FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLAYWRIGHT
Ana Bess graduated from NYU, Summa Cum Laude, with a masters degree in Drama Therapy. She runs her private practice out of Beachwood Center for WEllbeing in Southern RI. She also works as a Dram Therapy consultant for The BETES Organization. She previously worked as a drama therapist for the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, at Access Community Health Center in Manhattan, the VA Hospital in West Haven, CT, and in San Quentin Prison. She is trained in Psychodrama, Playback Theater, Theater of the Oppressed, Method Acting, and Restorative Justice facilitation.
Ken is a writer and non-profit fundraising development specialist. He was previously the Development Director for Greater Elmwood Neighborhood Services in Providence. He was formerly Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Founding Director of the Larry Friedman International Center for Entrepreneurship at Johnson & Wales University and has taught entrepreneurship thinking to students, business owners, and government leaders in 25 countries.
Liz is Rhode Island native and a lover of Narragansett Bay and the arts. A RISD graduate and avid writer, Liz began her career in fundraising as an Americorps*VISTA, serving and training to help build the capacity of arts nonprofits, and has progressively built upon those skills to serve numerous Rhode Island agencies. Liz is a person in long-term recovery and is proud to be a part of the education and advocacy at COAAST.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - ACT II
Ron is a theatre artist, teacher, writer and arts administrator, originally from Jacksonville, FL. As an actor, dancer, and director, Ronald has worked with Counter Productions Theatre, AS220, Strange Attractor, The Wilbury Group Theatre, Rites and Reason, Brown University, among others. Ronald is co-creator of the film festival, The Wandering Mercuries, which toured from Providence, RI to Chicago, IL in 2012 - via bikes - making stops at libraries and communities centers in 11 cities. Ronald’s first devised-theatre piece, God Made Me Queer, debuted in 2015 (AS220) Heurisko: a play about found things, was featured in AS220’s Modern Movements Festival in April 2016 and toured to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - ACT I & RESURFACING
Cam is a Boston based actor and is proud to have been with C.O.A.A.S.T from the beginning! Cam holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Acting from Emerson College. Recent acting credits include The Hotel Nepenthe (Brown Box Theatre Project), Crimes of The Heart (2nd Story Theater), Once Upon A Mattress (Family Performing Arts Center), and Hamlet (Brown Box Theatre Project). Cam would firstly like to thank Ashley and his family for their support and love. And lastly, Ana Bess for inviting me on the C.O.A.A.S.T journey and changing my life for the better.
THERAPEUTIC STAGE MANAGER
Lindsey is a Graduate of New York University with her Masters in Drama Therapy. At NYU she was the Production Stage Manager for As Performance, a therapeutic theatre company, for which she received the Presidents Service Award for her artistic and therapeutic contributions to the community. She worked at the speech pathology department at Langone hospital with children.
DRAMA THERAPY INTERN
Jennifer is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Drama Therapy at Lesley University. She is a licensed educator who previously taught middle school theatre and English in Salt Lake City, UT. She wrote and performed with the V-Project in Utah County which focused on improving the lives of women in the community. She is passionate about using theatre to promote social justice and to help people and communities heal and grow.
Ava is a Rhode Island native, who grew up in Bristol. She attended Rhode Island College and graduated with a B.A in Musical Theater Performance. When she’s not working full time at Trinity Repertory Company in the Marketing Department, she can most likely be found in another Rhode Island theatre either performing or stage managing. You may have seen her in Futurity, The Servant of Two Masters, The Revel, 10,000 Things (Wilbury Theatre Group) or playing the violin in the orchestra for Fun Home. You can also catch her in Judy Moody (The Gamm Education show) or The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (Wilbury Theatre). She is excited to be the Production Manager for COAAST and believes in the power of theater to help people.