Alexandra Smith is a multi-hyphenate theatre artist and educator with primary focuses in directing and producing. She joined the TCBF board in 2016 and is super passionate about making sure people in all corners of the Boston theatre community know about this resource. She is a Company Member of Open Theatre Project, a Core Collaborator of The Big Times Project, Artistic Director at Deana’s Educational Theater, and a teaching artist for many companies throughout Greater Boston. Alex likes running 5K and 10K races and wants you to be her running buddy. She has an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College and a BA in Theatre Performance from Rhode Island College.
Brian Richard Robinson has been a soloist with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and was a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for 25 years, performing in Symphony Hall, Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall, and numerous international venues. Since his professional Boston theater debut in 1999, he has worked at many Boston area companies, including SpeakEasy Stage, The Lyric Stage Company, The New Repertory Theater, and Wheelock Family Theater. While an undergraduate at Yale University, Brian Sang with The Whiffenpoofs and The Baker’s Dozen. He is also a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine and currently works for a UK-based biotechnology company.
Kira Troilo is a professional writer, choreographer and performer, and is honored to also be the newest member of the TCBF board. Recent local performing credits include Little Women, In the Heights (Wheelock Family Theatre), Caroline, or Change (Moonbox Productions), Gypsy, Camelot (Lyric Stage), Sister Act (NextDoor Theater) and Hairspray (Palace Theatre). Recent choreography credits include Parade (Moonbox — Elliott Norton Nomination), TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever (SpeakEasy Stage), Make Way for Ducklings (Wheelock/BU), The Little Mermaid (IRNE Nomination), Jesus Christ Superstar, Aida (Fiddlehead Theatre Company). She also recently assistant directed Admissions at SpeakEasy Stage Company. Kira graduated with a B.F.A. from Emerson College. She lives in Framingham with her husband Jared and her son Levi. Read more about her life over at biracialmom.com.
An artist and educator for what seems like her entire life, Ilyse has been seen onstage and TV across the country. You may catch her enjoying Dunkin’ Donuts coffee or greeting you as your friendly neighborhood CVS pharmacist. Onstage, she has played roles ranging anywhere from a dancing mouse to a grief-stricken mother. Ilyse is an award-winning director and choreographer having received two Elliot Norton Awards, including one for Best Choreography for her original work on the World Premiere of Swan Lake in Blue: A Jazz Ballet. Ilyse teaches dance, drama, theater history, story adaptation, and acting for students who span the ages of 16 months to 96 years. Ilyse holds a BS in Communication/Theater from Northwestern University, certification in theater from the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, and an Ed.M. from Harvard University. She teaches public speaking, storytelling, and presentation skills for Mohr Collaborative and Ovation. Ilyse sits on the StageSource Board and is the Clerk for TCBF.
Karen splits her time between teaching adults ESL, and lighting design. She’s been based in the Boston area for over 25 years, and enjoys the camaraderie of the theater community.
Julie is currently a full-time production manager at the ICA Boston, and spent many years before that as an electrician, master electrician, and assistant production manager across the city. Outside of work, she can usually be found watering her houseplants or taking out an ambitious number of books from the library.
Alex Lonati is a director, producer, and arts administrator in Boston. In addition to serving as the (newly appointed!) president of TCBF, Alex is the Community Programs & Events Manager at SpeakEasy Stage Company, where she has been on staff since 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatrical Direction from Emerson College and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Boston University. Alex is passionate about accessibility in the arts and believes that everyone who wants to participate in the theatre should not only be able, but actively encouraged to do so. She also loves traveling, cooking, and spending time with her Australian Shepherd named Billie!
The TCBF board has seen some big changes over these past nine months!
We’re pleased to announce the elections of Alex Lonati as the new President and Julie Streeter as the new Vice-President of the TCBF board. We’re also thrilled that Maurice Emmanuel Parent joined the board in September 2020 and Kira Troilo in March 2021.
We have also said goodbye to Amy Spalletta and Bob Murphy after many years of incredible service. Though we are sad to see them go, we wish them the best in their newest endeavors and remain forever grateful for the time and energy that they have each put into TCBF. This organization has been greatly improved by both of their efforts.
As we approach the one-year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic first swept the globe, it is easy to think about all the hardship and grief that has occurred. But instead, we at the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund would like to focus on all the good that has happened this year.
Because of the generosity of our arts community, TCBF was able to provide over $250,000 in emergency relief funding to artists in need!
Our community supported each other in amazing ways – planning fundraiser readings and concerts, singing online in our “Care-oke” campaign, asking for donations for their birthdays – all to raise money for TCBF. Thank you!
With that incredible support, TCBF has been able to grant the following this year:
- 99 grants (totaling $173,253) to individuals who were out of work and/or dealing with medical issues amidst the virus
- 23 grants (totaling $76,750) to theatre companies and arts organizations suddenly unable to move forward
This would not be possible without the support of theatre lovers like you. Each donation made in support of TCBF goes directly back to artists in need, so every single gift made a difference.
More than anything, we just want to thank you for helping TCBF make a difference in our community, and for your talent, spirit, and vitality. We are inspired every day by the way our community rallies around those among us in need.
If you are in a place to do so, we hope you will consider renewing your gift, as artists continue to be affected by the pandemic and its impact on the arts industry. Alternatively, you could create your own fundraiser through social media to encourage additional giving.
Thank you for making what we do possible. We couldn’t do this without you!
See you back in the theater soon.
The TCBF Board
P.S. If you or an artist you know is in need, please consider applying for relief from TCBF. With the challenges of the pandemic continuing, we understand folks need help now more than ever. We are here to make things easier!
Make sure to get your order in before November 9th!