Cast and Creative Announcement

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WaterTower Theatre Announces the Cast and Creative Team for

Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill adapted from the novel by Jane Austen

(Addison)… WaterTower Theatre Artistic Director Joanie Schultz today announced casting and creative team details for the Regional Premiere of Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill, adapted from the Novel by Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice will be directed by Joanie Schultz, and will kick off her inaugural 2017-2018 Season.

Pride and Prejudice will run October 13th – November 5th, 2017, in the Canterbury Family Main Stage at the Addison Theatre Centre. The cast features Justin Duncan as Mr. Bingley/Mary, Steph Garrett as Lydia/Lady Catherine, Bob Hess as Mr. Bennet/Charlotte Lucas, Jenny Ledel as Lizzy, John-Michael Marrs as Mr. Darcy, Kate Paulsen as Jane/Miss De Bourgh, Brandon Potter as Mr. Wickham/Mr. Collins/Miss Bingley, and Wendy Welch as Mrs. Bennet.  In addition to the cast, Dustin Curry, Emily Faith, Stephen Hersack, and Jo-Jo Steine will understudy every character in the production.

Making their WaterTower Theatre debuts in Pride and Prejudice will be Steph Garrett, Kate Paulsen, and Brandon Potter. 

The creative team, in addition to Director Joanie Schultz, includes Assistant Director Abigail Birkett, Scenic Design by Chelsea Warren, Costume Design by Sylvia Fuhrken Marrs, Lighting Design by Leann Burns, Sound Design by Ryan Joyner, Properties Design by Bradley Gray, Sara Lovett as Dialect Coach, Kyle Eric Bradford as Dramaturg, Caron Gitelman Grant as Production Stage Manager, and Monika Zimmermann as Assistant Stage Manager.

Pride and Prejudice is sponsored, in part, by Atmos Energy, Mary Kay Inc. and Veritex Community Bank. 

About Pride and Prejudice

Calling all Jane Austen fans – and everyone else who loves a sparkling comedy about the entanglements of family, love, marriage, and money. Following the runaway success of her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, playwright Kate Hamill returns to the immortal English writer with a fresh take on Austen’s most famous novel. As the story of the Bennet daughters and their formidable social-ladder climbing mother unfolds, strong-willed Lizzie charts an independent course as she negotiates very mixed feelings about the aloof and seemingly snobbish Mr. Darcy. Hamill’s imaginative and irreverent version of this literary classic makes Austen’s deep insights into the foibles of human nature a theatrical treat you won’t forget.

About the Director

Joanie Schultz was recently appointed as Artistic Director of WaterTower Theatre, and has been serving in the position since January 1st, 2017. Before joining WaterTower Theatre, Joanie served as Associate Artistic Producer at Victory Gardens Theater, as part of the Leadership U One-on-One Fellowship funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation administered through TCG, the national non-profit regional theatre service organization.  She is also a freelance director, with recent productions at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Studio Theatre (Washington D.C.), The Cleveland Play House, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Victory Gardens Theater. She was a Drama League Fellow, The Goodman Theatre Michael Maggio Director Fellow, the SDSF Denham Fellow, and Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab participant [She is an ensemble member at Steep Theatre, Artistic Associate at Victory Gardens Theater, and artistic cabinet member at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC]  Joanie has also served on faculty at Columbia College and University of Chicago.  She received her B.A. in Theatre/Directing at Columbia College and her M.F.A. in Theatre Directing from Northwestern University. 

About the Playwright

Kate Hamill’s plays include Sense & Sensibility (in which she originated the role of Marianne Dashwood) which was developed at Hudson Valley Shakespeare and received its world premiere in NYC by Bedlam. That production transferred to the Gym at Judson where it ran for almost 300 performances. It had its regional debut at Dallas Theater Center and has been seen around the country. Her adaptation of Vanity Fair debuted at The Pearl Theater. Kate’s newest play, Pride and Prejudice, ran this summer at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. That production will open at Primary Stages this fall. The play will also be seen at Seattle Rep. She is currently at work on adaptations of Little Women for The Jungle Theater and The Odyssey for ART/En Garde Arts. She is published by Dramatists Play Service.

About the Cast

JUSTIN DUNCAN, Mr. Bingley/Mary

Justin is thrilled to be involved on this adaption of a classic with such an incredible cast and creative team.  Justin’s theatre credits include Parade in Concert (WaterTower Theatre); Pure Country, Quanah, New Moon (Lyric Stage); Galileo (Undermain Theatre); Bootycandy (Stage West); Spring Awakening (Runway Theatre); Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (Amphibian Stage Productions); Cotton Patch Gospel (Theater Too); Pericles (Shakespeare Dallas); Yellow (Uptown Players); Stuart LittleThe Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley (Dallas Children’s Theatre, National Tour). Film credits include Ghost NoteAnna, and Cherokee Creek. Represented by Core Talent.

STEPH GARRETT, Lydia/Lady Catherine

Steph was last seen in The Great Dictator at the Festival of Independent Theatres. Other credits include Waiting for Lefty, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions); The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Dallas Children’s Theater); Avenue Q (CityRep OKC); Faust (The Drama Club); The Quixotic Days and Errant Nights of the Knight Errant Don Quixote (Amphibian Stage Productions); and Enron (Theatre Three). Puppetry highlights include Madcap Puppet Productions, Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts, VeggieTales National Tour (as Junior Asparagus), the North American tour of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical (Head Puppeteer), and Those Funny Little People (featured on America’s Got Talent). For upcoming projects and more information, visit www.StephGarrett.com.

BOB HESS, Mr. Bennet/Charlotte Lucas

Bob is delighted to be back at WaterTower Theatre after appearing in Sexy Laundry two seasons ago (with the lovely Wendy Welch as his wife). Past performances at WTT include Putting It Together, Company, The Exonerated, and Baptized to the Bone. Bob has appeared on nearly every stage in the Metroplex, most recently in La Cage aux Folles, It Shoulda Been You, The Nance, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players); A Year with Frog and Toad, Miracle on 34th Street (Dallas Children’s Theater); Rock of Ages, Million Dollar Quartet, On Golden Pond (Casa Mañana); The Trap, The Quixotic Days and Errant Nights of Don Quixote (Amphibian Stage Productions); and To Kill a Mockingbird (Dallas Theater Center). A recipient of numerous DFW Theatre Critics’ Forum, Leon Rabin, and Column Awards, Bob currently serves as an adjunct professor of theatre at University of North Texas and is represented by The Mary Collins Agency.

JENNY LEDEL, Lizzy

Jenny is an actor living in Dallas, Texas. She is a company member at Kitchen Dog Theater and an artistic associate at Second Thought Theatre. Her other theatrical credits include Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Undermain Theatre,  Theatre Three, Texas Shakespeare Festival, The Dallas Museum of Art, Shakespeare in the Bar, and Shakespeare Dallas. Jenny’s past WaterTower Theatre credits include The Crucible and Blackbird. She is a multiple recipient of the DFW Theatre Critics’ Forum Award for Best actress, and is also a playwright and voiceover artist. Her television and film credits include One Tree Hill, Spider Veins, and Karma Police. Jenny is represented by The Mary Collins Agency. 

JOHN MICHAEL-MARRS, Mr. Darcy

John-Michael Marrs is thrilled to return to WaterTower Theatre. Previous WTT credits include The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord (Charles Dickens), One Man, Two Guvnors (Stanley Stubbers), and The Explorers Club (Lucius Fretway). Other Dallas/Fort Worth credits include Amphibian Stage Productions, Stage West, and Second Thought Theatre. New York/Off-Broadway credits include the New York Classical Theatre and Ohio Theatre, as well as readings and workshops with the Public Theater, Cherry Lane Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and New World Stages. Regional credits include the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C., (Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra); the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (The Liar, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Colorado New Play Summit); Pioneer Theatre Company (Dracula); and two seasons with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Film and voiceover credits include The Mystery of Matter for PBS and the Kennedy Center’s Vital Voices' Fatema Akbari Tribute. Last summer, John-Michael trained and devised work with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company in upstate New York. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Baylor University, and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

KATE PAULSEN, Jane/Miss De Bourgh

Kate Paulsen is an actor, voiceover artist, dancer, and model. Recent theatre credits include Henry V (Arts After Hours); The Nina Variations (Brown Box Theatre Project); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.); Julius Caesar (Bridge Rep); and Uncle Vanya (Apollinaire Theatre). Kate also works in TV and web/industrial projects across Texas and New England. She can be seen in commercials for Amazon.com, AAA, Sweet Baby Ray's, Wayfair, and The Honest Company. She holds a B.A. in theater and a minor in dance from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. www.KatePaulsen.com

BRANDON POTTER, Mr. Wickham/Mr. Collins/Miss Bingley

Brandon is making his WaterTower Theatre debut. Regional credits include Gene the Carpenter in The Carpenter (Alley Theatre); Gloucester in Richard III (Shakespeare Dallas); and President Johnson in All the Way (Dallas Theater Center). Onscreen credits include Dale in the Sundance feature Little Woods; and Ezra in the sci-fi series Day 5, as well as all manner of voiceover for cartoons, video games, and commercials.

WENDY WELCH, Mrs. Bennet

Wendy is thrilled to be back at WaterTower Theatre. She has been seen in Sexy Laundry, Violet, and Enter the Guardsman. Local and regional samplings include A Little Night Music, The Light in the Piazza, Caroline, or Change, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, It Shoulda Been You, Ellegies, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Unmentionables, The Matchmaker, Death of a SalesmanDamn Yankees, Follies, History Boys, and more. Wendy has directed a number of musicals locally, and recently directed The Light in the Piazza. Wendy has been recipient of the Leon Rabin Award and three DFW Theater Critics’ Forum Awards. An SMU Theater graduate, she teaches and coaches in her private voice studio and in the popular Master Class series with James McQuillen. TV/Film/Commercial samplings include Occupy, Texas, Uptstream Color (selected as best Sci-Fi film of 2013), Baylor Hospital, JC Penney Christmas, Good Feet Arch Supports and Blackmon Mooring. She is represented by the Mary Collins Agency, and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

DUSTIN CURRY, u/s Mr. Wickham/Mr. Collins/Miss Bingley/Mr. Bennet/Charlotte Lucas

EMILY FAITH, u/s Lizzy/Jane/Miss de Bourgh

STEPHEN HERSACK, u/s Mr. Darcy/Mr. Bingley/Mary

JO-JO STEIN, u/s Lydia/Lady Catherine/Mrs. Bennet

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WaterTower Theatre Announces the Cast and Creative Team for

The World Premier of The Great Distance Home

(Addison)… WaterTower Theatre Artistic Director Joanie Schultz today announced casting and creative team details for The Great Distance Home, conceived and directed by Kelsey Leigh Ervi. 

The Great Distance Home will run December 1st – 17th, 2017, in the Studio Theatre at the Addison Theatre Centre. The ensemble cast features Kia Nicole Boyer, Carissa Jade Olsen, Christopher Llewyn Ramirez, Matt Ransdell, Jr., and Mitchell Stephens.

Making their WaterTower Theatre debuts in The Great Distance Home will be Carissa Jade Olsen and Christopher Llewyn Ramirez.

The creative team, in addition to Director includes Scenic Design by Bradley Gray and Lighting Design by Jack Piland.

The Great Distance Home is sponsored, in part, by AMLI Residential. 

About The Great Distance Home

This winter, we invite audiences to come home to WaterTower Theatre. In a limited engagement, multidisciplinary theatrical event audiences will be immersed in a story of joy, love, and the warmth you feel upon returning home after a long absence. At WaterTower this holiday season, home really is where the heart is.

About The Conceiver / Director

Kelsey Leigh Ervi is excited to be conceiving another piece for WaterTower, after co-conceiving the critically-acclaimed The Spark in 2015 with friend and fellow artist Kyle Igneczi. Other directing credits include Parade in Concert, Silent Sky, Lord of the Flies, The Santaland Diaries, The Tom Sawyer Project, Honky (WaterTower Theatre); Precious Little (Echo Theatre); Love Me, Tinder (FIT Festival, world premiere); Ask Questions Later (Rite of Passage Theatre, world premiere); and Dani Girl (Greyman Theatre Company). Kelsey is also an accomplished actor, having worked with many area theatre companies including WaterTower Theatre, Stage West, Shakespeare Dallas, Uptown Players, Echo Theatre, and Shakespeare in the Bar, as well as Dallas Theater Center in their upcoming production of Hair. Kelsey is a co-founder and producer of Little Big Scene Podcast, a podcast which serves to promote the past, present and future of the DFW theatre community, and currently serves as Associate Artistic Director for WaterTower Theatre. www.kelseyleighervi.com

About the Cast

KIA NICOLE BOYER

Kia is absolutely thrilled to be back at WaterTower Theatre working with this amazing group of artists.  Notable credits include A Kid Like Jake (Second Thought Theatre), Faust (The Drama Club), The Big Meal and Sweet Charity (WaterTower Theatre). Additional upcoming productions include Hair (Dallas Theater Center), and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Theatre Three).

 CARISSA JADE OLSEN

Carissa’s stage credits include Bruises: Animal vs. Machine (PrismCo); Around the World in 80 DaysThe Crucible (Abridged) (Stage West); The Lucky Chance (Echo Theatre); Romeo & Juliet (The Firehouse Theatre). Carissa has appeared in WTT’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival in With My Eyes Shut (Goat Song Theatre Collective); and Nomad Americana (Silver Triangle Productions). Staged Readings include Redeemer Mine (Kitchen Dog Theatre’s New Work Play Festival). Carissa is Co-Founder of Goat Song Theatre Collective and a member of The Aviary, a new play development organization. She earned her B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Baylor University. 

 MATT RANSDELL, JR.

Matt is extremely excited to be making his return to WaterTower Theatre!  Proudly represented by The Mary Collins Agency, Matt has worked in TV/Film, Commercials, Industrials, and Voiceovers.  He also tours as a Motivational speaker, delivering keynote speeches, skills clinics, and workshops around the country.  On stage you may have seen Matt’s directorial debut in WTT’s Lord of the Flies Project, or most recently performing in Kids Who Care’s The Little Mermaid. Other credits include Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre), and In The Heights (Artes De La Rosa).  Matt also hosts, emcees, teaches, directs and guest performs with a multitude of nationally recognized organizations.  For more information, go to www.MattRansdell.com or follow all social media handles @MattIsSuperman

 CHRISTOPHER LLEWYN RAMIREZ

Christopher is thrilled to make his WaterTower Theatre debut in The Great Distance Home! Other credits include: Hair, Hood: The Robin Hood Musical AdventurePublic Works: The Tempest (Dallas Theater Center). It Shoulda Been YouTitanic (Uptown Players); Hands on a Hardbody (Theatre Three); The Winters TalePericlesThe King's Face (Shakespeare Dallas); South Pacific (Lyric Stage) Zoot SuitbluCrystal City 1969 (Cara Mía Theatre Co.); and assistant director of Rent (Junior Players). Chris received his B.F.A. from Baylor University and would like to thank his family, friends, and students for their support. @cramirez90

 MITCHELL STEPHENS

Mitchell Stephens is happy to return to WaterTower Theatre. Other WTT credits include Silent Sky, One Man, Two Guvners and Lord of The Flies. Other area credits include Undermain Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas, Trinity Shakespeare Festival, and Stage West. This past August, Mitchell completed the Acrobat of the Heart performer training program with Stephen Wangh, and is a proud graduate of TCU. 

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