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GRoW @ The Wallis to Present The Wallis Studio Ensemble Production of TWELFTH NIGHT This Month

The Wallis Studio Ensemble’s contemporary interpretation is a wild, high style, and fast paced ride, full of irresistible hijinks and a touch of melancholy.

By: Nov. 04, 2022
GRoW @ The Wallis to Present The Wallis Studio Ensemble Production of TWELFTH NIGHT This Month  Image
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GRoW @ The Wallis will present The Wallis Studio Ensemble production of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Friday, November 25 through, Sunday December 4, 2022, at the Hudson Theatres' Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. The play begins with a stranger washed up after a shipwreck, arriving on a distant shore they stumble into a world of mistaken identity, unrequited love, gender fluidity, and class rivalry. The Wallis Studio Ensemble's contemporary interpretation of one of Shakespeare's most celebrated and giddy comedies is a wild, high style, and fast paced ride, full of irresistible hijinks and a touch of melancholy. Featuring live music by Austin Owens Kelly and Alexander Sheldon, the production, directed and with movement design by Wallis Studio Ensemble Artistic Director Madeleine Dahm, is a celebration of the transformational power of love, and in particular, queer love.

The cast features Kendell Byrd, Rami Campbell, Jacob Cherry, Trecey Dory, Mark Antony Howard, Karlee Foster, Austin Owens Kelly, Reina Macias, and Alexander Sheldon.

"Twelfth Night is a play the Wallis Studio Ensemble has considered doing since the company's inception in 2016," says Dahm. "We were interested in the different ways that love reveals itself in the play - and asking, what happens if you fall for somebody and later discover something unexpected about their identity? Does it really cancel out the love you originally felt for them, or was their presumed identity key to your attraction? We also discussed how we imagined the original production of this play might have been, and how accessible Shakespeare plays were to the general public, in comparison to the grandeur and remoteness that can be found in some productions today. Our version is ensemble driven, stripped back of overt stage design, and focuses on bringing the story to life with clarity of text, movement, physical comedy, and a high style that is energetic, engaging, and one that, we hope, invites the audience into the story."

General admission is $25 per person; $10 for preview night on November 25. The Hudson Theatres' Backstage Theatre is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 310-746-4000 (Monday - Friday, 10 am to 6 pm) or visit TheWallis.org/twelfth-night.

Creative Bios:

Madeleine Dahm

(director/choreographer) is originally from London. Her work has been presented across the UK, in Europe and the U.S. She is the Founding Director of the Wallis Studio Ensemble, and has directed eight full-length productions for the ensemble, including most recently Reckoning - A Short Play Festival. Other key credits include: Co-Director and Choreographer of Salt (Bämsemble Company ) at Teatro Franco Parenti, Milano; and Teatro C'Art, Castel Fiorentino; Artistic Director of Performance (Dance Theatre) for The Blue Box, a transformable performing arts space being developed in Germany for 2023; Rehearsal Supervisor of Panorama, at Valley Performing Arts Center, for The Martha Graham Dance Company; Associate Director and Choreographer for The House is Black, by Sussan Deyhim (Argo), Co-Director Robert Egan (Angels in America) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art NY, Chapel Hill, and Royce Hall, L.A. She is the Director/Choreographer of a new musical comedy by Emmy Award-winning film composer Harold Faltermeyer (Beverly Hills Cop), and renowned Disney writer Philip LaZebnik. www.dahmtheatrearts.com.

Bosco Flanagan

(lighting designer) is a multi-award winning lighting designer who has worked across the UK, Ireland, and the US. He is the resident lighting designer for film director Tim Robbins critically acclaimed theatre company The Actors Gang, and Independent Shakespeare Company, an LA favorite. Flanagan has worked with Madeleine Dahm on various theatre and dance productions in Los Angeles for the past 15 years. Flanagan is the recipient of 6 Ovation Awards for Lighting Design. His other lighting credits include: The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Grand Opera House (Dublin), The Royal Court Theatre (London), The New York and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals and touring with the late David Bowie, U2 and The Rolling Stones.

Linda Muggeridge

(costume designer), who is thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking work, has spent a lifetime working professionally in theater and music. Her costume company, ManyHatz Costumes, provides costume inventory and service for 20-plus venues per year, including the Hollywood Bowl (Live to Film series), Cal Tech, Theater of the Blind, Sacred Fools, Loft Ensemble, Theater of Note, Pasadena Opera. Recent professional productions include Clownfish at Theater of Note, Eurydice at Little Fish Theater, Sound of Music at the James Armstrong Theater, and The Queen, My Lord, Is Dead at UCLA. manyhatzcostumes.com

Cast Bios:

Kendell Byrd

who hails from Chicago, Illinois is in her second year with the Wallis Studio Ensemble. Since college, Byrd has worked at both Buzzfeed and DreamWorks, and is currently working on the writing team for Netflix's new 'Charlie and the Chocolate' series. Kendell has trained at Second City in Chicago and with the Upright Citizens Brigade. In addition to the Wallis Studio Ensemble, Kendell has worked with the Independent Shakespeare Company and Cornerstone Theater Company. Her favorite theater credits include Kai in Lucid, Red Riding Hood in Fairyland Foibles (WSE). Lord Dumaine/Mariana in All's Well That Ends Well. Byrd wants to combine her passions and use theater as a tool for driving social justice and telling stories about people of color and other underrepresented groups.

Jacob Cherry

is delighted to make his Wallis Ensemble debut in Twelfth Night. Originally from Sacramento, California, Cherry is a recent graduate of UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television, with an emphasis in acting and playwriting. Whilst at UCLA he acted in several Shakespeare productions, and wrote and performed for the sketch comedy group Company. Unlike his character in Twelfth Night, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Cherry is following the arts! You can see him next in Dezart Performs production of A Bright New Boise this coming January, as well as the independent feature film, Home By Sunday.

Rami Campbell

(he/they) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA. He is a trained singer and actor, and is currently studying dance (Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary Modern) at Santa Monica College. Over the last 5 years they have focused on acting for independent film, and had lead roles in Thesis Project films at both USC and UCLA. In 2022 they played multiple roles in Reckoning- A short Play Festival with the Wallis Studio Ensemble at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Rami is passionate about telling stories that are anchored in Black and Queer experiences. He is represented theatrically by Stewart Talent in New York, and by Arlene Thornton & Associates (ATA) in Los Angeles for voiceover work. He can be found on Instagram: @rami.campbell.

Trécey Dory

is an actor native to Los Angeles. He is a founding member of The Wallis Studio Ensemble, who for the last six years have been creating theater to promote social change. His credits with them include Oedipus in Thebes, Vogon Captain and Lead Puppeteer in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and ensemble member in Word of Mouth, Disposable, and S.O.S. He's also played several characters at Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights, and most recently played Dearg Due in Meyer 2 Meyer's House of Spirits

Karlee Foster

is an actor and theatre artist currently based in the L.A area. Receiving her BA from Western Washington University in Washington State, she was grateful to have had the opportunity to study physical, devised, and radical theatre at a school that centers actors as creators. Foster also had the wonderful experience of studying Commedia Dell'Arte at the Dell'Arte school in Blue Lake, California. In 2022 she joined the Wallis Studio Ensemble and played multiple roles in Reckoning - A short Play Festival at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to acting, Foster is on the technical crew at AMDA.

Mark Antony Howard

is a multifaceted entertainer born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. Mark Antony acquired a BFA in Musical Theatre from Wright State University, and participated in a variety of productions that ranged from beatboxing in a cappella concerts, to producing his own improv. show, acting in plays, musicals, commercials, and films. Some of his favorite roles include Avery in The Flick, Seaweed in Hairspray, and Rapunzel's Prince in Into the Woods. In 2022 he played multiple roles in Reckoning- A short Play Festival with the Wallis Studio Ensemble at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and also starred in 'Ain't Misbehavin' at the California Center for the Arts in San Diego.

Austin Owens Kelly

(they/them) is a multi-hyphenate performer and creator from Palos Verdes, CA. They have been a part of the Los Angeles regional theatre scene since the age of seven years old. In 2021 they received their BFA in Musical Theatre from Texas State University. They have also studied internationally at RADA and The Globe in London. In 2022 they played multiple roles in Reckoning - A short Play Festival with the Wallis Studio Ensemble at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Recently they were part of the cast of Grease, with Musical Theatre West. www.austinowenskelly.com

Reina Macias

is an actress and R&B/pop artist. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Macias grew up surrounded by the arts, and found her passion for performance and musical theatre at a young age. At age 9, she began studying Method Acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, while also training with legendary vocal coaches Gary Catona and Seth Riggs. She has also collaborated with legendary artists such as the late great, Nipsey Hussle and Verdine White of Earth, Wind, and Fire. Macias is trained in jazz and hip-hop dance. She is making her theatre debut with The Wallis Studio Ensemble. NY WEEKLY described her as an up and coming "multi-talented artist."

Alexander Sheldon

is an actor and character designer who has worked across the L.A. theatre and event landscape. He has held various titles including prop-master at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, creature fabricator for Meyer2Meyer's House of Spirits, and character designer for the Wallis Studio Ensemble. Alex is a founding member of the Wallis Studio Ensemble, having acted in the company for years, and having all of the specialty masks and puppets for its productions, including the alien cast of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Copper Woman in Disposable. His masks have been featured in plays by Chase What Flies, Project Nongenue, and live events like Lost Angels DTLA and In The Bleak December. He also designs specialty masks, costume pieces, and puppets for commission under the title The Eldritch Veil. Instagram @theeldritchveil.

About the Wallis Studio Ensemble

The Wallis Studio Ensemble is a dynamic, groundbreaking theater company for early-career actors who are committed to exploring innovative theater practices, and creating bold theater that serves as a galvanizing force for social change. The ensemble is passionate about developing new works as well as reimagining and adapting existing plays. The company was founded on a principle of diversity and inclusion, and is committed supporting marginalized artists and communities. Recent highlights of the company's work include one of the first post-COVID-19 lockdown productions at The Wallis in March 2022, 'Reckoning - A Short Play Festival,' featuring the work of ten emerging and established playwrights. Other recent highlights include an eight-part episodic digital play Fairyland Foibles, which received thousands of online views during a 10-week pandemic run. The company's Queer-inspired version of Douglas Adams environmental satire The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy sold out during its 2018 and 2019 runs at The Wallis. And S.O.S., an original devised work about loneliness and isolation, was seen at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018 and received an official "Pick of the Fringe."

About Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts:

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a dynamic cultural hub and community resource where local, national and International Artists share their artistry with ever-expanding audiences. The campus, located in the heart of Beverly Hills, CA, is committed to robust and distinctive presentations and education programs curated with both creativity and social impact in mind. Distinguished by its eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its location in the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis has produced and presented more than 350 theater, dance, music, film, cabaret, conversation, and family entertainment programs since its doors opened in October 2013. Hailed as "au courant" (LaLa Magazine), The Wallis was lauded by Culture Vulture, which proclaims, "If you love expecting the unexpected in the performing arts, you have to love The Wallis." Its programming has been nominated for 79 Ovation Awards and nine L.A. Drama Critic's Circle Awards. The campus itself, a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot facility, celebrating the classic and the modern, has garnered six architectural awards. Designed by acclaimed architect Zoltan E. Pali (SPF:architects), the restored building features the original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places), which serves as the theater's dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and includes the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater; the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater; an inviting open-air plaza for family, community and other performances; and GRoW @ The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education, where learning opportunities for all ages and backgrounds abound. Together, these elements embrace the city's history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike. Michael Nemeroff is Chairman of The Wallis' Board of Directors.

For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org.




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