Meet the Team

Mike Schlitt (writer/performer) is a founding member of the Actors’ Gang Theatre, two-time winner of the New York International Fringe Festival’s Outstanding Solo Performance award, and a recipient of the LADCC Margaret Harford award for outstanding contribution to Los Angeles Theater. Since 1983, he has written, directed, produced and/or performed in over 65 theatrical productions around the world. His solo performances have been seen in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and New York: Drive, He Said (Saxon Lee Gallery), Mike’s Incredible Indian Adventure (LATC, Flea Theatre, Portland Center Stage), Jesus Ride (Here Arts, Soho Playhouse, Son of Semele.) By day, he works in creative marketing where he has helped build advertising campaigns for hundreds of films including Zero Dark Thirty, Skyfall, The Social Network, and The Amazing Spiderman. His original podcast series Early Bird Special can be heard on iTunes and on this site.
 Mark Valdez
Mark Valdez (spin doctor) is a director, writer, and producer based in Los Angeles. Directing credits include You Can’t Take It With You (adapted to the American-Muslim community) and a bi-lingual (English-Spanish) adaptation of the musical comedy, The Pajama Game. Currently Mark is working with Latino artists of various disciplines to create DJ Latinidad’s Latino Dance Party, a performance that explores latinidad in contemporary U.S. culture–through a dance party. Valdez has led workshops and participated in numerous panels. He is the recipient of a Princess Grace Award for Directing and for Special Projects, MAP grants, and a NALAC Artist Grant.
Michael John Garces
Michael John Garcés (spin doctor) is the Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, where he has directed many plays such as California: The Tempest by Alison Carey, Plumas Negras by Juliette Carrillo and Café Vida by Lisa Loomer. Recent Directing credits at other theaters include Wrestling Jerusalem by Aaron Davidman at The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and Mosaic Theater Company in Washington DC, Seven Spots on the Sun by Martín Zimmerman at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Los Angeles and Lights Rise on Grace by Chad Beckim at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington DC, where he is a company member.
Ashley Sparks (campaign manager) is a southern theatre director, producer, and engagement strategist. She has worked nationally with companies such Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, ArtSpot Productions in New Orleans, Complex Movements in Detroit and PearlDamour. She was the Project Director for MicroFest USA – a national festival and think-tank series produced by the Network of Ensemble Theaters. This series focused on ensemble practices, cross-sector dialogue, and national arts advocacy. MicroFests were convened in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Honolulu, New Orleans, Detroit, Knoxville and Harlan County, Kentucky. She is a honoraria of the Princess Grace Award, a member of Alternate ROOTS, and holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Virginia Tech University.
Tracy Young
Tracy Young (coalition advisor) director and co-adaptor of Moliere’s THE IMAGINARY INVALID, Goldini’s THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, Madeleine L’Engles’s A Wrinkle In TIme, and director of Luis Alfaro’s BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER for Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Co-creator and director of MEDEA/MACBETH/CINDERELLA (with Bill Rauch) for Yale Repertory Theatre. Director of Cornerstone Theatre productions of Shishir Kurup’s MERCHANT OF VENICE (Taper Too Workshop) and Yehuda Hyman’s CENTER OF THE STAR (Greenway Court). Original works include DREAMPLAY, a site specific piece performing in a swimming pool, and two long-running hit musicals HYSTERIA and EUPHORIA (Actors’ Gang).
Kevin Corstange (coalition advisor) is an experienced theater, film and corporate producer. For the theatre Kevin produced the New York premiere of Rose Riordan’s Noble & Weller and has co-produced Michael Schlitt’s two previous FringeNYC award-winning one-man shows: Mike’s Incredible Indian Adventure and Jesus Ride. Films Kevin has produced include Sam Zalutsky’s upcoming feature Seaside, Stephanie Rauber’s Dance Around the Pool, and the short films The Man in 3G and The Pickles.


Critics on “Patriot Act”

“Mike Schlitt is an amazing performer, someone who can totally manage (and command) (and INCLUDE) the audience in ways you rarely see. Patriot Act is ‘the big short’ of politics.”
Abby Schachner, Write Club

“Schlitt walks a tightrope and risks audience rebellion by going full human-to-human in this hour plus of thought-provoking common sensical political diatribe/history/rant. Think Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, with a smidgen of Michael Moore and Viola Spolin thrown in.”
Bill Ratner, Multiple Moth story-slam winner

“I saw 55 shows at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Fest-Patriot Act was my favorite by far. It’s basically American history on speed, live theatre meets interactive forum. Hilarious, thought-provoking, inspiring–well worth the time and the dime.” Cori Baily, Market i

“My faith in American Democracy has been restored. This is a production to check out.”
Sara Fenton, See It or Skip It LA

Mike Schlitt, Writer/Performer

Mike Schlitt, The Patriot Act

Jesus Ride

“Divine Absurdity” New York Times

“I saw God” Village Voice

“Brilliant… like a great dinner party story that just happens to have video all cued up. Schlitt has some serious theatre chops.” Opening the Curtain, KCRW

“For Once you can believe the hype. This slow is a masterpiece of storytelling… funny, serious, cynical, triumphant. A tour de force performance that must be seen by all fringe lovers.” Los Angles Examiner

“…a genuinely thrilling deconstruction of Hollywood, the ‘Cinematic Savior’, and the stories we tell ourselves growing up.” LA Bitter Lemons

“It’s an adage long known to actors and playwrights—the best plays are always about truth. Mike Schlitt’s account of his early life and adventures in Hollywood along with the memories of his father is truth at its most hilarious—and most touching. The hour and a half spent on the “Jesus Ride” is one of the finest theatrical experiences you’ll ever enjoy.” The Tidings – Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Mike’s Incredible Indian Adventure

“Epic, compelling, bizarre.” Los Angeles Times

“…a feat of artistic brilliance.”
Los Angeles Weekly

“Chatty, fast-paced, insightful and terrifying!” Backstage Review

“A really good barroom yarn…too strange to be fiction.” Willamette Week

“Absolutely hilarious. We loved it. I guarantee you’ll love it too…” Joan Rivers blog

Hilarious, effervescent…a once-in-a-lifetime experience, shared with grace and humility.”

“Schlitt walked into quicksand, and he lived to tell the tale; razor sharp, fast and furious, Schlitt is a hit.” Edge New York Review

“Imagine Bollywood meets Waiting for Guffman. Crisp, poignantly funny…part travelogue, part stand-up routine worthy of booking passage.” Backstage West

“In 1987, Spaulding Gray gave us Swimming to Cambodia. In 2005, Michael Schlitt gives us his own version of an ill-fated trip. Schlitt is an engaging performer and a marvelously captivating storyteller, providing a play about failure that is a total success.” Review

Mike Schlitt