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Christopher Canaan, Artistic Director

Christopher Canaan has writing and producing credits for CBS, NBC, ABC, The Family Channel, Fox, USA, Showtime, Hallmark, and Starz. In addition, he has penned two feature films: "Robinson Crusoe" starring Pierce Brosnan, and Dashiell Hammett's "The House on Turk Street" starring Samuel L. Jackson. Canaan served as the co-creator of the series "Walker Texas Ranger." He served as screenwriter and producer for Michael Manns' mini-series "Camerena: Drug Wars," for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award. Canaan holds an MFA in Theater from the University of California, San Diego and taught screenwriting for the Writers Program at UCLA extension. He also studied theater history and criticism at New York University and was a student at the Stella Adler Studio. 


Chris has lived in New Hope since 2016. Through teaching at the Bucks County Playhouse Writer's Bootcamp, The College of New Jersey and the Solebury School, he has discovered the wonderful talent in the deeply creative and culturally rich community of New Hope. By building this unique repertory, Chris hopes to put his experience to use in order to foster talent and creative vision.

Laura Beth Kerr Gilman - Board Member and General Manager

Theatre & Film Director, Producer, Writer, Actor, Teacher.

LB is thrilled to be living back in Bucks County after a decades-long hiatus in New York, and being involved with the local artistic community.

Recent work includes: Teaching Film at Solebury School, Director of Photography / Assistant Editor of streamed on-demand production of "Blame It on Beckett" by John Morogiello during the pandemic, development work on a true-crime cold case TV show featuring Texas Rangers, playwright of one-act plays and the book to a jukebox musical. Studied and performed under Broadway Director Seth Barrish on Shakespearean scene work (Lady MacBeth, Mistress Page) and solo show development at The Barrow Group, documentary playwriting, memoir performing with New York Times bestselling Author and Broadway Actor Martin Moran. She directed “Zelda: Reflections of a Southern Belle” at the Drama League Theatre about the notorious flapper/writer/artist/dancer and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife and muse. She ran special events at “the Fame school,” Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in NYC as Co-Chair Community Involvement for the Parents Association Executive Board.

Laura Beth received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York City double majoring in Film-TV Production and Drama, where she studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute under the greats of Method Acting. She is a documentary filmmaker who worked under Christine Choy. She ran a small NYC-based production office for 20th Century Fox’s Searchlight Productions.

LB has taught and directed dozens of children in productions, workshops and talent shows in Westchester County, NY. She was a wrangler/chaperone for American Ballet Theatre’s company at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center and 890 Broadway for five years. She is the proud mom to four grown and almost-grown kids, wife to Dan, and slave to their four-legged companions.

George Hartpence, Board President & Actor

George has participated in 140+ productions, focusing primarily on classical roles. He counts most of the major Shakespearean roles among his accomplishments, including; Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, Iago, Prospero, Shylock, Julius Caesar, Brutus, Antony, Sir Toby Belch, Oberon, Jaques, Malvolio, Benedick, Hotspur, Leontes, Mercutio & Macduff.  In the summer of 2022, he assayed the role of King Lear for the ActorsNET of Bucks County and will be directing their production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in June 2023. Some of his favorite non-Shakespearean roles include Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmund Rostand, King Henry II in both Becket and The Lion in Winter, John Barrymore in the one-man play Barrymore by William Luce, Laurence Olivier in Orson’s Shadow by Austin Pendleton, the roles of both Uncle Vanya and Dr. Astrov in separate productions of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the roles of Andrew Wyke and Milo Tindle in separate productions of Anthony Shaffer’s Sleuth, Sir Thomas Moore in A Man for All Seasons, Dr. Sloper in Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s The Heiress, and both the Inspector and Mr. Birling in separate productions of JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls. A few of the musicals in his resume include Fred/ Petruchio in Kiss Me, Kate, Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music, Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Captain EJ Smith in Titanic, The Musical, King Arthur in Camelot, Henry Higgins in multiple productions of My Fair Lady, Alan Swann in My Favorite Year, and the role of Edward Rutledge in five separate productions of 1776. George has also had directorial duties in such diverse shows as Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Exit the King, Enchanted April, Betrayal and Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra to name a very few.

Rick Goodwin - Board Secretary, Actor & Director

Rick Goodwin has degrees in both Theater and The Oral Interpretation of Literature from Northwestern University. He was an actor, director and producer off- and off-off Broadway before beginning a career in publishing. In recent years he has returned to his theatrical roots and added playwriting to his resume. His one-acts, Uncommon Ground and Socially Active, were seen as part of the “New Voices” Festival at the Bucks County Playhouse in 2015 and 2016. His play Home Smarts was seen at Manhattan Rep in 2018. Onstage, Rick has appeared in numerous play readings in Bucks County, and he was the writer in the premiere of Chris Canaan’s Writer’s Block at Phillips’ Mill. He is a founding member of the Playwrights’ Bridge, an organization of playwrights in the New Hope, PA/Lambertville, NJ area, and a member of the Dramatists Guild. He will be directing his full-length play Bleeding in B&W this summer as part of the new Premiere Showcase Series at Phillips’ Mill.

Dan Gilman - Board Treasurer

Dan, a lifelong patron of the arts and new resident of Bucks County, happily brings his over 25 years of financial services experience to New Hope Rep. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of TriPeak, a company providing finance and operational assistance to financial companies, investors and private equity funds. Dan has had extensive experience on both the “buy side” and “sell side” of Wall Street including 9 years running a large public finance desk at Citigroup and 5 years at Jefferies as Head of Municipal Debt Capital Markets.


Dan has a BA from Wesleyan University with Honors and an MBA from MIT with a concentration in Financial Engineering. He has served as Treasurer of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts’ Parent Association, Treasurer to the Board of Hour Children (providing supportive services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their families in NYC) where he also served on the Head of Finance and Real Estate committees, he was the Chair of the Investment Committee at Katonah Museum of Art, and served on the board of First Presbyterian Church in Katonah, NY. He is the husband to Laura Beth and Dad to their four young adults.

Joey Perillo - Board Member & Actor

Joey Perillo is a veteran character actor and acting instructor who has worked and taught in Philadelphia, Princeton, New York and Los Angeles for more than 35 years. Joey has appeared as a principal (speaking) actor in virtually every theatrical medium including the legitimate stage, 14 major motion pictures such as "Philadelphia," "12 Monkeys," Rachel Getting Married, "The Negotiator," "The Manchurian Candidate,"....and the original (and best) "Hairspray". You can also find Joey in principal roles in such television shows as "Veep", "Homicide", "The Wire", and "The Sopranos.”

He is an acting instructor who has worked and taught in Philadelphia, Princeton, New York and Los Angeles for more than 35 years. Joey has appeared as a principal (speaking) actor in virtually every theatrical medium including the legitimate stage, 14 major motion pictures such as "Philadelphia," "12 Monkeys," Rachel Getting Married, "The Negotiator," "The Manchurian Candidate,"....and the original (and best) "Hairspray". You can also find Joey in principal roles in such television shows as "Veep", "Homicide", "The Wire", and "The Sopranos.”Joey is a long time member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association.

Nona Niedert, Actor & Director

Nona Niedert has been acting professionally for over 40 years, a member of Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA, and Actors Equity Association. She has acted in well over 100 stage productions and in television, films, and commercials. For the past 17 years, Nona has also taught and coached acting and has directed for the stage, including most recently Almost, Maine; You Can’t Take It With You; Ah, Wilderness; and All in the Timing. After many years living and working in Los Angeles, Denver, and New York City, she’s elated to be part of The New Hope Repertory Company in her beguiling new home, Bucks County!

Drucie McDaniel, Actor/Director

As an actor Drucie has done film (Girl, interrupted, Jersey Air, Fallen, Twelve Monkeys, and The Silver Lining Playbook) On television she has performed in Law & Order, All My Children and in HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack, the Onion News Network and The Adversaries. She has also appeared in several national television commercials. She has performed on The New York Stage, The Delaware Theatre Company and the Walnut Street Theater’’ As a writer/producer she has worked with Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, The Walnut Street Theater, The National Constitution Theater, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, and the Abbey Theater in Dublin. As one of the most highly sought out acting instructors in the region, she teaches privately and is a founding member of the Walnut Street Theater School.

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