Introducing the Cast of JOHN: Karen Trumbo as Mertis Katherine


Third Rail Company Member Karen Trumbo will play Mertis Katherine Graven in Annie Baker’s  Johnopening November 30th, 2018.

Karen was last seen in Third Rail’s production of Annapurna in the role of Emma. Other recent roles include Third Rail’s Noises Off as Dotty and as a member of the Ensemble in Middletown.

Local credits include Fifth of July  and  Season’s Greetings at PCS/OSF, Frozen, Mercy Seat , Inspecting Carol, and  Misanthrope at Artist’s  Repertory Theatre, Three Tall Women, It’s Only A Play, and  A  Walk in the Woods at Profile Theatre and in Boston Marriage  and the How and the Why at Coho Theatre. She also worked for several seasons with Portland Repertory Theatre in productions of  Arcadia, Lost  in Yonkers, Six Degrees of Separation, Little Shop of Horrors and All in the Timing ( Drammy Award for Best Ensemble).

Karen has worked in film, television and radio throughout the Northwest including several productions in Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles. Her credits include, among others, Claire of the Moon, Final Justice, Hear no Evil, HBO’s Last Innocent Man, Chrome Soldiers, Under Suspicion, Fifteen and Pregnant and Mystery Dance.

Karen has a BA in Theatre/English from UCLA.

This season marks the beginning of her fifth year as a Core Company Member of Third Rail Repertory Theatre.


Q & A with Karen Trumbo 


TR: What excites you about John
KT: What excites me about working on John is how the characters and story are revealed in such a slow, almost luxurious way. The realistic dialogue can be challenging and yet really delightful. I’m also thrilled to be working with Rebecca, Jenn, Nick and Diane. Who could ask for anything more!


TR: What is the strangest or most unique place you’ve ever stayed while traveling? 

KT: There was a hotel in San Fransisco that had this very long room at the end of the hall. It was a really nice older hotel that had been remodeled, but this particular room had a really strange vibe. I woke up in the middle of the night and had the very distinct feeling that some man had met his demise in that room. …I changed rooms the next night…


TR: What was one of your favorite childhood toys or tchochkes? 
KT: When I was about 5 or 6 I had a white stuffed kitty with extremely soft fur. (I shudder now to imagine what it was really made of…) I loved on that kitty until it was bald. My mom bought me a new one, but it was never the same.


TR: How does working on an Annie Baker play differ from approaching the work of other playwrights? 
KT: She creates complex characters and yet allows the actor to imagine the internal life and soul of the person. As actors, she asks us to make the choices that support the story and relationships within the play.


Get your tickets to John!

Introducing the Cast of THE MUSIC MAN!

“Well, ain’t no call for a boys’ band in this town…”

You got that right. We’re assembling an all female one. We are thrilled to introduce the multi-talented cast of THE MUSIC MAN, opening August 2nd at CoHo Theatre.



(Click on actor names to read full bios)

Harold Hill (and others): Caitlin Brooke

Marian Paroo (and others): Elizabeth Fagan

Quartet 1 (and others): Laura McCulloch

Quartet 2 (and others): Merideth Kaye Clark

Quartet 3 (and others): Emily Eisele

Quartet 4 (and others): Shahayla Ononaiye



Introducing the Cast of The Music Man: Elizabeth Fagan


This August, Elizabeth Fagan will make her Third Rail debut as Marian Paroo (and others) in THE MUSIC MAN!

Elizabeth is a musician and theatre artist. She currently serves as the Acting Academy Manager at Oregon Children’s Theatre and performs with her band, Lili St Anne. Some of her favorite stage roles have been: Meredith in Bat Boy: The Musical; Antigone in Anouilh’s Antigone; and Nina in The Seagull. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Gender Studies and also lived and studied in France at Jacques Lecoq International School of Theatre – she likes to think that Marian the Librarian was reading plenty of Simone de Beauvoir.

Welcome, Elizabeth!

Get Your Tickets for THE MUSIC MAN Today! 

Introducing the Cast of The Music Man: Shahayla Ononaiye


This August, Shahayla Ononaiye will make her Third Rail debut as Quartet 4 (and others) in THE MUSIC MAN!

Shahayla is thrilled to be in her first Third Rail production! The La Grande, Oregon vocal teacher has played roles on Eastern Oregon stages including Eponine in Les Miserables, and The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot. Recently, Ononaiye appeared in the cajun-flavored version of Beauty and the Beast with Broadway Rose, and soon will be playing Deena Jones in Dreamgirls with Stumptown Stages. Ononaiye is grateful for her husband Jake’s unwavering support and encouragement, and she is also thankful for her host families that have given her a home while she explores her passions in Portland.  

Welcome, Shahayla!

Get Your Tickets for THE MUSIC MAN Today! 

Introducing the Cast of the Music Man: Emily Eisele


Third Rail is thrilled to welcome Mentorship Program alumna Emily Eisele as Quartet 3 (and others) in this August’s concert staging of THE MUSIC MAN!

Emily never suspected she would revisit The Music Man after playing Amaryllis many years ago, but is tickled to experience the show in this new, imaginative way. Most recently, Emily was seen as Caroline in I And You (Artists Repertory Theatre.) She is an alum of the Third Rail Mentorship Company, during which time she performed in The Norwegians, Edgar & Annabel, and ID[ea]. Other favorite credits include: Sheri in American Hero; Natalia in Band Geeks; Cinderella in Into The Woods; and Beth in Little Women.

Snag your tickets to THE MUSIC MAN today!