Producing Artistic Director Joseph Lavy has directed and performed in APL’s productions of Ecce Faustus, The Glas Nocturne (which he also adapted from Hjalmar Söderberg’s 1905 novel, Doktor Glas, and for which he won a 2015 Seattle Times Footlight Award for Solo Acting), Pomegranate & Ash, Uncle Vanya, Seneca’s Oedipus, Dream of a Ridiculous Man, Jeanne the Maid, Beautiful Treasure, Song of Songs, and Macbeth. He was a key player in establishing a performing arts presence at the University of Washington/Bothell, as Artist-in-Residence taught acting and directing for eight years in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, and co-directs APL’s education program for youth. For APL he produced one week of plays for Seattle’s participation in Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays. Joseph directed the North American premiere of Jose Pliya’s Le Complexe de Thenardiers for Playing French Seattle. He earned his Actor’s Equity Association membership in 1998 while working for Porthouse Theatre Company, in Kent OH, but relinquished union status after moving to Seattle as it was not conducive to the type of work he is most passionate about. He was a founding member of the acclaimed New World Performance Lab, with which he was a principal actor and leader of physical training, and he served as a workleader in 1992 for Jerzy Grotowski’s Objective Program at UC-Irvine. As a professional artist, he has worked with such theatrical luminaries as Jerzy Grotowski, Peter Brook, Ellen Stewart, and Kazimierz Braun. His work has been seen from Seattle to New York City to Wroclaw, Poland. He can also be seen in Sans Vie (2010, see trailer), by Seattle filmmaker Matthew Morris. Joseph has been teaching movement and a method of psycho-physical action to actors for 25 years. His students have gone on to continued success in New York, California, New Orleans, Canada, the UK, and beyond.
Executive Artistic Director Jennifer “Zhenya” Lavy wears many hats with APL: music composition and direction, acting, marketing, development, operations, and governance. A classical- and jazz-trained vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, she has music directed all of APL’s productions and also devised or arranged the music for Oedipus, Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Uncle Vanya. APL audiences have seen her in Ecce Faustus, The Glas Nocturne, Pomegranate & Ash, Uncle Vanya, Oedipus, Dream of a Ridiculous Man, 365 Days / 365 Plays, Russian Opus No. 1, and Beautiful Treasure. The company’s 2014 production of Uncle Vanya is her original translation from the Russian, and for her music on Vanya she received a 2014 Gypsy Rose Lee Award nomination: Best Local Composer. Zhenya composed the choral arrangements for theater simple’s Tilt Angel (2015). She was a founder and longtime member of New World Performance Lab, which she music directed and through which in 1992 she served as a workleader for Jerzy Grotowski’s Objective Program at UC-Irvine. Other notable artists with whom she has worked include Gennady Bogdanov, Kazimierz Braun, Maria Irene Fornes, and Rena Mirecka. A doctoral candidate in Theatre History & Criticism at the University of Washington School of Drama, where she studied and worked with Herbert Blau, who chaired her dissertation committee, she has taught Theatre Theory, Play Analysis, and introductory theatre history and theory courses. In 2005, UW awarded Zhenya one of two coveted Excellence in Teaching Awards. Since 2011, she has taught Theatre History to high school students for Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Young Actor Institute, and she co-directs APL’s education program for youth. Zhenya was formerly Managing Director of Freehold Theatre Lab / Studio and Director of Development for the University of Washington School of Drama, as well as a member of the Board of Directors and Interim Deputy Director for Theatre Puget Sound. She has presented her research at theatre conferences nationally and internationally and is a published theatre scholar. She can be found on SoundCloud, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Zhenya is available for music direction and offers voice lessons for actors and singers at all levels.
An actor, director, producer, playwright, and stage manager, Annie has a strong background in experimental theater. She was introduced to Akropolis Performance Lab in summer 2013, when she participated in physical and vocal training with APL’s Performer’s Lab, and went on to assistant direct APL’s Uncle Vanya (2014) before becoming an Artistic Associate in June 2014. Recent performances include The Glas Nocturne (APL, which she also co-directed), Pomegranate & Ash (APL), Barn Show (Blood Ensemble), 3 Americanisms (Outsiders Inn/Seattle Fringe Festival) and her solo play, DREAMA (co-production with Pocket Theater). Her first play, Chimera, recently received a premiere staged reading in the 2014 San Francisco Olympians Festival. Annie moved to Seattle from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she collaborated in various capacities with the Cutting Ball Theater (Associate Artist), FoolsFURY, Ragged Wing Ensemble (Core Artist), Inkblot Ensemble, San Francisco Theater Pub, and the San Francisco Olympians Festival. Annie co-directed the world premiere of Tontlawald (2012, with Paige Rogers and Laura Arrington, text by Eugenie Chan) and assistant stage managed the world premiere of …and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi (2010, text by Marcus Gardley) — both at the Cutting Ball Theater. As a Core Artist with Ragged Wing Ensemble, Annie performed in Time Sensitive, Maybe Baby (at the Bay One Acts Festival), and Within the Wheel (for which she also co-wrote and co-directed a site-specific performance). She has twice produced stagings of Heiner Muller’s Heart Play: in 2009 at Wesleyan University (with co-producer Rachel Silverman) and in 2013 at San Francisco Theater Pub. Originally from Southern California, Annie attended Wesleyan University (CT), where she double majored in Theater and Psychology, earning a BA with High Honors for her thesis work as Winnie in Beckett’s Happy Days.