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WESTON — Four new members have joined the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company’s board of trustees, the company announced Tuesday.

The new members — Michelle Lowes, Elizabeth Paxson, Michael Plaut and Rene Welles — bring the board to 18 members.

“We are thrilled to welcome these four exceptional new members to our Board of Trustees,” board chair Michael Neff said in a media release. Lowes, Paxon, Plaut and Welles “each bring tremendous talent and insight to the organization. We welcome them to the Board and look forward to the contribution each will bring as we advance Weston’s mission in the coming years.”

Paxson, of Dorset, joined the board in March 2020. She is the former director of retail for Etro, GianFranco Ferre and Valentino, and has a long history of volunteer engagement focused on education and the arts in the US, England, and Nicaragua.

“I knew that the Weston Theatre was a very special place the moment I saw the smile on our high school daughter’s face after her first day at the summer TheatreLab workshop. There is something truly amazing about the people who choose theatre as their life’s work. I love being around that passion and commitment, and enjoy contributing to their efforts in any way that I can,” she said in the release.

Welles, of South Londonderry and Beverly, Mass., joined in May 2020. She has a background in event planning for a variety of organizations and is the co-owner of American Rhino, a purpose-driven fashion business that supports Kenyan land and wildlife conservation and local communities.

She has held various board positions at Miss Porter’s School, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Cricket Island Foundation, Myopia Hunt Club, and the Singing Beach Club. She has also chaired several galas, auctions, and associations and actively feeds her love of theatre by attending shows in New York, at Weston, and at the A.R.T. in Cambridge, Mass.

Lowes, of Manchester and New York, N.Y., joined the board in December 2020. She is an investigative dermatologist specializing in hidradenitis suppurativa. She has served as a researcher, physician, professor, and board member for a number of organizations in the field, as well as on numerous advisory and review boards.

“My children have enjoyed the shows at the Weston Playhouse Theatre since they were in pre-school. There was always such a great sense of excitement and anticipation every summer. I’m looking forward to helping a new generation enjoy this amazing theatre in Vermont,” Lowes said.

Also in December, Plaut, of Weston and Paris, France, joined the board. He is a consulting and interim strategic business leader for early-stage companies in the US and France.

Plaut brings a history of volunteerism with non-profits focused on cross-cultural and multilingual communication, seeking opportunities in “furthering the work of an organization that boldly bridges cultures and seeks to unify, educate and entertain.”

The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is a non-profit organization supported in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as individuals and organizations. For more information, visit


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