Quark Theatre originated in 2015 when Tony Isbell, Adam Remsen, and Louisa Koeppel came together to mount an independent production of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape and Ohio Impromptu. The run was a success, garnering enthusiastic audiences and critical praise from local reviewers. When the show closed, the three of us decided to found a company dedicated to the kind of thoughtful, challenging theatre that we loved, and that we felt was underrepresented in the Memphis theatre scene. Our intent is to focus on works that have not received local productions, especially (but not exclusively) recent plays.
In physics, Quarks are the fundamental building blocks of everything else. The fundamental building blocks of theatre are (1) actors, (2) a script (usually), and (3) an audience. While we in no way intend to diminish the importance of all other aspects of theatre, including lights, set, costumes, props, etc, our company was founded with the intention of focusing on these fundamentals.
About the Members
Tony Isbell is a longtime actor and director in the Memphis area. Since 1978, his work has appeared in almost every venue in and around the city, including Theatre Memphis, Playhouse on the Square, Circuit Playhouse, Germantown Community Theatre, TheatreWorks, Bartlett Community Theatre, West Memphis Little Theatre and others. In film and television, Tony has had roles in the films The Delta and Forty Shades of Blue, as well as a starring role in the cult classic I Was a Zombie for the FBI. On national television he played a vicious killer in an episode of America’s Most Wanted set in Memphis. On local TV, he made several appearances on Professor Ghoul’s Horror School on Memphis PBS station WKNO. Tony’s work has received multiple nominations and wins in the annual Ostrander Theatre Awards in the categories of Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, Ensemble, Best Director and Best Dramatic Production.
Louisa Koeppel has been a ballet and modern dance teacher at Hutchison School for nine years, and has been designing lights for Hutchison Theatre since 1999. At age fifteen she was invited to join Project:Motion Dance Company, for whom she continues to dance, teach, and choreograph. She received a performance scholarship to The Ohio State University, where she studied performance and lighting design. Returning to Memphis in 1993, Louisa continued performing with Project:Motion, co-founded New Bridge Ensemble (one of the original Resident Companies at Theatreworks in Midtown, Memphis), and started Loop Productions, a critically acclaimed performance collective. In New York, she co-produced Not Another Burlesque Show, a one-woman piece exploring human interaction in subway travel. Louisa has choreographed, performed, or designed lights for nearly every theater in Memphis, including Theatre Memphis, The Orpheum, Playhouse on the Square, and Voices of the South. She has received both Ostrander Theatre Awards and Orpheum High School Musical Awards, and has furthered her professional development studying and performing at the acclaimed Academia del’Arte in Arezzo, Italy, American University, Presbyterian College, and Lincoln Center of Arts Education.
Adam Remsen came to theatre in 2011 after ten active years in the Memphis filmmaking community. He has received awards for his films and photography, as well as multiple Ostrander nominations. He has a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of Georgia, and a master’s degree from the University of Memphis, where he focused his graduate work on modern drama.