Meet the Director & Cast: THE TAMING

What happens when a hipster liberal can’t update her Twitter feed because she’s trapped, phoneless, in a hotel room with a conservative congressional aide who has lost her pants, and a Constitutional Law scholar who also happens to be the reigning Miss Georgia? Why, a timely and hilarious examination of constitutional reformation, sexism, intersectional identity, ambition, misogyny, political legacies, and Founding Father mythology, of course.

Originally commissioned and premiered by San Francisco’s Crowded Fire Theatre in 2013, The Taming gained more public exposure in connection with the 2016 election. As a response to Trump’s victory, playwright Lauren Gunderson allowed The Taming to serve as “creative counter-programming” to the President’s January 20, 2017 swearing-in ceremony. Theatre artists around the country gathered to produce royalty free readings of Gunderson’s play as a means of resistance and to call attention to America’s foundational flaws with humor. In Portland, a group of four women took on this Inauguration Day 2017 project by producing a reading and donating the proceeds to Planned Parenthood. As the issues raised in The Taming grew more relevant with each passing day, the team decided to pursue a full production coinciding with the 2018 midterm elections. And we’re so thrilled they did. Meet the team of four co-producers (who also happen to be the director and cast) who are bringing Lauren Gunderson’s The Taming to the CoHo stage.


Mariel Sierra (Director) is a director, actor, educator, and producer. Mariel recently served as Profile Theatre’s Community Engagement Coordinator for 2.5 Minute Ride, and Producing Assistant during the Quiara Alegría Hudes season. A 2013 graduate of the Portland Actors Conservatory, Mariel has appeared on stage with Bag&Baggage (Richard III), Milagro Theatre (Corrido Calavera, El Muerto Vagabundo), Portland Actors Ensemble (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coriolanus), Salt and Sage Productions (Twelfth Night), and Post5 Theatre (Equus) where she was also a Founding Company Member. She has toured bilingual Spanish productions with Teatro Milagro (Cuentame Coyote, El Niño Diego, y Aventuras de Don Quixote) and The Oregon Children’s Theatre (Tomás and the Library Lady). Mariel served as the Assistant Director on Between Riverside and Crazy at Artist Rep, Swimming While Drowning at Milagro Theatre, and The Comedy of Errors and Henry IV, Part 1 at Post5 Theatre, and was Assistant to the Artistic Director, Kyle Haden, at the 2017 Ashland New Plays Festival. She is currently working as a Steering Committee member for the Latinx Theatre Commons and will be back in Portland this fall to workshop Un Christmas Cuento Redux by Maya Malan-Gonzalez.

Lauren Bloom Hanover (Patricia) is a performer, producer and educator who moved to Portland in 2013 to join the staff of Profile Theatre. In her time at the company, she served as the Director of Education and Community Engagement, the Interim Artistic Director and the Associate Artistic Director. She produced Profile’s 2016 Tanya Barfield season, as well as Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue and Profile’s first 24 Hour Playfest. As a performer, she has worked with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, Capital Stage Company, The Actor’s Company Theatre and Profile Theatre, among others. She earned her MFA from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and is currently an adjunct professor at Portland State University.

McKenna Twedt (Katherine) is an actor, costume designer, and producer. A graduate of Western Oregon University with BFAs in Acting and Costume Design, McKenna is committed to producing rarely seen works created by artists of gender, identity, and racial diversity. She has worked with several local companies including Third Rail Repertory Theatre (Mentee program), CoHo Productions (actor and co-producer for Season 21’s Playhouse Creatures), Northwest Classical Theatre Company, and the Ashland New Plays Festival. McKenna is a current producing Ensemble Member of Theatre Vertigo where she will be working on The Delays, a new commissioned work by Sara Jean Accuardi (January 2019) and A Dark Sky Full of Stars, a world premier (April 2019).

Katie Watkins (Bianca), an Atlanta native, has been living and working in Portland since 2011 as a producer, actor, and creator of new works. She is Artistic Producer of Risk/Reward, Associate Producer at Boom Arts, and spent the last year as CoHo’s Artistic Fellow. This is her first time producing and acting on the CoHo stage. Previous credits include Head.Hands.Feet and Masque of the Red Death at Shaking the Tree, A Christmas Carol at Portland Playhouse, and …And the Great Refraction with String House Theatre.

The Taming opens October 26 and runs through November 17.

Get your tickets now!

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