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Our Team


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Our Team


FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLAYWRIGHT

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Ana Bess Moyer Bell 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 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.

 

GRANT WRITER/FUNDRAISER

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Kenneth Proudfoot 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.

 

EXECUTIVE/DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT

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Liz Buddington 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

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Lara Hakeem has been in the theater circuit for three decades acting and directing. From summer stock, national tours to now the local New England circuit. Lara’s recent roles include include Bette in the Marriage of Bette and Boo, Sylvia and Sylvia and Vanda in Venus in Fur. Recently she directed Buyer and Cellar, This and The Other Place. Thru her partnership with Inspirited Living, Lara is thrilled to connect and partner with COAAST on such a critical subject matter that will open doors for understanding, compassion and connection.

 

THERAPEUTIC PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER

Lindsey Snyder 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.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

SECRETARY

Rachel Bartels is a child of South Kingstown, born and raised. She holds a MS in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University. In Philadelphia, Rachel was a Founding Member of the Barnes Foundation and an active member of Habitat for Humanity. She was the vice president of a volunteer group and has worked in soup kitchens, addiction centers, food relief organizations, and schools. She plays piano on a weekly basis for residents in a retirement home.

TREASURER

BRIT BELL IS A RETIRED BOOK PUBLISHER AN NON-PROFIT DIRECTOR.  HE LIVES IN SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RHODE ISLAND.  HE RAN MULTIPLE BOOK PUBLISHING COMPANIES IN NEW YORK AND RHODE ISLAND

BOARD MEMBER

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Lynne bryan phipps is minister for over twenty-four years, Lynne received her degree from the Andover Newton Theological School and has served congregations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  She was the first University Interfaith Chaplain at Mount Ida College and the founder of The Compass School, one of the leading charter schools in Rhode Island. She is also the founder of Beachwood Center for Wellbeing a horse-centered non-profit therapy center in Southern RI.

BOARD MEMBER

DIANE M. HOLDEN IS THE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR FOR THE J. ARTHUR TRUDEAU CENTER.  SHE LIVES TO SERVE AND NOT BE SERVED, AND BELIEVES THAT HUMOR IS ESSENTIAL TO A FULL LIFE.  A GRADUATE OF PROVIDENCE COLLEGE, DIANE WORKED FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND HAS WORKED FOR NONPROFITS FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS.  SHE IS PROUD TO BE A MEMBER OF THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS, AND THE DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS AUXILIARY.  BECOMING A VOLUNTEER WITH COAAST PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO HELP WITH HEALING AND RECOVERY.


VOLUNTEERS

Liz Kovarsky Is currently studying at the University of Southern Maine in their Graduated Program in Social Work. She is trained in and teaches yoga to people in addiction recovery. She is the owner and creator of a recycled clothing line. She was raised in South Kingstown and is deeply connected to the other small business owners in the area.

David Dean has worked in the field of substance abuse treatment and prevention for 28 years. He is a licensed chemical dependency professional and currently works at Bridgemark Addiction Recovery Services. He is also in long-term recovery with 32 years sober.

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Artistic Team


Artistic Team


SAM

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Cam Torres 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.

 

SYLVIA

Rachel Tondreault is a Rhode Island and Boston based actress. She is a member of The Bay Colony Shakespeare Company and has been seen as both The First Witch in Macbeth and The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet this touring season. Other recent credits include Oliver in 2nd Story Theatre's rendition of The Tribute Artist, Lulu in the original play The Epic Adventure's of Lulu's Lemonade Stand at Cape Rep Theatre and as Tanya Crawley in Jerusalem, also at Cape Rep Theatre. You can see Rachel perform this summer at 2nd Story Theatre in their productions of Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain and Constellations by Nick Payne. When Rachel is not performing, she spends her time teaching yoga and meditation. 

DAD/ELLIOT

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Paul Kandarian is a writer and actor from southeastern Massachusetts who has appeared in many plays in regional theaters, as well as independent movies, web series, film shorts and commercials. He also brings his own story to this one: As the father of a recovering addict, he knows the challenge and uncertainty of being a parent in a situation that often seems hopeless, and is proud to help spread the message of this play that needs to be told.

 

MOM/RACHEL

Becky Minard is an actor and social worker currently living in Westport Point, Massachusetts.  She has appeared in community and professional productions in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  As a social worker and a mediator in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, she has worked in schools, with families involved in the child welfare system, and has practiced and trained in the field of restorative justice in schools, the courts and in the community.  Becky is pleased to be combining her passion for social/mental health issues with her love of acting through Four Legs to Stand On.

 

SAM

Jane Bird is honored to be a part of COAAST, she is returning to drama after several years as an improv comedian. Trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade and at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, she is pleased to be returning to something she so enjoys. Since leaving New York, Jane has worked as a public speaking coach in Massachusetts, incorporating theater techniques into her clients’ preparation for formal presentations. With Four Legs, she feels lucky to be a part of the conversation about addiction support, and privileged to be working with such talented and caring artists.

 

SYLVIA

Sarah Reed was born at an early age. All her life, she has loved playing pretend, and she is thrilled to play pretend with COAAST, promoting healing and awareness in such a creative way. Other favorite games of pretend include Elvira in Blithe Spirit, Charlene in Inside His Severed Head, Kendra in Accidental Incest, Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone, Stella in Streetcar Named Desire, Allison in First Date: The Musical, Rachel in One Man, Two Guvnors, Jill Tanner in Butterflies are Free, Frenchy in Grease, Schwartz in Spelling Bee, Elaine in Arsenic and Old Lace, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Marianne in Tartuffe. She also plays a mean game of pretend on camera, having broken into the film world. Favorite film roles include Holly in Long Night in a Dead City and Beverly in Strapped for Danger (both produced by Scorpio Film Releasing and available for rent or purchase on Vimeo), and Kate in Assassination of Western Civilization. "HUGE THANKS and LOTS OF LOVE to Ana Bess, and the amazing cast and creative team. Especially to my car, the bestest friend I've ever bought." 

 

MOM/RACHEL

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Emily Lewis is a Providence-based actor who has performed in dramatic and improvisational productions throughout the Northeast. Her favorite roles include Juliana in The Other Place, Abbey in The Late Christopher Bean, Molly in Love Song and Ivy in August: Osage County. When she is not performing, she works as Program Manager for the Manton Avenue Project, an after-school play writing program for children in Providence, RI. She is thrilled to be part of the Four Legs team.

 

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Beau BOOTHMAN is a graduate of Trinity International University. During his college years he participated in playlets and took on small parts for school and church. From 1980 until 2000 he traveled as half of a singing duo at churches, camps and coffee houses throughout New England. For more than 17 years he gained much public speaking experience as he worked as pastor for a local church. His first official role came in 2015 as he played Oscar Madison in the “Odd Couple” at the Buzzards Bay Play Productions Theater. This past summer he played Stepheno for the Onset Summer ShakespeAre presentation of, The Tempest. Presently, he resides in Plymouth, Ma.. Beau owns and operates his own sales and service business, Cape Cod Cleaning Systems in Carver, Ma..

SAM

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Teddy Lytle is an actor, writer, and fight choreographer currently pursuing his MFA from Brown/Trinity.  He is also a co-founder and education director of Spectrum Theatre Ensemble, championing inclusion in the arts.

SAM

Phoenyx Williams  began performing as an MC in the hip hop group Dead Poetz. He is currently a teaching Resident Artist at the Wilbury Theater . His performances include the rock musical Passing Strange, the end of the world drama Mr Burns, Young Jean Lee’s Church, and original works Ui by Josh Short and New and Dangerous Ideas. He has written and directed his own hip hopera (The Invasion of Vox Populi), made his film debut in Transformer Man, was honored as Best Supporting Actor by Motif Magazine for his role as Emcee and Actor in Ui.

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ACT I

SCRIPT COLLABORATORS
 

 

COMEDIC CONSULTANT

Jessica Schroeder is a new mother living in Santa Cruz, California with her daughter and partner. She holds a BA from the California Institute of Integral Studies, where her thesis focused on the importance of humor and performance. She has created and written two sketch comedy performances that both played in San Francisco at the Dark Room Theatre. This fall Jess is beginning a Masters at CIIS in Interdisciplinary Arts and Creative Inquiry with a concentration on writing and performance. She studied Method Acting under Shelly Mitchell at the Actors Center in San Francisco and with The Groundlings in Los Angeles. She has performed on stage and also on screen in film and TV.

 

DRAMATURG

Maya Hormadaly graduated from the Drama Therapy program at NYU. She has lived most of her life in Israel, and received her acting and directing training in the beautiful city of Tel Aviv. In addition, Maya is a published playwright and musician. Her play “Concerta for Eight” is a musical about learning disabilities and is currently being preformed in Israel’s national theatre, Habima.