Kathy Caruso Spirito
Great to be back on stage. Have a degree in speech theater. Retired from teaching for 32 years. Have performed at Manhattan theater company, and many community theaters throughout New Jersey.
Allie is thrilled to return to Playhouse 22 for Theatre Fest! Allie's favorite past roles include Antonia in Man of La Mancha here at Playhouse 22, Woman 2 in Edges at Villagers Theatre, Philaminte in The Learned Ladies at Muhlenberg Theatre, Fastrada in Pippin with Young Adult Drama Group, and many many more throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. She is a 2014 graduate of Muhlenberg College and holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts. Love to her husband, Adam, dog, Oreo, and her family. She dedicates all performances to her mother, Susan.
Emilio is honored to he help bring to life the characters created by talented playwrights Rich Fowler and Keith Whalen. The actors have embraced their roles and made the characters their own. Emilio is fairly new to directing, but has acted for many years with multiple theater companies throughout Central NJ in shows like ‘Rumors’, ‘You Can’t Take it With You’, ‘Lend me a Tenor, ‘Wake Me at Midnight’ and ‘A Few Good Men’. He is grateful to be a part of this festival and to be working for the first time with the true professionals of Playhouse 22. Emilio is thrilled to be performing for the very first time with his daughter Serena, who is the real artist of the family.
Serena is excited to be making her stage debut. She is a Junior at Marist College majoring in Art and Psychology. Next year in spring 2022, Serena plans to spend a semester abroad in Florence, Italy. Follow her artwork on Instagram at art_by_serena.
Noga Darwish is a 20 year old college student at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is part of the Acapella group and has been part of the honors' choir throughout her high school years -- got to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2017. All she needs is a piano and a small space, and that's where the magic happens! She believes music has healing powers and has the ability to bring a community together. Her motto is: Sing with a purpose...like you have a secret that only melodies can convey. That's what she hopes the audience takes away from a performance.
Charles is an itinerant actor, commuting from his home near Red Bank to theaters in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties. He has performed in Dramas (Of Mice and Men, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Diary of Anne Frank) Comedies (Odd Couple, Room Service) Mysteries (Dial M for Murder, Mousetrap) and Musicals (Fiorello!, I Do I Do). His noted roles include Friar Lawrence (Romeo & Juliet) Elwood P. Dowd (Harvey), and Shannon (Night of the Iguana).
Fred Dennehy has appeared in dozens of roles in New Jersey community theaters, and at Playhouse 22 as Antonio in “The Merchant of Venice,” Judge Randolph in “A Few Good Men,” Juror #4 in “Twelve Angry Men,” and (for the past ten years) as Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” He has written several plays produced in New Jersey and Off-Off Broadway(four co-written with Lisa Black), six of which have been performed at Playhouse 22. “Messages” was first produced at the Riant Theatre Strawberry Festival in New York City.
Angela Dohl starred as Ethel McCormack in 2019’s summer production of Footloose. Some of her favorite roles include Mazeppa in Gypsy, Sr. Robert Anne in Nunsense, The Narrator in Joseph....., and Hattie in Kiss Me Kate. Angela’s first role at Playhouse 22 was Frenchy in Grease in 1986, since then she has done every job imaginable around the theater and some you couldn't possibly imagine! She currently serves as Treasurer for the Board of Directors. Angela has also appeared locally at Plays in the Park, Villagers, Circle, SVP, and EVP. She is a cantor at St. Francis Cathedral in Metuchen and serves as co-director of Kids of the Kingdom and Assistant Director of the Junior Choir. Angela is also the Events Manager for Rise Up Chorus. Fun fact, Angela is a chemical engineer and has her own environmental consulting business. Angela and her husband have successfully raised three sons and are working on getting the last one out of the house!
Talia is so excited to be performing in Playhouse 22’s “Theatre Fest ‘21”! Talia is currently an incoming Sophomore at the Academy for Performing Arts high school, and loves to immerse herself in all things theatre! She was previously in “Playhouse 22 Goes to the Movies!” singing “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton. Most recently, Talia performed in “Heroes vs Villains Cabaret” at Pebble Players, “Forward Through the Past: A Musical Revue” at the Academy for Performing Arts as a featured soloist, and also Pebble Player’s production of “Disenchanted”, where she played Belle. She is so excited to be a part of another performance with Playhouse 22!
Ed has worked in several theaters in New Jersey and New York over the past 30 years. His directing credits include Heisenberg, The Normal Heart, Sylvia, and Body Awareness. During the past 16 months, Ed has been part of several play readings, including playing the title role in King Lear and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night. Among his many prior acting credits are Prospero in The Tempest, Juror #8 in Twelve Angry Men, the Old Man in Prelude to a Kiss, Angus in The Drawer Boy and Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing. Ed has delayed his annual trip to his beloved Outer Banks to be here today. It is a gift to be with a live audience again.
Richard grew up in NYC and graduated from The High School of Music and Art. He has a number of credits as a performer but prefers being behind the scenes, making new “friends” and watching great actors like Emilio, Amy and Serena embody them. Full-lengths performed locally include “The Dance of the Laundress”; “Crooks and Cupcakes” and “Cemeteries, Garlic Knots and a Whole Lot of Other Things”. Thanks, Kathy and thanks, Adam.
AMY GArLAND GOLDMAN
Amy is thrilled to be back on stage after a 2 year absence. Some of her favorite roles include M’Lynn (Steel Magnolias), Florence (The Odd Couple-female version), Sara (The Sisters Rosensweig), Bea (Lovers and Other Strangers), and Ethel (Barefoot in the Park).
She would like to thank Emilio for casting her, his insightful direction, and the added plus of working with his talented daughter Serena. Also, thank you to Richard Fowler for the great lines and monologues! Lastly, Amy wants to thank her family for all their support and encouragement.
Morgan Hope is an actor, signer, and dancer who resides in central New Jersey. She is a recent college graduate from Kean University, where she got her BFA in Theatre Performance. Morgan’s most recent productions she’s been a part of were Twelfth Night (Sebastian), Sister Act (Mary Martin of Tours/ Dance Captain), and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged (Jess). When she’s not doing anything theatre related, Morgan enjoys playing scrabble and taking pictures of her cats.
Crystal is thrilled to be performing live again and with her favorite accompanist and dear friend, François. She has loved every role she has portrayed, including Glinda in Wizard of Oz, Helen Bechdel in Fun Home, Fiona in Shrek, Maria in the Sound of Music, and Marian in the Music Man to name a few. She is also on the Board of Directors at the Villagers Theatre. One of her other roles is that of a 5th grade teacher and drama club director in the South Brunswick School District. She is obsessed with her Boston Terrier puppies and loves Taco Bell.
Kyle Javon’s last show was with Raisin A Musical, a musical adaptation of the landmark play, A Raisin in the Sun, at the Union County Performing Arts Center, directed by Khy Garner. He has taken some time off from performing to focus on school and work but now he is thrilled to be back to the stage performing here.
Alexis Kozak teaches theatre arts at Middletown High School South, where he often writes the fall play. He has published The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, the only current dramatic adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eponymous short story. He also has a scene book for high school actors called The Greatest of All Time, carried by Eldridge Publishing. He loves theatre, soccer, reading, and his family…in no particular order.
Visit his website at www.alexiskozak.com
Favorite roles: Martha/WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLFF; Charlotte Hays/MOON OVER BUFFALO; Maggie /CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF; among many others. Lynn has won two Perry Awards for Best Actress along with five nominations. Last year her play "Free Range Cows" was chosen to be produced at Chatham Players Jersey Voices. Thank you Fred for a beautiful play and Ed for choosing me. So happy to have theatre back!!!
Zach Love is thrilled to be back on the stage here at Playhouse 22, having performed in their Valentine's Cabaret this past February! Some other credits of his Playhouse 22 credits include Don Quixotre/Miguel de Cervantes in Man of La Mancha, and Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie. Other favorites include Seussical the Musical (Horton the Elephant) 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (William Barfeé). By day, Zach is the theatre teacher for Hightstown High School and Melvin H. Keeps Middle School over in East Windsor, as well as an acting and vocal coach at Theatrical Artist’s Prep in Scotch Plains, and has also read all of the Harry Potter books over 15 times each. Live theatre is back!!
I am so excited to be back on stage at Playhouse 22 and performing in front of a live audience again. I’m a Junior at Montclair State University majoring in Family Sciences and Human Development with a teaching certificate to teach grades K-6. I love working with kids and someday hope to be a Kindergarten teacher. That is, if my real dream of being on Broadway doesn’t happen. Covid and College have cut into my theater time over the past 3 years, but I have been performing in Community and school productions since I was 7 years old and have appeared over 30 shows. My first show with Playhouse 22 was Gypsy back in 2012, since then I have also appeared in A Christmas Carol, Sunday in the Park with George, The Producers and in the as Ariel in Footloose. I am a member of the Playhouse 22 Repertory Board and love working with such a great team, who are like family.
Asia McKnight currently is a theatre teaching assistant at McCarter Theatre. She is a recent theatre performance graduate from Kean University. Her past acting experiences include playing Asia in "Healing Voices" a reading performed at McCarter Theatre, Grace in "An Octoroon," Hippolyta in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and Moon in "Blood Wedding." She is also a dancer and have choreographed a lot of productions at her time at Kean University.
Taye McQueen is a SAG-AFTRA actress. She holds BAs in Musical Theatre, Psychology, and Criminology and just completed her first Masters in Forensic Psychology. She will continue her education with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling at NYU in September. Ms. McQueen was last seen as Erzulie, the Goddess of Love in Once in This Island and Effie White on the International tour of Dreamgirls, in Tokyo. She lists among favorite roles include: Charlaine in Ain’t Misbehavin, Mimi in Rent, and Kate in IF/THEN. And she is the 2017 Fearless Icon winner, a penguin enthusiast and has a 6 month old Havenese puppy named Oreo!
Molly had the pleasure of spending years in television and film, most remembered as Miss Molly from Romper Room and Friends. The last time she performed locally was as Mrs. McConnell in Dragonfly Multicultural Arts Center’s production of Slightly off. Molly has also played Aunt Spiker and The Spider in James and The Giant Peach, Aunt Eller in Oklahoma and Vera Charles in Mame.
Emily Niemeyer graduated with a dual degree in Music and Theatre, and is currently pursuing her M.M in Classical Vocal Performance. Emily has been seen on and off stage as a Actor, Singer, Stage Manager, Director, and Props Artisan in both community and professional companies throughout New Jersey. She is thrilled her play Appointment At Three has been selected for Theatre Fest 21' , as it is very close to her heart.
Vic Pater (Amanda) is a sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, studying TV and Film Production. Favorite roles include Martha in Heathers, Rosie in Mamma Mia!, and Amelia in “Two Leopards Climbing a Fire Escape.” She has been nominated for Basie Teen and College Film Festival awards for Best Actress.
Jeff was last seen on stage at Playhouse 22 in their production of Sunday in the Park with George as George. Notable roles: Captain Von Trapp, Sound of Music; Professor Behr, Little Women; Archibald and Neville Craven, The Secret Garden; The Baker and Jack, Into the Woods; and Fabrizio Naccarelli, Light in the Piazza. Jeff is professional dog show handler specializing in West Highland White Terriers. He thinks he has a green thumb when it comes to gardening. But what does he know, he's color blind.
Jake Rosenthal is excited to be an Emcee for Theatre Fest ’21. This is his first time working with Playhouse 22. He is a graduate of Clark University with a degree in Theatre Arts and Political Science. His credits include roles such as Antipholus of Ephesus in Comedy of Errors, Norman Kreiger in The Extremists, Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q, and King Triton in the Little Mermaid. He also served as assistant technical director for the 6th bi-annual New Play Festival and as Construction Chief for Clark Musical Theatre. His interests outside of theatre include rock music and live streaming on Twitch.
Elizabeth Rzasa is so grateful to come back to Playhouse 22 to perform with some of her favorite people -- welcome back to live theatre! Previous Playhouse 22 roles include Rosa Bud/Miss Deirdre Peregrine in THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (Lead Actress in a Musical 2020 NJACT Perry Awards Nomination) and Katarina Cavalieri in AMADEUS (Supporting Actress in a Play 2015 NJACT Perry Awards Nomination). Some favorite roles across the tristate area include the title characters in MARY POPPINS and PETER PAN, Marian (THE MUSIC MAN), Maria (THE SOUND OF MUSIC), Lily (THE SECRET GARDEN), Ida (Honk! – Lead Actress in a Musical 2007 NJACT Perry Awards Nomination), and the Ghost of Christmas Past (SCROOGE, 2013 NJACT Perry Award for Featured Actress in a Musical). She will soon be appearing as Grace Farrell in Trilogy Repertory’s upcoming August production of ANNIE.
Laura is a fiction writer, actress, and wildlife animal enthusiast. She was voted, ‘most likely to join a circus.’ She’s excited to return to the stage at Playhouse 22 and be a part of Theater Fest 21. Thank you for supporting the local arts and enjoy the show!
Sami is so excited to be performing live for the first time in a year. She is a senior musical theater major and Ithaca College. Favorite shows include: Paulette in Legally Blonde, Berthe in Pippin and a Member of the Douglas Lyons song Cycle titled Moments. An interesting fact about Sami is that she loves country music and will be moving to Nashville after school.
François Suhr is a music teacher in the South Brunswick School District as well as a pianist and music director for a variety of theatre companies and schools across the state of New Jersey. His most recent music directing projects include Catch Me If You Can, Newsies, West Side Story, and Miss Saigon at the Kelsey Theatre, a series of cabaret concerts with Playhouse 22 and Newsies, In the Heights, and Seussical with Phoenix Productions. In addition to music directing, François also enjoys singing and acting, and was last seen on the Kelsey Theatre stage as Warren in Ordinary Days. Other favorite roles include Paul in A Chorus Line (Villagers), Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (Villagers), and Patsy in Spamalot (SVP).
Brianne Theocharides (Emcee) is festival ready in her first creative venture with the beautiful folx at Playhouse 22! A Stockton University alum (go Ospreys!) with a B.A. in Literature/Theatre Studies, she is no stranger to onstage fun. Brianne most recently lent her larynx live and out of lockdown as Sam in the original sci-fi radio play “The Opening” (2021) with the ReThink Theatrical On Air family. She regularly enjoys hosting an array of corporate and creative events and endeavors at work as a fintech project integrations specialist and is beyond excited to return to her pre-pandemic live music hobby/obsession in her “spare time”. Big ups and break legs to the Theater Fest 21 crew, and THANK YOU to our community supporters! After all: The ‘Earth’ without ‘Art’ is just ‘Eh’.
Keith’s plays have been produced across the country. Recently, his play “White Angel” won Best Play in Theatre Odyssey’s Ten-Minute Play Festival. His play “Youth for Dark” won Best Play in the “Tales from the Brookside” Festival, and is a finalist in the 46th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. His comedy “Prisoner of Love” won Best New Script and Audience Favorite in the Theatre Workshop of Owensboro’s Summer Shorts festival. When he’s not writing plays, Keith also writes sketch comedy. Proud member of The Dramatists Guild.
Katy was last seen on the Playhouse 22 virtual stage performing in Pride22 with her very talented husband. Other recent credits include Medium Alison in Fun Home and Marty in Grease, but her favorite role is being a new mommy to her 10-month-old son, Theodore.
Ray Zipf & Neil Nemetz
Ray and Neil have had individual careers in teaching and performance as schooled musicians out of TCNJ and the Berkeley School of Music respectively. Together they first played in the pit when Ray was musical directing “Anything Goes “ for Playhouse 22 Since then, they have played together not only with orchestras and bands, but as a duo in restaurants, nightclubs, and pubs in the Tri-State area. During the Pandemic, they performed nightly at Focacceria restaurant in Basking Ridge. Currently they can found doing shows at the Washington House also in Basking Ridge, as well as special outreach performances for the wonderful “Rise Up Chorus” in local venues all over Middlesex County.
(L-R Neil Nemetz & Ray Zipf)
Period Productions is a theme-based entertainment company headquartered in Central New Jersey and working throughout the Tri-State area! They offer customized shows and performances for any type of event such as school programs, weddings, corporate events, Renaissance festivals, and county fairs, just to name a few! Period Productions draws upon a varied collection of performers and educators to bring specialized entertainment to your event, and to provide your group, wedding or classroom with an experience that they will remember for a lifetime!