Board of Directors

David Behnke

David has been a full time resident of Martha’s Vineyard since 2014. He is Managing Director and Head of US Investments for Najeti Ventures LLC, a private equity firm in Connecticut. Prior to that he worked for JP Morgan for 22 years, where he was a Managing Director and headed various divisions within the bank. He has served on the Boards of Directors of Triton Resources, Deep River Snacks, Annie’s, MVP, Data Path, Direct Fuels and Prestolite Electric. He has also served as CFO of Data Path and CEO of Triton Resources. He is co-owner of the Behnke Doherty Gallery in Vineyard Haven (and of a previous gallery in Washington, CT). David is also a professional singer and a graduate of the Opera Program at the Yale School of Music, a recipient of a grant for study at the Paris Conservatory of Music, and a resident artist with the Tri Cities Opera Company. He performs frequently on island including performances with the Island Theater Workshop. He is currently Chair of the Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University on the board of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society. Previous non-profit board positions have included the Advisory Council of the Trustees of Reservations, the CT Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, The Housatonic Valley Association, the Steep Rock Land Trust and the Washington Art Association. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, an MM from Yale University, and a BA from Hamilton College.

Wallace Bullock

Wallace Bullock is a writer, teacher, actor, and historical dramatist. Wallace has a one man show entitled A TASTE OF JFK, MALCOLM X, AND ADAM CLAYTON POWELL. Wallace has performed the show in many theaters across the United States and Europe, including at the Playhouse in August, 2013. Wallace is a retired high school English teacher, where he taught AP English and directed school productions. He directed productions such as GUYS AND DOLLS, GYPSY, ANNIE, PAJAMA GAME, ROMEO AND JULIET AND HARVEY. Wallace holds a BA in psychology, from Widener University and an MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College of CUNY.

David Chemerow, Treasurer

Mr. Chemerow brings over 40 years of finance, accounting, and operations leadership in multiple industries. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors at RiceBran Technologies and Dunham’s Athleisure, and served for 15 years as a board member at Playboy Enterprises.  Mr. Chemerow served as chief financial officer or chief operating officer of comScore, Rentrak, GT Interactive Software and Playboy Enterprises.  Mr. Chemerow graduated from Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth.  He has also served on the boards of directors of the Third Rail Theatre in Portland, OR and the Court Theatre in Chicago, IL.

George L. Cohn, Ex-officio

Dr. Cohn served as President of the Playhouse Board from 1998-2005 and remains an enthusiastic patron of the theater. During his tenure, the Playhouse “grew up” and became the highly regarded professional theater it is today.

Valerio Destefani

Born in Brazil in 1967, migrated to the United States in the spring of 2000, married to Sonia for over 35 years, father of a girl and two boys and grandfather of 7 little ones. Very passionate about life and everything that comes with it.

Susan Dickler, Chair

Susan Dickler has worked in the nonprofit sector since graduating college, primarily in the field of women’s and girls’ reproductive health and justice. Susan’s work in philanthropy reaches back 4 decades, when she joined the staff of the Ms. Foundation for Women. In1995 Susan worked with her parents on establishing a foundation in their name. As Executive Director, she created and managed an annual grants program in three program areas. Susan has served as the Chair of the Board of Provide and the Ms. Foundation for Women and on the Boards of South Africa Partners and Media Voices for Children. She has a BA from Brandeis University, an MSW from Columbia University, and an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School. She is married with four children and lives in West Tisbury and New York City.

Eleanor Dunn, Clerk

Eleanor Dunn has recently relocated to Martha’s Vineyard from Washington DC. While in Washington she and her husband, architect Sam Dunn, owned and operated Palena Restaurant, a critically acclaimed Washington spot with award winning James Beard chef, Frank Ruta. During the summer months, Sam and Eleanor owned and operated Saltwater Restaurant in Vineyard Haven. Prior to Palena, Eleanor worked with Karen Goodwin of Fifth Avenue Productions in New York. She assisted with auditions and fundraising for various Broadway productions. Eleanor, with Mary Ann Brownlow, produced Cleopatra’s Nose – a monthly program of short story readings by various actors in a cabaret setting at Arena Stage. Eleanor also worked at Goldfarb Associates, Washington DC as a literary agent. She currently reads and edits manuscripts and screenplays on a selected basis.

Ellen Martin Story

Ellen Martin Story, a retired H.R. Administrator, resides in Oak Bluffs with her husband. She is a member of the Cleaveland House Poets, is an avid theatre, movie goer and has a passion for design, arts and crafts.

Sam Morris

Sam Morris grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and is a former Vineyard Playhouse student, camp member, employee, and actor. A graduate of Harvard Extension School, he’s worked in systems analysis and technology leadership for over 15 years, and currently runs technology for the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. He lives on Daggett Avenue in Vineyard Haven with his better half, Kayte Morris, and their pug Marbles.

MJ Bruder Munafo

MJ serves on the Board as well as leading the theater in her capacity as Artistic & Executive Director.

Arnie Reisman

Arnie Reisman

RIP (Board member 2012-2021 /Chair of the Board 2017-2021)

Our beloved Board Chair, Arnie Reisman, died unexpectedly on October 4, 2021. Arnie was the Martha’s Vineyard Poet Laureate (2014-2016), and the author of three poetry books. His comedy, Not Constantinople, world premiered at MV Playhouse in 2015, directed by MJ Bruder Munafo. His documentary, The Powder & the Glory (the Helena Rubinstein-Elizabeth Arden business rivalry), co-produced for PBS with Ann Carol Grossman, became the musical War Paint, featuring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, and ran eight months on Broadway (2017). He was a columnist for the Vineyard Gazette and lived with his wife, Paula Lyons, on the Vineyard. Since its debut in 1996, they were regular panelists on NPR’s comedy quiz show, Says You!

Gerry Yukevich, Co-Chair

A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Gerry practices internal medicine in Vineyard Haven, MA. He and his wife Martha and daughter Anna moved from Boston to the Vineyard in 1995 and quickly grew attached to the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, where he served as Chairman of the Board for many years. In Boston, Gerry founded the Buster-Scimitar Theater, which specialized in European farce and original American drama. He was also Publisher of Alpha-Bete, a Free-Form Art Sheet, and President of Z’Arts, a Boston-based arts networking organization. Gerry performs each June 16th in Arts and Society’s Bloomsday Concert. He also writes and plays the piano.