Staff member BIOS
ELLEN CALLAS (she/her)
General Manager, Collective Member
Ellen Callas is a native Chicagoan who cut her teeth on Second City, Ellen co-founded, in 1976, Hit and Run Theater, a political sketch comedy troupe that toured rural northern California for many years. Since joining the Mime Troupe in 1986, she has worked as a writer on (Ripped Van Winkle, Secrets in the Sand, Rats, Back to Normal, Escape from Cyberia, Revenger Rat, Soul Suckers, Eating It, 1600 Transylvania Ave, Doing Good, Posibilidad, 2012-The Musical! and Tales of the Resistance. She has also worked as an actor (Rats), director (Making a Killing) in addition to production, company & stage manager for various productions including the international collaboration and Asian tour of Big Wind. She also served as company manager for ACT's long running production of Angels In America: Parts I & II. She is committed to mentoring future activist artists and from its beginning has been an enthusiastic teacher and occasional project director of company's 26-year-old Youth Theater Project. Ellen credits her ability as an improviser for helping to navigate the rocky road of non-profit political theater.
MARISSA ELLISON (she/her)
Booking Coordinator, Tour Manager
Marissa Ellison born and raised in Wisconsin, Marissa has been a theater-lover since her 3rd grade debut as an orphan in Annie. Her relationship with the Troupe began in the summer of 2017, when she spent her summer as a workshop student with the Troupe. Marissa graduated with her BA in Theatre - Performance from Marquette University. Since then, she has had the opportunity to perform in the Bay Area with Ross Valley Players and Landmark Musical Theatre. Marissa is always excited to spend time at the Mime Troupe and be involved with such passionate theatre professionals!
KAREN RUNK (she/her)
Production Stage Manager
Karen Runk moved to SF with the intention of only staying for a few months... Over two decades later she's still here! This is largely due to the talented folks at the SF Mime Troupe and thanks to Golden Thread Productions where she has been a Resident Artist since 2018 (aka the before times) - but mostly it's due to rent control! Runk first experienced the Troupe by stage managing two '97 youth projects, Revenger Rat Meets the Merchant of Death and Inside Out. After which she ran screaming into the arms of the Magic Theatre and there she stayed, contently for two years. The Troupe then wooed her back for their '99 Summer Production City For Sale. Still under the Troupe's wooing spell she's stage managed a plethora of their summer shows. Runk has also stage managed with Word For Word, Magic Theater, SFShakes, Intersection for the Arts, and African American Shakespeare Company.
LAWRENCE HELMAN (he/him)
Lawrence Helman has been doing PR for Theatre, Dance, Performers and Special Events for over 25 years. Some of his clients and long time associates and friends include: Thrillpeddlers, Theatre Rhinoceros, Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation, SF Mime Troupe, artist Jason Mecier, Heklina, D'Arcy Drollinger, The Golden Girls Xmas Episodes, Drag Queens of Comedy, Tom & Jerry Christmas Tree, Keith Hennessy, SOULSKIN Dance, Brava, Leslie Jordan, Paula West, Harvey Milk Sculpture - City Hall, etc.. In special events, Lawrence has worked with Macy's Passport, Jewish Film Festival, Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, Frameline, and with his event company One Fine Day. With Marc Huestis, he co-produced celebrity events at the Castro Theatre: THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE with Carol Lynley live (1995), HEATwith Sylvia Miles live (1996), VIVA ANN-MARGRET! with Ann Margret live (2002). Filmography - Lawrence produced 2 award-winning documentaries: THAT MAN: PETER BERLIN (2005) Co-producer - a documentary about gay porn star & photographer Peter Berlin - directed by Jim Tushinski. In 2005/2006 the documentary played on the Int'l. film festival circuit, world premiere Berlin Int'l. Film Festival - 2/05.The DVD was released in 6/06 by Water Bearer Films. "Superb" - NY Times. SEX IS... (1993) Co-produced & co-directed with Marc Huestis (DVD - Water Bearer Films). BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (1986) Universal- Apprentice picture editor.
MORRIS OLDER (he/him)
Morris Older has been involved with collectives, cooperative and non-profits for many years. A founder of Uprising Bakery in Berkeley, he helped produce organic Food For People, Not for Profit, serving in many capacities including as bookkeeper, and coordinate three national conferences of cooperative whole grain bakeries. As bookkeeper for Inkworks Press, he helped to supply posters, magazines, newsletter, mailings and much more for a wide variety of progressive groups in the Bay Area. He currently serves on the Boards of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, Bay Area Barnes and Trails and is a project coordinator for Volunteers for Outdoor California, which maintains and builds trails in Bay Area parks and open spaces.
Lakesha York (she/her)
An Illinois native who grew up in Denver and settled in Wisconsin, Lakesha has worked for over 19 years in the nonprofit sector to help build community assets and address systems of economic oppression and racial inequality. She has provided consulting, coaching, and organizational leadership to organizations around the country. She is a board member at RE-Imagine Education and is passionate about creating opportunities for the next generation to thrive. She is a lover and strong supporter of the arts and is inspired by its power to provide safe spaces of expression. She looks forward to capturing the voices and experiences of the Youth Theater Project and sharing the mission of the San Francisco Mime Troupe through her grant writing efforts.
Thomas Boyd (he/him)
Thomas Boyd comes to the San Francisco Mime Troupe as a fan, a believer and an advocate for disruption and dialogue. He also comes as a veteran of many years in planning, resource development and fundraising. His consulting assignments include Antioch University, K Art in Buffalo (one of few native-owned galleries showing native work), LISC and more than 100 other nonprofits and small businesses. His first job after graduate school (University of Washington) was in the “other Washington” as a Senate staffer. He snuck out to moonlight for the McCarthy campaign. Later, he worked on Wall Street as a corporate giving officer and got tear-gassed when he joined demonstrations. His ties to the performing arts? Acting and directing in community theatre, recording two CDs of his own music and being Bruce Springsteen’s landlord.
ADAN GONZALEZ (he/him)
IT, and Web Programmer
Adan Gonzalez has worked as a freelance IT Consultant and Systems Administrator for 20+ years and has helped small and large businesses with creating and maintaining networks while helping provide technical support as well. A Oakland native, Adan has lived in the Bay Area his whole life and has been enjoying the San Francisco Mime Troupe shows from a very young age. Adan got involved with the Troupe when his younger brother, Taylor Gonzalez, joined the Youth Theater Project in high school. Taylor has continued to be deeply involved with the Troupe both as a YTP Teacher and Sound Designer and eventually joining the Collective. Adan provides support to help make the computers, networks, and website work as seamless as possible to allow the Mime Troupe to create art, political commentary, and teach the next generation with ease.
Board members and officers
Michael Gene Sullivan