Board of Directors

Frona ColkerFrona Colker was born in Baltimore, MD and has a MS in Nursing Administration from University of Maryland. She has worked in a variety of nursing positions for 41 years, and retired in July, 2004 from her last position as School Health Supervisor for Henrico County Public Schools. Frona has always been involved in volunteer activities and has served on a variety of boards in the community over the years. She is presently serving as President of the Jewish Woman’s Club, is a member of the Family Lifelines Board, Hadassah Board and volunteers at Beth Sholom Gardens assisting residents in a weekly ceramics class. She also participates on the School Nurse Institute Partnership Committee that fosters educational opportunities for school nurses. Frona is married to Alan Colker, president of Alco Lighting Sales Inc. and they have one son who is vice-president of Alco Lighting Sales, Inc. Interests include theatre, book groups, knitting, mah jongg, volunteering and spending time with family and friends.

Laura Heymann photo (high resolution)Laura A. Heymann is a professor at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she specializes in copyright law and trademark law. She joined the faculty at W&M in 2005 and is honored to have been the recipient of two teaching awards and an award for faculty excellence in the years since. Prior to her appointment, she was the inaugural Frank H. Marks Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Administrative Fellow in the Intellectual Property Law Program at The George Washington University Law School. She has also served as an assistant general counsel at America Online, Inc., as an associate at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., and as a law clerk to the Hon. Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before attending law school, Laura worked as an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press in New York. She received her B.A. in English from Yale and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Having left her (very amateur) college acting and producing days behind long ago, Laura is thrilled to be able to support Cadence Theatre Company as it continues its outstanding contributions to the Richmond theatre scene. Laura and her husband, Mark Badger, a Creative Director at CapTech Ventures, Inc., have been very happy to call Richmond home since 2013.

anna photoAnna Johnson is founding Artistic and Managing Director of Cadence Theatre Company and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she holds a B.A. in theatre and dance. She was an original co-founder of Richmond’s award-winning Firehouse Theatre Project, serves as Company Artist for Company of Fools (COF) in Hailey, Idaho, and the founding Artistic Director of St. Thomas Playhouse in Sun Valley, Idaho. Recently she directed the Richmond premieres of Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit (RTCC nomination Best Ensemble Acting and Best Director) and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People (RTCC Nomination Best Play and Best Director),  and the Virginia premiere of Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet (RTCC Nomination Best Director and Best Play: Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Repertory Theatre). Favorite Richmond directing credits include Next Fall (Richmond Triangle Players); Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas (2012 RTCC Nomination Best Locally Developed Work: Virginia Repertory Theatre); Sons of the Prophet (Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Repertory Theatre); Kimberly Akimbo (2012 RTCC Nomination Best Director and Best Play: Cadence Theatre Company in Partnership with Virginia Repertory Theatre); Fool for Love (2010 RTCC nomination Best Play: Cadence Theatre Company); Godspell (2011 RTCC nomination Best Musical: Cadence Theatre Company); My Children! My Africa! (1997 Phoebe nomination Best Play: Theatre IV) and A Devil Inside (Theatre IV); And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank (Jewish Family Theatre); Tone Clusters (Firehouse Theatre Project). Acting credits include roles in Steel Magnolias, Rabbit Hole, Sight Unseen and Bus Stop (COF). Anna also serves on the board of the Campfire Foundation in Boise, Idaho. Since Cadence’s inception she has also been involved in areas of educational programming, production, marketing, volunteer recruitment and management, publicity management, development and administration. She and her husband have a daughter named Caroline and a golden retriever named Modoc. In her spare time Anna enjoys hiking, going to the ballet, watching movies, jogging and spending time with family and friends.

Lynne Kendal croppedLynne Kendal-Wilson (Secretary) was born in London, England, and moved to Richmond, Virginia, in 1986. She has been an avid theatre-goer since childhood and is proud to have seen some of Britain’s greatest actors in many of their finest roles, including Olivier, Gielgud, Richardson, Smith, Thorndike, McKellan, and Dench, to name but a few. Whilst not treading the boards since high school, Lynne has made numerous presentations at national and state conferences and workshops and is a past-president of Godwin High School Drama Boosters. A lifelong learner, she holds degrees in psychology and education and after a long career working with children and families, recently retired. Lynne is looking forward to actively supporting Richmond’s burgeoning theatre scene, encouraging emerging writers, writing herself, and learning more about photography. Lynne has four amazing children, all of whom share her love of the theatre, and one perfect grandson who is learning to share that love.

LynneLynne Lancaster is a native of Philadelphia, PA. Currently she is the City of Richmond’s Parking Operations Manager with over 30 years experience in economic development. Since moving to Richmond in 1995, Lynne has served on numerous boards such as the short-lived Essential Theatre, Children’s Health Involving Parents (CHIP), Black History Museum and Cultural Center, Northside YMCA, and the Pythagoras School of Lost Building Trades. She is currently on the board of the Historic Jackson Ward Association, the Parking Association of Virginia, a Trustee at Historic Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, and a 2004 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond. Lynne enjoys patronizing all forms of the cultural arts.

Cadence PictureChris Lindsay-Abaire received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and studied acting at The British American Drama Academy in London.  She has performed at La Mama ETC, Here, Dance Theater Workshop, P.S.122, Fleetwood Stage, The Fulton Opera House and others. Television and film credits include Law & Order (Criminal Intent & SVU), Ghost Stories, Static, The King of the Magicians, and all the New York soaps except All My Children.  She’s taken a break from auditioning so she can focus on keeping up with her two energetic young boys. In the meantime she is lucky to have an artistic home in the Brooklyn-based theater company, Brave New World Repertory Theatre where she is a company member. The company has kept her active with staged readings and productions of The Long Christmas Dinner, Private Lives, A Doll’s House, Hotel Paradiso, An Ideal Husband, No Exit, Wild Oats, The American Clock, The Children’s Hour and Heartbreak House, among others.  Most recently she played the role of Sharon in Cadence Theatre Company’s Detroit. She is the co-founder of Brooklyn PPD Support which helps mothers with postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders find resources for recovery, facilitates group peer-to-peer counseling and provides telephone support.  She is on the board of the Prospect Park South Association which is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the Prospect Park South historic district in Brooklyn where she lives with her husband, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, and their sons Nick and Cooper.  She blogs about the ongoing restoration of their 1905 home at

DSCN0640Katie Sharrar Mattes (Treasurer) is excited to contribute to the Richmond theatre arts as a member of the Cadence Theatre Company Board. Katie’s professional experience includes nonprofit fundraising, including Maymont and Theatre IV; and marketing, corporate volunteerism and philanthropy at Capital One. Currently Katie is vice president of CityParking Inc., Richmond’s largest locally-owned parking operator. As the mother of two, Katie is passionate about access to quality arts programming and education for young people. She also enjoys the outdoors, hiking, knitting and locally produced food and drink, beer included.

SylviaO'Brien.CadencebioA native of Richmond, Sylvia O’Brien fell in love with theater and the energy of a live performance at a young age. Having regularly attended Cadence Theatre Company performances, Sylvia is thrilled to join the team as a member of the Board. Sylvia spends her days as an attorney supporting Capital One’s procurement group, her evenings chasing her two little boys around the house, and her Saturday nights enjoying Cadence’s latest production. Sylvia is an avid runner, enjoys volunteering in her community, and spending time with family and friends. She is delighted to spread her passion for theatre with fellow Richmonders, one Cadence production at a time.


Monica RawlesMonica F. Rawles (Vice President) currently serves as an Associate Broker for Long and Foster and is a graduate of the Leadership Academy of the Richmond Association of Realtors. She was born in Pensacola, Florida and moved to Richmond in 1975. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated Summa cum Laude. She taught for six years in the Chesterfield County School System and has four children: Caitlin, Trey, Carleton and Cassie. Monica is a member of the Richmond Women’s Club and has served as a Board Member and Event Chair for The Richmond Ballet, Richmond Children’s Museum and Science Museum. She also volunteered extensively at Collegiate School and serves on the Legislative Committee for the Richmond Association of Realtors. Monica loves spending time with family and friends at her Lake Gaston home, hiking, working out, scuba diving, cooking, reading and traveling. While teaching, Monica ran a successful Wellness and Fitness business in the workplace and taught classes in several major area corporations including Dominion Virginia Power, Defense General Supply Company, and Saint Mary’s Hospital.

photoDenis Riva (President) is a life-long lover of theater and the arts. He received his B.A. in Theatre and American Literature from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Soon after graduating from college, Denis enrolled in a three-year Master of Fine Arts Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, Denis had the opportunity to work with theater artists from across the country and acted in numerous plays with PlayMakers Repertory Company, an Equity/LORT theater. While at Chapel Hill, he started Interim Studio Theater with a fellow classmate, a theater company devoted to producing plays with strong female characters and characters from underrepresented minorities. Denis continued his work with Interim Studio Theater after receiving his MFA and during his time working as an independent, professional actor in New York City. Denis came to Richmond nearly 10 years ago to attend the Law School at the University of Richmond. He spent several years in private legal practice before moving to MeadWestvaco. Denis is involved in the greater Richmond community through his membership on the board of the Richmond Chapter of the Washington and Lee University Alumni Association and through volunteer work with ROSMY. He is happily married, and he and his husband are expecting twins this summer.

LMR_PHOTOLynn Schwartz is Vice President, Controller, and shareholder in The Richmond Group USA, a 45 year old national award-winning executive search, contract staffing and recruitment process outsourcing firm based in Richmond, Virginia. She is the Immediate Past President and current Chairman of the Board of the Weinstein JCC in Richmond, Virginia. Lynn is heavily engaged as member, board member and officer in a wide range of community and nationally based not for profit organizations such as IMPACT 100, Jewish Women’s Club, Hadassah International and the Richmond Culinary Guild. She is also a member of the Leadership Metro Richmond’s Class of 2013. Lynn was born in Richmond, Virginia and a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BS in Accounting. In the years following graduation passed the CPA exam and was employed in the field of accounting. She is married to Jay Schwartz, President of The Richmond Group USA and has three children: Jennifer attorney with Covington and Burling in Washington DC, Mark Vice President The Richmond Group, Erika, first grade teacher at Wolf Trap Elementary in Vienna, Virginia and daughter-in-law, Meredith is a CPA. She enjoys travel, book groups, cultural arts and volunteering.

Beth SinnenbergElizabeth Sinnenberg has a BS in Psychology from VCU and Certificate in Cytotechnology from VCU Medical Center. Past volunteer experience includes having worked with SPARC, Nuckols Farm Elementary School and Godwin High School’s Drama Boosters. She also served on the Board of Richmond’s highly-acclaimed Stage1 Theatre Company (Chase Kniffen–Founding Artistic Director). Beth is an avid photographer and served as a photo intern with Style Weekly in 2000. She has three children: Maura, Caron and Sam.

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