Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., Artistic Director
Godfrey is an actor and director who has been championing and shepherding new scripts and adaptations toward production for over 20 years. He recently directed Civic Ensemble’s Off-Off Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s rarely-produced All God’s Chillun Got Wings at JACK in Brooklyn. On stage, he was most recently seen in the Obie Award-winning Epic Theatre Ensemble’s production of Richard III, in the title role of Othello with Ithaca Shakespeare Company, and as Hambone in Syracuse Stage’s production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. He co-wrote and starred in the documentary play Dispatches From (A)mended America, which was produced Off-Broadway by Epic in the fall of 2012. Dispatches… examines the hopes, fears ad dreams of the American South during the month leading up to President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Godfrey also co-wrote and starred in THE LOST CHILDREN, Mark Harris’ independent film about death cults. Godfrey is a 2012 Fox Fellow for his work with Epic Theatre Ensemble. Off-Broadway: Old Settler (Primary Stages; Audelco Award – Best Supporting Actor); Betty’s Summer Vacation (Playwrights Horizons); Einstein’s Gift, Widowers’ Houses, A Hard Heart, A More Perfect Union, Richard III, Macbeth, Passion Play (Epic Theatre Ensemble); Ice Island (Melting Pot Theatre); Free Market (Working Theater). He has taught acting at Cornell University, Marymount Manhattan College, and Binghamton University. He is a member of Epic Theatre Ensemble, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the Lark Playground.
Sarah K. Chalmers, Director of Civic Engagement and Co-Artistic Director
Sarah is an applied theatre practitioner, teacher, and actor based in Ithaca, NY. She is a founding member of both Civic Ensemble and the Kitchen Theatre Company . Sarah has performed in Ithaca, Chicago, Seattle and New York City. Favorite roles in Ithaca include Gerte in Crumbs from the Table of Joy at the Kitchen, Jesse Mae in The Trip to Bountiful at the Hangar Theatre, and the Barker in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Cornell Schwartz Center. Sarah directed Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph at the Cornell Schwartz Center. Sarah has worked as a facilitator for community groups at community centers, detention centers, schools and theatres. She has taught theatre at Cornell University, Ithaca College, Binghamton University, the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, and Epic Theatre Ensemble in New York City.
Since Civic Ensemble was created in the summer of 2012, Sarah has designed, developed, and implemented multiple projects: Parent Stories, our first annual community-based play, a program for young men incarcerated at the Finger Lakes Residential Center, a free summer theatre program for teens at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC), and an original interactive theatre workshop about hydraulic fracturing for young children which was commissioned by and performed at the Sciencenter of Ithaca. Sarah’s most recent Community-Based Play, Safety: A Play About Community-Police Relations, toured Ithaca in September 2015 to sold-out theaters and community spaces.
Sarah was a 2013-2014 Cornell Public Service Center Civic Leader Fellow. She holds an M.A. in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York School of Professional Studies and a B.F.A. in Acting from Ithaca College.
Gabriella Patricia Carr, Artistic Associate
Gabriella Patricia Carr is a recent graduate of Ithaca College’s Department of Theatre Arts with a concentration in musical theater direction and vocal coaching. Gabriella was previously based out of NYC, where she was a performance advisor with Broadway Artists Alliance and an assistant to Artistic Director Jeremy Quinn at The White Plains Performing Arts Center. Gabriella is now based out of the Ithaca, New York Greater Area. Gabriella is proud to be joining the civic family as Artistic Associate. Gabriella is also a teaching artist in residency with the Hangar Theatre and runs a private voice and acting studio in Ithaca.
Caitlin Kane, Artistic Producer
Caitlin is a doctoral student in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University where her research focuses on the ethics of documentary and community-based theater. Other research interests include queer and feminist performance, theater for young audiences, performance ethnography, and queer and embodied archives. In addition to her scholarly interests, Caitlin is a freelance dramaturg, director, and teaching artist with theaters including About Face Theater, American Theater Company, The Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative, Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Know Theatre, New Stage Collective, Carnegie Performing Arts Center, and concert:nova. With Civic Ensemble, she has assistant directed All God’s Chillun Got Wings, dramaturged My Children! My Africa, co-produced After Orlando, and produced She Persists: A Women’s Performance Workshop.
Lucy Walker, Civic Engagement Associate
Lucy is a new play director, dramaturg, and producer dedicated to fostering community development through collaboration in the not-for-profit arts.
Her work as a director focuses on socially conscious new plays. Favorite credits: Emily Golden’s Lobstermen in Love (premiere production in Portland, Maine with lobster puppets) with SHAPES theatre project, Nilo Cruz’ Anna in the Tropics with IC Teatro, and two musicals by Jim Tyler, a master printmaker and retired Cornell University professor, which were about, for, and starring his fellow residents in an Ithaca senior living community. As a dramaturg, she most recently worked on the world premiere of Monica Wood’s Papermaker and a festival workshop of Laura Maria Censabella’s Paradise at Portland Stage. As a producer, she organizes outreach events, touring performances, and play festivals, most notably Quotidian Plays, a 24-hour play festival held for two summers in Maryland. Lucy also sometimes acts, dances, and puppeteers; her favorite on-stage role was an unreal stint as an “Abuela” in the Spanish-language play Próposito a la Duda, an IC Teatro production remounted at the United Nations by invitation of Argentina’s Permanent Representative, for International Human Rights Day in 2013.
Lucy originally met the good folks of Civic Ensemble at a workshop up on South Hill, and her life was then changed forever when she served as Assistant Director and Marketing Associate for Parent Stories, the first community-based play. Fast forward 3 years: excited to dramaturg the second ReEntry Theatre Program.
Outside of Civic, Lucy teaches a storytelling class at Acting Out NY. She has worked previously at Geva Theatre Center, SHAPES theatre project, Portland Stage, and Bread and Puppet, among others. Native of Baltimore, Md. and graduate of Ithaca College.