Meet the sailors & pirates.
The talented ensemble for TREASURE ISLAND...all play multiple named characters, narrators, and make up the stage combat crew.
Julianna Blischak - Light and Sound Operator
Julianna (“Jules”) is delighted to be working with Ohio Shakes in a brand new capacity this fall. After five years of acting, singing, and dancing with the company, this is her first ever production behind the scenes as a member of the technical crew. She was most recently seen on the Stan Hywet stage this past summer as Diana in All's Well that Ends Well. She has also performed locally at Coach House Theatre, Porthouse Theatre, Weathervane Playhouse, The University of Akron, and Kent State University, her alma mater.
Luke Brett - Black Dog
Luke is a Cleveland-based actor and educator. For the last four years, he has been a teaching artist for Great Lakes Theater while also acting for Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, and the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. Favorite past roles include Timon in Timon of Athens, Prentiss in Peter and the Starcatcher and the Gravedigger in Hamlet. He is both grateful and revved up to make his Ohio Shakes debut as Black Dog in Treasure Island...
Terry Burgler +* - Playwright, 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 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.
Tess Burgler - Jim Hawkins, Fight Captain
Tess loves few things more than an Ohio Shakes Family Theatre fight show! Audiences might remember her as: d’Artagnan, Rosalind, Helen, Kate Middleton, Hermione, Ariel, Viola, Juliet, Cordelia, Maid Marian, Rosaline, Imogen, among others. She has been directing the Greenshows at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens for almost a decade, though recently she's stepped away from that role while still serving as overseeing Artistic Director. She's also begun to direct for the main stage (The sell-out production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged], which returns for a third remounting this January, and the encore production of Robin Hood: An Adventure, with Music). Later this season, she is excited to play the role of Viola in Shakespeare in Love and Martha Jefferson in 1776. She is beyond grateful for you, this theatre, her beautiful friends, and her Smallville.
Ashley Collins Dyer- Stage Manager
Ashley is excited to be back for another installment in Ohio Shakespeare’s Family Theatre series! She recently wrapped the remount of Three Musketeers: An Adventure, with Music at Stan Hywet. When not at the theatre, Ashley can usually be found relaxing at home with her husband and their cats, reading, or wandering local cemeteries. Thank you for supporting live, local theatre!
Sarah Coon - Ensemble
Sarah is thrilled to be back at Greystone Hall. Over the past few years with Ohio Shakes, Sarah has tackled roles both offstage (stage management and directing), and on (Benvolio, Romeo and Juliet; Celia, As You Like It; ShakesBEER events). By day, she's a high school English teacher. She holds an M.A. in Theatre from Bowling Green State University and a M.Ed. from John Carroll University. She sends all her love to her family, the "great 8," and her ever-supportive husband Jason.
DeLee Cooper - Ensemble
DeLee is elated to be swashbuckling in her second season with Ohio Shakes! Previous OSF credits include: All’s Well That Ends Well (Rinaldo), The Three Musketeers… (Jussac, Innkeeper), and Camelot (Morgan le Fay). A barista and teaching artist by day, she graduated from Wright State University with a BFA in Acting - Magna Cum Laude, and has also performed in the NEO area with Cain Park, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, French Creek Theatre, and Beck Center for the Arts.
Geoffrey Darling - Squire Trelawney
Geoffrey holds dear the memory of his mother Pat reading Treasure Island aloud to her children 60 years ago. Although he was 9, and well able to read it himself, candles were scarce in the power-saving blackouts of that bleak winter. Besides, he enjoyed her doing all the voices – and thus sowing the seeds of his theatre-based life. Geoffrey was last seen at Stan Hywet as Lord Montague in Romeo and Juliet and on the Henry C. Bishop stage in Scapin (Geronte) and Camelot (Pellinore).
Brianna DeRosa - Ensemble
Brianna is excited to be a part of her first show with Ohio Shakespeare Festival! Brianna graduated from Kent State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre, and she is thankful for this opportunity to continue growing as an artist in NEOhio’s rich theatre community. You may have most recently seen her performing in the ensemble of Gypsy at Beck Center for the Arts. Other notable theatre credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Grandma Tzeitel) at Porthouse Theatre, as well as Legally Blonde (Serena) and Big Love (Thyona) at Kent State University. Thanks to the directing team, stage managers, designers, cast, & crew.
Alena Efremova - Assistant Stage Manager
Alena is thrilled to join Ohio Shakespeare Festival family in her first production here. Previous stage management credits include: Once (Mason Street Warehouse), Appropriate (Dobama Theatre), Company, A Streetcar Named Desire and Avenue Q (Cleveland State University). She has worked at Des Moines Metro Opera in the production management office. Next for her will be a fellowship at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, where she’ll stage manage touring production of As You Like It, and will work on Romeo and Juliet and Our Town. Holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Cleveland State University.
Jim Fippin - Captain Smollett
A company member since 2006, has appeared in The Three Musketeers..., All’s Well That Ends Well, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV, Part One, Richard III, King Lear, and Hamlet. His resume also includes roles in Kimberly Akimbo, Uncle Vanya, August: Osage County, Custer, and The Real Thing. He holds a BFA from Otterbein, where he met his wife, Elaine, and where their daughter, Emelie, is a junior.
Nathan Hoyle - Ensemble
Nathan first became a part of Ohio Shakes in 2014, appearing in Twelfth Night and King Henry IV, Part 1. Since then, he has become a solid member of the Ohio Shakes fight corps. Nathan would like to thank the Oho Shakes staff for always making him feel welcome, and a special thanks to Ryan Zarecki for his fight choreography and coaching. None of this would be possible without the undying support of Nathan's incredible wife, Kira, and amazing step-daughter, Liberty.
Sara Katrenich - Ensemble
Sara is excited to start her third season with Ohio Shakes. She's often seen onstage with a sword in her hand, recently as a Cardinal's Guard in The Three Musketeers: An Adventure, with Music. You may remember her from the Henry C. Bishop Stage as Hyacinth in Ohio Shakes' Scapin. She enjoys the summer season with Ohio Shakes, especially playing in the Greenshow! Sara also performs with Eastern European folk dance group, Living Traditions Folk Ensemble, and flexes her Meisner muscles at the Houde School of Acting. All the love!
Geoff Knox* - Benn Gunn
Geoff is thrilled to be working on his first of the Ohio Shakespeare's Family Theatre originals. He has been working with Ohio Shakes since 2003. Some of his favorite roles include Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Leontes in The Winter's Tale, Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, and Cloten in Cymbeline. He will be seen later this season at Greystone Hall in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged and The Lion in Winter. Other area theatres Geoff has worked at include None Too Fragile, Coach House Theatre, Dobama, Ensemble Theatre, the Beck Center, and Great Lakes Theater. He is a graduate of Kent State and received his MFA from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory.
Jason Leupold - Dr. Livesey, Music Director
Jason is ecstatic to be returning for his sixth season with Ohio Shakes! Jason is a local professional performer, instructor, and podcast co-host who holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Kent State who has performed in numerous venues both in Northern Ohio and NYC. As an Actor/Manager with Ohio Shakes, audiences may remember him from Camelot (Mordred), Romeo & Juliet (Paris), The Three Musketeers... (Aramis), and more. As always, much love to his friends, family, the Great 8, and wonderful wife Sarah for their continuing love and support.
Maya Nicholson - Ensemble
Maya is a senior at Kent State University majoring in Theatre Production. She's performed in Smokey Joe’s Café, The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Shop of Horrors as well as Kent State Stark's Voices from Hurt Street as various characters, one being “Winifred Oprey” doing a play-off of the Oprah Winfrey Show. She was costume design assistant for I Love You Because and Assistant Stage Manager in Spring Awakening, all at Kent State. Her last two shows for her senior year happened to be two favorites of hers. She directed Ain't Misbehavin' and was cast as Mrs. Dickson in Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel. Her earliest season at Kent State began as she performed as the sassy sister, Libby, in The Maiden’s Prayer and Melanie, the outspoken sister in Lewis Black's One Slight Hitch. She was the Assistant Director and character of Francis in Blur, Ginette, Sandrine and Rhonda in Almost, Maine and Eliza in What We're Up Against. Maya is also currently directing For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow was Enuf at the Avenue Arts Marketplace and Theatre in Canton.
Joe Pine - Billy Bones, Technical Director
Joe has been involved in many of the tremendous new programs offered this year since acquiring the new theatre. Recent Ohio Shakes credits include Prince William (King Charles III) and Lancelot (Camelot). He also made his debut as a playwright last fall with the Ohio Shakes production of his adaptation of The Three Musketeers... Favorite Ohio Shakes credits include Romeo, Hotspur (King Henry IV, Part One), Feste (Twelfth Night) and Stephano (Tempest). Other regional credits include Horatio (Hamlet, Seven Stages Shakespeare Company), George (Of Mice and Men, Coach House Theatre), Slank (Peter and the Starcatcher, Dobama), Fersen (Marie Antionette, Dobama) and Billis (South Pacific, E.J. Thomas Hall). This one's for you, Lo'. Look, up in the sky--!
Chloe Michelle Smith - Ensemble
Chloe is pleased to get back onto the boards for Treasure Island...! You many recognize her from the Ohio Shakespeare Festival productions of The Tempest (Miranda) & Macbeth (Soldier/Servant/Apparition). Favorite credits include; To Kill a Mockingbird (Miss Maudie Atkinson) with Tri-C West at the Ohio Theatre, Frankenstein’s Wake (Penelope) at Cleveland Public Theatre, The Giver (Mother) at True North, and Dangerous Liaisons (Madame De Tourvel) at Cleveland State University. Chloe is also a member and the Director of Comm. Engagement at Rare Form, a CLE-based Improv comedy troupe. She loves: playing Improv, spending time with her husband and Charlie-Brown-headed son, and Jesus Christ. Love to her *greatest treasures*, Nick & Easton.
Mark Stoffer - Lighting Design, Master Electrician
Mark performed as an actor in his first Ohio Shakes production in 2008 and brought his many talents to the Company as a full member in 2010. As Master Electrician (M.E.), he keeps our technical systems in good working order - even at our outdoor, summer location at Stan Hywet Hall, where the elements can present a unique challenge. As both M.E. and Lighting & Sound Designer, he is regularly to be found at Greystone Hall either working on upcoming events or maintaining the systems we have there. As Music Director for the past several seasons, he has been creating the musical setting for all of our productions of Shakespeare's plays. In keeping with the Original Practice philosophy, he searches out early sources to use as a foundation, and has written many original compositions or new arrangements based on older tunes in order to best suit the musical talents of our actors.
Nicole Sumlin* - Long John Silver
Nicole Sumlin is an actor, singer, director, and arts educator based in Cleveland. NYC: Medusa (Medusa), Zu (Project Tiresias), Judge Jill Joyce (How to be a Winner), and Columbiner (ReB+VoDkA+ Me). Regional: Memphis at Cain Park (Felicia); Children of Eden at French Creek Theatre (Eve/Mama Noah); The Music Man at Cain Park (Marian Paroo); Caroline, or Change at Tantrum Theater (The Washing Machine); The Nolan Williams Project (2017) at CPH; Lines in the Dust at Cleveland Public Theater (Denitra Morgan); Bourbon on the Border at The Maltz Museum (May); Songs for the Asking at Playhouse Square; Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play at Cleveland Public Theatre (Jenny/Bart); Violet at Lakeland Civic Theatre (Lula Buffington); Elizabeth Keckley in A Civil War Christmas at Dobama Theatre. She has also been seen at The Fine Arts Association, Orchard Arts Project, Near West Theater and Mercury Theatre Company, MOCA-CLE, Bop Stop, Nighttown, and Severance Hall. Vocal training: Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Proud AEA member. Praise to God for His faithfulness, and for Eugene, Easton and August.
Buddy Taylor - Set Design, Special Effects
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 the Sound and Light Design of King Charles III. 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 - Costume Design
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.
Katie Zarecki - Mrs. Hawkins
Since graduating from Bowling Green State University with a B.M. in vocal performance, Katie has appeared at a variety of venues as actress and/or choreographer. Some of her favorite past shows are The Three Musketeers... and Scapin with Ohio Shakespeare Festival and Cabaret with Blank Canvas Theatre. For the past six seasons, she has been a part of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival, appearing in and choreographing the Greenshows and plays. In whatever free time she has, Katie teaches dance and voice privately and with Cleveland Heights High School.
Ryan Zarecki - Israel Hands, Fight Director
Ryan loves his job. As Resident Fight Director (excelsior!) for the Ohio Shakespeare Festival, he has had the honor to play the lover Orlando in As You Like It, the bold Porthos in the Three Musketeers... and the proud Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and he has staged violence for the past six years in the Akron/ Cleveland area. He has been training, teaching and choreographing stage violence for over fifteen years. As a stage combat instructor, he host the monthly FIGHT NIGHT at Greystone hall and has worked with the Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute, the Wayne Center for the Arts, Cleveland State University, and has been the fight choreographer for Dobama Theatre's past three season's for shows including The Baker St. Irregulars, Hand to God, Peter and the Starcatcher, and An Octaroon. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, he trained in Chicago with such groups as the Babes with Blades and is a proud member of the SAFD. When not avoiding stabbings, he runs his leather shop, The Buckle and Rose, on Etsy.com. He lives in Stow with his beautiful and talented choreographer wife, Katie Zarecki, and their dog, Calamity.
Cameron Zona - Ensemble
Cameron is grateful to be making his debut with The Ohio Shakespeare Festival. He is currently working toward his BFA in Theatre at Lake Erie College and is the artistic director at Hershey Montessori School. Some favorite roles include: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged] (Cameron), Noises Off (Garry), Sweeney Todd (Tobias), Once Upon a Mattress (Sir Harry), As You Like It (Orlando), and Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick). He would like to thank Ohio Shakes for taking a chance on him this year, as well as his parents and his ever-supportive girlfriend Grace.