Water/Happiest Rep: Design & Production Team

Josh Hecht

Director

Josh Hecht (Artistic Director) is a Drama Desk Award-winning director whose productions have been seen in New York at MCC Theater, The Cherry Lane, The Duke on 42nd Street, New World Stages, Culture Project, regionally at The Guthrie Theater, the Berkshire Theatre Group, the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Signature Theatre (DC) and internationally at the Dublin Arts Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and elsewhere. His collaboration with Ping Chong and Company was commissioned by and premiered at The Kennedy Center before touring the northeast. His writing has received the support of the Jerome Foundation. He is formerly the Director of Playwright Development at MCC Theater and the Director of New Play Development at WET. He's served on the faculty of the New School for Drama MFA Directing program, the Fordham University MFA Playwriting program, Purchase College SUNY's BFA Dramatic Writing program and has been a guest artist at The Juilliard School, NYU's Dramatic Writing MFA, Carnegie Mellon's MFA Playwriting, University of Minnesota's BFA Acting program and others.

 

Peter Ksander

Scenic  Design

Peter is a scenographer and media artist whose stage design work has been presented both nationally and internationally. In 2006 he joined the curatorial board of the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator. In 2008 he won an Obie award for the scenic design of Untitled Mars (this title may change), and In 2014 he won a Bessie award for the visual design of This Was the End. He holds a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, is an Associate Professor at Reed College and is an associate company member with the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble. This is his second design with Profile having designed Bright Half Life last season.

 

Brynne Oster-Bainnson

Costume Design

Brynne received her BA from Drew University in 2013. She works as the wardrobe supervisor for Broadway Rose Theatre Company and is also the costumer for David Douglas High School and St. Mary’s Academy where she enjoys spreading the love of costumes to the next generations. Brynne has worked as a costume designer for Broadway Rose, Third Rail, and CoHo. Highlights of her recent shows Fly By Night (BRTC), The Nether (TR), Angry Brigade (TR),  and db (CoHo). She is very excited to work with Profile for the first time on these two incredible shows with this outstanding creative team.

 

Carl Faber

Lighting Design 

In three seasons with Profile Carl has designed: Orlando, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Eyes for Consuela.  Recent designs with Artists Rep (Grand Concourse, Broomstick), Third Rail (The Angry Brigade), Broadway Rose (Trails, Beehive – Drammy Best Lighting), Theatre Vertigo (Carnivora), NWCT (Mary Poppins).  Regional: Arena Stage, Boston ICA, Williamstown Theatre Festival.  Touring Production/IT: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  Touring Associate Lighting/Video: Bon Iver, The National.  Lighting Artist: Eaux Claires Music Festival.  Founding Member: Woodshed Collective NYC.  Staff Assistant Lighting Designer: Portland Opera.  Broadway Assistant Designer: The Book of Mormon.  Education: Catlin Gabel, Vassar College.  Member: United Scenic Artists Local USA-829.  www.carlfaber.com

Represented by United Scenic Artists

 

Matt Wiens

Sound Design

Matt is excited to be a part of Profile's Quiara Alegria Hudes season. Recent work includes Pen/Man/Ship, How I learned What I Learned, and You For Me For You, at Portland Playhouse. Matt would like to thank his family for their support and encouragement!

 

Kyra Bishop Sanford

Props Master

Kyra is excited to be part of this production! Local credits include scenic and props designer and TD for You're a Good Man Charlie Brown (Enlightened Theatrics) and Troilus and Cressida (Portland Actors Ensemble), scenic and props designer for The Pillowman (Life in Arts), production designer and TD for Men Run Amok (part of Fertile Ground 2017), props master for The Events (Third Rail Rep), Plaid Tidings (Enlightened Theatrics) and Reborning (Beirut Wedding), as well as carpentry and paint work at various theatres in the area. She received her BFA in Scenic Design from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. www.sanfordscenic.com

 

Jamie Rea

Production Manager

From Berlin's aerialist street ensemble, Grotest Maru to Wellington's all female dance ensemble JAVA, Jamie has been exploring this powerful tool of connection and change for over 2 decades. Serving as an award winning director, designer, and performer, she has worked up and down both coasts and as far away as Australia. She does however also love to plant roots, building a human-resource-focused way of working, as a foundation for extraordinary art. To that end, it has been her pleasure to serve as Production Manager for Jewish Theatre Collaborative for 9 years, for Enlightened Theatrics for the past 3 years, and by project for many others including Sojourn Theatre and The Beirut Wedding World Theatre Project.

 

Baleigh Isaacs

Stage Manager

Baleigh is delighted to be working with Profile Theatre for the first time, marking her Portland debut after spending a dozen years in Chicago. Her Chicago credits include productions at Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare, American Blues, Remy Bumppo, and Drury Lane as well as Million Dollar Quartet, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, Old Jews Telling Jokes, and Motherhood the Musical.  Baleigh has also worked with the Alliance Theatre and Georgia Shakespeare in her hometown of Atlanta.  Her NYC credits include Les Miserables, The Rhythm Club, and Summer of '42.

Member of Actor's Equity Association

 

Breydon Little

Assistant Stage Manager

Breydon is ecstatic to be working with in rep with Profile this fall! He is a stage manager with credits at Portland Playhouse, and independent projects with Michael Streeter, Beth Thompson, and Elizabeth Huffman. He is a proud member of Theatre Vertigo and a production manager at Clackamas High School.

 

Ashlin Hatch

Assistant Director

Ashlin is thrilled to be collaborating on her first project with Profile. Other recent directorial credits include Nice Town, Normal People (Rhizome Theater Co.) and This Must Be the Place (Reed College)—both devised, interview-based performances aiming to sow seeds of social cohesion, compassion, and kindness.

From the Artistic Director: 26 Miles

 

Photo by Edwin Pabon

26 Miles is, in my opinion, one of Quiara Alegria Hudes' most intimate plays. Far from the psychic landscape of war that Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue presents, 26 Miles is a story about mothers and daughters, about the mistakes we make as parents and as children, about the unique ways that, in the words of Doug Wright, family “both wounds us and applies the salve.”

A couple of months ago, we did a private table read of the play – just director Rebecca Martinez, this cast, a couple board members members and stakeholders, and me. Under fluorescent lights, on thinly-padded folding chairs, the actors read the script cold. We spent the next 80 minutes alternately laughing and crying together. Afterwards we found ourselves sharing our own stories of having – or being – single parents, of navigating more than one culture in a family, of addiction and recovery, of cultural pride and the pressure to conform or assimilate, of the courage it takes to forge one's own identity and the challenge to claim one's cultural history.

It never ceases to amaze me the power of actors to make themselves vulnerable, or of good writing to lead us into a more compassionate, more empathic space. We listened to each other's stories, and to the story Quiara had written, and in so doing, we came to know ourselves better. That's the power of the theater. For 80 minutes, if we listen and allow ourselves to be moved, we might recognize ourselves in each other and make a less lonesome world.

26 Miles runs June 15-25, 2017.

Get tickets HERE.

26 Miles Sneak Peek Podcast

Get a sneak peek of Quiara Alegría Hudes' 26 Miles with this brief podcast with an introduction by Artistic Director Josh Hecht and listen to a scene from the play with actors Julana Torres and Alex Ramirez de Cruz.

 

Buy tickets to 26 Miles here.

Pictured: Director Rebecca Martinez with actors Julana Torres and Alex Ramirez de Cruz. Photo by Sharath Patel.

Community Profile: Our City’s Veterans

On Monday, November 13th we celebrated the end of this year-long program!  The emotional evening was a public performance of the veterans’ writing staged with professional actors on the Alder Stage.  

This reading was presented in conjunction with our rotating repertory production of Water By The Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last, the final two plays in a trilogy of work centered around Elliot Ortiz, a veteran of the Iraq war.

 

From Artistic Director Josh Hecht

One of the things that most attracted me to Profile Theatre when I applied for the job of Artistic Director last year is the company's long-standing commitment to real community engagement. My desire to lead a theater company stems from my belief that, at its best, theater can help us have conversations we might not otherwise have. A theater that was already putting significant human capital and programming resources into community dialogue felt like the right home for me.

One of my biggest priorities as I start my new tenure at the helm of Profile is continuing to broaden the communities we reach and serve, and continuing to deepen the two-way engagement with our city.

At the center of our 2017 Quiara Alegria Hudes season we will present all three plays in Hudes' “Elliot” Trilogy: Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, Pulitzer Prize-winner Water By The Spoonful, and The Happiest Song Plays Last. The first follows three generations of a Puerto Rican-American family, all of whom have served in the US Armed Forces – the grandfather in Korea, the Father and mother in Vietnam, and Elliot who serves two tours in Iraq. The two subsequent plays follow Elliot's re-introduction into civilian life and his struggle to find his place in the world.

What better an opportunity to engage with our own veterans community. There are currently nearly 22 million American combat vets, 2.5 million from the current engagements in the Middle East alone. Profile has created a one-of-a-kind collaboration with the Writers Guild Initiative, the professional trade organization of screenwriters and playwrights, to bring award-winning writers from across the country to Portland. Here they will work with local veterans and their families, mentoring them in a writing practice designed to help them reflect upon and share their experiences through the written word. We've also partnered with the American Legion Post 134 in NE Portland, various Veterans Resource Centers at colleges in the area, and the Wounded Warrior Project's regional base in Seattle to identify local participants in these workshops.

The group gathered in February for two days of intensive writing workshops. They also saw our production of Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue. Throughout the year, we continued to meet one Saturday afternoon a month to create community, share work and continue our practice. Finally, in November, selections of their writing were presented with professional actors and director on Profile's stage alongside our repertory productions of Water By The Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last.

Our goal is manifold: To use the theater as a site of community-formation. To think of the theater, not just as an institution that can start conversations, but as a place the community goes to have those conversations. But also, to provide a place where various communities can see their own lives reflected back to them on the stage, so that we might know ourselves and each other as necessary parts of this great American tapestry.

If you are interested in learning more about our veterans' collaborations this year, please don't hesitate to drop me a line. I hope to see you at the theater.

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In Repertory

Experience these plays as never before produced: In rotating rep!

Both plays are staged on the same convertible set, share a cast of actors and focus on the central character of Elliot.  You need not see them in order, as each story stands on its own.  But do see them both for a fully rounded experience.

BUY TICKETS

November 1-19, 2017
Alder Stage

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL

Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from the war in Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world. Somewhere in a chat room, recovering addicts forge an unbreakable bond of support and love. In this fearless, heart-stirring Pulitzer Prize-winner, worlds virtual and real unfold onstage, challenging our notions of family, forgiveness, community, and courage.

A rich, brilliant montage of American urban life that is as dazzling to watch as it is difficult to look away from.Associated Press

ASL interpreted performance November 10th.

Play two of the Elliot trilogy.

 

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST

Iraq War vet Elliot has a bright new career: movie star. But shooting a film on location in Jordan, with the tumultuous Arab Spring rumbling nearby, he finds that his wartime nightmares have followed him into his new life. Back in Philadelphia, his cousin Yaz has her hands full cooking for the homeless and trying to keep her beloved community from crumbling. Set to the joyful sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, this final play of Hudes’ trilogy chronicles a year in the life of these two kindred souls as they search for love, meaning and a sense of hope in a quickly changing world.

An intensely engaging new drama.Chicago Tribune

ASL interpreted performance November 17th.

Play three of the Elliot trilogy.

 

In Repertory

Experience these plays as never before produced: In rotating rep!

Both plays are staged on the same convertible set, share a cast of actors and focus on the central character of Elliot.  You need not see them in order, as each story stands on its own.  But do see them both for a fully rounded experience.

BUY TICKETS

November 1-19, 2017
Alder Stage

Evenings 7:30pm – Matinees 2:00pm

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL

Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from the war in Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world. Somewhere in a chat room, recovering addicts forge an unbreakable bond of support and love. In this fearless, heart-stirring Pulitzer Prize-winner, worlds virtual and real unfold onstage, challenging our notions of family, forgiveness, community, and courage.

A rich, brilliant montage of American urban life that is as dazzling to watch as it is difficult to look away from. Associated Press

ASL interpreted performance November 10th.

Play two of the Elliot trilogy.

 

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST

Iraq War vet Elliot has a bright new career: movie star. But shooting a film on location in Jordan, with the tumultuous Arab Spring rumbling nearby, he finds that his wartime nightmares have followed him into his new life. Back in Philadelphia, his cousin Yaz has her hands full cooking for the homeless and trying to keep her beloved community from crumbling. Set to the joyful sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, this final play of Hudes’ trilogy chronicles a year in the life of these two kindred souls as they search for love, meaning and a sense of hope in a quickly changing world.

An intensely engaging new drama.Chicago Tribune

ASL interpreted performance November 17th.

Play three of the Elliot trilogy.

 

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM

IN DIALOGUE EVENTS (Pre & Post show conversations and artists)

PRESS Reviews, Mentions & More

 

PRODUCERS CIRCLE FOR THESE PRODUCTIONS

Producer: Paul Duden

Associate Producer: The Standard

 

Evenings 7:30pm – Matinees 2:00pm

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Meet Josh Hecht! Our New Artistic Director

Omaha profile close upProfile Theatre is pleased to announce Josh Hecht as its new Artistic Director after a seven month national search. Josh will be relocating to Portland and take up leadership of theatre in February 2017. “I've spent my career guided by the belief that it is our writers who help us dream our culture forward,” says Josh. “I'm thrilled to join Profile Theatre, whose distinctive mission uses one playwright's vision as a lens to help us better understand ourselves and our world. And I am inspired by Profile's commitment to artistic excellence, robust community engagement and to presenting artists who reflect the diversity of our shared culture.”

“Profile Theatre was honored to have over 80 qualified applicants from around the world express interest in becoming our Artistic Director,” says Richard Bradspies, Profile Board member and head of the Artistic Director search committee. “We are especially excited to have Josh Hecht join us because he brings outstanding experience coupled with a shared vision and passion for the unique place Profile fills in the Portland arts scene.”

Josh comes to Profile after having previously served in senior staff positions at two important theaters in New York, MCC Theater and WET. While at MCC, he commissioned new work by Terrence McNally and John Guare, dramaturged Tony-nominated plays by Bryony Lavery and Neil LaBute, and created and ran the Playwrights Coalition, developing new plays by some of the most honored young playwrights of the last decade including Stephen Adly Guirgis, Lucy Thurber, David Adjmi, Adam Bock, Itamar Moses and many others. At WET he developed new work by some of our most prominent female playwrights including Anna Ziegler, Melissa James Gibson, and Kate Robin. He has consulted with the Lake George Theatre Lab and the Great Plains Theatre Conference, helping them expand their programming and community engagement initiatives.

As a freelance director, Josh’s work has received the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience, Festival First awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Dublin Arts Festival, and has been nominated for the IRNE Award (Boston) and the GLAAD Award (New York). Productions have been seen at theaters around the country including the Guthrie Theater, the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theater of Louisville, the Berkshire Theater Festival, the Kennedy Center, No Rules at Signature Theater Company in DC, and in New York at MCC Theater, the Cherry Lane, the Duke on 42nd Street, The Culture Project and the Obie-winning collective 13Playwrights, among others. He has continued to develop dozens of new plays at theaters and play development centers across the country.

As an educator, Josh has been on the faculty of the New School for Drama’s MFA Directing program,  Fordham University’s MFA Playwriting program and Purchase College, SUNY’s esteemed BFA Dramatic Writing program, in addition to guest stints at The Juilliard School, NYU, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Minnesota and others.

His writing has been seen at the Kennedy Center in a collaborative piece created with National Medal of Honor winner Ping Chong, at the Duke on 42nd Street, the Flynn Center in Burlington, VT and the Round House Theater, and has received the support of the Jerome Foundation.

Profile Board Chair Steve Young adds, “Along with other members of Profile’s Search committee, I was impressed by Josh’s credentials as an educator and award-winning director with broad and deep experience in American theatre—in NYC and across the US. I am also impressed by his communication, collaboration, and leadership skills and by his passionate belief in theatre’s responsibility to contribute to the civic life of our community.”

Josh will arrive at Profile Theatre to launch Profile’s 2017 Quiara Alegría Hudes Season. “I've been a fan of Quiara Alegría Hudes since seeing Elliot nearly a decade ago,” says Josh. “I find her plays profoundly optimistic in world-view, without ignoring the complicated, often painful  realities of our lives. They seem to suggest that human connection is the salve that can begin to heal even the biggest traumas.” He will direct the rotating repertory productions of Water by the Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last running November 1-19, 2017.

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