PCS Blog

The Mountaintop: Cast and Creative Team

Posted by Kinsley Suer | 06 August 2013

The Mountaintop
Cast
 
Rodney Hicks*......................................................................Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
 
Natalie Paul*.........................................................................Camae
 
 
Creative Team
 
Katori Hall............................................................................Playwright
 
Rose Riordan........................................................................Director
 
Daniel Meeker.......................................................................Scenic and Lighting Designer
 
Jeff Cone...............................................................................Costume Designer
 
Casi Pacilio............................................................................Sound Designer
 
Scott Thorson........................................................................Sound Designer
 
Patrick Weishampel...............................................................Multimedia Designer
  
Emily N. Wells*.....................................................................Stage Manager
Ryan Durham*.......................................................................Stage Manager
 
Stephen Kriz Gardner.............................................................Production Assistant
 
 
*Member of the Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
 
 

Cast Biographies


 

Rodney Hicks (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) Previously at PCS, Rodney played Curly in Oklahoma!. Broadway credits include The Scottsboro Boys (Clarence Norris/OCR), Rent (Benny/Closing Cast/Live on Broadway DVD), Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter/2000 Revival) and Rent (Paul & Others/Original Cast). Off-Broadway credits include The Scottsboro Boys, The Nightshade Family, Jacques Brel is Alive (2006 Revival Cast/Drama Desk Nomination), Irrationals, From My Hometown (Audelco Nomination Leading Actor), Rent (Obie Award Outstanding Ensemble) and Lotto (Audelco Award Supporting Actor). Select regional theater credits are Big River (Jim/Footlight & Seattle Critics Choice Award Leading Actor), The Scottsboro Boys (Haywood Patterson/ Philadelphia Barrymore Award Leading Actor), White Noise (Tyler/World Premiere), Miss Saigon (John), King Lear (Edmund), The 60’s Project (Roy/World Premiere), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Valentine), Patron St. of Peanuts (George W. Carver/World Premiere), Lobby Hero (William), Hair (Hud) and Letters from ‘Nam (Marion/World Premiere). TV credits are Leverage, Grimm, Hope & Faith, Law & Order: C.I., Student Affairs (Pilot/Series Regular) and NYPD Blue. Life is beautiful.

 

Natalie Paul (Camae) Natalie is thrilled to be making her Portland Center Stage debut. Other regional credits include Cry Old Kingdom at the Actor's Theater of Louisville. Off-Broadway, Natalie has appeared in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Eurydice and 365 Days/365 Plays. Favorite roles at NYU Grad Acting include the title role in Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw and Willetta in Trouble in Mind. Film and television credits include Smash (NBC), Newlyweeds and Deadly Assistance. Natalie is also a burgeoning filmmaker. Her independent short film Everything Absolutely,  which she wrote and starred in, has been making its way on the festival circuit. Natalie holds an M.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a B.A. from Yale University. www.nataliekpaul.com

 

Cast Biographies


 
Katori Hall (Playwright)
Katori Hall is a playwright and performer hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. Her award-winning play HooDoo Love premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre in 2007. It was developed under Lynn Nottage as part of the theater’s 2006 Mentor Project. HooDoo Love received three AUDELCO nominations (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, August Wilson Playwright Award). Her other plays include Rememberence, Hurt Village, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, The Mountaintop, On The Chitlin’ Circuit and Freedom Train (KCACTF ten minute play national finalist). Her work has been developed and presented at the following venues: American Repertory Theatre, Kennedy Center, Cherry Lane Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Schomburg Center, BRICLab, Women’s Project, World Financial Center, Lark Play Development Center, New Professional Theatre, The O’Neill, Juilliard School, Stanford University and Columbia University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lecompte du Nouy Prize, North Manhattan Arts Alliance Fellowship, New York State Council on the Arts Commission Grant, New Professional Theatre’s Writers’ Festival Award, Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and Screenwriting, Royal Court Theatre Residency and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. She has also been a Kennedy Center Playwriting Fellow. As an actor, her credits include Law & Order: SVU, The President’s Puppets (The Public), Growing Up a Slave (American Place Theatre), Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (American Place Theatre), Amerika (Theatre de la Jeune Lune/American Repertory Theatre), Spring Awakening (Moscow Art Theatre School), Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Schooled (WOW Café Theatre) and Black Girl (Sande Shurin Theatre).
 
Rose Riordan (Director)
Rose is in her 16th season at Portland Center Stage, where she serves as associate artistic director. At PCS she has directed The People’s Republic of Portland, The Whipping Man, The North Plan, Red, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, A Christmas Story, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Receptionist, A Christmas Carol, Frost/Nixon, How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found, Doubt, The Underpants, The Pillowman  and The Thugs, which won four Drammy Awards, including Best Ensemble and Best Director. She has also recently directed, for various other theaters, Adam Bock’s Phaedra, The Passion Play, Telethon and The Receptionist.  In 1999 she founded Portland Center Stage’s annual JAW: A Playwrights Festival. JAW has been instrumental in developing new work for the PCS repertory: The Body of An American, The North Plan, Anna Karenina, Outrage, Flesh and Blood, Another Fine Mess, O Lovely Glowworm, Celebrity Row, Act a Lady, The Thugs and A Feminine Ending. Rose has also directed some of the staged readings for JAW festivals—The Thugs (2005), Telethon (2006), A Story About a Girl (2007), 99 Ways to F*** a Swan (2009), The North Plan (2010), San Diego (2012), The People’s Republic of Portland (2012) and Mai Dang Lao (2013). She enjoys being part of a company committed to new work and having a beautiful building in which to work.
 
Daniel Meeker (Scenic and Lighting Designer)
Previously at PCS, Dan designed the set for The People's Republic of Portland, the lighting for I Love to Eat, the set for Red (Drammy Award), and set and lighting for 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 Mother Teresa is Dead, The Huntsmen, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Brother Sister Plays at Portland Playhouse; set design for The Stinky Cheese Man for Oregon Children's Theatre; and set and lighting design for Body Awareness at COHO. Upcoming projects include Detroit and The Light In The Piazza at the Portland Playhouse, and Twist Your Dickens, Bo-nita, The Last Five Years and LIZZIE here at PCS. Daniel is a member of the faculty at Portland State University. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and the Yale School of Drama and is a member of United Scenic Artists.
 
Jeff Cone (Costume Designer)
This is Jeff’s 15th season at PCS. In that time he has designed costumes for more than 65 productions. Of those shows, 40 have been in the last six 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 and Sweeney Todd. 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.
 
Casi Pacilio (Sound Designer)
Casi feels so lucky to be in Portland, working at one of the best regional theaters and doing a job she loves. Portland Center Stage credits include Oklahoma!, The North Plan, Shakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline, Black Pearl Sings!, Opus, futura (with composer Jana Losey), Ragtime (PAMTA Award 2010), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Chosen, Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, Snow Falling on Cedars, Crazy Enough, The Little Dog Laughed, Sometimes a Great Notion, The Beard of Avon, Twelfth Night, Cabaret, The Pillowman, Act a Lady, I Am My Own Wife, West Side Story, Celebrity Row and seven seasons of JAW. Hand2Mouth Theatre credits are: My Mind is Like an Open Meadow (Drammy Award 2011), Something’s Got Ahold Of My Heart and upcoming PEP TALK. Other theatrical credits include Squonk Opera’s Bigsmorgasbord-WunderWerk (national and international touring); I Am My Own Wife, I Think I Like Girls and Burning Deck (La Jolla Playhouse); and Playland, 10 Fingers and Lips Together, Teeth Apart (City Theatre, PA). Film credits include Creation of Destiny, Out of Our Time and A Powerful Thang. Recordings: Glitterfruit’s fruit snacks.
 
Scott Thorson (Sound Designer)
Scott Thorson has been living the dream as a sound engineer at Portland Center Stage since 2010. PCS credits include live audio engineer for the world premiere musical of Somewhere in Time, associate sound designer for The People's Republic of Portland and two seasons of JAW.  Other Portland productions include Hand2Mouth's Uncanny Valley and Fish Girl as part of the Fertile Ground Festival.  He holds a degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and is a proud Kenton resident.  Many thanks to Casi for her mentorship and much love to Alice.
 
Patrick Weishampel (Multimedia Designer)
Patrick is an award-winning filmmaker and the multimedia designer for Portland Center Stage. Aside from creating photography and video content for PCS marketing, he has designed video for The People's Republic of Portland, Sunset Boulevard, The Chosen, Frost/Nixon and One Night with Janis Joplin. He has also independently produced films such as transfer, and edited commercials and programs for OPB, KEEN and Oregon Ballet Theater, as well as feature length documentaries such as Finding Face.  blankeye.tv
 
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 17 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 raises funds for the Adult Congenital Heart Association. www.achaheart.org
 
Stephen Kriz Gardner (Production Assistant)
Stephen is excited to begin his first full season with Portland Center Stage. Most recently, he was the production assistant for Somewhere in Time. In Portland, Stephen has worked as a stage manager at Oregon Children's Theatre on Pinkalicious (remount), The Magic School Bus: Climate Challenge and Locomotion, as well as assistant stage managed Pinkalicious and Duck for President. Stephen also stage managed Spring Awakening with Live On Stage Theatre Company. His credits outside of Portland include stage managing Black Comedy for No Rules Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. and assisting on Camp Wanatachi at La Mama Experimental Theatre in New York. He has been a production assistant on One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch, Sondheim! The Birthday Concert and Company at Lincoln Center. His internship credits include the Goodman Theatre on Candide and A Christmas Carol, and Broadway's Wicked.
 
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 Clybourne Park, Sweeney Todd, Anna KareninaShakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline (which he also adapted), Oklahoma!, Snow Falling on Cedars, Ragtime, Crazy Enough, Cabaret, Beard of Avon, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, King Lear, Flesh and Blood, Man and Superman, Outrage and The Devils. Chris has directed at theaters across the country, including Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, ACT Theatre, 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’s favorite things about Portland:  farmers’ markets, Timbers games, Salt & Straw ice cream, dog parks, food carts and cars that stop for pedestrians.
 
 
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