Denim Doves cast and crew bios
Written by Adrienne Dawes
Music by Erik Secrest and Henna Chou
Lyrics by Cyndi Williams
Devised in collaboration with Salvage Vanguard Theater
Adrienne Dawes' (Playwright) plays include Am I White, You Are Pretty, Jesus Loves Good Christians, and Heritage, Her-i-tage, and Hair-i-tage. Her work has been produced by American Repertory Theatre of London, Live Girls! Theatre, Little Fish Theatre Company, New England Academy of Theater, New Jersey Repertory Company, Hyde Park Theater, St Idiot Collective and American Theater Company (Chicago, IL). Her plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc, Smith & Kraus, Heuer Publishing, Heartland Plays and Vintage Books. Adrienne is the recipient of the Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting. Her play Am I White was a finalist for the 2012 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and semifinalist for the 2012 Princess Grace Award. Am I White won the David Mark Cohen New Play Award (2015 Austin Critics Table Awards), an award for Outstanding Original Script (2015 B. Iden Payne Awards) and was honorably mentioned by The List (The Kilroys) of recommended new plays by female and trans authors. Adrienne is a member of ScriptWorks and a company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater. Austin, TX is her hometown #townie. www.adriennedawes.com
Florinda Bryant (Co-director, Performer) is an interdisciplinary artist and arts educator who calls Austin home. Holding it down in every aspect of performance, whether writing, performing or directing, Florinda’s passion and dedication to her craft is evident. As a performer and director she is no stranger to many stages in Austin, having worked with Salvage Vanguard Theater, the Rude Mechs, the Vortex, Paper Chairs and Teatro Vivo. Some of favorite recent performances include Am I White ( by Adrienne Dawes), The Panza Monologues ( by Virginia Grise), Bright Now Beyond ( By Daniel Alexander Jones and Bobby Halverson) and Fixing King John ( adapted by Kirk Lynn). As a writer and poet, Florinda enjoys engaging audiences in explorations around identity, body and community. Her award winning one-woman show Half-Breed Southern Fried was produced as part of the Performing Blackness Series at UT and was directed by Laurie Carlos. As a facilitator and arts educator, Florinda has worked with at risk communities, young men and women, and adults – using performance as a social justice tool for empowerment and change for over 18 years. Florinda is also the Operations Manager of Creative Action, one of the nation’s leading arts education organizations and Managing Director of nationally acclaimed Salvage Vanguard Theater. A member of the Austin Project, sponsored by the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, UT at Austin. Florinda is also a 2013 Woman of the Year for Racial Justice award recipient from the YWCA. Be sure to catch Florinda in Denim Doves, produced by Salvage Vanguard Theater ( Performing and Co-Directing) and Stories of Us, produced by Teatro Vivo ( Directing ) Spring 2016.
Jenny Larson (Co-director, Performer) is an actor, director, educator, and producer of the theater arts. Jenny began working with Salvage Vanguard Theater as a literary intern in 2001 and now serves as Producing Artistic Director, a position she has held since 2008. Directing credits with Salvage Vanguard Theater include: THRUSH by Caridad Svich, Voices Underwater by Abi Basch, Hamilton Township and Civilization by Jason Grote, Birth of Rabbits by C Denby Swanson, PINKOLANDIA by Andrea Thome, FROM THE PIG PILE by Sibyl Kempson, and AM I WHITE by Adrienne Dawes. Jenny created and costarred in the original piece Guest by Courtesy, with collaborator Hannah Kenah, which toured to Eastern Europe in November of 2014. Jenny is currently collaborating with Bulgarian troupe MightyMightyPressureCooker. In the summer of 2015 she and composer Graham Reynolds, with the MightyMightyPressure Cooker, performed in Sofia. This April the collaborators will come together again to perform their piece, UNLIVED LIVES, here in Austin. Jenny has also worked with Rude Mechs, Rubber Rep, Trouble Puppet Theater, Zach Scott Theater, Southwestern University, and Austin Playhouse, to name a few.
Cyndi Williams (Lyrics, Performer) has been an actor/writer in Austin, Texas for over 30 years. Previous performances with Salvage Vanguard Theater include Am I White by Adrienne Dawes, Heddatron by Elizabeth Meriwether, Dan Dietz’s The Difference Engine and Tilt Angel, C. Denby Swanson’s Death of a Cat, and Lisa D’Amour’s 16 Spells to Charm the Beast, as well as the site-specific projects Dream Cabinet by Sterling Price-McKinney and In This House (Everything is You) - which she helped write and develop. She is an Acting Company Member at Austin Playhouse, where she was recently seen in The Foreigner, Lady Windemere’s Fan, and The Game’s Afoot. Her film work includes Room (Independent Spirit nomination for Best Lead Actress, the Women Film Critics Circle’s Karen Morley Award), The Leftovers and Temple Grandin, Fourplay, Zero Charisma, Computer Chess, and The Preacher’s Daughter. Voiceover work includes Wizard 101, DC Universe Online, and several anime series. As a writer, her most recent play Roaring was a part of the Austin Playhouse 2013-2014 Mainstage Season. Other plays include Dug Up (David M. Cohen Award for Best Original Script, Austin Critics’ Table), Where Are They Now? (Best Drama, Austin Critic’s Table), Fish (Top Ten Plays, Dallas Morning News), A Name for a Ghost to Mutter (Live Oak Harvest Festival Best Original Script, Larry L. King Award Best Texas Play), and Cars and Bars (Best Original Play, Austin Circle of Theatres). Cyndi is a Founding Member of Script Works, on the Artistic Advisory Board for Salvage Vanguard Theater, and by day, she takes reservations for Austin Playhouse.
Erik Secrest (Composer, Performer) is a longtime resident of Austin who has been lucky enough to be a part of many of his friends’ creative endeavors over the years. Highlights include singing in the community choir for Jomama Jones’s “Radiate” at Salvage Vanguard Theater, starring in Craig Elrod’s “Petting Sharks” (winner of the 2010 SXSW Texas Shorts Jury Award), appearing in the Ben Aqua-directed Daniel Francis Doyle music video “It’s Work”, playing guitar as part of the score for Gypsy Baby Productions’ “The Movement in the Bed on the Brink of Awake and Asleep and How It All Worked Out with the Thread Count” (Frontera Fest’s “Best of the Fest” 2005), and performing and composing music with the legendary theatrical (fake) band Slutfire. He also composes, records, and performs music under the name “breathingholes”, as well as the duo “Pastel Mountain” with playwright Adrienne Dawes.
Henna Shih-Han Chou (Musical Director, Performer) is a reformed vagabond, lover of sounds, and canine enthusiast. Originating from Tucson, Arizona and eventually obtaining a B.A. in Environmental Science from Iowa State University in 2002, she has traveled the world over the past decade as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst and musician. She is currently the managing director of COTFG, a community organization dedicated to the proliferation of creative music and future-minded expressions. Chou has participates in ensembles such as New Music Co-op, Many Birthdays, Linen Closet, Aux Aux and a handful of theater productions as a keyboardist, cellist, guitarist, or other sound creator.
Kerri Atwood (Performer) received her BFA in Theater from Southern Methodist University and then promptly moved to Austin to be part of the Live Music Capital of the World! In the past seventeen years, while being a public school teacher and also a nanny, Kerri has started a pop punk band that traveled the world, performed in the highly acclaimed musical by Austin’s Rude Mechs “I’ve Never Been So Happy”, sung 1930s music in a cabaret that toured throughout Texas, voiced the singing wildflower for the City of Austin’s “Grow Green” water conservation commercial, and currently sings and writes music with Austin’s space dance band, Pong. This is Kerri’s first performance with Salvage Vanguard Theater.
Alyssa Dillard (Performer) is so excited to join the braid of Denim Doves; the compound has been quite hospitable. A graduate of St. Edward’s University, her credits include the ensemble in Ground Floor Theatre’s production of Parade, and stage managing Tree Play at Ground Floor Theatre. She is looking forward to her Austin sound design and composition debut for the production of Topdog/Underdog by Viceroys at Salvage Vanguard. Other upcoming credits include an artist residency in Budapest, as well as a puppetry and theatre workshop in Prague in the summer. She would like to thank everyone involved with Denim Doves and everyone who has supported her with special shout outs to her family, Bret, and her wonderfully existential pup Tamara.
Judd Farris (Performer) is a teacher and actor living in Austin, Texas. This is Judd's first time to work with Salvage Vanguard Theater and this incredible group of artists. Recent projects include Der Bestrafte Brudermord and Nahum Tate's King Lear with The Hidden Room Theatre. I would like to personally thank my partner Katy Taylor for her love, support, strength, inspiration, and wisdom, and Grandma and Bill for their lessons and patience.
khattieQ (Performer) is an Austin performer. She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She most recently played guitar in the punk trio BLXPLTN. She would like to thank her dad Edgar Andres Quiñones for being the best! Gracias Papa!
Renna Larson (Performer) is a freshman at Stephen F Austin High School. She performed in Charlotte's Web with the Scottish Rite Theater, Cuento Navideño with Teatro Vivo, In This House Everything is You with Salvage Vanguard, and FROM THE PIG PILE with Salvage Vanguard Theater and the Rude Mechs.
Kaci Beeler (Set Design) is a visual artist, improviser, and stage and film actor based out of Austin. As a visual artist her true passion lies in painting, and within that she is driven to create realistic, representational works (like her 2012 Food Porn series in the Salvage Vanguard Theater gallery). Kaci is also a prolific scenic painter, muralist, and graphic designer. She has been creating unique minimalist sets for shows in Austin since 2007, both for individual productions and events like the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. Accolades for her artwork include features in Saveur Magazine, Time Out New York, and a recent nomination for Outstanding Set Design (2015 B. Iden Payne Awards). Kaci is also a weekly performer, show director, and the Director of Design at The Hideout Theatre in Downtown Austin. This is her first time working with the amazing folks at Salvage Vanguard Theater and she is so excited to be a part of the team! See more of her work at KaciBeeler.com
Robert Fisher (Sound Design) is a sound designer, musician, and performance artist with Rude Mechs. His work has been featured around the world on 13 albums, over 150 stage productions, 12 television shows, 5 feature films, and 10 video game titles. At Salvage Vanguard Theater, Robert has contributed his talents to Pinkolandia, From The Pig Pile, 3 Zisters, and Naked as a Gaybird.
Natalie George (Lighting Design) is a designer, producer, and artist based in Austin, TX. After studying technical theater at St. Edward’s University, Natalie worked as a freelance lighting designer for corporate events and stage performances throughout the city of Austin and beyond. The Austin American-Statesman says, “The play of shadows orchestrated by Natalie George’s breathtaking light design is worth the trip in itself.” She has been honored with awards for “Best Lighting Design” by both the Austin Critics Table and the B. Iden Payne Awards multiple times, most recently by ACT for the 2014-2015 season. Natalie’s artistic contributions don’t stop there; she was instrumental in the growth of the Fusebox Festival, working as the festival producer for ten years. Natalie left FB to continue expanding her skills and vision as a producer and event designer. Her next theatrical producing project, Hotel Vanya by Tim Braun, will premier in Austin in May of 2016. She recently returned to the stage in dance-theater project 1000 Forest Gorillas in Kansas with Heloise Gold, which will be remounted at SVT February 25th-28th, 2016. Natalie has been honored to have designed so many shows with Salvage Vanguard Theater while at its Manor road location, from Hamilton Township to Thr3e Zisters, and is eager to see what comes next for them.www.nataliegeorgeproductions.com
Jessica Gilzow (Costume Design) started working with Salvage Vanguard Theater when blood effects were needed for Mud in 2007 and then again during Hamilton Township. Since then she has become a company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater and has designed costumes for them several times over the years. Some of her costumes were seen in Iphigenia (A Rave Fable), Heddatron, A Brief Narrative of an Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits, Pinkolandia, AM I WHITE, and Thr3e Zisters. She has enjoyed working with all of the amazing artists, past and present, that have been a part of Salvage Vanguard productions.
Rachel Long (Props, ASM, Performer) is an artist, actor, and teacher from Austin, TX. She received a B.F.A. in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin and a certificate in acting from The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. She was an ASM for Salvage Vanguard's recent production Naked as a Gaybird. She has created paintings for various theater companies in New York including The School House Theater, The Exquisite Corpse Co., and The Neighborhood Playhouse. She's happy to be part of this creative team!