Meet The Team
Shane Diamond is the Executive Director of Speak About It, Inc. and has overseen the performance and cast since graduating from Bowdoin College in 2010, where he spent four years playing ice hockey and talking about sex. Under his leadership, Speak About It has performed for over 120,000 students at 75+ high schools and universities across the country and around the world, sparking countless dialogues about consent education and sexual assault prevention. Shane has also developed programming around the intersection between alcohol and sex, and how to negotiate that with peers and partners. Shane lives in Portland, ME with his partner and their pup, Harvey, and can be found drinking fancy coffee, modeling bowties, and writing bad jokes. For more information about the program, Shane can be reached here.
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.
Oronde Cruger is the Program Coordinator at Speak About It, Inc and has had his hands on the project in various forms since its creation at Bowdoin College. Most recently, he was an educator with the company for two years and travelled around the country, eagerly spreading the gospel of sexy consent and liberating others to take agency over their bodies and respect the boundaries we all have. 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 literally up and moved to Portland after her first tour in 2014. After two seasons as an educator and a brief stint at Planned Parenthood, she's back at it, behind the scenes, fighting for better sex, better relationships, and better communities. She currently splits her time, her puns, and her Facebook admin status between Speak About It and Portland Trails. She is often sighted around town riding a rickety bicycle, eating a carb, going to rehearsal, or dreaming about becoming a goat farmer.
Adrian Peguero is incredibly excited to join the Speak About It family and is passionate about changing the narrative on consent and sex education. Recent acting credits include Clybourne Park, Angels in America Part One, and The Grapes of Wrath. Adrian is a reader, lover, Beyonce enthusiast, and also a Leo.
Alana Cooper, a native Mainer, graduated from Bennington College in 2015 where zi established BeWell, an organization focused on empowering students through resources and workshops about consent and sexuality. Alana is a freelance choreographer, directs theater at Cape Elizabeth High School, and is starting zir own health and wellness business. Zi is passionate about sex education and non-normative identities such as gender-fluidity and polyamory. Also zi can breathe fire.
Austin Goldsmith was and raised in the other Portland (Oregon), Austin came to Maine to attend Bowdoin College, where she majored in English and Theater and minored in Dance. She got her start in theater at age 5 when she wrote a screenplay with her dad that was definitely a rip off of all their favorite Disney movies. Since then, her passion for theater has only grown and she is currently interested in creating work that combines theater and dance to promote social change.
Brittani Napoli is an upcoming senior at Salem State University, and rarely sleeps because she is pursuing a BFA in Theatre Performance with a double minor in Dance, and Dramatic Literature. She also works at the YMCA of the Northshore as the Creative Arts Dance Administrator and teaches music, theatre, and dance...so yes, she sings lots of Disney songs. Brittani is so excited to educate others about sex and the importance of consent with Speak About It this year.
Chelsea Evered received her B.A. from the glittery magical land of Emerson College, where she majored in Theatre Studies and minored in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. If she had free time, Chelsea would edit her two screenplays and finish her Dive Master certification in St. Thomas. This is Chelsea's second year being an educator for Speak About It and she can't wait to teach more students how #wespeakaboutit!
Chris Kandra is a recent graduate from Salem State University with a BFA in Theatre Arts with a performance concentration. He loves bicycles, the great outdoors, video games, food, and people. At 6’5” he can easily see over most people’s heads in hallways. When you ask: “is so-and-so here?” he has your answer.
Christina Chen is thrilled to join the Speak About It team as it combines two things she loves the most: traveling and performing. Half Chinese and half Italian, Christina grew up in Tokyo, Beijing, and San Diego. She is in her final year of pursuing a BA in Theatre Performance at Northeastern University, and has also trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and the American Conservatory Theatre. Offstage, you can find Christina on a beach, re-reading the Harry Potter series for the twelfth time, or on a bike at SoulCycle. ChristinaMeiChen.com
Cruz Castillo once played Winnie the Pooh in a high school play but has no formal acting experience. His qualifications for Speak About It? A passion for talking about sex! He is an advocate for transgender/queer/non-binary folks and a senior at Northeastern, double majoring in Linguistics and ASL. His biggest accomplishment to date? Being the MVP for the 2014 National Karaoke League.
David Picariello is a recent graduate of Salem State University, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance, with minors in both film studies and dramatic literature. At SSU, he was a member of Human Action Theater, educating incoming college freshman about consent, relationships, and all things college life. He also lends his voice to The Bridge podcast as the plant-loving Bertie. He's extremely excited to educate, travel, and be part of the Speak About It team this year!
Isa Braun grew up in Western Massachusetts with a sister, a golden retriever named Gus, and a middle part. Since graduating from Emerson College in 2016, Isa has lived and worked in Boston, New York City, Portland OR, and various farms in New Zealand. She has enjoyed talking about enthusiastic consent and sex since her days as a Resident Assistant in college and is pumped to work with Speak About It this season!
Jimmy McCormack is so excited to be joining Speak About It. On stage, he was last seen in Salem State University's productiona of Almost, Maine and 35MM, 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.
Krystal Hernadez is a Salem State University BFA acting alum, with a double major in Music and Dramatic Literature. She loves to sing, is fluent in Spanish, and is proudly Puerto Rican. Both Celine Dion and Cheetah Girls are important components to her pick-me-up playlist.
Megan Mackenzie was born and raised in the Bay Area and graduated from Colby College in 2015, where she studied Psychology, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies. Since graduating, she has been living semi-nomadically in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Hawaii working for various wilderness education and horticultural therapy organizations. She is passionate about promoting inclusive and consent-based sexual education, and is stoked to work with the amazing people of Speak About It!
Mona Moriya is a recent graduate of Emerson College with a BFA in Acting. She is also gluten-free (seriously not a choice y'all!) and follows too many dog instagrams to count. Mona is thrilled to be working with Speak About It and can't wait to mix theater and advocacy!
Olivia Caputo is excited to be back for her second season with Speak About It. She is a Boston-based actress and occasional barista. Favorite roles include Maria in Twelfth Night, Antonio in Twelfth Night, and, finally, Olivia in Twelfth Night (phew.) Olivia is an avid runner, reader, and romance-language enthusiast. She earned her degrees in Acting, English and American Literature, and Spanish language from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Olivia Dumaine is a recent graduate of Salem State University's BFA Theatre Performance program, and somehow has minors in both psychology and dramatic literature, and wrote an 140 page thesis. Some of her favorite roles include a pregnant suburban mom in Clybourne Park, a metaphorical and overanalyzed bird in The Seagull, and a vulnerable hula-hooper in Circle Mirror Transformation. She is beyond thankful to be going on tour with an incredible group of humans, and can't wait to continue encouraging conversations about consent, healthy relationships, and sex!
Rachael Feldman is over-the-moon-happy to be joining the Speak About It team! She is a New York City based actor, and holds her BFA in Acting from Adelphi University, where she got her first taste of building social awareness through theatre. Since graduating, she has been touring with various Theatre for Young Audience companies, and is excited to move on to a project with themes much closer to her heart. When she is not performing, Rachael is exploring new places to eat, and hanging out with her pupper, Kuzco.
Sean Potter is a Cape Cod-based actor and studied Theatre Arts at Drew University. He doesn't enjoy long walks on the beach and prefers to be in air conditioned heavy metal concerts. He's proud to be using his minor in Women's & Gender Studies to make a difference in students' lives through theatre.
Shaun Downey is an actor and filmmaker and recent Fitchburg State University graduate. He is excited to be working with Speak About It for the 2017 season. He’s the type of person who watches more cooking videos on Facebook than the amount of time he’s ever spent cooking, and listens to fitness podcasts instead of working out. Shaun thinks he's hilarious, and all of his friends disagree.
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 [emphasis included]. 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 publication 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
Another Bowdoin College polar bear, Kate Chin was born and raised in Boston, MA. She earned her MBA from Northeastern University, while working at Procter and Gamble (P&G). Currently, Kate is the P&G East Team Leader, which is responsible for delivering strategic growth for the second largest grocer in the U.S. Kate joined Speak About It, Inc.'s board of directors in 2015 and is eager to help SAI continue to grow strategically to deliver positive education about consent, boundaries and sexual expression. She currently serves as the organization's Board Chair.
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.
As a sociologist, Genevieve Cox spends a lot of time thinking about inequality and how to make the world a kinder place for everyone. She works for a consulting firm doing social justice-minded program evaluation and teaching classes for Southern Maine Community College. She studied writing and theater as an undergrad and obtained her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of New Hampshire. As a native West Virginian, she thinks Maine is insanely cold but enjoys the access to wilderness. When not doing research, she can be found somewhere in the woods (or desert or mountains) in canoe or tent with her too-smart cattle dog, Opal.
Colin Hay is a 2010 graduate of Bowdoin College, where he spent four years actively involved with Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Violence (BMASV) engaging peers in a dialogue about masculinity and violence prevention. In addition to BMASV, Colin was a member of the men's soccer and track teams, and preferred Throne over Moulton. Colin went on to study law at Boston University, where he graduated in 2013 and is now an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maine.
Kara Hughes grew up in Ohio and moved to Maine by way of Boston, Pittsburgh, and Brooklyn. She holds a BA from Harvard and an MFA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Stories have been a mainstay in her professional roles – she’s investigated versions of events, taught fiction, researched personal narratives, and written about true episodes in her books Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in New York History (2011) and Myths & Mysteries of Pennsylvania (2012). Joining the Board in January 2017, Kara is excited to use her curiosity and enthusiasm to speak about it, listen to it, and learn from all of it.
Tess Jacquez, 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 the energetic and passionate SAI organization. Outside of work she is an avid surfer, Crossfitter, and volleyball player.
Ashley McCurry fell in love with fundraising in 2011 on a successful statewide political campaign for the Maine Democratic Party and a well funded statewide gubernatorial campaign for Congressman Mike Michaud in 2014. She spent three years fundraising for the League of Young Voters and Emerge Maine, both progressive political non-profits with community outreach and education components to their work, where she served on the Executive Board in both organizations (Vice Chair and Treasurer.) After 2014, Ashley spent a year running a student calling program and teaching fundraising to undergraduate students at the University of New England until she was promoted to an Annual Fund Gift Officer in December of 2015. She’s excited to join Speak About It and bring her fundraising skills to the table, but mostly to help support an organization that is doing such fantastic work. When not working, Ashley skis in the winter, runs in the summer, and cooks for friends in a house that is so welcoming everyone who comes over stays far too long. Ashley lives in a very full and tiny home with her wife, two dogs, a cat, and a 21-year-old cousin named Kyle in Portland.
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 joined the Board of Directors for Speak About It, Inc. in 2014. She works at Bowdoin College as Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs, overseeing the Dean's Office, Health, Counseling, and Residential Life. In her role, Kim thinks a lot about student support and policy issues, including Title IX response and prevention work, alcohol policy, and student health issues. Kim is also a licensed attorney having graduated from Maine Law and practiced for a short time working with many K-12 schools in Maine. She lives in Brunswick 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