danai
danai

DANAI J GURIRA

Executive Artistic Director, Co-founder
Danai Gurira is an award-winning playwright and actress. As a playwright, her works include: In the Continuum (OBIE Award, Outer Critics Award, Helen Hayes Award), Eclipsed (Tony Award Nomination: Best Play, NAACP Award; Helen Hayes Award: Best New Play; Connecticut Critics Circle Award: Outstanding Production of a Play), and The Convert (six Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Outer Critics Award). Danai’s newest play Familiar received its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2015 and premiered in New York at Playwrights Horizons in February of 2016. She is a recipient of the Whiting Award, as well as Drama Desk’s Sam Norkin Award. Danai is also a Hodder Fellow, and has been commissioned by Yale Rep, Center Theatre Group, Playwrights Horizons, and the Royal Court. She is currently developing a pilot for HBO. As an actor, she has appeared in the films The Visitor, Mother of George, she also played Isabella in NYSF’s Measure for Measure (Equity Callaway Award). She currently plays Michonne on AMC’s The Walking Dead (NAACP Image Award nomination) and recently wrapped production on the Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez on Me.” Danai next goes into production on Marvel’s “Black Panther” where she will star as Okoye. She holds an MFA from Tisch, NYU. She was born in the US to Zimbabwean parents and raised in Zimbabwe. She serves as an ambassador for Bono’s ONE campaign, founder of Love Our Girls, an awareness campaign which sheds light on the injustices girls and women face all over the world, and is the co-founder of Almasi Arts, which works to give access and opportunity to the African Dramatic Artist.

christina
christina

CHRISTINA CUTLIP

Director of the Board
Christina Cutlip is a Senior Managing Director for the Institutional Retirement division of TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services organization. The company is a leading provider of asset management and retirement services for the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. Christina is the head of TIAA’s Client Engagement & Advocacy team. Since joining TIAA in 1997, Christina has held a variety of senior leadership positions, most recently as the Managing Director and Head of Plan Sponsor Services, a team responsible for the delivery of TIAA’s record-keeping services to institutional and individual clients. In 2011, Christina was recognized as TIAA’s Working Mother of the Year by Working Mother magazine and received an Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2016 from The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) State Fund Network for her contributions to higher education. She was also appointed by the Secretary of Labor to the Department of Labor ERISA Advisory Council for a three-year term beginning in January 2013. Christina earned a B.A. in Economics from Grinnell College, an MBA from Regis University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership.

caroline
caroline

CAROLINE BOYD

Board Member
Caroline Boyd brings to Almasi a unique combination of 25 years of corporate relationship management/marketing and 5 years as the President & CEO of a non-profit organization. Caroline has served as the COO for the Institutional Business of TIAA-CREF as well as the CEO for the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire. Ms. Boyd has a passion for service to others, volunteering with local organizations, especially those that represent her twin interests of companion animal protection and the arts.

tafadzwa
tafadzwa

Tafadzwa Pasipanodya

Board Member
Tafadzwa Pasipanodya is a partner at law firm, Foley Hoag LLP in Washington DC, where she represents sovereign States in matters concerning international law. Prior to this, Tafadzwa worked with several non-profit organizations, governments and the United Nations on various matters including, the prosecution of alleged genocidaires in Rwanda. She holds a BA from Macalester College, an MPA from Princeton University, a JD from New York University and speaks at least five languages.

nyambi
nyambi

Nyambi Nyambi

Board Member
Nyambi Nyambi is a versatile trained stage and screen actor who has appeared in such shows as “Mike and Molly”, “Law and Order” and appeared in the Cannes and Spirit award-winning independent film, “Day Night Day Night”. Nyambi was born in Oklahoma to Nigerian parents from the Cross River State region. He played Division-1 basketball for Bucknell University before earning his MFA from the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

gale
gale

Gale Anne Hurd

Board Member
Gale Anne Hurd is one of the entertainment industry’s most respected and innovative film and television producers. Over the course of her career, Hurd has developed and produced films that routinely garner Academy Award® nominations, and TV programs that win Emmys® and shatter ratings records. Hurd’s record-breaking AMC series, The Walking Dead, currently reigns as the most-watched scripted drama, beating all broadcast and cable series.

mandy
mandy

Mandy Hackett

Board Member
Mandy Hackett is the Associate Artistic Director of The Public Theater. Prior to joining the Public Theater, she was the founder and producer of The Underwood Theater, a new company dedicated to supporting and producing new work from emerging playwrights. Mandy also served as Literary Manager/Resident Dramaturg at New York Theatre Workshop. Ms. Hackett sits on the board of Ars Nova and graduated cum laude from Barnard College.

paula
paula

Paula Black

Board Member
Founder of the Four Graces Winery, Philanthropist, La Jolla Playhouse Trustee, Member of the Broadway League. Mother of five, grandmother of two, Paula is a Tony award-winning producer of such shows as Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Scottsboro Boys and this year’s, Eclipsed. Recent Broadway and Off Broadway Productions include: Of Mice and Men, Twelfth Night, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, The Trip to Bountiful and Hands on a Hardbody, Murder for Two and Little Miss Sunshine.

michael
michael

Michael Ritchie

Board Member Elect
Michael Ritchie is the Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group, one of the largest and most active theatre companies in the nation. Michael began his long professional career in the theatre as a stage manager in NYC, working on over 50 shows on and off-Broadway. In 2005, he began his work with CTG, where he has presented a broad range of plays and musicals as Artistic Director. Michael also inaugurated CTG’s New Play Production Program, designed to foster the development and production of new work.

whally
whally

Wally Hays

Board Member Elect
Wally Hays is the Deputy Director of the Curran Theater in San Francisco. He previously worked for Congressman Joe Sestak managing constituent services and outreach. Wally also produced a production of the Tony award-winning play, Eclipsed, written by Almasi’s very own Danai Gurira. He graduated from Wesleyan University.

andre
andre

Andre Holland

Advisory Board Member
Andre Holland is an alumnus of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting program. Since receiving his MFA in 2006, Andre has appeared in numerous plays, films, and television shows. Known for his role on The Knick, Andre portrayed Andrew Young in Selma (2014), Wendell Smith in 42 (2014). Andre also stunned audiences with his work in this year’s highly regarded indie, “Moonlight”. He was recently cast in Disney’s, “A Wrinkle in Time”, directed by Ava DuVernay, which started production this November.

mara
mara

Mara Isaacs

Advisory Board Member
Mara Isaacs is a creative producer and the founder and director of Octopus Theatricals, a theatrical producing and consulting company. With over twenty years of producing experience at flagship theaters in the United States, Mara is recognized as a field leader in new play and new musical development and production as well as non-profit organizational leadership and and has twice been selected as a Mentor with the TCG New Generations Program.

mark
mark

Mark Wing Davey

Advisory Board Member
Mark Wing Davey is the Chair of the Graduate Acting Program at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Mark first came to prominence in the United States with his highly acclaimed 1992 production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest at New York Theatre Workshop. Committing much of his career to developing new plays, he has directed new work by Caryl Churchill, Sarah Ruhl, Amy Freed, Naomi Iizuka, Jose Rivera, Anna Deveare Smith, Tony Kushner, and Craig Lucas, amongst others.

latanya
latanya

LaTanya Richardson Jackson

Advisory Board Member
Philanthropist, activist and veteran actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson launched her illustrious career at Spelman College when she entered with the class of 1971. The Atlanta native spent her Spelman tenure on stage playing numerous leading roles with the Morehouse-Spelman Players. She has appeared in several feature films and TV shows throughout the course of her career. Mrs Jackson lives in Los Angeles with her husband of over thirty years, Samuel L Jackson.

adam
adam

Adam Immerwahr

Advisory Board Member
Adam Immerwahr is a director and theater producer.  He is currently the artistic director of Theater J, the nation’s largest and most prominent Jewish theater.  He has served as the Associate Artistic Director at McCarter Theatre, a Tony Award-winning Regional theater in Princeton, NJ.  Adam also served as the Resident Director of Passage Theatre and the Artistic Director of OnStage, an ensemble of retired Mercer County residents who collect and perform the stories of their community.

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