Mark Twain's River of Song Cast and Creatives

 

BUY TICKETS

 

Dan Hiatt
Valisia Lekae
Tony Marcus
Rondrell McCormick
Chic Street Man
Randal Myler
Dan Wheetman
Jill C. Bowers
David Lee Cuthbert
Steven B. Mannshardt
Jeff Mockus
Jeffrey Lo
Taylor McQuesten
Emily Anderson Wolf
Robert Kelley
Phil Santora

 

 

DAN HIATT (Mark Twain) most recently performed at TheatreWorks as Tom in The Imperialists in this year’s New Works Festival. Other favorites in his TheatreWorks career include: The 39 Steps, Upright Grand, The Pitman Painters, Twentieth Century, and Ambition Facing West. Other Bay Area credits include: Vanity Fair, Father Comes Home from the Wars, and The Birthday Party at American Conservatory Theater; Nicholas Nickleby, Hamlet, Pastures of Heaven, Arms and the Man, and many others at California Shakespeare Theater; Wittenberg at Aurora Theatre Co.; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Dinner With Friends at Berkeley Rep; and Anne Boleyn at Marin Theatre Co. Additional regional theatre cred-its include: Yale Rep, Shakespeare Theatre Co. DC, Theatre Calgary, Seattle Rep, Arizona Theatre Co., Pasadena Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Co., and Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC.

 

VALISIA LEKAE (Ensemble) was nominated for Grammy and Tony Awards for her performance as Diana Ross in the Broadway production of Motown the Musical. She previously appeared as Emmie in TheatreWorks’ Caroline, or Change. Since then she has been on Broadway in a multitude of Tony-nominated productions such as The Three Penny Opera110 in the ShadeRagtime, and The Book of Mormon. National tours: All Shook Up (Lorraine), Mamma Mia! (Lisa). Off-Broadway and regional: Almost HeavenRock and Roll Man (Lavern Baker), Oklahoma (Laurey), Dreamgirls (Deena Jones), Godspell (Joanne), and more. TV: The BlacklistBlue Bloods, and the 60th and 67th Annual Tony Awards. She has received Grammy, Tony, Theatre World, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Ms. LeKae is an ovarian cancer survivor honored by the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, and Look Good Feel Better. She is a graduate of the University of Tenessee, Knoxville. Love to Ash, BRS/Gage, my family and friends. twitter @valisialekae www.valisialekae.com

 

TONY MARCUS (Ensemble) has been playing music on many instruments for 50 years. His TheatreWorks credits include It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues and Fire on the Mountain (as well as many other productions of the latter). He has performed in Woody Guthrie’s American Song at Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, and Marin Theatre Co.; Lost Highway at Center REP; Almost Heaven and Appalachian Strings at Denver Center Theatre Co. Musical adventures have included performing with acts such as The Cheap Suit Serenaders, Cats & Jammers, Geoff Muldaur, The Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, The Sons of the San Joaquin, and many more. He currently performs with Patrice Haan in the vocal duo Leftover Dreams and with the band Crying Time.

 

RONDRELL McCORMICK (Ensemble) is thrilled to throw paint on the wall with TheatreWorks. Mr. McCormick’s theatre credits include As You Like It (Oliver/Corin– SF Shakespeare Festival), Between Riverside and Crazy (Junior–San Jose Stage Co.); Graveyard Shift (Kane –SF Playhouse); Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Adrian–Center REP); All’s Well That Ends Well (Duke of Florence– Shakespeare and Co.); and A Christmas Carol (Businessman–American Conservatory Theater). His TV credits include February One (PBS) and Channel 00 (Spike). Creator of The Wesley’s, Black Women Talking, and Highway Theater’s Vol. 1 A Post Racial America, he is an alum-nus of Sundance’s Theater Lab at MASS MoCA (Bella: An American Tall Tale). Mr. McCormick studied theatre at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and earned an MFA in acting at American Conservatory Theater. 

 

CHIC STREET MAN (Ensemble) has composed the music and starred in the Off-Broadway hit show, Spunk, adapted by George C. Wolfe; Berkeley Rep’s production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Cleveland Playhouse’s world premiere of Touch the Names. He was a contributing author and performer for the Denver Center Theatre Co.’s It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues. Arranger, Musical Director and Composer for McCarter Theatre and Berkeley Rep’s production of Polk County. He played the role of “Slow Drag” in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at Seattle Rep, Professor Slick in Pullman Porter Blues at Seattle Rep, Arena Stage in DC, and Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and Rev. Gary Davis in the Vineyard Playhouse pro-duction of Search: Paul Clayton,  and has starred in Low Down Dirty Blues. www.chicstreetman.com

 

RANDAL MYLER (Co-Author and Director) previously directed and co-authored both Fire on the Mountain and It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues at TheatreWorks. Mr. Myler was nominated for a Tony Award for It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues (Lincoln Center/Ambassador Theater) and his numerous successful Off-Broadway credits include writing and directing Hank Williams Lost Highway (Little Shubert) and Love, Janis (Village Gate). His dozens of regional theatre directorial credits include The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Seattle Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mark Taper Forum, The Old Globe, Milwaukee Rep, Denver Center Theatre Co., The Grand Ole Opry, Arizona Theatre Co., Bucks County Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Northlight Theatre, and many others.

 

 DAN WHEETMAN (Ensemble) (Co-Author, Musical Director, Composer, and Ensemble) is very happy to be returning to TheatreWorks. Last time he was here was with his production of Fire on the Mountain. He is a playwright, a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, actor, and award-winning musical director. His plays, Mama Hated Diesels; Back Home Again; Fire on the Mountain; and the Tony-nominated, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, have been produced in theatres throughout America. He was a member of John Denver’s band, opened for two years for Steve Martin, recorded a 78rpm record with R. Crumb, and wrote a Christmas song for Kermit the Frog. He recently released his 3rd CD, The Road Home.

 

JILL C. BOWERS (Costume Design) has designed costumes for many TheatreWorks productions since 1986, including Marie and Rosetta, Constellations, The Velocity of Autumn, Fire on the Mountain, The Lake Effect, Marry Me A Little, The Mountaintop, Opus, Doubt, Into the Woods (2005), Heart Land (world premiere), Under Milk Wood, and Into the Woods (1990—Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award). As Costume Director at American Musical Theatre of San Jose (1997–2004), she oversaw the creation of many new productions including The Music Man and 3hree Musketeers. She holds an MFA in Design from University of Minnesota and a BA in Theatre and Communication from University of Michigan.

 

DAVID LEE CUTHBERT (Scenic and Media Designer) has designed previously for TheatreWorks: scenery and media for The 39 Steps (2019), Frost/Nixon, media for Calligraphy, lighting for Third, and lighting/media for Wild With Happy. He lit Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays on Broadway and its subsequent US, Canadian, and Australian tours, as well as the HBO film. Off-Broadway, his lighting and projections for The Snow Queen won the award for best overall design at 2014’s New York Musical Theatre Festival, and his scenic and lighting design for The History (and Mystery) of the Universe has been seen at major theatres across the country. He was a regular collaborator at San Jose Rep, and is a frequent collaborator at Opera San José. Mr. Cuthbert is the Theater Department Chair and a Professor of Design at UC Santa Cruz.

 

STEVEN B. MANNSHARDT (Lighting Designer) has been the lighting designer for over 70 productions at TheatreWorks, having won numerous Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Theatre Bay Area, and Dean Goodman Choice Awards for his work. His regional design credits include Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven; A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle; American Repertory Theater, Cambridge; Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo; Magic Theatre; and Pasadena Playhouse. Mr. Mannshardt currently teaches lighting design and stage management at San Jose State University and previously taught lighting design at Santa Rosa Junior College. He also runs an organization dedicated to improving the education system for both children and adults in Nepal. www.nepal.wwep.org

 

JEFF MOCKUS (Sound Designer) designed TheatreWorks’ Tuck Everlasting, Native Gardens, The Bridges of Madison County, The Four Immigrants, Rags, Crimes of the Heart, Daddy Long Legs, tokyo fish story, Jane Austen’s EMMA, Sweeney Todd, Once on This Island, Silent Sky, Little Women, Being Earnest, Big River, Of Mice and Men, The Secret Garden, Fly By Night, Superior Donuts, and [title of show]. His recent work includes African American Shakespeare Co.’s Macbeth, Center REP’s Murder For Two, and The Western Stage’s Of Mice and Men, a musical drama. He served as Resident Sound Designer for San Jose Rep on over 70 productions, and has credits with American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, Marin Theatre Co., Asian American Theater Co., Sledgehammer Theatre, San Diego Rep, PCPA Theaterfest, A Contemporary Theatre, Huntington Theatre Co., Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

 

JEFFREY LO (Casting Director) directed TheatreWorks’ productions of The Language Archive and The Santaland Diaries. A Filipino-American director and playwright, his additional directing credits include Vietgone at Capital Stage, Between Riverside and Crazy at San Jose Stage Co., and Noises Off and Peter and the Starcatcher at Hillbarn Theatre. He is the recipient of the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, the Arts Council Silicon Valley Emerging Artist Laureate, and Theatre Bay Area Director’s TITAN Award. In addition to his work on stage, Mr. Lo does work nationally promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the arts. He is a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute and a proud alumnus of the UC Irvine Drama Department. JeffreyWritesAPlay.com

 

TAYLOR McQUESTEN (Stage Manager) currently splits her time between the Bay Area and London, working as a proud AEA stage manager, production manager, master electrician, technician, and stuntwoman. Involved in theatre, film, music, live events, festivals, and political conventions, past credits include San Francisco Sketchfest (Assistant Technical Director), California Shakespeare Theater (Master Electrician), Legion A/V (Head of Lighting), Davenriche European Martial Artes School (Swordswoman), The Independent SF (Lighting Technician), Highlander Films (Production Assistant), American Conservatory Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Center REP, Cabrillo Stage, Hillbarn Theatre, Magic Theatre, and more. She has worked as a stage manager with TheatreWorks since 2013, and is honored to be a part of the company’s landmark 50th season!

 

EMILY ANDERSON WOLF (Assistant Stage Manager) has been the Assistant Stage Manager for TheatreWorks’ Archduke, Frost/Nixon, Fun Home, Finks, The Prince of Egypt, Rags, Crimes of the Heart, Jane Austen’s EMMATriangle, Fire on the Mountain, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sweeney Todd, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Little Women, and Other Desert Cities. She was also the Assistant Stage Manager for ThreeSixty Entertainment’s First National Tour of Peter Pan; Journey to the West at the New York Musical Theatre Festival; and with American Musical Theatre of San Jose. Ms. Wolf also works as a stage-hand throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. She holds a BA in Theatre, Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College.

 

ROBERT KELLEY (Artistic Director) is a Bay Area native and Stanford University graduate. He founded TheatreWorks in 1970 and has directed over 175 TheatreWorks productions, including many world and regional premieres. He has received a 2019 Avenidas Lifetimes of Achievement Award, the Silicon Valley Arts Council’s Legacy Laureate Award; the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Paine Knickerbocker Award and Jerry Friedman Award for Lifetime Achievement; BATCC Awards for Outstanding Direction for The Hound of the Baskervilles; Into the Woods; Pacific Overtures; Rags; Sweeney Todd; Another Midsummer Night; Sunday in the Park with George; Jane Eyre; and Caroline, or Change; and the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Daddy Long Legs. He recently directed Marie and Rosetta, Tuck Everlasting, Fun Home, and The Bridges of Madison County.

 

PHIL SANTORA (Executive Director) joined TheatreWorks in 2007. He has served as Managing Director of Northlight Theatre (Chicago) and Georgia Shakespeare Festival (Atlanta), as well as Development Director for Great Lakes Theatre Festival (Cleveland) and George Street Playhouse (New Brunswick). He holds an MFA in Theatre Administration from the Yale School of Drama and a BA in Drama from Duke University. He has served as Vice President of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Board. Prior board service also includes the League of Chicago Theatres, Atlanta Coalition of Theatres, and the executive commit-tee of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). He was named 2000’s Best Arts Administrator by Atlanta Magazine and received the Atlanta Arts and Business Council’s 1998 ABBY Award for Arts Administrator.