Katherine Craft (Executive Director, Lead Workshop Facilitator): BA in Theatre from Austin College, MA in Applied Drama from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Worked as a theatre teacher, teaching artist and administrator for theatre education companies in Austin, Dallas, Chicago and London such as Clean Break, Barrel of Monkeys, Promise House, 826Chicago, the Unicorn Theatre, Dougherty Arts Center, SafePlace and Theatre Action Project. Program Specialist for No Kidding: Straight Talk from Teen Parents at YouthLaunch. Over 15 years experience as an actor, writer, director and theatre maker.
Michelle Dahlenburg (Program Development/Workshop Facilitator) is a Chicago- and Austin-based performer and applied theatre practitioner. An M.F.A. candidate in Drama and Theatre for Youth/Communities at the University of Texas at Austin, Michelle’s artistic and research interests include solo performance, devised theatre, audio/video documentary, sound installation, oral history, museum theatre, and prison theatre. For her thesis work she created and facilitated “The Ghosts of Waller Creek,” an applied theatre project that used site-specific performance workshops to facilitate civic dialogue and public participation in the redevelopment process at Waller Creek in Austin. Michelle was also an interviewer and curator for the Mapping Desire at UT project with the Blanton Museum of Art. She is a performer and story producer for Mortified Austin, a live comedy show featuring the embarrassing things everyday people wrote as teenagers.
Lauren Johnson (Conspire Alum, Guest Blogger): A native born Austinite, has studied Business Communication at the University of Phoenix. Currently a stay at home mom of three boys ages 7,4,and 2. She has appeared in two episodes of Friday Night Lights‘ final season as an extra. Goal : To change the world, one drop in a huge bucket at a time
Meg Booker (Workshop Facilitator, Program Development): BA in Theatre Studies from Yale, MFA in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin, Faculty Member and Company Manager for the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation in New York City, Isadora Duncan dancer, yoga instructor, modern dance instructor at University of Texas, Yale and Texas State University; teaching artist for companies such as Truth Be Told, Children’s Aid Society, Second Youth Theatre Company, and Dance Discovery of Austin.
Jessie Hillman (Assistant Workshop Facilitator): BA in Cultural Anthropology from Reed College. Wrote undergraduate thesis on the process and impact of Theatre for Development, critiquing the congruity of this global movement’s principles and practice through a focus on the application of Theatre of the Oppressed techniques in Sri Lanka. Volunteered as a workshop assistant for Resolana, a community-based non-profit organization that provides rehabilitative creativity classes to incarcerated women in Dallas.
Timeca M. Seretti: (Guest Artist) Born in Gary, Indiana, I always dreamed of being an actress. After a stint in the US Navy, I realized that Acting was my passion. I got my first taste of the theatre, when my mother played the role of Ruth Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play “A Raisin in the Sun”. I decided to enroll in Indiana University as a theatre major. Where I showcased my versatility with roles like the little boy Alex in The velveteen Rabbit, Stella in Light up the sky, The Nurse in Medea and the princess in The Princess and the Pea. I worked on my first feature film as a stand-in, “Losing Isiah” where I got to meet and watch my idol Halle Berry work. If I hadn’t been bitten by the bug already seeing Halle doing her thang made me know this was it! In 2001, I visited Austin and I fell in love with it’s laid back, keep Austin weird attitude, where independent filmmaking was making a bid to become the New Hollywood. My very first role was in Showtime’s “Going to California”, since then I have booked numerous commercials, print ads, and short films. Most recently I was seen in Friday Night Lights season 4 premiere as Angry Parent Annette. I formed Wild Child Entertainment, an entertainment company to develop and produce independent films that enlighten, encourage and enrich the lives of women. I recently wrote a short film entitled “Drama” on the subject of childhood bullying. It has been the 2010 Official Selection of the Reel Women SXSW Showcase, The Arizona Black Film Showcase, And the BAM (Black Arts Movement) Festival. And it took home the prize of audience award for the Reel Women SXSW Showcase. I am currently producing a pilot titled “Vinyl” that I co-created, and am in the midst of writing several projects to be produced for the screen and stage. When not working on projects I love yoga, cooking, singing karaoke, traveling, and spending time with my husband Julio and family.
La Tasha Stephens (Guest Artist) is a Brooklyn native who received her MFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin, and her BA in Theatre Acting/Directing from Binghamton University. She has performed in numerous productions both for UT and various companies in Austin, playing ‘Voice of the People’ in Cambiare’s Orestes, ‘Zephyr’ in Secondhand Theatre’s re:Psyche, ‘Bottom” in UT’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and ‘Nina’ in UT’s The Idiot, among many others. She is also a writer and solo performer – her one woman show I’m not a writer but I got a story to tell… has been produced at Hyde Park Theatre for its annual Frontera Fest, the University of Texas, and the Travis County Jail. She also wrote The 7, a play about growing up in Brooklyn on the 7 line. Conspire Theatre awarded her the first annual Guest Artist of the Year Award, in honor of her remarkable artistry and engagement with the women in the PRIDE program at the Travis County Jail. La Tasha is currently at work on several other performance and writing projects. Look for her in L.A., where she will pursuing film and theatre opportunities.
Sarah Saltwick (Guest Artist) is a first year playwriting Michener Fellow at the University of Texas in Austin. A graduate from Hampshire College, she’s been fortunate enough to call Austin her home for most of her life. Recently, she traveled to Valdez Alaska for a reading of her play She Creatures during the Last Frontier Theater Conference. Her play Low Hanging Stars was part of America Rising Series at Bristol Riverside Theatre as well as the Shrewd Production Summer Reading Series. Her play Cecilia was nominated for Best New Play 2008 by Austin Critic’s Table and was created for ASW’s out of ink festival. She’s written plays inspired by video games, love affairs with inanimate objects, guacamole, Dolly Parton and more. She has worked at coffeshops, Trader Joes, Hartford Stage, with high school creative writers and most recently as a booking agent at Holden & Arts Associates. If she wasn’t working with words and actors, she’d be working with food.
Shirene Garcia: (Workshop Facilitator) A native born Austinite, Shirene earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin after transferring from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she studied environmental science and education. Previously, Shirene has worked with youth in a variety of settings, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas as a caseworker for youth and their mentors, Southwest Key as a caseworker for youth on probation, The Oaks Treatment Center providing direct care for youth in a residential treatment facility, and at Northwest Montessori House of Children as a teacher for pre-school children. Shirene enjoys a variety of creative pursuits, hiking and bicycling, and volunteers for organizations such as The Yellow Bike Project, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Conspire Theatre.