Elsie has been a resident of the New River Valley since 1991. She is the mother of 4 and grandmother of 9. Elsie is a retired RN and Massage Therapist having worked at both Carilion New River Valley Medical Center and Lewis Gale Montgomery Hospital. Elsie was a former member of Playmakers & Co. and performed in shows including Steel Magnolias, The Glass Menagerie, Alone Together & Divorce Southern Style. She has also performed with Showtimers out of Roanoke VA and was featured in The Cemetery Club and The Shadow Box. Elsie also was seen in The Shadow Box & Suddenly Last Summer with the Virginia Theater Department. She is excited to be returning to theatre with New River Stage in the upcoming show RADIANCE: The Passion of Marie Curie. Elsie says she can best describe her love of theater by saying "it feeds my soul" and definitely has some of the most fun loving people in the world.

Dan Leary grew up on the outskirts of the mighty metropolis of Snowville, Virginia. An avid reader, he was once forbidden to bring books to school. Dan's thespian experiences include Pulaski County High School's Appalkids and the outdoor historical drama The Long Way Home. A veteran of Uncle Sam's grand tour of the world, Dan now lives in Hiawassee with his son, an aging puppy, and a plethora of cats. For some unknown reason, his nieces and nephews refer to him as crazy uncle Danny. Dan plays upright bass in a variety of ever-changing old time and bluegrass bands as well as Pulaski soft rock band Audio Rain.

Harmony Faye Tripp-Kiser, Director of Youth Education Programs

Elsie McCombs

Amy Howell, Secretary

Morgan Lazo, Librarian

Dan Leary, VP Artistic Development

H. Brenna Bowyer loves nothing more than being onstage! She joined the New River Stage board of directors in March 2015, and has loved being a part of giving the New River Valley theatre arts. While she does brand herself as an actress, she also loves Stage Managing. Brenna works as a radio personality with Cumulus Media Broadcasting, and attends Emory & Henry College where she is working on getting her Bachelor’s degree in Pre-Professional Acting.

Brenna Bowyer

I grew up in California during the sixties and as a young teen performed in an air band playing the music of the Beatles to neighborhood kids, as well as narrating various plays in elementary school.  My love for the performing arts continued in high school in Canada.  Later, I was thrilled to be the Public Relations Assistant for the Vancouver Island Symphony where I also had an opportunity to coordinate the Education Concert series for local school children.  I also held the position of Coordinator for W. P. Puppet Theatre and arranged puppetry workshops and seminars for both children and adults.I enjoy spending time with my 3 grandchildren and watching my oldest granddaughter perform in ballets, and listening to the songs she composes while she plays piano or guitar. My youngest granddaughter loves gymnastics, dancing, and hamming it up for the camera, and I am anxious to find out where my infant grandson’s interests will be.  My other hobbies include organic gardening, bowling, and baking, and participating in civil war reenactments.

Betty Shideler, Treasurer

AJ Brightman Moose, President

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, AJ has been active in theater & music productions for over 36 years. A charter member of Christiansburg Community Theater back in the 1980's, AJ is comfortable with both sides of the stage as actor and director. She is an experienced music minister and choir director and has directed theater and choir groups ranging in size from 5-5000. She has deep roots in the community having served twice as the Marketing Director of the Blacksburg Chamber of Commerce and has owned an antiques estate consulting business in Montgomery County for the last 17 years. She earned her MBA from Strayer University out of Washington DC with a focus on marketing and currently works in the summers with Across The Way Productions out of Floyd County developing music and wine festivals to include Floyd Fest.


Dave Mann, Past President

Dave Mann, as an artist, has a passion for beautifully designed theatrical sets because they are enjoyed by hundreds of people. What artist would not want to experience that? Additionally, as an actor, Dave is appearing in the 2014 Summer Musical Enterprise production of Spamalot, as well as past shows - Shrek, Cinderella and Bye, Bye, Birdie. Dave is also one of those crazy runners who likes to compete in various marathons, triathlons and obstacle course races.

Mark Curtis, VP Planning & Development

I am lifelong resident of Christiansburg, along the way getting my BS from RU and raising two sons. During the 1980s I dreamed of a career in theatre, doing both technical and stage at RU, CCT, and as alumni cast at Christiansburg High School. My only paying gig was The Long Way Home back in 1984, where I learned over 44 nights the true meaning of the phrase the show must go on. A few years later I made the choice to get a real job, leaving behind a radio dj gig for a 24/7 job in a factory. To my surprise, that move turned into a career, where I found enjoyment and meaning by supplying product for a customer, embracing teamwork, and continuous improvement practices.

The need for theatre, of course, never went away so on weekends I ran a mobile DJ business, to keep the creative juices flowing. Then, after 20 years of spinning tunes I decided my weekends were more fun coaching my boys sports teams, so I turned off the theatre switch, sort of. Instead of acting I became..dad. That meant nightly story-telling, animal impersonating, and sound effects making that kept two little boys on the edge of their seats and my heart full doing the greatest role of a lifetime. Now that my kids are mostly grown, I have more free time to participate in other things I enjoy.