Executive Advisors

CEO & Board Secretary

As a philanthropist, business advisor, and educator for most of her adult life, Sharon Douglas has taught at the K-12 and adult executive levels. A recent President of the Village of Lawrence Civic Association, she has served on innumerable charitable boards, including the National Council of Jewish Women, Five Towns Music and Art Foundation, Women’s Division of the Long Island Jewish Hospital South Shore, SIBS of South Nassau Communities Hospital, The American Jewish Congress, and the American Red Cross on Long Island. In 1999, she was a member of the delegation to the United Nations for the Anne Frank Declaration of Peace and has for the past two decades represented the Anne Frank Center at numerous events in England and the Netherlands, including receptions for the Anne Frank Trust UK with Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron in June 2011. A long-standing board member of the Anne Frank Center, Sharon has previously served as Interim Executive Director, currently serves as the Secretary of the Board, and, with her husband Preston Douglas, was the 2016 winner of the Spirit of Anne Frank Distinguished Advocates Award. Sharon holds a BA in Education, with graduate study at Queens College and St. John's University.

Senior Fellow

Elisa Rapaport has extensive experience with the Anne Frank Center, having previously served as Chief Operating Officer and on the AFC board of directors, advisory board, and fundraising committee. Prior to her career as a college professor of ethics and philosophy, Elisa was an accomplished graphic designer, creative director, and production manager in the printing/advertising industry and founded her own design and marketing business. Elisa has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including American Forests, the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, and the American Red Cross, where she served on a National Council that developed a strategic planning initiative for philanthropy. For their nonprofit leadership through the Rapaport Family Charitable Trust, Elisa and Peter Rapaport received the 2013 Spirit of Anne Frank Distinguished Advocate Award and the 2015 Humanitarian Award from the American Red Cross. As an active nonprofit volunteer and major donor for many years, Elisa has worked extensively with the AFC executive committee of the board and with Sharon Douglas as a dedicated mentor and advisor to AFC staff. Elisa holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University at Buffalo, where she was awarded the inaugural George F. Hourani Fellowship in Ethics.

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Sharon Douglas at the UN chestnut sapling dedication, June 12, 2019, Anne Frank's 90th birthday


Info on AFC Sapling Project

Staff Members

Educational Programs

Hailing from Northern California, Alex’s professional work in theatre and film spans 20 years, having appeared on multiple off-Broadway and independent theatre stages throughout New York City. As a teaching artist, she has led workshops at The New School’s Summer Stage Acting Intensive and collaborated with youth theater groups around the country. She is a champion of collaboration, ensemble-building, and bridging differences through the practice of empathy. Alex holds an MFA in Acting from The New School and a BA in Dramatic Arts and Psychology. She likes to spend her spare time rediscovering favorite pastimes, such as cross-stitching, knitting, calligraphy, ink drawing, and water coloring.

Finance & Human Resources

Vik Gupta is a consulting director of finance to a number of nonprofits and small businesses. He creates and implements financial systems, improves internal controls, reports to management and board of directors, liaises with outside auditors, and is responsible for overall financial strategy. He works on contingencies to ensure organizational continuity even during adverse times. He works closely with all clients to understand their programmatic missions and how finance can support and further their missions. In his spare time, Vik is a photographer, volunteers with under-served communities, and teaches math to high-school students.

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Teaching Artists

Mario Haynes

With a passion for education and human rights issues, Mario is an actor/ writer/ teaching artist based in NYC. He teaches the “Art and Propaganda” and “Bystander to Ally” workshops for the AFC. www.mariohaynes.com

Maureen McNeil

Maureen McNeil is a nonprofit professional, author, educator, and social justice advocate, working with arts and cultural organizations to help strengthen underserved communities. She has contributed her talents through numerous cultural and nonprofit organizations, including the Woodstock Day School, Galison Books; Red Hook Arts; Girls Write Now; and the South Street Seaport Museum, and has led The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, the Josephine Herrick Project, and education programs at the Anne Frank Center  (2006-2012 & 2019). Maureen earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and an MS in Nonprofit Management at The New School.

Omo Misha

Misha brings her creativity into the classroom as an art teacher in our residency programs, such as "The Art of Self-Discovery" in PS 43 and Veritas Academy in Queens. 

www.omomisha.com

Rebecca Posner

Rebecca Sylvia Posner is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and movement educator. As a teaching artist, she uses mindfulness and creative arts practices to help young people empower themselves, such as the AFC's "The Art of Self-Discovery" residency program.

www.rebeccasylviastudio.com

Ava Tomlinson

Working with the AFC in NYC public schools for more than 10 years, Ava has taught numerous art residency programs, translating Anne Frank's influence on self-expression through painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage.

avatomlinson.com

Wolf CR

Role-playing scenarios adolescents are likely to face helps give them tools to confront bullying, as demonstrated through our "Bystander to Ally" workshops with actress Wolf CR, at NYC public schools in Queens, Brooklyn, and Battery Park.

wolfrose.weebly.com

Rhonda Zangwill

Rhonda is a writer and teaching artist who has worked with K-12 students in the NYC public schools through Teachers & Writers Collaborative and the South Street Seaport Museum. She was a story coach for the Moth, where she was privileged to work with prisoners, veterans, and social justice activists as they developed their stories. She also leads weekly writing workshops for seniors through the New York Writers Coalition.

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Our Actors

Our professional, New York City-based actors bring to life the words of Anne Frank and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in our two signature shows: Conversations with Anne and Letters from Anne and Martin. Both performances are followed by talk-backs with the actors. Learn more about our performance programs here, and consider bringing one to your school or community!

Parish Bradley

Parish Bradley (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) is an American actor from Buffalo, New York. He studied acting at both Stella Adler school of acting as well as The Bova Actors Workshop. He is currently an Artistic Associate with the professional theatre group “The Seeing Place.” His most recent film work is a short film called “See You Yesterday,” with executive producer Spike Lee and screened in over 30 National and International Film Festivals in 2017.  To learn more about Parish Bradley visit his website: parishbradley.com.

Alexandra Gellner (Anne Frank) is an actor, collaborator, and teaching artist who hails from Northern California and is now based in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. Ever since Alexandra first read Anne Frank’s diary at a young age, she has endeavored to spread the practice and importance of empathy through theatre and film. She is delighted and humbled to now be working alongside the team at the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect to carry out our mission and to honor Anne’s legacy. New York City credits include As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet (The Cradle Theatre Company); Pericles (The New Ensemble Workshop); Pants & Skirts (The Barrow Group); Coffee & Biscuit (HERE Arts SubletSeries, NYC Fringe); Family Business (HB Studios); Hamlet, Chained Woman, The Spider & The Wasp, The Trojan Women, Execution of Justice (The New School for Drama). Other credits: Same Time Next Year, Wait Until Dark, Crimes of the Heart (Ferndale Rep); Oleanna (Article 19: Birmingham, UK). Film: Adherence (Best Actress in a Short- FirstGlance Film Festival Philadelphia), Turnings, Turncoat, Escape in Time. New Media: Brooklyn: For Real. Alexandra is also a puppeteer. For more, visit alexandragellner.com

Rachel Griesinger

Rachel Griesinger (Anne Frank) is a Brooklyn based actor, collaborator, teaching artist with an activist streak. She recently received her MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. She spent her formative years growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has traveled extensively throughout Central and South America for both theatre and pleasure. This summer Rachel was accepted to the Lincoln Center’s Teaching Artist Lab. She recently performed in a staged reading at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Some of her favorite roles include: Cassius (Julius Caesar), Widow (Vigils), Luciana, et al. (Comedy of Errors). As well as performing, Rachel is also a dialect and accent coach for actors. She is very excited to be playing Anne Frank and feels that in our current state of geopolitical turmoil this material could not be more prescient. www.RachelGriesinger.com

Olivia Konteatis

Olivia Konteatis is a Manhattan based actress and singer. She is incredibly honored to tell Anne's story. The more she reads of Anne's work and her incredibly creative mind, the more she falls in love. Olivia is a graduate of NYU Tisch, The New Studio on Broadway. Recent credits include: I Want A Country (NY Fringe Festival), Matt & Maddie (Midtown International Theatre Festival), Fun Home, Merrily We Roll Along, Idomeneus (NYU Tisch). Olivia is from New Jersey and is a proud first generation American! Her family's roots are in Cyprus and Ireland. oliviakonteatis.com

Wesli Spencer (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) is a classically trained actor who studied at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. A school in which 4,000 applicants apply for 25 spots a year and whose alumni include many of the UK’s top actors (Ewan McGregor, Daniel Craig, Orlando Bloom, Lilly James), this extensive training brought him to New York city to develop his acting career. His range includes stage, television, independent films, and high drama realism film. He is sharp, witty, professional, and a pleasure to be around when not “intensely” focused on his work. He recently had a film premiere at the Carmel International Film festival in Carmel, CA called “Brian Mickler” of the short film series “Harlemites." Wesli is honored to be playing the iconic Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in “Letters.” Commercial credits include: Bank of America, Stacey’s Pita Chips. Theatre credits include: “The Addicts” (Theatre for the New City), “White Dresses” (The ReGroup Theatre). Film credits: “Plurality,” “Harlemites,” “Virgil,” “Brian Mickler.”

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Interns