Artistic Team Bios
(in alphabetical order)
Azhar Ali (Robin) would first like to thank everyone at Curtain Players and the entire cast and crew for this opportunity and wonderful experience. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Azhar relocated to New York City to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). In his final showcase at AMDA, Azhar played roles in scenes from Angels in America andGolden Boy. Azhar also played the role of Jack Townsend in Eugene O’niell’s one act play, Abortion; which was produced on Theatre Row in New York City. Azhar will be completing his BA in Political Science from The Ohio State University, after which he plans on attending law school.
Amy Anderson (Catherine). Since 2002, Amy has been in and directed more than 30 productions in the Central Ohio area. Her most recent productions have been with the Columbus Children’s Theatre where she loves to play the villain. You may have seen her in THE WIZARD OF OZ, as the Wicked Witch of the West, THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, as the White Witch or SNOW WHITE, as the Evil Queen. Amy has been in several Curtain Players Productions over the years including, BOOK OF DAYS, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, DEATHTRAP, DINNER WITH FRIENDS and STILL LIFE WITH IRIS. When not on stage she loves teaching theater and directing at Buckeye Valley High School in Delaware County.
Mary Benge (Props) enjoys crafting and gathering props for Curtain Players, and is excited to see things in action in Robin Hood. Many thanks to Jason and so many others for finding these “hard to find” weapons etc. for our production. Hats off to Jeremy for writing this excellent piece, to Keely for making it happen and to Kate for answering my never-ending questions. There are many secrets in the forest!! Enjoy!
Randy Benge (King Henry) is no stranger to Curtain Players (recently, A Wonderful Life, Becky’s New Car, Proof and Titanic, the Musical), nor outdoor theatre having performed in many Springfield Arts Council productions (She Loves Me, Shenandoah, State Fair and the Fantasticks to name a few). He is happy to be reprising Henry, and working with old and new friends in this beautiful venue. Randy is looking forward to his new role of “grandpa” in August.
Grace Bolander (Marian) is a rising junior at the University of Chicago studying Theatre and Performance Studies and Creative Writing. Grace has performed with The Actors' Theatre of Columbus (Hamlet, Hamlet; Juliet, Romeo and Juliet), with University Theatre at the University of Chicago (Lady Macbeth, Macbeth; Hester Swayne, By the Bog of Cats; Mrs. Trotsky, Variations on the Death of Trotsky), and with Victory Gardens’ College Night (Amy, Gender Trouble). Grace is very excited to be back home in Columbus this summer and to work on her first project with Curtain Players.
Natalie Bolton (Assistant Costume Designer) enjoys sewing and crafting of all kinds, with a special interest in historical designs. This is her first production with Curtain Players.
Doug Browell (Producer) is a veteran Curtain Players performer, and has appeared on many central Ohio stages. Favorite roles include: “John Hancock”, 1776; “Von Trapp”, The Sound of Music; “Ismay”, Titanic; “Joe Keller”, All My Sons; and “Big Daddy”, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Doug has previously played the role of producer for the CP productions of Titanic, the Musical, and Pack of Lies. He’s a CP past president, current board member and Near Award recipient.
Liz Bratt (Love / Flower girl) is thrilled to join Curtain Players in their production, Robin Hood and the Secret of Sherwood. Liz is a rising 3rd grader in Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools. At Star Performance Academy, she recently played Tinkerbell in Peter Pan Jr., Susan in Magic Tree House Dinosaurs Before Dark and the Jester in Magic Tree House Knights at Dawn. She was a finalist in the 2016 Voice of the City Competition. Liz dances competitively at Pinnell Dance Centre in lyrical, jazz and tap and is a member of the Pinnell Ballet Company. She also enjoys horseback riding and swimming.
Gabriel Caldwell (Prince Richard) is a senior theatre major at Ohio Wesleyan University. This is his first production with Curtain Players and he couldn't be more excited to present such a fantastic show with such a fantastic cast.
Kate Charlesworth-Miller (Tinker) is pleased to be working with this wonderful cast and crew. She has worked at many Central Ohio theatres, most notably at Little Theatre Off Broadway in Grove City. Here at Curtain Players, she has worn several hats – directing, stage managing, costuming, set dressing and props for many shows. She is a former Curtain Players Board President, and serves as the Central Region Representative to the Ohio Community Theatre Association. She is very happy to be working with her husband Mark, and sends her children much love - without them, what would be the point?
Jeff Cramlet (Lighting/Sound) has been involved in Curtain Players since 2007. He has worn many hats, including light board operator, sound board operator, set builder, and parking lot attendant. Some of his favorite productions include Camelot, Jekyll and Hyde, and Picnic. When not working at Curtain, he can be found in the tech booth for Worthington Chorus productions.
Mia Doron (Much/Barrow/Herald) will be a sixth grader at Hastings Middle school in Upper Arlington. She has appeared on stage with CATCO kids and various school productions. Mia plays flute in the school band and loves soccer, drawing, and being on stage.
Denise Dumouchelle (Lights/Sound). No stranger to Curtain Players, Denise has been involved since 2007. She has primarily worked as a light board operator (Jekyll and Hyde; Game’s Afoot) or sound board operator (Run for Your Wife; Titanic). She began designing last season with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She also works with Worthington Chorus, among many other groups.
Liz Gaffney (Gunnor). This marks Liz’s debut with Curtain Players. Her last foray in theatre was over twelve years ago as director of Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the now-defunct Enjoy Theatre of Clintonville. She has not been seen as a performer since her supporting role in the independent thriller Jack’s Habit, and former membership on the MadLab Theatre ensemble. Liz is a graduate of Ohio University and a resident of Westerville.
John Grote (Prince John/Paen) has been working with Curtain Players since 2003 and is very excited to be a part of this outdoor experience, reprising the roles he played in January during Simply Staged. John has appeared at numerous area theaters, most recently at Little Theatre Off Broadway as the Narrator in Into the Woods and Reuben in Escanaba in Da Moonlight, for which he received a Merit in Acting at the Central region Ohio Community Theater Association festival. His best friend and loyal companion, Teddy the Wiener Dog, keeps him happy and sane when he is not performing
Kate Hawthorne (Stage Manager) is excited to be working with a wonderful cast and crew in her first outdoor production. She has done a lot of theatre in various capacities from costume designer, scenic designer, scenic painter, actor, playwright, to stage manager. She is always looking for more to do and more opportunities to participate in theatre. She hopes you enjoy the show!!
Brian Henry (Sheriff) is thrilled to be in his second show with Curtain Players, having just closed Skin of Our Teeth. This is his first full-length performance in an outdoors venue.
Martina Holbrook (Clara) is excited to be in her second production with Curtain Players, having recently appeared in Skin of Our Teeth. Other roles she has played include Beth in Little Women and Morgan in Godspell. Her dream role is to play Katherine in Newsies. Other than theatre, Martina enjoys training dogs, and has two of her own, Otto and Oakley.
Jeff Kemeter (Warin / Prince Richard us.) most recently appeared as Ed in You Can't Take It With You in March and Robert F. Kennedy in the 2016 Simply Staged production of RFK: Journey to Justice at Curtain Players. Jeff has also appeared in other Curtain Players productions including: All My Sons; The House of Yes; Titanic: The Musical; Cactus Flower; Our Town; Run For Your Wife;Barefoot in the Park; and Arsenic and Old Lace. Thank you Keely, Jeremy and Holly!
Keely Kurtas-Chapman (Director) started performing at age 4, making up her own songs and performing them for friends and family. At 8, she played Glinda in Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz at Guthsville Playhouse in Allentown, PA, and theatre has been part of her ever since. Her circuitous life journey finally brought her to Ohio, where she earned her BA in Theatre from Kenyon College. Since moving to Columbus 12 years ago, she has worked in varying capacities with Actors’ Theatre, Red Herring, CATCO, SRO, Gallery Players, Star Performance Academy and, of course, Curtain Players. She is currently employed by day as the Billing Manager for a law firm, by night as the Resident Director for Star Performance Academy, and continues to teach private acting lessons, enjoys acting (when her directing schedule permits), teaching kids to crochet and recently started learning tap dancing (after taking lessons a long time ago)! Her ever-supportive husband Chris and child Liam are her most vocal cheerleaders and she loves their willingness to support her theatre passion. Keely is excited to bring Curtain Players’ first outdoor production to the stage at Westerville Amphitheatre and excited about working directly with the playwright during the rehearsal process.
Grace Mashensic (Love/Flower girl) is an 11 year old from Pickerington. Grace fell in love with theater (and Julie Andrews) at 3 years old and has been in numerous productions since; some of her favorite roles being Gracie Shinn in The Music Man, the Braggart Munchkin in Wizard of Oz, and Dixie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. When not acting, Grace loves playing with her friends, listening to music, and traveling. She would like to thank Curtain Players and Westerville Parks and Rec for this awesome opportunity. As Mary Poppins would say - "Anything Can Happen If You Let It" Enjoy the show!!!
Tina Mercer (Eva/Gemma) is thrilled to perform with Curtain Players in her first stage production, and wishes to thank director Keely-Kurtas Chapman and playwright Jeremy Sony for granting her this opportunity. A resident of Columbus, Tina completed Master's level training through Acting in Columbus, as well as training through The Actor's School in Nashville, TN. She portrayed Juror Number 2 in the short film The Jury, and has also served as Script Supervisor for two local short films. Tina wishes to thank her unwavering supporters, her instructors, and fellow actors for continually giving/imparting their invaluable inspiration, insights, camaraderie, and wisdom.
Mark E. Miller (Alan-a-Dale) has been involved with community theatre on and off the stage for years, most notably at Little Theatre Off Broadway where he's appeared in numerous productions, including Jeremy Sony's The Century Box in 2015. Mark is thrilled to be once again appearing onstage alongside his wife, Kate Charlesworth-Miller, and excited to be part of Curtain Players' first outdoor adventure. Special thanks to Kate and their three talented children for everything.
Tasha Naneth (Costume Designer) is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design and uses her degree in Fashion Design purely for hobby. Theater has been part of her life since the age of seven, though most of her recent work has been behind the scenes. This is her fourth show with Curtain Players, and has been the most challenging. She lives in Westerville with her husband Chris, who has been a very supportive costume assistant, and their two cats... who have not.
Betty Peters (Rehearsal Assistant) has been the rehearsal assistant for several Curtain Players productions. She also serves as archivist and reservationist for CP. In addition to her love of theater, Betty enjoys listening to classical music and watching women's basketball.
Ashley Schuliger (Will Stutely) is ecstatic to be performing in her first straight play after having been seen in a plethora of musicals, including Worthington Community Theater’s “Hairspray” and Olentangy High School’s “Urinetown”. Ashley has enjoyed expressing herself through the performing arts for years. Recently, Ashley joined Olentangy’s show choir, The Keynotes, and she has started to write her own music, which can be viewed on the YouTube channel, volleydog26. Along with the arts, Ashley enjoys rowing, solving mathematical equations, and wearing two different shoes. Ashley would like to thank her family, goldfish, the production team, and all others who made this possible!
Kelsey Schuliger (Wulfwyn/Lefwen) is very excited to be performing her first ever outdoor show! Kelsey has been doing shows since she was young. Last summer, she performed in “Seussical” with Westerville Parks and Recreation. She is an 8th grader at Shanahan Middle School where she was Mrs. Merkle in “Bye, Bye Birdie Jr.” Aside from acting, Kelsey enjoying writing books! Kelsey would LOVE to thank her little sister, her mother, her dad, her different-shoed sister and her pets. She would also like to thank Keely, the rest of the crew, and the talented cast for making this all possible.
Mark Schuliger (Friar Tuck) is excited to be appearing onstage with two of his daughters in this wonderful production. Mark studied and performed in Los Angeles for many years before moving back to his hometown in 2005. Since then, he has appeared on various stages around Columbus, culminating in last year’s performances as Thenardier in Gallery Players’ “Les Miserables” and the Cat in Westerville Civic’s “Seussical”. Past Curtain Players appearances include “Dinner with Friends”, “Darkside”, and “The Shadow Box”. Much love to his wife, Kathy, and his three daughters, Allison, Kelsey, and Ashley.
Paula Shtein (Scarlett/Kima/Marian us.) is a Vocal Performance major at Capital University’s Conservatory of Music. Paula may have last been seen as Jo March in Little Women at Star Performance Academy. Paula has an album available for purchase on iTunes and has worked with famed Dave Eggar (Evanescence) and Dina Fanai (Trans-Siberian Orchestra). She can also be found on YouTube. Paula is very excited to be in her first production with Curtain Players and she would like to thank the director for giving her this opportunity and all her family and friends for always supporting her. Paula will next be seen as Olive Ostrovsky at Weathervane Playhouse!
Jeremy Sony (Playwright) is a Columbus writer and past president of Curtain Players. Other plays include: The Last Queen of Wonderland, The Century Box, and Sleepy Hollow: The Lost Chapter. Locally, his work has been staged at Available Light, MadLab, Curtain Players, LTOB, and Theatre Daedalus. Sony received his MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University, and his plays have been seen and developed at Luna Theatre, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Penobscot Theater, and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference among others. Sony lives in central Ohio with his wife and son; they are his endless source of inspiration and love. He is grateful to everyone involved in this production and thrilled to see the first outdoor staging of this adventure. For more about Jeremy's work, please visit jeremywrites.com.
Jason Speicher (Fight Choreographer) is a professional living in the Columbus, working in theatre for more than 15 years. He has been a Fight Choreographer for The Ohio State University, Actor's Theatre of Columbus, Rosebriar Shakespeare Company, Raconteur Theatre, and more throughout central Ohio. His acting credits include roles for Bread and Circus Theatre Company and Actor's Theatre of Columbus, and he's directed for Raconteur Theatre Company and Shots in the Dark.
Vince Staropoli (Original Music and Underscoring) is responsible for composition, performance and production of all the instrumental music involved. This is his 8th production for Curtain Players and he is always impressed with the professionalism of the volunteers who participate. Vince and his whole family live in Westerville, including his wife Judy, their 3 children and their families which include 7 grandchildren. “Working with everyone at Curtain Players is always a privilege. We think the results are amazing. We hope you enjoy the show!”
Drew Washburn (Little John) has appeared on stage and/or designed and built the set and/or designed the lighting for numerous productions in the Columbus area. His recent appearances on stage include Bye, Bye, Birdie with SRO and Music Man with Westerville Civic Theater. His recent set designs include Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and Cemetery Club both for Curtain Players. Drew is a Senior Business Analyst in the software industry. He and his wife, Bonnie, live in Westerville.
Jill Taylor (Queen Eleanor) is grateful to be spending her evenings in the park with these lovely people. She has worked with several theaters in Ohio as well as elsewhere. She received an MFA in acting from Indiana University. She lives and works in Westerville as a Realtor and serves on the board of Curtain Players. Jill has a very understanding and supportive husband and two remarkable children.
Danielle Webster (Lady Joan) of Westerville is very grateful to be part of Curtain Player’s production of Robin Hood and the Secret of Sherwood and would like to thank Keely Kurtis-Chapman and Jeremy Sony for this opportunity to work with such a wonderful cast and crew. Danielle has loved acting on stage since she was eight years old; playing roles including Marjorie in the musical HAIR, chorus in the Opera Columbus production ofLa Boheme, the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical, Cassie Cooper in Rumors, and Kathy in the musical Company. She has a Bachelors Degree of Psychology with a Minor in Music Performance from Otterbein University and an Associates Degree of Nursing from Columbus State Community College. She is currently a Registered Nurse who loves to sing and act in her spare time.
Robin Hood and the Secret of Sherwood, adapted from legend by Jeremy Sony, is presented by Curtain Players Theatre in conjunction with the City of Westerville Parks & Recreation Department. For more information about Curtain Players, visit www.curtainplayers.org.