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About

CREATIVE TEAM

Jenny Ampersand (costumes) is a designer based in Portland OR.  Jenny is an associate artist with PETE (Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble) and since 2013 has been making work with them from building extinct birds out of zippers and velvet, fashioning ocean creatures who work in an office, to turning Chekhov's Yelena into a disco ball.   Other local credits include Third Rail (Revolt. She Said. Revolt again., The Realistic Joneses, Annapurna, Lungs, and Men on Boats) Shaking The Tree (Doll's House, Head, Hands, Feet, and Made to Dance in Burning Buildings) Oregon Children's Theater (Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Flora & Ulysses) Liminal (Our Town, Gertrude Stein, The Ressurectory, and 7 Deadly Sins). Recent highlights include creating lighted headdresses for local choir In Mulieribus' performance of Hildegard Von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum and collaborating with Wobbly Dance on oceanic costumes for their newest dance film Tidal.  She is often a guest designer at Reed College and guest teaches with Institute for Contemporary Performance, Lewis and Clark, and Western Oregon University.

Kaye Blankenship (scenic) is the art teacher at Parkrose High School, as well as a scenic, lighting, and props designer. She last worked with Jessica Wallenfels as the lighting designer on the smash hit The Snowstorm at CoHo Theatre, and is so glad to be joining forces once again.

Steven Cantor (music supervision) Steven is delighted and grateful for another opportunity to engage with the Many Hats crew, having previously worked with them on Snowstorm. Thanks to Jessica. Love to Annabel and August.

Emily Gregory (writer/dramaturg) is a theatre-maker, writer, director, and dramaturg. She is co-founder of String House Theatre, a new works laboratory based in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to home-grown, innovative works of live performance. Favorite writing credits include Toska, produced for the BERG Festival of New Writing in London (2017); Waxwing, produced for the Fertile Ground Festival (2012); and …And the Great Refraction!, an ensemble-created play and finalist for a Portland Drammy Award for Best Devised Work (2014). Favorite directing credits include Antigone Arkhe, produced by String House in collaboration with Profile Theatre’s Fall Festival of One Acts: The Antigone Project (2016); and two new plays she directed for the BERG Festival of New Work in London (2017): Sublime, by El Pilkington; and Fissure, by Hattie Collins. Emily is also an associate company member of The Walking Collective, an international collective of artists dedicated to making live and digital works that respond to place.  She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Lewis & Clark College and an MA in Writing For Performance and Dramaturgy from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Camille Smicker (director, Art of Aging) is a deviser, director, actor, writer and educator.  She has worked locally, nationally and internationally with a variety of companies in both traditional and non-traditional theater styles. In 2011 Camille co-founded the physical theater company Push Leg, which produced several original works in Portland, OR to critical acclaim, including her one woman show, Mr. Darcy Dreamboat and Nighthawks, which earned Drammy Awards for Best Devised Theater and Movement Direction. She has collaborated with the Liminal Performance Group on a number of projects, including co-creating One Dancing, a site-specific dance/theatre piece based on the work of Gertrude Stein. In London, Camille served as Associate Artistic Director of Mulberry Theatre Company with whom she directed multiple shows, including the world premiere of The Unravelling, recipient of the Scotsman’s Fringe First Award.  As a performer Camille has been seen on many Portland stages including: Imago Theatre, COHO, Artist Repertory Theater, Portland Center Stage, Northwest Children’s Theater and Theatre Vertigo (member 2003-2007). She has been a guest artist at Pomona College, Western Oregon University and Colgate University as both a performer and educator. Camille has received several project grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council as well as the Puffin Foundation.  She holds an MFA in Lecoq-based actor created theatre from Naropa University/London International School of Performing Arts.

Amanda VanderHyde (stage manager)

Jessica Wallenfels (director, The Undertaking)

PERFORMERS - The Undertaking

After eight years as a full-time ICU nurse, Hannah Hillebrand (cello) decided to pursue her passion and completed her master’s degree in cello performance with Hamilton Cheifetz at Portland State University in 2014. While pursuing her degree, she participated in masterclasses with artists such as the Takacs String Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet and cellists Johannes Moser and Alban Gerhardt. She continues to work part-time as a nurse while enjoying a busy freelancing schedule. She has been featured as a soloist with ARCO-PDX and is also a regular member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She thrives on collaboration, and frequently works with composers to present their new chamber works. In addition to private teaching, she enjoys working with the adult group cello classes at the Community Music Center in Portland. She also works as the education and outreach coordinator for Chamber Music Northwest and Portland Piano International. She is a founding member of the Northwest Piano Trio. In her spare time, Hannah is an avid traveler, and also enjoys baking and knitting.

JoAnn Johnson (Mother) JoAnn Johnson is a professional actor and director based in Portland. She has appeared onstage in many memorable roles, including Vivian Bearing in Wit, Sister Aloysius in Doubt, Madam Arcati in Blithe Spirit, Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Kate Keller in All My Sons. She is a resident artist at Artists Repertory Theatre, where she recently played Katherine Gerard in Mothers and Sons and directed I and You. Among many other local directing credits are King Lear, Blackbird, boom, The School for Lies, Big Love, Grand Concourse, and Macbeth. JoAnn has worked both internationally and in many regional theaters, including many seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is a member of Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA. JoAnn began her career as a dancer and is grateful to Jessica for this opportunity to return to movement based work!

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Heather Mastel-Lipson (violin) began playing the violin at age seven. Since then she has performed in music festivals in the United States, Europe and South America where she spent last summer touring Chile with the Orchestra of the Americas (YOA). As an orchestral player, Heather is a member of Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theatre Orchestra and associate concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as concertmaster of several ensembles including the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Eastman Philharmonia, Minnesota All-State Orchestra and the Brainerd Chamber Orchestra. Heather has performed with the Reno Philharmonic and holds a spot on the Oregon Symphony Orchestra's substitute list. As a chamber musician Heather is delighted to join the Northwest Piano Trio. When she is not performing Heather enjoys teaching her private students and coaching chamber music. Heather holds a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a master of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers include Axel Strauss, Juliana Athayde and Frank Huang.

Susan McDaniel (piano) has appeared widely as a solo and collaborative pianist, including regional and national concert tours and recitals in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. She received a B.A. in music from Linfield College, where she studied with Jill Timmons, and a M.M. in vocal accompanying from Manhattan School of Music, where she was a student of Warren Jones. Susan has been a member of the music staff at Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, and Utah Festival Opera as well as music director and pianist for the San Diego Opera Ensemble, Off-Center Opera (Seattle), and Puget Sound Concert Opera. In addition to maintaining an active performing career as a member of the Northwest Piano Trio and Northwest Art Song, she is a lecturer at the University of Portland, teaching lyric diction and lyric theater workshop and serving as both a coach and accompanist for singers and instrumentalists.

Beth Thompson (Daughter) Proud to call Portland home, Beth has collaborated with many local companies as an actor, deviser, teacher and producer. Favorite roles include Woman in Tender Napalm with Dancing Brain Productions, Orlando in Orlando at Profile Theatre, Miss Julie in Miss Julie and Catherine in Suddenly Last Summer at Shaking the Tree and Bear in The Snowstorm with Many Hats Collaboration. Beth is so thankful for the great gift of being invited into this story's process from its inception to performance. She offers her enthusiastic gratitude to Jessica for the friendship, inspiration and colleagueship Jessica has offered her since her first Many Hats audition in 2009.

PERFORMERS - Art of Aging Project

Xzavier " Wolfie" Beacham portrayed Iago in Othello the Remix this fall,The Prince in the 2018 production of Romeo and Juliet with Portland Actors Ensemble. He graduated from Concordia University in Austin Texas. Wolfie is currently finishing training at Portland Actors Conservatory.  As an avid student of film/writing Wolfie finds passion in telling the honest truth. A Texas native, Let's continue to strive for what humanity lost itself. “Don’t you know your imperfections is a blessing.” – Kendrick Lamar

Jane Fellows Jane is extremely proud to work with Many Hats Collaboration on this project.  As we all navigate this journey, we seek comfort, enlightenment, and strength from others and from art.  This work is crucial to keeping the dialogue vital and personal. Thanks to all for the courage to express.

Joe Healy
Joe is thrilled and humbled to be part of the 'Art of Aging' program and to be working with Camille Smicker again.  Joe has been seen on numerous Portland stages since he graduated from Portland Actors Conservatory in 2000. He has been a past company member of NW Classical Theatre (favorite roles include Titus in Titus Andronicus, Flute/Thisbe in Midsummer Night's Dream among many), and has appeared in several popular shows at triangle productions! where he also sit on the Board.  Favorite triangle! productions include Pageant, Irish Curse, Vibrator Play, 10 Naked Men, Shopping & F***ing. Additionally, he has appeared with Theatre Vertigo in two of his favorite productions: Love of the Nightingale (directed by Camille Smicker) and Love & Information (directed by Michelle Seaton.) Other favorites include playing the Venticello in Amadeus at Lakewood, Frank in All My Sons at Profile, Ed in You Can't Take It With You and Richard Fiffle in Fuddy Meers for PAC and many more.  Love to the most beautiful Deanna Wells and his daughter Gabby.

Julet Lindo Currently in her second year at Portland Actors Conservatory, Julet is thrilled to join Portland’s theatre community. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Studies at University of Nevada Las Vegas. She has worked with Asylum Theatre, Planet Hollywood, Cockroach Theatre, Fertile Ground, Anonymous Theatre, and Portland Shakespeare Project. Her past roles include Othello (Othello: The Remix), Intisar (Veils), Lily (She Kills Monsters), Computer (Subtenant), Samukelisiwe (Holes of the Human Flesh), Moth (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Announcer from Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist production The Leader.