ALMA Theatre Company Presents YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE

you are my sunshine - a new play with folk songs ...based on a true story by Kelli Kerslake Colaco is a multi-decade (1927-1956) character study of a man of mythic American proportions whose passions and demons lead to tragedy. Narrated in Woody Guthrie-style folk songs - accompanied by Bay Area music favorites Chris Haugen (guitar) and Trevor Marcom (vocals/guitar), the fact-inspired ensemble drama focuses on the search for truth behind a dark family legend vis-à-vis an ancestor and the women and children in his life.

you are my sunshine was spurned from a long worn, much hushed, rumor in Kelli Kerslake Colaco's family that her Great Grandfather, Ernest Fletcher Hodge, (a semi-pro. baseball player with the Detroit Tigers,) lost his mind one hot summer night in Blytheville Arkansas and killed his wife, his mother n' law and then himself.

you are my sunshine is the fact-based unraveling, (based on research done by Kelli's grandmother) of this family myth that rendered her grandfather (who is alive) and his brother, orphans at the ages of three and five. The crux of the play poses the question: how deeply do we pursue to the truth of our family histories?, or should we believe any and all of what we have been told - which may be dangerously untrue. (For instance, Kelli grew up believing she had madness coursing through my veins.) Expect the unexpected. The truth will set you free.

you are my sunshine opens with a shocking, ethereal, two minute prologue that abstractly enacts the horrific fateful night of the rumored murders within Kelli's family as she imagined them growing up.

We are honored to have esteemed Sound Designer Shannon Slayton (B'way. National Tours) designing the complex and layered extended sound cue for the ethereal prologue.

Phoenix Theatre - 414 Mason St. (at Geary St.), 6th Floor, Union Square, SF, 9410. Tickets $30 (Gen. Admission) - (½ Priced Preview ($15) - Thurs. 4-19-18 - 8:00 pm) or 800-838-3006

CAST (alphabetically)

- you are my sunshine - a new play with folk songs ...based on a true story

- features Bay Area actors:

Kelli Kerslake Colaco (Playwright, Co-Director, Producer, Minnie); Tim Fullerton (Ernest Fletcher Hodge); Elliot Hansen(Howard/Riley/Prison Guard Jones) Andrea J. Love (Anise/Kathy); Trevor Marcom (Billy/Will/Guard Jones/Sheriff); Ray Renati(Bucky/Mick/Dale); Valerie Weak (Irene/Claire). Chris Haugen (Music Arranger - Guitar)

Co-Directed by Kelli Kerslake Colaco and Cristina Anselmo


Denise Savas (Stage Manager); Robert Gaulding (Set Design); I an Walker (Lighting Design); Cristina Anselmo (Set design Consultant); Shannon Slayton (Sound Design).SolarJet Productions (Video); Sean Jeremy Palmer (Creative Consultant); Ray Renati(Photography); Ty McKenzie (Phoenix Theatre Managing Director).

*Kelli Kerslake Colaco ((Playwright, Co-Director, Producer, MINNIE) Writing credits include the plays: Underbelly, The Meeting, and Hazardous Materials. Film: Award-Winning documentary, The Mad Hannans, directed by Martin Shore, and the web series The Meek Shall Inherit. Select acting credits include, Helen, Have Mercy, at Manhattan Theatre Source, (directed by Andrew Frank) Marta, Late Fragment, Tristan Bates Theatre, Covent Garden, London, (directed by Simon De Deney), Carver at London's Arcola Theatre (directed by Bill Gaskill, founding director of The National Theatre, Artistic Director of The Royal Court Theatre, Malcolm/First Witch in Macbeth, NYC, Antibe, France (Pear Theatre) London (The King's Head Theatre) with The Independent Shakespeare Company (directed by David Melville), Phoebe, As You Like It R&J, Goodspeed Opera House, (directed by Terrence Mann) Mistress Quickly, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Olivia Twelfth Night (directed by Charles Fee) and Nerissa in Merchant of Venice (directed by Tony and Drama Desk Award-Winner Bartlett Sher,) Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Cordelia, King Lear, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Shelby, Steel Magnolias, P.C.P.A Theaterfest (directed by Rick Barbour) Film and TV: Television Joan Aldrin, Moonshot, dir. Richard Dale ITV UK, History Channel (Emmy Nominee / Best Made-For-TV Movie), Dan, True Dare Kiss, dir. Declan O'Dwyer BBC 1, Film Nurse Beckett Decent 2 dir. Jon Harris Celador Films, Helen Rothstein Crossing Bridges dir. Mark Norfolk Prussia Lane. Kelli is a founding member of The Independent Shakespeare Company and member of The 72nd Street Gang, a NYC writing collective. Education: M.F.A from the P.T.T.P (The Professional Theatre Training Program) at the Univ. of Delaware, Two Year Actor Training program, P.C.P.A (The Pacific Coast Conservatory for The Performing Arts) in Santa Maria, CA. Kelli is a Teaching Artist with The Marin Theatre Company.

Tim Fullerton (ERNEST FLETCHER HODGE) Regional: Henry IV pt. 1, Les Blanc, As You Like It, Nora, Cymbeline, Timon of Athens(Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Macbeth, The Mikado (Utah Shakespeare Festival), Translations (Rep Stage), Othello, The Winter's Tale(Shakespeare Santa Cruz), The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence, Newsies, Julius Caesar, Pirates of Penzance, Stand-Up- Tragedy, South Pacific, Man of La Mancha, The Secret Garden, Dracula, Love's Labour's Lost, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Three Musketeers, Death of a Salesman (PCPA), Jesus Christ Superstar (Santa Barbara CLO), Three Musketeers the Musical*, Victor/Victoria (American Musical Theatre), A Christmas Carol, ReUnion (Ford's Theater), Guest Artist: Santa Clara Univ. and Middlebury College, VT. Training: BA in Theatre Arts, Santa Clara Univ.

Elliot Hansen (HOWARD/RILEY/PRISON GUARD JONES) Previous credits: Parade with the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, Charlie Cox Runs With Scissors - Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and The Soap Myth alongside TV legend Ed Asner in a Marin Theatre Company co-production. He recently organized and performed in a traveling musical theatre showcase in Madrid. He is a graduate of Boston Univ. and a Bay Area native.

Andrea J. Love (ANISE/KATHY) Recent credits: Romeo And Juliet, Twelfth Night (SF Shakespeare Festival); Miss Bennett: Christmas At Pemberley (Capital Stage Company); Hope in Urinetown (Berkeley Playhouse, 2017 TBA Award-Winner); A Midsummer's Night's Dream, The Three Musketeers, Wonderful Town (Davis Shakespeare Festival), Sense and Sensibility, Cinderella (Sacramento Theatre Company); La Rues Return, A Four-Legged Fortune (The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville).

*Trevor Marcom (BILLY/WILL/GUARD JONES/SHERIFF) Co-lead singer/ lead guitarist, coveted Bay Area band Faust & Fox with sister Kate Marcom. Toured nationally with the musical "Freedom Train. " Studied performance for four years at the Boston Conservatory.

*Ray Renati (BUCKY/MICK/DALE) Classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Ray has played roles from Shakespeare to Sam Shepard, working in major Bay Area and London theaters, as well as roles in several independent film and TV programs. Recent roles include Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, Arthur in Superior Donuts and Neil in The Quality of Life. Ray is also a musician who has performed his one-man show On the Bright Side in various venues in the SF Bay Area. Ray is looking forward to taking his show to NYC in late 2018.

*Valerie Weak (IRENE/CLAIRE) is an Equity actor and theater educator, recently seen at SF's Z Space as Officer Miller in The Box: a play about solitary confinement, by journalist/activist Sarah Shourd and as Dinah in The Quality of Life, produced by Monday Afternoon Productions at The Phoenix. Additional Bay Area credits include CenterREP, Word for Word, Shotgun Players and SF Shakespeare Festival, where she played Lady Capulet in 2015's Romeo and Juliet. She has taught and/or directed student work at American Conservatory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre and with Word for Word's Youth Arts program. Her on-camera work includes The Snake (SXSW) and international indie festival regular Suicide. She also works regularly in the field of high stakes role play at Stanford, UCSF, Sutter Health and SF State, helping doctors, medical students, and nursing students gain confidence in communication skills in emotionally charged situations. She was honored by Theatre Bay Area as one of the '35 Faces of Bay Area Theater' in their 35th anniversary celebration and has also received TBA's TITAN Fellowship. She has trained at Skidmore College with Anne Bogart and the Siti Company. She has a BA in Theatre Arts from UCLA.

Chris Haugen (Music, Acoustic Guitar) Chris toured extensively with his first band Jambay with feature appearances on the HORDE tour. In the years following Chris played lead guitar and collaborated with several high profile artists including Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band), Ken Kesey, Sean Penn, and Grammy-winning producer Ted Templeman. Chris has released four highly acclaimed albums as a solo artist and performs regularly leading his own electric and acoustic bands His most recent record, Falling Water Shimmering Strings (Real Music label) highlights Chris' signature acoustic slide sound. When not playing music, you might find Chris surfing cold, majestic waves in Northern California.

*Cristina Anselmo (Co-Director) In the Bay Area, Cristina has appeared on stage at SF Playhouse, Capital Stage, Jewel Theatre, Stanford Summer Repertory, TheatreWorks, and Pacific Rep, among others. LA credits include shows at A Noise Within and Grove Theatre Center. She was a member of Theatre of N.O.T.E., Actors Alley at the El Portal, and Pasadena Shakespeare Company. She trained at LAMDA, and was a member of the inaugural class of the Antaeus Academy under the artistic directorship of Dakin Matthews. She has taught and directed in the Young Conservatory at ACT for the last 10 years

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