Board of Directors and Staff

Kyla Searle — Managing Director

Kyla Searle is a writer, producer, and educator. She has worked in arts education for over ten years in Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago and, for the last six, in New York City. Kyla is committed to working at the intersections of arts and community development. Kyla’s work as a producer in project design and community arts practice has led her to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Institute for Arts and Civic Dialogue, the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and numerous artist-led projects. Kyla’s work in Oakland led to Congressional recognition and she has received multiple grants to investigate arts education abroad. Kyla holds degrees in Urban Studies and Public Health from UCLA and in Arts Practice from NYU. She will receive an MFA from Brown University.

Amy Harris

Amy Harris is the Director of Education and Outreach at Primary Stages.  A native of Minnesota, Amy’s work as an administrator and teaching artist has taken her from coast to coast including a dozen years as the Assistant Education Director/Coordinator of the Paul A. Kaplan Theatre Management Program at Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as positions at the Seattle Children’s Theatre and Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle, and The Shakespeare Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. Amy is a Co-Chair for the Roundtable’s annual Face to Face Conference and has served on the Conference Committee since 2002. She has acted as both a panelist and moderator discussing best practices for internship programs for A.R.T./New York, the American Theatre Wing, New York University, and at the Face to Face Conference. Amy holds a BA in Performing Arts from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in Theatre Education from New York University.

Rachel Watts

Rachel Watts is a multidisciplinary arts educator who has focused on creating and advocating for meaningful and equitable programming for young people during her 20 years in the Arts Education and Youth Development fields. She develops programs that support student growth as learners, artists, and innovators in order to build personal, social and academic skills that help young people define and design their own professional pathways. Ms. Watts is currently the Director of Programs at ArtsConnection Inc.  From 1998-2005 she was a Program Manager and Research Associate at ArtsConnection, before beginning her current position in 2011.  In the interim, she was the Director of Education at Ballet Hispanico in New York City and Director of The MYC Youth Center in San Rafael California, where she created a state of the art facility focused on developing teen leadership skills through the arts and technology.  She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Williams College and received her Master’s Degree at New York University in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with a concentration in Museum Studies.  Her introduction to non-profit Arts Education was in the education department at The Studio Museum in Harlem. She studied Visual Art at the Edna Manley School of the Arts in Jamaica, and Modern and West African dance with Noble Douglas in Trinidad, at Emerson College, and under the mentorship of Sandra Burton at Williams College.  Ms. Watts is also the founder of The TECA Project. TECA: Teen Empowerment through Carnival Arts, is a program that engages teens in the creation, design, and performance of a processional-arts costume band based on a theme or social issue that is important to them.  After many a few years of volunteering on the conference panels committee and the Taskforce for Equity and Inclusion, she is thrilled to rejoin the board.

Piper Anderson

Piper Anderson is a writer, theatre artist, educator, and cultural organizer. In 2015 she founded Create Forward, a consultancy specializing in creative strategies for social change sourced from our collective radical imagination. She founded Create Forward after fifteen years cultivating her creative practice at the intersections of community, arts education, and social justice. Since 2002 she has facilitated community cultural projects in detention facilities and community organizations in over 26 cities, generating dialogue and action on the impact of mass incarceration on communities of color. In recent years, she helped to start NYU’s Prison Education Program and now serves on the faculty and steering committee for the program housed at Wallkill Correctional. For 10 years, Anderson was a company member with The American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life program and traveled the country with some of LTL’s most popular stage presentations, generating dialogue on critical social themes through popular American literature. Ms. Anderson teaches courses on the intersections of the arts, community cultural development, and social change at NYU’s Gallatin School and CUNY’s graduate program in Applied Theatre.

Jennifer Cendaña Armas

Jennifer Cendaña Armas is a performer, creator, and community worker from Queens, NY. She has performed and taught arts and social justice workshops globally. She currently co-directs BAM’s Arts & Justice Theatre Program, where NYC HS students devise a theatre performance. Performances include The Smithsonian Institute, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and London’s legendary Ronnie Scott’s.

Erika Atkins

Over the past decade Erika has worked as an arts administrator, youth development professional, teaching artist and performer in not only New York City, but also her native Washington D.C. area. Erika’s life changing experiences growing up as a young artist led her to attend George Mason University, where she obtained a B.A. in Music.
She has served as the Director of Operations and Communications and a Teaching Artist at Opening Act since 2015 and also holds a Master of Science in Arts Administration from Drexel University. Previously Erika has worked at The New Victory Theater (New York City) and Levine Music (Washington D.C.).  She currently serves on the boards of the American Alliance for Theater Education (as the Communications Director) and the Arts Education Advisory Council for Americans for the Arts.

Heleya de Barros

Heleya de Barros is an actor, teaching artist, and arts education advocate in New York City. She has worked in arts education in both California and New York with such organizations as Lincoln Center Theater, McCarter Theater Center, New York Theatre Workshop, The Center for Arts Education, People’s Theatre Project, Young Audiences New York, The Geffen Playhouse, The Los Angeles Music Center, The Orange County Performing Arts Center, Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, Will & Company, CRE Outreach, and 24th Street Theatre. She has served on the Roundtable’s Teaching Artist Affairs Committee since 2015 working to expand, enhance, and support the field of professional teaching artistry. Heleya is an adjunct professor in the BFA Drama Department at The New School College of Performing Arts. As an actor Heleya earned her Actor’s Equity card touring TYA shows to schools and communities. She has performed with The Geffen Playhouse, Cornerstone Theatre Company, Pacific Resident Theatre, The Falcon Theatre, and The Forum Project, among others and has worked on numerous independent films, commercials, and webseries.  Education: BA, Theatre, University of Southern California; MA, Educational Theatre, New York University; British American Drama Academy, classical theatre.

Justin Daniel

Justin Daniel is a New York City based theatre artist and educator.
As the Professional Development Specialist at Marquis Studios, Justin works with a dynamic ensemble of Teaching Artists to foster best practices and innovations as the field of arts education continues to expand.  As a Teaching Artist, Justin maintains longterm partnerships with The New Victory Theatre, Disney Theatricals, Opening Act NY, and Classic Stage Company, as well as serving on the Teaching Artist Affairs Committee.
Justin’s performance credits span theatre, film, and television including NBC’s Ed, Comedy Central’s Strangers With Candy, Robert DeNiro’s The Good Shepherd, numerous stage credits across the country, and is a recipient of the Backstage Bistro Award for his solo performance work.  Justin is a member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild.
Justin holds a BA in Directing and Education for Theatre from the CUNY Baccalaureate program and a Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University.

Jennifer DiBella

Jennifer M. DiBella currently serves as Director of Education for Roundabout Theatre Company, where she has worked since 2005. Roundabout’s award winning education department partners with over 30,000 people each year through in-school partnerships, career and workforce development, and community engagement programming. Jennifer holds a MA in Educational Theatre from NYU and a BA in Theatre Education from Wagner College where she also received her NY State Teaching Certification.  She has extensive theatrical directing and teaching experience with artists of all ages.  Prior to joining Roundabout, Jennifer worked for Camp Broadway, Walnut Street Theatre, and schools around the country.  In May of 2010, she completed Coro Leadership New York, a civic leadership development program that that delivers the skills, knowledge, and network to lead change and develop innovative solutions to public issues. Jennifer currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable and on the Audience Engagement Committee for the Broadway League. For four years, Jennifer served as the New York State Representative for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) and joined AATE’s National Board of Directors in July of 2013.  Through AATE, she created and served as co-chair for the AATE’s annual New York Theatre in Our Schools conference.  Jennifer was the co-chair of the 2013 AATE National Conference in Washington DC, which brought together nearly 500 artists and educators from around the world to exchange ideas and best practices in the field of theatre and education. She has presented her work at conferences and events around the country and has served as a guest lecturer at graduate programs throughout New York City. In 2011, Jennifer was proud to receive the Dina Rees Evans Theatre in our Schools Award and in 2018 received Wagner College’s Presidential Medal of Honor for her work at Roundabout.

Kathleen Dorman

Kathleen (Kate) Dorman is currently the Education Director at Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA); her most recent work prior to this position was with Classic Stage Company (CSC) as Associate Artistic Director, Education. Other experience includes working as a teaching artist and site director of after-school and summer programs in NYC schools, and serving as a drama specialist in Boston area schools. Kate holds an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University and a BA in Theatre and English from Boston College. After having served for many years on the Panels, Programs, and Membership committees, she joined the board of the Roundtable in 2017, and currently serves as co-chair of the Programs Committee.