Cast

Clara Bentz (White Rabbit)

Clara Bentz (White Rabbit/Mirror Alice/girl who writes a lot of bad poems for this show) is a TheaterWorks regular who is excited to have been a part of this project since it’s inception. She received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Stephens College in 2017, where she trained with guest artists from the devised theatre companies the Blessed Unrest and Synetic Theater. Times are changing, but the good news is our art can too. Thanks for joining us down the rabbit hole and support your local arts community!

Alexandra Utpadel
(White Rabbit)

Alexandra (Ixy) Utpadel is thrilled to play in Curiouser and Curiouser! Previous credits include: Sue in Carrie: the Musical (Brelby); Glinda in The Wizard of Oz (TheaterWorks); Sally in You’re a Good Man... (Ghostlight)and Player in Postcards from the Apocalypse (Brelby, ariZoni nomination). “Most everyone’s mad here… Have fun!”

Jennie Rhiner (White Rabbit)

Jennie Rhiner is excited to return to TheaterWorks and to guide Alice through a wintery Wonderland! Previous credits: The Truth About Santa (BLK BOX PHX), Friday the 13th: The Parody Musical (All Puppets Players), and Go, Dog. Go! (Childsplay). Much love to her family and friends. Happy Holidays everyone!

Tyler Sorrels (White Rabbit)

Tyler Sorrels is ecstatic to be participating in his second TheaterWorks production. He is currently a theatre major at GCU in his Senior year. His favorite works have been Peter and the Starcatcher and The Drowsy Chaperone at GCU and in See How They Run with SCC.

Chelsea Carll (White Rabbit)

Chelsea Carll is currently a second year musical theatre student at New York’s, Circle in the Square Theatre School, a professional conservatory training program in association with the famed Broadway theatre. You may have seen Chelsea as a Phoenix area youth performer, including many shows at TheaterWorks. 

Ashley Fredricksen (White Rabbit)

Ashley is so excited to be your guide into Wonderland! Ashley could not be more thrilled to be doing live theatre once again. Previous productions include Puffs (Cedric, Mr. Voldy), The Yellow Boat (Doctor, Teacher), and Legally Blonde (Leilani). Special thanks to Chris Hamby for bringing her on board… all the way from Maine! As always, much love to George Boutell.

Amanda Glenn (Sugar Plum Fairy)

Amanda is excited to be making theatre in a virtual way during these crazy times! A few previous roles include Ariel (Little Mermaid), Louise (Gypsy), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Margo (Bright Star), and Witch (Into the Woods.  By day, she is a Senior Manager at Amex and holds 3 BS degrees from WP Carey.  XOXO to Mom, Dad, Kimi, A Team, KS2, Dave, Casey, PTC, and Chris!

Christine Ward
(Mad Hatter)

Christine Ward is thrilled to be involved in Curiouser and Curiouser. She studied acting at Scottsdale Conservatory Theatre and Grand Canyon University, earning her B. A. in Theatre and Drama. Her past credits include: The Crucible (Mary Warren), Major Barbara (Barbara), Tartuffe (Dorine), Who Will Carry the Word (Denise). Special thanks to her friends and family for their constant love and support.

Brody Wurr (Mad Hatter)

Brody Wurr is thrilled to be a part of the amazing A Curiouser Nutcracker! Previous credits include Elf The Musical at ABT (Ensemble) and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at SYT (Andrew Jackson; ariZoni and NYA awards). Thank you to everyone at TheaterWorks and to my girlfriend, Alyssa!

Paul Pedersen
(March Hare)

Paul is so excited to be a part of "Curiouser & Curiouser", as both the Choreographer and originating the role of the March Hare. His love of theatre and dance started at a very young age and has continued to grow ever since. As a performer, Paul has been fortunate to appear on many valley stages. Some of his favorite roles include Craig in "The Normal Heart" (Stray Cat), Paul in "Company" (DFT), Bob Cratchit in "A Christmas Carol" (TheaterWorks), and Sir Lancelot in "Spamalot" (FHT) for which he received an ariZoni nomination for Actor in a Major Role. His work as a Choreographer has also appeared in productions such as "All Shook Up" (DFT), "The Full Monty" (MET), "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" both at TheaterWorks and both earning ariZoni award wins for Choreography. Finally, Paul would like to thank Chris, Cate, and the ENTIRE cast and crew of TheaterWorks for stepping outside of the box and literally creating a Wonderland for artists and audience members to escape the reality of 2020 by stepping into a world of creativity, play, and inspiration. "We're all mad here." -Cheshire Cat

Jared Barbee (March Hare)

Jared is very excited to participate in this immersive theatre event, and to be back at TheaterWorks! He was last seen on the TW stage in Beauty and the Beast as Lumiere (ariZoni Award), and as Levi in Joseph...Dreamcoat. Thanks to everyone for coming to this wonderful event, and we can't wait to see you all back when theatre starts up again! 

Jesse Pike
(Mouse Guard)

Jesse Pike is 20 years old and currently studying Biochemistry at Arizona State University. Some recent credits include Chris in “Carrie” at Brelby Theater Company, Euridyce in “Jasper In Deadland” at Brelby Theater Company, and Ensemble in “All Shook Up” right here at TheaterWorks. She has been performing at Theater works since she was 8 years old and in times like these it is nice to be able to preform here at a place that is a second home to her and help bring to life the magic that the whole team has created.

Tawny Alexis (Mouse Guard)

Tawny is thrilled to join her TheaterWorks family. Currently she is studying musical theater at Arizona State University. Love to her parents and a huge thank you to Chris Hamby and the entire production company of Curiouser & Curiouser for reuniting her with theater again.

Madyson Barnfield (Mouse Guard)

Madyson is so excited to be returning to TheaterWorks for this special experience! Her previous credits here include Night of the Living Dead, Hairspray, Twilight’s Quest, and the show that started it all, Alice in Wonderland. Thank you to Chris, Ashley, and the entire team who put this magical show together!

Max Mendoza (Mouse Guard)

Max Mendoza is grateful to be back at TheaterWorks! Previous roles: Romeo in Newsies (VYT), Hot Blades Harry in Urinetown (Greasepaint), and Ching in Anything Goes (TW). Many thanks to Chris, Ashley, Courtney, the designers, devising team, and his wonderful family and friends. Especially you, Griffin. @maxmendoza.1

Emily Sheppard (Caterpillar)

Emily Sheppard is a senior theatre major at GCU.  Her previous credits include The Drowsy Chaperone, Godspell, A Year with Frog and Toad, Peter and the Starcatcher, Into the Woods, and Anything Goes.  If she’s not deafening her pugs with operatic melodies, you can find Emily at the nearest TacoBell.  

Kristian Arseneault (Caterpillar)

Kristian is thrilled and honored to be joining the TheaterWorks Family in such a unique project! Kristian directs both Middle and High School Theatre at SCA. Recently she has been seen in Dream City’s The Little Mermaid(Ursula), Beauty and the Beast (Madame), Joseph (Narrator) and Seussical (Sour Kangaroo).

Corielle James (Humpty Dumpty)

Corielle is delighted to return to TheaterWorks to be a part of this unique theater experience. Previously, she was seen as Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, Rose/the Charwoman in A Christmas Carol, and puppeteer in Secrets of the Rainforest.

Eydie Sharp Harrington
(Snapdragon)

Eydie Sharp Harrington is very excited to be part of this creative production.  Past credits include Wizard of Oz, Young and the Restless, Our House, Beauty & the Beast, Second City and Disney Entertainment.  She would like to thank her family for their constant support and TheaterWorks for including her in this adventure!

Shelly Trujillo
(Snapdragon)

Shelly Trujillo is thrilled to return to Arizona after spending the last 2 years in Milwaukee, WI (yes, it’s cold there). While in MKE, she was fortunate to be a founding  member of Harmondo!, a musical improv house team with Ampersand Theatre. Locally, she served as the Artistic Director of Constellation Cabaret (with Bill Dyer). She has been seen on the stages of Stray Cat Theatre, Mesa Encore Theatre, TheaterWorks, and The Sic Sense.  Her most recent roles were Lady Rowena (Once Upon a Mattress – TheaterWorks), Eulalie Shinn (Music Man – Mesa Encore Theatre). She would like to thank Margo, Pops, Slick, and Chamby for their love and support. To Robby, C.J., Renee, Robin, Grant, and Brian – mi corazons – this one’s for y’all.

Bill Dyer (Daffodil)

Bill is excited and super grateful to be performing with Theater Works for the first time ever! He is the Director and a writer/performer at The SIC Sense Sketch Comedy Troupe – celebrating 12 years this year with NO SHOWS (thanks, 2020) – and is the Music Director for Constellation Cabaret (also temporarily on hold, see: 2020). The chance to perform during this time is a very special one, especially as a part of this particular show. Thank YOU for supporting local theatre!

BJ Garrett
(Daffodil)

BJ Garrett is always thrilled to return to TheaterWorks, where he was last seen playing Bob Cratchit in 2019's A Christmas Carol. He is the Artistic Director of Space 55 Theatre in downtown Phoenix, and a partner in local independent film collective Synthetic Human Pictures. 

Angel Lopez
(Toy)

Angel Lopez is a co-founding member of New Carpa Collective, serving as Acting Representative and Treasurer. His previous roles include: Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol and Reverend John Hale in The Crucible (TheaterWorks). He believes equity in all facets of the arts, including non-performance roles is crucial for authentic industry change.

Christina McSheffrey (Toy)

Christina is excited to be joining the cast of Curiouser Nutcracker. She has most recently worked with Southwest Shakespeare Company in Mesa, and is returning as a company member this season. Some past credits include Macbeth, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is a recent graduate from Grand Canyon University, and although she was thankful to be doing virtual plays on Zoom, she is stoked to be doing live theatre once again!

Matthew R. Harris
(Mouse King)

Matthew R. Harris  Nathan Detroit (Guys and Dolls), Fred Taylor (John Loves Mary), The Duke (Big River), Pseudolus (Forum), Edna Turnblad (Hairspray), and Max (The Producers). To Chris, cast and crew: "Thank you for your Art." To Mom, family/friends: "I love you all!" To Dad "This one's for you, I miss you!" 

Sky Ponmai
(Mouse King)

Sky, 24, teaches adults with disabilities as a Life-Skills Program Lead at One Step Beyond. Having 7 Zoni nominations and 6 NYA award wins, some favorite roles include Bobby (Company), Frankie (Forever Plaid), Archibald (Secret Garden), Finch (H2$), and Seymour (Little Shop). He's currently studying for his Real Estate License. 

Falin Ossipinsky (Ballerina)

Falin is thrilled to be taking part in this holiday adventure! Falin works as a choreographer for youth performance programs, including Confetti and Kids Alive, as well as multiple youth and adult shows around the valley. She sends many thanks to the entire cast and crew, her family, Jasper, and Jack.

Kendall Smith (Ballerina)

Kendall Smith is a junior at Grand Canyon University pursuing a double major in Dance Performance and Film Production. At GCU, she Co-Choreographed “A Year with Frog and Toad” which was nominated for Best Choreography and won Best Overall Production for the Arizona Awards.

Devon Mahon
(Nutcracker)

Devon is an actor and academic advisor in the valley. He graduated from NAU with his BS in Theatre and a minor in Electronic Media and Film. Recent credits include: John Brooke in Meg Jo Beth Amy & Louisa (Tier5/Southwest Shakes), Luis in American Psycho (Stray Cat), and White Dude in Toxic Avenger (MET).

Griffin LeBlanc (Nutcracker)

Griffin LeBlanc is a senior at ASU working towards a BM in Music Theatre. He recently performed in TheaterWorks’s Spamalot as Sir Galahad, and you can listen to him on
the original cast recording of The Anxiety Project. He thanks his friends and family for always supporting him.

Creative

Chris Hamby (Production Director/Deviser)

Chris Hamby (Director/Artistic Director) is an award-winning director and was formerly the Education Director for TheaterWorks. Chris has worked with many valley theater companies throughout the years including North Valley Playhouse, Greasepaint, and East Valley Children’s Theatre. He also was a teaching artist for Phoenix Theatre for 10 years where his residencies included work with the Kennilworth Elementary School, the Girl Scouts of America and as a full time teacher for the Franklin Arts Academy. In 1999 he co-founded the Vagabond Youth Theatre and received permission to adapt Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are into a stage musical for the company. In 2003 he served as an education intern with the world famous, Seattle Children’s Theatre. Most recently Chris has directed A Christmas Carol, The Crucible, and Beauty and the Beast. He was also director and concept originator for the completely sold out run of Curiouser & Curiouser. In 2015, Chris participated in the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s ANIMOTION: Puppetry Intensive Training Program in addition to completing the American Express Leadership Academy’s Nonprofit Leadership Management program. He was recently honored with an outstanding service award by the Arizona Thespians for his work for high school theatre students. Chris has over 40 ariZoni nominations for his theatre work and has received 8 ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence for Directing.  Additional ariZoni awards include Best Original Script, Twilight’s Quest (2006), Hair & Make-up Design Twilight’s Quest (2006), and Sound Design for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2011). He also received an ANNIE Award from Desert Foothills Theatre for Directing Hairspray (2015).  His additional accolades include recognition by azcentral’s "Who’s Next" as an outstanding young arts influencer in Arizona in 2017. Chris was just honored with the 2020 Governor's Arts Award in the Artist category. "Thank you for supporting TheaterWorks and helping keep arts alive in our community.”  

Paul Pedersen (Choreographer)

Paul is so excited to be a part of "Curiouser & Curiouser", as both the Choreographer and originating the role of the March Hare. His love of theatre and dance started at a very young age and has continued to grow ever since.  As a performer, Paul has been fortunate to appear on many valley stages. Some of his favorite roles include Craig in "The Normal Heart" (Stray Cat), Paul in "Company" (DFT), Bob Cratchit in "A Christmas Carol" (TheaterWorks), and Sir Lancelot in "Spamalot" (FHT) for which he received an ariZoni nomination for Actor in a Major Role.  His work as a Choreographer has also appeared in productions such as "All Shook Up" (DFT), "The Full Monty" (MET), "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" both at TheaterWorks and both earning ariZoni award wins for Choreography. Finally, Paul would like to thank Chris, Cate, and the ENTIRE cast and crew of Theaterworks for stepping outside of the box and literally creating a Wonderland for artists and audience members to escape the reality of 2020 by stepping into a world of creativity, play, and inspiration. "We're all mad here." -Cheshire Cat

Ashley Gennaro (Production Stage Manager)

Ashley Gennaro is a graduate of Grand Canyon University with a BA in Theatre and Drama and a focus in Stage Management. She currently is honored to be working with TheaterWorks as both a Stage Manager and as the Event Coordinator. Her TheaterWorks credits include Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Marvelous Wonderettes, The Wizard of Oz, The Crucible, and Anything Goes. Ashley is thankful for the opportunity to work on such a unique project as Curiouser and Curiouser, creating (and organizing/scheduling every moment) alongside some of her favorite actors and production members. She would like to thank her family, her friends, and her mentors for all of their support. "Thank you for supporting TheaterWorks and for allowing us to call 'Places' again!"

Courtney Stevens
(Stage Manager)

Courtney Stevens (Stage Manager) is a graduate of the Stage Management program at the UofA (2015) and recipient of the 2017-18 Excellence in Stage Management AriZoni Award. Courtney has stage managed over 25 productions at Theater Works; favorite credits include The Secret GardenLes Miserables: School Edition, A Chorus Line, Joseph...Dreamcoat, A Christmas Carol (2017, 2018, 2019), A Funny Thing Happened..., Beauty and the Beast, and Spamalot. She would like to thank her family and friends for their constant support of her following her passion.

Elizabeth Peterson (Costume Designer)

Elizabeth Peterson is an award-winning theater artist who seamlessly navigates between professional designer, teaching artist, and performer. She is a versatile costume designer who works not only for stage theater, but also  immersive theater, dance, and film. As a performer herself, Elizabeth's work in costume design focuses primarily on the actor. She believes that costumes are an extension of character and a means for communication of ideas and emotion. For Elizabeth, it is crucial that the actor feel powerful and comfortable when enveloped in the design. Many of her designs are inspired by sustainability, and whenever possible she creates her costumes from vintage and previously utilized textiles. Elizabeth enjoys creating interactive and transformative costumes that can become a performance in themselves. Her designs have graced numerous venues including the Historic Balboa Theatre in San Diego, the Ice House in Downtown Phoenix, and recently can be remembered at Theater Works in the production of Wizard of Oz where her costumes became a quick audience favorite. 

Elizabeth studied both design and performance at Arizona State University, where she received a BFA in theater as well as a minor in Design. She began work toward a graduate level degree in Arts Entrepreneurship and looks forward to ultimately completing her MFA. As a teaching artist, Elizabeth has worked as the director of theater arts at multiple schools and previously as the resident costume designer for Scottsdale Community College. Currently, Elizabeth works as the performing arts instructor at Saint Jerome's School in Phoenix. 

Elizabeth considers Theater Works to be her home away from home and she is thrilled to be collaborating on such a unique and innovative immersive theater experience as Curiouser & Curiouser.

DeAndrea Vaughn (Hair/Makeup Designer)

DeAndrea Vaughn is a Zoni Award-winning make up artist that has been working with Theater Works for 6 years.

She is a self taught artist whose talents include theater make up, mold making, mask making, and sculpture. She has also lent her talents to movie sets, music videos, fashion shoots, and runway shows. Although she likes to work behind the scenes, her hard work and attention to detail are present on each actor she works with, allowing every character to come to life on stage. 

Digger Feeney (Scenic Designer/Technical Director)

Heather received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and taught Production in Theater at DeSales University for eleven years.  She was an Assistant Technical Director at the Utah Shakespearean Festival at the Adams Theater and the lead welder and rigger for eight years at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival for their musicals.  She moved to Arizona two years ago from Pennsylvania with her family and has greatly enjoyed the sunshine!  She is eternally grateful for her family's support during this enormous undertaking, and especially wishes to thank Bill and Greyson for their unfaltering patience and encouragement.

Jenny Abeyta
(Props Designer)

Jenny Abeyta is a studio artist who received her BA in Fine Arts from NMSU, where she specialized in installation art and sculpture. She has put those skills to use at TheaterWorks as a property designer since 2012. Some of her favorite shows include, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Spamalot, and James and the Giant Peach. She is very excited and thankful to be part of the design team for Curiouser and Curiouser, where she can lose herself in the world of installation art for an expansive project that crawls into every corner of the theater. She couldn’t ask for a better team of amazing people to work with! She would like to give a special thanks to her father, Mike Abeyta, for providing his own artistic expertise along the way. Thanks, Dad, and sorry about the small fires I started in the laser cutter.

Ryan Terry (Lighting Designer/Media Designer)

A Phoenix native, Ryan Terry has been designing, programming and operating event lighting and video professionally for theatre, dance, live music, and corporate functions nation-wide since 2009. He is very grateful for the opportunity to expand his creative and technical abilities by working on Curiouser & Curiouser. He is eternally thankful to his beautiful, loving, supportive wife Jill, and his amazing son Trevor. He would like to thank Cate Hinkle and Chris Hamby for his home away from home, and this extraordinary opportunity. He would also like to thank Nikola Tesla, Linus Torvalds, and Mr. Dodgson. Remember to tin your tips, check your subnet mask, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!

Bobby Sample
(Media & Animation Designer)

Bobby Sample (Projection & Animation Designs) has contributed direction, writing, scenic design, props, masks, puppets, animation, video, poster art, web programming, and some catchy tunes to various theatres in the Valley since 2007, garnering 14 ariZoni Awards of Theatre Excellence and six National Youth Arts Awards. For Theater Works' last season, Bobby designed the set and projections for The Wizard of Oz, and projections for A Christmas Carol. Earlier this year, he directed Dogfight at Spotlight Youth Theatre, where he also designs the sets and projections for most of the shows, designs and maintains the theatre web site, and serves on the board of directors. He thanks Chris, Ryan, Ashley, and all of the great design team at Theater Works for letting him in on this brilliant show concept. 

Daniel Nishimura (Sound Designer/ Media Designer/ Builder)

Pressing buttons and making sounds since 1994.

Andrea Detwiler (Puppet Designer, Fabricator)

Andrea is happy to be working with TheaterWorks. She has been a puppet builder and puppet technician for over 25 years. She has spent most of her career working for the Jim Henson Company. She has worked on a variety of TV shows including Sesame Streetthe muppets, Bear in the Big Blue House, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and Helpsters. Her film credits include The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, and The Happytime Murders. She has worked on theater productions including Broadway’s Avenue Q and has toured with Walking With Dinosaurs and How to Train Your Dragon (The Arena Spectacular). She is a four time recipient of the NATAS Daytime Emmy for Costume Design and Styling on a Daytime Series for her work on Sesame Street.

Ken Goodenberger
(Music Director)

Shane Waltz
(Deck Crew/Vortek Operator)

Shane Waltz is currently in his junior year at Horizon High School and is taking Theatre Production and Advanced Drama. His primary focus is on studying Lighting Design, Stage Management. Shane is beyond honored to be a part of the crew for the shows that TheaterWorks has put on. His two TheaterWorks credits include A Christmas Carol and Charlotte's Web, and two of his many school credits include Once Upon a Mattress and Broadway Under the Stars 2019. Shane is excited to be a part of the crew for Curiouser & Curiouser and is elated to be part of a show again, especially one like this. He would like to thank his friends, family, and the various teachers that taught him everything he knows now. 

Kyle Olson
(Playwright)

Kyle Olson is an AriZoni award winning writer for his script for TheaterWorks' female-centric adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. He's the creator of the The Swashbuckling Ladies Debate Society, a podcast adventure story he writes about a married lesbian couple in steampunk France, fighting evil with swords and words. (Subscribe on your podcatcher of choice, it's free!) He still has a lot to learn.

Phil Wilson
(Video Content Creator/Designer)

When he is not busy winning “Best Short” at the Peoria Film Festival or being nominated for yet another Arizoni for ’video elements’ for a Chris Hamby vision, Phil Wilson is the lead Film Prof and Program Director at Huntington University’s Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts. He enjoys flying dollar store kites, writing/producing sketch comedy, engaging in ‘what if’ sessions with his students, and random trips to San Diego with his wife and 3 punks. He is so so proud of Chris and crew for this highly inventive and incredibly necessary production (!!)- and is thrilled to be a small part of it! Viva la TheaterWorks! 

Dori Brown (Scenic Painter)

Dori Brown is honored to be working with TheaterWorks as scenic artist on Curiouser & Curiouser. As a designer and artist, she truly believes in the power of collaboration and was excited to get to opportunity to work with such great artisans in the creation of this unique production. Her recent work includes designing scenery and scenic artist for James & the Giant Peach, Charlotte’s Web, Christmas Carol, and Beauty and the Beast and along with scenic design only for Little Prince and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde with Theater Works; designing scenery and scenic artist for Edward Tulane, Tuck Everlasting and Freaky Friday with VYT; designing scenery and scenic artist for Suessical the Musical Jr and Frozen Jr. with EVCT.  An extra special thanks to her husband and children for their continued love and support.

Josiah Duka
(Graphic Designer)

Josiah has created the visual marketing/design and shot the promo photography for the past few seasons at TheaterWorks. He is excited to be working on Curiouser & Curiouser and getting to help brand such a unique theatrical experience. 

View his latest work at josiahdukadesign.com