history and leadership

Board of Directors

CHAIR

Heather Lefkowitz

Lecturer, Vanderbilt University, Human and Organizational Development

VICE CHAIR

Tracy Gershon

Music Business Executive

PAST CHAIR

Jane Alvis

Principal
Alvis Company

TREASURER

David Gamble

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

SECRETARY

Heather Crabtree

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

Rachel Agee

Communications Specialist
Tennessee Housing Development Agency

Kamilah Ajamu

Registered Nurse – Surgical Recovery
St. Thomas – Midtown

Tracy Coats

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

Sharon Dixon Gentry

Director, Cultural Development and Inclusion
Hospital Corporation of America

Cynthia Harris

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

Pierre Johnson

Business Process Improvement Leader
Lean Enterprise

Leah Lowe

Professor
Department of Theatre, Vanderbilt University
Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy

Reed Omary

Chair, Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Paul Walwyn

Walwyn and Walwyn Law

Producing Artistic Director

vali Forrister

Vali is the Producing Artistic Director of the Actors Bridge Ensemble, which she co-founded in 1995. She has produced over 90 productions for the company, has acted and directed over 30, and authored six. She founded and leads Act Like A GRRRL, an autobiographical writing and performance program for teenage girls and adult women to gain public voice by articulating their lived experience.

Vali Forrister

Producing Artistic Director, Acting School Instructor

CJ Tucker

Acting School Instructor

Daryn Jackson

Marketing and Operations Manager

Cynthia Harris

Program Director

Jesse Strauss

Grants Administrator

Carrie Wilsman

Accountant

Staff

RESIDENT artists

Dee Benn

Costume Designer

Sally Bebawy

Photographer

Richard K. Davis

Lighting Designer

Paul Gatrell

Scenic Designer

Stacey Hucks

House manager

Kat Tierney- Smith

Stage Manager

that which hinders your task is your task.

Sanford Meisner

Actors Bridge was founded in 1995 by Bill Feehely and Vali Forrister. Bill saw the need to create ongoing professional actor training in Nashville and Vali longed to bring to her hometown the new socially-relevant plays she was seeing in New York, Chicago and London.

For the last 28 years, we done exactly that. We have trained over 7,000 students in the Meisner Technique. Those actors have gone on to perform on local, regional and national stages as well as in film and television. There are few local productions that do not include a performer in some way influenced by Actors Bridge training. As a professional theatre company, we have produced over 100 plays, including 18 World Premieres and 90 Nashville premieres.
 
Actors Bridge began in the Belmont Little Theatre in 1995. In 1996, we became the theatre-in-residence at St. Augustine’s Chapel on the campus of Vanderbilt University. We spent 7 amazing years performing cutting-edge theatre in the little A-frame chapel, while the gracious congregation received the Eucharist on our funky sets. 
 
In 2003, we left St. A’s to become pioneers in Germantown at the Neuhoff Site. For 12 of these years, we were the professional theater in residence at Belmont University. In 2013, we joined the revitalization of Charlotte Avenue by moving our studio space to the LeQuire Gallery building. In 2015, we moved a few blocks down the road to the Darkhorse Chapel (behind Darkhorse Theater) at 4610 Charlotte Avenue, the place we still happily call our home.
 
Actors Bridge is the home of Act Like a GRRRL, Directors Inclusion Initiative, and First Time Stories. Actors Bridge continues to be led by Co-Founder and Artistic Director Vali Forrister.

ACT LIKE A GRRRL