Meet Quinn Cayabyab. Our Producing Director who makes so much happen for us at Wily West. Quinn joined Wily West for our 2009-2010 season as Production Manager. Her contributions have been interwoven into all of our productions since then. Quinn is now a Producer for Wily West and has produced two hit summer shows and a play and music festival. Quinn essentially oversees all aspects of our productions. All great theatre companies need someone like Quinn at their core to keep them going. Every aspect of what you see on stage with Wily West Quinn has a hand in. From scouting actors, to reading plays, turning so many of our crazy ideas into something even better; from the set, to the props, from the budget to buying whatever liquid needs to be in glasses on stage - Quinn is thinking about it and making it happen. I believe it is important for our audience to know this remarkable woman as she is key to making all the magic at Wily West happen. She is the first person to enter our theatre and the last to leave it. She works tirelessly with her husband, Wesley Cayabyab, to make each and every production as wonderful as time, space and budget will allow. Here is a glimpse of her work and her life behind the scenes...
Artistic Director Morgan Ludlow talks about the producer behind the scenes for Wily West...
Quinn ever present in the tech booth. On top of being producer, set designer, props mistress, literary manager, etc. Quinn is also our resident lighting designer. During tech week you will find Quinn on stage, back stage with her checklist and observing the madness she needs to sort out from the booth!
Quinn's office - is often the porch off her backyard where she works with Wesley to build sets and props. Here she is about to add another base coat to the set for our fall shows. She is getting the overalls (which will be worn by actor Rick Homan) to look worn-in while she also paints the set.
Here is the Wily West workshop in action - Quinn and Wesley's backyard. Most of our sets and props are built here before they are sent to the theatre. Here we see Genevieve helping Quinn apply another base coat for the set of DROWNING KATE.
Studio 633: Quinn's command center. We are in rehearsals for our current production of DROWNING KATE (also UN-HINGED). First testing of ghoulish make-up for actor Colleen Egan by Genevieve Perdue our make-up artist. Quinn observes the progress...
Throwback: Here is a photo of Quinn from a production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC (she is playing Maria) at Oakland School of the Arts. Then Quinn Whitaker began studying theatre design and production at Oakland School of the Arts with a concentration in Lighting Design and Stage Management.
Quinn went to Barnard College in New York City where she served as the Lighting Designer and Stage Manager for Columbia University Event Management and the Columbia Musical Theatre Society. While living in New York Quinn worked many shows as a technician, including the International Architectural Lighting Lighting Design Awards and the Ellie Charles Awards.
So a little love story: Quinn and Wes have been together for several years but they just got married last year: July 5, 2013! Wesley has been our technical director since 2011 and he has originated several roles for the company. Last year he started directing for us by bringing the premiere of LAWFULLY WEDDED to SF and this year he directed plays for SHEHEREZADE 14 and he is directing both fall shows UN-HINGED and DROWNING KATE.
THE MANY SETS OF QUINN & WES!
This slide show is just a portion of the many sets Quinn & Wes have designed and built for Wily West from 2009-2014.
Quinn is busiest at the theatre days before we open.
Quinn working with director Chelsey Little for our SUPERHEROES production at the Exit Theatre in SF. The production has received a TBA Award nomination for Best Anthology!
Buying and trying on some costumes with Genevieve. We ain't named Wily West for nothing!
In her spare time Quinn shops for props, sees as many other shows in the SF Area as she can - as a TBA Awards Adjudicator, volunteers for the SF FRINGE FESTIVAL and spends quality time with her pets - here she is with Maisy probably on her way to buy more props...
Don't miss Quinn's latest work as a Producer - lighting designer, props mistress, scenic painter, etc. DROWNING KATE and UN-HINGED both world premieres run October 3-25 at the Exit Theatre!
Although Wily West has been dark the last several months, we have also been busy busy busy back here behind the curtain. We are in the thick of our 2014 pre-season activities and having a blast. In late fall we had our semi-annual company retreat, welcomed new members Jason Jeremy, Jennifer Roberts, and Ellen Chesnut and finalized our 2014 season. It was an embarrassing love-fest, filled with so much excitement we could barely contain ourselves. In case you didn't know, Morgan, Quinn, Wes, Brady, Kat, Jason, Ellen, Jennifer, and yours truly are all awesome and we decided all of you are too. It was a unanimous vote. Really, I have the flip chart covered in hearts and exclamation points to prove it.
Basking in the love-glow, we selected plays for Sheherezade and finalized our directors for the show in December. In January we had a table reading and finalized the cast. SHEHEREZADE 14 will run in June and features short works from Jennifer Roberts, Terry Anderson, Madeline Puccioni, Madeleine Butler, Steve Koppman,Vonn Scott Bair, and Jim Norrena. I am really excited about the selections this year with some interesting and captivating material that will be funny and devastating, sweet and poignant. (I'll blog about that in April). Wes Cayabyab who has been in the last five Sheherezade's is switching to a Director's role with Amy Crumpacker who joins us for the first time. While Jason Jeremy, who used to be a regular player in Sheherezade back in the day, is returning to acting in the show. The cast also includes Philip Goleman coming off a string of roles with Ross Valley Players - including ARMS AND THE MAN playing now, Catherine Ludtke - who is busy being amazing in Custom Made's TOP GIRLS, Leontyne Mbele-Mbong who has been garnering audience and critical raves in African American Shakespeare Co's MEDEA, which closes this weekend. Also joining the cast are Rick Homan who composed and played music in our production of Patricia Milton's BELIEVERS in 2012,Cameron Galloway who you can see at DivaFest's DIVAS TELL ALL, and Gareth Tidball who will be here for her summer break from New York University's theatre program.
We also kicked off our collaborative writing project for what became SUPERHEROES where 8 playwrights - The Playmaker's League - wrote as many short plays as they could in 6 weeks around a facilitated central theme. Jennifer Lynne Roberts served as Head Writer and provided weekly inspiration and sub-topics for the writers. This creative storm resulted in 114 scripts, which were narrowed down to just 29 for a hilarious marathon reading back in February. In February we also did private readings of all of the plays for the season, finalized the Superheroes line-up (11 plays between 1 and 10 minutes each), and casting for the show. We have Alicia Coombes and Chelsey Little directing plays by Bridgette Dutta Portman, Jennifer Lynne Roberts, Karl Shackne, Laylah Muran de Assereto (moi), Morgan Ludlow, Patricia Milton, Rod McFadden, and Susan Jackson and live music written and performed by Kat Downs from local band Sit Kitty Sit (whose band was at SXSW this March). We are thrilled to have performers Barrett Courtney (with his SF debut), Brian Flegel (most recently in PCSFs 24 Hour Fest, and a frequent player with Pear Avenue's reading series), Dan Wilson (of Radio Star Improv), Jenna May (recently returning to the Bay Area from Seattle), and Karen Offereins (most recently of Custom Made's THE PAIN AND THE ITCH and returning to us from last year's SHEHEREZADE 13) and actor Shelley Lynn Johnson completes the cast. I can't wait to see them take on our superheroes; their woes, predicaments, and foes. Look for the trading cards!
We are *this* close to finishing up the casting for Stuart Bousel's EVERYBODY HERE SAYS HELLO! which will be directed by Rik Lopes and will run in rep with SUPERHEROES in July/August. The short list is pretty impressive and exciting for this multilayered character piece.
We recently finished casting our fall shows running in October, and also in rep, with Krista Knight's UN-HINGED and Morgan Ludlow's DROWNING KATE and will both be directed by Wesley Cayabyab. These two shows will share some cast members and like the whole season, includes a fantastic group of actors. UN-HINGED will feature Rick Homan, Cameron Galloway, Genevieve Purdue Smith, and Scott Cox.
DROWNING KATE will feature Colleen Egan, Scott Cox, and Genevieve Purdue Smith.
Quinn Cayabyab and Ellen Chesnut along with our directors have been conjuring magical and amazing design concepts for all of the shows, which will feature some pretty cool things that will be dynamic and interesting to see up on stage.
We've also been taking the opportunity before we are ensconced in rehearsals to go to shows! Associate artist Kat Kneisel is performing with the multi-talentedDiana Brown in COLLECTED STORIES for Expressions Productions. This play about mentorship, storytelling, trust, betrayal, literary success, and loss is well worth seeing. We are especially proud of Kat's terrific portrayal of the mentee who outgrows her mentor with heartbreaking emotional fall out. Quinn Cayabyab, myself and friends caught the show on Sunday March 23rd and Jennifer Roberts along with Jim Norrena, Patricia Milton, and Bridgette Dutta Portman caught the show Friday March 28th.
Jason and I went to see Cutting Ball's RISK IS THIS series closer EX MACHINA on Saturday the 29th. And various company members have theatre dates to see TOP GIRLS, MEDEA, RAT GIRL, ARMS AND THE MAN, THE CRUCIBLE, DIVAS TELL ALL and more!
The company is also looking forward to going to the gala in May to support Morgan Ludlow and Ryan Hayes for their Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nominations for last summer's GORGEOUS HUSSY!
Say hi when you see us around and have a great spring!
Wily West Productions