David Levy and Jeff Groh had known each other for years before they realized their shared passion for storytelling. Once they began to discuss their love for the art form, they knew they had to create a home in which it could thrive. In the wake of their discovery, True Theatre was born, a place where people from all walks of life could have a chance at a microphone and receive coaching while developing their story. Since its inception in 2010, True Theatre has provided an opportunity for more than 175 unique voices, over the course of 7 seasons, to share their stories.

From the beginning, the mission of True Theatre has been to “build Community,” but Dave and Jeff were truly surprised at how vividly they could watch a Community grow every time someone shared a story. Dave and Jeff like to say “Everyone has a story to tell and the only difference between strangers and friends is the sharing of that story.” At every True Theatre performance, the audience makes 5 new friends.


The Story Team

Members of the Story Team help curate and coach storytellers as part of the preparations for each True Theatre event.

davelevy-headshot_1.jpg

Dave Levy

Dave can trace his love for storytelling all the way back to riding in the rear seat of his family car while his parents played Harry Chapin on the 8-track.  He is fond of the traditional forms of storytelling (fables, cautionary tales, and other fiction), but is particularly interested in factual, auto-biographical tales like those you hear on The Moth podcast or by such greats as the late Spalding Gray ("Monster in a Box," etc.) and the on-time Mike Birbiglia ("Sleepwalk With Me").  As is true with everything he loves, he wants to share it with others who he hopes will love it, too.  That was his motivation behind partnering with Jeff Groh to create True Theatre.  David has lived in Cincinnati since 1992 and, when he's not programming computers or enjoying time with his teenage son, he is preparing and delivering speeches as part of one of his Toastmasters clubs or involved in the local theatre scene, telling stories via a different medium as both an actor and sound designer.

jeffgroh-headshot2_1_orig.jpg

Jeff Groh

Jeff is the co-founder of True Theatre and is passionate about the power of storytelling.  His professional life has criss-crossed between education and theatre.  Jeff has worked as an actor, director, teacher, and is currently the Head of School at The New School Montessori.  He has seen the powerful role storytelling plays in the lives of children and adults as an educational leader in the community and a storytelling coach through True Theatre.  He has experienced how stories can build bridges, create communities, and serve as a reminder of our common humanity.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAX-AAAAJGQ4NWIzNzZiLWY3YzctNDQ4MS05N2I0LTI3YWJjNjNlZDZhOA.jpg

Nick Nissley

Nick has spent his lifetime exploring the intersection of story and work life – as an academic/writer, an organizational leader, and as an applied theater practitioner – seeking to understand how stories impart meaningfulness to our work lives. Nick previously performed with Playback Columbus, in the late 1990’s. He has been invited to perform at the Detroit Worker-Writer Festival, and he has performed with Bread and Puppet Theater, in Vermont. For more than twenty years, Nick has found great joy acting in organizational theater performances on stages throughout the US and Canada, as well as England, Poland, and Slovenia. But, Nick is most proud of his work organizing the First International Organizational Theater Conference, when he served in an executive director role at Canada’s Banff Centre. The Conference helped advance the, then, emerging field of applied theater – where theater is being applied in the workplace. Today, Nick serves as Executive Director (a sort of Chief Storytelling Officer role) of Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts, the first K-12 public performing arts school in the country. In this role, Nick most enjoys the opportunity to engage in narrative career coaching with students, and occasionally dropping in on an improv class! This past year, Nick has returned to his first joy - playback theater - helping launch the Ohio Playback Theatre Company.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dave Levy Dave Levy can trace his love for storytelling all the way back to riding in the rear seat of his family car while his parents played Harry Chapin on the 8-track.  He is fond of the traditional forms of storytelling (fables, cautionary tales, and other fiction), but is particularly interested in factual, auto-biographical tales like those you hear on The Moth podcast or by such greats as the late Spalding Gray ("Monster in a Box," etc.) and the on-time Mike Birbiglia ("Sleepwalk With Me").  As is true with everything he loves, he wants to share it with others who he hopes will love it, too.  That was his motivation behind partnering with Jeff Groh to create True Theatre.  David has lived in Cincinnati since 1992 and, when he's not programming computers or enjoying time with his teenage son, he is preparing and delivering speeches as part of one of his Toastmasters clubs or involved in the local theatre scene, telling stories via a different medium as both an actor and sound designer.

Dave Levy

Dave Levy can trace his love for storytelling all the way back to riding in the rear seat of his family car while his parents played Harry Chapin on the 8-track.  He is fond of the traditional forms of storytelling (fables, cautionary tales, and other fiction), but is particularly interested in factual, auto-biographical tales like those you hear on The Moth podcast or by such greats as the late Spalding Gray ("Monster in a Box," etc.) and the on-time Mike Birbiglia ("Sleepwalk With Me").  As is true with everything he loves, he wants to share it with others who he hopes will love it, too.  That was his motivation behind partnering with Jeff Groh to create True Theatre.  David has lived in Cincinnati since 1992 and, when he's not programming computers or enjoying time with his teenage son, he is preparing and delivering speeches as part of one of his Toastmasters clubs or involved in the local theatre scene, telling stories via a different medium as both an actor and sound designer.

Jeff Groh Jeff Groh is the co-founder of True Theatre and is passionate about the power of storytelling.  His professional life has criss-crossed between education and theatre.  Jeff has worked as an actor, director, teacher, and is currently the Head of School at The New School Montessori.  He has seen the powerful role storytelling plays in the lives of children and adults as an educational leader in the community and a storytelling coach through True Theatre.  He has experienced how stories can build bridges, create communities, and serve as a reminder of our common humanity.

Jeff Groh

Jeff Groh is the co-founder of True Theatre and is passionate about the power of storytelling.  His professional life has criss-crossed between education and theatre.  Jeff has worked as an actor, director, teacher, and is currently the Head of School at The New School Montessori.  He has seen the powerful role storytelling plays in the lives of children and adults as an educational leader in the community and a storytelling coach through True Theatre.  He has experienced how stories can build bridges, create communities, and serve as a reminder of our common humanity.

Mark Gosson Mark Gosson has spent his career focused on teaching and technology. As a lifelong educator, Mark has taught and been a featured speaker on six continents.  Mark teaches storytelling workshops at Microsoft in his role at the Center of Excellence.  He also offers his workshop to select companies and not-for-profits.  His latest book, Tell: Story Demystified will be published in 2017.

Mark Gosson

Mark Gosson has spent his career focused on teaching and technology. As a lifelong educator, Mark has taught and been a featured speaker on six continents.  Mark teaches storytelling workshops at Microsoft in his role at the Center of Excellence.  He also offers his workshop to select companies and not-for-profits.  His latest book, Tell: Story Demystified will be published in 2017.

 
Stacey Roberts Stacey Roberts is President and CEO of Computer Systems Management, Inc, an IT services company founded in 1994. He is also a founding member of Sons of Joy, LLC. He is a former adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and the author of the novel Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name. He received his Master’s degree in European History at the University of Cincinnati. He lives in Northern Kentucky with his wife.

Stacey Roberts

Stacey Roberts is President and CEO of Computer Systems Management, Inc, an IT services company founded in 1994. He is also a founding member of Sons of Joy, LLC. He is a former adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and the author of the novel Trailer Trash, With a Girl’s Name. He received his Master’s degree in European History at the University of Cincinnati. He lives in Northern Kentucky with his wife.

Ramona Toussaint A native of New Yorker, Ramona Toussaint moved to Cincinnati in 1992 to get her Masters in Educational Foundations at UC. She believes in the power of the performing arts to make a significant impact on learning for children and adults and subsequently stayed on in Cincinnati, eventually choosing to make her home in College Hill.   This deep conviction, that art can educate and enlighten as well as inspire and entertain, drew Ramona to MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir,  a community choir who sings for social justice. She started singing with MUSE in 1998, and just concluded a 9-year tenure on their board.  It is through MUSE that Ramona discovered Cincinnati Community Shares (a fundraising organization for a collective of 28 progressive member groups whose focus is on social justice, a healthy environment, and economic equity) where she served on their board for 10 years.  In partnership with Cincinnati Arts Association and the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, Ramona works as Program Director for Historic Music Hall. Through tours and educational outreach, she helps transform the stories of our history, of Cincinnati's rise to greatness, and the role Music Hall played in its success, in educating, inspiring, and entertaining experiences for audiences young and old.  Ramona is thrilled to serve on the Board of True Theatre to help make an impact in our community.

Ramona Toussaint

A native of New Yorker, Ramona Toussaint moved to Cincinnati in 1992 to get her Masters in Educational Foundations at UC. She believes in the power of the performing arts to make a significant impact on learning for children and adults and subsequently stayed on in Cincinnati, eventually choosing to make her home in College Hill.
 
This deep conviction, that art can educate and enlighten as well as inspire and entertain, drew Ramona to MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir,  a community choir who sings for social justice. She started singing with MUSE in 1998, and just concluded a 9-year tenure on their board. 

It is through MUSE that Ramona discovered Cincinnati Community Shares (a fundraising organization for a collective of 28 progressive member groups whose focus is on social justice, a healthy environment, and economic equity) where she served on their board for 10 years. 

In partnership with Cincinnati Arts Association and the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall, Ramona works as Program Director for Historic Music Hall. Through tours and educational outreach, she helps transform the stories of our history, of Cincinnati's rise to greatness, and the role Music Hall played in its success, in educating, inspiring, and entertaining experiences for audiences young and old. 

Ramona is thrilled to serve on the Board of True Theatre to help make an impact in our community.

Patrick Romelli Patrick Romelli Jr., is Chief Creative Officer and partner in Romelli Design, Inc. Patrick brings more than 3 decades of design experience building national and global brands. He finds inspiration in anything mechanical, spending time rebuilding vintage motorcycles, listening and being the center of family antics.

Patrick Romelli

Patrick Romelli Jr., is Chief Creative Officer and partner in Romelli Design, Inc. Patrick brings more than 3 decades of design experience building national and global brands. He finds inspiration in anything mechanical, spending time rebuilding vintage motorcycles, listening and being the center of family antics.