Meet the Mentee Class of 2015/2016 part 1

Each year Third Rail selects a group of emerging theatre professionals to join our Mentorship Company for a year long residency. It’s been tough to say goodbye to the brilliant group from last year. In fact, we’ve even kept one of them – Nate Cohen – to be Chief Resident who will serve as a liaison between Company Members and our “Mentees“.

Now we are delighted to introduce you to our 2015-2016 Mentorship Company. Each one of them successfully made it though the audition process and demonstrated a passion for theatre and a strong interest in exploring what it means to be part of a company of theatre professionals. They have a rewarding and challenging year ahead which will include various workshops, training, collaboration, engagement with the rehearsal process, work on the administrative side of the organization, the running of our National Theatre Live presentations, and creation of their own performances and final showcase. They’ll create an ensemble based on Third Rail’s model of an artist-driven ensemble who are leaders among equals. We invite you to join us in welcoming them and following their progress over the next 12 months. So, with no further ado, here are the first 5 (out of a total of 10) of our newest Third Rail family.

Alan Cline - Mentee 2015/2016

Alan Cline

One of the founding members of overunder arts (recent participants in the 2015 Fertile Ground Festival, with their piece “down”), Alan is interested in the intersection of new media, live performance, and narrative structure. He says, “Politically and socially engaged theatre is central to my identity as an artist, and being able to grapple with those issues with artists and audiences alike is, of course, its own reward, but being able to do this work for a living? That’s the dream.”


Anthony Arnista - Mentee 2015/2016

Anthony Arnista

Making his way through the Canadian Fringe circuit (in the esteemed company of Mentorship alum Jenessa Raabe) with his show Perpetual Wednesday, Anthony is an MFA graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. He currently works as a teaching and performance artist at Echo Theater. In his future he hopes to “create a new piece of work to show every month in a cabaret style setting,” as “a founding member of an ensemble of Portland-based theater makers that specializes in new and devised work.”


Chelsea Burwasser - Mentee 2015/2016

Chelsea Burwasser

A recent grad of company member Rebecca Lingafelter’s very own Lewis and Clark College, Chelsea plans to pursue an MFA in directing. She wants “to find ways to give a voice to communities that typically are silenced and to portray [theater] from their lens.“ She aims “to discover how theater can be used to bridge social gaps and expose systems of injustice through activating all of the senses and making it feel alive.”


Kensie Sempert - Mentee 2015/2016

Kensie Sempert

Kensie is a graduate of Linfield College, most recently acting as a dramaturgical intern for Portland Shakespeare Project’s production of The Tempest. Although she’s experienced in many aspects of theater, costume design is her passion. She’s been accepted to Boston University’s MFA program, but has deferred for a year in order to gain more professional experience – starting with us!


Madeline Shier - Mentee 2015/2016

Madeline Shier

Most recently having appeared in Cymbeline (alongside Mentorship alum Jahnavi Alyssa), Madeline is an experienced actress, as well as having dabbled in stage management and directing. In her time at Third Rail, she hopes to work on becoming “a confident, competent, compassionate artist, sharing transformative, moving work in a place that [she] love[s].”

August 3 – August 9 2015

Hello everyone!

Another week, another full slate at Third Rail, another new episode of “Chopped”, and another blog post keeping you updated and informed!

First, we continue to sell memberships and increase the number of people who can say “I am a Third Rail member!”

Then, after a few giant weeks for us, we have a rare moment when we can catch half a breath. But only half. This week, we have the first design meeting for our October/November show, which will follow Or,. We are excited and eager to share with you The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno. You may remember Eno’s brilliant writing from Middletown this past Fall. Eno has been an Oppenheimer Award winner, a Drama Desk Award winner, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He was quite open and communicative and present with Third Rail during the Middletown process, so are particularly delighted to be tackling another fantastic play of his.

The Realistic Joneses is Eno’s first Broadway play. It had a successful ran in 2014 starring Michael C.Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei and Tracy Letts (so just imagine how extraordinary this will be when some talented actors get their hands on it!). It is an unconventional, unexpected, original and outrageous look at the people who live next door, the truths we think we know, and the secrets we never imagined we all might share. Here are three quotes about Eno’s script that we hope will begin to get you looking forward to this show as much as we are.

Plays as funny and moving, as wonderful and weird as ‘The Realistic Joneses,’ by Will Eno, do not appear often on Broadway. Or ever, really.The New York Times

For all the sadness woven into its fabric, ‘The Realistic Joneses’ brought me a pleasurable rush virtually unmatched by anything I’ve seen this season. The New York Times

Eno’s dialogue is a marvel… there’s much to savor… Life in Enoland isn’t what you’d call realistic – it’s more real than that. Time Out New York

But! First, we have the hilarious and beautiful and liberating Or,! This week will be the final Set and Costume Design meeting before first read! First read will happen next week and there is nothing more invigorating than diving into a new show… but that is out of my prevue. Next week!

– Darius Pierce, Third Rail Company Member