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Board Members

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Melissa Souers

Co-Chapter Director

Melissa Souers is one of the Co-Chapter Directors for the NM Thespians.  She works as a professional stage manager and has been a Stage Manager for the Durango Playfest since the beginning. Some of her favorite Stage Management experiences were working with Lee Blessing's on the premiere of his play "A Body of Water" and with Stephen Nathan on the premiere of his play "The Ways of Necessity". She has also taught theatre at Sol Acting Academy in Albuquerque, NM and San Juan College in Farmington, NM.  She was the Production Stage Manager for Sandstone Productions summer run of "Fiddler on the Roof".  Melissa is an alumnus of Fort Lewis College with a BA in Theatre.  She loves working with kids and inspiring them.  Melissa wants you to know she is here to help you with anything you need so please reach out!


Gael Natal

Co-Chapter Director

Gael Natal has been teaching in New Mexico for 24 years, 17 of them have been at Rio Rancho High School.

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Richard Hogle


Richard teaches technical theatre classes at Albuquerque Academy where he is also the Technical Director for the Performing Arts and the Performing Arts Department Chair. Richard has a Master's of Fine Arts in Lighting and Scenic Design from the University of Washington. In addition to teaching, Richard Designs Professionally for regional theatre, dance, and opera companies, and has been the resident lighting and scenic Designer for Fusion Theatre Company in Albuquerque, NM since 2006.

Melissa Munoz

Scholarships and Student Engagement

Melissa Munoz has been a theatre arts teacher at Mayfield High School for the past 25 years and Picacho Middle School for 4 years. She is currently serving as a board member with Doña Ana Repertory Theatre and the New Mexico Theatre Association. In addition to producing shows at her schools, she also has been a performer and designer for local theatre companies such as DART, Doña Ana Lyric Opera, Las Cruces Community Theatre, and No Strings Theatre Company. She earned hers Master's Degree in Theatre Production and Design from Southern Oregon University.


Vivian Isaacs


Vivian graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor’s in English and Communication/Theatre; later completing her Master of Arts in English.  After being in the classroom for 25 years, Vivian retired in 2016. She has been active with the New Mexico Thespian Board since 2006 and a Board member since 2010 attending and planning numerous theatre festivals as well as participating in Educational Theatre Association’s Leadership Summits.  In 2018, she became a member of the Leadership Advocacy Network working with other members from across the US. She also serves on the Chapter Leader Advisory Committee. In addition, after retirement Vivian spends most of her time in Ruidoso where she serves as Vice President of the High Mountain Youth Project, which is committed to creating “a loving and caring community where all youth are protected, empowered, loved, respected and treated with dignity.”


Ashley Williford

STO Advisor and Student Engagement

Ashley is the STO Advisor and in charge of Student Engagement for the NM Thespians. Ashley teaches theatre at Farmington High School in Farmington, NM for the last four years. Ashley is an alumnus of Fort Lewis College where she obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Theatre Education. She is really excited to be working with the STO’s across the State of New Mexico! 


Damon Carbajal

DEIA | Secretary


James Padilla

Technical Advisor

James currently serves as the Theatre Manager and Technical Director at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington, New Mexico. He currently pursuing his Master's of Fine Arts in Lighting Design, from the University of Idaho's distance program. He also holds his Bachelor's of Arts in Theatre Arts from New Mexico State University. James is a frequent designer for Four Corners Musical Theatre Company. He has also designed for Duragno Playfest (Durango, CO), The Adobe Theater (Albuquerque, NM), No Strings Theatre Company (Las Cruces, NM), Las Cruces Community Theatre (Las Cruces, NM), and San Juan College (Farmington, NM).

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