Artistic Director - Ally Theatre Company
Founder - Voices Unbarred
Lori Pitts (she/her) is a facilitator, Theatre of the Oppressed Joker, teaching artist, actor, director, and improvisor in the DMV area who is passionate about creating platforms for voices that often go unheard. She is the Artistic Director of Ally Theatre Company, and the founder of Voices Unbarred, a program of Ally Theatre that collaborates with people impacted by incarceration, artists, and policy organizations to reimagine the prison system and advocate for change using Theatre of the Oppressed. Pitts also teaches and performs regularly with Young Playwrights’ Theater and has most recently been seen on stage with Second City, Rorschach Theatre, The Welders, and Washington Improv Theatre. She completed Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program, is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Culture Caucus with The Kennedy Center, a graduate of the 202Creates Fellowship, a graduate of the Movement Matters Community Organizing & Popular Education Institute, and a four-time recipient of the Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program grant through the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for her work within the community.
ELLE MARIE SULLIVAN
Elle Marie Sullivan (she/her) is a theatre artist based in Washington, DC. Some of the companies she has performed with are Washington National Opera, National Ballet of Canada, Shakespeare Opera Theatre, Anacostia Playhouse, and Annapolis Shakespeare Theatre. As a teaching artist Elle has worked with Round House Theatre, Educational Theatre Company, Encore Stage and Studio, Bach to Rock, and InterAct Story Theatre. Elle is also a registered yoga instructor (RYT-200) with training in trauma informed yoga. Elle loves working with Voices Unbarred and is excited to continue to grow with the company.
MALIK (ROCKY) SIMPSON
Community Advocate and Former Participant
Also known as Coach Rocko, Malik (he/him) is a co-founder of #WEFITDC, which aims to close the health and wellness gap among the district, and shine light on native DMV wellness professionals. He has a strong health and physical fitness training background. As a master trainer, he is determined to help people reach their goals and give back to the community. He is motivated and inspired to help his clients and community with making life changing transformations both mentally and physically.
RONALD (RALO) WHALEY
Ronald Whaley (he/him) is the program manager for the anti-gun violence organization NAARC: Cure the Streets. He is also the owner of the clothing line L.A.W. (Love Always Wins) and founder of a youth mentoring program, Finding Stars, LLC. Whaley is a returned citizen who has experienced gun violence himself after being shot 14 times. His motto is “save one, so they can save one.”
David (he/him) is the founder of Article 730, a grassroots organization committed to providing holistic mental health support for formerly incarcerated men and women.
MAURICE (CHEF REESE) DIXON
Chef Reese (he/him) started Reese's Catering Services, LLC in 2017. He's been a local favorite chef in the Washington, DC area ever since. He is a community-based company that hires and trains returning citizens. He is passionate about motivating others to use their gifts and talents to create a better opportunities for themselves. His ultimate goal is to one day have a training facility that can offer Culinary Training to Reformed Citizens as a skill set before they are released from prison. You can learn more about him by visiting his social media pages.
FB: Reese's Catering Services
Ian (he/him) is a United States veteran who is currently working towards his degree. He is an engaging speaker, snappy dresser, and all-around great guy!
Devin D. Smith (he/him) is the founder and CEO of Ship and Anchor LLC, and is a business consultant and strategist passionate about inclusion and working with other entrepreneurs and leaders to bring innovative ideas to life. Devin began his career in academia, which remains one of his chief passions. However, after a twist of fate landed him in prison, Devin found himself unearthing latent gifts in business and entrepreneurship. Upon returning from prison and completing a Bachelors in Sociology, and a minor in Nonprofit Studies and Social Entrepreneurship from North Carolina State University, Devin migrated to Washington, D.C., where he was eager to apply this knowledge to serve communities in need. Overcoming adversity, trauma and prison incarceration, Devin has learned to leverage both tragic and triumphant life experiences as his superpowers. In addition to writing, he uses his mantra "what's your anchor," as a guide for achieving personal and professional actualization no matter where you are in life.
Service Never Sleeps Fellow
Margaret Chappell (she/her) is a project management analyst at Abt Associates, where she supports the implementation of USAID-funded global health projects around the world. She is serving as a Service Never Sleeps fellow with Voices Unbarred & Ally Theatre this year. Service Never Sleeps is a Black-led organization, and its signature fellowship program is a year-long leadership development and service program that pairs young professionals in the DC metro area with local non-profit organizations to provide skills-based service on a part-time basis while providing the young professionals with the tools they need to be leading allies in their communities.
Prior to her work at Abt, Margaret interned with several organizations focused on social impact, including the Human Rights Campaign and Tahirih Justice Center. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in science, technology and international affairs with a concentration in global health from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Production Assistant - Rehearsal for Change Event
Graduating with degrees in Criminal Justice Studies and Philosophy, Ecram's (she/her) biggest focus is the treatment of marginalized groups in the criminal justice system and the overall process of re-entry for returning citizens. Providing access and resources to these groups and individuals in order for them to not only survive but wholeheartedly succeed, is her greatest passion. Ecram is also interested in Film Studies and how a piece can timelessly share one's experiences through a number of different avenues. She also has a background in radio work and is always looking to hear anything new and interesting that should/could be shared through such an amazing personal and public medium. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, hiking, playing music, going to concerts, and hanging out with friends.
EMMA INGRID BARTLEY
Emma Ingrid Bartley (she/her) is a non-profit development and grants management professional working at the intersection of the arts and social justice. She began her career as a Development & Administrative Associate at Split This Rock, a DC-based non-profit that cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. Her most recent role was in grants management at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she administered grants and coordinated review panels for the Visual Arts and Museums applicant portfolios. While at the NEA, she also provided support for several of the agency’s national initiatives, including the Native Arts & Culture Convening and Poetry Out Loud. In addition, Bartley volunteers her grant writing and non-profit development skills for organizations dedicated to challenging the prison industrial complex. She holds a BA in Literature and Cinema Studies from American University.
I’m a grant writer, currently, working with Harvest Family Life Ministry. While getting a bachelor degree in Public Health, I found compassion in making a difference. So when I’m not writing, I work with various home health agencies that specializes in Cognitive Therapy Method for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. I help create and implement activities to keep the brain stimulated. I also hold an associate degree in Arts, which makes me excited to work with Voices Unbarred.
Community Performance Director
Allison Frisch (she/her) is a Director, Actor, and Dancer in Washington, DC. She is an alumna of the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory, where she recently completed Joy Zinoman’s Directing intensive. She holds a BFA in Theatre and Minor in Dance from Stephens College. Directing Credits: Dear America (Voices Unbarred), Pride of Doves (Action to the Word Theatre Company); Acting Credits: Princess Margaret* (Thelma Theatre), Suffrage Plays (Venus Theatre), Fools (Parlor Room Theater) Dance Credits: Dark Night Showcase, Spring Dance (KG Dance); Upcoming: Dhana and the Rosebuds (Ally Theatre). *DCMTA Best of 2015 - Best Lead Actress in a Professional Play.
Marley Kabin (she/her) is a Maryland and DC-based actor, theatre collaborator, and event planner, as well as a company member of Ally Theatre Company. She has worked with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, among others in DC. She is currently a student of Drama Therapy and is passionate about exploring all the ways that theatre and the expressive arts can be used as therapeutic tools.
LAUREN V. MILLER
Administrative and Communications Volunteer
Lauren V. Miller (she/her) is a DC-based teaching artist and theatre collaborator. She has worked with Arena Stage and Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center. She loves working in the community, and is excited to continue working with Voices Unbarred.