PCS Blog

“LIZZIE” Creators, Cast, Band and Creative Team

Posted by Claudie Fisher | 08 May 2014

LIZZIE
By Steven Cheslik-deMeyer,
Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt

 

Cast

Carrie Cimma...........................................................Bridget Sullivan (Maggie)

Mary Kate Morrissey...............................................Lizzie Borden

Leslie McDonel.........................................................Emma Borden

Kacie Sheik..............................................................Alice Russell

 

Band

James Beaton...........................................................Conductor/Keys 1

Matt Brown..............................................................Guitar/Keys

Greg Eklund..............................................................Drums/Percussion

Dale Tolliver.............................................................Cello

Sean Vinson..............................................................Bass

Scott Weddle............................................................Guitar 1

 

Creative Team

Steven Cheslik-deMeyer.............................................Music, Lyrics and Original Concept

Tim Maner..................................................................Lyrics, Book, Additional Music and Original Concept

Alan Stevens Hewitt....................................................Music, Additional Lyrics and Orchestrations

Rose Riordan...............................................................Director

James Beaton..............................................................Musical Director

Daniel Meeker.............................................................Scenic and Lighting Designer

Jeff Cone.....................................................................Costume Designe

Cecil Averett...............................................................Sound Designer

Mark Tynan................................................................Stage Manager

Kristen Mun................................................................Production Assistant

Rose Riordan & Brandon Wooley................................Casting

 

The Actors and Stage Managers employed in this production are members of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
 
 
Cast Biographies

 
 
Carrie Cimma (Bridget Sullivan (Maggie))
Nominated for a Drama Desk Award (Best Featured Actress in a Musical, 2010) for her portrayal of Bridget Sullivan in LIZZIE. Other credits include Frank Wildhorn’s Wonderland and the Playwrights’ Horizons readings of Pure Country, The Circus in Winter and Great Wall.  National tours include Sweeney Todd (Lovett), The Wedding Singer, Oliver and The Full Monty.  Regionally, she has been seen as Mickey in Cowgirls, Rizzo in Grease, Fraulein Kost in Cabaret, Doatsey Mae in Best Little Whorehouse ..., Lefthander in Avenue Q and Mrs. Walker in Tommy. This one, as always, is for Mom and Dad. www.carriecimma.com
 
Mary Kate Morrissey (Lizzie Borden)
Mary Kate Morrissey has been dying to work at PCS + is excited to kill it in LIZZIE. Recently: Hair International Tour (Sheila). Off-Broadway: Tamar of the River (Prospect Theater Company). NYC: The Disappearing Man, A Folk Opera (Cloud City), In Trousers (The B-Sides). Regional: Little Women (Syracuse Stage), Woodstock (Bristol Riverside Theater), Great American Trailer Park Musical (New Lebanon Theater Barn). MK is committed to the development of new musical theater: Fun Home (Sundance Theater Lab), Junk: A Rock Opera (Musical Theater Factory). The Everleigh Club (The Public Theater with Portland’s own Storm Large and James Beaton) + various NYU Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program Thesis readings. Thanks to Mom, Dad, Aunt Sue + my heart, Ty. @maryspacekate
 
Leslie McDonel(Emma Borden)
Portland! Broadway: American Idiot (Ensemble, Original Broadway Cast), Hairspray (Lou Ann, u/s Amber, Female Authority Figure). Tours: American Idiot (Heather, Dance Captain), Legally Blonde (Kate/Chutney, u/s Vivienne, Enid, Serena), Hairspray. Off-Broadway/Regional: Gramercy Theater, Merry-Go-Round Theater, Casa Mañana Theatre, North Carolina Theater, Seaside Music Theater, Dallas Theater Center. Huge thanks to Lisa Price, everyone at Portland Center Stage, Alan and the whole LIZZIE team. This one is for Amy, my sister in crime, and our secret weapon, Leo.  
 
Kacie Sheik (Alice Russell)
Kacie Sheik completed nearly 1,000 performances as Jeanie in the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair – The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. She played Central Park, Broadway, the West End and traveled the U.S. on the National Tour (Helen Hayes nomination – Best Actress). Off-Broadway: Gypsy Rose Lee in February House (The Public Theater). Las Vegas: Scaramouche in Queen's We Will Rock You (Original American Company). Film/TV: Elementary, Law and Order, Julie and Julia. Kacie grew up in NJ (exit 91), is a Scorpio, and a singer/songwriter. Thanks to the LIZZIE team, and love y’all, Mom and Dad. Twitter: @kacieanne  
 
Band Biographies

 

James Beaton (Musical Director, Conductor & Keys 1) 
James was born and raised in the Bronx in New York City where he made his stage debut as the Giant Pink Sea Snail in Dr. Dolittle to much acclaim. By 15, James was playing local rock clubs and developing a taste for strange and discordant music. In 1992, he began his undergraduate program at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington during which he studied composition, performance, ethnomusicology, and toured the Northwest with his instrumental avant band. Two months after graduation he was hired by Portland rock band Everclear and spent the next several years on the road and in the studio. In 2002, James and three friends founded The Balls and began a four-year-long weekly run at Dante’s in downtown Portland (it seemed like a good idea at the time).  When not on stage, James happily resides with three cats, two rats, and an exotic red-haired wombat.

 

Matt Brown (Guitar/Keys) 
An Oregon native, multi-instrumentalist Matt Brown currently plays with Storm Large, Redray Frazier, Sarah Gwen and Miss Michael Jodell. In the recent past he's also been a member of She & Him, The Motels, Casey Neill and the Norway Rats, Mike Coykendall and The Golden Shag, and The Baseboard Heaters, among others. Matt currently operates a recording studio called EchoTone in North Portland.

 

Greg Eklund (Drums/Percussion)
A local stalwart in the 90s Portland music scene, in 1994, Greg joined Capitol Records recording artist, Everclear. After six million records sold, Greg left the band in 2003 to start his own band, The Oohlas, who were promptly singed to Jay Z's Island/Def Jam records in 2007. In 2010, after recording drums for Crazy Enough, Storm Large’s one woman show, Greg joined her band and continues to play with her nationally and around the world. In 2012, Greg was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame for his contribution to Oregon’s rich music history.

 
Dale Tolliver (Cello)
Dale Tolliver has been a symphonic and freelance cellist since 1969. He’s worked on stage with such luminaries as Marilyn Horne, Susannah Mars, Hermione Gingold, Itzhak Perlman, Andre Watts, Rick Lewis, Henry Mancini, Liberace and Lamb Chop.
 
Sean Vinson (Bass)
Sean is excited to be back at Portland Center Stage once again! He’s played bass for Oklahoma!, Sweeny Todd, Somewhere in Time and Fiddler on the Roof here at Portland Center Stage. Sean would like to thank everyone involved with this production, as well as his better half Sarah, for all the love and support she has given.
 
Scott Weddle (Guitar 1) 
Scott Weddle is a native of Montana and a graduate of Lewis and Clark College. He was a guitarist and contributing songwriter for the Portland Americana band The Flatirons prior to forming the cabaret-pop group Amelia. Scott played drums in the PCS production of Storm Large's Crazy Enough in 2009 and is currently the guitarist in Storm's band. He also plays guitar for the acclaimed Portland singer/songwriter Sarah Gwen.  
 
Creative Team Biographies


Steven Cheslik-deMeyer (Music, Lyrics and Original Concept)
Fresh out of art school in the early 80s, Steven bought a used guitar in a junk shop on St. Mark’s Place, learned three chords, and taught himself to write songs by listening to Dolly Parton records. He insinuated himself into a couple post-punk neo-folk bands in the East Village, but soon discovered the world of downtown theater. Through the late 80s and early 90s, he wrote and performed music in several experimental productions with tiny mythic theatre company and directors Kristin Marting and Tim Maner. In 1992, he and Jay Byrd created an act called Y’all, singing original songs and telling stories in the style of old-time country vaudeville. The act sprang from the downtown theater scene but went on to play in coffeehouses, churches, retirement homes and rock clubs across the U.S., Canada and Europe. In ten years, Y’all recorded four CDs, published two books, appeared on MTV and Comedy Central, and went broke. Their last two years together, they lived in a camper on the road with a third partner. Steven made a documentary about that relationship and the final years of Y’all, Life in a Box, which premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2005. Steven lives in New York City with his husband and continues to write songs, plays and stories. Steven is a MacDowell Fellow and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in American Studies. He blogs at golikewater.blogspot.com.
 
Tim Maner (Lyrics, Book, Additional Music and Original Concept)
Right out of college, Tim co-founded the tiny mythic theatre company with a focus on developing the work of creator/directors and a mission to “disrupt the american living room / rearrange the furniture in the american mind.” tiny mythic’s work became a staple of the downtown alt-theater scene of the early 90s, and just a few years later, the previously transient company transformed into the award-winning NYC arts center, HERE. His producing/presenting history at HERE spanned a decade with hundreds of productions brought to life by thousands of artists. (Though he no longer serves as a co-director, he remains an active founding board member working to expand opportunities for mid-career hybrid artists.) Tim has created over twenty original works as a creator/director including: The Hawthorne Project, a six-year collaboration with writer/adaptor Elizabeth Banks building a trilogy of multi-layered multi-media events adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s three American novels and The Opera Project, a five-year collaboration with writer Ruth Magraff and composers Matthew Pierce and Fred Ho creating a series of original New Wave Operas. He’s also sung in some bands, arranged and conducted a cowgirl chorus, and originated roles in a couple of Robert Wilson shows (one of which had him wearing Gianni Versace couture at La Scala in Milan, Italy). He is a graduate of NYU/Tisch/Playwrights Horizons.
 
Alan Stevens Hewitt (Music, Additional Lyrics and Orchestrations)
Son of a professional oboist, ASH grew up on stage and in the studio, cutting his teeth as a teenager recording for Ruffhouse/Columbia Records at Studio 4 in Philadelphia, and during the 90s as a member of alt-folk band The Low Road (Caroline Records), touring with Los Lobos, Barenaked Ladies and label-mates Ben Folds Five. He moved full-time to NYC in the late 90s to pursue his conservatory degree in composition at Mannes College of Music/The New School, where he studied with Robert Cuckson and Carl Schachter. In the mid-aughts, with partners, he opened The Coral Room, a nightclub in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, which featured a 10,000 gallon saltwater aquarium with live “mermaid” performances and hosted cutting edge bands, performance artists, events and djs nightly. As an actively performing musician, his credits include Broadway’s ROCKY, Jekyll & Hyde, Lysistrata Jones, American Idiot, Spring Awakening (also First National Tour), Off-Broadway’s Closer Than Ever, RENT, tours in the U.S. and abroad, and numerous recordings as player, vocalist, composer, arranger, and producer. ASH also played on and served as recording producer of the LIZZIE studio album (Broadway Records). His first score for theater was for a production of Bertolt Brecht’s Baal that The New York Times thought was awful. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and likes motorcycles and longboarding.    
 
Rose Riordan (Director)
Rose is in her 16th season at Portland Center Stage, where she serves as associate artistic director. At PCS she has directed A Small Fire, The Mountaintop, The People’s Republic of Portland, The Whipping Man, The North Plan, Red, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, A Christmas Story, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Receptionist, A Christmas Carol, Frost/Nixon, How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found, Doubt, The Underpants, The Pillowman and The Thugs, which won four Drammy Awards, including Best Ensemble and Best Director. She has also recently directed, for various other theaters, Adam Bock’s Phaedra, The Passion Play, Telethon and The Receptionist. In 1999 she founded Portland Center Stage’s annual JAW: A Playwrights Festival. JAW has been instrumental in developing new work for the PCS repertory: The Body of An American, The North Plan, Anna Karenina, Outrage, Flesh and Blood, Another Fine Mess, O Lovely Glowworm, Celebrity Row, Act a Lady, The Thugs and A Feminine Ending. Rose has also directed some of the staged readings for JAW festivals—The Thugs (2005), Telethon (2006), A Story About a Girl (2007), 99 Ways to F*** A Swan (2009), The North Plan (2010), San Diego (2012), The People’s Republic of Portland (2012) and Mai Dang Lao (2013). She enjoys being part of a company committed to new work and having a beautiful building in which to work.
 
James Beaton (Musical Director, Conductor & Keys 1) 
James was born and raised in the Bronx in New York City where he made his stage debut as the Giant Pink Sea Snail in Dr. Dolittle to much acclaim. By 15, James was playing local rock clubs and developing a taste for strange and discordant music. In 1992, he began his undergraduate program at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington during which he studied composition, performance, ethnomusicology, and toured the Northwest with his instrumental avant band. Two months after graduation he was hired by Portland rock band Everclear and spent the next several years on the road and in the studio. In 2002, James and three friends founded The Balls and began a four-year-long weekly run at Dante’s in downtown Portland (it seemed like a good idea at the time).  When not on stage, James happily resides with three cats, two rats, and an exotic red-haired wombat.

 

Daniel Meeker (Scenic and Lighting Designer)
Previously at PCS, Dan designed the set for The People's Republic of Portland and Red (Drammy Award), the lighting for Twist Your Dickens and I Love to Eat, and the set and lighting for The Last Five Years, Bo-Nita, The Mountaintop, The Real Americans and Mike's Incredible Indian Adventure. Other recent credits include lighting design for the Pickathon Festival; lighting design for Crooked at COHO; lighting design for Disconnect at San Jose Repertory Theatre; set and lighting design for The Light in the Piazza, Detroit, Mother Teresa is Dead, The Huntsmen and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Portland Playhouse; and set design for Fancy Nancy and The Stinky Cheese Man for Oregon Children's Theatre. Upcoming projects include a world premiere dance piece for White Wave dance at The Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York and another Pickathon Festival. Daniel is a member of the faculty of Portland State University. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and the Yale School of Drama and a member of United Scenic Artists.

 
Jeff Cone (Costume Designer)
This is Jeff’s 16th season at PCS. In that time he has designed costumes for over 75 productions. Of those shows, over 50 have been in the last eight seasons at the Armory. Favorite productions include West Side Story, Cabaret, Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Imaginary Invalid, Black Pearl Sings!, Venus in Fur and Clybourne Park. Jeff received Drammy Awards for his costume designs for Dirty Blonde, Act A Lady and Shakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline. In addition to his resident costume designer duties, Jeff is happy to manage the costume shop here at Portland Center Stage.
 
Cecil Averett (Sound Designer)
Cecil is happy to be working on LIZZIE at PCS. Regional theater credits include productions at Arena Stage and Shakespeare Theatre in D.C., The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Steppenwolf and Northlight Theatre. Designs Off-Broadway include Beyond Glory at Roundabout Theatand the Cap21 premiere of Waiting for My Man. Cecil received an After Dark Award (Original Music) for work on Eclipse Theatre’s production of Fame 312 as well as Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for sound design of both Into the Woods and Passion Play. Most recently he received a PAMTA for outstanding sound design for The Andrews Brothers.
 
Mark Tynan (Stage Manager)
Imagine being in a room full of artists, watching the birth of an idea, a movement given purpose, a sentence, phrase, scene, act given life. Then imagine that room translating to the stage with lighting, sound, costumes, scenery and props, then you can imagine what Mark’s job is like. Special thanks to the phenomenal PCS production assistants, Kristen Mun and Stephen Gardner, who help keep the vision attainable. Prior to PCS, Mark toured nationally and internationally with musicals including Dreamgirls, The King and I with Rudolf Nureyev, How to Succeed…, Grand Hotel, The Phantom of the Opera and Rent. Other Portland credits include several summers with The Broadway Rose Theatre Company in Tigard. Regional credits include The Alley Theatre (Houston, TX), La Jolla Playhouse (La Jolla, CA) and Casa Mañana Theatre (Fort Worth, TX).

 

Kristen Mun (Production Assistant)
Kristen Mun is originally from Hawaii and graduated from Southern Oregon University. Outside of Portland she has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Repertory Theatre and Actors Theater of Louisville. In Portland she has worked with many theater companies such as Artists Repertory Theatre (And So It Goes…, Red Herring), Oregon Children’s Theatre (A Year With Frog and Toad, Charlotte’s Web), Northwest Classical Theatre Company (King John, Measure for Measure), and Post5 Theatre (Hamlet).  

 

 

Previews for LIZZIE begin May 24 and it runs through June 29.

 



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