By Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash
Sept 28 - Oct 23
This sexy, explosive rock musical explores the complications of love, the compromises we make, and the betrayals that can ultimately undo us. Murder Ballad centers on Sara, an uptown girl who seems to have it all, but whose downtown past lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. Murder Ballad, an Off-Broadway sensation at Manhattan Theatre Club, is a dark thriller with a razor’s edge.
+ Arianna Bergamaschi
Arianna is thrilled to make her USA theatre debut with DPT. Arianna is an Italian singer, stage actress, TV personality and musical theatre performer. She began her career at the age of 14 as the official Italian Disney singer and TV endorser. Since then she hasn't stopped releasing pop albums and being featured in theatre and TV shows in her native Italy. Her favorites theatre credits are Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, Romeo and Juliet, Pinocchio, Three's Company, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2013 Arianna reached #5 on the USA dance chart and had over 30 million views on Youtube with the song Sexy People, featuring world famous rapper Pitbull. She is the only Italian artist who has collaborated with such an eclectic array of international artists as Pitbull, Michael Bolton, Il Volo, Shaggy, Will I Am and FloRida.
+ Arielle Crosby
Arielle is a native Detroiter with a love of God and a lifelong background in music. A graduate of Kentucky State University, Arielle has experience singing opera, musical theatre, gospel, pop, and R&B. Her versatility has garnered her solo and ensemble performances in Europe, Bermuda, and West Africa as well as across the US. She recently caught the theatre bug and has been actively performing on stage ever since. Starting in 2014 she began landing roles in several original plays in the Detroit area including TJ Hemphill's Perilous Times and Kelly Nieto's The Cross and the Light. She transitioned into more traditional works at Stagecrafters of Royal Oak, where she starred in their season closing production of Aida in 2015. She made herself at home and went on to perform in three more productions the following season: August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (Grace), Mary Poppins (Mrs. Corry/Ensemble), and Dreamgirls (Lorrell Robinson).
+ Eric Gutman
Eric is thrilled to be back with Detroit Public Theatre after a wildly successful run of his one man show From Broadway to Obscurity in the inaugural season. That run was nominated for three Wilde Awards, winning the award for “Best One-Person Show.” He continues to tour his show to theatre and festivals across the US and Canada and, this year, was awarded "Best Solo Show - Musical" at the Orlando Fringe Festival. His favorite credits include Jersey Boys (Broadway, Chicago, National Tour); Forbidden Broadway and Forbidden Hollywood (Off-Broadway and National Tours); Next To Normal and Xanadu (Meadow Brook Theatre); Ordinary Days (Tipping Point Theatre), Forever Plaid (Gem Theatre), and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Ringwald Theatre as music director). Eric holds a BFA in Music Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association and The American Federation of Musicians. Visit ericgutman.com for more info or follow @bway2obscurity.
+ Rusty Mewha
Rusty Mewha is thrilled to be working with Detroit Public Theatre for the first time. He has been working on stage and screen in Southeast Michigan for the last ten years. He most recently was seen in Morning's at Seven at the Purple Rose Theatre, where he is a Resident Artist. He also performs regularly at Meadow Brook Theatre, and has worked with Water Works Theatre Company, The Encore Musical Theatre, JET, Detroit Repertory Theatre, and Two Muses Theatre. He also works in feature film and TV, commercial and industrial film, as well as voice over.
+ Julia Jordan
Conceived, Book, Lyrics Musicals: Murder Ballad (book and lyrics); Sarah, Plain and Tall (book); The Mice (book, 1 act of Hal Prince's 3hree). Plays: Boy, Tatjana in Color, St. Scarlet, Smoking Lesson, Dark Yellow, Astrological Quit Claim Deeds, Jones. The Kleban Award for librettist, Francesca Primus Prize, Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, Manhattan Theatre Club Fellowship, Jonathan Larson Award, Heideman Award and two time LeComte Nouy Award, AT&T OnStage Award, The American Spirit Award, three times shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Her work has been produced at Primary Stages, Actor's Theater of Louisville, SoHo Rep, McCarter Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Prince Music Theater, Ahmanson, Studio Dante, Wellfleet, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Salt Lake Acting Company and The American Theater, among others. Her plays have been developed at Sundance, The O'Neill, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Playlabs at the Minneapolis Playwrights Center, Cleveland Playhouse, among others. Jordan is one of the founders of The Lilly Awards and is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild.
+ Juliana Nash
Music and Lyrics Juliana Nash was the rhythm guitarist and singer-songwriter for the band Talking to Animals, which was signed to Columbia and Velvel Records. Her work has been featured in films such as Rob Morrow's Maze and Eric Schaeffer's Fall. She is the proud recipient of an MTC/Sloan commission. She is the co-lyricist and composer for Murder Ballad, which was produced at the Manhattan Theater Club in their 2012-13 season and then transferred to the Union Square Theater in the spring of 2013. Murder Ballad was nominated for five Lortel Awards including outstanding musical, Drama League for outstanding musical and the Outer Critics Circle for best musical. Juliana is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and BMI and would like to thank both organizations for their support.
+ Courtney Burkett
Director Courtney is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Detroit Public Theatre. Prior to founding DPT, she served as the Director of Theatre Programs at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit for five years. Before Mosaic, Courtney was a founding Artistic Partner with Breathe Art Theatre Project. Breathe Art was committed to producing theatre for Detroit and Windsor audiences that celebrated the peaceful international border between the two cities by producing and presenting contemporary plays. Courtney also served as the business manager for the University of Detroit Mercy Theatre Company. While at UDM, Courtney taught in the Department of Theatre and directed and performed in Theatre Company productions. After leaving UDM, Courtney was hired by the University of Michigan to act as the managing director of the CRLT Players. In that position, she oversaw 50 applied theatre performances annually on various campuses throughout the country. Courtney performs and directs with Detroit-area theaters on a regular basis, and her work has been nominated for numerous Detroit-area theatre awards. Courtney received her BFA from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts and her MFA from Wayne State’s Hilberry Theatre program.
+ Jamie Reed
Music Director Jamie Reed is honored to be back for her second musical production at DPT. An accomplished music director, pianist, arranger, and vocal coach, Jamie holds a music degree in piano performance from Western Michigan University. Music direction credits include First Date, Eric Gutman's From Broadway to Obscurity, The Full Monty, Cabaret, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Evita, Ain’t Misbehavin, Altar Boyz, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Next To Normal, Theory of Relativity, Shrek, Rent, West Side Story, The Last Five Years, The Pajama Game, Once On This Island, Miss Saigon, and Lippa’s The Wild Party. National Tour orchestra credits include Wicked, Book of Mormon, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, South Pacific, and Fiddler on the Roof. After a brief stint in New York, Jamie switched gears to international music directing for Holland America Cruise Line. Jamie is currently music directing in Metro Detroit, resident music director at Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck, director of music for Orchard UMC, as well as a vocal coach/music director at Oakland University.
+ Shawn Neal
Drums Growing up in Metro Detroit, Shawn Neal became fascinated with the drums at eight years old after he snuck away from his parents at a local music festival and was later found behind the drum riser, air drumming along with a Juice Newton performance. Shawn would go on to play in school band and musicals and later toured the USA and Canada in the early 90s with The Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps. He performed professionally in rock bands, recording projects, musical theater and orchestras in the USA and Canada throughout the 90s and early 2000s. He has most recently performed in Eric Gutman's From Broadway To Obscurity at Detroit Public Theatre, Hedwig and The Angry Inch at The Ringwald, and Go! Comedy’s RoboCop! The Musical.
+ Mike Shriver
Bass Mike is excited to perform with the band for the Detroit Public Theatre’s Murder Ballad. Mike has performed at community theatres across Metro Detroit in musicals such as Shrek, Mary Poppins, Legally Blond, 9 to 5, and many others. More recently, Mike performed in the supporting band for the one-man musical From Broadway to Obscurity. He began his musical career as a trumpet player, but was drawn to the bass guitar at an early age and has been playing bass for over 20 years. When not performing in musicals, you can find Mike playing in local bands such as the Stardust Big Band, Swingshift jazz band and the Classics rock band.
+ Jeff Sugamosto
Guitar Jeff has performed at local theaters for the last several years and is thrilled to be playing again at Detroit Public Theatre. Previous shows include American Idiot, From Broadway to Obscurity, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rent, and tick, tick… BOOM!
+ Monika Essen
Set and Props Designer Monika is an award-winning, nationally recognized artist and designer. The recipient of the prestigious Detroit Free Press Lawrence DeVine Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre, she studied interior architecture and Environmental Design at Parsons School of Design and received her MFA in scenography from the renowned Hilberry Repertory Company. Monika has designed countless productions in theatre, opera and film; she currently serves as the Resident Designer at the Michigan Opera Theatre, recently designing their acclaimed productions of Frida and The Tender Land. Some of her favorite local designs include: The Foursome and American Wee Pie at Tipping Point Theatre, Richard III and Woman Before A Glass at Performance Network Theatre, God of Carnage at Jewish Ensemble Theatre, and American Hero here at DPT. Additionally, she creates furniture, museum exhibits, interiors and full sensory, multi-media environments for residential and commercial clients, including the Detroit Zoo. You can see her work at www.studioepoque.com.
+ Cecilia Durbin
Lighting Designer Recent designs include Sex with Strangers (Detroit Public Theatre), The Taming of the Shrew (Chautauqua Theatre Company), Hyena (Edinburgh Fringe, La MaMa Club), Love Alone (Playmakers Rep), The Life Model (On the Boards), In the Blood (Theatre Horizon [Barrymore nom.]), Each and Everything (Portland Center Stage, co-design), Long Before Afterward (Vencl Dance), Lust (HERE Arts Center), An Experiment with an Air Pump and Machinal (Duke University), I am Gordafarid (Rising Circle Theatre Collective), Measure for Measure (Epic Theatre Ensemble), Sideways Stories from Wayside School and The Seagull (Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble), The Theater at Monmouth 2014 Repertory Season. Residencies at Tofte Lake Center at Norm's Fish Camp, and the inaugural Residency 9 at Chautauqua Theatre Company. She received her MFA from NYU and is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.
+ Katherine Nelson
Costume Designer Katherine is thrilled to be stage managing her third production (From Broadway to Obscurity, Detroit ’67) and designing her first with DPT. She is a proud graduate of the Purple Rose Theatre Company apprenticeship program and remains a Resident Artist and Designer there. She stage manages regularly with the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts. As a costume designer, she has experience with numerous area theatres including the Purple Rose, Flint Youth Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Water Works Theatre Company, Performance Network Theatre, Wild Swan Theatre, and the Wharton Center; she has worked at the Michigan Opera Theatre as stitcher and wardrobe mistress. She is grateful to Patrick for his presence and support, and to Courtney and the DPT team for their collaboration.
+ Jill Dion
Choreographer Jill Dion is a Wayne State alumna and a graduate of the Moscow Art Theatre School (MXT). Jill was a member of the only English-speaking class to participate in a four year program at MXT. While in Moscow she studied movement under Andrei Droznin and his protege Natalia Fedorova and is currently teaching their method in the Theatre and Dance Department at Wayne State. She is a founding member of Studio Six Theatre Company and has performed all over the world. Jill also works as the Artistic Director for Wayne State’s musical theatre outreach program, Motor City Cabaret, and is the Program Director of the “Month in Moscow” study abroad program. You can see her in commercials, and on film and TV. Look for her movement and choreography in Alice in Wonderland, opening at the Bonstelle Theatre on Oct. 7th. Thank you to Detroit Public Theatre for this amazing experience!
+ Christopher Corporandy
Dialect Coach Chris Corporandy is a voice, speech, and dialect coach and teacher. As a coach, he has worked with the Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), Irish Classical Theatre (Buffalo), and Chautauqua Theater Company, among others. He teaches at Wayne State University and for the Chautauqua Institution's Special Studies Department. As an actor, Chris has been seen locally at Hilberry Rep (where he most recently assisted dialect coaching on A Flea In Her Ear), and at theaters across the country, as well as a handful of appearances in TV and film. BFA Acting: NYU/Tisch, MFA Acting: Hilberry Rep www.corporandy.com
By Colman Domingo
Nov 16-Dec 11
The holidays are always a wild family affair at the Shealy house. But this year, Dotty and her three grown children gather with more than exchanging presents on their minds. As Dotty struggles to hold onto her memory, her children must fight to balance care for their mother and care for themselves. A hilarious and deeply moving new play, Dot grapples unflinchingly with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of a West Philly neighborhood. Colman Domingo’s smash hit comes to DPT as the regional premiere.
+ Chris Corporandy
Chris Corporandy (Adam, Dialect Coach) is thrilled to be back onstage and to be doing it at DPT, which is what brought the family back to the D in the first place. As an actor, Chris has appeared in Detroit (Translations, Side Man, The Master Builder at the Hilberry Theatre), Buffalo (Irish Classical, Road Less Travelled, Torn Space), Atlanta (Actors' Express), New York (Cherry Lane, The Public), and other cities across the country. As dialect coach, Chris has worked with DPT (American Hero, Murder Ballad), the Hilberry Theatre (Dracula, A Flea In Her Ear), Atlanta's Alliance Theater, and at Chautauqua Theater Co., among others. BFA Acting - NYU/Tisch, MFA Acting - WSU/Hilberry, Moscow Art Theatre School, Trinity College Dublin. Certified Teacher/Coach of Knight-Thompson Speech Work.
+ Shawntay Dalon
Born and raised on the eastside of Detroit, Shawntay Dalon grew up with big dreams. Her parents raised their nine children not to be products of their environment, but to believe in themselves. Shawntay went on to attend and receive training from Plowshares Theater, Detroit High School for Fine & Performing Arts, and Wayne State University - all in Detroit - and Tv1 Actor's Studio in Los Angeles. Shawntay's credits are in theater, film, commercial, print, and spoken word, with which Shawntay opened for American Idol and Grammy award winner Fantasia. Shawntay also has credits in television. You can catch her in January 2017 on the new Comedy Central series “DETROITERS,” in which she plays the recurring role of Chrissy. Shawntay's company CalienTay Productions has produced and written films that have opened in Detroit, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and London. Owning the trademark StageFilm™, Shawntay's stage productions are a theatrical experience. Current work is now available on Amazon.
+ Artun Kircali
Artun Kircali is so excited to be making his Detroit Public Theatre debut that he’s written this opening line about forty-seven times just trying to find the right words to describe his elation since beginning this journey. He has been performing on stages around southeast Michigan for the past four years, and was most recently seen in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Slipstream Theatre Initiative, in addition to having worked with the Michigan Shakespeare Festival touring company, Penny Seats, the Phoenix Players, Planet Ant Theatre, the Ringwald, and Water Works Theatre Company.
+ Tracey Conyer Lee
Tracey Conyer Lee was most recently on national tour with the original play Remarkably Normal. Original Off-Broadway Casts: Bedbugs!!! and Sistas: The Musical. Off-Off: The Fire This Time Festival, 48 Hours in Harlem, NY International Fringe Festival. Select regional credits: Yale Rep, Denver Center, Baltimore Centerstage, Actors Theatre of Louisville & the Humana Festival of New American Plays, St. Louis Rep, Theatre of the Stars, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, Interact, TheatreWorks, Cleveland Playhouse, Delaware Theatre Co., Westport Playhouse, Merrimack Rep, Virginia Stage, Ogunquit Playhouse, Weston Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Laguna Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Syracuse Stage, New Harmony, Stages St. Louis, Palm Beach Dramaworks, WHAT, Florida Stage, national and international tours. On screen: The Path, SMASH, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Ed, All My Children, Guiding Light and award-winning independent film work. Also a playwright, Ms. Lee's plays have received development or production in New York, Boston, and Chicago, and she is a Merit Scholar for a 2018 MFA in Writing For the Stage & Screen. 2017 includes reprising her lauded portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grill. For more, visit www.traceyconyerlee.com
+ Maggie Meyer
Maggie Meyer last appeared in American Hero at Detroit Public Theatre, and is so pleased and honored to be back and a part of Dot. Meyer studied Musical Theatre at AMDA in New York City, apprenticed at the Purple Rose Theatre Company, and has gone on to appear in many productions in and around Metro Detroit. Some favorite roles being Babe in Crimes of the Heart, Izzy in Rabbit Hole, and Vanda in Venus In Fur, for which she won the Oscar Wilde Award for Best Actress in a Comedy.
+ Madelyn Porter
“The whole world is a stage…” and Madelyn Porter plays a part in keeping it real in Detroit. Porter has worked in professional theatre for over thirty years as an actress, storyteller, comedian, and creator of several one-woman shows. Porter has also worked as a director, instructor, and stage manager. Porter is the recipient of the Wayne County Chapter of NOW Special Achievement Award for portraying Sojourner Truth (national tour), Rogue Critic Award for Best Supporting Actress (Burying The Bones – Detroit Repertory Theatre), the YWCA Woman Of Achievement In The Arts Award, the WMGC-105.1 Woman Who Makes Magic Award, the Wilde Award nomination for Best Actress (Comedy/Original Script), and most recently nominated for best duo award for the production of The Best of Enemies (University of Detroit Theatre Company). Madelyn currently performs for The Henry Ford, The Detroit Historical Museum, Michigan Opera Theatre Outreach Program, Troy Historical Village, and creates programs for Children’s Theatre. She was most recently seen in Detroit Repertory Theatre's production of Devil Dog Six and will portray Carolyn Cheeks in the premier of Strawberry - Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's debacle - in January 2017 at the Marlene Boll Theatre in the downtown YMCA. Porter is founder of Mad’s World Theatre Production, and cofounder of MYSS Theatre Company and Street Life Theatre Production. “What we need is quality theatre by any means necessary.”
+ Curtis Wiley
Curtis is thrilled to be making his Detroit Public Theatre debut in Colman Domingo's Dot under the direction of Saheem Ali. Curtis first worked with Mr. Domingo on BLACK at Joe's Pub, and made his NYC stage debut under the direction of Mr. Ali in The Wild Party at Columbia Stages. Most recently Curtis was seen in the world premiere of The Total Bent at NYC's Public Theater, written by Stew & Heidi Rodewald. 2015 highlights include: Diner: The Musical (Delaware Theater Co.); Rothschild & Sons (York Theatre Co.); The Artist & The Scientist (Cap21); and Straight Faced Lies (Fringe NYC). Other NYC credits: Pageant: The Musical (Off B'way Revival); The Great Society (York Shakespeare Co); TUT (NYMF); King Lear (Exit, Pursued by a Bear). Big musical credits include: Jersey Boys; The Lion King; and Motown: The Musical. Curtis is also an alumni of the Sundance Theatre Institute, Wig Out (playwright Tarell McCraney). Twitter/Instagram: @Curtis_Wiley
+ Colman Domingo
Playwright Colman Domingo is an award-winning actor, playwright, and director who is a triple threat in 2016 with TV, film, and theater anticipated projects.
Domingo reprised his role as Victor Strand on season 2 of AMC’s hit show Fear the Walking Dead, which premiered in April 2016. Details of the mysterious Strand were revealed in this season’s most anticipated storyline. Den of Geek wrote, “A lot of Strand’s appeal stems from Colman Domingo himself. He’s a compelling actor with an incredible screen presence.” Season 2 returned on August 21 and has been picked up for a third season.
Domingo can be seen with an all-star cast in Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation opposite Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King and Nate Parker. The film is a biopic of slave-turned-revolutionary Nat Turner and premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The movie broke records as it was picked up by Fox Searchlight in a multi-million-dollar deal and premiered on October 07, 2016.
As an Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, and Drama League Award nominated and Obie and Lucille Lortel Award winner Domingo has solidified himself as a Broadway veteran.
As a director, Domingo is currently helming the West Coast production of Barbecue, written by Obie and Helen Hayes Award winner Robert O'Hara. The play began previews at the Geffen Playhouse on September 6 and ran through October 16. Domingo recently staged the Off Broadway Alliance Award-winning production of A Band of Angels and helmed August Wilson’s Seven Guitars for the Actors Theater of Louisville in the fall of 2015. He also directed the critically-acclaimed Off Broadway productions of Exit Cuckoo and Single Black Female.
Domingo’s most recent play Dot premiered at the Humana Festival in Louisville last year and earlier this year was Off Broadway at the Vineyard Theater, directed by Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. The New York Times wrote, “Colman Domingo’s thoroughly entertaining comedy-drama Dot... is an impressive advance for Mr. Domingo, also a gifted musical-theater performer… While conventional in form, it’s uproariously funny, if naturally streaked with sadness (and at times, a pinch or two of sentimentality).”
Domingo’s theater career took off when he starred in the critically-acclaimed rock musical Passing Strange. The Off-Broadway ensemble cast received an Obie Award in 2008, and Domingo reprised his roles in the film version of Passing Strange, directed by Spike Lee, in 2009. He made his British and Australian debuts with his self-penned solo play, A Boy and His Soul. This production originated at New York City’s Vineyard Theater and won him GLAAD and Lucille Lortel awards in 2010.
In 2010, Domingo starred as Billy Flynn in Chicago, the longest revival on Broadway, and in the award-winning The Scottsboro Boys, a role which he originated on and off Broadway. Domingo was nominated for a Tony Award, Olivier Award, and a Fred Astaire Award for his role in The Scottsboro Boys. Additional theater credits include the Off Broadway revival of Blood Knot and Wild With Happy.
Additional film credits include Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Joe Roth’s Freedomland, Clint Eastwood’s True Crime, Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Ana and Red Hook Summer, and the first ever screen adaptation of a Ralph Ellison story, King of the Bingo Game, among others. His TV credits include: The Knick, Lucifer, Law & Order, The Big Gay Sketch Show, and Nash Bridges.
Domingo is on the Board of Directors of the Vineyard Theater in New York City. He is also on faculty at The National Theater Institute (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center) and guest-lectured and mentored in many colleges and universities around the country. Domingo directed for Berkeley Rep as well as Lincoln Center Director’s Lab.
+ Saheem Ali
Director Saheem is a freelance director based in New York City. His credits include The Booty Call (Inner Voices), Hair (Pace), A Lesson From Aloes (Juilliard), The Erlkings (Theater Row), Farhad (Inner Voices), Vital Signs (Riant Theatre), Marisol (Barnard College), The Wild Party (Columbia University), Romeo & Juliet (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Tour of the Parks), Spring Awakening (Northeastern University). Associate Directing: The Tempest (NYC Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park). Selected workshops and staged readings: Pornplay (MCC), The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane (Tom Kirdahy Productions), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater), Acquittal (Pan Asian Rep), The Children (BRIC), Black Maria on Koinange Street (PEN World Voices), Facing Our Truths (Public Theater), Nollywood Dreams (Soho Rep and National Black Theater), Goddess (O’Neill Musical Theater Conference), Tsunami (PEN). Assistant Directing on Broadway: A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center), The Normal Heart (The Golden). Schubert Fellow, New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist of Color Fellow, SDCF Gielgud Directing Fellow. MFA Columbia University
+ Lauren Mills
Scenic Design Lauren is a New York City based scenic designer working in theatre and television, she is thrilled to be joining Detroit Public Theatre for her first show. Selected theatre credits include: A Dog Story (Davenport Theatre – Off Broadway), My Fair Lady (Sharon Playhouse), Absolution (St. Luke’s Theatre – Off-Broadway), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Sharon Playhouse), The Happy Family (Theatre Row – Off Broadway), Reefer Madness (University of Southern Maine), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Ursinus College), True Love (Sharon Playhouse), O. Rex (Gia Forakis and Company) and Captive Audience (NY Deaf Theatre). Television credits include Art Direction for episodes of The TODAY Show and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Member – United Scenic Artists USA 829. MFA – Carnegie Mellon University. www.laurenmillsdesign.com
+ Christianne Myers
Costume Design Christianne Myers is delighted to make her DPT debut with Dot. As a faculty member at the University of Michigan since 2002, she has designed more than two dozen shows: most recently, Henry IV and Clybourne Park. Her New York and regional credits include: The Florentine Opera, Opera Memphis, Arizona Broadway, Indiana Repertory, Syracuse Stage Company, The Clarence Brown Theatre, The Lincoln Center Institute, The Irondale Ensemble, Theatreworks/USA, The Acting Company, NY City Opera Education, The Ma-Yi Ensemble, The Bay Street Theatre, and the Juilliard School. New York highlights include the Obie awarding winning adaptation of Oedipus with Frances McDormand and Billy Crudup. She is a Resident Artist at The Purple Rose Theatre Company, where she most recently designed the world premiere of Matt Letscher's Gaps in the Fossil Record. Christianne has a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design from NYU and is happy to make Ann Arbor her home with her husband Dave and their not-so-little peanut.
+ Katherine Nelson
Stage Manager and Costume Design Katherine is thrilled to be stage managing her fourth production (From Broadway to Obscurity, Detroit ’67, Murder Ballad) and designing her second with DPT. She is a proud graduate of the Purple Rose Theatre Company apprenticeship program and remains a Resident Artist and Designer there. As a stage manager, she works most frequently with the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts. She has designed props with the Wharton Center and the Purple Rose Theatre Company. Additionally, Katherine is a costume designer and recently designed Murder Ballad with DPT. Her regional costume design experience includes shows with the Purple Rose, Flint Youth Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Water Works Theatre Company, Performance Network Theatre, Wild Swan Theatre, and the Wharton Center; she has worked at the Michigan Opera Theatre as stitcher and wardrobe mistress. You can see her designs and contact her at www.knelsondesigns.com.
+ Ben Green
Lighting Design Ben Green is a New York City based lighting designer in theatre, events, and television. Recent design credits: Trial of an American President (Off-Broadway), All Shook Up (Friends Seminary), The Dodgers (Hudson Theatre, LA), Chicago, Macbeth, Oklahoma!, Stage Door (Purchase Rep), Rapture, and Destination: Oasis (Columbia). Ben was the production draftsman for the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York and a production coordinator for the Victoria’s Secret Swim Shoot in St. Barthelemy. Ben was the associate lighting designer for Eclipsed (B’way) and off-broadway at the Public Theatre. He was an assistant lighting director for the 2016 Democratic National Convention and the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. Member IATSE Local 829, United Scenic Artists. www.bengreendesign.com
+ Frannie Shepherd-Bates
Sound Design In addition to her role at Detroit Public Theatre (for which she recently directed Sex With Strangers; Wilde Award nomination for Best Play), Frannie serves concurrently as Director of Education for Water Works Theatre Company. She co-founded Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company of Detroit in 2008 and served on staff for nearly six years, founding Shakespeare in Prison in 2012. Frannie has designed sound and/or directed many productions at Metro Detroit theatres, including Detroit Public Theatre, Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company, Planet Ant Theatre, Matrix Theatre Company, the Abreact, and Shakespeare in Detroit. Her sound design for La Ronde at the Abreact garnered an award for Best Sound Design from the Rogue Critic. Frannie has been honored for her work by the Wilde Awards (Critics' Choice 2013; Best of the Bard 2015; nomination for Best Play 2016) and CBS Detroit, and she accepted an Arts Achievement Award on behalf of MGT from WSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance. She is the founder and director of DPT's Shakespeare in Prison program, facilitating an experience whereby inmates at Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility gain crucial life skills and insight through work with Shakespeare. Upcoming directorial projects include A Painted Window at Williamston Theatre and Young Americans at Tipping Point Theatre.
The Holler Sessions
written and performed by Frank Boyd
created in collaboration with the TEAM
The Holler Sessions, staged as a live radio show, centers around one man’s burning obsession for American jazz. Ray, a jazz DJ, broadcasts his love of this uniquely American art form from his shoddy studio with an infectious passion. Ray’s maniacal rants, razor-sharp insights, and mildly scatological humor are interspersed with truly spectacular music and Ray gives his audience true space room for listening. The Holler Sessions serves as an electrifying jazz primer for the uninitiated, a powerful reminder for jazz fans, and an irreverent love letter to the best thing America has ever created – and forgotten.
+ Frank Boyd
Frank Boyd is a Seattle based writer and actor and the creator of The Holler Sessions, a solo performance about jazz. The Holler Sessions premiered in Seattle at On the Boards in 2015 and in New York in 2016 as a part of PS122's COIL Festival (NY Times Critics' Pick). Frank is also a member of the NYC ensembles Elevator Repair Service and the TEAM with whom he as performed in Gatz (Public Theater), The Select (New York Theater Workshop), Architecting (Public Theater, PS122) and Particularly In the Heartland (PS122). In 2015/16 Frank also performed on tour with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company in Straight White Men. Other theater credits include: A View From the Bridge (Seattle Repertory Theater) and the world premieres of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Seattle Times Footlight Award) at Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Red Speedo at the Studio Theatre in DC. TV and film credits include: Z Nation, Guiding Light, Almost Family and B.U.S.T. Frank went to NYU and is from East Lansing, MI.
+ Rachel Chavkin
Consulting Director Rachel Chavkin is a three-time Obie award-winning director, writer, and dramaturg, as well as the artistic director of Brooklyn-based company the TEAM (www.theteamplays.org). Selected Work: The Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova/Kazino/A.R.T./Broadway – Drama Desk & Lortel nominations), Marco Ramirez’s The Royale (Old Globe, LCT – Drama Desk & Lortel nominations), Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds (World Premiere – Ars Nova/Off Broadway, upcoming national tour), Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown (NYTW), Anne Washburn’s Iphigenia in Aulis (CSC), Act II of Taylor Mac’s extravaganza The Lily’s Revenge (HERE), Meg Miroshnik’s Fairy Tale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep), and multiple collaborations with Dave Malloy including Preludes (LCT3). The TEAM’s work has been seen worldwide, including at the Public, the Vineyard, PS122, UK’s National Theatre and Royal Court, the National Theatre of Scotland, and festivals across Europe, Australia, and Asia.
+ Josh Aaseng
Consulting Director Josh Aaseng is a director and writer based in Seattle, and the literary manager for Book-It Repertory Theatre, where he’s developed several new works, including his adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five. He’s currently working with Seattle writer Daemond Arrindell on an adaptation of T. Geronimo Johnson’s novel Welcome to Braggsville, which he will direct in 2017. Additionally, he’s worked at companies including On the Boards, ACT, PS122’s COIL Festival, and the Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival. Josh is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.
+ Eric Southern
Scenic and Lighting Design Eric Southern is an OBIE award winning designer for theater, opera, and dance. New York: The Harvest (Lincoln Center), Sell/Buy/Date (MTC), Pocatello, Indian Summer (Playwrights Horizons), Rimbaud in NY (BAM, The Civilians), Steve (New Group), Buyer and Cellar ( New York, London, Mark Taper Forum, & National Tour); Collected Stories: memoir with David Lang (Carnegie Hall); Play/Pause (BAM, David Lang, Susan Marshall and Company), Chromatic (ADI, The Kitchen, Susan Marshall and Company). His extensivework with the award-winning group 600 Highwaymen has been seen throughout the US and Europe. Also: Atlantic Theater Company, The Guthrie Theater, Virginia Opera, Long Wharf Theater, The Huntington Theater, Dallas Theater Center, The Kennedy Center, Baltimore Centerstage, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theater Festival, Kansas City Rep, Portland Center Stage, among others.
+ Matt Hubs
Sound Design Matt Hubbs has designed RoosevElvis, The Holler Sessions, Waiting For You on the Corner of..., Mission Drift, Architecting, Particularly in the Heartland, a Thousand Natural Shocks with the TEAM. Other designs include Indecent (The Vineyard, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Rep); Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova, Kazino, ART); The Royale (Lincoln Center, Old Globe), Time and the Conways (Old Globe); Stage Kiss, 100 Saints You Should Know (Playwrights Horizons); Marie Antoinette (ART, Yale Rep, SoHo Rep); Three Pianos (NYTW, ART); The Human Scale (The Public Theater); Telephone (Foundry Theatre).
+ Dani Prados
Production Manager Dani Prados has production managed, directed and produced theatre, film, short form content, immersive performance and transmedia for over a decade in locations across the USA and Great Britain. She has been honored to collaborate with a wide range of artists, and will soon be releasing new content with Ryan Rumery, XI.ME.NA, and the band Frances Cone. Dani served as the Artistic Director of GESAMTKUSTWERK! in Seattle from 2009 until 2012, when she relocated to New York to continue expanding her repertoire. Ongoing work includes And, Apart, a film and interactive series exploring the experience of loss, and Be Heard USA, a non-partisan project promoting national communication, education, and self-empowerment through participation in the American political system.
+ the TEAM
Founded in 2004, the TEAM is an internationally acclaimed Brooklyn-based ensemble. Four-time winners of the Edinburgh Fringe First Award and ranked “Best of 2013′′ on 3 continents, the TEAM is dedicated to making new work about the experience of living in America today, crashing American history and mythology into modern stories to illuminate the current moment.
+ Development History and Partners
The Holler Sessions premiered in Seattle at On the Boards in 2015. Development of The Holler Sessions has been supported by On the Boards, the TEAM, Seattle Repertory Theater and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Early material for The Holler Sessions was developed as part of a work created by the TEAM and Sojourn Theater. Additional touring support received from the Foundation For Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.
The Holler Sessions has also been presented in NYC as a part of PS122's COIL FESTIVAL, ACT Theatre in Seattle, the Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival in The Netherlands, and it will tour to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis later this year.
The Harassment of Iris Malloy
By Zak Berkman
A single mother places a bet on a new life after an intimate encounter with a decorated senator, and the fallout will change them both forever. The Harassment of Iris Malloy is an epic political thriller that challenges us to explore power, privilege and parenthood. Zak Berkman’s new drama is a rolling world premiere.
+ Alysia Kolascz
Alysia is thrilled to be making her Detroit Public Theatre debut. She is a graduate of Albion College and regularly performs on various stages around southeast Michigan. Some of Alysia's previous credits include Pulp (Williamston Theatre), Bright Half Life (Theatre Nova), Leaving Iowa (Tipping Point Theatre), Gift of the Magi (Performance Network Theatre), I Hate Hamlet (Tipping Point Theatre), Ebenezer (Williamston Theatre/Tipping Point Theatre), Richard III (Performance Network Theatre), Rosmersholm (Magenta Giraffe Theatre), Salvage (Planet Ant Theatre), Equus (Blackbird Theatre), and Jack Goes Boating (Blackbird Theatre).
+ John Lepard
John is happy to be working at Detroit Public Theatre for the first time. Over the years, he has worked at such venues as The Signature Theatre in New York, St. Louis Rep, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Gem in Detroit, Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC, and many of the professional theatres in Michigan. He has also been featured in over 20 films and television series. John received his BA in Theatre from Michigan State University and his MFA in Acting from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. John is the Executive Director of Williamston Theatre and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
+ Sarah Winkler
Sarah Winkler is a Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Detroit Public Theatre. She was a company member with Off Broadway's Epic Theatre Ensemble for more than a decade before moving to Metro Detroit in 2013. Sarah has performed on stage and film in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and around the country, and is now so proud and honored to be a part of the Detroit theatre community.
+ Ned Baker
Ned Baker is so pleased to be back in his home state for his Detroit Public Theatre debut. Currently a resident of Chicago, Ned has performed there with the Hypocrites and (re)discover theatre, assistant-directed for Steppenwolf and the Hypocrites, and worked for four years as a director and a writer in Chicago Parks with the public access company he co-founded, Rabid Bat Theatricals. Thanks to Mom, Dad, and all loyal loved ones. Long live the theatre.
+ Geoff Button
Director Geoff received his BA in Theater Performance from Western Michigan University, and his MFA in Theater Directing from Northwestern University. He has long been an active part of the Chicago theater company The Hypocrites, where he directed Adding Machine: A Musical (Joseph Jefferson Nomination - Best Midsize Musical), Into the Woods, Coriolanus, Desire Under the Elms, True West (Non-Equity Jeff Nominations – Best Play, Best Director), as well as his own adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters. Also an actor, he has performed in several Hypocrites’ productions, including All Our Tragic, Woyzeck, Mud, and Equus (Joseph Jefferson Citation – Best Actor). He has taught theater at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, The National High School Institute, and in the Music Theater Certificate Program at Northwestern University. Currently he is the Casting Director/Associate Producer at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL.
+ Monika Essen
Production Design Moníka Essen is an award- winning, nationally recognized artist and designer. The recipient of the prestigious Detroit Free Press Lawrence DeVine Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre, she studied interior architecture and Environmental Design at Parsons School of Design and received her MFA in scenography from the renowned Hilberry Repertory Co. Monika has designed countless productions in theatre, opera and film; just recently designing Michigan Opera Theatre’s acclaimed production of Frida and The Tender Land and iscurrently at work designing Amahl and The Night Visitors there. Some of her favorite local designs include: The Foursome and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance at Tipping Point Theatre, and American Hero and Murder Ballad here at DPT. Additionally, she creates furniture, museum exhibits, interiors and full sensory, multi-media environments for residential and commercial clients, including the Detroit Zoo. You can see her work at www.studioepoque.com.
+ Mike Durst
Lighting Design OFF-BROADWAY: Secrets of the Trade at Primary Stages, The Opponent at 59e59, Extinction at Cherry Lane, Splitting Infinity at Theater Row. NATIONAL TOUR: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Nightman Cometh. REGIONAL: Huntington Theatre Company: Come Back, Little Sheba; Lookingglass Theatre Company: Still Alice. Great Fire. CHICAGO: The Hypocrites, A Red Orchid Theatre, Theater Wit, Timeline Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theater, The House Theatre, University of Chicago, University of Illinois Chicago. Upcoming: Olney Theatre Center, Maryland. McCarter Theatre, New Jersey. Court Theatre, Chicago. Mike is a lecturer of Lighting Design at The University of Chicago and a consultant on theatrical renovations. He has received two Jeff Awards (Chicago), an Ovation Award (Los Angeles), San Diego’s Craig Noel Award, and nominations for IRNE, Elliot Norton, and L.A. Drama Critics Circle awards. Mike is a member of United Scenic Artists 829 and IATSE Local 2.
+ Frannie Shepherd-Bates
Sound Design In addition to her role at Detroit Public Theatre (for which she recently directed Sex With Strangers; Wilde Award nomination for Best Play), Frannie serves concurrently as Director of Education and Development for Water Works Theatre Company. She co-founded Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company of Detroit in 2008 and served on staff for nearly six years, founding Shakespeare in Prison in 2012. Frannie has designed sound and/or directed many productions at Metro Detroit theatres including Detroit Public Theatre, Williamston Theatre, Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company, Planet Ant Theatre, Matrix Theatre Company, the Abreact, and Shakespeare in Detroit. Her sound design for La Ronde at the Abreact garnered an award for Best Sound Design from the Rogue Critic. Frannie has been honored for her work by the Wilde Awards (Critics' Choice 2013; Best of the Bard 2015; nomination for Best Play 2016) and CBS Detroit, and she accepted an Arts Achievement Award on behalf of MGT from WSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance. She is the founder and director of DPT's Shakespeare in Prison program, facilitating an experience whereby inmates at Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility gain crucial life skills and insight through work with Shakespeare. Upcoming directorial projects include Young Americans at Tipping Point Theatre.