Fort Point Theatre Channel
Fort Point Theatre Channel is dedicated to creating and sustaining new configurations of the performing arts. We bring together an ensemble of artists from the worlds of theater, music, visual arts, and everything in between as a forum for collaborative expression while enriching our communities.
Fort Point Theatre Channel, resident at Midway Studios, is comprised of a core group of artistic directors and close friends: Mitchel King Ahern, Mario Avila, Olivia Brownlee, Jaime Carrillo, Danny Gessner, Rick Dorff, Mary Driscoll, Christie Lee Gibson, Silvia Graziano, Kathryn Howell, Naomi Ibasitas, Tasia A. Jones, Heather Kapplow, Ian W. King, Greg Kowalksi, Anne Loyer, Amelia Lumpkin, Amy MacDonald, Juli Merhaut, Roberto Mighty, Marc S. Miller, Christine Noah, Sally Nutt, Susan Paino, Hana Pegrimkova, Robin Smith, Nick Thorkelson, Nathan Troup, Douglas Urbank, Daniel J. van Ackere, Yuxi Wang, and Mark Warhol. Together with many collaborators, we offer:
- Unique Major Productions and New Play Festivals,
- The Exclamation Point! reading series, informal gatherings that introduce and explore new works, often in draft form, joining short plays, poetry, and fiction with music, video, and other media, and
- Salons and other events that bring artists and others together to explore ideas for creative ventures.
Mitchel K. Ahern
Mitchel Ahern works in multiple media, including letterpress, performance art, and invented instruments. He prints on fabric and paper at his shop, mitchelka Show Card Press, in Lynn, Massachusetts. These works combine text and abstraction, often with social/political commentary, and may be combined with performance elements as meta-media performance art. He has exhibited and performed at many galleries and clubs, including the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, 119 Gallery, Atlantic Works Gallery, Galatea, Marblehead Arts, The Middle East, The Rat, the Knitting Factory, Figment, the Wonder Valley Festival, and the INTER-ACTIONS project of the Fort Point Theater Channel on Boston Common and the Channel Center Garage. Find out more at here.
Mario Avila studied drawing, painting, set design, and lighting at the Art Students League NYC and received a BFA in graphic design from Parson’s School of Design (The New School). After many years of working as a creative director for design firms and ad agencies nationwide, Mario and his wife moved to Boston and founded Mario Avila Design, a boutique studio specializing in brand development, print, and interactive design both for nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Their work has won numerous awards, most recently the Best of New England (BONE) 2013 AIGA award, the PINE Pinnacle Award of Excellence 2013, and U360 Design Competition 2013 award. Mario has exhibited personal fine art work in South and North America. Currently, he is working on a series of projects exploring the medium of photography.
From an early age, Olivia Brownlee has been exhorted to pursue performance. Although music has always been a constant, she has been cheerfully diverted many times--aspired and studied toward illustrating, writing fiction, swing dancing, voice acting, theatre for social change, stunt work, and special effects for film. Since Olivia moved to the Boston area in 2008, she has worked as a wench, a pilgrim, a stage technician, a drama teacher, and a piano junkie to supplement her ambitions as a writer/performer/collaborator. She holds two degrees in theater and education and currently is developing a workshop to teach music non-verbally to groups of diverse participants. Find out more at OliviaBrownlee.com.
Jaime Carrillo likes to pick up his passport and go. That mindset has led to his ringing in the New Year exchanging haiku under a bridge in Prague. He's also had breakfast with the Danish army in a hostel in Copenhagen. And in Mexico City, Jaime was in the position of being an American working under the table in Mexico when he played the part of a “Rockero” in the TV miniseries Coqueteando Con La Muerte. “One funny mother**cker,” is what The Metro has called him, and Event Insider says he is “weirdly hilarious.” Over the course of acting for the last 20 years, Jaime has encountered “What are you?” “Why do Spanish speakers all talk so fast?” “What’s your nationality?” and the unforgettable, “Are you Injun?” (No, he is not making up any of these ethnicity related gems; they are all actual questions people have asked him.) The CliffsNotes version of his experience: He is a graduate of the William Esper Studio acting program in NYC and has a B.A. with honors in theater arts from Brandeis University. He also was a resident artist with Judith Malina and the Living Theatre for two years, as well as a company member with the Classical Theatre of Harlem for six years. Lastly, his play UNA VIDA DE CALIDAD won the IATI Award for Outstanding Play. As a new member of Fort Point Theatre Channel, Jaime looks forward to breaking new ground in theater and film projects with you. You can reach him here with your ideas.
Richard Dorff is a visual artist. He attended Massachusetts College of Art and currently works in his studio in East Boston. He is a founding member of the Atlantic Works Gallery where he shows his work.
Mary Driscoll is founder of the nonprofit On With Living and Learning, Inc. OWLL’s advocacy performances present the authentic expression of women whose voices have been silenced in our communities. Her work has been performed as part of the African American Play Festival, by Boston Theatre Works, at Provincetown Fine Arts Center, and, for FPTC, in the play festival, “Gods, Monsters, and the Other,” and in Hotel Cassiopeia. Mary has combined her experience an occupational therapist with her passion for theatre to design a program that advances 21st century occupational and literacy skills. OWLL’s successful program is for people who are transitioning from marginalization to productive participation in their communities. As an actor. she has appeared on Boston, New York, and Provincetown stages. onwithlivingandlearning.org
Danny Gessner is a stage manager, theatre producer, creative writer, social media manager, and occasional treasurer. An alumnus of Ithaca College (2014) with a B.S. in Sport Media, Danny spent far more time working on TV, film, and theatre productions while he was in college than he ever spent watching the IC sports teams. Originally from the suburbs of New York City, Danny moved to Boston in June 2015; he was introduced to FPTC while completing a communications internship with The Theater Offensive. An office administrator by day, he is grateful to be working humbly in the background of Boston’s eclectic theatre community. His personal goals are to inspire art and culture from sources that have been previously overlooked. His first FPTC production was "The Ghost Sonata" and he looks forward to working on many future endeavors with this distinguishable group.
Christie Lee Gibson
Christie Lee Gibson is an opera singer, actress, and creator/producer/director/coach of musical-theatrical happenings. She is drawn to the continuum of work spanning from experimental theatre to classical opera and pieces that exist at indefinable points along that spectrum. She has acted, directed, and been vocal coach for numerous FPTC productions, including Codes of Conduct, Carny Knowledge, Memories and Fantasies, and The Time of Your Life. She performed in France as Orphée in Offenbach’s Orphee Aux Enfers and in concerts of music by Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Poulenc, and Aboulker. Recent credits include The Four-Note Opera, The Choose-Your-Own-Opera, Der Zwerg, and L'Incoronazione di Poppea (OperaHub), Enjoy (Apollinaire), From Places Unknown (11:11 Theatre), Iolanthe (Mass Theatrica), Rusalka (Diva Day Foundation), and A Dream Play (Exquisite Corps). Currently she and composer Erin Huelskamp are developing a one-act chamber opera/movement-based theatre piece entitled The Ten-Block Walk: An Old-Person's Odyssey. She is a graduate of Brown University. christieleegibson.com
Silvia Graziano, a playwright and poet, was an original member of FPTC and its resident playwright. FPTC premiered her full-length play Indiscreet Discretion in 2012. Silvia was co-impresario of FPTC’s Carny Knowledge, and FPTC’s first play festival featured her play The Romantic. In 2010, she was named a New Revolutionary in Boston Magazine for her work with Fort Point Theatre Channel. Her one-act play Trapped Inside a Low-fat Twinkie was featured in 2010 in FPTC’s Codes of Conduct. In 2011, she collaborated with Blue Spruce Theatre and composer David Reiffel to win Company One’s Fringe Wars for their musical Potter’s Field Bed and Breakfast. The team’s musical The Royal Institute for the Support and Healing of the Arts qualified them for the finals. Her short play Heads or Tales? was part of FeverFest 2010. Reflecting her interest in psychology, much of Silvia’s writing explores the best and the darkest sides of the human condition in a celebration of the quest for understanding ourselves. She coordinates a Harvard-affiliated Psychiatry Residency Training Program. Previously, she was an outreach worker, with a focus on the transgendered and chronically ill communities. Silvia has a BFA in dramatic writing from NYU.
Kathryn Howell discovered her passion for directing while studying at Syracuse University. Working with fellow students to prepare them for auditions, scene studies, and shows, she directed over 100 short pieces in her three years there. Since then, she has directed both short and full-length plays for readings, touring shows, and full productions throughout New England and in Albuquerque. As artistic director for South West American Playwright's Laboratory (SWAP Lab), Howell directed new full-length plays and staged readings of members' works. She believes in advocating and nurturing new plays whenever possible. A profssional songwriter/vocalist, Kathryn performs live with songwriter and jazz guitarist Roberto Mighty in the duo Roberto & Kathryn, which has appeared on Broadway, the Greater Boston Area, and throughout New England. http://www.robertoandkathryn.com
Naomi Anne Ibasitas is a director and stage manager new to the Boston theatre community. She started out doing theatre in New York City when she was 11 years old, making her first professional appearance at the American Girl Place Theater (she played both Josefina and Samantha). She graduated from Emerson College in 2015 with her Bachelor of Arts in directing and arts administration. During her college career, she served as a student executive board member of Emerson College's A.S.I.A. (Asian Students for Intercultural Awareness). During her time in Boston, she has interned for/worked with the Boston Children's Theatre, the Nora Theatre Company at Central Square Theater, StageSource, the Hub Theatre Company of Boston, and the Poets' Theatre. Her first project with the Fort Point Theatre Channel is stage managing for Dreambook, directed by Jaime Carillo, written by Dan Osterman with music by Nick Thorkelson. She is eager to discover what adventures and shenanigans await her in the future.
Tasia A. Jones
Tasia A. Jones is an actor, director, writer, theater educator, and co-artistic director of Fort Point Theatre Channel. She holds a BFA in theatre arts from Boston University. Recent directing credits include Hidden Faces of Courage (On With Living and Learning, Inc., and FPTC), The Archives and Harbor Lights (FPTC), Fair Game (New Urban Theatre Lab), Jess & Dj: A Baby Mama Dramedy (Bostonia Bohemia/Interim Writers), Oleanna (Can’t Wait Productions), and the world premiere production of Margaret in Search of Herself (ARRT/New African Company). She has appeared in such works as Julius Caesar (Shakesperience Productions), Grimm and The Bluest Eye (Company One), and The Inside (Can’t Wait Productions), a play she adapted from an original work by Lydia R. Diamond. Recently, she performed in The Good Person of Setzuan (FPTC) and The Embryos (Fresh Ink). Tasia aims to create art that positively impacts society and focuses on the stories of the underserved and unheard while highlighting the female voice. For this reason, she is proud to be part of the important work of OWLL. http://tasia9.wix.com/tasiajones
Heather Kapplow is a Boston-based conceptual artist. Her work involves exchanges with strangers, wielding talismans, alternative interpretations of existing environments, installation, performance, writing, audio, and video. heatherkapplow.com
Ian W. King
Ian W. King (Lighting Designer), is a graduate of Ohio University’s theatrical design program. His recent local designs include Reel to Reel, In the Summer House, and Channel/Dance (FPTC), Hidden Faces of Courage (OWLL and FPTC), La Hija de Rappaccini and Der Vampyr (OperaHub), Chalk, Outlaw Jean, Girls' Sports, and The Embryos (Fresh Ink Theatre), Boxer Shorts (Brown Box Theatre), Turn of the Screw (Simple Machine),The Farnsworth Invention (Flat Earth Theatre), Three (Boston Public Works), and The Singularity (Scifi). His upcoming and current works include Polish Joke (Titantic Theatre Co.) and work in the Illumious Project at Fenway.
Greg Kowalski is a director, filmmaker and video artist. A common feature of his performance and design work is the projection of real-time, interactive imagery using software of his own design. Greg worked in film production in Poland for many years as an assistant director. In 2001 he directed and produced the documentary “Story of a Gypsy Woman” about the Rom poetess Papusza. From 1997 to 2009 he was a member of the interdisciplinary duo Qfwfq which performed in festivals in the U.S, Europe and Argentina. Since then he directed Sarah Kane’s “Crave” which received an excellence award for directing at the 2014 International New York Fringe Festival, and did an adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s Play. In 2017 he designed interactive video projections for FPTC’s production of Dhalgren Sunrise directed by Mitch Ahern. Greg has accompanied many sound artists with his live video projections. He also uses the systems he designs, which he calls “digital action painting”, for the creation of images. www.gregorykowalski.com
Anne Loyer is an emergingdirector, whose first film short won the "Indie Soul" SpecialRecognition award at the Boston International Film Festival. She hasbeen involved in visual storytelling throughout her career: from hertwo-dimensional fine art work, to narrative animations, to public artprojects and performances that included her audio and video collagesbased on participants’ stories. She recently served as art director forthe Academic Media Studio at Wesleyan University, where she producedaward-winning video and interactive web sites for educational use in theclassroom and museum setting. While a guest artist at MontserratCollege of Art, she collaborated with professor Gabrielle Keller andstudents on a project that evolved into the Odysseus Project, an ongoingdialogue among veterans, artists, and artist-veterans, with support from the Joiner Center for the Study of War and SocialConsequences at UMass Boston. The project’s current direction is"Tamziq, Scattered and Connected," an international and localcollaboration between artists and students from the United States and the MiddleEast, with a focus on Iraq. Her work has been supported by grants fromthe Massachusetts Cultural Council, Jane’s Trust, and a fellowship at the National Academy of Design.
Juliana Merhaut is a freelance stage manager based in the Boston area but originally from the Midwest. Before relocating to Boston, Juli was involved with many northeast Ohio theater companies where she served in various capacities backstage. In Boston, she has worked with the Fort Point Theatre Channel on Dreambook and, most recently, Dhalgren Sunrise. Other recent Boston credits include work with Apollinaire Theatre Company (Hamlet, Brilliant Adventures, Everyman) and the Huntington Theatre Company (Merrily We Roll Along). Juli received her Bachelor’s from Youngstown State University and her Master’s from Boston University. In addition to stage managing, she is an independent project management consultant and an adjunct faculty member at Boston University.
Roberto Mighty is a filmmaker, new media artist, and musician. He is writer/director/DP/editor of the narrative short film, Peach Pie, (2016) currently in consideration at film festivals worldwide. He was projections and sound designer for Actors Shakespeare Project’s Macbeth (2013), Peter Snoad’s award-winning play, The Draft (2016), and Elie Wiesel’s Zalmen, or the Madness of God at The Lab at Harvard (2012). Roberto travels across the USA filming for the 2016 debut of getting.older, his online environment and multimedia installation on aging in America. He is the first artist-in-residence at Mount Auburn Cemetery (2014-2017), a National Historic Landmark; artist-in-residence at Harvard Forest (2011-2012); and guest artist at Truro Center for the Arts; writer/producer of 65 half-hours of prime-time and weekend network-affiliate television; director of audiobooks with John Updike, Gregory Maguire, Andre Dubus III, and Sandra Cisneros; adjunct professor at Emerson College's Department of Visual and Media Arts; an instructor in digital nonlinear editing at AGI Training; and teacher of private media workshops live and online. A professional songwriter and jazz guitarist, Roberto performs live with songwriter/vocalist Kathryn Howell in the duo Roberto & Kathryn, which has appeared on Broadway, in Greater Boston, and throughout New England. http://www.robertoandkathryn.com
Marc S. Miller
co-artistic director, producer
Marc S. Miller is FPTC’s cofounder. He has directed for a number of Boston-area theatres and was a member of the Actors’ Coop of North Carolina. He directed FPTC’s productions of 4:48 Psychosis, The Time of Your Life, Hotel Cassiopeia, Waiting for Gilgamesh, The Land, Indiscreet Discretion, and Krapp's Last Tape. Other favorite directing gigs include Arcadia, Pygmalion, Cloud Nine with the Longwood Players; Tone Clusters, Middle-Aged White Guys, and Arms and the Man with the Theatre Cooperative; Criminal Hearts with Theatre Unanimous (also co-producer); Play With a Tiger (independent production; also producer); and We Can’t Pay, We Won’t Pay with the Actors Coop of North Carolina. He has acted, stage managed, and swept the floors for countless theatre companies over four decades. A writer and editor for his day job, he has written or been project director for a dozen books, including several that won major awards. He has written on theatre, economic opportunity, health care, human rights, history, and technology policy.
Christine Noah is an actor, director, dramaturge, and producer. Originally from Louisville, KY, she is a graduate of Davidson College, where she received a BA in English and theatre and participated in several productions, including Brecht's Galileo, The Little Foxes, A Month in the Country, and Twelfth Night. While at Davidson, she received a grant to devise a piece of theatre with a group of collaborators, who later became The Bullpen Theatre Company, and the collective premiered SparkSource, an immersive devised play. After graduation, she spent some time working in Charlotte, North Carolina, appearing in local productions, most notably Bad Jews at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, as well as producing work with her own theatre company, The Avant Guardians. She moved to the Boston area in 2016, where she spends her days as a development professional at the A.R.T. and her nights working (and playing) with FPTC.
Sally Nutt first worked with FPTC in 2010 in Carny Knowledge, playing the frustrated wife and a needy mother in the short plays Wife of Bobbo and Love Me/Leave Me. Other recent area credits include The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Miss Knag, Mrs. Wititerly, ensemble), Quills and Barefoot in the Park (Bad Habit Productions), Something About Swans (Blackburn Center for the Arts at Boston Playwrights Theatre), and Funny Money (Newburyport's Firehouse Center). She relishes working with playwrights, workshopping and performing in their new works, and as such, is an actor-in-residence with Boston’s Playwrights’ Platform. Sally grew up in rural New Jersey, traveled the world courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, currently resides on the North Shore . . . and has thrived on theatre in all those places. She is a voice-over artist and a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
Susan Paino is a dancer, teacher, and designer. As a costume designer, Susan is best known for finding creative ways to use recycled and up-cycled clothing, fabric, and other materials. Susan was costume designer for FPTC’s Heaven and Earth, Impermanence and Uncertainty, Reel to Reel/Krapp’s Last Tape, and Dhalgren Sunrise. As a teaching artist, Susan Paino brings a unique combination of experience, training, and passion to dance education. Her teaching practice is rooted in story-telling through movement, beginning with creative movement for preschoolers, progressing to choreographed movement with primary grades. She teaches dance and movement classes at libraries, studios, and early education settings in the Boston area. www.susanpaino.com
Hana Pegrimkova finds the roots of her fascination with art and beauty in the hours spent "helping" her father with taking and developing photographs, hand-lettering posters, and visiting every art opening in her hometown in what is now the Czech Republic. She is the partner and design birector of Boston's Mario Avila Design studio (or MAD, as she calls it lovingly). Pegrimkova's first theater production was FPTC's The Good Person of Setzuan for which she made props, accessories, and hair, all out of paper.
Robin JaVonne Smith
Robin JaVonne Smith made her debut with us as the Newsboy in The Time of Your Life and played Flo in Sunday With Joy. Other credits include The Veiled Lady/Michelle Obama in Phantom of the Oprah (Ryan Landry’s Gold Dust Orphans) and Blanche/Pembroke in King John (Actors’ Shakespeare Project). She is also a member of the Beau Jest Moving Theatre company and appeared in a Tennessee Williams world premiere of American Gothic at the 2010 Tennessee Williams Theater Festival in Provincetown. She received her A.B. in English and theatre from Bowdoin College and studied at the British American Drama Academy in London.
Nick Thorkelson is a cartoonist, painter, and musician who acts in and creates music, scenery, multimedia pieces, and publicity materials for FPTC productions. He played A Society Gentleman in FPTC’s The Time of Your Life and Mr. Benson in Trapped Inside a Low-fat Twinkie, and he led the Carny Band in two productions: Carny Knowledge, for which he wrote the short play Lionel Banished, and The Good Person of Setzuan, for which he wrote a new score. He has performed in various rock, blues, soul, and reggae bands, including Boston’s first reggae band, Jamaica Hylton. His comics and cartoons have appeared in The Boston Globe and various nonfiction comics anthologies including Wobblies, The Beats, Yiddishkeit, and Radical Jesus. www.nickthorkelson.com
Douglas Urbank is an experimental filmmaker with a background in sculpture and drawing who began working with film in 2008. His films are made primarily with 16 mm film stock using “direct film” techniques, including combinations of original and found footage, blank leader, hand coloring, adhesive overlays, and other interventions, and are edited on a light table without use of a traditional editing system. His work has been screened nationally at film festivals and tours and locally at experimental music programs with live sound accompaniment. Since 2001 he has hosted a radio program devoted to experimental, improvisational, and other unconventional music and sound art, and part of WZBC’s long-running “No Commercial Potential” weeknight programming from Boston College. The show aired previously for several years on Tufts University’s WMFO. www.douglasurbank.com
Daniel J. van Ackere
Daniel J. van Ackere graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in 1988 and has been photographing for a wide range of commercial and art-based clients ever since. He has collaborated on several photographic and holographic portrait projects with the late Harriet Casdin-Silver, an internationally renowned and long-time Fort Point artist, and is staff photographer at America’s Test Kitchen. Daniel is currently collaborating on a permanent public art piece based on his “Starry Night” installation, originally conceived for Fort Point Arts Community’s Winter Solstice Public Art Series. His continuing fascination with the illusory worlds of theatre and holography has melded with his current work in public art and his photographic pursuits of landscape, theatre, and dance. He can be reached on his website at www.danieljvanackere.com.
Mark Warhol was born in Texas and received a degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. This was naturally followed by the study of piano with William Dorn and music composition with David van Vactor at the Music School of the University of Tennessee, where he designed and built the first electronic music studio. An interest in opera and further study at the Stockhausen Courses in Kurten, Germany, led him to focus on writing music for the theatre. Warhol is the artistic director of Ensemble Warhol, a music group that specializes in the performance of contemporary music. The ensemble has appeared as part of the Elizabeth Willet Musser New Music Series and the Isolated Acts Festival in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Happy New Ears Festival and Serie West in Kortrijk and Ypres, Belgium. It has performed at the Theatre La Chapelle and La Sala Rossa in Montreal and collaborated with the Devanaughn Theatre, Apollinaire Theatre, Kelly Donovan & Dancers, and Contrapose Dance in Boston. The first compact disc of the ensemble, “Où est Fleuri Rose? et autres aventures,” is available on the INNOVA label and on iTunes. As a Fort Point Theatre Channel co-artistic director, he has produced several shows, including Heaven and Earth, Impermanence and Uncertainty, Codes of Conduct, Memories and Fantasies, Exclamation Point 10! – Filmstock and JEANNE, the story of a woman. Mark lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he works as a freelance composer. www.markwarhol.net