Risk/Reward was founded by Jerry Tischleder in 2008 under the umbrella of Hand2Mouth Theatre, whose instrumental support allowed us to grow our primary programs, audience, media coverage, artist relations and earned income gradually over our first five years. Since July 2012, we’ve operated as an independent organization. Being part of an artist collective that self-produces and tours new work made a big impact on the values of our organization and our ability to understand both the needs of our audiences and the artists we present. In 2020, Katie Watkins (Associate Producer since 2012, Festival Director since 2018) succeeded Jerry as Producing Artistic Director. Her focus is to continue amplifying Pacific Northwest artists who are pushing the boundaries of performance work in the NW, allowing the experimental, brave and brilliant audiences at Risk/Reward shows to experience the beauty and magic of the work for themselves.

Risk/Reward is a Company in Residence at Artists Repertory Theatre, who provides a host of services and personnel for our operations including performance space, box office services, house management and more. Being imbedded in this artistic home allows us to focus our energies primarily on producing unconventional artistic events.

We’ve just concluded a three-year Capacity Building initiative that included: unveiling a new website, finalizing an interim fiscal sponsor agreement, inaugurating a founding Board of Directors, obtaining 501(c)3 status, launching an individual giving program, kicking off a short-term fundraising campaign, and expanding our artistic programs throughout the year. We are currently tackling an 18-month strategic planning process to further refine how awesome we can be to our artists and audiences.


Jerry Tischleder – Founding Director

Katie Watkins – Producing Artistic Director

Liam Kaas-Lentz – Production Manager

CONE PDX – Grant Writing Team


Kate Bredeson

Marilou Carrera

Anthony Hudson

Jerry Tischleder

Takahiro Yamamoto