Othello Creative

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Executive Producer/Director/Othello
Effrem Grettenberger
For Effrem Grettenberger, a lifelong passion for the arts lies at the heart of his professional commitment to centering and elevating the experiences of St. Louis’ BIPOC artists through creative expression. Essential to this effort is EncoreSTL, a production company founded by Effrem to address the city’s lack of roles for Black actors and the absence of African-American works directed by people of color. Blending theater, digital media, and entrepreneurship, this innovative arts hub is more than just the manifestation of Effrem’s vision and creativity – it is a vanguard in expanding the arts and diversifying St. Louis’ theater scene. And in keeping with the digital transformation, it also provides community members with affordable audio-visual, livestreaming, and content-creation services to enable them to realize their own artistic endeavors. At the very heart of EncoreSTL is the Encore Theater Group, a live-arts theater company that centers up-and-coming Black and Lantinx writers, directors, and producers. As executive producer of the group, Effrem draws on his extensive theater background – to include a bachelor’s degree in theater from Albion College – to help stage innovative and thought-provoking performances. These include his well-received original musical "The Haunted Pool," and this May’s much-anticipated production of “Othello,” which he is also directing. Effrem is equally invested in developing the city’s younger generation of artists, building on his many years of previous experience as a case manager for youth programs across St. Louis. In addition to offering them mentoring, training, and financial support through the Encore4Youth program, he also teaches podcast and drama education classes as a guest instructor at Access Academies at St. Cecilia. With his commitment to uplifting his fellow BIPOC artists and providing them with every opportunity to pursue their creative efforts, Effrem is the embodiment of EncoreSTL’s motto, "Everyone Deserves an Encore." He looks forward to working with others who not only share his love of the arts but are equally as passionate about sharing it with others.
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Jewelry Designer
Aileen Woods
Aileen Woods is the founder & head designer of Rustik Rich Lifestyle Brand. The St. Louis Native is a "self taught" sustainable designer & textile artisan. Never really knowing in advance where her creative spirit will lead her, she organically maintains a distinct cohesive aesthetic. Heavily influenced by Indigenous cultures & deeply inspired by the natural elements & shapes found in nature; Aileen channels ancestral skills through her intricate works & produces stunning designs made in a plain & simple fashion. Although best known for her handcrafted statement accessories, Aileen is evolving & emerging as a multidisciplinary creative in the world of sustainable design. Produced ethically, through traditional methods, artisanal techniques & needlework, Rustik Rich designs are thoughtfully crafted in small batches. Made mostly from an assortment of responsibly sourced materials, repurposed textiles, biodegradable fabrics & deadstock; her production cycle is sustainable & minimal waste standards are maintained. Rustik Rich blurs the boundary between traditional craftmanship & contemporary design. Uniquely harmonizing high artisanal quality, edgy fashion & fine art. Achieving the perfect balance between "man-made" & "the natural world" through design is her mission. She believes it is totally possible to thrive in the creative market without further compromising the health of our environment or the potentiality of future creatives to meet their own needs.
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Costume Designer
LoRin jackson
LoRin designs for comfort, practicality and style. Unitee was birthed out of frustration with fast, overly adorned fashion that watered down the sophistication innate in herself and the cosmopolitan companions forming her community after studying interior architecture and starting her career in Chicago. It takes the stage in Othello as a way to unify the cast in the Afro future she imagines. In the daytime, LoRin is a lively and compassionate community advocate supporting Black neighborhoods in pursuing and realizing their most vibrant futures through programming and administration. As a native of St. Louis, LoRin creates in and with community to see the city wake up to its potential. Outside of her current role in philanthropy and her debut costuming work, she maintains a consistent yoga practice; practices sewing to continue developing her clothing line, Unitee; sings contemporary Christian worship at church; enjoys cooking and eating good food; and stays fit with running, biking, boxing, and dance.
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Makeup Designer
Irieri Crim
Irieri R. Crim is from Mexico. Art was always an important part of her family life growing up. She studied to be a hair stylist in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, and has since then has been passionate about beauty and helping others craft their own best image. Working at Studio 858 in St. Louis in the photographic arts has helped her refine and expand her talents to include the arts of scenography and wardrobe. Her ultimate goal is to transform the mundane into the magical.
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Executive Producer / Stage Manager
Alexa Seda
Alexa is also personally invested in the city’s BIPOC artists, serving as the chief operations officer of EncoreSTL. Founded by her long-time friend Effrem Grettenberger, EncoreSTL provides up-and-coming Black and Latine artists with affordable digital, production, and content creation services to enable their artistic expression. It also stages innovative and thought-provoking live performances that center the BIPOC experience. Recently, this included “ Cuéntame ,” an interactive story-telling production mounted in collaboration with the Latinx Arts Network STL, and “La Fiestecita de Encore Theatre,” a series of community block parties featuring local African-American and Latino musicians and dancers in a celebration of culture.