Our Board


BAG croppedBruce Gordon (President)

Bruce was born in California, educated in the Netherlands, Connecticut, Hawaii, and California, and moved to Houston, TX in 1978 as a research engineer in the oil and gas industry. He moved to New Orleans from Houston in 1983 and married his wife in the French Quarter in 1984. They became involved with Southern Rep shortly after that, when they bought the very first season tickets ever sold by the organization. Bruce has been a member of the Advisory Board, staff photographer for the Theatre, and finally member of the Board of Directors. He and his wife have participated in some fashion in every single season since it was founded, and is proud of the Theatre staff and board’s work to make Southern Rep one of the best regional theatres in the country. Bruce grew up playing classical music (chamber and orchestral) and is still trying to get in touch with his inner bluesman. He has promised to let us know how that turns out.

JAFFEBernard Jaffe, M.D. (Immediate Past President)

Professor of Surgery Emeritus at Tulane Medical Center, Dr. Jaffe received his medical degree from New York University in 1964, followed by residency training at Barnes Hospital – Washington University Medical Center. He served in the United States Air Force Medical Corps from 1972 through 1974, attaining the rank of Lt. Colonel.  Dr. Jaffe served on the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine as Assistant Professor (1971), Associate Professor (1975) and Professor of Surgery (1977). In 1979 he became Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, as well as Chief of Surgery at Kings County and State University Hospitals. He was recruited to Tulane University School of Medicine in 1992 as Professor of Surgery.  Dr. Jaffe has been president of a number of societies, including the Association for Academic Surgery, Society of University Surgeons, and Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract. He has served on an NIH study section (including as chairman) and a VA merit review committee. Dr. Jaffe was a Director and Senior Director of the American Board of Surgery, Editor‐in Chief of SURGICAL ROUNDS and a member of several editorial boards, and recipient of numerous teaching and scientific awards.  Dr. Jaffe retired in July 2006 and remains active in teaching and editorial responsibilities.  Dr. Jaffe has been very involved in New Orleans cultural activities. In addition to being President and Chair of the Executive Committee of Southern Rep, he has served as President of the New Orleans Ballet Association and Vice-President (Development Chair) of the New Orleans Opera Association.

1394053592_Richard-Portrait-2013Richard Lee Mathis (Past President)

Richard Lee Mathis is the Owner and President of Symmetry Jewelry in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is active in the local art scene and an avid collector of art, crafts, and gemstones. Richard Lee has juried shows for New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and for the Arts Council of New Orleans. In addition to being the President of Southern Rep’s Board of Directors, he is the President of the Riverbend Merchants Association.

Karen 2009Karen Babin (Vice President)
Since moving to New Orleans in 2010, Babin has been deeply involved with Rotary International; Friends Forever, a peace building program for teens from Northern Ireland; and New Orleans Medical Mission Services, a medical mission program devoted to delivering medical expertise and treatment to the underprivileged population of foreign countries. Babin’s passion for serious theater drew her to Southern Rep during her frequent visits to the French Quarter from 1998-2005. She is now elated to be promoting this exceptional theater company as a Board Member and loyal member of the audience.

Renee Zack (Secretary)

Love of theatre and literature have brought Renee to the board of Southern Rep.  After graduating from Ohio State University, she spent five years living in Chicago, appreciating the theatre opportunities that city offered.  She moved to New Orleans in 1976 with her husband and two children.  A few years later she took a part-time job to help a friend in his medical practice and then became the office manager.  Now after almost 34 years there, she is retiring.  She was the President of the Jefferson City Improvement Association and served on the Board of Newman Parents.  Renee thinks a perfect night out on the town is dinner at a great New Orleans restaurant and tickets to a Southern Rep Production.

Kerry ClaytonJ. Kerry Clayton (Treasurer)

Kerry Clayton and his wife, Paige, and their youngest son, Tim, moved to New Orleans in mid-2006 after Clayton retired as Chief Executive Officer of New York City-based Assurant, a New York Stock Exchange-listed specialty insurer.  Clayton has an older son, Tom, and a daughter, Margaret.  He is a native of Atlanta, and he holds an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  He has been a director of Southern Rep Theatre since 2008 and is currently Treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee.

Board Members

Sheldon Bernstein

Curt Bruss

DowlingPatrick J. Dowling, MD, Ph.D.

Dr. Dowling is a native of Rochester, NY.  He graduated from St. Louis University and, after serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy, received his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1965.  He received speciality training at Johns Hopkins, The Menninger School of Psychiatry, and Tulane University, where he taught briefly before entering the private practice of child psychiatry.  He served as the child psychiatrist for the Orleans Parish School Board (1973-1992), Jefferson Parish School Board (1978-1998), Louisiana Training Institute at Bridge City (1973-2000), as well as providing forensic psychiatric evaluations to both juvenile and criminal courts.  He has also served on the medical staffs of several local hospitals, including Depaul, Children’s Hospital, Touro, St. Jude (Chief of Psychiatry 1992-94), River Oaks (President, Medical Staff, 1988, 2002-03).  He was the Medical Director of Coliseum Medical Center from 1980 until 1985, and served as President of the Medical Staff from 1992-95.  He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  He taught at Louisiana State University Medical School for several years, and until 2006 was Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.  He continues to practice Psychiatry full time.

He has served on the Special Education Advisory Council of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (1974), Committee on School Suspension, Louisiana Department of Education (1975), Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Advisory Committee (Chairman, 1978), and the Juvenile Law Advisory Committee, Louisiana Supreme Court (1977).

Dr. Dowling received his M.B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Tulane University, and was a Trustee of the University of Charleston (WVA) from 1979 until 1986.  He is currently on the board of the New Orleans Opera Association.

Maria Frank, MD

S35C-110072315020Soline Holmes

Soline Delvaille Holmes was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. A member of Actors’ Equity Association, she has performed as an actress and singer since the age of eight and has performed off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally in Scotland (Stage award nominee); Paris and Germany (originating the role of Dale in Southern Rep’s production of A LOUISIANA GENTLEMAN); and regionally in the tour of PIPPI LONGSTOCKING: the Musical as Pippi. Soline also starred as Helen Keller in Southern Rep’s production of THE MIRACLE WORKER (Big Easy Award Entertainment winner) and as Frankie Addams in their production of MEMBER OF THE WEDDING. Some other favorite roles include Little Red in INTO THE WOODS (Stage Journal award winner), Laura in THE GLASS MENAGERIE (for the International Tennessee Williams Festival), Puck in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, and Scout in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. She also had a featured role in the film This Gun for Hire starring Robert Wagner. She graduated with Highest Honors from Academy of the Sacred Heart and received a scholarship to Barnard College of Columbia University where she was on the Dean’s List. She graduated cum laude from Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with concentrations in Theatre and Medieval History. She also studied at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University where she rowed for the Women’s Second VIIIs. She graduated cum laude and received her juris doctor from New York Law School where she was a John Marshall Harlan Scholar and a Senior Editor on the Law Review. She is admitted to practice law in Louisiana and in New York and has focused on both employment law and real estate law. After living in New York City for 15 years, Soline is happy to be back in New Orleans with her husband, James Holmes, and their daughter Catherine.

SKrinskySusan Krinsky

Susan Krinsky has served on the Southern Rep Board since 2007 and chaired the Board in 2011-12.   She was dean of admissions at Tulane Law School for many years, and during that time was also involved with Lusher School, Young Audiences, and Touro Synagogue.  Currently serving as Associate Dean of the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, Susan maintains a home in New Orleans with her husband, Hugh Long.  She has two children, one a physician and the other an independent filmmaker.

Raymond Poliquit, MD

PughLarry Pugh

Founding member of Pugh, Accardo, Hass, Radecker & Carey, LLC, Larry Pugh has been engaged in a general civil practice since 1986.  Mr. Pugh has received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale–Hubbell, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He has been named as a “Louisiana Super Lawyer” from 2012 to present.  He received his JD from LSU, and his BA from Tulane University.

Edward A. Ready

ReidyMary Reidy

Upon their arrival in New Orleans in 1988 John and Mary Reidy poured their energies into the support and development of the arts.  John, as Public Affairs Director for Exxon, directed his efforts toward the big 3 – Opera, Ballet and Symphony.  Mary, on the other hand, jumped right into the grass roots efforts of establishing a professional theater in New Orleans.  She has served on the Southern Rep Board off and on for the last 20 years and traveled to Paris with others to establish an American Theatre Wing at the Sorbonne. She took a short leave to create a board to support a Shakespeare Theater at Tulane.  A devotion to the growth of the arts and theater has filled the better part of her years in New Orleans.  Mary is the Recording Secretary for Bravo; on the Board of the Women’s Opera Guild and the Art Museum where she has researched and written the history of houses for the home tours.  In Chicago she was on the staffs of Congressman Mikva, State Treasurer Adlai Stevenson 111, and Assistant Press Secretary to Governor Kerner of Illinois.

Ronald Robert Sr.

Rooth_1351181567_jpg_pagespeed_ce_R7uUvM8LYJRobert Rooth

Mr. Rooth received his B.A. from Princeton University in 1971 and his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law in 1977, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Law Review. Mr. Rooth practices in the fields of Securities, Corporate Finance and Commercial Litigation, including antitrust, banking, health care, oil and gas, intellectual property and corporate, transactional and securities matters. Mr. Rooth is General Counsel and head of the Commercial Litigation Section for Chaffe McCall, L.L.C. Mr. Rooth has served as a director of Resources First Foundation, the nation’s largest private landowner network, Ferruzzi Finance U.S.A., Inc., a single-purpose issuer of auction preferred stock, the Gulf Coast Conservation Association, and several private foundations. He is a past President of the American Heart Association’s New Orleans Chapter, and a charter member of the Louisiana Bar Foundation. He currently serves as a Director of Southern Rep Theatre in New Orleans and the Thomas and Gladys Johnston Conservation Trust, Ltd. In St. Vinent and the Grenadines. Mr. Rooth has presented seminars on topics as varied as “The Anatomy of a Civil Fraud Case,” “Louisiana Banking Law Into the Next Millennium,” “Qui Tam Plaintiffs – Whistle Blowers or Bounty Hunters?” and “Securities Issues Impacting Business Transactions in Louisiana.”

SarasonSusan Sarason

Susan Sarason’s love of theatre began with her introduction to Broadway Theatre at the age of nine by a loving aunt and uncle she visited often in Manhattan.  She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Suffolk University in Boston.  While there, she appeared in a production of THE LADY’S NOT FOR BURNING by Christopher Fry, which expanded her appreciation for theatre.  Her career spanned a series of public and private sector positions including an appointment to the EPA, international assignments representing the U.S. on environmental committees at the OECD (Paris), UNECE (Geneva), and The Hague.  She was the Marketing Director in the D.C. Corporate Offices of Ebasco Services, Inc. and then a Vice President of The Dial Corporation.  She founded Sarason & Associates, Inc., her own marketing and public relations company.  Retiring after 30 years, Susan and her husband George Pence moved to New Orleans, attracted by the city’s cultural diversity and vitality in theatre, art, and music.  She was drawn to Southern Rep Theatre by its standards of excellence, support of new playwrights and local actors, and its breadth of productions.

amyAmy D. Savoie

Since stepping into her first ballet class at the age of 3, performing arts has been a constant in Mrs. Savoie’s life.  As a dancer with Ballet Hysell, Delta Festival Ballet, Dance Alabama!, Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, and ultimately receiving a Minor in Dance at LSU, she learned to appreciate every facet of theatrical production.  Professionally Amy earned her Bachelors of Interior Design from LSU and went on to intern for commercial Architecture firms in Los Angeles and New York before taking a full-time position with HMS Architects in New Orleans, where she has spent the past eight years.  Recently, Amy has begun a new adventure as the fourth generation in her family owned and operated Dash Lumber & Supply,.  She is very proud to carry on the tradition of this New Orleans business founded by her great-grandfather and grandfather in 1947.

Marchant Van Gerpen