"Astoria" Cast and Creative Team
December 6, 2017
Astoria: Part One and Two
Adapted and Directed by Chris Coleman
Based on the book ASTORIA:
John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire,
A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
By Peter Stark
Astoria: Part One
|Leif Norby*||John Jacob Astor/Jacques/Aymes/Robinson/Ensemble|
|Jeremy Aggers*||Donald Mackenzie/R. Stuart/Coles/Ensemble|
|Ben Rosenblatt*||Jonathan Thorn/Joseph/Ensemble|
|Gavin Hoffman*||Duncan McDougall/Hoback/Ensemble|
|Christopher Hirsh*||Alexander McKay/Colter/Ensemble/Musician|
|Nick Ferrucci*||Simon McTavish/A. Ross/John Day/Ensemble|
|Chris Murray*||Antoine Clappine/Fox/Ensemble|
|Ben Newman*||Gabriel Franchère/A. MacKenzie/Reznor/Ensemble|
|Benjamin Tissell||Ramsay Crooks/Small/Ensemble/Musician|
|Michael Morrow Hammack*||Frobisher/Thomas Jefferson/Winton/John Reed/Ensemble|
|F. Tyler Burnet||David Stuart/Bradbury/Ensemble|
|Douglas Dickerman*||Wilson Price Hunt/Ensemble|
|Jimmy Garcia*||Pierre Dorion/Aiken/Ensemble|
|Michael Evans Lopez*||Greene/Les Yeux Gris/2nd Mate/Peter/Ensemble|
|Anthony Lam||Angus/Le Gauche/Harry/Ensemble|
|DeLanna Studi*||Marie Dorion/Sarah Astor/Ensemble|
Astoria: Part Two
|Leif Norby*||John Jacob Astor/D. Thompson/R. McClellan/Ensemble|
|Jeremy Aggers*||Donald Mackenzie/LeClerc/Jackson/Ensemble/Musician|
|Ben Rosenblatt*||Jonathan Thorn/Joseph/John Clarke/Ensemble|
|Gavin Hoffman*||Duncan McDougall/Ensemble|
|Christopher Hirsh*||Robert Stuart/Alexander McKay/Ensemble/Musician|
|Nick Ferrucci*||John Day/A. Ross/Ensemble|
|Ben Newman*||Gabriel Franchère/Ensemble|
|Benjamin Tissell||Ramsay Crooks/Ensemble/Musician|
|Michael Morrow Hammack*||John Reed/Ensemble|
|F. Tyler Burnet||David Stuart/Bradbury/Ensemble|
|Douglas Dickerman*||Wilson Price Hunt/Ensemble|
|Jimmy Garcia*||Pierre Dorion/Ensemble|
|Michael Evans Lopez*||Greene/Tatoebetse/Josechal/Ensemble|
|Anthony Lam||Angus/Wasco Chief/Northrup/Ensemble|
|DeLanna Studi*||Marie Dorion/Sarah Astor/Ensemble|
|Rafael Untalan*||Concomly/J.G. McTavish/Ensemble|
THE CREATIVE TEAM
|Tony Cisek||Scenic Designer|
|Toni-Leslie James||Costume Designer for Astoria: Part One|
|Alex Wren Meadows with Toni-Leslie James||Costume Designer for Astoria: Part Two|
|Diane Ferry Williams||Lighting Designer|
|Mary McDonald-Lewis||Dialect Coach|
|Rick Lewis||Music Director/Vocal Arranger|
|Matthew M. Nielson||Sound Designer|
|Randall Robert Tico||Composer|
|Brandon Woolley||Assistant Director|
|John Armour||Fight Director|
|Christopher Hirsh*||Movement Director|
|F. Tyler Burnet||Fight Captain|
|Benjamin Fainstein||Production Dramaturg|
|Barbara Hort, Ph.D.||Consulting Dramaturg|
|Gadugi Consulting||Cultural Consultant|
|Mark Tynan*||Stage Manager|
|Kristen Mun*||Assistant Stage Manager|
|Will Bailey and Katie Nguyen||Production Assistants|
|Brandon Woolley and Julia Flores Casting||Casting|
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
F. Tyler Burnet
After studying at Southern Oregon University and performing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Jimmy is happy to be back in Portland where he began his acting career years ago on the stages of Milagro, Stark Raving Theater and Portland Center Stage at The Armory. In Southern Oregon, he performed a variety of roles working with such esteemed directors as Bill Rauch, Libby Appel and Pat Patton, to name a few. Most recently, he performed in Artists Repertory Theatre’s An Octoroon and A Civil War Christmas; Profile Theatre’s Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue and Happiest Song Plays Last; and Milagro's world premiere of Òye Oyá.
|Michael Morrow Hammack
Frobisher/Thomas Jefferson/Winton/John Reed/Ensemble
Michael is very excited to be returning to The Armory after last season’s Astoria: Part One. He was last seen as Mike in Trails with Broadway Rose Theatre Company. Other local credits include Mitch in Adrift in Macao with Broadway Rose Theatre Company and Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza with Portland Playhouse. Before returning home to Portland, Michael created the role of Telemachus in the world premiere of Crown of Shadows: The Wake of Odysseus at Round House Theatre in Washington, DC. Favorite roles: Monty in Violet, Gayman in The Lucky Chance, Tim in Suburbia and Peter in Theatreworks USA’s national tour of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He holds a B.F.A. in musical theater from Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. He would like to thank his amazing wife, Caroline; parents, Diane and Fred; and sister, Meghan, for their unconditional love and support. Thank you for supporting live theater!
Alexander McKay/Colter/Robert Stuart/Ensemble/Musician
Christopher is thrilled to return to his home state after making his debut at The Armory last season in Astoria: Part One. Film: God of Love (Oscar, 2011), Asockalypse. TV: A Crime to Remember. NYC: Ensemble/Producer, US by Asia Kate Dillon, Dixon Place; Macbeth, Macbeth, New York Distilling Company. Hartford Stage: John Hancock, POETRY (workshop). HartBeat Ensemble: RFK/Norman Mailer, Jimmy and Lorraine. Barrington Stage Company: Billing, An Enemy of the People. Long Wharf Theatre: Walter/Frank Wild, Endurance. Connecticut Repertory Theatre: Walter Burns, His Girl Friday; Berowne, Love’s Labour’s Lost; Rosse, Macbeth. Two River Theater: Borachio, Much Ado About Nothing. NC Shakes: Ferdinand, The Tempest. Great River Shakespeare Festival: Lucentio, The Taming of the Shrew. Illinois Shakespeare Festival: Chorus/Williams/Constable of France, Henry V. Christopher is a producing director of MIRROR/FIRE productions. Find out more at mirrorfire.org. #BlackLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter
Angus/Le Gauche/Harry/Wasco Chief/Northrup/Ensemble
Anthony is excited to be making his debut at The Armory! He was last seen as Elliot in the trilogy Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue, Water by the Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last at Profile Theatre. His past theater credits include: Michael in the staged reading of Washer/Dryer with Theatre Diaspora and Atómiko in the world premiere of Into the Beautiful North at Milagro. He just finished a feature film in Eugene, OR, and has appeared on NBC’s Grimm, as well as in various commercials throughout the Northwest. He received his B.F.A. in theater arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
|Michael Evans Lopez
Greene/Les Yeux Gris/2nd Mate/Peter/Tatoebetse/Josechal/Ensemble
Michael Evans Lopez is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program. He is thrilled to be debuting at The Armory and delights in the opportunity to work with Chris Coleman again. Fun fact: Chris was Michael’s very first professional director! Michael started his acting career at Actor’s Express, which was created and run by Chris in Atlanta, GA. Favorite recent theater roles include Macedonio Guerra in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Curious Theatre Company in Denver and Jocasta and Tiresias in Oedipus the King at Classic Greek Theatre of Oregon, for which he was awarded a Drammy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Film and TV credits include the award-winning films Santiago and Dust, Reno 911! and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. To learn more about Michael, and to see the spectacular, sci-fi/fantasy short Dust, visit michaelevanslopez.com.
Gabriel Franchère/A. Mackenzie/Reznor/Ensemble
Ben is a theater maker and fly fisherman based out of Portland, OR. He is delighted to be returning to The Armory to finish this journey. International: Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2013. New York: Classic Stage Company, Columbia Stages, Wide Eyed Productions, Theatre for a New Audience. Regional: Portland Shakespeare Project, Creede Repertory Theatre, Shaking the Tree, Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Profile Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Riverside Shakespeare Festival. Upcoming: Between Riverside and Crazy at Artists Repertory Theatre. TV: Grimm, The Librarians. Ben has devised and directed new and classical ensemble-based stories in Portland, Israel, for the University of Northern Colorado, and in New York City. B.A., University of Northern Colorado. M.F.A., University of Missouri – Kansas City. AEA/SAG-AFTRA. mbennewman.com
John Jacob Astor/Jacques/Aymes/Robinson/D. Thompson/R. McClellan/Ensemble
Leif was last seen in A Christmas Memory/Winter Song, Wild and Reckless, Astoria: Part One and The Oregon Trail. Other appearances at The Armory: Professor Willard/Joe Stoddard in Our Town, De Guiche in Cyrano, Rodrigo in Othello, ensemble in Anna Karenina and Sunset Boulevard, Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps, Tateh in Ragtime and Benny in Guys and Dolls. Other credits include Cervantes in Man of La Mancha (Lakewood Theatre Company), Dr. Givings in In the Next Room (Profile Theatre), Tom in The God Game (Brandon Woolley prod.), Bastion in Mr. Kolpert and Jane/Edgar in Mystery of Irma Vep (Third Rail Repertory Theatre), Verne/George in And So It Goes… and Frank Keller in Red Herring (Artists Repertory Theatre), Charlie in The Scene (Portland Playhouse) and Beast in Beauty and the Beast (Pixie Dust). TV credits: Portlandia and Leverage. Leif is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, sends love to his wife, Susie, and thanks you for supporting live theater.
Jonathan Thorn/Joseph/John Clarke/Ensemble
Ben Rosenblatt is thrilled to be returning to The Armory! Last year Ben had the pleasure of performing in Waiting for Godot at the Commencez! International Beckett Festival in Paris, France. In New York, he has appeared at Primary Stages, Project: Theater and in the Drama Desk-nominated production of Death of a Salesman with New Yiddish Rep. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company (DC), Cape May Stage, The Public Theatre (ME), Ivoryton Playhouse and more. As an associate artist of American Records in New York City, Ben has toured United States’ military bases internationally with ReEntry and has been developing his solo play, Hiccups, a docu-drama about OCD. TV: Unforgettable (CBS), Crashing (HBO). Co-host of Love Bites Radio. M.F.A., Brandeis University. B.F.A., University of Connecticut. benrosenblattactor.com
Marie Dorion/Sarah Astor/Ensemble
DeLanna Studi is honored to return to The Armory after making her debut last season in Astoria: Part One. She recently starred in Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Finding Home: Indiana at 200. DeLanna’s Off-Broadway debut in Informed Consent at Duke Theater on 42nd Street was a New York Times Critics’ Pick that described her performance as “moving gravity.” She was a company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for two seasons. She performed in the First National Broadway Tour of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County. Her film credits include the award-winning Hallmark/ABC’s Dreamkeeper and Chris Eyre’s Edge of America. She recently starred in the award-winning short Blessed. Television credits include General Hospital, Showtime’s Shameless and SyFy’s Z-Nation. Her latest project, And So We Walked, written and performed by DeLanna, details her and her father’s journey following their family’s footsteps along the Trail of Tears. She is the chair of the SAG-AFTRA National Native American Committee
Benjamin is delighted to be returning to The Armory to tell this remarkable story. A Portland-based actor, Benjamin has been seen locally in The Angry Brigade (Third Rail Repertory Theatre), Fly By Night (Broadway Rose Theatre Company), Billy Elliot, The Musical (Pixie Dust), Peter and the Starcatcher (Portland Playhouse), Godspell (Lakewood Theatre Company) and many others. Benjamin has also directed locally for Lakewood Theatre Company, Portland Playhouse, Northwest Children's Theatre and others. In addition, Benjamin performs regularly as a singer/songwriter around the region. His music, concert dates and upcoming productions can be found at benjamintissell.com. Benjamin is represented in the Northwest by Mitchell Artist Management.
Rafael Untalan is delighted to be making his debut at The Armory. Currently based out of Washington, DC, Rafael is a native Portlander who spent three years as part of the acting company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has since worked at various theaters across the country, including Cleveland Play House, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, ACT Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Imagination Stage, Theater J and, most recently, Arena Stage. His favorite roles include Sherlock Holmes in Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery; Shag in Equivocation; Rama in The Ramayana; Marcus Gee in Yellow Face (DC Metro Theater Arts 2014, Best Featured Actor in a Play); Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities; Bosola in The Duchess of Malfi; Leontes in The Winter's Tale; and Walter Franz in The Price. Rafael holds an M.F.A. from the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. For Zoë, Henry and Jennifer.
CREATIVE TEAM BIOS
Chris joined Portland Center Stage at The Armory as artistic director in 2000. Before coming to Portland, Chris was the artistic director at Actor’s Express in Atlanta, a company he co-founded in the basement of an old church in 1988. Chris returned to Atlanta in 2015 to direct the world premiere of Edward Foote at Alliance Theatre (Suzi Bass Award for Best Direction, Best Production and Best World Premiere). Other recent directing credits include the Off-Broadway debut of Threesome at 59E59 Theaters; a production that had its world premiere at The Armory. Favorite directing assignments for The Armory include Fun Home, Constellations, Astoria: Part One (which he also adapted), A Streetcar Named Desire, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Three Days of Rain, Threesome, Fiddler on the Roof, Clybourne Park, Shakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline (which he also adapted), Anna Karenina, Oklahoma!, Snow Falling on Cedars, Crazy Enough, King Lear, Outrage and The Devils. Chris has directed at theaters across the country, including Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, ACT Theatre (Seattle), The Alliance, Dallas Theatre Center, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop and Center Stage (Baltimore). A native Atlantan, Chris holds a B.F.A. from Baylor University and an M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon. He is currently the board president for the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. Chris and his husband, Rodney Hicks — who recently appeared on Broadway in the musical Come From Away — are the proud parents of an 18-lb Jack Russell/Lab mix and a 110-lb English Blockhead Yellow Lab. For the past three years, Chris has had the honor of serving as the director for the Oregon Leadership Summit.
Born in Wisconsin to an adventurous family and a father with a passion for the history of the fur trade, Peter Stark studied English and anthropology at Dartmouth College and received a master’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin. Using Missoula, Montana, as a base, he took off for the remote spots of the world, writing magazine articles about travel and adventure in places like Greenland, Tibet and Africa. This fueled an interest in wilderness and the history of exploration, resulting in a number of books, including the book on which the play Astoria is based: ASTORIA: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire, A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival. He and his wife, the intrepid dancer, choreographer and writer Amy Ragsdale, and their two children have periodically lived abroad, most recently in a small town in Northeast Brazil.
Tony Cisek has collaborated with The Armory on the productions of Astoria: Part One, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Sex with Strangers, Our Town, A Small Fire, The Whipping Man, The North Pool, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Christmas Story and Frost/Nixon, as well as the premieres of A Feminine Ending and Sometimes a Great Notion. Tony’s work has been seen Off-Broadway and regionally at Roundabout Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Alliance Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Center Stage (Baltimore), Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, Cleveland Play House, Folger Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Round House Theatre, Signature Theatre and others. He has received four Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, five Drammy Awards in Portland, and two Barrymore Award nominations in Philadelphia. tonycisek.com
Costume Designer, Astoria: Part One
Broadway: Come From Away, Amazing Grace, Lucky Guy, The Scottsboro Boys, Finian’s Rainbow, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, King Hedley II, One Mo’ Time, The Wild Party, Marie Christine, Footloose, The Tempest, Twilight: Los Angeles, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Perestoika, and Jilly’s Last Jam. Awards: a Tony nomination, three Drama Desk nominations, six Lucille Lortel nominations, Hewes Design Award, Irene Sharaff Young Masters Award and the 2009 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design.
Alex Wren Meadows
Costume Designer, Astoria: Part Two
Alex recently relocated to Portland from Chicago and is thrilled to make his Portland design debut with Astoria: Part Two at The Armory, where he is also the costume shop manager. While in Chicago, Alex designed costumes for TimeLine Theatre, Next Theatre, Organic Theatre Company, Famous Door Theatre, Shattered Globe Theatre, Classical Kids Live and received a Jeff Award nomination for The General from America at TimeLine Theatre. He also managed the costume shop at Loyola University and taught costume design and costume construction. Other credits include costume designs for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and Monomoy Theatre in Massachusetts. Alex holds an M.F.A. in costume design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a B.A. in theater design from UNC Asheville.
Diane Ferry Williams
Diane Ferry Williams is pleased to be returning to Portland. Diane has worked for many theaters around the country and abroad. Her most recent design is a national tour of How to Succeed ... beginning in Beijing, China. In the U.S., her work has been seen at The Marriott Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Goodspeed, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, ACT-Seattle, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Ford’s Theatre, Hubbard Street, Regional Dance America and elsewhere. Other international work includes The Harlem Gospel Singers (Paris and the European tour) and Die Shone Und Das Biest (Berlin and the European tour). She has also lit several national tours and premieres. Awards include a Jeff Award, an After Dark Award, a Carbonelle Award, Drammy Awards – including the 2015 Drammy for Ain’t Misbehavin’ – and seven Jeff nominations. Diane has an M.F.A in theatrical design from Northwestern University.
Mary McDonald-Lewis has been a professional artist since 1979. She resides in Portland, Oregon, and is an international dialect coach for film, television and stage. She also works as a voice actor, on-camera actor, stage actor and director. Astoria: Part Two is MaryMac's 30th show with this company. You can also hear her work at Artists Repertory Theatre, where she is the resident dialect coach, and on other stages around town. She is deeply grateful to the patrons and audience members of The Armory, whose support allows the theater to provide her services to the actors. MaryMac holds her M.F.A. in directing from the University of Portland. She loves what she does, and she thanks Finnegan, Sullivan and Flynn for always wagging their tails when she comes home. marymac.com
Music Director/Vocal Arranger
Rick Lewis has music directed over 25 productions for Portland Center Stage at The Armory, most recently the acclaimed production of Fun Home. He is also the creator of the hit Off-Broadway musicals The Taffetas and The Cardigans (NYC Bistro Award for Outstanding Musical Revue); music supervisor for the West Coast premiere of Next to Normal (Artists Repertory Theatre); assistant conductor/vocal director for the pre-Broadway workshop of Cy Coleman's The Life; music director/arranger for BelloVoci; writer/arranger for Disney Live Family Entertainment, American Hawaii Cruises and American Classic Voyages; developer of The Cinnamon Bear Cruise; and founder/artistic director of Bridgetown Conservatory of Musical Theatre. rlewismusic.com
Matthew M. Nielson
Off-Broadway: The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, 59E59 Theaters and Lincoln Center. Regional: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, St. Louis Repertory Theater, Delaware Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Round House Theatre and Theater Alliance. Film and television: The Hero Effect, Death in Time, Elbow Grease, Blue, Epix Drive-In, From Hell to Here, The Good Ways of Things and The Long Road. Nielson is a founding member of the audio theater company The Audible Group and creator of the audio web series Troublesome Gap. He has won several Helen Hayes Awards and various film festival awards for his work in theater, film and television. He is currently running Sound Lab Studios, a recording studio and post-production house. curiousmusic.com
Randall Robert Tico
Astoria is Randall’s sixth collaboration with Chris Coleman, following Othello, Anna Karenina, Shakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline, The Imaginary Invalid and Snow Falling on Cedars. He was also the composer and sound designer for Apollo at The Armory, directed by Nancy Keystone. He received a Garland Award and an Ovation Award nomination for Apollo at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Other productions with Keystone include Ameryka (2016 Ovation nomination), Suzan-Lori Parks’ The America Play (The Theatre @ Boston Court), Antigone (The Armory, Drammy Award), The Ahkmatova Project, Dr. Faustus, The Rover and Measure for Measure. Other recent credits include the music score and sound design for Baby Doll, directed by Jenny Sullivan, and Macbeth, directed by Jonathan Fox, at New Vic Theatre; Hamlet, The Winter's Tale, the vocal score for David Hare’s version of Mother Courage, and music and sound design for The Glass Menagerie, all directed by Jessica Kubzansky.
Brandon is a director and producer in Portland, Oregon, and is thrilled to be returning to the world of Astoria! Credits include: A Christmas Memory/Winter Song, Mary’s Wedding and Sex with Strangers (The Armory); Luna Gale (spring, 2018), International Falls and The Few (CoHo Productions); The God Game (self-produced); The End of Sex (Theatre Vertigo); Dial M for Murder (Bag&Baggage Productions). Brandon has worked on multiple shows at The Armory as an assistant director (Astoria: Part One, LIZZIE, The Whipping Man, Red, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and A Christmas Story). He has also collaborated with Michael Curry and Oregon Symphony on Persephone, which will travel to Seattle in the spring, Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Broadway Rose Theatre Company and Live On Stage. Brandon is the associate producer and JAW co-producer at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Much love to Sean.
John is an actor and fight director who has been choreographing violence for more than 25 years. He is based in Portland, where he choreographs for many local theater companies and teaches throughout the region at colleges, high schools and middle schools. John’s work has been seen regularly on stage at The Armory, Portland Opera, Artists Repertory Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Miracle Theatre and many others. John’s work has twice been recognized within the Portland theater community for Best Fight Design.
Benjamin Fainstein is the literary manager at The Armory and JAW: A Playwrights Festival. He is currently developing plays for The Armory’s NW Stories series with writers Lauren Yee, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Dan O’Brien and James Beaton. Previous dramaturgy credits include Sarah Sander’s Golden (MIDD Summer Play Lab), Kevin Artigue’s The Forcings (JAW), Meg Miroshnik’s The Tall Girls (Carlotta Festival of New Plays), and Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand (Yale Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre). As a playwright, director and collaborative artist, Benjamin has created numerous original works, including Carnival/Invisible, The Body Politic, Cat Club, Iphigenia Among the Stars, Prototype 373-G and Paradise Sets In. He is a former founding artistic director of Whistler in the Dark Theatre, managing editor of Theater magazine, and artistic coordinator for Yale Repertory Theatre, where he supported the development of over two dozen new plays.
Barbara Hort, Ph.D.
Barbara Hort, Ph.D., has maintained a private practice in Portland for over 25 years, working primarily from the psychological perspective developed by the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung. At the invitation of Chris Coleman, Dr. Hort has served as a dramaturg on The Armory productions of Sweeney Todd, Clybourne Park, the 2013 JAW festival, Fiddler on the Roof, Othello, Dreamgirls, Threesome, Three Days of Rain, Ain’t Misbehavin’, A Streetcar Named Desire, Astoria: Part One, Fun Home, and now, Astoria: Part Two, providing material on the psychological dynamics of the play that can be used by the artists who are creating the production.
Imagine being in a room full of artists, watching the birth of an idea, a movement given purpose, a sentence, phrase, scene, act given life. Then imagine that room translating to the stage with lighting, sound, costumes, scenery and props, then you can imagine what Mark’s job is like. Special thanks to the phenomenal stage management apprentices, Jordan Affeldt and Katie Nguyen, and production assistant, Will Bailey, who help keep the vision attainable. Prior to The Armory, Mark toured nationally and internationally with musicals including Dreamgirls, The King and I with Rudolf Nureyev, How to Succeed …, Grand Hotel, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent and Jersey Boys. Other Portland credits include several summers with Broadway Rose Theatre Company in Tigard. Regional credits include Alley Theatre (Houston, TX), La Jolla Playhouse (La Jolla, CA) and Casa Mañana Theatre (Fort Worth, TX).
Assistant Stage Manager
Kristen is originally from Hawaii and holds a B.F.A. from Southern Oregon University. She is excited to return for her fifth season at The Armory. Previous credits at The Armory include production assistant on Fiddler on the Roof, LIZZIE, Threesome, Three Days of Rain, Forever, Each and Every Thing, A Streetcar Named Desire, Hold These Truths and His Eye is on the Sparrow; stage manager for Constellations; and assistant stage manager for Fun Home. Outside of Portland she has worked at Idaho Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Kristen is forever grateful to Adam and her family for supporting her dreams.
Will is excited to be returning as a production assistant at The Armory, where he last worked on Astoria: Part One and The Oregon Trail. Other recent credits include assistant stage manager for Sweeney Todd and The Italian Girl in Algiers with Portland Opera. Will has worked as a production assistant and props master at Artists Repertory Theatre, including production assistant credits for Ithaka, Mistakes Were Made, X-MAS Unplugged, The Monster Builder, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Intimate Apparel, Exiles, Blithe Spirit and The Invisible Hand. Will has also worked as a production assistant for Profile Theatre, Portland Shakespeare Project, Portland Playhouse and as a stage manager at Milagro.
Katie Nguyen is a stage manager from Fairfax, Virginia, and a recent graduate of Virginia Tech. While pursuing a degree in business management, she served as a stage manager, festival producer and production manager for Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. She is humbled to be at The Armory as one of two stage management apprentices for the 2017-2018 season. Prior to moving to Portland, she co-founded a non-profit theater collective in Washington, DC, (Who What Where Theater) and worked as a summer camp teaching artist for Acting For Young People in Fairfax, Virginia.