A Bit About Us
We are Theater with a Mission, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation made up of actors, scholars, and cultural explorers based in Tallahassee, Florida. Our collective origins are Hispanic, Caucasian, African American and Native American. Our youngest actor is 6 years old, and our oldest…Well, let’s just say our actors represent many different stages of life!
We’re united by one quest: to rediscover history by reviving plays from el Siglo de Oro, the Spanish Golden Age.
Theater with a Mission (TWAM) creates and performs plays that explore milestones in Florida’s history. Presented in English spiced with historic Spanish, in period costume with authentic songs and dances, our original scripts and new translations carry audiences across barriers of language, time, and space, into face-to-face encounters with Florida’s Spanish roots and history’s great ideas.
Board of Directors
Ben Gunter (Artistic Director) researches, translates and directs for TWAM. Ben holds a PhD. in dramaturgy from FSU. His translations have been performed by middle-school students in summer theater camps, taught in university theater and literature courses, featured at national and international conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals. His dramaturgy has won grant support from the Florida Humanities Council, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the Association for Hispanic Classical Theatre, and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
Idy Codington (Assistant Director, choreographer) recreates historic dance for TWAM. Idy holds an M.A. in American Dance Studies from FSU. Before coming to Tallahassee, she danced as a member of The Ohio Ballet, performed 19th-century dance with The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, and toured the US and Asia as the Kamikaze Jitterbugs. She teaches dance for TCC and MadCo.
Michael Herrin (Secretary) has a diverse work background including entrepreneurship, facilities management, sales, event management, and grant writing. He has a degree in Economics from Tulane University, and has served as an officer in many local non-profit organizations. He has been performing in TWAM and several other area theater groups for a number of years.
Pamela Williams-Smith (Treasurer) keeps TWAM on track with its finances. She maintains spreadsheets on TWAM productions, keeps TWAM current with State and Federal agencies, and issues the stipends, reimbursements, and honoraria that TWAM pays cast, crew, designers, researchers, and scholars in line with board policy. Pamela periodically serves as stage manager and assists in set design and prop construction.
Sonia Guerra (Outreach Coordinator/ Social Media specialist) is known to the blogosphere as “Bohemian Babushka,” a high-profile commentator who specializes in building bridges between Anglo and Hispanic populations. Her blog “Babushka's Baile” has won her over 30,000 followers (Facebook 7343, Twitter 13000, G+ 2448, Instagram 3487, and Pinterest 3335). Completely bilingual as well as fluently digital, Sonia acts, translates, and manages TWAM’s presence on social media platforms.
Aaron Ellis, (JEDI Lead Coordinator) holds a PhD in theater studies from FSU. Dr. Ellis is a scholar, activist, organizer, facilitator, performing artist, and dramaturg, serving as Lead Coordinator for TWAM's Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) initiative. Aaron works as a Facilitator for the Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College, and is a producer, writer, and ensemble team member at Latinx theater company, Descolonizarte TEATRO, in so-called Orlando, Florida: Timucua, Miccosukee and Seminole lands. Aaron is also Co-Editor of the peer reviewed Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Journal.
In addition to TWAM's directors—who meet monthly to set policy and goals, plan productions, manage company business, and oversee troupe progress—many troupe members participate in TWAM's day-to-day management through committees which meet as needed.
Click here to view the bios of all members of the Board of Directors and bios of other Key Personnel.