Marie Karcher is an actress currently living in New York City. She is a recent graduate from Marymount Manhattan College where she earned her BA in Theatre Arts. Some of her favorite credits include Chicklet in Psycho Beach Party, Antigone in Antigone, and Diana in All’s Well that Ends Well, the latter of which she was nominated for an Irene Ryan Award in 2012. Most recently, she was seen in a production of Elegies: for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens directed by Bill Russel as the role of Charlotte. Throughout her life, Marie has been a part of several student organizations focused on social justice, helping her feel a kinship with ac’tiv•ist. She considers herself a feminist, tea lover, and artist of many mediums.
Scott McKown most recently attended the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music, where he graduated with a degree in classical singing. In addition to this, his uncompleted degrees include theatre, popular songwriting and composition. Most recently, Scott has been recording voiceovers and narrations for various projects including short films and slideshows while living in Amherst, MA with his wonderful girlfriend, Amy.
Munir Atalla is a journalist based in New York City. He graduated from Tufts University in 2015 with a degree in American Studies and a minor in Communications. This is his acting debut.
Kristie Speck is a multimedia artist, journeywoman, and has served for twenty years as President of Sheherazade Studios -- a service project devoted to housing and holding space for traveling and local performance artists. An passionate vocalist, she has worked with Kirtan Jam, Adam Bauer, The Silvertone 5 Band, Butterfly Swing Band, and performed as first soprano in UCC Ashfield choir. Her studio also hosts weekly classes with local artists as well as her own practice as a dance instructor and soulful song seeker. Recent projects include principal dancer and choreographer for Mutton and Meade’s Caravan Dancers, Managing the Amherst Farmer’s Market, Fundraising for Mi Tierra Restaurant, event and staff management for Mike’s Maze, and Directing Sheherazade Sisters, a Belly Dance Troupe based in Providence R.I. Over the years, she has had many diverse jobs to support her art habit, including volunteer coordinator, firefighter, correctional facility yoga instructor, itinerant cook and baker, tortilla runner, tax prep, children, elders, canine, feline and equestrian care. All of these odd jobs brought life long friends and led her to the conclusion that it’s not so much what you do, but who you do it with and for. That’s why she's so excited to be a part of this cast and get to work with darling daughter Rosemary Speck, her greatest teacher and inspiration. Yup, Rosemary is technically her boss, but for those of you who know them, that’s nothing new!
Acting since the age of eight, PJ is a Massachusetts native with over ten years of professional theatrical experience. A graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with his BFA in Acting and Musical Theatre, PJ has most notably appeared in Volleygirls (Winner Best of Fest) and The Cobalteans at NYMF, A Midsummer Night's Dream in Washington Square Park with Gorilla Rep, Very Bad Words at NYC Fringe, GUNS: A Cabaret under director Liz Swados, and is a founding member of Madcap Repertory Theatre. While at Marymount, PJ served as President of the school's improv team, directed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, received the award for excellence in Musical Theatre, and was the elected Student Speaker for the class of 2015. He is represented by About Artists Agency in New York City. www.pjadzima.com
Sarah Branch is currently a junior at Swarthmore College where she is double majoring in Theatre and Sociology/Educational Studies. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Sarah has been actively involved in theatre (community and professional) through performances with the Four Seasons and Madison Repertory Theatre companies. Additionally, Sarah has studied classical ballet and other forms of dance for sixteen years and has trained with innovative thinkers and choreographers including Alonzo King (Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet) in San Francisco. Sarah was most recently seen in the Swarthmore College’s theatre production of Here in My Garden (written and directed by Patrick Ross, Swarthmore College Class of 2015). Other credits from Swarthmore College’s Department of Theatre include Wendy Darling in Peter Pan (2014) and Lucia/Translator in Mad Forest (2014). As a proud member of the Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) Future Leaders Network, Sarah works collaboratively with other committed activists and artists to share her passion for using the arts as a vehicle to promote thought, tolerance, and perspective.
George Abraham is a Palestinian-American slam poet and activist. He currently attends Swarthmore College, where he studies Mathematics and Engineering. His poetry has appeared on Button Poetry, and in publications such as the Philadelphia Book Review. In 2015, he was a semi-finalist for both the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, and the National Poetry Slam (where he placed 7th out of 72 as part of Philadelphia Fuze's national team). He was also a competitor in the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam, and was Swarthmore's recipient of the Favianna Rodriguez Award for Artistic Activism. He hopes to continue pursuing his interests in engineering and bringing awareness to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through poetry, simultaneously, for the rest of his life.
Oona Kilcommons is currently in her last year at Bennington College where she studies Drama, Dance, the many histories of both and their interplay with human culture and society. Last year she had the life-altering privilege to train in physical theatre and Commedia dell'Arte in the heart of Tuscany. The experience, like so many others, has affirmed for her the importance and interconnectedness of artistic communities everywhere. She finds her joy in trying to master the many angles of producing a performance. She served as a technical assistant at HERE Theater in Soho during the acclaimed Prototype Festival, where she was part of the team that proved instrumental in the fast-paced transformation of sets and lighting circuits necessary to accommodate more than a dozen performances. Her branches in various cities wouldn't be possible without her Western MA roots. She has been involved in various capacities with local communities as well: Double Edge Theater as a trainee and costume assistant, Journey Camp as a councilor teaching dance and theater to youngsters, Billy Shakes Productions as an actor and the Mutton and Mead Festival as a dancer most recently. As she heads into her twelfth year of collaborating in student productions, she is excited for the opportunity to connect with the Ac'tiv*ist team and honored to be part of such a driven community of young artists.
Max Binder is a poet and activist from Providence, RI, currently studying at Columbia University in New York City. They are a lead organizer for the Barnard Writing Collective, which organizes writing workshops, poetry shows, and slams. Along with the Barnard/Columbia team, they ranked 17th at the national college poetry slam CUPSI in 2015. Max's background has been, in part, theatrical, acting throughout early schooling and directing a short musical their senior year of high school, to much local acclaim. They have studied acting, improv, and directing at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence. For Max, poetry is often inherently political, dealing with the uplifting of silenced narratives and the artistic recasting of systems of oppression. Max’s activism has most recently included work with Students for Justice in Palestine and No Red Tape, an anti sexual violence organization.
Natalie Barkman is a graduating Senior at Marymount Manhattan College awaiting her Bachelor in Fine Arts in Acting as well as a Minor degree in Psychology. Theatre credits include Margo in The Amazons and Their Men, Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry in the Fantasticks. Film credits include commercial training with NYCDA, work as a cast member in the sketch comedy show Lights Up, and various work with filmmaker Frank Bongjio including the role of Lola in She's All That (And a Bag of Chips). She is over-enthusiastically excited to be working with the cast and crew of Ac'tiv•ist and looks forward to more film work in her up-and-coming adventures as a seemingly competent grad student.
Matthew Engel is making his acting debut in his role as Glen Burman. Matthew grew up in the 1960s and participated in several Vietnam war protests during his high school years. He is a civil rights attorney whose law practice for the last thirty years has focused on the rights of persons with disabilities. He lives in Western Massachusetts.
Owen Moss Hayden is joining Riverwolf Productions for the second time. Other credits include: Film: Villain (SVA), Shades of Gray (Blood Pump Productions), The Bard (Riverwolf Productions). New York Theater: The Poet (Manhattan Rep), The Interview (Theater for the New City). Regional Theater: The Sound of Music (Triarts Sharon Playhouse). He is excited to be handling a gun again.
My career started in 1972 when I was cast as one of the salesmen in the Music Man…I was in fifth grade. My acting career never really flourished so I actually became a salesmen and have been one for 35 years. I have had 2 acting roles both working with Josh. I was the President in The Paper and I played the village idiot in The Bard. I look forward to working with Josh and the crew on the ac'tiv•ist.
I'm from Clinton, MD and moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2012 to pursue a career in film. I also write and produce my own short films, I'm currently working on a webseries called "Situationships" and I also do stand-up comedy. Lover of lasagna and cheesecake.
Oliver Lipton is an actor, writer, and Theater / Computer Science double major at Swarthmore College. He has appeared in multiple productions there including Bright Room Called Day (2015) as Husz, Twelfth Night (2015) as Malvolio, Yellow Stockings Night of Scenes (2014) as multiple characters, and in Medea (Directed by Joshua Wolfsun, 2014) as Jason. Outside of Swarthmore, he has participated in multiple productions with HB Studio and Piper Theater in New York City.
Makayla Portley is a sophomore at Swarthmore College. She's been acting since her mother forced her to join church musicals when she was 5, at which point she fell in love with being on the stage. Since then, she's spent much of her time acting, directing, and writing at nearly every available opportunity. At Swarthmore, Makayla is involved in Boy Meets Tractor, Swarthmore's sketch comedy group, and Yellow Stockings, Swarthmore's Shakespeare group.
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