Our Staff

Agnes Wilcox, Founding Artistic Director (1947-2017)
Agnes Wilcox held a B.A. in Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.A. in English from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and an M.F.A. in Directing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She taught at New York University, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center (Waterford, Connecticut), Webster University (St. Louis), and Washington University in St. Louis, where she was an adjunct faculty member for the last nineteen years. Agnes was a member of Equity, SAG and AFTRA. Agnes retired from Prison Performing Arts in 2016 and served as artistic director at Bread & Roses of Missouri at the time of her passing.

Christopher Limber, Artistic Director
Chris Limber is a professional director and actor, a published playwright, poet and composer/lyricist, and has contributed educationally or artistically to many major St. Louis arts institutions, including Prison Performing Arts — most recently co-directing Coming Home at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in Pacific, Missouri — The Rep, Opera Theatre, COCA, and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Limber has taught actors of all ages at every major educational institution in St. Louis, including COCA, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri in St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, and Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. He has also taught workshops and teacher training at more than 100 middle, high and elementary schools throughout Missouri and Illinois A proud 35-year member of the Actors’ Equity Association and the Dramatists’ Guild, Limber studied English literature and Shakespeare at Exeter College – University of Oxford, England, holds a BFA in Acting from the State University of New York at Purchase, and is a graduate of the Community Artists Training offered through the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis.

Rachel Tibbetts, Director of Youth Programs
Rachel Tibbetts has worked in arts education since 2000 as an Education Associate and Assistant Director of Education at the Delaware Theatre Company in Wilmington; and Arts Partners Program Administrator and Assistant Arts Education Director at Young Audiences of St. Louis. She received her B.A. in Theatre from Oklahoma State University. Rachel graduated from the 2006-2007 Community Arts Training Institute at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. Rachel is a member of the Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble, a St. Louis area based professional theatre company.

Shannon Durio, Managing Director
Shannon Durio comes to PPA with 15 years of development and marketing experience for national and regional nonprofit organizations, including the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Concordance Academy, and the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition. She has specialized in meeting substantive target revenue goals for multimillion-dollar budgets, grant writing, improving donor relations and community and corporate outreach, building volunteer recruitment and leading and managing organizational special-event planning. As Director of Donor Engagement, she played a key role in helping raise nearly $5 million to support programs and services benefiting foster/adoptive families in the St. Louis region. For Concordance Academy of Leadership (annual budget of $5+ million) Shannon led the planning and execution of three annual galas; each averaging 500 guests and raising nearly $1 million. Additionally, she has extensive experience in marketing and communications, helping drive organizational engagement through multi-channel social media campaigns, traditional print and electronic collateral, and donor correspondence. Shannon received a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois.

Board of Directors

Tara A. Nealey, Ph.D. 
Board President                                                  
Shareholder, Polsinelli                                                

Michele Mallette Sherman
Board Vice President
Community Volunteer

Melinda Ligon
Board Secretary
Community Volunteer

Jean Daniel-Gentry
Board Treasurer 

Edgar Evans
Union Chief Steward, Retired, Veterans Administration Hospital 

April Foster 
Director of Programs, Center for Women in Transition

Chris Harris
Manager, Blue Iguana

Steven Knight
Director, COCAbiz

Evan Kuhn
Financial Advisor, Stifel

George Lombardi
Director, MO Dept. of Corrections, Retired

Matthew Mahaffey 
Assistant Public Defender

Gina T. Savoie, Esq. 
District Defender, Missouri State Public Defender - Hillsboro Trial Office