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NS 2018

BIOGRAPHIES

Get to know the professional cast, musicians, designers and staff of TheatreWorks Florida's The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical!


WHO’S WHO IN THE CAST


Molly Schoolmeester (DARLENE SEWARD): Molly is excited to be returning to Armadillo Acres with TheatreWorks Florida in The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical! She is a BFA recipient in Performing Arts, Vocal Performance, and Dance from SCAD. Some of her favorite roles include Stella Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Lauren/Grandma Ida in First Date, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Milady/Constance in The Three Musketeers, Woman #2 in Songs For A New World and Edges, and The Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland. She would like to thank her parents and especially her husband, Henry, for their undying love and support throughout the years. Let's play in the park y'all!

Casey W. Sweeney (RUFUS JETER): Hailing from a small town in upstate New York, Casey has called central Florida home for the past decade. Credits include NYC/Orlando - Blue Man Group, Mad Cow Theatre - Academy, WDW Entertainment -Jedi Academy, Rock of Ages and Little Shop of Horrors - both with TheatreWorks Florida. Casey has also created award winning original works for local companies and the Orlando International Fringe Festival.


Tad KIncade (JACKSON BOUDREAUX): Tad is very excited to be back with TheatreWorks Florida in this hilarious musical! He last appeared with TWF this past spring in The Great American Trailer Park Musical. He recently just let it all go and stripped all his clothes off as Dave in The Full Monty. Favorite past roles include Duke in The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Scotty in Evil Dead the Musical and Judas in Godspell. Thank you to Scott for bringing him back to Armadillo Acres. Tad would like to dedicate this show to Olivia who has been a wonderful addition to his life. He is very thankful that she came into his life when she did. You have truly brought me joy.

Stephanie Trull (BETTY): Stephanie is so excited to be making her TheatreWorks Florida debut as Betty! A recent graduate of the BFA Musical Theatre Program at the University of Central Florida, Stephanie's favorite credits include: Mort/Private in Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, Congregant in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Sarraghina in Nine, Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man and Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical the Musical. Follow Stephanie to see what comes next: @msstephanopoly.


Giovanna Ciccone (LINOLEUM aka LIN): Giovanna is overjoyed to be a part of her first TheatreWorks Florida production! Past credits include The Pirates of Penzance, Rock of Ages, Sweeney Todd, Evita and Jekyll & Hyde. She’d like to thank Scott for giving her this opportunity to be a part of such a great show. She’d also like to thank her amazing cast and crew. Giovanna dedicates her performances to her family who always believe in her and help her chase her dreams.


Kiernan O'Connor (DONNA aka PICKLES): Kiernan is so excited to be returning to the TheatreWorks Florida stage revising her role as PICKLES! Most recent credits include Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (Titusville Playhouse) and Logainne Schwarzandgrubenniere in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Encore! Cast Performing Arts) and Mush in Newsies (Titusville Playhouse). A huge thank you to her friends and family for all of their constant love and support.


WHO’S WHO IN THE BAND


Mark McDowell (GUITAR): Mark originally hails from Harrisburg PA. After studying jazz guitar at Philadelphia’s University of The Arts, he hit the road for most of the 90s, eventually landing in Orlando FL. He plays for Theme Parks, churches, musicals, and for his Original comedy band, “Whiskey Sharts”. Mark has played for TheatreWorks Florida in past productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Legally Blonde - The Musical and Rock of Ages.

Raymond Sierra (BASS): Ray attended Florida Southern College School of Music. He is a member of the Rollins Wind Ensemble, a former member of the Ruth Eckerd Jazz Big Band and the Sarasota Youth Orchestra. He has toured Europe with the Florida Ambassadors and did an internship with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Ray is a Woodwind specialist, but also play percussion and bass. Merry Christmas to all!

Trey Cross (PERCUSSION): Trey was born and raised in Southwest Florida, where he studied with several of the top players in the area. Trained in all of the percussion instruments including drumset, mallet instruments, orchestral percussion and marching percussion, Trey has done a wide variety of work throughout Southwest Florida and now, Central Florida. Trey currently studies with the legendary Marty Morell (of the Bill Evans trio) and maintains a full schedule of private lessons, theater work, orchestral work, and group ensemble coaching.

WHO’S WHO ON STAFF


Scott A. Cook (ARTISTIC PRODUCER/DIRECTOR): Originally from New York, Scott has been producing, directing and choreographing musical theatre and live stage shows nationally and internationally for over 33 years. He is currently the Artistic Producer of TheatreWorks Florida. In 2010 & 2012, TheatreWorks Florida's productions of The Great American Trailer Park Musical and Little Shop of Horrors won many top awards at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival including "Best In Fest". His credits include: Rock Of Ages (Central Florida regional premiere), Hands On A Hardbody (Central Florida regional premiere), Schoolhouse Rock Live!, Rent, Next To Normal, The Wedding Singer, Sweeney Todd, Winter Wonderettes, Nunsense, Legally Blonde: The Musical (Central Florida regional premiere), Little Shop of Horrors, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Parade, Plaid Tidings, Cats, Big River, Footloose, Cabaret, Three Penny Opera, Nuncrackers, Deathtrap, Jekyll and Hyde, Meat Street, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Anything Goes, Blood Brothers, Brigadoon, Company, Dames At Sea, Damn Yankees, Eating Raoul: The Musical, Forever Plaid, Godspell, Grease, Guys and Dolls, The Rocky Horror Show, The Taffetas and The Will Roger's Follies. Scott's original show design and concept works for the stage include: Journey Into Jungle Book, Future Fantasia and Tapestry for the Walt Disney World Company; Stories of Christmas for Universal Studios Florida. Scott is currently an adjunct professor for Florida Southern College Dept. of Theatre & Dance.

David Foust (MUSIC DIRECTOR): David teaches voice in the theater department at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. He owns Star Fine Arts Studio in Winter Park as well as Star Productions, Inc. David won the 2014 Broadway World award for “Best Musical Direction-Professional” for his work on Sweeney Todd, Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a TheatreWorks Florida production. Recently he has been the musical director for productions of The Color Purple, Ghost, Little Shop of Horrors and Hands on a Hardbody (Central FL Regional Premiere). Christmas really is his favorite time of the year!

James F. Beck (SET & LIGHTING DESIGN): James is the Designer/Technical Director and Department Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance at Florida Southern College (Lakeland, Florida). He received his MFA in Production Design and Technology from Ohio University in 1986. He has been designing and directing for various theatre companies as well as teaching at the college level since 1988. He has been the Resident Production Designer for TheatreWorks Florida since its inception in 2007. With this company, he has received awards for Best Scenic Design of The Great American Trailer Park Musical and Little Shop of Horrors at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival in 2010 & 2012 and Best Set (professional) for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2014) and Rock of Ages (2016), from BroadwayWorld Orlando Awards.

Mollie LaTorre (COSTUME DESIGN): Mollie is thrilled to be designing her first production with TheatreWorks Florida. She received her Masters in Costume Design from Florida State University in 2017 and currently works in Creative Costuming for Disney Parks Live Entertainment. Previous design credits include Fun Home and The Royal Family at Madcow Theatre. FSU credits include Cloud Nine, Killer Joe, Some Girl(s) and films Interrogation, The Terrible Trio, Death at Dinner. She has previously worked at Utah Festival Opera and Music Festival, Olney Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival and has a BFA in Production Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. Mollie would like to thank her amazing family and friends for their support and thank you to TheatreWorks Florida for allowing her to be part of their family.

Heather Franklin (HAIR & MAKEUP DESIGN): Heather is a Hair Stylist who works and resides in Tavares, FL. She has done wig design for multiple theaters in Lake County as well as Key Hair and Makeup Design for numerous local short films such as Clarity and The Grove. She is very excited to be working with TheatreWorks Florida again on another amazing production after recently designing hair and makeup for their Central FL regional premiere of Rock Of Ages. Heather is grateful for her family's support.

Ty Menard (PROPS & SET DECORATION DESIGN): Ty is thrilled to be heading back to Armadillo Acres trailer park after a brief confessional with the ladies of Nunsense. Earlier this year, Ty made his debut with TheatreWorks Florida as Props/Set Decoration Designer for The Great American Trailer Park Musical and is thrilled to be part of the TheatreWorks Florida family. He studied Puppetry at the University of Connecticut and now works with Disney Parks Live Entertainment. Ty has spent the past few years volunteering with Encore! Cast Performing Arts on the Scenic Design and Production team, most recently receiving a Broadway World award for 2017 Best Scenic Design for Hairspray. He appeared earlier this year as Leaf Coneybear in Encore! Cast Performing Arts' production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other design credits include Buddy’s Tavern (Scenic), The Klemperer’s New Clothes (Scenic), Glimmerglass (Mask Design), Seussical (Puppetry), and Godspell (Scenic). On behalf of TheatreWorks Florida's Cast, Crew, and Creative Team, thanks for celebrating Christmas with us in the trailer park, but be sure you don't let Pickles catch you under the mistletoe!

Kenny Banning (AUDIO DESIGN): Kenny began his theatrical career at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 2006. Working on shows for Jazz bands, Howl-O-Scream events/shows and In Park entertainment. He moved to the Davenport area in 2008 upon getting a job at Disney, as an Entertainment tech, working on Finding Nemo: the Musical and Festival of the Lion King. Kenny has been working with Davenport School of the Arts since 2012 as an Audio, Lighting & Video Designer for 11 shows, most recently Sherlock Holmes. He is currently a full time Video Engineer for LMG, doing shows and tours nationwide. Kenny would like to thank his loving wife Anne, his 2 awesome sons, Sean and Konnor, and his dog Leko.

Abel Gonzales (COMPANY MANAGER): Abelardo is a 24-year USAF militray veteran. His leadership, management and supervisory skills were most recently applied as Operations Manager, Aerospace Medicine, MacDill AFB, FL. He has a very strong background in management, supervision, training and excels in research & development. He is responsible for creating TheatreWorks Florida’s efficient and effective business and administrative operating procedures and policies, as well as negotiating legal contracts, overseeing company and production budgets and has developed a strong research team.

Jennifer Roman (STAGE MANAGER/TWF PRODUCTION MANAGER): A native of New York, Jennifer brings over 20 years experience both as a performer and behind the scenes as Production Manager and Stage Manager. She earned her BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University in North Carolina. Jennifer spent 7 years in New York performing on cruise ships, theme parks, regional theaters, as well as film and television. While in New York, she worked with The Producer’s Club, The Lark Theatre, Streetsoul Productions and The New York Fringe Festival. She was the Tour Manager for Flying Ship Productions in New Jersey. Jennifer also worked for The Arts Trust of New Jersey where she held many positions including Assistant to the Director and Company Manager. Shortly after moving to Florida, Jennifer joined TheatreWorks Florida in 2008 as Production Stage Manager for Plaid Tidings, Forever Plaid, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Marvelous Wonderettes and Winter Wonderettes. She has performed and been the Production Manager in TheatreWorks Florida's productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Legally Blonde: The Musical and Nunsense. She has also occasionally worked for The Garden Theatre as a performer, dance captain and ASM and was Assistant Director of All the Great Books (Abridged) at Moonlight Players in Clermont.

Alexis Senge Johnson (DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR): Alexis is a University of Central Florida alumni with both an undergraduate degree in Management and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit focused on organizational development, grant writing and fundraising. Coupling her many years of professional experience in the production of live entertainment and special events at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment with her fields of study, Alexis now gives back to her arts community by merging creativity with analytical insight. She has partnered with organizations such as The Henegar Center for the Arts, VSA Arts of Florida – Brevard, Canine Companions for Independence Southeast Region, Rebuilding Together and UCP of Central Florida on a variety of projects that propelled them to new levels.

Mark S. Graham (ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR): Mark has an MFA in Directing from the University of Connecticut. He has directed over 100 plays and musicals. He has served as a board member of Westport Country Playhouse, Playhouse on the Green and The Theatre Artist's Workshop. For ten years, Mark was a producing partner of Tony Award winning producer Lester Osterman. He was general manager of Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theater in Westport, CT. Mark is co-producing a new musical, The Girl in the Red Dress, with music and lyrics by Maia Sharp, Buddy Mondlock and Art Garfunkel. Mark will be directing Lend Me A Tenor and The Clean House at Polk State Theater for their 50th Anniversary Season.

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