Deb Royals Artistic Director

Artistic Director since 2004, Deb received a BFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and finished her graduate work in Theatre and Performance Studies at Northwestern University.  She has worked extensively with the gang and homeless population here in the triangle area.  Simultaneous to this she has worked within the prison system, from the development of performance work at Central Prison to facilitating and teaching liturgical dance at the Raleigh Correctional Center for Women.  Deb holds a phd in performance studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; where she also teaches courses in performance studies, ethnography and oral traditions. Deb also teaches Performance for Social Change classes at Duke University.  In addition to her work with and around the Death Penalty and its legacy here in the state of North Carolina, she worked with the Latina/Latino youth in Durham for over a year to develop performance that perpetuates discourse around identity, agency and democratic citizenship as it manifests itself within their community.  In early April 2007 she began working with Project Levante, a component of Student Action for Farm Workers (SAF).  The performance work addresses concerns about health, housing, environmental conditions and the need for just immigration reform.  She has written extensively about this work and presented portions of this for the 2008 International Cultural Studies Conference in Kingston, Jamaica and at the 2008 National Communication Association conference in San Diego, California.  Deb also worked to found the town of Cary’s “Applause” Cary Youth Theatre and served as Managing/Marketing Director for Raleigh Ensemble Players, and has previously produced Shakespeare productions for the Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park.

Melissa Zeph - Managing Director

Melissa has been with JTP since 2006.  She holds a BA in Business from the University of South Florida and has been working in non-profit management, marketing, public relations and design since her career began. Melissa has worked with The American Red Cross Clearwater, Florida Chapter, The National Drowning Prevention Coalition, Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park, CC Communications Special Events Department, the Clayton Center, and the Town of Cary Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department. In addition to her work with JTP, Melissa enjoys volunteering and mentoring up-and-coming arts managers.


John Honeycutt - Financial Manager

John has been associated with JTP artistically since 2004.  He has acted in more than 15 JTP plays, including favorite roles in "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "Frost/Nixon".  He also assisted in creating the original JTP plays "Still...Life" and "Light on the Horizon".  John's experience with theatre administration includes co-producing independent plays with colleagues and managing the finances for those productions.  John spent 34 years as a scientist, engineer, and manager in the computer and telecommunication industries before retiring in 2012.

Melissa Reilly (Production Associate) graduated from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA with a BA in Human Resources and Psychology.  She has lived in Raleigh, NC for 25 years with her husband and two children, ages 20 and 22.  Melissa has worked with JTP for the past 4 years assisting the Artistic Director and Managing Director doing administrative work for all productions and camps.  Some of her responsibilities include issuing contracts and collecting actor bios, ticket sales, and camp registration and payment.  Melissa’s contributions to JTP continue to grow over time and she has proven to be a valuable staff member insuring things function smoothly behind the scenes for JTP.

Art Inspiring Change

Since 2004, The Justice Theater Project has produced professional shows combined with discussion, outreach and advocacy.

We receive State Arts Resources support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the N.C Department of Cultural Resources and supports exemplary arts organizations that set standards of excellence for the state that produce high quality arts programs, provide educational and outreach opportunities for children and adults, and have strong leadership and management.

Operating support each year is provided by the City of Raleigh based on recommendation of the Raleigh Arts Commission.

Project support is provided by The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

Each summer we provide youth summer theater camps in three locations, working with Passage Home at The Safety Club, students in North Raleigh at The Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi, and in Durham at the Emily K Center. All camps provide an extraordinary amount of scholarships for the students, and a fair wage for the professional and support staff.

We encourage you to become a season member, volunteer to build a set, join a committee, audition for a show, and become a part of the JTP family.

Internships for college students are available each semester.


Board Members

Kristi Vincent Johnson- Chairperson

Jim Falanga - Vice Chairperson

Regina Brooks-  Treasurer

Marc Kielty - Secretary

Dr. B. Angelo Burch

Theresa Baumgartner

Kim Howes

Marguerite LeBlanc

Janice Odom

Marcia Mattox

Rick Merkle

Deb Royals-Mizerk - Artistic Director

Melissa Zeph - Managing Director

Advisory Board Members:

David McBriar, O.F.M

Julio De La Rosa

Richard Derrenbacher

Mike Tadych

Jeanne Tedrow

Tim Throndson

Tom Wolf

Dr. Sheila Smith McCoy