Shelley Smith: Founder, President, Board Member, Artistic Director
Shelley has been involved in numerous theater productions as director, playwright, producer, choreographer and performer as well as in many other capacities. Other theatres she has worked with include Stages Theatre Company, Eden Prairie Players, Eat Street Players, Gallery Theatre Company, Homeward Bound Theatre, Foxhill Studios and the University of Minnesota. Shelley has a B.A. degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota (as well as many graduate credits), with an emphasis in Directing and Theatre Management, and a B.S. in Business and Marketing from St. Cloud State University. In addition, Shelley has received acting, movement, dance and vocal training from the Guthrie, Live Action Set, Zenon Dance, Macphail Center for the Arts, Mary Laymon Studio and Lauren Hill Alexander Technique Studio. Furthermore, Shelley has done extensive work in producing theatre including: directing, producing, creating, writing, music, set, costume and props design, volunteer management and promotion. She is current President of the Board for Chain Reaction Theatre Project, and she has served as Chair for the Eden Prairie Player’s Advisory Committee. Previous to Shelley’s theatre career, she worked as a Product Manager for First Minnesota Savings Bank. She is currently a volunteer at Oasis for Youth, a drop-in center for homeless youth in Bloomington.
David Durkee, Secretary of the Board
Computer Technical support
Jenn Herron, Board Member
Jenn has been a friend and supporter of Chain Reaction Theatre Project prior to its inception and is honored to focus energy on this influential work. She has a gift and passion for relational communications. From interpersonal listening to connecting with a larger audience, she is driven by cultivating impactful messages. Her desire for creating meaning in the world was enhanced through finding recovery from addiction in 2008. Jenn understands and has empathy for social values and concerns, and seeks to listen and learn from both the marginalized and privileged in an effort to transform culture.
Jenn is currently a Spiritual Care Intern at local residential treatment centers. As a volunteer, she serves as Marketing Director for Bloomington Fastpitch Association, is an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ community, and has a long history of leadership with church and educational efforts. Prior to spending time at home with her two children, Jenn earned a B.A. degree in Professional Communications and worked in the advertising, journalism, and marketing industries. She holds a M.A. from Luther Seminary in Theological Studies, concentrating in Congregational Community Care.
Katherine Lewis, Chairwoman of the Board
Katherine Lewis joined the Chain Reaction Theatre Project Board in 2018. She has served at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Minnetonka since 2009. Born in Virginia, she grew up in West Virginia and received her B.A. at Denison University in Granville Ohio. Katherine worked as a community organizer after college for nonprofits in Washington, DC and Columbus, Ohio before going to Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia, where she received her M.Div. in 1996.
Katherine has served congregations in Ohio and Minnesota, originally coming to Minnesota in 1998 to work at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Katherine makes her home in Minneapolis with her children, son Jesse and daughter Eva.
Emberly Hermann-Johnson, Lead Volunteer
Emberly has a minor in theatre, and she acted throughout her high school and college career as well as in community theatre as a young adult. Currently, she runs the party entertainment business Magikal Faces. She also holds a master’s degree in Technical Communication from Metropolitan State University and most recently was the communication/marketing coordinator for the nonprofit Merrick, Inc,. after a decade with the Metropolitan Airports Commission. Raised a Unitarian Universalist with a core belief in social justice and that every person holds intrinsic value and worth, Chain Reaction Theatre Project em- bodies the intersection of her passions and beliefs. Em hopes to use her creative talents, communication skills and desire to create positive change in the world to help spread the message of CRTP.