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Jeanika Browne-Springer

Director of LifeLong Learning

Jeanika is an East Hartford resident and local creative. She has a BA from Trinity College in Theater & Dance and MA from the University of Saint Joseph in Multiple Intelligences. She was a Hartford teacher for six years then transitioned into arts administration as a grant writer and programmer at an arts education non profit, helping artists find work in Hartford schools. She is an artistic collaborator and Board Vice President for Night Fall. She's also been part of staged readings for HartBeat Ensemble, performed with Vintage Soul Productions and Sage Seeker Productions, and is a member of the Artists of Color Unite! advisory group for Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.


Rhoda Cerritelli

Managing Director

Rhoda has spent her entire career working with arts-based organizations, including the National Performance Network, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Pick Up Performance Co(s) and Urban Bush Women. She was the Project Manager for the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative (TSAI), a joint program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna Foundation and was part of the original team of Surdna’s Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP). She joined HartBeat Ensemble in 2012.

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Brian Jennings

Ensemble Member

Brian Jennings has directed multiple incarnations of Jimmy and Lorraine and Ebeneeza for HartBeat Ensemble. He originated the role of Det. Nick Carter in Flipside. He has been a member of the National Theater of the Deaf, performing on multiple national and international tours, at major regional theaters and on television. He serves as Theater Department Head at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, and on the Actor Training faculty at the Hartt School.


Cin Martinez

Ensemble Member

Cin Martinez is a playwright/performer from Hartford. In 2006, Cin joined HartBeat Ensemble and embraced social justice theatre play creation. Cin’s love for playwriting began when she collaborated on Flipside, winning Best Ensemble (NYC Fringe Festival.) Cin then co-wrote Riding the Turnpike and Frog Hollow State of Mind, a play about her neighborhood.  Cin's latest success Pegao premiered in May 2019 with several sold-out shows.  Cin’s next play in development is Moonlighters. Visit

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Laugh Sanchez

Ensemble Member

Sanchez,  is a Hartford native, performing artist, and educator. He has a BFA from Central CT State University in Theater, Specializing in Performance. Laugh started off teaching at Charter Oak Cultural Center and is now an Instructor in Theater Arts at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day Program. Throughout the year, Laugh coordinates programming for organizations, schools, and universities in the Greater Hartford Region. Some of these programs include HartBeat's Youth Play Institute, Speak Up for the Academy and Finding My Voice for The HARTT School of Arts.

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Godfrey L. Simmons Jr.

Artistic Director

Simmons is an award-winning actor, producer, director, and playwright who has spent thirty years amplifying the voices of marginalized people and communities. He brings with him an extensive background working with ensembles, as an actor (Off-Broadway and regional theaters), teacher, director, playwright and producer. In 2012, he co-founded Civic Ensemble, a regional theatre in Ithaca, NY. He was a Producing Artist for Off-Broadway’s Epic Theatre Ensemble for four years, appearing in a dozen productions. He won the 1999 Audelco Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance opposite Leslie Uggams in The Old Settler at Primary Stages. He is a lifetime member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and sits on the board of the Network of Ensemble Theaters.


Steve Raider-Ginsburg

Co-Founder, Ensemble Member

Steven Raider-Ginsburg moved to Hartford, CT to co-found HartBeat Ensemble. Honors: American Theater Magazine, 25 young theater artists most likely to influence theater in the next 25 years, 2018 State of CT Performing Artist Fellow, 2014 CT’s 40 under 40, 2012 Lincoln Center Directors Lab. He holds an MFA in Directing from Boston University and a certificate in Curatorial Practice from Wesleyan University. Steven has worked with New WORLD Theater, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Anna Deveare-Smith, Shakespeare and Company, Augusto Boal, Sojourn Theater, The Civilians and others.  Steven serves as an advisor for the New England Foundation for the Arts National Theater Project and the Ann T. and Edward C. Roberts Foundation. 


Julia B. Rosenblatt

Co-Founder, Ensemble Member

Julia B. Rosenblatt, is a playwright, director, actor and theater professor at Capital Community College. She was a Co-Founding Artistic Director of HartBeat Ensemble for 16 years. During this time, she wrote and performed in numerous productions, including her acclaimed plays, Flipside and Gross Domestic Product. In 2018, Julia was a Graustein Memorial Fund Playwriting Fellow and a Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame “Women Center Stage” Honoree. Julia holds a BA from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and an MFA in playwriting from Spalding University.


Hannah Simms

Ensemble Member

Hannah Simms met HartBeat on the street the first weekend she lived in Hartford in 2005, and has called it her artistic home ever since. She is the program director of HartBeat’s Youth Play Institute. Directing: Pegao, Frog Hollow State of Mind and Asylum Hill (HartBeat), To Kill A Mockingbird (CCSU),  Eurydice, (PVPA),  Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night, and Julius Caesar (Hampshire Shakespeare), WPI festival (Ivoryton Playhouse), Write On! festival (Hartford Stage), New In November festival (Hartford Opera Theater).  Assistant Directing: FlipSide (HartBeat), The City That Cried Wolf (59E59). 


Debra Walsh

Ensemble Member

Debra Walsh became a member of the Hartbeat Ensemble in 2006. She has performed and taught with the Ensemble since 2003. She has over 30 years of professional experience as an actor, producer and theatre arts educator. Since 1987, she has been at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts (a magnet Arts high school in Hartford) as a Core Artist /Instructor. She has worked with the Bated Breath Theatre in Hartford and New York, Hartford Stage, Capital Classics, Hartbeat Ensemble, and ArtFarm. She has a BFA Magna Cum Laude and an MA from the University of Connecticut.

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