Jon Kellam, Co-Artistic Director

Jon Kellam is currently co-artistic director and co-founding member of Zoo District Theatre, a resident director and member of the Actors’ Gang, and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre LA three critically acclaimed theatre companies in Los Angeles.
Theatre companies he has worked with nationally include Steppenwolf, The Organic Theatre, New Crime, The National Jewish Theatre, American Blues Theatre, Absolute Theatre, Baliwick, Chicago Actors Ensemble, Strawdog in Chicago. Playwrights Horizons, PS 122, Lincoln Center, Circle in the Square, Workhouse Theatre in New York City. The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Open Fist, Sacred Fools, EST LA, Actors’ Gang, Zoo District, Theatre Theatre, REDCAT in Los Angeles and The Powerhouse Theatre in Brisbane Australia.

Directing credits in Los Angeles; at the Actors’ Gang, Tartuffe, Drums In The Night, The Exonerated, national tour, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine which also toured nationally and to Brisbane Australia. Kellam assisted Simon Abkarian on Loves Labours Lost. For The Edge-of-the-World Theatre Festival, The Ass by Parviz Sayyad. For Zoo District he directed and co-created the award winning production of Nosferatu… Angel Of The Final Hour, and co-directed and co-created Home…The Search For The Lost Tablet Of Ur. For Theatre Theater served as fight director on Beggars In The House Of Plenty, directed by Larry Moss and also served as fight coordinator and movement consultant for the Ruskin Group production of Cowboy Mouth in Santa Monica, and Orpheus Descending at Theatre Theater. In New York City, Kellam directed and co-created Monsoon Child at the Harold Clurman. He co-developed and directed The Artists Dream in Krakow, Poland, written and performed by Ewa Boryczo, to be performed in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, in Summer 2010.

Mr. Kellam has taught numerous acting and performance workshops including a Commedia dell Arte workshop at Playwrights’ Horizons in New York City from 1992-1993. Jon taught theatre and Commedia dell Arte at The Los Angeles County High School from 2001 to 2009 and teaches currently as an adjunct professor-visiting artist at Cal State University Los Angeles where he directed Imaginary Invalid, and Occidental College.
Jon is a physical theatre trained actor and his acting credits include creating the role of Cousin Brandon in the Willow Cabin Tony nominated production of Wilder, Wilder, Wilder in NYC and numerous productions at Zoo District. For Actors’ Gang he performed in the national tour of Embedded by Tim Robbins and the world premiere of The Exonerated written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. Film and television credits include Judging Amy, West Wing and Flags Of Our Fathers directed by Clint Eastwood.

Mr. Kellam received a B.A. Summa Cum Laude in theatre at Lawrence University. He completed the professional acting program at Circle In The Square in NYC. He trained with New Crime Productions in Chicago, and the Actors Gang, two theatre companies specializing in a contemporary derivative of Commedia dell Arte. In the summer of 2008 Kellam received a Surdna Fellowship to study ‘clown’ based on the pedagogy of Jacque Lecoq and Yves Lebreton, with Philip Radice of Altelier Teatro Fisico and Andrea Casaca artistic director of Teatrocart in Torino and Castelfiorentino Italy.

Charles Otte, Co-Artistic Director

Charles Otte has over twenty years experience creating award-winning content for theatre, attractions, special events, and multi-media venues.  Originally a theatre director, Otte also attended graduate school in film production at the University of Southern California where he received the John Huston award for directing excellence.  As a professional, he has worked with a diverse clientele including Monty Python Productions, A&E Television, HDTV, the Sundance Institute, Roger Corman Films, BRC Imagination Arts, ShoConcepts, Sentosa Leisure Group, Boston Brewery, Lincoln Center, George P. Johnson Co., NASCAR, TEA, IAAPA, the Alliance Theatre, Martha Graham Dance Company, the Guthrie Theatre, and others.  He is currently developing a program in Integrated Media with Live Performance at the University of Texas at Austin.

In New York Otte was an assistant to directors Andrei Serban and Robert Wilson before starting his own company, Project III Ensemble Theatre, at the Ohio Theatre in Soho.  The Village Voice said of Otte’s work, “The beauty and ingenuity of his visuals are rarely matched on any budget.”  In 1984, Mr. Otte began an association with Oscar nominated composer, Philip Glass, and later directed Mr. Glass’s multi-media opera La Belle et La Bete, which received its premier at The Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  Additional work with Mr. Glass included staging the international tour of Einstein on the Beach (for Robert Wilson), staging the Lincoln Center production of Songs from Liquid Days, staging The Civil Wars at Carnegie Hall (again for Robert Wilson), and staging Mr. Glass’s opera The Juniper Tree (for Andrei Serban) at the Houston Opera.

Other New York productions include Flood by Guntar Grass, Moliere’s Imaginary Invalid, Brecht’s Baal, Mikhail Bulgokov’s Bliss, The Cuchulain Cycle (based on the writings by W.B. Yeates), and the multi-media production This is a Test.  In Los Angeles, work includes Travesties by Tom Stoppard (LA Weekly Award Winner for best direction), Bulgakov’s Flight, Brecht’s Threepenny Opera, Gozzi’s King Stag, James Joyce’s The Dead, David Rabe’s Goose and Tomtom, and new plays by Bradley Smith, Steven Haworth, Rick Pagano, and John Bishop.  In 2009 he produced the First Look Festival for the Open Fist Theatre (Los Angeles), premiering work by Julie Hebert, Neil Labute, Steven Haworth, Francis Ya-Chu Cowhig, and Karen Hartman. His productions have received multiple LA Weekly and Ovation nominations.

Otte also produced and directed the CD-ROM game, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail and was named one of the Top 100 producers of 1996 by AV-Multimedia Producer magazine.  From 1997 to 2000 he produced the Los Angeles Screenplay Reading Series for The Sundance Institute, as well as developing scripts for The Mojave Group.  His screenwriting and film directing credits include Blind Faith, and I am Not a Ghost for Click Productions (Roger Corman), NASCAR: Countdown to Sunday for A&E television, and Beer Nutz for HDTV.   In 2009, Otte worked as a writer/show director in the design and concept phase for the Marvel Theme Park in Dubai, UAE.  Additional theme park work can be seen in Seoul, Korea at Lotte World where the Adventures of Sinbad is now running, and in Donkey’s Knight Club at the soon to be open Resorts World (Universal Singapore).

In 1999 Mr. Otte joined BRC Imagination Arts in Burbank, California, and directed The Star of Destiny, for the State History Museum in Austin, Texas.  The production combines elements of film and live theatre in a 250 seat house and plays over 10 shows daily, 365 days a year.  In 2005 Otte finished work on the design and direction of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.  Otte spent 4 years working with a team of writers and designers to create a unique museum that focuses on the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.  This 98,000 sq. foot building includes traditional museum displays of high security items such as the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as two different 300 seat theatres, various interactive elements, and a thematic walk-through experience that traces the course of Lincoln’s life.  Otte directed five major shows for the museum, and oversaw the production of all media, original art, music, graphics, and displays.

Additional work in mixed media includes creating large scale events for conventions and directing awards shows.  In 2002 Otte received the TEA Award for Outstanding Achievement for The Star of Destiny, in 2006 he received the TEA Award as a creative director for the Lincoln Museum, and in 2007 he received the LA Weekly award for best comedy direction for Travesties.

Charles Otte spends any free time he can muster playing music with his friends.  His jazz and bluegrass fiddle can be heard on a number of CDs and on the soundtrack to the Sam Raimi film, THE GIFT.

HP Trauschke, Artistic Associate

Born 1965 in Germany
Lives and works in Berlin, Los Angeles and Glengarriff
1983 – 1989 Educated in acting and directing at Studio Theatre, Munich. Training with: Gunnar Petersen (directing and acting), Beles Adam (acting), Martin Sperr (dramaturgy) Also working with Rainer Wiesernes as assistant stage designer at Academy of Arts, Munich
1990 – 1993 Founding and managing of the EX libris Theatre in Munich
1993 Re-locate to Dresden to the European Workshop for Art and Culture, Hellerau. Setting up EXit production
1997 Re-locate to Berlin
2004 First studies of „Seven from Heaven“ at Los Angeles Art Fest, 1st July 2005
2007 – 2009 Founding and managing of the Engelbrot Theatre in Berlin

Since 1983
About 4000 shows including „Betrayed – Yesterday on a sunny afternoon“ (Avantgarde Festival, Amsterdam)
31 stage sets including „The long night of Thomas Bernhard“ Thomas Bernhard Festival, Berlin
14 stage-directions including „I, Feuerbach“ from Tankred Dorst for the Presentation of the Büchner Prize at the Gasteig in Munich
32 Theatre productions including „Danton lives!“ after Georg Büchner at the Japanese Palais in Dresden 18 Art productions including „Basic Colours“ together with Paul Heimnach for Lille, European City of Culture and „Wænde” memorizing the wall 1989, Berlin
HP Trauschke, initiator of the Blue Box, has been a freelance theatre director since 1990. In 1997, his Dresden artwork, the Wall or Waende was declared as the most spectactular art project in the city by more than 180 articles in the media. His interpretation of the theatre production “The long night of Thomas Bernhard”, was rated by the ORF television network as the climax of the Thomas Berhard festival.