Dustin K. Britt (he/him), managing editor, holds a Master of Arts in Education degree from East Carolina University and has worked as a theatre maker in the triangle for more than twenty years as a director, actor, stage manager, playwright, producer, designer, and teacher. He specializes in student, community, and professional theatre, dance, cinema, music, and comedy as well as arts accessibility and queer politics. Dustin serves on the juries of the OutSouth Queer Film Festival and the Nevermore Film Festival and his writing has appeared in Indy Week, Carolina Parent, Triangle Arts & Entertainment, Learning Liftoff, and Pedal Fuzz. He also serves as our graphic designer and webmaster.
Philip Guadagno (he/him), staff writer, 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.
Rachel Kasten (she/her), staff writer, is a producer, writer, and community organizer serving as Graduate Program Coordinator for the PhD in Geospatial Analytics at NC State University. She co-founded Cutler Bay Community Theatre in Miami, FL and served on the board of the NC Women’s Theatre Festival. Rachel has previously published pieces for national publications on topics including infertility, feminism, and dismantling white supremacy. She writes as one half of Chatham Life & Style’s Mom & Son team, which reports on educational experiences and family arts events.
Emory Kasten (he/him), staff writer, is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. His mom, staff writer Rachel Kasten, took him to his first opera at age 2, and they’ve been attending shows together ever since. He loves musicals and is a proud Cub Scout. Emory enjoys writing stories, hoping one day to publish a book. He is the shorter half (for now) of Chatham Life & Style’s Mom & Son writing team, which reports on educational experiences and family arts events.
Cecilia Lancia (she/her), staff writer, holds a Master of Education degree from NC State University in English language and literature, and has worked for more than 12 years in the local public school system. Her upbringing helped to cultivate a lasting respect for traditional and sustainable farming practices. She is a fervent proponent of local food producers and a passionate gardener. Cecilia writes about local farming and foods is also a photographer for Chatham Life & Style.
Naveed Moeed (he/him), staff writer, is a British-born Pakistani and makes his home in North Carolina as an IT Business Development professional. An actor, producer, and photographer, Naveed volunteers with the American Friends Service Committee on issues of social justice and peacebuilding and serves on the Board of Directors for Raleigh-based Bare Theatre. Naveed reports on theatre and musical performance and is a photographer for Chatham Life & Style.
Germôna Sharp (she/her), staff writer, is a vocalist, actress and writer originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She currently resides in Raleigh, NC, and has appeared in many film and theatre productions around the area such as Blood Done Sign My Name, Sister Act: The Musical, Caroline, or Change: The Musical, Until The Flood and many more. As a writer, she contributes to Chatham Life & Style critiquing community and regional theatre productions and digital media like Netflix's Black Is King. She also writes for BeingBrownLLC.com, where she calls attention to Black mental health, Black mobility, and the overall Black experience.
Ivana Vazquez (she/her), staff writer, is a Boston-born Durham resident and wouldn't live anywhere else! A poet since age fifteen, Ivana 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 (often writing for Chatham Life & Style) throughout the Triangle, you can find her on Instagram @ivanasadventures.
Erim Akpan (she/her), contributor, 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, focusing on arts events and local festivals for Chatham Life & Style. She volunteers at local festivals and artist-supporting organizations like Triangle Artworks.
Benaiah Barnes (he/him), contributor, is an NC-based actor and artist. He was featured in Mike Wiley’s world premier ensemble production Blood Done Sign My Name, adapted from Dr. Tim Tyson’s book of the same name, which chronicled events leading up to and following the riots in Oxford, NC in 1970. He writes about performing arts in both virtual and live media for Chatham Life & Style.
Lauren Lisinski (she/her), contributor, is a North Carolina transplant and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned Bachelor's degrees in Music and Communications. She is a classically trained lyric soprano, but performs both opera and musical theatre. Lauren also teaches private voice lessons and is assistant music director at a local church. She covers a variety of performing arts for Chatham Life & Style.
Michele Okoh (she/her), contributor, 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 and reviews theatre productions for Chatham Life & Style.
al Riggs (they/them), contributor, is a professional singer-songwriter based in Durham, NC. As well as operating Horse Complex Records, they have performed at large-scale festivals, recorded with popular musicians nation-wide, toured nationally, and appeared on numerous podcasts under both their own name and as VAXXERS and Criswell Brushes. al’s album reviews, concert reviews, and festival diaries have also appeared in Pedal Fuzz and Rezonatr. Learn more about al’s music work at alriggs.bandcamp.com.