Meet the team behind SHRINES.
Deb Sivigny (she/her) is co-lead on SHRINES and an award-winning scenic and costume designer, writer and educator who gets excited about making people believe in the impossible. You might remember the time she turned a house into an airport terminal then a Korean restaurant, or summoned the dead from a doll; or took audiences to several different afterlives… Her work has also been on various stages in DC and around the country. She is currently working on an environmental piece about North Korean refugees, and she has been working with her home team at Rorschach Theatre on Distance Frequencies, sending folx to different places around the city. Her academic research includes “design-driven” works inspired by literature and personal experience and design dramaturgy. She is on the faculty at George Mason University.
Website: www.debsivigny.com Instagram: @indepenguin
Website: www.debsivigny.com Instagram: @indepenguin
Alan Katz (he/him) holds the following titles: co-lead on SHRINES, Cofounder and Board Vice President of The Arcanists Inc. Summoner of The Tarot Reading. Sometime Fool and Medium of the same. Library Technician and Reference Librarian for the world's largest museum. Producer, Actor, and Instigator for Shakespeare in the Pub. Master of the Arts. Bachelor of the Fine Arts. Dada. Alan Katz's work has appeared in the following media: books, manifests for moving thousands of books, theatrical review, interview with wanted political criminals and other theatermakers, poetry, scholarly articles, the legitimate theater, musical theater, storytelling competitions, webcomic, drunken Shakespeare productions, Excel spreadsheet, Ancient Greek translation, Gantt chart, the illegitimate theater, occult ritual masquerading as theater, carnival gaming booth, pastel on paper, acrylic on PVC, face paint on three year old, PowerPoint presentation, jam, pickle, charcuterie, internet game show, Magic the Gathering deck list, and, most recently, short personal biography for marketing purposes. Alan Katz's accolades include co-writing and acting in what an award-winning and Broadway veteran director called "literally the worst play I have ever seen." His critical reviews have generated hate mail from as far away as Scotland and at least one serious threat of defamation suit. He has formally and publicly apologized for his adaptations, which have been variously called "moderately brilliant," "deliberately cross textual," and "mercifully short." He has never been convicted in a court of law as an adult.
Mel Bieler (she/her) is a SHRINES designer, an event scenic and experience designer, theatrical set designer, playwright, and craftswoman who gets pumped to create surprising and memorable experiences lead by exploration and whimsy. She’s transformed hotel garages into Healthcare Underground, brought tactile Japanese gardens to Artechouse, and felted her way through the North Pole. When she’s not exploring the real (or imaginary) world around her with a journal or camera in hand, she’s planning her next adventure to meet fortune tellers in Vietnam, mix cocktails in underground caves in Prague and feed baby tigers in Thailand. She’s a founding company member and artistic collaborator of Pointless Theatre, and co-founder of Relay Experiences and the Leo Group.
Marshall Bradshaw (he/him) is a SHRINES designer, analog game designer and immersive theatre designer, performer, and critic. He designs games about life with multiple sclerosis, practicing apologies & forgiveness, and how rad Mass Effect 2 fan art is. He has performed in immersive theatre with TBD Immersive and the American Immersion Theater. And, somewhere between those two art-forms, he has facilitated weekend-long larps in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and elsewhere. Discovering a log with a powerless electrical outlet drilled into it sitting on a rock in a stream propelled him into a months long project curating a fake (?) found art museum in a public park, and he is thrilled to unleash that energy on the entire DC area.
This is for you, Impossible Stump.
Jessica Kallista (she/her) is a SHRINES designer and an artist working in collage, video, sound, and performance. She is also an educator, curator, and gallerist with an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University. At George Mason University, Jessica can be found teaching Aesthetics, curating and co-moderating the CVPA Arts in Context Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group, and serving on the Presidential Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Task Force Research Committee. In 2014 she founded Olly Olly, an alternative art space, in Fairfax, Virginia. Rooted in the belief that what we practice we become, Jessica’s installations and performances disrupt the passive nihilism intrinsic in many of our everyday lives by immersing audiences in the intentional, active, manifestation-oriented pursuit of revolutionary everyday love and bliss through meditation and play. She believes that often only the most minimal of interventions are required to allow us to engage with the gorgeous reality of our interconnectedness and our connectedness to our erotic selves. She invites audiences to revel with her in spell casting, consensual touch, books, sweetness, music, light, flowers, laughter, community, luxury, comfort, pleasure, eroticism, feeling, and sensuousness. Love and bliss are revolutionary acts. The current lockdown finds her increasingly obsessed with collaborating with trees in various projection mapping and augmented reality projects.
Cody Whitfield (she/her) is The Arcanists' Production Manager. She spent thirteen years as a theatre production professional before the pandemic gave her her first vacation as an adult. She is now a homebody, aspiring to cook meals and tend gardens and hang up art. She enjoys responsibly hosting small gatherings, irresponsibly binging on video games, reading YA novels, solving puzzles, participating in guided meditation, and keeping company with celestial bodies. She isn’t sure what the future has in store for her post-theatre, but the work isn’t over just because there’s a different old white man moving into DC.