CHICAGO, ILA Red Orchid Theatre announces the appointments of Ensemble Member Travis Knight as Associate Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Sadieh Rifai as Artistic Development Coordinator.
Ensemble member Shade Murray will step away from his role as Associate Artistic Director in order to pursue new opportunities outside of the theatre, and Mierka Girten will step away from her role as Casting Director to focus more exclusively on her own artistic pursuits. Both Shade and Mierka will remain very active as an Ensemble Members and artists with the company.
A Red Orchid Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald talked about the recent changes:
"As our first AAD and only Casting Director, Shade and Mierka's contributions to our foundation will be felt far into the future. Shade's many accomplishments include establishing more effective production management strategies, artistic processes, and professional development plans, among others. Mierka's contributions include establishing actor-friendly casting processes and nurturing relationships with agents and individual artists among others. I am incredibly grateful for their collaboration, both past and ongoing. With Travis and Sadieh coming on board, I am equally grateful to have two spectacular artists, collaborators, and humans stepping into the roles of Associate Artistic Director and Artistic Development Coordinator. Casting responsibilities will be shared between these two part-time positions.
The rigor and curiosity with which Travis approaches artistic collaboration can also be found in his inspiring leadership skills. His creativity, artistic vision, and goal-oriented mindset will make a dynamic addition to both the artistic and administrative teams.
As an accomplished performer in many mediums and an emerging playwright, Sadieh's passion for building lasting relationships will be a tremendous asset as we extend our artistic reach in the areas casting and literary exploration.
In addition to their unparalleled skills as actors, creators and collaborators Travis and Sadieh's artistic aesthetic, thoughtful consideration, unquenchable curiosity, and passion for all things theatre will be indispensable. A Red Orchid and I have much to learn from both and I look forward to the growth they will surely facilitate."
Travis Knight is an ensemble member at A Red Orchid and has appeared in Grey House and Small Mouth Sounds. Chicago credits include: The Crucible (Steppenwolf Theatre); Ah, Wilderness!, Christmas Carol, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Measure for Measure, and Camino Real (Goodman Theatre); How a Boy Falls (Northlight Theatre); and Camelot (Drury Lane). Regional credits include: The Brothers Size (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre); A Streetcar Named Desire (Uprooted Theatre); and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Forward Theatre). He also spent five seasons at American Players Theatre appearing in The Tempest, Glass Menagerie, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Richard III. TV and web series credits: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, Mind Games, and Dad Man Walking. Film credits: Henry Gamble's Birthday Party and Runner. Last year he completed his certification as a full-stack web developer and went on to focus on project management in the world of tech. He was also recently selected as an Impact Leader for the Baumhart Center's Impact Leader Series.
Sadieh Rifai is an ensemble member at A Red Orchid Theatre where she performed in Do You Feel Anger, Evening at The Talk House and Grey House. Her credits include, Short Shakes Macbeth, the world premiere of The Humans (Jeff Award nomination for Best Ensemble) at American Theatre Company along with The Amish Project, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (co-production with About Face Theatre) Columbinus and Speech and Debate (After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance). Other Chicago credits include Support Group for Men and Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf First Look). Film credits include The Wise Kids, Nate and Margaret and Olympia. Television credits include Chicago Med, Netflix's Easy, CBS The Red Line and Amazon's Patriot in which she plays the recurring role of Mahtma El-Mashad. Sadieh is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf and received the Princess Grace Award in 2011.
About A Red Orchid
A Red Orchid Theatre has served as an artistic focal point in the heart of the Old Town community of Chicago since 1993 and was honored with a 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Over the past 28 years, its Resident Ensemble has welcomed into its fold an impressive array of award-winning actors, playwrights and theatre artists with the firm belief that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit. A Red Orchid is well known and highly acclaimed and fearless approach to performance and design in the service of unflinchingly intimate stories.
A Red Orchid Theatre is: Karen Aldridge, Lance Baker, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Dado, Mike Durst, Myron Elliott, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Levi Holloway, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Travis Knight, Danny McCarthy, Jess McLeod, Shade Murray, Brett Neveu, Sadieh Rifai, Grant Sabin, Steve Schine, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers and Natalie West.