Who We Are
Artistic Director — Michael Rohd
Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of the 19 year old national, ensemble-based Sojourn Theatre. In 2015, he received an Otto Rene Castillo award for Political Theater and The Robert Gard Foundation Award for Excellence. He is an Institute Professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts and is is author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue. He is Lead Artist for Civic Imagination at Center for Performance and Civic Practice (CPCP), which he co-founded in 2012. CPCP is a national team of artists who believe that with the right approach, the same tools and capacities that artists use to make art can be utilized to transform systems and improve the impacts of government and community-driven efforts and programs. Recent/Current projects with CPCP and Sojourn include collaborations with ArtPlace America, Goodman Theater, LISC, Kansas City Mayor's Office, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Cleveland Public Theater, Americans for the Arts, Nashville’s MetroArts, City of Santa Monica, CA, United Way, Flint Youth Theater, Catholic Charities USA, Cook Inlet Housing Authority Alaska, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation Mississippi & Steppenwolf Theater.
Managing Director — Soneela Nankani
Soneela Nankani (Managing Director/Associate Artist) is a New York based actor, singer, teacher and voiceover artist. She first worked with Michael Rohd on Hope Is Vital and with Sojourn Theatre on Passing Glances. Soneela has performed at such places as Kansas City Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Classical Theatre of Harlem and she records books for Audible.com. She has a Bachelor’s in Economics and Theatre from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Acting from Columbia University.
Bobby Bermea is the co-artistic director of The Beirut Wedding World Theatre Project, a member of Sojourn Theatre, and a long-standing member of Actors Equity Association. Bermea is a writer, director and award-winning actor and has appeared in theatres literally from New York, NY to Honolulu, HI. As a director, Bermea has recently helmed productions of My Soul Grown Deep and The Green Book with BaseRoots Theatre, Hollow Roots with BoomArts, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents with Theatre Vertigo, Wait Until Dark at Northwest Classical Theatre, Fires in the Mirror and Blue Door at Profile Theatre and he co-directed Top Dog/Underdog at Street Scenes. Bermea has also done extensive work with youth and especially at-risk populations, having worked through the Actors-to-Go at Artists Repertory Theatre, Higher Stages with Tears of Joy, the Haven Project, Playwrite, Inc., Young Audiences, Portland Youth Builders, the Cordero House.
Courtney Davis is a performer, creator and designer. Sojourn projects include On The Table, BUILT, GOOD, The War Project, One Day, American Value and Voices from the Edge (Australian tour). 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.
Jono Eiland is a founding member of Sojourn Theatre and has worked as a performer and creator since its inception. He is now based in Los Angeles where he is also a member of the classical companies the Porters of Hellsgate and Method & Madness. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech.
James Hart is currently working with Sojourn as performer/creator/facilitator on Islands of Milwaukee and the Catholic Charities USA project. He was involved in Finding Penelope, On the Table, Throwing Bones, Built, Good, The Visit, and Witness Our Schools. Other credit include three seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and eleven seasons with Harlequin Productions in Olympia, WA. James is passionate about facilitating change and self discovery through his counseling work. He loves spending time with his wife and two daughters.
Kimberly Howard has been Trust manager for the Oregon Cultural Trust since 2009. She currently represents Oregon on the Western States Arts Federation's Regional Multicultural Advisory Committee. In addition to being an arts administrator, Howard is an accomplished actress, with credits in New York, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and several Portland theaters. She has been an ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre for almost a decade and received a Drammy Award (Portland’s version of the Tony Award) for her work in its production of Tartuffe: The Visitor. She holds her MFA in acting from Columbia University.
Liam Kaas-Lentz is a native of Bellingham, WA. He has served as Sojourn’s stage and production manager for the past nine years and eleven productions. As an equity stage manager, he has worked for theatres all over the country. He received his B.F.A. in stage management from Southern Oregon university and his M.Ed in curriculum and instruction from Portland State University. Liam has also taught stage and production management with a focus on ensemble, devised, and site-specific contexts and methodologies at universities all over. He lives with his wife and two cats in Portland, Oregon.
Soneela Nankani (see staff)
Rebecca Martínez is a Brooklyn-based director, choreographer, deviser, and ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre. Rebecca has worked with INTAR, Fordham/Primary Stages, Working Theater, Signature Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Lark, The Playwrights Realms, New Dramatists, the 52nd Street Project, Radical Evolution, Brave New World Repertory Theatre, Artists Repertory Theatre, Milagro Theatre among others. International credits include: Cultural Center in Managua, Nicaragua, Teatro Trono in El Alto, Bolivia. Member of: Sol Project Collective, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, INTAR’s Unit52, SDCF Observership Class, Latinx Theatre Commons Steering Committee, New Georges Jam, 2018-2020 Women’s Project Lab, 2017 Drama League Directing Fellow, Associate Member of SDC. Awards: four Portland Drammy Awards; Lilla Jewel Award. Rebecca is an artist with the Center for Performance and Civic Practice. www.rebeccamartinez.org
Michael Rohd (see staff)
Sara Sawicki is a Chicago based theatre artist. With Sojourn, she acts as project coordinator for HOW TO END POVERTY in 90 MINUTES (HTEP), and has performed in and directed iterations of HTEP across the country. Sara is on staff with Center for Performance and Civic Practice as Partnerships and Communications Manager. Sara is also a puppeteer with Manual Cinema (MC), where she originated her track in their adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN (Alphonse Frankenstein & Lord Byron). She tours internationally with MC in LULA DEL RAY (Lula's Mother); MEMENTOS MORI (Lady); and ADA|AVA. Past projects include work with: NetherRealm Studios (cinematic performance capture); Actors Gymnasium (Youth Circus co-director and writer); & one step at a time like this in collaboration with Chicago Shakespeare Theater (performer).
Shannon Scrofano designs spaces and conditions for performance, public conversations, and other time-based media. She serves on the board of Los Angeles Performance Practice and collaborates with the newly founded Center for Performance and Civic Practice. She teaches at California Institute of the Arts.
Joel Sugerman is the Director of Theatre at Lawrence Academy, an independent high school in Groton, MA. He has made, performed and taught theatre in Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, the Czech Republic, as well as a smattering of other US and European locales. Joel earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and studied at the Dell’ Arte School of Physical Theatre in California.
A renaissance woman of the theatre, Jamie Rea is continually exploring this powerful tool of connection & change. From Germany's Grotest Maru to Wellington's dance ensemble JAVA, she serves as an award winning director, designer, & actor, as well as a production-stage manager. As Co-Artistic Director of Beirut Wedding, Founding Core with JTC, & long time member of Sojourn Theatre, Jamie is a firm believer in the power of collaboration. Let's build a more effective community.
Maureen Towey directs live performance events. She works as a creative director for musicians such as Arcade Fire and Ray LaMontagne. She has been recognized as an AOL/PBS MAKER, a Princess Grace fellow, a TCG Leadership U Fellow, and a Fulbright scholar in South Africa. For Sojourn, she has directed Throwing Bones, Finding Penelope and The Islands of Milwaukee (in process).
Hannah Treuhaft is a teacher, maker, party thrower, mama, and ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre. As Sojourn's Director of Education and Community Programming, Hannah has taught residencies all over the Portland area, and as the tour manager of Sojourn's Witness Our Schools, she spent a year connecting with schools, community members, and leaders around the state of Oregon. She's currently devising a piece called Mother, Mother about motherhood and gender equity with a group of other artist/moms in Portland.
Nik Zaleski is a director, facilitator, playwright and cultural activist rooted primarily in the reproductive justice movement. She is a co-founder of the FYI Performance Company, which designs participatory theater experiences about sexual health and sexual violence. Professionally, she consults on arts-based strategy for reproductive health and justice organizations. Nik has directed performance for Redmoon Theatre, Northwestern University and Arizona State University, as well as for FYI, Erasing the Distance and Sojourn Theater, where she is also an ensemble member. She completed her undergraduate degree in Performance Studies and Gender Studies at Northwestern University and holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from DePaul University, which combined Public Health and Directing coursework.