FUN HOME Cast + Creatives

CREATIVE TEAM

JESSICA HOLT

(Director) is thrilled to return to Virginia Stage Company where she last directed Venus in Fur by David Ives. Recent projects include: the world premiere of The Resting Place by Ashlin Halfnight at Magic Theatre, Speech and Debate by Stephen Karam at Barrington Stage Company, Rich Girl by Victoria Stewart at Florida Studio Theatre, Ugly Lies the Bone at the Alliance Theatre, and Significant Other by Joshua Harmon at Actor’s Express in Atlanta. Other favorite projects include: "Act 5" of Taylor Mac’s five-hour epic The Lily’s Revenge, Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield, The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and the hip-hop musical The Children by Phillip Howze. She has developed, produced and directed work at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Alliance Theatre, the American Academy of Dramatic Art in NYC, Theater Emory, Playwrights Center SF, Cutting Ball Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theater Center, and Piano Fight.  She served as the Co-Artistic Director of the Yale Summer Cabaret, producing and directing a season of adventurous and daring work by contemporary American playwrights. Jessica is an alumna of the National Directing Fellowship (Eugene O'Neill Theater Center/National New Plays Network) and served as the Yale Directing Fellow at the Alliance Theatre.  She holds an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the SDC.   Learn more at: www.jessicaholt.org

REID THOMPSON

(Set Designer) Virginia Stage debut. Recent NYC: Eddie and Dave (Atlantic Theater Co); Too Heavy For Your Pocket (Roundabout and Alliance); Wilder Gone (Clubbed Thumb); A Delicate Ship (Playwright’s Realm); Selkie (Dutch Kills); House Rules, Among The Dead (Ma-Yi); Empathitrax (Colt Coeur); Half Moon Bay (Lesser America). Recent Regional: A Doll’s House Part Two (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville); Gloria, Disgraced (Asolo Rep); Up & Away (PCLO). Other credits: A Streetcar Named Desire (Yale Rep); A Little Night Music, Bells Are Ringing, Little Shop Of Horrors (Berkshire Theater Festival); Speech and Debate (Barrington Stage); Into The Woods (Princeton). Opera: Fidelio, Butterfly, Dido & Aeneas, Lucia (Heartbeat Opera); Lucretia (Stony Brook Opera); Erismena (Yale Baroque Opera). Upcoming: Something Clean (Roundabout); Fruiting Bodies (Ma-Yi); La Susanna (Heartbeat Opera; Kennedy Center and BAM). MFA: Yale School of Drama. Member of Wingspace and USA-829. reidthompsondesign.com

JENI SCHAEFER

(Costume Designer) is Virginia Stage Company’s Resident Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager, as well as the Costume Instructor at the GSA’s Theatre Department. She is celebrating her 16th season with Virginia Stage. Regional credits include: A Christmas Story at The Arkansas Rep, The Hound of the Baskervilles at The Hangar Theatre, Always Patsy Cline at PCPA Theatrefest, Tom Jones, In the Book of, and Under Six at Florida Studio Theatre. VSC productions to name a few: Peter and the Starcatcher, All my Sons, Grounded, The Tempest, The Great Gatsby, The Comfort Team, The Fantasticks, Death of a Salesman, Red, Radio Golf, A Raisin in the Sun, Around the World in 80 days, Wit, Crowns, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Hank Williams List Highway, The Elephant Man, Of Mice and Men, A Christmas Carol, and To Kill a Mocking Bird. Jeni Schaefer holds a Master of Arts in Communication/Theatre in Costume Design from Wichita State University.  

ANNMARIE DUGGAN 

(Lighting Designer) is excited to be making here Virginia Stage debut.  Ms. Duggan has designed more than four hundred productions in her career. Off-Broadway: Sphinx Winx (Theatre Row) Jolson & Co. (Century Center), Clue The Musical (Players Theatre). Regional:  American Girl Place Theatre, Chicago, LA, and New York, Skylight Music Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre, Fulton Operas House and Potsdam Music Theatre to name a few. Ms. Duggan is an Associate Professor and Chair at the University of Pittsburgh, she teaches in the areas of Lighting Design and Stage Management. Ms. Duggan also works in application development for theatre professionals, you can find more information about her design work and iPad applications at www.amddesignonline.com.

CHRISTOPHER BARNES

(Sound Designer) is thrilled to be making his designer debut at VSC with Fun Home. A native of South Carolina, Chris is an active duty soldier currently serving as a music production instructor at the Army Band School of Music at JEB Little Creek. He holds a B.A. in Music from the University of South Carolina and a Master’s in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University. Previously he has sound designed theatrical productions for Cape Fear Regional, UNC - Pembroke, and Uprising Theatre Co. Favorite productions include Downrange: Voices from the Homefront, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Thanks and love to his wife Lofton for coming with him on the adventures.

JOANNA LI

(Music Director) is joining VSC for the first time! Previous favorite projects have included: Avenue Q at Cape Fear Regional Theatre (Fayetteville, NC), Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Parallel 45 Theatre (Traverse City, Michigan), Once at Theatre Raleigh (Raleigh, NC), and Godspell at The Legacy Theatre (Atlanta, GA). Graduate of the  Cleveland Institute of Music.

JORDAN DUNLAP

(Choreographer) is thrilled to be returning VSC after performing in The Wiz and choreographing Pride & Prejudice.  Choreographic credits: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Return To The Forbidden Planet, Shrek Jr, A Year With Frog and Toad, The Little Mermaid, and Wizard of Oz.  Performance credits include: National Tours: Radio City Christmas Spectacular, CATS 30th Anniversary (Victoria). Regional Theatre: Spamalot, Mary Poppins (Dance Captain/Assistant Choreographer), Legally Blonde (Serena, Associate Choreographer), S’Wonderful (Leslie), CATS (Sillabub), How To Succeed..,The Producers, and Ballet Memphis Company. Thank you to Tom for this incredible opportunity. Thank you Dusty and Caleb for allowing me to play my favorite role, mom. 

CONNOR NORTON

(Assistant Director) is excited to begin his journey into the world of directing with Jessica Holt on this production of Fun Home. As a long time patron, volunteer, and member of the VSC family; he couldn't think of anywhere better to begin his professional directing career than with such a loving and warm community. Connor has directed a number of pieces with The Old Dominion University Starving Artists, such as The Normal Heart, Standing on Ceremony, and My Dorian. Most recently at The Zeiders American Dream Theater, Connor has directed and devised The OrangeAve Project, a theater piece created from the stories of those affected by The Pulse shooting in Orlando. He would like to thank his family for always encouraging him and his mentors and champions Ricardo Melendez and Todd Rosenlieb for helping him realize the type of artist and person he wanted to become.

BRIANA VALDERREY *

(Resident Stage Manager) earned her BFA in Technical Production – Stage Management from UNC Greensboro, having previously studied directing at Columbia University. She has worked at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, FL, the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA, and various small shows throughout NYC and the NC Triad, most recently spending two seasons at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre in Fayetteville, NC. This is her second season at Virginia Stage Company.

TOM QUAINTANCE 

(Producing Artistic Director) is the sixth Artistic Director and the first Producing Artistic Director in Virginia Stage Company’s 40 year history. Previously as Artistic Director of Cape Fear Regional Theatre (CFRT), Tom produced over 35 plays and directed the World Premiere of Downrange: Voices from the Homefront, a play based on interviews with military spouses from Fort Bragg. At CFRT, Tom also directed Henry V, Man of La Mancha, Amadeus (with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra), Spamalot, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Sweeney Todd, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (also with the FSO), Jesus Christ Superstar, On Golden Pond, Othello, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and Hairspray. Tom is an Associate Artist at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill where he directed An Enemy of the People, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and The Little Prince. He also directed The Little Prince at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As the founder of FreightTrain Shakespeare in Los Angeles, he earned a Dramalogue Award for his direction of Pericles. Other Los Angeles credits range from King Lear to The Devil With Boobs. A member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Tom is a graduate of Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) with a B.A. in Theatre and Economics, and the University of California, San Diego MFA directing program, where he was the assistant director on the original production of The Who’s Tommy. Tom most recently directed Pride & Prejudice on the Wells Theatre stage. Tom and his wife Wallis are the proud parents of Mireille Julia and Annika Christine.

DAVID B. BYRD

(Managing Director) Virginia Stage’s 40th Anniversary Season marks David’s second full season as Managing Director. Prior to landing in Norfolk, David served as Managing Director at Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, TN. He has also held leadership positions at Westport Country Playhouse, American Dance Festival, Triad Stage, Yale Repertory Theater, the Dwight/Edgewood Project, and the Guthrie Theater. David received an MFA degree in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama and a BA degree in Drama from UNC-Greensboro in his native North Carolina. During his tenure at the Clarence Brown Theatre, David was appointed to the Chancellor’s Commission for LGBT People and the College of Arts & Sciences’ Diversity Committee. Additionally, David served on the McClung Museum Academic Programs Advisory Board and the Great Schools Partnership Advisory Council. David has been a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and United Way of Greater Knoxville. He has served on the union negotiating team and annual meeting planning committees for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT). David was a 2016 Knoxville Business Journal 40 Under Forty Honoree and has recently guest lectured at Virginia Wesleyan University and Christopher Newport University.


CAST

(listed in alphabetical order)

Sarah%2BChapin%2BCMYK.jpg

SARAH STEWART CHAPIN *

(Medium Alison) is thrilled to make her Virginia Stage Company debut; Regional Credits: Medicine the Musical (HERE Arts Center, NYC), Footloose, How to Succeed… (Scranton Shakespeare Festival), The Lonesome West, Spring Awakening (The Keegan Theatre, D.C.), Carrie: The Musical (The Studio Theatre. D.C.), Tenn (ASCAP Workshop, LA). Film: Coming Up for Air. Education/Training: Yale University, Moscow Art Theater School. sarahstewartchapin.com

Brooke+Dempsey.jpg

BROOKE DEMPSEY

(Understudy) is excited to be a part of her first show at VSC! She has enjoyed performing in local community theatres throughout Hampton Roads in addition to performing in Nashville and in festivals with her sisters. Most recently, they sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park in Boston! Brooke is very grateful for this experience at VSC.


Kate+Fahrner+CMYK.jpg

KATE FAHRNER *

(Alison) is unbelievably excited to be working on this show at this theatre with this creative team, it is a dream come true. Eclectic resume as follows: Glinda in Wicked on Broadway. National tours of Wicked, South Pacific, The Full Monty, and Cats. Regional favorites...Una in Blackbird, Miss Casewell in The Mousetrap both at the Fulton. Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday, Ellen in Miss Saigon, Jovie in Elf, Nellie in South Pacific, Mrs. Cheveley in An Ideal Husband, plus a few more at Walnut Street Theatre. Jenny in The Christians at Gulfshore Playhouse. Sally Bowles in the Sam Mendes version of Cabaret at The Engeman. Also, if you blinked at the wrong time you may have missed her in the movie How To Be Single. All of the thanks to Krasner, Guthrie, Grady, family, Chad, Jessica and especially Alison for sharing her story.

Rachel+Felstein++CMYK.jpg

RACHEL FELSTEIN *

(Joan) was seen last season as Mrs. Mumler in Summerland with Washington Stage Guild, and as Mary Shelley in Lake Effect with the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage festival. She also appeared in Julius Caesar (Casca/Messala) and Pericles (Antipholus’ Daughter/First Fisherman) with the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting. Pericles featured Rachel’s original music, which she wrote and directed for the production. Career highlights include the national tour of Man of La Mancha as Antonia and Aldonza; the live taping of This American Life: As Seen on Radio with host Ira Glass at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); and acting in A Tender Offer by Wendy Wasserstein, directed by Walter Bobbie. Rachel received a Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Mannes College, graduated from the two year Meisner conservatory with Terry Knickerbocker, and holds an MFA in Classical Acting from the ACA. www.rachelfelstein.com

Caleigh+Howell.jpg

CALEIGH HOWELL

(Small Alison) is thrilled to be making her debut at Virginia Stage Company. As a seventh grader at Princess Anne Middle School, Caleigh enjoys participating in her school arts program.  Outside of school, she has performed in A Christmas Carol with Virginia Musical Theater, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the Governor's School for the Arts. Caleigh would like to thank her voice teacher, Diana Swenson, and her family for their love and support. She would also like to thank everyone at Virginia Stage Company for teaching and guiding her through this amazing experience.

Bart+Mather+CMYK.jpg

BART MATHER *

(Roy) is beyond excited to dive into this beautiful show with this excellent group of humans. Virginia Stage Company debut. Previous credits include: Footloose (Ren) at Arrow Rock Lyceum, We Will Rock You (Pop) for RCCL, Prometheus Bound (Ensemble) and The Donkey Show (Peaseblossom) at American Repertory Theater, Mamma Mia (Eddie), Legally Blonde (Ensemble) and Singin' in the Rain (Rod) at Merry Go Round Playhouse. He's a graduate of the Boston Conservatory and proud Actors' Equity member. Bart would like to dedicate this performance to his Father for showing him time and time again how important it is to lead with optimism, strength and love and to live life to the fullest.

April+Poland+CMYK+s39%2C40.jpg

APRIL POLAND

(Helen) is delighted to return to Virginia Stage Company after appearing in last season's Pride and Prejudice.  This past Autumn, she played Sonia in Vanya &Sonia & Masha & Spike in the Seattle area.  In the Tidewater area, April has appeared in the Virginia Shakespeare Festival’s Macbeth (Lady Macbeth), Tidewater Stage Company’s The Christians (Elizabeth), and Panglossian Productions’ The K of D, An Urban Legend, playing all sixteen roles.  In her "other" home city of Seattle, she has appeared at many theatres, including Taproot Theatre’s productions of Sweet Land (Brownie), Mr. Pim Passes By (Olivia Marden), Illyria (Olivia), and Jane Eyre (Blanche).  While here in Virginia teaching at William & Mary, April directed The Diviners, The Seagull, and She Loves Me for Regent's MFA Acting program. She holds an MFA from the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program.

John+Post.jpg

JOHN POST

(Christian) is excited to be in his first production with Virginia Stage Company. John is a student at Windsor High School and the Governor's School for the Arts. He has been in many local productions. Some of his favorite roles were: Nathan in The Full Monty, Young Abel in Children of Eden, and Sheldon in Junie B. Jones Jingle Bells, all at The Smithfield Little Theater. His most recent roles were Frankie Churchill in Emma (Smithfield Little Theater) and a Cadet in Seussical the Musical (Virginia Musical Theater). John enjoys singing, acting, dancing, and playing the clarinet. He would like to thank his parents for all of their support and Taraleigh Casteen for all of her help over the years.

Craig+Waletzko+CMYK.jpg

CRAIG WALETZKO *

(Bruce) returns to Virginia Stage after a long hiatus – he played Lucky in Dames at Sea (in 1998!) Craig’s Broadway and National Touring credits include Kinky Boots (George), Guys and Dolls, Young Frankenstein, Spamalot, A Christmas Carol, Cats, Steel Pier, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Gypsy. Favorite regional roles include Father in Ragtime and Cornelius in Hello Dolly at Westchester Broadway, Jerome in Merrily at Huntington, Phil in White Christmas at Syracuse Stage, Michael in I Do I Do at Surflight, Eddie in several Funny Girls, and Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast at Pioneer Theatre. On-camera work includes roles in Ocean’s 8, House of Cards, Boardwalk Empire, Blue Bloods, Alpha House, and The Knick. He recently narrated the audio book Alienated, a short story collection available on audible.com, Amazon, and iTunes. Craig is a proud graduate of Carnegie-Mellon. This performance is dedicated to my amazing family who every day teach me more and more about love. www.craigwaletzko.com

Jack+Wielar+CMYK.jpg

JACK WIELAR

(John Bechdel) makes his Virginia Stage Company debut. He most recently performed as JoJo in Virginia Musical Theatre’s production of Seussical the Musical, his professional debut. Jack would like to thank his family and everyone at DMR Adventures for their support.

Conductor/Keys  JOANNA LI
Bass  DERRICK ENGLERT **
Violin/Viola  LAURA SEAY **
Percussion  RANDOLPH HAGIN **
Cello   PETER GREYDANUS **
Guitar  JAKE STITH **
Woodwinds   KEITH PHILBRICK **

ADDITIONAL SHOW STAFF                  

Dance Captain  BART MATHER *
Assistant Stage Manager  SHAWANNA HALL
Wardrobe Kyle Jacobs
Sound Board Operator J.C. Nigh
Light Board Operator Elijah Brown
Spotlight Operators Quinn Sipes, Elizabeth Hall
Audio 2/Wardrobe Gwen Landrum
Flyman Cory Hartner
Scenic Charge Shawn Crawford
Scenic Painter Margaret Gaudry
Interim Technical Director Anthony Ross
Company Management Associate Lyeneal Griffin
ASL Interpreters  Sabrina Smith, Debbie North, Ezri Legleri

Casting Director Chad Eric Murnane & Binder Casting

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

** Member of American Federation of Musicians, Local 125

† Member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Inc., an independent labor union.

‡ Member of the The United Scenic Artists