Company Bios

Alfred Anderson

Duke Solinus

Alfred was for twenty-one years the University of Akron’s Director of Opera Theatre, and is now Professor Emeritus. As a singer/actor, Mr. Anderson has enjoyed a 42-year professional career with a stage repertoire of more than 150 roles. He has performed with such organizations as the New York City Opera, the Glimmerglass Opera, The Pittsburgh Opera, Starlight Musicals, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Diego Opera, the Hong Kong Opera, the New Orleans Opera, the Royal Opera of Gent, and the Cincinnati Opera, to name a very few. Locally he has performed with the Akron Symphony, the Porthouse Theater, The Weathervane Theater, Coach House Theater, The Akron Civic Theater, and for the last eight seasons with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival.

Henry Bishop

Pinch

Henry is returning for another year with OSF. He is happy to be working in the Stan Hywet environment with a lot of friends. Henry has acted and directed around the area for several decades. Married to Karen Wood, they live in Wayne County with several cats. He frequently pretends to work in his woodshop and sometimes goes to school and annoys young people as a substitute teacher.

Tess Burgler

Luciana, Imogen

Tess returns for her 12th season of OSF, reprising her role as Luciana from 2007. Last year's audience will remember her as Helena in Midsummer and Nerissa in Merchant. Tess also writes and directs the Greenshows, and has from the past 8 summers. Favorite OSF credits include: Juliet (R&J), Cordelia (Lear), Rosaline, (Love's Labours Lost), Witch (Macbeth), Diedre (I Hate Hamlet). More recently, Tess played Anybodys in West Side Story at TrueNorth and Barbara in Black Coffee at Coach House. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from the College of Wooster. Love to her kahl. Summer is coming.

Bernard Bygott

Antipholus, Posthumus

Bernard is very excited to return for his second summer with OSF. Last year he played Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice. He recently appeared in Cleveland Play House's world premiere of A Carol for Cleveland, The Fagin Effect (reading) by Michael Bloom, and Every Good Boy Deserves Favor with the Cleveland Orchestra. Bernard created the role of Calandrino in the opera Decameron at Prince Music Theater. He spent two seasons in residence at the American Shakespeare Center. Other appearances include Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Theater For The New City, The Northern New England Repertory Theatre Company, Quintessence Theatre Group, Storybook Musical Theatre, The Ko Festival of Performance, Mum Puppettheatre, Glimmerglass Opera, International Opera Theater, and The Little Orchestra Society at Lincoln Center. He is currently in the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program where he has performed in several productions including a devised piece based on the works of August Strindberg, co-created by his MFA ensemble and international director, Anders Cato. His Bachelor of Arts is from Amherst College.

Timothy H. Champion

Cymbeline

 A co-founder of OSF, Tim is delighted to return to Stan Hywet for the 2012 season.  Tim has appeared in more than 200 theatrical productions, creating many memorable characters, as well as host of entirely forgettable ones too numerous to list.  Tim played Baptista in our inaugural 2002 season.  Other OSF performances include: Stephany--The Tempest; Man 2--both Oh, Coward! and Side by Side by Sondheim; Malvolio--Twelfth Night: Peter Quince--Midsummer; Launce--Two Gents; Osric--Hamlet: and Capulet--Romeo & Juliet.  Most recently, Tim played Sir Wilfred Robarts--Witness for the Prosecution and Mr. Kirby--You Can't Take It With You at Coach House Theatre.  He received a Royal Coach House Award for the 2007 Oh, Coward! revival.  Tim has appeared in 37 productions at Weathervane Playhouse, whose audiences have recognized his efforts with seven Chanticleer Awards.  By day, he is employed at Champion & Company, LPA in Fairlawnl engaged in resolving client problems and adjusting human relationships in the practice of Trust, Probate, and Estate Law.  This is his seventh season.

Andrew Cruse

Iachimo

Andrew returns for a sixth season with OSF having previously appeared as Petruchio, Romeo, Edgar, the twin Antipholi, and Hamlet among many others. This past spring Andrew battled wits with Terry Burgler in SLEUTH at Coach House Theater where he also directed this season’s Agatha Christie offering, THE UNEXPECTED GUEST. He has appeared locally at Dobama, Porthouse, and Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland. Andrew has worked on stages large and small in New York City and across the country, including Playwrights’ Horizons, The Kennedy Center, North Shore Music Theater, The Public Theater of Maine, and The Cape Playhouse, to name a few. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association since 1989.

Ron Cuirle

Volunteer Coordinator

Ron Cuirle was last seen on stage as Underling in the Hudson Player's production of "The Drowsy Chaperone." You may have also seen him wrangling his troops as George Custer in "Custer" at Coach House, grieving his dead wife as Stu Gellman in "Caroline, or Change" at Karamu, parenting puppets as the father in "A Long Christmas Ride Home" at The Bang and the Clatter, exchanging vows as Michael in "I Do! I Do!" at Weathervane, celebrating Beethoven Day as Schroeder in "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" or banishing his daughter as Duke Frederick in "As You Like It" on these very boards. No matter the venue, Ron always returns home to the one he loves, Emily.

Jim Fippin

Jim returns for a 14th summer of Shakespeare at Stan Hywet, his 7th with OSF. His resume includes roles in August: Osage County, Richard III, Lettice and Lovage, The Rainmaker, Custer, The Real Thing, Uncle Vanya, The Odd Couple, The Lion in Winter, Hamlet, Jesus Christ Superstar, Noises Off, Twelfth Night, Another Antigone, Romeo and Juliet, and King Lear. Jim has also directed productions of Italian American Reconciliation, Love! Valour! Compassion! Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Art, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Betrayal, and Chapter Two. He earned a B.F.A. Theatre from Otterbein College, where he met his wife, Elaine. They live in Wadsworth with their daughter, Emelie, now a sophomore at Our Lady of the Elms High School.

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Johnathan Fletcher

Costume Designer

Johnathan is OSF’s resident costume designer, and in recent seasons has created designs for Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, As you Like It, Richard III, Love's Labours Lost, and I Hate Hamlet. Jonathan is also the resident designer for Coach House Theatre.

Benjamin Fortin

Dromio, Pisanio

 Ben is ecstatic to be returning to the Ohio Shakespeare Festival for his 6th season. He has just completed his Freshman year at Kent State University, where he is majoring in Entrepreneurship and Managerial Marketing. He was last seen on the stage for Coachhouse’s production of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery The Unexpected Guest. He is grateful for the opportunity to return to the Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s stage to not only share his love of theater with his fellow actors but to also learn from such gifted individuals.

Lauren Fowkes

Greenshow, Ensemble

Alex Funk

Alex Funk is a senior at The University of Akron majoring in Theatre Education and minoring in Business Administration. Alex is excited to be returning for his second season with OSF. Past credits include Rosencrantz (Hamlet), William A. Brown (The Great God Brown), Pat Robertson (The Gospel According to Tammy Faye), Rodolpho (A View From the Bridge), Scapin (Scapin), CC Showers (The Diviners), Tranio (The Taming of the Shrew), the Duke (Big River). He has received two Irene Ryan nominations for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for his roles in Big River and The Great God Brown. Come out and see him at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium as he assumes the role of the sea god/royal pirate Prince Marccai. He would like to thank Terry and the OSF cast and crew for their support during the rehearsal process.

Holly Humes

Queen

Holly has been seen on several local stages, including Weathervane, CoachHouse and Dobama. Her favorite roles include Becca in Rabbit Hole, and Lizzie in The Rainmaker. Other credits include Romeo and Juliet (Lady Capulet), The Comedy of Errors (Adriana), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Mae), Uncle Vanya (Yelena), The Laramie Project, Song of Survival (Dawn), and V-E Day (Lil). Holly is the office manager at Fairlawn Family Chiropractic Center, and an assistant speech coach at Wooster High School. She would like to thank her husband, Scott Custer, for all of his love and support.

Marc Jackson

Ensemble

 This is Marc's debut with Ohio Shakespeare and he is honored to be in the company. A Cleveland native, Marc holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Akron and has performed in several productions. His favorite roles include Jesus in Godspell, a gang member in Ragtime, and Eugene in Yellowman, for which he won best actor in the Dietz Theatre at the Weathervane Playhouse (2012). He's also done his share of commercials and short films for SPAN Ministries, his church in Tallmadge. Marc is forever thankful to God, friends and family for ongoing love and support.

Snezana Jelic

Greenshow, Ensemble

Snezana is 12 years old and an honor student attending K12 Ohio Virtual Academy this year. She was also a student in the Arts/Excel Program in Warren, Ohio. Snezana is involved in theater, dance, and singing and enjoys every opportunity to perform on stage. She has participated in many theater productions over the past year at the Youngstown Playhouse, Kent State Theater, and the Victorian Players. She was the recipient of a Marquee Award for her role in Oliver!, a production that provided her with her first acting role in an adult theater musical where she portrayed the character of Charlotte Sowberry, and participated in other musical segments as well. In Gypsy Snezana portrayed the character of Baby June, and she was extremely excited to be able to bring this character to life on stage. Snezana most recently portrayed the Capulet servant "Boy" in Romeo and Juliet which was her first experience with Shakespeare. She is very proud to be a part of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival this year. Snezana plans to pursue a career in acting, and she is very appreciative of the support that has been given to her by her directors, stage managers, production personnel, and fellow cast members.

Jeremy Jenkins

Second Merchant

Jeremy Jenkins cheerfully returns for his 5th season with OSF.  On the OSF stage, he has been seen pursuing Juliet, but tragically losing to Romeo as Paris in Romeo & Juliet; settling for a wealthy widow as Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew; swearing a brotherhood oath of scholarship, but finding love as Dumaine in Love’s Labour’s Lost; getting lost in a magical forest as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and eloping with a wealthy Jew as Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice. High Four! Love to Purty!

Kelly Johnson

Assistant Costume Designer

Kelly is thrilled to be working with OSF for another season assisting with costumes, but she is no stranger to theatre. She was bitten by the theatre bug at a very young age, and totally blames her mother for it, “Thanks Mum for giving me the greatest playground to grow up in, I love you duckie.” Kelly has worked at Goodyear Community Theatre and Coach House, where some of her favorite shows include; Leading Ladies, Peter Pan, Anything Goes, Greetings, Bell Book and Candle, and Last of the Red Hot Lovers, just to name a few. Kelly would like to thank all of her friends for their love and support, you know who you are, xoxox… Now sit back and enjoy the show.  (Editorial note: Kelly has successfully quit smoking since this photo.  Congratulations, Kelly!)

Kyra Kelley

Courtesan, Greenshow Choreography

 Kyra is elated to return to OSF for her 2nd season. Last year she appeared in the company of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and as Jessica in The Merchant of Venice. More recently she was seen as Velma in West Side Story at TrueNorth Cultural Arts Center and as Holly in Next Fall at Weathervane Playhouse. A recent college graduate, Kyra spends her off-stage moments coaching figure skating and teaching acting and dance. As always, she sends lots of love to Mom and the guys. Heartfelt thanks goes out to Nancy and Terry, and to the OSF company. This summer is dedicated to the “happy few.”

Lara Knox

Adriana

This is Lara's 8th summer out here in the lagoon and she is no less excited about this great season which includes her first repeat role- she played Adriana in 2007! Favorite past roles at OSF include Kate in Taming of the Shrew, Portia in Merchant of Venice, Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Emilia in Othello. Other theatres include: Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Coach House Theatre, Pennsylvania Center Stage, True North Theatre, JCC, The Liminis, Gallery Players (NYC), The Directors Company (NYC). A proud member of Actors' Equity, Lara received her MFA from Penn State and her BFA from Kent State. She would like to thank Terry and Nancy as well as the spectacular audience at Stan Hywet for making her truly thrilled to be home.

Manny Liotta

Ensemble

Manny is happy to be back at the Ohio Shakespeare Festival for his second season. He is 14 years old and will be entering the 9th grade at Twinsburg High School. Manny has been acting and training since the 3rd grade. He has appeared in over 10 plays, 4 films, 4 commercials and has appeared as a Jr. Reporter on the news. In his spare time, Manny loves to watch movies and play on his XBOX. He also enjoys writing, director and editing his own amateur movies. Manny wants to thank all of the cast and crew of OSF for their support. This is an amazing opportunity.

Joe Pine

Balthazar, Arviragus

Joe is beyond excited to be back at Ohio Shakespeare Festival for his fourth season.  Last year, he played Demetrius in Midsummer and Bassanio in Merchant.  Other OSF credits include: Tranio (Taming of the Shrew), Edmund (Lear), First Murderer (Richard III), and Longaville (Love's Labours Lost).  More recently, he played Riff in TrueNorth's West Side Story and Judas in Brecksville Theatre on the Square's Jesus Christ Superstar.  Love to family that travels so far to see him perform.  Even more love to his kahlissi.  Summer is coming.

Daniel Rylander

Pinch's Assistant

 Returning for his second year at Ohio Shakespeare Festival, Daniel is very excited to be back in the company of his friends and fellow talented thespians. He just recently appeared in Weathervane Playhouse’s production of Charley’s Aunt in the role of Lord Fancourt Babberly. Other recent shows include: Our Town, Black Coffee, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood just to name a few from this past year. He would like to thank his fellow cast and crew members for making this experience so enjoyable, and his family for their love and support.

Kendra Schaefer

Festival Stage Manager

 Kendra Schaefer happily returns to her OSF family. In past seasons, she has worked various positions including box office and ticket tent. Recently stage managing Little Shop of Horrors at Hudson Players and I Hate Hamlet and Black Coffee at Coach House Theatre in Akron. Kendra thanks her husband Bob for introducing her to the theatre world and everyone in it for making it so fun.

Scott Shriner

This is Scott’s sixth season with OSF. He was seen last summer as Rivers in Richard III and Boyet in Love’s Labours Lost. Other OSF roles include Oswald in King Lear, Cassio in Othello, Antonio in Twelfth Night, and Gary in I Hate Hamlet. Additional recent roles are Max in Lend Me a Tenor and Howie in Rabbit Hole (Weathervane), Jack Lane in The Herbal Bed (Actors’ Summit), and Simon Bliss in Hay Fever (Coach House). Scott thanks Nancy & Terry for giving him this great opportunity here at Stan Hywet. All my love to Emily!

Mark Stoffer

Angelo, Philario

Mark is returning to the lagoon for his third summer with OSF. He has been very busy since last summer, appearing as Daryl in Shakespeare in Hollywood at Weathervane, Dr. Armstrong in And Then There Were None, and Walter Pangbourne in Move Over, Mrs. Markham, both at Coach House. He also designed lights, special effects, or assisted with music for six additional productions at four theaters in northeast Ohio. He lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife, Sherri.

Buddy Taylor

Lighting Designer, Technical Director

Buddy is starting his tenth season with OSF. Although he now lives in Houston with his wife Michelle, he still makes his way back now and again, recently designing lights for Doubt, And Then There Were None, and Move Over, Mrs. Marhkam for Coach House Theatre in Akron.

Karen Wood

Amelia

Karen is very pleased to return to OSF for a fifth year. Karen recently appeared as Grandma Rosie in The Wedding Singer at Weathervane Community Playhouse. Last summer Karen was a featured soloist with the London National Symphony Orchestra aboard the Queen Mary 2. Karen, a retired educator, currently juggles stage roles with serving as a volunteer music therapist for a local hospice provider. Karen remains married to Henry C. Bishop.

Kathryn Zarecki

Greenshow Choreography, Ensemble

Kathryn Zarecki is so excited for her first year at OSF. Katie was last seen in True North's West Side Story as Gratzella. Excited to be onstage again with her loving husband, Ryan, Katie thanks her family for their love and support.

Ryan Zarecki

Antipholus Double, Fight Choreography

 Ryan Zarecki is overjoyed to be a part of OSF. He was most recently seen in True North's West Side Story as Bernardo. His lovely wife, Katie, joins him on the OSF stage, and he couldn't be happier. Thank you for being here.