Bruce Livingston, Executive Director and Founder
Bruce has been connecting youth ‘at the edge’ with theatre since 1996. He established PlayWrite to pursue this passion, combining established theatre practices and neuroscience research with engaged and invested coaches to best serve the needs of youth. Bruce holds degrees from Reed College and the University of Chicago, both in Anthropology. He lived and taught in Shiraz, Iran from the late 60’s until the 1978 revolution. In 1980 he entered the culinary world in Paris, and adventures with food occupied him for the next decade and a half. In 1996, he was invited to write a play for a child in the Haven Project, and ever since has been passionately involved in connecting under-served youth with theatre. He served as Managing Director of the Haven Project from 2000 through April 2003, and founded PlayWrite in November of 2003.
Lyndsay Hogland, Program Director
Lyndsay has worked for over 17 years as a Production Stage Manager and Technical Director for numerous companies, including: BodyVox, the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Artists Repertory Theater, Oregon Children’s Theater, Profile Theatre Project, and the Romanian-style circus Cicuri Curajul. She believes strongly in the integral role that story-telling plays in the intellect and vivacity of a civilization, and is immensely proud to be a founding member of PlayWrite Inc.
Emily Squires, Communications Director
Emily’s multidisciplinary art practice investigates themes such as voice, participation, and love, and uses art-making as a tool for education and organizing young people. She has helped run an art education program at the nation’s largest public art organization (City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program), managed the youth program at the oldest community art school (Fleisher Art Memorial), and worked in collaboration with youth in a variety of settings, including schools, drop-in centers and support groups. Recent projects include Free and Equal in Dignity and Rights (a correspondence between queer youth and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and Personal Service Announcement (a messaging service between the public and the White House).
She holds a Master of Fine Arts (2012) from Washington University in St. Louis and received a BFA in Printmaking and a BA in Education through the Arts from the University of Michigan.
Anne Sorce, Administrative Assistant, Coach, Performer
Anne is a performer and creator of original work. She is the co-artistic director of the Portland-based physical theater company Push Leg and a founding member of the international ensemble Theatre Run. Other companies she has worked with include Imago, Northwest Classical, defunkt, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Temporary Distortion, and Movementpants Dance. Anne studied clown and bouffon with Giovani Fusetti and is a graduate of the École Jacques Lecoq. She is overjoyed and grateful to have found a home in Portland and with PlayWrite.
Julian Blankenship, Development Associate and Graduate
Julian became interested in Playwrite in 2006 when he attended his first workshop. Over those three weeks he worked hard to write his play; the outcome of which he was very happy with. Since then Julian has been very active with Playwrite, attending performances, phone drives, and anything else associated with the organization. In 2010 Julian joined as the board’s youngest member. In his free time Julian enjoys reading, hiking, riding his bike, and watching old films.
Orion Bradshaw, Coach, Performer
Orion has a BFA degree in Theatre Arts, with a minor in Shakespeare Studies, from Southern Oregon University, and spent 3 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Since relocating to Portland, Orion has performed with Northwest Classical Theatre, Profile Theatre, Milagro Theatre, and Post5 Theatre (of which he is Co-Founder & Managing Director), among others. Orion has been a theatre educator for over 6 years, with extensive experience teaching Drama and Shakespeare studies. In addition to loving his work as a coach & actor with PlayWrite, Inc., he is an outreach teacher for Northwest Children’s Theatre, the Young Players Co., and others—as well as a seasonal performer/educator for OSF’s annual School Visit program. May the learning never cease!
Rollin Carlson, Coach, Performer
Rollin has been a performing artist in Portland since 2001, after receiving a BFA in Acting at Boston University. He has performed with various companies, including defunkt theatre, Fever Theater, and The Forgery Theatre Collective. He was awarded a Portland Drammy for acting in 2003, and is a founding member of Simple Machines Theatre.
Gavin D’Avanther, Coach
A lighting and stage management professional, Gavin served as Operations Manager and Creative Director for the Northwest’s largest event lighting company for nearly 10 years. Gavin was introduced to PlayWrite by a friend and became instantly enamored with the program. Inspired by her involvement with PlayWrite, she currently works for the Girl Scouts, directing summer camp and creating programs to help girls develop courage, confidence, and character. She believes that outdoor experiences and artistic expression are the two most powerful and yet most overlooked pathways to helping young people discover their own strength and values. In her spare time, Gavin enjoys backpacking, fly fishing, yoga, dog scootering, stunning food experiences, and adventure travel. She is currently pursuing an MBA at Portland State University.
Matt Deegan, Coach, Performer
I have been acting and coaching PLAYWRITE plays since 2006. Earned MFA CALARTS in Writing for Performance, under Suzan-Lori Parks and Erik Ehn; BA WHITMAN COLLEGE in Theater, Honors for Writing for Performance. I believe with all my heart in PLAYWRITE, INC and the healing power of play. I look forward to meeting more graduates in PLAYWRITE ALUMNI Group. Next time I plan on teaching a class in EXPERIMENTAL/EXPERIENTIAL Writing, focusing on my favorite writers like e.e., Ehn, Joyce, Kesey, Kerouac, Beckett, Miller, Parks, Stein and more. Writers who write how people actually think and remember, how language works in the head, body and heart. Look for me in fellow PlayWrite Coach Paul Susi’s ALL AT SEA this Summer at BODYVOX.
Chantal DeGroat, Coach, Performer
Chantal DeGroat is honored to work with such a remarkable company as PlayWrite, Inc. Her work with children spans newborn through teen years, both in a clinical setting and in school. Having trained with Holding Hands in Los Angeles, Chantal has an affinity to working creatively with special needs children. Her theatrical outreach work began with Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre in Los Angeles as well. Chantal’s passion for acting began at 12 years old with Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA, and continued to gain her a BFA in Acting from Emerson College in Boston. It was a tremendous pleasure to come full circle and teach Shakespeare to senior level drama students at the University of Exeter, England. She has enjoyed working on the stage and screen, as well as in the recording studio for Grammy Nominee, Sam Sparro. Chantal’s love of children and theatre has prepared her for this joyful experience working with PlayWrite.
Rosemary King, Coach
Rose currently owns her own communications business that serves clients in the nonprofit community and business sector. Prior to launching her business, she was an Air Force officer with 20 years of active duty military experience. As a speechwriter for the Secretary of Defense and two Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, her work has reached international audiences in Russia, Hungary, Belgium, Mexico, Columbia, Estonia, Macedonia, and Kosovo. Rose holds a PhD from Arizona State university, a master’s degree from Harvard, and a B.S from the US Air Force Academy. Newly arrived in Portland, she enjoys exploring the trails of Forest Park, skiing on Mt Hood, and playing ice hockey in Vancouver. Rose joined PlayWrite in 2011. She is inspired by her student’s willingness to create characters – a number two pencil, a skate shoe named Carl, a tumbleweed that raps – who are unafraid of pursuing their greatest dreams.
Eliza Livingston, Coach
Eliza wears a number of hats (writer, innkeeper, midwife, perennial student), but the one she wears with special pride is coaching for PlayWrite. It continues to be an awesome experience to work with the talented young writers, and with PlayWrite’s phenomenal and dedicated actors and coaches.
Darius Pierce, Performer
Darius Pierce is proud to have been able to participate with PlayWrite and to work with these amazing artists, teachers, and students! He is a founding member of Anonymous Theatre Company and was a long-time member of Theatre Vertigo. Theaters he has worked at include Portland Center Stage, Seattle Children’s Theater, Broadway Rose, Brown/Trinity Playwrite Repertory, Theatre Vertigo, Profile Theater, and Northwest Children’s Theater.
Timothy Scarrott, Coach, Performer
Timothy is honored to be a part of the magical and wonderful world of PlayWrite. He is the founder of Theatre Uber Alles, which includes Cheeseburger Dinner Theatre, The Portlandian Theatrical Society, Over The Cliff Notes and The Shakespeare Liberation Army. He teaches children’s theatre at the Multnomah Art Center. Some of his other exploits include picking strawberries covered in volcanic ash after the Mt. St. Helens eruption, viewing the Northern Lights in Alaska and getting married to his lovely wife, Dawn, and becoming a step-dad to his super cool daughter, Alexandra.
Kristin Steele, Coach
Kristin Steele has been a writer and non-profit advocate in Portland for eighteen years, spending several of them coaching fantastic, young writers with PlayWrite Inc. They have certainly taught her more about dramatic conflict than her MFA program. She has also volunteered as a community writing facilitator for the last ten years, leading adult workshops in domestic violence shelters, county jails, public housing projects, and community spaces. Her writing has appeared in magazines, anthologies, online, and on stage (www.onethemusical.com). When not doing any of those things, Kristin collects old typewriters and tries not to buy more books than she can read in one lifetime. She’s currently losing on that point.
Paul Susi, Coach, Performer
Paul Susi is a teacher, social worker, arts administrator and a performing artist based in Portland, OR, where he has appeared with Cerimon House, Northwest Children’s Theater, Working Theatre Collective, Contagious Theater, defunkt, Profile Theater, Milagro Teatro, Hand2Mouth Theatre, and The Forgery. Paul has appeared regionally and internationally with Berkeley Repertory Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Vermont Stage Company and Stacja Szamocin (Poland). Paul has worked as a youth counselor and a teacher at several local nonprofit organizations serving homeless, recovering, post-incarcerated and adjudicated youth, including Clackamas County Juvenile Department’s Restorative Justice Division, New Avenues for Youth, Janus Youth Programs, DePaul Treatment Centers, Hooper Detox, and PlayWrite, Inc. In 2012, Paul created, produced and performed “(On Holding On),” a solo work about the Iliad, sex crimes, and incident reports. In 2013, Paul devised and produced “All At Sea,” an ensemble theatre piece about falling in love, conquistadors, and buying a house. PlayWrite is the most challenging, the most fulfilling, and the most important work that he does.