moppets Staff


Rachel Cort
Executive Director

Rachel has been shining the spotlight on stage as a lighting designer, electrician, and technical theater mentor for more than 25 years. Not only does she bring the magic to the stage with her skills, she also loves passing on her knowledge to the next generation of theater enthusiasts. She is all about making the performing arts accessible for everyone and is passionate about helping kids get the most out of their experiences.

Rachel holds a degree in Arts Management and Promotion from Appalachian State University.


Ashleigh Goff
Artistic Director

With more than 20 years in the theater biz and a BA in Contemporary Theater and Performance from Manchester Metropolitan University, Ashleigh is a true jack-of-all-trades. From acting to directing to teaching, Ashleigh has done it all and loved every minute of it. When she’s not bringing stories to life on stage, she’s sharing her passion for theater with the next generation. She’s had a blast teaching at Tanglewood Summer Camp, Traveling Players Ensemble, and LEAF, and even hit the road with her husband as part of Poetry Alive!

And, of course, watching the Moppets grow and thrive is a dream come true for Ashleigh!


Nichole Esmon
Marketing Director

Nichole brings more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor to her position as Moppets Marketing Director. In addition to her work with us, Nichole is a volunteer ESOL tutor with Literacy Together and mom to a pair of Moppets.

Board of Directors

Barbie Angell

Barbie Angell is an Asheville-based poet.

Jeff Catanese

Jeff Catanese is a writer, director, actor and teacher who lives in Asheville. He is the Artistic Director of Attic Salt Theatre Company and co-author of three drama education books for Scholastic, Inc. Recently, Jeff has directed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) for Mars Hill University, Lies for Attic Salt Theatre Company, and ACT’s Elf.  Next, Jeff will be directing Black Comedy at Parkway Playhouse, as well as overseeing Christmas in July: A Christmas Carol for the Montford Moppets.

Heather Hughes

Elena Lecue

Board President Elena Lecue is a marketing & sales executive, working at the intersection of tech and consumer products. She has held leadership positions at large corporations and fast-growing startups, and is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Scentbird, one of the most innovative players in the perfume & fragrance industry. Elena joined the Moppets board after seeing our performance of “Tartuffe,” which she found to be as good or better than the one she saw at La Comédie Française in Paris! Elena loves classic literature and theatre, and is excited to support the Moppets’ mission in the Asheville community.

Sami Mills

Laura Rickard

Kai Strange

Blaine Weiss

Jenny Westrick