Executive Director and Founding Artist
Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of the 18 year old national ensemble-based Sojourn Theatre. In 2015, he received an Otto Rene Castillo award for Political Theater and The Robert Gard Foundation Award for Excellence. He is an Institute Professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Insititute for Design & Art and is is author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue. He leads the Center for Performance and Civic Practice where current initiatives include The Catalyst Initiative, Civic Body & Learning Labs. He was the 2013-2016 Doris Duke Artist-in-Residence at Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago.
Recent/Current projects include collaborations &/or productions with Steppenwolf Theater, Bush Foundation, Lincoln Center, Singapore Drama Educators Association, Americans for the Arts, Nashville’s MetroArts, ArtPlace, Cleveland Public Theater, Catholic Charities USA, Cook Inlet Housing Authority Alaska, ASU/Gammage & Goodman Theater.
Managing Director and Founding Artist
Soneela Nankani is Managing Director for Center for Performance and Civic Practice and Sojourn Theatre. As MD, Soneela oversees all financial aspects of the organization and recently guided CPCP through a year in which its operating budget doubled in size. She leads many administrative aspects as well including staff management, operations management and hiring/managing work with consultants. In addition, having over 25 years of experience as a community dialogue facilitator and co-creator/performer in capacity-building and place-based projects, Soneela works at sites all over the country as a dialogue facilitator and thought partner through CPCP’s Civic Body program.
Soneela is also New York-based performer. She was the recipient of Columbia University’s Research Fellowship in Acting, which resulted in a year-long apprenticeship with voice pioneer, Kristin Linklater. Soneela is a prolific audiobook narrator with over 100 titles to date. Her favorite projects include: The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty, The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey, The Rebel of the Sands trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton and Podkayne of Mars by Robert Heinlein.
Director of Design and Founding Artist
Shannon Scrofano is a Los Angeles-based designer whose work includes live and interdisciplinary performance, public dialogues, installation, exhibition, curation and media projects, throughout the US and internationally. She collaborates with communities, organizations and other artists to explore capacity-building and place-based design practices for activating local potential.
In addition to her work as the the Director of Design for the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, she currently teaches at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), was visiting faculty at Brown University in 2015, and has been a guest lecturer / artist-in-residence at more than a dozen institutions including Georgetown, Northwestern, Duke, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and has presented at festivals and conferences including the Prague Quadrennial, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, and the University of Goldsmiths in London.
Program Manager, Catalyst Initiative and Learning Lab
As Program Manager, Rebecca Martinez has provided logistical and programmatic support in addition to mentoring for artist and partner teams for two of CPCP’s core initiatives: Catalyst Initiative and Learning Lab. A Brooklyn-based artist collaborating with CPCP since 2013, Rebecca is also an ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre and has worked as a creator/performer, choreographer, facilitator, teaching artist, and director for multiple national projects including How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes, Finding Penelope, Islands of Milwaukee, On The Table, and the two year Artist-in-Residence collaboration with Catholic Charities. With both CPCP and Sojourn Theatre, her work focuses on cross-disciplinary social and civic practice through co-designed arts-based engagement and invitation strategies. As a theatremaker, Rebecca has worked regionally with companies such as PlayMakers Repertory Company, Signature Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Working Theater, Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, Milagro Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre, INTAR, the 52nd Street Project, the Lark, Young Audiences, and Creative Arts Team. Rebecca served as a Co-Curator of Working Theater’s Directors Salon, is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, INTAR’s Unit52, the Latinx Theatre Commons Steering Committee, an Associate Member of SDC and a 2017 Drama League Director Fellow. She is a recipient of the SPARC and SU-CASA residency awards, the Lilla Jewel Award for Women Artists, and four Portland Theatre Drammy Awards.
Communications and Partnerships Manager
Sara Sawicki is a Chicago-based theatre artist. She is an artistic associate of Sojourn Theatre where she also works as the project coordinator for the touring engagements of Sojourn’s HOW TO END POVERTY in 90 MINUTES. Sara joined the Center for Performance and Civic Practice in 2015. As CPCP’s Partnership/Communications Manager, she supports CPCP partner relationship development, acts as project manager for the expanding Civic Body programming, and coordinates internal and external organization communications. Outside of CPCP and Sojourn Theatre, Sara works as an artist: touring internationally as a performer/puppeteer with Manual Cinema; company member of For Youth Inquiry; recurring youth circus co-director and writer at Actors Gymnasium; cinematic performance capture at NetherRealm Studios; and as a freelance director and performer.
Partners + Advisors
Laura Zabel is executive director of Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development agency whose programs help artists make a living and communities tap into the resource that artists provide. Springboard recently launched a national platform to share stories and resources, and its programs have been replicated in over 50 communities across the country. Its projects also include Community Supported Art, which connects artists directly with patrons; the Artists Access to Healthcare program; and the Irrigate project. Zabel is a 2014 Bush Foundation Fellow and recipient of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Visionary Leader Award.
Animating Democracy is a program of Americans for the Arts, is under the co-direction of Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Pam Korza. Animating Democracy inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change.
Board of Directors
Art of the Rural
Portland General Electric Foundation
Center for Performance and Civic Practice, Sojourn Theatre
Springboard for the Arts
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Nathan Cummings Foundation
The Civic Practice Lab is supported by funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, granted to LookingGlass Theater.