Meet the lovers & sinners.
Stephanie Bahnij - Hamlet Stage Manager, Measure for Measure ASM
Stephanie happily returns to Ohio Shakes for her second season after her debut on Romeo & Juliet! She spends her days as a Lead Theatre Technician for the Tri-C’s and evenings with her design company, Sweet Pea Productions, LLC. Although she has been active in theatre for almost 15 years, she took a brief hiatus in ND; where she Shop Managed an Antique Furniture Restoration. Some past credits include SM for Con-Con, Run Crew/Follow Spot for CPH and lights, props, scenic painting and carpentry for all around town!
Trevor Buda - Ensemble, Greenshow, Scenic Carpenter, Fight Captain
Trevor is returning for his fourth summer with Ohio Shakes. Some of his favorite roles have been Bertram (All’s Well That Ends Well), Silvius (As You Like It), and Peter (Romeo & Juliet). Trevor worked with Great Lakes Theater this past year in their education department after graduating from Baldwin Wallace University in 2018. Php. 4:6-7
Terry Burgler*+ - Director, Artistic Director
Terry Burgler is a professional director, actor, writer and educator with a notable record of achievement over the past forty years. He has performed professionally on the Globe Theatre stage in London, and has acted and directed at numerous regional theatres across the country, including McCarter Theatre, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Stage/West and TheatreVirgina, where he served for 13 seasons and was as the most successful Artistic Director in that theatre's 50 year history. For four years he was Artistic Director at Porthouse Theatre here in Northeast Ohio, presiding over record-breaking seasons that garnered significant critical praise as well. He resigned his position there to be able to pursue his passion for Shakespeare as one of the two founding Artistic Directors of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Read more here.
Tess Burgler - Managing Director
Audiences might remember Tess as: Hamlet, d’Artagnan, Rosalind, Helen, Kate Middleton, Hermione, Ariel, Viola, Juliet, Cordelia, Maid Marian, Rosaline, Imogen, among others. She founded the Greenshow company and directs for the Ohio Shakes main stage (The Complete Works …, Robin Hood: An Adventure, with Music, and this season's She Kills Monsters).
Sarah Caley - Francisca, Angelo's Servant, Greenshow
Sarah is so excited to return to Stan Hywet for her second summer with Ohio Shakes! She made her Ohio Shakes debut last summer as Balthazar in Romeo & Juliet, and has also appeared as Sam in Shakespeare in Love and as Leather Apron in 1776 with the company. Sarah is a rising freshman at College of Wooster and hopes to study theater in some form or another. Love and thanks to her parents for their support.
Martin Carlton - Provost, Greenshow
Martin is honored to finally get a chance to play with the OSF family. Some of his favorite roles include Cole Hopper (Wild West Stunt Show-Universal Studios) Major Bryce (The 10th Mountain) Henry (Enter the Grill Master) Andy/Sammy (What’s Babies?) Anesthesiologist (Private Practice) Sheriff Will Masters (Bus Stop-Wadsworth Footlighters) and Lt. Brannigan (Guys & Dolls-Medina Showbiz). Every fall finds him writing and directing new episodes of “The Princess and the Pumpkin” at Mapleside Farms, Brunswick, OH.
Nancy Cates+ - Artistic Director
Nancy Cates is one of the two founding Artistic Directors of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival, an Equity company just finishing its fifteenth season producing Shakespeare and other classics at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. Nancy has an undergraduate degree, cum laude, in Drama from the University of Virginia, and has been a professional director and producer for all of her adult life. Read more here.
Sarah Coon - Greenshow Director
Sarah is so happy to return to Ohio Shakes this summer. She has tackled roles both offstage (stage management and directing) and onstage (Benvolio, Romeo & Juliet, Celia, As You Like It and numerous ShakesBEER events) with the company. A teacher by day, she holds an M.A. In Theatre from Bowling Green State University, and a Master's in Education from John Carroll University. She sends all her love to her ever supportive family and friends.
DeLee Cooper - Mariana, Greenshow
This is DeLee’s third season with Ohio Shakes! Previous Ohio Shakes credits include: The Lion in Winter (Alais), Treasure Island…(Ensemble), All’s Well That Ends Well (Rinaldo), The Three Musketeers…(Jussac, Innkeeper), and Camelot (Morgan le Fay). She holds a BFA in Acting from Wright State University, and has also performed in the NEO area with Cain Park, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Pointillism Jazz Consort, French Creek Theatre, and Beck Center for the Arts.
Dimitri Georgiadis - Elbow, Abhorson, Greenshow
Dimitri graduated from The University of Akron with a license to teach. His area of study included history, political science, & economics. During high school, Dimitri was The Ohio State Speech & Debate Champion in the Humor category. In the past, he was fortunate to perform with The Magical Theatre. Recently he has been seen at the Weathervane Playhouse. Dimitri, a long time Shakespeare enthusiast, is THRILLED & THANKFUL to have this opportunity to perform with Ohio Shakes.
Patrick Gladish - Ensemble, Greenshow
Patrick is working on his second role at Ohio Shakes, his first being George Read in 1776. Patrick is a recent graduate of Cleveland State University, where he has played Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. Other productions include the Doctor in In the Blood at Convergence-Continuum, and Simon Stimson in Our Town at French Creek Theater. He was also a cast member of the improv groups Something Dada and Torque. He thanks Ohio Shakes for this opportunity, and hopes you enjoy the show.
Natalie Green* - Isabella
Natalie is overjoyed to be performing in Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s summer season after having been enchanted as an audience member for many years. She played Guinevere in Camelot in OSF’s indoor season in 2017. Regionally, Natalie has worked with Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, EJ Thomas Hall/University of Akron, Cleveland Play House, Pittsburgh Repertory Company, Mamai Theatre Company, Beck Center for the Arts and many more. She is Lead Singer and Manager for Grand Avenue Band.
Madelyn Hayes - Mistress Overdone, Greenshow
Madelyn is grateful for her debut season with Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Madelyn’s first role as Blazer (Everything's OK (and Other Helpful Lies)) was with Cleveland Public Theater in 2018. She has performed as a drummer and vocalist for multiple bands, and is a nationally recognized recording artist. She’s also a student in the Jazz improvisation and various Latin Dances. Cheers!
Holly Humes - The Duke
Holly is grateful to return for another production with Ohio Shakespeare Festival. During the day, she is a professor of communication and also the head coach of the Wooster High School Speech & Debate team. Audiences may remember her from All's Well... (Countess), Macbeth (Lady Macduff), King Lear (Goneril), Twelfth Night (Maria), and Robin Hood... (Princess Marguerite). She would like to thank her husband, Scott Custer, for all of his love and support.
Paul Hurley* - Lucio
Paul is thrilled to be performing with Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Regionally he has worked with Great Lakes Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, New York Classical Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Delaware Theatre Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Resident Ensemble Players, and seven seasons with the American Players Theatre. Paul earned his MFA from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Grace Favarro - Ensemble, Greenshow
Grace is excited to be working with Ohio Shakes for the first time! Her favorite past role has been Celia in As You Like It where she appeared as the character in two consecutive productions; one at Medina Shakespeare in the Square and one at Baldwin Wallace University where she will be a junior BFA acting major this fall. She would like to thank her new friends at Barefeet Theatre for reigniting her passion for the performing arts. More fire!
Jessica Joerndt - Ensemble, Greenshow
Jessica got her start working with talent scout Peter Sklar (alumni include Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, Sutton Foster) attending his Beginnings Workshop in NYC and LA. She has since developed her career with acting training, short films, and is now auditioning for professional theater. This is her first production with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Along with acting, Jessica is also a singer and musician and sings in a jazz group. She thanks her mother!
Geoff Knox* - Angelo
Geoff is delighted to be back doing Shakespeare under the stars. He has been with Ohio Shakespeare Festival since 2003. Some favorite past roles include Leontes (The Winter’s Tale), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Jaques (As You Like It) among others. He has performed in the area at Great Lakes Theater, the Beck Center, Dobama, Ensemble, Cleveland Public Theatre, None Too Fragile and Coach House. He is a graduate of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory in Sarasota, Florida as well as Kent State University.
Marty LaConte - Speciality Props
Marty has been a costume designer since her high school theater days, and later when her daughter performed on the stage at Our Lady of the Elms HS. She was then invited to costume shows at the Coach House Theatre in productions including A Lion in Winter, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Custer. Marty joined the Ohio Shakespeare Festival team the summer of 2015 as costume and specialty props designer for Henry V. Since then her creative side was able to run wild while creating the mystical, fantasy creatures in The Tempest and Macbeth, as well as select specialty props for Coach House and Ohio Shakes productions. More recently, she designed the critically acclaimed costumes in last year's Camelot at Ohio Shakes and the speciality costumes and props from the Ohio Premiere of King Charles III. She was recognized with a Superior Achievement Award by the Cleveland Critics Circle for her work on The Tempest. Marty is a retired registered nurse who resides with her husband in the city of Green.
Jocelyn Laracuente - Measure for Measure Stage Manager, ASM Hamlet
Jocelyn is thrilled to be working with Ohio Shakes this summer. Theatres she has previously worked with include Convergence-Continuum, Playwright's Local, Talespinner, CPT, and Rubber City Theatre. She works as an actor, director and now a stage manager. Thank you to everyone who helped get her this far! Enjoy the Show.
Jason Leupold - Greenshow Music Director
Jason is back for his seventh consecutive season with Ohio Shakes! Jason is a local professional performer, instructor, and musician who holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Kent State and has performed in numerous venues both in Northern Ohio and NYC. Though not on the stage this summer, Ohio Shakes audiences may remember him from Robin Hood... (Alan-a-Dale), 1776 (Edward Rutledge), and more. As always, much love to his family and friends for their support.
Ally Massey - Ensemble, Greenshow
Ally is elated to be appearing with Ohio Shakespeare for the first time! She is a rising senior in the Kent State musical theatre program. Her previous credits include Freaky Friday (Ellie Blake) at Lakeland Civic, and Bye Bye Birdie (Mae Peterson) at Ohio Outdoor Drama. She wants to thank the faculty at Kent, her family in Elyria, and all her sweet friends.
Brian Pedaci - Escalus
Brian is proudly making his Ohio Shakes debut, but is no stranger to the Bard. Brian served five years as Managing Director of the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival where he appeared in Othello (Iago), Henry VIII (Henry) and Antony and Cleopatra (Antony) among others. Other recent appearances: King Lear (Albany) and Waiting for Godot (Pozzo) at the Beck Center for the Arts, Art (Marc) at Blank Canvas and Tartuffe (Tartuffe) at Western Reserve Playhouse.
John Peters - House Manager
John is eternally grateful to perform under the stars with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival! When not treading the boards, John is also the House Manager for Ohio Shakes. Recent credits include: Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Danceny) at Weathervane Playhouse, A Few Good Men (Cpl. Howard) at Hudson Players, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Actor 1), Drop Dead! (Chaz Looney/Drools) at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, The Psychic (Adam Webster) at Stow Players, and Murder on the Nile (Smith) at Coach House Theatre.
Joe Pine - Technical Director
Joe has been with the Festival for over ten years. Recent Ohio Shakes roles include: Dickinson (1776), Shakespeare (Shakespeare in Love), Jonathan (Dracula), Prince William (King Charles III), Lancelot (Camelot), Romeo (Romeo & Juliet), and Athos (The Three Musketeers...). In addition to acting, Joe has also worked as a playwright with his original adaptations of The Three Musketeers... and Dracula. Joe has also performed with Dobama, Shakespeare at the Castle, and Seven Stages Shakespeare Company.
Will Potts - Ensemble
Will is super excited to be a part of his first non-school production, and is getting his degree at Baldwin Wallace University. He was recently seen in American la Ronde (Young Man). He would like to thank his family and friends for helping him be able to strive to be a better actor.
James Alexander Rankin - Pompey
James is ecstatic to be working with OSF on their summer stage. Previously he has appeared in Three Musketeers..., Shakespeare in Love, and 1776. James is a Northeast Ohio actor, based in Cleveland, and has worked for various companies throughout the area including Ensemble Theatre, Dobama Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, The Beck Center, None too Fragile, and more. James would like to thank his family and friends and he hopes that you enjoy the magic of this company.
eMjay Ross - Soloist, Greenshow
eMjay is jazzed to appear in her first Ohio Shakes production! A student in the Theatre program at Akron School for the Arts, eMJay has a passion for both being onstage and working behind the scenes. She has worked professionally with Magical Theatre Company and Rubber City Theatre while staying active in her school’s program. eMJay would like to give a special thanks to her parents for watching so many Shakespeare productions, even if they get bored!
Christian Sanko - Ensemble, Greenshow
Christian is excited to join Ohio Shakes for the first time in their summer season! He was first seen on stage for tap recitals with Shirley’s School of Dance, and later for drama with Canton South High School, The Players Guild, and later attending Theatre at Malone University. Many thanks to supportive family, friends, and all his great teachers and professors.
Natalie Steen - Juliette, Greenshow, Set Construction
Natalie is honored to be back with the OSF family for another summer! She is a rising senior at Baldwin Wallace University pursuing her BFA in Acting. Most recently she was on tour in The Fisherman and His Wife (Isabel) with Spark Theatre 4 Youth. This fall, she will be in Uncle Vanya (Yelena) at Baldwin Wallace, followed by a reprise of Shrek the Musical (Fiona) at Beck Center for the Arts this winter. All her thanks to the family - hers, BFAm and the Castle. Huzzah!
Buddy Taylor - Light and Sound Designer
Buddy has been with Ohio Shakes since 2003, and it continues to give him enjoyment and new challenges. Even though he moved to Texas in 2008, he still returns several times a year to design lights, design sound, build set pieces, or just add his two cents to a conversation. He recently joined the company at the indoor Greystone Hall venue for Sound and Lighting Design of King Charles III, The Lion in Winter, and 1776. Some of his favorite Ohio Shakes productions (so far) are Othello, Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Comedy of Errors. Buddy also does design and production services in Texas for some schools and smaller local venues.
Kelsey Tomlinson - Festival Costume Designer
Kelsey is thrilled to be working with Ohio Shakes for another season. Audiences may remember her most recent role as Diana in King Charles III. Other recent roles include Constance in The Three Musketeers... and Sandra in A Thousand Clowns (Coach House Theatre). She also serves as a Resident Costume Designer for Ohio Shakes. Audiences may remember her recent design work in Scapin and King Charles III. Other notable credits include Angels in America, parts 1 and 2 (Ensemble Theatre), Merrily We Roll Along (Lakeland Community College), and Dogfight (Western Reserve Playhouse). When not doing theatre, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and trying her hand at music. Much love to family and friends.
Andreas Varner Waltz--Ensemble, Greenshow
Andreas is back for his 3rd show at OSF. He is in seventh grade and goes to Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts. The other shows he has done at OSF include Camelot (Tom of Warwick) and Romeo & Juliet (Paris’ page). He has also done a couple shows at his school, the most recent being Stories of the Kindertransport (Theo).
Elena Varner Waltz - Ensemble, Greenshow, Costume Crew
Elena is thrilled to be back for her second show at OSF. She was seen last summer in Romeo & Juliet (Ensemble, Greenshow). She attends Firestone High school where she was a part of the costume crew for this year’s musical Big Fish, which was nominated for the Dazzle Award for Best Costumes. Other shows include Cinderella and The Tempest. Many thanks to all my friends and family for supporting me and my theatrical endeavours.
Karen L. Wood - Ensemble, Greenshow
Karen is delighted to return to Ohio Shakes for her 14th season. Her favorite roles have included Corin in As You Like It and Amelia in The Comedy of Errors. Karen recently appeared as Reverend John Witherspoon in 1776 on the Henry C. Bishop Stage at Greystone Hall. At other theatres, Karen has appeared as Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone, and angry women “of a certain age” in Agatha Christie mysteries.
Ryan Zarecki - Claudio, Fight Director, Scenic Carpenter
Ryan loves his job as resident Fight Director/Actor/Manager. He's played Orlando, Porthos, Mercutio, Quincy Morris, The Douglas, Thomas Jefferson and Roy. His fight production company [They Fight], with partner Tess Burgler, hosts FIGHT NIGHT at Greystone Hall and works to bring safe, awesome stage violence to Northeast Ohio. A BGSU grad, an SAFD member, and a lover of his pups (and kitteh). He is ever thankful for his Heart. Check out his leather shop The Buckle & Rose on Etsy.com, or visit the merch tent.