Annie Dilworth (Mary Bennet) Annie is delighted to be working with Open Book Theatre Company for the first time! She has a B.A in Theatre from Grand Valley State University, and now lives in Detroit. Some favorite recent projects include The Wolves (#46) with Slipstream Theatre Initiative, Silent Sky (Margaret Leavitt) with Williamston Theatre, and Significant Other (Vanessa) with The Ringwald. Annie has also performed with Shakespeare in Detroit, Shakespeare Royal Oak, The Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s High School Tour, Roustabout Theatre Troupe, The Penny Seats, Theatre Nova, Puzzle Piece Theatre, PencilPoint TheatreWorks, Tipping Point Theatre’s Sandbox Play Festival, Two Muses Theatre and The Dio. Thank you to Dan Johnson, Sarah, Dani, and Krista. Love to her Parents. The World to Jonathan. And “Hiányzol” to her own sister Mary adventuring and spreading knowledge halfway around the globe.
Dan Johnson (Arthur de Bourgh) is thrilled to be back at Open Book Theatre Company, having previously helped spread starstuff in Peter and the Starcatcher. Dan has been lucky enough to perform at many theatres in the southeast Michigan area, including in I Liked It a Lot, But It Was So SAD, I’m Just Glad You Don’t Die in This One! and …It Wasn’t the BEST Show You’ve Ever Done. When not acting, Dan finds that there’s nothing like date-nut fruitcake and “A John Waters Christmas” to put him in the holiday spirit. Thanks to Mom (who provided the show titles above), Dad and Angela for their love and support, Annie Dilworth for general awesomeness, and to YOU for supporting live professional MI theatre. Enjoy!
Claire Jolliffe (Elizabeth Darcy) is thrilled to be making her Open Book debut! Claire is a graduate from The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Since returning to Michigan, she has worked with theaters all across the state including The Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Flint Repertory Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre Company, The Matrix Theatre, and Slipstream Theatre Initiative. Many thanks to Sarah and the cast for the holiday fun, Mom, Dad, Grace, and Meghan for all their love and support through thick and thin, and you for supporting local theater. www.clairejolliffe.com
Jeremy Kucharek (Fitzwilliam Darcy) couldn’t be more excited to join the Open Book family! He was last seen in Joshua Harmon’s Admissions at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor and at the 10th Annual Sandbox Playwrighting Festival at Tipping Point Theatre in Northville. Jeremy is a BFA graduate of the Wayne State University Theatre Program and a Resident Artist of the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea where he played Rob in Carey Crim’s Never Not Once last year. He would like to thank Krista, Sarah, Dani, and the delightful cast who have all made this experience such a joy, and YOU for supporting local theatre! Visit jeremykucharek.com for more information.
Ashley M. Lyle (Anne de Bourgh) is excited to make her Open Book Debut with such a delightful script, cast, crew, and director! Some of her recent credits include Ain’t Misbehavin at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, House on Poe Street at Detroit Repertory Theatre (which recently won a Wilde Award), and Who Will Sing For Lena? at the Matrix Theatre (which was nominated for two Wilde Awards in 2017). Ashley is also a cosplayer and a web designer (check her out at www.sitesbylyle.com). She wants to thank her mother, friends, and family who have been incredibly supportive throughout her journey.
Luciana Piazza (Jane Bingley) is thrilled to be in her very first production at Open Book Theatre! Selected regional credits include: Mother ( A Christmas Story the Musical ), Miss Dorothy ( Thoroughly Modern Millie), Pam Lukowski ( The Full Monty ), Jane Ashton (Brigadoon), Phoebe ( As You Like It ) , Virtue ( Anything Goes), and Follies Girl ( Crazy For You). Luciana has enjoyed performing at The Encore Theatre, Riverbank Theatre, Water Works Theatre, The Dio, Snug Theatre, Timeless Tales, and CMAP. When not onstage, Luciana can be found behind the mic doing voice overs as well as teaching theatre to young aspiring performers. She is also the Internship Coordinator for Shakespeare Royal Oak. Luciana is excited to be collaborating with Sarah, Krista, and the entire OBTC team. Many thanks to family and friends for their ongoing support. With special thanks to Rick Bodick: teacher, mentor, friend. Lucianapiazza.com
Tim Pollack (Charles Bingley) is delighted to return to Open Book Theatre Company this season in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Tim received his BA in acting from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has worked as an actor and director since returning to the U.S. Some of his recent roles include Hamlet (Experimental Performing Arts Association), Oliver in The Intruder (Detroit Theatre Collective), Brad in Be A Good Little Widow (Open Book Theatre Company), and Lee in Scar Tissue (HFC Guest Artist). He also works as the Artistic Director at Cabrini High School in Allen Park. Tim will also appear as Gary in This Random World later this season at Open Book.
Danielle Wright (Lydia Wickham) is excited to make her debut on the Open Book stage! Some of her most recent credits include #2 in The Wolves at Slipstream Theatre Initiative, Almost Maine at The Snug Theatre, Kaylie in Unsportsmanlike Conduct at Outvisible Theatre Company, and multiple credits at Little Door Theatre. She attended Wayne State University and graduated with her BFA in acting. When not acting she loves teaching theatre and performing one-woman musicals in her car. She hopes that you enjoy the show!
Danielle Gilbert (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working on yet another show with Open Book! She has previously stage managed several shows here, as well as trying her hand at House Managing a few. Some of her favorites include Calypso’s Corner, Peter and the Starcatcher, Be a Good Little Widow, and, most recently, Ada and the Engine. When she is not Stage Managing you can find her in Ann Arbor making fancy wooden boxes for roleplaying games, or playing said roleplaying/board games with her friends on the weekends. She would like to thank her Mom and Dad, for coming to every show and always supporting her future, and Kevin, for his unwavering support and kindness.
Stephanie Baugher (Scenic Designer) holds a B.S. in Illustration from Northern Michigan University and an M.F.A in Scenic Design from Wayne State University. She is currently the Scenic Charge artist for Flint Repertory Theatre as well as the Lighting, Projection, and Scenic Designer at Henry Ford College. She has worked in props and scenic design with the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, Stagedoor Manor, the Hilberry and Bonstelle Theatres, Matrix Theatre, The Blackhills Playhouse, Meadowbrook Theatre, Tibbits Summer Theatre, Central City Opera, and Opera New Jersey. Some of her favorite projects include Scenic Design for Cabaret (JET), The Foreigner (HFC), Evil Dead The Musical: Original High School Edition (StageDoor Manor), and Dracula (Hilberry Theatre).
Cheryl Zemke (Costume Designer) is an award-winning fashion designer and owner of C. Creations Custom Sewing & Design. This is her sixth show with Open Book: she designed the costumes for Watson Intelligence, Doubt, Ada and the Engine, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Emilie and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. She loves working alongside directors and actors to help develop characters. Cheryl has her own garment label, C3, and sells her designs at shows and by private appointment, as well as provides custom fashion design and alterations (follow her on Facebook @c3fashions or www.cherylzemke.webs.com). Cheryl produces her own runway shows and participates in area shows like Fashion Massacre, Fashion in Detroit, Michigan Fashion Week, and RAINN. She was featured as one of the top Detroit area designers in the DIA: Samurai Beyond the Armor challenge. Awards include 2016 Best of Show and Judge’s Choice Stand Up Fashion Show, 3rd place Runway Repurposed, and 5 awards from the American Sewing Expo (2009-2012) Passion for Fashion.
Maria Tejada (Production Manager) is a professional stage manager who has worked with several Michigan theatres including Water Works Theatre, Planet Ant and six years at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC even traveling to Macao, China with the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Maria graduated from Grand Valley State University with degrees in Theater and Spanish. She is a facilitator with Detroit Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in Prison program, the Company Manager for Roustabout Theatre Troupe and she is so excited to now be a part of Open Book Theatre Company! Her favorite holiday tradition is pressuring her family to rewatch cartoon and claymation Christmas specials with her.
Reyna DeSilva (Props Designer) is excited to be returning to Open Book’s production team after her work as Costume and Props Designer for Wonder of the World and Props Designer for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. A former vocalist in musical theatre and opera, she has assisted as lighting crew, house manager, and with other duties at OBTC, including as the administrative assistant to the Artistic Director. In her spare time, she loves to camp, dance, cuddle furry animals, binge Netflix series, attend as much Michigan theatre with her best friend as possible, and explore museums. She also has been rumored to produce fantastical sweets under the alias of “Little Red.” Something about tarts. Dunno, it’s crazy.
Krista Schafer Ewbank (Producer) is the founding Artistic Director of Open Book and is honored to create a home for so many wonderful local artists to share their work with you, our amazing audience. A native Michigander, Krista holds a degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has worked as an actor, director and teacher at theatres across the country. Krista will be back on stage in Frankie and Johnny and will be directing This Random World. One of Krista’s favorite Christmas traditions is forcing her daughter to listen to her sappy stories as they decorate the tree with ornaments collected over the years as mementos of trips taken, friends made, and family loved.