James Busam (Grempkin/Sanchez/Mack/Fighting Prawn) is very excited to be joining the cast of Peter and the Starcatcher in the brand new Open Book Theatre. James is a Detroit actor/musician whose recent credits include Johnny in American Idiot (Detroit Actors Theater Co), Host in Merry Wives of Windsor (WaterWorks Theatre Co), Jesus in Godspell (UnCovered Theatre), Andrew in Cross and the Light (Detroit Music Hall) and Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Uncovered Theatre). James would like to thank Krista, the cast, and the Open Book team for welcoming me on this journey! He would also like to thank his friends, family, and his beautiful wife Katy for their love and support.
Jaclynn Cherry (Ted) is excited to be back at Open Book, after appearing in last season’s The Shadow Box. She regularly performs improv around town and has also worked with The Detroit Repertory Theatre, Planet Ant, Go Comedy! Improv Theater, The Dio, and Slipstream Theatre Initiative. She’s also always hungry, just like Ted. Many thanks to Krista, Danielle, and everyone involved with the show for this wonderful experience!
Jonathan Davidson (Black Stache) was born in Detroit, MI and was last seen in Orson’s Shadow and Boxfest Detroit at the Planet Ant but not much else is known about him now. Rumor is he’s six feet under, somewhere two hundred paces west of Twin Pine Cathedral. Better him than me, I say. Well, time to hit that ol’ dusty trail. Just remember, never squat with your spurs on. Rides off into sunset.
Dan Johnson (Slank/Hawking Clam) is very excited to join Open Book Theatre Company for Peter and the Starcatcher. So far this year, he’s performed with Puzzle Piece Theatre Company (in R.U.R.), Slipstream Theatre Initiative (in Ubu Rex), The Encore Musical Theatre Company (in Assassins) and Water Works Theatre Company (in Twelfth Night). When not performing, he drinks too much Tab. Thanks to Mom, Dad and Angela (but not Tucker) and thank you for supporting live theatre in Michigan!
Dennis Kleinsmith (Lord Aster) is very excited to be returning to the Open Book stage after appearing here as Mark Rothko in Red and Brian in The Shadow Box. After graduating from Wayne State University, Dennis went on to work at various Detroit-area theatres such as Meadowbrook, Plowshares, and the Jewish Ensemble Theatre before moving west. Between Seattle and Los Angeles he accrued dozens of professional stage and film credits (all of which were memorable and important to him so none are listed here so none get left out) and in the years he’s been back home he’s added Michigan Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare in Detroit, the Abreact and memorably, the role of Roy Cohn in the Ringwald Theatre’s productions of Angels in America. He would like to dedicate this performance to Frank & Annachie.
Taylor Morrow (Molly) is THRILLED to be making her Open Book debut in one of her very favorite plays! Taylor holds a BFA from Wayne State and will be earning her Master’s degree in children’s theatre from Eastern Michigan University this spring. Favorite roles include Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank and Little Sally in Urinetown: The Musical. Much love to sweet Kyle and Team Morrow! “To have faith is to have wings.”
Mindy Padlo is excited to be working in another fabulous production with Open Book Theatre Company! Her professional work consists of: Spring Awakening (Ilse & Thea) with AKT Theatre Project; Into the Woods (Lucinda) with AKT Theatre Project, and her Wilde Award nominated performances as Dog in Wiley and the Hairy Man with Open Book Theatre Company . Other favorite roles consist of Rizzo in Grease, Stepmother in Cinderella, and Wednesday in Addams Family Musical. Thank you for coming out and supporting Downriver Area theatre in our new space. Enjoy the show!
Sean Paraventi (Captain Scott) is an actor, playwright and improviser who is pleased to be making his fourth appearance with Open Book Theatre after last being seen in Who Am I this Time. Random things about Sean: He is left-handed, he hates mushrooms, he fears Canadian Geese, he thinks Road House is the greatest movie of all time, and he loves to talk about himself in the third person. Sean hopes you enjoy the journey with this wonderful cast and crew as much as he does.
Kez Settle (Bumbrake/Teacher) is an actress of both film and stage. Kez made her debut in acting in her third grade elementary school play and has been hooked on acting ever since. She has appeared in several stage productions around Southeast Michigan and some of her favorite credits include playing Rosemary in Stoney Gage Theater’s production of Rosemary with Ginger,’ Prospero and Boatswain in Planet Ant premiere of Good Men and True, Jackie in the Planet Ant production of One Cat Away From 61, and Guildenstern in Slipstream Theatre Initiative’s production of Hamlet. She is also part of the resident cast of improvisers with ComedySportz Detroit.
Alexander Sloan (Peter) is making his Open Book debut. He is a recent Hope College Graduate with a degree in theatre. He is new to the professional scene and is excited to be working with the cast! He recently appeared in Richard III with Water Works. Catch Alex again on the Open Book stage later this season as Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile. To all the kids I work with: Never Grow up!
Nick Szczerba (Alf) is thrilled to be in Open Book’s first production in their new Trenton home. Nick has recently been seen in Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike at Stagecrafters in Royal Oak and in The Boar’s Head Festival on Grosse Ile. By day, Nick is a Software Developer and Tester for General Motors; by night, he’s a … well, you be the judge. Next up for Nick? Spending time with his three grandchildren: Tristan, Greyson, and Inspector Gadget – er, I mean —Everett. Nick would like to thank Krista, Jeff, and Danielle, whose faith has given him wings, and especially to his wife, Mary, whose love and support helps him “stand … on the land … safely home!”
Lenora Whitecotton (Smee) is thrilled to be returning to Open Book for this production! She was last seen as Chorus/Hairy Man in Wiley and the Hairy Man. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Wayne State University, and has studied with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and Purple Rose. Favorite roles include Helen in Fat Pig, Josie in A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Chorus in Medea. Many thanks to my family and friends for being so supportive; and all glory to God!
Krista Schafer Ewbank (Director) is the founding Artistic Director of Open Book, and previously directed Wiley and the Hairy Man, Bauer and was seen on stage in Calypso’s Corner, Who Am I This Time, The Shadow Box, Sylvia, Independence and Kimberly Akimbo. She also directed The Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival – with a cast, choirs, orchestra and crew of around 400 people. A native Michigander, Krista holds a degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has worked in theatres large and small across the country. 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. Krista is grateful to this amazing cast and crew for their energetic and inspiring storytelling, her board and volunteers for working so hard to make this season and new home possible, and her family… who have worked harder than anyone to give this dream wings. Swim on…
Jeff Bobick (Music Director) has a lot of experience on and off the stage. Previous Music Director credits include Footloose (Downriver Youth Performing Arts – DYPAC), The Light in the Piazza (Wilde Award Nominated – Best Music Direction)(Two Muses Theatre), Evil Dead the Musical (Olympia Entertainment), Into the Woods (The Ringwald Theatre), and The Marvelous Wonderettes (The Box Theatre). Previous piano accompany credits include The Little Mermaid, Footloose, The Light in the Piazza, Avenue Q, Big Fish, Dreamgirls, and The Who’s Tommy. Previous Musical Theatre acting credits include Spring Awakening – Melchior (StageCrafters), Les Miserables (Spiro Productions & The Other Mirror), Hairspray– Link Larkin (StageCrafters), The Fantasticks– The Boy (The Box Theatre), and Spring Awakening (The Box Theatre).
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. Harley is Open Book’s resident lighting designer and has designed all their shows, and earned a Wilde Award for Best Design – Lights for his work on Red. He works with the RHS Theatre program and is a proud member of, and lighting designer for, AKT Theatre Project in Wyandotte, MI. He also designs the lights for Outvisible Theatre. In the summer he loves to ride his bike and Slow Roll on Monday nights.
Danielle Gilbert (Stage Manager) is delighted to be stage managing her second show with Open Book Theatre Company! Her love of theatre stemmed from her love of stories, and ever since she auditioned for her first show back in Middle School, she’s been hooked. From building her first set, to stage managing her first show, Danielle has taken every opportunity possible to learn and grow in this world. She would like to thank Open Book Theatre for being there to take her under their wings, and her family for being in every audience to cheer her on. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” -Neil Gaiman, Coraline