To Kill A Mockingbird
Written by Harper Lee
Directed by Scott P. Calhoon
November 4 – 13, 2016
Chelsea Bartel (Stephanie Crawford/Court Secretary) is thrilled to be back with Prime Stage Theatre on the New Hazlett stage! She last performed here as Clover in Animal Farm. She recently performed in her dream role as Diana Goodman in Next to Normal at the Theatre Factory, also under the direction of Scott Calhoon. Favorite credits: Legally Blonde (Vivienne), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Yitzhak), The Marvelous Wonderettes (Suzy), Spelling Bee (Rona Lisa Peretti), Addams Family (Alice Beineke), and A Christmas Carol (Ghost of Christmas Present). Chelsea is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and performed in many shows with Scotch’n’Soda Theatre during her time there, including Moon Over Buffalo (Charlotte Hay). Chelsea wishes to thank everyone who has given her a chance to shine, and like Mary Tyler Moore, she’s “gonna make it after all”. Chelseabartel.weebly.com
Webster Black (Reverend Sykes) is a city of Pittsburgh resident who grew up on the North Side which used to be Allegheny City (1788-1907) To Kill a Mockingbird is a period piece that puts light on what was and what is and the importance of both, which has always fascinated Webster. Webster's past roles have included an abusive boyfriend, a missionary and father, a militant revolutionary, cancer victim, a storefront Pastor with the St. James A.M.E. Drama Ministry, a tax collector in Part I and a Pastor in Part II of Pitt's African Dance and Drum Ensemble/ Shona Sharif"s Black Nativity a Gospel musical version of the Christmas Story. Webster is very happy to work on this production with Prime Stage Theatre and such a talented cast to bring this fascinating story to life.
Samantha A. Camp (Jean Louise): Samantha is tickled pink (with a fine layer of Alabama dust) to be performing for the first time with Prime Stage and for her second show with one of her favorite directors. Her credits since returning to Pittsburgh last year after 11 years on the Other Coast include: Tamora in Cup-a-Jo’s production of Titus Andronicus, Joy in The Tin Woman and Lotty in Enchanted April. Next up, she will be directing the It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play at Mon River Arts, and then will be heading out to Idaho in the spring to play Lane in The Clean House at The Modern Theatre in Coeur D’Alene. She was twice named Best Actress in a Drama by the Tacoma News-Tribune (for Artie inEleemosynary and Tamora in Titus Andronicus). To Kill A Mockingbird is her 151st show as an actress (and counting). Check out www.samanthacamp.net or become her fan on Facebook. Thanks, as always, to The Bruce for pomegranates.
Brian Ceponis (Atticus Finch) graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and then took an indirect route to his acting career, initially spending the better part of a decade both working in the financial services industry and playing professional volleyball throughout Europe. It was during this time that he also launched a fledgling acting career, landing leading roles in several local theatrical productions including Our American Cousin, Hedda Gabler, and Down the Road. After retiring from professional volleyball in 2004, Brian moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time and landed leading roles in numerous independent films including Shadow of the Monarch, Unspeakable Indiscretions, and No Horizon as well as minor roles in feature films including The Island, Flags of Our Fathers, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He has also appeared on television shows including NCIS, All My Children, Monk, and West Wing and national television commercials for Range Rover and Bud Light. After 11 years of working in film and television in Los Angeles, Brian is excited to be making his return to the stage with the iconic role of Atticus Finch and is honored to be a part of Prime Stage Theatre as they kick off their 20th Anniversary Season with the production of the cherished classic To Kill a Mockingbird. He currently lives in Allison Park with his wife, Stephanie, and son, Maximilian and is truly grateful for all of the support received over the years.
Bill Crean (Walter Cunningham/Judge Taylor) returns to Prime Stage and “Mockingbird,” having played Heck Tate in the 2007 production. He was most recently seen in Is There A Comic in the House? at Stage Right. He has performed in many local theater companies. Bill is honored to be a part of this cast and the celebration of Prime Stage’s 20th Anniversary. He thanks you for attending this performance and hopes that you continue to support the mission of “bringing literature to life.”
Paul Guggenheimer (Nathan Radley/Mr. Gilmer) is making his second appearance in a production of “To Kill A Mockingbird.” In May of 2015, he played the role of Atticus Finch for the Heritage Players in Brookline. Last fall, Paul appeared as O’Brien in the Bricolage production of “1984.” He previously performed the Orson Welles/Dr. Richard Pierson role in “The War of the Worlds” for Bricolage in 2013. Paul has also acted on film including the post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie “Dust of War,” which is available on Amazon Instant Video and other online platforms as well as Walmart stores coast to coast. He is currently employed as a reporter for 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR News station.
Linda Haston (Calpurnia) is a professional (AEA) actress, singer, dancer and director and had resided in New York City for 10 years where she had performed her own cabaret act, did National and Regional tours, from musicals, dinner theatre to outdoor drama. She has performed in the past and present seasons with The Public Theatre, PICT, Bricolage, City Theatre, Quantum Theater and Off the Wall Productions. She has performed and/or directed for 7 seasons with Off The Wall Productions. She completed this summer performing on otW stage with the acclaimed one woman show Mother Lode written by Virginia Wall Gruenert. Her show An Accident currently running, completes her 8th season directing for Off the Wall Productions, in Carnegie. She debuted with Prime Stage in 2003 with To Kill A Mockingbird in the role of Calpurnia and how appropriate and delightful it is to reprise it in this 20th Anniversary season. Last season she was featured as Tituba in Prime Stage’s the Crucible, another role that she reprised. She is also the Education Director & Teaching Artist for Prime Stage in the educational system in Pittsburgh. Her background includes a BFA and MFA in theatre. As Education Director heads and oversees the Teacher’s Advisory Committee (TAC), the Literacy in Arts (LACT) Program, the Discover Your Inner Hero Program, and Global Learning Program for Prime Stage’s Education Department.
Alyssa LaVacca (Mayella Ewell) is so excited to be making her Prime Stage debut! A graduate of Point Park's Conservatory, some recent credits include Juliet/Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet) and Helena/Titania/Puck (A Midsummer Night's Dream) with the New Renaissance Theatre Company, Viola (Twelfth Night, Steel City Shakespeare Center), Germaine (Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Hambones Theatre Company) and Ashley in the premiere of Existence and the Single Girl with 12 Peers Theatre Company. Love and thanks to family and friends!
Stefan Lingenfelter (Bob Ewell) This is Stefan Lingenfelter's second production with Prime Stage; appearing in the 2014-15 season's production of Animal Farm in the role of Napoleon. Stefan has worked as an actor and director professionally and non-professionally his entire life. Favorite local roles include Lord Illingworth in A Woman of No Importance for Hobnob Theatre Co., George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life for the Butler Little Theatre, Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Kean Theatre, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for the Butler Musical Theatre Guild, Chris Keller in All My Sons at the New Castle Playhouse, Ben Hecht in Moonlight and Magnolias at The Legacy Theatre. Stefan moved to the area seven years ago from New York City, where he lived and worked for 20 years. Stefan is excited to be back with the Prime Stage Theatre family.
Joyce Miller (Mrs. Dubose) This is Joyce's third production with Prime Stage, having appeared last year as Mrs. Boyle in The Mousetrap and Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible.. She enjoys working with a number of local theater companies including Little Lake Theatre, South Park Theater, Old Schoolhouse Players, Thoughline Theater Company, and Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Favorite roles include Amanda Wingfield (The Glass Menagerie), Martha Brewster (Arsenic & Old Lace), Gingy (Love, Loss & What I Wore), the Nurse (Romeo & Juliet), and Stella Livingston (Light Up the Sky). Joyce is grateful for the opportunity to work again with Scott Calhoon, a gifted director, and with the rest of this wonderful cast who have worked so hard to present this important piece of literature.
Simon Nigam (Dill) is thrilled to be making his Prime Stage debut! Theater credits include Pittsburgh CLO’s A Musical Christmas Carol (Tiny Tim, Match Boy), University of Pittsburgh’s Nine (Young Guido), Stage 62's Assassins (Billy Moore), Heritage Players’ The Secret Garden (Colin Craven), Pittsburgh Opera’s Rodelinda (Flavio), and COMTRA Theatre’s Mary Poppins (Michael Banks) and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Edmund). Simon is also a winner of the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 2016 Shakespeare monologue contest. Simon is a fifth grader at the Falk School and a student at the CLO Academy. Huge thanks to Scott and the cast and crew of To Kill a Mockingbird!
Elliot Pullen (Jem) is excited to be performing in the role of Jem at Prime Stage. Past theater credits include a member of Fagin's gang in Oliver Twist, Young Pip in Great Expectations and A Boy in Waiting for Godot at PICT. Other credits include Wally Webb in Our Town at Pittsburgh Public Theater, Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Little Lake Theater, Young Company Ensemble in The Tempest with Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Park, and various performances with Pittsburgh’s youth Shakespeare troupe, Falstaff’s Fellows since 2012. Awards include 2012 finalist, 2013, 2015, and 2016 honorable mention, and 2014 winner in Pittsburgh Public Theater’s Shakespeare Monologue and Scene Contest. Elliot is a 14 year-old freshman at Mt Lebanon High School. He is an active Boy Scout in Troop 65 and a classical guitarist. Elliot would like to thank his friends, family, and theatre mentors for their support and encouragement, Scott and the cast for a wonderful experience on this play, and Harper Lee for writing such an amazing story.
Mary Quinlan (Maudie Atkinson) is happy to be back with Prime Stage Theatre, having last performed there in the world premier of “The Devils Arithmetic”. She recently appeared in “Steel Magnolias” with the South Hill Players and “The Importance of Being Earnest” with the Heritage Players Mary also appeared in “Exit Laughing” with South Park Theatre, “Dixie Swim Club” with Old Schoolhouse Players and “Prelude to A Kiss” at Little Lake Theatre. Mary has also performed with regional and community theatres in North Carolina, Michigan, and New York. Some favorite roles include: Narrator in “The Vagina Monologues”; Letitia Blacklock in “A Murder is Announced”; Ropeen in “The Hostage”; Eileen in “The Cripple of Inishmaan”; Mrs. Molloy in “Hello Dolly”; Miss Hannigan in “Annie”, Mrs. Paroo in “Music Man, and Mother in “Six Characters in Search of An Author”. Mary thanks to Scott for the opportunity to work with such a talented cast! She also thanks Jonathan and Nora for their continued love and support.
Brian Starks (Tom Robinson) With a career starting in 1979 as a breakdancer, founding the Mechanic Wizzards dance troupe and doing commercials thru Holt/Belajac Casting, now known as Donna Belajac Casting,Acting became interesting which led to him studying acting under the guidance of Anthony McKay from CMU. Soon after moving to NYC, he was signed with Abrams Artist who discovered him at a backers reading for the play "Is Satan a brother mad at his race" which led to roles on"All my Children","Law and Order", "New York Undercover " and the Off-Broadway Tour of "The Wiz" playing the scarecrow. With numerous commercials and films under his belt while teaching Breakdancing for the Board of Education of NYC, he moved back to Pittsburgh to help struggling up and coming talent through mentoring and guidance pertaining to the pitfalls of the business.
Grace Vensel (Scout) is very excited to return to Prime Stage Theatre for this production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Grace was last seen at Prime Stage in The Giver (Fiona) and she most recently appeared in The Tiger Who Came to Tea (Sophie) at Little Lake Theatre. You may have seen her in recent Pittsburgh CLO productions of A Musical Christmas Carol (Cratchit Child/Want) and Gypsy (Balloon Girl). Some of her favorite roles include Marta von Trapp in The Sound of Music with the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Professional Company, Little Red Riding Hood in The Almost Totally True Story of Hansel and Gretel with the Greensburg Civic Theater, and City Father in The Wizard of Oz with the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Student Company. Grace is in her her fifth year of study at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy and is in 6th grade at CAPA. Grace would like to thank her teachers, friends and family for always supporting her in doing what she loves. Enjoy the show!
Jerry Wienand (Heck Tate) has returned to Prime Stage after too long an absence. This will be the second time Jerry's done To Kill a Mockingbird with Prime Stage (he was Bob Ewell the first time around), and his ninth production overall with the company. A veteran of more than fifty years in theatre, and more than 170 productions, Jerry counts his performance as Kris Kringle in Prime Stage's production of Miracle on 34th Street as his all-time favorite role. He has been seen on stage recently with Little Lake Theatre, South Hills Players and Old Schoolhouse Players. Jerry is a retired attorney, the father of four, grandfather of six and great-grandfather of three. When he isn't treading the boards, he and his wife, Carol, enjoy traveling the world. Next up - Australia and New Zealand!
Aaron P Zimmerman is a Resident of New Brighton Pa. He is employed by Rosalind's Candy Castle and the Beaver County Times. He is a 2004 graduate of Clarion University were he earned a BFA In Theatre and won the SilverFox comedy award for outstanding achievement in acting. After graduation Aaron started acting with many community theatre around the area including The Red Barn Players, New Castle Playhouse, Butler Little Theatre, AppleHill Playhouse, Kean Theatre, Beaver Bobcat Players, HobNob Theatre, Center Theatre Players, Papersky Theatre, Butler MTG, Comtra theatre and now Prime Stage Theatre. Some of his favorite roles are Richard Hannay in "The 39 Steps," Andrew Aguecheek in "Twelfth Night," Jack Gable in "Leading Ladies," and Ellard Simms in "The Foreigner." Aaron has also had the opportunity to work as an extra in 8 major motion pictures including " FoxCatcher, " "Concussion, " and "Zach and Miri".