The Octopus Team

 
A creative producer recognized as a field leader in new play and new musical development, Mara has produced over one hundred productions that have been seen on Broadway (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Translations, Anna in the Tropics, Electra), off-Broadway (Hadestown, Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods, The Brother/Sister Plays, Miss Witherspoon, Crowns, The Laramie Project), at theaters and performing arts centers around the country (BAM, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and others) and internationally (London, South Africa). Plays she has developed and produced have received assorted Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucile Lortel, New York Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and have appeared a total of twelve times on American Theatre Magazine’s annual “Top 10 List of Most Frequently Produced Plays.” She served as Producing Director at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ (1995-2013) and previously produced new play development programs and productions for Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles (1990-1995). She is currently a visiting faculty member for the CalArts MFA Producing program and for Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, and serves on the boards of Tofte Lake Center in Ely, MN and the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund.  She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Medical Anthropology. She founded Octopus Theatricals in 2013. photo credit T. Charles Erickson .  

A creative producer recognized as a field leader in new play and new musical development, Mara has produced over one hundred productions that have been seen on Broadway (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Translations, Anna in the Tropics, Electra), off-Broadway (Hadestown, Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods, The Brother/Sister Plays, Miss Witherspoon, Crowns, The Laramie Project), at theaters and performing arts centers around the country (BAM, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and others) and internationally (London, South Africa). Plays she has developed and produced have received assorted Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucile Lortel, New York Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and have appeared a total of twelve times on American Theatre Magazine’s annual “Top 10 List of Most Frequently Produced Plays.” She served as Producing Director at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ (1995-2013) and previously produced new play development programs and productions for Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles (1990-1995). She is currently a visiting faculty member for the CalArts MFA Producing program and for Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, and serves on the boards of Tofte Lake Center in Ely, MN and the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund.  She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Medical Anthropology.

She founded Octopus Theatricals in 2013.

photo credit T. Charles Erickson

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Mara Isaacs

Founder and Executive/Creative Producer

Ronee Penoi is the Creative Producer for the Welders Playwrights' Collective, winner of Washington DC's John Aniello Award for Best Emerging Theatre Company. She is the founder of Theatre from the District, an effort to support, advance and tour the work of talented generative artists in Washington, DC. Renee also works with the Consensus Building Institute to embed theater practices in their conflict resolution practice in the U.S. and Internationally. Previously, Ronee was the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer-in-Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where she authored A Producing Theatre's Guide to Presenting.  For Woolly, she supported the revised production of Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist. She was part of the inaugural class of New Play Producing Fellows at the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage. Ronee was Assistant Stage Manager for Anna Deavere Smith's national tour of Let Me Down Easy, and assisted Director Michael Greif during the pre-Broadway production of Next to Normal as well as directors Pam McKinnon (A Delicate Balance) and Molly Smith (A Legacy of Light). For The Shakespeare Theatre's 07-08 season, Ronee was the Artistic Fellow, working in casting and dramaturgy. She has been at work on a new musical about Carlisle Indian School titled Indian Stories, supported by the Creative Communities Fund at Cultural DC's Mead Theater Lab. She has been a Commons Producer and contributing writer for Howlround.com. Ronee has a BA in Music with Certificates in Theater and Vocal Performance from Princeton University.

Ronee Penoi is the Creative Producer for the Welders Playwrights' Collective, winner of Washington DC's John Aniello Award for Best Emerging Theatre Company. She is the founder of Theatre from the District, an effort to support, advance and tour the work of talented generative artists in Washington, DC. Renee also works with the Consensus Building Institute to embed theater practices in their conflict resolution practice in the U.S. and Internationally.

Previously, Ronee was the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer-in-Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where she authored A Producing Theatre's Guide to Presenting.  For Woolly, she supported the revised production of Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist. She was part of the inaugural class of New Play Producing Fellows at the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage. Ronee was Assistant Stage Manager for Anna Deavere Smith's national tour of Let Me Down Easy, and assisted Director Michael Greif during the pre-Broadway production of Next to Normal as well as directors Pam McKinnon (A Delicate Balance) and Molly Smith (A Legacy of Light). For The Shakespeare Theatre's 07-08 season, Ronee was the Artistic Fellow, working in casting and dramaturgy. She has been at work on a new musical about Carlisle Indian School titled Indian Stories, supported by the Creative Communities Fund at Cultural DC's Mead Theater Lab. She has been a Commons Producer and contributing writer for Howlround.com. Ronee has a BA in Music with Certificates in Theater and Vocal Performance from Princeton University.

Ronee Penoi

Associate Producer

Bryan is a Producer, Director, Company Manager and all around whatever you need-er.  He was the Assistant Director for the world premiere of the Tony winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the McCarter Theater, Lincoln Center Theater and on Broadway, and the Associate Director for the same production at the Mark Taper Forum in LA, Old Globe in San Diego and Huntington Theater Company.  His directing credits include Coriolanus (Great River Shakespeare Festival, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth (Match; Lit), Alien Sex Comedy (New Light Theater Project); As You Like It, Caroling Through the Woods (Theater Hikes – CO); Pretty, Smart, Poetic (Westport Country Playhouse); Henry V (Great River Shakespeare Festival-SYA) and Urinetown: The Musical in Dallas, TX.  In addition to Vanya and Sonia…, he has served as Assistant Director at several regional theaters including Westport Country Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Arena Stage, Goodman Theater, Dallas Theater Center and the 92Y in New York.  BFA - Southern Methodist University.

Bryan is a Producer, Director, Company Manager and all around whatever you need-er.  He was the Assistant Director for the world premiere of the Tony winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the McCarter Theater, Lincoln Center Theater and on Broadway, and the Associate Director for the same production at the Mark Taper Forum in LA, Old Globe in San Diego and Huntington Theater Company.  His directing credits include Coriolanus (Great River Shakespeare Festival, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth (Match; Lit), Alien Sex Comedy (New Light Theater Project); As You Like ItCaroling Through the Woods (Theater Hikes – CO); Pretty, Smart, Poetic (Westport Country Playhouse); Henry V (Great River Shakespeare Festival-SYA) and Urinetown: The Musical in Dallas, TX.  In addition to Vanya and Sonia…, he has served as Assistant Director at several regional theaters including Westport Country Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Arena Stage, Goodman Theater, Dallas Theater Center and the 92Y in New York.  BFA - Southern Methodist University.

Bryan Hunt

Production Coordinator