Meet the Team - BWW Comedy
Amanda Etchison is a junior at The Ohio State University, where she is pursuing a double major in journalism and Chinese within the university Honors Program. Amanda is the Editor-in-Chief of The Lantern, the student-run daily news publication of Ohio State?s Columbus campus. A lover of music and theater, Amanda has played the French horn in a variety of pit orchestras and music ensembles. When she is not writing, Amanda enjoys playing the piano and trying out new nail art designs.
Amanda lives in Madison, WI and joined BWW in the spring of 2014. She has relished every moment spent in a theatre since then. She holds a B.A. in English, Theatre, and Film/Media studies from Ripon College and attended the National Critics Institute in 2015 at the O'Neill Theatre Center in CT.
Choricius is the nom-du-web of a theater artist who has been involved in the Washington, D.C. scene in various capacities -- as actor, playwright, director, dramaturg -- for a number of years. Credits include Source, Woolly Mammoth and Le Neon Theatre. As a cultural historian and veteran of the Fulbright Program, he has devoted years of research to the performing arts of the Later Roman Empire (aka-Byzantium). In this bookish role he has translated, performed and published a variety of works from Medieval Greek. He holds a Ph.D. in Theater History, Theory and Criticism, and will soon be publishing his first full-length study on theater and ritual in Byzantium through a major university press in the UK. A Professor of Humanities, he currently teaches World Literature and World History in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
Carla Maria Verdino-S?llwold
Born and raised in the metropolitan New York area, Carla Maria Verdino-S?llwold took her degrees at Sarah Lawrence College and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She began her career as a teacher and arts administrator before becoming a journalist, critic, and author. In addition to contributing to Broadway World, her theatre, film, music and visual arts reviews and features have appeared in Fanfare Magazine, Scene 4 Magazine, Talkin? Broadway, Opera News, Gramophone, Op?ra International, Opera, Music Magazine, Beaux Arts, and The Crisis, and her byline has headed numerous program essays and record liner notes. She also authors the blog, Stage, Screen, and Song (www.stagescreensong.wordpress.com). Among her scholarly works, the best known is We Need A Hero! Heldentenors from Wagner?s Time to the Present: A Critical History. She helped to create several television projects, serving as associate producer and content consultant/writer, among them I Hear America Singing for WNET/PBS and Voices of the Heart: Stephen Fosterfor German television. Her first novel, Raising Rufus: A Maine Love Story appeared in 2010. Her screenplay version of the book was the 2011 Grand Prize Winner at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. She is also the author of a second novel, The Whaler's bride, and a collection of short stories, BOOKENDS Stories of Love, Loss, and Renewal. Ms. Verdino-S?llwold now makes her home in Brunswick, Maine.
Cary Ginell has been writing theater reviews in Ventura County since 1996. He joined the staff of the Ventura County Acorn in 2007 and since then, has written over 500 reviews. In 2013, he started his own theater arts blog, VC On Stage (www.vconstage.com), which includes reviews of musicals and plays from Calabasas to Ojai. From 2005 to 2010, Cary was Broadway project manager for Alfred Publishing, producing all of the publisher's piano/vocal songbooks. He is the author of 9 books on music, including "Broadway Musicals: Show By Show," published by Applause Books.
Caryn Robbins is a features editor for BroadwayWorld, and Managing Editor of BWW's TV, Film and Music spin-off sites. Her original musical comedy ADMISSIONS has been staged in two NYC theater festivals and was performed at an Equity Staged Reading in 2015.
David Clarke has had a lifelong love and passion for the performing arts, and has been writing about theatre both locally and nationally for years. He joined BroadwayWorld.com running their Houston site in early 2012 and began writing as the site's official theatre recording critic in June of 2013. Photo by Greg Salvatori.
Born and bred in South Africa, David has loved theatre since the day he set foot on stage in his preschool nativity play. He graduated with a Master of Arts (Theatre and Performance) degree from the University of Cape Town in 2005, having previously graduated from the same university with a First Class Honours in Drama in 2002. An ardent essayist, David won the Keswick Prize for Lucidity for his paper "Homosexual Representation in the Broadway Musical: the development of homosexual identities and relationships from PATIENCE to RENT". Currently, he teaches Dramatic Arts at a high school in Cape Town and also freelances as a theatremaker and performer.
David Green is the Executive Director of The American Foundation For Arts Education, founded by Carol Channing and her late husband, Harry Kullijian -- working to restore the Arts to our nation?s public schools and provide an arts education to every child in America. He is the founder and President of the nationally acclaimed "Musical Theatre University", a training ground for talented young people with aspirations for careers in theatre, most specifically musical theatre. Mr. Green's Broadway alumni include Tony -nominees Matthew Morrison and Stephanie Block, Drama Desk nominee Lindsay Mendez, Krysta Rodriguez, Scott Barnhardt and Anneliese VanDerPol to name a few. As a producer and director, he has staged over 150 theatrical productions for both educational and professional theatre and with such stars as Carol Channing, Cathy Rigby, JoAnne Worley, Rex Smith, Jonelle Allen, Eric Kunze, Davis Gaines, Stephanie Zimbalist, John Raitt, Betty Garrett and more. Mr. Green is the Regional Editor and Reviewer for the Inland Empire of Southern California.
Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and journalist/writer whose contributions to theatre through the years have included 6 years as theatre editor of NoHoLA, a contributor to LA Stage Magazine and currently on his own website: www.grigwaretalkstheatre.com Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. He is a teacher of foreign language and ESL. Don is going into his eighth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page. He received a BWW Award for Excellence in 2014 as one of the top ten Regional Editors across the globe. Don is also an author/playwright and recently published Books I, II & III of his children's fable Two Worlds Together: Donnelly's Greatest Christmas. You may purchase copies of the two volumes at amazon.com A trilogy of one-acts in a collection called Holiday Madness was recently revised and re-published, also on amazon.com. Both the story and plays are available on kindle as well as in paperback.
Violinist turned author ERICA MINER has had a multi-faceted career as an award-winning screenwriter, author, lecturer and poet. A native of Detroit, she studied violin at Boston University with Boston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Joseph Silverstein, where she graduated cum laude; the New England Conservatory of Music, and the Tanglewood Music Center, summer home of the Boston Symphony, where she performed with such celebrated conductors as Leonard Bernstein. She continued her studies with Mr. Silverstein at the New England Conservatory of Music, and went on to perform with the prestigious Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for twenty-one years, where she worked closely with much-respected maestro James Levine and numerous other luminaries of the opera world. After retiring from the Met, Erica drew upon her lifelong love for writing as her creative outlet and studied screenwriting in Los Angeles with screenplay guru Linda Seger. Erica?s screenplays awards include such recognized competitions as Santa Fe and the Writer?s Digest. Her debut novel, TRAVELS WITH MY LOVERS, won the Fiction Prize in the Direct from the Author Book Awards. Subsequent published novels include the first in Erica?s FOUREVER FRIENDS novel series chronicling four teenage girls coming of age in the volatile 60s. Her suspense thriller MURDER IN THE PIT, a novel of assassination and intrigue at the Metropolitan Opera, has won rave reviews across the board. Erica?s lectures, seminars and workshops have received kudos throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, and she has won top ratings as a special lecturer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. An active contributor to OperaPulse.com (http://www.operapulse.com/author/ericaminer/) and LAOpus.com (http://www.laopus.com/search/label/Erica), she also contributed a monthly ?Power of Journaling? article series for the National Association of Baby Boomer Women newsletter (http://nabbw.com/expert-columns/books-and-authoring/journaling/the-power-of- journaling-part-2/). Other writings have appeared in Vision Magazine, WORD San Diego, Istanbul Our City, and numerous E-zines. Erica?s lecture topics include ?The Art of Self- Re-invention,? ?Journaling: the Write Way to Write Fiction,? ?Solving the Mystery of Mystery Writing,? and ?Opera Meets Hollywood.? Details about Erica?s novels, screenplays and lectures can be found on her website (http://www.ericaminer.com.
Gil Kaan, a former Managing Editor of the now-defunct Genre magazine, has had the privilege of photographing and interviewing some major divas of film, television, and stage in his career; including Ann-Margret, Diana Ross, Faye Dunaway, Carol Channing, Shirley MacLaine, Catherine Deneuve, Liza Minnelli, Sandra Bernhard, Glenn Close, Anna Nicole Smith, Margaret Cho, and three Catwomen?Eartha Kitt, Lee Meriwether and Julie Newmar. He had the fortuitous opportunity to conduct Lily Tomlin?s coming out interview. Gil has since reviewed movies and theatre for a number of local Los Angeles and national outlets. Check out his video interviews with the talented participants of S.T.A.G.E. @ http://apla.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=STAGE_Video A montage of Gil?s Halloween Carnavale photos through the first decade of 2000 was selected to be included in the WeHo@ 25 juried exhibition in West Hollywood.
Guest Blogger: Kaitlin Colombo
Kaitlin Colombo is a stand up comedian and singer who has appeared on NBC, MTV, E!... and the Maury Povitch Show. This fearless and foul-mouthed funnygirl made her stand up comedy debut at the age of 13 at the world-famous Hollywood Improv (making her the youngest-ever comedian to grace its stage) and has appeared onLast Comic Standing (NBC), where she was voted the week #1 Online Fan Favorite. She has hosted events for companies such as Ladies' Home Journal ("Funny Women We Love" gala, honoring Teri Hatcher) and AOL/XM Satellite Radio's coverage of the New York Underground Comedy Festival. She regularly headlines clubs and colleges across the country - including New York, Las Vegas, and Provincetown, MA ("Gay Mecca!"). The proud daughter of a Gay man and a Lesbian woman, Kaitlin is a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights. Some of her most cherished performances have been for the Pride Rallies in Los Angeles and New York. She has appeared as a headliner on Rosie O'Donnell's "R Family Cruise", along with Kathy Griffin and Cyndi Lauper; and holds the distinction of being one of the few (biologically) female performers to grace the stage of some of the nation's biggest Gay clubs. Together with her "Big Gay Dad," Kaitlin co-created and co-wrote "Planet of the Gays!" and "Hitchcock Drag!" in which she also directed and performed. At the age of 17, she sold a television pilot based on her life with her Gay dad to FOX/FBC (Hypnotic/Doug Liman, Exec. Prod.). Her snarky commentary has been seen on E! Entertainment Television for multiple countdown specials - including "Countdown to the Oscars! Live from the Red Carpet", where she almost fell off a double-decker tour bus. In 2013, Kaitlin wrote and starred in NYC's dramatic off-broadway production of "The Choking Game," Currently, Kaitlin is in pre-production of her all-new show "Glitoris," a 90's rock-themed musical-comedy burlesque show for the Millenial generation set to debut in Los Angeles early 2015.
Jamie McGonnigal has produced and/or directed more than 200 Broadway concerts and events including Children of Eden (NYC Premiere), Pippin with Rosie O'Donnell and Ben Vereen, The Secret Garden with Laura Benanti, Will Chase and Steve Pasquale, Rags starring Lainie Kazan and Carolee Carmello, Snoopy with Sutton Foster, Christian Borle and Hunter Foster, The Embrace Concerts benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Broadway Loves the 80s at Joe's Pub and The Nightlife Awards with Chita Rivera, Betty Buckley and Mike Nichols. As a voice actor, Jamie can be heard on dozens of cartoons and video games including Pok?mon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Viva Pinata. Following a summer in Namibia and South Africa helping lead the UN's HERO campaign with rural AIDS affected communities, he returned to begin work on social justice campaigns. Having launched the LGBT blog TalkAboutEquality.com, Jamie now lives in Washington D.C. and is the Director of Business Development for Mission Hub, LLC. Jamie is a frequent contributor to HuffingtonPost and can also be heard frequently on SiriusXM's The Agenda on Progress 127 speaking about progressive issues in the media.
Jeff Davis is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television where he obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Theater with an emphasis in Directing.
A lover of all things Beyonce and Mexican food Joey is a lifetime Florida resident and has always had a passion for the entertainment industry. When he's not busy working full time for a non-profit you can find him roaming his local Target or live-tweeting must see TV. Follow Joey on Twitter @joeyohern and LIKE him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/joeyohern.
Kaitlin Milligan is from Fort Lauderdale, FL, but is currently a Senior studying Telecommunications Production with a Minor in English at The University of Florida. She is interested in scriptwriting for Television, Film, and Theatre, and hopes to work in the entertainment business when she graduates.
Katherine Waddell is a theater artist and administrator who comes to Broadway World with experience both on the stage and behind the scenes. Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Katherine found her passion for theater in the 4th grade and hasn?t looked back since,accumulating over 13 years of experience. With a plan to pursue a career in Arts Management and one day open her own theater, Katherine is excited to seize any opportunity regarding the theater arts.
Krista runs a content marketing business in Portland, Oregon. She fell in love with musicals at age 5, when her parents took her to see a university production of The Music Man. Krista attends as much theater as possible, in as many venues as possible, and she is the current "Name That Showtune" champion of her apartment. In her spare time, Krista enjoys curling, playing bridge, and cooking, and she has been known to tap dance.
Marina P. Kennedy writes articles and reviews for Broadwayworld.com on performance venues in New York and New Jersey. She is the Editor in Chief of BWW's Food & Wine World.com and the Senior New Jersey Editor. She also has a regular column in Fitnessworld.com, "Fit Food Finds," which discusses healthy eating. Her interest in fitness, dance, and theatre stem from the many years she owned and operated a dance school, "Dance Unlimited" in New Jersey. She enjoys a very active journalism career and loves writing for Broadwayworld.com.
Matt is BroadwayWorld's Senior TV and Film critic, and is an editor at BWW Orlando. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and has worked in sports media relations, as a theatre director, producer, and teacher, and he is the Executive and Co-Artistic Director of The Squeaky Wheel Theatre Project in Orlando, Florida. He also hosts BroadwayWorld's "Some Like it Pop" podcast. You can connect with Matt through Twitter @BWWMatt.
After 20-odd years singing, dancing and acting in dinner theatres, summer stocks and the ever-popular audience participation murder mysteries (try improvising with audiences after they?ve had two hours of open bar), Michael Dale segued his theatrical ambitions into playwriting. The buildings which once housed the 5 Off-Off Broadway plays he penned have all been destroyed or turned into a Starbucks, but his name remains the answer to the trivia question, "Who wrote the official play of Babe Ruth's 100th Birthday?" He served as Artistic Director for The Play's The Thing Theatre Company, helping to bring free live theatre to underserved communities, and dabbled a bit in stage managing and in directing cabaret shows before answering the call (it was an email, actually) to become BroadwayWorld.com's first Chief Theatre Critic. While not attending shows Michael can be seen at Citi Field pleading for the Mets to stop imploding. Likes: Strong book musicals and ambitious new works. Dislikes: Unprepared celebrities making their stage acting debuts by starring on Broadway and weak bullpens.
Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, world premiere clips and extensive news coverage. His work for the site has appeared in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, US Weekly, The Biography Channel, NBC and more. He also wrote and directed two sold-out 2014 BroadwayWorld charity concert events featuring all-star casts, EVERYTHING'S COMING UP BROADWAYWORLD.COM: A JULE STYNE TRIBUTE and THE LORD & THE MASTER: BROADWAYWORLD.COM SINGS THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER & STEPHEN SONDHEIM.
An actor, director, and theatre teacher, Peter Nason fell in love with the theatre at the tender age of six when he saw Mickey Rooney in ?George M!? at the Shady Grove in Washington, D.C. He has appeared in dozens of productions around the country, helmed several films and directed over thirty plays. His love of the theatre, and his passion for the craft of acting and directing, has led him to reach hundreds of Florida teenagers to help make the stage their home. He has currently started a new theatre program at a Title 1 school where he hopes the students there will find the same joy of performing that he found. A graduate of the University of Alabama and the Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy, Peter is an award-winning playwright and has written for various periodicals and newspapers, including ?The Tampa Tribune,? where he was a book reviewer and community columnist. One of his literary heroines, the late great Pauline Kael, summed up his philosophy of reviewing: ?In the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.? Peter resides in Wesley Chapel, Florida with his beloved Boston Terrier, Ike.
Sam Jury is a musical director and pianist based in Auckland New Zealand. He studied classical piano performance and conducting at the New Zealand School of Music and at the University of Auckland, gaining a Bachelor of Music with Honours. He currently works in a range of fields spanning musical theatre, opera, solo performance, accompaniment (vocal and instrumental), coaching and recording. He has a particular interest in new music and theatre and was formerly a member of the SMP Contemporary Music Ensemble in Wellington, a group dedicated to commissioning and performing new works with funding from Creative New Zealand. He is also an Associate of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers New Zealand.
Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six - acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. After teaching in local secondary schools, working in marketing for several studios, writing, directing, producing, and performing in productions for several non-profit theaters, Shari now dedicates her time and focuses her skills as an independent publicist to "get the word out" about smaller theaters throughout the Los Angeles area. As a founding member of the LA Stage Alliance Leadership Council Task Force, she and reps from theaters throughout the city work together to articulate a vision for the theatre community of Greater Los Angeles. Shari has received recognition from the City of Los Angeles for her dedication of heart and hand to the needs of friends, neighbors and fellow members of society for her devotion of service to the people of Los Angeles. Shari is honored to serve her hometown as a contributor to Broadway World.
Stephen is also the cabaret/ music and co-theatre editor of the Times Square Chronicles. He studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen?s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the ?First All Children?s Theatre? which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen?s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Paul Smith stars as aspiring actor Pete Hamilton, with Gillian Pensavalle cast as a softhearted casting associate named Valerie. Luke Kelly Clyne of Splitsider calls it "A fantastic series" and "Irresistably sharable." Media guru Paul Levinson says, "The acting is outstanding," with the cast displaying "impressive comedic talent." The principal cast also includes Nick Costa as Pete's character-actor roommate, Kelly Warne as a high-strung actress who is self-conscious about her age, Mark Gessner as a powerful casting director with a short fuse, and James Tabeek as his loyal-to-a-fault assistant. "THE RESIDUALS' is a comedy about surviving an environment of commercial actors who try way too hard to mask their nervousness with cockiness," says Smith, who wrote and directed the entire series. "When you put those personalities in the position of having to read a single pitch line as though it were Shakespeare, you have a very funny blend of reality and absurdity." The cast of THE RESIDUALS has amassed numerous credits on TV, Film, Broadway, the Web and, of course, commercials. Featured in Season Two are: Horatio Sanz, Jenna Leigh Green, Michael Torpey, J. Julian Christopher,Patrick Jones, Emily Tarver, Alisha B. Woods, Allison Levering Wong, Benjamin Hey, Kathy Searle, Rocco Chierichella, Jeremy Redleaf, Dave Hanson, Ted O'Gorman, Tom Brown, Ian Sullivan, Brian Rhinehart, Kyle Hunt,Deborah Rayne, Haille Clarke, El Hay Revivo, and Carrie-Rachel Dean. THE RESIDUALS is produced by Smith and Pensavalle through Take It Back Productions, and edited by Pensavalle. The director of photography is Emmy Award-winner Ed Caraballo. Script supervisor is Carrie-Rachel Dean. All episodes feature contemporary music from Rhymesayers Entertainment and Smalls Live.
As a 14 year old youth, Walter was transfixed by his first Broadway Show, the original production of 'GREASE'. His Journey to celebrity photojournalism began that fateful night. Meeting, photographing and getting to know the cast inspired him to spend his professional life doing what he loved. Walter moved to Manhattan and for a leading role as a Photographer & Photo Researcher. Currently headlining in New Jersey with his partner Richard and family members Dali (Jack Russell) & Gala (Schnoodle). Recently he made his Broadway debut sharing the stage with Hugh Jackman in 'Hugh Jackman on Broadway' as well as receiving the Actors' Equity Association Gypsy Spirit Award. Walter McBride Photography is syndicated worldwide by Corbis/AP.