Artistic Director and Board President
Board of Directors
Founding Artistic Director
Kevin O’Connell was the founding artistic director of Barabbas Theatre Company, which produced highly acclaimed plays in the Capital Fringe Festival. These included H5x7, O’Connell’s faithful adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V; the world premiere of Alexandra Petri’s Never Never; and the D.C. area premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s, Exit, Pursued by a Bear. He holds a M.A. in dramaturgy from the Catholic University of America and an M.A. in history from the State University of New York at Albany. Kevin studied directing with Joy Zinoman at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory and completed the Directing Studio at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. In addition to Barabbas, Kevin has worked with several local companies, including Quotidian Theatre Company, Factory 449, the Washington Rogues, Pallas Theatre Collective, and Lean & Hungry Theater. He has also worked for the federal government in several capacities since 1994.
Mamie Bittner is an independent consultant providing leadership coaching and developing actionable strategic communications plans for mission-driven organizations. Most recently she was director of communications and congressional relations for the Architect of the Capitol, a 2100-person agency serving the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court. Previous to that she held senior communications and government affairs positions at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal grant-making agency. She is a lifelong theater lover, making her debut as a tap dancing teddy bear and regularly leading backyard performances. She has a B.A. in political science from Fairfield University and an M.A. in education from George Washington University, and she is pursuing certification as an executive coach at George Mason University. She is a volunteer gallery guide at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and a chorus member with the Takoma Singers.
Teko Campbell is a recent graduate of the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory. She has also studied at the Tasha Smith Actors Workshop in Los Angeles. She appeared in the commercial campaign for Lyft’s Round Up & Donate feature for the benefit of N Street Village, a women’s empowerment organization in Washington, D.C. Growing up in New York, Teko would travel on the Long Island Railroad with her mother going on countless auditions for modeling, film, commercial, and television. She then moved to North Carolina for high school and joined her first theater company, where she performed Shakespeare.
Kia Hunter has been involved in the Washington, D.C., theater scene from an early age, most memorably as the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland with Adventure Theater. After a brief period as a television producer, Kia now works in the museum field, emphasizing the convergence of history and performance. Most recently, Kia has collaborated with theaters in D.C. and Charleston, South Carolina, in many capacities, including advisory work, fundraising, reviewing and stage managing. Kia received her B.A. from Davidson College in history, with a minor in theater, and her M.A. in museum studies from George Washington University.
Jeff McDermott has been an attorney with the federal government for 14 years, currently serving as investigative counsel to the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State. He is also the President of the Capitol Hill Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, having previously served as its Treasurer and Secretary. He was a member of the editorial board of the monthly periodical The Federal Lawyer from 1999 to 2010. Jeff has produced, directed, and acted for several theatres in the Washington area. He has been a member of the Rockville Little Theatre Board of Directors since 2012 and currently serves as its Treasurer. Jeff received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary and his J.D. from Georgetown University.
Devon Meier graduated from the University of Michigan with her B.A. in English and theater and went on to earn her M.A. in arts management from Carnegie Mellon University. Devon began her career in the arts, working for CRLT Theatre Program at the University of Michigan, Pittsburgh Opera, and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Over the last decade, she has managed fundraising field offices for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, worked as the director of fundraising for Montgomery Housing Partnership, and was the associate director of Westminster Ingleside Foundation. Devon currently serves as the director of philanthropy and engagement for Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation. Outside of work, Devon enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and going to the theater. She has participated in community theater around the DMV and produced two productions at Silver Spring Stage.
Austen Townsend has been an attorney for 13 years and has extensive experience in employee benefits and tax law issues. She currently serves as an attorney-advisor for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, where she advises on laws governing the administration of services, benefits, and programs that directly affect the participants and beneficiaries of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP is the 401(k)-style retirement plan for federal employees and members of the uniformed services. Austen received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and her law degree from Harvard Law School.
Heather Benjamin founded Perisphere Theater in 2014 and was artistic director until 2019, directing Oleanna and Copenhagen for its inaugural season in 2016, and performing in Tartuffe in 2018. In the D.C. area, she has performed as an actor with many local theaters, including the American Century Theater, Quotidian Theatre, Adventure Theatre, and the Capital Fringe Festival.