PCS Blog

“Bo-Nita” Cast and Creative Team

Posted by Claudie Fisher | 15 January 2014

 

BO-NITA
By Elizabeth Heffron
 
Cast

Kate Eastwood Norris*.......................................................Bo-Nita

 
Creative Team

Elizabeth Heffron...............................................................Playwright

Gretchen Corbett...............................................................Director
 
Daniel Meeker...................................................................Scenic and Lighting Designer

Jeff Cone...........................................................................Costume Designer

Mark Valadez....................................................................Sound Designer  

Emily N. Wells*.................................................................Stage Manager

Judith Shahn.....................................................................Dialect Consultant
 
Kemba Shannon.................................................................Movement Coach
 
*Member of the Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
 
Cast Biography

Kate Eastwood Norris (Bo-Nita)
Kate Eastwood Norris is so freaking happy to be back at PCS where she was last seen shooting her mouth and some guns off as Tanya Shepke in The North Plan, along with various roles for JAW in 2012, 2010 and 2009, and Sophie in How To Disappear and Never Be Found. Other regional credits include: DC: Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Washington, Source Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre where she is also a company member. MD: Round House Theatre. VA: American Shakespeare Centre and Washington Shakespeare Company. NJ: Two River Theatre. PA: The Wilma Theatre, The Arden Theatre and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. CA: Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. DE: Delaware Theatre Company. FL: Florida Stage. KY: Actor’s Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival 2011, 2012. Kate has received two Helen Hayes Awards and a Barrymore Award for her performances. She is a teacher of acting, Shakespearean text, clown and comic theory, and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Humanities and the Creative Life with an emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Kate dedicates this performance to 13-year-old girls everywhere!

 

 

 
Creative Team Biographies


Elizabeth Heffron
(Playwright)
Elizabeth’s play Bo-Nita was developed at PCS’ JAW playwrights festival in July 2012, and premiered at the Seattle Repertory Theatre in October 2013. Her other new works include Portugal, about a nuclear accident at the Hanford Reservation, featured at the 2013 Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, and The Weatherman Project (co-written with Kit Bakke), selected for the Seattle Repertory Theatre’s inaugural New Play Festival in February 2013. 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 premiered at Seattle’s ACT Theatre in 2006. Elizabeth currently teaches at Cornish College of the Arts, ACT and Freehold Theatre/Lab, where she’s worked with incarcerated women on inmate-generated performance pieces. She is an alumna of Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Writers Group, and a member of the Sandbox Artists Collective and the Dramatists Guild.


Gretchen Corbett
(Director)
I started directing plays in Los Angeles after I had been an actor there and in NYC for twenty years or so. My first outing was Born Yesterday in a little theatre in Santa Paula, California and I was so scared I wouldn’t get it right that I staged the whole show exactly like the Broadway production. It was a great success for the theater. Imitation, as they say, is a great teacher. I went on to direct at the Odyssey and the Back Alley Theater in LA and ultimately became the Resident Director for the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Theatre for several years, a theater dedicated to nurturing new plays and playwrights. The productions I have directed in Portland include Body Awareness and Reasons to Be Pretty for CoHo Theatre, The Alice Event at the Winningstad, The Taming of the Shrew for Tygres Heart, The Further Adventures of Anse and Bhule in No Man’s Land for Sowelu Theatre and The Lower Rooms for Stark Raving Theatre. Several of the plays I directed received prizes – for the actors, for the designers, for the production, and a couple for me. I love prizes. Everyone does. Thank you for reading all the way to the end. The reason I do this with my life is because of you.
 
Daniel Meeker (Scenic and Lighting Designer)
Previously at PCS, Dan designed the set for The People's Republic of Portland and Red (Drammy Award), the lighting for Twist Your Dickens and I Love to Eat, and the set and lighting for The Mountaintop, The Real Americans and Mike's Incredible Indian Adventure. Other recent credits include lighting design for the Pickathon Festival; lighting design for Crooked at COHO; lighting design for Disconnect at San Jose Repertory Theatre; set and lighting design for DetroitMother Teresa is Dead, The Huntsmen and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Portland Playhouse and set design for The Stinky Cheese Man for Oregon Children's Theatre. Upcoming projects include The Light in the Piazza at the Portland Playhouse; The Last Five Years and Lizzie here at PCS, and Fancy Nancy for Oregon Children's Theatre. Daniel is a member of the faculty of Portland State University. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and the Yale School of Drama and a member of United Scenic Artists.
 
Jeff Cone (Costume Designer)
This is Jeff’s 16th season at PCS. In that time he has designed costumes for over 75 productions. Of those shows, 49 have been in the last eight seasons at the Armory. Favorite productions include West Side Story, Cabaret, Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Imaginary Invalid, Black Pearl Sings!, Venus in Fur and Clybourne Park. Jeff received Drammy Awards for his costume designs for Dirty Blonde, Act A Lady and Shakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline. In addition to his resident costume designer duties, Jeff is happy to manage the costume shop here at Portland Center Stage.
 
Mark Valadez (Sound Designer)
Mark is the resident sound designer for Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble (PETE) and most recently designed sound and composed music for their devised piece, Song of the Dodo. Selected credits include R3 (PETE, Headwaters), Motherland/Foreign Relations (Berkeley Repertory Theatre Ground Floor Residency), Song of the Dodo (NW New Works Festival at On The Boards, Headwaters, Studio 2), Tommy Smith’s FORTH (Magic Futurebox, NYC), Wittgenstein’s Mistress (Risk/Reward Festival, Portland, OR), Reluctant (Here Arts Center, NYC, Brava Theatre, SF), The Verge (The Ontological Theater, NYC), Caucasian Chalk Circle – 2010 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Original Music (The Chocolate Factory/Mabou Mines, NYC), Artifacts of Consequence (The Wild Project, NYC), M4M (Chashama, NYC), Dead Letter Office (Here Arts Center/Chashama, NYC), God’s Waiting Room (Fringe NYC/Merlin International Theater, Budapest, Hungary) and Cleansed (Columbia Stages, NYC).
 
Emily N. Wells (Stage Manager)
Emily is in her third season at PCS. Favorite shows have been Shakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline and Venus in Fur. Proud Equity member for 18 years, spent in NYC, on tour and regionally. Highlights on Broadway include Electra, Swan Lake and Jersey Boys. Off-Broadway credits include Adrift in Macao; Dedication, or the Stuff of Dreams (with Nathan Lane and Marian Seldes); and String of Pearls at Primary Stages. Other off-Broadway credits are Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky at Playwrights Horizons and Summer of the Swans and Sarah, Plain & Tall at the Lucille Lortel. She has also stage managed readings and workshops for Playwrights Horizons, NAMT and North Shore Music Theatre. National tours include Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Regional theater work includes Ordway Center, Ogunquit Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse and Theatreworks/USA, among others. In her spare time Emily writes, directs, bakes, hikes, drinks coffee and advocates for the Adult Congenital Heart Association. www.achaheart.org

Judith Shahn (Dialect Consultant)
Judith Shahn has been one of the leading dialect coaches in the Northwest for the past 25 years. Most recently, she worked on Bo-Nita and The Hound of the Baskervilles at Seattle Repertory Theatre. She is on the faculty of the University of Washington's School of Drama and has her own coaching business, Vibrant Speaking.

Kemba Shannon (Movement Coach)
Kemba Shannon received her B.F.A. from Towson State University and trained at Alvin Ailey American Theater, Martha Graham School, The Edge, Lula Washington, Peridance and Morgan State University. She has taught dance classes at UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, El Camino College and Portland State University, among others. Kemba's stage credits include: The Lion King (LA cast), The Color Purple (Broadway cast), Cirque du Soleil (Zumanity), Oklahoma! (Portland Center Stage), Aida and Fame. Kemba's ambition and drive have won her world recognition with icons Madonna (Drowned World Tour), Pink (Try This World Tour), Celine Dion (Taking Chances World Tour), Rihanna (Nike RockStar World Tour), Kanye West, R. Kelly and Fantasia just to name a few. Her television credits include: American Dreams (NBC), Oscars (Chicago performance), MTV Music Awards (Pink performance), the Emmys (Kristin Bell performance), World Music Awards (Kanye West and R. Kelly), NAACP Awards and the Grammys. Kemba is currently teaching at ACMA in Beaverton, Oregon.

Chris Coleman (Artistic Director)
Chris joined Portland Center Stage as artistic director in May 2000. Before coming to Portland, he was artistic director at Actor’s Express in Atlanta, a company he co-founded in the basement of an old church in 1988. Favorite PCS directing assignments include Fiddler on the Roof, Clybourne Park, Sweeney Todd, Shakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline (which he also adapted), Anna Karenina, Oklahoma!, Snow Falling on Cedars, Ragtime, Crazy Enough, Beard of Avon, Cabaret, King Lear, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Man and Superman, Outrage, Flesh and Blood and The Devils. Chris has directed at theaters across the country, including Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, ACT-Seattle, The Alliance, Dallas Theatre Center, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop and Center Stage in Baltimore. A native Atlantan, Chris holds a B.F.A. from Baylor University and an M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon. He currently chairs the Creative Advocacy Network board, and serves on boards for the Cultural Advocacy Coalition and the Institute for Metropolitan Studies. Chris’ favorite things about Portland: farmers markets, Timbers games, Salt & Straw ice cream, dog parks, food carts and cars that stop for pedestrians.
 
Bo-Nita runs Febuary 1 – March 16. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
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