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"Twist Your Dickens" Cast and Creative Team

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

The Cast

Chantal DeGroat*
Belle & others 
Sam DinkowitzGhost of Christmas Past & others 
Nicholas Kessler
Ghost of Christmas Future, Bob Cratchit & others
Isaac Lamb*
Lauren Modica*
Mrs. Cratchit & others
Darius Pierce*
Marley & others
Rebecca Sohn*
Ghost of Christmas Present & others
Ron West*Understudy for role of Scrooge

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 ManagerMark Tynan*
Production AssistantMolly Shevaun Reed
Production AssistantSarah Stark
The Second City CastingBeth Kligerman
Local CastingWill Cotter
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

Chantal DeGroat, Belle & others
Chantal DeGroat, Belle & others

Chantal has happily twisted her dickens for five years running! Chantal resides in Seattle and is a company member of Third Rail Repertory Theatre in Portland. Seattle credits: Well (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Stick Fly (Intiman Theatre), Richard III (Seattle Shakespeare Company with upstart crow collective), Julius Caesar (Seattle Shakespeare Company), The Grove (Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hansberry Project), Bright Half Life (Hansberry Project), and String (Village Theatre). Portland credits: Third Rail Repertory Company, Artists Repertory Theatre, Profile Theatre, Portland Playhouse, and Badass Theatre Company. She is an educator for the August Wilson Monologue Competition with the August Wilson Red Door Project and Seattle Repertory Theatre. Chantal has dedicated her life to making work in support of the equal rights movement. Represented by Topo Swope Talent.

Sam Dinkowitz, Ghost of Christmas Past & others 
Sam Dinkowitz, Ghost of Christmas Past & others 

Sam is giddy with holiday cheer to be reunited with the Twist gang, and thrilled to welcome the new cast members to the party. When he's not working the cutting counter at JOANN Fabric, Sam plays with the synthwave power trio, Geometrosexual. Recent local credits include Odie in Year of the Rooster at CoHo Productions (2018 Drammy Award for Best Supporting Actor), directing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged Revised for Portland Actors Ensemble, and producing Terrorgasm, the eleventh installment of Spectravagasm Sketch Comedy. TV credits: TNT’s Leverage and The Librarians. He received his B.F.A. in performance from Southern Oregon University. Sam sends all his love to Rebs. 

Nicholas Kessler, Ghost of Christmas Future, Bob Cratchit & others
Nicholas Kessler, Ghost of Christmas Future, Bob Cratchit & others

Nicholas is an actor, comedian, and coach here in Portland. He is the host of OPB’s The Moth StorySLAM and GrandSLAM live, as well as a contributor to other storytelling shows throughout the city. Nicholas is an improviser and ensemble member at The Siren Theater, and 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 is married and is a proud father of two kids, who are just as thrilled as he is that he’s back in Twist. He’s elated to spend the holidays at The Armory.  

Isaac Lamb, Scrooge 
Isaac Lamb, Scrooge 

Isaac is thrilled to be back onstage at The Armory. He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and a proud company member of Third Rail Repertory Theatre. Select local credits: The Aliens, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Belleville, The Flick (Third Rail Repertory Theatre); Every Brilliant Thing, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, A Small Fire, Great Expectations (The Armory); Assassins, Playboy of the Western World (Artists Repertory Theatre); The Sound of Music, The Addams Family, Ripper (Broadway Rose Theatre Company); Mr. Burns: a post electric play, Peter and the Starcatcher, Scarlet (Portland Playhouse); Three Sisters (PETE). National Tour: Defending the Caveman. Select regional: Timeless: Barbara Streisand (Staples Center), Sweet Charity (Red Mountain). Film: Lean on Pete (Film4), North Starr (Sundance). TV: American Vandal, Portlandia. Proud member AEA, SAG/AFTRA. isaaclamb.com

Lauren Modica, Mrs. Cratchit & others 
Lauren Modica, Mrs. Cratchit & others 

Lauren is elated for the fifth chance to Twist. Heaps of thanks to Rose, Brandon, Ron, and all at The Armory for the love, support, and opportunity to come home for the holidays. Regional: Anne Steele/Lady Middleton in Sense and Sensibility, Gregory in Romeo and Juliet, Glendower/Mowbray/Peto in Henry IV: Part One and Two (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Cook/Nurse Spiller in Fingersmith (American Repertory Theatre), Our Town and JAW: A Playwright’s Festival (The Armory), and The Skin of Our Teeth (Artists Repertory Theater). In Portland, she has worked with Profile Theatre, Defunkt Theatre, Northwest Classical Theatre Company, Portland Actors Ensemble, Willamette Shakespeare, Action/Adventure Theatre, on Gretchen Icenogle's Trailing Colors, and other projects. Catch Lauren in The Armory's upcoming production of Sense and Sensibility. @laurenmodica

Darius Pierce, Marley & others 
Darius Pierce, Marley & others 

Darius is truly merry to be spending his eleventh consecutive holiday season at The Armory, after years of A Christmas CarolA Christmas StoryThe Santaland Diaries, and Twist Your Dickens — it has become a genuinely wonderful Hanukkah tradition! Other productions at The Armory include Stupid F**king BirdCyranoThe Beard of AvonTwelfth NightThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling BeeThe 39 StepsFrost/NixonHow to Disappear Completely and Never be FoundMisalliance, and JAW. He has performed at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Folger Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Portland Playhouse, Theatre Vertigo, and more. He is company member at Third Rail Repertory Theatre and a co-founder of the Anonymous Theatre Company. 

Rebecca Sohn, Ghost of Christmas Present & others 
Rebecca Sohn, Ghost of Christmas Present & others 

Rebecca is an alum of Chicago’s Second City e.t.c. currently living in Los Angeles. She’s an accomplished improviser, writer, and actress of scripted works. She has performed with The Annoyance Theatre, The iO Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, and as Sally Bowles in Cabaret for No Stakes Theater Project, among many others. TV credits include NBC’s A.P. Bio, CBS’s Early Edition, and the role she improvised for NBC’s Shrink. Before coming to Portland to play with this wonderful cast, she performed her latest original show, My Solo Show of All Duets, to packed houses in Los Angeles. She thanks her brilliantly talented husband for his love and support. rebeccasohn.net  

Ron West, Understudy for Scrooge
Ron West, Understudy for Scrooge

Ron is happy to return to Portland and Twist Your Dickens, a show he has staged five times and appeared in three times. His adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare was nominated for a Jeff Award. In the past year, Ron directed the musical deLEARious at The Open Fist Theater in Los Angeles, Christmas Day Job at The Second City Hollywood, and the world premiere staged reading of Catherine Butterfield's Top of the World. 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, and is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

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 currently writes for Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me! on NPR. 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 on 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, which is now in its second seasonHe 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 and Twist Your Dickens, a show he has staged five times and appeared in three times. His adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare was nominated for a Jeff Award. In the past year, Ron directed the musical deLEARious at The Open Fist Theater in Los Angeles, Christmas Day Job at The Second City Hollywood, and the world premiere staged reading of Catherine Butterfield's Top of the World. 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, and is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Tom Buderwitz, Scenic Designer
Tom previously designed I Love To Eat at The Armory. Tom designed the world premiere of Twist Your Dickens for Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, as well as productions at Goodman Theatre and The Kennedy Center. Tom has also designed for South Coast Repertory, Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Intiman Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, The Shakespeare Theatre, Artists Repertory Theatre, The Antaeus Company, 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, and Black Pearl Sings!. Jeff received Drammy Awards for his costume designs for Dirty Blonde, Act a Lady, and Shakespeare’s Amazing Cymbeline. Recent design credits include season nine of FX's Archer and Oklahoma! at Denver Center for the Performing Arts. 

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 SongThe People's Republic of Portland and Red (Drammy Award); and scenery and lighting for Kodachrome, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeThe Typographer’s DreamLIZZIE (Drammy Award for lighting), The Last Five Years, and The Mountaintop. Local design credits include shows for Portland Playhouse, Portland Opera, Oregon Children’s Theater, Profile Theater, and Artists Repertory Theater. Outside of theater, Daniel is the lighting director for the Pickathon festival and the principal designer of The American Art Fair and The Winter Antiques Show. 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 credits include sound design for over 40 productions and 12 seasons of JAW: A Playwrights Festival. National shows: Holcombe Waller's Surfacing and Wayfinders; Left Hand of Darkness, My 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 Wife, I Think I Like Girls (La Jolla Playhouse); Playland, 10 Fingers, and Lips Together, Teeth Apart (City Theatre, PA); 2.5 Minute Ride and Fires in the Mirror (Profile Theatre). Film credits include Creation of Destiny, Out of Our Time, and A Powerful Thang. Imagineer/maker of the Eat Me Machine, a dessert vending machine.

Rick Lewis, Vocal Arranger & Music Consultant
Rick has music directed more than 25 productions for Portland Center Stage at The Armory, most recently the acclaimed productions of Astoria: Part One and Two and Fun Home. He is also the 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 

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 stage management apprentices, Alexis Ellis-Alvarez, Molly Reed, and Sarah Stark. Prior to The Armory, 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, Rent, and Jersey Boys. Other Portland credits include several summers with Broadway Rose Theatre Company in Tigard. Regional credits include Alley Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Casa Mañana Theatre.

Molly Shevaun Reed, Production Assistant
Molly is thrilled to be joining Portland Center Stage at The Armory this season as a stage management apprentice. Recent credits at The Armory include The Color Purple, A Life, and JAW: A Playwrights Festival. Originally from Denton, Texas, Molly has worked in stage management, props design, and developing new work as a director in Dallas and Portland. Local credits include Spectravagasm X (stage manager), the one-woman original play Endless Oceans (director/designer/producer), and The Few at CoHo Productions (assistant director/production assistant). Dallas credits include Dry Land at Upstart Theater (stage manager); and Nomad Americana (formerly titled Rooting) at Nouveau 47 Theatre and WaterTower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival (director/designer). Love and thanks to Cam, Fam, Lyss, and Bear.  

Sarah Stark, Production Assistant
Sarah is a recent Portland transplant from Chicago, where she graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in theater and performance studies. She started her season at The Armory as a production assistant on Adam Bock’s A Life, and will work on several more productions as part of the stage management apprentice programChicago stage management and assistant stage management credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (American Blues Theater); Civility! (The Syndicate); Ellen Bond, Union Spy (The House Theatre of Chicago); Love’s Labour’s Lost, She Kills Monsters, Belleville, Urinetown: The Musical (The University of Chicago). Sarah spent last summer as an assistant stage manager at The Glimmerglass Festival and is thrilled to be continuing her work and education at The Armory this season!

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, which 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.

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