True Story Theater was launched in 2001 by Christopher Ellinger.   Our ensemble includes 11 multi-talented performers include actors, dancers, singers and musicians (plus other wonderful guest artists).  In our “day jobs” we are counselors, administrators, nonprofit directors, radio producers, scientists, researchers and more.  Since 4-6 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.

Meet Our Troupe

Amber Espar

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

Anne Ellinger

has been part of True Story Theater from the start. She and husband Christopher founded Playback North America (PNA) and wrote several books about Playback (available through the PNA).

BBB

is a trained actor and drama therapist. He graduated from the Montreal Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in 2007 and from Concordia University graduate school in Montreal in 2015.

Christopher Ellinger

founded True Story Theater in 2001. He brings to his leadership over 40 years as a social entrepreneur and trainer. 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.

Franci DuMar

is a graduate of Lesley University’s Expressive Arts Therapy with interest in farm therapy. She has been a Playback artist for 12 years since she was a young teen.

Jacek Kukluk

discovered joy in performing while reciting Polish literature during his childhood in Poland in turbulent political and economic times. After moving to the USA, he trained in public speaking, contact improv dancing, and improvisational comedy. He develops software to improve the safety of cancer patients treated with radiation.

Jason Jedrusiak

is an aspiring play and drama therapist, and facilitator of yoga, theater, and social circus for all ages. Jason enjoys sharing perspective through storytelling, improvisation, and playfulness. He is a therapeutic hospital clown with Hearts and Noses and is starting a Theatre of the Oppressed group in Boston.

Johnny Lapham

is an artist, actor, singer, and teacher working with issues of male behavior, positive sexuality, and white people working against racism.

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

is an improvisational vocal performance artist, songwriter, song leader and coach. Co-creator of the SpiritSong process and the Mystic Soul CD, she has 30 years’ experience teaching Authentic VoiceWork. She directs Indigo River Consulting, Bringing the Authentic Voice to Life.

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

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. See wakeupworks.org

Meet Guest Artists

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

A performing artist since 2004, Alysa holds a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling. Her healing journey from cancer deeply influenced her work. She often travels in Mexico or outside of the US and appreciates connecting across cultural differences and helping clients build a compassionate relationship with their bodies.

Annie Hoffman

Annie Hoffman

Annie Hoffman is an Iyengar yoga teacher and manager of Art and Soul – a space in Cambridge MA for creative/expressive arts. Her son Adrian is a professional dancer.

Amy Tai

Amy Tai

is an educator, musician, peer counseling teacher, community organizer, climate change activist and mother of a home schooled 12 year old. She currently teaches violin at the Suzuki School of Newton.

Ari Daniel

Ari Daniel

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

Belle Linda Halpern

Belle Linda Halpern

Belle Linda, Inspiring Educators Founder, Ariel Group Founding Partner and Co-author of "Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate, and Inspire," brings the skills of a consultant, speaker, educator, coach and singer/actress to her work.

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.

Cat Gilliam

Cat Gilliam

is a long-term Playback Theatre performer and Nonviolent Communication trainer, currently living in New Mexico (US).

Eva Vander Giessen

Eva Vander Giessen

is a dancer and connector who engages global stakeholders around social and environmental justice. She has an expertise in network building, facilitation and curriculum design, social impact entrepreneurship, and inclusive multi-national teams.

Katey Branch

Katey Branch

is a dancer, massage therapist, yoga instructor, facilitator, and community engagement convener

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.

Shoshana Narva

Shoshana Narva

is a licensed clinical social worker. She practices contact improvisation dance, authentic movement and clowning.