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Touring Innovative New Plays, on Bicycles

WHO WE ARE

Agile Rascal is comprised of artists from various backgrounds and demographics, with a variety of skills and training. 

Dara Silverman (She/Her) - Artistic Director, Writer

Dara Silverman is a writer, artist out of Oakland, California. Dara thinks of her creative projects as experiments, each born from a collision of questions, and resulting in a unique universe complete with rules of science and magic, patterns of behavior and specific aesthetics. She allows her current preoccupations to embed themselves inside these landscapes, revealing connections and complexity. In addition to her work with Agile Rascal, Dara’s plays have been finalists for the Jewish Plays Project and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and have been published by Smith and Kraus, Inc.  She has received residencies from the Santa Fe Art Institute, The Lookout Arts Quarry and AIRIE in the Everglades. Dara holds an MFA from San Francisco State University in playwriting.  When not working on Agile Rascal, Dara runs Heart and Bones Writing, a one stop word shop.

Jackie Rivera (She/Them) - Associate Artistic Director, Performer

Jackie is a Brooklyn-based Queer Latinx theater-maker and performing artist currently pursuing a Master's of Fine Art in Performance and Performance Studies at Pratt Institute. With over 20 years of theater experience including a BFA in Acting from New World School of the Arts and University of Florida, and Suzuki and Viewpoints training with SITI Company in NYC, in addition to over 10 years of professional acting and ensemble-based non-profit theater-making, it is truly a coincidence that they also like to ride bicycles. Jackie joined Agile Rascal in 2017 for the Montana tour looking for an unforgettable adventure and has since pledged their life to enjoying the many fruits of a bicycle touring theater existence. In 2018 they converted a van (@The DolphVAN) as their primary residence and occasionally travels the country as a freelance Performer, Stage Manager, and SPRAT Certified Rope Access Technician. More info at: www.jackie-rivera.com

Sam Cordes (He/Him) - Producing Director, Performer

Sam Cordes was “born in a trunk” in Kansas City, Missouri and has been doing professional theatre since the age of five. Raised by actors, Cordes made quite the name for himself as an upcoming talent in the thriving theatre community of his hometown and has gone on to receive his B.F.A. in Theatre from Stephens College for Women in Columbia, MO and his M.F.A. in Theatre from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Sam currently works as an adjunct Professor of Theatre at Hastings College in Nebraska.  As an avid bicycle tourist, Cordes has never owned a car, enjoys daily commuting and has ridden his bike over 8,000 miles around the country.

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Jenny Hipscher (She/Her) - Performer (2015), Director (2019)

Jenny Hipscher was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated from Wesleyan University. After college, she moved to New Mexico where she spent 4 years as a principal performer in Albuquerque’s Readymade Dance Theater Company . She has trained in contemporary dance and physical theater in Europe, and studied clown and improvisation at Bont’s Independent Republic of Failure in Ibiza. On this side of the Atlantic, she’s trained with Double Edge Theater and Pig Iron Theatre Company. Her first Agile Rascal tour landed her in Columbia, Missouri as GreenHouse Theatre Project’s Resident Artist. With a background in athletics and the healing arts,  Jenny is interested in how we respond to the world through our bodies, and how we can shift and transform ourselves and our environment through the emotional and physical choices we make.

Jaren Feeley (He/Him) - Performer and Composer (2017, PA)

Jaren Feeley is a musician-composer based in Berkeley, California. He is a noted composer and sound designer in the Bay Area theater community, for which he has created original scores for over a dozen productions. He was drawn to the medium of live theater for its genuine human presence, and its deep engagement with both intellect and emotion. His scores have incorporated chamber music and spoken word, children's choirs and dystopian electronica. In addition to composing, Jaren also regularly organizes themed concerts and artistic happenings. He is the founder and artistic director of Moonstruck, a popular concert series that brings audiences to remote locations in the Bay Area wilderness for site-specific performances. You can find more of his work at jarenfeeley.com

Kean Haunt (He/Him) Performer (2017, PA)

Kean Haunt is a graduate of the theatre program at Middlebury College, where he studied acting. He has appeared in the 2015 season of the Potomac Theatre Project, Double Edge Theatre's 2016 summer spectacle performance, and Agile Rascal Bicycle Touring Theatre's 2017 tour of Montana. Alongside acting, Kean is a multi-instrumentalist who is committed to finding new and creative ways to bring music onstage. His work frequently calls upon elements of circus, such as stilts and clowning, to delight younger and older audiences alike.

Kendrick Haunt (She/Her) - Performer, Costume Designer (2019, PA)

Kendrick Haunt is an actress and seamstress based in Billings, Montana. She graduated with a degree in Drama Studies from Mount Allison University in 2017. During her time at Mount Allison, Kendrick spent three years as the Motyer-Fancy Theatre costume technician where she was part of the costume crew for over 20 theatre productions  and created her own costume designs. While obtaining her degree, she also worked as a professional costume designer, carpenter, props master, and master electrician at Live Bait Theatre. Most recently Kendrick worked with Verge Theatre in Bozeman as an actor and costume designer for children’s theatre. During an interactive production of The Emperor’s New Clothes, Kendrick was able to bring her love of acting and costumes together.  She is excited to continue exploring how costume and character interact.

Lexy Ho-Tai (She/Her) - Designer (2019, PA)

Lexy Ho-Tai is an interdisciplinary artist who is interested in the intersection between art making and making the world a better place. She explores social themes through work that is humorous, playful, and interactive. She is passionate about arts and accessibility, and has most recently been exploring public and participatory art, including performances, murals, and workshops. She also loves art teaching and programming, and has led art programs with various groups of kids, college students, and senior citizens. She has a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School for Design (2016), where she was nominated for Designer of the Year. She has been an artist-in-resident at the Watermill Center, the Flux Factory, and ARoS Museum, and a Van Lier Fellow at the MAD Museum. She's based in New York City, though she spends most of her time up in the clouds. See her work at LEXYMAKESTHINGS.com

Rose Schwietz (She/Her) - Production/Stage Manager (PA)

Rose Schwietz is a director/musician/performer/teacher born and raised in Minnesota. She has lived most of her adult life in Kathmandu, teaching theatre and English literature to Nepali high school students, and directing and performing with the Kathmandu-based One World Theatre. Never one to live conventionally, she is over the moon to be joining her first Agile Rascals project. She trains regularly with SITI Company and worked as a tech intern with the Wooster Group. She is now based in the Twin Cities while continuing regular projects in Nepal and India. When she’s not on her bike or in rehearsal, you can find her reading, painting, writing, or playing cribbage. Her greatest love in theatre is the collaborative process of building, creating, and performing together.

Miguel Alejandro Castillo, Performer (2019)

Miguel A. Castillo. Born in Caracas, Venezuela. Miguel moved to Middlebury, Vermont where he studied Dance and Theatre. Miguel is interested in choreographing, directing, devising and performing and hopes to continue creating work until the very end. Miguel recently worked as the assistant choreographer for the production of Bernstein’s MASS at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts under the mentorship of choreographer Laurel Jenkins, and director Elkhanah Pulitzer. He was part of the Middlebury Dance Company for two consecutive seasons (2015-2016 Detroit/DC tour) under the direction of Tzveta Kassabova and 2016-2017 (US/ Mexico tour) under the direction of Scotty Hardwig. Original works include Mayura, Du et Again, Audio instructions for a lost audience, The Moonfish and the Knife, and Postcards to mum. Miguel is also a proud UWC grad.

Michael Hulburt, Performer (2019)

Michael Hulburt is a writer, performer, clown, and musician originally from Blacksburg, Virginia. After developing a love of performing, Michael received a degree in theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University.  After, he spent several years teaching, biking and cooking before joining Children of the Wild Ensemble Theatre. While building The Wastelands (a traveling folk opera structured around Dante’s Purgatorio) with Children of the Wild, he reconnected to his love of music, theatre, and circus arts, and firmly established a new love of Grotowski-based physical theatre, contact improv and homelessness; all of which he intends to bring to the Agile Rascals’ upcoming tour.  Michael currently lives in a van and enjoys making puppets. 

Joel Knopf (He/Him) - Performer, Composer (2019)

Joel Knopf is a Western Mass-based musician, writer, and educator whose original shows Unadmissions: A Law School Musical, God and Xylophones, and The Last Ibex have been performed at the 2015 and 2018 Musical Café Festival of Short Musicals in Oakland, California and at Inferno Theater's 2017 Diaspora Festival in Berkeley. Joel has appeared in productions with the Dramatists' Guild, the SF Footlights, and has recently acted in three fifteen-minute musicals The Loving Tree, Love the Struggle, and Pickpocket at the 2017 Musical Café. He also performed in the new bi-lingual childrens’ opera Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena with the San Francisco Opera Guild. Joel's EP of children's songs is available at www.meltsinyourmind.com. The author of many essays, songs and short stories, Joel recently completed his first children's novel. If you tell Joel your favorite flavor of ice cream, he will write a song for you at @joelknopfwrites. 

Ashley Whiting (She/Her) - Performer (2019)

Ashley Whiting delights in a career full of boos, hisses and chuckles! 2018 has been the year of portraying villains at The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville in California and on tour as the Wicked Witch in Experiential Theater Company's Journey to Oz. Ashley grew up dancing competitively and now works professionally in musical theatre and voiceover around the world. She graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Writing for Film & TV in 2009, trained in musical improv at The Magnet Theatre in NYC and was employed as a writer and producer at an animation studio in Los Angeles post college. She also spent a year in her early 20s creating ESL (English as a Second Language) theatre at a theme park in South Korea.

Sarah Bell (She/Her) - Performer, Designer (2017)

Sarah Bell was born in California and raised in Montana after the childhood road trip that changed it all. A little wanderlust and a love of stories were sparked. In college, Sarah traded a literary degree for a theatrical one and contributed to many areas of community theatre production including stage management, acting, carpentry and run crew. She found her niche telling stories through costumes and graduated from the University of Montana in 2011 with a BFA in Costume Design and Technology. Since then, her handiwork both as a technician and as a designer has been seen in professional theatres from the Northwest to the Midwest. Sarah still calls Montana home, and loves to explore under her own power by road cycling, mountain biking, hiking, and paddling anything that floats.

Lelia Johnson (She/Her) - Performer (2015, 2017)

Lelia Johnson is an educator, performer and entrepreneur. She has a strong passion for building projects in education, theatre, cycling & community engagement. She holds a BS in Community & Regional Development from UC Davis and a teaching credential from San Francisco State University. After college, she helped an education start-up, Beyond 12, to succeed. Now, as a teacher, Lelia runs a bicycle education, repair and safety program at her school. With Agile Rascal she was able to marry her talents for building successful organizations, with her passion for theatre, bicycles and community. 

John Paul Olsen (He/Him) - Performer (2017, 2015)

John Paul Olsen has been involved in theatre since his high school years in Mesquite, Texas, where his talents ranged from acting, singing and dancing, to set building, and directing. John has been involved with Bay Area theatre, including Lucid Dream Lounge and the West Marin Players. and he performed as The Attendant in Agile Rascal’s Sunlight on the Brink. He has much experience in maintaining and repairing bikes. He currently lives in Dallas County, Texas near his family and works for UPS.

Alexis Camille, Performer (2015)

Alexis Camille initially began her study of the performing arts in Oakland, CA, where she joined Agile Rascal Bicycle Touring Theatre, cycling three months and 4,600 miles cross-country, touring the devised original play, Sunlight On The Brink. She was then enlisted to play Peer Gynt in Columbia, Missouri's GreenHouse Theatre Project's production of Peer Gynt. Alexis has since returned to her childhood Twin Cities as daughter, aunt, sister, actress, and comedy improvisor. By day, she is humbled teaching pre-K literacy. Alexis performs with HUGE Improv Theater, where she also works as an assistant improv instructor. Additionally, she's a cast member of Minneapolis sketch comedy team, The Assembly.

Ren Dodge (He/Him) - Technician, Photographer (2015)

Ren is a professional photographer and videographer. He has loved riding and tinkering with bikes since he was a kid. One of his first movies was a documentary about an art bike. In 2001 he moved from his hometown of St. Paul, MN to Oakland California, in search of better weather, creative opportunities and bikeable streets. A love of art led him to attend San Francisco State University where he earned a BA in Photography. He works commercially as an architectural photographer, while pursuing personal work in photography, film and other media.

Fenner (They/Them) - Performer and Ensemble Director (2015)

Fenner is an actor, director, and producer, living in West Oakland. Trained in ensemble devising processes, clown, Suzuki and ancient Japanese theater, collaborators have included Custom Made Theater Co, Liar Liar, Theater of Yugen, FoolsFury, Ragged Wing Ensemble and Naked Empire Bouffon. They also received a BA in Theater and Performance at UC Berkeley. Producing credits include ‘Desire Caught by the Tail’ by Pablo Picasso, and most recently the collaboratively written piece ‘The Boy Who Cried Naked.’ Around and in between and sometimes with theater they are also an adventure cyclist, musician and casual host with the most.

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