Carole with a business accounting background switched careers to personal development in the 80’s. She taught classes in self esteem and practiced and taught hypnotherapy in Santa Cruz for twenty years. In retirement she discovered a singing voice and love of performance with the Mid-County Choraliers, the Follies and currently performs with Hats Off, NextStage Production’s performing troupe.
Kathryn Adkins VP Education Program
Kathryn Adkins has taught acting and voice at Cabrillo College in Aptos for 20 years. She is known for her creative interpretations of musicals including The Mikado, Seussical and Joseph and the Technicolored Dreamcoat. Her work has included teaching stage combat, voice and diction, stage movement, beginning acting technique, and private and class voice. Kathryn has performed many lead roles for Cabrillo Stage and has directed and performed for South Bay Musical Theater and Lyric Theater of San Jose. She sang with Cabrillo Music Festival, Santa Cruz Symphony, and toured with the Tandy Beal dance company.
Gretchen Jenne Secretary
Gretchen can personally attest to the power of music and dance to lift spirits. Her love of singing led her to community theater, performing both on the stage and behind the scenes.
But after retiring and moving to Capitola, Gretchen began to succumb to the vagaries of aging. Separated from her friends and family, Gretchen said, “I felt little reason to get up in the morning. Then I discovered NextStage, took a class or two, and found my younger soul again. My association with NextStage has changed my entire outlook on life and volunteering on the board of directors is one way I can pay it forward”.
Chi-Cha Russo-Boyes Treasurer
Chi-Cha brings her many years of experience as a local business owner and entrepreneur to our Board. After selling her wholesale food production and catering business, she became pro-active in renewing her acting and performing arts interests. As a youth she skated in dance competition and show production numbers. The last 5 years she has performed with Mid County Choraliers, and Chi Cha recently performed in NSP’s production of the Melodrama “Daddy Highpockets”.
Chi Cha also serves as the volunteer Registrar for NSP classes. In this role, she works hard to ensure our smooth enrollment process and communications with our instructors and managers.
Chi Cha says, “I love being on the NSP team. I feel inspired and it has enriched my life in many ways. I look forward to participating in its growth.”
Risa Louer VP Health & Wellness Program
I am so very honored to join the Board of Next Stage Productions as Vice President of Health and Wellness. While many people know Next Stage for its musical and dramatic programs, less are aware of the health care initiatives we are building to bring the arts to those suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer’s through TimeSlips creative storytelling for those with memory loss. This is done through replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine via storytelling and expression intervention. We bring these programs to nursing homes and assisted living/memory facilities. Our next goal is to create a program for those with Parkinson’s.
After moving from the East Coast where I spent my entire life, I came upon NextStage. It was a really life-changing move made so much easier and joyful when I found NextStage. As a creative arts fanatic, active with New Jersey professional theatre, owner of a small talent agency, and with a professional background in helping people with special needs, finding Next Stage was like manna from heaven. What a wonderful gift. I couldn’t imagine an organization that provided so much joy and community, and that was geared to active people 50+. What a pleasure to work with these wonderful, creative, giving, people whose desire to entertain, educate and enrich is only surpassed by their mantra that age is just a number. They share the message that we all have something to give, that we all have a budding diva within, and that life really is a stage.
Maggie Pierce VP Outreach/NSP Players
Lise Groleau Directory at Large
Catt Porter Director at Large
Donna L Silvia VP- Director of Resource Development
Donna brings her 40 years experience as a Banking Manager to NSP. Her acumen in coaching skills has successfully motivated entire organizations and memberships.
Upon retirement, Donna brought her life long passion for decorating to the Scotts Valley Senior Center where she creates seasonal cheer with color and texture. As the lead Decorator for all the sponsored tables for Next Stage’s first full scale production ‘Bingo’, Donna’s decorations brought detailed intrigue and delight to new and continuing patrons.
Through Choraliers, Donna developed her singing and dancing and landed a role in NextStage’s melodrama ‘Daddy High Pockets’.
Donna says, “As a board member, I enjoy having a voice in the organization along with so many talent members of our community. I am passionate about the direction that Next Stage and helping Seniors find the richness of the arts. I am so thrilled to be part of the team”.
Pat Duncan Bookkeeper
“As I am retiring little by little, I am realizing that I will be having way too much time on my hands. I’ve spent the last 50 years in the accounting world. I would like very much to do something for my community and my age group by being with all these wonderful talented people, enjoy their company, their performances and help the organization get off to a good start.”
Lynn Knudsen Executive Director
Lynn enjoyed a twelve year professional career in Broadway Theatre, after which she moved to Los Angeles to have a family. She retired to Santa Cruz in 2004 to be closer to her granddaughters and reacquainted herself with her love of theatre and performance. Over the past several years she has been a Santa Cruz Follies performer, assistant director, and director of productions at the Market Street Theater. At Cabrillo Stage, a professional theatre, Lynn helped develop the Cabrillo Theatre Guild. In 2012 she brought a replication of the renowned Stagebridge Senior Theatre to Santa Cruz, which has now become Next Stage Productions. Lynn is an artist, teacher, business professional and creative aging advocate.