Staff

Brian Weaver, Artistic Director

Brian is the founding Artistic Director at Portland Playhouse where he’s directed: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Angels in America, Gem of the Ocean, Dying City,The Missing Pieces, Radio Golf, bobrauschenbergamerica, Fiction, and After Ashley; and acted in Bingo with the Indians (Wilson), and Mauritius (Dennis). Regional credits include– Third Rail Repertory: American Buffalo (Bobby). Intiman Theatre Company: Scapin (Octave) and Titus Andronicus (Alarbus). Shakespeare & Company: Ice Glen (Denby), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo). Berkshire Theatre Festival: Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone (Tommy Flowers), The Illusion (Amanuensis). Brian is also a founding member of New World Theatre, and directed the U.S. premiere of the Spanish translation of Jose Rivera’s play, Marisol.

Kevin Kruse, Managing Director

Kevin Kruse, for over 30 years, has held leadership positions with a number of regional theatres throughout the United States, most recently Cleveland Play House, where he was CFO and Director of Administration, as well as San Diego Repertory Theatre, American Stage Festival in New Hampshire; The Hartman Theatre in Connecticut; and Michigan’s BoarsHead Theatre. Mr. Kruse has also held executive positions in the motion picture and television industry with Columbia Pictures and The Walt Disney Company, both in Los Angeles. He has served on various government arts grant-making panels, among them the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the City of Cincinnati. Mr. Kruse received his Masters of Fine Arts in Performing Arts Business Administration from City University of New York at Brooklyn College.

Elena Hein, Development Director

Elena has over a decade of professional experience in the non-profit arena. She is responsible for the development and implementation of the agency’s overall fundraising strategies, the coordination of fundraising events and campaigns, and the preparation of proposals and grant applications. As a volunteer for several organizations, she values community involvement and is excited to bring her development experience to the table for Portland Playhouse. Elena is also pursuing a Masters in Public Administration degree from Portland State University and is a part-time jewelry designer (in her spare time).

Nikki Weaver, Education Director

Regional credits include: Shakespeare & Company: Hamlet (Ophelia), The Shakespeare Theater: King Lear (Cordelia) and The Malcontent (Fool), Centastage: More than What (Eve), Apollinaire Theater: Dead City (Jewel), 11:11: The Autumn Hours (Marie), Pilgrim Theater: Road (Claire), Sydney Art Theater: The Golden Age (Bethsheb), CoHo Theater: Reasons to be Pretty (Steph) and Animals and Plants (Cassandra). Portland Playhouse credits include: Telethon, bobraushcenbergamerica, After Ashley, Mauritius, and The Scene (2011 Drammy for best actress). When not on stage, she can be found initiating ideas educational programs at Portland Playhouse, or standing on her head at Yoga Pearl or Root Whole Body. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from the Australian Academy of Dramatic Arts and an MFA from The George Washington University in Classical Theatre. More information can be found at: nikkimarieweaver.com 

Liam Kaas-Lentz, Production Manager

Liam is a native of Bellingham, WA. He is an ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre, having served as their stage and production manager for the past nine years and eleven productions. He has also stage managed for Hand2Mouth Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre,The Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Geva Theatre Center, Oregon Children’s Theatre, the Kitchen, Pixie Dust Productions, River to River Festival, Teatro Milagro, and many others. 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 Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Portland State University, and Lewis and Clark College. He is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, and lives with his wife and two cats in the Southeast.

Katie Watkins, Audience Services Manager

Katie has been living and working in Portland since 2011 as a performer, director, and arts administrator. Before moving to Portland, Katie studied Theatre at the University of West Georgia and Media Studies at Swansea University in Wales, UK. She has worked in Marketing at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, MA, as well as in freelance work for several arts companies in Portland. Performance credits include: Reservoir Dolls (Bossanova Ballroom), …And the Great Refraction (String House Theatre), The Lilac Chaser (film), A Christmas Carol (Portland Playhouse), and in the creation and performance of her own solo work, Why I Left Home (Portland Playhouse). Assistant directing credits include: Pep Talk and The Left Hand of Darkness (Hand2Mouth Theatre). This fall, Katie was named Hand2Mouth Theatre’s first Artist-in-Residence, giving her the opportunity to create and direct Paper Doll (String House Theatre), a full-length devised production premiering in 2014.

Ruth Wikler-Luker, Literary Manager

Ruth holds an MA in Theatre Studies, a BA in History, and a British NVQ degree in contemporary circus and physical theatre. A recent transplant to Portland from New York City, Ruth also serves as Programs Consultant to the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the CUNY Graduate Center in midtown Manhattan and runs her own production company, Boom Arts (www.boom-arts.com), based in Portland. Her work in the performing arts, primarily in NYC since the mid-1990s, ranges from arts administration in community arts programs and international arts exchange to artistic creation in circus, opera, and ensemble theatre to scholarship and arts journalism with a focus on socially engaged arts and cultural movements in Spain and Latin America. She is passionate about the intersection of theatre, ideas, and society, and loves being a mom to her two kids, Julian (almost 3) and baby Nadine.