Director, Producer, Multidisciplinary Theatre Artist
Upcoming & Current Projects
The Picher Project is a new musical that explores the rise and destruction of the now-abandoned mining town of Picher, Oklahoma. The town that once was the largest producer of lead and zinc in the world became the EPA’s #1 Superfund site, deeming Picher the most toxic place in America. In 2008, a devastating tornado destroyed most of what was left and, as a result, Picher was officially dissolved in 2013- making it a ghost town. The Picher Project, based on interviews and stories from former citizens, covers the town’s 100 year history- through town politics, involvement with the native Quapaw tribe, environmentally caused illnesses, and, eventually, the earth crumbling from under their feet.
In 2018, Quentin Madia, Alex Knezevic and Lauren Pelaia joined forces and began researching this extraordinary and unusual town. Since 2018, the Picher Project team has devoted so much of themselves to creating a show that represents the truth of Picher: the pride, the love and the determination of a town left in toxic ruins.
In March of 2019, the Picher Project team had the opportunity to travel to Picher to get a first-hand understating of their plight. Their trip was beautifully curated by the Tar Creekkeeper herself, Rebecca Jim, an advocate of the land and people of Picher from the very beginning- no matter how harsh the resistance. She set up interviews for the team with former Picher citizens, leaders of the the Quapaw Nation and many more. No wonder she is a leading role in the show! In April of 2019, The Picher Project premiered a 30 minute segment at a sold out new works showing at Dixon Place. After many re-writes, presentations and a residency with BarnArts Collective in Maine, The Picher Project presented a concert version of their show at Feinstein's/54 Below on October 23rd, 2019.