Charlie is a saxophonist, composer, and educator active in the jazz and latin music scenes in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the past 5 years, Charlie has been the music director and composer-in-residence for We Players Theater Company. His score for their 2014 production of Macbeth at Fort Point won best original score at the inaugural Theater Bay Area awards. You can hear him perform at venues and festivals around the bay with his own ensemble, Gurkestra, with cuban son quintet Latido, with the salsa band Candela, and every Sunday with the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra. Charlie is on faculty at Laney College in Oakland where he teaches jazz ensembles, jazz history, and music theory. www.gurkestra.com
Joan Howard (Set Construction)
Joan is a physical theatre performer and clown, as well as a builder and scenic artist. Joan has performed with We Players, been an ensemble member of foolsFURY, and has presented original performances both inside, and outside, venues across the Bay Area. She is co-artistic director of the performance collaboration Idiot String and co-founder of Main Street Theatre, an alternative performance space dedicated to physical theatre 2010-2015. Joan has also designed and built sets and properties for many Bay Area companies, including Bay Area Children’s Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, SF Shakespeare Festival, and ACT Conservatory.
JAMES HUNTING (Set Designer)
James is the resident set designer for One Year Lease Theater Co. in New York and has designed off-Broadway productions for them including: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (PEMDAS), and Pool (no water). Other designs include: The Killing Room, The Tender Mercies, Teaser Cow, The Bald Soprano, Reader, Death and the Maiden, Bed, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls..., PHAEDRA x3, Antigone, and Machinal. James has also designed sets for The Outhouse Theatre Company and Studio 42. His background is as a Special Effects Coordinator and Pyrotechnician for J&M Special Effects in Brooklyn where he designed special effects systems for Broadway productions, television, and live events. To see more of his work please visit www.oneyearlease.org
Brooke Jennings (Costumes)
Brooke is ecstatic to join the incredible, dedicated artists of At Last Theatre with this particularly moving production. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz's Theater Arts Masters Program, Brooke is an award winning Costume Designer working in the Bay Area and New York, including San Francisco Playhouse (Colossal, The Nether, Stage Kiss), Berkeley Playhouse (Peter Pan), We Players (HeroMonster, Ondine), Magic Theater (asst. designer: A Lie of the Mind, Bad Jews), Virago Theatre (The Singularity - New York Premier, 2015), Custom Made Theater Company (Sam and Dede, Serpents and Seaspray, In Love and Warcraft, This Is Our Youth, Grey Gardens The Musical, How The World Began, Late: A Cowboy Song, The Crucible), City Lights Theater (Rocky Horror Show), and Santa Cruz Shakespeare (asst. designer, Frog and Toad). Brooke is the 2015 Recipient for Best Costume Design by Theatre Bay Area for her work on We Players’ Ondine at Sutro, directed by Ava Roy and Carly Cioffi.
ARTHUR OLIVER (Costume Designer)
Arthur is proficient in design for the performing arts and has contributed his talents to Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, opera, ballet, short film, television, and academe. His work has been praised by critics Ben Brantley of the New York Times and Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal as well as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Boston Herald. He has taught at Harvard University, NYU/Tisch, The Boston Conservatory, Trinity College and many flagship universities including Louisiana State University. International: The Moscow Ballet, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Tropicana Film Festival (Sydney, AU), and The Stratford Festival of Ontario. NYC/Broadway/Off-Broadway: The New Victory, 59E59 theatres, The Roseland Ballroom, Laurie Beechman, Bronx Opera, The Century Club, Kings Theatre, Hammerstein Ballroom, and 54 Below. Regional theatre and opera: American Repertory Theatre (ART), The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Children's Theatre Company, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Chester Theatre Company, Merrimack Repertory, The Atlanta Opera, Connecticut Opera, Bardavon Opera, Tanglewood, Virginia Arts Festival, and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Television/Film: It Could be Worse, PBS (Evening at POPS), ESPN and numerous short films. Most recently Arthur designed for Academy Award-Winner Olympia Dukakis in her final performance of the iconic Mother Courage and Her Children. He has also worked and designed for Christopher Ashley, Karen Allen, Claudia Weill, Claire Bloom, James Taylor, Debra Jo Rupp, Keanu Reeves, Raquel Welch, Carly Simon, Liza Minnelli, Alicia Silverstone, Marge Champion and the late Maureen Stapleton. In the sphere of Broadway, his work includes many productions for two-time TONY winner Jerry Mitchell via their collaboration with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, two-time TONY nominee Alison Fraser, Capathia Jenkins, Chip Zien, Ned Eisenberg, John Douglas Thompson, Kerry Butler, Diedre Goodwin, Gary Halvorson, Gabriel Barre. He has been published seven times, most notably in Imagining Shakespeare, Backstage Pass: 18 Years of Broadway Bares, Shakespeare Festivals around the World and Shakespeare: The Seven Major Tragedies by Harold Bloom. For the past five years, each November his production of The Great Russian Nutcracker tours North America via two touring companies. This year a third tour of the ballet will be added.
Costume Sketches by Arthur Oliver
Esther and Mara Costume Sketches
Hammon and Amit Costume Sketches
Esther and Jubal Costume Sketches
MIKE RIGGS (Lighting Designer)
Mike is a New York based artist committed to the creation of original and innovative theater. He is a founding member of the off-Broadway company One Year Lease, designing all of the company’s twenty-plus productions including Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (on its way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer), Stockholm, pool (no water), Skin Tight, The Killing Room, The Bald Soprano, and Machinal. Other New York credits include Pylade, Blood Play (Henry Hewes Design Award nomination), Buddy Cop 2, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Cape Disappointment, The Eaten Heart, Hostage Song, Red-Haired Thomas, and 6969 (NY Innovative Theater Award nomination).
Mike had the distinct honor of designing the final four endeavors of the legendary opera conductor Anton Coppola before his retirement as the world’s oldest working conductor at age 95: Aida, a double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, La traviata, and the Maestro’s own adaptation of The Merry Widow. Other opera credits include various productions with the opera companies of El Paso, Naples, Omaha, Syracuse, Shreveport, Sarasota, and Tampa.
Mike regularly designs new dance works by noted contemporary choreographers including Chitresh Das, Chris Elam, Jonathan Hollander, Liz Lerman, Cassie Meador, Tony Morales, Brenda Way, and Matthew Westerby. He has served as Lighting Supervisor for MOMIX, Parsons Dance Company, and the Flying Karamazov Brothers; touring four continents and most of the United States. He is the lighting designer of Next Generation Ballet’s celebrated annual production of The Nutcracker; and of Dance Exchange’s How To Lose A Mountain, which won the DC Dance Best Overall Production award for its premiere at Dance Place in Washington. Along with composer Nathan Leigh, Mike developed the “light score” approach to dance lighting, which involves using sensors mounted to musical instruments and/or commands built into a recorded score to trigger lighting events with extreme accuracy.
Mike has designed lighting for special appearances by Plàcido Domingo, Raul Esparza, Denyce Graves, Patti LaBelle, k.d. lang, Liza Minnelli, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Barack Obama, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, James Taylor, Ben Vereen and Frederica von Stade, to name just a few. Standout special events include Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg’s The Art of Film Music with John Williams conducting the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Kennedy Center’s historic 2009 birthday salute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy (also with Maestro Williams). He is the associate lighting designer of the current Broadway production of She Loves Me and of the current national tour of Annie.
A graduate of Vassar College, Mike designed Vassar Voices, a theatrical and musical event featuring Meryl Streep, Frances Sternhagen, and Lisa Kudrow, among other notable alumnae/i, which debuted at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre and played in cities worldwide during the College's 2011 sesquicentennial.
MARTIN SCHWARTZ (Dramaturg)
Martin is a playwright, director, and cultural advocate based in San Francisco. His original plays, including Cockroach, Comedy Ballet, TUTOR, and StormStressLenz, have been produced in San Francisco and Phoenix—earning favorable notices in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Phoenix New Times (10 Best Plays, 2012), and the Arizona Republic—and published in Colloquium Magazine. His farce The Diplomats, forthcoming from Exit Press, will receive its world-premiere production at the Exit Mainstage in San Francisco in May, 2016. Martin has served as co-artistic director of Dark Porch Theatre since 2009.
ADAM L. SUSSMAN (Dramaturg)
Adam is a director, dramaturg, writer, and performer. He served as the Bret C Harte Directing Fellow at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre during the 14/15 season. There he assistant directed on An Audience with Meow Meow, Party People, Head of Passes, and Anna Deavere Smith's Notes from the Field, Doing Time in Education: the California Chapter. He is a member of Ragged Wing Ensemble, a founding member of the theater collective HATCH, the literary manager at Custom Made Theatre Co., a Just Theater's Playlab member, and a longtime participant and co-organizer of the Home Theater Festival. Adam previously served as Do It Live!'s literary manager. He has directed with Playwright's Foundation, Playwright's Center of SF, Cutting Ball Theatre, Impact Theater, Monday Night Playground, Wiley West Productions, PianoFight, The Theater Offensive, Amios SF, and SF Theater Pub. Adam is a recipient of Theater Bay Area's 2013 Titan Award and a Best of the Fringe award in 2011 for his collaboration with poet Evan Kennedy on "Quatre-vingt-quatre."
Viola performed by Sig Hafstrom Sig is a musician, artist, and "creative generalist". She can be found on stage singing, schticking, and playing viola with The Eggplant Casino, and in an airless studio playing bass with Have Special Power. She is also the owner and gift wrapping expert at Ace Gift Wrapping Service, a maker of terrariums, a writer, and a visual artist.
Violin performed by Dana Barazan Dana is a student of San Francisco Academy Orchestra. She earned her masters in performance at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Dana is playing in the Classical Revolution events in SF and in several ensembles in Israel.
Cello performed by Myra Chachkin Myra has played cello in Dan Plonsey's medium-big band, Daniel Popsicle; pit orchestra for musical theater productions at Stage One and Starstruck; weddings and concerts with the Alegre String Quartet; the Indonesian/country band, Sorry Roses; and the Awesome Orchestra.