Jennifer Coy Jennings

Jen is a Vortex Repertory member with numerous B. Iden Payne nominations for outstanding musical and comedy performances and shares the Payne award for two Vortex productions: Outstanding Original Score for Sing, Muse, and Outstanding Cast Performance for Terminus. Notable VORTEX work includes: Wild Horses, Storm Still, Terminus, Sing Muse, Air, :humpty, Lear, Sleeping Beauty, and Oceana.

Alex Cogburn

Born and raised in San Antonio by two musicians, Alex developed a love for performance and at an early age began playing French Horn and Bass Guitar and began acting in High School. His love of theatre led him to set building and all aspects of running the show. After receiving a BA in Theatre and Dance from UT Austin, Alex worked at the Martial Arts School Aim & Focus, and split his time as an instructor and actor. After spending seven years as a full time instructor of Tang Soo Do, he realized he needed theatre back in his life. He returned to The VORTEX where he had previously performed in Murder Ballad Murder Mystery. After what was originally a 2-week engagement running the Box Office, he was soon helping with set building, organization, maintenance, gardening, and the Box Office Manager. He took upon himself to sustain and grow The Butterfly Garden which is now a Nationally Recognized Butterfly Garden though the North American Butterfly Association. His contributions to making The VORTEX a magical place gives him deep satisfaction and contentment.

Rudy Ramirez

Rudy is an Associate Artistic Director of The VORTEX Repertory Company; he has also directed for The Austin Bike Zoo, ColorArc Productions, ScriptWorks, Shrewd Productions, Sky Candy Aerial Arts, Teatro Vivo and The University of Texas at Austin, as well as performance work at Dixon Place (NYC) and readings at The Lark (NYC), The Playwrights’ Center (Minneapolis) and The Parsnip Ship (NYC). He is a five-time winner of the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Direction, a nominee for the 2015 NNPN Director’s Fellowship and was named Best Director by the Austin Chronicle Reader’s Poll in 2017. He is also the creator of two autobiographical performances: Footnotes for People Who Don’t Speak Spanish with Beliza Torres Narvaez and Promised Land: A Radical Queer Revival. He received his MA in Performance as Public Practice from UT Austin in 2012.

Heather L. Barfield, Ph.D.

Heather has been a vital member of VORTEX Repertory Company for 28 years and currently serves as Associate Artistic and Development Director. She also teaches as Adjunct Professor of performance and theatre history/criticism at Austin Community College. Heather received her Ph.D. in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin, holds a MA in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a BA in Anthropology from UT Austin. Throughout her career, she has worked as performer, scholar, director, producer, writer and arts administrator in the Austin, Texas theater and arts communities. She was an arts writer for The Austin Chronicle and a contributing member of the Austin Critics’ Table. Her artistic work often incorporates intermodal forms of storytelling through digital and analog methods. She continues to devise, write, and direct video and performance installation works as an artist-citizen-scholar. Heather recognizes that a healthy and just social ecosystem depends upon vibrant, eclectic, diverse, reflexive, and innovative arts.

Barfield’s theatrical credits at the VORTEX include the creation and direction of Wake for the Dark Poet (B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Production of a Drama), her direction of the Summer Youth production of Machinal (B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Production of Theatre for Youth), her critically acclaimed show Privacy Settings: A Promethean Tale, and appearance in the ensemble devised Dark Goddess productions.

roy Taylor(Sound Designer and Engineer)

A VORTEX company member since 2001, Roy has designed sound and engineered Ethos projects Vampyress ('06, '10, '17), Atlantis ('16), CyberFest, The Dragonfly Queen, The Dragonfly Princess, Pythia Dust, and .. He has manifested sound for the award-winning productions of Sleeping Beauty, Troades: The Legend of the Women of Troy, and received a B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Sound Design for The VORTEX’s Oceana.

Taylor moved to Louisville, KY to open Paperwork Films, a stop motion animation film studio. His short films, A Tale of Crows and Poo have been presented at film festivals world-wide. A music video for Patty Griffin’s Ohio (featuring Robert Plant) premiered on He is member of the first cohort of The Community Foundation of Louisville's Hadley Creatives program and recently was awarded a Great Meadows Foundation grant for travel to Amsterdam's KLIK Animation Festival. Roy tours as Patty Griffin’s production manager and audio engineer.


Andy started performing at age 10. He has had a multitude of shows at the Vortex, including Troades, Oceana, Sleeping Beauty, The Wife of Bath's Tale, and all 5 of The Elementals.

Andy enjoy all types of performance and has worked with companies like the Zach Scott Theatre, Austin Poetry Slam, Black Widow Burlesque as well as with and for several charities benefiting numerous causes. He is a founding member of Sky Candy and has received several B. Iden Payne Awards for outstanding Choreography and Aerial Fight Choreography. Andy enjoys aerial acrobatics, acting, dancing and integrates all aspects of his accumulated knowledge into his performances. Performance is in his blood.

Sandie Donzica

Sandie Donzica is a French contemporary choreographer, dancer and certified yoga teacher. She’s working as the Development and Marketing Associate for The VORTEX and is a company member collaborating with the theater since she arrived in the United-States. She started her artistic career in France after completing her dance education at the CNDC (Centre National de Danse Contemporaine), obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and her Dance Management Bachelor degree. Sandie has also been a dance teacher for many years, obtaining her national dance teaching certification at only 18 years-old in Aix-en-Provence, France. She obtained her choreographic studies diploma with excellence at the National Regional Conservatory of Nice, in the South of France. She is now dedicated to help The VORTEX grow and support this community of artists, on top of choreographing and dancing in Austin with different dance companies such as Jun Shen Movement Theatre Effect, Chaddick Dance Theater, and Diverse Space Dance Theater.

Tamara L. Farley

Tamara hrew up in Dallas, ran away to Colorado briefly, and returned to Austin to find The VORTEX. She began stage managing in 2007 for the VORTEX production of Dark Goddess, and states that she is totally hooked and will never leave.


Melissa Vogt

Melissa first appeared on The VORTEX stage in 2003 and has starred in numerous productions. She holds a BFA in Acting from Texas State University and has received B. Iden Payne Awards for her leading role in Vampyress, her ensemble role in Wake for the Dark Poet, and for ensemble work and original score in Sing Muse. Melissa has designed masks and manifested puppets for many notable VORTEX productions as well as collaborating with Ethos and Electronic Planet Ensemble on vocal arrangements and scripts for a variety of performances. She worked for several years in New York and toured professionally with Chamber Theatre Productions and The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival. In addition to her vast artistic experience, Melissa has many years of experience in business administration, sales, graphic design, and marketing, and was Artistic Director of One Shot Productions in NYC.

Notable VORTEX work include: Vampyress, Sing Muse, Wake for the Dark Poet, Atlantis: A Puppet Opera, The Chimponauts and the Mechanical Phantom, Sarah Silver Hands, Changelings, SPIRIT, EARTH, :Humpty, Beirut, The Dragonfly Princess, Pink Sun, Bell(e), hOle, and Pythia Dust,

Kimberley Mead | Photographer, Designer, Performer

Kimberley Mead | Photographer, Designer, Performer

Kimberley Mead

Kimberley has an insatiable curiosity about life which manifests in both her art and story telling. She is a photographer, performer, and designer. She seems to have boundless creative energy and recently created a card game called Morbid Curiosity. She has a MA in Counseling from St. Edward's University, a BA in Photography from SJSU, and studied design at Parsons in NYC. She photographs for numerous theatres around town including Shrewd Productions, Penfold Theatre, Hidden Room Theatre, La Fenice, and others. She was the Vortex photographer for the past 10 years photographing over 35 productions.

As an actress, she has appeared on stage with the VORTEX as well as Arts on Real, The Vestige Group, Austin Shakespeare, and City on a Hill. Notable VORTEX Productions include: Dark Goddess 07, Troades: The Legend of the Women of Troy, Shocker, and Oceana.