The Tempest , May 2005
Meet the Cast:
Prospera - Patsy Benson
Patsy's has been a devoted groupie of Park Players for years, and after having had a chance to participate in Shakespeare for the Attention Deficit - Midsummer Night's Dream she is excited to take part in a full-length production. She has acting credits in theater, industrial videos, film, commercials, and television, including the CBS Sunday Night movie "The Rosa Parks Story". Most recently she has appeared in The Little Foxes at BFT, Moby Dick! The Musical, Daughters of the Lone Star State, and Sordid Lives at TNT, and LJCC's Off Broadway and Cabaret. She is a respected clinical hypnotherapist with a practice in Hoover, and the proud mother of two beautiful teenaged daughters.
Miranda - Jessica Walston
Jessica is delighted to be returning to the Park Players after playing Helena in A Midsummer Nights Dream last summer. She has almost lived through her junior year at the Alabama School of Fine Arts where she has been studying theatre since the seventh grade. At ASFA, she appeared on stage in The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Good Times Are Killing Me, scenes from Horton Foote's The Dancers, scenes from The Importance of Being Earnest, and Scapin. In her sophomore year, she played Viola in Twelfth Night which ignited her love for Shakespeare. She would like to thank the ASFA theatre faculty for their wisdom, her family for being such a devoted cheering section, and the Park Players for being wonderful.
Ariel - Gabrielle Metz
Gabrielle is very excited to be performing her 5th play with the Park Players. She really enjoyed being a part of the Park Players inaugural season's performance of "The Taming of the Shrew" as well as last years "Merry Wives of Windsor" & "Much Ado About Nothing" in 2004 she portrayed Hippolyta and Titania in Midsummer Nights Dream. She has also starred as Mollie Ralston in "The Mousetrap" (November 2002) and been in "Amadeus" (December 2000) and "Cabaret" (May 2003) at Theater LJCC, as well as in many other local plays and musicals. When not working on the stage, Gabrielle is employed as a clinical social worker.
Caliban - Norman Ferguson, Jr.
Norman is originally from Birmingham. This is his fourth year with the company. Other Park Players' productions he has been a part of include Headset: A View From the Light Booth, Othello, & Much Ado About Nothing.
Ferdinand - Russell C. Jones
Russell is very excited about performing with Park Players for the first time. He has taken three semesters of theater at Jefferson State. He was last seen in the role of Oberon in Midsummer Night's Dream. His favorite role was playing George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf. Russell also looks forward to acting with Park Players again in August for Twelfth Night. When not acting he is an auto tech "grease monkey".
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Alonso - John McGinnis
John (32) is a native of Birmingham. He studied acting at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. John has worked in a variety of performing arts events as an actor, a technician, a director, producer and designer. He has served as the production director for The State of Alabama Ballet and as the artistic director for The Gorham's Bluff Institute. He loves performing Shakespeare and has appeared in As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew and Henry V. He has performed in modern productions from Brecht, Coward, Pinter and others. His favorite modern production was The Miracle Worker at Raleigh's Theater in the Park, which starred Evan Rachael Wood as Hellen Keller and her mother, Sara Wood, as Anne Sullivan. John has also directed productions of Private Lives, by Noel Coward, and The Caretaker, by Harold Pinter. For the past 2 years, he has lived in China, where he works as an English Teacher with Christ Reaching Asia Mission. He and wife, Elizabeth, are currently in the U.S. on furlough. They have two beautiful children, Sarah Grace (3) and Ethan Gabriel (1), and are expecting their third child in late May. This is John's first performance with Park Players, and he is grateful for the opportunity.
Antonio - Tanner McCracken
This production is Tanner's fourth production with Park Players, having played Sr. Hugh Evans in Merry Wives of Windsor and Borachio in Much Ado About Nothing as well as Starvling in Midsummer Nights Dream. Previous credits include Arcadia, Once upon a Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie and Godspell. In his real life, he makes his living begging for hand outs (sometimes called waiting tables) at a restaurant in Pelham. He resides partly in Columbiana, partly in his own head.
Sebastian - Todd Ponder
Todd is thrilled to be performing in a Shakespeare play once again, especially right here in Homewood where he has lived with his family for many years. He was last seen in the lead role of Atticus Finch in "To Kill A Mockingbird" and as Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's "Dracula" with the Jasper Children's Theater. Todd has also been a regular performer at the Looney's Tavern Outdoor Amphitheater in Double Springs for five years in a row. His favorite roles have been the Stage Manager in "Our Town", Jonathan Brewster in "Arsenic & Old Lace", Jud Fry in "Oklahoma!" & Stoke Roberts in "Looney's Tavern: The Legacy". Here in Birmingham, he has appeared as Hamlet in "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" along with Clay Boyce at Birmingham Festival Theatre and as Henderson, the I.R.S. agent in "You Can't Take it With You" with Town & Gown Productions at the Clark Theatre. Todd is making his debut with the Park Players, his previous Shakespeare credits have been Bottom in "Midsummer Night's Dream" and Don Pedro in "Much Ado About Nothing" at Jefferson State Community College. Thanks, Mom & Dad, for all your love & support!
Gonzalo - Terry Hermes
Since returning to the theater in 2003 after many years away from it, Terry has been having more fun than the law allows. This is his third straight season as a Park Player. Last year he appeared in both Headset (as Claude) and Midsummer Night's Dream(as Peter Quince). He has been seen around town in other productions as well, including ACTA, the Leeds Arts Council, and most recently in the Centerstage production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas(as CJ Scruggs). Shakespeare remains his first theatrical love, and he is looking forward to performing in Twelfth Night for the Park Players this coming August.
Trinculo - Jeffrey Marrs
Jeffery is happy to be returning to the Park Players stage, having appeared in Merry Wives of Windsor two years ago. Yu may also have seen him in productions with LJCC, BFT, or the Little Theatre Players. When not acting Jeffery is busy directing and is excited about his next project. The Shape of Things, at the LJCC in July Thanks to Lyndsay and Jason!
Stephano - Skye Geerts
Skye is returning to the Park Players this season after her debut in 2004. After graduating from the Alabama School of Fine Arts as a theatre major Skye spent the summer last year with the Park Players in “Othello” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. She is happy to end her whirlwind freshmen year at the University of Alabama Birmingham by returning to the Park Players in “The Tempest”. Other recent performances on her resume include Antigone in UAB Theatre’s recent production of Sophocles “Antigone”, two short films on campus, the UAB Ten Minute Play Festival, and roles at ASFA including Lady Olivia in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”and the Countess Aurelia in Jean Giradoux's "Madwoman of Challiot". In the past she has also worked with the Canterbury Players and Samford Theatre and she looks forward to more community theatre and UAB Theatre work in the coming years.
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Boatswain/Francisco - Shawn
Shawn is glad to be performing in his first show at Park Players. His past credits include "Singing' in the Red, White, and Blue", "A Tribute to Rodger's and Hammerstein", "School House Rock Live Jr.", and "When You Wish Upon a Star". Shawn would like to thank his mother for being so supportive and encouraging.
Adrian/Master - Alex
Alex is in the 6th grade. He recently played "Mogli" in South City Theater's production of The Jungle Book, "Donald Ray" in LJCC's Off Broadway, and "Slightly" in CenterStage's Peter Pan. This year Alex has also played "Young Ron" in CenterStage's reading of Phantom of the Opry, "Mad Hatter" in South City Theater's Alice in Wonderland, "Marcus Snow" in ACTA's Carousel, and "Bud" in Riverside Baptist Church's The Tale of Three Trees. In the past, Alex has played "Zora" in Aladdin, the "Cowardly Lion" in The Wizard of Oz, and "Nori" in The Hobbit; all at South City Theater and appeared on Nickelodeon's Splat. He attended Summerfest 2004, takes dance from Dale Serrano Jr., voice from Brett Trimble, and acting from Tommy Canary, Francie Gardner and Brett Trimble. His upcoming performances include, Park Player's Twelfth Night, South City Film's The Pet Shop and South City Theater's Life With Father. Alex has found the Shakespearian language quite challenging and has had a wonderful experience under Lyndsey's direction. "Thanks to all Park Players and patrons for this great opportunity to do what I love."
Iris - Mary K. Bushnell
Mary Katherine is a sophomore at Mountain Brook High School. This is her stage debut with the Park Players. She recently performed with Centerstage Productions in this past December's "Peter Pan." Her other credits include: "A Competition Piece," "Secret Garden," and "Wizard of Oz." She is estactic about performing with this wonderful cast in "The Tempest" and thanks her family who have supported her passion for theatre.
Ceres - Ruth Marie Bouchard
Ruth Marie Bouchard is thrilled to be a part of the Park Players. She has a passion about all arts and loves to see the community share the beauty of art with one another. She has been involved in high school, college and church drama and is excited about adding community to that list!
Nymph - Camille
Camille is happy to be joining the Park Players for the first time this season. Mostly experienced in print modeling, The Tempest and Twelfth Night will be her first official dramatic endeavors. She can frequently be seen in part or in whole on the pages of Birmingham Magazine and as an extra in this winters best of show of show winning Sidewalk Film Scramble entry, "Ripples".
Nymph - Samantha
Samantha is in the 2nd grade. She has studied dance for six years with Dale Serrano Studios and studies voice with Brett Trimble. The acting bug bit Samantha last summer when she attended South City Theater's Musical Theater Camp. In October she performed her first musical solo in The Tale of Three Trees at Riverside Baptist Church. She has performed in South City Theater's Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland. She has had a ball in Tempest and would like to say "Thank you" to all the directors, managers, choreographers and fellow cast members.
The Director - Lyndsay Antos
After her directorial debut last summer, Lyndsay is back with Park Players to direct "The Tempest". Previously, she has stage-managed and acted in "The Diary of Anne Frank" at ACTA Theatre in Trussville, Al and she appeared in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" with Park Players in our 2003 season. Lyndsay attended Concordia University in Chicago, IL where she played Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie", the Princess in "Rumplestiltskin" and designed costumes for "The Music Man". She plans on attending UAB in the fall to finish out her undergraduate in biology and Theatre. She would like to thank Clay Boyce for giving her this wonderful opportunity, and to her family for all their support.
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