Meet the Team - BWW Opera
Adam lives in New Jersey and races in marathons and triathlons. He has a bachelor's from Bennington College and a Master's from New York University.
Al Portner is a retired career journalist and media executive. He has written for publication over more than 40 years. He has published daily newspapers in venues as far east as Washington DC, as far west as Honolulu HI, and a number of communities in between. His new book on the literary partnership of Ulysses Grant and Mark Twain will be available in 2016.
Alison Bridget Chambers
Alison Bridget Chambers holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah University Conservatory and an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. A former professor of theatre, she has also worked professionally as an actress, director and choreographer. She resides in Wichita, KS with her husband.
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.
Backstagebunny is the pseudonym of someone who has been involved with theatre since his teens and has reviewed for a number of newspapers, blogs and stage publications.
Born in London, Barry was introduced to theatre as a small boy, through being taken to see traditional Christmas pantomimes, as well as discovering jazz and fine music at a very young age. High school found him loving the works of Shakespeare, as well as many other great playwrights, poets and novelists. Moving to Australia, he became a jazz musician, playing with big bands and his own small groups, then attended the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, playing with several orchestras. This led to playing in theatre pits, joining the chorus, playing character roles, playing lead roles (after moving into drama), then directing, set and lighting design, administrative roles on theatre boards and, finally, becoming a critic. After twenty years of writing he has now joined the Broadway World team to represent Adelaide, in South Australia. Barry is also a long time member of the prestigious Adelaide Critics Circle.
Ben is an avid theatergoer who has seen over 115 musicals and plays. Some of his most memorable theatrical experiences include: accidentally insulting Andrew Lloyd Webber at a performance of Love Never Dies, attending the last Broadway performance of Elaine Stritch at Liberty and watching George Bizet?s opera The Pearl Fishers from the Presidential Box at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Originally from Pittsburgh, Ben works in public affairs for a Washington, D.C.-based trade association and previously served in The White House. Ben has a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Mason University and a Master?s degree in strategic public relations from The George Washington University.
Brodie Paparella is an avid theatregoer and theatremaker. Trained as a publicist in Adelaide, Brodie's passion for performance art developed under the bright lights of the Fringe Festival which he would go on to support shows in for five years, then travel over to Edinburgh Fringe Festival to support companies there. Since moving to Melbourne, Brodie has focused more on writing and producing, leading The Jamaica Inn Collective to create collaborative, multidisciplinary projects with a social impact.
Dubbed the Literary Prince, Bryan-Keyth Wilson is a noted playwright, screenwriter, director, teaching artist and choreographer. He is a published author of two books and 8 plays. His first novel, HOOD BOY CHRONICLES, was a groundbreaking work of inspirational fiction combining street literature swag and spoken word intermingled with a poignant and heartfelt story that restores faith. His second title was for the grown and sexy crowd. TRACK CHANGES & WHITE LIES was written under an alter-ego pseudonym Brendan Gotti. BKW studied Musical Theatre with a Dance emphasis at Sam Houston State University. His passion for teaching has brought him into the classroom as a teaching artist where he shares his professional journey with young aspiring theatre/ musical theatre artists. He is the Artistic Director of The Wilson School of Acting & Musical Theatre and a proud member of Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Fraternal Honor Society and Alpha Psi Omega the National Honor Theatre Fraternity. Regional directorial/choreography credits include: BARE, The Frog Prince, PIPPIN, Little Shop of Horrors, RENT, The Rocky Horror Show, Spring Awakening, Macbeth, Mame, Once on This Island, Anything Goes, Dreamgirls, Confessions of a Preacher's Wife, and Suessical the musical. Off-Broadway Credits include: Pamlet and The Subway Series Pt 1. He has choreographed children?s productions of Fiddler on the Roof Jr., which won Outstanding Production at the 2011 Junior Theatre Festival. Seussical Jr., Once on This Island Jr., Godspell Jr., Disney?s AristoCats Kids, Disney?s Beauty and the Beast Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr. which one Outstanding Production at the 2012 Junior Theatre Festival FAME Jr. and excerpts from Dr. Doolittle Jr. 2012 Showcase Premiere at the Junior Theatre Festival. He has directed music videos for American Idol Finalist Vincent Powell and YUNEK. BKW is also the founder and Executive Artistic Director of The Eklektix Theatre Company and founder of The Gulf Coast Writers Retreat. He is a five-year faculty member of The Black Writers Reunion & Conference.
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.
Chris has been active in the local theatre scene for over 30 years. In addition to his acting work, he's also contributed as a director, writer and composer. Though, initially a film buff, he grew tired of the sanitized, PG-13 rated blockbusters that were being continually shoved down his throat by the studios. An opportunity to review theatre in St. Louis has grown exponentially with the sudden explosion of venues and talent in the region. He now finds himself obsessed with witnessing those precious, electric moments that can only happen live, on stage.
Chris McCormack is a theatre critic based in Dublin. He blogs on MusingsInIntermissions.blogspot.ie and writes for A Younger Theatre, Irish Theatre Magazine and the Arts Council of Ireland. He is also a PhD fellow at the National University of Ireland Galway where he is researching influential designers who worked at the Abbey Theatre.
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.
Dylan is a modern writer, producer and theatregoer in the Pittsburgh region. In the theatrical realm, he has worked in production, marketing, box office and front of house, in addition to acting, directing and stage-managing. When he is not involved with shows, either in the Cultural District downtown or in the small-town theatres speckling western PA, Dylan keeps busy on the golf course, in the community and at new and exciting restaurants.
Born and raised in the DC-area, Ellen spent countless hours as a child and adult nurturing her love of theater in the classic DC venues, like Ford?s Theatre, Arena Stage, The National Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Signature, area universities and more; and enthusiastically performing in many school productions herself. After a long career with The Walt Disney Company in California, she returned to her alma mater, the University of Virginia, for a law degree, and is now a trademark attorney for the federal government. She will travel far and wide to experience theater, but has a special love and pride for the DC theater community, and its commitment to bringing great theater in myriad forms to this arts-loving town! Along with writing about, Tweeting about, talking about and attending as much theater as possible, she has a soft spot for those new and emerging artists, whose career journeys are a joy to behold.
In addition to being part of the west coast Broadway World team, Ellen also publishes two popular Southern California Theatre Blogs - Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA. An actress, singer and voiceover artist, she is also a producer with the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and works with the development of new musicals across the country.
Emma Cambey is a primary school teacher in Sydney, Australia whose greatest passion is the Arts and in particular, musical theatre.
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.
Guest Blogger: Bryan-Keyth Wilson
Dubbed the Literary Prince by his peers, Bryan-Keyth Wilson is a noted playwright, screenwriter, director, teaching artist and choreographer. He is a published author of 2 books, 8 plays and his debut choreopoem FOR COLORED BOYZ ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. His first novel, HOOD BOY CHRONICLES, was a groundbreaking work of inspirational fiction combining street-lit swag and spoken word intermingled with a heartfelt story that restores faith. His second title was for the grown and sexy crowd. TRACK CHANGES & WHITE LIES was written under an alter-ego pseudonym Brendan Gotti. His passion for teaching has brought him into the classroom as a teaching artist where he shares his professional journey with young aspiring theatre/ musical theatre artists. He is the Artistic Director of The Eklektix Theatre Company and The Wilson School of Acting & Musical Theatre. Wilson attended Same Houston State University and Hunter College in NYC.
Guest Blogger: James Rodriguez
Praised for his "authoritative and rich baritone", James D. Rodriguez, a native of Honduras, was most recently seen performing the role of Tonio (Pagliacci) at Opera in the Heights. This summer he was an apprentice artist with Des Moines Metro Opera where he covered the role of Rappaccini in Daniel Cat?n?s La Hija de Rappaccini. Other notable roles include Escamillo (Carmen), Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Dandini (La Cenerentola), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos), Belcore (L?Elisir d?Amore), Captain Magallanes (Salsipuedes), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), and Rigoletto (Rigoletto) with such companies as Opera IOWA, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater, the Natchez Festival of Music, and the Moores Opera Center. Rodriguez was a finalist in the Concorso Lirica International Competition, and the first place winner in the Texas Young Artist Vocal Competition. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Houston.
Guest Blogger: Laura Coale
Laura Coale most recently sang with Opera in the Heights in the chorus of I Pagliacci, and is excited to return to perform the role of Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice. This past summer she covered the role of Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance, produced by the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston. In 2014 Mrs. Coale received much acclaim as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Kingwood Summer Opera. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Houston where she enjoyed performing: Ma Joad/The Grapes of Wrath, The Fox/The Cunning Little Vixen, Zita/Gianni Schicchi.
Guest Blogger: Mariam Khalili
Mariam Khalili is the Executive Director of Opera in the Heights in Houston, Texas. She has been with the organization since its 2013-2014 season, and is the first Executive Director to be promoted within the company. Opera in the Heights, a non-profit, regional, professional company, provides a stage for emerging opera performers and brings affordable opera to the Greater Houston Area. As Executive Director, Ms. Khalili?s primary focus areas are fiscal management; day-to-day operations, including management of artistic and administrative staff; development and fundraising initiatives; community and education outreach programs; marketing; programming that bolsters the careers of emerging artists; and growing a collaborative network with non-profit arts partners across the city and nation. Key accomplishments during Ms. Khalili's tenure at Oh! include establishing a Young Professionals Organization called YOLO (Young Opera Lovers Organization); developing and producing a new December concert series, ConciertOh! de Invierno, featuring Oh!?s Hispanic opera singers; implementing a new company website; and creating an annual free season kick-off party that promotes multiple art organizations while featuring Opera in the Heights. Ms. Khalili began her career in property management and hospitality. Her love of the arts eventually led her to pursue an eight-year entrepreneurial career working as a successful designer and photographer. During this period, Ms. Khalili obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography and design with a major focus on business from the Art Institute of Houston.
A theater lover since childhood, Harmony Wheeler has done Marketing and Public Relations work for Sierra Repertory Theatre, Hillhouse Opera Company and other companies. She graduated with high honors from Biola University with her degree in Journalism and an emphasis in Public Relations. In addition to working for the Gallo Center for the Arts, MJM Entertainment Group, Biola University Marketing and Communications, 6th Street PR, and Zimbabwe Gecko Society, Wheeler has written for The Modesto Bee, The Chimes, Static MultiMedia, BullyPulpit.com, TUFW Alumnus Magazine, Christian Book Previews, The Christian Communicator, and Church Libraries Magazine. Her photos appear in The Dominican Dream, a book available for purchase through Biola University's Journalism Department. Her photography and video work can be found at http://photographybyharmonywheeler.shutterfly.com/. To learn more about Harmony Wheeler, or to contact her for work possibilities, visit www.harmonywheeler.com.
Heather Nadolny is a DC-based singer, actress, writer, and storyteller. A Memphis native and Chicago transplant, she is a regular performer and guest co-host at LaTiDo. She has also appeared at Strathmore Mansion, Bloombars, Busboys and Poets, Speakeasy, Story League, with the Washington Revels at the National Cathedral, and for the Gay Men's Chorus Board of Trustees.
Herb Paine is President of Paine Consulting Services, now in its twenty-sixth year of operation, specializing in organizational development, strategic planning, turnaround management, mergers, and governance. He is a nationally recognized expert on all aspects of nonprofit organization management and has consulted extensively with arts and cultural organizations on strategic positioning and branding. For more, visit http://www.UpYourNonprofit.com. His social and political commentaries are aired monthly on KJZZ/91.5 FM, NPR?s Phoenix affiliate. Herb?s most recent acting credits include roles as Sgt. Jeff Pugliese in the National Geographic Channel?s April 2014 docudrama "Inside the Hunt for the Boston Bombers;" the King of France/Chaudron the forger/Ser Piero, DaVinci's father in Theater Works' "Finding Mona Lisa;" Inspector LeStrade in Fountain Hills Theater?s "Sherlock?s Last Case;" and Berry Bernard in the short film "Living Will."
Scientist who happens to love music, theater, and most of all, musical theater. Currently located in New York, and seeing all the theater I can squeeze in, but still keeping up with the BWW Germany regional page from afar.
Itai Yasur is a musician in the DC area and has been involved in local theater for years. He?s been lucky enough to play on some of the most beautiful stages in and around the city, from Strathmore to Blues Alley to the Kennedy Center.
I am an International Flight Attendant with a love of Cabaret, Musical Theatre, and Live Performing Arts in general. I try to see as many shows as I can, whether that be in my current home town of Sydney, other Australian cities or the International cities I visit with work. I am a graduate of the Cabaret Summer School 2012-Adelaide and have also been a Special Guest Critic for GlamAdelaide for the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival, specialising in Cabaret.
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.
Halfway through a degree in Creative Advertising, Jason?s passion for theatre and the arts has been a source of inspiration for his creative process. As an enthusiast for musical theatre, Jason is thrilled to expand his horizons as a contributor for BroadwayWorld Toronto. Grateful for the opportunity, he cannot wait to further immerse himself in the remarkable theatre scene in Toronto! Find Jason on Twitter at @jaarlos.
Jeffrey Walker contributes reviews and features for the Washington, DC market on Broadway World and DC Theatre Scene. He occasionally writes about television and videos for TV-World. Jeffrey is an experienced director and actor and has performed in musicals, Shakespeare, operettas, and contemporary works. By day, Jeff teaches high school theatre arts. He is a graduate of Roanoke College.
Jennifer Perry is the Senior Contributing Writer for BroadwayWorld.Com's DC page. She has been a DC resident since 2001 having moved from Upstate New York to attend graduate school at American University's School of International Service. When not attending countless theatre, concert, and cabaret performances in the area and in New York, she works for the US Government as an analyst. Jennifer previously covered the DC performing arts scene for Maryland Theatre Guide, DC Metro Theater Arts, and DC Theatre Scene.
A native Minnesotan, Jill is an enthusiastic theater-goer in the Twin Cities area and an advocate for local theater companies small and large. After becoming a Guthrie season subscriber in 2003, she found herself attending more and more theater, so decided to start an independent theater blog called Cherry and Spoon in 2010. With no background or training in theater (other than a few stints in the pit orchestra in high school), Jill writes from an audience perspective. Read more of Jill?s writing on cherryandspoon.com.
Johnna Leary recently graduated with a B.A. in Musical Theater from Shepherd University. She previously worked as the Arts and Styles Section Editor of the Shepherd University newspaper, The Picket and interned at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. She also writes as a local correspondent for DC Metro Theater Arts. Johnna frequently performs in educational and local theater productions. Her favorite roles include Johanna (u/s) and Young Lucy in Sweeney Todd at Shepherd, Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty in Enchanted Sleeping Beauty at Pumpkin Theatre, Cosette in Les Miserables at Way Off Broadway, Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Maggie in Lend Me A Tenor at the Washington County Playhouse. She can also be seen on several documentaries and mini series on Investigation Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and National Geographic.
Kaitlin Milligan is from Fort Lauderdale, FL, but is currently a Sophomore 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.
Kathryn Kitt is a Classically Trained Lyric Soprano who is comfortable singing different types of genres. She has a BA in music from Bennington College and an MFA in Opera from Suny-Purchase. She has performed in the Aspen Music Center, Tanglewood Music Center, Lake George Opera Festival and The Little Orchestra Society. She also has performed in a great many local theatres including The Armonk Players, Clocktower Players and recently Curtain Call in Stamford, CT. Kathryn also sings at Temples and Churches in which she gets to explore very demanding, yet fulfilling repertoire as well. Kathryn writes interviews for BroadwayWorld.com, CenterontheAisle.com and Theaterpizzazz.com. Kathryn is a proud member of Americantheatrecritics.org (ATCA). Kathryn resides in Bedford, NY with her three children, Andrew, John and Madeleine who have also been "bitten" by the music/theatre bug. Contact: Kathrynkitt1@gmail.com
Katricia Lang moved to Houston at the tender age of 17 for the sole purpose of earning a fancy-can't-you-taste-this-gold Rice degree but, thanks to the uni?s RZA ridiculous transfiguration skills, she turned into one of those evil, rabid owls with crazy eyes and a permanent mean mug. She also became one the hardest, hard-core Houstonians you?ve ever met or will meet. She loves the things about Houston that you hate - the heat, the traffic, the humidity--and the things you love-- diversity, oversized portions, Queen Bey. And after 12 years living in Clutch City, she?s a Wise Owl who can rotate her head 270 degrees and poop out dissectible pellets for disinterested high school kids. But for your sake, she resists the call of the wild.
Keith Tittermary is a Washington DC based music director, pianist, and actor. He recently appeared as Horton in Damascus Theatre Company's Seussical and as Brian in Red Branch Theatre's Avenue Q, which he performed for the composer, Jeff Marx. He is currently a faculty member at the Levine School of Music, where is the music director for the Pre-Professional program, having recently conducted Parade at the Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage. As an orchestrator, he works extensively with Joan Cushing, and provides arrangements and orchestrations for new musicals, as well as jazz and big band charts.
Libby Ryan comes to BroadwayWorld Atlanta via Minneapolis. She's a recent journalism grad and freelance writer, covering travel, culture and, of course, theater. When she?s not working or writing, she?s driving her roommates crazy by singing show tunes in the kitchen.
Linda Hodges and Nick Hodges
Hodges & Hodges Set the Stage provides a wide-ranging look into select productions that are premiering or touring in the Bay area. Dedicated to enhancing the theater-going experience, this mother/son team gives you tips on show-focused and local "things to do" that will get you revved up and ready for the show - even before you enter the actual theater. They also give a theatre critics "what to watch for" perspective and do the ever popular celeb review! They're fun, campy and a little zany - just perfect for San Francisco! Linda Hodges is a freelance writer who has been covering the vibrant and exciting San Francisco Bay Area theater scene for the past seven years. A dedicated theater aficionado, Linda first became involved in the dramatic arts while in college, becoming one of the first ?techies? at her school to be voted into Delta Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society. She holds a Masters in Theological Studies from Pacific School of Religion and maintains that theater, at its best, is a religious experience! Linda is currently working on her first novel and, as always, is looking forward to another opening night. Nick Hodges has been a theatre critic with BroadwayWorld for four years now. He's performed in theater since the fifth grade and his passion for the arts has only continued to grow. Now 26, he currently studies acting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has been in dozens of shows. He also did summer camps at Berkeley Rep and attended at Disney University in Orlando while also working at Disney World. Through these rich and varied experiences he has gained a deep perspective of what it truly takes to make a theatrical production successful. He is thrilled to be writing for BroadwayWorld!
Maggie Yates is a writer, editor, and theatre artist. She studied theatre at UC Berkeley and writing at the University of San Francisco. She is an editor at Rocky Nook Inc., a Santa Barbara-based publishing company. She previously worked with The Shotgun Players at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley, and currently works for Out of the Box Theatre in Santa Barbara. She is enthusiastic about all kinds of drama, from petty and absurd to universal and thematic of the human condition.
America's most uncoordinated childhood ballet and tap student before discovering that her talents were music and writing, Marakay Rogers finally traded in her violin for law school when she realized that she might make more money in law than she did performing with the Potomac Symphony and in orchestra pits around the mid-Atlantic. A graduate of Wilson College (PA) with additional studies in drama and literature from Open University (UK), Marakay is also a writer, film reviewer and interviewer as well as a guest lecturer at various colleges, and is listed in Marquis' "Who's Who in America". As of 2014, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Beaux Arts Society, Inc. of New York and a member of GALECA (Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association). Marakay is senior theatre critic for Central Pennsylvania and a senior editor for BWWBooksWorld as well as a classical music reviewer. In her free time, Marakay practices law and often gets it right.
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 Hanson is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Starting in music and arts journalism at eighteen in both print and digital publications from the newsroom of The Standard Times, he now regularly contributes literary criticism for Atticus Review, and reviews independent music for Discorder Magazine. As a former resident of Egypt, Mexico, Peru, and Canada, he publishes widely on themes of international relevance for such publications as Nation of Change, The Leftist Review, The Dominion, This Magazine, and many others. Currently a docent at Kehila Kedosha Janina Museum, he explores migrant history through oral, narrative, and creative approaches to literature.
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.
Michelle Hach? moved to Austin after completing her Graduate Diploma at the Juilliard School in New York. While at The Juilliard School, was awarded the Bori Prize Grant for language study, and she has appeared in many leading roles in both opera and music theatre in New York and around the country. Since arriving in Austin, she been nominated for the B. Iden Payne three times, winning in 2010 and 2013, for roles such as Maria in Zilker Theatre?s The Sound of Music, Elsie in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Princess Ida in Princess Ida. Additionally, Michelle has been an instructor in voice for over 12 years and has directed music theatre productions in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and Oregon.
Natalie de la Garza
What do Peja Stojakovic, Richard Kline, and Weird Al Yankovic all have in common? The answer: their autographs all reside amongst Natalie?s most prized possessions. A Rice graduate with what some might call an eclectic set of interests, Natalie loves all things pop culture. Though now a Houston transplant, Natalie is still a proud San Antonian - the only thing she loves more than old tv shows and even older films is her San Antonio Spurs.
Nyderah Williams is a native Houstonian and a graduate from University of Houston. Thanks to her parents, she has been an enthusiast of the performing arts since the day she was born. In addition to the arts, she has a passion for learning languages and reading. One day she hopes to travel to every continent in the world. Until then, she will settle for traveling to every used bookstore in Houston.
Olga El is happy to combine her love of writing and dance for Broadway World. Taking a cue from her ballet-trained parents, she began studying dance at a young age but had to take hiatus from the dance world in her teens. At 17 she moved to NYC to study writing at Pratt Institute and began studying various forms of dance while earning her BFA. Since that time she has worked directly under the leadership of several dance companies in the genres of Modern/Contemporary, Ballet and Hip Hop as well as folkloric forms from around the world. She directs a political dance-theatre that was honored with a residency from the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in 2015 and has been presented across the NYC-Metro area. Olga's scriptwriting was recently solicited by a major Off-Broadway theatre.
I am a public relations and digital marketing professional who works with CEOs and young professionals across the globe to further hone their creativity, stakeholders' engagement strategies, and writing and communication skills. As a traveling professional, who earned his master's degree from New York University, I help a wide range of clients and employers to make their brands resonate in traditional and digital media. Simultaneously, I write and edit for New York-based media outlets BroadwayWorld.com and Fil-Am Who's Who, which cater to different audiences but nonetheless both deliver engaging and tightly edited content. My mission is to educate people to find their distinctive voice, which can penetrate much deeper in a world full of noise and clutter.
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.
Patrick O?Brien is a multidisciplinary theater artist. Selected sound designs: Deathtrap (Citadel Theatre Company); Dog Sees God, Love Kills (Pipe Dreams Studio Theater). Technical experience: Sense & Sensibility (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, internship); The Nutcracker (House Theatre of Chicago); The Wild Party, Carrie (Bailiwick Chicago). BA Theatre Arts, Minor in Music, Millikin University '14. pjobsound.wix.com/patrickobrien.
Peggy Sue Dunigan
Peggy Sue Dunigan earned a BA in Fine Art, a MA in English and then finished with a Masters of Fine Art in Creative Fiction from Pine Manor College, Massachusetts. Currently she independently writes for multiple publications on the culinary, performance and visual arts or works on her own writing projects while also teaching college English and Research Writing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her other creative energy emerges by baking cakes and provincial sweets from vintage recipes so when in the kitchen, at her desk, either drawing or writing, or enjoying evenings at any and all theaters, she strives to provide satisfying memories for the body and soul.
Peter Danish is a Media Marketing Consultant and Classical Arts Presenter. He is a founding member of ArtsRock, where he presented concerts with such world renowned artists as Grammy winning Classical Guitarist Sharon Isbin, Grammy winning Violinist Marc O'Connor, The Eroica Trio, The American Brass Quintet, The New York Philharmonic Brass Quintet, Alec Baldwin, Louis Black and Robert Klein. At The Riverspace Performing Arts Center, he presented such artists as Meryl Streep, Jonathan Demme, Bill T. Jones, Bill Irwin, Mike Nichols, Ani Di Franco, Eve Ensler, Pete Seeger, Ellen Burstyn, Edward Albee and Kathleen Turner. He has programmed concerts and educational programs for a multitude of local arts organizations including the American National Opera and the Westchester Hudson Opera, and has lectured on opera and classical music in schools and libraries as part of their outreach programs. For over two decades he has served as Director of Marketing for NBC, Vice President of Marketing for Telemundo, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Azteca TV Network, and Marketing Consultant to PBS. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America, The Wagner Society of N.Y. and Board of Trustees of the award-winning classical concert series, The Carnegie Room Concerts at the Nyack Library. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ad Age, Ad Week and Media Week.
Rachel Weinberg is thrilled to share her passion for theater with the Broadway World community! She works as the New Media Assistant at Goodman Theatre. Rachel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Communication and Spanish. She is excited to once again be working and seeing theater in her hometown.
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Richard Sasanow is a long-time writer on art, music, food, travel and international business for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Town & Country and Travel & Leisure, among many others. He also interviewed some of the great singers of the 20th century for the programs at the San Francisco Opera and San Diego Opera and worked on US tours of the Orchestre National de France and Vienna State Opera, conducted by Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Leonard Bernstein.
Roger Catlin is a Washington based arts writer whose work appears regularly in The Washington Post and SmithsonianMagazine.com. He has also written for Salon and Al-Jazeera and was a staff writer for The Hartford Courant in Connecticut for longer than he would like to tell you.
Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years. For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration. He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.
As one who has been an Art Director in several notable advertising agencies, one can easily see how that has influenced Roy's photographic work. Mainly spending his time as a portrait photographer, but when time allows, his other passion takes him to the musical theatre. It is here, that he captures special moments in time to be immortalized. His photographs capture the essence of the subject, and often, the character of the individuals they are portraying. Roy is the official photographer for Musical Theatre Review in London UK. At the moment, Roy is preparing for his book and photo exhibition showcasing people that have contributed to making the theatrical stage a magical place. Easily recognizable artists that have been photographed so far include Bea Arthur, Chaim Topol, Chita Rivera, Elaine Stritch, Julie Walters, to name but a few http://roytan3.wix.com/exhibition Over the last 15 years, nearly all the West End photo-calls have seen Roy's presence. He has also been the Official Photographer for a few noted West End / Off West End productions, most recently for 2015 Gatsby & I Loved Lucy at The Art?s Theatre, Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures at Sadler's Wells Theatre, Soho Cinders by Elliot Davis, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe at Soho Theatre, Crazy For You at Novello Theatre ( winner of the 2012 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival ). And coming June as the official photographer for a new play Savage at The Art?s Theatre and Gertrude at Theatre N 16. For more details go to www.roytan.zenfolio.com
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 Raskauskas is passionate about the performing arts. As a performing artist, he has collaborated on productions acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Huffington Post. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, and holds degrees in music from the University of Chicago and Princeton University.
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
A native Kansan I have a BA (Math and Theatre) and MA (Theatre). I was working on a PhD in Theatre when IBM sniffed my math background and lured me away with money enough to feed my (then two) children. Nevertheless I've been active in theatre all my life--having directed fifty-three productions (everything from opera in Poughkeepsie to Mrozek in Woodstock to musical melodrama in Germany) and I've acted in seventy others. Now that I'm retired I don't have that eight-to-five distraction and can focus a bit more. I've regularly reviewed theatre in St. Louis for KDHX since 1991 and am tickled now to also join BWW.
Tara Bennett is a Jill-of-All-Trades who currently serves as the Arts & Entertainment Editor for DIG Magazine in Baton Rouge, as well as the Media Coordinator for the Hammond Regional Arts Center in Hammond. When she is not working, she enjoys acting and working as a freelance makeup artist. Tara's had a passion for theatre since an early age, and enjoys sharing her passion through her writing. In 2008 and 2009, she had the pleasant opportunity to take her theatrical education further by training with the National Critics Institute.
Nata nel 1994 in provincia di Verona, dove ho compiuto i miei studi fino alla maturit?. Nel 2013 ho cominciato un corso di laurea in DAMS (Discipline delle Arti, della Musica e dello Spettacolo) all'universit? di Padova.
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.
Wesley Doucette is a New York based director/choreographer. Recently he worked as assistant director on Masterworks Theatre Company's inaugural production of "The Glass Menagerie." His director credits include Tiny Rhino, "The Rite of Spring," a studio production of Brecht/Weill's "The Threepenny Opera," and the medieval morality play "Everyman." He is currently undertaking a new iteration of "Everyman" which enjoyed a development presentation at Dixon Place. This production will be performed upstate in 2016 under the artistic mentorship of world renowned dance/theatre artist Maureen Fleming. He is also stage manager for Maureen Fleming Company. He writes for The Andygram Blog and is a frequent contributor to The New York Theatre Review. He was a member of The Orchard Project's apprenticeship, "The Core Company," in 2013.
BWW Opera Review: Met's New ELEKTRA Has the Cast and Conductor--But Where's the Catharsis?|
by Richard Sasanow