2018 CORE ENSEMBLE
DUDLEY COCKE, Artistic Director
Dudley Cocke, now retired, was co-founder and Artistic Director of Roadside Theater. He served in some combination of playwright, dramaturg, and director for all Roadside productions. His teaching residencies include Cornell University, the College of William & Mary, and New York University. A co-founder of Alternate ROOTS, he has served on the boards of Theatre Communications Group and Grantmakers in the Arts, among other national organizations. For creating artistic opportunities for people whose stories are not reflected in mainstream cultural institutions, he received the 2002 Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities.
DONNA PORTERFIELD, Managing Director
Donna is also a playwright who 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. Donna's most recent script is The Future of Letcher County, a youth-led, interview-and-story-circle-generated play about eastern Kentuckians’ search for sustainable lives in their mountain communities at the end of coal mining.
BEN FINK, Ensemble Member
Ben Fink, Roadside’s newest member, 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.