Rotate Theatre Company
Based in Madison, WI . 608-515-8912 . Mailing List

Rotate Theatre Company creates and celebrates performing arts featuring underrepresented perspectives.

By embracing practices that enrich the lives of collaborative artists, engage audiences in laughter and discussion, and incorporate multidirectional education, Rotate Theatre Company contributes to larger webs of strategies that build more just futures for artists and the general public.

Rotate Theatre Company (formerly Indie Boots Theatre) produces plays and musicals for the Stage, brings new short works to audiences through our Festivals, develops independent Films, and offers educational opportunities, special events, and curated programs. Co-founders Cyra K. Polizzi and Richard Paro have been collaborating since 2000. Early projects, produced under other monikers, took place in southern Wisconsin, followed by 15 years based in Chicago with longtime ensemble members Ashely Bagot, Breahan Eve Pautsch, Crystal Hartford, and Jessica Dexter. The late 2010s brought changes for the ensemble members and the company, including exciting shifts in place, name, and production techniques that open up new possibilities for creating and celebrating art featuring underrepresented perspectives. Now, Rotate Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Madison, WI with ensemble members working throughout the Midwest.

Work With Us!

We love working with new collaborators, and we especially love when new collaborators become longtime collaborators! We announce calls for cast, crew, designers, etc right here on this page, on our mailing list, FB, TW, and IG.

The Rotate Theatre Ensemble

Ashely Bagot

Ashely Bagot (she/her) is a director, actor, and costume designer based in Chicago. In addition to her frequent directing work with Rotate Theatre, her previous acting work includes There Might Be... Stumble, Bernie Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street...'s Brother, A Hipster Christmas Carol, What Happened to the Quiet Kids?, The Fox in the Snow, and Tuesday Night Make-Out. Ashely also works assisting people with mental illness access housing and recovery services.

Breahan Eve Pautsch

Breahan Eve Pautsch (she/her) is a director, actor, and writer based in Chicago. Her other artistic home is Akvavit Theatre, where she is the co-artistic director. Breahan's directing credits with Rotate Theatre include Zoe What's her Butt, Three Cheers for Ava, Ella at the Office, and Olivia Names Her Octopus. She has also worked with Raven Theatre, Wildclaw Theatre, The International Voices Project, Broken Nose Theatre, Speaking Ring Theatre, Halcyon Theatre, Theatre Entropy, North Lakeside Players, Scriptworks, and Stockyards Theatre Project. Breahan grew up in Cadott, Wisconsin and then graduated with a BA in Theatre and English from UW-Madison.

Crystal Hartford

Crystal Hartford (she/her) hails from Omaha, NE and attended Avila University in Kansas City, MO where she received her BFA in Theatre. As an actor, Crystal's theatre credits include "Hellena" in The Rover, "Brooke" in Noises Off, "Jameson" in The Passion of Dracula, and originating a lead role in Talk Kiss Blackout. Crystal's film credits include Mass Romantic, What Happened to the Quiet Kids?, The Fox in the Snow, So-Called Living, and Deidre. In addition, she participates in one-acts, staged readings, and performance art. Crystal can also be found performing with the bands The Dust Bunnies and Harford/Focht.

Cyra K. Polizzi

Cyra K. Polizzi (they/them, she/her) works in performance and film, focusing on theatre acting while also engaging in directing, writing, education, and community movement forms. Much of Cyra's work incorporates humor, queer possibilities, and multi-issue activism. Cyra is currently using lenses of accessibility, sustainability, and feminism in transdisciplinary research on theater practice at UW-Madison as a graduate student with the Gender & Women's Studies Department, associate with the Center for Culture, History, and Environment, and affiliate with the Division of the Arts. Cyra started performing at age five in the driftless area of rural Wisconsin, attended UW-Madison as an undergrad in Theatre Acting, Women's Studies, and Environmental Studies, and spent 15 years working in performing arts in Chicago before having the pleasure of returning to Madison/Teejop/Dejope.

Jessica Dexter

Jessica Dexter (she/her) has a long and varied history with theatre, performance, and film. Best described as a freelance first responder for performance-related emergencies, a title earned through her years in a traveling trash-to-art performance and puppetry troupe, Jessica has designed and constructed costumes and sets, rigged lighting, managed the business end, and birthed countless puppet creatures in community workshops. She acts, she sings, she dances, she walks on stilts, she spins fire. And if there's anything that can't be built out of corrugated cardboard, bike tire inner tubes, cornstarch and a P-22 stapler, she has yet to discover it. In addition, Jessica worked as an attorney in public interest environmental legal advocacy in Chicago before founding Pivot Sewing Studio in Duluth, MN.

Richard Paro

Richard Paro (he/him) is an award winning theatre and film director based in Madison, WI. In addition to his work with Rotate Theatre, he has worked with various companies in Chicago, including Stage 773, Arc, Theatre-Hikes, Prologue, Tympanic, Fury, and Stockyards Theatre Project among others. Much of his work emphasizes coalition-building, including productions of There Might Be... Stumble and In Pursuit, a comedy dealing with the state of gender, class, and citizenship in the United States. In addition, his feature-length and short films screen at film festivals around the world. Always excited to share his favorite theatre, movies, and music with new audiences, he has worked in festival programming and organizing for years in Chicago, Milwaukee, and surrounding areas.