OCTC Featured Artist
Roberta (Ro) Rubin - Costume Design
Roberta, often called "Ro," seems to have a lifelong passion for the stage and performing arts. Her journey began at a very young age, stepping onto the stage at just 3 years old, and she has remained there ever since. The early years in professional ballet have instilled in her a sense of discipline and dedication to the art of producing performances.
Her versatility as a performer is evident in her love for comedic and dramatic theatre, longform improvisation, and stand-up comedy. It's clear that she brings a strong commitment to every project she takes on. Her favorite roles, such as Rabbi Deborah in "The Bar Mitzvah of Jesus Goldfarb" and Officer Reggie in "The Laramie Project," showcase her range and ability to embrace diverse characters.
Not only does Ro thrive in front of the audience, but she also enjoys contributing behind the scenes. Whether wielding a screwdriver and paintbrush backstage or skillfully hemming a gown, she engages in the production side of theatre with as much passion as her performances.
Beyond the world of theatre, Ro has a life filled with compassion and creativity. Her interests include rescuing Dachshunds, showcasing a love for animals, and crafting jewelry and chandeliers, highlighting her artistic side.
The quote from her father at age 11, "Kid. If you don't swing the bat, you'll never hit the ball," reflects a valuable lesson on taking initiative and seizing opportunities. It seems to encapsulate Ro's approach to life, demonstrating her proactive and determined attitude toward her craft and endeavors.
Keith McLendon - Sound Design
Keith's journey into sound design and audio editing is impressive, starting at a young age with a passion for music. The experience of playing in local rock bands at the age of 13 not only likely contributed to his musical skills but also sparked an interest in the technical aspects of recording and capturing sound.
The pursuit of "decent recordings" in those early days is a common challenge for aspiring musicians and often serves as a catalyst for learning about audio engineering. It's evident that Keith has taken this interest to the next level, given his involvement in the crucial elements of sound design and audio editing for OCTC’s productions.
His expanded interests, particularly in co-producing the "Valley Stage Notes" podcast, show a commitment to diverse audio projects. Podcast production involves a range of skills, including scripting, recording, editing, and mastering, all of which contribute to a well-rounded expertise in audio production.
Additionally, Keith's exploration of voice acting adds another layer to his skill set. Voice acting requires a keen understanding of vocal expression, character portrayal, and storytelling—skills that can be directly applied to enhance the audio elements of OCTC’s productions.
It's clear that Keith's multifaceted interests and experiences in audio, from music to podcast production and voice acting, make him a valuable asset to OCTC. His dedication and ongoing development of skills speak to a passion for the art of sound, contributing to the overall success and quality of the productions he's involved in.
Juliana Jackson - Wig Design and Stylist: The Lady with All the Answers
Juliana is originally from San Diego, California. It was there that she first fell in love with theater. She first performed in junior high and continued through high school. Shortly after graduation, she enlisted in the United States Air Force for four years, which brought her to Arizona. While in the Air Force, Juliana performed in the Military Apollo Theatre Company. After her service to the Air Force, she decided to make a shift and go to cosmetology school where she became a hairstylist and makeup artist. Juliana loved the transformative art of hair and makeup and went on to do so for 14 years.
Juliana has three beautiful daughters, Mary, Emily, and Caroline. It was in their preschool and kindergarten classrooms that Juliana made another career shift. She fell in love with the classroom and teaching very young students. She went on to receive a master’s degree in early childhood special education and has been teaching special needs preschool children for the past 20 years.
An opportunity to teach at the Theater Academy for Youth and the theater once again beckoned and Juliana started a performing arts club for her fifth and sixth graders. Juliana believes that the exposure to theater to children at an early age benefits them in so many areas of their life. It gives confidence, teaches compassion and cheering for their peers. It develops skills, like listening and leading others. Allowing children to simply be silly and emotional, daring, and bold affords them a fuller and richer life especially for children with special needs. These children have something to offer the theater world and we need to give them that opportunity!
Juliana has had the honor of winning two AriZoni Awards (Cats and Into the Woods), a National Youth Award (Cats), Mesa Encore Theater award (Annie), and another AriZoni nominee (The Lion King) for hair and makeup designs.
The biggest reward for Juliana however, is working with, teaching, and being a part of a collaborative team of adults, and children of all abilities to bring beautiful art to our community!
Miracle Brooks, originally from the "windy city" of Chicago, found her true affinity for the desert heat. She embarked on her journey at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) in September 2020, where she quickly rose to prominence as a shining star in the PDSD community.
Miracle is deeply involved in the PDSD community and actively participates in various activities. She's a valued member of both the Basketball and Volleyball Teams, showcasing her sportsmanship and teamwork skills.
One of Miracle's standout qualities is her passion for learning languages. She is not only fluent in American Sign Language, a critical skill for her community, but she is also proficient in English. In addition, she has recently embarked on the journey of learning Korean, demonstrating her dedication to expanding her linguistic horizons.
Outside of her academic and athletic pursuits, Miracle finds solace in the arts. She enjoys both drawing and poetry, using these creative outlets to express herself and explore her imagination.
Miracle's aspirations are firmly rooted in the field of medicine. She aspires to attend the Western Maricopa Education Center as a junior to further her studies in the medical field, with the ultimate goal of becoming a nurse. Her commitment to serving others and making a positive impact on people's lives shines through her career choice.
Miracle's hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed, as she was honored with the title of Outstanding Student of the Year at PDSD in the spring of 2023. This recognition reflects her exceptional qualities and contributions to the school community.
In embarking on this new endeavor on stage, Miracle expresses her gratitude to everyone who has made this opportunity possible. She considers it a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and her determination and enthusiasm are sure to shine just as brightly on the stage as they do in all her other pursuits.
Travis Martinez Krohn is a young individual with an interesting background and a range of interests. He was born in Colorado but later moved to Arizona with his family, where he began his education at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf.
Currently, Travis is a senior in high school and is excited about being part of his first theatrical production.
During his time in high school, Travis has discovered a passion for the arts, particularly photography. He enjoys capturing the dynamic energy of downtown areas and the sparkling lights of cities through his photography.
Aside from his involvement in theater and photography, Travis has a keen interest in playing the stock market, which shows his financial acumen and a different aspect of his life.
Travis is appreciative of the support he has received from the cast and crew for his debut in acting. He values teamwork and collaboration. It's clear that he has a diverse range of interests and is actively exploring various avenues in both the arts and finance as he continues his educational journey
Ducati's journey through education and the arts is truly impressive. As a native Arizonian, he has been a part of the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD) since preschool and is set to graduate in May 2024. His early teachers recall him as expressive and willing to take on any challenge, a quality that continues to define him today.
It's clear that Ducati found his passion for acting at a young age when he was cast as Charlie in PDSD's production of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in fourth grade. His ongoing involvement in theater demonstrates his dedication to the performing arts. His willingness to explore various aspects of the arts, including fashion design at Metro Tech High School, showcases his diverse interests and creative talents.
Ducati's involvement in costume design, where he has contributed to the costumes worn by the cast, is a testament to his artistic skills and dedication to his craft. It's wonderful to see his commitment to both the performing and visual arts.
Ducati's acknowledgment of Mark Clemente for his dream and vision of including PDSD in the production of "Children of a Lesser God" speaks to the importance of inclusivity and the power of the arts to bring people from diverse backgrounds together.
Ducati's story is a shining example of how education and the arts can shape and enrich a young person's life, and he is sure to continue making a positive impact in both fields as he graduates and moves forward in his journey.
Sofia's journey is truly inspiring. Born in the Philippines and immigrating to the United States at the age of 7, she has faced unique challenges and opportunities throughout her life. Her diverse educational experiences, from being the only deaf student in a public school to attending the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf with over 250 deaf students, have undoubtedly shaped her perspective and resilience.
Sofia's dedication to both her Filipino and Deaf cultures is commendable. Embracing and celebrating one's cultural heritage is an essential aspect of identity, and Sofia's pride in her background is evident. Her involvement in school productions and acting classes at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf reflects her passion for the arts and her determination to excel despite any obstacles.
It's heartwarming to see that Sofia has role models like Troy Kotsur and Sean Berdy, both talented deaf actors who have made significant contributions to the entertainment industry. Sofia's aspiration to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York with a focus on Liberal Arts and Sciences demonstrates her commitment to education and personal growth. This choice will undoubtedly provide her with valuable skills and experiences for her future endeavors.
Sofia's gratitude towards her mom and her guardian for their unwavering support in her activities at PDSD and within the community highlights the importance of a strong support system in achieving one's goals. Sofia's curious spirit and unwavering drive are qualities that will undoubtedly help her make a meaningful impact wherever her journey takes her. Her story serves as an inspiration to others, showcasing the power of determination and resilience in pursuing one's dreams.
Delaney Smith's journey is truly inspiring and showcases the power of representation in theater. Growing up with a passion for classic movies that were introduced by her favorite aunt. Laney found herself drawn to the world of acting, enamored by the stories, costumes, and sets. When she was ten years old, she noticed the lack of diversity and representation, which she accepts that it is just a pipe dream and never tell a soul about her interest in acting including her own hearing family.
However, with the shift in the entertainment industry towards better representation of Deaf actors, Laney had a glimpse of hope to pursue her dreams and make a change. Despite facing challenges as a Hard of Hearing individual, she immersed herself in her studies, further honing her acting skills. Her determination and the support of her newfound confidence led her to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an actor.
Laney's unique background, with American Sign Language as her first language and English as her second, adds depth to her journey. It highlights the importance of embracing one's identity and using one's strengths to contribute to the arts. As she embarked on this new chapter in her life, Laney's statement, "I will never stop believing in myself, I look forward to the next chapter of my own story," reflects her unwavering determination and optimism.
Her story is a testament to the power of self-discovery, resilience, and pursuing one's passions despite obstacles. As Laney continues her acting career, not only fulfills her dreams but also becomes a beacon of hope and inspiration for others who may have faced similar challenges. Her journey reminds us all of the transformative impact that representation can have on individuals and the broader society.
Cameron Eggers is a California native with a background in theatre and dance. He began performing in these artistic mediums at a young age and later pursued a Bachelor's degree in Dance and American Sign Language. This unique combination of disciplines allowed him to connect with the Deaf Community in Sacramento, where he discovered a strong interest in theatrical interpreting.
His time in the Deaf Community deepened his passion for using American Sign Language as a means of expressive communication. This expressive and evocative nature of ASL resonated with him, inspiring him to explore further. He then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he not only continued his work as a professional ASL interpreter but also took the stage himself. He was involved in performances with notable organizations such as Arizona Opera and Phoenix Theatre Company, showcasing his talents in both interpreting and performing.
A significant milestone in Cameron Eggers' journey is his debut with the Order Chaos Theater Company. This moment marked the culmination of years spent pursuing his lifelong passions for both Theater and American Sign Language. Cameron acknowledges that his proficiency in American Sign Language is a gift given to him by many individuals he encountered throughout his journey. He expresses deep gratitude for being able to contribute to storytelling that goes beyond his personal experience, touching on universal themes that resonate with a broader audience.
Cameron's story highlights the powerful intersection of art, language, and culture. His journey from California to Arizona, from interpreter to performer, and from local performances to the stage of Order Chaos Theater Company demonstrates his dedication to his craft and his commitment to bridging the gap between the hearing and Deaf communities through the medium of theatre and American Sign Language.
Ace's journey from a small-town-to-big-city upbringing, to pursuing a career in theater in Las Vegas and New York is a testament to his passion for the performing arts. After finding his love for theater in high school, he decided to further his education at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, earning his Associate's degree.
Throughout his career, Ace’s talents have been recognized in the New York Festivals, where he performed in "Grand Prairie, TX." He has been involved in various productions, ranging from performances like "Mamma Mia" with the Huntsman's and "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" in Las Vegas.
On "American Idol" during Hollywood Week –
Ace, was one of the few select Hard of Hearing Singers to proceed to this round.
A heartfelt message from Ace expresses his gratitude and love for the people who have been a part of his life journey. He acknowledges those he has recently met since moving from Idaho and those he has known in Las Vegas, even if they occasionally get on his nerves. He extends his appreciation to his family, roommates, and good friends, especially David and Jason.
His deepest affection goes out to his sister, Angel Gilliam, and his nephew, Jayden. Their bond holds a special place in his heart, and he cherishes them dearly. Ace's words reflect the importance of relationships and connections in his life, both personally and professionally.