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About

On Stage Vacaville

Setting the Stage for the Performing Arts in Vacaville Since 2001

On Stage Vacaville (OSV) is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the promotion, support, development and growth of Arts Appreciation and Programming for the Vacaville community.

The On Stage Vacaville board is dedicated to maintaining legacy relationships, and creating opportunities for new and underrepresented audiences and performers to participate in the arts.

On Stage Vacaville is a volunteer run organization located in the rural city of Vacaville in California’s agricultural central valley. The theater was established as part of the city’s economic development effort to draw new businesses. For years theater audiences were mostly from the upper socioeconomic class. In 2011, On Stage Vacaville began a focused effort to sponsor and/or co-produce programs that would appeal to the broader community and underrepresented individuals. Our programs have drawn disabled adults and youth, low income youth with an interest in music, school children, and non-typical theater-goers who have an interest in an educational topic that is offered through performance.

Mission

On Stage Vacaville is a 501c3 non-profit that strives to promote genuine human expression through the arts and create experiences for our community to be valued, represented, and entertained.

Our Values

⦁ Respect: You are welcome into the organization as your authentic self.
⦁ Collaboration: You are free to ask questions and make mistakes while you learn.
⦁ Courage: You are encouraged to share your ideas without fear of retribution.
⦁ Innovation: You are safe to question the status quo, raise concerns, and provide dissenting opinions without fear of negative consequences.

Our Promise

We are a team, and we acknowledge the importance of empowering our board members to make decisions and collaborate as we all carry this important mission to be effective in our communities through art. We stand together and support each other through our jobs and promise to uphold and represent the integrity and values of OSV with our community, audiences, volunteers, partners, the City of Vacaville, and the general public.

Board Members

Behind the Scenes Heroes

Lisa Hilas

President

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Lisa Hilas is an entrepreneurial leader and creative thinker with a profound passion for transforming innovative ideas into impactful realities. As the President of On Stage Vacaville, Lisa has demonstrated exceptional skill in steering the nonprofit through significant transformations, leveraging her expertise to enhance arts education and create inclusive community programs.

Lisa’s journey into the nonprofit sector is marked by her successful tenure as the Founder and Executive Director of Saving Gracie, a testament to her ability to conceive and nurture an organization from the ground up. Her leadership helped provide crucial veterinary care support to those in need, showcasing her dedication to community service and welfare.

Before her impactful contributions to the nonprofit world, Lisa excelled in the corporate sphere as the VP of Strategic Partnerships at S.R. Travel Service, where she played a pivotal role in driving the company’s growth. Her ability to forge strategic partnerships, coupled with a keen sense of innovation, propelled the company from $19M to $60M in revenue, underscoring her exceptional business acumen and sales expertise.

Lisa’s academic background in Political Science from Santa Clara University laid the foundation for her diverse career path. Currently, she is furthering her commitment to the arts and community service by pursuing an MA in Arts Administration and Entrepreneurship from the University of Oklahoma. This advanced study underscores her dedication to combining the dynamism of entrepreneurship with the transformative power of the arts.

Throughout her career, Lisa has honed vital skills in contract negotiation, team leadership, and business development. Her people-centric approach and outgoing nature have enabled her to develop business structures that thrive on innovation and inclusivity. Under her leadership, On Stage Vacaville has seen the introduction of digital systems, significant funding for arts education, and the creation of programs like the Artist in Residency and Synergy Adaptive Arts Program, furthering the mission of education through entertainment.

Lisa’s commitment to her community extends beyond her professional endeavors. She is actively involved in several affiliations, including the VFW Auxiliary Post 7244, the Vacaville Arts Council Advisory Board, and Soroptimist International of Central Solano County, among others. Her contributions to these organizations reflect her broad vision for a society enriched by the arts and supported by strong community ties.

As Lisa continues her journey in arts administration and entrepreneurship, her work stands as a beacon of innovation, inclusivity, and community engagement, inspiring a legacy that blends the best of the nonprofit and corporate worlds with the boundless potential of the arts.

Angela Arteritano

Chief Development Officer

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Angela is a Venezuelan-American multidisciplinary artist, who recently relocated to Vacaville with her family. She holds an M.F.A in Choreography and has more than a decade of experience in performance and production of theater arts. As the new Director of Development for On Stage Vacaville since the fall of 2022, she actively works to bring more equitable opportunities to performing art professionals in our area, as well as fostering a diverse local arts environment through the development of programs that upheld our values in DEI. As an active artist herself, she finds passion in supporting fellow artists and art organizations as she believes in the greater impact of a well nourished artistic ecosystem in the wellbeing of our entire community.

Jeremy Kreamer

Associate Artistic Director

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Jeremy has been performing professionally since he was eight years old. A Bay Area native, Jeremy graduated from Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville CA after performing with the Sylvan Singers, a well-known singing ensemble in Solano County. Jeremy has received a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Jeremy has also appeared in numerous musical theatre productions including A Little Night Music (Henrik), Assassins (the Balladeer), Crazy for You (Bobby Child), Anything Goes (Billy), Urinetown: The Musical! (Bobby Strong), The Mikado (Nanki Poo), The Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), and Little Women (Laurie), and Forever Plaid (Sparky). In addition to performing in productions and taking voice lessons, Jeremy also has training in dance. He has taken jazz and tap classes with Lisa Clark and Staci Arriaga. Jeremy has also attended numerous acting classes throughout the Bay Area.

Toni Staniewicz

Executive Producer

Toni Staniewicz is a 5th generation Solano County resident. She is an avid volunteer for the Onstage Vacaville Organization and works as an Executive Producer over events and programs. She is the Founder of the Wild West Film Festival 2019 and Comedy Cash Cow Competition 2024. When not tirelessly volunteering for the arts, she is an American Director, Producer, Actor, Casting Director, and Content Creator. Member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmy’s). With numerous film and television projects under her belt. She has worked alongside of Hollywood’s biggest talents in the industry. In 2018 she worked on the 5 time winning Golden Globes and Oscar nominated film Lady Bird. 2018 Award Winner of the California Film Foundation “Vanguard”. 2018 Winner of the Equality Film Festival “Trail Blazer” Award. 2018 Award Winner of the El Dorado Film Commissioner Award. She is a California native. She was recently named The Frank Casanova – Film Arts Champion 2023 People Choice Award by the Sacramento Film Festival.

Fun facts: Toni has a passion for rodeos, anything horse, farming, agriculture and American Wild West history. She is a Wild West historian and constitutionalist. She can drive pretty much anything with wheels and an engine however, she prefers possessing the skills to be a Master Equestrian, Animal Trainer & Stunt Coordinator professional. She is the Founder of Inspire Humanity Foundation. Her passion for giving back is funding and discovering stories that are yet to be told through her documentaries and independent films. Toni’s next adventure is writing a children’s book about her favorite palomino horse and completing her documentary on the A living legend, 15 Time World Champion and Hall Of Famer referred to as the Notorious “One Armed Bandit” John Payne the greatest rodeo performer of our time.

Sarah Gwen Thomas

Disability Integration Specialist
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Sarah is a Bay Area native who grew up developing and sharing her passion for dance and
theater with audiences throughout California. She graduated with a B.A. in psychology and a
minor in dance and theater from CSUS (2007) before pursuing higher education and later
establishing her career as a dedicated school psychologist in Solano County. In 2016, she
became licensed as an educational psychologist with the Board of Behavioral Sciences in
California and shortly after, embarked on a new professional journey. Inspired by the
possibilities, Sarah began exploring ways to merge both her love and passion for dance and
theater with her knowledge and experience in supporting disabled students and their families
from all backgrounds. Currently, Sarah offers a selection of special education/IEP related
assessments and consultation services through her private practice in Vacaville. She specializes
in advocating and assisting individuals with a broad range of disabilities and special needs to
access, integrate, and excel in a variety of educational and performing arts settings.

Nikila Walker Gibson

Director, Community Engagement

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Nikila Walker Gibson is a beacon of creativity and compassion, seamlessly blending her love for the performing arts into both her community engagement and family life. As the founder and CEO of Lave Wash, a pioneering toxin-free laundry service, she leads with a commitment to environmental stewardship, merging her entrepreneurial acumen with a deep-seated dedication to protecting our planet. In her role as the President of the Tri-City Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Nikila’s advocacy for social equity, economic development, and environmental justice shines brightly. She is a powerful advocate for change, leveraging her position to uplift the underserved and drive forward progress within Solano County. Central to Nikila’s myriad of passions is her profound love for the theater—an art form she deeply cherishes. This love is not only enjoyed in solitude but is a vibrant tradition within her family. Alongside her children, Nikila has enjoyed countless performances, instilling in them the values of empathy, creativity, and the unique human connection fostered by the arts. Nikila’s life reflects her belief that personal passions and professional endeavors can coalesce to enrich our communities in meaningful ways. Through her leadership at Lave Wash, her transformative work with the Tri-City NAACP, and the shared theatrical experiences with her family, she embodies the vision of a world where diversity of expression is celebrated, dreams are nurtured, and kindness leaves an indelible mark on the heart of the community.

Abby Richie

Director of Marketing

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Abby moved to Vacaville during 5th grade and has called it home ever since! After marrying in 2016, she moved to Woodland, where she currently resides. Abby serves as the marketing director and Bookkeeper.

Abby enjoys homeschooling her 3 boys, attending church in Vacaville and exploring California’s National parks with her husband Adam.

Nancy Bennett

Vice President, Administration

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Nancy Bennett is a native of San Francisco. She moved to Vacaville in 2014 and joined On Stage Vacaville in February of 2017. She has a son and daughter and 5 grandsons. She enjoys the theatre and working on promoting the Season of Shows and the theatre itself to the community.

Tina Conyers

Corresponding Secretary

Dolores “Dee” Conroy

Treasurer

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Dolores, a resident of Vacaville since 1969, has worked as an accountant and a tax preparer for over 20 years at her business Dee’s Tax and Bookkeeping. She has held the position of President with Vacaville’s VFW Auxiliary 7244 since 2006.

Celia Banda-Brown

Director of Community Engagement

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Celia has lived in Solano County since 1987. Throughout her youth, college years and her 40-year career in public health, she has always been community service oriented. This, combined with her love of music, dance and the arts, led her to the ultimate culmination of now serving as a board member of On Stage Vacaville. The joy of music and dance is particularly dear to Celia’s heart, with one 0f her fondest memories being the absolute enjoyment of teaching her cousins how to do “The Twist” when she was 8 years old! Cecilia feels that the continued opportunity to experience the joy of the arts in all its forms is what our community needs. It is her goal to make every effort to assure OSV succeeds in making the arts accessible to all.

Kari Rader

Director, DEIB

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Kari has lived in Vacaville since 1999 after moving to Vacaville from the Bay Area. Kari grew up in San Francisco where she was exposed to a variety of arts, opera, theater, museums, and special events.

After spending many years in retail management, Kari has been managing nonprofit agencies for 17 years with a focus on housing for homeless and homeless prevention, has raised a 24-year-old daughter along the way and she recently became a grandmother.

Kari is inspired by the beauty, grace and talents of artists and she hopes to share the enjoyment and pleasure of the arts with others in our community.

Yashira Hamille Calo León

Director of Program Development

A Puerto Rico native,  Yashira developed an interest for performing arts at a young age. She started her acting education in 1992 with Puerto Rican actors; acting classes at her High School;  Theater college credits at the University of Puerto Rico – Bayamón Campus; an Intense Acting Course at M&M Studio in Mexico city; multiple workshops and seminars with international performers, agentsand educators including a renowned prize-winning Hollywood Script Writer.

Yashira developed a passion for poetry during her teen years, entertaining the public at poetry recitals and competitions and writing a collection of short stories and original poetry.

She was part of the Teatro Rodante de Bayamón Company for a decade.  Her TV experience includes commercials for Walmart, Pizza Hut, and other companiesand participating in feature films and TV shows.

Yashira moved to Vacaville, California in 2014 with her husband and 3 dogs.  She continues to work in multiple areas: background on Netflix productions and feature films,  multiple commercials including voiceovers in Spanish, and stock photography.

Her most recent live performances include La pastorela de Sacramento, Frida and Graciela: Poesía de la Luna Llena.  She starred in the short films “My best friend the Monster” and “Sueños de Mi Hija,” which have won multiple nominations and awards in the Festival circuit including Best Actress winner at the 2023 New York International Film Awards.  

She is also a  member of Escritores del Nuevo Sol giving her an opportunity to recite her original poetry to the masses.

Maria Luz Vergara Zurita

Customer Service Specialist

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Maria Luz is a passionate translation student who recently returned to Argentina after spending a few enriching years in the United States. Her experiences in both Argentina and the United States have given her a unique perspective on the power of language to connect people. She’s had the privilege of contributing her language skills to several nonprofit causes, helping them break down language barriers and make a positive impact in their communities. As the new customer service specialist for On Stage Vacaville since summer 2023, she finds immense satisfaction in helping others and ensuring their needs are met with professionalism and care. When she is not working or studying, you’ll find her spending time with her family and her dogs, reading or drinking mate, and probably listening to Taylor Swift.

Join the Board

If you would like to join our team of fun, bright, talented board members please contact us.