Front Line Theatre

Ara Glenn-Johanson | Matthew Sergi | Lauri Smith | Randy Symank


Ara Glenn-Johanson is a maker/performer/dancer/vocalist obsessed with unexpected virtuosity, energetic outbursts, rigorous craft, real listening, and grand silence. Her original performance compositions have been shown in SF at venues including ODC, CounterPULSE, Dance Mission Theatre, The Garage, and SOMArts. She has been seen in The Lily’s Revenge by Taylor Mac (Mary Prime Love) at The Magic Theatre, Trolley Dances 2010 with Epiphany Productions SDT, Romeo & Juliet (Lady Capulet) and Twelfth Night (Olivia) at Impact Theatre, Glory Glory (Margery Kempe) with Front Line Theatre, The Magik*Magik Orchestra (Women’s Choir) at the Palace of Fine Arts and SFMOMA, Sextuple Indemnity (Maggie) in the NYCFringe, and Equus (Horse) at CharasNYC (which she stills lists in her bio because she loved it so damn much). Upcoming projects include the international tour of Mugmumpin’s This Is All I Need, Epiphany Productions’ Heeliomali at ODC Theatre, and choreographing Front Line Theatre’s Rare Earth. She holds a BFA in drama (NYU/Tisch – ETW & CAP21), studying under Stephen Wangh, Mary Overlie, and KJ Holmes, and an MFA in acting (UCD).

Matthew Milo Sergi generates performance, poetry (especially for use in performance), playscripts, and scholarly publications. BFA: NYU/Tisch (Drama and English, Minor in Applied Theatre).  Ph.D.: UC Berkeley (English and Medieval Studies). Soon to be a Professor of English at Wellesley College, Matt is in the process of turning his dissertation (recipient of the Medieval Academy of America’s Schallek Grant) into a book on medieval religious drama.  His play, GLORY GLORY, received the Fort Mason In Performance Grant for production in the Northside Theatre last year.  Meanwhile, especially in collaboration with his partner Ara Glenn-Johanson, Matt has contributed (as a textmaker and performer) to a series of short dance-theatre performances in the SF Bay area.

Lauri Smith is an award-winning actor, playwright, director and educator with over thirty years experience in theatre.  Lauri has performed at many theatres across the country; from Theatre Works in Mountain View to the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.  She holds an MFA from UC Davis and became a certified Associate Instructor of Fitzmaurice Voicework® in January of 2009.  Her work as an instructor focuses on the importance of the Authentic Self and the development of a connected body-voice in actor-training while her performance work focuses on creating and embodying strong, diverse female characters.  Her solo work, “Gasping for BreaDth”, won the 2007 Ellen Hansen Memorial prize for demonstrating the bravery and independence of women.

Randy Symank is a director, educator, and arts manager whose research is in new play development, theatre for audiences aged 18-35, and community-based performance.  Symank has directed and assistantdirected for a variety of theatre, opera, and dance companies in both California and Texas.  From 2004 to 2006, he was the artistic director of Unhinged Productions, a LGBT theatre company in Houston.  Recent directing credits include Glory Glory (World Premiere – Front Line Theatre, SF); Our Story (devised work), Novio Boy (The Marsh Youth Theater, SF); Measure for Measure, Woyzeck (original adaptation), and Cymbeline (UC Davis); The Long Christmas Ride Home (winner of a CURVE Magazine Theatre Award), Our Journey (World Premiere), Raised in Captivity, and Laura’s Bush (Unhinged Productions); and By the Bog ofCats (Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company, Houston), among others. He has taught at UC Davis and CSUEast Bay, and performed educational outreach for the Alley Theatre, Marsh Youth Theater, and Mondavi Center.  After receiving his MFA in Dramatic Art (Directing) from UC Davis, Symank has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area and manages the local companies Epiphany Productions sonic dance theater, JessCurtis/Gravity Inc., and the Institute of Poetic Medicine.  Symank is a founding company member of FrontLine Theatre and a member of the City of Emeryville’s Public Art Committee.


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