We Tell Stories
This is our story.
As I got older and started to expand my education and experience, I kept coming back to Kafka’s words. I wanted to create a catharsis with my storytelling. I wanted to help thaw the human soul.
- Franz Kafka
A few words from the founding
I first read this quote in high school and it has stuck with me ever since. When I entered undergrad and started to form what kind of theater I wanted to make, I remembered this quote. If books can be the ax, why can’t theater?
Being from Alaska, I was surrounded by ice. Permafrost is quite simply, underground ice that covers 85 percent of the state. Growing up, I experienced the coldness of the state as well its rich offerings of culture. My stepfather, who is Tlingit/Tsimshian/Haida, would tell my friends and me stories and legends. Through his engagement, I learned the value of simplicity and honesty in storytelling as well as the importance of community and ritual.
In reflecting on what I wanted within my theater company, I knew that I needed to merge the lessons of my home state with my new home in New York to fully encapsulate Kafka’s words.
-Christina Rose Ashby
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief.”
Permafrost Theatre Collective was officially launched in January of 2019. The company itself was created to act as an artistic home for multidisciplinary artists who wanted to push the boundaries of what theater and storytelling can do. We welcome artists who don’t quite fit into the traditional realm of conventional theater. We believe that everyone has a voice and a story to tell. We are here to give them the platform to tell it.
CHRISTINA ROSE ASHBY
... an Alaskan theater artist living in Brooklyn. She is the founding artistic director of Permafrost Theatre Collective. Christina specializes in new work creation and the reimagining of classics. Christina conceived and directed PTC’s production of Are You Alice: A New Wonderland Tale, a classic reimagining that had several short runs in New York City and made its international debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August of 2019. Select past credits include “Lack of Milk,” “Lost Sock Laundromat Astoria Queens” and “Suspicion Obsession Paranoia Marriage,” all by frequent collaborator Ivan Faute; “Living With an Angel,” a semi-autobiographical clown fantasia by Catherine Restivo-Romito; “Life is a Dream: a New Vintage” by Calderon and adapted by Annie R. Such; and “A Bright Room Called Day” by Tony Kushner. Christina is also a teaching artist and has taught in Alaska, New York, and West Virginia. MFA in directing from the Actors Studio Drama School.
THOMAS BURNS SCULLY
... an actor, writer, and musician based in New York City. Acting credits include 'Meshahnye' (Theatre for the New City), 'Dark Play or Stories for Boys' (The Playing Company), and 'Broad City' (Comedy Central). As a writer, he has authored such plays as 'Macbeth: A Comedy' (PTC), 'Frost Towers' (Live In Theatre), and 'Dorothy of Nowhere' (WB Yeats Playwriting Award, Origin Theatre's 1st Irish Festival Audience Favorite Award). As a musician, he has created the scores for 'Life is a Dream' (dir. Christina Ashby), 'A Girl Without Wings' (Dramatic Adventure Theatre), and 'Are You Alice: A New Wonderland Tale' (PTC). He is an improviser with On The Spot, Live In Theatre (Drama Desk Nominee), New York Improv Theatre, and has designed Escape Rooms for clients including Fortune 500 Company Anheuser-Busch (SXSW 2018) and Neil Patrick Harris' birthday. Social Media: @DrThomasDBS
... an actor, rapper, and visual artist from College Park, Maryland. He recently graduated with a BFA from NYU Tisch Drama with a minor in film production. Meade is the designer behind Permafrost Theatre Collective. Each social media post and promotion is made by Meade in collaboration with the Permafrost team. All of Meade’s music is available on your favorite streaming service, but you can find all of Meade’s work on his website, www.meademorrison.com. Follow Meade on instagram @moonbrisco for updates on future projects!
... a theatre artist based in NYC. Working primarily in ensemble theatre, Crystal-Marie creates in many areas: Improvisation, Devising, Acting, Directing, Teaching. Originally from Tennessee, she grew up on a first-generation farm and went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in theatre from UTK. During her time in undergrad, Crystal-Marie crafted and produced new/unknown works for the Knoxville community. She continues to study and train with a Brooklyn based ensemble, Letter of Marque Theater Co, and now helps bring new works to life with PTC. Theatre Credits include; Acting-The Isle is Full of Noises (Sticks/Letter of Marque), The Lacy Project (Margret, All Campus Theatre), Urinetown (Little Sally, Clarence Brown Theatre). Directing- First Kisses (All Campus Theatre), Write of Passage (Devised Student Work). Producing- Webs Circus (Dragonfly Aerial Arts), Mandala (All Campus Theatre
Community Engagement Corrdinator
... an actor, activist, producer, and writer. Trained at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Kayla has acted in Shakespeare plays at the Shanghai Theater Institute Winter Festival, independent television pilots, and creates her own material. During Kayla's time at NYU, she trained at the Meisner Studio and worked with Slava Dolgachev, the Artistic Director of the Moscow Arts Theater, on a production featuring Chekhov's iconic works, with Kayla playing Masha in Three Sisters. She also created a three-tier activism organization called Artists in Action, dedicated to giving back to the community and supporting domestic and international needs. Kayla received a President's Service Award, the Community Connector Award, and Outstanding Achievement in the Meisner Studio upon graduating. Most recently, Kayla created, produced, co-directed, acted, and was the head writer for OneIronaut, with the Outer Loop Theater Experience. OneIronaut was a 24-hour immersive, international, interactive cyber-stage experience. Kayla led over 60 artists over the production period. Kayla is ecstatic to be a part of the PTC family! When not on camera or onstage, this native from Miami can be seen diving and exploring shipwrecks off the coast, along with painting portraits of her closest friends and speaking Spanglish with her family.
Social Media Coordinator
... an Iranian American playwright raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her work explores the relationship and cultural tension between her first-generation identity and femininity, sexuality, adolescence, and family. She also tries her best to be funny. She recently graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing program with a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Her work has been seen and developed by City Theatre (Signed, Sealed, Never Delivered; Threads), the Women’s Theater Festival (Threads), Permafrost Theater Collective (Dried Fruit), and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (Italian Stallion). Mehrnaz was a winner of the Young Playwrights Contest at City Theatre in 2016, and a member of the 2021 New Perspective Theatre Short Work Lab.
Artist/Audience Outreach Coordinator