communication, and empathy—especially in political discourse—and is psyched to be joining Speak About It for his first year!
Jazmen-Bleu' Gutierrez is an actress and graduate from California Institute of the Arts. Her love for the arts has always been with her. She uses acting as a tool for storytelling and being a voice for those who may not have one. She has always been very involved with her community and giving back is what her work is about. Jazmen-Bleu' is so excited to be joining the Speak About It team. When she isn't performing, she is eating tacos from Tejas and dancing like no one is watching.
Jeomil Tovar is humbled to be able to have the opportunity to tell very important stories and become more adventurous in his first year with Speak About It! He has work with The Firehouse Center for the Arts, Front Porch Arts Collective, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Underlings Theatre Company, Heart & Daggers Productions, & more. When not on stage, he is usually playing online video games for longer than he should, shooting commercials, or using his voice to educate others on the injustices that marginalized folx face every day, and what we can do to make the world a better place. www.jeomil.com
Jessica Chang is an actor living in New York City. She’s so excited to be working with Speak About It this summer. She was born in Massachusetts and lived in Taiwan and San Francisco before moving to NYC. When not acting, she’s usually thinking about what to eat/cook, reading, on her phone (tryin' to stop), doing nothing at Washington Square Park, and/or spending time with her loved ones.
A dual-national British-American, Katie Roberts (Tour Manager) came to Maine on a one-way ticket with just four-weeks planned. Fast forward two years and an eclectic variety of pursuits - organic farming, professional cooking, and community theatre to name a few - Katie is excited to return to performance, facilitation, and conversations about healthy relationships with Speak About It! Previously she worked as a facilitator with Navigate (a British training collective supporting non-profits and grassroots campaigners to work well and effectively together), and she volunteered with a UK-based Rape Crisis centre. She loves cycling, murder mysteries and pottery.
Kyra Lee is delighted to be joining her first Speak About It tour! Kyra is a graduate of Wagner College where she majored in Theater Performance. She enjoys being a part of the impact theater can have on society. Before getting on stage she tells herself, "If I can inspire just one person today, that would be enough." Kyra is excited to be taking a step further in her journey of making a positive change in the world!
Lillian Gomes is a Cape Verdean actress working out of Massachusetts. Since graduating from Bridgewater State University with her BA in 2016, she continues to challenge herself to try and wear all the hats on and off stage, acting in various productions, stage managing, applying makeup to huge casts, and more. When she isn’t dabbling in the many roles of theater, she is likely napping, spending time with her huge family, or getting lost in a beautiful city.
Madeleine Blossom could not be more thrilled to start this journey with Speak About It! Madeleine graduated in May of 2018 from Drew University with a degree in Theatre Arts and has spent her first year out of college working as a Stage Management Apprentice at South Coast Repertory near her hometown in sunny Southern California. A major lover of all things theatre both onstage and off since elementary school, Madeleine looks forward to opening up the conversation about consent and connecting with students about important topics with Speak About It!
Manny Ureña is a New York City based actor and is super excited to join the Speak About It team. He fell in love with the creative process while studying acting at the prestigious William Esper Studio in New York City. Notable credits include De Novo (Next Door at NYTW), The Punisher (Netflix), See You Yesterday (Netflix), Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) and a supporting role in the upcoming indie feature Barrio Boy.
Mario Roberge-Reyes was born and raised in Maine, and has a special love for Portland where he currently resides. In his free time he likes to read, lay in the sun, and imagine a brighter future. He's recently turned his attention to nursing and hopes to become an RN in a few years time. That being said, acting has always been a passion of his and he's excited to put that to good use during his second year with Speak About It!
Maya Williams is a local poet and community arts organizer with a Masters in Social Work and Certificate in Applied Arts & Social Justice from the University of New England (‘18). They are so excited to bring their passion for art and education that promotes social/emotional change this season with Speak About It. They run a writing workshop every Sunday at Quill Books & Beverage, where they have also occasionally dabbled in queer & feminist stand up comedy.
Meg Lynch is a born and raised Mainer who studied Sociology at Bates College. After working in organizing at Planned Parenthood, Meg realized how incredibly powerful it is to have bold conversations about bodies, sex, and relationships. In their free time, Meg can be found juggling, contra dancing, biking, or talking someone's ear off about local politics.
Megan MacKenzie is excited to be touring again with Speak About It! Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, they studied Psychology, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies at Colby College, and are currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at Smith College. While Megan can most often be found eating Thai food and wearing short-sleeve button-downs in Portland Maine, they also live part-time in their trusty Rav4 seeking out rock climbing and backpacking adventures across the country.
Melina Finck, from Brooklyn, NY, recently graduated from the Theatre Arts Conservatory at SUNY Purchase College and is always thrilled to be here. She has worked as a theatre educator in the NYC Public after-school system for almost a year now, teaching acting to youth, and is excited to continue her education journey with Speak About It! When Melina is not in the theatre, you can find her playing guitar or collecting rocks. Or both at the same time.
Olivier Kegan Dubar, a recent graduate from The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, is ecstatic to be a part of this journey with Speak About It. When Olivier isn’t on stage, in front of a camera, or talking about sex, he’s probably crouched in a corner writing poetry or making new music with Barbara, his ukulele.
Sampson Spadafore (Tour Manager) is super excited to be returning to Speak About It for a second year! He enjoyed his time in Portland, Maine so much that he's moving here permanently this summer. Sampson is a trained actor, but he also loves cooking, taking long walks on the beach with his dog,
and making bad dad jokes.
This is Sheldine Jean-Baptiste's (Tour Manager) first year with Speak About It. She graduated from Lasell College in 2013, with a Fashion and Business degree, and then served as a member of AmeriCorps for 5 years, working in underserved communities to mobilize educational resources and programs for youth, pre-K through high school. She's a fashionista bu also a huge advocate for community service, social justice, and any work that empowers youth, and is forever looking for ways to tie her degrees and passion together. (PS: Sheldine is also an advoCATe for cats because they are truly misunderstood. Cats rule! Dogs drool...literally...
Tonya Ingerson graduated from Vassar College in 2018 where she studied Drama and Sustainability (they weren’t related, but she made them related). She’s stoked to be working with Speak About It for her second year! Originally from Boulder, CO, she now is based out of NYC where she tutors, makes theatre and yummy vegan food, and learns all that she can about tiny houses.
Jeremy Bernfeld is one of the co-writers of the original Speak About It program and mainly responsible only for all of the jokes you didn’t find funny. While at Bowdoin College, Jeremy helped found Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Violence, a student-led group dedicated to educating men about sexual violence prevention. He also directed the Improvabilities and was a captain of the men’s rugby team. Jeremy is proud that Speak About It and BMASV have continued working to create a healthy and safe climate both at Bowdoin and on campuses throughout the country. He’s now a journalist and radio producer.
Meadow Davis has worked at Bowdoin College since 2006 and holds many titles as the Director of Residential Life, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Meadow co-created the original production of Speak About It and continues to oversee the production as it exists at Bowdoin College, separate from the current work of Speak About It, Inc. She graduated from Trinity College and received her Master's Degree from the College of Notre Dame.
Emily Skinner is a former board member and one of the co-authors and program developers of the original Speak About It performance at Bowdoin College. She graduated from Bowdoin in 2008 with a degree in Neuroscience and Gender and Women’s Studies. During her time at Bowdoin, Emily was very involved with sexual assault prevention and awareness through her work co-leading V-Day, directing the Vagina Monologues, and collaborating with various other sexual assault organizations on campus, including BMASV and SafeSpace. She continued her work with sexual assault prevention at Bowdoin and in the greater Brunswick community after graduation, working as an AmeriCorps volunteer and later working as the Health Education Coordinator at Bowdoin, during which time she worked to develop the original Speak About It program. She is incredibly proud of the innovative and groundbreaking dialogue that inspired this program, grateful to all who shared their stories, and thrilled be a continuing part of the growing Speak About It community! Emily is now a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner living in Boston, MA.
Linzee Troubh graduated from Bowdoin College in 2009 with a degree in History and a minor in Education. At Bowdoin, she was the President of the campus chapter of V-Day for three years, and was regularly seen on stage dancing, acting and improvising. Writing Speak About It in the summer of 2009 was the perfect way to merge her love of the arts and theater while furthering her personal cause and passion of stopping violence against women. She couldn't be prouder to be associated with the work that the team continues to do today. A native New Yorker, she returned to her roots after graduation and has lived in Brooklyn ever since. Linzee is currently the Head of Sales at Cinetic Media, an independent film company in New York. She gets to travel to many of the major festivals, including Sundance, Tribeca and South by South West. She has helped to secure distribution for over 100 films since working in the industry, including EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, BERNIE, FRIENDS WITH KIDS, LIFE ITSELF and BOYHOOD. Surprisingly, she still spends most of her free time watching movies.
Many monologues from the original 2009 Speak About It performance were taken from SPEAK. According to the publication, SPEAK is a compilation of "Bowdoin students' stories about sex: the good, the bad, and everything in between. Some stories happened off campus, but realize that most stories happened here . We hope that this collection will increase sexual awareness among our community and spark some much needed conversation. Speak." SPEAK was assembled through Bowdoin's chapter of VDAY and continues to be an annual production on campus.
We want to acknowledge the strength and courage of these original writers, known or otherwise, without whom our current production and organization would not exist as we know it. Your groundbreaking approach to sexual assault education and prevention has inspired thousands of students all over the world to begin a grassroots dialogue about healthy relationships and culture change. Thank you.
Board of Directors
Anna Fletcher, President, grew up in the Portland area, and attended Waynflete School and Bowdoin College (Go U Bears!). After teaching high school history, Anna earned her law degree at Suffolk University in Boston. She spent a year clerking for the Maine Superior Court before returning to Boston for a two-year stint practicing labor and employment law. She has since taken time away from practicing law to start a family (see photo evidence attached). Anna is thrilled to join the board, and is passionate about SAI's mission to foster healthy relationships between individuals of all ages and sexual identities.
James Patefield, Vice President, is originally from Rhode Island, but could not be happier to call Maine his home. He holds a BA in Theatre and English from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and is a Project Associate at the Mitchell Institute, where he works to ensure Maine students are equipped to achieve their full potential in college and beyond. He is a writing tutor with the University of New England, and is also a performing artist, serving as a company member of Bare Portland, Director of Audience Services and Community Relations for PortFringe, and as an Education Artist for Portland Stage. He is absolutely thrilled to be on the board of an organization doing important and vital work around healthy relationships and consent.
Tess Jacquez, Treasurer, originally from California, graduated with a BS in Chemistry from Beloit College in Wisconsin where she was a two sport varsity athlete. She received her masters in applied chemistry from University of Oregon. She then moved to Portland, ME for an internship at the On Semiconductor (formerly Fairchild Semiconductor) in 2011 and has been in Maine ever since. Tess is a process engineer at On Semiconductor as well as a recent graduate of Lift360's Emerging Leader program. She is excited for the opportunity to be a part of this energetic and passionate organization. Outside of work she is an avid surfer, Crossfitter, and volleyball player.
Kaylee Wolfe, Secretary, is a sexuality educator, survivor advocate, activist, and helicopter dog mom based in Portland, ME. As a skilled and versatile speaker, facilitator, and writer, Kaylee has reached thousands of youth and adults nationwide with inclusive, affirming information about sexual health and relationships. An alumna of Speak About It, the Guttmacher Institute, Family Crisis Services, and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, she is currently pursuing a master's of science in nursing at the University of Southern Maine. Seeing Speak About It as a first-year student at Bowdoin College in 2011 changed her life and kicked off her career when she joined the team as an intern-turned-staff-member in 2014. She is thrilled and honored to continue supporting the organization's vital work as a member of the Board.
Gina Colombatto believes positive change in the world evolves through the power of humor and wisdom. Having been a part of public art projects in Haiti and New Orleans, she knows that getting people engaged with their hearts is far more impactful than teaching simply with words.
Jon Morrill wore many hats -- busboy, banker, restaurateur, bartender, landscaper, cabinetmaker -- before landing on our board. He lives in Portland with his dog, Waylon.
Lauren Ouellette-Whelan, grew up in Lewiston and graduated from UMaine before moving to Dublin, Ireland and receiving a master's in Development Studies from University College Dublin. After spending several years in Dublin coordinating an international high school program and development and recruitment for an international NGO, she returned to her native Maine and lives in Portland with her husband. Lauren is passionate about education and works for LearningWorks to provide educational resources that help children and families thrive. She's excited to be an advocate for the amazing work accomplished by SAI staff and supporters.
Kim Pacelli, has been on the board for Speak About It since 2014. Kim works as an attorney and higher education consultant at the law firm of Drummond Woodsum in Portland, assisting colleges, universities, and schools. Prior to joining Drummond Woodsum, she served in student affairs roles at Bowdoin College and Harvard College. Over the course of her career, Kim has focused on student support and policy issues, including Title IX response and prevention work, alcohol policy, and student health issues. She lives in Topsham with her family.
Krista Williamson grew up in mid-coast Maine and is currently working as an International Recruitment Coordinator for a J1 visa sponsor in the Portland area. The program places college students from around the world with US employers for a season. Krista interviews students and works closely with employers to ensure a positive cultural experience for all parties. She has a degree in International Relations and Russian Studies from Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Krista joined Speak About It because she feels that it is past time we bring the conversation about consent and healthy relationships to the forefront on college campuses.
Speak About It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with high schools and colleges to educate, entertain, and empower students to create positive change within their communities, advocate for and practice healthy relationship habits, and prevent sexual violence.
Copyright 2016 Speak About It, Inc. Website by Alexandra Valleau