Board of Directors
DIRECTOR, BOARD CHAIR
Alexandra is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY New Paltz, where she runs the department’s concentration in criminology. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. Her research is about the governance of youth crime. She is currently writing a book, to be published by Rutgers University Press, about a group of young people making their way through New York’s criminal justice system. Prior to receiving her Ph.D., she worked at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem as a sentencing mitigation specialist, and she continues to do that work in New York State. She is a former Gates Cambridge scholar and a Soros Justice Advocacy fellow. She also serves on the board of the New York State Defenders Association.
Stephanie grew up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the daughter of African immigrants. She has been working with at-risk and juvenile justice-involved youth for more than 15 years. She spent much of her childhood involved in the arts, including theater and dance, and knows first hand the importance of introducing young people to theater arts. Stephanie witnesses how motivated and encouraged the youth in the juvenile justice system are when they display their hidden talents. She sees their self-esteem rise to the roof. It takes so much courage to stand in front of their peers at that age and in that environment.
David is a lawyer, musician and teacher. He has a background as a corporate litigator and pro bono attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, and he is currently an e-discovery client services project manager at Epiq Systems. He also works closely with the All Stars Project in many volunteer capacities as a teacher, actor, producer and director, helping to advance the All Stars mission of engaging poverty through developmental performance and conversation. David holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. For fun, David plays cello with the rock-pop band Sky-Pony.
CHRISTINE BELLA, ESQ
Christine is an attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit where she represents young people involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems in federal and state individual and class civil rights litigation. Christine has worked for The Legal Aid Society in all three of its practice areas, Civil, Juvenile and Criminal. In 2004, she was awarded The Legal Aid Society’s Charles Schinitsky Award for outstanding service on behalf of children. She is also Vice Chairperson of Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow, Inc. a mentoring program for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Christine received her Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from St. John’s University School of Law
Scott is an attorney at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where he helps businesses negotiate the legal landscape through all types of employment matters. Before going into private practice, Scott worked at the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society, where he represented young people in juvenile delinquency matters. He is delighted to serve on the board of Drama Club and to support its mission of bringing a consistent theater arts and mentorship experience to young people involved in the NYC juvenile and criminal justice systems. Scott graduated with a J.D., magna cum laude, from New York University. He received his B.A. in Dramatic Art from U.C. Berkeley.
Maggie Siff is an actress well known to audiences for her roles in Showtime‘s Billions playing ‘Wendy Rhoades’ opposite Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti and her role as ‘Tara Knowles’ on the hit FX series Sons of Anarchy for which she received two Critics Choice Award nominations for ‘Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’. She also starred in the first season of Mad Men playing Don Draper's mistress, ‘Rachel Menken’ for which she received a Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination for ‘Outstanding Cast in a Television Series Drama’. Maggie graduated with an M.F.A. from NYU‘s Tisch School and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College. As a native New Yorker, she is passionate about bringing awareness to the youth that are caught in the juvenile and criminal justice systems in NYC.
Jecoina currently works for the Department of Family Services in Westchester County as a caseworker for SNUG, a partner of the international Cure Violence model. Jecoina encountered the arts as a tool for his own rehabilitation and transformation during his own incarceration upstate New York. While incarcerated he earned his associate degree from Bard College, was a facilitator for the Alternative to Violence program and the Youth Assistance Program. Jecoina is a member of the modern dance troupe Figures in Flight: Released and he is also a published poet.
Naoko is a preschool teacher at Christ Church in Manhattan and lives in the diverse area of Elmhurst, Queens with her husband and daughter. She emigrated to NYC from London, where she was an Organizational Management Trainer in a finance company. She earned a Fine Art degree in painting and sculpture. When she came to America in 2000 she discovered her passion for early childhood development and earned another degree in Early Childhood Education.
Drama Club Staff
FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Josie is the founder and Executive Director of Drama Club. Previous work includes teaching at Sing Sing Correctional Facility and Woodbourne Correctional Facility, both men’s prisons upstate New York. She taught courses on acting, public speaking and comedy to these incarcerated individuals and had the honor of performing alongside them in full productions of “A Few Good Men” and “Our Town”. Before founding Drama Club, Josie developed a year-round drop-in acting class for GEMS (Girls Educating and Mentoring Services) serving girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. She was also an integral part of the development and implementation of a new theatre program for youth from Hour Children and Ravenswood Houses (NYCHA), which she co-facilitated with a formerly incarcerated person. Over the last eight years she has taught Acting, Improvisation, and Text Analysis at Fordham University, New York University, Montclair State University, Nassau Community College, Purchase College, SUNY and Larry Singer Studios. She holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting program.
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Kelly is a middle school Special Education teacher in NYC’s District 75, working with children with severe autism and developmental delays. She is the creator and director of her school’s drama program, “Theatre 296.” As well as serving as Director of Education, she is a Drama Club facilitator in the RNDC/Rikers Island program. A New York City Teaching Fellow, Kelly is currently pursuing her MsEd in Special Education at Pace University. She is the recipient of a Snapdragon Foundation grant for literacy and has participated in Lincoln Center’s Aesthetic Immersion program. Kelly holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Evansville, and an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting program.
Rabih is a first-generation Ghanaian-American spoken word poet from the Bronx. She is a former organizer in Harlem with the Brotherhood/Sister Sol and on SUNY New Paltz campus. As a teaching artist, she utilizes spoken word poetry as a medium to engage in social justice and activism. Rabih was the recipient of the Alumni Action Award by Big Picture Learning Network in 2015 and the first SUNY New Paltz Urban Slam winner in 2012. In 2009, she was a winner of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Writing Contest where she traveled to South Africa to met Nelson Mandela. She has performed original work throughout New York State, Brazil, and in Cuba. Rabih holds a BA in Political Science from SUNY New Paltz.