The Highlands Cashiers Players Board of Directors

Michael Lanzilotta

I am a native of New York.  I moved to Highlands permanently three years ago. My partner and I have had a home here since 1994.   Three years ago I retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  I worked in the private and public sectors, holding executive positions in Public Health, and Health Care Administration.  I am a new member of the HCP Board.  My experience in the theater has been abundant; I have appeared in several plays during my high school years; during college, graduate school and in Community Theater Groups.  I was a member of, and actor with the Kanawha Players, in West Virginia, Virginia Players in Charlottesville and the Atlanta Theatrical League.  In addition I have directed, done character make-up.  I have acted with the HCP in “Momma Won’t Fly” and hope to appear in additional productions.

Rickey Siegel

Vice President

Ricky and his wife moved to Highlands in 1997 after purchasing the 4 ½ Street Inn. He got involved in HCP in 2006. This is his second time on the HCP Board, has acted and directed as well as worked on set construction.

Paula Gordon


I have lived in Highlands for over 30 years.  This is my fourth year as a Board member.  I am Paula Gordon, the Secretary/Treasurer of HCP.  I am also the front of house coordinator (box office, ushers, house managers) for the plays.  If you would like to volunteer in any of these capacities, please feel free to call.  I enjoy working with HCP and meeting so many wonderful people.

Kathryn Buckley


Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Kathryn Buckley is a relative newcomer to the Highlands area where she and her husband, Ron Leslie, have settled. In recent years, she served as a reading specialist in Georgia’s DeKalb County School District’s middle and high schools, as well as in private practice. Prior to that, she taught as a lead classroom teacher and reading specialist in a private elementary school setting serving children, both learning disabled and gifted. She also has experience teaching English as a Second Language to adults and middle school students in alternative settings and summer programs. Additionally, Kathryn has worked with DeKalb Technical College preparing students for their Graduation Equivalency Diploma exam.  Kathryn is certified as a Reading Specialist, K-12, and as a Global Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Her experience includes training, supervising and mentoring teachers, parents, and students, as well as facilitating programs in a variety of educational settings.

During the course of her career as an educator, Kathryn has supported children’s theater, and coached dramatic productions. She brings broad experience, skills, qualifications, and commitment to lifelong learning. Her interests include her children and grandchildren, reading, theater, music, the fiber arts, hiking, yoga, and traveling. Empowering people and facilitating their opportunities for learning are Kathryn’s passions. In her own words, “I welcome the opportunity to make a positive and lasting contribution in my newly adopted community!”


Ken Knight

Past President

Ken has acted in four HCP plays: Murder Among Friends, Leading Ladies, Dearly Departed, and Rebecca.  He has also assisted in set construction and as part of the back stage crew on other productions. He is President of the Board of HCP and also is the Director of Advertising.  Ken is an avid gardener and a superb cook.  He attends Highlands United Methodist Church, and is Vice Chair of the Church Trustees and cooks for various church affairs.

Marty Boone

Board Member

Marty is photographer/graphic designer living in Highlands since 1996.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications from Florida State University and a Master of Arts in Education, specializing in Media Production, from Western Carolina University.  She has worked as a Media Specialist (designing and producing visual materials for teaching, including photography, video, graphic art and slide-sound productions) at WCU, Mississippi State University and West Georgia University; and as Design and Production Manager for the University of Georgia Auxiliary Services.  Upon moving to Highlands she became the “Digital Doctor,” restoring old or damaged photos digitally for High Country Photo, as well as doing free-lance photography and graphic design work.

Marty’s work of late has evolved into a mix of wedding and social event photography, family portraiture and real estate photography, along with some advertising design – brochures, ads, posters, logos.  She also does volunteer work with several community organizations, most regularly the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society and First Presbyterian Church.  She is a lover of community theatre and has worked on set design and production sporadically in the past (not in Highlands) but only acted once, briefly!

Donna Cochran

Board Member

Donna has been involved with HCP for all of its’ 20 yrs. She is on the Board for the second time, has acted, directed, has worked backstage, and provide food for many casts and many productions. Donna and her husband, Stan, own Mirror Lake Antiques.

Robin Phillips

Board Member

This is my second year as an HCP Board Member.  I became involved with HCP soon after retiring to Highlands in 2008.  That involvement has been in a variety of aspects of theatrical production—back stage manager, running crew, production coordinator, and on-stage performances.  HCP offers such a variety of involvement.  Although I had no previous experience with any theatrical stage theatrical production, I found my willingness to learn and work welcomed.  HCP is a worthy endeavor that is as much fun as it is work.


Adair Simon

Board Member

Adair (Masha), a new board member of HCP, acted for the first time with HCP as the kooky Bobbi Michele in The Last of the Red Hot Lovers. She has an extensive background in acting and in video, television, and theatrical productions. Her company, Video Progressions, videotaped productions for numerous clients in the southeast and produced documentary films seen on PBS. In her 30 years as an actor, she has performed in TV commercials, TV series and movies for commercial and public television, and for theater, in roles such as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Rosemary in Picnic and Gilmer in Godspell. She has also taught acting. She and her husband Dave retired in 2006, moving from Atlanta to Cashiers, where she now serves as president of the Friends of Library and recently directed several short acts in Playfest, a benefit for the Cashiers Library.

Virginia Talbot

Board Member

HCP Board member, has directed 14 HCP plays, most recently The Last of the Red Hot Lovers in 2014 and Almost, Maine in 2013. She has acted in 19, most recently as Hope Sober in Murder Not Prohibited and as Miss Sadie in Welcome to Mitford in 2015. In Tacoma/Seattle area she had a 20-year career in Public Television, teaching on-air courses in various subjects, writing, producing, and directing films and TV programs, two of which were awarded Emmys.  She later served as an instructor of gifted students and as director of Outdoor Education for a school district near Tacoma.  She has lived in Scaly Mountain with her husband Dean Zuch (also an HCP actor), volunteers at the Hudson Library in Highlands, sings with Mountain Voices chorus in Franklin, and hikes with the OTH (Over-the-Hill) Hiking club.

Lance Trudel

Board Member

Lance Trudel has lived in Highlands for less than four years but has had the privilege to be in seven productions so far.  He works at Mirror Lake Antiques and Oakleaf Flower and Garden.

Craig Eister

Board Member

Craig Eister recently moved to Scaly Mountain, NC and made his debut with the Highlands Cashiers Players in March 2016, with ‘March Medley’.   He most recently appeared in ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’ in Fall of 2016.   Craig is excited to be a part of this group.

Faye Siegel

Board Member

Barbara Werder

Ex Officio Advisor

Barbara is the Past President of the HCP Board of Directors and has served HCP for many years as costumer, as an actress, and has helped with our hospitality activities. She formerly owned the 1891 Stewart House.

Timely Support

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Innovative Ideas

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Advanced Technology

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Clear Communication

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