Meet the MOXIES

Pictured from left to right:
Mieko & Jasmine (bookkeepers extraordinaire), Callie, Valentina, Jen, Nicole R., Nicole C., Jessamyn, and Angelica (MOXIE’s prop goddess)

Jennifer Eve Thorn, Executive Artistic Director
Jennifer Eve Thorn is one of the founders of MOXIE Theatre. She received her BA in Theatre from the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico. After university, Ms. Thorn moved to New York to work with the renowned Off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre as assistant to  the general manager. In 2001, Thorn returned to her hometown of San Diego to take a position at the San Diego Repertory Theatre as a Casting Associate and Administrator in the Artistic Department. In May of 2003 Thorn’s adaptation of the national best seller First They Killed My Father was staged and produced at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art to raise funds for Land Mine Victims in Cambodia, raising an astounding $500,000 for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.  In 2004, Thorn founded MOXIE Theatre with Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, Jo Anne Glover and Liv Kellgren. She served as the company’s Associate Artistic Director. Thorn is also the director and co-creator of A Lesson For Life. Recently she was awarded a Global Leadership Award from The Young President’s Organization for this groundbreaking educational theatre experience. She developed the “MOXIE Theatre Immersion” program, designed to incorporate the art of theatre into the world of corporate strategic planning to facilitate team building and communication with major brands like Disney, Pixar. In 2012, Ms. Thorn was nominated for San Diego Magazine’s Woman of the Year Award and in 2017, she stepped into the role of Executive Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre.

Nicole Ries, Production Manager
Nicole has been MOXIE Theatre’s Production Manager since 2015. She received a BA in theatre arts with an emphasis in arts management from San Diego State University. During her time at SDSU Nicole worked as a House Manager for two venues on campus and also worked as a Production Supervisor for outside renters using the Don Powell Theatre. After graduating with high honors, Nicole focused the next four years on Stage Managing. As a Stage Manager Nicole has worked with MOXIE Theatre, Broadway San Diego, The Old Globe, Diversionary Theatre, Cygnet Theatre, The Old Globe & University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program (Resident Production Stage Manager since 2011) and San Diego State University. As an Arts Administrator Nicole has worked with The San Diego REP (Company Manager/Assistant Production Manager: 2003-2009)  and Starlight Musical Theatre (General Manager: 2010-2011).

Callie Prendiville, Associate Artistic Director
Callie is an actress, writer, educator and director.  Callie’s play, The Plummer Project, about the history of Orange County and the illegal deportations of Mexican-Americans during the Great Depression, received a California Stories Grant from the California Humanities Association. Her play, Blamed: An Established Fiction, won Best Drama at the San Diego Fringe Festival in 2015 (performed in Tijuana and San Diego), and the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival Scholarship, funded by the NEA. Blamed was then selected to perform Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse. As an actress she has performed at MOXIE, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, North Coast Repertory, Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Playhouse, Chance Theatre, Downey Civic Light Opera and Lyric Opera San Diego. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of San Diego, an MFA in Performance from CSU Los Angeles, and has taught at the University of San Diego, Concordia University Irvine, The Orange County High School of the Arts, BRIDGE Theatre Project, La Habra Theater Guild, Christian Youth Theatre, and The Playground.

Valentina Lunati, Development Director
Valentina started working at MOXIE in 2018 as the very first Development Director at MOXIE Theatre. Her hiring marked an important step in the company’s growth. She responsible for grant writing, donor cultivation, and fundraising events. She has a very diverse background, having worked as a Language Interpreter and Relocation Consultant, before arriving to the non-profit sector when she moved to San Diego in 2014. As Department Manager at a refugee relocation agency, she oversaw their development and fundraising efforts, as well as the operations and growth their language services, home care agency and child sponsorship program. Valentina holds an M.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Conference Interpreting. She is a long-time theatre supporter and audience member and is thrilled to lend her skills to the growth of MOXIE Theatre.

Lauren Jacquelyn Blackwell, Sales & Marketing Director
Lauren is delighted to join the MOXIE team! As Director of Sales & Marketing, she is responsible for overseeing MOXIE’s Box Office, marketing strategy and implementation, and public relations initiatives. She brings 7+ years of experience in nonprofit marketing and management, and an additional 1.5 years of marketing and social media experience in the private sector. Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and moved from Washington, D.C. to San Diego County in 2017. When she’s not working, Lauren can be found playing board games or enthusiastically exploring Dog Beach with her equally ecstatic pup.

Nicole Cantalupo, Education Programs Manager
Nicole has utilized the Inspiring Future Leader’s Grant from SDG&E to create a program that brings high school students from all over the county to MOXIE to be mentored by production team members. Additionally, she is one of the founding members of MOXIE’s Bechdel Brigade. Nicole holds an M.A. in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University where she has been a lecturer, working with aspiring primary and secondary school teachers to incorporate theatre in their classrooms. She began her career in theatre education as a teaching artist for the Young Performers Workshop at La Jolla Playhouse in 2009. She then worked as the Education and Outreach Assistant to develop curriculum for student workshops. Currently Nicole is an acting coach and co-director at Center Stage Children’s Theatre, as well as the the Theatre Program Director at Clairemont High School. Additionally, Nicole is a reader for the literary department at San Diego Repertory Theatre, where she was also the Assistant Director and Dramaturg for their San Diego premiere production of Fun Home.

Sandra Ruiz, Casting Director
Born and raised in San Diego, Sandra Ruiz received her BAs in Theatre and Human Development from UCSD. She has worked in the theatre as an actor, director, playwright, teaching artist and costume designer. She was last seen on stage as Young Dedé and The American Woman in In the Time of the Butterflies at the San Diego Repertory Theatre. She also recently directed the West Coast premiere of Tricks at the 10th Ave. Theatre. A few of her favorite roles include Lupe & Others in Expecting Isabel (Moxie Theatre); Lady Akin in Earthquake Sun (SD Rep.); Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (UCSD); The Doctor in 4.48 Psychosis (Galbriath Hall Theatre); Amparo in Heroes and Saints and her own one woman show Nice Girls Don’t Dance (Centro Cultural de la Raza).