Frannie Shepherd-Bates (Director, Sound Designer) is thrilled to be directing her first Open Book production! Frannie is the founder and director of Shakespeare in Prison, Detroit Public Theatre’s signature community program, which uses Shakespeare’s works as a catalyst for empowerment for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Frannie has directed for a number of theatres in southeast Michigan and has received several awards for her work as an artist and arts advocate. She is an active member of the International Shakespeare in Prisons Network and is currently co-authoring a paper for an upcoming book about applied theatre. Frannie enjoys juggling, chocolate, and those blissful times when she isn’t being yelled at by her geriatric cat.
Gwen Lindsay (Scenic Designer) is a local area designer and technician and is excited to be working with Open Book for the first time. She is the inhouse Stage manager/ lighting designer for the Detroit Institute of Art’s Detroit Film Theater. Gwen is an Adjunct Professor at Madonna University, the scenic painter at Meadowbrook theatre, and a freelance exhibit designer. She is an avid lover of the outdoors and when she’s not working can usually not be found as she’s gone hiking and is hiding in the trees.
Lauren Montgomery (Costume Designer) is a Detroit based, Wilde Award nominated costume designer. She studied performing arts at Wayne State University and went on to apprentice and understudy at The Purple Rose Theatre Company. She went on to work for various theatres such as Magenta Giraffe, where she also served as a board member; Matrix; Ringwald; and served as designer, assistant designer, and wardrobe for The Michigan Shakespeare Festival. Lauren is a facilitator for Shakespeare In Prison. She also performs with Michigan Rocky Horror Preservation Society, who donated the use of the Founding Father’s costumes, made by Becky Koupparis. Outside of theatre, she has worked in apparel manufacturing, making high end goods for Shinola, Detroit is the New Black, and Detroit Denim. This play is important because it showcases the importance of learning from people who are different from ourselves. She would like to thank her husband for his unending support, and Becky Koupparis for her help in making the costumes as fabulous as possible.
Amanda Bates (Props Designer) happily returns to Open Book Theatre as Props Designer for another amazing show. She is a theatre artist from the Detroit area, working both in technical roles and as a performer. Her most recent credits include Scenic/ Props Artist for The Addam’s Family Musical at the University of Detroit Mercy, Props Designer for Too Heavy for Your Pocket and The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley here at Open Book, Into the Woods at Flint Repertory Theatre, and Cabaret at The Jet, “Gertrude” in Hamlet at Concordia University Blackbox Theatre, Costumer / “Sinclair” in Sealed for Freshness at Downriver Actor’s Guild. She was previously the Lead Scenic Painter and Properties Master at Henry Ford College. Amanda received her B.S. in Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University, where she plans to return for her graduate studies. Amanda is especially grateful to Mila and Liam for their constant support.
Harley Miah (Lighting Designer) is a freelance lighting designer/programmer for theatres, nightclubs, concerts and festivals across the country, as the primary lighting designer for IKO Global Productions. He has designed the lights for all of Open Book’s indoor productions, designed sound for Boy Gets Girl in 2017, earning a Wilde Award for Best Design – Lights for Open Book’s 2014 production of Red. Most recently, you may have seen his lighting designs of Puffs at the Ringwald Theatre, The Play That Goes Wrong and The Baxter Sisters at Tipping Point Theatre. Harley currently designs lights for “Detroit Presents: Live from Marygrove” on Detroit Public Television, which airs Wednesdays at 7:30 on WTVS. He also serves as Lighting Designer and Master Electrician for the Detroit Public Theatre and St George’s Academy in NYC. Harley spends his spare time with his loving partner Reyna spoiling their cats, loitering in museums, and seeing as many shows as they can in this great theatre community we have in Southeast Michigan. He hopes you do the same.
Gordon Mosley (Scenic Carpenter) joined the Players Guild of Dearborn in 1986 and has been involved in theatrical productions ever since. Over the years he has also worked with Southgate Community Players, Downriver Actors Guild, and Lincoln Park High School just to name a few. In 2012 Gordon was inducted into the Dearborn Theater Hall of Fame. Among his more notable construction projects were The Car for I Remember Mama based on a 1908 Cadillac, The Gazebo for Do You Wanna Dance?, The Sewer for Guys and Dolls, and The Mid-Century Furniture for Promises, Promises. Gordon has returned to OBTC for his second production as set builder and is thrilled to be collaborating with Gwen Lindsay, Scenic Designer, for the first time, and to bring to life her vision.