APL Welcomes New Artistic Collaborators

Akropolis Performance Lab is proud to announce that after a rigorous selection process, we have added six new collaborators to our ensemble: three new Artistic Associates and three new Artistic Apprentices. The new Company Members are Sara Kaus, Trevor Young Marston, and Jesson Mata. The new Apprentices are Linnea Ingalls, Emily Jo Testa, and Henry James Walker.


Sara Kaus, APL Artistic Associate


Trevor Young Marston, APL Artistic Associate


Jesson Mata, APL Artistic Associate


Linnea Ingalls, APL Artistic Apprentice


Emily Jo Testa, APL Artistic Apprentice


Henry James Walker, APL Artistic Apprentice


This is an exciting time of growth for APL. We are thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with these artists whose intentionality, ethos, and talent align so well with ours. We look forward to the artistic depth and diversity they bring.

About the New Artistic Associates

Sara Kaus, a small-town girl and University of Northern Iowa theatre major, has been acting in professional children’s theatre since 2009. Sara toured the Midwest in Greek Mythology with the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company. As a company member of the Rose Children’s Theatre for three seasons, she performed in mainstage productions such as Velveteen Rabbit, House on Mango Street, Annie – The Musical, Bridge to Terabithia, Pinkalicious – The Musical, and Peter Pan. She relocated to Seattle for the 2013-2014 Open Door Theatre touring season. She comes to Akropolis with a passion for acting and a belief that great performance has the ability not only to entertain but to educate, inspire, and even stir audience members to action, themselves. Through live theatre, she strives to create art with the capacity to change lives in a positive way, and she is thrilled to have found APL’s values for creating art line up with her own.

Trevor Young Marston is a Seattle-based actor and producer. He has performed locally with Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theater, Seattle Public Theatre, ReAct Theatre, and the 14/48 Projects. As a producer he has brought to the stage, the world premiere of A Cure for Pain by Stephanie Timm, Boots by Libby Matthews, and Barbarians – a devised piece with SITI Company associate Jeffrey Fracé. Most recently, for the screen, he associate produced the feature film Pacific Aggression, which was directed and written by Shaun Scott. Trevor earned his MFA from the University of Washington’s nationally ranked Professional Actor Training Program. He trains extensively with Robyn Hunt and Steve Pearson and their company the Pacific Performance Project. Internationally, he has been honored to work with master teacher Kristin Linklater, with Jason Turner of the L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (France), and with Andrejz Welminski and Theresa Welminski (Edinburgh), two of Tadeusz Kantor’s original Cricot 2 company members.

Jesson Mata was born in the Philippines and has lived in Seattle most of his life. He studied Political Science at Seattle University and Philosophy and Theology at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. In his early 20s, Jesson volunteered with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of charity, working with orphans and the poor and dying. Subsequently, he spent four years studying for the priesthood. For the past ten years, he has been Director of Liturgy and Music at Blessed Sacrament Church. Jesson also teaches Philosophy and Theology at Bishop Blanchet High School and has created  VLOG60, a video series comprising of 60-second expositions on philosophical and theological insights learned in the classroom.  He is an avid gardener and photographer. Jesson is keenly interested in the intersection of music and the physicality of theatrical movement, and he looks forward to pursuing those interests with Akropolis.

About the New Apprentices

Linnea Ingalls, a Western Washington University Theatre Department alumna, has performed, directed, and devised work regionally and in the UK. She currently directs, choreographs, and teaches at Seattle’s Broadway Bound Children’s Theatre. In England, she performed in Our Little Secret, The Suicide, and The Birthday Party (after Pinter) with the University of Hull and in Cyclesong as part of the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad. At WWU, Linnea earned Best Director and Best Show for The Naked Eye and trained in Tectonic Theatre Project’s model for devising through the productions, Us (ACTF Outstanding Ensemble) and Soapbox (Irene Ryan nominee for her performance as Gwen). She is a co-founder of Bellingham-based August Rope Theatre Company, whose To Whom it May Concern was praised at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Training interests include Grotowski, Suzuki, Viewpoints, and Commedia Dell’Arte. She has trained with Blue Lake’s Dell’Arte International, New York City’s Blessed Unrest, and London’s Red-Handed Theatre Company.

Emily Jo Testa moved to Seattle after high school, studied acting at Northwest Actors’ Studio, and went on to work behind the scenes with NWAS, Northwest Asian American Theatre, ReACT Theatre, Anything for a Biscuit, Printer’s Devil Theatre, and New City Theatre. Eventually, she volunteered with Circus Contraption in that group’s final year, and then she gravitated towards the Circus members who formed Cafe Nordo – a hybrid of theater and modern dining with whom she has worked as an assistant director on SMOKED! and The Modern American Chicken Part Deux. Emily Jo has performed with the Double Shot Festival of Overnight Plays, WARP Theatre, Blood Ensemble, SIS Productions, and puppet/clown duo Good Evening, Mr. Homunculus. Her screen work includes the short films, ORGANically Grown (for the 48 Hour Film Horror Project) and Happy Anniversary. In addition to NWAS, she has trained with George Lewis, Marya Sea Kaminski, and Amy Thone at Freehold.

Henry James Walker is an alumnus of Western Washington University’s Theatre Department and recent Seattle transplant. His artistic passions include collaborative theatre, training in the physical world of clowning, devising new works with dedicated artists, and connecting social issues and commentary into the theatre he creates. In early 2014 he formed a Commedia dell’Arte troupe, which presented a successful first performance in November and is planning performances around Seattle parks and stages in the coming year. Henry’s most recent roles include Baile in Blood Ensemble’s NDGM, as well as Basque and Dubois in Sound Theatre Company’s School for Lies. Past favorite projects include Soapbox and James’ Castle (devised pieces), as well as Twelfth Night, Pagliacci, Tartuffe, and various Commedia performances. He also leads Commedia workshops. In September 2013, Henry walked more than 500 miles through northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago; he regularly gives talks about his physical, emotional, and spiritual journey along the Way.


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Zhenya’s Mini-Review of Fangs

This time last year, I was working my way through the (digital) stack of original plays submitted to our inaugural “New Year, New Play” Sunday Salon. When I got to the title page of Jim Moran’s Fangs, I thought, “Vampires? Werewolves?” But what I read was something very different — delightful, even. We gave Fangs a developmental reading in January and were thrilled to learn it would receive full production at Eclectic Theater  and would even feature two of the actors from our reading –Samantha Routh and Shane Regan — albeit in different roles. Fast forward to last night, when Joseph and I attended its opening.

One thing I appreciate in Fangs is Jim’s excellence at crafting simple, inherently comedic characters — ably balancing text and space so the actors can really crack them open — with a more subtle approach to humor that yields the biggest laughs… every time. In this production, Ashley Bagwell takes the already wonderfully quirky character of Ed and develops him with such a fullness of presence and action that it’s hard not to walk away without feeling that this smaller role actually anchors the entire show. And Shane Regan takes Toby from his unassuming, uptight beginnings through a complete unraveling that… you should see for yourself. Jim has less success with the other characters, whose banter or attitudes are “trying” to be witty or funny, and through them we feel the playwright trying a bit too hard: these larger characters, ironically, become reduced in such a way that they never transcend caricature. That said, while Joseph and I have endured many a “funny” play of late that delivered few real laughs at all from anyone other than friends/family of the production, Jim’s Fangs succeeded in making us laugh a lot. The character of Ed alone — LMFAO!!!

Want to support new work by local playwrights in a vibrant community of development? Check out Fangs. Want the old-school, small theatre culture legacy of Capitol Hill to survive the neighborhood — and artistic — gentrification? Get out and support Eclectic and the other orgs hanging onto their real estate by the skin of their teeth.

Approaching The Fence from All Angles


L-R: Zhenya Lavy, Aimée Bruneau, and Lola Peters | Photo: Margaretta Campagna


Andrew Ross Litzky and Annie Paladino | Photo: Margaretta Campagna


Clockwise from back: Jose Amador, Aimée Bruneau, and Zachary Hewell | Photo: Margaretta Campagna


Valerie Curtis-Newton and Andrew Ross Litzky | Photo: Margaretta Campagna


Joseph Lavy and Annie Paladino | Photo: Margaretta Campagna

For our October 12 Sunday Salon reading of Howard Barker’s The Fence in it’s Thousandth Year, we filled the house with a fantastic group of artists and intellectuals who really dug in to investigate the play’s meaning, reverberations, and implications for performance today. We were fortunate to snag time with Valerie Curtis-Newton in what turned out to be a monumental week for her: winning The Stranger’s 2014 Genius Award for Theater and Crosscut’s 2014 Courage Award in Culture. And we owe special thanks to Andrew Ross Litzsky for saving the day when one of our originally scheduled reader fell ill.

The entire cast knocked this reading out of the park:

PHOTO, a Blind Adolescent – Zachary Hewell
ALGERIA, A Duchess – Aimée Bruneau
ISTORIA, Friend to Algeria – Valerie Curtis-Newton
DOORWAY, A Suitor – Joseph Lavy
LOU, A Young Woman – Annie Paladino
KIDNEY, A Servant – Andrew Ross Litzky
YOUTERUS, A Blind Thief – Jose Amador
CAMERA, A Blind Child – Margaretta Campagna
NARRATOR – Zhenya Lavy