About Us

THEATRE FOR THE BOLD

OUR MISSION:  The NOLA Project is an ensemble-driven theatre company that strives to challenge, entertain, and engage diverse New Orleans audiences through high-quality and innovative performances of relevant great works, the development and production of new plays, and comprehensive educational opportunities for aspiring theatre artists.


OUR STORY:  The NOLA Project is a theatre company made up of actors inspired by the energy of New Orleans. In 2005, while studying at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Founding Artistic Director Andrew Larimer assembled an ensemble of theatre artists to create a theatre with the highest dramatic standards in New Orleans. The company enlisted the expertise of James Tripp, Head of Acting at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York, to advise and direct the company’s first several productions. Additional actors from New York, New Orleans, and elsewhere were brought in to create a versatile stable of talented performers to produce great classical, contemporary, and new plays with the highest artistic standards. Today the itinerant company is one of the most innovative and vibrant nonprofit theatre companies in the entire Gulf South, comprised of 35 theatre artists, with a regular theatrical season and a strong and diverse fan base. Our aim is to continue producing the very finest and most exciting theatre in New Orleans and to put the city of New Orleans on the national map as a major player in the American regional theatre scene.    

The NOLA Project is a member theatre of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and an associate member theatre of the National New Play Network (NNPN).

 TCGNNPN

2015 National Theatre Company Award

2015 National Theatre Company Award

The American Theatre Wing awarded The NOLA Project with the 2015 National Theatre Company Award and a grant for $10,000.

Best Local Theatre Company - 2017

Best Local Theatre Company - 2017

Gambit Magazine readers voted The NOLA Project as the Best Local Theatre Company for the second consecutive year. Read the article here. 

"Theatre Company of the Year"

The Times Picayune named The NOLA Project "Theatre Company of the Year" for 2014. Read the article. 

Press

Read interesting and notable reviews and articles about the company and what we are up to.

Meet Our Staff

A. J. Allegra

Artistic Director

A. J. Allegra

Rachel Swan

Managing Director

Rachel Swan

Kristin Shoffner

Education and Engagement Director

Kristin Shoffner

Carol Knott

Accountant

Carol Knott

Mark Routhier

Director of New Play Development

Mark Routhier

Ryan Decker

Marketing and PR Director

Ryan Decker

Keith Claverie

Digital Communications Coordinator

Keith Claverie

James Bartelle

Associate Artistic Director

James Bartelle

Natalie Boyd

Associate Managing Director

Natalie Boyd

James Yeargain

Industry Liaison

James Yeargain

Meet Our Board

Eric Charleston

President
Eric Charleston is a civil litigator with Gieger, Laborde & Laperouse, LLC in New Orleans. He obtained his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. He also holds a BFA in Drama from Syracuse University; and before practicing law, he was an actor in New York City. He is a member of... Read More

Casie Duplechain

Vice President
Casie Duplechain is the Executive Director of Friends of City Park, overseeing the successful implementation of fundraising for capital improvement projects in New Orleans City Park, maintaining a strong membership of 5,000 members, and increasing community engagement and education of City Park.... Read More

Rich Arnold

Vice President
Rich Arnold has served as Director of Development & Communications for Covenant House since 2012. His achievements include coordinating an annual “Sleep Out” fundraiser that has grown into a premier local event, with revenues increasing by 300% over four years. He is also a Big Easy... Read More

David Miller

Treasurer
David Miller is the President & Principal of Renaissance Property Group, specializing in the development of affordable housing communities using an array of tax-advantaged financing programs. Under David’s leadership, Renaissance has developed 15 properties in Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee,... Read More

Andrew A. Braun

Board Member
With over 35 years devoted to trying lawsuits and defending his clients in a wide variety of litigation, Andy has earned a stellar reputation among his peers and with his clients for his candid approach and seasoned understanding of the law. His practice is focused on representing Fortune 100 and... Read More

Darryl Durham

Board Member
Darryl Durham is the Director of Arts and Community Engagement for Anna’s Place NOLA, is a native of Greensboro, NC. His formal studies were with Robert Listokin, North Carolina School of the Arts, High School Diploma in Music Performance; Ignatius Gennusa, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns... Read More

Emily Lippold Gummer

Board Member
Emily Lippold Gummer is a registered patent attorney and partner with Carver Darden, LLC specializing in intellectual property matters. She values community involvement and has previously volunteered her time assisting local entrepreneurs, mentoring elementary and middle school students and serving... Read More

Freda Paz

Board Member
Freda Paz is a graduate of LSU with a Bachelors degree of Fine Arts, Graphic Design. She is a seasoned graphic designer with a reputation for excellence and a passion for good design. Having worked with the best and most prestigious advertising agencies in the region in managerial and artistic... Read More

Mark Routhier

Ensemble Representative
Mark Routhier recently moved back to New Orleans after a year in Washington, DC and four years in Orlando, FL. Strip malls and theme parks were stealing his soul and he wanted to write again in a town that he loves. He teaches acting at Loyola University and is an ensemble member of The NOLA... Read More

Karen Carvin Shachat

Board Member
Karen Carvin Shachat began her career in advertising working with local ad agencies in New Orleans followed by a move to New York to work with some of the top national agencies, (Benton & Bowles, Ted Bates and Ally & Gargano). While in New York, Karen worked on many national accounts... Read More

Lois Simpson

Board Member
Lois Simpson, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, served as the Executive Director of the Advocacy Center of Louisiana, a non-profit legally based advocacy program serving people with disabilities and senior citizens in Louisiana, for thirty-nine years. When Ms. Simpson left the organization in... Read More

Berney Strauss

Board Member
Berney Strauss attended Dartmouth College in the Ivy League where he graduated at the top of his class and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated summa cum laude in 1973. In 1975, he received a Masters degree from Yale University. He earned his law degree from Tulane in 1978 where he was... Read More

Ron Thompson

Board Member
Ron Thompson's experience in the advertising business came during the “MadMen” era. His account management has been extensive in the fields of packaged goods, hospitality, medical, and energy. He also has an excellent background in image development and brand marketing, including programs with... Read More

Dale Williams

Board Member
Dale Williams is a swimming coach at Holy Cross High School, a water aerobics instructor, and an internationally ranked masters swimmer. She is a founding board member of Crossroads NOLA, whose mission is to recruit, develop, and support foster families, and a presenter of Teen Life Counts, a... Read More

Bryant York

Board Member
Bryant York is an attorney at the law firm of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC. He moved to New Orleans in 2011 from New York, where he had been practicing law at the international headquarters of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. A native of Norwalk, Connecticut, Bryant holds a bachelor of arts... Read More