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Lumina Studio Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide unique opportunities for young actors of any level of experience who seek to perform Shakespeare, other plays of the classical repertory theatre, and modern plays that focus on the beauty of language.

Lumina provides a disciplined and rigorous professional setting where actors are trained in a comprehensive, performance-focused program of theatre arts based on Rudolf Steiner’s Creative Speech and Drama techniques. The techniques of Stella Adler and Michael Chekhov are also demonstrated and put into practice. Our program includes in-depth vocal and character coaching, improvisation, and stage-combat training, detailed costumes, live music, choreography and occasionally special elements such as masks to support the shows. The results are exhilarating and thoughtful productions that demand more of our aspiring actors, and benefit them for life.

Core Values

Artistic Quality

Lumina produces plays of professional quality and holds every young actor to a high standard of performance. Lumina’s Shakespeare-based Acting Techniques are taught and employed to great success, and Lumina youth feel accomplished and proud after each show.


Lumina has a long-standing tradition of producing original scripts and adaptations that bring a new perspective to the works of Shakespeare and other classic texts.


Lumina brings together young people of different ages to create a shared experience of artistic fulfillment and foster youth leadership. This nurtures a supportive community of collaborators dedicated to producing quality theater.


Lumina Studio Theatre’s staff implements both individualized and program-wide accommodations and individualized plans so that every young person enrolled in Lumina programming can excel and have their moment to shine onstage.

Equity and Inclusion

Lumina is committed to producing actively anti-racist theater that engages young people in meaningful and respectful conversations about Shakespeare, race, history, and current events. Lumina will continually strive to become a more equitable and inclusive company across race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, and socioeconomic status.


Since 1997 Lumina has worked with over 600 young actors and enjoys a 95% retention rate from season to season. Some alumni have gone on to major in theatre and attend prestigious theatre schools such as NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Many alumni also return for guest appearances in current productions and work as Directors in the Summerstock program, thus giving back to the next generation of Lumina actors.


Lumina Studio Theatre made its debut on October 5, 1995 in Brooklyn, NY at Promote Art Works, Inc. as a new concept in teaching speech and drama. Jillian Raye, Founder and Artistic Director, built Lumina on the belief that young actors can perform brilliantly using the classics in imaginative ways; that actors and audiences can grow from barrier-free, intergenerational performances; and that theatre discipline and creativity are soul mates that belong to the entire community.


Raye moved the organization to Takoma Park, MD, in 1997. Beginning with a few young people rehearsing in Ms. Raye’s basement and performing in an old movie theatre, Lumina has flourished and now attracts over 100 young actors per season from across the metropolitan area. Lumina offers many opportunities for participants: Folk Tale Camps for the youngest actors (age 8+) to the Theatre Group for adult actors. Lumina presents between seven and nine productions each season.


In 2000, David Minton joined Lumina full-time as Managing Director. Mr. Minton’s many years as an actor and in theatre management added depth to the extensive talent and knowledge that Lumina actors were receiving from Ms. Raye.


In 2005, Lumina moved its productions to the Round House Theatre, in Silver Spring. This 150- seat black box theatre offers a professional setting that enables more challenging and sophisticated productions. Later that year, Round House Theatre named Lumina Studio Theatre as an Arts Partner.


In 2006, the organization moved its offices, rehearsal space, props, sets, and immense costume store under one roof at the “White House”. The additional space provided by this historic building in downtown Silver Spring enabled Lumina to increase its staff, and expand the quality of its productions.


In 2008, Lumina mourned the passing of Jillian Raye after her long struggle with breast cancer. In spite of this devastating loss, Lumina continues to grow, as Jillian would have wanted. Her creative vision continues to be a source of inspiration to everyone in the Lumina family.


In 2012, Lumina celebrated its 100th production and 15th anniversary with a gala that attracted theatre patrons as well as supporters from the arts and political sectors.


In 2013, Lumina joined with three other Arts organizations to form the Theatre Consortium of Silver Spring. The Consortium now manages the Silver Spring Black Box Theater.


In 2020, Lumina moved out of its longtime home at 620 Pershing Drive. From April of 2020-May 2021, all of Lumina’s programming moved online as a result of the COVID pandemic. In this time, Lumina youth performed in 5 virtual productions, and the Lumina Theatre Group produced over 15 staged readings. All of Lumina’s virtual productions are available to watch for free on Lumina’s Ensemble group wrote and produced an episodic science-fiction podcast, The Zeno Paradox Podcast, displaying creativity and insight as they were forced to pivot to an artform that could be done while social distancing.


In 2021, David Minton, Julie Reiner, and Wendy Eck retired from their positions on the Lumina staff, and Lumina alumni Sophie Cameron and Meg Lebow joined the staff as Co-Executive Directors. Today, Lumina’s offices and rehearsal space are located in the Silver Spring Black Box, which Lumina helps manage as part of the Theatre Consortium of Silver Spring. Under Cameron and Lebow’s leadership, Lumina Studio Theatre continues to build on our rich heritage, advance its unique model of youth inspired classics, and bring high-quality performances to the community.


In 2022, Lumina celebrated its 25th year with a gala at the Silver Spring Black Box, attended by supporters and theatre patrons in the community. The event was emceed by Lumina alumni serving on the Board of Director. Guest speakers included Montgomery County Councilmembers Will Jawando and Evan Glass, Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart, Montgomery County Council Executive Marc Elrich, and Congressman Jamie Raskin. At this event, Jawando and Glass presented Lumina with an award in recognition of 25 years of service to Montgomery County, and Raskin awarded Lumina a Congressional Proclamation in recognition of 25 years of service in the state of Maryland!





Co Executive-Directors Meg Lebow and Sophie Cameron bring backgrounds in theater, literature, education, and administration to Lumina Studio Theatre. Meg and Sophie have helped direct over 35 productions on and off of the Lumina stage.

Meg and Sophie share a passion for and commitment to Lumina that has defined their lives, and they are thrilled to carry on Lumina’s legacy as a community hub of mentorship and artistry.


Meg Lebow holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Victorian Literature. Her graduate studies have focused on Victorian attitudes towards actors and acting. She brings an anti-racist framework to the study of “The Classics.” Meg has directed a preschool program and led poetry workshops at Blue Monarch, a rehabilitative facility for women. She became Co-Executive Director of Lumina in June 2021.

Meg Lebow

Co-Executive Director

Sophie Cameron holds a BA in Education with a focus on theater as a fine art and tool for education. Sophie has written, directed, and performed for puppet theatres, schools, and independent companies for classical and contemporary productions in Maine, Minneapolis, and Maryland. Sophie was working as an early childhood educator and mentor to aspiring preschool teachers prior to joining Meg as Lumina’s Co-Executive Director in June 2021.

Sophie Cameron

Co-Executive Director

David Minton has directed, produced, and acted in professional theatre for the last 30 years. Before coming to Takoma Park, David produced and managed off-Broadway theatre in New York. Before New York he directed the Addison Centre Theatre in Dallas, Texas, and led the development of its new state-of-the-art facility called by Theatre Crafts magazine “a Theatre for the 21st Century.” He has an M.A. in English Literature and an MBA in policy and planning. Besides directing, David instructs stage combat rehearsals and is a playwright. He joined Lumina as Co-Director in 2000, and retired in June 2021.

David Minton

Director Emeritus

Julie Reiner has been involved in some aspect of theatre for 35 years, beginning with back stage and production work at the University of Maryland’s Tawes Theatre, and then moving on to co-found The Children’s Chorus of Silver Spring and the Sogo African Rhythm Ensemble. Her performances with Sogo took her from Busch Gardens, Virginia to Ottawa, Canada. Ms. Reiner has a degree in Business Administration. Ms. Reiner retired as Managing Director in June 2021.

Julie Reiner

Managing Director Emeritus

Jillian Raye established Lumina Studio Theatre in New York in 1995. Jillian was a graduate of the Victorian Ballet Guild Theatre School and the Harkness Conservatory of Drama in Australia and held a Bachelor’s Degree in theatre from the University of Texas at Dallas. Her studies of Rudolf Steiner’s speech and drama techniques are the foundation of Lumina’s directing and coaching process.Jillian’s professional career includes acting with the major theatres in Dallas, Texas; dancing and choreographing numerous professional productions in Australia, Dallas and New York.In addition to Lumina Studio Theatre, Jillian also worked with young actors when directing for Cabbages and Kings Children’s Theatre and the Addison Center Theatre in Texas and the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, New York. Since bringing Lumina Studio Theatre to Takoma Park, Maryland in 1997, Jillian has worked with more than 400 young actors and directed over 75 productions. Jillian was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. Jillian directed and choreographed productions and mentored Lumina’s young actors until her death in November 2008. Jillian’s spirit and vision continue to guide the organization.

Jillian Raye

Founder and Guiding Light

Board of Directors



  • Michael Novello (Chair)
  • Tracey Broderick (Vice Chair)
  • Sophie Cameron
  • Christine Dunathan
  • Jordan Harris
  • Jodi Kanter
  • Meg Lebow
  • Clare Lefebure
  • Emily Merolli
  • Barbara Nwoha
  • Janice Simsohn Shaw