Dudley Cocke (retired), Artistic Director of Roadside Theater for the past 40 years and former Interim Director of Appalshop, is a stage director, writer, and media producer. He has taught theater at NYU and Cornell University, and his essays have been widely published, most recently in An Ideal Theatre: Founding Visions for a New American Art (TCG Books). In 2015, Routledge published two books that included his writing: Routledge Companion to Art and Politics, and The Roles of Art and Culture in Community Change. Dudley is a board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and the recipient of the 2002 Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities.
Donna Porterfield, Managing Director, also works on Roadside artistic projects. She served as playwright for Roadside's Thousand Kites and Voices from the Battlefront, and recently produced a community cultural development residency in Albuquerque, New Mexico in collaboration with Media Literacy Project, La Placita, Young Women United, and El Cuentro De Igualdad Y Derechos, that resulted in the creation of a performance, "From School House to Jail House." She is the producer of Roadside’s ongoing, 30-year collaboration with traditional Native American artists in Pueblo Zuni, New Mexico. Contact: [email protected]
Ben Fink, heads up the Performing Our Future (POF) initiative, a national, multiracial, rural-urban, grassroots-led coalition working through culture to build power toward a future where we own what we make. Ben has previously organized with faith, labor, and homeless organizations in Minnesota and Connecticut; directed youth theater and creative writing programs in rural southern New Jersey; served as dramaturg on the German premieres of several Broadway musicals; and served on the board of directors of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc. His writings on culture, education, and organizing have been published by the National Endowment for the Arts, Salon.com, Moyers & Company, HowlRound, and ArtPlace America. Contact; [email protected]
Ron Short, playwright, composer, performer, claims to be retired. However, he developed and continues to work in Roadside’s six-county local program. Grounded in vibrant central Appalachian music and storytelling traditions, the program helps young and old alike master and re-imagine their cultural heritage within 21st century realities of daily life. Ron performs regularly with his musical group "Ron Short and the Possum Playboys," and serves on the boards of The Tri-State Singing Convention and The Gathering in the Gap Festival.
AND A TRIBUTE AND THANKS TO ROADSIDE THEATER'S PAST ENSEMBLE MEMBERS!
(in alphabetical order according to last name)
Big Dave Adams, Ken Adams, Larry Adams, Don Baker, Tommy Bledsoe, Amy Brooks, Jerry Calvert, Tamara Coffey, Lana Combs, Anita Craft, Kay Craft, Dee Davis, Angelyn DeBord, Scott Faulkner, Jeff Hawkins, Jeff Hooper, Zhivko Illieff, Charlie Ingles, Valeria Ison, Rema Keene, Mark Kidd, Jeff Kiser, Ben Mays, Kim Neal Mays, Marsha McIntosh, Nell Meade, Jane Moody, Billy Gene Mullins, Myrtle Mullins, Scott Mullins, Donna Potter, Anna Belle Mullins Puckett, Matt Salter, Dorothy Shaw, Gary Slemp, Nancy Jeffrey Smith, Frankie Taylor, Carol Thompson, Michael (Badhair) Williams, Dudley Wilson, Jack Wright, and Kathy Wright.