Barbecue Bios

CAST

(in order of appearance)

Darius (he/him/his) is a theatre artist based in Portland. He was previously seen at Portland Playhouse in Scarlet, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.  Some favorite productions as an actor include Stupid F***ing Bird, Bedlam’s Sense and Sensibility, The Santaland Diaries, Beard of Avon, Twelfth Night, The 39 Steps (Portland Center Stage); Feathers and Teeth, Small Mouth Sounds, The Strange Undoing of Prudentia Hart (Artists Repertory Theatre); the World Premiere of Stupid F***ing Bird (Wooly Mammoth Theatre); Comedy of Errors (Folger Theatre); Lungs, Kiss (Third Rail Repertory Theatre). Occasionally, you can see Darius on screen – most recently in Pig. He is a proud Company Member at Third Rail Repertory Theatre, a co-founder of the Anonymous Theatre Company, and an avid collector of turtles.

Diane is very happy to be performing at Portland Playhouse for the first time.   She just returned from doing the solo show EVERY BRILLIANT THING with Cardinal Stage Company in the midwest.  Since moving here 8 years ago, she has worked with Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre, defunkt (Drammy 2019, GIRL IN THE RED CORNER), The Theatre Company, Coho Productions, Anonymous Theatre, Profile Theatre, and Shaking the Tree.  She is a member of the SPECTRAVAGASM sketch comedy coven (did you see the Coronagasm videos?).  She’s served as an acting coach for inmates performing Shakespeare at Two Rivers prison. TV credits include Netflix’s TRINKETS and NBC’s GRIMM.  Kondrat is honored to have been nominated for a Jeff Award in Chicago in 2011.  Favorite roles include Winnie in Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS,  Tracey in SWEAT, Barbara in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, and Kay in RADIANT VERMIN.  Please visit www.dianekondrat.com!

More than wanting to share about me, I want to share that I am part of a long history of addiction that runs across both my family lines. It’s been a destructive journey in witnessing relationships and people fall apart. And at the same time, I spend most of my days working with addicts in this lifetime. Coming to the table to share and play in this story has been a gift, one I don’t take lightly, especially in the midst of a pandemic, when our artform was swiftly taken away. Theatre allows us to illuminate our truths, truths that we can often hide behind in our lives. As I play this play, I’m interested in looking at what brings us together, despite differences, it’s why theatre has always made sense to me. Together, we make something out of nothing. My question to you, is how can we come together despite our differences?

You can learn more about my work these days at: www.ontheinside.space, or find me playing here, on stage, illuminating the hard truths of our lives, more this season.

Robin is thrilled to make her Portland Playhouse debut playing Adlean in Barbeque! The past few (pre-pandemic) seasons, Robin spent in Palm Springs, where she played Nora in A Doll’s House, Part 2, (winner, Best Actress, Desert Theater Awards), Roxanne in The Understudy, (best actress nominee, Desert Theater Awards), and Dr Emma Brookner in The Normal Heart, (Supporting Actress, Professional Staged Reading). 

Robin wrote and performed the autobiographical one-woman show, The Dangerous Lure of High Heels, about infiltrating Operation Rescue (Best Play, Arizona International Theater Festival). She’s worked extensively sketch comedy & improv as well as in lots of off and off-off B’way shows in New York. She works in TV, commercials, and film. Some recent work includes a season with Original Practice Shakespeare where she played 20 roles including Titania, Justice Shallow, Touchstone, the Porter in MacBeth, and Tybalt in R & J. Recent films, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, and Hunker Down (a pandemic comedy). 

She trained at American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NY), NYU, and Shakespeare & Co.

Robin lives in Portland Oregon with her husband, two grown sons, and four dogs. She spends a lot of time doing social justice work, and is known in Tiktok land as political comedy hula hooper, #Coronahooper!

O’Neil is a theatre maker/teaching artist currently based in Atlanta, Ga. He received his BFA degree from New World School of the Arts, majoring in acting. He is making his debut with Portland Playhouse and could not be more honored and excited. 

Acting, directing, and writing are all major components of who he is as an artist, and Shakespeare has been his main focus for the last several years. He recently became the first person of color to direct a mainstage show at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, an accomplishment 35+ years in the making. 

He has taught and directed actors from as young as five, to adults old enough to remember the moon landing. He loves teaching acting and helping people to find true emotional connection to their text. 

He is obsessed with the musical “Hamilton” and welcomes all opportunities to share in that obsession with others. Follow him on Instagram @oneild14

Ithica is ecstatic to have another chance to work with Portland Playhouse and Patdro Harris. She was last seen on stage in Sanctuaries with third Angle. Prior to the Pandemic pause was having a delightful time playing voice 6/Mrs. Alexander in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, on the heels of her outstanding Yitzhak in the SOLD OUT run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Ithica’s vast Portland resume includes her PAMTA winning performances of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar (StreetScenes), and Wanda in Crowns (Portland Playhouse), She also deftly portrayed Othello in Othello (Post5 Theatre), Stretching her wings with Chain Reaction Theatre she learned a show in German to play Ursula in Bon Temps Roulette at the Shakespeare Café (Bremer Shakespeare Company, Germany.) Ithica’s television endeavors extend to Portland favorites Grimm (NBC), The Librarians (TNT), internet hit The Benefits of Gusbandry (web series), and Life After First Failure (CW Seed).

Andrea has most recently been seen on PCS’s stage in the JAW WEST Festival as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock and Watts in Apt 2B, Coho Theaters Stage as Delia in Brothers Paranormal, as Susan in Profile Theater’s The Secretaries, Passin’ Art’s Maddie in The No Play, Mame in Portland Playhouse’s Radio Golf, Dussie Mae in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Black Mary in Gem of the Ocean. While in Los Angeles Andrea performed a two year run in the 30th year revival of the musical HAIR.  She has also been seen on such Television shows as NYPD BLUE, FAMILY MATTERS, LIVING SINGLE, GRIMM, and the film Extraordinary Measures. 

Andrea will be directing WROL at Oregon Children’s Theater.

She is a two time Drammy Award  winner for Best Supporting Actress in the productions of Two Sisters and a Piano (Artist Repertory) and Hell Cab (Theater Vertigo)

Treasure (they/themme) is a Black, queer, gender variant performer whose work aims to focus on those intersections and how they affect their movements through the world.  Recent performance credits include Private Chat (Portland Playhouse), Weighted Bodies (Risk/Reward), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Portland Center Stage) and School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play (Portland Center Stage)

Dana is delighted to be on stage again!  And working with all the wonderful folks at Portland Playhouse!  Other Portland credits include work with Portland Center Stage, Third Rail and Profile Theatre (Drammy Award for Dead Man’s Cell Phone).  She spent four seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and has performed at numerous regional theaters including The Old Globe, South Coast Repertory, Yale Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and The Court Theatre.  Television credits include Trinkets, A Girl in the Woods, Grimm, and The Librarians.

Cycerli Ash (@Cycerli) was last seen in Sweat as Cynthia at Profile theater and all four ghosts of A Christmas Carol at Portland Playhouse. She was rehearsing as Vera in Seven Guitars at Passin Arts before the virus hit. She played multiple roles in A Life at Portland Center Stage and Risa in Two Trains Running at Passin Arts. She is the CEO of the faith-based theater company called DAE productions and is currently a professor at Portland State University. She has been seen on TVone, BET, Amazon prime and her most recent Tv show Pretty Little liars The Perfectionist on Freeform. She has worked for The Red Door Project, Kenny Leon True Colors, The Alliance theater, Dominion, Clarence Brown theater, and the Denver Center. She gives all glory to God and is very blessed to do what she loves for a living 🙂 Cycerli went to Rutgers University on a track scholarship while majoring in theater and received her master’s in acting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

I’m  an actress from a small town (technically a village) in Western New York called  Medina.  For those of you thinking, where is that!? You’re not alone but, don’t worry I’ve got you covered! Medina is in between Buffalo and Rochester, NY.  I studied Theatre and English at the University At Albany. During my time at UAlbany I was seen onstage as LT. Dawes (and a convict)  in Our Country’s Good. And lended a hand off stage in marketing, dramaturgy and costuming (dresser). Most of the time doing these jobs for multiple shows at the same time with acting, directing, Shakespeare, and theatre history classes in between! Thank you  Portland Playhouse for welcoming me with open arms.

Isabelle is an actor, educator and theatre creator from San Diego, CA. She graduated with her BA in Musical Theatre from American University in Washington, DC. While pursuing her degree, she studied classical acting at the British American Drama Academy in London. Additional training includes Overtures at Signature Theatre and foundational physical performance with Synetic Theatre. Isabelle has worked with local DC organizations such as DC Fringe, Unexpected Stage Co., and Trabajadores Unidos (United Laborers), where she assisted in the development and organization of the Trabajadores Unidos Theatre Project presented at the Venezuelan Embassy. Isabelle is passionate about theatre education for young people and strives to create and support theatre made by and for her local community. She is thrilled to be joining the Portland Playhouse Apprenticeship Class of 2021!

Hello, my name is Ashlee Radney. I’m 26 years old and I’m originally from Denver, Colorado. Fun fact, I moved to Portland because I really liked the show Portlandia. I’m truly happy & thankful for moving to Portland because of all the opportunities it’s provided to me. I’ve been studying Acting & Writing for 4 years at Portland State University, but feel like I got my start when I was kid. My brothers and I would take the family video camera, and create magical stories & adventures. I always played the princess. This playful imagination gave me the drive to pursue theater. I hope to own a production company and produce my own written work. I want to be able to share that adventure I experienced as a child with others.

CREATIVE TEAM

ROBERT O'HARA

Playwright

Robert O’Hara is the Tony-nominated director of Jeremy O. Harris’ Broadway production of Slave Play. He has received the NAACP Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, 2 OBIE Awards and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the World Premieres of Nikkole Salter and Dania Guiria’s In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy as well as his own plays, BootyCandy and Insurrection: Holding History. His plays Zombie: The American and Barbecue recently world premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theater and New York Shakespeare Festival, respectively. He has been an Artist in Residence at the American Conservatory Theater, New York Shakespeare Festival, Theater/Emory, and the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Woolly Mammoth as well as a Visiting Professor at DePaul University School of the Arts and Adjunct at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts. As a playwright, his work is produced all over the country and Mr. O’Hara has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf, the Public Theatre, LaJolla Playhouse, McCarter Theater, Mark Taper Forum and Woolly Mammoth Theater. He has written screenplays for Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Jon Avnet, HBO, ABC, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, New Line/Fine Line Cinema and Artisan Entertainment. Mr. O’Hara has been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, a TCG Extended Collaboration Grant, NEA/TCG Fellowship, and was a Van Lier Fellow at New Dramatists. He received the LAMBDA Literary Award for best LGBT Drama, the Mark Taper Forum’s first Sherwood Award and the TANNE Award for Exceptional Body of Work. He is currently directing a new musical, UNI/SON inspired from the poetry of August Wilson at OSF, a new musical, BELLA by Kirsten Childs at Playwrights Horizons and the Chicago premiere of BOOTYCANDY. He received his Directing MFA from Columbia University.

Patdro is nationally and internationally recognized and respected by colleagues, critics, and fans. He has directed at distinguished theaters such as The Alliance Theater, Sacramento Theatre Company, Round House Theater, Liberty Theater Cultural Center, San Diego Repertory Theater Company, Penumbra Theater, Tuskegee Repertory Theater, Ensemble Theater, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater Company, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Theatrical Outfit, Connecticut Repertory Theater, The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Howard University, Syracuse University, Florida A&M University & the University of Northern Colorado. He also served as choreographer, artistic consultant, and movement director with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre D.C, City Theatre of Pittsburgh, Minneapolis Mixed Blood Theatre, Jomandi Productions, The National Black Theatre Festival, Guthrie Theater, The National Black Arts Festival, Portland Center Stage, and Broadway’s Royal Theatre. 

Patdro has traveled the world as choreographer and lead dancer for the incomparable Stevie Wonder. He has worked with such artists as The SOS Band, TC Carson, Daryl Coley, Yolanda Adams, and India Arie. His talents were also showcased as Choreographer and Movement Specialist in Toni Morrison’s world premiere opera, Margaret Garner. He choreographed the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit A Raisin in the Sun starring Sean Combs and Phylicia Rashad. Mr. Harris attended Alabama State University. In his current home of Atlanta, Georgia he has served on many arts committees including the Georgia Council for the Arts, and the Advisory Dance Panel for the Bureau of Cultural Affairs. He holds to his credit the 1996 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Choreography and has been honored with a nomination for the same award for Best Supporting Actor. He also received a 2002 Drammy Award for Best Choreography and the 2007 Dance Ministry Magazine’s Trailblazer Award for Dance Choreographer of the year. He has received a 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2016 Giorgee Award for Best Director and Best Show of the Year. In 2009 he received Atlanta’s top theatre award, The Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding Choreography, and in 2013 he won the Suzi for Outstanding Director of a Play.

CHARLES GRANT

Assistant Director

Charles is truly honored and excited to be a part of the Barbecue team, and to welcome audiences back to the Playhouse with this show. As an actor, director, producer, and teaching artist, he’s worked with various companies over the years including Portland Center Stage, Fuse Theatre Ensemble, Many Hats Collaboration, Confrontation Theatre, and Portland Playhouse. Directing credits include co-directing a staged reading of Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too, August Wilson) as a part of the 2021 BlaQOUT festival, and Assistant Director on Loch Lomond at Broadway Rose. Many thanks to Patdro Harris for this opportunity, and everyone in the cast, crew, and Playhouse staff working to bring this to life (and make us laugh along the way!). Check out thecharlesgrant.com to say hello.

DAVID LEVINE

Stage Manager

David is a lifelong Portlander and former teacher who comes from a long line of educators-turned-actors, dating back to 1950’s summer camp in the Catskills. Recent stage manager credits include Crowns, The Wolves, and Women of Will at Portland Playhouse; and Evolve with The Red Door Project.

RUBEN ARANA

Scenic Designer

Ruben Arana has been designing sets for more than 20 years. He is a tenured professor at Florida A&M University (where he first worked with Patdro Harris) and has taught scene design for that last 11 years. Designing shows like Driving Miss Daisy, Gypsy, Eugene Onegin, Gem of the Ocean and A Midsummer Night’s Dream across the country.

Trained at the North Carolina School of Arts and the assistant for the likes of Neil Patel, Wynn Thomas and Felix Cochran, Ruben continues to learn even as he teaches others. His summer at the Kennedy Center with Ming Cho Lee was a memorable and influential turning point in his designs.

He is excited to be working with Portland Playhouse and Patdro again for this historic return to the theatre after such a difficult and strenuous 18 months. This time around he will be joined by his family so they may also enjoy the beauty of Portland.

WANDA WALDEN

Costume Design

Wanda is an award winning Costume Designer for over 35 years. In 1981 Wanda created a new concept “Retro-Spect Productions ” A Theatrical Modeling Company. Stepping back into the past and reminiscing yesteryear through A Potpourri of Fashion, music and Dance. In 1985 Wanda launched a exciting career in Acting and Costuming. The rest is “LA History” Portland Playhouse: Pipeline, Crowns, How I Learned, What I Learned;Profile Theatre: The Oldest Profession, Mother Courage, Ruined, Fires in the Mirror, The Secretaries; ART: Skeleton Crew, We Are Proud to Present, It’s a Wonderful Life, An Octaroon;  OCT: The Journal of Ben Uchida, In This Corner, Cassius Clay. Media Rites/Coho: Brothers Paranormal. Vanport Mosaic: Soul’d, Martha Bakes, Left Hook, Cottonwood in the Flood; Passin Art Theatre: Black Nativity, Two Trains Running, The Gospel of Loving Kindness.

SARAH PATTERSON

Properties Designer

Sarah Patterson received a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has since worked as a designer and illustrator. Her love for storytelling drives her to explore myriad creative avenues; and her belief that anything can tell a story justifies her ever-growing “reference” photo collection on her phone. Sarah thoroughly enjoys problem solving and working with whatever is available (especially recycled materials). In her down time, Sarah delights in watching movies, researching special interests, sketching, and admiring old trees.
 

MAIA DENZLER

Design Apprentice

Maia Denzler is an Oregon native currently working on finishing up her degrees in Theater Arts and Music Composition at Portland State University. She is excited to continue her theatrical education with the Portland Playhouse Apprentice Program. Her previous theatrical work has largely been in costuming, examples of which can be found on her website, maiadenzler.com.

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