THE ARTISTS

Carlos Aguirre (actor: Hunter/Zulko) has been performing both as an actor and hip-hop artist in the Bay Area for over eleven years.  He is part of the musical group Felonious and has performed with The Roots, Eryka Badu, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Blackalicious, Jurassic Five, L.L. Cool J, and George Clinton among others. Carlos appeared most recently in The Magic Theatre’s 2011 production of Lily’s Revenge, and the 2010 world premiere of Oedipus El Rey.  He also appears regularly at Intersection for the Arts with world-renowned theatre company Campo Santo (most recently in the 2009 world premiere of Fuku Americanus based on the Pulitzer Prize winning The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, in which he composed/compiled the entire musical soundtrack) and the March 2007 production of A Place to Stand from the writings of Jimmy Santiago Baca and Ntozake Shange and with The Hybrid Project (most recently in the December 2007 Grounded New Works Festival with his original sonic and spoken word verse adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart).Carlos shares his experience by teaching at various schools and at risk environments throughout the Bay Area.  He most recently taught a class in Literacy through Poetry and Songwriting at two correctional facilities in the Bay Area. He has used his vocal percussion workshops to help ESL students improve diction and clarity. Carlos is currently working with LYRICAL MINDED, a San Francisco based collective of urban teaching artists, in various group homes and schools in San Francisco. He is also currently working with WORD FOR WORD as well as STAGEWRITE, which are two literacy-through-theatre programs.  His work has helped many different students from various demographics gain skills to better express themselves.  He is dedicated to preserving the voice of the youth and the culture of Hip Hop.

Edna Miroslava Barrón (sound designer) is a theater performer in the Bay Area (plug: upcoming show: www.RwongWrabbitWhole.webs.com). However, her double life as a sound designer/technician/dj has been as enriching as acting. She has worked in radio, mainly recently exiled station, KUSF, for six years. It was through opportunities at KUSF during her theatrical scholastic career at USF, that she learned about audio editing, often producing spots for on-air broadcast and sound designing USF shows. Since 2008, Edna has created scores for shows such as Jessica Heidt’s, For All the Babies’ Fathers, Michael Sommers’ DAA, and Michelle Maxson’s women’s reentry shows, including the recent A Way Out at USF. Scoring Hunter’s Point has been a challenging and rewarding experience, and Edna hopes you enjoy the journey through, to and from the city.

Mark Ellinger (visual artist) studied painting and drawing at the Art Institute of San Francisco but soon gravitated toward filmmaking. He worked for 15 years as a recording engineer, sound designer, and composer for independent filmmakers, studios, and film labs. Between 1985 and 1995, Mark lost just about all that was dear to him — friends, family, business, home, and possessions — and for the next six years, he plumbed the depths of experiences and his own psyche, living on the streets of San Francisco as a homeless junkie. It damn near killed him, but looking death in the face of death made him realize the sweetness of being alive. After being discharged from the hospital, he moved in a Sixth Street hotel, where he began photographing and researching the history of San Francisco’s central city. He was the photographer for the survey that put the Tenderloin into the National Register of Historic Places. Mark’s photography and ongoing historical research are regularly published on his website upfromthedeep.com.

Elizabeth Gjelten (playwright) is a playwright, poet and educator. Her play, Hunter’s Point, premiered at St. Boniface Theater in 2011 and was featured in the 2010 Bay Area Playwrights Festival in 2010. Previous full-length plays include What the Birds Carry (at The Pear Avenue Theater and the Mae West Fest) and Dance Lessons (at the Working Woman Festival and Venue 9). She came to playwriting via solo theater, performing her own work at venues around the Bay Area. She has taught playwriting/writing for performance and has worked as an artist mentor in various settings, including the Experimental Performance program at New College of California, San Francisco State University, JFK University, and juvenile detention facilities. Elizabeth has an MFA in Creative Writing from SFSU and is a longtime student of poetics with Diane di Prima. She is a recipient of Theatre Bay Area’s Titan Award and has been a resident artist at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

Duca Knezevic (dramaturg/cultural consultant) is a dramaturg by vocation, with 25 years of experience in theatre including, but not limited to literary management, production, criticism, curatorship, new play development. A theatre scholar and practitioner with teaching credentials on undergraduate and graduate levels, Duca has worked for Theatre Rhinoceros and Playwrights Foundation; she has also freelanced across the country — from the Bay Area to Chicago and Atlanta.

Gabe Maxson (lighting designer) is Assistant Professor and Production Manager at the University of San Francisco and Associate Artist since 2002 at The Wooster Group in New York. Designs with Wooster include Hamlet, La Didone and Poor Theater (co-designer, w/ Jennifer Tipton). Other recent lighting designs: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Woyzeck, The Learned Ladies, Dust, Rift at USF, The Companion Piece (Mark Jackson and Beth Wilmurt) at Z-Space, Les Liasons Dangereuses at Porchlight Theater, Randee Paufve’s That Obscure Subject of Desire at Dance Mission Theatre. Gabe also directed and, with his wife Michelle, co-created They Are Bad People, a multi-media character dissection of the conservative commentator Ann Coulter. Recent awards: 2009 TBA CA$H Grant, 2011 Dancers’ Group Lighting Artists in Dance Award. Maxson was recently nominated for a 2010 News and Documentary Emmy Award as co-producer on Ian Olds’ Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi (HBO Documentary Films, NYTimes Critics’ Pick).

Nick A. Olivero (set designer) is the founding Artistic Director of Boxcar Theatre. He has produced over 30 productions with Boxcar, offering unique perspectives and unparalleled experiences to audiences. As a set designer, he has designed for Crowded Fire (Secretaries), Berkeley Playhouse (13!) and most of Boxcar’s productions since 2005. Memorable directorial credits which he also designed sets for include Little Shop of Horrors, Zen, Galáp. (Adapted from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Galápagos”), True West, and Clue, and Where the Sidewalk Ends. Last fall he designed the set for Equus directed by Erin Gilley. He has co-written and performed in 21/One, Big Co., and Animal Kingdom. His original plays are Manners and Civility, Rent Boy Ave.: an urban fairytale musical, and his adaptation Romeo & Julien, starring two men as the star-crossed lovers, a response to Prop 8 passing. He is committed to Boxcar’s growth as a Directors Theatre, offering a home for directors with bold visions and high concepts.

Allison L. Payne (actor: Violet/Mom) was born and raised in Oakland, California, began acting at the age of 11, and performed in many productions throughout her teenage years. Ms. Payne attended Clark Atlanta University, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology, and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Drama Therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies. As fate would have it, the Drama Therapy program, with its focus on healing and self-expression, led her full circle to the acting world again. Some of Ms. Payne’s favorite theatrical experiences include Cutting Ball Theater’s west coast premiere of Suzan-Lori Park’s Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World; the 10th anniversary Black Nativity at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, where she was the first and only woman in the production’s history to lead as Narrator and Pastor; a Word for Word/LHT collaboration of James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues, which toured nationally and in several cities in France;  and  Marcus Gardley’s Love Is a Dream House in Lorin at Shotgun Players.

 

Christine Rodgers (actor: Ruthie) is an actor and poet living in San Francisco who has been involved in Hunter’s Point since its inception.  Recent performances include iScan at the San Francisco Fringe/BOA Festivals, Aftermath of War: In Their Own Words at the Julia Morgan Center, Stuart Bousel’s Matthew 33.06 at the Exit, and her own solo piece One Instance of Burning at the Mission Church at Santa Clara University. She was also privileged to perform in Elizabeth Gjelten’s fierce play What the Birds Carry at the Pear Avenue Theatre. Christine has twice been a performer/producer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. She was a resident artist at the Z Space Studio for five years, enjoying many fruitful collaborations. She received her training at Circle in the Square in New York. An activist and advocate for the role of women in the Catholic tradition, Christine’s poetry has appeared in America, Fellowship, the National Catholic Reporter, Radical Grace, and several websites. She has published three books of poetry: Into the Great Green Heart of God, Upon a Luminous Night, and Embracing the Sacred Journey. She also leads regular poetry workshops at St. Vincent de Paul’s Wellness Center with clients in recovery.

Eula Janeen Wyatt (composer/actor: Eva) is a singer, actor, dancer and educator in San Francisco. She appeared recently in Haircaught (co-created by Ms. Wyatt, Rowena Richie and Susie Hara) at CounterPULSE Theater, and .LOVE, a musical play by Richard Jennings at the Off-Market Theater. Other favorites include performing in Elizabeth Gjelten’s Dance Lessons at the Working Women Festival, Venue 9, and Z Space Studios; George Coates’ the Architecture of Catastrophic Change; touring nationally with Ellen Sebastian Chang’s Sanctified; and Bobbi Jo Lathan’s A Right Smart of Love at Whitefire Theater in Los Angeles. Eula Janeen has sung with world music groups such as JouJou, an a cappella quartet; The Enormous Ensemble, a Balkan trio; Eulajae, a Brazilian jazz quartet; and Midnight Rounds, a 13-piece big band. She created Negotiating Rapture at the Zeum Theatre, an interdisciplinary musical that explored the emotional effects of the Kosovo conflict within one family’s relationships. Eula Janeen is passionate about working creatively with disabled adults, such as in the musical Looking for Oz at the ARCSF, for which she was music director, pianist and band leader. With graduate degrees in Interdisciplinary Arts and Music, she teaches Creative Arts at San Francisco State University. She also teaches Pilates, voice and piano.

 

Christine Young (director) is a theater director, dramaturg, and educator who specializes in new play development. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco, where she teaches in the Performing Arts and Social Justice program.  Prior to joining USF, she held several administrative posts with non-profit arts organizations: Playwrights Foundation (Literary Manager and Associate Artistic Director), Magic Theatre (Young California Writer’s Project Coordinator), and Streetside Stories (Facilitator and Program Coordinator).  She has 10 years experience working as a teaching artist in both public and independent K-8 schools, and has also taught for California Shakespeare Theater, New Conservatory Theater, TheatreWorks, and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.  Recent artistic projects include: One Instance of Burning with Chris Rodgers (for which she received a Theatre Bay Area individual artist grant), Cry Don’t Cry with multi-disciplinary ensemble Balé Techlorico (developed through Shotgun Theatre’s Lab Program), the American premiere of Edward Bond’s A-A-America for Crowded Fire, the world premiere of Executive Order 9066 with Lunatique Fantastique, and the world premiere of Two Birds & A Stone by Amy Wheeler for the Capitol Hill Arts Center in Seattle. Christine holds an MFA in directing from the University of Iowa and a BA in Religion from Princeton University.