Jim Petosa (Artistic Director), an award-winning theater artist, educator, and leader, has been Director of the School of Theatre, College of Fine Arts, at Boston University since 2002 as well as Artistic Director of Maryland’s Olney Theatre Center for the Arts and its National Players educational touring company since 1994. He also serves as one of three Artistic Directors for the Potomac Theatre Project in Manhattan (originally in Washington, D.C.), dedicated to producing political works. During his tenure at Olney, he expanded the company from a summer theatre to year-round; grew the company into a theater-center campus, including a new theatre lab and amphitheatre; and earned numerous local, regional, and national awards both for the institution and his directing. While at BU, he established the Boston Center for American Performance, the professional production extension of the Boston University School of Theatre in 2009. Throughout the Northeast, Petosa has directed countless plays for numerous institutions. For New Repertory Theatre, he directed Three Viewings (2011), The Last Five Years (2011), and Opus (2010). Petosa has served on the faculty of the Catholic University of America, the University of Maryland College Park, and the Heifetz International Music Institute at St. John’s College. He has been a visiting professor at Middlebury College, an artist-in-residence at George Washington University, and a guest artist at Georgetown University, Wolf Trap, and the Smithsonian Institution. In Boston, his work was nominated for two Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awards for A Question of Mercy at Boston Center for American Performance (2010). In Maryland, his work earned over 25 Helen Hayes Award nominations as well as the award for outstanding direction of a musical for Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well…; his production of Look! We Have Come Through! was nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for outstanding new play. He earned the Montgomery County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Award for Outstanding Artist/Scholar (in Maryland) as well as Maryland Theatre Association’s Award for Theatre Education. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, Petosa has served on the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Catalyst Theatre, and the advisory board Playwrights Forum. Petosa studied drama, theatre history, and criticism both as an undergrad and graduate student at Catholic University of America. He resides in Quincy, MA.
Harriet Sheets (Managing Director) joined New Repertory Theatre as Managing Director in Fall 2000, bringing with her experience in human resources, union contracts and negotiations, budgeting and cash flow management, as well as Marketing, Development and Special Events. During her tenure, Ms. Sheets has successfully managed the theatre’s increasing operational budget, while maintaining several years of positive net assets and moving the company from Newton Highlands to Watertown’s Arsenal Center for the Arts. Her management of the Marketing and Development departments has garnered increased growth in subscription and single ticket sales, as well as increased support for annual fundraising events and funding from corporate and foundation sources. Prior to her employment with New Rep, Ms. Sheets was the General Manager at Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT). Ms. Sheets was at MRT for nine years, where she worked as Stage Manager, Production Manager, Operations Manager, and finally General Manager. Ms. Sheets started her theatre career as an Equity Stage Manager and has worked for numerous theatres including The Opera Company with Sarah Caldwell, North Shore Music Theatre, The Wilbur, The Huntington Theatre Company, Worcester Foothills Theatre, Theatre by the Sea in Portsmouth, and the Ogunquit Playhouse. She holds a BFA from Arizona State University, where she met her husband, Dave Brown, Production Manager for Stoneham Theatre.
Bridget Kathleen O’Leary (Associate Artistic Director) is in her fourth season at New Rep as Artistic and Education Associate. Most recently, she has directed New Rep’s productions of DollHouse (Elliot Norton Nomination, Best Production, 2011), boom, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and Fool for Love. Other directing credits include: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, for Summer Festival Theatre, Roxbury Latin; Aunt Dan and Lemon, for Whistler in the Dark; The Boys of Winter (IRNE Nomination, Best New Play, 2008) for BKS productions; The Devil’s Teacup (IRNE Nomination, Best New Play, 2007) at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The American Clock, Much Ado About Nothing, Curse of the Starving Class, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Sarah Kane’s Crave and 4.48 Psychosis, all at Boston University. In 2007, she assisted Artistic Director Wendy C. Goldberg at the National Playwrights’ Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and worked as an assistant on new plays by Rebecca Gilman and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Before moving to Boston, Bridget worked in Washington, D.C. with the Olney Theatre Center, Theater Alliance, Cherry Red Productions, Charter Theater, Studio Theatre Second Stage, and Phoenix Theatre DC, of which she was a founding member. Selected D.C. directing credits include: Independence, Parallel Lives, and the creations of Unwrapped and Lulu Fabulous by area playwrights. Bridget received her MFA in directing at Boston University. She lives in Watertown with her husband Chris.
Ami Bennitt (Marketing/PR Director) joins New Rep with a wide variety of arts marketing and administration experience in areas of theater, music and visual art, having served area arts organizations including The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Boston Theatre Works, New England Quilt Museum, Coro Allegro, Jamaica Plain Open Studios, First Night Boston, Our Stage, and the Boston Music Awards. Specific areas of expertise include marketing, advertising, public/media relations, branding, e-marketing, sponsorship, audience development, fundraising and event production. Bennitt founded the low-brow gallery SPACE 242 in 2007, which she programmed and directed until 2011, and prior founded The Paradise Lounge Gallery in 2002. Combined, between 2002 and 2012, she produced nearly one hundred exhibitions in areas of illustration, painting, mixed media, video installation, photography and sculpture. As a freelance producer and marketer, she has worked with Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Fourth Wall Project, Kingston Gallery, and Copley Society of Art. In the 90s, Bennitt was artist manager for international recording artists The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and held posts at Nasty Little Man, High Noon Entertainment, PolyGram and Sony Music. Currently a features columnist for ArtScope Magazine, Bennitt studied Arts and Entertainment Management at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and lives in Salem with her husband and two Australian Cattle Dogs.
Heather Darrow (Development Director) joined the team at New Repertory Theatre in the fall of 2011. Her career began at New York City Opera where she remained for 4 ½ years fostering Marketing and Group Sales efforts for productions such as La Boheme, Tosca, Le Nozze di Figaro, Madama Butterfly, Macbeth, Carmen, The Flying Dutchman, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd starring Elaine Paige and Candide starring John Cullum. In the winter of 2006, Heather relocated to the Boston area as Associate Marketing Manager for Broadway Across America-Boston, where she was later named Marketing Director. During her 5 ½ years there, she supported marketing efforts for Broadway touring shows such as Wicked, Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Jersey Boys, Rock of Ages, In the Heights, My Fair Lady, The Drowsy Chaperone, August: Osage County, Spamalot, Mamma Mia, Les Miserables and Twelve Angry Men. Heather received a BA in Theatre and Music from Bradford College and continues to perform in both musicals and plays with theaters throughout the Greater Boston Area. She lives in Woburn with her husband Todd.
Beth Peters (Management Associate) is pleased to join New Repertory Theatre in the fall of 2012. Beth earned a Master of Arts degree from Emerson College and a B.F.A. in Performance Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a theatre generalist, she has worked as an administrator, director, playwright, and teacher. Beth worked at Wheelock Family Theatre for seven seasons as a theatre artist-educator, access and media consultant, while also working throughout the Boston area as director of theatre for and with youth, specializing in work with disabled artists. Beth has presented nationally on the issues of access and ability in the arts, and was formerly the Massachusetts state chair for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Most recently, Beth is pleased to have worked with Boston Actors Theater, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and Belmont Hill School. Originally from Chicago, Beth is most proud to have worked for Court Theatre, Live Bait Theater and Deaf Bailiwick Artists at Bailiwick Repertory, among other organizations. She is particularly pleased to continue to work in Watertown, where Beth served as a public school drama director since 2005, and she looks forward to many more years of service to the arts community through her new role at New Rep.
Merli V. Guerra (Creative Services Associate) came to New Rep in 2011 with a background in design and the performing arts. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Dance and Studio Art, and in 2010 became the Artistic Director of Luminarium Dance Company in Cambridge, Mass. Merli is a member of Nataraj Dancers, a classical Indian dance company with whom she studied in India and performed on tour in Japan. More recently, she joined Deborah Abel Dance Company as a lead dancer in "Calling to You," and will perform abroad to end the year. She is also an award-winning artistic filmmaker, and visual artist. Merli is delighted to have found a position in which all of her artistic pursuits (visual, performance, and film) can be put to good use while promoting an exceptional theatre in Boston.
Ryan M. Kichler (Production Manager) joins the New Repertory Theatre team after working as the General Management Intern from January to June 2012. Ryan received his Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. He then received his Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Management and Arts Administration from Boston University, where his thesis work focused on examining the personal and systemic challenges of being a creative producer in a management position. Ryan was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and during his summers, returns to work at Camp Winnebagoe, a co-educational children's summer camp located in Northern Ontario, where he has worked since 2004, and as the Business Manager since 2009. He resides in Watertown.
Melissa Federico (Box Office Manager) is thrilled to be joining the team at New Rep! She joins the theater with experience as Box Office and Public Relations Manager at the Gloucester Stage Company. She has also worked in Group Sales for Shear Madness! in Boston, and as a Puritan in a live witch-trial reenactment for History Alive! : The People vs. Bridget Bishop. Melissa graduated from Salem State University in 2009 with a B.F.A. in Theater Performance and has been performing locally for over 15 years.
Jessica Hegarty (Patron Services Associate) is very excited to be joining the New Rep family! A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Jessica received her BA in Theater with a minor in French Language. There she served as a member of the Theater Department’s Undergraduate Advisory Council. She is also an alumna of the Iota Beta chapter of the Chi Omega Fraternity. In the fall of 2010, Jessica spent a semester studying at the National University of Ireland in Galway, focusing on general studies as well as spoken word and performance poetry. Locally, Jessica has worked with Boston Casting and Company One. Most recently she spent a year in Orlando, Florida working at Walt Disney World as a safari driver at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She is excited to be back home in the Northeast and working again with her first love, theater.