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 info@northumberlandplayers.ca

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.

Grant Coward - Secretary

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.

Kelly Ambrose - Director

Kelly's love of theatre started in middle school with a Gilbert & Sullivan production of the Mikado. After relocating to Northumberland County 15 years ago for her professional life, finding music and theatre was a priority and she discovered the Players with a role in Jesus Christ Superstar. She has been involved a number of other musical endeavours and shows with various community groups also and it brings tremendous joy.

Kelly has served on a number of boards over the years in a variety of areas from the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, Green Wood Coaltion, St. Marks Anglican Church/St. Marks Court and now this year the Players and Oriana Singers. She truly values the opportunity to add skill sets to organizations that make such a difference in our community.

Kelly's professional life finds her at Trinity College School in Information Technology after a long career in technology both in education, law and banking.

Kelly adds a broad set of skills to bring to the Board's table and specifically her role in governance. She looks forward to working with this talented and strong team and sharing her 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

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 (mtplondon.ca) and was in a few musicals, followed by several shows with the Boardmore Playhouse (cbu.ca/campus/boardmore-playhouse) and Savoy Theatre (savoytheatre.com) 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.

Rebecca Rennicks - Director of Youth Programs

Rebecca Rennicks was first introduced to Northumberland Players’ Youth Theatre program by her high school drama teacher as a teen and fondly remembers being a recipient of Northumberland Players’ Theatre Award when she graduated grade 13 in 1992.

Fast forward 25 yrs or so and she found her way back to the Players, this time with her daughter, Abby, volunteering alongside her. Rebecca has worked on a number of shows in a variety of roles since 2017 and has discovered that she loves working offstage almost as much as being onstage!

Having worked with youth in her professional life and being a mom to two teens, Rebecca is super excited to be the Director of Youth Programs at NP and can’t wait to get back to the theatre!

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.

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)