It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Cast and Creatives


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TODD CERVERIS (Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood) has appeared in Theatreworks’ New Works Initiative readings of Nan and the Lower Body and And/Orlando. Broadway: South Pacific and Twentieth Century. Off- Broadway: Southern Comfort, Almost Maine, Yours Unfaithfully, A Man for All Seasons, Let Me Spell It Out For You, and The Booth Variations. National tours: War Horse, Spring Awakening, and Twelve Angry Men. Regional theaters: A.C.T., Arena Stage, Cleveland Play House, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Philadelphia Theatre Co., Denver Center Theatre Co., The Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kansas City Rep, Northern Stage, Portland Stage Co. Film/tv: One True Thing, FBI: Most Wanted, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Homeland, Madame Secretary, Allegiance, Nurse Jackie, White Collar, and Law & Order.


SARITA OCÓN (Sally Applewhite) is thrilled to make her TheatreWorks debut. Regional credits include American Conservatory Theater, Arizona Theatre Co., Berkeley Rep, BRAVA Theater Center, California Shakespeare Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Golden Thread Productions, Huntington Theatre Company, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Oakland Theater Project, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, PlayMakers Rep, Round House Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, ShadowLight Productions, South Coast Rep, Teatro Visión, among others. Awards: TCG Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship, Akonadi Foundation Beloved Community Award, Center for Cultural Innovation Investing In Artists Award, California Arts Council Local Impact Award, the RHE Charitable Foundation Artistic Fellowship. Ocón received her BA from Stanford University. She is an Associate Artist with Oakland Theater Project, a company member of HERO Theatre, and an inaugural member of the Cal Shakes Artist Circle.


LUISA SERMOL (Lana Sherwood) is delighted to return to TheatreWorks after They Promised Her the Moon (Helena, et al) and Archduke (Sladjana). New York credits include Broadway: Roundabout Theatre Co. (Hamlet), Lincoln Center (Tennessee and His Women), Classic Stage Co. (Macbeth). Regional work includes Portland Center Stage (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Williamstown Theatre Festival (Romeo and Juliet, A Little Night Music, The Maids), Artists Repertory Theatre (The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, The Humans, Cuba Libre, The Goat, Sideman, Three Sisters, Master Class, The Night of the Iguana). Other Bay Area credits: City Lights (The Siegel), Hillbarn Theatre (Noises Off, It’s Only a Play). Film/TV include: Grimm, Leverage, Zero Effect, Insect Poetry. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she holds an MAT, is a teaching artist, and is a founding member of the Actors’ Reading Collective (ARC).


MOSES VILLARAMA (George) has performed with TheatreWorks in the benefit reading of Writing Fragments Home and the New Works Festival presentation of tokyo fish story. He was recently seen Off-Broadway in Cambodian Rock Band at Signature Theatre. Moses has performed Off-Broadway with Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, and Ma-Yi Theater Co. His regional credits include five seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, Seattle Rep, Denver Center Theatre Co., St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, and Pig Iron Theatre Co. Moses received his MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory and his BA from the University of San Francisco. Website: Instagram: @themightymos


PHIL WONG (Freddie Fillmore) is a theatre artist, writer, and musician from Oakland, California aka xučyun (unceded Ohlone land), last seen at TheatreWorks as Frank in Min Kahng’s The Four Immigrants. Credits include work with California Shakespeare Theater, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Word for Word, Shotgun Players, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Hillbarn Theatre, Quantum Dragon Theatre, The EXIT, Palo Alto Players, Lamplighters, Killing My Lobster, Los Altos Stage Co., and Ray of Light Theatre. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, a member of the first Bay Area #BARS Cohort, and received physical theatre training at the Accademia dell’ Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Phil is also co-founder of Bay Area Theatre Cypher, a collective of artists at the crossfader of Theatre and Hip Hop. He has been active in his community since he was very young and is constantly working to make his art more conscious, empathetic, relevant, and revolutionary.


CASSIDY BROWN (Understudy) has appeared at TheatreWorks in Fallen Angels (Willy), The Loudest Man on Earth (Man), The 39 Steps (Clown), Distracted (Dr. Jinks) and Doubt (Father Flynn). His regional credits include Berkeley Rep (Imaginary Comforts), San Jose Stage Co. (The 39 Steps), Center Rep (Ella, ART, Don’t Dress for Dinner, The 39 Steps, The Underpants), Marin Shakespeare Co. (Othello, Don Quixote, The Tempest, The Complete History of America), Word for Word (Lucia Berlin: Stories), SF Shakespeare Festival (The Comedy of Errors, King Lear), Aurora Theatre Co. (Safe House, Bosoms and Neglect), Capital Stage (The Thanksgiving Play, The Totalitarians, Hunter Gatherers, The North Plan), and Pacific Rep (Waiting for Godot, Twelfth Night, The Country Wife, God of Carnage, The Winter’s Tale, The Servant of Two Masters). You can also hear him as co-host of the spiritual comedy podcast All the Answers.


MELISSA WOLFKLAIN (Understudy) is so excited that live theatre is back! She broke her Covid fast by appearing in Starting Here, Starting Now at San Francisco Playhouse. For Theatreworks, she originated the role of Mary Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and played Aileen in Tinyard Hill, for which she was nominated for a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. She appeared in the National Tours of 42nd Street and White Christmas, both choreographed by Randy Skinner. Some favorites: Dames at Sea (Joan–Theatre Bay Area Award), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Funny Girl (Fanny Brice), Shrek (Fiona), Peter Pan (Peter Pan), Singin’ in the Rain (Kathy Selden–BATCC Award), and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Phoebe). Follow her on instagram! @melissawolfklain Thanks Mom, Dad, Tyler and Shleeber for your continued love and support.


JOE LANDRY (Adaptor) has written and adapted plays that have been produced across the country and internationally, including It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Reefer Madness, Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play, Eve & Co., Beautiful, Hollywood Babylon, and Numb. Mr. Landry attended Playwrights Horizons at New York University, founded Second Guess Theatre Company in Connecticut, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. He is currently developing new projects for the stage and screen.


GIOVANNA SARDELLI (Director) is TheatreWorks’ Artistic Associate and Director of New Works, and she is thrilled to be directing on-stage for TheatreWorks once again. Her last production was They Promised Her the Moon. Prior TheatreWorks credits: Archduke, Finks, Crimes of the Heart, The Velocity of Autumn, The North Pool, The Lake Effect, and Somewhere. She will be directing Nan and the Lower Body (NWF 2019) for TheatreWorks later this season. She directed Describe the Night (Obie Award Best New Play, TW New Works Festival 2014) at Atlantic Theater Co.,the World Premiere of Archduke (TW NWF 2016) at Mark Taper Forum, and her production of An Entomologist’s Love Story (TW NWF 2014) had its World Premiere at San Francisco Playhouse. She has directed and developed plays around the country. Sardelli holds an MFA in Acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.


CATHLEEN EDWARDS (Costume Design) happily returns for her 16th season at TheatreWorks where her previous shows include The 39 Steps (2019), Frost/Nixon, Crimes of the Heart, Somewhere, Grey Gardens, Triangle, Once on This Island, The Elephant Man, and more. She is well-established in the Bay Area, having designed for many of the regional theatres. When not designing for the live stage she works in film, television, and commercials. Among her awards are two Dramalogue and two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards. A member of both United Scenic Artists and Theatrical Wardrobe Unions, she strongly believes in guiding those who are learning their craft, preparing them for careers and enabling them to pass this knowledge on to future generations.


CHRISTOPHER FITZER (Scenic Design) is currently TheatreWorks’ Properties Director and a freelance scenic designer in the Bay Area. He previously designed They Promised Her the Moon, The Santaland Diaries, and Marie and Rosetta for TheatreWorks. His other design credits include productions at San Francisco Playhouse, Aspen Opera Theater Center, World Literature Today’s Puterbaugh Festival, Captial Stage, San Jose Stage Co., Hillbarn Theatre, Woodminster Summer Musicals, Oklahoma City Theatre Co., Flat Rock Playhouse, Los Altos Stage Co., Douglas Morrisson Theatre, Palo Alto Players, and Foothill Music Theatre. He has held production and artistic positions at Aspen Music Festival, Curtis Opera Theatre at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Dallas Summer Musicals. He holds a BFA in drama from the University of Oklahoma.


STEVEN B. MANNSHARDT (Lighting Design) has been the lighting designer for over 90 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. He currently teaches lighting design and stage management at San Jose State University and previously taught lighting design at Santa Rosa Junior College. Mr. Mannshardt also runs an organization dedicated to improving the education system for both children and adults in Nepal.


TAYLOR MCQUESTEN (Stage Manager, she/her) is in her ninth season at TheatreWorks, where favorite credits include: Lizard Boy, The Language Archive, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, tokyo fish story, Frost/Nixon, and Tuck Everlasting. Other select credits include EVAN+ZANE (tour manager), SF Sketchfest (Assistant Technical Director), California Shakespeare Theater (Master Electrician), Dead Equal performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Assistant Stage Manager), Legion A/V (Technician), DEMAS (Swordswoman), Highlander Films (Production Assistant), ACT, Center REPertory Co., The Independent SF, Cabrillo Stage, Hillbarn Theatre, Magic Theatre, and more. McQuesten also trains mêlée weapons at Davenriche European Martial Arts School under master swordsman Sir Steaphen Fick. She’s excited for TheatreWorks’ holiday return to the Lucie Stern!


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, Hold These Truths at San Francisco Playhouse, and The Great Leap and Between Riverside and Crazy at San Jose Stage Co. 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.


JANE SHAW (Sound Design) previously designed TheatreWorks’ production of They Promised Her the Moon. New York: Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, Theatre for a New Audience, Mint Theater Co., National Black Theatre, Repertorio Español, New York Theatre Workshop, Cherry Lane Theatre, Bedlam, and the COOP. Regional: Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Cleveland Play House, Two River Theater, Asolo Rep, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, Northern Stage. Awards: Drama Desk, Connecticut Critics Circle, Henry Award, Bessie Award, Meet the Composer Grant, National Endowment for the Arts-Theatre Communications Group Career Development Grant recipient. Member: United Scenic Artists 829, Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association. Training: Harvard University, Yale School of Drama. Ms. Shaw was born and raised in Kansas and lives in Brooklyn.


TIM BOND (Artistic Director) joined TheatreWorks as Artistic Director in July 2020. He is a nationally known director and educator with past leadership roles as Producing Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage, Associate Artistic Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Artistic Director at Seattle Group Theatre, and tenured full Professor and Head of the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington School of Drama. Over the last 37 years Tim has directed at many theatres including the Market Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre, Guthrie Theater, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, The Wilma Theater, Arena Stage, GEVA Theatre Center, Cleveland Play House, Indiana Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, PCPA, Arizona Theatre Co., Portland Center Stage, Dallas Theater Center, A Contemporary Theatre, Empty Space Theatre, Paul Robeson Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. He is the recipient two Backstage West Garland Awards, two Syracuse Area Live Theatre (SALT) Awards, and a Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum Award.


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 includes the League of Chicago Theatres, Atlanta Coalition of Theatres, and the executive committee 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.


PLAYSCRIPTS, INC. (Licensor) was formed in 1998 by playwrights Doug and Jonathan Rand as an independent theatrical agency to represent a great diversity of playwrights, composers and lyricists. Their commitment to representing artists through innovative channels with a specific focus on creating opportunities for audiences to connect with their great work has spanned two decades and has expanded into representing over 1000 of the live theatre industry’s most notable contributors.