"Twist Your Dickens" Cast and Creative Team

Posted 14 November 2017

The Second City's A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens
By Peter Gwinn & Bobby Mort 
Directed by Ron West

THE CAST
ScroogeCraig Cackowski*
Belle and othersChantal DeGroat*
Ghost of Christmas Past and others Sam Dinkowitz
Ghost of Christmas Future, Bob Cratchit and othersNicolas Kessler
Mrs. Cratchit and othersLauren Modica*
Ghost of Christmas Present and othersJaime Moyer* 
Marley and othersDarius Pierce*
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Co-WriterPeter Gwinn
Co-WriterBobby Mort
DirectorRon West
Scenic DesignerTom Buderwitz
Costume DesignerJeff Cone
Lighting DesignerDaniel Meeker
Sound DesignerCasi Pacilio
Vocal Arranger and Music ConsultantRick Lewis
Stage ManagerKelsey Daye-Lutz
Production AssistantBailey Anne Maxwell
Production AssistantKatie Nguyen
The Second City CastingBeth Kligerman
Local CastingRose Riordan
Local CastingBrandon Woolley

A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens was originally produced by The Second City and Center Theatre Group and received its world premiere at Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, November, 2012.

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

CAST BIOS


 

Craig Cackowski
Scrooge
Craig Cackowski is excited to be returning to The Armory and reprising his role as Scrooge in Twist Your Dickens for the 4th time! He has performed with The Second City in various capacities since 1995. He has also been seen on TV as Officer Cackowski in Community and in every episode of Comedy Central’s Drunk History. Other film and TV appearances include The Mayor, Shrink, Bajillion Dollar Properties, Girlboss, VeepHow I Met Your Mother, Comedy Bang Bang, The Kings of Summer and Year of the Dog. Craig may often be seen touring the country with his improv duo, Orange Tuxedo (with his wife Carla), and heard on the podcast Craig’s List (where he makes Carla watch his 100 favorite movies).



Chantal DeGroat
Belle and others
Chantal is stoked to twist the heck out of 2017 with the hilarious TYD team for the fourth time! Chantal resides in Seattle and is a company member with Third Rail Repertory Theatre. Seattle productions and workshops: Well (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Stick Fly (Intiman Theatre), Julius Caesar (Seattle Shakespeare Company); The Grove (Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Hansberry Project), Bright Half Life (The Hansberry Project), Richard III (upstart crow collective, Seattle Shakespeare Company), String (Village Theatre). The Armory: JAW, Visions and Voices, All’s Fair in Love and Shakespeare. Other Portland theaters: Artists Repertory Theatre, Profile Theatre, Portland Playhouse, Badass Theatre, Clackamas Repertory Theatre, Jewish Theatre Collaborative. She is an educator for the August Wilson Monologue Competition with two years on The Armory stage and at Seattle Repertory Theatre for the August Wilson Red Door Project. Chantal commits her artistic life to the social justice movement. Gratitude for the endless support from fam and friends!


Sam Dinkowitz
Ghost of Christmas Past and others
Sam is filled with Christmas joy to be back with the Twist cast and crew. When he's not working at JOANN Fabric, Sam is teaching high school students how to safely hit each other with swords. Recent local credits include Year of the Rooster with CoHo Productions and Coyote on a Fence with Post5 Theatre. Regional credits include seasons with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Utah Shakespeare Festival and Idaho Repertory Theatre. TV credits: TNT's Leverage and The Librarians. Sam is also the founder of Spectravagasm Sketch Comedy. He received his B.F.A. in Performance from Southern Oregon University.



Nicholas Kessler
Ghost of Christmas Future, Bob Cratchit and others
Nicholas is an actor, improviser and teacher here in Portland. He’s thrilled to return to the Twist cast and company at The Armory. Nicholas is the host of NPR/OPB’s live storytelling show The Moth. Nicholas is an improviser and ensemble member at The Siren Theater, with Improv Giants, Leviathan and The Liberators. Nicholas’ television credits include roles on Portlandia, Grimm and The Librarians. Nicholas is an educator for Portland Center Stage at The Armory, and an executive communications coach throughout the region. He plays the role of husband/father in real life, and is proud to raise a family of Portlanders. 


Lauren Modica
Mrs. Cratchit and others
Lauren is thrilled to return to The Armory for a fourth helping of Dickens, and sends all her love to those she loves, the audiences, Rose, Brandon, Ron and all her favorites at the company for making this tradition so wonderful. Regional: Glendower/Peto in Henry IV: I and II (Oregon Shakespeare Festival),  Cook/Nurse Spiller in Fingersmith (American Repertory Theatre), Twist Your Dickens, Our Town and JAW (The Armory), The Skin of Our Teeth (Artists Repertory Theater). Portland credits include: Antigone Project (Profile Theater), In the Forest, She Grew Fangs and Undiscovered Country (Defunkt Theatre), King Lear (Northwest Classical Theatre Company), Cymbeline (Portland Actors Ensemble), Much Ado About Nothing (Willamette Shakespeare), No Man's Land (Action/Adventure Theatre), Gretchen Icenogle's Trailing Colors, DC Copeland's Play, and others. lauren-modica.squarespace.com


Jaime Moyer
Ghost of Christmas Present and others
Jaime recently appeared on Modern Family, and has had guest starring roles on Parks and Recreation, 2 Broke Girls, Jennifer Falls, and has a recurring role as Mrs. Goldfeder on Disney’s hit show KC Undercover. She is the creator of the viral hit “Fancy Catz” which can be seen on YouTube at The Second City Network, and has appeared in several short and feature length films. Jaime is delighted to return to The Armory with this production. She has also appeared in Twist Your Dickens at The Kennedy Center in D.C. and Kirk Douglas Theater in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of The University of Detroit Mercy, and an alum of The Second City in Detroit. Thanks always to her amazing parents and friends!


Darius Pierce
Marley and others
Darius is happy to be spending his tenth consecutive year celebrating the holidays at The Armory after five years of The Santaland Diaries, and two each of A Christmas Story and A Christmas Carol. Other productions at The Armory include Stupid F**king Bird, Cyrano, Beard of Avon (Drammy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor), Twelfth Night, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The 39 Steps, Frost/Nixon and JAW. Elsewhere, favorite shows include Stupid F**king Bird (world premiere, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company); The Gaming Table and Comedy of Errors (Folger Theatre); Lungs (Third Rail Repertory Theatre); Les Misérables (Broadway Rose Theatre Company) and 1776 (Lakewood Theatre Company). Darius is a company member at Third Rail Repertory Theatre and a co-founder of Anonymous Theatre Company.

CREATIVE TEAM BIOS

Peter Gwinn
Co-Writer
Peter is one of the original writers for The Colbert Report, for which he won two Emmy Awards, and the Amazon series Alpha House. He has also written three musicals: The Story of a Story (The Untold Story) (Underscore Theater, Chicago); Moulin Scrooge! (The iO Theater, Chicago; WreckingBall Theater Lab, Denver) and Listen, Kid! (UCB Theatre, NYC; The iO Theater, Chicago). Peter is also an actor, improviser and stand-up comedian. He is a founding member of Baby Wants Candy, a comedy troupe that creates fully improvised hour-long musicals, which was a New York Times Critic’s Pick and has sold out multiple runs at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He can also be seen in the Netflix series Easy and in Chicago Fire. 

Bobby Mort
Co-Writer
Bobby wrote for The Colbert Report during the 2012-2013 season, where he received an Emmy Award for his work, and he’s the co-creator (with Peter Farrelly) of the television series Loudermilk. He grew up in South Carolina before moving to Chicago, where he trained at The iO Theater and performed for a number of years with the improv group People of Earth and the sketch comedy trio Maximum Party Zone. Bobby is extremely excited to be working with Peter Gwinn, the fine folks of The Second City and Portland Center Stage at The Armory on Twist Your Dickens.

Ron West 
Director
Ron is happy to return to Portland to helm Twist Your Dickens for the third time. He has directed “a jillion” shows for The Second City, including the award-winning Curious George Goes to War and the international tour of Sex & The Second City. He recently provided additional dialogue for The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, a production devised by Barbara Gaines and performed by an all-female cast. His adaptation of The Comedy of Errors, also for Ms. Gaines and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, won him the 2008 Jeff Award for Best Production. With Phil Swann, West is the co-author of The People Vs. Friar Laurence, which premiered at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Musical Fools, based on the play by Neil Simon. Both titles are published by Samuel French. Also with Mr. Swann, Mr. West co-authored the musical deLEARIous, recently restaged by Mr. West at Open Fist Theater in Los Angeles. Other recent directing credits include: Twist Your Dickens (Goodman Theatre, where he also appeared as Scrooge; Life Expectancy (Hollywood Fringe); and The 39 Steps (Malibu Playhouse). He bats right and throws right.

Tom Buderwitz
Scenic Designer
Tom previously designed I Love To Eat at The Armory. Tom designed the world premiere of The Second City’s A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens for Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, as well as the Goodman Theatre and The Kennedy Center productions. Tom has also designed for South Coast Repertory, Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre Company, Intiman Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Chautauqua Theater Company, Arizona Theatre Company, San Diego Repertory, Artists Repertory Theatre, The Antaeus Company, Reprise Theatre and The Theatre at Boston Court, among many others. Tom has been honored with six Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards and three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. For television, Tom has designed specials and series for every major broadcast and cable network, and has three Emmy Award nominations and an Art Director’s Guild Award nomination. tombuderwitz.com 

Jeff Cone
Costume Designer
Jeff Cone is a freelance costume designer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Before moving to Atlanta, Jeff spent 16 seasons as Portland Center Stage at The Armory’s resident costume designer and costume shop manager. In that time, he designed costumes for over 75 productions. Of those shows, over 50 were in the company’s first eight seasons at The Armory. Favorite productions include West Side Story, Cabaret, 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.

Daniel Meeker
Lighting Designer
Previously at The Armory: lighting for Lauren Weedman Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and Wild and Reckless; scenery for A Christmas Memory, Winter Song, The People's Republic of Portland and Red (Drammy Award); and set and lighting for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeThe Typographer’s DreamLIZZIE (Drammy Award for Best Lighting), The Last Five Years and The Mountaintop. Recent projects: Big Night Out, Così fan tutte, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field and The Little Match Girl Passion (Portland Opera); The Talented Ones (Artists Repertory Theatre); The Language Archive (Portland Playhouse); Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt (Oregon Children’s Theatre); 26 Hours (Profile Theatre); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Pioneer Theatre Company); How I Learned What I Learned and Peter and the Starcatcher (Portland Playhouse); and lighting director for the Pickathon festival. Daniel is a graduate of Ithaca College and The Yale School of Drama, and a member of United Scenic Artists.

Casi Pacilio
Sound Designer
Casi’s home base is The Armory, where recent credits include A Christmas Memory, Winter Song, Lauren Weedman Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Wild and Reckless, His Eye is on the Sparrow, The Oregon TrailLittle Shop of Horrors, A Streetcar Named Desire; A Small Fire, Constellations and Chinglish with composer Jana Crenshaw; and 11 seasons of JAW. National shows: Holcombe Waller's Surfacing and WayfindersLeft Hand of DarknessMy Mind is Like an Open Meadow (Drammy Award, 2011), Something’s Got Ahold Of My Heart and PEP TALK for Hand2Mouth Theatre. Other credits include Squonk Opera’s Bigsmorgasbord-WunderWerk (Broadway, PS122, national and international tours); I Am My Own WifeI Think I Like Girls (La Jolla  Playhouse); Playland10 Fingers and Lips TogetherTeeth Apart (City Theatre, PA). Film credits include Creation of DestinyOut of Our Time and A Powerful Thang. Imagineer/maker of the Eat Me Machine, a dessert vending machine.

Rick Lewis
Vocal Arranger and Music Consultant
Rick has music directed over 25 productions at Portland Center Stage at The Armory, most recently the acclaimed production of Fun Home. Creator of the hit Off-Broadway musicals The Taffetas and The Cardigans (NYC Bistro Award for Outstanding Musical Revue); music supervisor for the West Coast premiere of Next to Normal (Artists Repertory Theatre); assistant conductor/vocal director for the pre-Broadway workshop of Cy Coleman's The Life; music director/arranger for BelloVoci; writer/arranger for Disney Live Family Entertainment, American Hawaii Cruises and American Classic Voyages; developer of The Cinnamon Bear Cruise; and founder/artistic director of Bridgetown Conservatory of Musical Theatre. rlewismusic.com

Kelsey Daye Lutz
Stage Manager
The Armory credits include: stage manager for His Eye is on the Sparrow, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, Hold These Truths, The Pianist of Willesden Lane (2016 and 2017), Each and Every Thing, Forever, The Santaland Diaries, The Lion, The People’s Republic of Portland (second engagement), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Typographer’s Dream, The Last Five Years and A Small Fire; and production assistant for Clybourne Park, Venus in Fur, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The North Plan and Anna Karenina. Kelsey Daye is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She would like to thank her pups for all their unconditional love, and Shamus for being wonderful. 

Bailey Anne Maxwell
Production Assistant
Bailey is thrilled to be back for another production of Twist Your Dickens. In previous seasons at The Armory, Bailey has worked as the production assistant for Mary's Wedding, Little Shop of Horrors, Stupid F*cking Bird, Other Desert CitiesTwist Your Dickens (2014 and 2015) and Dreamgirls. She also served as a crew member for Great Expectations. Bailey has worked as a production assistant with Artists Repertory Theatre on The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Foxfinder, Ten Chimneys, The Lost Boy and Seven Guitars. Bailey has recently enjoyed being the stage manager for Up the Fall with PHAME and The Wizard of Oz with Broadway Rose. She has also worked with Profile Theatre as a stage management apprentice on Buried Child, Eyes for Consuela and In the Next Room. Bailey is a proud Linfield College graduate and a member of the EMC program. 

Katie Nguyen
Production Assistant
Katie Nguyen is a stage manager from Fairfax, Virginia, and a recent graduate of Virginia Tech. While pursuing a degree in business management, she served as a stage manager, festival producer and production manager for Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. She is humbled to be at The Armory as one of two stage management apprentices for the 2017-2018 season. Prior to moving to Portland, she co-founded a non-profit theater collective in Washington, D.C. (Who What Where Theater) and worked as a summer camp teaching artist for Acting For Young People in Fairfax, Virginia.

Second City Theatricals Second City Theatricals is the live entertainment arm of the legendary comedy institution that produces an eclectic array of entertainment in venues worldwide. Recent productions include the Jeff Award-winning Second City Guide to the Opera with Lyric Opera Chicago and the Helen Hayes Award-nominated production America All Better!! at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC. Other productions include a collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago that premiered at the Harris Theater in 2014 and was remounted in Chicago in 2016, and Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody that premiered in 2016. Second City Theatricals also maintains three full-time ensembles aboard Norwegian Cruise Line.



Don't miss The Second City’s A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens.
Running December 5 to December 31 on the U.S. Bank Main Stage.

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