Meet the Cast of The Vagina Monologues!
Subrina Dhammi anchors the Capital Region’s No. 1 rated morning show, NewsChannel 13 Early Today and Today, alongside Asa Stackel and meteorologist Neal Estano.
She started working with NewsChannel 13 in June 2005, just two weeks after graduating from Syracuse University. Subrina first started out as the Berkshire County news chief, where she was responsible for following news all throughout Berkshire County, Mass. and Bennington County, Vt. After one year, she moved over to the main station in Albany where she was a reporter and fill-in anchor.
Subrina has covered several presidential visits and was the lead reporter when tropical storms Irene and Lee hit the Capital Region, causing some of the worst storm-related damage this area has seen in decades. She was one of NewsChannel13’s main reporters sent to Boston to cover the Boston Marathon bombings.
Subrina also had a small role in the movie “The Place Beyond the Pines,” shot in Schenectady.
Leesa L. Perazzo currently serves as the Human Resources Manager for the nearly 200 employees of Proctors, Capital Repertory Theatre and Universal Preservation Hall. In addition, she is a City Council member in Schenectady.
Ms. Perazzo serves as Chair, on the board of directors for the Schenectady Greenmarket and the Vale Park Task Force. She also serves on the board of trustees for Heritage Home for Women.
In 2013, the Schenectady Business and Professional Women named her Woman of the Year and in 2015, she was recognized as a Woman of Achievement by YWCA NorthEastern New York.
Madelyn Thorne is the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County, Inc. She also serves as the President of the Friends of the Schenectady County Public Library, member of the Board of New Choices, Inc. and Schenectady Housing Development Corporation.
She has been a long time friend and supporter of YWCA NorthEastern NY, serving as the Emcee of the past two Women of Achievement Awards.
Madelyn lives in Schenectady with her husband, Chuck. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Kathy Gorman-Coombs has been Counseling Coordinator at the YW since 2009, and Co-pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Glenville since 1989. She loves being able to do these two “jobs” in tandem with each other, and believes that what she learns and experiences in her work at the YW helps make her a better pastor, and vice versa. Early in her ministry career, she became increasingly aware of how much religion, particularly Christianity, has helped to shape the world where domestic violence flourishes (“Wives be subject” and all that), and felt that if she was going to be part of the institution that helped cause the problem, she had to also try to be part of the solution, hence her work in Domestic Violence. She also believes that God, by whatever name we may call Her, does NOT intend for any of Her children to harm one another, and hopes that both as pastor and as counselor, she conveys the LOVE of a God that overcomes human misinterpretation.
This is her third or fourth time appearing in The Vagina Monologues, all of which have been fundraisers for YWCA. Kathy is married to Tim Coombs, who is also her co-pastor at Trinity. They have been married for 35 years, and have two adult children, Keith and Kyle, all of whom have seen her perform in The Vagina Monologues!
Mary Clare O’Connor is a life-long resident of Schenectady who loves reading, gardening, and cycling. She has worked in a variety of professions from youth counseling to college administration. She studied at SCCC, SUNY at Albany and CIIS in San Francisco.
As dreamer of great proportions, she shifted gears in her forties, earned her Yoga teaching certification and subsequently opened her own business dedicated under the guiding principles of Love, Grace and Gratitude called Yoga Bliss on the Blvd, which provides a safe and sacred space for people to “Inquire Within.”
If Mary Clare’s vagina could talk, it would say “Namaste”.
Known throughout the galaxy as the Condom Lady or more affectionately- Mamma Tre, Teresa Casullo donned a red maternity dress and took to the stage 14 years ago at the first YWCA Vagina Monologues.
She is humbled to be asked to return to b a part of a valiant ensemble and to once again benefit YWCA NorthEastern NY.
Teresa has proudly served Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson for 20 years and is currently a board member of the Friends Of Schenectady Child Advocacy Center.
If Teresa’s vagina could speak it would say “What a long strange trek it’s been!”
Shout out to THT Peer Educators!
A native of Charleston, S.C. Mitzi J. Lawrence arrived in the Capital Region in 1971. Mitzi’s undergraduate degree is from Hunter College and Master’s degree from SUNY Albany. She is the mother of four and the grandmother of four.
She is a retiree from the Troy School District where she had been employed as a teacher, Library Media Specialist and Curriculum Leader for Libraries K-12.
She has served on the Advisory Board of Questar School Libraries and the board of Black Dimensions in Art. Currently she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Albany Public Library Foundation and YWCA NorthEastern NY.
Mitzi is a member of Bethel A.M. E. Church in Schenectady, NY. She is the First Vice-President of the Western New York Conference Women’s Missionary Society and the coordinator of the Society’s “Project Possible” initiative entitled H.O.P.E. Enterprises which focuses on domestic violence. This work has involved coordinating empowerment workshops at the YWCAs in Schenectady and Troy.
Hemavattie Ramtahal was raised in Schenectady for most of her life. Hem holds citizenships in Guyana, Canada, and recently the US. She began working for Planned Parenthood at the age of 14 as a Peer Educator and has proven to be an exemplary role model for young people.
Hem is a Cornell University graduate and is a trained Doula, with Doula Trainings International. Her current work as a Reproductive Health Community Educator for Planned Parenthood has empowered youth to make decisions best for themselves.
If Hems’ vagina could talk it would say “tequila por favor!”
Katherine Stephens has been seen on the stage with Not So Common Players in LUCKY STIFF as Rita, Schenectady Light Opera Company in HAIR as Ronny, Schenectady Civic Players in RABBIT HOLE as Izzy and in DADDY’S DYIN’ WHO’S GOT THE WILL as Marlene, and other local productions.
She also is a proud board member of YWCA NorthEastern New York and of the New Leaders Council Capital District Chapter.
She lives in Schenectady with her husband Drew and their cat Poppy.
Kim Siciliano, Executive Director of YWCA NorthEastern NY, has been a YWCA employee since 2001. Prior to becoming the Executive Director in December 2106, Kim spent five years as the Women and Family Services Director, where she worked to ensure that the Housing and Domestic Violence Programs provided high quality services to clients in need.
During her 17 years at the YWCA, Kim has overseen all program areas including child care, fitness, breast cancer awareness and prevention, housing and domestic violence. She firmly believes in the YW’s mission work of eliminating racism and empowering women. As Executive Director of the YWCA she provides guidance and supervision to 6 amazing Program Directors and 65+ outstanding employees.
Kim is currently the Secretary of the Schenectady Kiwanis Club and a Past President. She is also the immediate past President of the Capital District Child Care Coordinating Council Board of Directors and the Vice President of Crossroads Center for Children.
Roshni Bhambhwani Martin manages the Science Festival of the Capital Region at miSci (museum of innovation and science). She has her B.A. in art history and classical civilizations from Syracuse University and is currently finishing her ALM in Museum Studies with Harvard Extension school.
Roshni is a board member for YWCA NorthEastern NY and an Advisory Board member for the Museum of Political Corruption. She loves local history, politics, and all things nerdy.
She lives in Schenectady with her wonderful husband and five adorable cats.
Tami Flanders proudly works at YWCA NorthEastern NY. She was assistant director for The Vagina Monologues performances at YWCA NENY in 2004, 2005, and 2006. She has performed as The Short Skirt, The Angry Vagina, The woman who loved to make vaginas happy, The little Coochie Snorcher who could, and numerous smaller vagina skits.
She is also proud to be the mother of a college student who is directing a production of The Vagina Monologues herself this year. When she is not at work or on stage talking about her vagina you can usually find Tami out riding her bike or hiding behind a stack of library books, many of which are probably over due.
If her vagina could talk it would it would say – “Your silence will not protect you.” It would also say “Pass the whiskey and French fries when I’m done here.”
Susan Marlette is thrilled to taking to the stage in YWCA NorthEastern NY’s production of The Vagina Monologues. Susan is currently an Account Manager for commercial accounts at Cool Insuring Agency in Latham. She has been a board member with YWCA NENY since the beginning of 2018, and comes to the position after years serving on the boards of other organizations including the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.
Having been active in her high school drama club, Susan is excited to return to the stage for such an important production that is benefiting a great cause.
Katrina D. Middleton was born and raised in Rensselaer County, NY. She is a graduate of Cazenovia College with an AAS in Liberal Arts and SIU at Carbondale, IL with a BAS in Health Care Administration.
Katrina is also a US Army veteran and a SSVF case manager for Soldier On in Eastern NY, spanning 24 counties. Soldier On provides veterans who are homeless with emergency and transitional housing. If you know of a veteran in need please have them reach out to Soldier On’s toll free intake line at 1-866-406-8449.
For more information please visit Soldier On’s website: www. wesoldieron.org. Changing the end of the story.
If Katrina’s vagina could say something it would ”Prrrrrrrrrrrrr …”
Karen Radley can be found most week days helping to run the Bookstore at Union College as the Assistant Manager. Prior to that, she was a General Manager for Barnes & Noble in Albany, Saratoga and central NJ.
When Karen’s not in the store, she can be found on a mat teaching yoga at Union College, YWCA NENY and through the Schenectady School District’s continuing education program.
While Karen has worked at Union College for 12 years, she only recently became a resident of Schenectady and loves being a part of the community! She recently joined the board of directors for the Electric City Food Co-op and is a founding member of the Schenectady Peace Project, which hosted Peace Week in August.
This is Karen’s first time participating in The Vagina Monologues and is honored to be a part of it.
Ladan Alomar is Executive Director of Centro Civico, Inc. a not-for-profit, community-based organization located in Amsterdam and Albany, New York. She has been an active resident of the Capital District area for the past thirty-six years.
In 1989, she began employment with Centro Civico, coordinating the Liberty Partnership Program (LPP), a program serving youth at-risk of dropping out of high school. The LPP was funded through the New York State Education Department. Ladan succeeded in making LPP a statewide, community-based model program with over a ninety-five percent graduation rate. Within six months of her employment, she was promoted as Deputy Director of Operations, and three years later, became the second person to hold the title of Executive Director for the organization.
Under her direction, the agency continues to provide comprehensive services to the children and families of the Capital Region. The organization has been recognized as a model service provider utilizing innovative education and intervention strategies which highlight the possibilities of transformation within the Hispanic and low-income communities. In addition, she was successful in raising the capital needed to purchase and renovate property to house the agency’s operations. Today Centro Civico owns a city block and the new home is called, “La Segunda Casa Community Center.” Agency’s slogan is “Building Community One Block at a Time.”
Ladan has a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the State University of New York at Albany. She has served as Director of Education at Stratford Business School and Student Advisor at Siena College.
Ladan is a community minded individual who has served on numerous Boards and Advisory Boards. She currently serves on the following boards: Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, University at Albany, Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, Inc., Capital Area Urban League, New York Capital Region Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Somos el Futuro, Inc., Global Institute for Health and Human Rights (University at Albany).
In April 2012, Ladan was appointed by Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy to Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council. She has also received a large number of special awards and recognitions from non-profits, colleges, government, and more.
Lauren Jarrard was raised in Colonie and ventured off to The University of Tampa to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology. She stayed in Tampa until 2009, gaining experience working in the mental health, substance abuse and rehabilitation fields until she traveled back north to Plymouth, MA, where she got her first exposure to working in the domestic violence field with male batterers, providing Batterer’s Intervention Programs in the county jail.
Family drew her back to the Capital Region in 2013. Lauren didn’t anticipate that she would find her work ‘family’ at the YWCA in Schenectady. Lauren has grown rapidly at YWCA NENY and most enjoys being out in the community talking to people about issues resonating with women.
Since starting at YWCA NENY, Lauren has gotten married (officiated by fellow YW co-worker, pastor and VM cast mate Kathy Gorman-Coombs) to a man who fully supports her endeavor to change the world and had her first child 2 years ago who attends daycare right downstairs from her office at the YW!
If Lauren’s vagina could talk it would say, “Two years and 57 days ago, the war of 2016 happened and we’ll never be the same, still recovering from the traumatic events of that day!” (Thanks to my son, Noah J)
It’s hard to say exactly what Erin Harkes is. She’s a singer/songwriter. She’s a full time musician. She’s also a part time standup comedian. Whatever she is doing she is doing it on stage! Erin’s memories of being ignored as a child have resulted in her being addicted to performing, whether it be in front of thousands of people in a music venue, or singing the National Anthem at the grand opening of a refurbished Walmart. She is a self-proclaimed performance “whore” – meaning she will do anything to perform in front of an audience.
Her music comes from triumphs over tragedy. Though sometimes somber there’s always a resounding theme of resilience. The power of her voice and the emotion that comes through her lyrics make you want to sit and listen to every word. Erin’s lyrics tell stories of her life, sung through a big voice that’s often compared to Janis Joplin. Hearing Erin sing is a powerful experience that grabs anyone within earshot. Erin’s spontaneity and willingness to perform won her a spot on “Battle of the Instant Bands” on the Jimmy Fallon show in April of 2010.
After years of being told she was funny, on and off stage, in 2012 Erin decided to try her hand at standup comedy. Listening to Erin’s sometimes self-deprecating humor takes you inside of her mind and opens her up to the listener. Her ‘crazy’ bit reminds every woman of the futility of chasing after the guy who just wasn’t that into her. Erin’s ability to laugh at herself and make others laugh at themselves is a true gift.
Erin is regularly voted Best Singer/Songwriter in the Capital Region by the Times Union Reader’s Poll and the Metroland Weekly. She has been the subject of several cover stories by both of those newspapers. She is definitely a local favorite. Erin has had the privilege to have shared the stage with national acts such as David Allen Coe, Leon Russell, Melissa Ferrick, Eric Burden and recently opened for one of her musical idols, Beth Hart.
Erin likes to say that music is her spouse and comedy is her mistress. She tries to give them equal amounts of love and attention. Whether singing songs or telling jokes, Erin commands attention every time she steps foot on stage. And we all know Erin loves attention!