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Who We Are

Who We Are

Cast & Crew

Gary Cole (President and CEO)


Gary's passion for theater began when he tried out on a whim for George Bernard Shaw's "Major Barbara" his senior year at Williams College. He went on to appear in 8 plays as a student at Stanford Law School, then started working on a foreign intrigue-laden script while serving as a CIA lawyer in the late '80s. He co-founded CoHo Productions, a Portland, Oregon nonprofit theater company that helps Portland theater artists stage their own productions. CoHo has produced Gary's play and many others on very modest budgets while winning 5 Drammy Awards (the Oscars for Portland theater). Gary resigned his partnership at a Portland law firm to start StageDirect, much to the delight of his wife, parents, and two young children.

Jeff Meyers (Artistic Director)


Jeff has spent the last 12 years working in medical research by day and producing, writing, and directing live performance at night. Sandwiched around his work in science, Jeff has co-founded a critically acclaimed and award-winning theater company (Portland's Theatre Vertigo), hosted and produced The 1996 National Poetry Slam (featured in the documentary, "Slamnation"), directed a number of award-winning plays (including a Drammy winning collaboration with CoHo Productions), published a collection of poetry ("Hereafter," from Quiet Lion Press) which was a finalist for The Oregon Book Awards, had 2 screenplays optioned by Hollywood producers, and seen his work published in everything from literary magazines to "Playboy" to local alternative new weeklies. He confesses to being an obsessive reader and writer who makes it his mission to keep abreast of the newest trends in the world of performing arts - be it theater, film, or music. Jeff's wife is a surgeon and Robert Wood Johnson Fellow who has made a critical study of the effect of a small start-up on her husband's health.

Randall Hansen (Chief Technology Officer)


Randall has been playing with computers for 20 years and getting paid for it all his professional life. Though he was a philosophy and English lit major at Portland State University, he was given an informal award by the Computer Science department as the only liberal arts major to take 2 years of programming. Randall deployed his tech geek skills in a liberal arts environment as the information systems manager for one of Portland's leading architectural firms, where he designed a website that actually generated business (!). Married to a Portland actress and director who is active in both CoHo Productions (co-founded by Gary Cole) and Theatre Vertigo (co-founded by Jeff Meyers), Randall has supported local theater companies with web design, graphics, program composition, and raw elbow grease. If you enjoy our website, Randall would welcome votive offerings of espresso and rare Hendrix recordings.

Liane Hilling Shah (Director of Administration and Fulfillment)


While she has worked in all aspects of theater, from acting to props, Liane has great expertise in the one area of this arcane art that actually produces cash - the box office. Raised in the celebrated thespian capital of Homer, Alaska, she parlayed a theater degree from Lewis & Clark College to box office management positions with a number of Portland theater companies. CoHo Productions snared her in 1998, and her husband knows where to find her every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon during the run of a CoHo show. Liane gave up a very comfortable job managing a law firm and mortgage office to take a flyer with StageDirect, where she hopes those box office skills will come in handy ringing up video sales (repeat, video sales!).