Board of Directors

Nicknamed "The Story Board," our Board of Directors is made up of a diverse group of public servants, activists, entrepreneurs, scholars, artists, teachers, and founding members of The Story Theatre. The Story Board ensures that we are living up to our mission statement, actively building community, producing shows to their fullest potential, and fundraising enough money to do so! If you are interested in joining The Story Board, please reach out to President Nadine Merheb at

Brenna DiStasio

Director of Operations

Brenna DiStasio is a founding member of The Story Theatre. She currently serves as the Director of Operations on the Board of Directors. Additionally, she works as an actor, producer, and teacher. Brenna received her BFA in Acting from the University of Arizona. In addition to her work with The Story, Brenna volunteers with Vote Save America, and Children's Cancer Network.

Sydney Ha

Community & Outreach Coordinator

Sydney is a writer, researcher, and creative interested in the ways we can engage socially and critically with those around us. They graduated from the University of Arizona in 2016 with degrees in Africana Studies and Journalism, and have a master's in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University. With a foundation in performance studies, antiracist praxis, feminist frameworks and interdisciplinary multimedia, they're passionate about how we can inspire and inform each-other through the stories we tell.

Syamala Krishnamsetty

Board Member

Syamala is a writer and activist who focuses on empowering underrepresented groups in the policy making and governing process. She started her career in social services, serving the communities of South Shore, Englewood, Marquette Park, and Archer Heights. In 2020, she ran for election to the Illinois House of Representatives to represent the 40th district, and continues to work with a number of bipartisan and progressive organizations to reform money in politics, strengthen our democracy, and end systemic corruption. She enjoys meditation and swimming.

Lucy Mensah

Board Member

Lucy Mensah is a contemporary curator, writer, and visiting assistant professor of Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she obtained her Ph.D. in English with a focus on 20th century African American literary and visual culture. Mensah holds a B.A. in English from Bucknell University and an M.A. in Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. She has held appointments at the Detroit Institute of Arts, in Detroit, Michigan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., and the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.

Nadine Merheb

Board President

Nadine is an avid baker and lover of all things art. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2015 with a degree in Business Economics and Accounting. After moving to Chicago, she was a Strategy Analyst at Accenture, an Analytics & Insights Consultant at Hyatt, and started her own wholesale bakery, Elby. Currently, she is a Program Manager at Uber Freight.

Paul Michael Thomson

Executive Director

Paul Michael Thomson is a proud founding member of The Story Theatre, dedicating his life to activism through artistry. He has worked as a teacher, tutor, actor, playwright, producer, and currently serves as Executive Director on this Board of Directors. His volunteerism includes work with Vote Save America, The University of Arizona Honors College Alumni Advisory Council, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Paul Michael holds a BFA in Acting and a BA in Africana Studies from The University of Arizona, where he was named the Outstanding Senior from the College of Fine Arts and awarded the Dean's Award of Excellency.