North Coast Repertory Theatre to Present WAY DOWNRIVER

A flood of Biblical proportions on the mighty Mississippi provides the dramatic backdrop to this gripping, edge-of-your-seat adventure. Adapted by Edward Morgan from the William Faulkner short story, "Old Man," WAY DOWNRIVER reveals an unlikely pair of souls who are bound together by the forces of nature. With honesty and humor, they struggle to overcome their fears and prejudice in order to survive their harrowing experience. You won't want to miss this exciting West Coast premiere.

David Ellenstein directs Richard Baird,* Geno Carr,* Benjamin Cole, Sara Fetgatter,* Robert Grossman,* John Herzog,* and Max Macke. The design team includes Marty Burnett (Scenic Design), Matt Novotny (Light Design), Alina Bokovikova (Costume Design), Melanie Chen (Sound Design), Andrea Gutierrez (Prop Design), Cindy Rumley* is the Stage Manager.

WAY DOWNRIVER previews begin Wednesday, April 13. Opening Night on Saturday, April 16, at 8pm includes a post-show reception. There will be a special talkback on Friday, April 22, with the cast and artistic director. It will play Wednesdays at 7pm, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm with Sundays at 7pm, through May 5, 2016 (See Schedule below.) North Coast Repertory Theatre is located at 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Ste D, Solana Beach, CA 92075. Tickets: Previews- $39; Week Nights - $46; Sat. Eve. & Sun. Mat.- $50; Sat. Mat. & Sun. Night - $43. Seniors, Students, Military - $3 off admission. Call 858-481-1055 or visit to purchase tickets.


EDWARD MORGAN (Adaptation) has written original plays, cabaret shows and adaptations, including Sounding The River, Appalachian Voices, Last Ride of the Bold Calhouns (Milwaukee Rep), Twenty Seven (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), A Rising Wind with J. Kishline (Milwaukee Public TV), and A Christmas Carol with J. Hanreddy, (Milwaukee Rep, Clarence Brown Theatre, various universities). Mr. Morgan directs at regional theatres and Shakespeare Festivals across the country. He's on the Fulbright Specialist roster and has worked in India, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. He has guest directed at a score of universities and has been a Casting Partner for Cirque du Soleil.

DAVID ELLENSTEIN (Director) Born into a theatrical family, David has worked in theatres across the country. Before joining North Coast Rep in 2003, he served as Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Repertory Company and the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company (AJTC). A veteran of over 250 theatrical productions, directorial favorites include: North Coast Rep - Freud's Last Session, Side by Side By Sondheim, Words By Ira Gershwin, Faded Glory (World Premiere), Mandate Memories (World Premiere), Becoming Cuba (World Premiere), Time Stands Still, Words by: Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook (World Premiere), Two by Pinter: The Lover and The Dumb Waiter, HENRY IV Part 1, Heroes, My Name is Asher Lev, The Drawer Boy, Becky's New Car, Ghosts, The Tempest, Talley's Folly, Over the Tavern, Old Wicked Songs, The Dresser, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Madagascar, A Shayna Maidel, The Honky Tonk Angels, Rashomon, A Moon for the Misbegotten; Tuesdays With Morrie; Collected Stories; Halpern and Johnson; Romeo and Juliet; Amy's View; Einstein Comes Through (also co-author); The Chosen; A Life in the Theatre; Story Theatre and Charley's Aunt. Coconut Grove Playhouse - Sonia Flew starring Lucy Arnaz; Halpern and Johnson starring Hal Linden and Brian Murray. Papermill Playhouse - The Chosen starring Theodore Bikel and John Lloyd Young. Portland Stage - Words By Ira Gershwin, Halpern and Johnson. Renaissance Theatre - Long Day's Journey Into Night. Actor's Theatre of Phoenix - Rabbit Hole. Alabama Shakespeare Festival - Rocket City (World Premiere) and Honky Tonk Angels. Laguna Playhouse - Alexandros (World Premiere). Southwest Shakespeare Company - Cyrano de Bergerac. AJTC - Awake and Sing. Meadow Brook Theatre - A Christmas Carol. Portland Rep - Conversations With My Father and Gaslamp Quarter Theatre - A Shayna Maidel.

RICHARD BAIRD* (Aikins) Mr. Baird is the founding Artistic Director of New Fortune Theatre Company, where he played the title role of Henry V (San Diego Critics Circle Award) and McCann in The Birthday Party. Regional credits include: Disgraced and Romeo and Juliet (Arizona Theatre Company), A Doll's House (The Old Globe); Cyrano de Bergerac and The Madness of King George (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Shakespeare Santa Cruz; A Midsummer Night's Dream (Portland Center Stage); Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush, Betrayal, The Dumb Waiter, This, The School for Lies, Arcadia and Ghosts (North Coast Repertory Theatre); Cyrano de Bergerac (AriZoni Best Actor) (Southwest Shakespeare Company), Kingsmen Shakespeare and Poor Players.

GENO CARR* (Cotton Farmer) San Diego: I Love You Because, A Christmas Carol (2008-2009) (North Coast Rep); How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2011-2015), Allegiance (Old Globe); Come From Away (La Jolla Playhouse); Mixtape, The Servant of Two Masters, The Foreigner, The Music Man (Lamb's - Associate Artist); Assassins, Parade, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre - Resident Artist); SDMT: Next to Normal; Intrepid Theatre: ...Spelling Bee. Off Broadway: Bush Wars. National Tours: Phantom, Buddy Holly Story, Grease. MFA: Acting/Directing, Sarah Lawrence College. Dual BA: Music/Theatre Arts, Hartwick College. Geno is a BroadwayWorld and San Diego Critics Circle Award nominee.

BENJAMIN COLE (Tommy) is proud to be Artistic Associate for North Coast Repertory Theatre. Ben has previously been seen at NCRT in: Betrayal, Faded Glory, Who Am I This Time?, (North Coast Repertory Theatre); Other recent regional theatre includes: The Metromaniacs (Old Globe); Ether Dome, (La Jolla Playhouse); The Lion in Winter (Moonlight Stage Productions); The Foreigner (Lamb's Players Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Intrepid Shakespeare); Punk Rock, The Mystery Plays (ion theatre); Coming Attractions (Moxie Theatre); Holiday Spirits, Almost, Maine (Scripps Ranch Theatre). Other theatre nationally: Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, and Clinton Area Showboat Theatre. Ben also directs and acts in readings for NCRT, and teaches and directs for the Theatre School @ NCRT. Education: MFA in Acting from WIU, BFA in Acting/Directing from CMU, Ireland study abroad from NYU.

SARA FETGATTER * (Ellie) A New York-based actress, Sara is thrilled to make her North Coast Rep debut! She recently created the role of Daria in the New York Workshop of Tonight's Star, a hybrid interactive musical production. Prior to that, Sara originated the lead role, Donna, in the World Premiere of the American farce Who is Theo? by David L. Kimple. Some other favorite performances include LES MISERABLES (Fantine), Barefoot in the Park (Corie), The Wedding Singer (Linda), Beau Jest (Sarah), and Murder on the Nile (Jacqueline). "Love to Mom, Andrew, and my incredible husband Chad!"

ROBERT GROSSMAN* (Ike) Thirty-five years in American regional theater. Principal roles for: NY, NJ, MI & LA Shakespeare Festivals; GEVA, Rochester, NY; Barrington Stage, NY; Portland Stage, Maine; Milwaukee Rep; Meadow Brook Theater, MI; Arizona Jewish Theater, Phoenix, Attic Theatre, Detroit, Performance Network theater, Ann Arbor, etc. North Coast Rep credits: The Chosen; Halpern & Johnson; Breaking Legs; Old Wicked Songs; etc. One-time solo recording artist (folksinger) for Elektra Records. Appearances on "The Tonight Show" (w/ Johnny Carson), cabaret bookings in several major U.S. cities. Soon to be seen in episode #208 on AMC-TV's "Better Call Saul."

JOHN HERZOG* (Warden Percy) North Coast Rep: Case in Broken Glass, Worcester in Henry IV Pt1, Manders in Ghosts, Walter in King of the Moon, Stephano in The Tempest, Kelekian in Wit, BROADWAY and NATIONAL TOURS: Hair, Crimes of the Heart. REGIONAL: Laguna Playhouse, Fullerton Civic Light Opera, Portland Stage Co., Indiana Repertory Theatre, Delaware Theatre Co., Arizona Theatre Co., Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles Repertory Co. are a few. Roles: Prospero in The Tempest, Petruchio in 'Shrew, Malter in The Chosen, Marc in Art, Macheath in Threepenny Opera, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Ben Stark in Rocket to the Moon and dozens more. Visit his website for a full resume at Proud member of Actors Equity since 1969.

MAX MACKE (Deputy Buckworth/Scruffy Man/Dr. Beaudry/Man with Gun) Max is super excited to be back at North Coast Rep. He was last seen here, in Leading Ladies as Butch. More recent credits include; Brendan in The Wier, Bob Ewell - To Kill a Mockingbird, Martini - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Carlino - Wait Until Dark, & Benedict - Much Ado About Nothing" for NVA, Stanley -The Birthday Party with New Fortune. Jeff Skilling - Enron, and the Devil - Eurydice both for Moxie. Max is an original member of the Poor Players Theatre Company with whom he appeared in over a dozen Shakespeare plays. Max would like to thank his wife and daughter for their love and support.

CINDY RUMLEY* (Stage Manager) credits include: Side By Side By Sondheim, Freud's Last Session, Mandate Memories, Dames at Sea, Two By Pinter, and Visiting Mr. Green with North Coast Rep. Snapshots with The Pico Playhouse, Bye Bye Birdie with San Diego Musical Theater, and Conference of the Birds with The Moscow Art Theater. Cindy has worked as a production assistant at North Coast Rep for Heroes, My Name is Asher Lev, 5 Course Love, King O' the Moon, and The Drawer Boy. Cindy holds an M.F.A in stage management from UC Irvine and is a member of Actor's Equity Association. In her free time, Cindy enjoys being married to the amazing Mr. Aaron Rumley.


MARTY BURNETT (Resident Scenic Designer) Marty is in his 23rd season as Resident Designer/Technical Director at North Coast Rep. He has designed the last 166 shows. Other venues include Laguna Playhouse, Portland Stage Company, Drury Lane (Chicago), Claridge Hotel (Atlantic City), Union Plaza, Sahara Hotel, Hacienda in Las Vegas, Coronado Playhouse, Scripps Ranch Theater, Harrah's Lake Tahoe. Marty is a proud alumni of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

MATTHEW NOVOTNY (Light Design) is pleased to be designing another show for North Coast Rep, where he has designed close to 40 shows over the past seven years. Matthew is currently the Lighting Designer in Residence for San Diego Musical Theatre as well as North Coast Rep, and his work can be seen at a wide variety of Theatres across San Diego. Matthew holds a BA in Technical Theatre from San Diego State, and a Masters Degree in Lighting Design from Boston University. Matthew is married to his beautiful wife Amanda, with 3 gorgeous children; Ragan, Harper and Heston.

ALINA BOKOVIKOVA (Costume Design) is a freelance costume designer based in California. Alina is thrilled to come back to her favorite North Coast Repertory Theatre where she served as resident costume designer in the last two years. She has designed more than sixty productions for theatre, opera, and dance and just opened "Tokyo Fish Story" with the TheatreWorks Company in the Bay Area. Her other theatre credits include productions for The Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse (Camino Real / Patté Award), San Diego Repertory Theatre, MOXIE Theatre, Opera Neo Company... Last year her design for School for Lies was recognized with Craig Noel Award in San Diego and was presented at the museum exhibition in Moscow. Ms. Bokovikova has her MFA in Costume Design from the University of California, San Diego. She taught at UC San Diego and FIDM, and currently she teaches History of Fashion Arts at Academy of Arts University in San Francisco. Member of USITT.

MELANIE CHEN (Sound Design) is thrilled to be working with North Coast Rep again! She is a freelance sound designer who has designed over 50 productions in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Past North Coast Rep credits include Now You See It, Chapatti, Side by Side by Sondheim, Betrayal, Unnecessary Farce, Freud's Last Session, Romance/Romance, Faded Glory, Mandate Memories, and Becoming Cuba. Melanie holds an M.F.A. in Sound Design for Theatre & Dance from UC San Diego. For more info, visit her website at

ANDREA GUTIERREZ (Prop Design) has been working at North Coast Rep since 2012, beginning as the Stage Manager and Prop Master for our theatre school. She worked as backstage crew for the 32nd and the beginning of the 33rd Season, before taking over as Supervising House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. Her previous prop credits include The Diary of Anne Frank, Alice in Wonderland and Brighton Beach Memoirs, as well as two seasons as properties assistant at Starlight Theatre. She received her B.A. in Theatrical Design and Production from UCLA's School of Theatre, Film & Television, and is currently pursuing her M.A. from John Hopkins University.

PETER HERMAN (Hair & Wig Design) has previously designed wigs for over 30 North Coast Rep productions including: Now You See It, Sherlock Holms and the Adventure of the Great Nome Gold Rush, Romance Romance, Faded Glory, Mandate Memories, The School For Lies, Honky Tonk Angels, Travesties, I Love You Because, Little Women, My Name is Asher Lev and Five Course Love. He has also designed costumes for past North Coast Rep productions of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Big Bang, Madagascar, and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Peter teaches wig and makeup design at San Diego State University. He is glad to be part of the creative team on this show.

Hedda Gabler, arguably one of the most complex and intriguing female characters ever written, will have its debut with a World premiere adaptation created by the company at North Coast Rep, translated by Anne-Charlotte Harvey and directed by David Ellenstein. Hedda Gabler weaves a mesmerizing tale of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage and driven by a need for power and freedom. Discerning theatre lovers will not want to miss this freshly translated classic running from June 1 to June 26, 2016. Season 34 concludes with Ain't Misbehavin' playing from July 13 to August 7, 2016 and directed by Obie Award winner Yvette Freeman. Ain't Misbehavin' is a roof-raising musical tribute to the black musicians of the '20s and '30s. Based on the signature Fats Waller song, this rousing musical revue takes audiences back to the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance when the Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom served as playgrounds for high society. You'll be tapping your feet as five performers take you on a journey, presenting an evening of rowdy, raunchy, and humorous songs.

North Coast Repertory Theatre is a professional Equity theatre founded in 1982 by Olive and Tom Blakistone. Currently celebrating its 34th season, North Coast Rep has received critical acclaim from media and audiences alike, and has evolved into one of the area's leading performing arts organizations. North Coast Rep prides itself on employing the majority of its actors from Actors' Equity Association for its high quality, award-winning productions, and staging works by established and emerging playwrights. Throughout its history, North Coast Rep has created a platform where artist and audience thrive through the intimacy of live theatre, recognizing the power of theatre to challenge complacency, revitalize the imagination, nurture the unexpected and embrace the variety and diversity in our lives.

*The actor or stage manager appears through the courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.

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