John Allnutt – Newsletter Editor, Archivist, and Co-Publicity Manager
John has been an active member of BP since 2008, stepping in at a late stage as a replacement cast member in Free As Air and Something’s Afoot. He directed Getting Married in 2009 and has been cast in 8 other BP shows since 2010, in roles varying from Basil Fawlty to Prime Minister John Major. He always participates in load-ins and strikes for the shows he’s in. He was secretary of the Kensington-Garrett Players from 1983-1988 and on the Montgomery Playhouse play-reading committee for roughly 26 years.
Sara Cath – Treasurer and Co-Box Office Adminstrator
Sara became a member of the British Players in 2014 and joined the Board in 2016. She began her tenure with the Players helping backstage for the 50th Anniversary Music Hall, which quickly snowballed into performing in Panto and Music Hall. While continuing to be a part of almost every production over the last seven seasons, she took on the role of Treasurer and production Business Manager in 2017 after earning her B.S. in accounting. In her “spare” time, she adjudicates for the Ruby Griffith Awards.
Nicola Winterton Hoag – Vice President, Wardrobe Mistress, and Social Events Manager
Nicola has been a member of The Players for 29 years after performing as a Bow Belle in Music Hall. Over the years she has been involved in many productions both on and off stage, and has served on The Players’ Board as Corresponding Secretary and Socials Chair. Currently she serves as Vice President and Socials Co-Chair as well as being responsible as Costume Mistress for the Players’ extensive collection of costumes. Nicola co-produced, co-directed, costumed, and appeared in BP’s Online Pandemic Holiday Spectacular in 2020 and Let’s All Go to the Music Hall in 2021. Nicola directed our very successful Panto, The Wizard of Oz, the Player’s first show at Kensington after the two year COVID hiatus.
Chrish Kresge – Artistic Liaison, Play Selection Committee, and Special Shows Co-Manager
Chrish joined the Players in 1987, having been involved with community theatre for most of her adult life – acting, directing and producing in Cairo, Rabat, Kathmandu, Accra and Washington, DC. She served as President of The Maadi Community Players in Egypt, Chairman of the Ghana International Players and, in Morocco, revived the Very Little Theatre of Rabat. She directed BP’s Don’t Dress for Dinner, Bedside Manners, and Calendar Girls, and was co-producer of the much delayed presentation of The Audience in March 2022. Chrish believes in the power of community theatre to bring people together, allowing them to grow to their full potential in diverse ways. She has a strong commitment to theatre and especially to The British Players. Chrish makes her living as a Feldenkrais® practitioner.
Sarah Leembruggen – Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Props Mistress, and Play Selection Committee
Sarah has been a member of The British Players since 1992. She has appeared on stage, worked backstage and produced several pantomimes and music halls, and directed Cinderella (2001). Sarah served on the BP board before moving to Frederick MD in 2005 with her husband Robert and their two children. Sarah works for Frederick County Public Schools as an instructional assistant and is an active member of her school and children’s PTA’s, particularly the arts and theatre programs. Recently, Sarah worked with the Endangered Species Theatre Project as costume coordinator for their teen company as well as appearing as Lady Montague in their production of Romeo and Juliet. Sarah was last seen on stage with The Players as Pepper as part of the Salt and Pepper duo in The Wizard of Oz.
Mike Lewis – President
Mike joined the BEP in 1980 working in many back-stage roles through 1989, when his job took him away from Washington. After retiring in 2006 and returning to Maryland, Mike has been involved in some way in every BP production, and designed sets for Bedside Manners, Something’s Afoot, Noises Off, and The Audience, and co-designed the set for The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In 2008 he was elected to the Board, becoming the company’s Technical Director & Vice President, but now serves as President. As a board member, his primary objectives will be to maintain the Players emphasis on British Theatre and to further expand our niche role in the very competitive community theatre environment in which we now find ourselves.
Matt Mills – Technical Director
Matt is a web designer by day and sound designer by night. He has worked in many different technical theatre roles (even on stage once!) for over 55 productions in the past 10 years, after being bitten by the theatre bug. The 51st Old Time Music Hall was his first show with the Players and one of the first shows he worked on after leaving his Columbia, South Carolina theatre community behind. He enjoyed it enough to stick around for 12 more BP productions and is still counting. He was elected to the Board in 2018 and currently serves as Technical Director. Matt continues to serve on the Board, and contributes his technical expertise to BP’s operations and productions.
Emilia O’Connor – Membership Secretary, Outreach and Diversity Co-Manager, and Co-Box Office Administrator
Emilia has been a BP member since the times when we were still at the Embassy. More often than not, you will see her involved in Panto or helping out wherever she can. Aside from directing a Panto for BP, she has worn practically every theatre “hat” having been an actor, director/asst. director, teacher, stage manager, vocal coach, and techie, among others. She started at an early age with Imagination Stage (Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts) and went on to NYU’s Playwrights Horizons Studio. She is a co-founder and artist for ArtStream, Inc., where she was on the board for almost a decade. Emilia now serves on the BP board as Membership and Membership Outreach Secretary, having previously assisted with Publicity. She is also a Special Educator for Montgomery County Public Schools.
Lauren Pacuit – Publicity & Social Media Manager and Social Events Manager
Lauren moved to Chevy Chase, MD in 2012 from Amsterdam. Originally from Westport, CT she holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MA in Educational Psychology from New York University. Lauren has served on the Board of Directors of Blossom Birth and also the Rollingwood Citizens Association, where she was Co-president for two years. She currently serves on the Child Center of NY advisory board, and loves volunteering in the community and helping to bring people together. Lauren has been involved with the Players for five years, two of which were on the BP Board as Socials co-Chair. She enjoys performing in Panto with her daughter, Lily and co-produced Alice in Wonderland in 2019 and The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 2022. Lauren will be co-producing As You Like It in spring 2023.
Clare Palace – Social Events Manager and Artistic Liasion
Clare joined the Players in 1995 and has been involved with the group ever since. Cast in Pantos, Music Halls, plays and farces, and she even bared it all for Calendar Girls! Clare has stage managed, run lights, built sets, painted scenery, and assisted in many social events. She retired from the Federal Government in 2017 and is now a Real Estate Agent licensed in DC and MD. Born in England, her Dad was a Vicar and she, too, is an Ordained Celebrant, performing Weddings and Funerals as The Capitol Hill Celebrant. Clare is married to the talented Guy Palace and Mum to Thaddeus.
Missi Tessier – Diversity and Outreach Co-Manager, Play Selection Committee, and Special Shows Co-Manager
Missi co-produced, co-directed and appeared in BP’s online production of Let’s All Go to the Music Hall in 2021, as well as BP’s Online Pandemic Holiday Spectacular in 2020. Missi performed in Music Hall in the 1990s, then after raising her family returned to BP to appear in Fawlty Towers, Something’s Afoot, two more recent Music Halls, and four pantomimes. Missi was active in Hexagon for many years, performing, writing, serving on its Board for three years (two years as program chairman and one as secretary) and receiving its President’s Award. In her professional life, Missi has been a public affairs consultant, speech writer, political communications director, media trainer, content editor and media strategist.