Joshua Brown (Buddy) began acting in earnest on his 30th birthday, realizing a lifelong dream. He has worked with Tipping Point Theatre as File in The Rainmaker and in their 2013 Sandbox Festival. He has also acted professionally with Two Muses (Sylvia), Planet Ant (Algorithm) and the Matrix Theatre Company (Best of Enemies). He has trained at Tipping Point Theatre and Purple Rose Theatre Company.
Miles Bond (Jeff) is very excited to be a part of Open Book Theatre. Having just played Jason in Oakland Community College’s production of Rabbit Hole, he was very excited to dive into even more David Lindsey-Abaire. Miles has also worked with Two Muses Theatre, Shakespeare in Detroit, Stagecrafters, and he is also a proud ensemble member of Slipstream Theatre Initiative! Miles would like to thank the cast and crew of Kimberly Akimbo for this wonderful opportunity!
Connie Cowper (Kimberly) is thrilled to make her Open Book debut as Kim. She has worked at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, and Tipping Point, as well as the Flint Youth Theatre, the Abreact, Planet Ant, The Ringwald,and others. She was Wilde Award nominated for Best Actress for her work in Snowbound, a role she originated, as well as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for playing an Italian countess in A Sleeping Country. Favorite roles include Daisy in Driving Miss Daisy, the Abbess in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, Doris in Cemetery Club, and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie. In addition to theatre, Connie has worked in both independent and feature films, most notably Stone with Robert De Niro, and in The Genesis Code. She works regularly on voice overs and in commercials, most recently a holiday Auto Owners advertisement that was nationally televised. Connie is part of the Jewish Ensemble Theatre’s Educational Outreach and performs in a short play with an anti-bullying theme in middle and elementary schools. She also works for Henry Ford Hospital in the medical education department, using her acting skills to teach communication techniques to doctors. Much love to my Richard. Thank you for supporting Detroit area theatre.
Vanessa Sawson (Debra) holds an MFA in Acting from The Hilberry Repertory Theatre at Wayne State University, and a BA in Theatre Performance from Oakland University. She spent last summer on tour with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks performing Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It in over seventy cities out west. Her most recent credits in Detroit include Stupid F*cking Bird at The Ringwald, Best of Enemies at The Matrix Theatre and Shakespeare in Detroit’s King Lear.
Krista Schafer Ewbank (Pattie) is the Artistic Director of Open Book Theatre Company and has been seen onstage as Kess in Independence and played the title role in Sylvia. She earned her degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has performed on stages large and small across the country. Since returning to her home state of Michigan she has worked with AKT Theatre Project, The Abreact, Shakespeare in Detroit, Matrix Theatre Company, Drastic Theater Company, Broadway OnStage, KHOROS Inc., and the Gottlieb Music Festival. Some favorite roles she’s played include Veronica in God of Carnage, Catherine in Proof, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Fiona in Flanagan’s Wake, The Angel in Angels in America, Agnes in Dancing at Lughnasa, and Mrs. Pinkerton in Pinkalicious! The Musical. Krista can be seen as The Statue of Liberty on the cover of Cootie Shots (published by TCG), in which she was an original cast member, and has appeared in national and regional radio and television commercials. Many thanks Sean and Abby, who haven’t seen much of her this past year and have never complained about the high volume of frozen meals.
Topher Payne (Director and Set Design) is a Michigan based actor and director. He is the Associate Director of Open Book and has directed all the shows in the Inaugural Season. Originally hailing from Lubbock, Texas, Topher has a BFA in Acting Performance from Texas Tech University and an MFA in Acting from Wayne State University. Additionally, he has worked on stage with Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Tulsa’s American Theatre Company, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals, The Angel Fire Mountain Theatre Company, and The Berkshire Fringe Festival. He has also taught high school theatre and directed many productions on the high school level and in various theatres in Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan. During the day he performs in the educational shows offered at the Michigan Science Center. He wants to thank his boyfriend Jeff for all of his love and support.
Harley Miah (Lighting Designer) is a professional in the entertainment technology industry. He is a freelance lighting programmer for a large number of nightclubs, concerts and festivals in the Detroit area, and across the country. He works with the RHS Theatre program and is a proud member of, and lighting designer for, AKT Theatre Project in Wyandotte, MI. Harley is very excited to be part of Open Book’s inaugural season, having also designed Sylvia and Red. In the summer he loves to ride his bike and Slow Roll on Monday nights.
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