Blood Ensemble

Making Theatre Essential

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From Actor to Designer… by Adria LaMorticella

Adria LaMorticella is a Blood Ensemble company member, and has been seen in Blood/Sailing, 30 Hours and Barn Show. She is costume designer for NDGM.

In all of the past projects I’ve collaborated on with Blood Ensemble I have been primarily an actor. In NDGM, however, I’ve gotten the opportunity to stretch some other theatre muscles which were getting pretty stiff from unuse. Those muscles being the costuming muscles.

Reaching into the depths of my brain about renderings and button sewing has actually been a nice change.

It’s interesting to approach a collaborative process with slightly different eye. I find myself focusing less on myself during moment work and more on the show as a whole since my job is to create an over all aesthetic as opposed to character development.  And hey, thinking about others is always positive. Continue reading

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Tips for the Devising Director

Tips for the Devising Director, from Emily Harvey (director of NDGM, Barn Show and 30 Hours):

Good ideas are inherently stronger than bad ideas.

A question from an observer is the greatest gift you can receive.

Kill your idols and your babies.

Time is your friend.

Try it, don’t talk about it.

Do something physical at the beginning of rehearsal to shake off your day.

The more scared you are of doing something, the more rewarding the pay off will be.

Fix a problem every day.

Surround yourself with people who will debate with you.

Remember what the audience doesn’t know.

Theatre is always made better by collaboration.

You will learn something new everyday, so never think you have it figured out.

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Zachary Hewell

Personal Manifesto: Ingenuity Always.

Zachary Hewell fell in with Blood Ensemble after getting a role in Blood/Sailing, having answered their audition call because it sounded like a bunch of weirdos doing something that could be really awesome; and so it was. Two years of intermittent contact later he was invited to join the company officially, and is really happy with how that’s been going.

Zachary is a graduate of the Original Works program at Cornish College of the Arts and a true (aspiring) multi-disciplinarian, counting himself with varying degrees of aptitude and success as an actor, playwright, director, dancer, performance/installation/visual artist, raving idiot, and whatever else seems exciting at the moment. He is especially intrigued by movement based performance, duration/exertion, nature, logic, confusion, marrying art with science and mathematics, making things by hand, and perpetrating sneaky tricks. He really really likes the work of Alexander Calder.

Zachary grew up in Olympia, WA, moved to Seattle for college, and doesn’t have any real plans to leave the area any time soon, preferring to push an agenda of growing and evolving the culture here rather than moving away to somewhere that has “more to offer”. He is especially keen on encouraging and fostering new work from new generations of playwrights and arts creators, which can be ugly and exhausting and ultimately the most worthwhile exercise imaginable. When he isn’t working on arts things, Zachary can usually be found off somewhere climbing mountains or riding bicycles, both of which take up almost as much time as theatre.

Credits with Blood Ensemble include Barn Show (co-director, co-writer, actor), Baba Yaga(actor), 30 Hours – Don’t Grow Up, It’s a Trap (actor), Blood/Sailing (actor).

Other credits include A Compelling Unknown Force (Pony World/On The Boards), Woyzeck,Dracula and Macbeth (Key City Public Theater), The Skriker (Ghost Light Theatricals), The Misanthrope (Eclectic Theater Co.).sunnymtn woyzeck photo

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Adria LaMorticella

Personal Manifesto: Strive to create theatre inspiring enough to compel others to create art themselves.


After graduating from Western Washington University in 2008, Adria came to Seattle to intern as a teaching artist at the Seattle Children’s Theatre and has lived and performed here ever since. She has been a company member of Blood Ensemble since 2013 but has been a long time collaborator and friend of the co-founders.

Seattle acting credits includeEd, Downloaded (Washington Ensemble Theatre), Owen Meany’s Christmas Pageant (Book-It Rep), Cat in the Hat (Seattle Children’s Theatre), Blood/ Sailing (Blood Ensemble), King Arthur and the Knights of the Playground (Balagan Theatre),Suffering Inc. (Pony World Theatre), Paper Bullets(Ghostlight Theatre), The Misanthrope(Eclectic Theatre Co.), and Comedy of Errors (GreenStage).

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Momenting Phase is probably my favorite phase of Blood Ensembles’ process.

Zack Hewell brought in this moment. "Zack dances with dress"

Zack Hewell brought in this moment. “Zack dances with dress”

Our Ensemble gets to come into a room and put ideas up on theirfeet. Ideas that we had in the spur of a moment, images we’ve seen in dreams, vaguely thought of concepts that we desperately need to see translated to an audience.

 The Ensemble comes in with their “homework.”  As an actor, you learn how to specifically ask questions of your Moment Director to get their vision represented accurately… questions like, “do you want me to walk in this straight line neutrally or do I have a sad feeling about walking towards the unknown?” To which, your Moment Director will respond, “I hadn’t thought about it. I think sad… but sad AND hopeful because I want that unknown to be something the audience looks forward to.”

In that room, everyone is a director, an actor,  a writer and a designer.

Here's a piece of Brittni's "3 eras" moment with Timmy, Jesse and Zack.

Here’s a piece of Brittni’s “3 eras” moment with Timmy, Jesse and Zack.

For Barn Show, we learned a lot during our Momenting Phase. We learned that Moments constructed in the barn felt much different than moments constructed in various rehearsal spaces in Seattle. We learned that the walls of the barn were talking to us through these moments… we realized that moments that spoke to us seemed to be “of the barn” somehow. It feels as though when everyone agrees on a moment, that moment seems to be a part of the wood that constructed the barn, part of the foundations holding it up, part of the memories that any building can hold. It feels like we’re dancing in Dumbldore’s pensieve of memories and when we create, we pull out a few… and somehow? We know when we’ve got one.

It feels magical.

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Megan Jackson – Co-Artistic Director

Specializing in Acting and Company Management

Personal Manifesto

Theatre is the sport of aggressive curiousity.


Megan wants to make potent, efficient, thriving, vibrant, hit it theatre that invites people to experience the medium as something they don’t simply appreciate or tolerate, but as something that is essential. Since graduating from Western Washington University in 2008 she’s worked as an actor in Seattle and now focuses primarily on creation and performance within Blood Ensemble as a co-artistic director and Pony World Theatre where she is an artistic partner. With an educational emphasis on physical theatre and the devising of new works, she strives to bring something new and reveal it to be necessary through medium melding and collaborative creation. Speaking of collaborative creation, she loves working with the Bloodies…she loves it hard. Acting Credits: Suffering Inc.- Irene (Pony World Theatre), Was Is Will Be Music- Luz (Arts Crush 2010), Pterodactyls- Emma, Macbeth- Lady Macbeth (WWU) Blood/Sailing- The Girl, Nevermore- Valerie (Blood Ensemble)

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Dayo Anderson

Personal Manifesto: Create the Art you want to see.383154_901882288760_1332065121_n



After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Theatre Arts, Dayo moved to Seattle with one goal: to do good art. As a self-proclaimed Actor/Director/Producer, she tried her hand at many different jobs theatrically in the theatre scene. She’s been credited as Director, Actor, Tour Manager, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Ensemble Member, and even Playwright. She loved it all but something was missing.

Dayo Anderson

Dayo Anderson

A professor from her alma mater was gathering a group of willing students to learn from The Tectonic Theatre Project (writers of The Laramie Project). The training was an eye opening experience. It suddenly gave a reason behind all of the titles Dayo had been working under. In this process, the creator is required to be a little bit of a director, a little bit of an actor, a little bit of a tour manager etc. Because of this process training, an idea that had been germinating in Dayo’s brain suddenly became a reality.

That idea was the basis for Blood/Sailing, Blood Ensemble’s first show. Upon returning from this training with Emily Harvey and Megan Jackson, the three ladies decided to doBlood/Sailing and see if they had the chops to make it as a theatre company. They launched into an experimental rehearsal process and haven’t looked back. Being able to be all different versions of her artist self has allowed Dayo and Blood Ensemble the ability to really generate meaningful work. And Dayo is proud to say that Blood Ensemble is officially here to stay.

Blood Ensemble is the outlet that Dayo has to create the work that lives inside her imagination in a way she’s never seen before in Seattle theatre. That said? You can still see her on stages throughout Seattle honing her craft, meeting new artists, and hoping to spark a conversation with a stranger about the real reason we are all artists.1426463_10100682274293900_409723706_n


Acting: Gone Wild, The Libertini’s at Annex Theater, The Taming, at ArtsWest, Hamlet, at Ghost Light Theatricals, Nevermore, Blood Ensemble, The American Family, EastWest Project, Wenceslas Square, Cornish College of the Arts

Directing: A Sage of Baba Yaga, Blood Ensemble at Battle of the Bards, Blood/Sailing¸ Blood Ensemble, British Arts Tour, Western Washington University, Songs for a New World, Student Theatre Productions