(if you’re looking for cast and crew bios visit the individual show pages)
Krista Schafer Ewbank, Founding Artistic Director
Krista earned her degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has additional training from Arden Theatre Company, SITI company, Fringe Benefits and Augusto Boal. Krista has performed on professional stages large and small across the country. Since returning to her home state of Michigan she has worked with AKT Theatre Project, The Abreact, Shakespeare in Detroit, Matrix Theatre Company, Drastic Theater Company, Broadway OnStage, KHOROS Inc., and the Gottlieb Music Festival. Krista also has over 20 years of experience directing, leading drama workshops and teaching theatre to all ages. She serves as the president of Open Book’s board of directors, and on the board of directors for both The Downriver Council for the Arts and Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival. She is the drama director at Grosse Ile High School. This season Krista will be directing Life Sucks, and will be on stage in both Emilie and Time Stands Still.
Harley Miah, Resident Lighting Designer
Harley 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. He has designed the lights for all of the shows in Open Book’s first three seasons and earned a Wilde Award for Best Design – Lights for his work on Red in 2015. Harley has been involved in the technical design of the new performance space from the ground up. He is also the resident lighting designer for the AKT Theatre Project in Wyandotte, and Outvisible Theatre Company in Allen Park.
Danielle Gilbert, Stage Manager
Danielle fell in love with theatre while a part of the Redford Union Theatre Company in high school. After high school Danielle went to college at Specs Howard School of Media Arts for film production, and in the midst of deciding what to do after graduation, the pull of the stage guided her to Open Book Theatre Company, where she served as stage manager for Calypso’s Corner in the spring of 2016, and has worked with Open Book stage managing every show since. This upcoming season Danielle will also be learning other aspects of theatre production, including working with lighting design and running the box office.
2017-2018 Season Directors
Krista Schafer Ewbank (director for Life Sucks) * see Artistic Director bio above
Adriane Galea (director of Be a Good Little Widow) has been involved with the arts for almost the entirety of her life, having started playing the piano at age two. Ms. Galea has been teaching for nearly 20 years and in 2010, started Center Stage Studios, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing educational and professional opportunities within the performing arts and has two main components: 1) Arts Detroit, a performing arts studio which focuses on piano, voice, and theatre education, and 2) Outvisible Theatre Company, a small Equity theatre which operates in a 20-40 moveable black box space. Additionally, Ms. Galea has performed and directed throughout the Detroit area. In addition to the arts, Ms. Galea is an advocate for education in general and enjoys being active throughout the Detroit community. She serves as Co-Chairperson and Youth Board Adviser for An Amazing Woman Foundation, which promotes independence and confidence for young women and girls through the arts and is also a professional member of the American Guild of Music, for which she also sits on the Board of Directors and serves as Co-Contest Director and Student Council Adviser. Ms. Galea holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Michigan and looks forward to continuing her education at the doctoral level in the near future.
Sarah Hawkins Moan (director for Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight), a native of Indiana, has been working as an actress, director, playwright, and educator across the country for the last ten years. Sarah graduated with an MFA in Acting from Wayne State University where favorite productions include Big Love(Lydia), Boeing Boeing (Gloria), and her Wilde-award nominated portrayal of Juliet’s Nurse in Romeo & Juliet. Sarah was a member of the inaugural apprentice company at the Commonweal Theatre Company in Minnesota and has also acted with Creede Repertory Theatre and CLIMB Theatre. Around Detroit, Sarah has acted with Matrix Theatre Company, Open Book Theatre Company, and Planet Ant. In addition to her time on stage, Sarah has directed over 10 productions regionally and served as artistic partner in the creation of To Be Productions, a Michigan community theatre focusing on telling female-centric stories. Sarah is certified in the Michael Chekhov technique and teaches at Eastern Michigan University and Henry Ford College.
Angie Kane Ferrante (director for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) returns to Open Book after directing our productions of Calypso’s Corner and Good People. Angie graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2007. She studied at the Moscow Art Theatre in Russia in 2006. After finishing, she took over the theatre program at Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI from 2006-2010. During that time she chose the programming, worked with students, and directed and choreographed the plays and musicals. Within the first year she saw the student’s need for more artistic opportunities and answered their requests with a summer workshop. That workshop continued all four years and ended up being the basis for a theatre project that later became the AKT Theatre Project, producing several main stage productions, student productions, and workshops throughout the year. It transformed over a few short years from an educational program to a small non-equity professional theatre, which Angie served as the Artistic Director, director, choreographer, set designer, set builder, sound designer, stage manager mentor, and producer. In 2012, Angie went on to become a Resident Artist at the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI, where she became a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, and for the last six years, she has proudly served as a director, vocal coach, choreographer, actor, and stage manager. She also serves as a mentor and trainer stage management for the apprenticeship program. Additionally Angie has worked for several Metro-Detroit theatres and festivals such as the Tipping Point Theatre (Northville), Boxfest Detroit (Detroit), The Jet (West Bloomfield), and the former Magenta Giraffe Theatre (Detroit) and Performance Network (Ann Arbor).
Wendy Katz Hiller (director for Time Stands Still) is thrilled to be directing at Open Book Theatre this season after performing in their first two seasons. Wendy has been active in the southeast Michigan professional acting scene for over thirty years. With a BA in English from UCLA and acting training from New York’s National Shakespeare Conservatory, Wendy recently retired from teaching to pursue her love of theatre full time. In 2016 she won a Wilde Award for her performance as Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals with The Michigan Shakespeare Festival. She has recently directed for BoxFest Detroit and the New Playwrights Festival at Theatre Nova and is currently assistant directing Camelot at The Encore Musical Theatre Company.
Open Book Theatre Company Board of Directors
Our volunteer board has a wide range of experience and is active in our community in many ways!
Krista Schafer Ewbank, President
• Bachelor of Science in Theatre, Northwestern University
• Additional training with Arden Continuing Training (Philadelphia, PA) and in Los Angeles with the NYC-based SITI Company
• 20 years of professional acting experience
• 2004 Best Supporting Actress Empty Award (Bakersfield, CA), 2006 Best Ensemble Ambie Award (New Orleans, LA), 2008-2009 Leading Actress Award Playmakers Theater (Covington, LA)
• 20 years of theatre directing and teaching experience with various community and arts programs
• Additional experience working with children as a preschool teacher with Hosanna Lutheran Preschool, Mandeville, LA; Director of youth and family ministry at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Grosse Ile, MI; and many other volunteer positions in schools and churches
• Current board member, The Downriver Council for the Arts
• Current board member, Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival
• Past board member of Bear Creek Camp, Wilkes Barre, PA
Madeleine GB Jones, Vice President
• Bachelor of Science, Wayne State University
• Masters Degree in Education, Wayne State University
• Fulbright-Hays, MSU, Nepal
• Southgate Community Schools, MI Teacher, (K-8) 34 years (Science Department Head, Shelters Elementary, Gerisch Middle School)
• Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, St. Helena Island, Straits of Mackinac, MI (Summer Educational Director and Curriculum Head, 12 years ; Treasurer, 3 years)
• EarthWorks and Exchange City, Taylor, MI (Habitat Manager, City Facilitator 8 years)
• Tutor at Harms Elementary School, Detroit, MI (2 years)
• Committee, WCCC Taylor, MI 2 years
• Episcopal Church Women, St. James Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile, MI (President 3 years, Treasurer 5 years, Greens Market Chairwoman 3 years)
• CoSenior Warden , St. James Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile, MI (2 years)
• Choir and Bell Choir , St. James Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile, MI (34 years)
• Grosse Ile Interfaith Council (Boar’s Head Festival, choir and bell ringing 10 productions)
• Singer with Dr. J. Parker Grosse Ile Chorale
• Singer with Detroit Community Chorus
• Board Secretary , Grosse Ile Garden Club (2 years)
• Board Member, Grosse Ile Book Club (3 years)
• Season Patron , Wayne State University’s Graduate Hilberry Theater, Detroit, MI (44 years)
Lea Ellwood-Filkins, Secretary
• Cass Technical High School – Performing Arts 1973
• KidShow of Cass Tech (traveling theater)
• Attended Wayne State University
• Office Manager, Doré Inc. (advertising and public relations firm)
• Field Director Children’s Programs (including grant applications), First Protestant Society of Detroit (First Presbyterian Church of Detroit, MI)
• Past President, Treasurer and Recording Secretary, The Islanders (community theatre, Grosse Ile, MI)
• Past Treasurer – St. James Episcopal Church, Grosse Ile, MI
• Cast member – various productions of The New Improvisation Theatre, Oak Park, MI; The Islanders, Grosse Ile, MI; Southgate Community Players, Southgate MI; Daedolos Productions, Grosse Ile, MI, among others
• Member, Southgate Community Players (community theater, Southgate, MI)
• Past board member and Recording Secretary, Whitaker Institute of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
• Stage Manager, Grosse Ile Boar’s Head Festival
• Head Verger, Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, MI
• President and Yearbook Committee Chair, PEO Chapter AF (women’s scholarship organization)
• Currently working as Executive Coordinator, Advanced Administrative Lead, Ernst & Young LLP
Erin Shelton, Treasurer
• Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, University of Michigan
• 10 years non-profit experience, including start-up
• Wrote many successful grants, both private foundations and public
• Developed educational programming for special needs children
• Current board member, Trenton Business Association
• Former Church Council member and Secretary, St. Thomas Lutheran Church
• Former Call Committee member, St. Thomas Lutheran Church
• Current Financial Advisor, Key Concerns, Inc.
Our by-laws state that our board must be comprised of four to eleven members. We are looking to grow our board by adding individuals dedicated to working towards our mission. Board members are not paid, but serve as volunteers for the organization. Terms are for one year, but there are no term limits. The board is responsible for ensuring that the activities of Open Book support our mission and meet its legal and financial goals and obligations.