Meet Our Performing Artists!
And now for something completely different: Four very active Subud women who have thoroughly mastered the art of performing through various media.
I was opened in April, 1969 in Berkeley, California. I started acting at 9, attending the near-by children’s theatre every day after school, which taught me how to study, learn my lines before the first rehearsal, develop a near-photographic memory, and learn how to follow direction. My high school was the first arts magnet school in the LA area; I studied Shakespeare, modern dance, advanced literature, and choral music. I landed a Regents Scholarship to UCLA & Berkeley, but graduated with a BA in Theatre from San Francisco State University, and trained with the founders of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, actors from The Committee, plus a summer workshop with Viola Spolin, improvisation theatre innovator. My Master’s Degree in Theatre was from the University of Calif, Santa Barbara.
My first professional gig was playing Cordelia in the Marin Shakespeare Festival’s King Lear – I was 19 at the time. I joined Actors Equity when I moved to Seattle in 1979, performing as Ann Sothern’s maid at the Cirque Dinner Theatre. I also joined SAG-AFTRA at the same time, securing union jobs in a Disney movie, The Librarians TV series with Noah Wiley, Leverage TV series with Timothy Hutton, and the adult lead in an indie film: My Summer as a Goth. I’ve performed and directed at professional theatres in the Seattle Area, Spokane, the Portland area, San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Monterey, greater Los Angeles Area, and Albuquerque. In 2002 I founded Masque Alfresco with Benedict Herrman as a SICA-oriented professional theatre dedicated to keeping the techniques of commedia dell’arte alive. Masque Alfresco has fund-raised $1250 for SICA and $1500 for Portland Subud. SICA has in turn funded Masque Alfresco $2000, providing support that was NOT available elsewhere. I fully retired from theater last year, putting Masque Alfresco to rest by the end of September 2022, immediately joining the SICA-USA Board.
Fayra is contributing the scripts from her two final plays mounted by Masque Alfresco: Looking Glass Alice in Wonderland (2021) and Winnie the Pooh and Lao-Tzu Too (2022). The winning bid for each play will receive a copy of the script, production photos, copies of the sheet music, plus full production rights to perform each play. Each play offered runs for 70 minutes and features commedia dell’arte traditions: slapstick antics, colorful stock characters, while incorporating political and celebrity jokes.
Kate Mura was opened in April 2020, at the start of the Covid Lockdown. She is a performance artist based in Portland, an early company member of Masque Alfresco, and current co-Artistic Director of Fuse Theatre Ensemble. She wrote, produced, and created the masks for “Suburban Tribe” in 2013 and has performed it internationally, particularly at the Provence Fringe Theatre Festival (France). The play is designed to be a theatrical Thank You! to the New Jersey community who rallied around her family after a freak accident involving her father, who spent the rest of his life in a Steven Hawking-like wheelchair. Sadly, he passed in early June, 2023. Her One-Woman show includes physical storytelling, mime, and improvisation. The highest bidder will receive a CD copy of Kate’s one woman show, a copy of her amazing script, plus the rights to produce ten performances.
Currently a member of Subud Portland, and serving on the Susila Dharma-USA Board, she is a frequent performer of poetry as the spoken word at Subud events. She shares about her experiences as a poet: “most of what I write comes from memories and experiences. When I have leisure time I tend not to write, when busy, an idea will pop into my head and wriggle around in there until I write something down. Go figure! However it comes, I love the feeling of being lost in my creation. The process seems to temporarily lift me out of time and space with total absorption, like the feeling of leaving a movie theater and momentarily not knowing whose life you’re living.”
Leana is offering up five copies of her poetry book “The Earth Rests on a Giant Tree”, a 63-page book of her musings and wit. She clearly states: “No bidding. I will also include a handful of more recent poems, plus a hand-written greeting to the donors who purchase my book.” Her $15 asking price includes shipping.
Nirel manages the Subud House rentals for Portland Subud, the SICA-USA website newsletter, and Pacific NW newsletter blog. She has been passionate about education as well as nature from early on. Her dream is to educate children and youth about nature, sustainability, and the cycles of life in an interactive, engaging and fun way. She has worked as a professional writer and web designer for more than four decades.
Nirel is offering her children’s book “Otter and the Echotone” which features interactions between a boy named Otter, his grandmother, and local wildlife. Otter lives in an urban suburb at the edge of a forest, where the overlap of ecological boundaries is called the Ecotone. Otter explores this rich environment, learning to listen to nature, to analyze, and plan ahead across the four seasons. This story was originally written as a television show with an interactive component; please view the narrated version at: https://youtube/45ngKg1sX1c.