Meet The Team
At EncoreSTL, we are a team dedicated to producing culturally relevant media and live productions. While we are performing artists and creatives, we are also educators and activists that aspire to use digital media and theater as a tool to impact and transform our communities.
Effrem Thomas Grettenberger is the founder and CEO for EncoreSTL. Effrem is originally from the great State of Michigan but relocated to Saint Louis about 5 years ago to pursue his dream of continuing to work in Theater. Thus, Saint Louis has become home and an ideal place for EncoreSTL to thrive. Effrem received his training from Albion College receiving a Bachelors's degree in Theater and History. His focus area was producing, directing, and acting, skills he has continued to nurture after relocating to Saint Louis after graduating. He found his niche originally working as a Case Manager for many of the finest youth programs in the City of Saint including Youth in Need, Kingdom House, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Saint Louis and Peters and Pauls. Eventually that work included youth theater programs as well such as Gitana Productions and TLT Productions as well.
Effrem’s love of the arts and desire to help his new community led to the founding of Encore! Theater Group. While Encore got its start a few short years ago, 2019 has been a bit more of a revival season seeing the company relocate to South Saint Louis, and with the introduction and expansion of our youth programs and digital platform EncoreSTL.
Alexa “Silky'' Seda is an emerging Urban Planner and Producer whose main focus is on fusing community and art-based development to revitalize neighborhoods. Alexa, a Chicago native, moved to St. Louis and pursued her master’s education in Public Health and Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis and shortly joined EncoreSTL. She has combined both disciplines to make community impact through EncoreSTL’s services. Alexa believes that through arts-based programs, the greatest health impacts are gained. When she is not producing live shows and digital media, Alexa works on scriptwriting, environmental projects, and traveling with her significant other and pups Shyla & Jax.
With us since our founding, Benisha Dorris has been involved in theatre since she was a small child. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts from Western Illinois University. She excels in all forms of art from stage plays to film. She has worked with the Encore! Theater Group, The Black Repertory, Metro Theatre and a few other theatre companies in the St. Louis area. She has performed major roles in a variety of productions such as “Smokey Joes Café”, “Little shop of Horrors”, “For Colored Girls”, and “Hair” just to name a few. Benisha continues to use her artistic ability to Entertain, Educate, and Instruct.
Marketing & Graphics Specialist
Mimi is the Marketing Specialist Intern at Encore STL. She graduated from DePaul University and has a background in animation, graphic design, and illustration. She is very excited to help give Encore's productions a boost through effective marketing campaigns and graphics. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, drawing, and exploring St. Louis.
Youth Program Coordinator
Katie Bry is an STL native and currently a first-year master’s student at the Washington University in St. Louis and a practicum student with EncoreSTL. She is a passionate and enthusiastic person who strives to impact the lives of others.Although Katie’s primary studies were in Education and Psychology, she continued to hone her creative writing skills in various courses at WashU. In the past, she has interned at a performing arts school and a newspaper for kids. During these experiences, she found a way to intersect her passions for storytelling and educating. She strongly believes in the power of art as a healer and connector of people. She hopes to continue to educate and impact communities through storytelling and excited to be a part of the Drama Therapy program for Encore4Youth.