I am a theatre artist specializing in mask and puppetry based in Portland, Oregon. I have designed masks for performances in cities from New York City to Los Angeles to New Orleans to Minneapolis to Mumbai. Additionally, I teach puppetry, mask-making and performance to all ages of students in workshops and residencies across the country.
Both the visual and performing arts have fascinated me since childhood. I knew I should follow my artistic calling, but I could not tell which it was. It seemed I would have to choose one or the other, and I steeled myself for this tough choice to come. But I don’t think I wanted to pick just one. I kept finding myself signing up for both design and performance classes throughout my undergraduate career. It then became clear that I would choose a life in which both were present.
My introduction to masks began in undergraduate study at the University of Kansas with Ron and Ludvika Popenhagen. They introduced me to a new world of theatre and creation, one that could encompass a multitude of powerful styles and genres. After graduation, I volunteered with a puppet company in Minneapolis, and was soon after working with In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre.
A few years later, I continued forward into further mask training with Bruce Marrs and Joan Schirle at the Dell’Arte International School. I moved to New York, I joined forces with Under the Table Theatre to bring original mask comedies to city parks in the boroughs, and also puppeteered in a number of shows in downtown Manhattan.
Since 2006 I have been based in Portland, Oregon, where I design, build, and teach. My own studies of mask making and mask performance have continued with amazing teachers in Bali, Italy, and the Pacific NW… with many more hopefully to follow. I also create puppet shows under the name Simple Machines.