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 & Marketing Coordinator, likes Speak About It so much she up and moved to Portland after her first tour as an educator in 2014. After two seasons and a brief stint with Planned Parenthood, she's back at it, behind the scenes, fighting for better sex, better relationships, and better communities. She is also an active local theater artist. She can be found riding a rickety bicycle, talking to her plants, or at rehearsal.
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.
Alana Cooper founded BeWell, a wellness organization that empowers students through self care, creative campus programming, and sexual and mental health education. After studying Wellness and Choreography at Bennington College and directing high school theater, Alana is returning to Speak About It for a second year and is excited to continue dialogue about sexuality, queerness, and enthusiastic consent! When not working as a self-proclaimed sex nerd, they can be found swimming in the ocean, laughing in cute coffee shops, or eating cereal.
Ariela Nazar-Rosen is excited to be engaging in crucial dialogues with students about consent as a Speak About It educator. She is a proud alumna of Wellesley College with a degree in English. Ariela’s recent theatrical credits include The Liar and A Piece of My Heart, both with Wellesley Repertory Theatre. She is passionate about working with English Language Learners and has been fortunate enough to do so for the past four years. Ariela is a dual American and Polish citizen and loves learning languages, including Polish, French, Spanish, and Cape Verdean Creole.
Bobby Cius is an actor and hip hop dancer, and is influenced by and active in the Boston and Cambridge, MA communities. He wishes to tell stories through his artistry that will relate and liberate people from feeling like they are alone or unseen. Bobby is consciously making an effort to expand the life expectancy and quality of black and brown people thorough his art.
Celeste Cahn graduated from Brown University with a double concentration in Theatre and History, with a focus on Radical Social Change. She currently lives primarily in NYC where she makes theatre as an actor/director/writer, including her show A Lady Does Not Scratch Her Crotch. She is from New Orleans (her favorite city), is allergic to grass, and just finished watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time of what will be many times.
Charisse Shields is so excited to be joining Speak About It. A veteran of performance at renaissance faires and children's theatre, she is looking forward to trying something interactive with a different kind of crowd. She loves all things carbs and is a proud geek. Ask her about her tattoos, she has over 15 total and they each have a story! *Charisse Shields is a member of Actors Equity, and appears as a part of an AEA Members Code agreement.
Chelsea Evered received her B.A. from Emerson College, where she majored in Theatre Studies and minored in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is thrilled to be joining Speak About It for her third year and second year as a manager. Chelsea is a professional Boston actor who loves art, enthusiastic consent and eating food in Portland!
Ella Mock is a Texan transplant who has put their roots down in Maine, and is way too excited about using a snowblower. They are a theater-maker and performer, and works as an Education Artist with Portland Stage Company and ensemble member with Theater Ensemble of Color. Consent and sex education mean a great deal to Ella, and they are very excited to combine this with theater. They are a beekeeper and backyard farmer, and will talk to you about Shakespeare for way too long.
Issy Zoppo is a Boston based actor, and graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University. She loves to travel, hang out with dogs, and play guitar. She’s excited to be joining Speak About It for her first season!
Jimmy McCormack is so excited to be returning to speak Speak About It. On stage, he was last seen in Salem State University's production of Poison of Choice, or in his recurring role as server at a barbecue restaurant, despite not eating meat. Special skills include making most meals disappear in under 4 minutes and being better at saying the alphabet backwards than forwards.
Josh Gluck is a recent graduate of Boston University, and is so excited to take a break from waiting tables to join the Speak About It team! While at school, Josh studied Acting with a concentration in Communications in the Arts. Recent credits include Mr Marks in Intimate Apparel at BU, Northbrook in Mary Poppins at the Prescott Park Arts Festival, and of course, Brandon Stark in the buTV10’s live staged reading Game of Thrones: The Virtual Final Season. When he’s not onstage or talking about healthy relationships and consent, Josh lives for three things: Dungeons, Dragons, and Dives.
Keith Hale is a New York City based actor with a BFA from Elon University. After playing Peter in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Romeo & Juliet last year, he wrote his first play: a much needed and incredibly important sequel to Shakespeare's original, Juliet's Return. When he's not acting, Keith is waiting tables to make rent, and trying to convince everyone that he is, in fact, very funny.
Kensily Ying is a child at heart and is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She works as a programmer, or as she likes to say, SQL ninja, by day and is a self-proclaimed dessert aficionado by night. Kensily has degrees from both UMass Boston and Bentley University. When not on stage, Kensily enjoys traveling, hot air balloons, and unicorns.
Kristin Reeves is a recent graduate from Tufts University with a B.A. in Sociology and Drama. Her hobbies include eating a lot of pizza despite being lactose intolerant, watching bad rom-coms on Netflix, and studying the intersection of race, gender, and performance. She's so pumped to be joining the team at Speak About It to share her enthusiasm for consent and healthy sex!
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.
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!
Megan Dauphinais lives and works in Portland Maine. She has a passion for art as well as social activism. As a volunteer for Planned Parenthood she began collaborating on Portland’s Safer Space dance parties, which eventually led her to joining the Speak About It team. Outside of work and her creative endeavors, she’s passionate about food and loves mayo so much, she hopes to be sponsored by Hellmann’s Mayonnaise one day.
Megan MacKenzie is excited to be in her third year with Speak About It! Born and raised in the San Francisco bay area, she studied Psychology, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies at Colby College, and plans to pursue a Clinical Master's in Social Work at Smith College next year. While Megan can most often be found eating Thai food and wearing short-sleeve button-downs in Portland Maine, she also lives part-time in her trusty Rav4 seeking out rock climbing and backpacking adventures across the country.
Rachel Durante is originally from Southern Vermont and is a graduate of Goucher College where she studied Theatre and Psychology. Since graduating, she has performed with both Vermont and Boston-based companies, and has taught theatre to youth and adults with developmental challenges. Rachel strives to be a hydrated individual through her substantial coconut water intake and is passionate about cats, frolicking in nature, and using theatre as a tool to educate, engage and inspire.
Rory Lambert-Wright is a Senior studying for a B.F.A. in Theater at Suffolk University, and is fresh off of his first professional production, Orlando at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. He splits his focus between the disciplines of sound design and acting, and loves to make music and tinker with production software. Some of his favorite things include LoFi hip hop, reggae, kayaking, good food, and his eight siblings (Yup, you read it right: eight).
This is Sam Warton's first year with Speak About It and he couldn't be more excited! He is a Boston-based actor/educator, and theatre maker, most recently involved in productions with New Repertory Theatre, Apollinaire Theatre Company, and Wellesley Repertory Theatre. When Sam isn't working he can usually be found on two-wheels, on mountain tops, or on a karaoke stage.
Sam Spadafore is a transgender actor and recent graduate of Nazareth College. He is an aspiring director and choreographer and wants to use his art as a means for social and political change. Sam is also an environmental activist, who is constantly pestering his friends to stop using plastic straws. When he’s not standing on a soap box, you can find him watching the Food Network, Ghost Adventures, or any documentary about aliens.
Sophie Gore is a recent graduate from Boston University's School of Theatre, where she received her BFA in Acting. She likes to fool people into thinking that she's a New Yorker, but really she was just born there, and experienced most of her growing pains in Los Angeles, California. She is super passionate about theatre education, songwriting
Tonya Ingerson is originally from Boulder, CO and just graduated from Vassar College where she majored in Drama with a minor in Sustainability. On an average day, you can typically find her excitedly talking to anyone who will listen about why plastic bags and straws are the freaking worst or how to make cookies out of chickpea water. She is oh-so-excited to be joining Speak About It for a chance to merge her loves of performing and peer education!
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
Krista Williamson, President, 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.
Anna Fletcher, Vice 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.
Tess Jacquez, Secretary, 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.
Lauren Ouellette-Whelan, Treasurer, 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.
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.
James Patefield 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.
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