Managing Editor

Dustin K. Britt, performing arts

Dustin (he/him), a North Carolina native, is a writer, director, and award-winning performer. He teaches theater, writing, and film for NC Public Schools. He has worked in triangle theatre for more than 20 years and holds a Master of Arts in Education from East Carolina University. 

Dustin covers concerts, dance, comedy, theatre and arts accessibility in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Cary, Raleigh, Durham, Pittsboro, and Apex. His writing has appeared in IndyWeek, Carolina Parent Magazine, Pedal Fuzz, and Triangle Arts & Entertainment.  You can find him on Twitter @dkbritt85 or Instagram @dkbritt85.

Staff Writers

Rachel Kasten, family events

Rachel and Emory are the authors of our "Mom & Son" series.

Rachel (she/her) is happy to be back home in Raleigh after a whirlwind decade of living and performing throughout the U.S. and Canada. Her first on-camera role was for WRAL-TV; since then she has appeared as a background actor for Netflix, Nickelodeon, Bravo, The CW, and in feature films. Most recently, Rachel was seen on stage in Cary Playwrights Forum’s Playslam.

Rachel spends most of her “free” time as a producer and community organizer. She co-founded Cutler Bay Community Theatre and is a board member of the Women’s Theatre Festival, chairing the Summer 2019 Festival. Rachel enjoys writing and editing and has previously published pieces for national publications on topics including infertility, feminism, and dismantling white supremacy.

Since neither theatre nor writing pay the bills, Rachel’s day job is serving as Graduate Program Coordinator for the PhD in Geospatial Analytics at NC State University.

Emory Kasten, family events

Emory (he/him), Rachel's son, is 7 years old and in 2nd grade. His mom took him to his first opera at age 2, and they’ve been attending shows together ever since. Emory loves musicals because they have singing and dancing. He has been taking dance classes so that he can play his dream role, Jack Kelly in Newsies.

Emory is a proud Cub Scout. He loves to read, especially Greek and Norse mythology. His favorite hobby is writing stories, and someday he hopes to publish a book. Emory’s favorite color is red. His favorite imaginary animals are dragons and his favorite real animals are all species of foxes.

Cecilia Lancia, food & farming

Cecilia (she/her) has lived the majority of her life as a resident of the Triangle. She earned her Master of Education degree from North Carolina State University in English language and literature, and has worked for more than 12 years in the local public school system. 

Cecilia began her life in Italy. She maintained a strong connection to Italian culture by spending holidays and summers there with her extended family. This bond fostered her love of authentic art, food, cooking and hand craft. Her upbringing helped to cultivate a lasting respect for traditional and sustainable farming practices. As a fervent proponent of local food producers, she relies on them for most of what is served on her family's table. 

In addition to writing, Cecilia is a passionate gardener whose small suburban backyard produces over twenty varieties of fruit, berries, herbs and seasonal vegetables. Cecilia is also a photographer for Chatham Life & Style.

Philip Guadagno, music

Philip (he/him) is a long-time North Carolina resident and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds bachelor's degrees in Dramatic Art and Music. He specializes as a Baroque opera singer, having performed in UNC Opera's productions of Dido and Aeneas and Alcina and having attended the Oberlin Conservatory Baroque Performance Institute. Primarily an opera and music performance critic, Philip also writes about theatre and performance art from a wide variety of performance levels. 

Ivana Vazquez, theatre

Ivana (she/her) has been writing poetry since age fifteen, and recently completed her poetry residency in central Vermont, where she finished her first book. For the past three years she has been a blogger-for-hire, working primarily with nonprofit organizations in the Triangle. When Ivana isn't writing, she's managing her art promotion company: Ghost Flowers, which was founded to support and raise awareness for art therapy. If you can't catch Ivana at any of the countless art events throughout the Triangle, you can find her on Instagram @ivanasadventures.    


Erim Akpan, events & festivals

Erim (she/her) is a North Carolina writer and entertainer. She won her first writing contest at age 16, then won a poetry competition at age 19 and has continued publishing essays and articles ever since. She enjoys performance arts of all kinds. She volunteers at local festivals and artist-supporting organizations like Triangle Artworks.

Michele Okoh, theatre

Michele (she/her) is a triangle-based director, playwright, and actor. She has previously directed The Black Spectre: A Train Grown Cold, a radio play, for Cary Playwright’s Forum. She has also directed a well-received production of Eclipsed for the North Carolina Women’s Theatre Festival.

al Riggs, music

al (they/them) is a professional singer-songwriter based in Durham, NC. Signed with Suah Sounds, they have performed at large-scale festivals, recorded with popular musicians nation-wide, has toured nationally, and has appeared on numerous podcasts under both their own name and as VAXXERS. al’s album reviews, concert reviews, and festival diaries have appeared in Pedal Fuzz and Rezonatr. Learn more about al’s work at

Naveed Moeed, theatre & music

Naveed (he/him) is a British-born Pakistani, whose parents immigrated to the UK in the 60s and 70s. He in turn has made North Carolina his home for the last seven years where he works as an IT Business Development professional. In addition to his professional life, 

Naveed is an avid theatre enthusiast who performed as Flavius in Bare Theatre's 2019 production of Timon of Athens and The Justice Theatre Project's production of Inherit the Wind.  He serves on the board of directors for Bare Theatre and volunteers with Quakers and the American Friends Service Committee on issues of social justice and peacebuilding. Naveed is also a photographer for Chatham Life & Style.

Germôna Sharp, theatre

Germôna (she/her) is a vocalist and actress from Pittsburgh, PA, currently residing in Raleigh, NC. She has appeared in many different theatre productions in the area and is very excited to be on the Chatham Life & Style team! Instagram: @_germona_ Facebook: Germona Sharp