Matilda the Musical Bios

Creative Team

Brian Weaver
he/him

Director

Brian co-founded Portland Playhouse in 2008 with Nikki and Michael, and has directed productions of Scarlet, Peter and the Starcatcher, A Christmas Carol, Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, Angels in America, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Dying City, Detroit, The Light in the Piazza, After Ashley, and bobrauschenbergamerica.  Regional credits include Third Rail Repertory, Intiman Theatre Company, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and Seattle Public Theatre. Brian is also a founding member of New World Theatre where he directed the U.S. premiere of the Spanish translation of Jose Rivera’s play, Marisol
 
Brian loves being a working dad- sharing time between the theatre and parenting Margot and Elliette alongside the love of his life, Nikki. When not in Portland, you can find him on any stream, mountain, or forest trail. He also serves on the Board or Outside In, helping homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency.

Kemba Shannon she/her

Choreographer

Eric Nordin he/him

Music Director

Eric is a multiple award-winning playwright, composer, music director and pianist in Portland, Oregon. This is Eric’s eighth production with Portland Playhouse. Between projects, Eric’s dachshund Oscar continues to lavish him with so many kisses and cuddles that it’s very nearly too much to take.

www.EricNordin.com

Dan Meeker~ he/him

Scenic & Lighting Designer

Wanda Walden she/her

Costume Designer

Wanda is an award winning Costume Designer for over 35 years. In 1981 Wanda created a new concept “Retro-Spect Productions ” A Theatrical Modeling Company. Stepping back into the past and reminiscing yesteryear through A Potpourri of Fashion, music and Dance. In 1985 Wanda launched an exciting career in Acting and Costuming. The rest is “LA History” Portland Playhouse: Pipeline, Crowns, How I Learned, What I Learned;Profile Theatre: The Oldest ProfessionMother CourageRuinedFires in the MirrorThe Secretaries; ART: Skeleton CrewWe Are Proud to PresentIt’s a Wonderful LifeAn Octaroon;  OCT: The Journal of Ben Uchida, In This Corner, Cassius Clay. Media Rites/Coho: Brothers Paranormal. Vanport Mosaic: Soul’d, Martha Bakes, Left Hook, Cottonwood in the Flood; Passin Art Theatre: Black Nativity, Two Trains Running, The Gospel of Loving Kindness.

Cassie Greer* she/her

Stage Manager / Dialect Coach

Cassie (@cassiegreer) began her professional career as a stage manager, and after spending the bulk of the past 20 years as an actor, director, and theatre educator, is thrilled to be returning to her roots with this incredible cast and crew! Cassie received her training in the MFA Acting program at Florida Atlantic University; the BA Theatre, History, and Music programs at Goshen College; and in the 9th Certification group of Fitzmaurice Voicework® teachers. In Oregon, she spent 11 years with Bag&Baggage Productions, working in a variety of capacities on more than 30 shows and serving as Artistic Director from 2019-2022. Find more details on all her various interests and past projects at cassiegreer.com. Huge love and thanks to the Playhouse team, and to her family and friends around the country for their continual love, support, and energy.

Christina Ricetti

Puppet Designer

Tessa May
she/her

Hair and Wig Designer

Tessa is a performer, producer, director and educator in Portland, Or. She is a proud Open space company member at Third Rail Rep and is a Teaching Artist at Portland Drama Club. She holds a Certificate in The Studio Conservatory (Acting for Stage, Film & TV) from the American Musical and Dramatics Academy – NYC. This is Tessa May's first production for Portland Playhouse as a Hair and Makeup desigher. You may have seen Ms. May in “The Sounds of Afrolitical Movement as Oya with portland Playhouse, in “Blink” as Sophie with Third Rail, in “Troy USA” as Cassandra with Bag&Baggage, on tour with The Oregon Children's Theater in The Adventures of the Tartor Patrol as Alex and in Superhero's old folks home as BabyGirl with Echo Theater. Other local credits include The Acting for Kids and Teen – Oregon and Fertile Grounds Film Festival – Oregon. Tessa loves to dance spread joy and mentor in her community. She sends her love to all who support her!
IG: @tessamay22

Allison Knight- Blaine
she/her

Head Electriction

Allison is a lighting designer around the Portland area, in theatre, dance, and performance art. Recent designs include The Winter's Tale with the Portland Shakespeare Project, Camelot with the Lakewood Center for the Arts, and Open Space Dance's first company performance, Sheen. In addition to design work, Allison is Playhouse's lead electrician, and this fall was the lighting lead for the 2022 Time Based Art Festival at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.
 

Bei Yi Teo^

Scenic Artist

Bei is overjoyed to be back in the Portland Playhouse. She is a scenic artist and propmaker and some of her favorite projects include, Bella an American Tall Tale (Portland Playhouse), Don’t Hug Me and Loch Lomond at Broadway Rose Theater Company, The Found Dog Ribbon Dance at CoHo Theater and Amazon Prime’s Somebody I Used to Know. She thanks her husband for being the greatest support in her pursuit of art.

Keela Johnson she/her

Cultural Competency Consultant

Keela works as a Cultural Competency Consultant for Portland Playhouse. She began her work in this role during the 21/22 production season and is continuing in her role for the 22/23 season. Keela also works as a private consultant for non-profit and other organizations, as well as an educator at Portland State University. She specializes in institutional, structural, and inter/intrapersonal oppressive ideologies, frameworks, policies, and narratives with an emphasis on healing spaces for all.  Her work over the past 7 years with Portland Playhouse has consisted of providing workshops and other facilitations for staff, critical dialogic spaces for the greater community and critical dialogic spaces for affinity groups. She is moving into her second production year in this role and is so happy, honored and humbled to be on this wonderful journey.

Voni Kengla^

Associate Choreographer and Child Wrangler

Voni is a Portland-based actor, singer, and teaching artist. She has performed locally in Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Great Gatsby’s Daisy (Daisy Buchanan), Tinderella (Meg), Bojangles of Harlem (Shirley Temple), and God of Vengeance (Rifkele). Her original one-woman musical, “Space Girl” is available to watch on YouTube. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Hartt School and was a member of the Season 13 Acting Apprentice Company at Portland Playhouse. vonikengla.com

Steven Cantor

Asst Music Director

Dayna Lucas She/her

Asst Costume Designer

Dayna is an accomplished costume assistant and designer with a passion for bringing characters to life through clothing. She is known for her creative flair and attention to detail. A Fashion Design graduate from FIDM in Los Angeles, Dayna has worked in costume design for both film and theatre over the past nine years. Her most recent theatre collaborations include Argonautika (2019) for A Noise Within Theatre in Pasadena, CA and A Christmas Carol (2022) at the Portland Playhouse. She is excited be a part of Matilda: The Musical and very thankful for such a talented and hardworking cast and crew.

Tim Finlayson he/him

Head Carpenter & Props

Ryann St Julien they/he

Carpenter & Props

Ryann  is a theatre technician based in Portland, Oregon.  They recently received a B.A. in theater from Lewis and Clark College, where their credits include props master for The Secretaries, (Lewis and Clark College); and Medea (Lewis and Clark College).  They were a member of the scene shop crew for Lewis and Clark productions of Medea, Passion Play, The Secretaries, Cabaret, The Christians, Stupid Fucking Bird, and Sweeney Todd.  They have worked around Portland on productions such as King of the Yees (Profile Theater), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Profile Theater), Chicken and Biscuits (Portland Playhouse), and Home/Land (Hand2Mouth). Check out their website at https://www.ryannstjulien.com/

Thyra Hartshorn she/her

Asst Stage Manager & Director of Production

Thyra is a production manager, stage manager and technical director. Her training includes an MFA in production and design with a concentration in stage management from the University of California, Irvine, as well as almost two decades in ballet production. Thyra has toured and worked with companies around the world including San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet. Locally she’s also worked with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Profile Theatre, White Bird, Portland Taiko and Northwest Dance Project. Thyra has taught high school stagecraft as well as college-level stage management locally.  

Abby Jacquin they/them

Asst Head Electrician

Dylan Nebeker+ they/them

Design Apprentice+

Dylan got their associates degree in theater design and technology from Santa Barbara City College then transferred to the University of California Santa Cruz to finish their B.A. in theater arts, focusing on scenic and prop design/fabrication. Then subsequently returned to UCSC to get their Masters Degree. For their thesis they studied immersive theater and transgender storytelling. They are excited to be working with Portland Playhouse to craft the world of these stories, and to make the most out of this amazing opportunity. If you want to follow their work they can be found on Instagram @dylannebekerdesign
 

Cast

Susannah Mars* she/her

Miss Agatha Trunchbull

Susannah is thrilled to return to Portland Playhouse after playing Mistress Hibbins in Scarlet and Margaret in The Light in the Piazza.  She is a Resident Artist at Artists Repertory Theatre and is on the board at Portland Center Stage.  Over the past thirty-five years, she’s appeared onstage worldwide. Locally, she’s played iconic roles like Mrs. Lovett in Sweeny Todd, Mother in Ragtime, and Mama Rose in Gypsy.  She’s performed her holiday show Mars On Life and also played Diana in Next To Normal, among others. She was on NBC’s Grimm as Drew Wu’s psychiatrist, Dr. Richet. Ms. Mars is the proud recipient of six Portland Drama Critics awards. Lately, she finds herself in a lovely sound booth at home voicing audiobooks, audio-description, and commercials. Find out more, including updates on her short documentary film about art and grief, Symphony of Grief, by subscribing to her newsletter at susannahmars.com

 

Merideth Kaye Clark*
she/her

Miss Honey

Merideth's credits include, Portland Playhouse: The Light in the Piazza (Clara) Drammy Award Winner. Other local credits: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Winter Song (created with Brandon Woolley),The Last Five Years (Cathy), Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitl) Portland Center Stage; The Sound of Music (Maria); Kiss Me Kate (Kate) Clackamas Rep. Other selected credits: Wicked (Elphaba Standby) First National Tour; Evita (Eva Peron) Northern Stage; Oliver! (Nancy) 5th Ave Theatre; Bright Star (Alice Murphy) Arvada Center. Merideth tours internationally with her original concerts Joni Mitchell’s BLUE and Happy Days Are Here Again: The Music of Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. She is also half of the acclaimed folk-Americana duo Siren Songs. Merideth is a performance coach and voice and guitar teacher and has taught masterclasses nationwide. TV credits include Portlandia and Emmy-nominated Documentary Now! Original Cast Album: Co-op. What a treat to share the stage with my kids Ever & Arden!

Michael Feldman* he/him

Mr Wormwood/ Escapologist

Michael is thrilled to be making his Portland Playhouse debut! Previous credits include Ensemble and principal cover Here Lies Love – Seattle Repertory Theatre. Johnny Cash, Million Dollar Quartet – CDA Summer Theatre. Howl, Howl's Moving Castle – Book-it Rep. Ensemble and principal cover Xanadu – Village Theatre / Arizona Theatre Co. @themichaelfeldman. 

Dana Green* she/her

Mrs. Wormwood/Acrobat

Dana  is delighted to return to Portland Playhouse where she was last seen in Barbecue and to be acting with her daughter Madeline and her niece Finley for the first time! Portland credits include work at Portland Center Stage, Third Rail, and Profile Theatre. She has spent four seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and has performed at numerous regional theaters including The DCPA, The Old Globe, South Coast Repertory, Yale Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Court Theatre, Meadow Brook Theatre, and Shakespeare Festival of Dallas. Television/Film credits include Trinkets, Shrill, Significant Other, Test Screening,  Girl in the Woods, The Librarians, and Grimm.

Claire Rigsby she/they

Mrs. Phelps/Big Kid

Claire is thrilled to return to Portland Playhouse after playing Mrs. Cratchet and Old Joe in the 2017 production of A Christmas Carol. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Claire has called Portland her home for the past ten years.  Recent credits include Detective Hayden Quinn in Artist Rep’s True Story, or a multitude of characters in the ensemble of Portland Center Stage’s Rent. Previous credits include  The Alliance Theatre, Profile Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, and B Street Theatre. Claire is a graduate of Emory University, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and the Institute for Contemporary Performance. Offstage, you can find Claire making experimental theater in fountains, plexiglass boxes, and public parks, or sitting with her kitty knitting, crocheting, or tufting. Thank you to all of my loved ones for the endless support and love. I couldn’t do it without you.

Alec Cameron Lugo
they/he

Doctor/Cook/Sergei/Big Kid

Alec  is a Queer, mixed-race, Latiné performer and multi-hyphenate artist excited to be returning to Portland Playhouse in Matilda! Alec was previously seen onstage with Portland Playhouse last season understudying in the world-premiere of Great Wide Open. A 2016 graduate of Pacific University, select theatrical credits include productions with Portland Center Stage (tick, tick … BOOM!), Profile Theatre (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity), Fuse Theatre Ensemble (The Pursuit of Happiness, Our Town), and Anonymous Theatre (The Pirates of Penzance), among others. Radio and television credits include work with All Classical Portland, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “All Science. No Fiction.”, and IFC’s Emmy- nominated Documentary Now! episode “Original Cast Recording: Co-op.” Alec serves as the Marketing & Event Manager with the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus and the Portland Lesbian Choir, and his work in photography, videography, and graphic design has been featured locally and nationally. As always, thank you to Victor and Mary. And Riley. And Damon. Let’s connect! @gameboy_of_color • @_a_l_media_ alecclugo.com

Alec is also the understudy for the following roles Mr. Wormwood/Escapologist/Michael/ Rudolpho/Party Entertainer/Big Kid

Benjamin Tissell* he/him

Doctor/Cook/Sergei/Big Kid

Ben is a Portland-based actor, director and musician, previously seen at the Playhouse in A Christmas Carol, Peter and the Starcatcher and Titus Andronicus. Locally, Ben has also performed at Portland Center Stage, Third Rail Repertory, Broadway Rose and others. Ben currently serves as artistic director of George Fox University Theatre. Ben‘s original music, upcoming performances, and other info can be found at BenTissell.com. 
 

Austin Comfort*

Michael Wormwood/ Rudolpho/ Party Entertainer/ Big Kid

Austin is elated to be back at Portland Playhouse with this wonderful show! Recent Portland credits include Anselmo in Man of La Mancha (Clackamas Repertory Theater), Logan in Chicken & Biscuits (Portland Playhouse), RENT (Portland Center Stage), Buddy in Elf: The Musical (Lakewood Theatre) and The Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods (Broadway Rose Theatre). Austin spent two seasons in the Acting Company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, appearing in the U.S. premiere of Shakespeare In Love, among others. Other work includes the Fertile Ground Festival, Oregon Fringe Festival, Lunacy Fest, and Puppeteers for Fears. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Southern Oregon University. IG: @austincomfort

Austin is also the understudy for the roles of: Doctor/Sergei/Cook/Big Kid

Netty McKenzie^ she/her

Nurse/Big Kid

Netty is elated to be apart of the Matilda cast! She is a singer/actor born and raised right here in northeast Portland. Netty was last seen in Last Stop on Market Street (Oregon Children’s Theater), and Black Nativity (Passinart Theatre Company). She is a graduate of Portland State University where she received a B.S. in Theater Arts. Netty is also a former Portland Playhouse apprentice for the 2018-19 Season. When she is not performing, she manages an after school program for elementary school students called SUN (schools uniting neighborhoods).She would like to thank her friends, family and beautiful children Kahari and McKenzie for their support in her endeavors. She Hopes you all enjoy the show! 

Voni Kengla^ she/her

Big Kid/ Mechanic

Voni s a Portland-based actor, singer, and teaching artist. She has performed locally in Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Great Gatsby’s Daisy (Daisy Buchanan), Tinderella (Meg), Bojangles of Harlem (Shirley Temple), and God of Vengeance (Rifkele). Her original one-woman musical, Space Girl is available to watch on YouTube. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Hartt School and was a member of the Season 13 Acting Apprentice Company at Portland Playhouse. vonikengla.com

Voni is also the understudy for the following roles: Trunchbull/Miss Honey/Mrs. Wormwood

Lily Francis
she/her

Matilda Wormwood

Lily is thrilled to be making her professional theater debut in Matilda the Musical! She has studied acting and musical theater at OCT, NWCT, Bridgetown Conservatory, and Willowbrook Arts Camp. She is currently in 5th grade at Riverdale Grade School, where she appeared in Beauty and the Beast Jr. and as Young Anna in Frozen Jr. When she isn't acting or singing, Lily enjoys reading and rock climbing. Lily would like to thank her family for all of their love and support, as well as Brian, Charles, Kemba, Eric, Cassie, and the rest of the incredible team at the Portland Playhouse!

Lily is also the understudy for the roles of Nigel & Lily

Georgia Krugel she/they

Matilda Wormwood

Georgia is beyond excited to be joining Portland Playhouse for the first time! Georgia is currently a 4th grader at the Cottonwood School of Civics and Science and this is her second stage appearance – she previously held the role of Alice in Alice and Wonderland (New Moon Productions). When she’s not memorizing lines, you’ll find Georgia working on her ice skating at Lloyd Center, dreaming up magical games for her little sibling, playing piano, making lots of arts and craft creations, training her dachshund Dolly Pawton, and adventuring with her family. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up, just like Miss Honey.

“I know you are only a tiny little girl, but there is some kind of magic in you somewhere.” – Miss Honey

Georgia is also the understudy for the roles of Nigel & Lily

Nia Scott
she/her

Matilda Wormwood

Nia is very excited for her first show with Portland Playhouse! She loves Matilda the Musical and recently appeared in Journey Theater's production as a Little KidNia has also participated in musical theatre classes and shows  at Spotlight Musical Theatre Academy, where she began her training. Nia is in the 4th grade and loves reading, dance, cheer, singing, and hanging out with her friends and sisters. She also works professionally as a model and actor appearing in many ads campaigns and commercials. Nia is so grateful to be playing Matilda in this awesome production with amazing group of new friends. Follow Nia on  Instagram @the.scottsisters!

Nia is also the understudy for the roles of Nigel & Lily

Mia Roman
she/her

Bruce

Mia is so excited to be part of Matilda the Musical, and this is Mia's first production she has been in. Mia is in the 5th grade, she loves to ride her bike, go swimming, wrestling, playing basketball, making bracelets and hanging out with her brothers & cousins. Mia has a 14 year old Corgi name Twinkie.

Henry Tullis they/them

Bruce

Henry has loved musical theater his whole life! He began performing on stage when he was 6 years old and only a pandemic has been able to stop him! This is his first show with Portland Playhouse and he is thrilled to be here! Henry has been in Mary Poppins, Frozen, The Secret Garden, The Sound of Music (twice!), High School Musical On Stage, and Shrek. Thanks go to Mom and Dad for driving him everywhere and encouraging him in the arts and to his siblings for putting up with all the practice he does at home! When Henry is not on stage, you can find him playing video games, riding his bike, and reading lots of books! 
 

Chenoa Johnson she/her

Lavender

Chenoa is a lover of people and all things creative. She is a soccer player, ballet novice, and aspiring theater actress. She is very competitive in all she does, which is only matched by her compassion for others. She's the 2nd oldest of 4 siblings, and she makes her parents Phillip and Ambrosia Johnson proud. 

Arden Thorsell she/her

Lavender

From Arden: “I am 6.5 years old and about to turn 7. I love to go swimming, skiing, acting, dancing, singing and getting dressed up for performances. I have a dog named Huckleberry. He is 14 years old and he has an infected tooth. My mom is Miss Honey and my sister is Nigel. I love being with friends and family. My favorite foods are tacos and pasta and I love eating ice cream. I love soccer and the Portland Thorns. I was Gretl in The Sound of Music at Clackamas Rep last summer with my sister and mom.”

Claire de la Cruz she/her

Amanda

Claire is an elementary school student who is very excited to make her acting debut  in Matilda the Musical (though she is not a stranger to the stage!). She is very grateful to Portland Playhouse for giving her the opportunity to tell this story with such talented people. When she is not on the stage or at school, she can be found reading, knitting, playing on the playground,drawing, dancing hula, or ice skating. She would like to thank some of her classmates for telling her about the show because otherwise she wouldn't have auditioned in the first place! She would also like to thank her vocal coach, Kat, for helping her rehearse the songs. Lastly, she would like to thank her parents for making time fit so she could do this!

Madeline Cromer she/her

Amanda

Madeline is delighted to be doing her first play with her mom and her cousin.  A few fun facts about Madeline: she loves swimming, acting and devouring candy (giant lollipops are her favorite), she just entered the third grade this fall, she wants to be an actor or a writer when she grows up (or maybe in the Olympics). And her favorite thing about Matilda is that she stands up for herself and others.  

James Alexander Lovely he/they

Nigel

James is a really good dancer, and a fast runner. He loves Sonic the Hedgehog and pretending to be just like him. James enjoys playing with his lovie Sonic and his toy Lamborghini, Mustang, and Lightning McQueen. James also models and is enjoying being a first grader. And he loves his mama

Ever Thorsell she/they

Nigel

Ever has been in the Portland Symphonic Girl Choir for 5 years and played Marta in The Sound of Music at Clackamas Rep. Ever’s favorite things are family, friends, skiing, cats and eating out at restaurants. Ever is so excited to share the role of Nigel with James.
 

Estella Lindhorst she/he/they

Eric

Estella is a sixth grader at The Ivy School. She enjoys singing and dancing, but mostly, making art with their friends. He is an active kid, studying pukulan, walking and playing with her crazy dog Mia. This is their first play, and they couldn't be more excited. Thanks to Brian and the Playhouse for the opportunity!! 
 

Tucker Karsten he/him

Eric

Tucker is a 7th Grader at Rock Creek Middle School. He plays cello for his school orchestra. Aside from theater and music, Tucker loves to rollerblade and bake and has played lacrosse for 4 years. Tucker has trained at Oregon Children’s Theater and Bridgetown Conservatory of Musical Theatre. He has been a crew member for multiple high school theater shows and was a follow spot operator for the Bridgetown production of Side by Side by Sondheim. Matilda the Musical is Tucker’s first full production as a performer, and he is excited to bring his energy to the stage. He’d like to thank his parents, Sissy, family, teachers, and coaches for their support!

Morgane Hepburn she/her

Alice

Morgane is so excited to be apart of Matilda the Musical and this is her first production. Morgane is in 3rd Grade and she loves to sing, dance ,create artistic things, and play with her 2 brothers and little sister. Morgane is new to the Northwest,  so being able to be apart of this production is very exciting to her. Morgane wants to become an entertainer. Morgane loves to make others laugh and feel happy. 

Margot Penny Weaver
she/her

Alice

Margot has been acting in plays at the Playhouse since she was 5 years old, most often in A Christmas Carol, and more recently in Titus Andronicus. She has great love for stories, books, movies, plays, musicals, anything that tells a story she is ALL about! Ask her a question about a book and expect the entire detailed story to be told to you. She has a passion for soccer and baking. She saw Matilda on Broadway at the ripe young age of 4, has read the book multiple times, and is excited to be here telling this story.

Zahara Beamer she/her

Hortensia

Zahara is a sixth grader at Harriet Tubman Middle School (go Legends!) In her free time she enjoys knitting, playing with her Calico Critters, and lounging around listening to podcasts. She's very excited to be joining Portland Playhouse for this production of Matilda the Musical, which she likes because it's fast-paced and energetic. She hopes you enjoy it!

Mila Kashiwabara she/her/ella

Hortensia

Mila is thrilled to be returning to the Portland Playhouse as part of this production, Most recently you may have seen her as Pipe’s Little Sister in Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (Crave Theatre, 2023) or as Dog in Dragons Love Tacos (Oregon Children’s Theatre, 2023). Her Portland Playhouse credits include A Christmas Carol (various roles 2019, 2021, 2022), Young Lucius in Titus Andronicus (2022), and the role of Oli in the filmed piece 545 (2020). When she isn’t acting, she can be found dancing (especially hip hop), researching fashion trends and drawing. She thanks Brian Weaver and the entire creative team for this opportunity, as well as the cast and crew for being so incredible to work with. She also thanks her family for their love and support.

 

Mila is also the understudy for the role of Alice.

Ellie Weaver
she/her

Amanda

Ellie is feisty and funny, and this marks her first production with the Playhouse. She has probably seen every show here since the time of her birth, mostly as an audience member and popcorn eater. She is an avid aerialist, dancer, ukulele player, and loves to set up her lemonade stand on a sunny day. Thank you for coming to see this show.

Oliva Cho-McDonald
she/her

Amanda

Olivia is very excited to be a part of Portland Playhouse’s production of Matilda the Musical! While this will be her first full length play, she is no stranger to the stage, having performed in dance recitals and productions since the age of three, most recently in Elite Dance Studio’s Celebrating 20 Years. Olivia is a fifth grader at Forest Park Elementary, and off stage enjoys art, books, hanging out with friends, and obsessing over Taylor Swift and Stranger Things.

Zae’lyn Chadwick she/her

Big Kid

Zaelyn is a 13 year old 8th grader who attends Parkrose Middle school. She plays the flute, is an honor roll student, and loves fashion and loves singing and dancing. She has been acting and singing since she was a baby. And has been featured in several local plays and productions through Maverick MainStage Productions, Allen Performing Arts, and recently in World Stage Theater. 

Imani Hill
she/her

Big Kid

Imani is a 13 year old actress with the heart of a giant. She loves to sing, dance, and make others laugh. She was blessed to begin acting at the age of 6 with World Stage Theatre, who assisted in developing her gift through various roles in their annual stage play; Who I am, Celebrating Me,  and Vanport. Imani has also been cast in the Portland Playhouse production of Fences, and this year's A Christmas Carol will be her 3rd time in that production. In addition to acting, Imani is an entrepreneur, who started her own cookie business, Synai's Sweets LLC, in May of 2020. Imani continues to be excited about the opportunities she is blessed with, and looks forward to future endeavors. 

Kathryn Hasson+ she/her

U/S Mrs Phelps / Big Kid / Mechanic

Kathryn is a Bay Area-raised, Portland-based performer, writer, and artist. She has been singing and acting professionally since the age of 7 and has trained with the American Conservatory Theater and the Vassar College Drama and Music departments. She received her B.A. in Drama from Vassar College, where she also extensively studied Ancient Greek theater, history, mythology, and the work of contemporary female writers and scholars in those fields. She is a trained dramaturg, published poet, and experienced improviser. As a proud alum of Til Dawn Acapella, the Vassar Devils, and the Vassar Jazz Ensemble, she has experience as a vocalist in a range of styles including classical, jazz, musical theater, folk, blues, and soul. Notable theatrical roles include Else Kolemeier (Homefront), Ma Joad (Grapes of Wrath), Angela (Natural Shocks), Feste (Twelfth Night), Emily Webb (Our Town), Dolly (Safe Hands), and the Nurse (Sunday in the Park With George). She is incredibly honored and grateful to be a current member of the Portland Playhouse Apprentice Company.

Monic M. Milani+ she/they

U/S Nurse / Big Kid

Monika is a queer Filipino-Persian American artist from San Jose, California. Despite having a multi-year background in studying anthropology and several branches of theatre design, she ultimately chose to pursue her strongest passion and comfort in the vocal arts and acting. She is a recent Theater Arts B.A. graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she also worked with the music department to develop her mezzo-soprano voice in Opera and Musical Theater performance. Outside of her professional interests, she is a new-hobby and learning “connoisseur” from both her natural, often insatiable curiosity and in her pursuit of becoming a well rounded artist and human. One could find her working on her voice acting skills and career, making cosplays, going to anime and video game conventions, and getting in touch with her cultural roots through dance, music, cooking, and research. She hopes that her freshly-unapologetic pursuit of the arts will inspire young POC kids like her to feel affirmed, empowered, and secure in their sense of belonging in the arts. Through her background in student advocacy and organization, she learned the power that a vision, community, and a single voice can have. Monika is incredibly grateful to be a part of Portland Playhouse’s 2023-2024 small but mighty cohort of apprentices where she can continue to integrate these life lessons into her art and be a part of the impactful work that Portland Playhouse produces. 

Alex Janeva Osserman
she/her

U/S Bruce, Eric, Lavender, Amanda

Alex is a 4th grader at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. She is extremely excited to be part of this performance – her very first! Alex loves reading, knitting, playing cello, baking for friends and family, and her leopard gecko Citrine. Her favorite fruit is orange and her favorite tree (and place to hang) is the dogwood in her front yard.

Finley Wright
she/her

U/S Hortensia

Band

Ward Baxter

Woodwinds

Taylor Arko

Percussion

TJ Arko

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