Research Notes

Images of Sumer

Costume and Scene Concepts

Music and Literature of Sumer


Biographies of the Inanna Troupe




Coming Soon





  Chaunesti Webb Lyon is a proud native of Durham, North Carolina where she performed with regional theater companies and worked with a children's theater. In addition to performing, Chaunesti is a founding member of New Traditions Theater. She received her BA in Communication Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Favorite roles include: Varya in The Cherry Orchard, Leah in Beautiful Thing, Yvonne in The Story and Karenjune Sanchez in Sonnets for an Old Century.

  Taavo Smith has been variously a sketch comedian, actor, playwright, butoh dancer and clown, but now is most interested in original work between forms. He grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, earned his B.A. at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and subsequently moved to Chicago where he co-founded the performance duo One Continuous Mistake. Currently, he is studying for his MFA in Boulder, Colorado at Naropa University's Theatre: Contemporary Performance program. Favorite productions include a two-man adaptation of The Three Sisters (currently being re-staged for the Boulder Fringe 2008), an ensemble-directed Endgame, and a collection of his short plays produced in Melbourne as Have/Hold and in Chicago as Many Things Are Destroying Me.

  Most recently from Chicago, Teresa Harrison is a member of Plasticene Theatre Company there with Dexter Bullard, and has written and performed their past five shows: And So I May Return, The Palmer Raids, Blank Slate, The Perimeter, and Refuge and Live Feed. Also a member of Companies Sprung with Jon Sherman and Julie Beauvais and Dog with Leslie Buxbaum-Danzig, Tere has written and performed their original productions of Capsize and Interference. Other credits include: Clare in Tennessee William's The Two Character Play, Tamora in Titus Andronicus, Gertrude in Hamlet, Naomi Ginsberg in A Kaddish for Allen Ginsberg, and Salome in Salome. This past summer Tere collaborated with Holderness Theatre Company in a production of Crave at the Boulder Fringe Festival. Currently, Tere is digging into an original work about Lady MacBeth called LM.

  Zorwyn Madrone is a performer, director and facilitator with a commitment to bringing community stories to the stage. She recently completed her MFA in Theater: Contemporary Performance at Naropa University. In Portland, Oregon, she directed and taught for The Young People's Theatre Project, the Portland Actors Conservatory's Summer on Stage program, and the Emergence New Plays Festival. In addition, she created original solo shows and worked in groups using various improvisational forms for storytelling and community building. Her interest in exploring human drama took a different form during the six years she served as a mediator facilitating conflict resolution in workplace, court, and community settings. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.

  Ben Stuber creates work for the stage that combines acting, modern dance, clown, Ankoku butoh, and capoeira to support the body as both a tool and a palette. Ben's work examines the boundaries between various aesthetics through hybridization and exploration of root commonalities. After receiving his BA in Theater and Dance from Oberlin College, Ben moved to Chicago, Illinois where he worked as a performer and designer with companies such as The Anatomy Collective, Wing and Groove, and Collision Theatre as well as co-founding the performance duo One Continuous Mistake and working as a 2007 Spareroom Artist-In-Residence.

  Sharon Stern received her BA from the University of Miami in 2001, and has been performing in South Florida ever since. She appeared in the Florida premiere of the Off-Broadway show, Jewtopia, and performed in the critically acclaimed Stop Kiss, named Best Show of 2004 by the New Times Miami. Sharon also performed for Cirque Productions as a clown and character actress. She was a founding member of Leave ‘Em Laughing Improv Comedy Troupe. Her most recent role was as Pierrot, the sad clown in The Steadfast Tin Soldier, written and directed by Slava Dolgachev of the Moscow Art Theatre. Sharon is also an advanced certified yoga instructor and an avid swing dancer.

  Kate Michael Gibson is an Austin-based actress, writer and filmmaker. She recently completed her first screenplay, Ageless, and has also just finished a novel, Synonymously, with friend and co-writer, Roslyn E. Hogan. Kate has performed with the Austin Playhouse in their 2007 production of Inherit the Wind and also with the Austin Shakespeare Festival in various productions from 2004 to 2007 including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Dog in the Manger, and Richard III. Kate performed with Austin Green Arts Extravagreenza for Earth Day 2006. She performed in Push Up at Austin Community College and with Austin’s Vortex Repertory Theatre, performing in their productions of Coriolanus and Dark Goddess 2004. Kate holds a bachelors degree from the University of Arkansas and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Legal Studies at Texas State University. She works as document manager for the Wentwood Companies in Austin.


Ben Stuber – Costumes, Mask & Puppet Design


  Jeremy Williams is a director, choreographer and educator, focusing on creating new works of ensemble-based Physical Theatre. Williams is a recent graduate of Naropa University's MFA - Contemporary Performance Program. While at Naropa he has directed and co-created two new works: LM, as convergence of Delta Blues and Shakespeare, and Nina Lacuna, inspired by Chekhov's The Seagull. Additionally he has assisted Moises Kauffman and the Tectonic Theatre Project's workshop of Dover as well as international Butoh choreographer/director/dancer Katsura Kan on BeckettButoh; a collaboration with the ATLAS Center for Art, Media, and Performance.

Original works have been created for professional dance and theatre companies as well as universities. Awards include the 2004 Individual Artist award fromt he Kentucky Arts Council for his music/dance collaboration entitled Touched with the band a.m. Sunday, and two research fellowships from the University of Louisville for a new production of Medea with director Albert Harris and his original piece Sea Storm. Williams is a guest artist with the Arkansas Arts Center Children's and Studio Theatres where he has created three original productions as well as served as Director of Faculty for the Summer Theatre Academy, teaching movement and other physical forms of performance as well as leading the creation of seven original productions for the New Works Festival. He is a co-founding board member and Master Teacher for Dance!Kentucky and an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Mr. Williams has had the privilege of working with contemporary theatre and dance artists such as Wendell Beavers, Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Barbara Dilley, Leigh Fondakowski (head writer for The Laramie Project), Dan Safer (Artistic Director of Witness Relocation), and Steven Wangh (author of An Acrobat of the Heart). He is a member of the international Butoh company KAN BUTOH.


  Peggy Firestone is a psychotherapist in Chicago, Illinois who has a particular focus on the Psychology of Creativity. She is also a teacher and consulant in Collaborative Process.


  Conductor and pianist, Rei Hotoda is one of America’s most provocative young classical musicians. Ms. Hotoda has guest conducted several orchestras throughout North America and Europe including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Calgary Philharmonic, Thunder Bay Symphony and the Hamilton Philharmonic, Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Weimar Orchestra and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Winner of the 2006 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, Ms. Hotoda received mentoring from Marin Alsop and conducted the Colorado Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in their 2006-2007 subscription season.

She has held positions as Assistant Conductor of the 2005 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California and the 2005 Hot Springs Music Festival. Other appointments include principle conductor of Chicago's new music group Noamnesia and Ensemble N_JP. She has worked with many famous touring groups including, Five by Design, the Canadian Tenors, Platypus Theater Group, Dan Kamin and Jeans’n Classics. Recently, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ms. Hotoda conducted the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Guy Maddin’s film Brand upon the Brain with Isabella Rosselini, as narrator.

Ms. Hotoda is currently the Assistant Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Already she has led the orchestra in concerts to over 14,000 audience members in the Greater Manitoba area. She has conducted a myriad of series with the WSO including the Masterworks, Musically Speaking, Outreach and Educational concerts, the New Music Festival and the Baroque Music Festival where she conducted from the harpsichord. In 2007, Ms. Hotoda recorded Symphony Sessions with Signpost records, a CD with featuring the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and singer, Steve Bell. In Fall 2008, Centrediscs Records will release a CD, This will not be televised with members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Hotoda conducting with music by Nicole Lizee. Ms. Hotoda has conducted premieres of notable composers from Asia, Europe and North America including Toshio Hosokawa, Nicole Lizee, Sciarrino, Maierhof and Gene Coleman and has worked closely with Jennifer Higdon, Christos Hatzis and Dai Fujikura. She is currently working on her solo piano CD called Apparitions featuring unreleased recordings by Asian American composers soon to be released this Fall.

Ms. Hotoda studied conducting with Gustav Meier at the Peabody Institute. She holds a Doctorate in Piano Performance from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music.

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