Company Members

Jonathan Walters founded Hand2Mouth in 2000, after beginning his career in Poland. As Hand2Mouth's Artistic Director, Jonathan has co-conceived, co-created, and directed the bulk of Hand2Mouth shows, and works closely with guest writers and the ensemble to develop original devised theatre work. Under his direction, Hand2Mouth Theatre has premiered 18 major new works, as well as site-specific and commissioned short pieces in the Portland area, and toured these works regionally, nationally and abroad, presenting at today's leading venues for contemporary theatre performance. He teaches and directs devised theatre at colleges and theatres across the Pacific Northwest, the greater US, as well as in Europe and Latin America. See Leadership for a more extensive bio.

Jess Drake began working with Hand2Mouth in 2012, and has been the dramaturg for Something's Got Ahold of My HeartLeft Hand of Darkness,and Pep Talk. She received her BA in Dramatic Literature from Westmont College in Santa Barbara. Jess has also had the pleasure of creating new work with Lit Moon Theatre Company (dramaturg, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils), Ratatat Theatre Group (performer, Body/Bach-Min/Max and Roses) and PCS JAW Festival 2013 (dramaturg, Mai Dang Laoand Complex). Taking every route possible to be a part of new play development, she also spends time as a script reader for various festivals, a private script consultant and a freelance writer covering performance (The Portland Mercury, ArtsAmerica, Santa Barbara Independent). Jess was awarded a fellowship to the Eugene O'Neill Critics Institute by KCACTF in 2011, and returned to the Kennedy Center in 2012 for the New Play Dramaturgy Intensive.

Julie Hammond has worked with Hand2Mouth since 2004 and has been a performer and co-creator in 11 full-length productions. She received a BA in Theater (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Bates College (Lewiston, Maine) and has trained with Double Edge Theatre, Teatr Stacja Szamocin (Poland), La Comedia Humana (Mexico), and at the British American Drama Academy (London). As a sometimes dancer she has performed at Conduit (Dance+ 2012 with Kristine Anderson) and at her house (long time ago - present). Julie assisted William Pope.L in development and touring of The Black Factory (2003-04) and currently works in Portland as an arts administrator and yoga teacher.

Liz Hayden received a BA from Southern Oregon and an MFA from Northern Illinois University before moving to L.A. where she taught Meisner technique at the Piero Dusa Acting Conservatory and managed an arts camp for children in Santa Monica. After a couple of years she decided that the sun was just too constant and yearned for the Northwest air, rain, and pine. Since moving to Portland she has acted with Mt Hood Rep, Profile Theatre, Shaking the Tree, and currently her heart belongs to Hand2Mouth. Liz teaches drama through Northwest Children's Theatre, Lakewood Performing Arts Center, and Profile Theatre. Highlights of her carreer include acting in Ireland at the Gaiety School, working with Studio Kah from Budapest – trained by Katherine Gately and directed by Chris Markle, and work with Polish artist Luba Zarembinska in From a Dream to a Dream.

Faith Helma has been active with Hand2Mouth since it's founding in 2000. She has co-created and performed in almost all of the company's productions, and acted as music director, songwriter and arranger for Something's Got Ahold of My Heart, Uncanny Valley and Everyone Who Looks Like You. In 2000 she created a solo music-theatre song cycle Undine, which toured to New York, Seattle and San Francisco. She currently works as a Creative Guide, helping people connect with their natural creative abilities (you can read more about this at her website). This work has led to her latest solo performance, I HATE POSITIVE THINKING, which she will take to Seattle's NW New Works Festival and Portland's Risk/Reward this summer. 

Erin Leddy is a company member and performer for Hand2Mouth Theatre. Erin has been with the company since 2003 and has been a performer and co-creator in 15 original productions. Erin attended Emerson College in Boston, where she graduated with a degree in Radio. Her performance My Mind Is Like An Open Meadow won 5 Portland Drammy Awards in 2011 (including Outstanding Solo Performance) and has toured to Vancouver B.C., New Orleans, and Off-Broadway in New York.


Maesie Speer joined Hand2Mouth in 2008. In Portland she has performed with Sojourn Theatre, A.R.T. and Theatre Vertigo, and has assistant directed for Sojourn and Liminal Performance Group. In Minneapolis she worked with Theatre de la Jeune Lune, 15 Head Theatre Lab, Live Action Set, and Frank Theatre among others. She has danced with Rachel Fachner (Portland), Wicked Sister Dance Theatre (Minneapolis) and Ten Pen Chii (Brollin, Germany), and was a curator for the 2007 Fuse Box Festival in Austin, TX.

Jerry Tischleder is an actor, performance curator, and a company member with Hand2Mouth Theatre. He has helped create eight original productions with Hand2Mouth and manages the company’s regional, national, and international touring programs. Jerry founded the Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance in 2008, which presents emerging performance works in theatre, music and dance from across the west coast. He is a passionate world traveler and designs authentic vacation experiences in South America with local tour operator Avanti Destinations. Jerry holds a B.A. in Theater and Management from St. John’s University and is a member of Wesleyan University’s inaugural class for the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. The program is the nation’s first post-graduate degree focused on the curation of contemporary performance.