True Story Theater was launched in 2001 by director Christopher Ellinger.   Our ensemble of 23 multi-talented performers include actors, dancers, singers and musicians.  In our “day jobs” we are counselors, administrators, nonprofit directors, radio producers, scientists, researchers and more.  Since six of us perform at any given time, one of the delights of seeing repeated True Story shows is the ever-changing casts and the different talents we bring. We hold auditions once or twice a year.

Meet Our Troupe

Ajay Jain

Ajay Jain

Ajay grew up in Calcutta, India where he started acting in college to overcome shyness and stage fright. He has acted in dozens of plays in India and US and in English and Hindi. When not acting, he manages operations for an IT Staffing company and enjoys his time with his family. He also volunteers for Art of Living foundation.

Alysa Escobar

Alysa Escobar

teaches dance and drama to children as well as writing plays for young audiences. She loves to dance, sing, play, and practices Nia. She believes in the power of art and the creative spirit to heal and facilitate change.

Amber Espar

Amber Espar

works on business and partnership building for True Story Theater, teaches creative movement and ecology classes, and coordinates festivals and creative exchanges with Playback North America. She is a certified Dynamic Embodiment somatic movement educator and therapist.

Anne Ellinger

Anne Ellinger

has been part of True Story Theater from the start. She and husband Christopher (True Story’s Director) are cofounders of Bolder Giving, a national initiative that promotes the stories of extraordinary givers. She is part of the team helping to launch Playback North America.

Annie Hoffman

Annie Hoffman

worked for 20 years as a potter and the last 15 years as a yoga teacher and mother. She manages Art and Soul – a space in Cambridge MA for creative/expressive arts.

Ari Daniel Shapiro

Ari Daniel Shapiro

Ari tells stories for a living, reporting on science and the environment for public radio programs. Ari Daniel Shapiro’s grandmother turned him onto the world of theater in middle school, and it has been a passion of his ever since.

Brandon Sloan

Brandon Sloan

is a dancer, writer and bodyworker originally from Philadelphia PA. He is currently in school completing his clinical doctorate degree in physical therapy. In his free time he is probably wondering what all the craziness is about.

Caitlin Green

Caitlin Green

is a graduate of Emerson College in Theatre Education/Acting. she produced and performed “Seed of Spirit GenY,” a one woman interactive piece. Caitlin is also a yoga teacher.

Caryn May

Caryn May

Caryn is an actor, singer, dancer (in that order) and passionate about the power of empathy and clear communication to empower and heal. She grew up in Virginia Beach, VA and recently earned her Masters degree in Dramatic Arts from Harvard Extension School. www.carynmay.com

Christopher Ellinger

Christopher Ellinger

founded True Story Theater in 2001. He brings to his leadership over 30 years as a nonprofit founder and executive director. Before focusing on his passion for the arts, he was a national presenter and award-winning author on philanthropy promotion and co-founder of BolderGiving.org.

Emily Burkes-Nossiter

Emily Burkes-Nossiter

is a mother, teacher, artist, dancer, drama therapist, and gardener. She holds a BA in sociology from Columbia U. and an M.A. in drama therapy from CA Institute for Integral Studies.

Jason Jedrusiak

Jason Jedrusiak

is a performance and multi-media artist, improvisational actor/director, yoga and meditation instructor, photographer, poet, and clown. Jason also directs Laughing Matter, a non-profit dedicated to spreading laughter to those in need.

Kathleen Sills

Kathleen Sills

is a professor at Merrimack College where she teaches theatre and directs. She has a masters degree in Expressive Therapies, loves to dance and is an avid Nia practitioner.

Mary Elizabeth Wheeler

Mary Elizabeth Wheeler

is an improvisational songwriter, song leader, singer, and teacher with 22 years in Authentic VoiceWork. Co-creator of the SpiritSong process and the Mystic Soul CD, she directs Indigo River, an organization dedicated to bringing the authentic voice to life.

Megan Lynes

Megan Lynes

Megan Lynes grew up in Boston, and is a Unitarian Universalist parish minister in Bedford, MA. She is an artist, activist, theatre fan and animal lover, and especially enjoys leading a middle school youth group.

Melissa Nussbaum

Melissa Nussbaum

is passionate about the possibility of theater to be a tool for social justice. All the better to do it by telling stories

Michelle Mount

Michelle Mount

has performed in 35+ productions with theatrical organizations around the country. For 7+ years she has taught and directed children’s theatre productions and classes. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies with a concentration in Dramatic Arts from Harvard University.

Myles Green

Myles Green

is an inquiry-based educator at Newton Public Schools and beyond. He passionately tends honeybees, teaches fermentation workshops and LOVES LIFE

Paul Merrill

Paul Merrill

has returned to Boston where he is a trainer of Nonviolent Communication at NVC Boston. He is also a painter, and was lead vocalist in The Joan Group for ten years.

Priscilla H. Sanville

Priscilla H. Sanville

Prilly is an advocate for culturally responsive teaching with more than 35 years experience in schools and community organizations. She is the co-founder and former director of the Arts, Community and Education Masters degree at Lesley University.

Shoshana Narva

Shoshana Narva

is a licensed clinical social worker. She practices contact improvisation dance, authentic movement and clowning when she is not playing with True Story theatre. She loves stories!!!

Teresa Dias

Teresa Dias

began her career onstage at age 15, with the circus. In 1998, she co-created a trapeze act which toured North and South America and Europe, and performed for six years in Germany’s thriving Cabaret scene. Teresa holds a degree in Expressive Therapies from Lesley University.

Tonia Pinheiro

Tonia Pinheiro

is founder of Wake Up! Works and ISEEU Theater. She uses her love of improv, and her musical, professional, communications and spiritual knowledge and skills in service to individual, social, and planetary healing and conscious living.