Dates, time, and title are subject to change.
About the show
Company Fresh is our freshman production experience initiative. Students in Company Fresh are guaranteed performance, design, or stage management opportunity in their first year.
Student members are cast into a select group of 4 to 5 performers. An upper-class student serves as director. Selected playwrights from the community are connected with each group and a short, original play is developed to reflect the performers experiences. This means that students will have a play that is specifically written for them!
directed by Stephanie Herman
A play that captures the collective and individual struggles of our most modern society. The play consists of characters ranging in background, race, sexual orientation, class and gender. Dialogue captures generalized views and statements, and fears of its speakers as they travel on a plane together.
directed by Jacob Wilson
The Chlor family (a prominent family of supernatural humans) has become disgusted with the portrayal of vampires, witches, and other supernatural beings in popular culture. When the offer of their own reality show is put on the table, the family members are forced to come to terms with their own desires for fame, fortune, and human flesh.
directed by Jenna Geluso
It’s time for Beck to go. They don’t know where they’re going, they don’t know how they’re going to get there, and their supplies are pretty sparse. Out of desperation, Beck calls on their childhood imaginary friend Geraldine for guidance. But what other things rise to the service when we delve that deep into our past? An allegory about the ways in which we need to push ourselves, and the factors that push us, this ten minute plays explores the inner world we all contain. What are we capable of when that inner life spills over?
directed by Alexander Morrison
Karenina Thomas is the teenage daughter of a white affluent upper-middle class family from the suburbs of Detroit. Her father is the county sheriff and her mother is a local pastor. After falling off a float in the Romeo Peach Parade she is knocked unconscious and wakes up believing she is a black man named Damon who is set on getting to know Karenina’s best-friend Joseph. The chaos that ensues leads Joseph and the Thomas family on a path to self-discovery, reconciliation, and… jail.
directed by Samantha Stafford
At the Homecoming party for Nu Phi Rho Sigma, something seems…off. Four undergrads—tied together by friendship and their mutual understanding of the ‘HALT’ acronym—take turns trying to comprehend what the hell is happening and if they’ll make it out in time. If only they hadn’t left their masks in the Lexus by the pool…
directed by Ethan May
Four patients in a mental ward are faced with a different kind of therapy- dance therapy. In this session, the patients are encouraged to embrace each other’s stories through dance and movement. It is here that each patient navigates their personal pains and come to understand each other. As a matter of fact, it is here that they learn what it truly means to Judge Softly.
directed by Drew Dyer
Four young women are invited to a post-digital-funeral-zoom-meeting for an opportunity to reflect on their shared connection to their dearly departed ex-boyfriend. This healing session reveals more than meets the eye about their relationships, their ex-boyfriend, and themselves.
directed by Morgan Listenbee
Under a newly devised government, “We the People” takes new meaning. The government has passed an Executive Order approving the creation of a Supreme Court Justice Selection Committee. If/when a vacancy exists on the Bench, the committee of citizens, selected at random, convene at an undisclosed location to nominate the country’s new Justice. This is the first such meeting…
directed by Dani Pope
Four college students in America are each up their eyeballs in debt already and the only way they see out is striking it rich the good old fashioned way…by taking a hobby that they once found enjoyable and trying to find a niche audience on the internet that will pay them money to do the thing they once enjoyed. These students (attempt) comedic reviews of terrible video games and have been getting a few dozen views a video, but now they have found the best worst game yet. It’s a race to complete the game and get out their review in hopes of that elusive viral hit! However, American Adventures: Journey Through Time & Place, Gender & Race proves to be more than the Cancel Culture Game Reviews team was expecting.
directed by Cara Forfinski
Four former classmates reunite after several years with little contact. The group collectively struggles to reconcile with their differing memories of shared past experiences, and ultimately come to terms with how world events and circumstances forever altered their relationships and sense of self. A brief dark comedy with a heart.
Colonel Berns Series
directed by Faith Berry
The play Choice is about a young girl will has a very important decision to make and deliberates with her circle of friends to gain perspective.
directed by Al Duffy
A series of vignettes and movement sequences taking place in the back room of a run down restaurant as five members of the floor staff work a shift together.
An Update to Our Ticketing Policy
Ticket sales for our virtual streaming productions will close 15 minutes prior to the start time of the event.
Cast & Creative Team
Ace Thuma is thrilled to be a part of Company Fresh and this production. Last year Ace was involved in A Christmas Carol as well as the Heck-Rabi Playwriting Festival. This semester, Ace has also been involved in Hotel playing Grace. Ace is a second-year BFA student in acting, with a double minor in Musical Theatre and Theatre Management.
Adam is originally from the Upper Peninsula, with a BFA in Theater Performance from Western Michigan University with a minor in Dance. Previously he worked with Great Lakes Theater as an actor teacher performing Shakespeare and American classics in Northeast Ohio. Previous credits include Curtis in The Taming of the Shrew at Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and John in Anything Goes at Porthouse Theater.
Alexia is very excited to involved in her first show outside of high school theater and her first at Wayne State. She is very thankful for this opportunity to take part in such an amazing show. Outside of theater she spends her time writing plays and assisting classes at her dance studio.
Alexis is a transfer-sophomore at Wayne State with recent admission to the BFA Acting program. She is excited to be included in Company Fresh. Favorite credits include Catherine in Pippin and Luisa in The Fantasticks.
Alexis Primus is excited to make her Theatre and Dance at Wayne debut. Her favorite credits include Marie Antoinette in Marie Antoinette and Vera in She Kills Monsters. She is a first-year Graduate Acting student.
Brendtke is a first-year student at Wayne State University pursuing a BFA in Musical Theater. Some of her previous roles include: Fiona (Shrek the Musical), Golde -(Fiddler on the Roof), Sponge (James and the Giant Peach), Narrator (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and Grace (Annie). She is excited for this opportunity to perform this year and hopes you enjoy the show.
BA History and Archeology, Sophomore
Callahan is a sophomore at Wayne State, studying history and archaeology. Her dream as a child was to be an actor so she is really enjoying all of the experiences she has had and everyone she has met in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance. Everything Detroit is my passion. It feels great to be able to work and study in the city!
Anette Orellana is very eager to make her Theatre and Dance at Wayne debut. One of her favorite roles was Mrs. Simpson in Do You Wanna Dance? when she was a sophomore in high school. She is excited to explore new performance opportunities at Wayne State such as Company Fresh. Anette is a first-year BA Theatre student at Wayne State University.
Lovelace is very excited to be part of this play. She is a first-year student majoring in Theatre at Wayne State University.
Antonia LaChe is a proud alumnus of the Hilberry MFA program. She has since been navigating a career as an actor/ writer. She is immensely proud to be chosen as one of the playwrights for Company Fresh. She found immense pleasure in writing for her cast. Notable Hillberry credits include Miss Pat (The Colored Museum), Lucience Homenidès de Histangua (A Flea in Her Ear), Lucy Westenra (Dracula), and Callie (Stop Kiss).
Ashley Poulin is thrilled to be making her Theatre and Dance at Wayne debut. Favourite credits include Nightrain in Techies (Original Workshop Sam Carner & Derek Gregor), Patsy in Spamalot (Edinburgh Fringe Best Young Cast), Veronica in Heathers the Musical, Zoe in Dear Evan Hansen and Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family. Love and gratitude to the creative team, cast, crew, family, and her hometown coaches. Ashley is a freshman BA theatre student at Wayne State University. Proud Canadian. Fusion Talent Agency. IG:@ashley.poulin
Brandi Thomas who plays is a BA theatre major this is her first play here at Wayne State University. Her favorite works includes A Raisin in the Sun and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
Brandon A. Wright is a Chicago-based actor and director who received his MFA in acting from Wayne State. Brandon is signed with Paonessa Talent Agency. He is a two-time Broadway World Detroit Nominee with Michigan Shakespeare Festival and Flint Repertory Theatre among his Michigan theatre credits. Most recently, Brandon performed the role of Harpo in the national tour of The Color Purple. He is currently a Professor of Theatre at Oakland University.
I am Cam Blackwell. A recent graduate of the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance. I received a BFA in Acting with a study in Africana Theatre and Dance (Summa Cum Laude). Writing and molding together a devised piece with the students of Company Fresh has been an exhilarating adventure. Recent endeavors includes writing for the 10-minute festivals for the Purple Rose Theatre of Chelsea, Michigan and the Southern Rep Theatre of New Orleans this year. I currently act as Theatre Management Apprentice for the Obsidian Theatre Festival 2021.
Camden Maccagnone is more that honored to be apart of his first online, Company Fresh show at Wayne State. His favorite credits include Mr. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol and Ned C. in Company of Fools. Camden wants to thank God first and foremost for placing an appreciation for the theatrical arts in his life, and wants to thank his family and dear friends for their relentless support and motivation! Camden is a second-year BFA student in Acting at Wayne State University.
Cara is so excited to be sweeping her way through her third year at Wayne. Last seen in Heathers the Musical as Heather Chandler, and cast as Mary Poppins (cancelled due to COVID 19), Cara has been missing the stage a great deal. She has enjoyed the journey Trivoya Gold has been, and gives her unending thanks to Jill, Danielle, Freda, and Lexie. Cara is looking forward to getting to show her method acting in this, as she cried just as much as Lisbet through the process. For Trivoya!
I am a Jewish Cuban playwright and AEA stage manager with a BA at Brandeis University with High Honors in Theatre Arts and Creative Writing, and her MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen from Lesley University. I write about identity.
Clare Loch is thrilled to be participating in a Company Fresh production this semester. Favorite credits include Yente in "Fiddler on the Roof," Sister Berthe in "The Sound of Music," and Taryn in "Pingree's Past." Clare would like to thank her family and close friends for being so supportive of her.
Dani is very excited to be directing for Company Fresh this year, she is hoping to direct as a profession in the future. Past directing credits include Assistant Director for Mary Poppins at Wayne State and Assistant Director for The Lion King Kids and Willy Wonka Jr. at Spark Summer Theatre Camp.
Devon Redmond is a black author, playwright, and artist from Detroit, MI. He graduated from Southfield High School and attended the historically black college Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University before transferring to and graduating from Grand Valley State University with his Bachelor of Arts in Music. Devon has participated in workshops and productions for Detroit’s Black and Brown Theatre, Kalamazoo College’s Festival Playhouse, and as a sound designer for Wayne State University’s productions of The Colored Museum and Xtigone. Each in its Own Way is Devon’s premiere as a playwright and he is currently working on a novel entitled Bars of Power and Pain.
Emily Braun is a senior graduating this semester! Emily is very passionate about her love of singing, acting and dancing. She hopes you enjoy Wayne State’s virtual performances.
Erin Gall is so happy to be presenting her first performance as a part of Theatre and Dance at Wayne. She is a Junior in the BFA program, and her favorite credits include Cherry in The Outsiders and Sylvia Barrett in Up the Down Staircase.
Ethan is thrilled to be making his directorial debut in the Antonia Laché original Judge Softly. Company Fresh is an amazing opportunity for students to explore and break new ground in light of the pandemic, and May is humbled by the opportunity to produce a new piece with such a fabulous cast and creative team. On his role in Trivoya Gold, May says, "To say that this roll challenged and humbled me would be the understatement of the century. Infinite thanks to Jill and Danielle for believing in me and always pushing me to be better. This is an incredible show that wouldn't be possible without their steadfast guidance." This has been a year of venturing into uncharted territory for May, and each opportunity presents more exciting challenges than the last. He sends thanks to Danielle, Rachel, and Elise for their phenomenal direction and attention to detail.
Geoffrey Besser is a first-year MFA Acting candidate from New York City. After earning his BA in History from Brown University, Geoffrey has spent most of his professional career in Providence and Boston acting in regional theatres such as Spectrum Theatre Ensemble, Central Square Theatre, and the Wilburry Theatre. Geoffrey hopes to continue honing his craft as well as expanding his skills in voiceover work and stage combat during his time at WSU.
Geoff Nathan performed as Einstein in The Realm of Whispering Ghosts as well as Wayne State’s A Christmas Carol. He understudied Roy Cohn in its recent production of Angels in America. He has appeared in Grosse Pointe Theatre productions of Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and The View from the Bridge, as well as Southern Illinois Summer Playhouse productions of South Pacific, The Most Happy Fella and Crazy for You.
Undergrad, Secondary Education
Graham is thrilled to make his theatre debut in such an original and poignant piece of theatre! Starting out as a hockey goalie, Graham has been involved in the performing arts ever since his Sophomore year in high school. Since then, he has tackled roles such as Monty in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Tony in West Side Story, and Dan Goodman in Next to Normal. In a time of so much uncertainty, Graham is glad to be able to find himself back in the familiar setting of a company of actors, and is honored to present this piece for everyone! He thanks his family, friends, and girlfriend Maddie.
Hannah Andersen (MFA, BFA, FMT, CPT) is a Full-Time Lecturer in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University where her teaching centers around dance science and dancer wellness, improvisation and technique, and managing the Pilates curriculum and apprenticeship program. She is driven most by creating spaces for dancers to investigate the synergies between health and wellness practices and dance education. Awarded the 2017 “Doug Risner Prize for an Emerging Dance Researcher” in the Journal of Dance Education, her research, teaching, and choreography exploring the intersection of science, somatics, and pedagogy are recognized by the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, National Dance Education Organization, and American College Dance Association. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Bridge Dance Project (SE Michigan), and the Dance Science and Somatics Educators Group. A Pacific Northwest native, Hannah was Lead Dance Faculty at Whatcom Community College (Bellingham, WA) for nearly a decade where she designed and implemented the dance curriculum. She has received awards including Outstanding Graduate Student in Dance, the Teller-Singer Dean’s Fellowship, and the NDEO Graduate Student Award while serving as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Oregon. She spent three seasons performing with Bellingham Repertory Dance.
Haase is a dancer and states, "While that defines part of me, there is much more to me which I express through my dancing. I have learned to accept who I am and empower my dancing with my thoughts and feelings. Taking the days aches, pains and worries and channel it into movement to release, be free, and be expressive of who I am. I am brought joy in knowing that I will be able to display to you, my audience, who I am, so you can see and feel my story through my movements."
Isabel is very grateful to be a part of Company Fresh during this virtual semester. This is her second performance with Wayne State after playing Fan in last year's production of A Christmas Carol. She is so excited to see where Company Fresh goes, and thanks Kelly Rossi for putting together such a fun script.
J. is graduating this spring with his B.F.A in Acting and plans to move out to Los Angeles, California when things settle down. While he loves performing for the stage and screen, he really enjoyed getting to work with so many talented people in this process and work on developing a new, hopefully continuously learned skill, in directing. He would like to thank his friends and family for their consistent love and support. This is for them!
I'm so excited to be a part of the Company Fresh team! I have had an amazing time working with my actors and production team. Thank you to my family and friends who have supported me along the way! Special shout-outs to our playwright Kelly Rossi for writing such a great piece, to Kylie Stone for helping me co-direct this play, to Geoffrey Besser our grad mentor, and to all our actors who all brought forth wonderful performances!
James Fortune is honored to serve as Advising Producer for Company Fresh. James is in their 9th year as academic advisor for Theatre and Dance and is also a licensed professional counselor. Favorite role is coordinating our Learning Community and promoting a culture of collaboration and family within the program.
Jenna Geluso is thrilled to be partaking as a director in Company Fresh. Jenna is a junior BFA student at Wayne State University. Some of Jenna’s recent credits include performing in Twilight Of The Gods as ensemble, and directing Family 2.0 and Legally Blonde the Musical. Jenna is very proud of all the hard work that her cast members have put in and is excited for everyone to see the show.
Jessica Annunziata is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Recent acting credits include Brigid in The Humans, Hecuba in Trojan Women, and the Angel in both parts of Angels in America; directing credits include The Flick, and a staged reading of Clybourne Park. She is a first-year MFA acting student at Wayne State University.
Joshua Poppink, a sophomore BFA Acting student at Wayne State, is excited to be a part of this new and experimental process of creating and performing theatre in these difficult times. Favorite credits include Stuart in Stuart Little and Dick Wilkins in A Christmas Carol. They hope you enjoy this dive into the possibilities of digital theatre with their lovely peers who helped them push themselves despite the circumstances.
Justin Bugeja is making his debut in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance. His favorite roles thus far have been Corny Collins in Hairspray, Gary McMaster in The Election, and Sir Harry in Once Upon a Mattress. Justin is a sophomore BFA student in Acting at Wayne State University.
Katelyn Oliver is a first-year undergraduate BS Dance major at Wayne State University this year. Alongside being a dance major, she is also minoring in Musical Theatre. Oliver is making her debut with Theatre and Dance at Wayne this semester in Dynamic Perspectives, the Company Fresh Dance performance, and in the theatre performance of Judge Softly with Company Fresh.
Katy Tye is a first-year acting graduate from Dallas, Texas. After receiving her BFA from Southern Methodist University, Katy performed, choreographed, and directed in the Dallas area. She co-founded a nonprofit movement theater company and ran a Dallas based group called Shakespeare in the Bar.
Kyra is a senior who double majors in theatre and music. This is her fifth and final year at Wayne State University. She has taken part in shows such as Facing Our Truth, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and the opera Buoso’s Ghost. She is very excited and thankful to be a part of Company Fresh, and considers it one of her favorite Wayne State experiences.
LaRaisha DiEvelyn Dionne is thrilled to be making her Theatre and Dance at Wayne debut. Favorite credits include Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Cathy in The Last Five Years, Fastrada in Pippin, and Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown. LaRaisha is a first year MFA student in Acting at Wayne State University.
Pierce has been a performer her entire life as a singer. She decided to try acting when she was twelve and fell in love with it. She loved the feeling of being able to entertain others while still having fun and being able to lose herself in the character. Being part of an ensemble in this virtual time has been one of the best experiences of her life. A quote that she has learned to live by: “Every role, no matter how big or small it is, is important to the story.”
Marcela has been in the industry for more than ten years, working both in Toronto, Canada and Dublin, Ireland. She graduated from the University of Windsor with her BFA in Acting in 2011, just across from Detroit! Selected credits include, Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Antonia in The Man of La Mancha (Theatre By the Bay), Ana Sofia for USA Network's Covert Affairs, Airleas in Castles Made of Sand and The Fox in The Sea Brothers (Brinkmanship Theatre Co.) Working with this company of theatre makers has been a privilege and such a fun process. Thank you for your support. Enjoy!
Michael is a sophomore BFA acting student and is so excited to be a part of the Company Fresh cast. His past credits include Peter Cratchit in A Christmas Carol and Sam in Something Gay. He can also be seen as Sven in Motor City Cabaret’s production of Trivøya Gold this semester. Many thanks to his friends and family for the support during the 2020-2021 year, especially the amazing cast and crew he was able to work alongside during this production. He hopes you enjoy the show!
Morgan Listenbee is very excited to be involved in theatre again! She misses it more than anything! Instead of performing, she will be directing for the first time in Company Fresh! She wants to thank her amazing cast for their constant hard work, Brandon Wright for writing this outstanding piece and giving the cast their individual voices, X. Alexander Durden for being an awesome guide throughout this entire process for her, and for everyone who has been with her every step of the way. She hopes you enjoy each and every group’s performance. You definitely don’t want to miss Company Fresh.
Morgan Montgomery is very grateful to make her Theater and Dance at Wayne debut. Some of her favorite stage management credits include The School for Lies at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and The King's Legacy at Bristol Valley Theater. She is a first-year MFA Stage Management student at Wayne State University.
Nick is a Hilberry graduate from the MFA Acting class in 2018. He currently lives in Chicago where he is safe and comfortable in this mad year.
Nicole Turner is excited to make a mark within the Theatre and Dance at Wayne. Her favorite productions are Waitress, Heathers the Musical, and Urinetown. This will be Nicole's first year with Theatre and Dance at Wayne and is very open to making new connections with her fellow students and faculty members, and improving her skills and craft.
Paige Heath is a third-year student at Wayne State University and is very excited for this show. She has always had an affinity for musicals and is very grateful that she is able to perform during this time.
Hysni is a sophmore BFA acting student and is thrilled to be a part of Company Fresh during the 2020-2021 school year as Seymour in Cancel Culture. A few previous roles include Apprentice Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and Dr. Gibbs in Our Town. He wants to thank the rest of his cast and his director for being amazing people to work with and for all the work they put into making the show what it is.
Ryan is a Flo-grown actor/director who is thrilled to be bringing original work to the virtual stage! His favorite past roles include Dev (Stupid F*king Bird), D'artagnan (The Three Musketeers), and Leaf Coneybear (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Favorite directing credits include Around the World in 80 Days, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and the Florida regional premiere of MMF. He would like to thank his family, friends, and his cat for their undying support.
Ryan John is thrilled to make his debut with Theatre and Dance at Wayne. His favorite credits include those of Brit in We Will Rock You and Cedric in Puffs. Ryan is a first-year BFA Theatre student in Design and Technology at Wayne State University.
Sarah Jacobs is a Senior BA student at Wayne State University. She is so happy to be a part of the show and Company Fresh. She would like to thank her family and her mentor Jacob Chapman for their support.
Skylar is extremely excited to be working on new projects at Wayne State. Recent projects include Cinderella with Brighton Musical Theatre, War of the Worlds at the Brighton Center for Performing Arts, and Richard III with The Stratford Festival Theatre Arts Camp. She also recently worked on the short film, Dormant.
Sofia (Beck) is so excited to be making her Theatre and Dance at Wayne debut! Some of her favorite past roles include Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Sandra in All Shook Up, Patty Simcox in Grease, Lisa in Mamma Mia!, and Glinda in The Wiz. Sofia is a first-year BA Acting student at Wayne State University. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Stephanie Hermanis a senior BFA Actor with a minor in Musical Theatre. She was last seen in Heathers the Musical as the Republicanette and would have played Valentine in Mary Poppins last year. This year she is also directing the play A Blessing in Da Skies as part of Company Fresh. This is her third year being apart of Motor City Cabaret, and she is so excited to be finishing off her Wayne State career with this amazing show. FOR TRIVOYA!
Talia Bowes is ecstatic to be a part of Company Fresh, an incredibly innovative way of keeping theatre in our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. Talia is a freshman BFA Theatre Design and Technology student and this is her first production with the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, making this her debut as a designer. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Tommy Favorite is a first-year MFA Acting student at Wayne State University. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, he spent the next three years trying anything and everything he could find to do in theatre, and is incredibly grateful that it all led him to the eleven other members of the graduate company appearing in this production. Tommy would like to thank each and every one of his classmates for their honesty and their boldness in creating these pieces, and in critiquing his own.
Tori Rose is a fourth-year BFA Actor in the Theatre and Dance Department. Her favorite past credits include Tigs in Xtigone, and Veronica Sawyer in Heathers the Musical. Future roles and productions include Company Fresh (Director) and the department Senior Showcase.
Tyler Black is beyond excited to be a part of Company Fresh, a wonderful new program which granted so many the opportunity to be creative during a time where creative inspiration is hard to find. He hopes that Cat Fish can offer some much needed laughter and smiles during this pandemic which has brought so much sorrow and sadness to the world. He truly, truly hopes you enjoy this short piece and all others that are a product of Company Fresh!
X. Alexander Durden is making his debut with the Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance. Favorite roles include Jones Morgan in Buffalo Soldier (Virginia Repertory Theatre), Spoony in the East Coast premiere of All American Boys (Off the Page Theatre), and Il Cuoco in Madama Butterfly (The Atlanta Opera Company). He is a writer, actor and classical vocalist with collegiate and graduate training at Morehouse College and The Boston Conservatory, respectively. Much love and many thanks to Michael, Schubert and all my biological and acquired family. It matter how slow you go, just don't stop.