Stageworks Staff

Karla Hartley
Karla HartleyProducing Artistic Director
Karla Hartley is currently the Producing Artistic Director for Stageworks Theatre in the Channel District. She received a BFA in Theater Studies from Boston University in 1992 and is the owner of three Theatre Tampa Bay awards for Best Director.

She was named Best Director 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2015 in the Creative Loafing Best of the Bay Awards as well as The Artist Most Likely to Have Been Born On the Planet Krypton.

Tara Sahli
Tara SahliAudience Services Coordinator
Homegrown in Boise, Idaho, Tara Hailey Sahli attended the University of Tampa where she earned her BA in Communication and BFA in Musical Theatre in 2020. During her time at university she ran several comedy groups, stage managed and directed various productions, as well as crafting her love for theatre with performance and professional work throughout Tampa Bay.

Her professional background includes social media management, marketing, and customer service experience. She began working as the Audience Services Coordinator in April 2020 and looks forward to many upcoming seasons here at Stageworks.

Dawn Truax
Dawn TruaxDirector of Education Outreach
Dawn Truax, Director of Education Outreach for Stageworks Theatre since 2001, she has been teaching and administering workshops to at risk and juvenile justice youth for 15 years including Stageworks’ YEA Anger Management Program, Civil Rights Ambassador Program and Anti-gang program. She created, administered and taught a-first-of- its-kind in Hillsborough County program that uses drama to teach anger management and conflict resolution to at-risk and juvenile justice youth. She has also created performance based programs to teach gang prevention to at risk children and assertiveness training to at risk and juvenile justice girls. She is currently developing a workforce skills education program that addresses the needs of foster care youth in obtaining and keeping jobs. Dawn is also a professional actress who has performed at numerous venues in the Tampa Bay area, including Stageworks.
Alvon Griffin
Alvon GriffinTeaching Artist & Coach
Alvon Griffin has served as an Artist/Coach and percussion teacher for several professional educational outreach programs. Alvon has taught percussion for more than 20 years, using his own “Math Music” program to convey concepts of rhythm via mathematics to a wide array of at risk and underserved young people, including involuntarily committed girls, developmentally challenged adults and juvenile Justice youth. He has created and taught performance based behavior modification and substance abuse programs at PACE, LEAF, Bowling Green, Umatilla, New Beginnings, Youth Arts Corps, and Leslie Peters Half Way House where he uses drumming as a tool to teach anger management. He has taught as a Master Teacher of percussion at the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida, the University of the University of Central Florida, the University of San Francisco, and the University of Tampa and has performed as a percussionist at varied and numerous venues such as Florida Capital Building and Disney World. He is also an expert in Brazilian Batucada drumming and Native American culture and hosts the Two World Indigenous Radio show on WMNF.
Ami Fazchas
Ami FazchasBox Office and House Manager
Born and raised in Tampa, Ami holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Columbia University, where she concentrated in solo playwriting and performance culminating in her thesis “Honey Trap.” Her administrative career includes staffing the box offices of both Ruth Eckerd Hall and The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, group sales project management for the theatrical marketing firm ABM, apprenticing in development with the Lyric Theatre/New Victory Theatre/Duke Theatre in New York and interning in General Management and Company Management for broadway producer Ken Davenport during the development of the Tony award-winning revival of Once on this Island. She has also worked locally as a development consultant, assistant stage manager, and scenic hand for Hat Trick Theatre. Her prior house management experience includes Theatre Row (Clurman and Acorn Theatres), The Theatre Center, Cherry Lane Theatre, Rattlestick Theatre, and The Davenport Theatre where she served as Lead HM and Audience Services Manager overseeing the world premiere of the off-broadway smash hit, “Afterglow.” Since the shutdown, she has been working with Carrollwood Players as Assistant Director, Art Director, and Narrator on the KidSpeak 5.0 young playwright’s virtual reading festival and as SM, Art Director, and Narrator for the regional virtual premiere of Michael Proft’s “Dionysus on the Down Low.”

Board of Directors

Anna Brennen
Anna BrennenFounder
Anna received her BA (Major: 20th Century History; Minor: Theatre), at University of California, Berkeley. For eleven years in New York City, she studied alternately with Sandy Meisner (Neighborhood Playhouse), Wynn Handman, (American Place Theatre) in their professional workshops, and Lloyd Richards, (Yale Drama). Notable acting roles included understudy of Colleen Dewhurst as GERTRUDE in HAMLET at the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park, NYC, the NARRATOR in ORPHEUS, an original piece at the Chelsea Theatre, BAM, Brooklyn, New York, and MOTHER in BOY IN A STRAIGHT-BACKED CHAIR by Ron Tavel, at Theatre for the New City, NYC.
In 2014, Anna returned to playwriting. Since then, she has completed ECHO NEVADA, RUBY MT. TAJ, ECHO NEVADA’S sequel. GEORGIA O’KEEFFE, PIONEER, SCORCHED ANGELS, SCORCHED UTOPIA and is currently working on BECOMING BURROUGHS with Slake Counts. To learn more about Anna’s career please visit our founder page.
Lauren Valiente
Lauren ValientePresident
Valiente, senior counsel, Foley & Lardner LLP, graduated in the Leadership Tampa Class of 2016. Her practice includes government enforcement and complex business litigation including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, white collar criminal, SEC enforcement and securities class action matters.

Lauren Lisette Valiente is a proud Cuban American born in Tampa, Florida. She is proud to have appeared in several staged readings at Stageworks over the last few years, She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor from University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.

Santosh Govindaraju
Santosh GovindarajuFinance Chair
Santosh is Chief Executive Officer of Convergent Capital Partners and leads its opportunistic investments and complex negotiations. Santosh also leads Convergent Media focused on production finance of independent feature films.

Santosh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (M&T), with a B.S. in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School, a B.A.S. in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and minors in Theater Arts, Mathematics, and South Asian Studies. Santosh also has completed a certificate in the Professional Program in Producing from UCLA.

Stephanie Brown-Gilmore
Stephanie Brown-Gilmore
Mrs. Brown Gilmore has worked with Tampa Housing Authority since 1997. In the first ten years (10) of her career, she served as the Director of Resident Services and is now presently the Director of Program and Property Services.

Her focus in the community is addressing a need in the public housing community for programs that will embody the young female population of public housing.

Enrique (Henry) Woodroffe
Enrique (Henry) Woodroffe
Enrique (Henry) Woodroffe is a native of Lima, Peru who moved to Wilmington, Delaware in 1961 with his family when his Dad was transferred by Dupont. He moved to Florida in 1968…he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Architecture from the University of Florida in 1972 and 1976 respectively.
His architectural experience of over forty-five years includes extensive governmental, community/civic, educational, health and recreational facilities.

Henry is involved in his church and for over 15 years annually performed mission/volunteer work during the summer in the Dominican Republic.
Henry is married to Carol and they have two children, Elise and Mark, as well as several wonderful grandchildren.

Danyell Jones
Danyell JonesVice President
Currently with Raymond James Private Client Group, Danyell Jones is at the forefront of assisting business owners and High Net Worth individuals with their wealth management needs. Through her executive leadership which has taken her from being the CEO of a Silicon Valley startup to piloting a television show on TNT, she has garnered recognition locally and nationally for both her thought leadership and for giving back to her community. She is a passionate advocate for the Arts and a strong believer in the cultural and community value of artistic works which enlighten, ignite and enrich those who experience them.
Lyra Logan
Lyra Logan
As a licensed attorney for more than 30 years, Lyra Logan has a lengthy resume, however even with all of those accomplishments, Lyra believes none of her previous work has been as fulfilling as her current position as executive vice president and general counsel of the Florida Education Fund. Her work has been focused on directing various pre-college programs, ranging from standardized test preparation to CodeMasters coding programs and tech certifications. Her passion to continue to learn inspires her dedication to education
Spiro Verras
Spiro Verras
In practice since 1993, attorney Spiro J. Verras advises clients in all aspects of estate planning, He has extensive knowledge of the applicable state and federal laws, and is well-versed and experienced in Florida probate and trust proceedings. He is a member of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar, the Trusts, Estate, Probate & Immovable Property Law of the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section of the Texas Bar.
Joyce Zevola
Joyce is a fun-loving Aquarius whose likes include long walks on the beach and carving soap sculptures of her friends and family. She has never allowed her webbed feet be an obstacle in obtaining her dreams. After 10 years as a Spectral Pet Investigator, Joyce has focused her attention on board duties at Stageworks Theatre.
Jennifer Scher
Jennifer Scher
Jennifer Scher was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and spent a good portion of her childhood in the Tampa Bay area. Between 1998 and 2003, she worked for Burlington Student Theatre as Resident Stage Manager and Administrative Assistant. She currently serves as a Member of the Education Committee for the Straz Center for Performing Arts.
Ms. Scher earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 2002. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law in 2006. Thereafter, she worked as a litigator in Los Angeles for over 10 years before returning to Tampa to join the family business.
Ms. Scher is currently Co-Owner and Vice-President of SSG Management LLC.
Kari Goetz
Kari Goetz
Kari Goetz is a proud Stageworks performer and board member. A professional actor since the age of 10, Kari has been in multiple film and television projects. She has performed and directed for many Bay Area theater companies and has appeared as Sylvia in Stageworks production of Sylvia, as well as memorable roles in Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche and Morningside. Kari is a community leader and hold positions with the Tampa Bay Chamber, Visit Tampa Bay and the Athena Society. She is a proud Seminole Heights resident and can be seen running most mornings with her scruffy rescue mutts. Crawford Long calls her wife, Porter Long calls her mom and those are the best two roles she’s ever played.
Laura Farrell West
Laura Farrell West
Laura Farrell West is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has a master’s degree in social work from the University of South Florida. She was in private practice for over 15 years. She is also a free-lance writer contributing to mental health websites. Laura is an American Red Cross Volunteer serving with the Service to the Armed Forces branch providing psycho-educational seminars to the military.
Her love and passion for live theater began when her parents took her to see Grease on Broadway. Laura is married to love of her life and has four children.
Louise Krikorian
Louise Krikorian
Louise Krikorian is a history teacher who produces documentary films and TV segments for PBS. Ms. Krikorian joined Stageworks Theatre in 2017 to increase the awareness of the theater in schools. Her love of the theater has grown since she started performing in musicals when she was 8 years old. Ms. Krikorian also had the exciting opportunity to sing with the Stan Rubin Band at the Carnegie Club in New York City in June and July 2019. She received her B.A. degree from Rutgers University and her M. Ed. From The University of Pennsylvania. She resides with her Corgi in the Tampa Bay Area.
Lauren Brigman
Lauren Brigman
David Carmena
David Carmena
David Carmena, Realtor, Author, Developer, Educator, Entrepreneur. Founder and CEO of Carmena Enterprises, Inc. headquartered in Tampa Florida. For nearly a decade I have been passionate about helping Commercial and Residential customers achieve more of the American Dream by becoming Real Estate Investors and Homeowners.