Sean Soper is a member of the class of 2019 pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Dramatic Arts, and is so excited to be president of MTR this year! Born and raised in Southern California, Sean made his directorial debut with MTR’s Fall 2017 production of Next to Normal. Sean was most recently seen in the School of Dramatic Arts’ productions of The Wild Party (Max) and Evita (Ensemble), and MTR's productions of Heathers: the Musical (JD) and Little Women the Musical (John Brooke). In the fall he interned at Center Theatre Group as the Account Sales Intern. Since joining the MTR Artistic Board his sophomore year, Sean has also had the pleasure of working behind the scenes on Company (Assistant Director), Edges (Producer), Something Ever After (Producer) and Cabaret (Producer).
Jamie Salinger (Production Manager)
Jamie Salinger is a member of the USC School of Dramatic Arts' class of 2020, pursuing a BFA in Stage Management. She graduated from Alexander W. Dreyfoos High School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida where she stage managed Thoroughly Modern Millie and Shrek. There, she discovered a passion for both stage and production management that she is thrilled to be realizing as the Production Manager of the Musical Theatre Repertory. Since Jamie’s time with MTR began, she has stage managed Heathers, Edges, and Next to Normal. She has also stage managed collegiate level productions of Eurydice, an MFA New Works Festival, and Mockingbird with USC’s School of Dramatic Arts, as well as professional productions of Sugar and Hallelujah, Baby! with the Musical Theatre Guild. She looks forward to growing alongside the MTR company! More details at jamiesalinger.com.
Harrison Poe (Treasurer)
Harrison Poe is currently a junior in the USC School of Dramatic Arts pursuing a B.A. degree in Theatre with a Minor in Musical Studies. He has been seen on stage in the USC School of Dramatic Arts' production of Evita (Officer/Aristocrat),Magnolia(William Kerry) , andAndrew Lippa's Wild Party (Sam) as well as MTR's productions of Little Women (Laurie Lawrence),Company (Paul), and Next to Normal (Gabe). Behind the table, Harrison served as the assistant music director for Heathers: The Musical, and co-music director of Edges last spring. He will also be music directing and conducting MTR's Cabaret this spring. His passion for theatre is only rivaled by his passion for music. Harrison plays several instruments including piano, guitar, and mandolin, and is always learning more. He has performed as a musician in MTR's Edges (Electric Guitar) and The USC School of Dramatic Arts production of Uncle Vanya (Mandolin). He has been a board member since November 2016 and is very excited to be a part of MTR's future.
Tyler Ellis (Public Relations)
Tyler Ellis is a member of the School of Dramatic Arts Class of 2020 in which he is earning a Theatre major with a minor in Marketing within the Marshall School of Business. He is simply thrilled and honored to be a part of this group of artists, and looks forward to the coming years as a part of the MTR family. A Bay Area native, Tyler dabbles in graphic design, pole vaulting, and, of course, theatre. In the years following his 5th grade theatre debut in Robin Hood, he has acted, designed, directed, and studied theatre extensively. His favorite roles include Robert in Company (YMTC Bay Area and MTR), Truffaldino in A Servant of Two Masters (Piedmont High School), Che in Evita (USC), and Mr. Black in The Wild Party (USC). He trained at California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) in 2013 and the Cherubs Program at Northwestern University in 2015. He spent this last summer interning for actor Alan Cumming in New York City, and is currently directing MTR's production of Cabaret opening March 22! tylerjosephellis.com
Sarah Hahm (Secretary)
Sarah Hahm is a second year at USC pursuing a BA in Dramatic Arts and is thrilled to be serving as Secretary for MTR this year! Sarah has been involved in performing arts from a very young age, starting with playing classical piano and cello and then studying flute at the Juilliard School of Music Pre-College Division in the 6th grade. She became invested in theatre after moving to Seoul, South Korea in 2010 and has performed in Hong Kong, Manila, Beijing, and Kobe, amongst other cities in Asia. Sarah has pursued her passion for the arts as an actor, director, and designer in over twenty shows and festivals. Her USC credits include: MTR’s Heathers (Assistant Director), Artemis’s The Tempest (Co-Director), SDA’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, and is thrilled to be directing and composing Tongues & Savage/Love winter of 2018.
Sasha Bartol (Member at Large)
Sasha Bartol is a senior at the USC Thornton School of Music. This year she will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with a major in Music Composition and a minor in Musical Theatre. She has music directed numerous productions at USC and in the greater Los Angeles area. Most recently, she served as the Music Director for the world premiere staged reading of her own show Something Ever After and as the Music Director for MTR’s production of Next to Normal. This summer she worked as the music intern as Samuel French Inc. and as a music assistant on a number of developing Off-Broadway shows. She is currently working as the Music Supervisor on The Aeneid Theatre Company’s production of Sam Shepard’s Tongues & Savage/Love. See her website, sashabartol.com, for more details.
Annika Ellwanger-Chavez (Member at Large)
Annika Ellwanger-Chavez is a senior pursuing a BA in Theatre (Acting Emphasis). Through participation in educational, community, and professional theatre around Southern California, along with 10+ years of leadership training, Annika has fostered a passion for both directing and acting. Her recent USC credits include: The Wild Party (Kate), Evita (Eva Peron), ALittle Night Music (Desiree Armfeldt), Edges (Director), and Sunday Morning (Director). Although a lover of all artistic mediums, Annika believes that live theatre has the ability to connect, revere, and expose our humanity in a very visceral way that is entirely unique to the stage. “The theatre is so endlessly fascinating because it’s so accidental. It’s so much like life.”-Arthur Miller.
Mallory Gabbard (Member at Large)
Mallory Gabbard is a current BFA in Theatrical Design and Production with a minor in Cinematic Arts Animation in The University of Southern California’s graduating class of 2019. While her passion of the arts grew from music (flute and piccolo in particular), to studio art, and then into theatrical design - Mallory has always enjoyed the collaborative aspects of musical theatre and the challenges each show has brought throughout its creative process. Skipping around from Chicago, IL to Austin, TX and now Princeton, NJ - Mallory is grateful to have always felt at home with the stage alongside the other ambitious and accomplished artists associated with MTR’s board of directors. Emphasizing in both Scenic and Costume Design, some of her favorite projects thus far have included designing for The School of Dramatic Art’s New Works Festival Plays, and of course MTR’s productions of Little Women, Heathers and Company.
Lucy Grebin (Member at Large)
Lucy Grebin is a member of the School of Dramatic Arts Class of 2019 from Short Hills, NJ (40 min outside of Manhattan!). Lucy has been a part of the MTR family since she was a Freshman, and ever since she joined she has loved every minute of it. Aside from devoting her life to MTR's social media, Lucy loves to explore LA, eat good food, and experiencing comedy in any way she can. Her most recent roles have been Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein, Heather Duke in Heathers, and Marge in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. She is currently Dolores in SDA's The Wild Party, opening November 16. This past summer, Lucy interned for Working Title Productions, and before that at Jujamcyn Theaters. She also attended French Woods Summer Camp for 7 years. Her favorite thing about MTR is the amazing people she gets to work with, and of course the swag.
Caitlin Kilgore (Member at Large)
Caitlin Kilgore is part of the USC class of 2018 pursuing a B.A. in Theatre and is thrilled to have spent her four years on the MTR board! She has loved her time at USC and has gotten a chance to be on both sides of the stage as an actor, writer, producer, and stage manager. Caitlin has appeared in many productions during her time at USC including MTR’s Little Women, Aeneid Theatre Company’s productions of When The Rain Stops Falling and Much Ado About Nothing, Back Alley Theatre Company’s Criminal Hearts. Most recently she has produced MTR’s Company as well as Heathers: The Musical. She is also a board member on USC’s Artemis (a Feminist Creative Community) and produced their all female staged reading of The Tempest. Caitlin has been immersed in the arts all her life and is determined to devote her life to creative endeavors in theatre. After spending Spring 2017 studying theatre abroad in London, Caitlin is excited to return to USC for her final year where she will be assistant directing MTR’s Cabaret.
Katie Kivinski (Member at Large)
Katie Kivinski is a freshman at USC, pursuing a major in Music Industry and a minor in Music Production. She has a background in classical piano and has completed the California Certificate of Merit program through the highest level, but she developed a love for theatre in high school. President of her school’s International Thespian Society troupe, Katie placed Top 10 in the “Stars of Tomorrow” musical theatre competition and has earned the title of Top 4 Honorable Mention for the Orange County Artist of the Year in Vocal Music. Although she loves to perform and has been featured in lead roles with the Southern Orange Country School of the Arts, she finds her true passion in music directing and writing musical theatre. Together with her best friend, she founded Varsity Arts Club at her school and created “New Works Night,” an annual event where students can showcase their original work. Her favorite experience as a musician was attending A Cappella Academy, a summer music camp in Los Angeles, and performing with Pentatonix at the Hollywood Bowl. She is so excited for her future with MTR!
Jack McCarthy (Member at Large)
Jack McCarthy is pursing a dual degree in BA Theatre and BS Business Administration. Hailing from the Bay Area, Jack continues to lecture on the importance of the arts at local universities and high schools, including Santa Clara University. He directed at various regional theaters, including The Adirondack Theatre Festival (director of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe), Southern Rep (director of Into the Woods) and Pasadena Playhouse (director of The Principle Wife staged reading and assistant director for Broadway director Randy Johnson’s reading of Shout Sister Shout). At fifteen, he founded his own nonprofit theater organization, GIFT (Giving Individuals Fabulous Theater), with the mission to bring live performance to hospitalized individuals unable to experience it regularly. He continues to serve as GIFT’s Executive Producer in the Bay Area and New Orleans from afar. A former high school valedictorian, Jack feeds his inner nerd through Thematic Option (TO), and represents SDA on USC's Artists Transforming Society Committee. He has directed over thirty productions and served on Birnkrant Honor's Residential Student Government (RSG). He also serves as Creative Artistic Director for EscapeSC, an organization that produces Escape Room experiences on campus. Notable USC credits include Heathers (Director), Stage Kiss (Director), Rabbit Hole (Producer), Secret in the Wings (Producer), The Miser (Director),The Principle Wife (Director, new musical work), Arc (Director, new work), and And Then There Were None (Justice Margrave).
Tristan McIntyre (Member at Large)
Tristan McIntyre is a Los Angeles native and regional award winning actor, dancer, and comedian. Tristan has been performing for the past fifteen years both professionally and semi-professionally in LA equity theaters, local studios, and at the University of Southern California, where he is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Acting along with a double minor in Musical Theatre, Computer Programming, and an extensive coursework in Songwriting, Dance, and the Entertainment Industry. He made his professional debut as a swing in Celebration Theatre’s Ovation winning production of The Boy From Oz and plays the leading dramatic role in Sunday Morning, an independent film that is currently running the film festival circuit. Tristan stars as Jay in Ensemble: A Comedy Mini-Series and will be starring in the role of Action in USC School of Dramatic Arts’ production of West Side Story. Recent credits include Spamalot (Sir Robin), Wild Party (Jackie), Noises Off (Gary), Fuddy Meets (Millet), and Romeo & Juliet (Benvolio); MTR credits include Heathers (Ram Sweeney), Cabaret (Associate Producer), Company (Asst. Choreographer), & Next to Normal (Choreographer). Tristan is thrilled and honored to be serving on the MTR board and is looking forward to making theatre magic with his insanely talented and artistically driven MTR family. www.tristanmcintyre.com
Sidne Phillips (Member at Large)
Sidne Phillips graduated early from the USC School of Dramatic Arts last December, but is still an active member of MTR! An Arizona native, she fell in love with musical theatre at the age of six, where she performed in a local production of Grease. Since coming to USC she has been heavily involved with the School of Dramatic Arts and MTR, including playing Sandy in Grease her freshman year (SDA) and Jo in Little Women her sophomore year (MTR). Her junior year she studied abroad at the British American Drama Academy where she trained classically with faculty and guests, including Fiona Shaw. Last summer she was a development intern at ABC Studios through the Emmys Foundation, and you may have seen her onscreen as a trophy presenter for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards. Other college credits include: Love and Information (SDA), Young at Heart (MTR), The Country Wife (BADA; Alithea), and Evita (SDA; Mistress). MTR has expanded her love and passion for every aspect of musical theatre, and she loves being a part of the family!
Sophie Thomason (Member at Large)
Sophie Thomason is a member of the SDA Class of 2018 where she is pursuing a major in Dramatic Arts (Acting Emphasis) with a minor in Cinematic Arts. Sophie has completed internships with Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, CA through the LA County Arts Commission and most recently served as the Marketing Intern at the 2017 New York Musical Festival in New York City after spending the spring of her Junior year studying abroad at the British American Drama Academy in London. Sophie has respectively choreographed, directed, and produced for five MTR productions, and will be choreographing this spring’s Cabaret. Recent acting credits include You Can’t Take It With You (USC SDA), Wild Party (USC SDA), and Pygmalion (BADA).
Past Artistic Directors
Past directors have gone on to exciting careers. See what they're up to now!
Justus Bradshaw (2017)
Justus Bradshaw is a senior in the Theatre Design program in the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Beginning in performance as a children’s chorus backup singer, performing on such shows as Dancing with the Stars and The Tonight Show, he found an interest in Theatre Design and Technology through the Pasadena Musical Theatre Program and through the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. There he learned about sound, lighting, and scenic design through assisting various designers and designing a few shows of his own, gaining valuable hands-on experience. He was a crew member for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with MTR, and plans to work on many shows with MTR as both a designer and board member.
Jessica Major (2017)
Jessica Major is a BFA Stage Manager in USC’s School of Dramatic Arts graduating in 2017. Growing up in San Diego, she fell in love with theatre at the age of 10 when she was a hippo with a tutu in Seussical the Musical. She continued with acting up to her junior year of high school when she found a passion for stage management. Jessica loves working on musicals more than anything, which has made the years on the MTR Board as Production Manager an incredible experience. To watch a show from the first rehearsal to closing night is one of the most rewarding and beautiful journeys anyone could watch. She was the Stage Manager for Into the Woods, Producer on [Title of Show], and Production Manager on the board.
Rebecca Mellinger (2017)
Rebecca Mellinger is a current senior at USC pursuing a B.A in Theatre with a minor in Culture, Media, and Entertainment through the Annenberg School. At USC, Rebecca has appeared in The Country Wife, Into the Woods, The Tempest, 4:48 Psychosis, and Grease. She has proudly been on the Artistic Board since her freshman year, serving as the Public Relations Manager for the past two years. She assistant stage managed MTR’s Songs for a New World and produced [Title of Show]. Raised in Connecticut, theater became a way for Rebecca to express herself at a very young age. She is interested in all theatrical avenues and cannot wait to explore each one when she graduates!
Taubert Nadalini (2017)
Taubert Nadalini is a current senior at USC pursuing a B.A. in Theatre with a minor in Musical Theatre. Taubert has appeared in USC School of Dramatic Arts productions of Romeo and Juliet, A Little Night Music, Ring Round the Moon, Grease, Cat Among the Pigeons, Grand Hotel, Spring Awakening and will be next seen in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evitathis April.Originally from Dallas, TX, Taubert is a proud alumnus of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Broadway Theatre Project, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where, as an apprentice, he both acted and directed. He is especially proud to have been serving on MTR's Artistic Board since his freshman year, directly working on MTR's Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, and Company. He will be co-directing MTR's production of Pasek and Paul's Edges, which opens April 21 in USC's Cammilleri Hall at the Brain and Creativity Institute on campus.
Jackson Strike (2017)
Jackson Strike is a sophomore BFA Stage Management major in the USC School of Dramatic Arts. He was first introduced to the technical side of theatre when he was thirteen and he began stage managing at the age of fourteen. He has continued to do so ever since and hopes to continue it professionally after he graduates. During his time at USC he has assistant stage managed Lady Windermere’s Fan and some of his most recent stage management credits include Sweeney Todd, The Arabian Nights, Legally Blonde, and Bat Boy.
Victoria Pearlman (2016)
Kevin Paley (2016)
Kevin Paley graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of the Arts in Theatre from the School of Dramatic Arts and a minor in Musical Theatre from the Thornton School of Music. In his four years at USC, Kevin worked on 16 productions as an actor, director, producer, and stagehand; some highlights include MTR's Floyd Collins (Lee Collins), [title of show] (director), and BADA's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Demetrius/Flute). Since graduation, Kevin played the titular character in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown with Cabrini Arts in Denver, joined the 2016-17 Stage Director and Choreographer Foundation's Broadway Observership Class, and Project Managed the film Skinny Crazy Small. He currently lives in New York City as a freelance tutor and theatre artist.
Allison Aoun (2016)
Alice Pollitt (2015)
Alice Pollitt graduated as a BFA Stage Manager from the School of Dramatic Arts at USC. At the rightful age of 8 years old, Alice discovered her love for theatre when she performed in Aladdin. In time, she discovered her passion for stage management and the joy she found behind the scenes. Musicals have always been Alice’s main attraction to theatre; there are so many elements working together to tell a heightened form of storytelling. When you find a truly bold story with enchanting music, there really is no better way of telling an unforgettable tale. Alice’s MTR credits include Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Tick…Tick…BOOM!, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Merrily We Roll Along, and Floyd Collins. Professional credits during college included working for Disney Theatrical Group on Disney's Aladdin on Broadway.
Anthony Lucca (2015)
Anthony Lucca, a music major at the Thornton School of Music, is a Los Angeles based pianist, composer, and orchestrator. His interest in musical theater began shortly after assistant music directing Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at the Hamilton Academy of Music. Following the production of Into the Woods, Anthony served as co-composer and orchestrator of the musical Lemonade, a musical featured in the 2011 Festival of New American Musicals (FNAM), and orchestrator for the new musical The Music Box, which premiered at the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival. During the first semester of his sophomore year he served as music director for MTR’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. When he isn’t working in the theater, he is performing with his quintet, winners of the 2012 Angel City Jazz Festival Competition. Over the past years he has had the opportunity to perform with the Tom Kubis Big Band, Kevin Eubanks, Bill Cosby, and other notable musicians. His trio has had the honor of performing for the First Lady, Michelle Obama, Quincy Jones, the Shoah Foundation, Labels for Education, and others. Previous performance venues include, the Playboy Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Long Beach Jazz Festival, to list a few. Anthony currently seeks mentorship from world-renowned pianist, Alan Pasqua, and Bob Klein, executive producer of the Festival of New American Musicals.
Arielle Fishman (2015)
Arielle is a current senior theatre major from the Bay Area. She is proud and excited to be beginning her fourth year as part of the MTR team. She has performed in MTR's All Girl Band, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweeney Todd, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Floyd Collins and in the School of Dramatic Arts' productions of City of Angels and The Most Happy Fella. Most recently, she performed in Little Women at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, and completed internships with AEFH Talent Agency and with the press/publicity department at Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Brandon Baer (2014)
Brandon Baer is pursuing a major in Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts, and minors in Business and Screenwriting at USC. Brandon recently directed W.I.L.D. (wildwebseries.weebly.com), a new web-series, in addition to several short films including Throes of Love (2011), Infernal Cookies (2010), and Dying to Party (2009). He has also directed a wide array of theater including Senior Show: Freak Show (2010), For Whom the Southern Bell Tolls (2009), Chicago (2008), Thoroughly Modern Millie (2008), and Little Shop of Horrors and Tick, Tick... BOOM! with MTR. Though directing, both film and theater, is his primary ambition, Brandon has performed extensively and trained with such programs as the Crossroads Drama Conservatory and Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, where he won the Fine Arts Award for his performance in Anything Goes (Purser, u/s Moonface) in 2009. His performance credits include Into the Woods (Jack), Guys and Dolls (Rusty Charlie, u/s Nicely-Nicely), Godspell (Judas), Merrily We Roll Along (Charlie Kringas), and Grease (Doody). Brandon is thrilled to be an MTR board member!
Hannah Kim (2014)
Hannah Kim is pursuing a BFA in Theatre Design with an emphasis in Costume Design at USC. Always inspired by dance and song, Hannah danced on a team throughout high school and her freshman year of college. Though not a trained singer, her roommates can attest to Hannah’s love of song as they are accustomed to her random note outbursts. Most recently Hannah costumed USC’s production of Top Girls. Her other design credits include Learned Ladies, Mansfield Park, and The Quiet of the Storm. Besides costume designing, last spring Hannah staged managed the first Korean Culture Night at USC. Additionally this past summer Hannah worked as the Production Manager on a new web series, Complete Works, with MTR’s cofounder, Lili Fuller, and past board member, Ben Sidell, among other USC graduates. She also interned with Ensemble Theatre Company and now enjoys her position as an ETC board member. However, her main passion is design and when she isn’t sewing in USC’s costume shop, she currently interns with the costume designer and stylist, Soyon An. With Soyon, Hannah worked on the past two So You Think You Can Dance National Tours, The 2012 American Music Awards, and The X Factor. With MTR she costumed Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd, Little Shop of Horrors,The Drowsy Chaperone. Hannah is excited to be a part of a company in which she can bring her childhood “Family Musical Movie Night” memories to life at USC.
Madigan Stehly (2014)
Madigan Stehly is pursuing a BFA in Theatre Technical Direction (Class of 2014) and has been an MTR Artistic Board member since 2012. Hailing from sunny San Diego, he has been working behind the scenes for over ten years. Since arriving at USC, he has been a part of over 20 productions, both in the School of Theater/School of Dramatic Arts and in the world of Independent Student Productions. Some of his credits include lighting designer for Moonchildren, Jame's Joyce's The Dead, What We're Up Against, and MTR's recent production of Sweeney Todd. His technical direction credits include Smash, City of Angels, and MTR's Little Shop of Horror's. Outside of theater, Madigan works as the Assistant Lighting Director for USC's Performance Venues. He is pleased to have the chance to work with the ever talented and professional group of artists on the MTR board, and looks forward to another awesome season.
Charlotte Mary Wen (2013)
Charlotte Mary Wen is a native San Diegan and is a graduate of the School of Dramatic Arts (B.A.) with a minor in Musical Theatre (’13). Miss Wen grew up working in theatres throughout San Diego such as The Old Globe, Lyric Opera San Diego, Starlight Theatre, The Civic Theatre, and Moonlight Stage Productions. Some of her favorite theatrical experiences include working eight holiday seasons in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! with Tony-award winning director, Jack O’Brien as well as in Joseph, featuring the Osmond brothers. MTR Credits include: Marcy Park in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, All Girl Band and Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors. She also served as choreographer for Little Shop of Horrors and Tick, Tick…Boom. Other USC Credits include: On the Town and Chicago. Charlotte was the winner of LA's Next Great Stage Star 2013 and she was a participant of the British American Drama Academy in London. Currently, Charlotte is a working actress in Los Angeles. www.charlottemarywen.com
D.J. Blickenstaff (2013)
D.J. Blickenstaff is a junior at USC, pursuing a BFA
in Acting. Growing up near Disneyland in Anaheim, he took on personas of Disney
characters in his everyday life - as if practicing for the future, and well,
theatre has been his passion ever since. Having performed in numerous shows
over the last ten years, D.J. has become dedicated to enriching the life of
others through performance and theatre production. He graduated from the Harker
School’s Conservatory (emphasis in Musical Theatre) in San Jose where he won
awards for favorite roles such as Harold Hill, The Music Man; Frank
Butler, Annie Get Your Gun; and Officer Lockstock in Urinetown the
Musical, which he performed at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland,
Summer of 2007. Other productions D.J. has been in include Metamorphoses
(Ceyx), Macbeth (Macbeth), and The Laramie Project (Jedadiah
Shultz). His interests and training includes dance, music, improv, a cappella,
opera, directing, teaching, and voice. His first two years at USC included
performing in productions such as Bat Boy, Company, and MTR’s Urinetown
the Musical. Last year, as a sophomore, D.J. performed in the School of
Theatre’s production of Cabaret (Herr Shultz), MTR’s A Little Night
Music (Frederik), On the Town (Ozzie), and had the pleasure of
directing Edges for MTR. This Winter, he is extremely excited to
be directing MTR’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone. D.J. looks forward
to continuing to work with such a great company to create and produce art
relevant to the world in which we live.
Matthew McFarland (2013)
Matthew graduated from USC in 2013 with a BFA in Acting. He joined Musical Theatre Repertory in the fall of his freshmen year, and within his four years on the artistic board served as President, director of A Little Night Music and All Girl Band, choreographer of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Edges, The Drowsy Chaperone and Sweeney Todd, and casting director of Little Shop of Horrors. School of Dramatic Arts and Musical Theatre Repertory performing credits include Sweeney Todd, Crimes of the Heart, City of Angels, Mansfield Park,On the Town, Cabaret, Grapes of Wrath, Diana of Dobson’s, Urinetown and See What I Wanna See. Matthew has performed throughout Los Angeles with theatre companies such as Center Theatre Group, Disney, the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities, the Norris Center for the Performing Arts and Ensemble Theatre Company. He is a LA’s Next Great Stage Star Top 5 Finalist and a Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards Semifinalist in Non-Classical Voice. Matthew was also a pROud member of USC’s Reverse Osmosis A cappella. Matthew could not be more proud to have been a part of such a groundbreaking and innovative company of musical theatre artists. He looks forward to watching current and future MTR board members continue the tradition of telling thought-provoking stories through high-quality music and dance. He currently resides in New York, NY, pursuing a career in musical theatre.
Rachel Newman (2012)
Rachel Newman graduated from USC in 2012 with a B.S. in Business/Cinematic Arts and a minor in Musical Theatre. Rachel was the sole freshman on the MTR Board when she was appointed in 2008, and spent her four years at USC as the Treasurer and resident producer for the company, with an additional two as a lead Artistic Director. She was the sole producer on The Wild Party, See What I Wanna See, and Urinetown, and co-produced five shows during her time on the Board. MTR Credits include A Little Night Music, All Girl Band and The Drowsy Chaperone; other USC credits include Speech and Debate (Diwata), On The Town, Brigadoon and more. Rachel credits MTR as her biggest learning experience in college, and is endlessly proud to have transitioned the organization from its founders to the brilliant minds behind it today.
Shortly after graduating from USC, Rachel moved to New York, first to take a position in Development at off-Broadway powerhouse The Public Theater, and then to pursue her career as an actor. Her New York credits include Dog Sees God (Van’s Sister), We Are The Tigers (reading: Chess), and a few go-arounds on the cabaret scene. Rachel is currently wrapping up the national tour of Calculus The Musical, and looks forward to spending the summer at Marin Shakespeare.
Kim Dalton (2011)
Kim is a senior at USC pursuing a BA in Theatre with a minor in musical theatre. She is serving as Producer and Assistant Director for All Girl Band, in addition to managing MTR's publicity both online and on campus. Professional Los Angeles credits include the regional premiere of Xanadu (Clio/Kira), Into the Woods (Little Red -- Inland Theatre League Award for Best Actress), The Marvelous Wonderettes (Suzy), Godspell ("Bless the Lord"), Parade (Mary Phagan/Lila), and the title role in a staged reading of Carrie: The Musical. USC roles include How To Succeed... (Finch), Little Women (Amy), Brigadoon, Bat Boy (Shelley), Company (Amy), and MTR's Urinetown (Little Sally). Kim is originally from Paradise Valley, AZ where she performed in many shows and trained as a classical musician for ten years. In addition to acting, Kim plays over eleven different instruments and has performed with USC's Concert Orchestra as well as the Phoenix Symphony Guild's Youth Orchestra as First Chair Violist. She is also an award winning visual artist and web site designer who has worked with several groups at USC including MTR, TSA, USC’s Experimental Theatre, and USC's 2nd Chance Prom.
Ashley Koenig (2011)
Ashley Koenig is a BFA Sophomore in the Technical Theatre Department of the School of Theatre, studying to earn a degree in Technical Direction in order to become a smaller more adorable version of Duncan. She hails from the amazing city of New York where she attended LaGuardia High School. She first started theatre in Jr. High and since then has done everything from Stage Managing to Props and Wardrobe Coordination to acting and assisting on multiple projects everywhere from Children’s Theatre to Touring Productions and Off-Broadway productions. At USC, Ashley has partaken in a number of shows including those, which she was not assigned to. These shows include Medea (Production Asst), The Bluest Eye (Asst Lighting Designer), Into the Woods (Asst Stage Manager), Triangle Factory Fire (Asst Stage Manager), Venus(Asst Set Designer), Too Clever by Half (Technical Director), Dracula, Around the World in 80 Minutes aka The Dance Show (Stage Manager) and, currently she is acting as the Technical Director for this semesters musical, On the Town. Ashley Looks forward to sharing her theatre experiences with MTR and the USC School of Theatre.
Katie Sims (2011)
Katie Sims is currently a senior at USC, pursuing her B.A. in Theatre Arts. She has been studying voice since the age of 10 and that same year particpiated in her very first musical, Titanic, in which she played Bandsmember Taylor. Since that time she has been in over 20 productions. Some of Katie's favorite musical theater roles include: Rosemary (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz), Marian (The Music Man), and she also portrayed both Kirsten and Josefina in Circle of Friends at the American Girl Place Theatre in Chicago for two years. While at USC Katie has also been in two School of Theatre productions, Don Juan Comes Back from the War and Medea. She is also a member of USC's first acapella group, the SoCal VoCals. She encourages anyone and everyone to audition for future MTR productions!
Joe Kennedy (2011)
Joe Kennedy is currently a Senior at USC, pursuing a BFA
in Theatrical Design.Born and raised in
Las Vegas, NV, Joe first fell in love with musical theatre in the third grade
when he was cast in his school’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.Throughout high school Joe performed in a
variety of productions including Tartuffe (Tartuffe), The Taming of the Shrew
(Gremio), and Seussical the Musical (The Cat in the Hat).Joe is also a graduate of Northwestern
University’s Cherubs program for the performing arts where he portrayed Satan
in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.Upon
attending college, Joe decided to shift his focus and begin a career in the
field of theatrical design and special event management.Joe has since worked on a variety of shows
for the USC School of Theatre and MTR, providing the costume design for nine
shows, Make-up design for three, and additional production and consulting work
for a host of others. Joe has also had the honor of winning bo th the 2010 and
2011 USC Theatre Students Association Awards for “Achievement in Costume
Design” for his work on Diana of Dobson’s and Cabaret respectively. His costume
design for the short film Dinner With Fred has also garnered numerous
accolades, including selection for The Rome and Tulsa International Film
Festivals as well as Los Angeles Short Fest, for more information visit www.dinnerwithfred.com.After two years of working as a part-time
Events Intern at the California Science Center and as an Event Coordinator for
the USC GLBT Association, Joe was hired as a Regional Manager for the celebrity
event design company Rrivre Works Inc. Joe has worked to provide event design
for clients such as Warner Bros, Sony, BET, Mindy Weiss Consultants, Sharon
Sacks Productions, BAFTA, and others. For more information on Joe’s latest work
for a host of celebrity clients visit www.Rrivreworks.com.
Sean Kranz (2011)
Sean Kranz graduated USC in 2011 with a BA in Theatre (Musical Theatre) and a musical studies minor. By his graduation, Sean had been a part of nearly 50 musicals across the Bay Area and Southern California Area including MTR’s productions of Edges (Producer), A Little Night Music (Mr. Lindquist (Liebeslider)/Sound Designer), Spelling Bee (Sound Designer), Urinetown (Director/Sound Designer), See What I Wanna See (Sound Engineer/Co-Production Manager), Wild Party (Sound Designer/Asst. Production Mananger), Hello Again (Sound Designer), Sunday in the Park With George (Mr./Lee Randolph), A New Brain (Minister), and Assassins (Garfield/Ford/Ensemble). Other credits include Company (Bobby), Bat Boy (Dr. Parker), Little Women (Laurie), How to Succeed... (Jonesy), Children of Eden (God), The Sound of Music (Captain Von Trapp), and his favorite show, The Music Man (Harold Hill). He joined the board in the Fall of 2009 and became the resident sound designer for all shows and oversaw all maintenance of the website during his time on the board. For more information, visit his website at SeanKranz.com .
Sarah Steinman (2011)
Sarah Steinman graduated from USC's School of Theatre in May of 2011 with a BFA in Theatre Design. Growing up in Tacoma, Washington, it has always been a goal of Sarah's to return to Southern California, where she was born. She got involved in technical theatre during high school, when she signed up for a "Live Sound Reinforcement" class because she had a hole in her schedule! Coming from a fine arts background, technical theatre was something new and interesting, and she has stuck with it ever since. Theatre design was new to Sarah when she arrived at college, and since beginning school has worked in scenic, lighting, and costume design. Through design, Sarah has found that she can combine the worlds of work, play, functionality and art into her stage creations, and loves the versatility of theatre. Her work has been seen in many productions at USC, including Scapino?! (scenic and lighting design), Too Clever by Half, House of Bernarda Alba (scenic design) and Naga Mandala (lighting design). Since graduating, Sarah has been working in various costume shops in the LA area, assisting professional designers, and even doing some designing of her own.
Sydney Blair (2010)
Sydney Blair graduated from USC's Theatre School in 2010 and was a very proud member of MTR. Theatre allows you to create families all over the world, and MTR is one of my families. Sydney also spent a semester abroad in London at the British American Drama Academy studying classical theatre. While at USC, some of Sydney's favorite roles included Little Red (into the Woods), Agnes (A Dream Play) and Soupy Sue & Choreographer (Urinetown). Currently Sydney lives and works in Los Angeles as an actor. Sydney has been lucky to work at some fantastic theatres, such as 3-D Theatricals, Cabrillo Music Theatre, Starlight Theatre, Third Street Theatre, The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, The Cavern Club Theatre, Downy CLO and South Bay CLO. Some of her favorite roles at these theatres include Kate/Chutney in Legally Blonde, Baby Bear/Blind Mouse in Shrek, Estelle in The Full Monty, Ermengarde in Hello Dolly!, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition to her work in theatre, Sydney has been featured in a number of short films and webseries. She studies improv and sketch writing at the Groundlings School and is proud to perform new works regularly with her comedy family. Sydney also has her own thriving business as a private acting and audition coach, as well as being a Tap teacher and choreographer, a director at the Strasberg Institute Young Actors Program and the Drama Teacher at Overland Elementary. Currently Sydney continues to pursue Theatre, Television, and Film in Los Angeles. Its an incredible life. A crazy life. A tough and truly wonderful life. A life fueled by love. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Nathan D. Singh (2010)
Nathan Singh (graduated from USC School of Theatre in 2010) is a Los Angeles-based director whose work includes theatre and opera. Recent theatre credits include: BUNK and SERPENTINE PINK at the Son of Semele Theater's Creation Festival, SCAR TISSUE at Company of Angels (published in Best American Short Plays of 2010-2011), LIKE A DOG IN SPACE at the Blank Theatre Company’s Young Playwright’s Festival, SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE at Musical Theatre Repertory at USC, and a reading of CIRCUS UGLY at The Culver Art Center. Site-specific works include: DAY’S PAY for Moveable Piece at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, FLASH THEATRE: GO THY WAY WITH JOY for Playwrights’ Arena, and FLASH THEATRE: A CALL TO ART for a fundraiser at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Opera works include: AMERICA TROPICAL for the Autry National Center, La Plaza de Culturas y Artes on Olvera St, and USC Vision and Voices, SHIPWRECK for the Definiens Project and USC Spectrum. He has assisted Michael Rohd on WILLFULL and Laurie Woolery on THE TENTH MUSE at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Nancy Keystone on the first workshop of AMERYKA at Critical Mass Performance Group, and Jon Lawrence Rivera on OEDIPUS EL REY at The Theatre @ Boston Court. In Fall of 2014, Nathan will be pursuing an MFA in Directing at The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.
Melissa Trupp (2010)
Melissa Trupp is currently a senior pursuing a BFA in Stage Management at the University of Southern California. Although she got initially got hooked on theatre as an actress, she has decided that she is much happier with a headset and prompt book. Melissa has worked on over 30 productions backstage in some form of technical theatre. Professionally, Melissa is currently an Assistant Stage Manager at the Disneyland resorts. As a well-rounded theatre practitioner, this year Melissa will be production managing, directing, and set designing for MTR. Melissa lives by her motto, "To Conduct the Orchestra, one must turn their back on the crowd." She is so excited to be a part of the growing MTR community and to co-direct and set design the MTR winter show, "Urinetown."
Ben Sidell (2010)
Ben Sidell graduated from USC May 2010 with a BA in Theatre. Born and raised in Boston, Ben has been performing since the age of five. During his time at USC, Ben performed in the School of Theatre’s productions of Barbarians, Pentecost (Bojovic), Carousel, Brigadoon, A Dream Play (The Lawyer), and Into the Woods (The Baker). He also had the pleasure of performing in MTR’s productions of Assassins (Sam Byck), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Linus Van Pelt), Sunday in the Park with George (Jules/Alex), Hello Again (The Senator), and The Wild Party (Eddie). While on the MTR board Ben publicity designed The Wild Party and See What I Wanna See, and House managed See What I Wanna See as well as Urinetown. MTR, in large part, has been Ben’s family for his four years at college. He is exceedingly thankful for the wonderful experiences it has provided him and for the life long friendships he has made on the board. Ben plans on staying in Los Angeles to pursue acting in film, television, and theatre. He is a firm believer in the principle that there is always more to learn, and he is eager to continue growing. "Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination" - Oscar Wilde
Ashley Strumwasser (2010)
Ashley Strumwasser graduated from USC in 2011 with a degree in communications and playwriting. She was an artistic director on the MTR board for three years. During her time on the board she produced Hello Again, assistant directed Third Grade Reunion, and served as the publicity director of Wild Party, Hello Again, See What I Want to See, and Urinetown. Upon graduation, Ashley went on to work at WME as an assistant in talent and teevision. She is currently living in Los Angeles and working as an assistant to the President of Creative Affairs at 20th Century Fox Television.
Steve Edlund (2009)
Steve Edlund graduated from USC in 2009. As a freshman, he co-founded Musical Theatre Repertory with Lili Fuller. In 2009, Steve directed Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party, which received the inaugural award for Best Student Production at USC’s TSA Awards. He also received the School of Theatre Lifetime Achievement award for his contributions to the school over his 4 undergraduate years. Currently, Steve lives in New York and works with Jerry Zaks. Credits include Sister Act (A.D., Broadway,1st National Tour), Harps and Angels (A.D., Mark Taper Forum), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (A.D., Ahmanson Theatre), Pageant (Dir./Chor., Willows Theatre), Starmites (Dir./Chor., Ensemble Theatre Company), and The Wild Party, Sunday in the Park with George, A New Brain, and Assassins at USC (Dir./Chor.)
Lili Fuller (2009)
Lili Fuller just graduated USC with a B.A. in Theatre. As a freshman, she co-founded MTR, with hopes of spreading more musical theatre love to the campus of USC. She helped put together Comphony, a hilarious parody of USC’s mainstage musical, and with her directing partner Steve Edlund, she co-directed Assassins and A New Brain, as well as choreographed Charlie Brown, Hello, Again! and Wild Party for MTR. Lili has worked with Center Theatre Group, The Sundance Institute (Theatre Lab), ETC Theatre Company, and Starlight. Favorite Roles include Sally (You're a Good Man Charlie Brown), Little Red (Into the Woods), Meg (Brigadoon) and Delores (Working). Lili also started Boom Kat Dance Company, a modern dance ensemble dedicated to pushing the boundaries of movement and telling stories through dance (boomkatdance.org). Not certain where her passions will lead her, Lili is excited to keep creating, experiencing and collaborating with fellow artists.
Natalie Peyser (2009)
Both classically and potty trained, Natalie Peyser is an actor/singer from Los Angeles whose credits range from stage to screen and everything in-between. Natalie attended the University of Southern California, where she received her BA in Theatre. Since graduating, she divides her time between New York City and Los Angeles. Recent credits include NBC’s SMASH, Off-Broadway musical The City Club, and Starz Channel’s Magic City. She can also be heard voicing numerous national television/radio commercials. Natalie improvises at UCB where she’s enjoyed multiple running shows, and regularly performs at 54 Below in New York City.
Brent Lomas (2008)
Brent Lomas graduated from USC in 2008 with a B.A. in Communication. He received his M.Ed from UCLA and is a proud Teach for America alum. Currently residing in New York City, Brent teaches writing for Harlem Village Academy Leadership. A member of Actor's Equity, Brent has performed in OPA! THE MUSICAL, ZULY! THE MUSICAL, HALLOWEEN HULLABALOO, ALL CAUGHT UP (prod. Jerry Springer), and others. He also toured in CHARLOTTE'S WEB as Wilbur. While with MTR, Brent performed as John Hinckley in ASSASSINS, and his first full-length musical THIRD GRADE REUNION was developed and produced. Brent is currently working on book, music, and lyrics for MARK AND MADAM, a show about an imagined granddaughter of American clairvoyant Edgar Cayce. MARK AND MADAM had its first private reading at Manhattan Theatre Club Studios and is undergoing revisions.
Caitie Hannon (2007)
Caitie Hannon (Co-Founder) graduated from USC in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Theatre and a double minor in Musical Theatre and French. With MTR, she helped produce 5 musicals over the course of two years. During her senior year, she was the marketing intern for Center Theatre Group (CTG), and two weeks after graduation, she was employed as a grants writer for CTG, where she worked from 2007 to 2010. She also worked part-time for Ensemble Theatre Company, a small non-profit dedicated to serving the community through musical theater and dance, from 2005 to 2010. Additionally, she was the Gala Event Coordinator for a re-mounting of Invasion! The Musical, which was originally produced by MTR at the Massman Theatre, and ran August-September 2007 at the Hudson Theatre. A 2014 graduate of the Yale School of Drama (MFA - Theater Management) and the Yale School of Management (MBA), Caitie currently works at Cleveland Public Theatre as the Development Director.