odyssey team members

Kristie Soares is scholar, teacher, and performer. She is a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Soares earned her Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on sexuality in Caribbean and Latino cultures.

In addition, Soares is a teacher, and has taught classes in Literature, Writing, Performance, Feminist Studies, Spanish, and Portuguese at the high school and college levels.

Soares also works as a performance poet and theatre artist. She has performed at the Ultimate Latina Theatre Festival in NYC, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the Chica Lit Club Fiesta in Miami, and has had regular appearances at The Wallflower Gallery in Miami and Wild Iris Books in Gainesville, FL. At present Soares facilitates writing and performance workshops in Los Angeles, CA. This spring she will debut a bilingual play, entitled “Las Reinas del Sazón,” which she co-wrote with her writing partner, Katrina Ruiz.,

Emiko Surgiyama is from Tokyo, Japan, where she trained in classical ballet. Ms. Surgiyama moved to the United States to study Physical Therapy in 1999, yet when she saw Rome and Jewels by Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM), despite her parent's disagreement she changed her major to Dance. She even joined RHPM 6 years later in Philadelphia. For 14 years, Emiko has lived and traveled by performing nationally and internationally. Today, she produces the annual J.U.i.C.E Hip Hop Dance Festival, at Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Emiko has been dispelling the mainstream views of women in Hip Hop culture by "holding her own" as a positive female role model and advocating in a male-dominated world.

Matthew Tavianini is pleased to be working on the Odyssey project.  He has been serving as the managing director/producer/ actor of BOXTALES Theatre Co. Graduating from UCSB and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory where he received his M.F.A. in acting. He has also been working in Santa Barbara playing such roles as Trinculo/Alonso in Lit Moon Theatre Company’s production of the Tempest, Michal in The Pillowman, Karl in The Last Days of the Empire, Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Telemachus in BOXTALES production of The Odyssey; Joe in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, David in The Rivals, and Thurio in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Matt in Wrench, and Bobby in American Buffalo.  Matthew also teaches acting, Shakespeare and stage combat, and is been directing the GVJH spring production here in Santa Barbara. He has also enjoyed working at the Westport Playhouse, The Odyssey Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, Asolo Theatre, Santa Barbara Theatre Group, The Ensemble Theatre, The Santa Barbara Revels, Speaking of Stories, Santa Barbara Shakespeare Co., and City at Peace.