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Meet Our Team

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Michael Herman

Founder & Artistic Director

Director, The Empathy Project 

Michael is a director, playwright and teacher. He loves nothing more than watching a new play come to life. 

 

Michael studied Architecture at The Cooper Union, holds undergraduate degrees in Theater and English from The State University of New York at Brockport, and an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing ​from Carnegie Mellon University. 

 

Music is the answer.

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Samwel Ludamila

Tanzania Operations, The Humanity Project

Samwel is the Founder and CEO of Supreme Tanzania Safaris, one of the top tour organizers and safari companies in Tanzania.

 

In addition to being a guide himself, Samwel also runs the day to day operations of STS, as well as all Tanzania based Humanity Project operations.​

You will not find a kinder and more generous human anywhere.

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Rachael Yoder

Managing Director

Director, The Humanity Project

​Rachael is a Chicago-based actor & teacher, and is experienced in all theater operations, as well as social media and marketing. 

 

Rachael holds a B.A. in Acting from SUNY Brockport, is a graduate of The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, a current M.F.A. Acting candidate at Northern Illinois University and a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.


Secretly she wishes she was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Sergio Castillo

Playwright-in-Residence

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Karen Herman

Executive Director & 

Head of Development

Karen is a Rochester-based accountant and financial planner. She has over 30 years of experience advising companies of all sizes and missions, and manages the finances for The Outer Loop, as well as many other non-profit organizations.


​Karen is also a mean Words With Friends player. 

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Patrick Sanga

Project Manager,

The Humanity Project

​Patrick is a civil engineer and an agriculturist in Mloka, Tanzania. He is also the project manager for all Outer Loop and Humanity Project activities in the Selous Region.


In addition to handling all of The Outer Loop's Tanzania-based projects, Patrick can show you some pretty amazing card tricks.

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Jackson Kain Kibona

Director of Education,

Tanzania Office

Jackson Kain Kibona is a Tanzanian actor, screenwriter, and film producer. He holds advanced certificates in acting for film and scriptwriting from The Tanzania Film Training Center. Jackson is also a huge fan of movies, music, and soccer.
 

His hobbies include reading and listening.

Jonathan McLawthorn

Outer Loop Intern

Jon is currently in his last semester at Northern Illinois University, getting his B.A. in Theatre Studies. At NIU he founded and created The NIU 24-Hour Play Festival in 2019, and assistant directed 3 plays including "Kernal of Sanity" by Kermit Frazier.

 

As an aspiring director/writer he looks forward to not only creating impactful art but also making theatre more accessible for both audiences and creatives.

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Dana Goodknight

Playwright-in-Residence

Dana is an actor and writer based in NYC. As an actor, previous roles include Babe (Crimes of the Heart), Jean (August Osage County) and Catherine (These Shining Lives).

 

As a playwright, her one-act “Psychopomp” was a finalist in The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 Bake-Off. She believes Emerald Fennell said it best: “I want to write stories about murder, [and] be an actress.”

 

She holds a BA in Theatre from SUNY Albany and has studied with The Barrow Group. 

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Alix Burkhardt

Artistic Apprentice

Alix is currently getting her B.F.A. in Design and Technology at Northern Illinois University.

 

She started acting when she was eight years old, and has been involved in theater for more than half of her life. She's also been designing and making clothing for almost five years.

 

Her hobbies include reading, crochet, and cats. Basically, anything a grandma would enjoy.

Board of Directors

President: Michael Herman

 Vice President: Rachael Yoder

Treasurer: Karen Herman
Secretary: Brian Zorn
Board Member: Elizabeth Berl
Board Member: Sandra Mantione
Board Member: Lea-Beth Shapiro
Board Member: ​Rob Radest
Board Member: Maura Duff
Board Member: Diane Lent
Honorary Board Member: Asha Musa Dibuga
Honorary Board Member: Patrick Sanga

"THE OUTER LOOP CONSISTENTLY PRODUCES SUCH EXCITING AND VALUABLE WORK.

I'M SO PROUD TO BE INVOLVED WITH THIS ORGANIZATION!"

SANDRA MANTIONE / BOARD MEMBER