Chair: Jane Easton
Jane returns to the role of chair which she last held from 2001-2004. She has just completed 10 years as treasurer of the society. More frequently seen backstage, having stage managed over 20 shows for the society, or in the lighting box or box office she was seen on stage some years ago as Rita, the blond bombshell girlfriend of Billy Liar.
Jane was instrumental in bringing the Festival of European Amateur Theatrical Societies (FEATS) to Geneva for the first time in 1999, was the organising chairman then and again when GEDS hosted FEATS 2011. Since retiring from gainful employment she has been involved in the Theatre In English ticket office, is their current chairman and coordinates ticket sales for many GEDS productions.
Vice Chair: Christopher Bailey
Christopher is currently serving as Vice Chair and head of the Production Subcommittee for GEDS. For the opening production of the GEDS season, Bailey is directing Frankenstein. His previous two directorial efforts were the acclaimed productions of Crimes of the Heart and Of Mice and Men. GEDS audiences are familiar with a variety of memorable acting roles Bailey has peformed in the last several years including the patriarch Ben from Lillian Hellmann's The Little Foxes, the brash Hollywood Producer Karl in Ben Elton's Popcorn, as well as a hapless aristocrat Nigel in Noel Coward's Relative Values. Bailey has also fostered GEDS' popular theatre workshop series and led a number of acting workshops including 'Building a Character' and 'Preparation for the Actor'.
Educated at Columbia and Oxford Universities, and trained in Meisner Technique at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, for over ten years Bailey was a professional actor, director and playwright based in New York City with numerous theatre, film and television credits including Broadway and regional theatres before entering the field of development and global health. He has also toured throughout the UK. Currently when not acting, directing, or mentoring others in theatre, he is the Coordinator of On-line Communications for the World Health Organization.
Treasurer: John Newsome
John has been elected as GEDS Treasurer for the next 18 months. He has been a member of the society for more than 30 years, usually involved in backstage activities, lighting over 36 of the society’s productions and helped building sets for all of the shows in the last 10 years.
This is his first time on the GEDS Committee. He is also webmaster for Theatre in English (and retired TiE Treasurer).
Secretary: Christina Vasala Kokkinaki
Publicity Coordinator: Tamaam Madi-Nassar
Settled in Geneva since 1992, Tamaam joined GEDS only in 2014, but jumped in the deep end. Tamaam has appeared onstage as Lenny in Crimes of the Heart (2016) and as The Boss in Of Mice and Men (2017), in addition to having performed in numerous playreadings, notably as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman, la Marquise de Merteuil in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and Felicity in Relative Values. She has also been active backstage as assistant director to Christopher Bailey for Of Mice and Men; stage manager of Geneva's Got Talent (2016); assistant stage manager to Jane Easton for Caught in the Net (2015); and has had a few stints as front of house manager. In spring 2018, Tamaam ventured for the first time into film as Production Manager and Co-Casting Director of the short independent film, Lycan.
Since November 2016, Tamaam has served on committee as Publicity Coordinator.
Events Coordinator: Lance Newhart
Playreadings Coordinator: Gary Bird
Gary Bird has been a member of GEDS since 2012. He has appeared in several MainStage productions (Baby With the Bathwater, Who Killed Hamlet?, Much Ado About Nothing, Proof, and Of Mice and Men). He has also appeared in and directed a number of staged readings. He hails from San Francisco by way of Kansas, and is a professor at Webster University. He has also worked with the independent local theatre group, Theatre Someone. He has just joined the Committee so go easy on him.
FEATS, Minutes Secretary: Tim Hancox
Tim has been around the Geneva amateur theatre scene since his schooldays, first playreading as Richard Coeur de Lion in The Lion in Winter, a role later reprised in GEDS’ stage production in 1989, an elegant event in Holy Trinity Church (mere theatres not being available at that time). How interesting to unpack the London hampers of costumes and discover that we were renting many of those used for the earlier film. Tim continued to delude himself with monarchical grandeur as Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons and as Emperor Joseph II in Amadeus. He has also filled most roles backstage at one time or another, and directed many shows for GEDS (and the now-defunct Little Theater of Geneva). Favourites? Not really: Tim reckons you get tunnel vision on whatever you are currently directing, and enjoy it to the full. Highlights? The time the Royal Shakespeare Company brought The Winter’s Tale to Geneva in collaboration with GEDS and needed walk-ons.
Technical Manager: Nathalie Stump
I have been a member of GEDS for 30 years and on the technical team for 21 years and on the committee for many of those.Not having the word memory or acting skills to go on stage, I do my theatre back stage which is most satisfying as we techies know that no play can be done without us. I have the reputation of being able to find,borrow,source or make almost anything from body parts,sash windows,jewellery,fake documents and even sardines, I am very priveledged to be a Chipendale chipette and represent the technical crew on committee.
Membership Secretary: Karen Robotham
Karen joined GEDS in 2014 and appeared in the play reading for newcomers, Relative Values, as Moxie. She was also briefly seen in GEDS Writes in 2015. Previous acting experience: none (apart from a school play in 7th grade, playing the princess in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Swineherd. She suspects she got the role for being a reasonably good student rather for her good looks!) She really enjoyed doing Front of House at the Coppet theatre the last three years. An excellent way to meet people – and help the Society!
Keen to be more involved with GEDS, learn more about theatre productions and meeting as many members as possible, she is delighted to be Membership Secretary on the 2018/2019 Committee! As she has never done a job like this before, she suspects you may occasionally have to be patient with her.
Publicity Assistant: Rick Vincent
Rick was the Spotlight editor for two years and now turns to publicity assistant. He has performed in one production (Our Town, Mr. Webb) and been involved in numerous playreadings. He is the author of two plays and a one-act as well as a novel titled The Cause about a dystopian America published by Roundfire Books. He has been published in Writer’s Digest, The Nervous Breakdown, The Baltimore Post Examiner, and other literary journals. His newest passion is his ten-month old son, who he has nicknamed Bulldog Wiggly, among many other ridiculous names that will one day embarrass him.
Webmaster (Off-Committee): Viki Lazar
Viki arrived in Geneva seven years ago and joined GEDS in May 2011 via No Holds Bard, an evening of Shakespeare scenes performed atop barstools. She worked her way up through playreadings to the GEDS stage where she has appeared several times, most recently in Dancing at Lughnasa (Chris, March 2015). She also has arranged playreadings for GEDS, and directed the main stage production Baby with the Bathwater (March 2014). Viki joined the Committee in April 2013 as a member of the Publicity and Productions Sub-committees. After three years on Committee, she is helping out off-committee as webmaster. Please send any queries her way! When Viki isn’t working for GEDS, she works at a private philanthropic foundation in a joint programmatic-administrative role. And when she’s not working for them, either, she’s playing with her improv troupe, the Renegade Saints.