CHERI PHILLIPS, PRESIDENT
Is it possible I am the Depot Board member with the longest history of involvement with the Theatre? When Carol Buchanan started the Depot Theatre in 1978, with the assistance of Jenny Jones, I was a college student home for the summer holidays hanging around helping out however I could. In the coming years I ended up on stage in small roles. Initially the community pitched in and then professional actor friends of the Jones family started coming from afar to participate. Gradually the Theatre metamorphosed into a full Equity house. That didn’t stop my involvement as volunteer, Board member and fawning fan of many of the performers.
When not loitering at the Depot, I served as a staffer for Vermont Governor Richard Snelling, worked in the HR department at BBDO, managed tours for the Erick Hawkins Dance Co, co-founded an arts management and fundraising consultancy, planned events for The National Art Collections Fund, manned the picture counter at Sothebys, London and served as a UK magistrate.
The Depot has never been far from my heart and mind for the past 40 years.
AMY McNAMARA, VICE PRESIDENT
Amy first became enamored with the Depot Theatre in 1995 when she and her family vacationed in Westport for the first time. A highlight of that trip was when they sat in the seats of the former freight room of the station and saw The Music Man. She has been a fan of the theater ever since. Going back, Amy became intrigued with the North Country when she attended St. Lawrence University and now she and her family spend as much time in Westport as possible. In fact, Amy and her husband, David, now make Westport their full time residence since Amy’s retirement as a school nurse and student advisor from Fieldston in Riverdale, NY.
MAUREEN CARLO, SECRETARY
Maureen has spent her career in technology sales and marketing. Today, in the physical security industry, she helps escalate her company’s brand and sales as Business Development Manager for the Americas branch of VIDEOTEC, an Italian manufacturer of assessment cameras for harsh & hazardous environments. Her customers are not in the North Country, so Maureen spends much of her time on the road. A work perk is offering access to professional theatre throughout her travels.
Maureen is an active supporter of non-profit organizations in her industry, where she recently joined the Security Industry Association’s inaugural Women in Security Steering Committee, and locally, where she was named Volunteer of the Year by the North Country Chamber of Commerce.
Maureen broke into the Depot scene in the 90’s while working at the Westport Yacht Club. A perk to befriending beloved customer, Carol Buchanan, was volunteering at the Depot.
Since 2012 Maureen has been on the Depot’s Board of Trustees, and shares deep affection for the Westport community.
ALEX HENDERSON, TREASURER
Alex first learned about the Depot Theatre in 1979 at age 10. Her brother, Jamie Stephens, was part of the technical crew for The Fantastics. The following year her father, Clay Stephens, performed in Damn Yankees, and he was also a founding member of the Board. In 1981, Alex (aka Sandra) was in her first of several shows, Guys and Dolls. Over the years, in addition to performing, Alex has been an usher and a member of volunteer and gala committees. Alex has a strong commitment to the vision of the Boquet River Theatre Festival (BRTF). There are only a few shows she has missed since 1998. Alex’s experience of participating in a professional theatre as a young person has had a lifelong impact that she believes all children should be exposed to. She is thrilled to have come full circle and can give back to the theatre that has given her so much. Alex is married and is a Business Professor at Fulton Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, NY.
Betsy is thrilled and honored to be on the Board of Trustees for the Depot – filling her beloved late mom’s (Shirley Bacot Shamel) seat. She has been coming up to Westport since 1993 and has always enjoyed attending shows at the Depot.
Betsy grew up in Montclair, NJ, and graduated from Hamilton College (BA 1984, Studio Art major). Her professional experience includes a number of positions with small companies in the arts field, including video production, advertising account management, production design for a graphic design firm and working in the photography department at ABC TV.
Since 2001, she has focused on photography – devoting her time and talent as a “pro bono photographer” to photograph events for non-profits and local schools (particularly choral, musical theater and sports photography) — including the Depot Theatre Academy. She serves on the advisory council and is the photographer for an acts of kindness organization – Heartworks, and is currently an Alumni Trustee for Hamilton College. She resides in Basking Ridge, NJ, but spends the summers at her home in Westport.
Jim has extensive business experience and long time association with Westport. In addition to being part of the family-owned Westport Marina and The Galley Restaurant & Bar, he is an avid photographer, and owner of Overtime Photo Booth. The Depot benefits from both his photography and his proficiency in sound design.
As well as being a Depot trustee, Jim is on the boards of the Strand Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh, NY, the Westport Central School, and the NYS Theatre Education Association. He is a graduate of Union College.
CATHERINE CONOVER COVERT
Catherine and her late husband purchased a summer home at the Crater Club in Essex in 1987. It was the start of a love affair with the Adirondacks. Now a winter resident of Scottsdale , AZ, Catherine works for Vassar College as a development officer and the college’s “western office.” She has spent her career in higher education, working for Barnard, Hamilton, Wheaton (MA) and Vassar Colleges as well as Arizona State University’s Herberger College of Fine Arts. She has retired twice but keeps coming back for more. Catherine has absolutely no artistic talent but believes artists need audiences and is happy to make her contribution that way. She has served on the boards of the Adirondack Art Association and
the Crater Club and is excited to be part of The Depot’s dynamic plans for the future.
As a working actress Alisa has portrayed numerous leading ladies of the musical stage from Sandy & Rizzo in Grease, Eva Peron in Evita to the lead role of Norma Desmond in the original company of Sunset Boulevard in London’s West End as well as on Broadway.
As a lead vocalist she has sung with the B.B.C. orchestra, recorded in the famous Abbey Road studios, been the featured guest on many radio & television shows in the United Kingdom as well as here in the U.S.
As a dramatic actress she has portrayed several of Shakespeare’s leading ladies including Juliet, Cleopatra, Shrews Kate & Henrys Queen Margaret to mention a few.
As a teaching artist she has worked with Camp Broadway, U. S. Performing Arts Camp, The Johnny Mercer Foundations Accentuate the Positive program teaching song & lyric writing workshops in schools throughout the America, as well as creating a Theater Camp for young performers in Manhattans Turtle Bay Section.
As a leading actress Miss Endsley has worked with some of the biggest names on Broadway including composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Director Trevor Nunn, Tony winning actors Patti Lupone, George Hearn and Betty Buckley. www.singforthestage.com
Lindy’s family has been visiting and living in Westport for five generations. As a teenaged volunteer, she was introduced to the Depot through its founder, family member Carol Buchanan. Many years later, she is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Board of such a beloved Westport institution.
Lindy has a background in art history with experience working in the gallery and museum fields. She has enjoyed a variety of volunteer commitments and is currently involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities in New York’s Capital Region.
Scott’s first time on stage was as a child in school productions. He caught the acting bug which lead to a love of the arts in all forms. After 20 years in CA in the creative sector, Scott returned to the east coast and fell in love with the Adirondacks and Westport.
As a resident of the Adirondacks since 2015, Scott has watched the Depot Theater grow and thrive. Joining the Board of Trustees in 2020 is the perfect blend of heart and soul for Scott.
Jonathan Hadley is an actor and director. Depot audiences will remember him from his onstage appearances in Born Yesterday, Pete ‘N Keely, and Savin’ Up for Saturday Night as well as his offstage work as the Interim Producing Director for two wonderful seasons (2013-14). Jonathan was seen on Broadway and in the First National Tour of Jersey Boys, as “Bob Crewe”, a role he eventually performed over 2000 times. Off-Broadway credits include Shaw’s Widowers Houses, Finian’s Rainbow and Peg O’ My Heart. Other tours include The Bodyguard, Into The Woods, Joseph…, Fiddler on the Roof (with Theo Bikel) and Forbidden Broadway. Jonathan holds a BFA in Acting from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts and an MFA in Directing from Brooklyn College.
Lawrence Masle is a multi-lingual, international marketing and business development advisor based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
With his strong entrepreneurial spirit, he has assisted companies ranging from large established multi-nationals to small young start-ups to expand their businesses on a global basis. He has worked for Young & Rubicam in his native New York and served in senior global management roles for Ericsson and Philips. Working during the explosive years of mobile telecom has ingrained a strong passion for innovation and enabling technologies, and today he lives the reality of working from the mobile office anywhere in the world.
He has served as Director of International Business Development for Waleli, an innovation accelerator in Amsterdam. He has also served on the Marketing faculty of the Management Centre Europe in Brussels.
A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (B.S. 1988) and Thunderbird School of Global Management (MIM 1994), he has been living and working in Stockholm, London, and now Amsterdam. He is COO and one of the Founding members of UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, the world’s first global cloud based agency.
He is married, has two sons, and is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands. He is also an avid runner, and welcomes any opportunity to go skiing.
Bill’s experience in media includes management roles in news, sports television, operations, and original content development. He presently serves as President & CEO of Mountain Lake PBS, serving this cross-border region with high quality educational, cultural, and public affairs content and community engagement.
Originally from Boston, Bill previously worked for Comcast’s regional network serving the Eastern Seaboard, developing nightly programming and event coverage, and negotiating rights and marketing agreements with pro teams, universities, and event promoters.
Bill has performing experience in both professional and community-based theater around the Northeast, including: Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd); The Producers (Max); Urinetown (Lockstock); Children of Eden (Father); The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Jasper); and Les Miserables (Bishop of Digne). Professional experience also includes I Do! I Do! as Michael (partnered with Brenda Chase McColgan), the New England premiere of Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, and more than 300 performances in Boston and around the country in Forever Plaid. Bill continues to enjoy any opportunity to perform with Brenda and their two children.
A graduate of Stanford University, Bill also has an MBA from Boston College.
Kathleen Recchia is a theatre artist, freelance writer, and arts consultant. Her interest in theatre covers the gamut from producing, acting and directing to composing and script-writing. She is especially proud of the Youth Musical-in-a-Week productions that she has produced for seven summers in Keene Valley.
Kathleen has performed The Belle of Amherst throughout the North Country. She has also appeared as Mother Miriam Ruth in a North Country touring production of Agnes of God and has toured with Pendragon Theatre (Saranac Lake) in productions of Death of a Salesman and The Seagull. She appeared on stage at The Depot last summer in Adirondack Stage Rats production of The Last Romance.
She has collaborated with son Sam Balzac on two musicals: an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and Road to Dannemora which has been revised and will be remounted locally this summer.
Kathleen served as Company Manager and Interim Business Manager at The Depot Theatre from June, 2014 through February, 2015. She has served as Decentralization Grant Coordinator for northeast New York for six years. Her most recent role was as Operations Director-Events & Outreach Coordinator at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake.
Liz Spitler’s family has had roots in Westport, N.Y. since the early 1930’s.
Performing arts is in Liz’s blood. Liz has been always been captivated and inspired by imaginative storytelling. Her family knows her as “Le Grand Jambon”. For over 20 years she worked as an advertising sales & marketing executive for the NBC affiliate, WPTZ-TV. In the years past, you may even have heard her “pipes” in several commercial & promotional voice-overs throughout the Champlain Valley in television and radio.
Most recently, Liz brings her energy and enthusiasm to the broadcast airwaves through radio podcast and video production with The Radio Vermont Group.
Liz Studied Theatre Arts at Long Island University and worked as a member of The American Cabaret Company in Lake Placid, New York. She treasures The Depot and its many works.
Depot Theatre Advisory Council
David Howson (Honorary Chair)
Bonnie B. Brewer
Karen L. Lewis
Mary Ellen O’Loughlin