Stage the Change Keynote Speakers
Anthony Rapp is best known for originating the role of “Mark Cohen” in the Tony Award-winning rock opera Rent. Rent explores a struggle with life, love and AIDS, and the impact each has on our society. Rapp shared an OBIE (Off-Broadway) Award with the rest of the cast for the performance. After taking the show from Off-Broadway to Broadway, Chicago to London, Rapp reprised his role in the 2005 Sony Pictures major motion picture adaptation.
Rapp’s prolific career includes roles in additional Broadway shows, major motion pictures, and several television series. He is back on tour with a performance adapted from his 2006 national best-seller Without You: a Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical “Rent”. Rapp’s novel details his experiences during Rent’s original run—as well as his personal struggle with losing his mother to cancer.
Rapp also serves on the board of the non-profit organization Friends In Deed, which provides emotional support for anyone with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, cancer or other life-threatening physical illnesses, their families, friends, and caregivers. In CBS All Access’s new, highly anticipated series Star Trek: Discovery, the former Rent star plays the TV franchise’s very first openly gay character, astromycologist Lt. Paul Stamets.
Elizabeth Woody (Navajo/Warm Springs/Wasco/Yakama) has published poetry, short fiction, essays, and is a visual artist.
Her first collection of poetry, Hand Into Stone, received a 1990 American Book Award. Her second and third collections of writing were published in 1994, Luminaries of the Humble, by the University of Arizona Press, and Seven Hands, Seven Hearts, Prose and Poetry by The Eighth Mountain Press. From 2016-18 she served as the Oregon Poet Laureate.
As an artist, Ms. Woody has exhibited regionally and nationally. Presently, Woody works as the Executive Director of The Museum At Warm Springs.
Introducing the 2022 Stage the Change Workshop Facilitators
Olyuinka Akinjiola: Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater
Oluyinka is the Artistic Director of Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater and dance faculty at Jefferson High School. After receiving her MFA in Dance Choreography & Performance she founded Rejoice! Rejoice was built as a platform to create Black contemporary dance work with movement foundations from Africa and the African-Diaspora. Her choreography focuses on the complex identities, histories and futures of Black communities. Prior to PPS, Oluyinka was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Reed College and SUNY The College at Brockport, a three-year guest artist for the Sankofa African Drum & Dance Ensemble; her work was featured in the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference (Washington D.C. and Los Angeles), Carnaval 2014 (Salvador, BA, Brazil), TEDxMtHood, and Newmark Theater among others. Most recently, Oluyinka received the Oregon Dance Education Organization’s teacher of the year award in 2020.
Antonio Anacan (#instaballet workshop facilitator)
Originally from Hawaii, Antonio completed his ballet training at The San Francisco School of Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. He went on to perform professionally with Eugene Ballet for 6 years, during which time he co-founded interactive performing group, #instaballet. He is currently the Artistic Director of #instaballet as well as a member of the IATSE 675 Stagehand Union.
#instaballet was founded in 2013 by professional ballet dancers Antonio Anacan and Suzanne Haag as a way to support local artists and give audiences a more intimate and interactive view of how ballets are constructed. Using a unique method, each #instaballet performance crowdsources ideas from the audience to create a new ballet in real-time. The result is community-driven art. #instaballet seeks to update the way ballet is presented by breaking the barrier between audience and performer.
Suzanne Haag (#instaballet workshop facilitator)
Suzanne Haag is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator based in Eugene, OR. Currently, she is both the Resident Choreographer of the Eugene Ballet and the Executive Director of #instaballet, a unique interactive dance company that she co-founded in 2013 while still dancing professionally for Eugene Ballet. Her stage career included performing with companies throughout the country including; The Hartford Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Ballet Idaho, DROP Dance Collective, and the National Choreographers' Initiative. She performed with the Eugene Ballet for 15 years before retiring from the stage in 2018.
Mic Crenshaw was born and raised in Chicago and Minneapolis and currently resides in Portland Oregon. Crenshaw is an independent Hip Hop artist, respected emcee, poet, educator and activist. Crenshaw is the Lead U.S. Organizer for the African HipHop Caravan and uses Cultural Activism as a means to develop international solidarity related to Human Rights and Justice through Hip Hop and Popular Education. In his teenage years, Crenshaw actively confronted white supremacist gangs that were a growing part of the hardcore punk music scene. Mic eventually moved to Portland, where he quickly became one of the most respected artists in the Northwest, and his community efforts have had both local and international impact. In addition to his highly-acclaimed work in spoken work and Hip Hop, Mic co-founded GlobalFam, Entertainment which works in partnership with his non-profit (EducationWithOut Borders 501c3) project to create and maintain a computer center for disadvantaged youth in Burundi, Central Africa. Over 400 people have received free training, and it is now expanding, generating revenue and creating jobs. Education WithOut Borders (EWOB) supports education, music and art initiatives in Portland and beyond and serves as an umbrella for the local Books For Prisoners chapter and GlobalFam itself. Mic recently participated in a trip to the Arctic Circle where he was among a cohort of BIPOC scientists, artists, writers and adventurers in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge examining issues of climate change and the impact of the Gwich'n peoples and wildlife that have inhabited the land since prehistoric times. Mic currently produces podcasts and works on Project Based Learning in the arts and media production with high school students in Portland and facilitates global cultural exchange through Hip Hop.
Brent is of Wasco/Yakama/Warm Springs decent. He is a traditional storyteller, fancy dancer, and drummer as well as an actor, playwright, musician. He is the Native Nations Liaison / Instructor and Native American Studies / Director at Southern Oregon University and also leads the Konaway Niika Tillicum Youth Programs. Brent enjoys recruiting, teaching and working with Native youth and the community at large.
Shaun Keylock (he/him)
Shaun is an award-winning choreographer, director, teacher and dancer based in Portland, Oregon. Driven by his long-standing interest in new movement research and cross-disciplinary collaboration, his work has led him into dialogue with an array of artistic forms, including dance, film, theater, and visual art. The result of these interactions have garnered the attention of leading festivals and institutions, ensuring Keylock’s position at the cutting edge of contemporary dance in the Pacific Northwest. In 2018, Keylock founded Shaun Keylock Company to encompass his extensive work as an artist and director. The company is known for its distinctive visual style and unique approach to contemporary dance and performance. As principal choreographer for the company, Keylock creates compelling, original works with the dancers that are at once both technically sound and radically subversive. The company has been presented by On the Boards (Seattle); Dance Source (Houston); PUSHFest (San Francisco); Ten Tiny Dances and New Expressive Works (Portland). Most recently, Keylock was selected to choreograph for the U.S. debut of “When the Sun Comes Out” presented by Portland Opera. An advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, Keylock's creative practice involves an exploration of the many facets of queer identity. He regularly collaborates with drag queens, fashion designers, musicians, filmmakers, artists, and activists to create a loud declaration of queerness both on stage and in performance. His work has been supported by grants from the Collins Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, and the Regional Arts and Culture Council. In 2019, he was awarded the White Bird Barney Creative Prize to support the creation of a new evening length work with the company. Keylock has taught workshops and master classes throughout the Pacific Northwest and Texas. He has served as a guest faculty member at universities and dance schools, including the University of Oregon, Texas A&M University, Columbia Dance, The Portland Ballet, NW Dance Project, BodyVox Dance, and Velocity Dance Center in Seattle. Presently, Keylock continues to create new works with his company of dancers in Portland, as well as teach both emerging and professional dance artists through his unique approach to choreography and dance making.
Horticulturist, actor, and business owner, John is often found running his indoor plant shop, "Somewhere That's Green" located in the Bend Central District. He founded the shop in 2018 and has risen to great success! This year, he's opening a small theater space within the plant shop called, "The Greenhouse Cabaret". John has starred in numerous productions off Broadway in New York City, Portland, and Bend, as well as running his own theater company on the side. He is recently known as the "Plant Kween", being Bend's main plant-themed drag queen persona, Fertile Liza! John grew up in a small town in Oregon but had great aspirations. He graduated from Oregon State University in 2011 and continued to go on to graduate at Circle in the Square Theater School, NYC in 2013.
Marcus has been a lover of the arts since his adolescence where he performed with the Uwharrie Players traveling around the state of North Carolina. His entertainment journey led him to perform in numerous community theatre projects while at the University of Washington-Seattle and while living in Southern California.
This lead to collaborating with screenwriting groups to hone his skills as a performer and writer. Most recently, he has worked with Beat Children’s theatre teaching and developing summer classes for students in Central Oregon. He currently services as the Co-Chair for the Educational Subcommittee for the Father’s Group After-School Program, is a Director of the Bend-La Pine School Board, and was named the Afrocentric Student Program Coordinator at Central Oregon Community College. Marcus believes that diversity and inclusion is the catalyst to help communities understand that inclusion matters. He values collaboration, community, and support for his two theatre kids.
Bess Goggins (presenting with Marcus LeGrand):
Bess loves words and stories, whether spoken around a campfire, sung through lyrics, or written on the printed page, and more than a decade ago, she focused her master's thesis on the rhetorical underpinnings of spoken word poetry written and performed in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Her professional background focuses on youth development within the fields of leadership, marketing, communications, teaching, coaching, and fundraising, and she is currently the CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend. She loves hiking, camping, cooking, reading, and being a not-so-secret crazy cat lady to her two "little old lady cats" named Tyson and Beans.
J.C. "Jace" Meyer-Crosby
Jace is a director, Intimacy Director, sound artist, writer, and teacher who has come to best describe himself as a bard. Favorite theatrical directing credits include Stindberg classis Creditors and Bert V. Royal's Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, which earned a 2018 Best of Rochester Award. He has seen several original adaptations (Maid Julie, Sharks, Faust) and new works (Positive, Ephemera, Covenant) produced and workshopped. His first musical, Wakeman, co-written with songwriter Jenn Grinels, is currently seeking production and has been submitted to the NAMT Festival of New Musicals. As an Intimacty Director and Coordinator, Meyer-Crosby advocated for consent culture and storytelling excellence in the staging of intimate scenes for theatre and film, as well as better representation in the stories of queer love. He is truly passionate about youth education and teaches widely at the high school and collegiate levels.
Johamy Morales (she/her)
Johamy is a 20 year veteran of Theatre for Young Audiences and is dedicated to producing new works, community engagement and social justice through the arts. Johamy currently serves as the Director of Education and Engagement, and on the Artistic Advisory Circle for Seattle Children's Theatre (SCT), and as a council member for the Reimagine: New Plays by BIPOC in TYA. In 2020 Johamy led the development and creation of the Active Audience Guide for A Kids Play About Racism that served over 280k students and educators nationally and worldwide, and was awarded the Social Impact Theatre Innovation Award from the Sheri and Les Biller Foundation. Recently she served as a Trustee for Theatre Communication Group (TCG) where she advised on the Rising Leaders of Color program and TCG’s Education Conference for four consecutive years. Prior to working with SCT, Johamy served as the Education Director for Creede Repertory Theatre in Colorado and directed the Comparative Arts Department and the Junior Musical Theatre Program at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Johamy is an alumnus of the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship at Arena Stage and the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England, where she studied Contemporary & Classical works. Johamy toured with the cast of New World Jukebox where she performed in Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa and with San Diego State University in, Carnaval de Calaveras, with performances in Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Mexico D.F. In 2017, Johamy collaborated with the US State Department, the US Embassy & Consulate and several NGO’s to promote awareness of domestic and gender violence in Kolkata and Ranchi, India. As an educator, artist, and director Johamy has worked with various schools and nonprofit organizations both nationally and internationally including Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, American Alliance for Education & Theatre, Colorado Creative Industries, Child’s Play: Write Now, First Stage, Seattle’s KING FM 98.1, Arts West, Seattle Theatre Group, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Hope College, Fort Lewis College, University of San Diego, La Jolla Playhouse, Esperanza Charter School, and Columbus Refugee & Immigration Services. Johamy holds an MFA in acting from The Ohio State University, with a specialization in devising new works, and a BA in Theatre from San Diego State University.
Chris is a composer for film, television, theme parks, and a TEDx speaker. He’s won a Hollywood Music in Media Award, the American Prize in Composition, a Global Music Award, the Gold Medal Prize at the Park City Film Music Festival, and has been nominated for a Film & TV Music Award and a Palm Beach International Music Award. Chris has written music for several Emmy-nominated films, and for Woman Rebel, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award. In television, he works as a composer, orchestrator, and conductor for studios such as Sony, ABC, FOX, CBS, and HBO. Chris's work can be heard in theme parks all over the world. He has written music for the Evermore Adventure Park, Knott's Berry Farm, Queen Mary Chill, Dreamland Theme Park (UK), Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, and many more.
Chris’s works for the concert hall have been performed from Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, to the Hollywood Bowl. He recently premiered a series of concert works in France, Belgium, and Germany. His Symphony #1 (the Malheur Symphony) was the subject of his TED Talk in 2019. His works are published with The FJH Music Company, Walton Choral, Wingert-Jones Publications, and Carl Fischer Music. More information on Chris Thomas can be found at - www.christhomasmusic.com
Maiah Wynne (she/her)
Maiah captivates audiences worldwide with the alluring and enigmatic duality present in her music. An award-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Maiah delivers powerful and universally resonant lyrics with a hauntingly beautiful voice. In addition to finalizing her first full length album, Maiah's currently collaborating on project "Envy of None" with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Alex Lifeson of Rush, and Juno Award winner Andy Curran. Her numerous accolades include winning The Burl Audio Covid19 Songwriting Contest (2020), the International Music from the Moon Context (2019), the Claim to Fame International Song Contest (2018), HATCH Groundbreaker Award for Music (2017) and Claim2Fame (2016). She was featured on NPR's All Songs Considered (2019), at Sundance (2016), SXSW (2017), and in-studio on KEXP (2018), and has opened for artists and bands including Lucinda Williams, Dave Mathews, Tanya Tucker, Indigo Girls, & Brandi Carlile. With a passion for making a difference, Maiah has donated time and funding to organizations including the Arts Fund Seattle, Black Resilience Fund, First Aid Arts, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA, the Misool Foundation, NAACP, UNCUT Youth Programs, and WaterWatch.