Recent Tragic Events Cast and Crew

kimberly-alley-headshotKimberly Alley (Waverly) is thrilled to be making her debut with Open Book Theatre! A Detroit based actress with a BA from Oakland University, Kimberly recently finished filming the feature length Capstone film “Married on a Monday” with Madonna University, which is set to premiere in December. She completed the Acting and Administration internship at Meadow Brook Theatre during the 50th anniversary season, where she was in shows including A Christmas Carol, Atomic: A New Rock Musical, and Calendar Girls. She previously appeared in Waterwork’s As You Like It, and Evil Dead: The Musical at the City Theater. Love and thanks to her family for their constant support. Enjoy the show!

erika-hovelandErika Hoveland (Nancy) was born and raised in Western Canada ( a proud Canuck). Erika graduated with a BA in Theatre from The University of Alberta. Not long after, she was brought on as one of the core cast members of Celebrations Dinner Theatre where she spent the majority of the next 6 years. In 2003, the adventure called life brought her and her husband to the beautiful State of Michigan where she has been able to continue pursuing her passion for acting, both on stage and in front of the camera.When not acting, she spends her time doting on her two border collies.Some of her theatrical credits, since moving to Michigan include Alice in Henry V, Columbia in Eticos production of Rocky Horror Picture Show and most recently as Queen Elizabeth in Water Works production of Richard III.  She is super thrilled to be working on her first production with Open Book Theater with such an incredibly talented team.

Richard PaytonRichard Payton (Andrew) is so happy to be making his fourth appearance at Open Book Theatre having previously performed in Red, Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Who Am I This Time. He has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University and has performed at many theaters in the area including The Ringwald, Two Muses Theatre, Planet Ant, The Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company, Slipstream Theatre Initiative and even Detroit’s Music Hall. Richard won the 2016 Wilde Award for Best Performance – One Person Show (Buyer & Cellar at The Ringwald). He would like to thank Krista for always welcoming him back, Topher for always believing in him, his supportive family, Christopher, and you for supporting local theater.

headshotJoe Sfair (Ron) is making his first appearance on the Open Book stage.  Some recent shows include Ambition Facing West and The Boy Who Cried with Puzzle Piece Theatre;  Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet with the Michigan Shakespeare Festival touring company; Macbeth with Shakespeare in Detroit;  I’ll Be Waiting and Mating Calls with From Around Here Productions; Much Ado About Nothing and (most recently)  Coriolanus with Round Table Theatre Company. A wide variety of influences led him to acting, and he’s happy to make theater a full time job by filling out his schedule with other positions, such as dramaturging Faust(us) at the Underground Theatre, stage managing Rossum’s Universal Robots and acting as language coach for Ambition Facing West with Puzzle Piece, and acting as a wardrobe hand at the Detroit Opera House. Joe holds a BA in Theatre from Wayne State University,  where he first worked with Christopher Payne on a production of Macbeth at the  Hilberry.  Other Wayne State shows include A New Play By Neil Simon, Genius, or Crazy? (in which he played one of his favorite roles of Vincent van Gogh,) and, with their Underground Theatre, productions of A Midsommer Nights Dreame and the rollicking She Kills Monsters. He’s happy to be making his Downriver debut with Recent Tragic Events.

danielle-gilbertDanielle Gilbert (Stage Manager) is honored to be working with Open Book Theatre again. This is her third show with us, so you may have seen her before during Calypso’s Corner last season, which was the first show she ever stage managed professionally. More recently she stage managed, and hit all the buttons for lights and sound, during our last show, Peter and the Starcatcher. Outside of theatre, she is lucky to be able to work at a bookstore, one of her favorite places. She is grateful for the amazing people she has been able to work with and grow from, and that fate led her to send that first e-mail to Open Book, not so long ago. “Fate has a strange way of making plans.” – David Leviathan

mandy-logsdonMandy Logsdon (Stage Manager) is a local actor and sometimes stage manager.  Her most recent turn as stage manager was for The Planet Ant Theatre’s production of Really Really this past September.  She also staged managed  Puzzle Piece Theatre’s production of White People in 2014 and numerous productions at The Box Theatre in Mt. Clemens from 2008 to 2014.   She has been seen onstage at The Snug & Riverbank Theatres (Marine City), Puzzle Piece Theatre (Ferndale), The AKT Theatre Project  (Wyandotte), and right here at Open Book in the 2015 summer production of Wiley and the Hairy Man.  In order to support her theatre addiction, Mandy can be found in the box office of a neighborhood multiplex movie theater.  It is there that she has rekindled her adolescent love of muting a microphone and saying what she really thinks about the general public.  Unfortunately the glass wall between Mandy and said public has given her a false sense of protection and, as her friends and family know, she can easily express everything she is thinking with a simple look.  Perhaps this has been the reason the local theatre scene has decided to put her back up in the booth this season, far away from the kind people of the community.  Regardless, Mandy would like to thank Topher, Krista, and the entire Open Book family for welcoming her back with open arms and then gently guiding her up a flight of stairs and into the dark, attic like tech booth of their beautiful new theatre.

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 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.

Topher Alan Payne 2Topher Payne (Director) is a Michigan-based actor and director. He is an Associate Director at Open Book, and this is the 8th 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.