Meet Our Company…
Samson Syharath (producing ensemble)is originally from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he received a Bachelors Degree in theatre with a focus on acting and directing. He also studied at the Portland Actors Conservatory where he is now Artistic Associate and instructor. Acting credits include work for Portland Actors Ensemble, Salt and Sage Productions, defunkt theatre, Action/Adventure Theatre, Broadway Rose, Lakewood, Post5 Theatre, and Milagro, among others. Directing and assistant-directing credts include work with Theatre Diaspora, Salt and Sage Productions, and Artists Repertory Theatre. Samson is also a company member of Theatre Vertigo. Samson recently received the Mary Fulton Fellowship from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild and is part of the Theatre Communication Group’s Rising Leaders of Color 2017 cohort. MediaRites’ Diaspora Theatre credits include The Dance and the Railroad , Breaking the Silence, Breaking Glass, and Theory of Everything, and A Language of Their Own. Visit www.samsonsyharath.com for more information about his work.
Larry Toda (producing ensemble) earned his B.A. in journalism and communications, and is a corporate marketing manager for Mentor Graphics Corporation in Wilsonville. Previous professional roles include Henry in South Pacific (Lakewood Theater), Emperor and Sailor in Pacific Overtures (Keller Auditorium) and Mike in From Oregon With Love II (Fuji Television Japan). He has performed most recently in MediaRites’ Theatre Diaspora’s productions of Breaking the Silence, The Theory of Everything, A Sound of a Voice, and After the War Blues. He currently serves on the board of MediaRites.
Alex Haslett (producing ensemble) is a writer, photographer, and theatre producer. In addition to the many hats he wears assisting with development and marketing for Theatre Diaspora, he also serves full time as a Member Center Representative with Oregon Public Broadcasting, and volunteers as a Young Audience Outreach Committee member with Third Rail Repertory Theatre.
Dmae Roberts has been the executive producer of MediaRites since 1991 and has managed numerous projects. Her Peabody-winning documentary Mei Mei, a Daughter’s Song is a harrowing account of her mother’s childhood in Taiwan during WWII, adapted into a film in 2014. Roberts and MediaRites won another Peabody-award for the eight-hour Crossing East, the first Asian American history series on public radio. Roberts received the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Civil Rights and Social Justice award from the Asian American Journalists Association and was selected as a United States Artists (USA) Fellow. As a theatre artist, she has won two Drammys, one for her acting and one for her play Picasso In The Back Seat, which also won the Oregon Book Award in 1996. She has has performed in and produced dozens of stage plays in her career on Portland stages including the IFCC, Artists Repertory Theatre, OSF-Portland and Tygres Heart Shakespeare Company. She will be featured in Artists Rep’s production of Caught in October 2017.
Jennifer Seung Hancock (producing ensemble) is a performing artist, creator, and an arts advocate. After earning her B.A. in arts management and dance, she moved to Portland for an internship with Disjecta Contemporary Art Center. Currently, she works at NW Dance Project as an Administrative Assistant and Coho Productions as their box office assistant and financial associate.
Lila Yang is a senior at Portland State University and will graduate this fall with her BA in theater with a focus in costume design. Lila is currently the Business Relations Assistant with FashioNXT here in Portland.
Toni Tabora-Roberts (administrative consultant) has worked for nearly 20 years in community engagement, communications, program management, development, and grants administration with a wide range of arts non-profits and media organizations. Her passion and work is rooted in social justice, diversity and equity. She recently founded Esper House, a consultancy and management service firm. She is a lifelong theatre, arts and media nerd and yes, has crafted a thing or two. And when she has a moment, she also writes about things like media, creativity, food, news and being an open adoption mama on her blog: ramblings of a dabbler. Recent clients and creative/community endeavors: Regional Arts & Culture Council, Theatre Diaspora/MediaRites, Unit Souzou, City Club Friday Forum Committee, Asian Pacific Network of Oregon’s Arts & Media Project (AMP), Partners in Diversity Program Committee. Other organizations Toni has worked with include Oregon Public Broadcasting, Business for Culture & the Arts, KBOO Community Radio, Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, Young Audiences, The Asian Reporter, Center for Asian American Media, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Theatre Diaspora Welcomes Two New Associate Members Theatre Diaspora has expanded its membership with two theater arts specialists.
Melissa L. Magaña is a multi-ethnic & multi-talented performer, theatre enthusiast, community believer, and advocate of equity, diversity, and inclusion, particularly in performance arts. She commits her energies to building community, strengthening communities of color through unity, and in using art, music, and creativity to express, educate, and enliven the world. She has a solid background in dance and vocal performance, and continually increasing experience with theatre, film, and commercial acting. Melissa can be seen occasionally in local productions, web commercials, and indie films. She is seeking to further hone her acting abilities, and expand all of her performance outlets–both stage and film. Melissa is an active supporter and volunteer with many community organizations, including: City Club of Portland, Cerimon House, Portland Area Theatre Alliance, Oregon Food Bank, Passion Impact, Backyard Habitats, Theatre Diaspora, and APANO.
Pamela Kristine Santos was born in the Philippines and sharpened to a fine Tagalugan steel in Queens. She is a multidisciplinary artist in writing, audio storytelling, installations, and theater. Pamela co-founded Bitter Melon, a collective of women/femme/nonbinary artists of color in Portland. She also co-founded the radio/podcast show Pacific Underground and was the former executive producer of the feminist program Bread and Roses.
Featured Artists 2017
Featured Artists 2016
Wynee Hu (founding ensemble member)
Tonya Jone Miller
Enrique E. Andrade
Caitlin Fisher Draeger
Featured Artists 2014-2015
Chisao Hata (founding ensemble member)
Heath Hyun Houghton (founding ensemble member)
Wynee Hu (founding ensemble member)
Tonya Jone Miller
Nikki Nojima Louis
Rusty Newton Tennant