About the Cast and Team
Linda Amayo-Hassan (contributing writer) is a playwright and in the writers pool for PlayGround. Her short play Latino Souls was selected in November for PlayGround. Linda developed her full length play ¡CHEER! Story of a Dreame, at the Berkeley Rep School and she attended the Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive in 2018. Linda was commissioned by the Hayward Area Historical Society to write, The Heart of Our Bay, a history of Hayward, California. Linda runs Chabot College Theatre for Young Audiences and is a founding member of Theatre Cultura.
Marissa L. Ampon (Louise/Mayor/Others) has enjoyed being front & center, since her first theatrical performance in Bindlestiff Studio's world premiere of WELGA, which was when the theatre-bug bit HARD in 2017. Since then, it's been non-stop involvement in anything related to the acting world, including upcoming role as Esmeralda in World Premiere BELOW SYCAMORE, presented at Shelton Theater, Sep. 19-28 (https://sheltontheater.org/below-sycamore/). By day, she works in biotech, by night she is hired for voiceover projects, acts on-stage & on-camera, and supports Bay Area playwrights by performing stage readings (IG: @ampontheair).
Lynn Aylward (lead writer) studied playwriting at the Writer's Center in Washington, DC where she was a member of the Playwrights Forum. She has been a member of the Writers Pool at Playground for two seasons, and three of her short plays have been presented by Playground at Berkeley Rep. Her short play Twelve Twenty Five was performed at the Shelton Theater in November 2018. Lynn is working on a full-length play on climate change commissioned by Playground and Planet Earth Arts, and her play Three Chords and the Truth was a semi-finalist for the 2019 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Lynn has a MSc in economics from the London School of Economics and one in environmental science from New York University.
Edith Castorena (Vara) was born and raised in San Francisco, and had the pleasure of studying theater at YPTMTC and San Francisco School of the Arts. She is currently studying Feminist Studies and Politics at UC Santa Cruz, where she is working on her thesis: Magical Realism as Resistance Theory.
Reg Clay (stage manager) Reg Clay is an actor, playwright and songwriter. A graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Reg has worked with several theatre companies in the Bay Area (Oakland Public Theatre, Plethos Productions, Eastenders Repertory Company, Darkroom Theatre, the Douglas Morrison Theatre, and many others); Reg recently published his full length play, Four Men In Paris, which was also performed at the Douglas Morrison Theatre this past October. Reg is also a podcaster, producing shows like The Yay, You Gotta Have Faith and I’m An American, Too.
Leticia Duarte (Isobel) is a theatrical, commercial and film actress represented by Talent Plus/Los Latinos Agency. For more information about their work and upcoming projects see www.sfcasting.com/leticiaduarte.
Peter Fitzsimmons (Douglas/Mayor/Others) is a San Francisco native and works in theater, film and television. He was recently seen in the film short "As Ye Sow", which won the Reel Award in the Canadian Film Festival. He also appeared as the Narrator and Ollie Harrington in the Morrison Theater premiere production of Reg Clay's "Four Men in Paris".
Carla Gallardo (Gloria/Ashley) is a Bay Area native and actor, and a proud member of the Ubuntu Theater Project. Her most recent credits include : Romeo & Juliet (Ubuntu Theater Project), In The Heights (Custom Made Theater), Hamlet(Ubuntu Theater Project), Where The Boys Are(FaultLine Theater), To The Bone (Ubuntu Theater Project). She is currently starring in Theatre Cultura’s Cheer! Story of a Dreamer, performing here at the Portero Stage.
Madeleine Hubbert (Roo), a student at San Francisco State University, is making their professional debut in this show. A San Francisco local, they studied at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts as well as with San Francisco Arts Education Project. They have acted in such productions as The Good Woman of Setzuan, Bells are Ringing, and numerous Shakespeare competitions, earning recognition as a California State Arts Scholar. When not acting, they are fond of archery, swing dance, and horseback riding.
Lisa Kang (contributing writer) is a resident of San Jose and a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has been a playwright, actor, educator and environmental activist for several years. Her work has been performed by theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seoul and Taipei. Her work has been featured in Theater Bay Area’s Playwriting Showcase and has been recognized as finalist or semi-finalist by Playwright’s Foundation, MultiStages (NYC), and Naatak Theater. She is the co-founder of San Jose's City Lights Theater's Light Source playwriting workshop and founder of Butterfly Effect’s playwriting workshop in Taipei. Lisa is a member of Playground and of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco. She is currently working on a full-length play about Monsanto and farmer suicide in India, commissioned by PlayGround and Planet Earth arts. www.lisakang.net/
Ellen Koivisto (director, contributing writer) is an award-winning playwright who co-founded Theatre Artist’s Conspiracy, ran the TAC Limelight Playwriting workshop and was associate program director of The Scene Shop in San Francisco, co-produced the Bay Area Shakespeare Marathon, and is a 2010 Directors’ Lab West alumni. She taught science (chemistry, astronomy, physics, biology, marine biology, and environmental science) for 30 years, and has been an environmental activist since elementary school. Ellen is a member of Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., Playground and the New Play Exchange.
Benjamin Nguyen (Danh/Teen) is a Bay Area native and has performed in theaters all over the bay. He's excited to continue the reading of The Emeryville Horror and looks forward to experiencing the evolution of this work.
Bridgette Dutta Portman (contributing writer) is a playwright based in Fremont, CA. Dozens of her plays have been read or produced in the Bay Area, across the country, and overseas. She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and a member of the Pear Writers’ Guild and the Dramatists’ Guild. She has been a finalist for the TITAN award, the Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, the PlayPenn Conference, the New Dramatists' playwriting residency, and more. She holds a PhD in political science (UC Irvine, 2011), as well as an MFA from Spalding University (2018) and has long had an interest in politics, including policy related to both the environment and social justice. www.bridgetteduttaportman.com.
Wayne Wong (Phillip/Hung) believes in love, laughter, and Same Boat Theater Collective.