“ Theatre can help us build our future,
rather than just waiting for it.”
Director of Artistic Development
Blake is an artist and educator, whose work is “broadening the definition of theater” (New York Times, 2014). He created and produced Play/Date Off-Broadway with seventeen contributing playwrights including Tony Award winner Greg Kotis, Claire Kiechel, and Catherine Lacey in a production that "pushes boundaries – both artistic and personal – and takes theater one step further in the process” (Time Out New York).
Following the success of Play/Date, Blake was commissioned by New York University to develop and direct Hall Pass, an immersive musical for high schools featuring new works by artists including Elizabeth Irwin, Chad Beckim, Zoe Sarnak, Gabriel Jason Dean, and David Dabbon.
Hall Pass has since been produced at schools in New York and California and was featured as part of the inaugural Future of Storytelling Festival in 2016.
As a director or designer, Blake’s work has been seen in New York City at Dixon Place, 3-Legged Dog, The New Victory Theater, Theatre Row, La Mama E.T.C., and MCC Theater; and in San Diego at La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and Cygnet Theatre, among others. His projection design for Sunday in the Park with George received the 2016 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle award for Outstanding Design. Most recently, Blake directed Mystifique, a devised performance based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe that included dance, original music, physical theater, and puppetry.
Much of Blake’s work is community-based, and exists at the intersection of performance and activism. Untold, a verbatim play examining the mental health crisis in America, is based on over 150 interviews with individuals whose lives have been impacted by mental illness—from therapists and social workers to combat veterans battling PTSD and survivors of suicide. The production was the plenary performance of the 2017 International Forum on Ethnodrama and won the Dunn-Rankin Award for New Work at the 2017 San Diego Fringe Festival. Other verbatim plays include Prism, a meditation on identity politics and intersectionality; Biting the Bullet, created in partnership with military cadets to consider gun rights and gun violence; and a new play currently in development in collaboration with Yalla and Somali Family Services exploring the lives of refugees in San Diego.
As an educator, Blake has designed educational programming for organizations that include The New Victory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, New York University, New Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Tribeca Film Festival, and Invisible Children in Northern Uganda. Currently, he facilitates playwriting residencies at City Heights Community Center and Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), a facility that provides wraparound services for veterans facing homelessness and substance abuse.
Blake is an alumnus of Tisch School of the Arts, and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, both at New York University.
Catherine Hanna Schrock
Director of Community Development
Catherine is an Applied Theater Practitioner, which unites her roles as activist, educator, performer, and writer. She works as both an artist and a facilitator to design creative programming for social engagement, community development, and social justice with an emphasis on performance-based teaching and learning methods in professional, educational, and community settings.
As an artist-facilitator, she works with numerous local and international organizations including the Global Immersion Project, where she serves as a learning curator in a conflict transformation program based in Palestine and Israel. Previously, Catherine spent six years developing and directing Invisible Children’s Teacher Exchange program, which brought educators from northern Uganda and North America together for cultural exchange and reflection on best practices. She also founded Arts for Life, a girls' empowerment and arts program in Kibera, Kenya.
Currently, in collaboration with the Center for Justice and Reconciliation of Point Loma Nazarene University, Catherine designed and facilitates an interactive, Forum Theater performance based on the techniques of Augusto Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed. Created in partnership with a diverse team of trafficking experts including sex trafficking survivors, advocates, the San Diego Country Office of Education, and Child Welfare Services, the project was developed to raise awareness of human trafficking in San Diego and promote prevention among youth and families.
As an educator and teaching artist, Catherine works with the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Coronado School of the Arts, Arts for Learning and other community organizations to facilitate creative programming addressing community- building, theater for social change, arts integration, and conflict transformation. She provides artistic residencies focused on theater and human development for the Las Colinas Women's Detention Center and East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, as well as overseeing an annual girls' empowerment program in collaboration with the Girls Scouts of the USA.
Catherine holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Theater from New York University and a BA in Sociology and International Development.