2015 Season Cast
Romeo & Juliet (June 18 – July 12)
Jonas Barranca (Romeo) (SAGAFTRA) is honored to revisit the role, of the greatest lover ever written. He’s a proud member of Coeurage Theatre Company and the Sword Fights Inc team of fighters and stunt choreographers. STAGE: Dominic Spano The Bloody Beginnings (Speakeasy Dollhouse) Young Edwin Booth in The Brothers Booth* (Speakeasy Dollhouse), Leon Csolgosz in Assassins (CTC), Romeo in Romeo & Juliet (CTC), Don Armado in Love’s Labour’s Lost (CTC). TV: Death of Innocence* (Unusual Suspects), Mona Mania (Pretty Little Liars). (*stunt coordinator).
Kathleen Denecke (Juliet) – Kathleen is thrilled to be joining Shakespeare in Delaware Park! Buffalo credits include Family Furniture (Peggy) and Arrivals and Departures (Esmé) at the Kavinoky Theatre. Kathleen completed her BFA at Niagara University where favorite rolls include: The Philadelphia Story (Tracy), Curtains (Carmen Bernstein), Rumors (Chris), The Learned Ladies (Armande), Dog Sees God (Tricia), and This Property is Condemned (Willie). She was also chosen to direct the entirely student produced and designed NU Players’ Production of The Shape of Things her senior year. Outside of NU, Kathleen was an apprentice to New York Stage and Film at the Powerhouse Theater Company, where she played Rosalind in As You Like It, and was a Soundpainted actor in weekly devised performances in Vassar College’s art gallery. Huge thanks to the SDP team as well as my amazing and extensive support network for making this most incredible summer possible!
Also, at the Irish Classical Theatre Company, past roles included Messer Nicia, Pantalone, Crabtree, and Sir Francis in THE MANDRAKE, THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL, and CHARLEY’S AUNT, respectively. In addition, he played major roles in AN IDEAL HUSBAND, ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST, PRIVATE LIVES, TARTUFFE, BLITHE SPIRIT, and THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE.
Kim Côté (Lady Montague) – Kim joins us from sunny Los Angeles, CA. There she was a background actor in such well- known television shows as Glee, Parenthood, and Parks & Recreation. She has been blessed to work in such local productions as Buffalo Laboratory Theatre’s Build Your Own Adventure: The Mystery of the Silver Chalice, Artpark’s Mary Poppins and O’Connell & Company’s Godspell. Other favorite roles include: Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Lola in Copa Cabana and Edwin Drood in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Her career has taken her on Holland America Cruise Lines as well as Carnival Cruise Lines as a Production Singer and she has performed in many prominent theatres of the mountain west such as Robert Redford’s Sundance Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, The Egyptian Theatre of Park City, UT and The Grande Teton Mainstage of Jackson Hole, WY.
Mike Benoit (Friar John/Balthazar) is a SUNY Fredonia B.A. Theatre Studies graduate, originally from Albany, NY. Mike is grateful and excited to be making his debut appearance with Shakespeare in Delaware Park. Previous credits include student productions (theatre and film) at SUNY Fredonia and Ithaca College, and regional theatre in the Capital Region. “Many thanks to Tom Loughlin for this wonderful opportunity, the cast and crew for their hard work, and my lovely family and friends for being so supportive!”
Gerry Maher (Peter) – Gerry is a veteran of more than 70 productions on Buffalo stages. He has appeared in many SDP productions and counts Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, King Henry in Henry IV, part 2, Toby Belch in Twelfth Night and the gravedigger in Hamlet among his favorites. He has also performed regularly with The Irish Classical Theatre, Road Less Travelled Productions, and The Kavinoky Theatre. He has twice received Art Voice Artie awards for his work.
Nick Stevens (Apothecary/Sampson) is excited to be making his Buffalo debut at Shakespeare in Delaware Park! He attended SUNY Fredonia and studied acting where his past credits include Phil in The Shape of Things, Paul in Moon Over Buffalo, and Amos Hart in Chicago. He would like to thank his family, friends, and most of all the story tellers.
Marisa Caruso (Escalus) – Marisa is thrilled to take part in her second production with Shakespeare in Delaware Park, having played the First Merchant in last year’s Comedy of Errors. Marisa most recently appeared in Singin’ in the Rain at Lancaster Opera House, A Public Reading…Walt Disney at Road Less Traveled Productions, and The Night Before Christmas with Theatre of Youth. Many thanks go out to the production team, her beautiful cast and the wonderful Drew!
Nicholas Gerwitz (Mercutio) is incredibly excited for his debut at Delaware Park on its 40th Anniversary. Graduated from SUNY Fredonia, some roles include: Otto Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank), Malcolm (Macbeth), and David Kingsley (Stage Door). A special thanks to Tom Loughlin, it’s such an honor. Thanks to his brother Jeremy who purchased the R+J film (Leo DiCaprio), which planted the seed for Shakespeare and this dream role at the age of 7.
Marie Costa (Benvolio) – Marie really enjoys working at SiDP, as it was her first introduction to working in professional theatre, 16 years ago. Since then, she’s worked on and back stage for a fair amount of the theatres in town, in addition to working in the local film community. Her favorite production to date, however, is definitely her biggest undertaking, and one which will run in rep for at least the next lifetime: Bean VonCostaback is one heck of an experience!
Much love and many thanks to Senor VonCostaback.
Mary Beth Lacki (Tybalt) is thrilled to be back for her third production on the Shakespeare stage! Known for her fighting chutzpah, Mary Beth participates as an Actor Combatant at fundraising events, including TriMania and SDP’s Fabulous Feast, in addition to serving as a Fight Choreographer/Asst. for theatres across Western New York. Having studied theatre and French from Niagara University, Mary Beth played Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Lulu/Gorilla in Cabaret before traveling abroad to teach English in France. A culture and travel enthusiast, Mary Beth is fluent in French and holds a Masters in Marketing Communications. Top regional credits include: MacBeth (Young Siward/Fight Captain) and The Tempest (Dancer/Singer) at Shakespeare in Delaware Park; The Relapse (Miss Hoyden) at Irish Classical Theatre Company; and Seussical, the Musical! (Cat in the Hat) at the Lancaster Opera House.
Matt Dell’Olio (Ensemble) – Matt is a junior from Ontario, NY. He is a theatre performance major at Niagara University, and also plans to receive a design/tech and dance minor. This is his first show with Shakespeare in the Park. At Niagara, he has performed in Guys and Dolls (Benny Southstreet), Sweeney Todd (Ensemble), Curtains (Randy Dexter), and Bat Boy (Clem). Other credits include A Chorus Line (Alan DeLuca) at RAPA, Spamalot (Prince Herbert) and Oklahoma! (Dream Curly) with The Neighborhood Acting Company. Favorite high school roles include West Side Story (Riff), Crazy For You (Bela Zangler) and Into The Woods (Narrator).
Lauren O’Brien (Ensemble) – Lauren is delighted to be making her debut with Shakespeare in Delaware Park. She will be entering her Junior year as a BFA Musical Theatre major at Fredonia State University in the fall. Fredonia credits include Crissy in Hair produced as part of the Walter Gloor Mainstage series, and Trisha/ Frances in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, produced by the student- run organization PAC. She would like to thank her wonderful family for all the love and support.
Twelfth Night (July 23 – August 16)
Tim Newell (Olivia) – Tim made his debut with SDP in 2000, portraying Polonius in the 25thAnniversary production of Hamlet. Since then, he has gone on to play many a coveted role, most notably Jaques (As You Like It), King Lear’s Fool, Feste (Twelfth Night), the “lean and hungry” Cassisus (Julius Caesar), Don John (Much Ado About Nothing), Iago (Othello), the quintessential villain, King Richard the Third, the guilt-ridden King Claudius, in Hamlet; and last season, he appeared as Chorus in Henry V. In addition to his work on Shakespeare Hill, he has appeared on many of Buffalo’s stages. Big love to Saul Elkin, without whom none of the above would have been possible.
Adam Yellen (Maria) – Adam is thrilled to be returning to Shakespeare in Delaware Park this summer in Twelfth Night. This is Adam’s 4th production with SDP. In the past he was seen in Richard III, Hamlet, and Henry V. Earlier this season he was seen in Beau Jest at Jewish Repertory Theater and in Beauty Queen of Leenane at Irish Classical Theater. Next season he will be playing the title role in My Name is Asher Lev at Jewish Rep. Adam would like to thank Steve and Saul for all of the opportunities they have given him and Arin for always being the best.
Jordan Louis Fischer (Viola) is a graduate of Fredonia State University of New York where he holds a BFA in Musical Theatre. His past credits include: Mark (RENT), Charles (The School for Scandal) and Peter (The Diary of Anne Frank). Jordan would like to thank his friends, family, Curtis and mostly his parents for their wonderful support.
Chris Hatch* (Orsino) is thrilled to be making his Shakespeare in Delaware Park debut with this production. Regional credits include Shakespeare productions at Indiana Rep., First Folio Shakes., Heart of America Shakes., and two seasons at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival. Most recently he was seen as Trinculo in the Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre production of The Tempest and locally as Jim O’Connor in the Lancaster Opera House production of The Glass Menagerie. A proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, he also works as a Professor of Theatre at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY.
David Lundy (Sir Andrew) – A veteran of SIDP, David was seen here in Merchant of Venice and Richard III. Twice nominated for the Artvoice Artie Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor (The 39 Steps, Emperor and Galilean), he has appeared most often locally at the Kavinoky Theatre, notably in their Artie Ensemble Award winning productions of Is He Dead? and The 39 Steps. David has also appeared at Torn Space Theatre, The Alt, Lancaster Opera House, Against the Grain Theatre, Artpark, Theatre for Change, and is a special features reporter for WBIG-TV. Married to writer and jazz singer Mari McNeil, he will be seen this fall in Harvey, at The New Phoenix Theatre.
Greg Gjuruch (Malvolio) – Gregory is so happy to be back at SDP having appeared in last yearsproduction of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (Aegean). He was most recently seen at MusicalFare in CAROUSEL (Starkeeper). Favorite local credits include: SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS (Michael), LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (Georges), BABY (Alan…and Danny…and Nick), He has had the distinct privilege to work with such talented directors as Eric Schaeffer (ASSASSINS, A CHORUS LINE), John Tolliver (SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN), Joe Kalbfleisch (INTO THE WOODS) and Ann Marie HunAed(THE MUSIC MAN). Thanks to Steve, Lisa, Kyle, Maureen and the entire company of Twelfth Night! Special thanks to Mary, Olivia, & Abigail for all their love and support!
Stephen is a director and performer with a special interest in direct address, storytelling and group singing. After obtaining an MFA in Directing Shakespeare from the University of Essex in his native England, Stephen taught Shakespeare for many years at the Actors Centre in London. Moving to NYC he taught and directed, among many other things, Shakespeare at Atlantic Acting School / NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He may be unique amongst practitioners in having worked for both the Theatre Guild and the equally legendary Living Theatre (catering to both his mainstream and anarchic sides).Now pursuing his doctoral studies at UB, Stephen is researching clowning and audience participation in Early Modern Theater and developing his original performance Clown Hamlet for the Nintendo Generation (working title Not To Be). On a more theoretical track Stephen explores ideas of laughter as a feedback loop and the centrality of clowning to the origins of theatre. Still fairly new to Buffalo and the arts scene here, Stephen is delighted to have been cast as Feste in Twelfth Night for Shakespeare In Delaware Park here this summer.
Norman Sham* (Sir Toby) – Norm is happy to part SIDP 40th Anniversary Season. This marks his 6th production in the park, having previously appearing in Comedy of Errors, Much Ado…, As You Like It, Merry Wives and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He was last seen on stage in She Loves Me at The Kavinoky. A place where he has spent the past seven seasons as Production Stage Manager, occasional Director – Yankee Tavern, 42nd Street, Drood, Proof and Actor – Journey’s End, August; Osage County, Twelve Angry Men, A Funny Thing…, Man of LaMancha, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Guys & Dolls. Other acting credits include: Zooma Zooma, Urinetown, A New Brain, No Way To Treat a Lady, Dancing in the Dark and The Spitfire Grill (MusicalFare!); Brooklyn Boy (JRT); Don’t Touch That Dial! (Milwaukee Rep). Norm has won The Artvoice Theatre Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for the years 1996 (Man of LaMancha) and 1999 (Guys & Dolls). He also won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play in 2002 as Marty for the BET. Norm is married to the lovely and talented actress Debbie Pappas.
PJ Tighe (Sebastion): PJ recently played Phillip in Second Generation’s production of ‘ORPHANS’ this past winter. Other Buffalo credits include; Musicalfare’s RED (Ken), Torn Space’s LULU (Alva), Kavinoky’s ‘JOURNEY’S END’ (Raleigh) and ‘FAMILY FURNITURE’ (Nick). In 2014, upon completing auditions at the North Eastern Theatre Conference in Boston, PJ was offered submission to the Stella Adler School of Acting and received a job in Camden, Maine where he played Orlando in the Camden Shakespeare Festival production of ‘AS YOU LIKE IT’. His Niagara University credits include: ‘HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE’ (Uncle Peck), ‘A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM’ (Lysander), ‘THE PHILADELPHIA STORY’ (Mike), ‘RIMER’S OF ELDRITCH’ (Robert), ‘THE LEARNED LADIES’ (Trissotin), ‘ALMOST, MAINE’ (Pete) & a physical theatre production of ‘THE BOY WHO COULD SING PICTURES’ (Zoomac/Harlequino). PJ plans to move to LA next year to pursue an acting career in Film and Television, but before heads off he will be in the New Phoenix’s Curtain Up production of ‘THE REAL THING’ and Musicalfare’s production of ‘HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITOUT REALLY TRYING’ where he will be playing J. Pierrepont Finch next spring.
Justin Dimieri (Fabian) – Justin is extremely excited to be back on the Shakespeare in Delaware Park stage where he was cast in his first professional production back in 2002. Justin received his BFA from Niagara University. He spent some time performing in shows at The Theatre of Youth and The Kavinoky Theatre before heading to NYC. There he worked at the Late Show with David Letterman and worked for a Talent Management Company representing some of today’s top stand up acts such as Ray Romano and Brian Regan. Justin moved back to the Buffalo area to start a family and is the father of the happiest 2 year old you’ve ever met. Justin currently works at Lamar advertising, but you can find him on most days fishing along the banks of the Niagara River.
Elliot Fox (Antonio) – Elliot is thrilled to be participating with Shakespeare in Delaware Park for his third summer. Past roles have included Bardolph and the Duke of Burgundy in Henry V and ensemble parts in Richard III. Having now spent a year living and working in Buffalo, he is finding his new home to have a phenomenal theatre scene! In addition to his summers on the Hill, Elliot has been very active in the past year with the Patchwork Theatre in Niagara Falls. Roles include “Daniel” in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), “Harry” in Night of the Living Dead, “Dale” in the original rock musical, Legacy. Prior to Buffalo, Elliot was very active in the Rochester theatre scene, notably working with the two children’s theatre companies and plenty of productions at Centerstage and Blackfriars.
Curio/Musician Lucas DeNies – Lucas is a SUNY Fredonia student with a double major in Theater and Music. Previous productions include Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s A Comedy of Errors and SUNY Fredonia’s Concert version of South Pacific. He would like to thank his mother for all of her support.
Jay Wollin (Valentine/Musician) – Jay is pleased to make his first appearance with SDP this year. As an actor, he has been a regular in dinner theater appearing in shows including—Columbo: Prescription Murder, Nuts!, Saving Grace, The Sunshine Boys, There Goes The Bride (Desiderio’s). He has also appeared in Promises, Promises (Lancaster Opera House). Jay has also performed as a musician for productions of Two by Two, Damn Yankees!, Gypsy, Into The Woods, Oklahoma!, Jekyll & Hyde, Fiddler on the Roof, How To Succeed In Business…, Copacabana, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, The Pajama Game, The Fantasticks, and Hello, Dolly! In addition to appearing on stage, he is a published composer having written music for television including Major League Baseball (Fox), The Atlanta Braves Pre/Post Game Report, The Real World (MTV), Hollywood Heights (Nickelodeon) and BestInk (Bravo). He is also the co-writer and composer of The Night Before Christmas, a children’s musical that is celebrating it’s third year in production, and Detention of the Damned, which will premiere this October at the Lancaster Opera House. He is also a producer and assistant director for feature films and has worked on films including Poutrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Return to the Class of Nukem High Parts 1 and 2, The Alcoholist , Small Town Prince and The Rainbow Bridge Motel. He is currently the Executive Director of Buffalo Amalgamated Media, a video and audio production company—as well as the Founder & Chairman of Unmanned Exploration Systems, an organization dedicated toward the development and deployment of unmanned systems for education and research. Jay would like thank his parents, his wife Jessica and son Paris for their support, which has been as unending as this bio!
Dan Greer (Captain/Priest) – This will be Dan’s second production with Shakespeare in Delaware Park having been Gloucester in last summer’s production of Henry V. Dan recently performed with Theatre of Youth as Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh and also acted in Lancaster Regional Players’ The Boys Next Door. Dan has also been Walter in Lancaster Regional Players production of Tom Dudzick’s, King O’ the Moon. Dan has also performed with several other local theater companies including Subversive Theatre, Desiderio’s Dinner Theater, Springville Center for the Arts, A.R.T. of W.N.Y., Ujima Theater, Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions, and Amherst Players. Commercial print and film work includes Buffalo State College student production of “In/Sanity” and other student films, Univera, Milk for Health, Allstate Motor Club, and the Hollywood produced film “Henry’s Crime.”
Dan Urtz (Ensemble/Singer) – Dan is thrilled to come back for his second year at Shakespeare in Delaware Park. His recent credits include She Loves Me (Arpad) and Arrivals & Departures (Wisby, Rob, Clive, Chaplain) both at the Kavinoky Theatre, as well as Harvey (Duane Wilson) at Lockport Palace Theatre, and a national tour with the National Theatre for Children. He would like to thank his family for their support and his long time mentor, Victoria Buda, for all the help and love. Thank you!
Ensemble/Singers Thorin Vallentin (Ensemble/Singers) – This is Thorins first year with Shakespeare In Delaware Park, he is thrilled to be part of this proud tradition. Recent credits include 420 The Musical(The Francis Bacon Experiment), The Guns Of Christmas(Subversive Theatre) and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues(Fearless Players). Thanks to friends, family and to YOU for being a part of all this! And extra special thanks to a phenomenally talented and exceedingly hilarious cast and production crew!
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers, appearing under special agreement with Actors’ Equity Association.