Current Faculty 

Geof Alm is a certified fight director and teacher for the Society of American Fight Directors. He has worked at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Opera, Seattle Shakespeare Company, The Group Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, The Huntington Theatre Company, and Missoula Children’s Theatre.

Alm teaches all over the Northwest, in Boston, Montana, and Louisiana, and in the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program.

Sherif is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts Original Works program; Sherif was recently seen in Above Between Below (Winter Tour ‘19) Previous credits include The Winter’s Tale, Seattle Children’s Theater’s Above Between Below (Fall and Spring Tour), The Secret and Impossible League of the Noosphere, Hamlet, Henry V, Trump the King, Raisins in a Glass of Milk, Henry V, his one man show El Kook, and Quixote: Book One. He’s also performed with ACT, Infinity Box Theater, Book-It Repertory Theater, and 18th and Union. He will be performing his new one man show Left on Yellow Brick Road in April at 18th and Union.

Paul Budraitis is a director, actor, writer, and solo performer, as well as a teacher of acting and stage movement. In Seattle, he has worked with On the Boards, the Degenerate Art Ensemble, Annex Theatre, Balagan Theatre, New City Theatre, and Cornish College of the Arts, among others. His solo performance (IN)STABILITY premiered at On the Boards in February, and his production of David Mamet’s Edmond received a Seattle Times’ “Footlight Award” as one of the best productions of 2010.

Paul received a State Department Fulbright grant to study theatre directing at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy (LMTA) in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he earned his master’s degree under the mentorship of visionary theatre director Jonas Vaitkus. In Lithuania, Paul worked with the National Drama Theatre of Lithuania, the State Youth Theatre of Lithuania, the Kaunas State Drama Theatre, and Oskaras Koršunovas/Vilnius City Theatre (OKT). He has assisted directors Jonas Vaitkus and Oskaras Koršunovas, and most recently acted in a contemporary re-imagining of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, directed by acclaimed Finnish director Kristian Smeds and performed at the Vienna Festival.

The White Days, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It (New City Theatre); Cuckoo Crow (REDCAT Theatre-L.A./Degenerate Art Ensemble); ATF: A Burlesque, Dirty Little Secrets, Beatrice, Penetralia, Little Rootie Tootie (Annex Theatre); SCREAM! Lion Dogs (On The Boards); Escher’s Hands (AHA! Theatre); The Investigation, Machinal (A Theatre Under the Influence)

Education: Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy

Susanna Burney is a professional voice over artist, actress, director and teacher, who makes her home in Seattle. For over 20 years, her voice has been heard on radio, TV, promotional and training films, and the web. Her talent has also been featured on video games, including Hoyle Casino and Kids Games, and she is the character Jin in F.E.A.R. (Monolith, Sierra, and Warner Bros.) She has narrated dozens of audiobooks in a range of genres for BBC America, Harper Collins, Listen and Live, High Bridge, Writers Coffee Shop, Brilliance, and more. Her stage work has taken her to New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New England, Florida, Nevada, and Scotland. Film credits include The Beans of Egypt, Maine and John Carpenter’s The Ward.

Kira Dorrian has been a working voice actor for over a decade having voiced commericals and characters for some of the top companies in the world including Disney, CocaCola, Nintendo, Microsoft, Toshiba, T-Mobile, The BBC, The Gates Foundation, Xfinity, McDonalds, Alaska Airlines and many more. She has worked in the USA and England (where she lived for seven years and where her voiceover career began). She was the international voice of Toshiba for three years and is currently the national voice of Dignity Memorial.

Kira is also a successful podcast host currently featured on The EDGE Conservation Podcast and as a co-host on Raising Adults: Future Focused Parenting

Abie Ekenezar is an actress, singer, screen writer and VO artist living in Seattle, WA with an extensive background resume and has been in the entertainment industry professionally with IMDB credits for over seven years.  Their acting and singing took on many spots while in the United States Navy for over ten years. Outside of the Navy, they are best known for their leading role on Retch (2018) and has done background work on shows like Grimm, Portlandia, Man in the High Castle, JourneyQuest 3.5 and Librarians.   

Abie’s directorial debut was for the film short Prefer-Racial Treatment and is currently working on an Octavia Butler anthology to be filmed in 2022.  They also released their first book anthology, Cooties: Shot Required was published in March 2021 along with their newest book Ageless: A Haunting of Orchard House. 

Their VO work ranges from Amazon and Audible and currently teaches Voiceover, A Student’s Perspective at Freehold Theater in Seattle. 

Stefan Enriquez has been an actor and teacher in Seattle for the last 13 years. He studied at Western Washington University and the Pasqualini-Smith Studio.

He has performed on numerous stages including the Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, the Seattle Children’s Theatre, and the Empty Space Theatre where he appeared in the West Coast Premiere of Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me. He has taught acting as an artist-in-residence for the Seattle Rep and the Seattle Children’s Theatre.

He can be seen in several feature films, local and national commercials, corporate videos, print, and television–most recently on the series The Fugitive and Citizen Baines.

Elena Flory-Barnes is a stage and commercial actor as well as an integrated artist and collaborator. A  Seattle native and University of Washington graduate, Elena has been acting professionally in her hometown for over a decade. She has been seen on various Seattle stages including Book-It, ACT, Theatre Schmeatre and Seattle Immersive Theatre. Some of her commercial credits include Tableau, Jeep and REI.

Alyssa Franks is an actor, solo artist, and teacher. She is currently an apprentice teacher of Integrative Alexander Technique under the mentorship of Cathy Madden.  Alyssa received her MFA from the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program. She earned her BFA from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in England. Alyssa also teaches Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and Mindfulness. All of her teachings center around wholeness and freedom of choice – so that her students can do what they wish to do, with more ease, efficiency, and skill. See more at http://alyssakfranks.com/. To find out more about mindbody practices, visit https://movewhole.com/.
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin a writer, producer, performer, and educator. Plays include Tiger Beat (2021 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2021 Seven Devils Conference finalist), Harpers Ferry 2019 (2021 Kendeda Playwriting Award finalist, 2022 Know Theatre production), Call Out Culture: or, the unbearable whiteness of being (2021 NADIA Amplified Currents Festival, 2019 Ars Nova’s ANTFest), and The Well-Tempered Clavier (2020 BAPF finalist.) Garvin is the recipient of six Kennedy Center awards and is a member of The Coop’s Clusterf**k, Playground NY, and Pipeline Theater Company’s Playlab. Their plays have been developed with The Alliance Theater, Montana Repertory Theater, and College of the Holy Cross, and have been produced at New York venues including Dixon Place, the New Ohio, and Ars Nova. Garvin is the BAPF Season 45 Play Selection Advisor and a founding member of Undiscovered Countries, a Brooklyn-based incubator of new interdisciplinary art. Kaela currently teaches playwriting at Cornish College of the Arts. MFA, Indiana University; BFA, NYU. www.kaelameishinggarvin.com

Rachel Glass is a professional actress, voice artist, broadcaster,
director, teacher, and coach. She currently works and has made her living in the performing arts industry for over 30 years on the stage, in film and television, radio, voiceovers, commercials, and audiobooks. She has undergone years of extensive, master-level, and international training in performance, text analysis, voice-overs, and voice acting. As a dialect and language specialist, Rachel has coached performers in dialects and foreign languages for more than two decades. She served as the dialect coach for Book-It Repertory Theatre’s World Premiere productions of Moby Dick and Dracula, as well as for several regional theatres around the country.

Rachel also coaches public speaking and has created her own program which she teaches nationally. She is a regular company member with Aural Vision, which produces a host of live and nationally syndicated weekly radio theatre series. Rachel is the Announcer for the Hilary Caine Detective Series, and plays many featured characters.

Joe Guppy won 8 regional Emmys and a national Writers Guild award for comedy writing and performing. He’s a former head writer/cast member for the Seattle comedy show Almost Live, which ran for 15 seasons on KING-TV5. Joe is a founding member of the seminal Seattle improv/ comedy troupe Off the Wall Players and Seattle TheatreSports. He has written TV scripts for Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment and director John Landis (Blues Brothers, Animal House). He has taught at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle University, and Unexpected Productions at the Market Theatre.

Joe appears semi-regularly in the Market Theatre’s “Loose Cannons” improv show with fellow Freehold teacher Matt Smith. 

Gin Hammond is a Harvard University/Moscow Art Theatre MFA graduate and a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework™. She has performed nationally at theatres such as The Guthrie, Arena Stage, The Longwharf Theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse, the ART, The Berkshire Theatre Festival and The Studio Theatre in Washington D.C., where she won a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for her performance of The Syringa Tree. Internationally, she has performed in Russia, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England and Belgium. Ms. Hammond also received a Kathleen Cornell award, and WA state grants from Allied Arts, The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Artist Trust, 4 Culture, as well as from the NEA, and has recently been nominated for a WA State Governor’s Arts & Heritage Award. Hammond teaches voice, voice-over, public speaking, and dialect coaching, and can be heard on commercials, audiobooks, radio plays, and a variety of video games including BattleTech, DotA 2, State of Decay 1 & 2, Aion, and Halo 3 ODST. Around Seattle she has performed at ACT Theater, Seattle Children’s Theater, Book-It Repertory Theater, Washington Ensemble Theater and various Sandbox Artists Collective productions.  Hammond has also been a dialect and vocal coach for 60+ shows for ACT Theater, 5thAve. Theater, Seattle Rep, Book-It, Taproot, Seattle Children’s Theater, Village Theater, and films, and she was the director and dialect coach for the video game, Post-Human W.A.R., and has begun working in the fields of motion capture and volumetric video.  

 MFA, The American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University/ Moscow Art Theatre

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Uncensored (Book-It Repertory Theatre); The Syringa Tree (National Tour); Ed: Downloaded (Washington Ensemble Theater); Polk County (Arena Stage); Big White Fog (Guthrie Theater)

Sarah Harlett has been an active member of the Seattle Theater community for many years. Locally, she has been seen at ACT, Seattle Children’s Theater, Intiman, New City Theater, Seattle Shakespeare Company, The Empty Space and On the Boards. Local credits include: MiddletownA Christmas CarolAll’s Well That Ends WellNight of the Living Dead100 DressesBunniculaThe Winter’s TaleFar Away, and Valley of the Dolls.  Internationally, she performed at the Centre de Danse in Paris, France with the Megan Murphy Company, staying to create a new performance piece with European artists. Sarah was a founding member of the Compound Collective, an nationally-acclaimed performance group in Seattle that focused on original works.  Sarah currently also teaches at Cornish College of the Arts.

 Cornish College of the Arts; Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland; Royal Shakespeare Company at Oxford University; recipient of the Derek Jacobi Scholarship at Oxford

 Middletown, Valley of the Dolls, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Winter’s Tale, Night of the Living Dead

HATLO is a queer artist living and making work as a guest on the land of the Duwamish Tribe, colonized as the city of Seattle. A versatile collaborator, Hatlo mixes a variety of generative roles (directing, dramaturgy, writing, performing etc) to support the development of new performance experiments. Hatlo has worked with over a dozen celebrated Northwest performing artists and companies to create world premieres across multiple disciplines. Frequent collaborators include Timothy White-Eagle, Markeith Wiley, Rosa Vissers (as PE|Mo), Dani Tirrell, Fox Whitney and Shontina Vernon. Hatlo has been nominated for a Gregory New Play Award for their original play STUCK and for a Stranger Genius award as part of the creative team for Thatswhatshesaid. Hatlo was the 2019 Seattle Town Hall Artist-in-Residence, where they facilitated the SOW Queer residency + showcase with 50 local artists. Hatlo, Timothy White Eagle and Paul Budraitis collaborate as The Violet Triangle. Their recent work The Indigo Room premiered at La Mama Experimental Theater Club in NYC in November 2021 and will return there as part of The Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival in January 2023.

Elizabeth Heffron is a Seattle-based playwright.  Her full-length play, Bo-Nita, received a 2014 Edgarton New Play Award from TCG and premiere productions at Seattle Repertory Theatre and Portland Center Stage; where it was developed at the JAW Festival of New Plays.  Her most recent work, Portugal, received a 2016 Holland New Voices Playwright Award and a MainStage reading at the Great Plains Theatre Conference.  The play has been developed through the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, ACT Theatre Playwrights Circle, and the Seattle Rep Writers Group Showcase of New Work.  Her play, The Weatherman Project (with Kit Bakke), was part of the Seattle Rep’s inaugural New Play Festival in February 2013, and the Hollins Playwrights Festival in Roanoke, Virginia the following July. Other full-length plays include New Patagonia, produced by Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Mitzi’s Abortion: A Saint’s Guide to Late-Term Politics and Medicine in America, which received ACT Theatre’s New Play Award and a world premiere production at ACT Theatre in 2006. Since then, the play has been produced across the country, published by Original Works Publishing, and included in the anthology ‘MANIFESTO v.3: Here’s to a Theater of Defiance’, edited by Naomi Iizuka.  She has written work locally for 14/48:The World’s Quickest Theater Festival, Annex Theatre, One Reel Productions, and New City Theatre, among others.  She is a Staff Writer for Sandbox Radio Live, and her radio plays can be heard by downloading them from iTunes or Stitcher.  Elizabeth has received grants from the Seattle Arts Commission, and a fellowship from Artists Trust/Washington State Arts Commission.  She currently teaches at Cornish College of the Arts, ACT Young Playwrights Program, and at Freehold Theatre/Lab, where she has spent 6 seasons working with the women of the Washington Correctional Center for Women on inmate-generated performance pieces.  She is an alumna of the Seattle Rep Writers Group, a member of the Sandbox Artists Collective, and the Dramatists Guild. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Hollins Playwrights Lab.

 MFA in Playwriting from the Hollins Playwrights Lab

 Bo-Nita, Portugal, Mitzi’s Abortion, An Altered Life, Her Mother Was Imagination, New Patagonia

Drew Hobson (He/Him) is a local BIPOC Actor, Voice Over Artist and Teaching Artist (for over 20yrs). He is also a Motivational Speaker, Screen & Playwright, and DJ.

His voice can be heard in commercials for such companies as Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, WA Lotto, AARP, UW Sports Medicine, and many more. In video game voice over, he can be heard in State of Decay 1 & 2, BattleTech, Fire Emblem Heroes, Lost Within, Guild Wars 2, and the PSVR game Golem. He was recently cast in the new MARVEL MOVE exercise app voicing the X-Men character Forge.

Other organizations Drew has taught with include Red Eagle Soaring, Rainier Valley Youth Theatre, Broadway Bound, Second Story Rep, and Evergreen State College.


David is the Founding Artistic Director of ReAct. In addition to his ReActcredits, David has worked locally with many theaters including Book-It Repertory, Seattle Public Theatre, 14/48, Many Hats Theatre, 5th Avenue, Centerstage, ArtsWest, Freehold. OnWard Ho!, NWAAT, Music Theatre Works, Rain Country Players, Infinity Box, UW Opera, Seattle Opera, the UW School of Drama, SiS Productions and the Washington Asian American Theatre where he directed their inaugural production of Yankee Dawg You Die.

Seattle audiences may have seen him in Book-It’s productions of The Brothers K and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, as well as in The Happy Ones and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Seattle Public. He also recently starred in the world premieres of The Last Croissant with Many Hats Theatre, Death on the Supermarket Shelf at Centerstage, and Royal Blood at Onward Ho! His NWAAT stage credits include The Skin of Our TeethGodzilla Comes to Little TokyoMiss Minidoka 1943 (3rd Run), a staged reading of The Bird and understudy performances in Gold Watch and Yeb-Yang-Ah. He has appeared in Fahrenheit 451 with Music Theatre Works and The Curious Savage with Rain Country Players.

David has appeared on television in recent Seattle commercials for Zolastar, Lifewise Insurance, Microsoft and for the Asian Counseling & Referral Service.

Kathy Hsieh (she/her) is an award-winning theatre artist who has worked with many theatres in town (Seattle Rep, Intiman, ACT, ArtsWest, Seattle Public, WET, PFP, ReAct) and spent 7 years touring the country with Living Voices. She also produces and directs and has served as a casting consultant for many theatre and film projects. Most recently she has performed with Seattle Shakespeare’s Wooden O in The Tempest and Henry IV, Strawberry Theatre’s Gloria: A Life, Pony World Theatre’s Not Our Town, The Shattered Glass Project’s Want, Book-It Rep’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Sound Theatre’s Gaslight, and Macha Theatre’s Notes for My Daughter and Snow Woman.

John Jacobsen is the Emmy-winning director and host of the national PBS television show The Artist Toolbox and principal partner of the film company MogaJacobsen.  He has written, directed, and produced feature films in Los Angeles, worked on and off Broadway in New York, directed commercials all over the world, but lives here in Seattle where he writes, directs, and teaches at Freehold, Seattle University, and the University of Washington. He co-founded TheFilmSchool and was its Executive Director for ten years, and has taught at UCLA, and many fine institutions across the country. 

Kevin Joyce is an actor, composer, comedian, writer and character performer who has worked as a performing artist in the Puget Sound for over 30 years.  He is a Co-Founder of UMO Ensemble, logging over 1000 performances, co-creating 10 pieces, and composing vocal music for the Vashon-based physical theatre group. He has been a principal performer and director with Teatro Zinzanni since 2001, and is Co-Principle of EnJoy Productions, along with his partner Martha Enson. EnJoy produces theater, spectacle and interactive events across the country for corporate, non-profit and civic clients. Kevin created the award-winning solo show A Pale and Lovely Place, as well as producing and hosting the TV pilot Survival Skills and Seattle Channel’s variety show Big Night Out. With EnJoy Productions, Kevin writes and performs characters, music and hosting for 50+ live events per year. He has studied with Ruth Zaporah, Meredith Monk, the Comediants (Spain), worked with directors Nikki Appino and Robin Lynn Smith, and performed with Joan Baez and Phillip Glass.

Marc Kenison began his formal dance training at the Interlochen Arts Academy and went on to receive his BFA from The Juilliard School. Upon graduating, Mr. Kenison joined The Jose Limon Dance Company, with whom he danced leading roles worldwide. In 1996 he joined Tere O’Connor Dance and collaborated with Mr. O’Connor on the creation of four new dance-theater works which were toured internationally and domestically.  In 2004, Mr. Kenison received his MFA in Acting from the University of Washington and Co-Founded the Washington Ensemble Theatre. At W.E.T., he worked as a co-artistic director, actor, box office and facilities manager, casting director and director of operations.
In 2006, Mr. Kenison created the burlesque personae “Waxie Moon” (a gender-blending queer lady boylesque performance-art stripping sensation). His original performance work (as Waxie Moon) has been seen at various venues throughout Seattle (including Key Arena, On The Boards, The Triple Door, The Seattle Rep, ACT Theatre and The Moore Theater), New York (including The Gramercy Theater, The Judson Church, The 92nd Street Y, and WAX), Las Vegas (The Burlesque Hall of Fame), Tokyo and Takamatsu, Japan; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; and Vienna, Austria.
He has taught performance extensively (including NYU, Rutgers University, The University of Washington, Cornish College for the Arts, American University, The Academy of Burlesque and various dance and burlesque festivals worldwide). In 2010 he was nominated for a Gregory Award (Excellence in Theater, Washington State).
 BFA in Dance, Julliard; MFA in Acting, University of Washington
Josh Kenji is a multi-disciplinary actor and theatre artist. He is a former graduate of the University of Washington with degrees in Drama Performance, Musical Theatre, and Voice Performance. Growing up as a queer, multicultural, third-culture kid, Josh is passionate about giving voice to underrepresented stories in all their forms. The driving force in their work is to investigate how we can experience the visceral sensations of being alive, here and now
Josh has performed with local theatre companies including Seattle Rep, ACT, Village Theatre, 5th Ave Theatre, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, Sound Theatre, and others.

Mik Kuhlman based in Seattle and NYC, works across many genres, cultures and forms with numerous international artistic collaborations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Here in Seattle she’s been a company member of both Seattle Mime Theatre and UMO Ensemble. She holds an MFA in Acting from CalArts with continued education at Ecole Jacques Lecoq (LEM) and Ecole Philippe Gaulier (clown).  (mikkuhlman.com)

 MFA in Acting CalArts

John Patrick Lowrie, co-winner of the Best Script for an Audio Drama at the 2015 Moondance International Film Festival and winner of the Best Audio Drama Actor award and Best Audio Drama Adaptation Award at the 2014 Moondance International Film Festival, is the voice of the Sniper in TF2; Pudge, Storm Spirit, Doom, Earthshaker, Shadow Fiend, Ancient Apparition and Dark Seer in DOTA2, Balaram in Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Sword Control in Halo:Reach, Commissioner Kinsler in Halo:ODST, Warden in Infamous, Harold Keegan in F.E.A.R.2: Project Origin, Odessa Cubbage and Citizens in Half-Life2, Agent Gray in The Matrix Online, Hermes Haight and Sergei in The Suffering, Bruno Lawrie in NOLF and NOLF2, Tammany in Police Quest: SWAT2, the narrator in Total Annihilation as well as characters in many other video games.  He lives in Seattle with his wife of 33 years, Ellen McLain, the voice of GLaDOS in the Portal games.  He has worked as a professional performer all his life, from guitarist and composer to actor, director, conductor and author.  His first novel, Dancing With Eternity, won the Foreword Firsts Award for best debut fiction in 2011.  Dancing With Eternity was released as an audiobook in June of 2014.

Iveliz Martel (she/her) is a Chilean actor who graduated from the MFA in Acting program at the UW School of Drama. You may have seen her work at Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Yun Theatre, eSe Teatro, Strawberry Jam at 12th Ave Arts, and Distillery New Works Festival at Macha Theatre Works. She has also performed at Base Art Space with her solo show Buda Errante for 12 Min Max, and at 18th & Union, where she presented the solo clown show Tutti Frutti Soap Opera, co-created with Bradley Wrenn. Iveliz also holds an MS in Science Journalism and has developed a career as a radio reporter in her country. As a teacher, she has taught Introduction to Radio Journalism at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Devising and Collaboration at Cornish College of the Arts, and Acting Tools for Public Speaking with an ESL focus at Yun Theatre. IG: @Ivelizacting

Meg McLynn is an actor and singer who has traveled to all 50 states and performed in many of them. New York and regional credits include Classic Stage Company, HERE Arts Center, The Ohio, The Mint, Theatre for a New City, Huntington Theatre Company, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Saltbox Theatre Workshop and others.  Locally, Meg has performed with Wooden O, Book-It Rep, Seattle Symphony, ArtsWest, Seattle Opera, On the Boards, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Theatre22, STAGEright, Centerstage, New City Theatre, Tacoma Actor’s Guild, Consolidated Works, Theater Schmeater, Theatre Off Jackson and Seattle Public Theatre. As a concert soloist, she performs the songbooks of Patsy Cline, Judy Garland, and Carly Simon with Purple Phoenix Productions, and she has been an Anthem Singer for the Seattle Seahawks.

As a teaching artist, Meg spent seasons working with Open Door, Idaho Shakespeare, and Living Voices, with whom she served as New York Associate Director.  She has assisted with voice training at Columbia Business School and World Leaders Forum. Meg teaches Voice and Speech at Cornish College of the Arts, and she serves as a vocal coach with Jack Straw Studios and Seattle World School.  Meg studied voice for 7 years under Kristin Linklater, receiving her BFA from Emerson College and her MFA from Columbia University, where she also studied with Andrei Serban, Anne Bogart and SITI Company.

 MFA, Columbia University; BFA, Emerson College

Sara Porkalob (she/her) is an award winning artist-activist and creator of the DRAGON CYCLE based in Seattle but soon to be working all over the nation. She’s featured in Seattle Times “11 Movers and Shakers to Watch this Decade”, Seattle Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2018, and City Art’s 2017 Futures List and was a 2019 nominee for Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities. She will be making her Broadway debut in 2021 playing Edward Rutledge in the official revival of the musical 1776

Last year, she collaborated as a writer and consultant with the City of Seattle and their Creative Strategies Initiative (CSI), a new City effort that uses arts- and culture-based approaches to build racial equity in non-arts policy areas like the environment, housing, workforce and community development. Earlier this year Cafe Nordo produced her Victorian revenge thriller,  The Angel in the House, and Artswest will produce her new play Alex & Alix this summer.

Mr Rodriquez is an actor, musician, and visual artist based in Seattle Washington. He has performed with Café Nordo, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Capitol Hill Arts Center, Seattle Shakespeare Company, The New Amerikan Theatre, Edge Theatre Ensemble, and The Community Theatre. In 2012 he toured the Canadian Fringe circuit with an original work titled Fancy Mud created by the absurdist trio Le Frenchword. He was an actor in the Freehold’s Engaged Theatre tour of Shakespeare’s Othello, and Henry IV and is a teaching artist at Freehold’s Engaged Theatre residencies at Monroe Correctional Facility and Echo Glen Juvenile Detention Center, and Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. 

Matt Smith is an actor, auctioneer, writer, improv teacher, and communication coach. His screen credits include My Last Year with the NunsOutsourcedSleepless in SeattleSpidermanWhite FaceThe Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, and KING TV’s Almost Live. Original solo plays include My Last Year with the Nuns, My Boat to Bainbridge, Helium, Beyond Kindness: A Childcare Guide, and All My Children.

Matt was a founding member of both Stark/Raving Theatre (1988-95) with Edward Sampson, andSeattle Improv (1985-88) with Sampson & Roberta Maguire. He was artistic director of Seattle Theatre Sports in 1985.

He is a partner with Cookus Interruptus, the popular web based cooking show where healthy meets funny.  Matt is also an ambassador for Hanford Challenge, dedicated to the clean-up of The Hanford Nuclear Waste Site.  He has taught improvisation at hundreds of companies and schools, to actors and non-actors.


Stage: My Boat to Bainbridge, My Last Year with the Nuns, All My Children

Screen: My Last Year with the NunsOutsourced, Spiderman, Sleepless in Seattle

Robin Lynn Smith is a Founding Partner and Artistic Director for Freehold Studio/Theatre Lab in Seattle. She has worked for the past thirty-five years acting, directing and teaching in Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and New York where she directed Curse of the Starving Class Off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre.  She has directed in Regional Theatres and is presently directing Freehold’s  Engaged Theatre Program which tours Shakespeare productions to prisons, projects, and tent cities, for which she has directed Othello, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Cymbeline, A Winter’s TaleThe Tempest, and The Merchant of Venice.  At Freehold she directed the award-winning production of Chekhov’s The SeagullThree SistersAn Altered Life, and Veronika Falling.   She was an Artist in Residence at the Seattle Repertory Theatre with Dan Sullivan, and directed several productions including Marvin’s RoomFrankie and Jonnie in the Claire de LuneCity of Gold, and the developmental workshop of Elizabeth Heffon’s New Patagonia.  She has also directed in Seattle at ACT, On The Boards, The Empty Space, New City Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Intiman where she was an Affiliate Artist with Bartlett Sher.  She has an MFA from NYU TSOA, and she is currently on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts. She is featured in ACTING TEACHERS OF AMERICA, and she is a member of SDC and a finalist for SDCF’s inaugural Zelda Fichandler Award. She is the 2008 recipient of the The Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award. 

 MFA, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University

 Curse of the Starving Class, Julius Caesar, The Seagull, City of Gold

Ms. Thone has been a working actor in Seattle since 1993.  She has spent most of her 30 years in the NW working on the plays of William Shakespeare—as an actor (Cleopatra, Prospero, Lady Macbeth, Cassius, Shylock, Beatrice, Titus, King John, Helena, Adriana, Emilia, Goneril, Paulina, the Chorus, plus many more), a dramaturge, and a teacher (University of Washington, Cornish College, Freehold Studio).  Amy is the super proud mother of two beautiful daughters, one of whom is now a cosmonaut!!  

Dan Tierney has worked professionally for the past twenty years. Locally, he’s performed at the Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, On the Boards, Empty Space Theatre, Bathhouse Theatre, Tacoma Actor’s Guild, Seattle Group Theatre, and has been part of nine seasons, as an actor, or director, with Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Wooden O Productions. Dan has also worked as a company actor for two seasons at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. 

He has appeared in two films by renowned filmmaker, Guy Maddin, and toured internationally with a multi-media production of “Brand Upon the Brain!”, appearing at the Lincoln Center, as well as theatres in Berlin, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and throughout the US and Canada, working with artists, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Isabella Rossellini, Geraldine Chaplin, Eli Wallach and Crispin Glover.

 MFA in Acting, Professional Actor Training Program, University of Washington
Annette Toutonghi has been an active member of the theatre community in the Northwest for many years. Some of the theatres she’s worked with locally include ACT Theatre, The Seattle Repertory Theatre, On the Boards, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Theatre Off Jackson, The Empty Space Theatre, the 14/48 Theatre Festival, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Seattle Group Theatre, and Intiman Theatre.
Favorite performances include The Rich Grandeur of Boxing with Megan Murphy and Company at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris, The Women at ACT Theatre and You Can’t Take It With You at The Seattle Repertory Theatre. Annette works in voice over and film as well. Credits include Freddi in the acclaimed Freddi Fish series, Sly Cooper  and Lane 1974 among others.


Past Faculty 

Christine Marie Brown made her Broadway debut in the Tony-award winning production of both parts of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV. She has also appeared Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons and in an award-winning NYC Fringe Festival production of Harold Pinter’s Ashes to Ashes. Nationally, her work includes leading roles at The Guthrie, The Old Globe, South Coast Rep, Baltimore Centerstage, Shakespeare & Company, Buffalo Studio Arena, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, American Shakespeare Center, Kansas City Rep and TUTA (Chicago). Locally, her work has been seen at Seattle Rep, ACT, Seattle Shakespeare, Village Theatre, Book-It Rep, Taproot Theatre, Theatre22, Thalia’s Umbrella, 5th Avenue NextFest, 14/48 Festival, Theatre Anonymous, Engaged Theatre Program, Sandbox Radio, SOAPFest, ESTP and Northwest Playwrights’ Alliance. In addition, she is a vocal coach at Jack Straw Productions and an occasional dialect coach for Taproot Theatre. She has also taught auditioning at Cornish College of the Arts’ summer theatre intensive for high school students and English pronunciation at the Seattle World School for ESL immigrant students. As a member of the faculty at Freehold Theatre Lab in Seattle, she teaches Intro to Acting, Auditioning, Beginning Scene Study, Advanced Scene Study and Rehearsal & Performance. She holds an MFA in Acting from the Old Globe Theatre and a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Sandbox Artists’ Collective, AEA & SAG-AFTRA.

Education: BA University of Maryland; MFA Old Globe Theatre

Henry IV (Lincoln Center Theatre); Canary (Playwrights Horizons); A Christmas Carol, Mr. Burns, The Pitmen Painters (ACT); Romeo & Juliet (The Guthrie Theater); The Importance of Being Earnest (South Coast Repertory); Sherlock Holmes & the American Problem, Twelfth Night (Seattle Repertory Theatre); The Three Sisters (Baltimore Centerstage); Trying, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Over the River & Through the Woods, Twelfth Night, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Old Globe Theatre); Tartuffe, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Seattle Shakespeare Company); Downstairs (Theatre22); When Love Speaks (Thalia’s Umbrella); Evidence of Things Unseen (Taproot Theatre); As You Like It, Othello (Shakespeare & Company); Man & Superman (Kansas City Repertory); A Thousand Clowns (Buffalo Studio Arena Theatre); Othello, Arcadia & The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Henry IV & King Lear (Engaged Theatre Program); Into the Woods, Mary Poppins, Festival of New Musicals, ’13 (Village Theatre); Once in a Lifetime, It’s A Wonderful Life (Theatre Anonymous); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, Love’s Labor’s Lost (American Shakespeare Center); 14/48 Festivals, ’12, ’13, ’14 and first ever outdoor fest, numerous radio shows with Sandbox Radio and many readings with ESTP.

Sunam Ellis is an MFA grad from UW, she has worked on productions and readings with Book-It, Seattle Shakespeare, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Sound Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Theatre22, The Horse in Motion, and Seattle Public Theater. Favorite local roles include Marie in The Wellesley Girl, Eleanor in Bring Down the House, Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, and Margery in Hand to God. Next, Sunam can be seen in the upstart crow/Seattle Shakespeare collaboration of Richard III. Sunam is supported in her work by her amazing husband, Joshua, and three wonderful children: Nolan, Jacob, and Moira.

Adam Ende is a puppet show maker, founder and janitor of Jawbone Puppet Theater. Since Puppetry encompasses all the arts, my skills include writing, drawing, painting, tailoring, carpentry, acting, music, sculpting & constructing in clay, as well as unusual and cast off materials such as cardboard, newspaper, plastic bottles, bones, doll parts, broken instruments, etc.

Reginald Andre Jackson has spent the last two decades in Seattle as a professional actor, playwright, and instructor. Apart from touring in four of Mr. Shakespeare’s works with Freehold’s Engaged Theatre Program, he has taken roles in eleven of his plays at Seattle Shakespeare Company, and undertaken the role of Othello for the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Company, among others. His work in the local theatre scene includes, but is not limited to, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman, ACT, Book-it, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Wooden O.

 As a playwright, Mr. Jackson is the proud recipient of the American Alliance of Theatre and Education’s 2010 Distinguished Play Award, in the category of adaptation, for his Book-it style take on Christopher Paul Curtis’ wonderful novel, Bud, Not Buddy. His adaptation of Mr. Curtis’ first novel, The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963, is due to be published in 2011.

Work in educational outreach includes Intiman Theatre’s award winning Living History program, Book-It Repertory Theatre’s Book-It All Over, and the Drama School at Seattle Children’s Theatre.


 Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman, ACT, Book-It, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Strawberry Theatre Workshop

Alyssa Keene has worked as an actor, voice talent, musician, and dialect coach in Seattle since 2000. She has coached dialect for numerous theaters including Seattle Children’s Theatre, 5th Ave., ACT, Seattle Repertory Theatre, CHAC, Taproot Theater, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Village Theater, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Theater Schmeater. As an actor, she has worked at the Intiman Theater, Seattle Children’s Theater, Theater Schmeater, ACT, CHAC, Consolidated Works, Open Circle Theatre, Balagan, and others. Alyssa has done on-camera and voice-over work for several regional and national companies, including Microsoft, Coldwell Banker, Taco Time, Tractor Supply, Albertson’s, Hoyle Card Games, Northwest Source, HerInteractive, and Tulalip Casino. Alyssa has been an adjunct faculty member of the theater department at Cornish College of the Arts since 2002, teaching speech and dialects as well as teaching with the Young Actor’s Institute at Seattle Children’s Theater. She is also a member of the local country band Purty Mouth.

Alyssa teachers in Freehold’s Ensemble Training Program.

 Cornish College of the Arts: BFA in Acting, Merit Scholar, Magna Cum Laud

All the King’s Men, Our Town, Cymbeline (Intiman Theatre); Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Frog and Toad, Seussical, Junie B Jones…, Busytown, The Brementown Musicians (Seattle Children’s Theatre); Red Ranger Came Calling (Book-It Repertory); She Loves Me (Second Story Repertory); Archangels Don’t Play Pinball (Capitol Hill Arts Center); Ondine, VIC: Spirit Made Flesh (Open Circle Theater); Rapture of the Deep, The Full MontyThe Spinning (Balagan Theatre); Blue Surge (Bad Monkey Productions); Evening…Shel Silverstein, Adventures in Mating, Catch 22, God Damn Tom, The Country Wife, The Rover (Theater Schmeater)

Darragh Kennan has been acting and teaching in the Seattle area since 2000. He was the Artistic Director of New Century Theatre Company (NCTC) from 2001-2017. As a director, Darragh’s credits include Much Ado About Nothing(Post 5 Theatre, Portland), Eurydice (Centralia College),Tails of Wasps (NCTC), Waiting for Lefty, and Stupid Fucking Bird (Freehold Theatre’s Rehearsal and Performance class). As an actor, Darragh has appeared locally with New Century Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, Seattle Children’s Theatre, 14/48, and Seattle Shakespeare Company. Regionally, Darragh has worked for American Players Theatre (ten seasons), Arizona Theatre Company, The Folger Theatre in Washington D.C., The Guthrie Theater, A Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Madison Repertory Theatre, Willamette Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. Film and TV work includes the Seattle-based podcast series What the Funny (directed by Lynn Shelton) and the feature film The Suit. Awards include the 2011 Gregory Award for Hamlet (Seattle Shakespeare Company), and Seattle Magazine’s 2012 actor of the year. Darragh lives on Vashon Island with his wife Jessica and their two children, Máire and Finn.


The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes and The American Problem, Clybourne Park, Sylvia (Seattle Repertory Theatre), The Time of Your Life (Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT in San Francisco), Alex and Aris, Bethany, Dumb Waiter (ACT ) Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Strawberry Theatre Workshop), The Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s TaleHamletAntony and Cleopatra (Seattle Shakespeare Company),  The Adding Machine,The Trial, The Walworth Farce, The Big Meal(New Century Theatre Company)

George Lewis (Founding Partner, Freehold) has been working in physical theatre since 1971. He has been performing, directing, and ultimately teaching clown since 1985. His background includes intensive studies in Corporeal Mime with Etienne Decroux and at the French National Circus School in Paris; Acting with Robin Lynn Smith and Tony Pasqualini; Meyerhold’s Biomechanics with Gennadi Bogdanov; and Clown with Sue Morrison in Toronto, Ronlin Forman at the Dell’Arte school, and a host of teachers in Buenos Aires where he currently resides. His teaching of Clown at Freehold Theatre – first begun in 2001 with UMO’s Janet McAlpin – has been a launching spot for a number of Seattle’s working clowns. His own clown work has been seen at the Lincoln Center Outdoor Festival in New York, as well as in theatres in Boston, Seattle, and Buenos Aires. He has co-created and directed five full length clown pieces in Argentina, and, most recently in Seattle, FANCY MUD with Seattle’s absurdist trio Le Frenchword.

Mark Lutwak is a freelance stage director recently relocated to Seattle for the second time in 20 years. First time around, he directed for the Seattle Group Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Annex Theatre and Theatre Under the Influence. He has been director of education for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, artistic director for Honolulu Theatre for Youth, executive director for Rain City Projects, program director for El Taller Latinoamericano, and artistic director for Theatre for Your Mother. He has been a freelance director since 1976, directing across the U.S., with a focus on new plays for adults, families and children. He also has produced and directed award-winning educational media, and produced a wide variety of projects for non-profits arts, community and educational organizations. He lives with playwright Y York and their dogs on Beacon Hill. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers (SDC).

Cathy Madden is Sr. Lecturer for the University of Washington Professional Actor Training Program, Director of the Alexander Technique Training and Peformance Studio, Associate Director and Director of Research for ATA (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka), and Theatrical Director for Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders.  She is also active as a Director for the University of Washington.

Her most recent productions have been Two Sisters and a Piano, Bold Girls, Mother Teresa is Dead, The Portrait The Wind The Chair and Mischiefmakers.  Cathy’s joy and fascination with the Alexander Technique is with its practicality and its effectiveness. In her initial studies, she found out that she could have greater physical and vocal freedom in her acting, as well as increased creativity and spontaneity.


 Two Sisters and a Piano, Bold Girls, Mother Teresa is Dead, The Portrait The Wind The Chair

Cherry Manhattan has been putting the ass back in classy as a neo-burlesque performer and producer since 2007, and is the alter-ego of acclaimed Seattle director Katjana Vadeboncoeur.  Katjana currently teaches Neo-Burlesque Theory & Performance as an Adjunct Instructor at Cornish College of the Arts, where she has taught and directed for the past ten years.  A classically trained actor and director, Katjana has the ability to bring out the unique creativity in emerging artists, and give them the direction, motivation and encouragement to own their skills and share them confidently onstage.   She holds a degree from the University of California at Irvine, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, and has taught actors at UW, Cornish, Seattle Center Academy, the Northwest School, Pierce Community College, and was a resident instructor and staff member at Seattle Shakespeare Company.   Katjana was a Co-Artistic Director at Washington Ensemble Theater (2006-10) , where she received a Seattle Times Footlight Award for Best Off-Broadway Production.  She recently co-produced, directed and starred in the Seattle Premiere of the 1950’s lesbian-pulp cult hit  Beebo Brinker Chronicles including sold out shows at Re-bar and ACT Theater’s Central Heating Lab, and created and co-produced the acclaimed  ‘burlexpose’ The Beyond Real Human Female at Theater Off-Jackson, as part of SPF: Solo Performance Festival. Cherry has performed burlesque at venues all over Seattle, including ACT, On the Boards, Triple Door, the Can Can, Re-bar, the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, Teatro Zinzanni and Bumbershoot.  Katjana is an Associate Member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Tony Award winning Actress, Dinah Manoff was born in New York City to actress Lee Grant and writer Arnold Manoff.

She won both a  Theater World and Tony Award as Best Featured Actress for her performance in the Broadway production of Neil Simon’s “I Ought To Be In Pictures.”  She reprised the role in the motion picture of the same title.

Her numerous theater credits include Broadway’s “Leader of the Pack,” “Alfred and Victoria” at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Tenessee William’s “Kingdom of Earth” at Theatre West and Donald Margulies “Gifted Children” at the JRT Off-Broadway. She won a Dramalogue Award (Best Director of the Year,) for directing “Telegrams From Heaven,” a play starring Renee Taylor — which she co-wrote with Dennis Bailey – – based on her late father’s (Arnold Manoff) novel. 

On television, she was a series regular on “Soap,” and has appeared in numerous TV movies, including “Maid For Each Other,” which she wrote the story for as well.  Manoff is best known for her portrayal as Richard Mulligans daughter “Carol Weston” the character she played for seven years on “Empty Nest”.  More recently she spent two years starring in the highly acclaimed ABC family series “State of Grace,” for which she received a Jewish Image Award. Manoff has also worked as a television director, helming episodes of “Sabrina,” “Movie Stars,” “Brothers,” and numerous episodes of Empty Nest

In feature films, Manoff played the role of Pink Lady Marty Marachino in the movie of Grease. Other film credits include “Ordinary People,”  Bloodhounds of Broadway,” “Child’s Play,” “Staying Together,” “Backfire,” “I Ought to be in Pictures,” “Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael,” and the independent film, “Bart Got a Room.”

Currently Manoff resides with her family on Bainbridge Island where she writes, coaches and teaches acting, and directs theater at BPA and with the Northwest Actors Lab. 

For information on Northwest Actors Lab classes, please email Dinah Manoff or Michelle Allen at nwactorslab@gmail.com 

Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actress

in Neil Simon’s “I Ought To Be In Pictures”

Janet McAlpin (UMO Ensemble Co-Founder/Artistic Director) trained for two years at the School of Jacques LeCoq (Paris, France), co-founded UMO Ensemble and has been teaching, directing and performing physical theater for over 23 years. Janet has taught clown theater at Freehold Studio and Naropa Institute (Boulder, Co). She has directed UMO and Circus Contraption and other small groups. She has performed various characters on different apparatus (Hoops, trapeze, globes and stilts) at Teatro Zinzani, Cirque du Flambe, the Moisture Festival and with UMO Ensemble.

Janet’s most recent creative endeavors have ranged from writing and performing Zen Tales with UMO, creating a duet clown trapeze act with David Godsey and an apple and starting up a venue called Open Space for Arts and Community on Vashon Island. She loves water, and her son Kai who is her clown mentor.

Andrew McGinn has been a professional actor, director, and teacher since his graduation from Juilliard in 1998.  NYC performance credits include Broadway productions of the American premiers Invention of Love, and the Tony Award record-breaking Coast of Utopia.  He has performed in over 150 theater productions at notable venues including Chicago Shakespeare, The Old Globe, Seattle Rep, ACT, The Western Playhouse, New Jersey Shakespeare, The Hangar Theater, The NY Shakespeare Festival / Public Theater (five productions), La Jolla Playhouse, and spent two searson touring classical theater with The Acting Company.  He was also drumming and throwing marshmallows as a Blue Man, performing in NYC.  Since his move to Seattle in 2010 his acting credits have included the title role in Cyrano at Portland Center Stage, the title role in Titus Andronicus at Seattle Shakespeare, the role of Dr. Watson in Seattle Rep’s Hound of Baskervilles and Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem (April 2016), and the role of Falstaff in Freehold’s Engaged Theatre Project productions of Henry IV pts 1&2, and Henry V (playing Falstaff’s ghost as The Chorus)

He began producing and directing in association with NYC’s The Infinite Theatre, directing Seascape with Sharks and DancerLast of my Solid Gold Watches, and Lady of Larkspur Lotion in association with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival, where he also served as Supervising Director.  Andrew earned his MFA in directing at the University of Washington, having directed David Edgar’s Pentecost as his thesis production.  Post-MFA directing credits include Female Transport at Seattle University, Indian Ink at Sound Theatre Company, All’s Well that Ends Well for Freehold’s Ensemble Training Intensive, and Fuente Ovejuna at Cornish College of the Arts.

He is a regular Adjunct professor of Acting / Guest Director at both Cornish College of the Arts and Seattle University.  He has also been the Associate Director of Freehold’s Ensemble Training Intensive, a private 1-year full-time acting conservatory, and he regularly teaches advanced acting courses at Freehold Theatre.  He is also a Vocal Coach at Jack Straw Productions.

 BFA in Acting – The Julliard School; MFA in Directing – University of Washington

Kevin McKeon has an MFA in acting and has taught actor training at UC Davis, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, California Institute of the Arts and Cal Poly Pomona, among others. Local directing credits include Great Expectations, Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler, and his own adaptation of David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars, which has been performed at several regional theaters across the country. Locally as an actor his roles include Arthur in Superior Donuts and the two-hander Slowgirl at Seattle Public, and many performances for Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Rep, Taproot, Freehold, Arts West, New City and others.

Allison Narver is a freelance director whose work has primarily centered on directing and developing new plays and productions.  Regional work includes productions at The Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Fifth Avenue Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, New Century Theatre, Portland Stage Company, The Yale Repertory Theater, Studio Theater, Pittsburgh City Theatre, RedCat Theater, Portland Center Stage and The Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  In New York, her work has been seen at The New Victory Theater, Ars Nova, The Cherry Lane Theater, New Dramatists, The Kirk Theater and The Women’s Project among others. Allison was the Resident Director for The Lion King (Director, Julie Taymor) both in London and on Broadway in New York. She has worked internationally with companies in Palestine, Nairobi and the EU.  She is the former Artistic Director of The Empty Space Theater, Annex Theater and The Yale Cabaret.  Allison has her MFA in directing from The Yale School of Drama

The free, large-scale, site-specific theatrical works of Lucia Neare have inspired thousands. A classical singer, sculptor, designer, director, performer, and producer, she is artistic director of Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders. Neare has received commissions and support from organizations such as 4Culture, Artist Trust, Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, Seattle Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park, On the Boards, Seattle City Light, SAFECO, and Seattle Parks and Recreation. In recognition of her accomplishments in enriching Seattle through the arts, she was awarded a 2012 Mayor’s Arts Award. Lucia received the 2008 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship, Seattle Magazine’s 2008 Spotlight Award, and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs 2007 CityArtists Award. Noted recent creations include Lullaby Moon, a series of large-scale performances over the Seattle area since 2008; Ooo La La: A May Day Spectacular, which transformed downtown Seattle into a grand corridor of whimsy; and Lullaby Carriage in Duvall and Vashon, Washington. Neare studied theater and contemporary performance at Naropa University and is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.

Peter Dylan O’Connor is an actor, teacher, choreographer, director, scenic designer, technical director and producer. As an actor, his favorite roles include Blake in The Walworth Farce, Joe Mitchell in Waiting for Lefty, Charlie Conlin in Stones in his Pockets, Randy Rage in PileDriver!, Caliban in The Tempest, Pip in Three Days of Rain, Billy Herndon in Abe Lincoln in Illinois and the one man show Sex, Drugs Rock-n-Roll. Peter is the Co-Production Manager and Technical Director of New Century Theatre Company. He is also Production Director for The 14/48 Projects. Peter works as the Staff Technical Director and is on faculty at Cornish College of the Arts. In his off hours he builds houses in the Seattle area and looks forward to his next opportunity to travel. He is married to the lovely theatrical practitioner, Betsy Schwartz.

Timothy Piggee has been teaching and performing in the Seattle area for many years. As an actor he has worked on most local stages, including Intiman Theatre, The Group Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Empty Space Theatre, Tacoma Actor’s Guild, A Contemporary Theatre, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. 

Timothy has also taught acting for Seattle Children’s Theatre, Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center, and Cornish College of the Arts.


 Intiman, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Empty Space Theatre, Tacoma Actor’s Guild, ACT, Seattle Repertory Theatre

Michael is an actor, director, producer and educator originally from Seattle. He has appeared on-stage at Intiman, Cincinnati Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, ACT, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Drama League, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Here Arts Center, Yale Repertory Theatre, Book-It and in ten productions as a founding co-artistic director of Washington Ensemble Theatre (’04-’09) and in five productions with Pacific Performance Project/East.  He has directed productions at the Moore Theatre, ACTlab, WET, Here Arts Center, Cornish and the Yale Cabaret, where he was a co-artistic director (Cab44). Michael is the associate artistic director of P3/East, is on faculty at the Seattle Film Institute, Lakeside School and Cornish College of the Arts, is the co-director of the Seattle Children’s Theatre’s YAI program and is the founding curator of One Coast Collaboration, a national bridge-building new play festival. Michael holds a BA from the University of Washington and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama where he was a recipient of the Oliver Thorndike Acting Award.

Hal Ryder was trained at Drama Studio London. He has taught acting for the past 40 years. Mr. Ryder previously served as Artistic Director at: The Mercury Theater London, The Fringe Theater, Orlando, Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater, Seattle Public Theater, and Open Door Theater. He has directed over 250 productions, and produced many others. He helped establish and run Drama Studio London at Berkeley in California. He has also taught acting and other theater subjects in London, Florida, California, and Washington. Hal has headed theater and radio drama projects in Pakistan, Yemen, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Ecuador. He is Professor of Theater, Emeritus at Cornish College of the Arts where he taught for 33 years.

“Butoh is a corpse standing straight up in a desperate bid for life” Tatsumi Hijikata

Vanessa Skantze is a Butoh artist and teacher of yoga and dance from Seattle. She has performed in the U.S. and Europe for over 20 years. She co-founded New Orleans sound/movement ensemble Death Posture in 2002, and collaborates with many renowned musicians including Jarboe and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani. Skantze has trained with Jinen Butoh founder Atsushi Takenouchi since 2003, and performed with him in the U.S. and Europe. Since coming to Seattle in 2004 she has created numerous ensemble works under the name Danse Perdue as well as solo pieces. In 2013 she taught as part of Lydia Lunch’s Post-Catastrophe Collaborative. In 2016 she was a movement director and performer for a production of Henry V with Freehold Engaged Theater, which tours correctional facilities in the Seattle area. She returned as movement director for the 2017 production of Hamlet; and is a teaching artist with Freehold in the women’s correctional facility. She is a co-founder of Teatro de la Psychomachia, a performance space in Seattle that hosts many local, national and international sound and movement artists.

Rhonda J. Soikowski has been acting, directing, and generating new work in collaborative process since 1995. She holds an MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University and a BFA in Acting with an Original Works emphasis from Cornish College of the Arts where she is currently on Faculty in the Theater Department. As a teaching artist, she specializes in integrating mind, voice, body and intention. Local credits include work with Strawshop, Book-It Repertory Theater, Cherry Manhattan Presents, LaCoeur, Freehold’s Engaged Theater Project, and many others. Rhonda is currently involved in research and development for performance pedagogy with a new investigation into Institutionalized Oppression in Art Making. For information about her company, srp – investing in sustainable process for creative artists, check out www.soikowski.com

BFA in Acting: Original Works, Cornish College of the Arts; MFA in Contemporary Performance, Naropa University

Katherine Strohmaier is a local actor and music director, and an adjunct professor at Cornish College of the Arts, where she teaches private voice lessons and assorted musical theater classes. Her Seattle area performance credits include 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Harlequin Productions, Centerstage, Mount Baker Theatre. With the Seattle Symphony, Katherine has been a vocalist for the Lullaby Project (a community program engaging with mothers and families at Mary’s Place), a host and vocalist for educational symphony concerts, as well as a vocalist in Pops concerts. She has sung in concert at the Opéra de Rennes in France, and has toured U.S. cities singing with acclaimed Gershwin pianist Peter Nero.

A mother of two, Rebecca is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Irvine (MFA, Acting), and the Pacific Conservatory Theatre.  She made her professional acting debut as Hero in Much Ado About Nothing at the rebuilt Globe Theatre in London, and has since acted in regional theaters all over the United States.  As a teaching artist, she’s worked with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine; the Alliance Theater in Atlanta; the New York Film Academy; Seattle University; Meadows School of the Arts at SMU; Freehold’s Ensemble Training Intensive and its Engaged Theatre Residency.  Her plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere at venues such as the American Theatre of Actors, Center Stage, and the Barrow Group.  She is the creator of Parley, a playwrights’ group, where she has mentored, directed, and produced over twenty-five world premieres by emerging Seattle writers since 2014.

Kate Wisniewski began her training as an actor as an attempt to better grapple with Shakespeare’s works. Through that work ,she discovered that a flexible, efficient and responsive voice enables you to accurately pursue your intentions and stay true to the meaning of the text. She has appeared in Seattle area theatre at Intiman, ACT, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Empty Space, Tacoma Actors Guild, New Century Theatre and New City Theatre and regionally at The American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA. She is a graduate of the American Repertory Theatre Institute at Harvard and is on the faculty of Seattle University where she teaches acting, Shakespeare and voice. Kate is a founding member of upstart crow, an all-female Shakespeare company.

American Repertory Theatre Institute

ACT, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Empty Space, Tacoma Actors Guild, New Century Theatre 

Y York’s plays have been produced in almost every state, as well as Canada and Australia. Fifteen have been produced in Seattle, including the recent SYCORAX at 18th & Union and THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF NOW which will be premiered by Thalia’s Umbrella at 12th Avenue Arts in the spring.  Her plays for adults are published by Broadway Play Publishing; her plays for young people and families are published by Dramatic Play Publishing; many have been anthologized by Applause Books, Bess Press, Limelight Editions, Pearson/AGS Globe, Smith & Kraus, St. Martin’s Press, and the University of Texas Press. Her work has been workshopped at festivals at the Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Provincetown Playhouse, ASK Theatre Projects, Sundance Playwrights Lab, Arena Stage, San Jose Rep, Vancouver New Play Center, New Harmony Project, and New York Theatre Workshop.

Y has taught playwriting classes and workshops for Freehold Theatre, the University of Washington Extension, Arizona State University, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, People’s Light and Theatre, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Kumu Kahua Theatre, the New Harmony Project, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Bamboo Ridge Press, Ko`olau Writers’ Workshop, and in her living room and online.

Y is the recipient of the Smith Prize for political theatre, the Hawai`i Award for Literature, the Berrilla Kerr Playwriting Award, AATE’s Charlotte Chorpenning Award for the body of her work, and five-time awardee of AATE’s Distinguished Play Award. Y was a member of the Seattle Rep’s Writers’ Group 2015-2017 and is a current member of The Dramatists’ Guild and proud alumna of New Dramatists. For more information, visit http://yyork.com.