Company


Amanda McRaven // Founding Member & Artistic Director

Amanda is a director, educator, writer, and deviser, in love with performance from right now about right now, no matter how old the story may be. She is a Fulbright scholar in community-based performance, and her productions have received critical acclaim for energetic, passionate performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Virginia, and New Zealand. Directing credits include Macbeth, Orpheus Descending, As You Like It, Playhouse Creatures, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, Antony and Cleopatra, Boston Marriage, Romeo and Juliet, Waiting For Godot, The Seagull, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. She has assistant-directed with Dominique Serrand at The Actor’s Gang, with Tony award winner Daniel Sullivan at South Coast Repertory Theatre in California, and with Bill Rauch at Lincoln Center in New York. // www.amandamcraven.com


Sage Howard Simpson // Founding Member

Helen Sage Howard Simpson (she goes by Sage) is originally from beautiful Bozeman, Montana. She studied Theater and Hispanic studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. Sage went on to perform with a variety of theater companies in San Francisco before moving south to UC Irvine, where she received her M.F.A in Acting. Sage now resides in Los Angeles with her incredible husband Andrew Simpson. She was nominated for an Ovation Award (Featured Actress) for her performance as Courtney in The Pliant Girls. Other recent roles with Fugitive Kind include Peter Quince (Midsummer Night's Dream), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), and Eugene (The Fire Room). Sage loves to tell stories. Sage loves to be outside. Sage loves to exist.


Jason Vande Brake // Founding Member

Jason does not play basketball and wonders what people expect him to say when they ask him about that. He's performed at the Shakespeare Theater, the McCarter Theater Center, Berkeley Rep, and the San Francisco and New York Fringe Festivals, among other places. A few years ago, he played a giant king who loves to box in Mary Zimmerman's Argonautika. In addition to his stage work, Jason is an accomplished voice actor, and you've probably heard him selling you a car on the radio or narrating a true crime show on TV. Jason is originally from Iowa (corn, not potatoes; you're thinking of Idaho) and currently lives in downtown Los Angeles. He holds an MFA in Drama from the University of California, Irvine. Jason's most recent Fugitive roles have been J.W. in The Fire Room, Father/Dean in The Pliant Girls, and Orsino in Shine Darkly, Illyria. Fugitive Kind is his favorite thing that he does.


Jim Senti // Founding Member

Born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, Jim Senti attended Butler University in Indianapolis where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater. After working professionally in the midwest, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts and received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Harvard University at the American Repertory Theater and Moscow Art Theatre. During his years in Los Angeles, Jim has landed many national commercials and works regularly in the theater. // www.jimsenti.com


Mércedes Manning // Founding Member

Mércedes is proud to be a longtime collaborator with Amanda McRaven (via UC Irvine, where Manning earned her B.A. in Drama with Honors in Acting) and is a founding member of Fugitive Kind. Company credits include Philomena in The Pliant Girls (Ovation Award Winner), Meredith in The Fire Room (Hollywood Fringe Festival Winner), and most recently, Olivia in Shine Darkly, Illyria. Additional select theatre credits include Jill in The Big Funk (StageScene LA winner for Best Featured Actress), Ellen Roark in the West Coast Premiere of A Time To Kill, and Maria in Blue Shade, directed by Robert Cohen. She has performed in Los Angeles, New York and throughout Eastern Europe and can be seen in several independent feature films, including Zipper opposite Patrick Wilson, as well as on Hulu’s original show Strictly Sexual: The Series.  More at www.mercedesmanning.com


Jennice Butler // Company Member

A native of Springfield, Missouri, Jennice has been enjoying great commercial success since being in Los Angeles while also pursuing her passion for theatre and dabbling in film. Jennice holds an MFA in Acting from UC Irvine and a BS in Theatre from University of Evansville, IN. She’s also an alum of iO West’s Improv training program. She is also member of The Road Theatre in NoHo. Extensive theatre credits include Sybil in Private Lives at ICT in Long Beach, Maggie in Lend Me a Tenor and Abigail in The Crucible at SRT in Santa Rosa, CA. Other Regional work includes Imogen in Cymbeline at Great River Shakespeare Festival. She also performed as Hamlet (and most of the other characters throughout the different incarnations) in the drinking game productions of Hamlet produced by Loose Canon Collective, which has spanned into Chicago and New York. (You can ask more about it if it intrigues you…it’s quite entertaining.) She debuted with Fugitive Kind in The Pliant Girls as Leta and is thrilled to continue the journey of making great theatre with this company! // jennicebutler.com


Julia Aks // Company Member

Julia Aks is, like, a native Valley girl whose work spans Shakespeare, opera, musical theater, plays, and film. She received a Bachelor of Arts with a Special Major (think create-your-own-major) in Contemporary Opera Performance from California State University, Northridge, and has been working professionally ever since. Julia is a member of the Independent Shakespeare Company, which produces the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival every summer, where she has performed roles such as Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pimple in She Stoops To Conquer, and Mary Moore in the world premiere musical RED BARN.  Other favorite musical theater roles include Cinderella in Into the Woods and Ulla in The Producers. Julia also sings with many opera companies, such as Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Opera, and San Diego Opera. She works closely with the Pacific Opera Project, where she has performed Cherubino in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Pitti-Sing in The Mikado. On film, Julia can be seen as The Artist in the indie feature The Watermelon and as Kelsey Peterson in the thriller comedy CLINGER. She also portrays leading lady Scarlet Ruby Müller in the romance transmedia novel series The Elements Club – I didn't know what that meant either. Google it! Julia is particularly excited to be a part of Fugitive Kind because her passion truly lies in doing new works, rarely done works, and re-imagined classics. Her other passion is combining super-soft blankets, Netflix, and late night New York-style Chinese food.


Robyn Buck // Company Member

Australian-American actor Robyn Buck recently debuted as the delicate by nature, tough by circumstance Ruth Prost (winning Best Performance by a leading actor at the Orlando Film Festival) in indie drama Hard Sun —now playing on Hulu & Amazon Prime. Buck can be seen: running like hell, in the aptly titled horror film Run Like Hell; leaving her husband in Albert Kodagolian's art-house feature Somewhere Beautiful; punk-ing James Corden in the UK Television series Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeway, or being “real to slight character looking”/“sexy, but approachable!” in a range of national commercials. Buck has trained out of the Steve Eastin Studio & Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. She is thrilled to have originated the role of Arianna in Fugitive Kind's Ovation Award-winning production of The Pliant Girls. Exploring the role of Mariah in the depths of Shine Darkly, Illyria has been a delicious dream.


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Alana Cheuvront / Company Member

Alana is an all-around theatre practitioner who works all over Los Angeles. She graduated with honors from California State University, Northridge and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Theatre. Favorite acting credits include The Caucasian Chalk CircleBoeing Boeing, and Polaroid Stories. It was in her final semester at CSUN where she began her stage management career as an assistant stage manager for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Favorite stage management credits include Sweet ThursdayThe Giver, and most recently After, All in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse. She recently designed costumes for the LA Weekly favorite Odessa at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. She has worked with several theatre companies as an actor and stage manager in the Los Angeles area. She has worked with the Pacific Resident Theatre, the Repertory East Playhouse, The Illyrian Players, and Independent Shakespeare Company in Griffith Park. On and off the stage, she loves to be involved in the magic of live theatre and she is excited to indulge in the deliciousness of Fugitive Kind Theater.


Benny Wills // Company Member

As a little leaguer, Benny earned the moniker, “Benny Wills; Many Thrills.” Later a college girlfriend would refer to him simply as, “Thrills." He went on to become a “Master of Fine Arts” according to the University of California, Irvine and sometimes he supposes they’re right. He is the face of the Apollo Travel Company throughout Scandinavia, and in his spare time, a content creator for the comedy awareness YouTube channel known as JoyCamp. In 2006, Benny was honored to be recognized as TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. His friendship is available per request via Facebook where he updates his status rarely. // www.thejoycamp.com


Jessica DiBattista // Company Member

DiBa has been dancing for many lifetimes. In this lifetime, she acquired a BFA in Dance and a BA in Psychology at the Ohio State University. While graduate studies in social psychology seemed cool, moving to New York City with the dance company Backspace seemed way cooler. There, they shook it all over the city in dance showcases, drag shows, art festivals, galleries, theaters, clubs, streets, brunches, parks, bars, etc., so on and so forth. Aside from highly choreographed and costumed performance, DiBa also loves yoga. She has a certificate that says she can teach it too. She left NYC to try out Los Angeles with her kindred spirit, Jeff Marras aka Charmin Ultra aka Cecelia aka Dusty Glitz Box, in 2015. Thus far, she's been making magic with Fugitive Kind, twirling in dance classes at the Sweat Spot, teaching yoga, and attending improv classes at UCB. Woohoo! Dance magic dance! And don't forget to breathe with intention as much as possible. 


Emily L. Gibson // Company Member

Emily wants you to know that her middle name looks like little (for those of you playing at home it's Littel) but she is anything but. Born and raised in Charlottesville, VA, she has traveled to eight other countries and lived in three. She earned her BFA with honors from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She has been seen as Ophelia in Too Much of Water and in the ensemble of Shine Darkly, Illyria with Fugitive Kind, as Lenchen in the Random Acts of Theater FringeArts production of Heart of the Revolution. She originated the body invading role of Penny/Jack in the world premiere of Pardon My Invasion at Plays and Players in Philadelphia. Some favorite other roles include the Widow in Taming of the Shrew, Jane Gammon in Wild Oats, and Davy in Henry IV, Part II for the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA as well as The Countess Rousillon in All's Well that Ends Well and Lady Macbeth for Teatro delle Due in Italy. Emily enjoys spending time with her little family: her husband Aaron and their sweet but totally badass cats: Dexter, Milo, and Moxie. She likes introducing her friends to wines and cheeses they've never tried before (if you're looking for suggestions let her know!) and is one the biggest Shakespeare nerds you'll meet outside of academia. She has even performed the role of Ophelia in the German version of Hamlet, Der Bestrafte Brudermord (it's, surprisingly a much funnier role).


Jeff Marras // Company Member

Jeff Marras dropped out of Catholic School in 3rd grade to pursue a life of leotards and tap shoes. This lead him on a path of sin, eventually earning him a B.F.A. in Dance from The Ohio State University in 2009. A week after graduation, he quickly packed up his wigs and high heels to tackle the Big Apple. During his time in NYC, Jeff was a part of Backspace Performance Ensemble, under his alter ego Charmin Ultra. With Backspace, Jeff performed in numerous dive bars and basements, becoming a fixture in the Brooklyn underground drag scene. Five years later, he was on top of a giant metal globe-shaped structure covered in dust and decided it was time to follow the sun to the West. Jeff now resides in Los Angeles, and is thoroughly excited to be performing in his first Fugitive Kind production. Lastly, he would love for you to check out the LGBTQ web series he hosts in collaboration with Mor Erlich and Lee Frisari here: www.sezme.me


Meghan Brown // Resident Playwright

Meghan is a writer and director in Los Angeles. Full-length plays include Trochilidae (Max K. Lerner Fellowship winner), Psyche (Princess Grace Award finalist), The Fire Room (Hollywood Fringe Festival Award winner), The Pliant Girls, The Gypsy Machine, This Is Happening Now, and Perfect Teeth for Crocodile Land. Her short plays Jack's Last Night in TownOphelia, and Birds have had multiple productions throughout the U.S. Meghan recently sold the romantic comedy feature Ambrazilica to Senate Productions, and has written, directed, and/or produced over 20 comedic short films with BrevityTV. She is the resident playwright for Fugitive Kind Theater, and contributed frequent culture commentary for The Atlantic Monthly. Published work includes This Is Happening Now (Montag Press) and Twenty-Six (Naissance Press). Her short story Birds was featured in Francesca Lia Block's Love Magick Anthology (Armory New Media). // www.meghanbrown.net


Ray Salas // Sound Artist

Ray Salas is a fusion artist working primarily in metal but incorporating various other materials and media. While working as a recording engineer, he met Ken Lovelett, a sound sculptor, and began to create sculptures that are simultaneously musical instruments. Instead of focusing on only one art form – music, recording, sculpture, design, furniture or engineering – he began to combine these to create functional, interactive sculptures. His intensive study of and journey into metal fabrication began at Tallix Art foundry where he developed a proprietary casting process: “The Colliding Metals Mold Process”. From there he went on to work in various fabrication industries, including designing radical custom motorcycles. His furniture design has been featured in Dwell and at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design. Today, Ray continues to learn and explore the boundaries and relationships between art, craft, design and technology. The sound sculptures he creates for Fugitive Kind seek to create a vibrant sonic life and re-imagine the possibilities for sound in the theater. // SalasArt.com


Jeanine Nichols // Set Designer

Fugitive Kind: Midsummer & Macbeth, The Pliant Girls / Lucid by Proxy: Into the Woods - A Noise Within: Eurydice, A Christmas Carol. Ms. Ringer has spent the last decade working in television, film, theater and other live events. She received her MFA from the University of California, Irvine. There, she took a particular interest in immersive theater, where the scenic environment completely immerses the audience and provides the spectator with an opportunity to interact with the production. From there, she went on to work in film and television both as a Production Designer and as a Stylist/Dresser. She has since had opportunities to work on multiple theatrical productions, films, commercials, music videos, and live events.


Karyn Lawrence // Lighting Designer

Karyn D. Lawrence is a theatrical lighting designer based in Southern California. She earned her Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of California, Irvine in lighting design in 2012. In addition to Fugitive Kind, Karyn has been designing for companies such as the University of California Irvine, South Coast Repertory, Great River Shakespeare Festival, California State University LA, Southern Utah University, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, and Sacred Fools. She was recently hired as a lighting designer for Radiance Lightworks, an architectural and event lighting company based in Los Angeles. Karyn was the 2012 recipient of the iSquint Student Design Competition Award, and is currently the resident lighting designer for Fugitive Kind, Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, and Sage Hill High School. Her work has also been seen in Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania.


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Allison Dillard // Costume Designer

Allison Dillard received an MFA in Costume Design and Technology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and works as a freelance designer and technician in and around Los Angeles. Recent local design work includes: Die, Mommie, Die! (Celebration Theatre), Shine Darkly, Illyria (Fugitive Kind), Spies Are Forever (Tin Can Bros.), Dream Boy, BootyCandy (Celebration Theatre), A Singular They (The Blank Theatre), Failure: A Love Story (Coeurage Theatre), Les Miserables, The Lion King Jr. (Milken Community Schools), The Discord Altar (OperaWorks), Sons of the Prophet (Blank Theatre), James and the Giant Peach (Mirman School), Cloud 9, The Arsonists (Western Stage). Her work can be seen at www.allisondillard.com.


Associate Artists

Louis Carazo  •  Alana Cheauvront  •  Paul Culos  •  Maricella Ibarra  •  Veronica Lauren  •  Rebecca Lynne  •  Matt Musgrove  •  Andrew Perez  •  Tyler Seiple  •  Laura Simms  •  Rachel Stivers 


Founding Members

Rachel Grate  •  Sage Howard  •  Mercedes Manning  •  Amanda McRaven  •  Marissa Moses  •  Jim Senti  •  Jason Vande Brake


Collaborators

cARTel  •  Aaron Cota  •  Beth Gardiner  •  Aaron Beaumont  •  The Mots Nouveaux  •  Mo Aboul-Zelof  •  Kevin Katich  •  Aaron Lyons  •  Yasha Michelson  •  Amanda Vande Brake  •  Justin Ray  •  Susan Coulter