Volunteer Profiles

Carla Grant

Carla Grant with her husband, Don Kern co-direct Theatre at Coffee Creek at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

Carla Grant has believed in the healing power of theater ever since her Pentecostal upbringing. After receiving a BFA in Acting from Southwest Texas State University, she moved to New York City where she realized she didn’t want to live in New York City. Since landing in P-town she has been involved in various theater projects for the last 15 years. Her credits include staged plays, installation performances, a solo show and producing a monthly variety show. Her involvement with Open Hearts Open Minds came about when her friend Johnny asked if she wanted to start a theatre program at Coffee Creek. She said, “Yes…but wait, okay… YES!”

“I first met Johnny at a workshop many years ago when he ate a raw onion on stage. I am honored to be a part of the team at OHOM and looking forward to spreading the gospel of theatre.”

Don Kern, co-director of Theatre at Coffee Creek

Don Kern, co-director of Theatre at Coffee Creek

Don Kern is a carpenter by training and vocation. He stumbled into theater when he met his future wife, Carla Grant, in 2003. Since that time, he’s been involved in many local productions, working on tech, performing, producing, writing, directing… all the various hats. He’s also a long time community activist, volunteering on environmental issues, gay rights, workers’ rights, economic justice. Theatre at Coffee Creek is a perfect blend of those two passions. “I have seen a lot of theater, but none of it is as consistently moving as the shows I’ve seen in prison. There is an openness and vulnerability shown by inmate actors which is often missing on the ‘outside’. I am honored to be a part of this challenging and rewarding project.”

Together, Carla and Don direct Theatre at Coffee Creek in Wilsonville, OR.

Coffee Creek’s First Perfomance

First performance for members of the Theatre at Coffee Creek

This February 17, 2015 members of the Theatre at Coffee Creek performed "Unconditional Love". This was the group's first performance since the program began in October 2014.