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.
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 & Acting Apprentice 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
Katie Watkins, Audience Services Manager
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. Recently, she was involved in a production of Reservoir Dolls, an all-female version of Tarantino’s crime classic Reservoir Dogs. As a member of the 2011-2012 Portland Playhouse Acting Apprentice Company, Katie is thrilled to be able to continue working and watching magic happen at Portland Playhouse.
Aiyana Cunningham, Community Outreach
Aiyana is an actor and director who has been creating theater for over ten years. As a company member she fills roles both on stage and off. Onstage she has been seen in bobrauchenbergamerica and Willow Jade. Offstage she spearheads community outreach and assists with development and educational programs. Her outreach goals are to develop long term relationships with a diverse public, community organizations, schools and neighbors. She earned a BA in Theater Arts from UC Santa Cruz and further training has been in the physical practices of Suzuki, Viewpoints and experimental movement as well as ensemble created theater that produces new work. She continuously seeks to merge her talent for playback with performance technique to create inspiring works of theater. She believes in ensemble, team-work and community and knows that theater is not achieved without these elements.
Cristi Miles, Company Manager
Cristi was last seen on the stage as Lulu in Miracle Theatre’s El Grito Del Bronx.Prior to that, while in Boston she served as Producer for Orfeo Group’s Elliot Norton Award winning production of Look Back in Anger, and played the title role in their inaugural production of Marisol. She has directed and taught at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and with numerous regional theatres including the Stoneham theatre and New Repertory Theatre. She also was a faculty member of The Boston Conservatory. As an actor her credits include:Celia in As you Like it at San Jose Rep, Matilde in The Clean House at New Rep (Elliot Norton Award –Best Production), A Streetcar Named Desire (Mexican Woman/ Nurse) also at New Rep, Buried Child with The Nora Theatre , The Winter’s Tale (Perdita) with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, A Christmas Carol with New Rep, A Prayer for Owen Meany at Stoneham, Closer (Alice) with The Devanaughn, Hamlet, Our Town, The Glass Menagerie,Macbeth, all with New Rep on Tour. This winter Cristi will be assistant directing Willow Jade with Lorraine Bahr of Portland Playhouse. Cristi holds an MFA from Brandeis University and is a proud member of Portland Playhouse, Orfeo Group and Actors’ Equity.
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.
Owen Walz, Marketing Coordinator
Owen is a native Vermonter and multi-media designer, specializing in scenery, lighting, and graphics. He has worked as a resident designer with Fisher Marantz Stone (an architectural lighting consultant) and Lionfish Design (a commercial set design firm), both in New York City. Past theatre credits include scenic design for Our Country’s Good (Ithaca College) and scenic art for the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2005 season. Playhouse credits include lighting for The Missing Pieces, scenic art for The Brother/ Sister Plays, and the company website. www.owenwalzdesign.com