Melinda E. Pittman, author, composer, Artistic Director...for over 30 years, gawk! Melinda has been a writing, directing, composing, singing and performing original theatre and music. She was in The Fallen Angel Choir for years. She started ANGELS THE NEXT GENERATION and wrote WONDERBROADS in 1999, which won the Angus Bowmer Oregon Book Award for Best Drama for the show in 2000. With the energy of lots of talented artists and community members, WONDERBROADS morphed into BroadArts Theatre.
Melinda is BroadArts' Artistic Director; she's also the author and composer of HOMELAND IN~SECURITY, about women peacemakers, FAT & SASSY, a musical about who's getting rich off of America getting fat, AmBUSHED!(you can guess what that one was about), and the visionPDX City of Portland commissioned interactive show, IF I WERE THE QUEEN OF THIS FOREST.
Bunkin' With You in The Afterlife: The Writer!
Even though she'd been writing since high school days, Jody Seay never really considered herself a writer. Her career as a copywriter and Promotion Director in the 1970's at a Dallas, Texas rock 'n roll radio station didn't give her a clue that writing was something she was born to do. The gift of the written word had come so easily to her mother; not until Jody sat at her typewriter the night after her mother's death in 1986 and wrote about the experience of having been there at the moment of transition did Jody understand that the torch of this gift had just been passed to her. And so it has.
Since then, numerous essays of Jody's have appeared in Dallas Life Magazine, The Oregonian Newspaper, We Alaskans Magazine, Massage Magazine and An Ear to the Ground Anthology. In 1999, her first novel, The Second Coming of Curly Red, won First Prize for Fiction at the Mendocino Coast Writer's Conference before it was published, then went on to become a 2000 Oregon Book Award Finalist after publication. Jody's most recently completed work, a memoir called Dead In A Ditch - Growing Up In Texas and Other Near-Death Experiences, is now available to purchase from Broadway Books, Koho Pono Publishing, or Amazon.com.
Jody created and began producing, as well as hosting, a show called Back Page, a half-hour television program about the story behind the story which features mostly Pacific Northwest writers. Over 100 Back Page episodes have been produced! Internet access to previously recorded shows is also available on the OSU web site at www.oregonstate.edu/media/xcjdz.
Using a new-found talent for songwriting, and dusting off her knack for dialogue, Jody has now written her first play. Teaming up with Melinda Pittman and the geniuses at BroadArts Theatre, together they have created the cowgirl musical, Bunkin' With You in the Afterlife. This show honors the diversity of women as well as their shortcomings and strengths as they struggle along on their individual and collective spiritual paths. With songs such as Brave Enough to be Peaceful, Saddle-Soaring, Sweet Man, Perfect Girl, Saddle Up For Jesus, Buddha Liked to Party, Mohammed Made Me Do It, Dandy Like Ghandi, The Very Best You, and the title song, Bunkin' With You in the Afterlife, this musical brings together all the different ideas about spirituality, honoring them all, poking a little fun at them all, reminding us that it's just one mountain with many roads and that, as Jody Seay signs off each Back Page episode, "...we're all in this together. More the same than different."
Meet This Year's PEACE ARTS CAMP Artists!
Domeka Parker,born into a performance family, deliberately avoided the stage out of sheer teenage spite. Until one sunny afternoon when pretending to be a mountain goat whilst moving furniture, it became suddenly clear, performance was in her blood and simply couldn’t be helped. The mother of three, teacher of improvisational theater, producer, poet, stage manager and improvisational performer is now coordinating BroadArts Theater's annual Peace Arts Camp (because she has so much spare time). With a child balanced on one hip, another wrapped around one leg and a third complaining about not having a facebook page, Domeka is delighted to be a part of this incredible event.
"I chose the theme for this year's camp based on a desire to empower children with the knowledge that they CAN and DO effect the world every moment of every day. I want them to see that even the tiniest kindness is a step toward a more peaceful world. Pearls of Peace, (our theme title), are little gems of wisdom with extraordinary power. Smiling, laughing, being compassionate, recycling, expressing yourself through art, dancing, feeling good about yourself...etc. All of these seemingly small acts have a big impact. I want our campers to experience how it feels to be a part of something much bigger than themselves and that they have the remarkable ability to inspire and create change in their world." .
Brett Wilson, art instructor, found is voice through creative expression at a young age. He has been heavily devoted to the creation of art ever since. His university training in art and theater solidified his belief that art can change the world. A big fan of animation and cartoon drawing, Brett is enthusiastic about using his skill to inspire children to find their voice in art as well.
Cristina Cano, music instructor, has been playing music since she was a child. Cristina has a well rounded resume in the arts. She is currently a noteworthy performer in the local music scene, and has a wide range of theater experience as well. Cristina is a student of the theater arts at Portland State University and has just returned from a refreshing summer trip to Rome. She believes in the healing nature of performance, and strives to create a fun and inviting learning environment for children to awaken their hearts and sing their song.
Nicole Accuardi, drama instructor, is an actor and teacher. She is a graduate of the Concordia Masters program of education. She has been involved in peace programs, such as the Peace Summit at Concordia University, and the Moderate voices for Peace project with Pittsburgh Playback theater. She has taught theater for young actors in camps for nine years, and is thrilled to have the chance to work on a project centered around the idea of peace once again.
Introducing The Broadband!
Mollie Hart If I Were Queen of This Forest! was Mollie's third original play with BroadArts, creating the role of Bonita in FAT & SASSY, performing in the WONDER-BROADS International Women's Day concert and appearing as Mrs. Non-White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant in AmBUSHED! Mollie has been active in the Portland theater scene since the early 1970's. She has appeared in everything from Shakespeare to vaudeville/cabaret shows. In addition to acting, she is a member of the Benign Band, a group of musicians who donate their time and talents to earn money for the Clark County Relay for Life (cancer research fundraiser).
Adam Brock, born in 1989, is a jazz musician who lives in Portland, OR. He plays guitar, sings, & writes music. You can visit his website, www.adambrockmusic.com, to hear more!
Jean Hiebert is a singer, actress, & artist - this multi-talented young woman is excited to be working with BroadBand this summer! She also creates beautiful hand-bound notebooks and journals, and works at the Portland craft fair.
Sarah DeGrave sings with the BroadBand this summer! She has extensive experience with various theatrical productions, and has been passionate choral and solo singer for many years!
Liz de Lise is a young musician from Philadelphia, in Portland for the summer to pursue her future as an artist. She, Eliza, and our intern Catherine trekked cross-country from New York to see the rose city for themselves! Liz is an anthropology major at Connecticut College, and is interested in (surprise) music, social justice, and cultural studies.
Eliza Bryant is an excitable American Studies major from Freeport, Maine who is pleased to be filling in for fellow BroadBand member Liz de Lise. She is in the midst of completing her bachelors degree at Connecticut College. She is interested in curating a historical museum after graduation, and is currently an intern at the Oregon Jewish Museum.
Dan Linn is a multitalented musician, singer and composer who has played music all his life. He was instrumental (hee hee hee) in the musical comedy group The Halleluiah Chorus and continues to play in bands all over. Dan produces the podcast Rose Drop Media Circus, at http://www.rosedropmedia.com.
Aaron Linn Aaron is a drummer and percussionist in Portland. He's a graduate of Madison High School, where he won awards as musician of the year. Aaron joined BroadArts in 2005 for AmBUSHED! Aaron plays every instrument on his recordings.
Last But Not Least, Le Interns
Our interns are involved in spreading PR, improving our presence online and in our surrounding communities, responding to emails, planning our concerts, and much more! Interested in joining our team? Click here to learn more!
Thanks to all who help BroadArts Change the World, One Joke at a Time!"