Maggie Alger (Cassie) is delighted to make her Open Book Theatre debut. She has had the pleasure to work with Shakespeare Royal Oak (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Slipstream Theatre Initiative (Three Tall Women, A Doll’s House Part Two), and The Ringwald Theatre (The Cake, Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical). Maggie would like to thank Mike (for consistently being the best), as well as Sarah, the cast, and the entire Open Book team for helping to create something beautiful!
Kryssy Becker (Elizabeth Darcy) is a Michigan native actor, singer, director, and writer. She was last seen here at Open Book as Rhonda in This Random World and is thrilled to be back playing one of her favorite heroines! She graduated from Oakland University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and has worked professionally in Chicago and Orlando, but loves her Metro Detroit Theatre community most of all. She thanks Sarah, Krista, and the whole cast and OBTC team for the wonderful experience, her family and Justin for their patience and support, and Keira Knightley and the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice for the constant inspiration. #handflex #teammacfayden
Jan Cartwright (Mrs. Reynolds) has worked on stages throughout the metro Detroit area for the past 20 years, among them Open Book, Slipstream, Matrix, Ringwald, and The Dio. A few favorite roles include Jean in Open Book’s Good People and Hilla Rebay in Bauer, Mattie Fae in August: Osage County, Truvy in Steel Magnolias and Grandma Kurnitz in Lost in Yonkers. Jan is also a film and television actor, appearing most recently in the feature film A Girl Like Her and various television commercials. When not rehearsing, walking her dog, or following instructions from her cat, Jan owns and operates Cartwright Photography in Novi and specializes in headshots for actors/performers as well as commercial and marketing imagery for business, including promotional and production shots for area theatres. She is thrilled and honored to be back on stage at Open Book again and working with such an amazing director, ensemble, and production team!
Jonathan Davidson (George Wickham) was born in the 20th century and has dutifully lived ever since. After being rejected by a pack of child-rearing wolves, he turned to acting to support his nigh crippling addiction to Harry Belafonte 45s. He can lift 13 pounds, right over his head. He is honored to return to the Open Book stage to work with one of his Top 25 favorite directors. Thank you for seeing the show.
Craig Ester (Brian) is ecstatic to make his Open Book acting debut in the role of Brian! He previously wrote the script for last summer’s Driveway Theatre production of You Talk White. He wants to thank the entire Ester family, without whom he would not be standing, from the bottom of his heart, the cast and crew for their trust and support, and Open Book for another chance to make great art with great people. He sincerely hopes you will enjoy your stay at Pemberley. Education: Ball State University (BFA), Cass Technical High School (Performing Arts), Mosaic Youth Theatre (Acting Ensemble). Recent Credits: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon/Theseus) with Shakespeare Royal Oak, The Tempest (Prospero), Richard III (Hastings/Oxford), and Othello, (Othello) with Hoosier Shakespeare Festival, Macbeth (Macbeth), and The Last Cupcake (Baker) with Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis.
Joseph Sfair (Fitzwilliam Darcy) is a Metro-Detroit native. He has been acting in and around the city for about a decade now, with past projects with such companies as Shakespeare in Detroit, From Around Here Productions, The Michigan Shakespeare Festival Tour, Puzzle Piece Theatre, and Monster Box Theatre. Past work at Open Book includes Recent Tragic Events (as Ron) and Doubt (as Father Brendan Flynn). He has also been attached to a handful of local film and web series projects, such as Electron Blade and Stay. This is Joe’s first foray back into live, in-person theatre following the pandemic, and playing Mr. Darcy “feels like just the way to do that”. He’d like to thank his friends and family for their support, (and his bartenders and baristas for staying open late while he learned his lines). Joseph holds a BA in Theatre from Wayne State University.
Danielle Wright (Lydia Wickham) is excited to reprise the role of Lydia Wickham on the Open Book stage. Some of her most recent roles include Shelley in Book’d a virtual production with Theatre Nova, Lydia Wickham in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, #2 in The Wolves at Slipstream Theatre Initiative, Almost Maine at The Snug Theatre, Kaylie in Unsportmanlike Conduct at Outvisible Theatre Company, and multiple credits at Little Door Theatre. She attended Wayne State University and received her BFA in Acting. When not acting, she loves teaching theatre and performing one-woman musicals in her car. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Sarah Hawkins Rusk (Director), a native of Indiana, has been working as an actress, director, and educator across the country for the last fifteen years. Sarah received her MFA from Wayne State University and BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Previously at Open Book, Sarah directed Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Wonder of the World, and Emilie. Sarah has directed with the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company, Outvisible Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Warren Civic Theatre, Wagon Wheel Theatre, Motor City Youth Theatre, and Matrix Theatre Company. As an actress, Sarah has performed with Tipping Point Theatre, Planet Ant, Matrix Theatre, Open Book Theatre, Commonweal Theatre Company (Lanesboro, MN), CLIMB Theatre (St. Paul, MN), and Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede, CO). Sarah is a certified teacher in the Michael Chekhov technique and teaches theatre at the University of Detroit-Mercy and Wayne State University. “Much gratitude to Krista and Maria for their dedication to this amazing theatre and, as always, love to Jeremy, my biggest fan.”
Amanda Bates (Props Designer) is very excited for the return to live theatre and to finally work with Open Book Theatre. She is a theatre artist from the Detroit area, working in technical theatre and as a performer. Her most recent credits include Props Designer for 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, and Scenic Painter / Props Designer for The Foreigner at Adray Auditorium. 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.
Bradly Byrne (Scenic Designer) 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 old. He got started with Youth Theater in Southgate and found it was a great way to be with his kids. His oldest recently turned 30 and he’s still at it! Bradly usually works on two or three productions a year since then including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Once Upon a Mattress, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll and Hyde, and many more. At Open Book he designed Fool for Love, Doubt, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, This Random World and did the scenic painting for Good People. Bradly was also a muleteer in Man of La Mancha and the lead in Smokey Joe’s Cafe.
Sarah Drum (Stage Manager) is excited to stage manage another production at Open Book Theatre Company after stage managing Haunted last season. She is a professional stage manager in Metro Detroit and the resident stage manager for the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company. Sarah has worked at Assembly Line Theatre Company, BoxFest Detroit, Matrix Theatre Company, UnTheatre Company, the Hilberry Theatre, Water Works Theatre Company, and Two Muses Theatre. Her regional credits include McLeod Summer Playhouse and New Harmony Theatre. She has an MFA in Stage Management from Wayne State University. Sarah loves holiday baking with her mom and considers Mrs. Reynolds’ orangey biscuits a challenge. Happy holidays!
Harley Miah (Lighting Designer) is a professional in the entertainment technology industry. He is a freelance lighting designer/programmer for nightclubs, concerts and festivals across the country, and the chief lighting designer for IKO Global Productions. Harley has designed the lights for all of Open Book’s indoor productions thus far, and designed sound for Boy Gets Girl in 2017. In 2015, he earned a Wilde Award for Best Design – Lights for his design of Open Book’s production of Red. Most recently, Harley designed the lights for Puffs at The Ringwald Theatre, served as Master Electrician and Lighting Designer for the Detroit Public Theatre, and for “Detroit Presents: Live from Marygrove” for Detroit Public Television. Harley spends his spare time spoiling his cats, loitering in museums, and seeing as many shows as he can in this great theatre community we have in Southeast Michigan. He hopes you do the same.
Maria Tejada (Production Manager) is a professional stage manager who has worked with several Michigan and DC theatres including Shakespeare Royal Oak, Planet Ant, Spooky Action Theater and Sitar Arts Center. She spent six years as part of the stage management team at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC, even traveling to Macao, China with their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Maria graduated from Grand Valley State University with degrees in Theatre and Spanish. She is so thankful to be back in the theater doing what she loves and sharing beautiful stories with audiences again.
Cheryl Zemke (Costume Designer) is an award-winning fashion designer and owner of C. Creations Custom Sewing & Design. This is her ninth show with Open Book: she designed the costumes for Doubt, Ada and the Engine, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Emilie, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley and This Random World. 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. Visit her store, Cheryl Zemke Boutique, in downtown Wyandotte.