Rocket City Shakespeare

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Caleb Grissset -- Lucentio, Peter

Caleb, a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College with a BA in Musical Theatre, is thrilled to be a part of the debut show for Rocket City Shakespeare. A special thanks to Mandy and Christa for... well for doing everything! 

Emily Shaffer -- Tranio, Nathaniel

Emily is excited to be onstage again after graduating from UAH in 

December 2012. She was last seen as the Courtesan in another of 

Shakespeare's plays, the Comedy of Errors. She sends thanks to her 

fellow actors and techies, the "Shrew Crew," for making this a fun and 

memorable experience, and to Mandy for including her in this awesome 


Alex DeBacker -- Biondello, Tailor
Alex will soon be graduating from Grissom High School, after which he plans to attend Calhoun Community College for 2 years while getting an associate's degree in music industry communications. This is his first significant role in a major production. Alex also hopes to pursue a career as a singer/song-writer. Alex is also the director's nephew and is excited to share the stage with her.

Chad Allen Thomas -- Baptista

Chad teaches Shakespeare and dramatic literature in the English department at UAH, where his recent theatre work includes Joe Keller in All My Sons (2013) and directing The Comedy of Errors (2011) and The Tempest (2012); prior credits include Theatre Collective (Ann Arbor, MI), Impulse Productions (Denton, TX), Setkani Encounters (Brno, Czech Republic), and Shakespeare in Santa Fe (Santa Fe, NM). In addition to a PhD in English from the University of Michigan, Chad has Master’s degrees in English and Theatre from the University of North Texas and a BFA in Acting from the University of New Mexico.

Marilyn West -- Bianca, Philip

Megan Tompkins -- Kate

Megan is thrilled to be part of RCS' first show. Until now, she has enjoyed being a part of the UAHuntsville theatre program, appearing in productions such as 'The Tempest', 'Autobahn', 'Where the Great Ones Run', 'The Comedy of Errors', and 'The Rimers of Eldritch'. She also appeared in Theatre Huntsville's recent production of '5 Women Wearing the Same Dress'. Megan is humbled and honored that Mandy would entrust her with such a fantastic role as Kate, but also probably more excited than she should be to finally be playing a female in a Shakespeare play (having played a monster and a lady-chasing goldsmith previously). She would like to thank her husband, Scott, for continuously putting up with such a time-consuming obsession. Enjoy the show!

Mandy L. Hughes -- Hortensio, Director

The founder of Rocket City Shakespeare, Mandy is excited that so many amazing people want to come and play Shakespeare with her! Having recently received her MA in English from UAH, Mandy is looking forward to embarking on a PhD prgram in 2015. In the mean time, look for her work in As You Like It, Richard III, and Macbeth, Rocket City Shakespeare's upcoming shows. Thanks go out to awesome friends and family, most especially Vance, Soph, and The Baby X, and to you, the audience.

Kate McNeil -- Gremio

Kate is a senior at UAH, majoring in Communications and double minoring in Theatre and Studio Art.  "The Taming of the Shrew" is her second production, her first was "All My Sons" with the UAH Theatre Mainstage.  She wants to thank her shrew crew for all the laughs and fun times. She would also like to thank her husband, family and friends for being her biggest fans and for all their love and support.

Joel Kreipe -- Petruchio

Joel is a 25 year old photographer, working primarily in the Huntsville community with "Clicks Foto". In addition to photography and music, Joel loves practicing theatre as an art form and has remained actively involved in Huntsville theatre productions for the last eleven years. His favorite parts include Sky Masterson (G&D), Action (WSS), and (in the near future) Prince Charming (ITW). Joel is so excited to be performing Shakespeare on stage with his Rocket City friends! He thanks his family, and his girlfriend Christa for their continued love and support of all his endeavors. "For I am rough, and woo not like a babe."

Adam Perry -- Grumio

Adam's not totally new to Shakespeare, but he is totally new to working in a company! He has a BA in communication arts, and has performed in UAH plays like "The Tempest" and "The Comedy of Errors"...gosh, he's done a lot more Shakespeare than he thought he had! He'd like to thank his girlfriend Alexis and his friends for tolerating the amount of time he's put into this performance.

Joel Yalowitz -- Curtis, understudy

Joel is thrilled to be a part of Taming of the Shrew, his first appearance in a Shakespeare play. He is a radiologist at Decatur Morgan Hospital (where drama is best avoided). Originally from Tennessee, he is approaching five years living in Huntsville. Joel would like to thank his wife Nicole, family, friends, and the amazing cast and crew of the production for all their support.

Marcelia Jackson -- Merchcant, Widow

Marcelia is no stranger to the stage. She is excited to be on stage after a year-long hiatus. She supports all things Mandy. So sit back, talk back, and enjoy this full theater experience. 

Amy Landreneau -- Vincentio, Servant to Baptista

Amy is more than delighted to be part of this Shakespeare play with an amazing group of actors and directors! Much thanks to Mandy for taking a chance on this Shakespeare novice!! I am thrilled to be part of this show and the up coming As You Like It! Some of my previous roles have included Olive in Odd Couple Female Version (TH), Bitsy Mae in Sordid Lives (TH), Mrs. Pugh in Annie (LMP) and Ms. Watson in Big (LMP). Break a leg to all you takented peeps in this cast! Thank you for letting me into your world...

Sara Sheehan -- Vincentio, Servant to Baptista

Sara has been involved in the theatrical world since her early teens and has a Bachelor of Arts from UAH in Music & Theatre. Some of her favorite rolls include "Tzeitel" in Fiddler on the Roof, "Audrey" in Little Shop of Horrors, "Lady Prunella" in Cinderella, and "Margawse" in Arthur & the Magic Sword. Sara also spends time behind the stage and will be directing 12 Dancing Princesses for Fantasy Playhouse in Spring 2015.

Christa Reaves -- Assistant Director

Christa is so proud to be a part of Rocket City Shakespeare’s inaugural performance! Christa’s previous experience on the tech side ranges from student directing The Importance of Being Earnest to working props and “additional percussion” on 1776. Recently, she was seen on stage in Les Miserables, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress. Look for her onstage this summer in Into the Woods and As You Like It!

Josh Heard -- Production Manager/Technical Director

Josh spends most of his time as an experienced law enforcement professional, but when he isn't fighting crime and keeping the world safe he is the Production Manager for Rocket City Shakespeare. He has worked back stage as a production assistant/production tech for more than fifteen years, and gained a great deal of experience under the guidance of some of the Tennessee Valley’s best theatre production professionals. They say this cat Josh is one bad mother... Shut Your Mouth! 

Steven LaMar -- Stage Manager

Steven was recently onstage as Abraham Klein in Theatre Huntsville’s production of Arsenic & Old Lace and in Fantasy Playhouse’s production of Peter Pan as Mr. Smee.  Stage management credits include TH’s It’s a Wonderful Life and FP’s The Wizard of Oz.  Steven would like to thank Mandy Hughes and the outstanding cast for this opportunity as well as his lovely wife Melani for her loving support.  When not on stage Steven works as a REALTOR® with Crye-Leike and at the Apple Store at Bridge Street.

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