The Company

PowerOut was formed when ten theatre artists met during a blackout. We set out to create adventurous new theatre.

We began working together in Portland Maine in 2011. In 2014, many of our original members reunited in New York, after working at companies such as the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the California Shakespeare Theatre, and Portland Stage Company. 

Artistic Producers

Todd Brian Backus is a director, producer, and illustrator. He likes plays that juxtapose poetry and real life in ways that make you ponder your place in the universe. Todd is often found browsing in used book stores for hours on end, adding to his already over-stocked library at home. Some of his favorite plays are EurydiceThe Zero Hour, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Nora Sørena Casey is a playwright, dramaturg, and director. She loves work that is lyrical and imaginative, and also maybe a little bit mean. In her free time, Nora continues her lifelong love of soccer by playing, watching, and daydreaming about the sport.  Some of her favorite plays include The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, The Clean House, and Ajax.

Ben Ferber is a director, playwright, and sound/projection designer. He likes work that focuses on the Internet and technology, and work which is destructive and uncomfortable. Ben can be found on the stranger parts of the Internet “researching” arcane topics, and he does urban exploration in his free time. Some of his favorite plays of late include The NetherMr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, and An Octoroon.

Founding Members

Todd Brian Backus, Nora Sørena Casey, Ben Ferber, Jenna Grossman, Emily Mahaffey, Liz Petley, Julie Shelton, Shannon Stockwell, Emily White,  and Ella Wrenn.

Associated Artists

Brittany K. Allen is a performer and writer. She likes work that is funny, politically or socially pertinent, and concerned with the nitty gritty of human relationships. (Bonus points if there’s good music in’t.) When not scribbling fiction or making theatre, she can often be found racking up fines and making frenemies in the stacks at the New York Public Library, Midtown-Manhattan branch. Some of her favorite plays in recent American history include Lascivious Something, The Flick and Passing Strange.

Rachel Graf Evans is a playwright, composer, and performer. She loves work that is political and poetic, with bold ideas and intricate harmonies. RGE collects Tigger mugs, sings barbershop with the Sirens of Gotham, and is a living, breathing Quaker. Her favorite plays include Eurydice, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Company.

Blaze Ferrer is a performance maker. He likes non-traditional narratives and tricky things on stage. Favorite shows of late include Red Eye to Havre De Grace, The Evening, and Old Paper Houses.

Lizzie Fox is an actor and singer. She likes plays that wordlessly articulate the inarticulable. With words, of course. [During her free time she can often be found translating Latin texts or visiting the estates of dead poets.] Favorite recent plays include You Got Older, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, and The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters. 

Joseph Huffman is an actor living in New York City. He loves creating work that is both risky and honest to the human condition. In his spare time Joe continues to pursue his dream of becoming a competitive boxer. Some of his favorite plays include Mojo, Paradise Blue, and The Misanthrope

Doron Mitchell is an actor and musician. He loves work that challenges people to question. Whenever he isn’t trying to figure out how to act, he spends his days cooking, watching every sport possible, writing music and perfecting his banana bread recipe. Some of his favorite works of recent include Closer, Sunday in the Park with George, and My Children! My Africa!

Nicholas Orvis is a director, dramaturg, and critic. He loves theater that builds and reveals communities, onstage and off. He spends most of his time out of the theater reading, playing tabletop games, and otherwise conjuring elaborate fantasies. Some of his favorite plays are Under Milk Wood, Hir, and The Chronicles of Kalki.

Dave Register acts, writes, and plays drums. He seeks theatre mostly to have his comfort boundaries challenged, but doesn’t mind sheer entertainment either. Recent NYC productions he enjoyed: An Octaroon, The Qualms, and The Flick.

Amanda Shechtman is a bite-sized bagel fiend and New York based actress, singer and cartoon character. She has a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is a proud founder and member of the musical sketch comedy group Pop Roulette. She is also a voiceover actor who recently contributed her vocal talents to Elizabeth Swados’ HBO animated short “My Depression”. Her proudest vocal achievement, however, is this parody of a Miley Cyrus music video featuring only dogs. She has spent the last two summers at Williamstown Theatre Festival as a member of the Non-Equity Company.

Julie Shelton is an upstate New York native, and graduate from SUNY Fredonia, living in New York City. Julie was a stage management intern at Portland Stage when Power Out was founded. She was a Stage Manager and Production Manager for Power Out. Since then Julie has worked consistently in New York as a Production Manager for Production Core working in Off-Broadway theatres around the city. She also tours with the National Tour of STOMP as the Production Props head.

Taylor Shurte is an actor and instant photographer. She loves developing new plays that push the boundaries of the theatrical experience. Her favorite things in the world are polaroids, sharpies, iced coffee, Vonnegut, and Batman. Her favorite plays include O Lovely Glowworm, Strange Attractors, and all things Tennessee Williams. 

Chris Stahl is an actor who is primarily based in New York City. He loves starring contests and lying in hammocks and hip-hop dancing without the hop. Current MFA candidate, Brown/Trinity (graduating in 2017). BA, Fordham University.

Shannon Stockwell is a playwright and dramaturg who lives in San Francisco. She’s a sucker for plays that include science, queer characters, non-sentimental poetic language, and a good plot twist. Some of her favorite plays include Angels in AmericaThe Trestle at Pope Lick CreekThe Glass Menagerie, and Mr Burns, a post-electric play.

Anna Van Valin acts and produces. You may have seen her drinking in excess while trying to clean up murdered squirrels in Power Out’s “Not Afraid.” She plays a lot of hyper-intelligent sex addicts who just wanna be loved. She just moved to LA and works at a big movie studio, which is awesome but also just ridiculous. Some of her favorite plays are A Moon for the Misbegotten, Blasted, and Macbeth.

Madison Welterlen is a classically trained/contemporarily bent actor, singer, musician and mover. She likes messing around with work that is gritty and imaginative, that is as clever as it is exposed. Madison can be found doodling around NYC with a long undone to -do list, looking for Thai food and listening to old time string bands. A few favorites include Cherry Smoke, CompletenessAdoration of the Old Woman, and of course West Side Story.

Emily White is a costume designer and technician. She likes work that makes her think, and also smile, but not necessarily in that order. Some plays she loves include Arcadia, Dark Ride, and Cloud Nine.

Praise for PowerOut


“Easily the most interesting production of this year’s bunch is Let’s Play Play.” – Matt Hawkins, Attract Mode

“Let’s Play Play stages a layered snapshot of Internet culture in action… A production that skillfully weaves together in-person, online, and text interaction… Small flourishes give additional force to the big-picture questions and critiques that Let’s Play Play puts forth.” – Dr. Leah Richards & Dr. John Zeigler, Culture Catch

Let’s Play Play deals nicely with this IRL/URL tug-of-war, something to think about the next time you try to have an opinion on the internet.” – Liz Richards, Indie Theater Now

FRIGID New York Sell Out Award

Not Afraid

“the kind of weirdo we want to root for.” – Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times

“Shurte and Valin do an excellent job embodying their characters and their inherent contradictions… Nora Sørena Casey has written a very intelligent story and the subtext provides plenty of food for thought. She addresses various issues with confidence and intensity.” – Sarah Weber,

“The play’s strengths lie in the sharp and often overlapping dialog that caroms between ironic humor and bleakness, painting a picture of a friendship that is tinged with co-dependence.” – Howard Miller, TalkinBroadway

For the Lulz

For the Lulz by Ben Ferber received 2013 PEER Award Nomination for New Frontiers.

“[For the Lulz’s] fast-paced dialogue abounds in the clipped syntax of Twitter, technical explanations (DDoS, “phreaking”), and the wild-west obscenities of the blogosphere (“Nice tits, cuntmuffin!”). It’s exhausting, but it does nicely express the thrills of online anonymity and alliances, as do its capable actors, who are energetic and quirkily comic.” –The Portland Phoenix

For more information about our shows check out the productions page.