Krista Schafer (Lil’ Bit) is the founding Artistic Director of Open Book. She earned her degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has additional training from Arden Theatre Company, SITI company, Fringe Benefits and Augusto Boal. Krista has performed on professional stages large and small across the country. Krista won the Wilde Award for best performance by a lead actress for her title role in Emilie as well as the Best Director award for both The Watson Intelligence and This Random World. When not at the theatre she loves to read, dance, play games, do jigsaw puzzles, and spend time near or in water. She is famous for her love of Prince and sharks.
Phil Hughes (Peck) is in his third production with Open Book. He previously appeared in Lifespan of a Fact as John D’Agata and For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday as Jim/Hook. Before working with OBTC, Phil appeared in productions with Planet Ant, Riverbank Theatre, Detroit Ensemble Theatre, Detroit Theatre Collective and Shakespeare Royal Oak (formerly Water Works Theatre). He received acting training at the Michigan Actors Studio. He is grateful to be a part of this funny, emotionally complex and moving piece, How I Learned to Drive.
V Martin (Male Greek Chorus, they/them), is stepping back on stage for the first time in almost a decade. Growing up, they were known for dancing, acting, drawing/painting, and most of all, singing. These days, you can find V behind the chair of V Cuts Detroit inside of Shellnut Bros. They have been a business owner for the past five years and were awarded ClickonDetroit’s Best Barber of 2022. Besides working and acting, V loves their corgi, Loki, collecting vinyl, going to karaoke, and hosting a RuPaul recap podcast with the Couch Potato Queens.
Diana Turner (Female Greek Chorus) is so happy to be back on the Open Book stage! She has also been seen around town at the Snug and Riverbank Theaters, Monster Box, Slipstream Theatre Initiative, Meadow Brook Theatre, Michigan Opera Theatre, and as a staff singer at Christ Church, Cranbrook. Favorite roles include Mama Rose in Gypsy, Diana in Next to Normal, and the Witch in Into The Woods. She trained at Columbia College in Chicago, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC, and more locally at Tipping Point Theatre and AKT Theatre Project. She’d like to thank her family: Dave, Mary, David and Luna for keeping her firmly grounded, while still allowing her to grow.
Amelia Hefferon (Teenage Greek Chorus) is a theatre artist and educator committed to using the arts as a tool for education, social justice, and collective creativity. Amelia has worked with a wide range of arts and community organizations throughout the country as an actor, teaching artist, and facilitator, including Lookingglass Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Adventure Stage Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, CAT Youth Theatre, The Story Pirates, and more. Here in Michigan, Amelia has worked with Matrix Theatre Company, Dream Arts Company, and currently serves as a teaching artist in residence with Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. She loves going to museums, playing games of all kinds, and hanging out with her husband and cats. Amelia is very grateful to be making her Open Book debut alongside this wonderful cast and team.
Adriane Galea (Director) is thrilled to be back in the theatre and back at Open Book after having directed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Be A Good Little Widow. Select credits (stage): Cathy in The Last Five Years, Woman 1 in Songs for a New World, and Mama Noah in Children of Eden; (directing): Venus in Fur, Unsportsmanlike Conduct (World Premiere), Constellations, Oleanna, and Dog Sees God. Adriane is proud to have founded the Detroit New Works Festival, an internationally recognized and attended festival for socially conscious new plays and musicals. Adriane has mentored dozens of aspiring artists through acting and musical theatre college audition coaching and has presented talks at BroadwayCon in NYC. This one’s for the former Outvisible crew…. challenge ideas, inspire creativity, and find the inestimable beauty of life through art.
Kiah Manthei (Stage Manager, she/her) most recently stage managed Open Book’s production of Nollywood Dreams. She assistant directed Legally Blonde: The Musical (Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center (DYPAC)) and has stage managed various other plays and musicals in the Metro Detroit area, including My Dad Was Fifteen Feet Tall (Outvisible Theatre Company), Princess Whatsername (DYPAC), The Turn of the Screw (Outvisible Theatre Company), and Xanadu (DYPAC). Kiah graduated from Wayne State University in 2019 with a Master of Social Work. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her cat, going to concerts (Eras Tour, anyone?), and spending time with family and friends.
Eric Niece (Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be designing for Open Book again! He was last seen performing in the theatre window Haunted alongside his wife and best friend, Hannah Niece. Some of Eric’s past favorite designs include She Kills Monsters and Baby at Adrian College, Urinetown at Rochester University, and, of course, Ada and The Engine at Open Book. When not designing for Metro Detroit theatres, Eric can be found working as the Technical Director for L’anse Creuse Public Schools in Clinton Township. Big thanks to Krista, Adriane, and the rest of the Open Book team for the opportunity to showcase this work and to Gordie for bringing it to life. As always, the largest thank you goes to Hannah who has supported him in every aspect of his personal and professional life and made two beautiful children with him. I love you. ericniece.com
Gordon Mosley(Scenic Carpenter) joined the Players Guild of Dearborn in 1986 and has been involved in theatrical productions ever since. Over the years he has also worked with Southgate Community Players, Downriver Actors Guild, Lincoln Park High School and Detroit Public Theatre. In 2012 Gordon was inducted into the Dearborn Theater Hall of Fame. Among his more notable construction projects were The Car for I Remember Mama based on a 1908 Cadillac, The Gazebo for Do You Wanna Dance?, The Sewer for Guys and Dolls and The Mid-Century Furniture for Promises, Promises. Gordon enjoys the unique challenges of building sets for a black box theater. This is his sixth production as set builder and he continues to upgrade set design and construction methods with his unique style of building and the use of 3D modeling software.
Cheryl Zemke (Costume Designer) is a Multi Award winning Fashion Designer, Artist, and Owner of C. Creations Custom Sewing & Design. Her store, Cheryl Zemke Boutique, is located at 2934 Biddle Ave. in downtown Wyandotte. The boutique sells her handmade fashion and art, as well as “Artfully Chosen” fashion and gift items. She also does custom sewing and alterations on site. Zemke was born and raised in southern Michigan, received a B.S.B.A. from Lawrence Technological University, and earned an Associate Degree in Merchandising at the International Academy of Merchandising and Design, graduating as class Valedictorian. Zemke has been a part of the Open Book team since 2017, this show will mark her 13th as a costume designer. She particularly enjoys costuming, saying it “allows me to use many of the skills that I have acquired from classes in Fashion History.” Contact Cheryl Zemke via her email email@example.com, website www.cherylzemke.com, Facebook or Instagram @cherylzemkeboutique.
Harley Miah (Lighting Designer) is a freelance artist for theatres, nightclubs, concerts and festivals across the country, as lighting designer for IKO Global Productions. He has been Open Book’s resident lighting designer since its inception, earning Wilde Awards for Best Design – Lights for Open Book’s production of Red in 2014, and This Random World in 2022. Harley’s work has recently been seen at The Ringwald, Tipping Point, Detroit Public Theatre and the newly opened Inspired Acting Company in Walled Lake. Harley also designs lights for “Detroit Presents: Live from Marygrove” on Detroit Public TV, which airs Wednesdays at 7:30 on WTVS and St George’s Academy in NYC. Harley spends spare his time with his loving partner Reyna spoiling their cats, traveling, and seeing as many shows as they can in this great theatre community we have in Southeast Michigan. He hopes you do the same.
Samantha Silva (Prop Designer) is delighted to be back at Open Book this season and to be given such exciting opportunities to grow! She started here last year as Stage Manager for The Lifespan of a Fact and This Random World and had a wonderful experience. She also had the joy of working on The Taming and For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday earlier this season. She would like to thank the Open Book family for creating such a welcoming, inclusive, and collaborative environment and community. She is proud to work with such talented and dedicated artists. Thanks also to her bosses, family and friends for their support and tolerance of this crazy schedule; to her parents for EVERYTHING; to her husband for encouraging her to chase what brings her joy; and to her son, who inspires and surprises us every day.
Frannie Shepherd-Bates (Sound Designer) is the founder and director of Shakespeare in Prison, Detroit Public Theatre’s signature community program, which uses Shakespeare’s works as a catalyst for empowerment for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Frannie has directed for a number of theatres in southeast Michigan and has received several awards for her work as an artist and arts advocate. She is an active member of the International Shakespeare in Prisons Network and is currently co-authoring a paper for an upcoming book about applied theatre. Frannie enjoys juggling, chocolate, and those blissful times when she isn’t being yelled at by her geriatric cat.
Vicki Morgan (Intimacy Choreographer) is happy to be returning to Open Book as Intimacy Choreographer! Vicki’s first experience choreographing intimacy was with OBTC’s production of The Children earlier this season. Vicki works primarily as an actor throughout the state of Michigan and has worked with theatres such as Shakespeare in Detroit, Spinning Dot Theatre, and The Penny Seats Theatre Company. Favorite roles include Ophelia in Hamlet, Beatrix in This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, and Maria in Twelfth Night. Vicki is honored to be working in the Intimacy Choreography space and thanks the cast and the production team for their trust and support.
Alexander Kunitz (Production Manager) has been an active theatre professional based in the Ann Arbor Area since 2009, serving as Stage Manager in over 40 professional productions in southeast Michigan. He is incredibly excited to be working with Krista and the Open Book Team to bring this touching story to the stage!