Picasso at the Lapin Agile Cast and Crew

melissa beckwithMelissa Beckwith (Germaine) is thrilled to be working with Open Book Theatre Company once again. She was last seen in UDM Theatre Company’s production of Alabama Story (Emily Reed). Other recent credits include the world premiere of the one-woman show, Katherine, at Theatre Nova; Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play (Colleen) and 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (Lulie) at The Ringwald; and Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Hermia) at Open Book Theatre Company. Favorite credits include August: Osage County (Karen), A Bright Room Called Day (Annabella Gotchling), Silent Night of the Lambs (Clarice Starling), House of Blue Leaves (Bunny), Book of Liz (multiple roles), Southern Baptist Sissies (Odette), Love and Human Remains (Candy), and Trainspotting (Alison). She has worked with numerous theatre companies throughout southeast Michigan including Theatre Nova, The Ringwald, Two Muses Theatre, Open Book Theatre Company, Planet Ant, and GoComedy! Melissa received a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts with a concentration in theatre performance from Oakland University.
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Joshua BrownJoshua Brown (Freddy) began acting in earnest on his 30th birthday, realizing a lifelong dream.  Previously with Open Book he has appeared as Tom in Who Am I This Time? and Buddy in  Kimberly Akimbo.  He has worked with Tipping Point Theatre as File in The Rainmaker and in their 2013 Sandbox Festival.  Additionally, 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.
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john demerellJohn DeMerell (A Visitor) makes his Open Book Theatre debut in Picasso At The Lapin Agile. As a graduate of Western Michigan University with a B.A. In Performance, John has appeared on many stages in Michigan and a few in New Jersey and New York. John became a very familiar face at Two Muses Theatre, with such notable shows as Next To Normal, The Light In The Piazza, and most recently in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. When not working at a full time job, John loves performing vocal concerts with his good friend, Martin Mandelbaum on piano, at local Assisted Living Areas and Adult Activities Centers. His last concert was at the Royal Oak Public Library, where he sang selections from Les Miserables and Miss Saigon with three other friends. He has also starred in a film called P.I. BLUES, available on Amazon. John thanks you for supporting live theatre!
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Garett Michael HarrisGarett Michael Harris (Charles Dabernow Schmendiman) is a recent graduate from Wayne State University with his Bachelors in Arts. His recent performances include Scotty in Evil Dead the Musical (for the second year in a row), Oliver in As You Like It, and Officer Lockstock in Urinetown. He also just finished his yearlong internship with Meadow Brook Theatre. His most recent performances (at Meadow Brook Theatre) include Francis in Forever Plaid, Laurence and Liam in Calendar Girls, Ensemble in ATOMIC, and Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Garett is a currently an Equity Membership Candidate but plans to join Actor’s Equity in the next couple years.
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Dennis KleinsmithDennis Kleinsmith (Gaston) is very excited to be returning to the Open Book stage after appearing here as  Howard in Boy Gets Girl, Lord Aster in Peter and the Starcatcher, 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.
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Allison Megroet (Suzanne, The Countess, and Female Admirer) is thrilled to be working with Open Book Theatre again, having appeared in their production of Who Am I This Time? just last year. Other recent credits include Dog Sees God at Outvisible Theatre, As You Like It with Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the world premiere of Joseph Zettelmaier’s Campfire at the Ringwald, and Lemon Sky with Puzzle Piece Theatre. Last year, she was honored to receive a Wilde Award for best supporting actress for her work in Precious Little with Matrix Theatre Company. She is a licensed cosmetologist and also has a degree in Liberal Arts from Oakland Community College where she has enjoyed taking classes and performing under the direction of Dennis North. Allison will appear in Oleanna with Outvisible Theatre Company in Allen Park, March 31- April 9.
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lindel new without nameLindel Salow (Sagot) is joining Open Book Theatre for the second time, after appearing as Rudolf Bauer in Bauer during the 2015-2016 season. Other recent work includes: Ivo/Stipan; Ambition Facing West & Martin Bahmueller; White People with Puzzle Piece Theatre, Stage Manager [as Joan Crawford!]; Not Our Town The Ringwald, Geoffrey Duncan; The Sisters Rosensweig Jewish Ensemble Theatre as well as numerous productions with the now defunct Performance Network and Attic Theatres. Outside the theatre, Lindel is an accomplished make-up artist. His work can be seen in PBS’s “Pavlo, Mediterranean Nights”, the Sam Levinson film, “Another Happy Day” and in the work of Hollywood photographer Steven Kahn.
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alex sloan webAlexander Sloan (Albert Einstein) is excited to return to Open Book after appearing as Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher last September. In the summer of 2016 he appeared in Richard III with Water Works.  He is a recent graduate from Hope college with a degree in theatre, where he earned the Irene Ryan scholarship nomination for his role as Mechanic in Middle Town by Will Eno.  Alex is new to the professional scene and is excited to be working with the cast!
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Nick Headshot
Nick Yocum (Pablo Picasso) graduated in 2014 from Wayne State University with his B.F.A. in theatre performance, appearing in over a dozen productions at the Bonstelle, Hilberry, and Studio Theatres. In the summer of 2013, he attended the Moscow Art Theatre School, earning a certificate in advanced actor training. After graduating, Nick completed a season long apprenticeship at the Tipping Point Theatre, focusing on acting, management, and design. While at Tipping Point, Nick appeared in The Rainmaker, Home for the Holidays, The Sandbox play festival, the Naughty Nights series, and designed props for Invasive Species. Nick has recently been in The Legend of Georgia McBride at The Ringwald, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as Nick, and Dickens: An A Capella Carol, both at the Performance Network, The Odd Couple: Female Version at Tipping Point, and Hamlet with Waterworks Theatre Company. Nick has worked as a youth theatre director at such places as The Roeper School, Daycroft Montessori School, and Stagecrafters.
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Topher Alan Payne 2Topher Alan Payne (Director) is a Michigan-based actor and director. He is an Associate Director at Open Book, and this is the 10th show he’s directed here.  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 is an adjunct professor at Wayne State University and a teaching artist with Michigan Actor’s Studio.  He is excited to be a part of Open Book’s third season and to get the opportunity to work in this delightful new space.  He wants to thank Jeff for all of his love and support.
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Harley 2015Harley 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 across the country, and the chief lighting designer for IKO Global Productions.  Harley is the resident lighting designer for Open Book, and has been involved in the technical design of our new performance space from the ground up.  He has designed the lights for all of the shows in Open Book’s first two seasons and earned a Wilde Award for Best Design – Lights for his work on Red in 2015.  He is also the resident lighting designer for the AKT Theatre Project in Wyandotte, and Outvisible Theatre Company in Allen Park.  When not in the theater, Harley spends his time painting, building Lego stages, loitering in museums, and riding his bicycle on the mean streets of downriver.

 

Cheryl Headshot sept 2014Cheryl Zemke (Costume Designer) is an award winning  fashion designer and owner of C. Creations Custom Sewing & Design. Her garment label, C3 (pronounced C Three), stands for Creative Clothing Collections. Her children’s clothing label is Masterpiece Collection. She strives to make unique, one-of-a-kind designs, popular in fashion runway, and artisan shows. Cheryl produces her own successful fashion runway shows as well as participates in area shows such as Fashion Massacre, Fashion in Detroit, Michigan Fashion Week, and RAINN. Last summer she designed costumes Water Work’s production of Twelfth Night. She is an avid supporter of the arts and is a Cultural Partner at the Downriver Council for the Arts. In 2016 she raised funds through her fashion show to create a College Art scholarship. Cheryl’s designs are available by contacting her personally at (734) 740-1292,  through Facebook or www.cherylzemke.webs.com. Upcoming events in 2017 include RAINN on Common Ground, Phashion at the Opera, Michigan International Women’s expo, and Fashion Massacre in Detroit, as well as the DCA Indie Craft Fair.

Bradly ByrneBradly Byrne first tech directed in 1976 for the high school play The King and I, and picked it back up in about 1995 when his children were 8 ,7  and 4 years of age. He got started with Youth Theater in Southgate and found it was a great way to be with his kids. His oldest just turned 30 and he’s still at it! Bradly usually works on two or three productions year since then including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,  Once Upon a Mattress, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll and Hyde and many, many more. Along the way he’s developed many techniques to produce a product as quickly as possible. Bradly was also a muleteer in Man of La Mancha and the lead in Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Bradly says “I love being surrounded by talented people and the people in this production are the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Open Book Theatre rocks!!!”

danielle-gilbertDanielle Gilbert (Stage Manager) is ecstatic to be working on another show with Open Book! She started stage managing with us in the last show of our second season, Calypso’s Corner, and has been a part of every show since. Danielle has loved stories since a really young age, when she would often find herself daydreaming of her doll’s backstories. In her spare time she also has a job in a bookstore, the perfect place for her passion of stories to be let loose. She hopes that one day she might be able to see her own show come to life, but for now she is content following the crazy path on which theatre is taking her so far. She would also like to thank her Mom and Dad, for coming to every show and always supporting her future, whatever it may change to, and her best friend of 8 years, Jordan, for sticking around through it all.