2020-2021 Board Members
Patrick Ricci, Jr. // President
Patrick has been part of Circle Arts Theatre since he retired from General Electric Company in 2001. He has filled numerous board positions including Marketing Director, Treasurer and President. He has played many different roles on our stage, but his favorite roles are husband, father and grandfather.
Lisa Williams // Vice President
Lisa has lived in New Braunfels since 1999 and has been active in the community ever since, volunteering with parenting groups, PTA, Friends of NBISD P.A.C., and the Comal County Child Welfare Board. Her whole family has performed on Circle Arts' stage at some point, and you may have even seen them onstage together from time to time! If she's not onstage, you'll find her volunteering with our youth programs, as her children participated in K.I.D.s classes and Inner Circle. Lisa is a professional photographer with Williams Real Estate Photography and a Personal Assistant/Transaction Coordinator for local Realtors.
Martie Rodriguez // Secretary
Martie has lived in New Braunfels since 1987. She retired from the New Braunfels ISD after 36 in education, 25 of those years in NBISD as a Special Education Director, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and an Educational Diagnostician. She was introduced to Circle Arts Theatre by watching her nephew perform and then by watching her son grow up in this theatre, performing in Fantasy Factory, the Inner Circle and other major productions. Martie has served many years on the Circle Arts Theatre Board and has also been in several productions, and hopes to be in many more. Since retirement, Martie also volunteers on the New Braunfels Downtown Association Board serving as the membership chair.
Marcie Helmke // Treasurer
Marcie Helmke is a New Braunfels native. She has been supporting Circle Arts Theatre as a volunteer since 1988 and is currently serving as Treasurer.
Jacob Biggerstaff is a student at UTSA. He has taught private music lessons for over five years. Jacob is a veteran of Circle Arts Theatre's youth company, The Inner Circle, and has served as an actor, musician, music director, and director for many Circle Arts productions. Jacob is also the owner of MellowDrama Productions.
Originally from Dallas, Cathy came to our New Braunfels community 35 years ago, as a teacher and musician, and also became a member/volunteer with the Mid-Texas Symphony, NB Music Study Club, NB Community Chorale, NBTC, Oakwood Baptist, and First United Methodist Church of NB. As a youth, Cathy participated in musicals and theater productions both at church and school, and since her first show with Circle Arts Theatre in 1989, she has been a frequent actor, volunteer, board member, part-time employee/teacher, and loyal supporter of our theater family/home. Circle Arts Theatre is her “happy place”, and she looks forward to sharing our productions, as well as our volunteer and educational opportunities with our New Braunfels community.
Merrie has been part of the New Braunfels community since 1982, when her family moved from Houston to the beautiful Hill Country. Both of her children began participating in the K.I.D.s classes when they were seven years old, eventually moving into the Inner Circle touring group, and stayed through the summer of their senior year in high school. She often credits Rob and Robin for helping to raise them into the intelligent and creative adults they are today.
Merrie earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and currently serves as a middle school principal in San Antonio. She is passionate about public education and instilling a love of learning for students.
In her free time, Merrie enjoys kayaking and traveling with her wife, Lisa, watching live theatre, and listening to the antics of her mom and the kids.
Brent began his career in theater during his high school years and attended East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce) on a theater scholarship. After having been cast in three simultaneous shows in the university rep company he was cast in his first made for TV movie and jumped at the chance to explore this new arena. It was while working on this movie that he had a chance encounter with an actress who introduced him to Adam Roarke and the Film Actors Lab. It was there that Adam took the young actor under his wing and imparted a lifetime of lessons. While learning the ropes with Adam, Brent embarked on a teaching and directing career that has afforded many valuable opportunities. After touring with a theater production of a show Brent wrote, produced and directed, he returned to his native Texas and began a career in the live events industry. He began in operational roles as a camera operator, projectionist, TD, lights and sound operator and 'all around grunt' when duty called, eventually shifting back to a producing and directing role. After an exciting journey for more than 35 years, Brent and his amazing bride, Kathleen, decided it was time to retire, travel more and play more golf....well sort of. OK, yes. They travel and play golf, but work and play are now intertwined. As founder and owner of bkh2 productions, Brent and his bride now host and produce golf tournaments around the country. Brent returned to the stage as an actor in the Circle Arts Theatre’s 2019 production of “Let’s Murder Marsha’ and he has since served in several roles including Assistant Director for “Disaster! The Musical” and Director for “Love, Loss and What I Wore.” The Theatre…Home sweet home!
Jennifer moved to New Braunfels in 2016 after her husband retired from serving 20 years in the Air Force. The entire family quickly put down roots in their new hometown. Her two children are very active in the Canyon High School band and the Circle Arts - Inner Circle program…which keeps Jen busy driving to & from rehearsals, attending performances, and helping with booster clubs. When time allows, Jennifer and her family enjoy volunteering with the Humane Society, the Food Bank, and with their church. Of course they also enjoy regularly being a part of Circle Arts Theatre..…on and around the main stage as well as being regular House Crew! But after all the fun, Jen usually still remembers to buckle down with her day-job as an online biology professor.
Joy walked in the doors of Circle Arts Theatre in the late 1980s, and never left. She has continuously served on our Board of Directors for almost three decades and is passionate about our mission to entertain, educate and inspire through theatre arts. A successful entrepreneur, Joy contributes a variety of business skills and experience to the Board's management of theatre operations. She recently took a smaller role as co-owner of Vertex Solutions Group and of Lindsey Properties, to fulfill a teenage dream of being a Southwest Airline Flight Attendant. Other interests include hiking, adventure travel, doodling on napkins and being Omy to her four grandchildren. Joy can often be found on our stage and makes every role unforgettable!
Linda Smith has been volunteering in New Braunfels for over 25 years. She has been active in both Education and Community Theatre, and is currently serving as President Of the New Braunfels Education Foundation. Linda is also a board member of NB Women Go and NBACF’s Arts Grant Committee. She loves being on and off the stage as both an actress and director. Linda is also the Practice Manager at Smith & Cole Dentistry.
David has lived in New Braunfels since 1999, arriving from the "big city life" in Dallas after leaving Raytheon Air & Missile Defense Systems. His first of 3 children was born on the very first day his wife joined him in New Braunfels, coincidentally 6 weeks premature on dad’s birthday! His family fell in love with the little town and to this day have a sign on the back patio that duly proclaims, "Life is too short to live in Dallas!"
David brings to the board significant experience in business, technology, and organizational management which he developed during tenure with Motorola/Continental Automotive for 20+ years. He holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in engineering. David has been active with Circle Arts Theatre since 2015, as an actor, house crew, and various technical support activities. Additionally, he has been active in the New Braunfels community as a Boy Scouts of America chair and PTA member and financial auditor.