Sydney Berk (Hero) is a New York based actress, who is thrilled to be returning to North Dakota Shakespeare this summer. Last summer she played Olivia in Twelfth Night. Other recent roles include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (directed by Katherine Wilkinson) and Mollie in The Mousetrap (Theatre Barn). She received her Masters degree from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) where she studied Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre. She received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Catawba College. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, she has worked extensively with A Noise Within Repertory Company, Antaeus Theatre Company and The Workroom. She is also very involved with the non-profits ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) and LEAP (Learning Through an Expanded Arts Program).
Emily Cherry (Leonata) is delighted to be joining ND Shakes this year. She is an Associate Professor and Head of the BFA Musical Theatre program at the University of North Dakota. She has also enjoyed directing and acting at the Black Hills Playhouse where some of her favorite productions have been The Game’s Afoot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Addams Family and Peter and the Starcatcher. Other than her work at BHP some of her favorite productions professionally and at UND have been Three Days of Rain, Urinetown, Assassins and the world premiere of The Sweet Stuff in Chicago.
Carrie Colton (Director) is an actor, director, and composer haling from Salt Lake City, Utah, where she was born and raised. Carrie holds a BFA in Classical Acting from Southern Utah University and her MFA in directing from Florida State University. As an actor Carrie has performed in two international tours: My Fair Lady (Eliza) and Annie (Miss Hannigan), as well as several regional theatres around the country. Some of her favorite directorial credits include Hairspray with the Fusion Academy of Hong Kong, Peter Pan with the Jacksonville Opera Theatre, The Tempest with the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival, and several shows with The Gyeonggi English Village Edutainers in Paju, South Korea. A world traveler, Carrie has studied at the Moscow Art Theatre, Regents College in London, holds her 200 hour yoga certification from Guru Mahi's Ashrum in India, and just re-certified in Stage Combat with the British Academy of Dramatic Combat in March 2019. Carrie has spent the last three years as an an Assistant Professor of Drama at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, but will be joining the faculty of Metro State University of Denver this fall as an Assistant Professor of Movement and Theatre. Carrie is the Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Project and CAST Kidz in Anniston, Alabama, and feels very blessed to spend another summer with the bard! This is Carrie's third season with North Dakota Shakespeare. Check out more of Carrie's work on her website at www.carriecolton.com.
Lauren Dowell (Assistant Stage Manager/Props Coordinator/Verges) is super excited to be working with North Dakota Shakes for her second year. She is a native of Odessa, MO. Lauren is a recent graduate of State Fair Community College (SFCC) and plans to attend the University of South Dakota in the fall. Some of her recent acting credits include She Kills Monsters (Tilly), Women Playing Hamlet (Jessica), and Like You Like It (Sylvie). A few of her technical credits include stage managing for Be More Chill and
Dracula. Lauren discovered an interest in stage management while studying acting at SFCC. One of her favorite aspects of being a Stage Manager is providing an environment in which the actors and director can be creative and express themselves freely. Her goal is to inspire the cast so they can inspire others. Four of Lauren’s favorite things are giraffes, tacos, sunsets, and Jesus. She is extremely excited and humbled to be given yet another opportunity to be a part of North Dakota Shakes in their 2019 season.
Nicole Dunseith (Conrade- U/S Hero) is originally from Torrance, California. Nicole is a recent graduate from Truman State University where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Theatre and a Bachelors of Science in Health Science. She has been in productions such as The Nether by Jennifer Haley, Stupid F*****g Bird by Aaron Posner, and The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe while she was a student at Truman. Nicole's involvement with North Dakota Shakespeare is her first professional acting experience post-graduation and she is excited to be here. After her contract ends with North Dakota Shakespeare, she will be moving back to Los Angeles to attend the Stella Adler Art of Acting Studio to continue her training and pursue her acting career.
Taran Estad (Costume Apprentice) is a recent graduate of the University of North Dakota with a B.A. in Theatre Arts. Originally from the city/country of Singapore, she has been involved with costumes, props, scenic painting and other technical areas of theatre. She most recently designed costumes for UND’s production of Noises Off and assisted with costumes for Seussical the Musical. She was the props master for Midsummer Night’s Dream and has painted the sets for multiple productions including Little Women, They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!, and The Wizard of Oz. This is Taran's second summer with North Dakota Shakespeare!
Veronica Lee Folkedahl (Ursula- U/S Beatrice) will be a senior next year studying Musical Theatre Performance at the University of North Dakota. She is looking forward to returning to ND Shakes for the second time, with her first appearance being Sampson/The Apothecary in Romeo and Juliet. She is especially excited to have the amazing opportunity to work alongside so many influential faculty members from her time at UND! Some of her favorite past roles have been Sandra (Big Fish), Mayzie (Seussical), and #11 (The Wolves).
Brandon Herring (Balthasar/Friar Francis/Antonio- U/S Don Pedro) is excited to be making his North Dakota Shakespeare debut. He is going into his third and final year as an MFA Acting candidate at Western Illinois University. He received a BA in Theatre Arts with a History Minor from Simpson College in Indianola, IA. Brandon's most recent productions come from Western Illinois University and include portraying Hal in Proof directed by Carolyn Blackinton as well as studying Unrehearsed Shakespeare with Bill Kincaid where he performed roles such as Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Lord Capulet (Romeo & Juliet), Sir Hugh Evans (The Merry Wives of Windsor), and Antigonus (The Winter's Tale). Other performance credits include The Fox on the Fairway (Prairie Repertory Theatre), The Little Mermaid (Prairie Repertory Theatre), and All in the Timing (Starry Night Repertory Theatre). After his time in North Dakota, Brandon will be playing Kyle Longacre in Happily Ever After at Okoboji Summer Theatre, followed by preparing for his thesis role in the fall as Con in WIU's production of Stupid F****** Bird. When he is not performing, Brandon enjoys playing nerdy role-playing games a la Dungeons and Dragons.
Matt IpShaw (Don Pedro) is a Canadian Actor and Fight Director who hails from Vancouver. He graduated from Tarlington Training and School Creative before heading to New York to complete Circle in the Square's Professional Acting Program. His most recent credits include the role of Cloten in Cymbeline and Gai in The Running Man the animated series, now on Amazon Prime. Matt can be found performing and teaching fight choreography at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC.
Bill Kincaid (Unrehearsed Director/Text Coach) is the author of Performing Shakespeare Unrehearsed: A Practical Guide to Acting and Producing Spontaneous Shakespeare, published in 2018 by Routledge. He is head of the acting MFA program at Western Illinois University, where he has received the College of Fine Arts and Communication Creative Activity Award, Outstanding Teacher Award, and Outstanding Service Award. The National Partners of American Theatre has awarded him its Classical Acting Coach Award three times, and in 2014 he received the Illinois Theatre Association’s Award of Honor for Outstanding Contributions. In addition to Unrehearsed productions of 19 of Shakespeare’s plays, Bill’s acting and directing credits include productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Crossroads Repertory Theatre in Terre Haute, New England Shakespeare Festival, Chicago’s Vitalist Theatre, and many seasons with Indiana's Brown County Playhouse and the Cortland Repertory Theatre in upstate New York.
Loren Liepold (Technical Director) is back for a third year, after acting as TD and Sound Designer for Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night. He has worked for UND Theatre Arts since 1990, helping to mount hundreds of productions. A native of Heron Lake, Minn., he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minn. He worked in theatre in Rochester, Minn., before coming to UND. At UND, Liepold has been active in University affairs, including the Staff Senate, and has assisted with numerous UND and Grand Forks events. He’s the unofficial historian of University theatre, which can be traced as far back as 1902!
Camilla Morrison (Costume Designer/Costume Shop Manager) is a Costume Designer, Draper, Artist, and Teacher. During the school year, Camilla is the Costume Designer/Instructor at the University of North Dakota. She earned her MFA in Costume Design and Technology at Louisiana State University and her BA in Theatre from Salisbury University in Maryland. Camilla was named an Emerging Artist in the 2019 USITT Exhibited Artists in the Prague Quadrennial, where her devised work, Nightmares Are Dreams, Too, will be exhibited. Her Costume Design credits at UND include Seussical, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play, Speech and Debate, Wizard of Oz, and The Wolves. Swine Palace design credits include Noises Off and Vieux Carre. LSU Mainstage productions include Carrie, the Musical and Stick Fly. Camilla was the Costume Design Fellow at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY in the summer of 2015 where she designed four experimental productions and four TYA productions. Previously, Camillaworked in the Washington D.C. area as a freelance Costume Designer, Stage Manager, Teaching Artist, and Arts Administrator. Camilla is the recipient of the Joanne Grant Scholarship for Excellence in Theatre from SU and the Board of Regents Fellowship from LSU.
Stephanie Faatz Murry- (Margaret/Producing Artistic Director) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from SUNY Fredonia, an M.F.A. in Drama from the University of Arkansas and a certificate in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). She has performed throughout the U.S. and Asia with companies such as Playhouse on the Square, Charleston Stage Company, Black Hills Playhouse, Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, North Dakota Shakespeare, Hampstead Stage, Nebraska Theatre Caravan and Gyeonggi English Village, in South Korea. She is so excited to share her love of classical theatre with the greater Grand Forks community for a third season! Keep up with her theatrical adventures at www.stephaniefaatzmurry.com.
Matthew Murry (Dogberry/Assistant Director) is overjoyed to return to Grand Forks for North Dakota Shakespeare's third season! He previously appeared as Feste and Mercutio at ND Shakes. Matthew is an Arkansas-based actor, director, and educator from Uhrichsville, Ohio. He holds an M.F.A. in Acting from Indiana University, a B.A. in Theatre with a Minor in Music from Muskingum University, and a certificate in Commedia Dell'Arte Performance from Antonio Fava's International School of Comic Acting. Some favorite roles include Prospero (The Tempest), Macbeth (Macbeth), Earl of Kent (King Lear), Garry LeJeune (Noises Off), George Tesman (Hedda Gabler), and The Man in Chair (The Drowsy Chaperone). While in South Korea, Matthew wrote, directed, and performed in several musicals including The Legend of Robin Hood. For more info, visit his website: www.matthewmurry.net. Matthew wants to thank his lovely wife for making all of this possible!
Marcus-Anthony Nealy (Don John- U/S Benedick) is a Texas native. He is currently studying acting and directing at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and will be a senior in the Fall. He is a personal trainer, fitness instructor, and facility supervisor at the gym on campus. When not in class or working on productions and film projects, he spends most of his free time at the gym or studying and practicing miscellaneous arts. This is Marcus' first Shakespeare festival and first time travelling to North Dakota. He is thrilled and honored to be a part of this experience!
Brett Olson- (Claudio/Associate Artistic Director) is thrilled to be joining the creative team of North Dakota Shakespeare! He is currently Instructor of Movement at the University of North Daktoa. Brett holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Western Illinois University, a Master of Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from Minot State University. Brett was drawn to the stage as an actor, but has enjoyed a generalist career including technical direction, scenic design, direction, and fight choreography before seeking advanced studies and a career as an actor and teaching artist. Favorite regional acting credits include ANYTHING GOES (Billy Crocker), DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE (Dr. Jekyll), JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Jesus), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (Frederick), HAIRSPRAY (Corny Collins), and the Chicago premiere of A.S. Freeman’s LOVE (Scott). Favorite directing credits include LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - MSU Summer Theatre, RACE and TIME STANDS STILL - WIU Theatre and Dance, SHOOTING STAR - Starry Night Repertory Theatre, and RUMORS at UND Theatre Arts. Brett is a current Actor Combatant and a proud member of the Society of American Fight Directors!
Ryan Pangracs (Borachio- U/S Claudio) is a rising Junior at Southwestern College pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. He is originally from Leavenworth, Kansas and is excited to spend his first summer of professional work in North Dakota. Some of his recent credits include The Baker (Into the Woods), Christopher (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Princeton (Avenue Q), Dorante (The Liar), and Peter (Peter and the Starcatcher.) When not on stage, Ryan enjoys swimming, climbing trees, and writing bios. He is honored to work with such talented artists!
KP Powell (Benedick) originally hails from St. Louis, MO. KP is excited to make his North Dakota stage debut with ND Shakes. He got his masters of fine arts from the University of Houston and has worked for the Cincinnati Playhouse, The Folger, New Rep Theater, American Shakespeare Center, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Theater at Monmouth, and more. He also does Stand Up comedy, writes music and raps, is an up and coming playwright and director. Keep up with him at kppowell.com or @kpkypow on Instagram.
Brad Reissig (Scenic/Lighting Designer) is an Associate Professor of Scenic and Lighting Design at the University of North Dakota. He received his Bachelors in Theatre from Kansas State University and his M.F.A. in Theatrical Design and Production at Illinois State University. Prior to his arrival at UND, Brad taught at SUNY Oneonta and Wichita State University. He also freelance designs around the country. Some of his productions include: Angels in America Parts 1&2, Ragtime, Hamlet, South Pacific, Falsettos and The Secret Garden. Brad received meritorious achievement awards from the Kennedy Center/ American College Theatre Festival for his scenic designs for Cabaret and The Crucible and was nominated for Faculty Fellowships in design at the Kennedy Center with Ming Cho Lee and Beverly Emmons. Brad is actively involved in both KC/ACTF and USITT. This is his third year designing for North Dakota Shakespeare!
Shauna Steward (Technical Apprentice) is a second-year college student at Jacksonville State University, studying Theatre Production. Her focus is in Stage Management, and she Assistant Stage Managed two shows at her college this past season, JSU Drama's production of She Kills Monsters and Jacksonville Opera Theatre's production of Peter Pan in the Fall of 2018. She was on the run crew for JSU Drama's Productions of The Giver and Guys and Dolls in the spring of 2018. She is also a founding member of a theatre company created by the students at JSU called the Flying Blind Theatre Ensemble, who created a devised piece called The Country Co-Ed, which performed at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington DC last summer. She worked as an Assistant Director, Assistant Costume designer, and was cast as the role of Fidget for that production. She also recently was cast at the role of April in JSU's production of Stephen Sondheim's Company. She is very excited to spend part of her summer working with this company and on this production.
Dr. Aili Davidson Smith (Dramaturge) is Professor of Theatre & Communication Arts at Minot State University and the MSU Executive & Creative Director of Theatre. She received her BA in Communication Arts from MSU in 1998, an MA in Theatre Arts from UND in 2000, and a PhD in Theatrical Scholarship and Directing from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI in 2009. Dr. Smith’s areas of expertise, in addition to directing, lie in stage movement, acting, dance, and musical theatre. After completing her MA, she lived in Chicago working as a professional stage manager on several productions. While attending WSU, she spent "A Month in Moscow" in 2007 and studied at the American School of the Moscow Art Theatre. Some of Dr. Smith's MSU directing credits include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Crazy for You, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Crucible, and Much Ado About Nothing, Miss Julie, The Miss Firecrakcer Contest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and God of Carnage. Dr. Smith is back for a second season to serve as Dramaturge for Much Ado About Nothing.
Wendy Unger (Stage Manager) is a Stage Manager, Designer, and Theatrical Technician from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota Morris with a BA in Theatre Arts. This will be her first season at North Dakota Shakespeare and she is very excited to be joining the team! Some of her recent stage management work includes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the University of Minnesota Morris, Stage Management Advisor on Anything Goes at Seoul Foreign School in Seoul, South Korea, and a stage management internship at the Guthrie Theater on Native Gardens.
Adina Weinstein (Girl/First Watchmen) will be a freshman next year at Grand Forks Central High School. She is doing North Dakota Shakespeare for the first time this year. She found North Dakota Shakespeare through the Rude Run, and is very excited to be part of the company. As well as acting, she is a runner in Cross Country and volunteers at Development Homes. This will be her first time in a professional company and she is very happy to be a part of it. You can find her on Instagram at @notadinaweinstein.
Emily Wirkus (Beatrice) is thrilled to be making her ND Shakes debut! She is a recent graduate of Western Illinois University, where she received an MFA in Acting & Directing. She received her BFA in Musical Theatre from University of North Dakota. At the conclusion of this summer, Emily is planning to immerse herself in the arts community in Kansas City, MO. Her most recent role was her thesis project, Catherine (Proof), directed by Carolyn Blackinton. In addition to this she also had the opportunity to train in Unrehearsed Shakespeare with Bill Kincaid and perform such roles as Katherine (Taming of the Shrew), Twelfth Night (Viola), and Witch 1 (Macbeth) unrehearsed. Emily is originally from Albert Lea, MN, but has also spent a lot of time working with Crossroads Repertory Theatre, Minot Summer Theatre, and Starry Night Repertory Theatre as an actor, director, and choreogapher. Emily would like to thank her graduate mentors Bill Kincaid, Carolyn Blackinton, Tammy Killian, and the members of the '20 graduate acting class for their unending guidance and support.