Hartford, CT, Nov 1, 2022 – TheaterWorks Hartford, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero and Board President Dina Plapler announced today the recent election of board directors Fernando Ferro, Christopher Hayes, Stephanie Johnson and Christopher White.

Producing Artistic Director Rob Ruggiero said I’m excited to welcome Fernando, Stephanie and both Chris Hayes and Chris White to our board. Collectively they bring an understanding of the work we do and why our work in the community matters. Individually, they bring skills and expertise to our organization that will help us shepherd in a future filled with creative possibility”

Fernando Ferro is a filmmaker from Caracas, Venezuela. He ­­started his career directing national television campaigns for Yum brands, co-creating a political satire show, “The Rick Sanchez Show” for Mira T.V, and directing and producing theater for “Paseo De Las Artes”, a theater company based in Miami which is co-run by Miguel Ferro. He has produced or directed over 15 plays for “Paseo” in Miami, nominated for numerous awards for his work. Most recently, Fernando wrote, produced, and filmed his theatrical directorial debut,” The Big Feed”. Fernando has served as Vice President of Content Strategy for the film financing and production company, Foton Pictures.  His work for Foton produced critically acclaimed films that were shown around the world. “Pink Skies Ahead” and “The Birthday Cake” to name a few. Fernando formed “Mini Mach Media” with his producing partner, Emerson Machtus. With over 20 years of collective experience in the entertainment industry, Mini Mach Media is a multicultural studio committed to empowering talent and delivering diverse content across all platforms. 

Christopher Hayes is a non-profit professional and a longtime Hartford resident. As Director of Operations at Riverfront Recapture, where he started as an intern 16 years ago, he is dedicated to the city and its success, both professionally and personally. Chris has a seat on the City of Hartford’s Tree Advisory Commission and is the Chair of the Park and Recreation Advisory Commission. He previously served on the iQuilt Board of Corporators and in 2019 he was appointed Hartford Harbor Master by Governor Ned Lamont. In 2020, he filled a seat on the 6th District of the Democratic Town Committee, and he now serves as secretary for the Hartford DTC.  Chris volunteers for the Hartford Marathon Foundation each year, is a Justice of the Peace and has a 3-year-old golden retriever named Dock. He is an avid rower, has trained and coached youth in Riverfront’s rowing programs and has an a­­biding love of theater.

Stephanie Johnson lives and works in downtown Hartford.  As an attorney, former stage manager and actor (who sometimes dabbles in community theatre), Stephanie hopes to bring her diverse experiences and her skills to support TheaterWorks Hartford mission and vision. Stephanie is also a member of the board for Riverfront Recapture, and an adjunct professor at University of Connecticut School of Law.  She is looking forward to working with the Board and staff of TheaterWorks and is delighted to be part of this ground breaking organization.

Christopher White was the founder and CEO of LIFE Publications, a chain of 13 local suburban news magazines and the owner of Hartford Magazine, as well as the founder of BuzzEngine Marketing and Events. Both companies were sold in 2015 and 2017, and after 23 years as an entrepreneur he returned to creative writing. In the non-profit world, he spent more than two decades serving on four Boards of Directors: The Connecticut Humane Society (with one term as Board Chairman), Hartford Stage, The Mark Twain House, and Connecticut Opera. On the municipal level, he served on the Wethersfield Board of Education and Economic Development and Improvements Commission, and currently is a member of the Avon Democratic Town Committee. He is passionate about theater and the arts and looks forward to supporting the fantastic work done at TheaterWorks Hartford. He lives in Avon with his husband, Patrick Langevin.

For the 22/23 season, TheaterWorks Board Officers and Directors includes : Dina Plapler (President), Kristen Phillips (Vice President), Larry Samplatsky (Treasurer), Grace Figueredo (Secretary), Jennifer DiBella (Assistant Secretary), Michael G. Albano, Stacy BrusaFernando Ferro, Christopher Hayes, Gordon Hui, Stephanie Johnson, Lee G. Kuckro, Supriya Laknidhi, Felix Okwaning, Roberta Prescott, Robert Pulito, Marcia Smith, Chris White.

“Our board has been an unwavering source of support the past few years. We’re grateful for their willingness to explore ‘the possible’ with us. They value our artistry and the impact our storytelling has on building community and they understand that the organization grows stronger when we work together.  We’re looking forward to discovering what the future holds for TheaterWorks Hartford” said Rob Ruggiero, Producing Artistic Director.

Visit twhartford.org for more

About TheaterWorks Hartford
Celebrating its 37th season, TheaterWorks Hartford (TWH) is committed to the power storytelling has in creating community. Founded in 1985, TWH has produced over 170 plays and presents approximately 150 performances per season. TWH also owns and manages the historic property at 233 Pearl Street, known as City Arts on Pearl.

Funding Credits

TheaterWorks Hartford is supported by Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Travelers, Aetna, Hartford Financial Services, Hartford Healthcare, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Bank of America, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, Richard P. Garmany Fund, United Technologies Corporation, J. Walton Bissell Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Liberty Bank, John and Kelly Hartman Foundation, Connecticut Office of the Arts, George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, Cheryl Chase & Stuart Bear Family Foundation, People’s United Bank, TD Bank, William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, The Saunders Foundation.

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