People To Watch 2006

By Morgan Packard and Sarah Ravits, New Orleans Magazine | 03 September 2006 22:49 | Photographs by Jeffery Johnston

Think of what follows as a New Orleans All-Star team of the future. Mostly, we define "People to Watch" as new faces who are doing something interesting with their lives that is worthy of our awareness or, in some cases, familiar faces moving in a different direction. Our team is a combination of promising rookies and of veterans playing new positions. Barring injuries or scandals, the season should be a good one. Now, please rise for our national anthem.

Theatre Louisiane, the itinerant group of New Orleans-based artists, recently returned from Montreal, where they toured dis+graced, a multimedia performance featuring text from Euripides' Medea and letters of Josephine Bonaparte, a piece that originally debuted in New Orleans at the Zeitgeist theater. Amy Woodruff, the artistic director who founded the group in 1999, compiled the script, designed the set and costumes, and also starred as the main characters in their first one-actor show. Each project, she says, is a learning experience. Her husband, Blake Buchert, a cartographer, is on the board of directors and is chairman of the Board of Trustees for the company, which was incorporated as a non-profit theater in the state of Louisiana in 2001. The self-described group of "allied artists" will begin working on their next project this winter. Woodruff and Buchert, along with Chrispin Barnes and Jennifer Buras, the current resident artists, also look forward to developing more touring opportunities. "We would love to see our work represent Louisiana in a positive light to other parts of the country and the world," says Woodruff. -- S.R.

Other Honorees included :: Walter Leger, Jr., Chairman of the Housing & Redevelopment Task Force for the Louisiana Recovery Authority, co-chair of St. Bernard's Citizen Recovery Committee and vice president of the New Orleans Zephyrs | The Big Easy Roller Girls, the first (and only) all-female, flat-track roller derby in the city | Alistair Ramsay, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Gene Therapy Program at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center | Donald Link, Chef of Cochon Restaurant | Pete Breen and Jenny Tice, co-owners of The Joint BBQ Restaurant | Jen Powell, founder of Sip Wine Market | David Kahn, Director of the Louisiana State Museum | Les Hirsch, president and chief executive officer of Touro Infirmary | Monica Kalozdi, mountain climber who reached the summit of Mt. Everest | Kevin Jordan, M.D., chief medical officer and vice president for Medical Affairs at Touro Infirmary | Terrance Osborne, painter of representations of New Orleans' houses and neighborhoods | Belinda Hernandez, assignment manager for CNN's Gulf Coast Bureau | Nancy Marshall, lawyer and tax assessor | Patrick J. Quinlan, M.D., chief executive officer of Ochsner Clinic | Chris Giordano, the general manager and partner of Wow Cafe Tennis Center | Kate Wendel, Group Marketing Manager, Marketplace Properties, East Coast | Edmond "Ed" Muniz, the newly elected Mayor of Kenner | Percy Marchand, Chairman of the Gert Town Revival Association and owner of the Gentilly printing business Marchand Ink | American Coffee Company, Inc. | Ann Duplessis, Louisiana State Senator | Craig Tracy, bodypainting artist | Latoya Cantrell, president of the Broadmoor Improvement Association and the manager of Greater New Orleans Education Foundation | Kevin Kelly, business president, real estate developer and three-year owner of Houmas House Plantation | Arnie Fielkow, one of the city's two Councilmembers-at-large and former executive vice president of the New Orleans Saints | The Bingo! Show, an eight person, multimedia, audience-interactive, carnivalesque, game-show-rock band | Brent "Buzz" Williams, head basketball coach of the University of New Orleans Privateers | John Bellini III and Shane Nicaud, founders of Bell Foods | Janee "Gee" Mercadel, owner of Sophie's Gelato | Gogo Mathas Borgerding, jewelry designer and owner of GoGo Jewelry

Magazine Spotlights Theatrical Couple

Lake Charles American Press, 18 August 2006

Lake Charles natives Amy Woodruff and Blake Buchert will be recognized in the upcoming "People to Watch" issue of the monthly New Orleans magazine. The husband and wife team are the driving force behind the critically-acclaimed ensemble Theatre Louisiane, which in recent months has toured The Music of Erich Zann to McNeese Theatre and dis+graced to the Montreal Fringe Theatre Festival.

Woodruff, a graduate of McNeese State University's Theatre Arts program, is the Artistic Director of Theatre Louisiane, Inc., which she founded in 1999. She specializes in actor-created multimedia performance, and she has trained in modern dance with Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre of Austin, Texas, in classical performance with Shakespeare & Company of Massachusetts, and in ensemble performance with the avant-garde Vortex Repertory Theatre, also of Austin. Woodruff, a member of the International Federation for Theatre Research, has received artist grants from the Louisiana Division of The Arts and the Jazz & Heritage Foundation of New Orleans, and her works are fiscally sponsored by the NYC artists' service organization Fractured Atlas.

Buchert serves as chair of Theatre Louisiane's board of trustees, works in production management with the group, and appears on occasion as a Guest Artist. Buchert earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of New Orleans, and currently works as a GIS Technician and Remote Sensing Specialist in New Orleans.

Buchert and Woodruff were married in Lake Charles in June of 2000.

In addition to the couple, the participating artists of Theatre Louisiane will be recognized for their collective interdisciplinary performance work. Also prominently featured will be Theatre Louisiane's video artist Chrispin Barnes.

The group's works have been seen at New Orleans spaces such as Zeitgeist Arts Center, the Pickery Art Space, the State Palace Theatre, and the Dramarama festival at the Contemporary Arts Center. Theatre Louisiane can be visited on the web at: The "People to Watch" feature will be published in the September issue of New Orleans magazine, which is scheduled to hit newsstands at the end of August.

to Woodruff's artist page | to Theatre Louisiane