Artist Ensemble JH: Mechanics of a Legend

 

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Angela Baughman (SOUND DESIGNER)
 is honored to be part of the creation of JH: Mechanics of a Legend. She previously worked with director Anya Martin on CMU’s reading of Unmanned by Robert Meyers, and most recently was the touring A2 with Broadway Christmas Wonderland. She spent last summer creating killer birds for 12 Peers’ production of The Birds and playing with rocks to design live Foley effects for Front Porch Theatricals’ Floyd Collins. She has been working with Prime Stage Theatre since 2011, where some favorite designs include A Lesson Before Dying, The Giver and The Great Gatsby. Other design credits include University of Pittsburgh’s Avenue Q, Samuel Hazo’s Tell it to the Marines, PICT Classic Theatre’s Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme, Blithe Spirit and How the Other Half Loves. She was also the assistant sound designer for the premiere of The Play with Rocky Bleier. In addition to these various creative endeavors she is the producer and part-time host of The Union Edge: Labor’s Talk Radio. Angela made her way to Pittsburgh after earning a degree in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music. You can find her online at thatsoundgirl.com.

 

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Kyle Bostian (DRAMATURG)
 holds an MFA in Playwriting and a PhD in Theatre History and Dramatic Literature. He’s been a tenure-track faculty member at Point Park University and the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, teaching a range of courses including playwriting and screenwriting. His work for the stage has been performed at theatres across the country and around the world. His screenplays have been finalists or semifinalists in industry competitions nearly twenty times. His work explores philosophical ideas and cultural issues through compelling narratives with dimensional, dynamic characters across a range of genres: the sci-fi adventure Webolution, the suspense drama Bodie’s Sattva, the period romance Playing By Ear, the action-comedy The Bard, and the coming-of-age memoir Sex, Drugs & Spiritual Enlightenment.

 

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Alexis Chaney (COSTUME DESIGNER) is a second year in Carnegie Mellon’s MFA program for Costume Design, originally from Washington, DC. She is a founding member of First Floor Theater in Chicago, IL.  Regional: Acis and Galatea (Carnegie Mellon University) Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, Matt and Ben, Polaroid Stories, Sexual Perversity in Chicago (First Floor Theater) True West, Henry IV Part I (University Theater at the University of Chicago.

 

 

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Tom Driscoll (plays  MECHANIC) is thrilled to return as the Mechanic in this production of JH as well as getting the opportunity to work alongside such an amazing creative team. Past credits include Romeo et Juliette (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Macbeth (PICT Classic Theater); The Importance Of Being Earnest (Prime Stage); The Invention of Edison(Pittsburgh CLO); Helldrivers of Daytona; and Cactus. Other credits at Point Park University, where Tom received his BFA in Acting, include The ProducersThe School for ScandalThe OutsidersM33; and Evita.


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Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black
 (SCRIPT ADVISOR) is an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University (Department of History). Fields- Black is the author of Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (2008, 2014). With Francesca Bray, Peter Coclanis, and Dagmar Schaeffer, Fields-Black coedited Rice: Global Networks and New Histories (2015). It won Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015. She is currently writing a history of the Gullah Geechee, From First Dark to Day Clean: An Epic History from Western Africa to Gullah Geechee. For her research on the Gullah Geechee, Fields-Black was awarded a Smithsonian Senior Fellowship at the in the Spring semester of 2013 and an Andrew W. Mellon New Directions Fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year. In addition, Fields -Black is currently collaborating with visual artist Jonathan Green and filmmaker Julie Dash to produce The Requiem for Rice, a lamentation for the repose of the souls of the dead who were enslaved, exploited, and brutalized on Lowcountry South Carolina and Georgia’s rice plantations and who remain unburied, unmourned, and unmarked. Fields-Black is writing the libretto on which the Requiem is based. Opening in 2017 in Charleston, SC at the Colour of Music Black Classical Musicians Festival.

 

 

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Delana Flowers (plays POLLY ANN)  has graced stages all over Pittsburgh and in her hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania in musicals like Ain’t Misbehavin, Queens of the Blues, Black Nativity, The Whiz, Mahalia Jackson: Standing on Holy Ground and Little Shop of Horrors. She has been a featured artist on several recordings and with The Grace Band, The Teresa Hawthorne Band, and The Terrance Vaughn Band. Since her move to Pittsburgh she has been part of top-notch choirs, worship teams and small ensembles all over the city.

 

 

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Monteze Freeland (Co- WRITER, and plays JH, JOHN HENRY)  Monteze Freeland trained at Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. As an actor he most recently appeared in principle roles in Aida and South Pacific with Pittsburgh CLO. Additional credits include; The Piano Lesson, Congo Square The Musical, Christmas Star (Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company) The Electric Baby (Quantum Theatre) Fahrenheit 451 and Of Mice and Men (Primestage Theater Co.), Angels in America (Throughline Theater Co.) JH: Mechanics of a Legend and Camino with The Hiawatha Project, and Radio Golf (Kuntu Rep.) to name a few. Monteze directed the world premiere, critically acclaimed production of Miss Julie, Clarissa and John, Christmas Star, Poe’s Last Night (PPTCO), The Gospel Singer (The LAB Project), Is That A Gun in Your Pocket (Act Out), Reservations Cancelled (PNWF), Harriet Tubman Loved Somebody (Kuntu Rep) and Fences (CCAC- Co-director). Monteze was commissioned by the Arena Players to write three plays and one musical for their Youth Theatre Company, original work for Tricksters and Truth Tellers, and an adaptation of Caps For Sale for ACH Clear Pathways. In addition to serving as artistic associate for Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company he is a teaching artist for City Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival. In 2014 he acquired the position of Education Director for Quantum Theatre Company and artistic director of The LAB Project, educating students in the Pittsburgh region. In 2017 his original musical Kalopsia The Musical will premiere through the New Hazlett Theater’s Community Supported Artists (CSA) performance series.

 

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Linda Haston (plays LUCY) is a professional actress, singer, dancer, director and teaching artist from Pittsburgh. A New York City resident for 10 years, she had her own cabaret act and performed in national and regional tours. In February of 2002, she directed a critically successful production of for colored girls…. and in 2004 was an acting instructor and director at South Park high school’s spring musical Into the Woods, which was nominated for Best Musical and won Best Lighting Design at the Gene Kelly awards. Since 2007 she has been successfully directing/performing at Off the Wall Productions located in Carnegie, PA. In addition to Season’s Greetings, How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel, Four Dogs and a Bone, The Club (performed/choreographed and directed), and And Baby Makes Seven, An Accident in September 2016 was Linda’s eighth directorial project for Off the Wall Productions. She has directed and/or performed in original productions for SWAN Day with No Name Players, and BUS for Bricolage. Some favorite roles: Lily Ann Green in Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Irene Page in Bubbling Brown Sugar starring Vivian Reed; Jeannette in City Theatre’s Crowns; Tituba in Quantum’s and Prime Stage’s The Crucible; Mrs. Dickson in Intimate Apparel at City Theatre, Addie at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre’s The Little Foxes, Theenie at PICT in For the Tree to Drop, Calpurnia at Prime Stage’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Linda/Ruth in the premiere of her one woman show Mother Lode written by Virginia Wall Gruenert to critical acclaim in 2016. Linda is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and has a BFA and MFA in Theatre. She is the Education Director & Teaching Artist for Prime Stage Theatre. Linda is proud and grateful to the Hiawatha Project to make her debut with JH at the August Wilson Center with one of the most significant and important pieces for our time.

 

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Anya Martin (DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER)
Anya Martin is a writer, director and the Founding Artistic Director of Hiawatha Project. Martin has worked in New York with the Vineyard Theatre, West End Theatre, Epiphany Theater Company, and International Wow, and regionally with Arena Stage and the Living Stage in D.C.  In Pittsburgh she has worked with City Theatre Company, Bricolage Production Company, The New Hazlett Theater, ArtUp and the Mattress Factory.

Martin specializes in writing and directing devised works with ensembles of artists. As a writer/director Martin’s “Camino” was praised as “smart, sharp and witty, not to mention spoken in three languages” (City Paper) with “scenes of imagination and poetic insight” (Pittsburgh Post Gazette.) Her show “Anthropological Data: with actual human footage!” was featured in Carnegie Mellon University’s International Festival.  “Teatro Latino de Pittsburgh” was commissioned and produced as a part of Pittsburgh 250 celebrations.  In 2015 “JH: Mechanics of a Legend” was a part of the New Hazlett’s competitive CSA Performance Series. Her one woman show, “Muslims, Mennonites, and Mommies” was presented at the Mattress Factory as a part of ArtUp’s acclaimed Sites of Passage.

Martin is an Adjunct Professor in directing at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama where she also received her BFA in Directing. Martin earned her MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College with a focus on devised and experimental works. She is a 2011 Flight School Fellow with Creative Capital/Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and a Pittsburgh Magazine “40 Under 40” honoree for 2013. She was an artist in residence in 2013 for the New Hazlett Theater, and a Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award nominee for Emerging Artist in 2016.  She is a member of the Dramatist Guild.

 

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Britton Mauk (SCENIC DESIGNER)  Britton Mauk is a Pittsburgh-based scenic designer. With a BFA and MFA in Scenic Design from California Institute of the Arts and Carnegie Mellon University. Britton’s most notable designs during his education include the opera L’Enfant et les Sortileges and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. At West Virginia Public Theatre he designed Les Miserables, Dames At Sea, and Mary Poppins. Designs in Columbus, Ohio include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for CATCO and the premiere of Tenshu Monogatari at Shadowbox Live. In Pittsburgh at Microscopic Opera Co. he designed Therese Raquin, the premier of Night of the Living Dead, Frida, and Mercy Train. At Quantum Theatre he designed Brahman/I, Chickens In The Yard, Peribanez, The River, Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. At Pittsburgh Playhouse, his designs include Heads, Of Mice and Men, Urinetown, By The Way Meet Vera Stark, Into The Woods, and Wig OUT! Britton is thankful that he was able to be apart of the design team once more for JH: Mechanics of a Legend.

 

 

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Mark Staley  (plays ENGINEER) 
Pittsburgh has been his home since 2002 and he has been fortunate and grateful to work with Quantum Theater, City Theater, Pittsburgh Playhouse, PICT and more. In addition he has directed ensemble created productions in Pittsburgh like RHINO, a collaborative adaption of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, musical version of the poem by Dylan Thomas and The Adventures of Pinocchio, a puppet show (featuring Monteze Freeland) adapted from the original text by Carlos Colodi. The relevance of this production of JH has drawn him back to the stage and he is quite humbled and honored to be part of this incredibly talented cast and powerful landmark production.

 

 
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Bob Steinbeck (LIGHTING DESIGNER) has design credits spanning over 30 years that include concerts, ballet, modern dance, opera and theatre.  He is currently resident lighting designer for Texture Contemporary Ballet, Pgh Playwright’s Theatre, Mercyhurst Univ. Dance Dept., Morgantown Dance Theatre, Rennie Harris PureMovement & RHAW, and Raphael Xavier Company.  Mr. Steineck has toured throughout the US and abroad with such Companies as Rennie Harris’ Pure Movement & RHAW, Reed Dance, Squonk Opera, the Lyon Opera Ballet, Sankai Juku, Phoenix Dance Company, Kirov Ballet Academy and the “America Tour” for Stars on Ice. His most recent lighting designs include: RDA-NE Dance Festival; Texture Contemporary Ballet’s Interfusion; TUGTAWP at Fringe Arts in Philly; THE Piano Lesson for Pgh. Playwright’s Theatre; and Carmen, Kiss Me Kate & Julius Caesar for Opera Theater of Pgh.  Upcoming projects include My good Side with Teena Marie Custer and JH: Mechanics of a Legend with Hiawatha Project.

 

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Stephanie Trainer (ASSISTANT DIRECTOR)
After studying Politics at University, Stephanie decided to take a few years off to travel and experience the world firsthand. While traveling abroad in Venezuela she started making short films for an Architecture firm specializing in Urban infrastructure. It was through the making of these short films that her love for film and storytelling she carried with her since a young child was rekindled and she decided to put it all on the line and apply for a spot at the London Film School in the UK in order to fully develop her skills and pursue a career in the field. Since enrolling she has directed four short films and participated in various other productions, fulfilling roles in the different departments of filmmaking including editing and production design on the films of her peers. Drawing inspiration from her journeys and experiences, she puts all her creative energy into her films. Along with working on a documentary about refugees in the Western Sahara, she went on to work in the Balkans. Shells and Strings, her graduation project, was shot in Sarajevo in the Bosnian language and with a Bosnian crew. Stephanie currently resides in Pittsburgh where she is pursuing independent film projects.

 


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Caroline “Carly” Wazenegger (VOCAL ARRANGER/ MUSIC DIRECTOR)
is thrilled to be joining the Hiawatha Project as the vocal arranger/director for this incredibly moving play. She earned a degree in Music Education with a concentration on the voice from Mercyhurst University under the vocal coaching of Ms. Lisa Layman. She has taught choir and general music in both private and public education institutions for the past 8 years, and has coached numerous vocalists through private studio. She has performed in a number of musicals and operas, including “Sandy” in Grease, and “Babs” in Roman Fever in New York City, and has appeared with the Undercroft Opera Company in various productions. She has directed 4 musicals during her teaching career and has coached students to compete at the state and All-Eastern United States levels. She would like to thank Anya and the cast and crew for the invaluable experience of working together to tell this heart-wrenching story.

 

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Spencer Whale (STAGE MANAGER)
is a graduate of Cornell University whose recent NYC credits include stage managing The Flying Doctor by Molière (over and over and over) with FlexCo. and Insomnia: A New Musical in the Midtown International Theatre Festival, as well as  directing the premiere of 100 Aker Wood. He is a Directing Observer for the City Theatre’s current season, and is directing Off the WALL’s upcoming production of Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs, opening in December. Also for Off the WALL, he was Co-Director of Linda Haston’s one-woman show, Mother Lode, and Assistant Director for Scared of Sarah. Other Pittsburgh credits include ASM work on the Pittsburgh Public’s productions of The Diary of Anne Frank and The Glass Menagerie, the City Theatre’s The Last Match, and Quantum’s immersive Tamara, as well as work with Devious Maid and Uncumber Theatrics, 12 Peers Theater, and a developmental workshop of The Play with Rocky Bleier at Heinz Field. He is a proud coach and judge for the Public’s annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest.