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 [email protected]

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.

Leslee Argue - Treasurer

Leslee has been involved with the Northumberland Players for over a decade filling many roles including producer, stage manager, set designer, set dresser and lead painter. In addition, she has served for a number of years on the Northumberland Players Board of Directors, as Secretary, Vice President and now as Treasurer.

Prior to retirement Leslee gained a wide range of knowledge, experience and skills 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, viewing 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 feels privileged to serve the Players and the broader community as part of the Board of Directors team.

Sharon Anderson - Secretary

The Northumberland Players is a key part of my retirement. I have contributed to costumes and props on many productions, and volunteer at the Costume House. This is my second two-year term on the Board and this year I have taken on the role of Secretary.

Prior to our retirement to Grafton, 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 tutoring for Rebound and sit on the Board of Northumberland Hills Hospital. I knit, sew, make jewellery, scuba dive, and ride my bike around the area.

Matt Blundell - Director

My first experience with the Northumberland Players was helping to set up lights for Les Misérables and it was on that day that I knew I wanted to be part of this organization for a very long time. The talent and opportunities within the Northumberland Players never ceases to amaze me. Whether it's performing on stage, in either a musical or play, or contributing in a technical or back stage role, I am fortunate to have lots of opportunities to do all of it and always look forward to being part of the next creative process and team.

I have been doing theatre in some form or another for the better part of the last 30 years and feel truly honoured to have found a home for my passion of theatre, by being a part of this group.

I am also so incredibly fortunate for the friendships that have been formed with the members from this group over my years of involvement with the Players.

My goal as a board member is to support all of our volunteers and productions however I can and help this organization to continue to grow for the betterment of our volunteers, patrons and the community as a whole.

Fran Martin - Director

Fran has worked in various areas including, academia, accounting, law, corporate and the music business. In all these areas she was an executive secretary/administrative assistant. When she was a mere teenager, she did help with makeup for the St. Peter’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society in Scarborough, Ontario.

Fran moved to Cobourg and quickly joined the Northumberland Players starting with painting sets and then filled a number of positions for various plays, including, Props Lead, Assistant Props, Stage Manager, Assistant Stage Manager, Dresser, Producer. For the last couple of years she has taken on the role of Office Manager at the Player’s Fire hall Office.

Having not been fully involved with theatre until recent years, she has met many interesting and colourful people and enjoys experiencing the excitement of being involved in the productions.

Jennie Ryan - Director

I came to the Northumberland Players 14 years ago when I auditioned for a part. At the time I was not a member but during my acting debut I came to realise this was a real family of dedicated, caring, fun people. I became a member immediately and have been fortunate to have honed my acting skills with the various committed Directors.

When not on stage I am often asked to work on props and set decor. It is impressive how volunteering at any level can provide a volunteer with new skill sets and new friends.

I was on the Accessibility Advisory Committee for 14 years and am passionate that as the Players move forward we provide accessibility for all who are interested in joining this dedicated community group.

Victor Svenningson - Director of Health and Safety and Technical Coordinator

Northumberland Players has been a great place to land after retiring. My first show was Quartet fall of 2017 as sound design.

I have spent my whole professional life in some aspect of technical entertainment. My early days as a sound designer for 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. I also spent some time 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 over twenty-five 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).

I love working in the arts and being part of the creative process. I have huge respect for creative people.

Jackie Tinson - Director

Jackie first became involved with the Players in 2015 when she and Mary Doig sought permission to take a musical play reading of Dickens' A Christmas Carol to retirement homes in Cobourg and Port Hope and to the rural community in Grafton. This was the first of several Outreach productions, all supported by Christine and Chris Sharp and the C# Singers.

Subsequently Jackie became involved in productions at the Firehall. Her professional life has been spent in teaching and administration at post-secondary institutions.

Report on the 2021 Annual General Meeting

The 2021 AGM was held on November 23, 2021, at 7:00pm via teleconferencing.

  1. The following annual reports from the 2021 Directors were submitted:
  2. The definition of "Member" in the By-laws was amended to read:

    7.01 Who May be a Member
    All persons who are sympathetic to the objectives of Northumberland Players may apply for membership. Individuals who have participated in Northumberland Players’ activities may qualify for annual membership provided that they complete the Code of Conduct form.
    Only those members 18 yrs of age and older have the right to vote on matters pertaining to Northumberland Players at their Annual Meeting of Members. While persons under 18 yrs. of age may be members, they are not entitled to voting privileges until they have reached 18 yrs. of age.
    Persons may be admitted to membership by resolution of the board at any time during the year. Members admitted and confirmed up to October first each year will be eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting of Members.

  3. 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 members of the Board of Directors who were acclaimed for 2021-22:

    • President: Jack Boyagian
    • Vice-President: Valerie Russell
    • Treasurer: Leslee Argue
    • Secretary: Sharon Anderson
    • Jennie Ryan (1st)
    • Victor Svenningson (2nd)
    • Matt Blundell (1st)
    • Fran Martin (1st)
    • Jackie Tinson (1st)