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Our Team

Kristianne Kurner

Founder & Executive Artistic Director

Kristianne founded New Village Arts in 2001. Trained as an actor and director, she has worked on every mainstage production at NVA, with her favorite acting role being John Wesley Powell in Men on Boats. Directing credits include: American Hero, Awake & Sing!, The Weir, The Nutcracker, Wait Until Dark, The Trip to Bountiful, Much Ado About Nothing, Summer and Smoke, True West, Sailor’s Song, The Waverly Gallery, and A Lie of the Mind. Her work has received numerous awards, including San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and Patté Awards for Theatre Excellence. She is the recent recipient of the Clare Rose Sabbatical Award from Fieldstone Leadership Network. Education: BFA Theatre, The College of William & Mary; MFA Acting, the Actors Studio/New School.

Joan Cumming

Interim Managing Director

Most recently, Joan was the Vice President for Marketing and Communications for the San Diego Symphony. Prior to that, she worked as the Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing or The Music Center of Los Angeles County. Joan worked as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the Autry National Center of the American West and from 2007 to 2009 she served as the Interim Managing Director for La Jolla Playhouse. Joan’s forty-year career has focused on marketing and public relations in the not-for-profit arts world, including working as the Vice President for Marketing and Communications for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association from 2000 to 2007 where she was responsible for all of the communications, public relations, and tickets sales for the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as all marketing and ticket sales for the Hollywood Bowl.

Junne Esguerra

Director of Operations

As a “Navy Brat” born in Washington D.C., Junne Esgerra lived up and down the East Coast of the United States and in the Philippines before planting roots in San Diego. Junne’s performance experience is limited to a Square Dance recital in early elementary school, getting asked to leave a Hula dance in a family/friends Christmas performance due to having two left feet, and self-serenades in her car. She enjoys cooking, the outdoors, and traveling. Junne has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences, with an emphasis in Sociology, Political Science, and History, and earned a Master’s in Public Administration. Junne has a wealth of front-line and leadership experience working in the non-profit sector. Junne has owned and operated her own business and is well-versed in organizational development, compliance, and policy/procedure development. She is thrilled to be a part of the NVA team.

Ahmed Kenyatta Dents

Associate Artistic Director 

Ahmed Kenyatta Dents is a 20-year veteran of the San Diego performing arts and media scenes serving roles of Director of Venue Experience, Patron Services Manager, Systems Administrator, IT Manager, Development Associate, and Application Support Specialist, Ahmed has also been an in-studio producer, radio host, live event host, and voiceover artist. He has most recently been seen in the roles of “Mister” in Common Ground Theatre’s “This Is A Low” (2021), “Canada” in the Coronado Playhouse production of “Harlem Duet”(2021) and “Mr. Scruples” in the Genesis Opera production of “The Impresario”. Ahmed is also currently Managing Director of The Carlsbad Music Festival and a Board Member at Common Ground Theatre. 

Bre Eugenio

Patron Services and Bar Manager

Bre was first introduced to the world of performance as a dancer. She was represented by DDO Artistic Agency in LA where she went on countless auditions, landing jobs like being a background dancer on Dance on Sunset, Hoopersize Me exercise video, a featured dancer in the Kung Fu Panda music video, and dancing for the WNBA LA sparks basketball team as a Sparkid for two seasons. Now retired from dance, she came to New Village Arts to explore her love of theatre and discovered a passion for working behind the scenes. Bre has worked Front of House for 3 years, including House Management, Bar, and Box Office. She loves NVA, and is so excited to help the company continue to flourish! 

Olivia Pence

Manager of Marketing and Communications

Olivia is thrilled to be joining the NVA Team as Manager of Marketing & Communications. Olivia has been seen on the NVA stage in multiple past productions, including Around the World in 80 Days, Into the Woods, and Singing in the Rain. In addition to her professional performing career, Olivia previously worked for the Servant Leadership Institute as their Social Media Producer and Administrative Assistant. It was here that she learned of her passion for marketing and social media. In her free time, Olivia enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading from her extensive book collection, and performing when she can. Being a part of the NVA Team is an absolute dream come true!

Marcus Rico

Interim Technical Manager

Marcus graduated from Mt. San Jacinto College with an AA in Audio Technology. Previous NVA credits; Leonard Bernstein’s New York (Sound Designer/Sound Engineer), Into the Woods (Sound Engineer), 1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas (Sound Engineer), Beehive (Sound Engineer), Murder for Two(Sound Engineer), Around the World in 80 Days (Sound Engineer), Little Shop of Horrors (Sound Engineer), and The Roommate (Co-Sound Designer).

Kiara Hudlin

Education and Fellowship Manager

Kiara Hudlin has been at New Village Arts since August 2021. She started as the Lead Patron Services Representative, then became the Programs Coordinator, and is now the Education and Fellowship Manager. “It really is an honor to be in this position. My whole life I’ve known I want to be someone who serves and advocates for the community, and being the Education and Fellowship Manager allows me to do just that. I am so excited to bring more opportunities to young people of color and other underrepresented and marginalized communities. And I’m really excited to put myself out there and just get to know more of our community members and see how we can collaborate. It takes a village!” Kiara wants to thank her New Village Arts family for giving her a place to grow and to learn.

Almar Ahad

Events and Engagement Coordinator

Almar has been working with New Village Arts since December 2021. She is thrilled to be stepping into the creative side of things at NVA by planning events, helping out as an in-house photographer, and building relationships with our donors. Outside of being the events coordinator, she is also exploring production and media. Almar can’t wait to see where her newfound love of the arts takes her. 

Lanette Granger


Born and raised in Los Angeles County. Math was my favorite subject in school, and it was a natural transition into bookkeeping. Earned a BS (Bachelor’s of Science) degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Cal Poly, Pomona. Worked as a bookkeeper while raising three daughters. Later, earned an MLIS (Master’s of Library and Information Science) degree from San Jose State University, and worked as a cataloging and systems librarian at two community colleges. Did collection development for one of their Theater Arts programs. Relocated to San Diego in 2017, continued remote bookkeeping, and worked as a part-time librarian at SD Miramar College. Excited to work with such friendly and creative spirits at NVA. Their passion for their work is boundless, and for me to branch out to the nonprofit accounting processes. 

Trevor Rex

Advancement Coordinator

Originally from Porter, Texas, Trevor moved to San Diego for NVA’s production of Legally Blonde in 2018. He has held many titles at NVA. He earned a certificate of completion from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and is currently pursuing Concurrent Degrees in Sociocultural Anthropology and Biological Sciences (Conservation and Ecology Focus) from Arizona State University. Select Performance Credits: Dance Ensemble and Henri u/s in An American in Paris (The Phoenix Theatre Company), Boy in Leonard Bernstein’s New York (New Village Arts), Greg in A Chorus Line (Moonlight Amphitheatre & Welk Resorts), Ensemble in Victor/Victoria (Moonlight Amphitheatre), Diesel in West Side Story (Moonlight Amphitheatre), Michael in Smokey Joe’s Café (New Village Arts). International: Singer/Dancer and Dance Captain on Norwegian Cruise Lines and Oceania Cruises.

Rae Henderson-Gray


Rae came to NVA after several years serving as the Membership Director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Carlsbad. Prior to that, she was the Music Director for LEGOLAND, CA for four years. At NVA, Rae has worked in a variety of capacities, including (but not limited to!) Bookkeeper, Front of House Associate, Actor, Interim General Manager, Managing Director and Controller. She has a BS in Accounting, and a BA in Theatre Arts, and recently completed her Master’s degree in Accounting. She has appeared on the NVA stage in SudsAround the World in 80 Days, and Beehive. Other San Diego theatrical credits include MOXIE, Moonlight, Diversionary, Starlight, and the Welk Resort.