Category Archive: Bios

Mat Chat Guests

Kate Duffly is a scholar-director and community-based theatre artist with a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her teaching and research interests include socially engaged and community-based theatre, 20th and 21st century American theatre, race theory and performance, acting, and directing. Kate has published articles in TDR, Theatre Topics, Theatre Survey, and Theatre Annual. In addition to her own directorial and devised performance work, Kate has worked with Cornerstone Theater, Lunatique Fantastique, Touchable Stories, and Wise Fool Community Arts. In 2016, Kate received a grant from Oregon’s Regional Arts and Culture Council to create a community-based theatre project with community organization Western States Center and collaborator Roberta Hunte (Portland State University) about reproductive justice, titled We Are BRAVE. Kate is the president of the board for Theatre Diaspora, Oregon’s only professional Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) theatre company. She is also on the board of MediaRites, a “production organization based in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to telling the stories of diverse cultures and giving voice to the unheard through the arts, education and media projects.” Prior to her position as Assistant Professor of Theatre at Reed, Kate taught as lecturer at UC Berkeley and California College of Arts.

Dr. Roberta Hunte is an Assistant Professor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work. She received her M.S. in Conflict Resolution from PSU, and her doctorate from the University of Manitoba in Peace and Conflict Studies. She is affiliate faculty in Women,  Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Black Studies. Hunte is a community engaged Black feminist scholar, whose academic interests include sexual and reproductive justice, cultural work for social change, and how Black, Indigenous, and People of Color navigate institutions: particularly construction, maternal healthcare, and higher education. Her creative critical scholarship includes the theatre piece “My Walk Has Never Been Average,” and short film “Sista in the Brotherhood,” both informed by her research with Black tradeswomen and devised theater piece entitled “We are BRAVE,” based on reproductive stories from people of color and transgender people.

Mat Chat Bios

Jerry Ruíz

Jerry Ruiz’ s directing credits include: world premieres at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Second Stage Theatre and Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, as well as Off-Broadway and regional productions at the Old Globe, Primary Stages, Hartford TheaterWorks, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Mint Theater Company, Stages Repertory Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NYC Summerstage, Chalk Rep and Repertorio Español. He has developed work at Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, The Public Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Playwrights Realm.

From 2011 to 2015, he served as curator for the Crossing Borders festival of new plays at Two River Theater in New Jersey. He was a recipient of the 2009–2011 NEA/TCG Career Development for Theatre Directors Grant.  He received his M.F.A. from UC San Diego and his B.A. from Harvard University. SDC Member. Currently, he serves as the head of the MFA Directing program at Texas State University.           

Lava Alapai

Lava is originally from Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii where she learned the art of Bunraku puppetry. She graduated with an MFA in acting from California Institute of the Arts and has been creating theatre in Portland for more than a decade. Credits include design and acting work for Portland Playhouse, defunkt theatre, Tears of Joy Theatre and Many Hats Collaboration, among others. Directing credits include Columbinus, Charlotte’s Web and Locomotion for Oregon Children’s Theatre, and staged readings for Profile Theatre and Playwrights West.  She is an associate member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC). She would like to thank her amazing team and beautiful cast for giving her the opportunity to create this show with them, and her wife, Alex, for agreeing to go on this crazy ride with her. Visit to see Lava’s work as a photographer.

Damaso Rodriguez

Born in Miami, Florida, Dámaso Rodríguez has worked as a producer, director, educator, and arts administrator at theaters and universities across the country. Along with more than 100 production credits, he brings over 20 years of experience as an arts leader, from start-up organization to venerable institution. He is a vice president of Arts Consulting Group, where he works with arts and culture organizations around the country. Clients include: Berkeley Rep, the Central Oregon Center for the Arts, the Guthrie Theatre, KEXP, Long Wharf Theatre, Lynn University, Missoula Children’s Theatre, Pegasus Theatre, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.

Rodríguez spent nine seasons as Artistic Director of Artists Rep, Portland, Oregon’s longest-running professional theatre, where he established new artistic programs and guided the 40-year old organization through many periods of transition, including the property sale and facilities planning process for a $32mil redevelopment of the theatre’s downtown home. During his tenure, Artists Rep joined the League of Resident Theaters (LORT) and produced more than 60 productions. Artistic programming highlights include: the establishment of a new works development program; the organizational residency and resource-sharing program known as ArtsHub; the creation of a resident artists program involving nearly 40 artists across theatrical disciplines; the pandemic pivot to digital productions such as audio dramas and short films; and the establishment of the DNA: Oxygen program, which works to transform the company into a theatre rooted in anti-racist, anti-bias practices. Rodríguez is a Co-Founder of Los Angeles’ Furious Theatre (called “one of the fastest-rising ensembles in L.A. stage history” by LA Stage Magazine), where he spent 11 years as Co-Artistic Director. He has also served as Associate Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse. Rodríguez has produced and directed a broad range of new and classic plays at some the country’s most prominent regional theaters.

Along with 22 Artists Rep productions, directing credits include work at South Coast Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater, Seattle Rep, Intiman Theatre, A Noise Within, The Playwrights’ Center, New Dramatists, The New Harmony Project, and The Theatre @ Boston Court. He is a recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, Back Stage Garland Award, NAACP Theatre Award, and Pasadena Arts Council Gold Crown Award. Rodríguez is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, as a Theatre Communications Group Delegate to the Havana International Theatre Festival, and as a guest of Spain’s Ministry of Culture for the Ibero-American Theatre Forum

Appropriate Cast

Tyler Caffall is an actor based in Portland, Oregon, and recently relocated back to his hometown from New York where he lived and worked on stage and screen. Some of his favorite credits include Hamlet, which he performed with Bonneville Theater Company, Azdak in Caucasian Chaulk Circle with Joanna McKeon, Jim & Tom in Northern Stage’s Clybourne Park, and two summers of Shakespeare In The Park with The Public Theater. Before his time on the East Coast, Tyler was making his way around the Portland Stages. Notable roles include Skeets Miller in a Stumptown Stages production of Floyd Collins, Scripps in The History Boys, and Jace Mace in Artist Rep’s dueling productions of House & Garden, for which he won a Drammy.

Sara Fay Goldman (they/her) is a theatre artist on and off stage. They’re also a body artist, teacher, and most recently mental health advocate, online and in Portland since switching coasts in 2007, and serve as Associate Artistic Director for Fuse Theatre Ensemble’s year-round production season. Representative roles: Tether: ADHDBDSM (solo performance, Dir Rusty Tennant, Fuse), As You Like It (Director/Adapter, PAE), Hamlet/Feste (Salt and Sage repertoire, Dir Asae Dean), and A Midsummer Night’s Somnambulism (Helena/Director/Adapter, Fuse). To learn more about her other work follow @speedy_yogini on many platforms. Love and thanks to my family for their continuous support!

Tiffany Groben is delighted to make her Profile Theatre debut. Portland credits include: Tigers Be Still (Lyon Theatre), Belfast Girls (Corrib Theatre), Murder on the Nile (Lakewood Theatre Co.), Reborning (Beirut Wedding World Theatre Project), Play (Cracked Nutshell Productions), Ramona Quimby (Oregon Children’s Theatre), The Tempest (Portland Shakespeare Project), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Macbeth, Richard III, and Much Ado About Nothing (Northwest Classical Theatre Co.), SubUrbia, and A Bright Room Called Day (The Actors Conservatory). Tiffany is a proud graduate of The Actors Conservatory. Many thanks to everyone here for sharing this story with us!

Linda Hayden was born and bred in Chicago, but Portland is home. She was most recently seen in Profile Theatre’s production of “Sweat” by Lynn Nottage. She is delighted to now be in her fourth Profile Theatre production with Branden Jacobs – Jenkins’ “Appropriate “. Other Profile productions include Harold Pinters’ “The Homecoming” and Constance Congdons’ “Lips”. Other favorite roles include Viola and Olivia in “Twelfth Night” at Illinois Shakespeare Company and Tygres Heart Theatre, Ophelia in “Hamlet” at Portland Center Stage, Babe in “Crimes of the Heart” at Lakewood Center, Anne in “Anne of Green Gables” with Oregon Children’s Theatre, and Lucinde in “Malpractice“ with the Dell ‘Arte Players. Her training began at Columbia College in Chicago, wandered down to Normal, Illinois at ISU, and finally landed at Dell ‘Arte International in Humboldt County. Thank you Josh and Jane, for all your kindness over the years.

Gavin Hoffman is very happy to be back at Profile, where he appeared in Indecent and Fifth of July. Other Portland credits include (PCS): Major Barbara, Crossing Mnisose, Astoria Parts 1 & 2, Great Expectations, Cyrano, Othello, Clybourne Park; (ART): American Hero, The Understudy, The Monster-Builder. Gavin has also worked at Portland Playhouse, Lakewood, Shaking the Tree, and others. He is the recipient of 4 Drammy awards of acting. Gavin has worked regionally and in NYC. He is a proud member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA.

Colin Kane has been working in the Portland area since 2014, and was last seen in the world premier musical Loch Lomond at Broadway Rose in 2021. Local credits include Snail in A Year With Frog and Toad at Oregon Children’s Theatre (Drammy Award), and Brad in The Rocky Horror Show at Lakewood Theatre. He has also performed for triangle productions, Enlightened Theatrics, Shaking the Tree, Live on Stage, and others. A graduate of Portland State University, Colin would like to thank the arts educators in his life, Taryn, and his family. For Tom.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Rees is so excited to be making her Profile Theatre debut! Lizzy received her BFA in Acting from Texas State University in 2020. Recent credits include “The Birds” at Imago Theatre. She would like to thank Jerry for believing in her and for this incredible opportunity.

Nico Spaulding is relatively new to acting and Appropriate will be his maiden voyage into the world of theater. Born in Los Angeles, Nico now makes his home here in Portland where he lives with his parents and two dogs. In addition to acting, Nico enjoys tennis, biking, hiking and playing video games with his friends. He is also a big history buff. Nico has two fast talking older siblings who have taught him the importance of speaking up for yourself and putting yourself out to the world. A precocious, gregarious and warm spirit, Nico is alway up for adventure and for challenging himself. He is excited to play the role of Ainsley as he believes that the play has many important lessons about family, history, and forgiveness.

Miriam Schwartz

Miriam Schwartz

Miriam Schwartz (she/her):  Originally from Seattle, WA, Miriam Schwartz has spent the majority of her career in Minneapolis where past credits include roles at the Guthrie Theater, Mixed Blood Theatre, Six Points Theatre, Artistry MN, 7th House Theatre Company, Arrow Theatre Company, and The Playwrights’ Center.

She is the recipient of a 2018 MN Theatre Award for Exceptional Individual Performance for her work in the Guthrie’s production of INDECENT– a role she was thrilled to play again at Profile Theatre in collaboration with Artists Rep in 2020. In her most recent work with Profile, she sported *many* wigs as both Myra and Myrna in THE MINEOLA TWINS. Miriam is a graduate of the Guthrie Theater’s BFA Actor Training Program.

Julana Torres

Julana Torres

Julana Torres is a multifaceted artist with an extensive career in music, theatre, and dance. In 2016 she returned to the stage after a career of teaching with Portland Public Schools where she created the full-time dance program for Franklin High School.

Since returning to the stage, she has appeared in numerous productions including Crowns (PPH), Cop Out (Red Door Project), Between Riverside and Crazy (Artist Repertory) Water by the Spoonful (Profile Theatre), and starred in the first-ever revival of one-woman show Mala (Coho) by Melinda Lopez.

Additionally, she has co-starred in Netflix’s Trinkets and feature film Losing Addison, as well as been nominated twice for Best Actress by the Portland Drammy Awards. Julana can also be seen performing around town with her own 10-piece Salsa band, La Colorá. 

Jamie Rea

Jamie Rea


A renaissance woman of the theatre and a proud member of Actor’s Equity, Jamie has had the pleasure of exploring this powerful tool for connection and change for over 20 years. She has studied the work of Sanford Meisner & Robert Bray with Barry Hunt & Sowelu Theatre Ensemble; Suzuki Technique & Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints with the SITI Company (NYC); Rhythm Tap with Savion Glover’s teacher Lady Diane Walker & Lane Alexander, founder of the National Tap Dance Festival in Chicago; and Devising Theatre with the late Scott Kelman of Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theatre (NYC).

Seen previously as Halina in Indecent (Profile and ART), Amy in In the Wake, and as Dawn in The Secretaries (Profile Theatre). Additional local favorites include Olympe DeGouges in The Revolutionists  and Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest (Artist Repertory Theatre), Macbeth in Macbeth & Kristine (Drammy award, Best Supporting Actress) in A Doll’s House (Shaking the Tree Theatre), Anna (Drammy Finalist, Best Actress) in The Snowstorm (CoHo & Many Hats Productions), Mary Shelley in Bloody Poetry (NW Classical Theatre Co), and Gabriella in References to Salvador Dali make me hot (Milagro). 

Jolly Wrapper

Jolly Wrapper, That’s “Wrapper” With A “W”! is a Portland-based musical performer, spoken word poet, and visual artist. His work often draws inspiration from personal experiences, interests, people, systems, and social injustices, which he has encountered and observed throughout his life. Although not confined to any one particular genre of music, his most popular songs usually consist of Hip-Hop Rap and Bedroom-Pop.

He’s very established in the local area both as a Portland Poet, and also as an up-and-coming artist in the Portland rap scene as well. He’s not only performed all over Portland, some of his most notable out of town performances were, Houston Texas, Las Vegas Nevada, and one of his biggest feats yet was being flown out by the Smithsonian Institution, located in Washington DC to give a musical performance for the launch of Open Access, the releasing of the Smithsonian’s digital archives to the public.

He enjoys metal detecting, collecting coins, polishing rocks, and his favorite snack is cilantro! His biggest strengths are being creative and problem-solving. Through art and self-expression, he will change the world. When we asked him how he felt he hit us with his famous catchphrase, “I’m Feelin’ Jolly!”
Support him and he’ll support you!

Follow him on Instagram @JollyWrapper 

Nel Taylor

Nel is thrilled to be returning to the stage for the first time in years for this special event! Previous performance credits include; performing for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, collaborating with David Foster, recording with MAH Records, and performing with Radio Disney.

In more recent years Nel has performed in rock bands and solo as a vocalist/bassist/ukulele artist. You can often find them on the Alberta Street Pub stage, or at karaoke. Nel is currently pursuing their other passion in fundraising at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, and is the Front of House Coordinator at Profile Theatre. 


DJ is thrilled to perform on this special evening. Most recently, reviving the titular role in Hedwig and the An. gry Inch at Portland Center Stage at the Armory, DJ is honored to revisit the immensely moving piece that was his start with Profile. DJ has been fortunate to perform at New York Fashion Week, alongside members of the North Carolina Symphony through the Manning Chamber Seiries, and with Sally Struthers in Always…Patsy Cline.

Some other notable credits in Portland include Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night time at Portland Center Stage at the Armory, Crowns at Portland Playhouse, and Ghosted with Oregon Children’s Theatre.  This is sure to be a wonderful celebration of Profile’s contributions to theatre thus far, and he is honored and humbled to be in attendance. Here’s to many more years of moving stories!

Alex Ramirez de Cruz

Alex Ramirez de Cruz is originally from Ventura, California but has settled in Portland as an area actor, deviser, singer and theatre-maker. Favorite credits include: Teenage Dick (Artist Repertory Theatre), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Third Rail Repertory Theatre), This Girl… (COHO Theatre), 26 Miles (Profile Theatre), The Oregon Trail (Portland Center Stage), db (COHO Theatre), Passion Play (Shaking The Tree & Profile Theatre)

She is dedicated to creating original devised theatre and is a proud member of String House, an independent producing title and new works laboratory, nominated for two Drammy Awards for “Best Devised Production.” When she is not onstage, Alex is busy being a coding wizard, embroidering and cuddling her animals and wife.