2013 HSRT Acting Company

(click to read their biography)

CHRIS ALEXEY (Tybalt, Romeo + Juliet; Ensemble, All Shook Up; Ensemble, The Light in the Piazza) is honored to make his HSRT debut! He received his BFA in Acting from the University of Central Florida (2012) where he was seen in RENT and TransenDance. Most recently, Alexey was seen in the Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of Miss Nelson Has a Field Day and the Orlando Philharmonic’s special presentation of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other roles include: Nikos/Padamadan (Legally Blonde: The Musical - TheatreWorks Florida), Michael (tick, tick… BOOM! – Relevant Theatrics), Enrique (Locomotion – Orlando Repertory Theatre), Jake (Unto These Hills – Mountainside Theatre), and Aeneas (Trojan Women 2.0 – Orlando International Fringe Festival 2010). In the fall, Alexey will attend Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training to obtain an MFA in Acting. He would like to thank God, as well as his wonderful parents, the amazing acting company and crew, and everyone at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre for their kindness and love!
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DARNELL PIERRE BENJAMIN (Mercutio, Romeo + Juliet; Ensemble, All Shook Up; Ensemble, The Light in the Piazza) is excited about his debut with HSRT this summer. A 2009 graduate of University of Houston's MFA Professional Actor's Training Program, Darnell is looking forward to sharing his work with a new group of people. Darnell has been working full-time with Know Theatre of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company over the past 3.5 years; Aaron in Titus Andronicus, John in Cock, Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird,Valentine in Two Gentleman of Verona, and Belize in Angels in America are a few roles under his belt between the two companies. Also, be on the lookout this summer for the premiere of Darnell's performance as Kyle in the short film, Brett and Kyle.
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JOE BIGELOW (Chad, All Shook Up; Balthasar, Romeo + Juliet; Giuseppe, The Light in the Piazza)is delighted to be performing for the first time at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program, Joe can’t imagine a better way to spend his post-graduation summer than performing here in beautiful Holland, Michigan. Recent credits include: Roman Holiday and H.M.S. Pinafore at the Guthrie Theatre; Hairy Duck at Open Eye Figure Theatre; and The Rover, Three Sisters, Stags and Hens, The Bakkhai, and The Winter’s Tale at the U of M Guthrie BFA Acting program. If you would like to say hi or talk, feel free to introduce yourself after the show.
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JOSEPH BYRD (Sheriff, All Shook Up; Friar Lawrence, Romeo + Juliet) returns for his fifth season with HSRT.  His favorite people on earth include prisoners (he’s a facilitator with Shakespeare Behind Bars/Michigan), friars and sisters (he’s Chaplain for the Order of Lutheran Franciscans), farmers, plumbers, poets (check out www.ordinaryneighbors.com for a knock-down, drop-dead gorgeous wake-up call), seminarians from the wild west (who know how to bring Oregon here, and help him finally feel at home), Scion drivers, kids who believe in the ice-cream truck, Daina Robins (who changed his life, letting him audit her Shakespeare class), pen pals (who help ease the ceaseless ache of this slow, wild fury), Dakotans (teaching him to walk lightly on the snow), parental units who brought along the Stassonian Institution (take an umbrella), brilliant daughters (I know—you all think your children are great, too, but mine actually are), and a wife (aptly named Grace). 
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KATE COLBURN (Ensemble, All Shook Up; Officer, Romeo + Juliet; Lucy, Charlie Brown; Dr. Wonderful, Dr. Wonderful) is excited to be spending her first summer at HSRT. She recently graduated from Hope College. While there she studied both Theater and English Literature. This past summer she lived and worked in Manhattan at TADA! Youth Theater, and she was most recently seen onstage in Hope College’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Stage Door. This past spring she devised, wrote, and directed a play entitled The Faith Project, featuring stories based on interviews with students and faculty at Hope College. Kate thanks her ever-supportive family and friends for all of their love, laughter, and inspiration!
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DYLAN CONNOR (Apothecary, Romeo + Juliet;Production Intern) is a junior at Hope College studying English Education and Theatre; he hails from Tallahassee, Florida. He has most recently been seen as Carl in bobrauschenbergamerica, but has enjoyed a wide variety of performance and technical opportunities at Hope. This is his first summer with HSRT.
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KATIE DRINKARD (Clara, Light in the Piazza;Ensemble, All Shook Up; Featured Ensemble, I Am Woman)could not be more thrilled to call Hope Summer Repertory Theatre her artistic home for the summer! Katie is humbled by the opportunity to take part in this exciting season of theatre. Originally from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Katie is a rising senior in the BFA Musical Theatre Program at Ithaca College. She most recently was afforded the incredible experience of studying abroad in London for the semester, where she had the pleasure of devouring the theatre scene. Last fall, she took to the stage as Vivienne Kensington in the mainstage production of Legally Blonde: The Musical at Ithaca College.  Regional credits include Caroline Neville in Titanic: The Musical at the Hangar Theatre.  Katie extends her heartfelt gratitude to the entire HRST company and to her friends and family near and far!
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CHIP DUFORD (Jim, All Shook Up; Lord Capulet, Romeo + Juliet) is happy to celebrate his milestone 20th season at HSRT this summer!  Chip has played fathers, uncles, husbands, high-ranking military officials, and the occasional animal or two as a part of over 50 productions during his time as an acting company member at HSRT, starting with an acting internship W-A-Y back in 1989.  Chip is proud of his association with husband-and-wife writing team Malcolm Hillgartner and Jahnna Beecham, with whom he has collaborated; he is credited with vocal arrangements and being in the original casts of Chaps!, Dogpark: The Musical, and They Came From Way Out There. He has performed at theatres nationwide for 25 years, including Sierra Repertory Theatre in Sonora, CA., Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Meadow Brook Theatre in Detroit, The Cleveland Play House, and The Monomoy Theatre in Chatham, MA. Chip is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association.  Kisses and love to Shay!
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JARED DUIMSTRA (Production Intern; Officer, Romeo + Juliet) is a Hope College junior from Appleton, Wisconsin. This is his first summer with the company. He has previously appeared on Hope's stage as the Duke of Milan in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as well as working in the scene shop for two semesters. In his spare time, he can usually be found increasing his level of literacy. He disavows any knowledge of having relatives in the company, but he is grateful for those hypothetical people nonetheless.
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SUSAN ERICKSEN (Margaret, The Light in the Piazza) – When she isn't working undercover for [DATA EXPUNGED] or in the secret laboratory in Nevada devising longevity potions and solar-energy crystals, Susan  often whiles away her time at HSRT. In fact, she has been working there since the early 17th century (let's hear it for those potions!) in everything from Shakespeare to musicals to biting modern dramas that give new meaning to the words "insightful" and "relevant" (cool!). Since she can't BE in Italy this summer she thought she'd go there in her imagination as Margaret in The Light in the Piazza. (She hopes the imaginary gelato will be as satisfying!) She is accompanied in her many exploits  by her three charming companions David, Mario and Elena (undoubtably pseudonyms), and credits them with everything worthy – but the crystals.
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LAUREN EZZO (Lady Montague, Romeo + Juliet; Mom, Dr. Wonderful) joins HSRT for her first season as an acting intern. Lauren most recently appeared onstage as Susan in bobrauschenbergamerica at Hope College, directed by Donnie Mather. Other credits include The Servant in Helen, Madame Desmortes in Ring Round the Moon, Lucetta in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Woman A in The Laundry Room, and Ensemble in Almost, Maine. Lauren was a semi-finalist for the 2013 Region III KCACTF Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship.
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GLEN FORBES (Clown 1, The 39 Steps; Lord Montague, Romeo + Juliet) is originally from Dublin, Ireland. Previous roles include: Father Flynn in Doubt: A Parable and Val in Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Shift Theatre); Anton DuVane in The Final Bow (Break-Away Project); Rudolph Peterson in Judgment at Nuremberg and Mr. Swales in Dracula (Blue Moon Theatre Co.); Larry in Closer (1984 Productions); Cuchulain in The Only Jealousy of Emer and The Player/Cardinal Bellamin in The Life of Galileo (Dublin Lyric); and Jack in Cough, I Woulda Sang Madame Butterfly (Holding Court). TV and Film credits include: The Hunchback in The Tudors (Showtime); Tony Doyle in Bloody Sunday (Hells Kitchen Productions); and Father Peter in Distant Voices and Steve in Heads-Up (IADT Productions). Glen has also had two short plays produced—Goodbye (Fishamble) and Smoking Lily in The Fear of Smiling (Break-Away Project)—and has written, directed, and produced a short feature, What’s A Girl To Do? This is Glen’s first time working with HSRT and he is very delighted to be part of the company.
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JOHN HAGA (Production Intern; Officer, Romeo + Juliet) could not be more excited for his first season with HSRT. At Hope College John has played Phil in bobrauschenbergamerica. He was in the chorus for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,and he played Launce in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. He would like to thank his wonderful friends and family for being so supportive.
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BRADLEY HAMILTON (Production Intern; Officer, Romeo + Juliet) is delighted to join the HSRT company this summer. A native of Detroit, he has recently completed his junior year as a theatre major at Hope College. Past Hope credits include Sweeney Todd and Gone Missing, which he reprised at the 2012 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He has also appeared with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company in Grand Rapids, most recently as Sebastian in Twelfth Night. Back home, he helped establish a theatre program at a local youth center as well as worked with several community theatres in the area both on- and off-stage.
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MICHAEL HANNA (Dean, All Shook Up; Benvolio, Romeo + Juliet; Fabrizio, The Light in the Piazza) is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program in Minneapolis. This is his sophomore outing with HSRT. You may have seen him last year in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip) and Chaps! (Clive). He is thrilled to be back in Holland with the HSRT family for yet another exciting summer.
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RUSSELL JONAS (Hannay, The 39 Steps; Duke Escalus, Romeo + Juliet; Roy Johnson, The Light in the Piazza) is thrilled to return for his second season at HSRT . Last season at HSRT he played Charles Bingley in Pride and Prejudice and Gerald Croft in An Inspector Calls. He has performed in New York and regionally at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Studio Theatre, the Ambassador Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, and the Dallas Children's Theatre National Touring Company. Russell was most recently seen as Aaron/Saturninus in his own four-person adaptation of Titus Andronicus at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX, where he is a current MFA Acting student and teaches “The Art of Acting.” Russell graduated magna cum laude from George Washington University with a degree in Political Science: International Politics, Law, and Organizations. He is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association whose training includes SMU and the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory. Russell thanks God, his loving and supportive wife Katya, and his wonderful parents.
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JOSHUA KUMLER (Clown 2, The 39 Steps; Paris, Romeo + Juliet; Newton, Dr. Wonderful) is excited and grateful to be making his HRST debut. A rising senior in the BFA Theatre Studies program at Southern Methodist University, he has been featured in Cloud Nine (Harry/Martin), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Doug), Mercury Fur (Darren), Othello (Soldier), and The Skriker (Ensemble). In addition to performing, Josh is also a student of directing, and has directed three shows so far in his time at SMU: Young Jean Lee's Lear, Samuel Beckett's Beginning to End, and Ellen McLaughlin's Helen. He has also been a featured actor and director in the yearly festival of student written work New Visions, New Voices. He would like to thank his parents, his sister, and everyone else in his family for their enormous love and support.
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BERNELL LASSAI (Sampson, Romeo + Juliet; Ensemble, All Shook Up; Schroeder, Charlie Brown; Ensemble, The Light in the Piazza) is thrilled to be working with HSRT this summer! A native of Chicago, he is a rising sophomore Musical Theatre major at Webster University. Past credits include Train Is Comin’ at Open Door Repertory, Bye Bye Birdie (Albert), Grease (Teen Angel), The Wiz (Lion), and Aladdin (Jafar). He is unbelievably grateful for his family and teachers for all their love and support.
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ANITA "JO" LENHART (Mayor Matilda, All Shook Up; Nurse, Romeo + Juliet; Signora Naccarelli, The Light in the Piazza) resides in Memphis, TN and is grateful for a theatre career that spans nearly four decades and continues to evolve. Past venues include Mill Mountain Theatre in Virginia, the Neil Simon Festival in Utah, the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Opera Memphis, Playhouse on the Square, and Theatre Memphis. Favorite roles include Baby Jane in Jerry Springer: The Opera and Queen Margaret in Richard III. Anita acts, sings and directs in Memphis and is Coordinator for the BFA in Performance for the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Memphis. She is delighted to be making her debut with HSRT and has fallen in love with Holland!
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MATT MADDEN (Abram, Romeo + Juliet; Ensemble, All Shook Up; Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown; Ben, Dr. Wonderful) is a rising junior BFA Musical Theatre major at Ithaca College, from Newtown, CT. Previous credits include: Bellboy in Titanic: The Musical, and Jeremy Jacob in How I Became A Pirate: The Musical; member of the 2012 Lab Company at the Hangar Theatre, Manus in Translations,  Provost in Measure For Measure on the Ithaca College Main Stage, and Bobby Child in Crazy For You at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Many thanks to everyone at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. Special thanks to friends, family, and Hannah for their constant love and support.
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ALYSSA MAGARIAN (Franca, The Light in the Piazza; Featured Ensemble, I Am Woman; Ensemble, All Shook Up)is thrilled to be back in Holland for another season with HSRT! Although she calls Cincinnati, Ohio her home, Alyssa has been in upstate New York earning her BFA in Musical Theatre at Ithaca College, where she will be returning in the fall for her fourth and final year. While studying she has had the opportunity to be a part of the mainstage seasons at Ithaca College, where she has appeared as Signora Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza and Enid Hoopes in Legally Blonde: The Musical. Last season with HSRT, Alyssa was seen in Pride and Prejudice and Songs for a New World. Other credits include Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Ithaca Shakespeare Company, Fantine in Les Misérables with Cincinnati Landmark Productions, and Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Carnegie Theatre. Many thanks to my endlessly supportive friends and family!
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JOSHUA MCCAMMON (Gregory, Romeo + Juliet;Production Intern) is excited to spend his first summer with HSRT. Joshua is currently attending Hope College as a Theatre Performance major, and was last seen as Becker in bobrauchenbergamerica and Frank in Stage Door, both with the Hope Theatre Department.
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ALLISON MORSE (Miss Sandra, All Shook Up; Ensemble, The Light in the Piazza; Sally, Charlie Brown) is thrilled to be making her HSRT debut this summer! Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Allison will be a junior in the BFA Acting Program at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Her favorite credits include Next to Normal (Natalie Goodman), Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party (Queenie), The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet Van de Graaff), Avenue Q (Kate Monster/ Lucy the Slut), and Reefer Madness: the Musical (Mary Lane). Allison has also been seen on camera in the Illinois Tobacco Quit Line commercial, the USFSCO promotional videos, and a web series entitled For the Record. “Thank you HSRT for this wonderful opportunity and to my loved ones for their continuous support and positive energy!”
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OLIVIA PUCKETT (Lorraine, All Shook Up, Featured Ensemble, I Am Woman, Ensemble, The Light in the Piazza) is elated to be making her HSRT debut! She is a recent graduate of Wagner College with a BA in Theatre Performance and hails from sunny San Diego, California. Favorite past Wagner credits include RENT (Mimi Marquez), Putting It Together, School For Lies (Celimene), and Dominatrena in Matty Selman and Galt Macdermot's World Premier of Goddess Wheel. Favorite regional credits include Avenue Q (Gary Coleman) and Legally Blonde: the Musical (Pilar/Swing). She'd like to thank her amazing family and friends for their love and support!
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CELESTE ROSE (Juliet, Romeo + Juliet;Ensemble, All Shook Up) is thrilled to be joining the Hope Summer Rep family this summer. She recently graduated from Ithaca College with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Some of her favorite roles while at Ithaca College include Clara in The Light In the Piazza, Angie/Dull Gret in Top Girls, and Martha in Spring Awakening. Some favorite regional Credits include: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Goodnight Moon, and Beggar on Horseback at The Hangar Theatre. Last summer she made her NYC debut in a NYMF show entitled Part of it All and will soon be returning to the Big Apple for good. “Love and thanks to my wonderful family.”
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NICK SELTING (Romeo, Romeo + Juliet;Ensemble, All Shook Up; Snoopy, Charlie Brown) is beyond excited to be joining HSRT for his first season as an Acting Intern! Originally from Laramie, WY, Nick is a senior pursuing a BFA in Theatre Performance at the University of Evansville. Previous theatres include the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, Grandstreet Theatre, and the Old Lyric Repertory Company. Some favorite past roles include Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Reverend Chrisparkle in Drood, Tulsa in Gypsy, Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, Snoopy in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Jason in Rabbit Hole, and a member of the quartet in The Music Man and My Fair Lady. A very special thanks to his whole family for their endless love and support!
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GRACE STOCKDALE (Natalie, All Shook Up; Ensemble, I Am Woman; Ensemble, The Light in the Piazza) is currently a Senior BFA Musical Theatre Major from Ithaca College, NY. She has just returned to the U.S after an incredible semester studying abroad in London, United Kingdom.  IC Mainstage credits include: Legally Blonde (Brooke Wyndham); The Light in the Piazza (Franca Naccarelli); Working (Delores Dante); Chicago (Swing). Regional Credits; The Hangar Theatre: The Rocky Horror Show (Colombia); The New London Barn Playhouse: Oklahoma (Ado Annie); Hair (Tribe); Legally Blonde (Kate); Ragtime (Kathleen). Grace is thrilled to be part the lovely and talented Company here at Hope. Love to Mom & Pop, Quinny & Dan. Enjoy the show! 
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KATE THOMSEN (Annabelle/Pamela/Margaret, The 39 Steps; Lady Capulet, Romeo + Juliet) is back for a second summer and thrilled to be working on The 39 Steps and Romeo and Juliet.  Having just had her second baby, her hands are pretty full, but she just couldn’t stay away from HSRT. She received her BA in Theatre Performance and Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and her MFA in Acting from University of California, Irvine.  Special honors include the opportunity to perform as Desdemona in Othello at the Kennedy Center through the American College Theatre Festival and touring as Andromache with Women of Troy to Edinburgh, Scotland.  Favorite roles include Ophelia in Hamlet, Becca in Rabbit Hole, and Emily in Our Town.  In addition to teaching for Western Michigan University, Kate currently coaches the speech and forensics team for Holland High and co-facilitates Shakespeare Behind Bars at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon. Special thanks to the world’s most supportive family. Seriously.
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SIERRA WHITE (Silvia, All Shook Up; Featured Ensemble, I Am Woman) is from Chicago, Illinois and an alumna of Drake University (class of 2011) holding a BFA in Musical Theatre. She is thrilled to be making her HSRT debut this summer. Some recent credits include: The Crucible (Tituba), Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (Flo), Chicago: the Musical (Matron Mamma Morton), and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Billie Holiday). Sierra would very much like to thank her mother and best friends for all of their love and support.
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MICHAEL WILLIAMS (Dennis, All Shook Up; Peter, Romeo + Juliet; Linus, Charlie Brown; Ben, Dr. Wonderful) is beyond thrilled and very blessed to be spending his first summer work season with HSRT!!! He is a rising junior at Webster Conservatory pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Past credits there include: Legally Blonde: the Musical (Padamadan/Nikos) , Yours, Anne (Peter), and Spring Awakening: A Staged Reading (Melchior). Many thanks to the God, who showed me music and theatre, and the beautiful people in it through which he keeps blessing me. Dad, Mom, Jeremy and Erin: I love you. Webster family: Thank you for bringing me this far.
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