Rotate Theatre Mini Fest - Collaborator Bios

For more information about the festival, go to the Rotate Theatre Mini Fest main page.

Collaborators Include:

photo of Ashely Bagot photo of Rhea Leman photo of Aisha Leverett photo of Wi-Moto Nyoka photo of Richard Paro
Ashely Bagot Rhea Leman Aisha Leverett Wi-Moto Nyoka Richard Paro
photo of Breahan Eve Pautsch photo of Cyra K. Polizzi photo of Rini Tarafder photo of John Weagly
Breahan Eve
Cyra K. Polizzi Rini Tarafder John Weagly

Ashely Bagot is a director, actor, and costume designer. In addition to her frequent directing work with Rotate Theatre, her previous acting work includes There Might Be... Stumble, What Happened to the Quiet Kids, and The Fox in the Snow. Ashely also works assisting people with mental illness access housing and recovery services in Chicago.

Rhea Leman was born and raised in New York City where she studied dance and theater before moving to Denmark in 1981. There, she formed and directed theater company Teater Tango and has worked as an independent playwright, screenwriter, and theater, radio, and TV director. Her plays have been performed throughout Europe and the US, enjoying public and press acclaim. Leman has been nominated twice by The Reumert Committee as best playwright of the year. The Danish Cultural Minister appointed Leman as the chairwoman of The Danish Theater Council and as a member of The Danish Arts Council. In 2009, Leman formed Dramafronten to promote and produce new Danish plays in new ways and new places.

Aisha Leverett has written with Just Great and Democracy Burlesque, and directed with The Annoyance Theater (Triple Feature, Asst. Dir. for Lady Mechanics) and Greenhouse Theatre (MPAACT Solo Jams). Aisha has also written and directed radio plays with Atlanta Fringe Festival Audio Fringe. She has a Bachelor's in Art History and a Master's in Applied Social Psychology.

Wi-Moto Nyoka is a horror and sci-fi writer. She is the founder of Dusky Projects, creating and producing horror & sci-fi projects for young adult and adult audiences. Awards and honors include: Stowe Story Labs selected project, Puffin Foundation grant recipient, Awesome Foundation grant recipient, Velocity Fund grant recipient, Scribe Video Finishing Grant recipient, Nightmares Film Festival Best Short Screenplay Award Winner, 13 Horror Screenplay Award Winner, Oregon Short Film Festival Best Horror Teleplay Award Winner and more. Published works can be found in Midnight & Indigo's Speculative Fiction collection, Terror Unleashed: Volume 2, The Seelie Crow and The Last Girls Club. IG: @duskyprojects,

Richard Paro is an award winning theatre and film director based in Madison, WI. Richard uses highly collaborative techniques throughout the artistic process and much of his work emphasizes coalition-building, as seen in theatre productions like There Might Be... Stumble. In addition to his work with Rotate Theatre, he has worked with many companies in Chicago, including Stage 773, Arc, Theatre-Hikes, Prologue, Tympanic, Dandelion, and Stockyards Theatre Project, and 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, Richard has worked in festival programming and organizing for years in Chicago, Milwaukee, and surrounding areas.

Breahan Eve Pautsch is a director, actor, and writer. In addition to her work with Rotate Theatre, Breahan has collaborated with Raven Theatre, The International Voices Project, Wildclaw Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre, Speaking Ring Theatre, Halcyon Theatre, Theatre Entropy, North Lakeside Players, Scriptworks, and Akvavit Theatre where she served in many roles including artistic director. Breahan is frequently called upon for her expertise directing contemporary Nordic plays for audiences in the US. Breahan grew up in Cadott, Wisconsin, graduated with a BA in Theatre and English from UW-Madison, and was based in Chicago for many years before recently returning to Madison.

Cyra K. Polizzi is a theatre actor with a wide range of experiences in other performing arts modalities (dance, music, film, etc) and specialties (directing, writing, facilitation, etc). Whether exploring realism or other stylized approaches, from silent movement-based work to campy drag musicals, much of Cyra's work incorporates humor, queer possibilities, and multi-issue activism. Cyra grew up performing in the driftless area of rural WI, attended UW-Madison in Theatre Acting, Gender Studies, and Environmental Studies, and worked in Chicago for 15 years in storefront theatre and independent film before happily returning to Teejop / Madison. Cyra then completed an MA in Gender Studies at UW-Madison, formalizing their transdisciplinary research asking questions about accessibility, sustainability, and wellness in theatre practices.

Rini Tarafder is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies at UW-Madison. Her research is about political theatre in India. Rini's plays have been performed at festivals in Madison and in educational spaces in India. She also experiments with poetry, musical instruments, photography, sewing, and digital forms of performance art. Rini's ideal day would include walking through the woods, looking at birds.

John Weagly has had over 100 plays receive nearly 200 productions by theaters on 4 continents. A collection of his short sci-fi/fantasy scripts, Tiny Flights of Fantasy, has been taught at Columbia College and is available through Amazon. His latest collection of plays is available from Next Stage Press.

For more information about the festival, go to the Rotate Theatre Mini Fest main page.