Born and raised in a south suburb of Chicago, Zoe studied filmmaking and photography, along with fine art, at Carl Sandburg High School and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Teen Studio, through which her paintings and photography were exhibited in Chicago and the Atlanta Museum of Art. Zoe continued her education at Webster College in St. Louis, and then The Kansas City Art Institute, where she was appointed to the Dean’s List and won the Kansas City Film Festival two years running. After earning her bachelor’s degree and moving to Boston, she and Jordie established The Company Theatre at the request of a group of arts-starved students from Weymouth. Once immersed in the theater she began to tackle administrative challenges in the forming and management of a 501(c)3 non- profit organization. She continued to meet these challenges as The Company Theatre grew rapidly; she created the mission statement and established a board of directors. Zoe’s life-long commitment to producing the highest quality theatre possible within their fiscally sound budget has allowed the ticket prices to be kept at an affordable level, particularly for underserved communities. The development of her curriculum has provided specific and often unique arts training through apprentice programs and internships. Zoe is dedicated to creating a diverse and welcoming arts community, encouraging people of all races and backgrounds in both traditional and nontraditional casting.
Zoe has co-directed well over two hundred plays and musicals, along with countless workshops of original performance art in her career, and both she and Jordie have found ways to offset each other’s strong points. Zoe specializes in all visual aspects of a production, acting as The Company Theatre’s resident set designer for the past 30 years. Zoe oversees all departments and is proficient in period architecture and costumes, play analysis, incorporation of symbolism where relevant, and dramaturgy, as well as recording and archiving all productions in still photography and videography.
In 1987, Zoe co-founded The Academy of the Company Theatre, (A.C.T.), which began, as did Company Theatre, in a church basement, and quickly grew to a large public school venue. In order to fulfill her vision of having The Company Theatre be in an actual theatre, and provide an indoor/outdoor campus for A.C.T., Zoe and her partners pursued the purchase of the former Nickerson Theatre. After preparing a business plan and actively seeking community support in 1992, she negotiated the mortgage and The Company had a permanent home.
Today, A.C.T. ’s summer program offers nearly 70 classes in the performing and visual arts, and Zoe, collaborates in the curriculum planning and hiring of professionals and artisans as instructors. She has been recognized by the city of Quincy for arts education partnering and recognized by the New England Theatre Conference and the Independent Reviewers of New England with Lifetime Achievement Awards. She is a five-time award winner of the Moss Hart Award for Best Production (non-equity division), most recently for Ragtime. A longtime resident of Hingham, Zoe considers herself a storyteller and is passionate about writing. Original plays include Gloryland the America Show (first performed in 1990) which won the Moss Hart Award for Best Production in New England, and Paragon Park, a historically based musical three years in the making, which premiered in July of 2012, and also won the Moss Hart award presented by the New England Theatre Conference.
Jordie has well over 200 directing credits and countless student projects and workshops since 1978, and has been honored by The New England Theatre Conference five times for her work as a co-director. Along with Zoe Bradford, she has co-authored over six original theatrical works and adaptations, including A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rascals, and the Moss Hart award-winning Gloryland the America Show. She has been recognized for arts education partnering by the city of Quincy and was honored for her theatrical work in 1987 by the state of Indiana.
Jordie is a co-founder of The Academy of the Company Theatre, which has provided summer workshops and theatrical productions for students ages 7-19 since 1987. The program grew from 14 students to a full capacity of 200 students very rapidly, in part due to Jordie’s strategic planning and communication with students. Her responsibility for the summer workshops includes being the Camp Director, managing the counselors in training, and dedicating her talents to creating an exciting and energy charged atmosphere that is unique to the program. Jordie specializes in providing support, guidance, and structure for those students who face emotional or physical challenges.
Once the permanent home was obtained for the Company Theatre in 1992, Jordie’s role as partner includes managing the scene shop, encouraging volunteerism, offering technical theatre mentoring, and collaborating in the planning of each season.
A resident of Weymouth, Massachusetts since 1987, Jordie has made the South Shore her home. She oversees all technical aspects of The Company Theatre productions, in addition to directing, where she specializes in character discovery with actors, dramatic coaching, historical research/dramaturgy, and special effects.
Sally Ashton Forrest
Company Manager and Choreographer
Director of Education
Box Office & House Manager
Box Office/Head Usher