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Thousand Oaks Interviews

David Krassner of RENT at Agoura High School Interview David Krassner of RENT at Agoura High School
by Cary Ginell - February 29, 2020, Thousand Oaks

Director David Krassner brings a deep theatrical resume to his new role as drama director at Agoura High School, which is currently staging 'Rent,' which made its debut nearly a quarter century ago....
Gilles Chiasson of RENT at Agoura High School Interview Gilles Chiasson of RENT at Agoura High School
by Cary Ginell - February 20, 2020, Thousand Oaks

Theater veteran Gilles Chiasson, who performed in the original New York Theatre Workshop, Off-Broadway, and Broadway productions of 'Rent' now is in charge of the Performing Arts Education Centers at Agoura and Calabasas High Schools. We talked to him about his experiencing performing in New York wi...
Kennedy Caughell of BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at American Theatre Guild Interview Kennedy Caughell of BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at American Theatre Guild
by Cary Ginell - February 12, 2020, Thousand Oaks

An exclusive interview with Kennedy Caughell, a stunning multi-talented redhead who is currently starring as Carole King in the national touring musical, 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical' in Thousand Oaks at the Fred Kavli Theatre....
Scott Bell of BANDSTAND at American Theatre Guild Interview Scott Bell of BANDSTAND at American Theatre Guild
by Cary Ginell - November 08, 2019, Thousand Oaks

'Bandstand' is a show that fell through the cracks, never sustaining the kind of buzz it deserved on Broadway. But a national tour is different from the Great White Way, and the producers of 'Bandstand,' which won a Tony Award two years ago for Best Choreography, is playing to ecstatic audiences in ...
Josey Montana McCoy & David Aron Damane of BIG RIVER at Rubicon Theatre Company Interview Josey Montana McCoy & David Aron Damane of BIG RIVER at Rubicon Theatre Company
by Cary Ginell - November 06, 2019, Thousand Oaks

An interview with Josey Montana McCoy (Huck Finn) and David Aron Damane (Jim), stars of Rubicon Theatre Company's current production of 'Big River.' The immersive, atmospheric production has been critically acclaimed by press and audiences alike and has been extended for an additional week, until No...
Kirby & Beverly Ward of BIG RIVER at Rubicon Theatre Company Interview Kirby & Beverly Ward of BIG RIVER at Rubicon Theatre Company
by Cary Ginell - November 04, 2019, Thousand Oaks

In Part 2 of our interview, Kirby & Beverly Ward talk about how they decided to stage 'Big River' in the round at the Rubicon Theatre Company. The result is a production of intimacy and atmospheric beauty....
Beverly & Kirby Ward of BIG RIVER at Rubicon Theatre Company Interview Beverly & Kirby Ward of BIG RIVER at Rubicon Theatre Company
by Cary Ginell - October 29, 2019, Thousand Oaks

An interview with Beverly and Kirby Ward, producers and directors of the new production of 'Big River' at the Rubicon Theatre Company....
Trent Mills of THE MUSIC MAN at 5-Star Theatricals Interview Trent Mills of THE MUSIC MAN at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - October 24, 2019, Thousand Oaks

Trent Mills is one of those versatile young actors who can do it all - a 'five-tool' player who can act, sing, dance, do drama, and comedy and do it all well. Mills is starring as Marcellus Washburn in 5-Star Theatricals' production of 'The Music Man,' which plays through Oct. 27 at the Thousand Oak...
Antonia Vivino & Adam Winer of THE MUSIC MAN at 5-Star Theatricals Interview Antonia Vivino & Adam Winer of THE MUSIC MAN at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - October 23, 2019, Thousand Oaks

In 5-Star Theatricals' production of 'The Music Man,' Antonia Vivino and Adam Winer take on the roles of River City teens Zaneeta Shinn (the mayor's 'oldest girl') and Tommy Djilas (the 'wild kid from the wrong side of town'). We interviewed them about their characters' back story and the energetic ...
Adam Pascal of THE MUSIC MAN at 5-Star Theatricals Interview Adam Pascal of THE MUSIC MAN at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - October 11, 2019, Thousand Oaks

In Part 2 of our interview with Adam Pascal, Adam talks about two traumatic Broadway experiences: going on with 'Rent' right after the sudden death of Jonathan Larson and having to do 'Aida' two days after the 9/11 tragedies....
Adam Pascal of THE MUSIC MAN at 5-Star Theatricals Interview Adam Pascal of THE MUSIC MAN at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - October 01, 2019, Thousand Oaks

Broadway star Adam Pascal (the original Roger Davis in 'Rent') comes to Thousand Oaks to play flim-flam man Harold Hill in 5-Star Theatrical's new production of 'The Music Man,' which opens Oct. 18 at the Fred Kavli Theatre. Cary Ginell interviews Pascal about his approach to the show, which he has ...
Mariah Tobin & Dakota Heer of BAREFOOT IN THE PARK at Camarillo Skyway Playhouse Interview Mariah Tobin & Dakota Heer of BAREFOOT IN THE PARK at Camarillo Skyway Playhouse
by Cary Ginell - August 19, 2019, Thousand Oaks

Mariah Tobin and Dakota Heer play Corie and Paul Bratter, two newlyweds who are moving into a fifth floor Manhattan walkup, only to find the apartment has no furniture, no bathtub, and a gaping hole in the skylight. And it's February. Neil Simon's 1966 classic never had better players in Tobin and H...
Anna Kotula, Steve Grumette of THE BELLE OF AMHERST at Rubicon Theatre Company Interview Anna Kotula, Steve Grumette of THE BELLE OF AMHERST at Rubicon Theatre Company
by Cary Ginell - August 14, 2019, Thousand Oaks

Actress Anna Kotula reprises her sold-out performance as Emily Dickinson in William Luce's 'The Belle of Amherst' in a new production staged on August 31 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. The show features a champagne reception in which Dickinson's famous 'black cake' recipe will be served ...
Patrick Ortiz of WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star Theatricals Interview Patrick Ortiz of WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - July 30, 2019, Thousand Oaks

Patrick Ortiz, who plays Bernardo in 5-Star Theatricals' production of 'West Side Story,' comes into the show with experience, having played Chino in the Broadway revival and a Shark gang member on the national tour....
Sami Staitman of THE GREEN ROOM at Sargent Theatre, NYC Interview Sami Staitman of THE GREEN ROOM at Sargent Theatre, NYC
by Cary Ginell - July 26, 2019, Thousand Oaks

Girl-next-door makes good! Calabasas High School graduate Sami Staitman, who is entering her sophomore year as a musical theatre student at Pace University in New York, has already landed her first Off-Broadway starring role in the theatre-themed musical, 'The Green Book,' which opens September 27. ...
Larry Raben of WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star Theatricals Interview Larry Raben of WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - July 17, 2019, Thousand Oaks

An interview with director Larry Raben, who is utilizing new choreography (Karl Warden), ethnic-accurate casting, and a more athletic approach to the look of 'West Side Story' to bring it into the 21st century. 60 years after its debut, the Bernstein/Sondheim classic still packs relevant punch in to...
Jonathan Sharp, Jack Stewart, Luna Montana Hoetzel of CAMELOT at Pacific Festival Bal Interview Jonathan Sharp, Jack Stewart, Luna Montana Hoetzel of CAMELOT at Pacific Festival Ballet
by Cary Ginell - May 14, 2019, Thousand Oaks

Pacific Festival Ballet of Thousand Oaks will be premiering its new ballet version of Camelot, the original 'Game of Thrones' in two performances on May 18 at the Fred Kavli Theatre in the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Directed and choreographed by Kim Maselli and featuring new music by Eric Allam...
Jordan Schneider, Nick Santa Maria of 1776 at La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Ar Interview Jordan Schneider, Nick Santa Maria of 1776 at La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts
by Cary Ginell - February 01, 2019, Thousand Oaks

In McCoy Rigby Entertainment's production of '1776,' director Glenn Casale utilizes a mixture of young and veteran performers. In the show, seasoned actors like James Barbour (Edward Rutledge) and Peter Van Norden (Benjamin Franklin) co-star with young newcomers like Jordan Schneider (Lyman Hall) an...
Patrick Cassidy of SHREK at 5-Star Theatricals Interview Patrick Cassidy of SHREK at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - October 19, 2018, Thousand Oaks

5-Star Theatricals' new artistic director Patrick Cassidy talks more about his vision for the future regarding the company's forthcoming seasons of musicals....
Patrick Cassidy of 5-Star Theatricals Interview Patrick Cassidy of 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - October 09, 2018, Thousand Oaks

Newly appointed artistic director Patrick Cassidy, son of Shirley Jones and the late Jack Cassidy, puts a lifetime of theatrical experience to work as he begins his first season helming 5-Star Theatricals' musical theatre program in Thousand Oaks....
John Loprieno, Nichole Jackson, And Members Of The Cast of CLUE: THE MUSICAL at Moorp Interview John Loprieno, Nichole Jackson, And Members Of The Cast of CLUE: THE MUSICAL at Moorpark College
by Cary Ginell - July 27, 2018, Thousand Oaks

An inventive costume, makeup, and wig design highlights Moorpark College's production of 'Clue: The Musical,' playing through August 5 at the school's black box theatre....
Be My Guest As Choreographer Cheryl Baxter Opines On Choreographing The Classic Disne Interview Be My Guest As Choreographer Cheryl Baxter Opines On Choreographing The Classic Disney Musical Beauty & The Beast at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza
by Valerie-Jean Miller - July 24, 2018, Thousand Oaks

Disney's Classic Film and subsequent Broadway Musical are not easy to recreate and to do justice to as well, both to the animated film version and the original stage production. Five Star Theatricals has opened this past weekend at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza/Kavli Theatre with a most lavish,...
Susan Egan & Yvette Lawrence of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at 5-Star Theatricals Interview Susan Egan & Yvette Lawrence of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - July 06, 2018, Thousand Oaks

For the first time in 22 years, Susan Egan takes to the stage in her pioneering role as Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast.' 5-Star Theatricals' production (July 20-29) is being directed by Yvette Lawrence, who took over the role of Belle after Egan vacated it in Los Angeles over two decades ago. We spo...
Paul Panico, Erik Sternad, Joelle Vessels of NEXT TO NORMAL at Panic! Productions Interview Paul Panico, Erik Sternad, Joelle Vessels of NEXT TO NORMAL at Panic! Productions
by Cary Ginell - June 12, 2018, Thousand Oaks

An interview with mental health professionals Erik Sternad and Joelle Vessels of Interface Children & Family Services and Panic! Productions co-executive director Paul Panico about the mental illness displayed in its recent production of 'Next to Normal.'...
Mazie Rudolph & Fred Helsel of NEXT TO NORMAL at Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center Interview Mazie Rudolph & Fred Helsel of NEXT TO NORMAL at Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
by Cary Ginell - April 30, 2018, Thousand Oaks

Mazie Rudolph knows where Diana Goodman is coming from in Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey's Pulitzer Prize Winning musical 'Next to Normal.' In this revealing interview, Rudolph and director Fred Helsel talk about mental illness and Mazie's own journey into rediscovering her own traumas from the past....
Alan Waserman of OTHELLO at Playhouse 101 Interview Alan Waserman of OTHELLO at Playhouse 101
by Cary Ginell - February 21, 2018, Thousand Oaks

Alan Waserman plays Shakespeare super-villain Iago in Playhouse 101's production of 'Othello.'...
Brian Robert Harris of FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS at Camarillo Skyway Playhous Interview Brian Robert Harris of FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS at Camarillo Skyway Playhouse
by Cary Ginell - January 22, 2018, Thousand Oaks

The recent women's march and #MeToo Movement have suddenly made Alan Ball's comic-serio play 'Five Women Wearing the Same Dress' even more relevant than it was in 1993 when it made its debut. Read about how Brian Robert Harris came to direct the show at the Camarillo Skyway Playhouse....
Timothy Reese of HEATHERS THE MUSICAL at YA4Ever Interview Timothy Reese of HEATHERS THE MUSICAL at YA4Ever
by Cary Ginell - December 26, 2017, Thousand Oaks

An interview with director Timothy Reese, who discusses the process of a first read-through of 'Heathers: The Musical' - which opens January 5 at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks....
A KLINGON CHRISTMAS CAROL at Santa Susana High School Interview A KLINGON CHRISTMAS CAROL at Santa Susana High School
by Cary Ginell - December 12, 2017, Thousand Oaks

A talk with the actors who portray the Klingon equivalents of Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present in Lit Live's West Coast premiere of 'A Klingon Christmas Carol,' playing at Santa Susana High School in Simi Valley beginning December 14....
Kaelia Winterstein of A KLINGON CHRISTMAS CAROL at Lit Live Interview Kaelia Winterstein of A KLINGON CHRISTMAS CAROL at Lit Live
by Cary Ginell - December 01, 2017, Thousand Oaks

Producer Kaelia Winterstein talks about Lit Live's West Coast premiere of the new play 'A Klingon Christmas Carol,' which makes its debut December 14 at Santa Susana High School in Simi Valley....
Barry Pearl of ALL SHOOK UP at Studio C Performing Arts Interview Barry Pearl of ALL SHOOK UP at Studio C Performing Arts
by Cary Ginell - November 01, 2017, Thousand Oaks

Jukebox musical featuring Elvis Presley catalog is refreshing, funny, and has some of the most energetic, stellar choreography of the year....
Miyuki Miyagi of JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at 5 Star Theatricals Interview Miyuki Miyagi of JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at 5 Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - September 28, 2017, Thousand Oaks

Newcomer Miyuki Miyagi was stunning in her SoCal debut in 'Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris' and is now making her first appearance with 5 Star Theatricals with 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.' The Brooklyn transplant is an impressive singer and actress and if her pa...
Will Shupe of BILLY ELLIOT at Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center Interview Will Shupe of BILLY ELLIOT at Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
by Cary Ginell - August 20, 2017, Thousand Oaks

Versatile actor Will Shupe moonlights as a set designer. Some of his secrets are revealed in this fascinating interview....
Becky Castells of BILLY ELLIOT at Actors' Repertory Theatre Of Simi Interview Becky Castells of BILLY ELLIOT at Actors' Repertory Theatre Of Simi
by Cary Ginell - August 18, 2017, Thousand Oaks

Choreographer Becky Castells talks with VC On Stage about working with children and eleven-year-old dance whiz Marcello Silva in the Actors' Repertory Theatre of Simi's production of 'Billy Elliot The Musical'...
KAYLA BAILEY ("INTO THE WOODS") at Thousand Oaks High School
by Cary Ginell - May 17, 2017, Thousand Oaks

Any time a high school theater department takes on a Stephen Sondheim musical, the intensity level cranks up a notch. So when drama teacher Joseph Donia took on Into the Woods, which the school last did in 2008, he needed some extra expertise behind the scenes to deal with Sondheim's uniquely diffic...
Aileen-Marie Scott of DOGFIGHT at Camarillo Skyway Playhouse
by Cary Ginell - March 30, 2017, Thousand Oaks

Director Aileen-Marie Scott discusses directing techniques and the 2012 Off-Broadway musical, 'Dogfight,' about a special relationship that develops on the eve of the Vietnam War....
Marlie Rodriguez
by Cary Ginell - February 20, 2017, Thousand Oaks

Last month I went to a private showcase of music from the musical Hamilton. The showcase was organized by pianist/arranger/singer Justin Ramos, former director of vocal music at Newbury Park High School who is now living in New York. For his cast, Ramos utilized some of the more talented singers he ...
Robert Weibezahl And Austin Robert Miller of AND LIGHTNING STRUCK: MARY SHELLEY AND THE CURSE OF CREATION at Lit Live
by Cary Ginell - February 08, 2017, Thousand Oaks

There are three new events being unveiled at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center Thursday evening: Lit Live, a new local production company, And Lightning Struck, a new play written by the eminent local actor and producer Robert Weibezahl, and a new director, 21-year-old Austin Robert Miller. The s...
Siena Avila of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Thousand Oaks Repertory Company
by Cary Ginell - December 14, 2016, Thousand Oaks

Siena Avila is like many other 16-year-old high schoolers you know. Cheerful, friendly, enthusiastic, and just a little bit shy. But Siena has one thing that most kids her age don't have, an amazing singing ability and a natural instinct for performing everything from light opera to musical theate...
Louis Baker of RAGTIME at Actors' Repertory Theatre Of Simi
by Cary Ginell - December 02, 2016, Thousand Oaks

Louis Baker has had a varied career in the entertainment world. As an actor, he studied under three prestigious performers: Bill Duke, Haile Gerima, and Debbie Allen. He has worked as a voiceover artist in the animation world, co-produces with his wife a family-centered web series called Faces of Of...