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Meet Our Team


Michael Herman

Founder & Co-Artistic Director 

Michael is a New York-based 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.


Elena Harroun

Managing Director

Elena is a musician turned arts administrator, though all the quirks of a musician still linger. She deeply values human connection and the role the arts can play in that.


Elena has a B.M. in Flute Performance from Michigan State University and an M.A. in Music Leadership from the Eastman School of Music.


She is always, always down to see pictures of your pet(s).

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Rachael Yoder

Co-Artistic Director

​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, and is a graduate of The Stella Adler Studio of Acting. She also holds an M.F.A. in Acting from Northern Illinois University, and is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Secretly Rachael wishes she was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Sergio Castillo



Karen Herman

Executive Director &
Head of Development

Karen is originally from New York City, but is now 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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Carolina Parra

Director of Marketing &
Resident Photographer

Born and raised in Colombia, Carolina is a multidisciplinary artist working in film, photography, the performing arts, and architecture. She's lived in Latin America and Europe, and is passionate about language, communication styles, and creating human relationships through artistic expression. Carolina holds a B.A. in Architecture and a M.A. in Management & Event Communication. 


When she grows up she wants to be a singer!  


Samwel Ludamila

Humanity Project Director,
Tanzania Operations

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.


Patrick Sanga

Project Manager,
Tanzania Operations

​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.


Jonathan McLawthorn

Artistic Apprentice,


Jackson Kain Kibona

Director of Education,
Tanzania Operations

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.


Sergio Castillo

Artistic Apprentice,


Jackie Kaphipa

Humanity Project Manager,
Zanzibar Operations

In addition to managing The Outer Loop's Humanity Project operations in Tanzania, Jackie is also the Founder and CEO of Timiza Designs, a Tanzanian brand based in Zanzibar. She also holds a certificate in film-making and costume design from TaSuBa College of Art.


Jackie's passions include acting, directing and being a mom.


Alix Burkhardt

Artistic Apprentice,
Costume Design

Jon recently graduated from Northern Illinois University, wit 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 theater more accessible for both audiences and creatives.

Sergio is an actor, director, writer, and producer for theatre and film.


As a playwright, his plays include: Broken Mirrors (The Outer Loop Theater Experience); Radical (Praxic Culture); I Want To Kill Lena Dunham (NYC Fringe 15');  Have You Ever Been With A Latin Guy? (Praxis Culture); Coda For A Dream (Praxis Culture).


MFA: Actors Studio; Pace. BA: UCLA.

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: Rachael Yoder

 Vice President: Michael Herman

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

Board Member: Mary Anne Buckley

Board Member: Denise Hubler

Board Member: Ian Durham
Honorary Board Member: Asha Musa Dibuga
Honorary Board Member: Patrick Sanga




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