Michael Rohd has been exploring the intersection of theatre and democracy for years with Sojourn Theatre and through his projects with collaborators and universities around the nation. He is founding artistic director of Sojourn Theatre in Portland, Oregon, a 2005 recipient of Americans for the Arts Animating Democracy Exemplar Award. His work there as creator/director/performer includes BUILT (presented as part of Portlands TBA 2008 Festival), GOOD (2008 Portland Drammy, Outstanding Production of the Season), The War Project (2005 Drammy, Best ensemble), 7 Great Loves (five 2003 Drammy awards including Best Production and Best Director), and Witness Our Schools (9 months of Oregon and national touring). Rohd is a recipient of Theatre Communication Groups 2001 New Generations Grant, and their 2002 Extended Collaboration Grant with Atlantas Alliance Theatre. An associate artist with Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles and an artistic associate with Ping Chong & Co in New York City, he is on faculty at Northwestern Universitys Theater Department with a focus on Devising Performance, Directing & Civic Engagement. His work has been supported by Ford Foundation, the NEA, Rockefellers MAP Fund, Doris Duke Foundation and Arts Councils in states around the nation. Recent projects as a creator and/or director include Chuck Mee's Full Circle at Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington DC and his own Wilson Wants it All at The House Theater in Chicago. Current projects include creating Oregon Shakespeare Festival's first company-devised, site-specific work titled Willful, a new Sojourn piece called On The Table and a commission at Kansas City Rep. He is author of the book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue.
Alisha Tonsic (Managing Director) served as Associate Managing Director at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Berkeley, California) from 2001-2003, having joined the company's development department in 1999 as Institutional Grants Manager. Previously, Alisha held positions in financial management at American Repertory Theatre (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and in literary management/dramaturgy at McCarter Theatre (Princeton, New Jersey) and Manhattan Theatre Club (New York, New York). In addition, she served from 1993-1996 on the staff of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the service organization for professional not-for-profit theatre, where she administered re-granting programs, coordinated advocacy efforts, conducted national research, and co-authored Theatre Facts, a statistical report on the state of the field. Alisha worked as a freelance editor and script reader in New York City, served twice on the selection panel for New Dramatists' Princess Grace Award, and was a member of Theatre Bay Area's Theatre Services Committee. In 2001, she was selected to participate in TCG's New Generations Program, designed to identify and cultivate the next generation of theatre leaders. Alisha graduated cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University with a double major in Theatre and English.
Courtney Davis (Company Member) is a performer, creator, director, designer, and teacher. She is an ensemble member of Portland, Oregon's nationally acclaimed Sojourn Theatre. Recent actor/creator experience includes work with Sojourn Theatre on: GOOD (a site specific Brecht adaptation staged in an operating car dealership for which she also designed costumes); their yearlong War Project (Drammy Award, Best Acting Ensemble 2006); city-wide touring show One Day; American Value (New York, in collaboration with NACL) and Voices from the Edge (Australian tour). She has also toured nationally (as an actor and teacher) with Chicago's Child's Play Touring Theater. In Chicago, she was a featured performer in Anatomy Theater Collective's site specific, spectacle performance work Many Things Are Destroying Me and played the role of Marie in Woyzeck at Upstart Theater Group (a company she co-founded in 2004, and for whom, in early 2005, she co-created the original ensemble production Digging). In the Summer of 2006, she co-created and co-directed the outdoor performance spectacle A circus of the tiny and the huge, featuring a ballet of earth and sky, astounding objects & the hands that breathe them plus, a diversion comprised of songs and tales... in rural Wyoming with a cast of 40. Recent residency and teaching experience includes work as co-director of the Wisdom Bridge Arts Project Summer Youth Camp in Chicago; teaching Butoh and choreographing The Trojan Women while a guest artist at Albion College in Michigan; and working as a teaching artist at a variety of sites for Portland, Oregon's Artists Repertory Theater and Sojourn Theatre. Training includes periods of study with Butoh Master Diego Pinon, New York's North American Cultural Laboratory, internationally acclaimed ensemble Double Edge Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company's Andrew Wade, and renowned Bosnian theater artist Emsa Lakovic. She has her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech's Theater Arts Department, where she studied with Bob Leonard, a pioneer in community-based performance.
Jono Eiland (Company Member) is a founding company member of Sojourn Theatre. He has been involved in almost every company production including The Justice Project, 7 Great Loves, Passing Glances, and as Anton Schill in Sojourn's adaptation of The Visit. Jono graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts. He is a rabid fan of Hokie football.
Kimberly Howard (Company Member) was most recently seen in Sojourn's Witness Our Schools and The Visit. She has also performed in Sojourn's original work Passing Glances: Mirrors & Windows in Allen County and in Tartuffe: The Visitor, for which she won a Portland Critic Drammy Award. Other Portland credits include: Seascape, The Birthday Party (Profile Theatre Project), the title role in Yerma (Miracle Theatre), WIT (Artists Repertory Theatre), An American Jesus Christ, and Surburban Motel, Part I. New York credits include: Floating Redundant, a one-woman show, Gozzi's The Green Bird, The Winter's Tale, and Three
Sisters. Regional credits include Gozzi's For the Love of Three Oranges (Williamstown Theatre Festival), and Chuck Mee's adaptation of The Trojan Women. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Columbia University in New York City. She is the Education/Outreach Director at Artists Repertory Theatre and prior to moving to Portland, she taught acting, directing, and history of theatre at Walla Walla College.
Liam Kaas-Lentz (Company Member) is a native of Bellingham, WA who has lived in Portland for the
five years and is delighted to call the place home. He is an ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre inPortland where he has stage managed Witness Our Schools, The Visit, Portrait of a Marriage, The War Project: 9 Acts of
Determination, GOOD, and Throwing Bones. He has also stage managed for Portland Center Stage (JAW/West festival, 2005), Artists Repertory Theatre (Youth Potential Realized, The Ghosts of Celilo), The Pacific
Conservatory for the Performing Arts (The Taming of the Shrew, Deathtrap, The Tempest, Jack The Ripper), The Immediatist Theatre Troupe (The Fever, Hold, Please!) The Geva Theatre Center (Cookin' at the Cookery, 36 Views, A Christmas Carol, 1776, Savage/Love) and many others. He founded the New House Theatre in Portland, where he has directed Marie and Bruce, Mr. Frivolous, and the West Coast premiere of "The Hotel Play". Liam received his BFA in stage management from Southern Oregon University and his MEd from Portland Stage University.
Rebecca Martinez (Company Member) works as an actor, director, singer, dancer and choreographer. Some of her favorite theatrical experiences include performing in The Visit, Witness Our Schools and 7 Great Loves (Sojourn Theatre), The Trojan Women (Theatre of the Invisible), Blood Wedding (Miracle Theatre Group) and creating and directing Xandu Ya' - El Dia de los Muertos Festival (Miracle Theatre). Rebecca instructs youth in Latin American folkloric dance, sings with salsa band Aguamiel, instructs 'theatre skills as life skills' through Artists' Repertory Theatre, and performs with her own company, Viva la Cultura!, which tours cultural music, dance and theatre programs for children. In 2003 she was awarded a Portland Theatre Critics' Drammy Award for choreography for 7 Great Loves (Sojourn Theatre). Rebecca is a roster artist for both the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Young Audiences of Washington and Oregon.
Shannon Scrofano (Company Member) is a scenic and multimedia designer based on the west coast. Working to create original devised work with a focus on site specificity, integrated media, civic engagement and dialogue strategies, her collaborations include live performance, installation and film projects throughout the US and internationally. Bringing participation into contact with architectural and urban theory, she works to develop new strategies for immersive visual dramaturgy of experience and displacement of expertise. Selected work has been seen or honored at PICA : TBA, REDCAT, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Orchard Project, St. Ann's Warehouse, Evidence Room, Woolly Mammoth, Manual Archives, Miami Light Project, Highways, Montreal Fringe, Tribeca Film Festival, the Berlinale, the 81st Annual Academy Awards, and recently with Project Por Amor, El Teatro Público and the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano in Havana, Cuba, as part of a cross-cultural collaboration between Cuban and American performance, film and music artists. Her site work has taken place in car dealerships, state legislatures, barns, condo showrooms, plazas, libraries, warehouses, medical labs, skyscrapers, open fields, kitchens, crumbling cathedrals, and rooftops in multiple cities. She has taught or lectured at universities including Georgetown University, Northwestern, Cal State, the Art Institute of Chicago, Fordham, Pacific Northwest Film Center and at various festivals and conferences. She is a company member of Sojourn Theatre and the performance collective TENT, a graduate of Northwestern University, and holds her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, where she currently teaches.
Maureen Towey (Ensemble Member) Through the support of a Princess Grace Fellowship, Maureen assistant directed for Michael Rohd on GOOD and directed a workshop of Throwing Bones with the Sojourn Ensemble. She was a 2005-2006 Fulbright Scholar in South Africa where she adapted and directed Swallow What You Steal, which toured rural villages; she also assisted Brett Bailey for the opening ceremonies at the Harare International Arts Festival in Zimbabwe. She has directed four new works by Jess Lacher including The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras Country (Best Ensemble, NY Fringe Festival). She has directed a number of devised pieces in New York, most recently Wound Up at HERE and crowd: a blanket of strangers at chashama. Maureen served as Development Director for Anne Bogart's SITI Company and toured internationally with the rock group Arcade Fire, working in a variety of creative and management capacities. Maureen is a Sojourn Theatre Ensemble Member, an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a proud graduate of Northwestern University.
Hannah Treuhaft (Ensemble Member/Director of Education & Community Programming) spent three years as a classroom teacher of History and Drama before becoming Sojourn Theatre's Director of Education and Community Engagement. She has taught residencies at a number of Portland area schools and organizations including: Century High School, Marshall High School, the Portland Jewish Academy, and Oregon Children's Theatre. In 2004-2005, Hannah served as the tour manager of Sojourn's Witness Our Schools, spending the year connecting with schools, community members, and leaders around the state of Oregon to build interest and audience for this highly successful performance and community dialogue event. Hannah is a graduate of Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois where she studied acting and religion. Before moving to Portland, she worked in Chicago as an artist and an administrative producer, performing in shows such as The Cleansing, Love's Fire, A New Brain, and The BFG while simultaneously producing The Grapes Of Wrath, Assassins and The BFG, which went on to be included in the Chicago International Puppetry Festival in the Summer of 2001.