Meet the NADTA 2023-2025 Board of Directors


Contact Susan at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background   Vision/Goal Statement 

Susan Ward is a drama therapist living and working in Montreal. She has been involved with practicing drama therapy with children, families, the elderly and newly arrived immigrants and refugees, supervising interns and teaching and supervising students in the MA program at Concordia University. Susan was the first Canadian to sit on the NADTA Board. Before receiving her RDT, she was invited to sit on the Board as an observer supporting the Board in learning about the needs of Canadian drama therapists. After receiving her RDT and then her BCT, she served several terms as the official Canadian Rep and as the Membership Chair.

In addition to Board service, Susan was the Conference Chair of the first NADTA conference held in Montreal in 2007 and the Program Chair for the next Canadian conference in 2013. She has served on the conference committee several times, has worked on rewriting the by-laws leading to the name change and the ethics committee. Current interests include developmental trauma, becoming an ally and collaborating with Indigenous Canadians, parent-child relationship therapy and the new Graduate Play Therapy Certificate at Concordia. She is a believer in life-long learning and works to change the systems which continue to marginalize certain members of the community.


My goals are to continue to develop an inclusive and diverse organization which meets the needs of and is representative of all of our members. I would like to strengthen the mentorship initiative and provide support to members who may be more isolated from their communities. I believe in collaboration and unity and acknowledge the strengths of our sister creative arts therapists. I believe that we are better together and would continue to engage in joint projects and research.

Finally, service is something that inspires and guides me. I believe that each member has something to offer the organization. It is and will continue to be a privilege to serve my community.

Contact Adam at   [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 

Adam D-F. Stevens (they|them), MA, RDT. They are a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) who has worked with the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a non-profit organization that serves LGBTQAI+ youth in NYC. Their role included supporting queer youth in transforming their loss and grief into unapologetic, abundant joy and empowerment. Adam also worked at the Cooke School & Institute, NYC, guiding young people with developmental and intellectual differences. They are alumni of Marymount Manhattan College and New York University where their areas of study included Theatre Arts and Drama Therapy respectively. Adam serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Creative Arts Therapy Programs at Antioch University in Seattle, and New York University and Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. Previously, they sat on the Board of Directors for the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) as Chair of the Cultural Humility, Equity, and Diversity Committee. Adam currently sits on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance for Children's Grief (NACG). Adam is a political and social justice theatre practitioner who has performed, directed, and choreographed throughout North America. In 2020, they were named Artistic Director for the Collideoscope Repertory Theatre Company (CRTC) whose mission is to advance racial justice and healing through artful affinity and performance. Adam works as a diversity, equity, and inclusion specialist supporting organizations and schools worldwide. More recently, Adam has connected with several Broadway, Off-Broadway and university theatre companies as an actor’s advocate and emotional wellness consultant. Inspired by Robert Landy’s Role Method and Role Theory in drama therapy, Adam has presented on and is developing the Black American Role Taxonomy, or BART, offering space for Black clients to reclaim racialized roles and deconstruct stereotypes appropriated by privileged others. Adam's superpowers are rooted in the fantastical forces of creativity and love.


My platform is deeply rooted in approaching the work from the lens of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and access. Much of our work is deeply rooted in giving necessary visibility and representation to the healing arts amplifying the efficacy of drama therapy as a critical modality within the scope of counselling and psychology. I look to support the NADTA membership by centering marginalized voices and not shying away from constructive conflict. I want to give voice and center stage to members who have been harmed by racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism, and any other kind of oppression. I want to direct our conference and CE offerings to always have a foundational social justice lens. I wish to promote and make drama therapy education available to populations that do not have access to it, with the intention that new drama therapists will emerge from these communities and be able to serve their communities with first-hand knowledge through their shared experience and professional clinical training. As drama therapists it is our ethical and best practice responsibility to continue learning about the diversity of experiences of our clients, students and colleagues. Building empathy and celebrating difference, it is also important to acknowledge how racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, sexism, xenophobia, systems of power and privilege as well as other forms of cultural oppression influence and impact our lives, presenting problems and feelings of safety within the NADTA and in our respective therapeutic spaces, practices, and educational institutions. The inclusion of diverse membership voices is essential. Through transparency, and authenticity, I will look to invite NADTA membership into the conversations to 'actively' support in creating an organization they wish to be a part of.


Contact Monica at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 

Monica (She/Her) is an RDT, LMHC, and a CPS who currently works in her hometown as the Substance Use Prevention Coordinator. She leads and organizes her municipal coalition and has built up her local youth coalition. Monica is honored to be able to have a profession in which she serves her community. She works part-time as a clinician and her clients enjoy her use of drama therapy in sessions. Monica is a graduate from Lesley University's Drama Therapy program.

  As a board member for her local theatre, Monica finds collaboration is key to member engagement and organizational growth. She hopes to bring the skill sets she has developed to her position on the NADTA Board. 

Contact Michelle at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 

Michelle is the Recreational Therapy Director at Andrus Children’s Center in Yonkers, NY. She is getting her PhD in Recreational Therapy with her research in Arts-Based Research, DEI, and therapeutic performance. Her dream is to start a Drama Therapy Masters program in her home state in Indiana. She is the recipient of the 2019 NADTA Performance Award.


Michelle loves the field of drama therapy and all of her colleagues. She wants to serve on the board to hear and share voices, support the growth of all drama therapist, and continue to develop a open and loving community.

Contact Ana Bess at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 
 Ana Bess is a drama therapist, playwright, and harm reduction activist. She is the Executive Director of 2ndAct, a national non-profit, headquartered in Boston, with the mission to change the way people and communities respond to the impact of substance use through film, theatre, and drama therapy. Ana Bess has practiced and taught drama therapy nationally and internationally, most notably with the US Embassy in Ukraine to support refugee youth. Her second play, Act II, a story about the complexity of addiction recovery, was commissioned by Trinity Repertory Company and produced by the Rhode Island Department of Health. She is currently a senior advisor to Rhode Island Governor Daniel J. McKee on substance use, harm reduction, and recovery. Her first play, Four Legs to Stand On, was utilized by Senator Elizabeth Warren in Congress to support youth treatment legislation and Rhode Island Governor, Daniel J. McKee noted it as a reason why he signed the Nation’s first Overdose Prevention Site bill in the fall of 2021.    



Contact David at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 

David (He/Him) is an RDT and LMFT who currently works counseling individuals of all ages and backgrounds in various therapeutic settings including in-patient, schools, in-home and traditional clinical settings. David currently works for The Center for Creative Therapy in Southern California and takes a strength-based integrative approach, treating the whole self-using Drama Therapy. He began his Drama Therapeutic journey back in High school in the suburbs of Chicago as a part of a Play Back Theatre troupe, which led David to beginning a troupe during college while attending UCLA. David began his formal Drama Therapy training at the Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles and simultaneously obtained his Masters Degree from California State University: Northridge (CSUN) in Marriage and Family Therapy. He began working for the county of Los Angeles after receiving a stipend for working with high-need populations. David has continued his journey of bringing the healing powers of Drama Therapy to individuals throughout Southern California.


As Membership chair for the NADTA it is my hope to foster growth in our community as healers, creatives and human beings. Through these times of turmoil there is no better moment to form community and support for one another. I would like the membership of the NADTA to embody this by returning to the building blocks of a thriving organization. There is nothing more important than its members. My hope is to have at least quarterly virtual meet-ups, open to all current members of the NADTA as a way to begin connecting and reconnecting with one another to help make the NADTA the home we feel we want it to be. It won’t stop there as I would be open and encourage members to step up and support the organization and membership by bringing forth ideas and what better place than when meeting together every few months. I look forward to connecting with you all soon.



 Contact at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 




 Contact Emily at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 

 Emily P. Faith (she/her), MA, LPC-A, RDT, is a multidisciplinary theatre artist and drama therapist. With over a decade of performing and teaching all over the country, Emily landed in Dallas, TX, where she founded a women focused non-profit theatre and her own private practice. Emily received her masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Drama Therapy from Lesley University (‘21), focusing her research on the mental wellness of performing artists. Emily is a founding member of the Lesley University Research Lab, the Coalition of Circus Arts in Drama Therapy, and is currently a drama therapy researcher for the CoActive Therapeutic Theatre Model's (CoATT)18-month study in partnership with Lesley University, UMASS Mind, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to her NADTA board service, Emily serves on the board of the Laugher League, a national nonprofit for healthcare clowning, and Arts Mission OakCliff, an arts organization in Dallas, TX. 

  My vision is to further the innovative and vital communications initiatives that preceded my service, and develop sustainable communications practices for the NADTA. The NADTA serves its members, but also has a voice in the larger mental health profession. My focus this term to to give focus to both.

Contact Chyela at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background   Vision/Goal Statement

Chyela Rowe: PhD, RDT/BCT (she/her), has witnessed a lot of change in the NADTA since becoming an RDT in 2004 through the AT program. She has served as a research committee member since 2018, contributing to the body of knowledge through a critical analysis of race in drama therapy empirical research, a core process delphi study, and researching the use of drama therapy in physician and nurse leader peer-support training. She is adjunct professor of research at Lesley University, the manager of arts therapies and well-being at CHI Memorial, Chattanooga, TN, and contributes to national well-being strategies at CommonSpirit Health. Dr. Rowe’s work includes burnout education for physicians, nurses, and healthcare executives, supervision of creative arts therapy graduate students, and development of acute medical creative arts therapy services. She has also directed award winning multi-disciplinary community arts advocacy programs that address issues such as the health impacts of racism, and LGBTQ+ teen mental health.


My vision is to continue furthering the education committee’s current and ongoing initiatives, with an aim to also support the overall sustainability of the profession of drama therapy through education. This committee has the power to champion educator innovations, identify pathways to improve access to training, and strengthen collaboration within all areas of the organization. My hope is for the committee to remove barriers to learning through community-building and scholarship that supports diversity, effectiveness, and flourishing within the profession.


Contact Alexis at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 

Alexis (Lex) Powell is a registered drama therapist (RDT) and a licensed creative arts therapist (LCAT) who maintains a private practice in NY. Alexis is a frequent guest lecturer in the programs for Drama Therapy at NYU and Antioch on the topic of cross cultural awareness in creative arts therapy. As a result of their research, Alexis developed the Embodied Multicultural Assessment, which integrates Pamela Hays' ADDRESSING model with Robert Landy’s Role Theory, for clinicians to assess their intersections of identity. Her research on this topic was recently published in the Drama Therapy Review and is implemented in classrooms, curriculums, and workshops nationally. A frequent collaborator and arts based researcher with NYU’s As Performance: Therapeutic Theatre Lab, Alexis has performed with and contributed to the growing body of knowledge on therapeutic theatre by collaboratively exploring the topics of: power and privilege; suicide; and the fading body in clinical practice, and directed and collaboratively devised the Queer As Performance play "Not For Resale" with playwright Jess Barbagallo and an ensemble of drama therapists and performers.

Alexis holds a BA in English Literature and Theater from Sarah Lawrence College and a MA in Drama Therapy from New York University, where she was the department’s graduate research assistant.


Alexis hopes to bring their practices of collaborative healing, embodied intersectionality, and empathic curiosity into their role as Ethics Chair. 





Contact at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 

Chabreah is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NY, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in MA and Registered Drama Therapist, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Lesley University in 2018 and is currently working in private practice and with a telehealth University Mental Health platform. Chabreah has worked with adults with Multiple Sclerosis, children & adolescents in a partial hospitalization program, adults with dual diagnosis at a psychiatric day treatment program and in juvenile detention with adolescent boys with criminal charges. Chabreah has also written for the Drama Therapy Reviews 8.1 and 9.1. 


 My goal as CHED Chair is to help re-evaluate the NADTA’s systems and structures to create opportunities for growth and enhancement in our field. I hope to learn from and collaborate with the board and CHED Committee to explore new initiatives that encourage inclusion and reinstate previous ones. I aim to challenge our community to grow in our competencies and abilities as drama therapists and continue to check our biases to be the change agents we truly need are. I hope for reciprocal collaboration and support within our community! 


Contact Angelle at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement 

Angelle Cook, PhD, RDT-BCT is a drama therapist who runs her own private practice. Dr. Cook is an associate professor at Lesley University and in the fall will adjunct at NYU and Antioch in their drama therapy departments. She is the Managing Editor for the Drama Therapy Review. With the NADTA, Angelle has served as conference chair and on the research committee for the past two years. She holds a masters in theater education from Emerson College and completed her drama therapy course work through the alternative track program. Angelle earned her Ph.D. in expressive arts therapy from Lesley University.


My hope as research chair would be to continue the amazing work done by the previous chairs, Calli Armstrong and Jason Frydman. In addition, I want to work to demystify research for anyone in our community who may feel hesitant to engage with the process. Research should be accessible and I hope to encourage new researchers through this position. I am open to ideas from emergent and established researchers of how to continue moving the drama therapy field toward empirically based research in order to continue to show the efficacy of what we do.


Contact Cindy at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement

Cindy Coady is a bilingual drama therapist living and working in Montreal Canada. She has been in private practice for the last 16 years specializing in Play and Child Development working with parents of neurodivergent children helping them learn how to rebuild neuroconnectivity and form attachments. Currently, Cindy works in the Drama Therapy department at Concordia University where she serves as both a teacher and practicum coordinator.


I am passionate about sharing the healing potential of the arts and play. I want to help create a space where people want to come together to do the same.

My goal as the Canadian representative is to not only give a voice to Canadians but reach those who may not know the potential and privilege of being a member. When I started as a Drama Therapist I was isolated and although I knew of the NADTA, I was unaware of the connections and support it could provide. Now as a teacher of incoming Drama Therapists, I am fired up about the power that membership, kinship and working together can provide our clients, our country and the filed. We have amazing Drama Therapist working and researching in new and incredible ways. The more we connect, the more we will be inspired. I want to help unite Drama Therapists from around the country and find ways to reach new members so that the field of Drama Therapy can be recognized for what it brings to the field of mental health.

Contact Lisa at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement

Lisa began her journey to becoming an RDT at Kansas State University. Lisa is a Registered Drama Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified School Counselor, a UIL One Act Play Adjudicator, and a triple certified educator in Texas. Lisa currently works for the Children’s Bereavement Center Rio Grande Valley. Her work at CBC RGV is focused on supporting children, teens, and families experiencing a death loss.


The vision for the Central Region is to create connection across our expansive diverse region.  The goal is to know and support the work of our colleagues. Each RDT has a specialized method of practice based on their population of focus and artistry.  This creates a vast community of wisdom we can all grow from. With intention, we will highlight the work being done and create a system of support within specialized populations. We can empower each other with the wisdom of experience, support the journey of future RDTs, and enhance our ability to be advocates. The Central Region includes 20 states, together I hope to hold space for us to collaborate despite the miles that separate us.

Contact Abbie at [email protected]

Bio/Experience/Background    Vision/Goal Statement
Abbie Truax, MA, LCAT, RDT (she/they) is a proud graduate of Lesley University who is currently working in New York City at both Housing Works and Trinity Place Shelter, specializing in drama therapy with LGBTQ+ youth, and folks living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. They have been a member of the NADTA’s Cultural Humility Equity and Diversity Committee since the summer of 2020, and has most recently served as the Program Chair for the 2023 NADTA Annual Conference. Previously, Abbie has presented on drama therapy and harm reduction at the 2022 New York State Department of Health Ending the Epidemic Summit and World AIDS Day, to bring awareness to the powerful application of drama therapy in relation to the treatment of HIV/AIDS, substance use, and harm reduction.  

My goal as the Eastern Region representative is to continue the great work of the representatives before me, and create greater regional knowledge of the work the NADTA is doing and advocate for the drama therapists and students within our region. I want to create a sense of community and growth within our region through clear communication, opportunities for professional development, and opportunities for activism.


Contact Ryan at [email protected] 

Bio/Experience/Background      Vision/Goal Statement

Ryan has been involved with the NADTA since starting the Drama Therapy MA program at Lesley University in 2016. Ryan graduated from Lesley in 2018 and has been working as a Therapist since then. Ryan currently works as a Drama Therapist at the Huntington Hospital's Psychiatric Unit in Pasadena, California where he serves many marginalized and stigmatized populations of patients. 


I have been deeply grateful to be part of the NADTA and I want to contribute to its continued progress as an inclusive and transformative organization. My biggest priority is ensuring that intersectionality is further emphasized as a key focus for the NADTA. I feel that providing spaces for people's unique identities and perspectives to be heard is essential.  My vision is to facilitate and organize events that foster empathy and motivate people to use Drama Therapy to create social change.