Melissa Schenter, Actor

Melissa is a graduate of Western Washington University where she double majored in Cultural Anthropology and Theater. She originally reigns from Eastern Washington, but likes to think of herself as a Pacific Northwesterner at heart. She is currently the Performing Arts Staff member for five different locations at the Boys and Girls Club of the Portland Metropolitan Area, and in her spare time enjoys hiking, singing, mandolin-ing, painting, sculpting, and many other forms of art-ing and crafting. One of her main goals in life is to become a Creative Ethnographer. Favorite past roles include "Feste" in Twelfth Night, "Siri" in Soapbox (both WWU), "Dorthy" in Let's Misbehave (Idaho Repertory Theater), and "Katha/Kathy" in Maple and Vine (Coho Theater). Melissa is truly honored and thrilled to be one of Portals founding members, and cannot wait for the adventures that await the company.

Jenessa Raabe, Production Manager

Jenessa is very excited to join Portal Theatre!  Her recent adventures include two regional tours with Rainbow Dance Theatre.  She's worked locally in the Portland area at theatres such as Broadway Rose, Lakewood, and Public House Theatre Company.  She is a recent graduate of Western Oregon University and holds a BFA in technical theatre with an emphasis in Stage Management.

Kimberly Wilson, Actor

Kimberly is a graduate of Western Oregon University where she received her B.S. in Theatre Arts with a minor in The Arts. Since graduating Kim has solely pursued devised theatre. She finds herself drawn to shows where she can exercise all of her creative outlets including researching, writing, and performing. Kimberly wants to continue a career in theatre for social change, and is particularly interested in writing and producing shows about women in the STEM subjects. Her focus is to bring more attention to the fact that the Arts and the Sciences are not mutually exclusive. Her 9 to 5 job is doing accounting and sales for a large Oregon based restaurant which plays in well with her love of numbers, and her love of people.  

Meet the Company!

Michael Phillips. Artistic Director

Michael is delighted to pursue this grand and adventurous journey called Portal Theatre!  He has been a stage director for 30 years, directing more than 50 scripted and devised plays, both professionally and at the university level.  While loving the traditional theatre, he is equally dedicated to the idea that artists can make their own work, creating the life they want in the theatre, and began Portal Theatre as a way to put that into action.  For his day job, he is a Professor in the Theatre and Dance department at Western Oregon University, where he teaches Theatre History, Directing, Musical Theatre and more.


Sarah Cotter. Actor

Sarah Cotter is a 2017 graduate from Western Oregon University where she participated in the honors program, majored in the theater, and minored in dance. During her four years at the university, she acted in many theatrical productions including a new work, a musical, and Shakespeare (Valley Shakespeare Company 2015, 2016). Cotter provided choreography for the productions As You Like It, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare in Hollywood, and served as dance captain for Cabaret and Pride and Prejudice. 

Lindsay Spear. Intern

Lindsay is an undergraduate at Western Oregon University majoring in theatre, graduating Summer 2018




Mary Phillips. Managing Director

Mary's passion is in connecting people and ideas to turn ideas into reality.  The reality of Portal Theatre is in empowering artists to be play to their own strengths and be the architects of their own careers in theatre.  A physical chemist by training, Mary brings to Portal 15 years of experience in innovation, entrepreneurship, and fundraising gained from years working at Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University  She is excited to be working on the business side of things for Portal Theatre so Michael can concentrate on the artistry of guiding the company members in collaboratively creating great, new works.

Nathaniel Dunaway. Actor

Nathaniel Dunaway is a 24-year-old playwright and filmmaker from Oregon. His plays have been produced at Western Oregon University, his alma mater, and by Candlestick Productions. Dunaway is co-founder of the independent film studio Body in the Window Seat, and writer-director of the 2015 western "Misfortune County." He's attended university in both Ireland and the United States and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from WOU in 2016. This is his first show with Portal Theatre.of Western Oregon University.  

Jade Hobbs Strong, Actor

Jade is a Portland actor and deviser. She graduated from the University of Memphis and has worked with Theatre Vertigo, Post5 Theatre, Anon It Moves, Salt & Sage Productions, Dance Naked Productions, and Action/Adventure Theatre. In her down time (what down time?) Jade enjoys hanging out with her dog, Kennedy, swimming, playing Boggle, and supporting local theatre. She is so glad to be a part of this company and to connected with such inspiring artists. Jade can also be seen in Potty Talk, Portland's funniest web-short series,

Melissa Murray, Actor

Melissa is originally from Memphis, TN. She received her BA in Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, and then toured the country for two years with the Hangar Theatre and the Missoula Children's Theatre. Favorite roles include Dilly in Hungry, (Profile Theatre), Charlotte in Fall of the Band, Season 2 (Action/Adventure), Rachel in Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson (Portland Playhouse) Tamora in Kabuki Titus (Bag & Baggage), Gabriella in Gracie in the Atom (Artist Rep), Essie in You Can't Take It With You (Theatre Vertigo/ Anonymous Theatre), and as a creative ensemble member of GRUB (tEEth). She is also currently developing a one person show and hopes to bring it to Fringe in the future. 

Our Friends
We're a small company, and we couldn't do what we do without the gracious support of some of our friends.  Special thanks go to:

Diane Tarter for all her expertise and help on all of our graphical material for NoBelles, including our logo and posters.

Lance MacCarty for his expertise in designing our graphics and posters for 73 Seconds.

Nate Dunaway for his videography help with our Indiegogo campaign.

And, Western Oregon University, which the company is associated with, where we have access to free rehearsal space and administrative support.

You're all the best!  Thank you!