More About Our Cast & Crew
Melanie Arzt (Abilene) last hit the stage as Bunny - everyone's favorite pink-haired, not-so-evil sidekick in the Post Meridian Radio Player's Red Shift: Dance of the Duplicates. Melanie is riveted (Rosie-style) to work once again with Theatre@First, thankful to sing someplace other than the shower. When not storming the castle, Melanie peace-ably runs Wits End Organizing, transforming messy mayhem into sensible systems for frazzled home- and business-owners.
Cheryl Bellows (Lesley Anne) is a woman of mystery.
Brian Boczenowski (Aristocrat) Brian's first foray in the world of community theatre is with this very show. Despite being extremely nervous about rehearsals, he decided to stick to it and will forever remember his time spent amongst the wonderful cast and crew.
Laurie Beth Brunner (Chorus) is a Theatre@First widow and patron for the last several years, and has finally been assimilated by the collective. She is a lifelong lover of musicals and used to sing along with them while playing video games on her Atari 2600, which may explain a few things about her. Laurie thanks her husband, the stableboy, for his love and encouragement.
Catherine Dare (Chorus) has been singing since she could talk. She is pleased to be performing and making friends in this, her debut with T@F. At Berklee College of Music she studied voice and majored in songwriting. She performed in musical theater, jazz, and rock ensembles. She also enjoyed the computer lab so much that she refused to leave it; they had to hire her to help students with their Macs and music hardware & software. When not performing, her favorite pastimes are dancing, playing charades and Encore, reading, and solving cryptic crosswords.
Chris DeKalb (House Manager) is happy to be working on his 19th production with Theatre@First. When he's not playing traffic cop, organizing shirt sales or pestering the Producer, he's a project manager at Books24x7.com.
Kamela Dolinova (Queen Genevieve) has been involved with Theatre@First since 2006, when she appeared as Esther in "Surprise." She went on to direct "In the Jar" for the 2007 Festival@First as well as The Winter's Tale in early 2009. She last appeared with Theatre@First in 2008's Much Ado About Nothing, where she played a burly man. She is equally happy to be performing drag at the other end of the gender spectrum.
Nellie Farrington (Handmaiden) had hoped that writing her bio would not involve staring at her blank computer screen for a while, but alas that was not the case. Either way this is her fourth show with Theatre@First (second officially being on stage) and the first musical she's done from anywhere other than the orchestra pit. And that looks like a sufficient bio, so she's going to stop writing now.
Sara Fernandes (Somnia) is excited to be with Theatre@First again and this time on the big stage! She thanks her friends and family for driving the long hours to see her in many shows, and for this show, her especially understanding boyfriend... She also thanks Elizabeth for seeing her as the girly-girl that no one has ever cast her as before. Everyone should get to wear a tiara sometimes. John 3:16
Andrew Gerst (Sixth Very Merry Man, Snooty Servant) is happy to be performing in his second T@F production. He thanks his mother, father, and sister Morgan for their love and support.
Veronica Gross (Orchestra, Oboe/Tenor Saxophone) is excited to perform with Theatre@First for the first time. Her musical credits range from symphonic and orchestral performances to musical theater to submerging the bottom quarter of a baritone saxophone in a fountain as part of the Brown Band. Her more or less real job is teaching at UMass-Boston.
Jo Guthrie (Technical Director) -- Clearly Jo's love of Cat Herding (aka Project Management) has found a home among the firsties. Should you be in need of her talents, she is available for hire. Meanwhile, she's excited to participate in this, her 14th production with Theatre at First.
Elyse Hendrickson (Chorus) A new comer to Somerville, Elyse is happy to be performing in what she hopes to be first of many shows with Theatre@First. She has a rich range of experiences in many musicals and plays, but has never before had the pleasure of playing a dragon! Elyse would like to thank her fiancˇ Dan for supporting her with play and also apologize for subjecting him to lonely dinners.
Andrea Humez (Insipia) last appeared onstage with T@F as Margaret Fuller in The Margaret Ghost. Her T@F directing credits include Arms and the Man and The Rimers of Eldritch. Lately, she has been playing grandmothers: Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music and Irene in He Really Was A Good Son. But she doesn't worry about being typecast: in this show, she's playing a Fairy Godmother.
Beckie Hunter (Producer) is a founder of T@F and its President for 5 years. She started acting in high school with roles like Hot Lips Houlihan in M*A*S*H, but prefers working behind the scenes now. This is her seventh show as a producer for T@F. When not doing theater, she helps run the teaching center at Harvard and dotes on her sweet niece.
Elizabeth Hunter (Director) is the founding Artistic Director of Theatre@First and has directed seven of our previous shows (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Murder in the Cathedral, Talley's Folly, Murder in the Cathedral, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Margaret Ghost, and Much Ado About Nothing), in addition to working with other college and community theatres in the area. She would like to thank Colleen for her incredible generosity with her work, all of the amazing people who have put their energy into making this happen, and the crack team of babysitters who make it possible for her to be here.
Sonya Joyner (Hexasper) is thrilled to return to Theatre@First to make her musical theatre debut as Never After's evil, conniving fairy, Hexasper. Her most recent role was as Genine in The Randomness of Nature in the Playwrights Platform Summer Festival, but her favorite role was as Juror 8 in Twelve Angry Jurors with Theatre@First. Other performances include: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Gloria), The Rimers of Eldritch (Judge/Preacher) with Theatre@First, Dryope in Common (Lotis) with Essayons Theatre Company; River of Babylon (Samantha) with Playwrights Platform; Rhinoceros (Firewoman) with TheatreZone; and many SLAMBoston performances with Another Country Productions. Sonya has also worked in many local short and independent films, including the 48 hour film project (Boston & Providence), corporate videos, and television commercials as well as appearing in several television and major feature film productions such as Brotherhood, Unhitched, Underdog, The Great Debaters, and 21.
James Kostenblatt (Matthew) is thrilled to be involved with Never After and Theatre@First! Just prior to this, James played Bobby Strong in Urinetown: The Musical in upstate New York. He has also performed with the Boston Pops Holiday Chorus on tour. Previous stage roles include Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Mark in A Chorus Line, and Vinny in Lucky Stiff.
Andy Lebrun (Camembert, Fourth Very Merry Man) is, by now, a Theatre@First "regular," this being the 5th show he's acted in with this company. As always, he is thrilled to be working with such a wonderful, friendly group of people. No, really, he means it. You should audition for our next show and find out for yourself!
Julia Lunetta (Chorus) is a professional geek and an amateur actress, musician, comedian and human. She arrived in Massachusetts many years ago for college, and having repeatedly failed to escape Boston's non-Euclidean roads, made her home there. When not attempting to fend off dragons or complaining about the violence inherent in the system, she obsessively reads too many blogs and is the webmaster for the Annals of Improbable Research (improbable.com). Come see the 19th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on Thursday, October 1st at Sanders Theater, Harvard University!
Shelley MacAskill (Stage Manager, Rehearsal Assistant) is back in the wings for her seventh show with Theatre@First. Like Les, Shelley is beautiful and plucky. Unlike Les, no one will ever let her wield a sword.
Neil Marsh (Sound Designer) is pleased to be providing bizarre sounds and eclectic noises for his... let's see... (1, 2, 3... 6, carry the 10, divide by 3.1415)... well, it's a hell of a lot of shows he's done, that's for sure! Neil is also founder of The Post-Meridian Radio Players and he strongly encourages you to come to their huge Halloween extravaganza, The Big Broadcast of October 30th, 1938 (bb1938.com), at the Somerville Theatre next month. There they will revive a long-lost piece of Boston radio history, in the form of the comedy/variety series "The Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour", then turn right around and destroy the city in "The War of the Worlds: The Fall of Boston". You won't want to miss it!
Lev Makhlis (Chorus) is a software engineer by day. The US of A is his third country after the USSR and Israel. He caught the singing bug last year and is thrilled to make his theatrical debut with Theatre@First.
Kelley Medcalf (Orchestra, Clarinet, Saxophone) This is Kelley's first performance with Theatre@First. As student at Boston University, she is a member of the BU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Big Band, and also performs regularly with the on-campus musical theater groups. In her spare time Kelley trains in Taekwondo, loves the outdoors, and is an avid anime fan. She would like to thank Theatre@First for the chance to be a part of the exciting debut of Never After!
Cat Miller (Fumbrella) is often thought to have vampire blood, but would like to clarify that she prefers the term "nosferatu." Despite this occasional handicap, she has recently been working on independent films in the area, including The Observer and Inventory. Her hobbies include rock climbing and attempting to brew the perfect cup of coffee.
Peter Olszowka (Sound Designer) has been doing sound engineering in the Boston area for over 20 years, mostly for folk music and dance events. He was chair of NEFFA's sound committee for 10 years ending in 2008. Never After is his first stint at sound for theater.
David Osler (Orchestra, Trumpet) When not playing the trumpet as an avocation, David is involved in healthcare as a vocation. Starting with classical music and the piano, he has now left the piano behind and is playing jazz, salsa, big band, and musicals wherever the spirit takes him.
Martha Osler (Orchestra, Tenor Saxophone) Never After is Martha's first foray into musical theater. Most of her sax-playing is in big bands, where she plays tenor for The Mood Swings -- Boston's all-women swing band -- and Soft Touch, a local Waltham band. When not playing sax, she can be found working at a local educational non-profit that benefits the Cambridge Public Schools.
Alice Piepenburg (Dorquest) As a newcomer to Somerville, this is Alice's first performance with Theatre@First. She recently earned her master's degree in psychology from Boston University and is currently working to find a job in her field, though in today's economy she could use a little of Dorquest's magic to help her out. She'd like to thank her roommate Khalima for being so nice about all the shower-singing.
Jessica Raine (Chorus) has previously wrangled actors and props for three T@F shows. She's a little bemused, but very excited, to find herself onstage with all these amazing people. Jess frequently performs with the MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players, as well as with local Renaissance choir Vox Lucens, and is currently the vocal music director for the Post Meridian Radio Players' upcoming Halloween production. Much love to family, friends, and the amazing T@F/PMRP folks!
Elise Ratchford (Chorus) is excited to be in her first Theatre@First production. A recent Smith College graduate, she is happy to be reunited onstage with her Leading Ladies. Thanks to cast and crew for a great production!
Victoria Richard (Makeup) A splash of color here, a bit of glitter there... Victoria is bringing her love of makeup artistry to T@F for the first time during Never After. She is thrilled to be working with the fantastic cast and crew! Other recent projects include makeup artistry for various professional photo shoots, and for the locally-shot indie film Philter.
Santiago Rivas (Hans) This is Lucky #7 and first musical with Theatre@First. He previously worked with the MIT Musical Theater Guild on works like The Mystery of Edwin DROOD and Fiddler on the Roof before making his debut as Bardolph in T@F's Merry Wives of Windsor. Since then, he's been a vice-president, a juror, an Italian revolutionary, a scoundrel, and a lord when he's not being a quality control engineer. He's grateful to finally work with his wife, Laurie, while being the best-dressed stable boy on stage.
Gilly Rosenthol (Narrator, Graphic Designer) is apparently making a habit of playing a narrator in Boston's old vaudeville houses. So far she has the Orpheum and the Somerville Theater, and is open to suggestions for the next venue. She admits she's a little sorry not to get to wear the mustache for this one. Also, if you like the art for this show, she is available to do print design at reasonable rates. Have Photoshop, will travel!
Matthew Sachs (Chorus) has appeared regionally with Hold Thy Peace, as well as the Brandeis University Chorus and Early Music Ensemble. He'd like to thank his wife, Liz, and two cats for their support.
Erica Schultz (Mathilde) has appeared in several previous T@F shows including Talley's Folly (2005), The Margaret Ghost (2006), and The Winter's Tale (2009). Notably, this is her second T@F appearance (after 2008's SomerVaudeVille) alongside her brilliant and mult-italented husband Justin. She finds a rather startling amount of resonance in the material in this show, and hopes you do too. Love to her homeboys and Jess.
Amy Sonnanstine (Orchestra, Acoustic Guitar) Originally from Michigan, Amy enjoys playing marbles, hopscotch, tiddlywinks, and guitar. This is her third T@F show, this time sans pig slippers.
Joe Turbessi (Rehearsal Accompanist, Orchestra, Keyboard) This is Joe's first time playing with T@F. He is organist at First Congregational Church, and works as a staff accompanist at the Boston Conservatory and the Boston Arts Academy. He would like to thank Jesus and his imaginary cat, Alfred, for this opportunity.
Frank Lee Walker (King Jenner) is a resident of Medford , MA. He has played Fred Graham/Petruchio in Cole PorterÕs Kiss Me Kate with the Billerica Community Theater. He has also appeared with the Turtle Lane Theater in West Side Story, and with the Longwood Opera Company in I Pagliacci as Tonio and as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.
Justin Werfel (Second Very Merry Man), playing a poncy character who lives in the woods with his many identical brethren, their wise leader, and one woman -- prefers to think of his role as "Vanity Smurf". He would like to thank Erica for getting him involved in this pathbreaking new musical that dares to take the controversial stand: Democracy is Good!
Thom Whittemore (Music Director) is delighted to be working with Theatre@First. He is currently the Music Director at First Congregational Church in Somerville. He lives in Davis Square with his wonderful husband, Tim, and their feisty feline, Eartha Kitty. As a vegan, he is happy to report that no dragons were actually harmed in the production of this show!
Judy Yen (Chorus, Props Mistress) is thrilled to be involved in her third Theatre@First production, and doubly excited to actually be onstage this time! Her previous roles with T@F have been as the rehearsal assistant and stage manager for The Winter's Tale in 2009, and as the light board operator for the sixth annual Festival@First. She looks forward to participating in many more T@F productions in the future.
And now, back to the show!