2015 Artists

Meet the Artists!

Just Add You: Growing a Play from Character – A Free Writing Workshop with Richard Hellesen on Saturday, January 24th at 10:00AM and All She Wrote by Richard Hellesen on Saturday, January 24th at 7:30PM

RichardHELLESEN1Richard Hellesen is the author of a number of plays for adults and children. Among the former are Kingdom (premiered at the Denver Center Theatre Company; recipient of the Barrie Stavis Playwriting Award from the National Theatre Conference, and a finalist in the PEN USA West 2000 Literary Awards); Once In Arden (originally produced by South Coast Repertory, and the recipient of a Julie Harris Playwriting Award from the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild); Moonshadow (six regional theatre productions; awarded the Dennis McIntyre Playwriting Award by the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays); an adaptation of Frank Norris’ The Octopus (semi-finalist, 2011 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference); and four plays for Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, where he is an Associate Artist: the full-length Necessary Sacrifices, commissioned and premiered in 2012, and the one-acts One Destiny, The Road From Appomattox, and Investigation: Detective McDevitt. Also for Ford’s, he is assisting with the adaptation of Frank Wildhorn’s musical Freedom’s Song, to premiere in 2015. With the late composer David De Berry he wrote the book for the musical A Cappella (premiered at the Sacramento Theatre Company), and a widely-produced musical adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas
Carol. His two-dozen produced short plays include five finalists for the Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award: Four One-Hundredths, Layin’ Off the Lizard-Boy, Ethnic Cleansing, Teardown, and A Speedy And Public Trial, all produced at City
Theatre in Miami (among others). His one-act Dos Corazones received a Los Angeles Ovation Award writing nomination, and appears in “Best Ten-Minute Plays 2012”, published by Smith & Kraus. Two additional full-length plays, Compelled and All She
Wrote, are currently in progress.

Mr. Hellesen’s plays for young audiences include a version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses (published by Samuel French), The Emperor’s New Clothes (People’s Light & Theatre Company), and an adaptation of Esther Forbes’ novel Johnny Tremain (B Street
Theatre, Sacramento). With Grammy-winning composer Michael Silversher he has written a musical adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (part of South Coast Repertory’s inaugural Family Series in 2004, with a revised version playing at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland in 2011), as well as eleven Educational Touring musicals for SCR, three of which–Face 2 Face, My Mom’s Dad, and Birds of A Feather–were subsequently produced at the Sundance Children’s Theatre in Utah. Face 2 Face and another tour show, The Pride of Weedpatch Camp, were selected as workshop study plays by the Lincoln Center Institute’s Rural Arts Education program in 2006 and 2007, through the William Inge Center for the Arts in Independence, Kansas. Along with composer/lyricist Joy Sikorski, they are currently working on an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s young adult novel Gathering Blue (finalist, O’Neill Music Theatre Conference,
2009), to premiere at Stage One Family Theatre in Louisville in 2015-16.

A member of the Dramatists Guild, Mr. Hellesen was an invited attendee at the Theatre Communications Group National Conferences in 2005 and 2007, a guest panelist at the William Inge Theatre Festival in 2003, and playwright-in-residence at the Inge Center in 2009 and 2012. Additionally, he assists with one-on-one dramaturgy for the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, and has worked in the literary departments of several theatres, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, and B Street Theatre in Sacramento, where he makes his home.

The Club by Amy Fox on Saturday, January 24th at 2:00PM

AmyFox1With over a dozen theatre productions and a Merchant Ivory film to her credit, Amy Fox’s crisp, quirky writing has been turning the heads of stage and film critics since 1999. Time Out New York has called her “a ferocious talent” and The New York Times has praised her “warmth of understanding.” Amy’s play, Summer Cyclone, has been produced in cities across the country and her more recent work has played to sold out theaters in New York and London.

In 2000, Merchant Ivory executive producer Ismail Merchant commissioned Amy to write a screenplay based on the premise of her play Heights. The resulting film, also called Heights, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and opened nationwide in June 2005. The film stars Glenn Close, James Marsden, Jesse Bradford and Elizabeth Banks.

Amy continues to write plays, screenplays and fiction from her home in New York City, where she has lived since 1997. She is currently working on a novel. Fox is a graduate of Amherst College and received her Master’s degree, in fiction writing, from Brooklyn College in May 2005. She is on the faculty of the NYU/Tisch Graduate School of Film and Television. She is originally from Boulder, Colorado.

Cast of The Club. Admission is Free.

PaulaRobinPaula Christensen as ROBIN in The Club

Paula was last seen on the Los Angeles stage starring in the world premiere of Se Llama Cristina by award winning playwright Octavio Solis. She also recently performed opposite Florence Henderson and Meredith Baxter in Nora Ephron’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore at the Geffen Playhouse. Other recent theater credits include: The School of Night (Mark Taper Forum), Mahler’s World (Walt Disney Concert Hall), Manna: Or the Book of Madeline (South Coast Repertory NewSCRipts series, dir. Anna D. Shapiro), The Clean House (Ensemble Theater Company), The Third From The Left (Playwrights’ Arena), Phaedra (Antaeus Company @ The Getty Villa), The Orange Grove (Playwrights’ Arena), Cyrano de Bergerac, A Christmas Carol (South Coast Repertory). Recent Television includes: 2 Broke Girls, Parenthood, Partners, Bella and the Bulldogs, The Bold and The Beautiful. She is a Magna Cum Laude with honors graduate from Amherst College.


Genevieve Gearhart as JANE in The Club

Genevieve Gearhart is an actor, director, dancer and choreographer for stage and screen. She was born in Philadelphia, PA, grew up in the New York area, and currently resides in Los Angeles. Genevieve’s work has been seen at the Getty Villa, REDCAT, the Ohio Theater, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and several found spaces in Los Angeles and New York. She serves as a Co-Artistic Director for The Speakeasy Society, an immersive entertainment group creating unforgettable work in unexpected places. Genevieve received her MFA in Acting from California Institute for the Arts and her BA from Manhattanville College. www.genevievegearhart.com


KarianneKarianne Flaathen as WENDY in The Club

Los Angeles theatre credits include Wedding Band (Antaeus), Top Girls (Antaeus), Miracle on South Division Street (Colony Theatre), Peace In Our Time (Antaeus), Celebration, The Typists, The Thin Man etc. all with the A2 Ensemble. UK Theatre: The Woman In Black (No. 1 UK and Asia Tour), The Gift (London Tour), The Two Noble Kinsmen (Latchmere Theatre, Battersea). Film: Diani & Devine meet The Apocalypse, I Am I, The Selling. Webisodes: The Sanctum, Mary Olson, Take That Joy. Karianne received her training from Drama Studio London and SUNY Purchase. Member of The Antaeus Company and Actors’ Equity Association. Website: karianneflaathen.com


cristinamarissaCristina Fernandez as MARISSA in The Club

Cristina Fernandez is a film, TV and theater actor and recent graduate of the Masters of Fine Arts acting program at the California Institute Of The Arts, (CalArts).

Cristina is currently collaborating on and will co-star in the short film Lost In L.A., created as part of the collective, Women In Shorts. She is also working on an adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, performing as Thea in HEDDA. Cristinafernandez.net

Cristina is honored to be part of this process!

LisaHarrisLisa Harris as SADIE in The Club

Lisa Harris has appeared in numerous productions both off and off-off Broadway, including the critically acclaimed mabou mines dollhouse (Obie award for direction, Lee Breuer; Drama League nomination for best revival) which opened at St. Ann’s Warehouse after being developed at both New York Theatre Workshop and Sundance Theatre Lab. She appeared in three seasons with Gorilla Rep in Cherry Orchard, Taming of the Shrew (Kate), and The Burnt Woman of Harvard. Other NY credits include Soho Rep and Belmont Playhouse. She also wrote and performed her one woman show, The Good Lover, which was produced by The Chekhov Theatre Ensemble. Regional credits include San Francisco’s Theatre Valentine, San Francisco Playhouse and workshop productions with ACT. She will next appear at the Bootleg Theater in Hollywood in the West Coast Premiere of Circles (March 2015).

DianeBossDiane Boss as THE NARRATOR in The Club

Diane Boss has played various roles on the stage of life including those of social psychologist, organization development consultant to corporations, filmmaker and jet pilot. She has served as a Director of the boards of the Handel House Museum in London (founding member) and the Community Environmental Council and Ensemble Theatre Company in Santa Barbara. She is currently studying acting with Jeffrey Meek, reconnecting with her days of dancing and singing in musicals as a teenager in the Chicago area.

Cast of All She Wrote 

AnneTAnne Torsiglieri as STEPHANIE in All She Wrote

Anne has been seen on Broadway in Top Girls, Parade, Blood Brothers and Miss Saigon as well as in the National Tour of Les Misérables as Fantine. Off-Broadway and regionally she’s performed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, NY Stage and Film, Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, The Huntington, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Festival, Sundance Theatre Lab, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cleveland Playhouse and others. She is the recipient of Drama Logue and Garland Awards for her performance as Catherine Sloper in The Heiress (Berkeley Rep) and the New Hampshire Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as the titular role in The Drowsy Chaperone  (New London Barn Playhouse). TV and film include “Law & Order”, “Kidnapped”, “Gossip Girl” and the award winning “Albert Schweitzer: Called to Africa” (Gabriel and Telly Awards). Anne is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Theater and Dance at UCSB, where she hashad the great pleasure to perform in the world-premiere LAUNCH PAD productions of Kingdom City, Entangled, Appoggiatura and Untitled IV by Ruth Markofsky  -all under the direction of Risa Brainin. Other local appearances include “Speaking of Stories” and “Live from the Piano Kitchen”. Anne has directed Cloud Nine at UCSB (Santa Barbara Independent Award for Outstanding Direction) as well as Top Girls. She is a graduate of Princeton University and The Juilliard School.

JoeBottomsJoseph Bottoms as ANDY in All She Wrote

Joseph Bottoms’ local education provided fertile theatrical roots that were established on the respective stages of Roosevelt Elementary School, Santa Barbara Junior High School, and Santa Barbara Senior High School. He participated in various musical and play productions of the local Youth Theatre Productions over five consecutive summer seasons from 1967-1971.

During his junior year at SBHS, Joseph was cast as George Willard in the west coast premiere of Sherwood Anderson’s WINESBERG, OHIO at the school’s new Santa Barbara Performing Arts Center. He joined Eva Marie Saint, James Broderick and Louis Gossett, Jr. for the fourth, and final, production of the Pro/Am Series of which he participated in three productions. In 1973 he was asked to recreate his role for a televised production of the play on KCET with Jean Peters, Albert Salmi and William Windom.

In 1981, Joseph made his broadway debut as Kenneth Talley, Jr. in Lanford Wison’s pulitzer prize winning, FIFTH OF JULY. His debut to summer stock theatre was at Westport Country Playhouse in a production of A. R. Gurney’s THE MIDDLE AGES, as Barney Rusher. He was seen on the Garvin Theatre stage in 1983 as Paul Bertalet in CARNIVAL!.

Joseph has been featured in over 100 various motion picture and television appearances. He won a Golden Globe Award for his motion picture debut as Robin Lee Graham in the feature film THE DOVE. Some of his combined credits include; FAMILY/ TV Episode, UNWED FATHER/ ABC TV Movie, HOLOCAUST/ NBC Mini-Series, THE BLACK HOLE/ Feature Film, MURDER SHE WROTE/ TV Episode, RETURN ENGAGEMENT/ Hallmark NBC TV Movie, CELEBRITY/ NBC TV MIni-Series , SANTA BARBARA/ NBC TV Series, PROFILER TV Episode, THE NET/ USA TV Series.

He considers the stage his mother media and dance his mother discipline, having trained in modern, jazz and ballet techniques.

This Santa Barbara native states that it is a privilege to have participated in the inaugural Playfest Santa Barbara staged reading of EM Lewis’s TRUE STORYI(previously titled If I Did This) and this year’s ALL SHE WROTE. He challenges the already amazing, and ever growing, local theatrical community to support this remarkable event on the campus of Santa Barbara City College.

SiobhanDohertySiobhan Doherty as A WOMAN/ALICE in All She Wrote

A Santa Barbara native, Siobhan Doherty is now a Los Angeles-based actor, working extensively in both theater and film. She’s currently in rehearsals as Ophelia in The Hamlet Project. Favorite roles include Catherine in Proof, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Karen inSpeed-the-Plow, and Biana/Lois Lane in Kiss Me, Kate. Regionally, she’s performed with Utah Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theater, PCPA, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Aurora Theater Company and Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theater. She recently created the webseries Super(fluous), about down-on-their-luck superheroes in a world filled with superheroes. She has an MFA from UC Irvine, a BA from UC Berkeley, and a performance degree from PCPA.

RaymondRaymond Wallenthin as DANNY in All She Wrote

Danny was last seen at Circle Bar-B’s final show Boeing Boeing. Other Circle Bar B appearances include Regrets Only and in the title role of “Bullshot Crummond”. SBCCTG appearances; Noises Off, Bus Stop, Rumors and Born Yesterday. New York appearances include Murder in the Cathedral, Landscape of the Body, Sand Mountain, Electric Roses, Othello and Life Happens. At Center Stage in Bill W. and Dr. Bob playing 11 roles. Raymond studied with Terry Schreiber and graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.



Anne Guynn as DEBORAH in All She Wrote

Anne Guynn is a graduate of, and worked as a Professional Acting Intern for, the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. She has worked locally for the last two years at the following companies: Rubicon Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Theatre Group at SBCC, Circle-Bar-B Theatre, Out of the Box, Elements Theatre, Speaking of Stories, and SLO Little Theatre.




millerMiller James as LARRY/CLERK in All She Wrote

An accomplished director, actor and an award-winning costume designer, Miller is a professional free-lance theatre artist in Santa Barbara and has worked with nearly every company in the area. Recent acting credits include, Baba Yaga for Santa Barbara Children’s Theatre, John Hancock for Cabrillo Music Theatre, and William Barfee for Santa Barbara City College Theatre Group. He lives locally with his wife and three children.



shannonsShannon Saleh as A WOMAN in All She Wrote

Shannon Saleh is delighted to participate in PlayFest! Recent appearances include Lottie in Enchanted April , Nina in Brooklyn Boy, Mittie in the premiere of Mittie’s Song, Lucy in Charlie Brown, Love, Loss and What I Wore, Trish in Bonnie and Clyde Edith in Pirates of Penzance, and a guest appearance as Fantine with the Broadway cast of Forbidden Broadway. Her other credits include directing and choreographing the award-winning show choir, Outburst and numerous shows and musicals where she teaches at La Colina Junior High School.



MeredithMeredithMeredithMMeredith McMinn as THE NARRATOR in All She Wrote 

Meredith has been a professional actress for over 30 years, performing at such regional theatres as Actors Theatre of Louisville, Houston’s Alley Theatre, PCPA, the Old Globe, and San Diego Rep. Santa Barbara audiences have seen her as Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa (Indy Award); Regan in King Lear; Olga in The Sisters; Aunt Dan in Aunt Dan and Lemon; Bernarda in House of Bernarda Alba; Josephina in Ambition Facing West; Hannah in Hannah and Martin; Hesione Hushabye in Heartbreak House; Alice/Mrs. Plant in Blue Heart; Queen Margaret in Richard III; Ella in Curse of the Starving Class, Betty in Defying Gravity, Margaret Sanger in Meeting of Minds and Gingy in Love, Loss and What I Wore at various Santa Barbara area venues. Most recently she appeared at the Lobero as Mary in Christmas Revels: An Irish Celebration of Winter Solstice, and telling her own story in Personal Stories: Santa Barbara Voices, at Center Stage, where she will be appearing February 15/16 reading “Chanel,” by Francesca Marciano, for the next Speaking of Stories. 

Favorites elsewhere: The Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi; Irene Molloy in The Matchmaker; Paulina in Winter’s Tale; Aldonza (Dulcinea) in Man of LaMancha; Juliet’s Nurse; Kitty in Taking Steps, Grandma in The American Dream, Claire Zachanasian in The Visit; and the dual role of Paulina/Josephina in I Married Wyatt Earp, for the Los Angeles Festival of New American Musicals, co-produced by ASCAP. Some may have seen her as Grandma Rose in the film The Secret Ingredient. Meredith is also a singer, voice-over performer, director and dialect coach, and has taught at SBCC and UCSB in film and theatre departments.