The Wiz Closed on August 25th. It was a terrific run!
If you are looking for something to do this weekend or next, go see “The Wiz” at Berkeley Playhouse at the Julia Morgan Theatre on College Avenue. It closes Sunday August 25, and you don’t want to miss this extraordinary array of talent. – John McMullen II, Berkeley Daily Planet
Dorothy, our gal from Kansas, gets fun and funky when she eases on down the yellow brick road, right along with Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. The Wiz, a modern retelling of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The score by Charlie Smalls includes beloved hits, “Ease On Down the Road,” “Brand New Day” and “Home” (which has been recently featured on both Fox’s GLEE and ABC’s SMASH.)
|PROFESSIONAL CAST in Alphabetical Order||PRODUCTION TEAM|
|Tierra Allen||Ensemble||Director||KIMBERLY DOOLEY|
|Vernon Bush||The Wiz||Musical Director||TAL ARIEL|
|Hannah Dworkin||Ensemble||Choreographer||KIMBERLY DOOLEY|
|Taylor Jones||Dorothy||Scenic Design||ROBERT BROADFOOT|
|Nicole Julien||Aunt Em / Glinda||Costume Designer||WENDY KAUFMAN|
|Aubri No’Eau Kahalekulu||Ensemble||Lighting Design||MARK HUESKE|
|Amy Lizardo||Addaperle||Sound Design||MIKE SWEENEY|
|Melissa Martinez||Ensemble||Prop Designer||MEGAN LUSH|
|Matthew McCoy||Lion†||Stage Manager||SOFIE DERTIMANIS|
|AeJay Mitchell||Scarecrow||Dance Captain||HANNAH DWORKIN|
|Catherine Duval Petru||Ensemble|
|Maurice Andre San-Chez||Ensemble|
|Reggie D. White*||Tin Man|
|*Member of AEA|
† Benjamin Pither will play the Lion July 11 – August 18,
The Wiz features two alternating youth casts trained in The Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory.
|EMERALD OZIAN MONKEYS CAST||BLUE RASPBERRIES CAST|
|Pilar Ballesteros||Mile Blue|
|Loren Breidenbach||Bianca Dal Bo|
|Shira Burns||Jordyn Diew|
|Dakota Dry||Evan Feist|
|Sophie Eckber||Donya Kashani|
|Maya Ezekiel||Pippa Kennedy|
|Hadley Julca||Malia Lee|
|Leela Kiyawat||Clementine Leonard|
|Maera Klein||Tonio Manqueros|
|Harmonee Ross||Naima Masia|
|Ben Rotenberg||Leyla Munist|
|Lucy Urbano||Ani Reynolds|
|Rosy Urbano||Mahari Reynolds|
|C A S T|
|TIERRA ALLEN (Ensemble) is ecstatic to be with Berkeley Playhouse, singing and dancing in a groundbreaking show from her theater bucket list. She was last seen at New Conservatory Theatre Center in Dear Harvey, her east cost credits include The Vagina Monologues, Voices in Conflict (Major Duckworth), i (Callie), Eurydice (Loud Stone), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide…. (Lay in Green), and devised original work with Co-Lab Theatre Ensemble. Tierra previously headed the drama department at Boston’s City on a Hill Charter High School. Tierra holds a B.A. in Theater & Dance from Amherst College.|
|VERNON BUSH (The Wiz) played the title role of Willy Wonka in Berkeley Playhouse’s production, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory last season. He has worked closely with the late Whitney Houston, as well as the jazz legend, Nancy Wilson. He is a member of the highly imaginative a cappella group, SoVoSó and a featured vocalist at the celebrated Glide Memorial Church. Vernon regularly conducts popular vocal workshops at the renowned Esalen Institute and also teaches disadvantaged children in South Africa how to access the power of their voice. Learn more about the musician at vernonbush.com and join his community of Gospel Sing Alongs at voice-church.com.|
HANNAH DWORKIN (Dance Captain, Ensemble) is overjoyed to be part of this wonderful production! Her Berkeley Playhouse credits include The Sound of Music (Sister Margaretta), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Mrs. Bucket / Aerial Choreographer), Aladdin (Magic Carpet-Nominated Best Supporting Actress- BATCC Awards), and others. Hannah is a company member of UpSwing Aerial Dance Company, and she will be playing the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas this fall. Hannah holds a M.A. in Music and Music Education from Columbia University and works with San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet. Her most joyous role is being a mother to her kiddos, Genevieve and Shaun.
|TAYLOR JONES (Dorothy) is so excited to “ease on down the road” in her first full production with Berkeley Playhouse. She was so proud to be a part of their recent developmental reading of the musical, Bridges, and can’t wait to watch its journey. Most recently she was seen in Pacific Coast Repertory’s production of RENT, as Mimi. She also appeared in CenterRep’s OffCenter’s Spring Awakening (Wendla), CenterRep’s Lucky Stiff (Dominique), and Smokey Joe’s Café (Brenda), Diablo Theatre Company’s Legally Blonde (Pilar), and Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal). She’s assisting with the some of the workshops and classes this summer at Berkeley Playhouse and is so grateful that they have embraced her with open arms. She sends love to her family and friends for all their amazing support.|
|NICOLE C. JULIEN (Aunt Em & Glinda) is returning to Berkeley Playhouse, which she considers to be her Bay Area theatre “home,” to perform in a dream role. Since receiving her B.A. in Theatre Arts from CSUH (East Bay), she’s been performing all over the Bay Area. Past productions include, Avenue Q (Gary Coleman) at Los Altos Stage Company, Hair (Dionne) and RENT (Joanne), both at City Lights Theater Company, Lucky Duck (Gooseatellaand) and Seussical, The Musical (The Sour Kangaroo) at Berkeley Playhouse, Rust at The Magic Theatre, Cabaret at Shotgun Players, and Tarzan (Kala) at Children’s Musical Theater, San Jose.|
|AUBRI NO’EAU KAHALEKULU (Ensemble) is so excited to be working with Berkeley Playhouse again on The Wiz! Past credits include, Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Witch in Into the Woods, Rizzo in Grease (Berkeley Playhouse) and Duchess of York in Richard III (Diablo Valley College). She hopes everyone enjoys The Wiz!|
|AMY LIZARDO (Addaperle) is very excited to make her Berkeley Playhouse debut in The Wiz. She is a Bay Area actor, teacher and singer and has worked in the local theatre community for the last two years. Amy was most recently seen in The Merry Wives of Windsor with African American Shakes, Hedwig and the Angry Inch with Boxcar Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with both S.F. Shakes’ Shakespeare on Tour and Marin Shakes. Amy spends her days as a resident teaching artist at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, teaching kids the power of the Bard.|
|MELISSA MARTINEZ (Ensemble) was last seen here as the iconic Agatha in Guys and Dolls on the Berkeley Playhouse stage. Melissa has her B.F.A. in Theater Arts from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her favorite roles include Hermia in Midsummer, Jon Tracy’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Solano Repertory Company), Diana Morales in A Chorus Line (Solano College Theater) and Agnes in A Bright Room Called Day (The University of the Arts). She would like to thank her family, blood and other, for all their love and support.|
AEJAY MITCHELL (Scarecrow) is proud to “ease on down the road” with this fantastic cast and creative team. Jumping into the Bay Area arts scene last August, this show celebrates his one year anniversary in this diverse and loving community he now calls home. He was last seen as Rusty Charlie in Jon Tracy’s Guys and Dolls here at Berkeley Playhouse. Special thanks to his family (chosen and given) without whom his brain, his heart, and his courage would truly be lost somewhere in a haze of poppies. He hopes you feel our spirit and leave with a new understanding of HOME!
|SARAH MITCHELL (Evillene) was seen on the Berkeley Playhouse stage earlier this year in Guys and Dolls as Adelaide. She is super happy to return to Berkeley Playhouse and work with the wonderful Kimberly Dooley again. Recent stage credits include Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Chloe) with New Conservatory Theatre Center, Beardo (Shack Woman), The Farm (Bluebell), and The Norman Conquests (Ruth) with Shotgun Players, Seussical, The Musical (Mayzie) with Berkeley Playhouse, Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party (Tina) with SF Playhouse and …And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi (Blanche) with Cutting Ball Theater. She is also a company member of Killing My Lobster, San Francisco’s premier sketch comedy group, where she has directed, produced, and performed.|
MATT ONO (Ensemble & u/s Tin Man) is delighted to be back with the Berkeley Playhouse family. By day, he works as a scientist for a biotech company in the South Bay. Past credits include the National Tour, The Magic School Bus LIVE!, Cinderella (Curtain Call Performing Arts), Ivy+Bean: The Musical, The Magic School Bus LIVE! (Bay Area Children’s Theatre), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Lucky Duck (Berkeley Playhouse), Blue Window, People America, Children of the West (University of the Pacific). Many thanks to Beyonce. www.mattono.com.
NEAL PASCUA (Ensemble & u/s Lion) is thrilled to make his Berkeley Playhouse debut with this amazing and super talented cast and crew! Neal earned his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Notre Dame de Namur University. Some of his favorite productions include Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Asher),The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear), RENT (Mark), and Hairspray. After The Wiz, Neal can be seen next in Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s production of Tarzan. Neal thanks his friends and family for their endless love and support! Welcome to the Land of Oz!!
|CATHERINE DUVAL PETRU (Ensemble) is simply delighted to be joining Kimberly Dooley and the cast of The Wiz for her second Berkeley Playhouse production! She just completed Berkeley Playhouse’ Guys and Dolls. Other credits include A Chorus Line, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Vagina Monologues. She is fearlessly pursuing acting with Rachael Adler at the Waterfront Conservatory in Berkeley, singing with vocal coach Adrienne Shamszad, and dances her heart out whenever possible. She holds a B.A. in Critical Theory and Social Justice from Occidental College, and is a certified yoga instructor.|
|BETSY PICART (Ensemble) is thrilled to be back in the Bay Area and performing on stage! After a two year hiatus, she looks forward to working with the talented cast, crew and staff of The Wiz. Previous Berkeley Playhouse credits include Aladdin, Cinderella: Enchanted, Narnia, and many more.|
|BENJAMIN PITHER (Lion) is once again thrilled to work with Kimberly Dooley and Berkeley Playhouse, having appeared in both Lucky Duck (Drake) and Seussical, The Musical (Horton, BATCC nomination). Most recently, he played Vinnie in Lucky Stiff at Center REP, where he also performed in All Shook Up (Dennis, BATCC/Shellie nominations). Other companies include foolsFURY, Virago, Willows, Altarena Playhouse, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Custom Made Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Theatre (understudy, performed), and six shows at 42nd Street Moon, and numerous film/web-spot, commercial, and voice-over credits. Next he will play Joseph Hewes in 1776 at American Conservatory Theater. Benjamin is a recipient of Theatre Bay Area’s TITAN Award, and earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University with Highest Honors.|
|LEAH RUSSO (Evillene) is making her debut performance at Berkeley Playhouse! Most recently, she performed in Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. Favorite roles include Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in Delaware Park), Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal (Irish Classical Theatre Company), Junie B. in Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business (Theatre Of Youth), and Hope in Anything Goes (Kavioky Theatre). She graduated with a B.F.A. in Acting from SUNY at Buffalo. Thanks to my loving Roel, Stars, and Sarah and Elizabeth for sharing this role with me.|
MAURICE ANDRE SAN-CHEZ (Ensemble & u/s Scarecrow) is thriller to make is Berkeley Playhouse debut in The Wiz and holds a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from the University of Texas El Paso. Most recent credits include Bay Area Children’s Theatre Production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, Pageant the Musical with Robbie-Wayne Productions where he played Miss West Coast, and as Various Characters for the Youth Aware Educational Theatre program with the New Conservatory Theatre Center. Andre is a proud member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Thanks to Daddy and best friend Stephanie for their continued love and support.
|ANNA SMITH (Ensemble) is happy to be making her onstage debut with Berkeley Playhouse, as opposed to her usual offstage role as a teaching artist. Also a teaching artist for Cal Shakes, 142 Throckmorton, and Redwood High School, Anna is working towards founding a nonprofit to provide drama programs to the West Contra Costa Unified School District. She is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and College of Santa Fe (B.F.A.), Anna’s local acting credits include Emma Goldman in Assassins with Ray of Light Theatre (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nomination) and Dear Harvey with New Conservatory Theatre Center.|
|LESLIE WAGGONER (Ensemble) is thrilled to be back at BPH, as she was last seen here in Jon Tracy’s Guys & Dolls (Hilary, Adelaide u/s). Before that, she last appeared in Ray of Light’s The Full Monty (Pam). Also with Ray of Light, Debbie Does Dallas (Roberta) and Grease. Previously, she spent 4 years as a company member of Killing My Lobster, SF’s premier sketch comedy troupe, performing in 9 mainstage shows and many appearances with SF Sketchfest. Other credits include Tyler in the long-running hit Point Break Live!, Anybodys in West Side Story at American Musical Theater San Jose and Diablo Light Opera Company, various shows at the Exit, Magic, Mills College, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, SF Shakes and a special appearance as the lead dancer behind acclaimed cabaret artist Shawn Ryan at the Herbst. Love and thanks to Mom, Sarah and Muchacho.|
REGGIE D. WHITE (Tin Man) is a Bay Area actor/singer and is thrilled to be back at Berkeley Playhouse for another amazing production (The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Enchanted, Born and Raised, and Annie). He has also worked locally with San Jose Rep, Theatreworks, Marin Theatre Company, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, SF Shakes, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, and many others. He is a company member at Impact Theatre and PlayGroundSF and teaches across the Bay Area. Regie is a 2012 Theatre Bay Area TITAN Award winner, and was most recently seen in the West Coast Premiere of The Bereaved at Crowded Fire Theatre Company. For more info check out reggiedwhite.com. Love and thanks to the Fam, Raven and LL.
|YOUTH ENSEMBLE (in Alphabetical Order)|
|PILAR BALLESTEROS is thrilled to be performing in her 6th Berkeley Playhouse production. She previously appeared in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Small Alice /March Hare), Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. (Tiger Lily), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Amanda), Honk! Jr. (Cat), and My Son Pinocchio (Maria). Pilar will be a 5th grader at Montclair Elementary School this fall.|
|MILO BLUE is entering 6th grade at Park Day School. She has performed in the youth ensembles for Berkeley Playhouse’s MainStage productions Cinderella, Enchanted; Seussical, The Musical; Lucky Duck; and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She has also acted in Berkeley Playhouse’s KidStage productions My Son Pinocchio (Jiminy Cricket) and most recently, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Jiminy / Petunia).|
|LOREN BREIDENBACH is thrilled to take part in The Wiz. Past Berkeley Playhouse shows include Annie (Kate), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. (Tinkerbell) and Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Alice). Loren is in the 4th grade at The School of the Madeleine and in addition to musical theater, she enjoys reading, exploring the outdoors, playing with friends, cooking and making art.|
|SHIRA BURNS attends The Berkeley School in Berkeley, and will be entering the 6th grade. She has performed in several local productions at the Contra Costa Civic Theatre. Shira also loves animals.|
|BIANCA DAL BO was born in Oxford, England, and moved to Berkeley when she was 9 months old. She will be entering the 6th grade at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley. She participated in musical theater classes and summer camps, including those inspired by: Oliver, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Aladdin, Narnia, Lucky Duck, Cinderella; Enchanted The Jungle Book, Annie, The Sound of Music and Guys and Dolls. She has also been singing with the Piedmont Children’s Choir since she was 5.|
|JORDYN DIEW will be entering the 3rd grade at Zion Lutheran School in Piedmont. She has participated in previous Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory classes where she played the role of Gretl Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, and Tinkerbell in Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. Jordyn has also done professional print and commercial work for Pampers, AT&T, Florida Dept of Education, and many others. She is an active Girl Scout who aspires to become a dentist.|
|DAKOTA DRY is thrilled to be in The Wiz. Previously, she has performed for the Berkeley Playhouse as Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Molly in Annie, and Lucy in Narnia, and most recently, she performed as the daughter in The Medea Hypothesis at Central Works. This fall you can see Dakota again on the Berkeley Playhouse stage when she plays Sara Crew in A Little Princess.|
|SOPHIE ECKBER is excited to make her sixth appearance with Berkeley Playhouse. She appeared in the MainStage productions Lucky Duck and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the KidStage productions Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Mad Hatter/Lilly), Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. (Cubby) and Annie (Sandy / Mrs. Greer). Sophie has also appeared in several Musical Kids performances at the Contra Costa Civic Theater (Cinderella, Frog and Toad and Jungle Book). Sophie is a 5th grader at Chabot Elementary, and a member of the Bay Oaks U-11 soccer team.|
|MAYA EZEKIEL is excited to be performing in her twelfth Berkeley Playhouse production. Recently she was in Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. (Tinkerbell / Vidia / Adella) and will soon be appearing in Berkeley Playhouse’s TeenStage production, Bye Bye Birdie. She is going into 7th grade at Tehiyah Day School. Some of her favorite shows she has acted in are Berkeley Playhouse’s Honk! Jr. (Maureen), Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (Tweedle Dum / Apple) and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Lucy). She has also appeared in Berkeley Playhouse’s MainStage productions Seussical, The Musical and Willy Wonk and the Chocolate Factory.|
|EVAN FEIST is excited to appear in The Wiz, which is his second MainStage production with Berkeley Playhouse. Last summer he was in the youth ensemble in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Evan’s previous performances with the YouthStage include Disney’s Peter Pan, Jr. (Captain Hook), Honk! Jr. (Drake), Jungle Book (Shere Khan), Aristocats (Edgar), and My Son, Pinocchio (Geppetto). Evan is a 7th grader in the School of Theater at Oakland School for the Arts. When not on stage, he enjoys acting in film, filmmaking, visual effects art, painting, and drumming.|
HADLEY JULCA is performing in her third MainStage show with Berkeley Playhouse, and was recently the White Rabbit in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. with Berkeley Playhouse’s KidStage. Her favorite thing about Berkeley Playhouse is that being in a show is like being part of a family. She wants to thank Elizabeth, Rachel and Hannah for always giving her wonderful experiences.
|DONYA KASHANI is very excited to be performing in her 8th show with Berkeley Playhouse. Her previous Berkeley Playhouse MainStage roles include Youth Ensemble in Seussical, The Musical, and YouthStage roles include Jasmine in Aladdin, Slick Cat in The Aristocats, Bagheera in The Jungle Book, the Ringleader in My Son Pinocchio, Jay Bird in Honk! Jr, and Tinkerbell in Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. In the fall, Donya will attend Piedmont Middle School. In her spare time, Donya likes to read, draw, sing, and play piano, guitar, and violin.|
|PHILIPPA KENNEDY is thrilled to be back at Berkeley Playhouse, after performing in the ensemble of The Sound of Music earlier this season. She is going into 4th grade at Thousand Oaks Elementary in Berkeley, and attends the JCC after school program, where she played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She would like to thank her family, friends (including fellow-munchkin Clementine), dogs, and everyone at the Berkeley Playhouse (especially Elizabeth!) for making the Berkeley Playhouse her home away from home.|
|LEELA KIYAWAT is entering 5th grade at Kensington Hilltop School. She is an active actress and pianist. She was last seen in Berkeley Playhouse’s production, The Sound of Music (Abby Child). She also loves to play basketball, softball and kickball. Leela is excited to have an opportunity to be in this wonderful show and hopes that you will clap with all your might!|
|MAERA KLEIN is thrilled to be returning to Berkeley Playhouse to perform in The Wiz. She previously played the role of Kate in Berkeley Playhouse’s production of Annie. Maera will be entering 4th grade at The Berkeley School in the fall. In her free time she enjoys drawing, writing, reading, being in nature, and hanging out with friends and family.|
MALIA LEE is a 5th grader and enjoys singing, dancing, swimming, and cuddling her dogs. She is excited to return to the Berkeley Playhouse MainStage after her role as Marta von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Malia has also performed in five KidStage shows, and cherishes all of her experiences. Berkeley Playhouse is a big family! She thanks her family and friends for their support.
|CLEMENTINE LEONARD is in 2nd grade at Thousand Oaks Elementary School. She is thrilled to be back on the Berkeley Playhouse MainStage after being a chipmunk in Cinderella, Enchanted two years ago. She enjoys swimming, dancing, and playing with her friends, but most of all she loves acting! Her acting experience started when she was driving home from LA and decided to try out for a play, tried out and got the part! After Cinderella, Enchanted she loved acting. Clementine thanks her parents, Pippa, and her best friend Violet for supporting her. She hopes you enjoy the show!|
|TONIO JI MANQUEROS was born in Seoul, Korea and adopted into a family with a Chicano father and mom who is bilingual in Spanish. He is in 3rd grade at Cornell School in Albany. This year, Tonio performed blues and Latin Jazz piano in a recital. He has performed in Baile Folklorico for Mexican Independence Day, and played Mike Teavee in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory in Berkeley Playhouse’s Summer Camp. He also participated in stage combat camp and has just come back from Bali.|
|NAIMA MASIA is a student at Berkeley Arts Magnet School. She enjoys musical theater and has performed with the Berkeley Playhouse summer camp productions Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Seussical, The Musical. She trains in many forms of dance and especially loves ballet. Naima lives in Berkeley with her mom, dad, brother Amani, and two cats, Murfi and Toonces.|
|LEYLA MUNIST attends Peralta Elementary School in Oakland. She has been in several theater camps and classes at Berkeley Playhouse, where she has played the roles Horton the Elephant, Maria von Trapp, a baroness, a reporter, a maid, a nun, and a Nazi. She performed in the KidStage production of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. in the spring. She also studies circus arts at the Kinetic Arts Center and has quite the fashion sense. Her love for acting comes through in her personality.|
|ANI REYNOLDS is a Berkeley native and attends Longfellow Middle School. A singer, actor and dancer, Ani played Dorothy in her 5th grade production of The Wiz at Malcolm X Elementary. She performed for three years with Dimension’s Dance Theatre as part of eight Rights of Passage productions. Classically trained in ballet, Ani has taken modern, jazz, afro-Haitian, West-African and hip-hop dance. With the advanced Dimension’s Extensions (DEPE) Troupe, Ani performed at dozens of events around the region, including the Art and Soul Festival in 2012.|
MAHARI L.X. REYNOLDS is a Berkeley native. He acts, sings, dances and has been working on developing a YouTube show called Mahari’s Adventures. Mahari is a student at Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley. He has been in numerous school productions, most recently playing the role of Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2011 and 2012, Mahari was a standout dancer and percussionist, performing in two Rights of Passage productions as part of Dimension’s Dance Theatre. In 2012, Mahari had his first paying gig, exciting the crowd at an Oakland block party with his Michael Jackson Alive tribute.
HARMONEE ROSS is excited to be in her 3rd Berkeley Playhouse show, having previouslly performed in Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. (Pilot, Ensemble) and Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. (Wendy, Hop). She has performed in four operas at the Grand Lake Montessori Summer Opera Camp. Harmonee will be a 5th grader at The Berkeley School this fall.
BEN ROTENBERG is entering the 8th grade at Albany Middle School. This is Ben’s seventh production with Berkeley Playhouse. He has previously appeared in Berkeley Playhouse’s MainStage productions, Guys and Dolls (The Boy), The Sound of Music (Abbey Child), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Mike Teavee), and Lucky Duck (Chicken Little). He was recently seen as Jacquot in the TeenStage production, Carnival. He’s thrilled to be part of another Berkeley Playhouse production and hopes you enjoy the show.
|LUCY URBANO is tickled to pieces to be performing in The Wiz! She has been in six Berkeley Playhouse productions, including most recently Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie). Lucy is a rising 7th grader at Oakland School for the Arts. She would like to thank everyone who works so hard at Berkeley Playhouse to make it such an amazing place. She thanks all of her family and friends for their support and especially her little sister Rosy who is also in this ensemble! Welcome to Oz!|
ROSY URBANO is very excited to be a part of her first Berkeley Playhouse MainStage production, as well as being alongside her older sister, Lucy! She is happy to be able to dance, sing and have fun. Rosy will be a 3rd grader at Washington Elementary School in Berkeley this fall.
|C R E A T I V E|
|KIMBERLY DOOLEY (Director / Choreographer) has worked as a director, choreographer and teaching artist in the Bay Area for over 10 years. She received her B.F.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in the Experimental Theatre Wing. Favorite directing credits at Berkeley Playhouse include the award-winning Seussical, The Musical, Once on this Island and Lucky Duck. She has directed several Teen and KidStage productions here at the Playhouse, including Carnival, Grease, and Pippin. She is a company member at the Shotgun Players, where favorite acting roles include Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Cassandra in both There Will be No Trojan War and Troilus & Cressida, Pat in Vampires and various roles (including the Wind and a fish) in Adam Bock’s A Fairy’s Tail. She also co-created and directed the Shotgun Theatre Lab hit Eat. Other Bay Area roles include Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street and Patsy in Crazy For You at Broadway by the Bay and Bebe at Pacific Repertory’s production of A Chorus Line. She loves this community and is proud to be a part of it.|
|TAL ARIEL (Music Director / Keyboards) is a music producer, pianist, and teacher based in San Francisco. He won the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle award in Musical Direction for his work on Berkeley Playhouse’s Seussical, The Musical in the summer of 2011. He is excited to be bringing the funk in this production of The Wiz with a cast of outstanding talents. When not performing, Tal spends most of his time in his recording studio producing, engineering, recording, mixing, and obsessing over up and coming artists.|
|SOFIA DERTIMANIS (Stage Manager) is so excited to be back at Berkeley Playhouse. Her most recent works here include Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Seusical, The Musical. She has also Stage Managed for Center REP, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, and worked as the Assistant Stage Manager for Ballet San Jose.|
|ROBERT BROADFOOT (Set Designer) works as a scenic designer in regional and professional theaters nationwide. He received the Bay Area Critic’s Circle Awards in Scenic Design in 2007 for ‘bot at The Magic Theatre and in 2008 for Musical of Musicals at Center Rep. He was recognized in 2011 with a national commendation in scenic design from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for Angels in America at St. Mary’s College. Robert’s recent projects include the world premier of Lauren Gunderson’s By and By at Shotgun Players, Sharr White’s Sunlight at The Phoenix Theater, and Vince Delaney’s Ampersand at Actors Theatre of Grand Rapids. Robert assists several prominent theater artists, including legendary Broadway designer Douglas Schmidt, Hariton Baral Designs, and John Iacovelli. He received his M.F.A. in scenic design from University of California Davis and teaches theater at Los Medanos College. Robert is a proud member of United Scenic Artists.|
|WENDY KAUFMAN (Costume Designer) has yearned to costume The Wiz for ages. As Berkeley Playhouse’s resident costumer she is thrilled to have her chance designing with this amazing company. Most recently, Wendy designed costumes for Berkeley Playhouse’s The Sound of Music, Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. and Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. You can find her work in The Costume-Maker’s Art: Cloaks of Fantasy, Masks of Revelation by Lark Books.|
|MARK HUESKE (Lighting Designer) has had his work seen all over the United States. He started his career doing lighting for theme park productions, Mark then went on to earn his B.F.A. in lighting design from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. Mark has designed for theatre, concerts, dance, and circus. Some of his more notable designs include: Barry Manilow at the Las Vegas Hilton; Teatro ZinZanni; a collaboration with artist Anne Patterson at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco; Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Boxcar Theatre); Best of Playground 2012 and 2013 (SF Playground); Lucky Duck (Berkeley Playhouse); Gypsy, Guy and Dolls, Singin’ in the Rain, All Shook Up, Funny Girl, Show Boat, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Cabaret and West Side Story.|
|MIKE SWEENEY (Sound Designer) Coming Soon|
|MEGAN LUSH (Props Master) works as a production artist all over the Bay Area. She has been involved in theatre for over 10 years and film for 4, designing and constructing sets and props. She is in LOVE with art in every form, and it is her mission to learn how to do it all. Her recent projects include props for Requiem for a Heavyweight and Expecting Isabel at Danville Valley Theatre, Hedwig & the Angry Inch and Little Shop of Horrors at Boxcar Theatre, Lucky Stiff at Center Rep, and Annie and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at Berkeley Playhouse. “All the world’s a stage, and I am here to make it look good.”|
|ALICIA LERNER (Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to return to the Berkeley Playhouse after assisting on The Pirates of Penzance, The Sound of Music and most recently Guys and Dolls. Her other stage management credits include References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (AlterTheatre Ensemble), The Train Driver, Shirley Valentine, Agnes Under the Big Top (Long Wharf Theatre), Annie Get Your Gun, Radio Girl (Goodspeed Musicals), The 2007 – 2009 Shakespeare Festivals, Dancing in the Dark, Working (The Old Globe) and Much Ado About Nothing (La Jolla Playhouse/Aquila Theatre Company). She holds a BFA in Media-Film Studies from The University of California, San Diego.|
|JUSTIN ZIM (Guitar) is a guitarist and active musician in New York City. He has been a featured musician in the Brooklyn and Manhattan Gospel scene. Justin has performed and toured across New York and Boston, performing with headlining acts at famed venues such as the Highline Ballroom and Bowery Ballroom. This is his first performance with the Berkeley Playhouse.|
|KARL HARTMANN (Bass) is a Bay Area bassist/cellist who has performed and recorded across a wide variety of music genres. The Wiz marks his fourth show for Berkeley Playhouse. Previous runs include Suessical, The Musical and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Karl has also performed in the orchestra for West Side Story, Evita, Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma, A Rock ‘n Roll Twelfth Night and others. Outside the theater Karl is in demand as a jazz bassist and performs in orchestras and various smaller groups. Karl has performed at Yoshi’s, Montreux, Umbria and San Jose Jazz festivals. Karl is proud to join Berkeley Playhouse once again!|
|JORDAN GLENN (Drums) spent his formative years in Oregon drawing cartoons, taking dance classes from his aunt, making movies and studying jazz, classical, and rock music. In 2006 he relocated to the Bay Area and since then has worked closely with Fred Frith, William Winant, Zeena Parkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Ben Goldberg, Todd Sickafoose, John Schott, Lisa Mezzacappa, Karl Evangelista, Dominique Leone and the bands Jack O’ The Clock, Arts & Sciences, Beep!, tUnE-yArDs, and the Oakland Active Orchestra. He also leads the project Mindless Thing, a collaboration with poet/free-jazzer/sage Jim Ryan, as well as the trio Wiener Kids.|
|* Member, Actor’s Equity Association (AEA). AEA, founded in 1913, represents more than 49,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence. www.actorsequity.org|