(if you’re looking for cast and crew bios visit the individual show pages)
Krista Schafer Ewbank, Founding Artistic Director
Krista earned her degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has additional training from Arden Theatre Company, SITI company, Fringe Benefits and Augusto Boal. Krista has performed on professional stages large and small across the country. Since returning to her home state of Michigan she has worked with AKT Theatre Project, The Abreact, Shakespeare in Detroit, Matrix Theatre Company, Drastic Theater Company, Broadway OnStage, KHOROS Inc., and the Gottlieb Music Festival. Krista also has over 20 years of experience directing, leading drama workshops and teaching theatre to all ages. She served as the director at Grosse Ile High School from fall 2016-spring 2019 and has directed several Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festivals. Krista won the 2018 Wilde Award for performance by a lead actress for her title role in Emilie as well as a Best Director award in 2020 for The Watson Intelligence. She lives in Woodhaven with her husband, daughter, and menagerie of pets.
Harley Miah, Resident Lighting Designer
Harley is a professional in the entertainment technology industry. He is a freelance lighting programmer for a large number of nightclubs, concerts and festivals across the country, and the chief lighting designer for IKO Global Productions. He has designed the lights for all of the shows in Open Book’s first three seasons and earned a Wilde Award for Best Design – Lights for his work on Red in 2015. Harley has been involved in the technical design of the new performance space from the ground up. He is also the resident lighting designer for the AKT Theatre Project in Wyandotte, and Outvisible Theatre Company in Allen Park.
Open Book Theatre Company
Board of Directors
Our volunteer board has a wide range of experience and is active in our community in many ways!
Krista Schafer Ewbank, President
In addition to her work for Open Book, Ms. Schafer Ewbank served as drama director for Grosse Ile High School and the Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival. She has a BS in Theatre from Northwestern University and additional training with Arden Continuing Training, SITI Company, and Augusto Boal. She has over 20 years of professional acting experience and over 20 years of theatre directing and teaching experience with various school, community and arts programs. Her board experience includes being a current board member of the Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival and previous leadership on the boards for Bear Creek Camp (Wilkes Barre, PA) and the Downriver Council for the Arts.
Madeleine GB Jones, Vice President
Ms. Jones is a retired educator, working for 34 years in Southgate community schools. She has a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree in Education from Wayne State University. She has worked with many additional community and educational institutions such as Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, EarthWorks and Exchange City, American Association of University Women, Wayne County Community College, Episcopal Church Women, Grosse Ile Book Club, Grosse Ile Garden Club, and various tutoring groups. Madeleine is an active part of several choral groups, and an avid attender of theatrical productions.
Erin Shelton, Treasurer
Ms. Shelton is a financial advisor and co-owner of Key Concerns, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan. She has over 10 years of non-profit experience, including start-up and grant proposals. She had developed educational programming for special needs children. She is a current board member of the Trenton Business Association and has served on various councils and committees at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Grosse Ile. She serves as an ambassador for the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber.
Diana Mente, Secretary
Ms. Mente is a retired Laboratory Technologist with BA Biology from SUNY Geneseo. She is Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital Star of Excellence awardee and served on Service Excellence Leadership Development team at HFWH. She is very involved with the American Association of University Women. She has also been involved with the Childbirth Preparation Association, American Cancer Society, Reach-to-Recovery as a volunteer and trainer, Downriver cycling club, Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church, and Thunderbird Ski Club. She was the owner and photographer of Artemis Studio Photography in Wyandotte. Ms. Mente is also a Certified Master Gardener, Wayne County and a member of Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor.
Tom Sasse, Member At Large
Mr. Sasse recently retired as a regional category manager with BASF and holds a degree from the University of Wisconsin. He brings knowledge and experience in contracts and procurement, business management, and sales. As a fairly new resident to Michigan he also brings a unique perspective to how to reach new audiences. He also serves on the board of directors for the Downriver Bass Association.
Brett Chittum, Member At Large
Mr. Chittum is the founder and chief consultant of Chittum Consulting, specializing in business and market planning, employee engagement and development, leadership consulting and training, and processes and procedures development. He is an ambassador for the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce and also serves on the boards for Grosse Ile Music Boosters and Taylor Kiwanis. Previous work experience includes running an insurance agency and serving as a youth and worship pastor. He also is a voice over actor, baseball coach, and a notary public.
William Jasman, Member At Large
Mr. Jasman recently retired as a contract manager with DTE Energy, and holds a degree from Wayne State University. He’s very engaged with the community, including being active in Trenton Rotary (2011 member of the year, 2023 President) and chairing many events such as Turn Off The Violence. Additionally he works with Trenton Goodfellows, helps coordinate Trenton’s Jazz on the River, is on the advisory board for Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center, and has been a life long supporter of the performing arts.
Our by-laws state that our board must be comprised of four to eleven members. We are looking to grow our board by adding individuals dedicated to working towards our mission. Board members are not paid, but serve as volunteers for the organization. Terms are for one year, but there are no term limits. The board is responsible for ensuring that the activities of Open Book support our mission and meet its legal and financial goals and obligations. We are particularly looking for board members who can bring diverse perspective to our work.