Board of Directors

Northumberland Players has been a thriving community theatre for 43 years. The directors are willing and committed individuals who participate in the decision-making and share responsibilities for the on-going management of a company with 100 members and over 300 volunteers. That's what makes us great and enables us to produce many successful productions each year in several venues in Northumberland County, Ontario.

Directors attend monthly Board meetings where decisions are made, submit monthly reports, keep up to date by reading the reports of other directors, and take on one of the responsibilities according to their interests, skills, and/or desire to learn. Some directors serve for one term, but others return for multiple terms. The By-Law was amended in 2016 to provide two-year terms with half of the directors being elected each year to ensure continuity. Managing the Players is a big responsibility and a lot of work but it is also an excellent opportunity to determine where the company will be going in the future.

Members of the Board of Directors may be contacted by leaving a message at 905-372-0577 or by emailing

Meet the Current Board of Directors

Jack Boyagian – President and Artistic Director

I am a proud member of the Northumberland Players. I am the longest standing member of the Board of directors and have been President on two occasions. I enjoy being involved in making decisions with a group of dedicated people who love theatre and enjoy contributing to the culture of Cobourg.

After attending The University of Western Ontario, Brock University and Queen’s University, I taught elementary school for four years and taught at East Northumberland Secondary School for 27 years. I was the Head of English and taught art and drama as well. I was actively involved in coaching basketball and track and field for my entire career. I enjoyed running a theatre club before I retired in 2014.

I have directed a couple dozen plays at the Secondary School level and for the Northumberland Players including two musicals. When I don’t direct I enjoy being on stage in dramas and musicals. I learn something new about directing every time I am on stage and something new about acting each time I direct.

I am blessed to be in the same household as my talented choreographer and teacher Alina Adjemian and my daughter Alexia who can’t get enough of musical theatre and acting. I am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most passionate and creative people in the community: so fortunate to call them my friends. Theatre has enriched my life in this town. I hope to continue to enrich lives through theatre.

Valerie Russell – Vice-President and Executive Producer

In the forty-four years since becoming a founding member of the Northumberland Players, I have directed and produced countless plays and musicals with the organization, served on the board and acted as chairperson for several terms. This time, I’m hoping to bring my years of experience with the company combined with fresh ideas to try and help shape the next ten years of NP.

Strategic planning and continuing to mount exceptional productions are key, however, increasing membership through outreach, tapping into the strengths of members new and old and increasing interest through instruction by offering workshops are just some initiatives I hope to further integrate this year and beyond.

My dedication to excellence in performance and creative collaboration with such members has produced several notable productions, most recently Sister Act, Secret Garden, Les Miserables, Forever Plaid, Twelve Angry Men, Glengarry Glen Ross and Sexy Laundry.

Anne-Marie Bouthillette – Treasurer

This is my 9th consecutive season of being involved with the Players. It all started with my first role, as a “tribe” member (chorus ensemble) in Hair, and the revelation that the amazing productions I had seen and heard about were actually put on by members of my community!

After that I was hooked, and there was a succession of roles – whether on stage, backstage or, at times, both: actor, stage manager, producer, lighting and sound operator, front-of-house, dresser… I enjoy all aspects of it! And joining the Board of Directors was a logical next step.

I have over ten years’ experience leading community-based not-for-profit agencies, and have served on various Boards, including, locally, with Cook’s School Daycare in Cobourg. Professionally, I am a Supervisor with the Highland Shores Children’s Aid Society, and have made a career of helping families and women, through social work and community development.

I believe I have a broad set of skills to bring to the table, and am looking forward to working with this strong team, and sharing my passion for live theatre and community.

Sharon Anderson – Director of Membership, Volunteers and Communications

For the past three years the Northumberland Players become a large part of my weekly activities.  I have contributed to costumes and props on many productions, including costumes for Last Day, Last Hour and A Fox on the Fairway.  Most Monday mornings I can be found altering and mending at the Costume House. As a member of the Board, I contributed to the launch of our Safe Spaces policy.  This year, my portfolio is an important one – Membership, Volunteers and Communications.

Prior to our retirement to Grafton five years ago, I was a Human Resources professional and in the last ten years I was an Office Manager in charitable organizations.  I hold a post-graduate certificate in not-for-profit and arts sector management. My other commitments in Northumberland include hospice volunteering and Secretary to the Board of the Grafton Community Centre. I knit, sew, make jewellery, scuba dive, sail and ride my bike around the area

Leslee Argue – Director

Leslee has been involved with the Northumberland Players for the last 10 years filling many roles including producer, stage manager, set designer, set dresser and lead painter.  In addition, she has served 3 years on the Northumberland Players Board of Directors, 2 as Secretary and 1 as Vice President.

Prior to retirement Leslee gained a wide range of skills and experience in human resources consulting, managing her family-owned direct mail fundraising business and running her own landscape design business.

Leslee is passionate about the Players and views it as “a well run, welcoming organization that gives back to the community and provides many opportunities for individuals to use their talents and make lasting friendships”.  She looks forward to being part of the Board of Directors team and contributing to the Players and the community in this new way.

Robert Bailey – Director

Bob Bailey has been involved in community theatre for almost 20 years, always as an actor, and he is ready to give back in helping the Northumberland Players achieve even greater success in our community

In the early 2000s, Bob auditioned with Musical Theatre Productions in London, Ontario ( and was in a few musicals, followed by several shows with the Boardmore Playhouse ( and Savoy Theatre ( in Cape Breton.

Bob has been involved with the Players since 2015, acting in Harvey, 1940s Radio Christmas Carol, Last Day Last Hour, and The Odd Couple.

When not doing theatre, his day jobs at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa have included Associate Provost, Acting Dean of Business & IT, Interim Dean of Energy Systems & Nuclear Science, Interim President, and, currently, Interim Provost & Vice-President, Academic.

Grant Coward – Director

Grant has been involved with the performing arts for most of his life. He sang and toured with the Ontario Youth Choir, performed in many musical theatre companies while teaching full time with the Durham District School Board, and sang with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Mendelssohn Singers.

Grant has been actively involved with the Players since 2014 as an actor. He was the co-chair of the Northumberland Players 40th Anniversary Ruby Gala and has also assisted with the June barbecue recognizing the contributions of our volunteers.

A true passion of Grant’s is the Players’ Outreach Program, which he would like to further promote as a board member.

Rick Miller – Director of Governance and Policy Coordinator

Rick and his artist wife Betsy moved to Cobourg in 2011.  Soon thereafter, it was Rick’s love of movies that led him to join the team of the Vintage Film Festival, which is hosted by Marie Dressler Foundation, a not-for-profit registered charity. In 2013 Rick joined the Board of the Foundation and was elected President & Chair, a position which he continues to occupy.  Over the past few years, Rick has led the Foundation’s Board in visioning, funding and building the new interactive Marie Dressler Museum as well as hosting a number of “Celebrate Marie Dressler 150events last year.

In the local cultural sector, as Treasurer of Art Gallery of Northumberland from 2014 to late 2017, Rick was instrumental in the recovery in the Gallery’s financial condition.

In 2017, after 43 years with CIBC, Rick retired from his role as Vice-President, Risk Management, CIBC. Rick is currently a Board member and Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee of Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation. In April 2018, the Town of Cobourg honored Rick as Cobourg’s Outstanding Volunteer of the Year with the “Angus and Bernice Read Volunteer Award”.

Rick is looking forward to working with the Northumberland Players team which provides an important contribution to the cultural well-being of our community.

Carlotta Rutledge – Director of Youth Program

I moved to Cobourg in 2016 and looked around for a theatre to be involved with (its always a little nerve-wracking being the new person). I found that Northumberland Players welcomed me with open arms, my new home.  While living in Picton, I was a member of the Marysburgh Mummers. During my 10 years with them, I held a number of positions on the board as President, Vice-president, Treasurer, and Director, and also Coordinator for the March Break and Summer Drama Camp, Mt. Tabor Playhouse. I have developed theatre production skills in directing, producing, stage-managing, costume design and costume construction.

In the past, being Mom came first. Once all my children were happily situated in school, I went back to school for a year in a adult retraining program. Upon completion, my teacher gave me some info about contracts through the municipal government to work for families with special needs children after a year of contract work, I fell into a dream job, twenty minutes from home, at School House Playcare of Durham and I stayed with them till I retired.

I am looking forward to playing with the creative team and having new adventures with Northumberland Players.

Jenny Ryan – Director
Victor Svenningson – Director of Health and Safety and Technical Coordinator

I am the newbie to the Northumberland Players, my first show being sound design for Quartet. I have spent my whole professional life in some aspect of technical entertainment.

My early days as a sound designer for Festival Lennoxville, Toronto Workshop Productions, and the Shaw Festival. From there to a technical director for Harbourfront Centre and twenty years at the Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre (LAC). I also spent a few years working for Strand Lighting Canada as a sales rep.

I have had the opportunity to work on thousands of events, shows and performance venues over the years. Every day is different and there is something electrifying about the industry, the people, the challenges and the ever changing technology.

I have lived in Port Hope for just over twenty years and have volunteered as production manager for the All Canadian Jazz Festival and am a founding member of Northumberland 89.7. I am also a founding member of the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology (CITT), and  treasurer of the Ontario Section. 

I love working in the arts and being part of the creative process. I have a huge respect for creative people. I am very recently retired from the LAC and look forward to spending more time in Northumberland and with my wife.

Report on the 2019 Annual General Meeting

The 2019 AGM was held on November 4, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Firehall.

  1. The following annual reports from the 2019 Directors were submitted:
  2. Since 2016, members of the Board of Directors have been elected for two-year terms to ensure some continuity. Directors can also stand for re-election for another two-year term For clarity, the 1st and 2nd indicate whether the Director is serving the first or second year of their current term.

    As there were no further nominations, the Players welcomed the 11 members of the Board of Directors who were acclaimed for 2019-20:

    • Anderson, Sharon (1st)
    • Argue, Leslee (1st)
    • Bailey, Robert (2nd)
    • Bouthillette, Anne-Marie (2nd)
    • Boyagian, Jack (1st)
    • Coward, Grant (1st)
    • Miller, Rick (2nd)
    • Russell, Valerie (2nd)
    • Rutledge, Carlotta (2nd)
    • Ryan, Jenny (1st)
    • Svenningson, Victor (1st)