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PLAYA Staff

Kris NorrisKris Norris

(she/her)
Executive Director

Kris has witnessed PLAYA’s programs effect people profoundly. Sometimes the result is a life-changing decision, sometimes it’s an affirmation that the moment’s chosen path is the right one. Her job as Executive Director is to preserve the engagement PLAYA fosters between residents and the fascinating natural world of the Oregon Outback where our campus is located. Leading PLAYA’s scant and dedicated staff toward sustainable goals that support this relationship with the natural world motivates and inspires her to carry out our mission of transforming our world through creative inquiry in science and art.

She lives in Paisley, 17 miles south of PLAYA with her husband, Michael. She brings a skill-set from her diverse background in marketing and PR, development and budget management of non-profit organizations such as the Truckee Donner Land Trust and Truckee Tahoe Youth Theatre, a PreK-12 educator in English Language Arts and Theatre Arts in the U.S and abroad, budget management and instructing horsemanship for a 72-acre equestrian center, housekeeping, culinary and supervisory management in the local high-school dormitory and at PLAYA.

She travels everywhere by bicycle; commute, bike-pack, pedal for pleasure. Her competitive side is sated by participating in the Prefontaine Memorial 10k Run in Coos Bay, Oregon each fall, and she reads a gob of murder mysteries and thrillers and has authored several manuscripts in the genre.

Kathryn Wilson

(she/they)

Program Manager

Kathryn looks forward to bringing her passion for community care and fostering relational exchange with the natural world to the facilitation of PLAYA’s programs. She is excited about developing programs which make space for imagination and art/science  collaboration in service of positive social and environmental impacts on Lake County  communities, and beyond. She has a varied background, having worked as a community  advocate, program manager, and nonprofit administrator, as well as a cultural producer  for film, theater and events. She is also a trauma-informed somatics facilitator and has worked as a native plant landscape designer. She has worked in organizations and arts spaces such as The Cosanti Foundation at Arcosanti, The Broad Stage, Directors Lab West, South Coast Repertory, BEDLAM Theater Company and more. As a collaborative theater artist, she is grounded in the belief that the natural world can be a site of liberation. She comes to this land eager to be in reciprocal relationship and learn about its history and peoples.

 Michael Norris

 (he/him)
 Site & Facilities Manager

Michael was PLAYA’s first Site+Facilities Manager from 2010-2018, and returned to the responsibilities in August 2022. Michael will be training Simon Lagneaux, the next Site+Facilities Manager in 2024 and will provide back-up support thereafter. Michael lives in Paisley, 17 miles south of PLAYA. He has taught Woodshop and AutoCad at Paisley School and has served as a volunteer in the Paisley Youth Mentor Program and Paisley Players Community Theatre. He has two grown children and two grandchildren. Currently he volunteers with the Oregon Timber Trail, Oregon Desert Trail and the Fremont-Winema National Forest as certified sawyer and spends many volunteer hours clearing and maintaining public trails in Lake County. He operates Paisley Adventure, a bicycle repair shop, with rentals, tours, shuttle                                                               and re-supply service.

Simon Lagneaux

(he/him)
Site & Facilities Manager

Lover of all things wild, Simon is most happy when exploring the natural world on two (bicycle) wheels. He can’t wait to explore all the beauty of Oregon from his new home base in Lake County. Simon has an arts background, working for many years as a graphic designer and web developer for companies and individuals that positively contribute to the public good like conservationists, artists, progressive start-ups, nonprofits and museums. Though originally from Belgium, he is no stranger to the high desert, having recently farmed and worked in planning at Arcosanti, the experimental town in Arizona. The best job he ever had was outfitting and cooking for an off-grid sci-fi movie production in the stunning Mojave Desert. He is a climate activist and has volunteered in trail maintenance with the Sierra Club in California and now with the Oregon Timber Trail. Keenly aware of how encouraging the porosity between art and science can benefit us all, he is excited to be part of the team that creates a fruitful environment for the exchange of ideas and experiences that PLAYA facilitates.

Shawna Negus

(she/her)
Cuisine and Lodging Manager

Shawna loves her job at PLAYA because she loves food and making people feel welcome. There’s so much pleasure in imagining and creating delicious entrees, salads, and desserts for the people who come here from all over the world. She also takes pride in readying PLAYA’s cabins for new residents. She grew up in this county but has lived in many beautiful places from Alaska to Arizona. Now she’s fortunate to call this area home again, as it’s her favorite place of all, where she has a wonderful garden, family, and many friends.