Walking Shadow Readers Theatre originally launched in 2005 as Walking Shadow Theatre Company. It was founded by alumni of South Lakes High School in Reston, VA, who reunited to produce theatre in Washington, DC. The company transformed into a virtual readers theatre in June, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the changing world of American theatre.
We provide a virtual platform for playwrights to hear their in-development works read aloud. Playwrights receive interdisciplinary feedback from our company members to develop their work. We provide feedback from a panel of professionals in fields including writing, editing, playwriting, education, acting, directing, and technical theatre. We also have experts bringing perspectives from fields such as mental health, technology, and theology. We help new and experienced playwrights refine their works through performance and constructive feedback.
Amy Benson is the Executive Assistant and Board Liaison at Round House Theatre, one of the “big six” DC area theatres. Prior to her position at Round House, she was a teaching artist with Imagination Stage, where she taught theatre in a wide variety of disciplines. As a teaching artists, she directed plays and musicals, including an annual Create a Play project, where students write and produce their own plays. She has also taught in Berlin, Germany, where she opened her own acting studio, Beijing, China, and New York City. Amy has a BFA in Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and sons.
Becca Gibson is a natural-born empath which lends itself well both on-stage and off-stage. They hold a BS in Family Science and an MSW. Becca works as a licensed mental health therapist in Baltimore specializing in trauma and neurodiversity-affirming care. They will not provide a diagnosis for your mother-in-law. They love musical theatre, spoiling their nieces and snuggling with their cat Oreo. In their down time, you can find Becca binge-watching trashy television, reading, or playing role-playing games.
Sam Repshas has been performing in the DC area for the past 10+ years. After receiving his BFA at Tulane University, he accrued credits that include both stage and film projects. He is thrilled to be involved with Walking Shadow! He also enjoys playing the harmonica, is an avid consumer of stand-up comedy, and he loves cats.
Director of Marketing
Katie Takats lives in Ohio with her husband and son. She holds a BA in English Linguistics and an MA in Theology and Christian Ministry. A copy editor by day, she has always loved reading and helping people improve their work. She speaks four languages- English, German, American Sign Language, and Latin – and enjoys crafting, creating digital artwork, and spending time outdoors with her family.
Craig Lewis is a security consultant by day and theatre enthusiast by night. He holds a degree in Dance from Point Park University with performance credits at the Kennedy Center and Warner Theatre in Washington, DC. Offstage, his theatrical background encompasses set and lighting design, stage management, and prop construction. With an eye for design, Craig spends his free time knitting, crafting, and constructing holiday displays that can best be described as “overkill”. Participating in a new virtual environment offers an exciting new artistic medium he will surely tell all of his houseplants about for years to come.
Director of Development
Adrienne Powell is a trained actor, dancer and singer currently residing on the East Coast. Some of her favorite roles include Miss Spider in James and the Giant Peach (American Repertory Theater), Almeta in Violet (musical) directed by Sammi Cannold, and Butterfly McQueen (originated role) in Women of the Wind (Theater for the New City). When not performing, Adrienne works as an arts administrator, helping to bring arts-integrated experiences to classrooms and childcare centers across the DC metro area. She holds a Masters in Acting from the ART/MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University and a B.A. in Communication from George Mason University. She is thankful for this chance to join the passionate team at Walking Shadow Readers Theatre from the comfort of her own computer!
Griffin Duy is a 27-year-old thespian who originally hails from Fairfax County and now resides in Northwest DC. He began his acting journey on stage, studying at UVA-Wise in the Gilliam Center of the Arts while pursuing a Political Science major. He comes from an eclectic family, which he uses to his advantage when developing and portraying a character. An enigmatic and disciplined performer, he is eternally grateful for every opportunity.
Amy Dellagiarino is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who resides in Los Angeles. She is a published playwright and the proud “mother” of two incredibly spoiled terrier mixes. She earned her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found training for a marathon and/or eating cake.
Jean Goto is a New York based hapa actress and filmmaker. She has made Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Blacklist, and Law & Order: SVU. She is co-founder of Burn it Down, a filmmaking collective that supports learning by doing. Her films have screened at festivals around the nation. Jean is passionate about the planet, learning about human beings, and storytelling. Various things she loves in no particular order: nature, dancing, and putting together jigsaw puzzles.
Cristen Stephansky is a Washington, DC-area actor. She is a graduate of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and enjoys writing short plays and films. She was most recently seen in some local online videos/commercials. Recent: An Independent Claus with Best Medicine Rep (November 2020). Cristen is also a company member of Crash of Rhinos.
Rebecca Ross Bailey is a NYC-based actress and singer who originally hails from the great state of Maine. She is a proud graduate of the William Esper Studio and has performed a variety of work on stage and screen, including classics such as Twelfth Night, Marriage of Figaro, Importance of Being Earnest, as well as workshopping several contemporary new works. During quarantine, she has spent a lot of quality time with her dog Albee, virtual walking tours in Prague, and her ukulele.
Rosanna Magarelli graduated from NYU with a B.A. in Dance and Drama. After spending some years dancing with The Bristol Ballet Company, she left dance to focus more on acting. Her acting career was cut short when she had the overwhelming urge to become a mother and entrepreneur. She is returning to acting after being away for many years raising her daughter and running her children’s music program. Her true love has always been acting, so she is thrilled to be back exploring her passion.
Tim Norman is a Teaching Artist for Imagination Stage and schools throughout DC and Maryland. He worked on the film The Forgiving at 2020 Paris Lift-Off Film Festival and last performed in the Kennedy Center Page to Stage reading of The Last Battle of the American Revolution.
Dan Shaked B.F.A. NYU Tisch Drama, Studied at Royal Academy of Drama Arts THEATER: Waxing West (World Premiere @ La MaMa Etc. +Bucharest tour), Playwrights For A Cause (w/ Carol Kane), On the Spectrum (The Fountain Theatre, LA), The Normal Heart (Fountain Theatre, LA), The Fever Chart (Dir. Elena Araoz), Graham & Frost (PS 122), Under the Table & Dreaming (2019 Hollywood Fringe Fest), Stone Cold Dead Serious (Theatre Row), La Negra (HI-ARTS NYC), 2016 /17 Great Plains Theater Conference Participant, 2019 La Mama Umbria Etc. Playwrights In Residence Reading Series, 2Y20M HB Studio In-Residency Workshop. 2010 PCTF Winner Outstanding Actor Featured or Cameo Role for Cake.
Syhaya Aviel is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. From there she has taken a strong passion in helping new works of art come to life, and has participated in various readings of new works, the building of a theatre company, and the production of several films and indie series’. She can be seen on the HBO series, Vinyl, as well as in various commercials. She has voiced spots for major brands like ULTA Beauty, Pep Boys and Con Edison of NY to name a few… and has some voice characters in development as well.
Jason Michael Miller has gained international exposure with award winning, web-based, & parody sketch show: The Key of Awesome. Fav credits include: Dog Sees God (Beethoven); The Little Dog Laughed (Alex); Guys & Dolls (Harry) ; Fringe’s Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island (Hal), by Joshua Mikel; & Graduation (Lucas), by Eugene Grygo. Much love & thanks to my family, friends & support team Marla, Mickey, & Allan at Innovative Artists! “Rest, but don’t quit!”
Alma Muniz is thrilled to be a part of Walking Shadow Readers Theater’ production of ‘Deer Island’ . She has worked throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York theater. Performances include: Ludlow Fair, Working, Proof, and Miss East LA. Born in Mexico, raised in California, she is a graduate from New York University where her love of acting grew. She enjoys martial arts, dancing, and drawing. You can catch her on HBO Latinx in El Remedio. She thanks her family, friends, and mentors for their unconditional love and support!
Larissa Laurel, a multi-Ethnic Actress, made her mark in the plus-size modeling world by being one of the top in her field. She was the Apple-Bottom and Dereon model along with many other designer brands. Trained as a musical theater and classically trained actor, Larissa booked her first TV role as real-life Lakota activist “Wauneta Lonewolf” for the pilot “I See God” for MTV. She quotes: “I come from a very long line of Texans. My family can trace their roots back as far as 15 generations of Texans consisting of Irish, Polish, Spanish, Mexican, & Native American blood. I know this helps me morph into different characters and I love exploring different ethnic groups and telling a story that makes one feel closer to understanding a life outside of their own.”
Anna Jackson is a NY-based actor and graduate of the Stella Adler Studio 3-year conservatory, where she performed in “As You Like It,” “Escape From Happiness,” “Top Girls,” and “Love’s Labours Lost.” Prior to NY, she worked in the DC area with Studio Theatre, NextStop, Landless, and Workhouse Arts Center. She has performed numerous children’s shows with Studio 3 Children’s Theatre including “Rapunzel,” “Miss Electricity,” and “Schoolhouse Rock Live,” as well as with Imagination Stage in “Wake Up, Brother Bear” and “The BFG” at National Theatre. She also taught for years with InterAct Story Theatre and Wolftrap Center for Early Childhood Education to bring arts integration into classrooms. Anna holds a Bachelor of Music from UNC School of the Arts.
Matt Melenas is very excited to be joining such a talented and amazing group at Walking Shadow Readers Theatre. He has recently moved from Florida to Maryland, where he lives with his amazing wife and four and a half year old son. Recent acting credits include Ricky in Trouble at the Tropicabana, John the Baptist/Judas in Godspell, and Willie Conklin in Ragtime.
Fariaz Rabbani is a stand up comedian and actor based in NYC. He is a graduate of Esper Studios. He has 2 cats, named Billy Zane and Rose, and a Corgi named Rambo.
Sarah Furniss is an actress hunkering down in the tundra of her Minnesotan homeland during the pandemic. She has acted and lived in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seoul, and the Twin Cities, appearing on both stage and screen.
Instagram & Twitter:@fieryfurniss
Andres Paul Ramacho – Regional: Good Grief (MJG), A Willow Grows Aslant: An Ophelia Story (Laertes), Wintertime (Francois), Little Children Dream of God (Manuel/Reverend), Doctored and Devised (Roland), The Storm (Dikoy). World Premiere: Say Goodbye Toto (Lion). Steppenwolf West: Spooky (Fool for Love – Eddie). New York: Fun (Denny), National Comedy Theatre of NY. Los Angeles: The Value of Moscow (Jimbo), The Hairy Ape (Ensemble), Fool on a Roof (Taro). Film: Hope, Method, StraightUp, Love Note. Voice Over: Netflix – Invisible City, Cagaster of an Insect Cage, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Illang: The Wolf Brigade, HBO – Patria, Gomorrah. Other: The Voice of the Hollywood Bowl. Proud UCSD Alumni!
Audra Jacobs is a DC based actor and director. They graduated with an A.A. in Theatre and Performance from Montgomery College in 2019 and is currently a Theatre Major at Bowie State University. Audra is the Directing Resident and New Works Liaison at Dark Horse Theatre Company in The Plains and Herndon, Virginia. Previous performance credits include Romeo and Juliet (Romeo) with the Rude Mechanicals, and the world premiere of Spirit Seekers (Ensley) with Dark Horse Theatre Company.
Victoria L. Turner is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Theatre with a minor in Africana Studies. During her four years at NYU, she studied method acting through The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Growing up in Atlanta, theatre and music have played a pivotal role in cultivating her lifestyle as a singer, actress, and writer. She has been featured in various theatrical productions around New York City and Atlanta Georgia, including a performance with Rachelle Ferrell at The Renown Blue Note Jazz Club and numerous Off-Broadway plays. She formerly served as Director of Education/ Actor Training Initiatives for Grios Theatre Ensemble. She is currently a Founding Member of the Stonecrest Film and Entertainment Committee, and hosts a weekly Podcast called The Waiting Game: Chapter 35.
Isabel Brown is an LA-based actor and writer. A recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University, she first discovered her love of acting through the theater scene in her native Dallas, Texas. Recently, Isabel has appeared in several short films and in The Laramie Project with The AlphaNYC Theater Company.
Carol Cadby is very excited to be a part of Walking Shadow Readers Theater’ production of ‘Touch the Moon’! She studied with Uta Hagen and Herbert Bergof at HB Studios, Joy Zinoman at the Studio Acting Conservatory, and is trained in Meisner, Viewpoints, Laban and Linklater. Favorite film and theatre credits include: Radium Girls now on Netflix (Ms. Butkiss), Love Letters (Melissa), Savage in Limbo (Denise Savage) and Top Girls (Dull Greit/Joyce). Carol also loves teaching acting at the Rome School of Music, Drama and Art at Catholic University, the Theatre Lab Acting Conservatory, and George Mason University, as well as working with OLA Consulting as an Executive Coach specializing in leadership presence.
William Lerberg is currently finishing his BFA in acting at Clark University. His notable roles and performances include Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy Of Errors, Konstantin from The Seagull, and Rodney in Small Mouth Sounds. He also made his on-screen debut in the short film Cross Talk in 2020.
Steve Schroko REGIONAL: Lyman in Other Desert Cities (Sherman Playhouse); ELI WHITNEY in Anything Goes (John J. Engeman Theatre) (cancelled/COVID); FDR in Annie (Zeiterion Theatre) (cancelled/COVID); Snyder in Newsies (White Plains Performing Arts Center). TV: Evil Lives Here; Diabolical; On the Case with Paula Zahn; The Food That Built America; Queering (YouTube). FILM: Backroad Diner.
Danika Jackson, originally from Rhinebeck, NY, started acting at age 4 through local community theaters. After high school, she enrolled at NYU, initially studying Film and Television before transfering into the Drama program. She is currently a junior studying with the Lee Strasberg Institute.
Monnie Aleahmad An award winning actor and director from Chicago, based in the Los Angeles area, Monnie Aleahmad is known for his appearances on camera in films, TV shows, commercials, webseries, TV pilots, music videos, and YouTube sketches; on stage in scripted roles and improv shows; and voicing commercials, films, audiobooks, and podcasts. Monnie is often recognized for his honest dramatic performances as well as his unique brand of humor. He studied acting and improv College of DuPage and at various prestigious acting schools in Chicago. Monnie is African American and Persian and speaks both English and Farsi, a result of having spent most of his teens living in Tehran, Iran. As a fan of Walking Shadow Readers Theatre, Monnie is delighted to be working with them!
Tom Fields is an actor and voice talent in the Washington DC area. A Brooklyn native, Tom, along with 7 brothers, grew up in the business doing TV commercials, modeling, and catalog shoots. In his first commercial, for Ivory Snow, he was in a diaper. After acting through the 50s, 60s, and 70s Tom gave corporate America a try. He pivoted back to acting and voiceovers a few years ago. He’s been cast in productions with The Little Theatre of Alexandria Academy (It’s a Wonderful Death, SHEL), and The Arlington Players (War of the Worlds audioplay, WELLES/PIERSON). In a variety of TV episodes Tom has played a ghost, murder victim, Dad, and detective. He’s narrated for Stanley Black & Decker, Gilchrist Hospice, and immersive video games. He enjoys doing table reads for emerging writers, film festivals, and seasonal work as Santa.
George Kassouf, originally from Alabama, has been acting in the DC area for only a couple of years. He trained at the Studio Acting Conservatory and has appeared in several Capital Fringe Festivals, as well other theatrical showcases. Most recently, George did a comic turn as a put-upon rabbi in the short film Julie Leaves the Nest.
Napoleon Tavale was born in American Samoa and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned a BA in Theatre from Whittier College and proudly holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Virginia. After his MFA, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue tv, film, and theatre jobs. Tavale is currently a drama teacher at a charter school in Arizona.
Donna Winfield, born and raised in Virginia, recognized her love of acting at a very young age and set her sights on New York City. Her acting training began with the Meisner Technique with the awesome Maggie Flanigan at William Esper Studios. She has performed in a few very off-Broadway performances, had a Co-Star role on Judging Amy and kept the bills paid with numerous national and regional commercials. She is a proud mom and a recent empty-nester who has decided to reconnect with the things that truly move her. Outside of her artistic endeavors, she loves baking, reading, and thrifting. Donna is extremely grateful to have the love and support of family while continuing her artistic journey and grateful to Walking Shadows Readers Theater for allowing her to be a part of their team!
Amir Levi‘s LA credits include Waiting (Playwrights Arena), MARCH (LGBT Center & Playwrights Arena), Nathan C. Jones: A Love Story? (theblank YouTube Channel), Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta (Rogue Artists Ensemble), Wood Boy Dog Fish (RogueAE& Garry Marshall), Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin (RogueAE & EWP), Something Truly Monstrous (the blank), The Behavior of Broadus (Sacred Fools & Burglars of Hamm), Robin Hood (South Coast Rep.). TV: “Speechless,” “Brooklyn 99,” “New Girl,” “The Middle,” “Casual,” “Transparent,” “Game Shakers,” “2 Broke Girls.” Film: “Head–Tie,” “Courting Chaos,” “Special Needs.” Represented by Smith & Hervey/Grimes, and Debra Manners Talent.
Bri Houtman is a young actress studying theatre and criminal justice in her last year at George Washington University. She is originally from Seattle, WA, but has been living in Washington, DC for the past four years. She hopes to travel the world making art and meaningful change in the near future.
Caroline Pleasant is an actor in the Metropolitan Washington/Baltimore/Virginia area. Stage credits include Waiting to be Invited (Ms. Odessa) with The Serenity Players; Nuts (The Judge) with Bowie Community Theater; The Gospel at Colonus (The Preacher) with Theater Alliance; Flyin’ West (Miss Leah), with The Metropolitan Ebony Theater. Film credits include: Nocturnal Agony (Lillie); Unraveled (Lynda); Lift (Sugar); Heaven Burns (Missy); Juju: The Witchdoctor Chronicles (Voodoo High Priestess); Exodus 20:13 (Mrs. David), and Too Saved (Deaconess Ford). Television credits include VEEP (Hospital Administrator) and The Wire (Mrs. Broadnus), both on HBO, and Countdown to Ground Zero (Josephine Harris) on The History Channel. She was a company member for Synergy Playback, and District Community Playback. Caroline also has credits with local commercials, industrials, and training videos. She received her Associate of Arts Degree in Theatre from Prince Georges Community College; she studied at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory, and The Theatre Lab. She is a member of (SAG-AFTRA). Currently due to the pandemic, Caroline has performed on the Zoom platform with INCARN, Live Virtual Theater, presenting live plays. Caroline thanks God first, then family and friends for support and encouragement..
Pete Papageorge is an actor, musician, voice actor. Member of SAG-AFTRA, in numerous Film/TV projects, including 2018 NYT Critic’s Pick, “Sollers Point.” Recurring roles in Jabberwocky Audio Theater’s, “Quorum – The Gambler’s Tale.” Voiceovers for US Army, CIA, DIA, Red Cross, and more. Twenty-two character voices for 2008 GDC Game of the Year, FALLOUT 3. In 2010, won Classic Peer Gold award for “I Am the Guard” voiceover for the National Guard. BMI songwriter/publisher with songs on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer. Musician-in-residence,1985-2014, Kelly’s Irish Times restaurant, Capitol Hill, WDC.
Joel Snyder has worked in the Washington, DC area as a theater professional since 1972. His credits include performances at Wolf Trap Opera Company, Center Stage, Olney Theater, the Kennedy Center (as “Morris” in the world premiere of the three-character musical Hubert and Charlie), Center Stage, Ford’s Theater, and Theatre J (as “David Malter” in The Chosen and a staged reading of Shylock with Theodore Bikel) and in various leading roles in area musical theater productions including The Music Man (with Bobby Van), Fiddler On The Roof, Man of La Mancha, The Fantasticks, A Funny Thing … and Oliver! He is known internationally as a pioneer in the field of audio description, making the visual images of feature films, broadcast television, performing arts, and museums accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.
Mitchell Alexander has been in the performing arts since 8th grade. He is extremely proud of being nominated for “Best Actor” for his performance in the short film “THE DARKNESS.” His Favorite roles on stage have been Macbeth in MACBETH, Max in BECKY SHAW and Judas in THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT. He is also proud of films he has created such as “ALL BALLED UP” and “LET’S PLAY.” Mitchell is next to appear as the Sea Witch in “THE LITTLE MERMAID COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE.” When Mitchell is not acting, he is an avid player of “The Sims.”
Deborah Seidel is excited to be working with Walking Shadow Readers Theatre! She studied acting in London and spent many years performing in theatre, film, and television in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and East TN before moving to Nashville in 2019. Since then, she was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Nashville’s First Night’s Top Ten 2020, for her role as Judy in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for Way Off Broadway Productions. She also appeared in SistaStyle’s production of Six Triple Eight, and in Thinly Veiled, for Tennessee Stage Company’s virtual 2021 New Play Festival. Recent film work includes leading roles in two mystery/thrillers: Painted in Blood and Scare BNB, both scheduled for release this year. Her next project: a thriller film version of Pinocchio!
Laurent Amzallag For the last 25 years, Laurent has been a sought-after fitness expert. He was part of Oprah’s “Live Your Best Life” Tour, has been featured in ELLE Magazine and a guest on The Dr. Oz Show. He is a regular correspondent on NBC, FOX, CBS, and The CW Network. The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports named him one of the country’s top 50 trainers. As a fitness entertainer, speaker and instructor, he is a catalyst for change and transformation using body movement to rewire mindsets. Laurent has led the warm-ups for national campaigns such as The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, MS Society, Best Buddies, The Heart Association and Children’s Hospital. Laurent is certified through NASM (National Academy Of Sports Medicine) and speaks fluently in French, English, and Spanish.
Ian Cho Kwon is from North Carolina. His favorite hobby is hanging out with friends. He has pet fishes, and two cats.
Susan Louise O’Connor appeared on Broadway & in the National Tour of BLITHE SPIRIT w/Angela Lansbury, receiving a Theatre World Award, the Dorothy Loudon Fellowship & an Outer Critics Circle Nomination. Other theater credits include over 30 world premiere productions Off Broadway & in theaters across the country. TV credits include: LAW & ORDER(s):SVU & CI, NCIS, EUPHORIA, ALL RISE, O.I.T.N.B, SOLVE, THE LINCOLN LAWYER and HOTEL DU LOONE. A lover of improv, Susan has trained & performed at THE GROUNDLINGS & UCB. See her in the just released horror film, LEXI.
Glenn Stanton began his career on the stage in Chicago, working with theaters such as The Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, The House Theatre and many others. He found his way into television in the Windy City before it took him west to Los Angeles. Since moving west he has worked with names including Pierce Brosnan, Morris Chestnut and Angela Bassett. Some of his television credits include The Son (AMC), 9-1-1 (Fox), 4400 (CW) and he brought the character of Frost to life in the final season of The Walking Dead. In December of 2020, Glenn was named by the Casting Society of America as one of the Top 20 Actors from Historically Underrepresented Communities.
Clifford Katskee is a working actor in his home “Sweet Home” Chicago. Highlights include Touchstone in “As You Like It”, Pistol in “Henry V”, Lord Babberley in “Charlie’s Aunt”, Sipos in “She Loves Me”, and Mr Mcaffee in “Bye Bye Birdie”. Ever grateful for the love of my beautiful wife Patti, and being blessed by my wonderful son Sam ‘Sonny’ Paul. Survived Covid by doing the entire Shakespearean canon with an international group of friends and colleagues over the course of a year on Zoom. Truly memorable experience.
Andrés Roa is a queer, Colombian-American, DC-based director, actor, and educator. Andrés is currently on tour with Imagination Stage’s Óyeme, the Beautiful. Previous DC credits: Holiday (Arena Stage), Sweat (Silver Spring Stage). Regional credits: Balthazar in Much Ado About Nothing (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre), Touchstone in As You Like It and Popilus Lena/Lepidus in Julius Caesar (Houston Shakespeare Festival), Treasure Island and American Folktales and Songs (Hampstead Stage Company), and as a member of the ensemble for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Coriolanus. Andrés teaches Acting Basics at Montgomery College and is a professional video producer. He holds an MFA from the University of Houston’s Professional Actor Training Program.
Christine Goepfert is a Washington-DC based actor, originally from Wisconsin. She has performed in several staged readings (The Children’s Hour, Playing For Time, Radium Girls, The Miracle Worker) and most recently played the Fool in King Lear. In 2021, she completed the Theatre Lab Honors Acting Conservatory. She is excited and grateful to be collaborating with Walking Shadow.
Maille-Rose Smith is a New York-based actor with a penchant for Shakespeare and new works (and a deep-seated distrust of trucks). Trained in Shakespeare at RADA with her B.A. in Drama from U.Va., Maille-Rose has recently had the pleasure of performing in Brian Johnston’s Stand By Your Man and Tell It Like It Is, Mary-Louise Brown! She will be acting in Caitland Winsett’s Watch Me in October, at Teatro LATEA in New York. She’s thrilled to play Beth in this delightful piece!
Jasmine Jiang is a Philadelphia-based arts administrator, facilitator, and performer. She was recently appointed Managing Director of Pig Iron Theatre Company after several wonderful DC-based years as Associate Managing Director at Round House Theatre. An artEquity-trained antiracism facilitator, she also has worked as a freelance actor, teaching artist, and arts consultant. Jasmine has been a longform improvisor since 2014, having performed and taught at Empire Comedy and Washington Improv Theater. Jasmine holds an MA in Arts Management from American University and a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Afua Busia is a first-generation Ivorian and Ghanaian-American actress from Gaithersburg, Maryland. She most recently appeared in the world premiere of it’s not a trip, it’s a journey at Round House Theatre. Other regional credits include Intimate Apparel at Utah Shakespeare Festival, School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play at Berkeley Rep, and A Christmas Carol at American Conservatory Theatre, where Afua received her MFA in acting.
Jordan Brown has worked with the likes of Washington Stage Guild, Rorschach Theatre, the Kennedy Center, and many more! Recent credits include Claudio in Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s production of Much Ado about Nothing. “I hope you have a great time seeing this show. Remember to enjoy this weather and stay safe!”
Yogesh Paliwal hails from the Pacific Northwest and now resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. His standard for his performance is to always be consistent, have substance, and be unpredictably silly. His style is a hint of genius in a stew of snake oil. A man who has no fear, he will compel you to feel your inner child tremble at the sight of his work.
Hansin Arvind (he/him) is delighted to be making his debut with Walking Shadow Readers Theatre. Recent credits include The Hero of Everything (Zapper) with InterAct Story Theatre and Everybody (Usher/God/Understanding) with George Mason University. He is a student at George Mason University and will graduate with a BA in Theatre in Winter 2022.
Ahkai Franklin was born and raised in the bronx, NY. After graduating in 2004 from Wesleyan University with a BFA in theater he would go on to perform, produce, and teach a number of projects in theater, dance, and film. Ahkai spends the majority of his time teaching theater, hip hop dance, and even martial arts to students of all ages but his passion for performing has never diminished. You can see Ahkai in Pixar in Real Life on Disney+ and in the movie Barry streaming on Netflix.
John-Peter Cruz, a Queens native, is honored to be a part of WSRT’s mission by portraying Allen in Brysen Boyd’s Closing Costs on 6101 Nyanza Park Drive Apt D6 Flushing, NY 11351. Being able to collaborate with other creatives without the constraints of having to live in close proximity to each other is truly an experience he deeply appreciates. He most recently portrayed a Navy Corpsman in the play Ayano at The Other Space in LA and can be seen soon in the indie comedy film, Yellow Bird. Currently, he is studying screenwriting for film and television at UCLA Extension. John-Peter earned his M.A. in Theatre and B.S. in Accounting from Hunter College, a City University of New York institution.
Nicholas Perez-Hoop is a multidisciplinary theatre artist based in Philadelphia with roots in Tampa, Florida. He has worked at American Stage, Jobsite Theater, Urbanite Theatre, freefall theatre, Hippodrome State Theatre, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Walnut Street Theatre, the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, and many more. As a director his credits include Ship, She Kills Monsters, Homecoming ‘92, I Am Nobody’s Lunch, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Suture Bowl, The Other Place. Former Literary Manager at Tampa Repertory Theatre, alum of the Kennedy Center Director’s workshop, and education at Point Park University and the University of South Florida.
Greg Jones Ellis has appeared in more than 70 stage productions. His most recent live appearances include Ellis Island: The Dream of America with the Annapolis Symphony in which he portrayed various immigrants; in the Classic Theatre of Maryland’s Oliver! (Mr. Bumble), Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s Sister Act (Monsignor O’Hara) and as Robin in Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children at The Colonial Players. He also appeared this year in his one-man show in New York entitled I Opened for Barry Manilow’s Mother and Other Tales from the Fringes of Show Business. He has supplied his voice-over talents to the Washington Stage Guild, the Annapolis Maritime Museum and the Metropolitan Washington Ear service for the visually impaired. A prolific playwright as well, Greg’s award-winning comedy-drama All Save One had its World Premiere at the Washington Stage Guild and his adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Roman Fever has been performed in staged readings in Los Angeles, New York, and throughout the DC/Maryland/Virginia area.
L Mendelson is a 20 year old actor based in NYC. They studied Musical Theatre at AMDA and graduated in the Summer of 2022. They have been acting and singing for nearly 10 years. Some of L’s favorite productions they’ve been a part of are, The Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Essie in You Can’t Take it with You, and Kate in The Pirates of Penzance. They adore a great score and a laugh-out-loud comedy. L loves to spend their time on stage but when they’re not acting they love to cook, garden, and learn new skills (mycology currently in the works)! They’re a laid back individual with an assertive personality. They work hard and love what they do.
Zachary Lichterman was born and bred on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he currently lives. Zachary has always loved theater and movies, including the romantic comedies of the 1930’s and the noir films of the 1940’s. He has been very active with the EPIC Players, a neuro-inclusive theater company in New York, both on stage and behind the scenes. He is excited to work with Walking Shadow Readers Theatre.
Stephanie Taylor hails from Texas but is now an official New Yorker. After a TUTS childhood of musical theatre, she’s gone on to work with regional theatres coast to coast. Internationally, she has performed and taught Shakespeare with FESTA in Italy and has directed the leadership play for TMI in Maine for the past 8 seasons. She is a graduate of Houston’s HSPVA and has her BFA from NYU under the thumb of the late Stella Adler. She is hot off a run as Amanda in The Glass Menagerie in NYC and can be heard as Kira’s Mother in We the Living, a PodPlay by ByMouth. Next, she can be heard as Mrs Keating in ByMouth’s upcoming adventure, The Fountainhead.
Syd Johnson is a recent alumni from Rutgers University, Syd’s most recent roles include Thasia in Pericles and Anna Hedges in Born Yesterday. Having recently moved to the D.C. area for work, they are looking forward to reentering the theatre world in a new area!
Based in Los Angeles, Saffron Quinn is pursuing a B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College, New York, for theater and film studies. Recently, she attended the National Theater Institute’s 2020 Theatermakers Summer Program and completed their semester Advanced Directing program. She has also studied at the British American Drama Academy in London for their acting intensive. Outside of academia, Saffron has worked on multiple productions in NYC and several virtual shows. Saffron enjoys directing plays and musicals, old and new, adapted and devised.
Melvin Smith (Mike) is a North Carolina native who currently resides in Prince George’s County, MD. He was last seen as Reverend Miner in Consecrated Ground for Laurel Mill Playhouse. Some of his other performances include; John/Inspector in The Hollow for The Kentland Players, Dr. Armstrong in And The There Were None for Upstage Artists, Daddy/Soaphead in The Bluest Eye for Dominion Stage, and Harold in A Black and White Cookie for Silver Spring Stage. He studied acting at The Theatre Lab School of Dramatic Arts in Washington, D.C.
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