The Ensemble

Meet the artist-administrators who make it all happen.

Photos by Kendall Lauren Shea

Maria Manness

Managing Director

Maria is an enabler of the performing arts through use of her management, building and craft skills, and love of spreadsheets.

Tristan Roberson

Resident Lighting Designer & Technical Director

Tristan Roberson is the Technical Director and Resident Lighting Designer for WET. Tristan has designed with many companies in the Seattle area, including Seattle Shakespeare, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Artwest, Teatro Zinzanni, ACT, Village Theatre, and The 5th Avenue Theatre. His first design with WET was The Edge of Our Bodies at the old Little Theatre on 19th Avenue East in Season 10. Since then, he has designed shows such as Sprawl, The Things Are Against Us, Cherdonna’s Doll’s House, and Teh Internet is Serious Business. Outside WET, he is adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts, a member of United Scenic Artists IATSE Local 829, and an executive producer and designer for various corporate shows and events.

Joceline Hitchcox-Lain

Director of Finance

Joceline is a former stage manager and company manager. Her passion is helping non-profits align their budgets with their values. She loves learning everything people can teach her. In her spare time you’ll find her reading or training JKD.

Ryan Dunn

Resident Graphic Designer

Ryan is a Seattle-based lighting and scenic designer whose work has been seen at Book-it Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre Festival, On the Boards, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Village Theatre Kidstage, ArtsWest, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, and Café Nordo, among others. A proud Seattle native, Ryan graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA in Visual Communication Design in 2014. Ryan is a third-year company member of WET, the Resident Designer for The Horse in Motion, and an affiliate artist with Umbrella Project. Ryan also works as a freelance graphic designer who specializes in working with arts non-profits, and has had the pleasure of working with organizations like Seattle Repertory Theatre, KEXP, MoPOP, Intiman, Teentix, and Seattle Arts and Lectures.

Maggie L. Rogers

Literary Manager

Maggie L. Rogers is a multidisciplinary artist with focus on directing. She is Seattle based and proudly hails from Louisville, Kentucky where she attended the Walden Theatre Conservatory. She is the Artistic Director of Washington Ensemble Theatre, Resident Director at The Horse in Motion, and Cherdonna Shinatra’s Dramaturg.

Sophie Franco

Resident Actor

Sophie Franco (they/them) is a Peruvian-American storyteller & interrupter of the status quo working in the Seattle area. Their foremost professional goal is to create theatrical spaces that reflect the diversity and complexity of our communities, and that value the individual and the artist as a whole. Franco believes that art doesn’t always need to reflect the world as it is, but rather should explore what it could be. They have worked professionally as an actor, director, playwright, dancer, bilingual text coach and teaching artist. Companies Franco has worked with include: The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Village Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Upstart Crow Collective, Burien Actor’s Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, On the Boards, Horse in Motion, Umbrella Project, and Annex Theater.

Rachel Guyer-Mafune

Casting Director & Resident Actor

Rachel Guyer-Mafune is a 4th generation Seattlite, a 2016 graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, and 2018 ACT Core Company member. Past credits include How I Learned to Drive (Strawberry Theatre Workshop), The Wolves (ACT), Howl’s Moving Castle, a New Musical (Book-it Repertory Theatre), Teh Internet is Serious Business (Washington Ensemble Theatre), A Winter’s Tale (Seattle Shakespeare Company), The Lost Girls and Puny Humans (Annex).

Erin Bednarz

Ensemble Member

Erin Bednarz is an interdisciplinary artist who has worked with 40+ arts organizations over the last nine years. She serves as company member with LiveGirls! and Annex Theaters, is on 14/48 Invitations and Gregory Award Nominator committees, and is co-founder of new play accelerator Umbrella Project. Her produced work has gained literary nods from HowlRound, CityArts, and Encore. Erin’s late band Hearts Are Thugs was featured on television network The CW and earned her a 2015 RAW Artist Award. She completed the Intiman Theater Sound Design Apprenticeship in 2016 and has since expanded her designs to national and institutional levels. As a teaching artist, Erin’s knowledge of design and performance has been shared at universities and in communities across Washington state. She is also the dramaturgical component to 4Culture grant recipient ensemble Cheat Day.

Ben Swenson-Klatt

Director of Development

Ben Swenson-Klatt is the Director of Development for Washington Ensemble Theatre and also works in Development at Seattle Rep. They are originally from Minneapolis, MN and graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in Theater and Dance. In addition to WET, they work as a performing artist, producer, choreographer, and arts organizer- having recently performed and worked with Karin Stevens Dance, Dacha Theatre, Beth Terwilleger, The Moving Company at The Guthrie, ARENA Dances, Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, and Leyya Mona Tawil. They have presented original work at the Center for Performing Arts, St. Olaf College, ACDA North-Central Conference, Future Interstates, and at Bearnstow in Mount Vernon, ME. They are an avid biker, and lover of all things coffee/food related.

Elana Lessing

Ensemble Member

Elana Lessing is a technical director and scenic designer based in Seattle and a recent graduate from University of Washington with a specialized degree in Drama Design. Elana has previously designed for UW School of Drama’s CabLab production of Frozen and Ada and the Engine along Undergraduate Theatre Society’s productions of The GoatRemarkably Normal and others. Elana filled the role as technical director for Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE production of Jasper in Deadland, the first production on mainstage since 2020Elana enjoys the challenge of creating art out of unexpected materials and found pieces, playing with space and the interaction between artist and audience, and facilitating stories through those spaces in between. Apart from folding complex, modular origami, Elana is often reading, crocheting, and organizing.

Antonieta Carpio

Production Manager

Antonieta Carpio is a Seattle based multi-disciplinary artist, homegrown in Los Angeles by way of El Salvador. Primarily working in production as a producer and process manager. Antonieta believes in a soft room with open conversation and generosity at the forefront of producing any work and looks to diversify the theater scene here in Seattle by creating spaces with and for the global majority. Antonieta has been published as a storyteller in Teatro Luna’s Audible Original Talking while Female & Other Dangerous Acts back in 2019, publishes a zine every season through the indie brand, @Cryforafry and producers her radio show, QUINCEAÑERA on indie radio station, Moonglow Radio. Currently, you can see her work as an actriz at Tacoma Arts Live in Anna in the Tropics and her prop design work at ArtsWest in This Girl Laughs… 
Lastly, Antonieta is looking forward to being in a collaborative union with WET for seasons to come.

Quinn Chase

Production Manager

Quinn Chase is a stage manager and technical theatre artist from the east coast who is currently based in Seattle. With lifelong experience in his local community theatre, Quinn moved west to pursue a degree and found passion for original work, devising creative solutions to unique problems, and re-imagining theater outside of the capitalist framework we have grown complacent in. Recent Seattle credits include Teenage Dick directed by Malika Oyetimein (SM Apprentice, Seattle Rep), Orfeo ed Euridice directed by Chía Patiño (ASM, Seattle Opera), and the 50th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival (Show Caller for the Roadhouse Channel). Quinn is beyond hyped to be joining the Ensemble!