Board and Staff


Suzanne Richard
    Artistic Director

Ian Armstrong
    Executive Producer

James Garland
    Associate Producer

Jennifer Camp
    Development Director

Arianna Ross
    Arts and Education Program Manager

Board of Directors

Board Chair
    Suzanne Richard

    Ian Armstrong
Vice President
    Helen Shaw
     Jody Barasch
    Jean-Paul Richard
Members at Large
    Rob McQuay
    Laurie Owen
    Arianna Ross
    Joel Snyder


Board Chair - OCT Artistic Director
   Suzanne Richard headshot
SUZANNE RICHARD has worked as an Accessibility Specialist with the National Endowment for the Arts and has a BA in Theatre from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of the chapter “Dealing with Being Different” for the Osteogenesis Foundation’s book on growing up with OI and is a speaker on genetics and disability in the arts. She has performed with the following companies in the Greater DC area: Ford’s Theatre, Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange, The Folger, Washington Shakespeare Company, Studio Secondstage, Project Y, Imagination Stage, Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Program, Seize the Day, Venus Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival; and her film credits include The Snowflake Crusade, Franmeister, and La Ver.

Associate Producer
JAMES GARLAND is happy to be working with Open Circle Theatre.  Having grown up with an uncle with polio he quickly understood that disability does not mean inability. After being a New York actor for 3 years he moved to Washington DC to work as a key component in fundraising for the DNC. With the 2004 presidential campaign over, James decided to return to the theatre.  After learning about Open Circle, he is excited to be able to combine his understanding of fundraising with theatre as development director.  

Board President/ Executive Producer
IAN ARMSTRONG is a D.C. native and holds degrees from The Corcoran School of Art and The Catholic University of America. He has served on the faculty of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, The Kennedy Center Theater for Young People, and was Drama Director at McLean H.S. He has appeared at Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theater, Studio Secondstage, The Washington Shakespeare Company, and was a member of the Source Theater's resident acting company. He currently serves on the board of The Washington Shakespeare Company. Elsewhere, Ian has worked in Los Angeles, directing the 15th Annual Media Access awards; served as Literary Associate for The Mark Taper Forum's New Works festival, and worked for the late John Frankenheimer at TNT films.

Board Vice President
HELEN SHAW is a retired attorney. She was Director of the Federal Legal Council and headed the Federal Civil Justice Research Program at the Department of Justice. One of her major activities was promoting the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution. She was on Federal Bar Association Professional Ethics Committee assisting in the preparation and adoption of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct for Federal Lawyers. She has been on the Board of the C&O Canal Association (concerned with the conservation of the natural and historical environment of the C&O Canal and the Potomac River Basin) and is presently head of its legal committee. She is a hiker, cross country skier and is an avid theater goer. Helen's three children are involved in the arts. One daughter is a singer/pianist performing in Washington D.C. hotels. A second daughter is a producer of documentaries, the last being the Oscar winning "Bowling for Columbine. Her son is the guitarist in a local band.

Board Secretary
JODY BARASCH is thrilled to be working with OCT. Recent area projects: Festival Coordinator for Musefire Production's New Works Festival, Production Stage Manager for Musefire Production's Busybodies: A trio of One-Act Plays, Assistant Stage Manager for Gallaudet University's Deaf Way II. By day, Jody serves as House Management Coordinator and AccessAbility Director at Arena Stage is Washington, DC.

JEAN- PAUL RICHARD is Vice President of Advantage Consulting and has worked in the information technology field for 35 years since receiving his MS from MIT’s Sloane School for Business. He is the former President of the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation and was an original board member of the Genetic Alliance. He has served as treasurer for the Genetic Alliance, HOW: Handicapped’s Only a Word, and the Coalition for Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue.

Board Member - OCT Arts and Education Program Manager
ARIANNA ROSS was Artistic Director of Scarlet Theatre Company in Chicago and directed “Mother Hicks” and “My Left Breast”. She also directed in the New Play Festival at the Source Theatre. Arianna Trained in theatre, dance, voice, and design at Northwestern University in Illinois. She spent three years studying acrobatics, music, and martial arts and toured professionally all over India with Bansi Kaul’s troupe, Rang Vidushak. Arianna’s solo performances are created from her understanding of and experience in many different cultures worldwide. She tours as a solo storyteller all over the Washington Metropolitan area and works as the Arts Program Specialist for New Horizons, the Arts and Cultural Enrichment Program at Children’s National Medical Center.

Board Member
Rob McQuay, board member

ROB McQUAY - After a swimming accident left him a paraplegic, Rob began taking on disability advocacy while he worked at the National Endowment for the Arts.  From there Rob has gone on to be the Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Committee for Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities (Maryland), earned the County Executive Outstanding Award, The Victory Award (NRH), and has served on Panels and discussion groups for the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, West Virginia Division of Culture & History, WV Commission on the Arts, and VSA Arts.
He has broken the traditional typecasting of "wheelchair actors," demonstrating to fellow actors and audiences alike the importance of focusing on abilities rather than disabilities. Attesting to his acting talent, he has performed at The Shakespeare Theatre, The Olney Theatre Center, Rep Stage, Everyman Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Open Circle Theatre, The Roundhouse Theatre, Theatre J, Imagination Stage, Theatre on The Hill, and the VSA Arts Young Playwrights Program at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Rob has also performed at Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago, and Center Stage in Baltimore.  He has been seen in the TV series, Trinity, with Danny Aiello and as the spokesman for the National Rehabilitation Hospital.  Moreover, his portrayals of Jesus in Godspell (The Roundhouse Theatre), Tateh in Ragtime; The Musical (Toby’s) and  Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar (Open Circle Theatre) have earned him Helen Hayes Nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical, as well as one for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Godspell at Toby's.
Rob is a licensed Minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a Candidate for the Ministry in the Reformed Episcopal Church. He is licensed as a Home Missionary of the National Clergy Council and is pursuing ordination to the Diaconate as he helps to pastor a 400-member church just outside of Baltimore.
Rob is a graduate of Western Maryland College (now McDaniel) and has studied with Joy Zinoman at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory and the Towson University Master of Fine Arts Program.

Board Member
LAURIE OWEN is a licensed clinical social worker who is currently a member of the treatment team at Seton House, Providence Hospital, providing psychotherapy and discharge planning for acute-care psychiatric patients.  Before her current position, Ms. Owen worked with Community Connections, Inc. where she assisted DC residents with chronic mental disabilities to access services that would allow them to gain or maintain independent living.  Prior to receiving her graduate degree is social work from Catholic University, Ms. Owen was a program manager at the Academy for Educational Development for 13 years where she administered projects in Africa, the Middle East, Polynesia, and Latin America.  Ms. Owen did her undergraduate studies in piano performance at the Catholic University School of Music, was a member of the Choral Arts Society of Washington for many years, and a singer/keyboard player for the rock band GAMES in Los Angeles.  She studied acting with Joy Zinoman at the Studio Theatre Conservatory and has performed minor roles in local theatre productions, as well as working as production assistant for two film projects, and sitting on the board of DC-based ACME Films.  Ms. Owen is proud to join this inspired and inspiring company.

Board Member
JOEL SNYDER has performed, directed, and stage managed at a wide range of theaters including the Kennedy Center Arena Stage, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Center Stage, Theater J, and the Folger Theatre Group. Most recently, he created the role of “Morris” in the world premiere of Jennifer Nelson’s/ACTCo’s three-character musical Hubert and Charlie at the Kennedy Center. He is an active voice talent for commercials and radio programs aired nationally and created the role of "Mayor Schwindle" on the Peabody Award-winning syndicated children's radio show, the “Kinetic City Super Crew.” Snyder is the President of Audio Description Associates and is known nationwide and abroad as an audio describer of theater and museum exhibitions for people who are blind or have low vision. In addition, as the Director of Described Media for the National Captioning Institute, he leads a staff that produces description for nationally broadcast films, network series, and children’s programming. As such, he is the voice of the describer for Sesame Street broadcasts and a range of other televised programs. In March, 2004, he portrayed the leading role in American Century Theater's A Flag Is Born, in the show's first production since its successful premiere on Broadway in 1947 starring Paul Muni and Marlon Brando. In May 2004, he will be featured in Theater J’s production of Motti Lerner’s Passing the Love of Women. In “real life,” Mr. Snyder worked for 20 years as an arts specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, coordinating funding for the nation’s arts centers.