About Unity Theatre Collective
For Every Person
The Unity Theatre Collective strives to provide an open door for every person to experience performance pieces that promote social change and inspire insight and empathy.
We intend to accomplish our mission by:
Choosing performance pieces and interpreting them in ways that will incorporate our core values
Making conscious choices in casting to represent every person
Providing means for discussion and education that spurs action and social change in our community
Presenting performances which represent marginalized groups and their struggles
Gather a collective of performing artists of all interests that reflects the fullest range of diversity in our community
Reach new audiences who have yet to have the opportunity to experience the performing arts
Board of Directors
Meet our Board of Directors! Our directors work to make our programs happen.
Co-President & Founder
Laura Covault co-founded Unity Theatre Collective with Layla Perez in 2018. Laura has directed over 50 productions all over Southern California and is a professor of theatre as Cal State University Channel Islands. Some favorite shows include The Importance of Being Earnest, Seussical the Musical, The Laramie Project, and She Kills Monsters to name a few. Laura also teaches voice and piano to students of all ages.
Co-President, Founder, Treasurer
Layla Perez co-founded Unity Theatre Collective with Laura Covault in 2018. She has been performing in and stage managing shows, mostly in educational settings within Ventura County, for the past 20 years. Layla has a fundamental belief that participation in the arts is an important part of developing into happy, healthy, and empathetic humans, and she considers it a great honor to be a part of a collective of likeminded people and looks forward to bringing the opportunity for more Ventura County residents to experience performance pieces that inspire insight and empathy.
Cristy Rodriguez Rivas
Cristy Rodriguez Rivas is the Secretary for the Board of Directors. She has over 15 years of experience as a performer and more than 5 years of experience as a stage manager and virtual production manager. She has a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts and in Organizational Communication. Cristy loves being a Queer, Latinx artist and bringing art to her community. She loves using her organizational skills to support our collective and collaborate with artists from near and far to bring our programs to life. Outside of UTC, you might catch Cristy enjoying the amazing Ventura county weather.
Natalie Katrina Dempsey
Natalie Katrina Dempsey is an Education Specialist and in Port Hueneme, CA, and an avid lover of all things theatre. A graduate of CSUN, she has lived in Ventura County for over 25 years. Raised in a theatrical family, she performed regularly as a child in academic and community theatre settings. She also has experience behind the curtains on sound and lighting. She is very honored to serve on the board and very inspired by all the inclusive and positive values the company upholds. In the future, she hopes to work on playwriting and stand-up comedy.
TJ Ramirez is a member of the Board of Directors. You may have seen them in The Importance of Being Earnest as Algernon or hosting our monthly Online Open Mics. They are currently pursuing their Bachelor’s Degree in Performing Arts at CSU Channel Islands. TJ is proudly Filipino, Dominican, nonbinary, and bisexual. They really connect with UTC’s goal of inspiring insight and empathy, both for the communities they’re a part of and everyone else.
Taylor Barnes is a Director at Unity Theatre Collective. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. She has been on and off the stage all around the world including: Scotland, Chicago, North Carolina, and New Jersey. She recently made a move to Utah where she is pursuing her two passions performing and mental health advocacy. She works at an arts based therapeutic facility for troubled teens. Taylor is so honored to be a part of a collective that is so focused on education, advocacy, and empathy. She believes that true listening can only happen when the stories are actually being told.
Sara Ruiz is a member of the Board of Directors. She is an actor, writer, director, and activist from the San Fernando Valley. In 2020, she graduated with degrees in both Political Science and Theatre from CSU Channel Islands. Since she was in high school her passions have been making politics and policy more accessible through the use of theatre and film. She believes that the arts can be used as a tool to break down barriers in the political world. In her free time she enjoys watching movies, thrifting, discussing pop culture, and going on feminist rants to anyone who will listen.
Director & Head of Youth Education
Sarah Covault serves on the Board of Directors as a Director and the Head of Youth Education. Sarah has taught theatre in the community for over 5 years and now teaches here at Unity. As the Head of Youth Education, Sarah focuses on creating and implementing youth classes with the Youth Education Committee. Additionally, Sarah works on grants and social media. Sarah has a degree in Sociocultural Anthropology and a minor in Human Rights from UC Davis. She hopes to get a Master's Degree in Applied Theatre and Human Rights. In her free time, Sarah is an avid traveler and has visited 10 countries so far. She also loves to paint and pay attention to her two very spoiled cats Jack and Milo.