Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.
Ricky Abilez* (Arpad Laszlo)
is thrilled to return to SCR after appearing earlier this season in the Theatre for Young Audiences production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. His other SCR credits include The Velveteen Rabbit and Shakespeare in Love. Regionally, he appeared in Frederick! (Mainstreet Theatre Company), In the Heights (Lewis Family Playhouse) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Curtis Theatre), The Secret in the Wings (Coeurage Theatre Company) and Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta (Rogue Artists Ensemble). He spent more than a year in the ensemble of More Guns!, a musical comedy at The Second City (Hollywood). When he isn’t acting, Abilez is creating content. He worked closely with playwright Prince Gomolvilas and author Scott Heim to produce Mysterious Skin, the stage adaptation of Heim’s acclaimed novel, and he starred as Neil McCormick. He received his BFA in acting from Cal State Fullerton. @rickyabilez rickyabilez.com
Alicia Coca* (Ensemble)
returns to SCR after having appeared earlier this season in American Mariachi. She is a 2018 theatre arts graduate of the University of California, Davis, where she played several lead roles in shows such as Pippin! (directed by Mindy Cooper) and Heathers: The Musical; and she was a founding ensemble member and participant in the university’s inaugural Ground and Field Theatre Festival (2017). She was a featured singer in the 2018 Graham-a-Rama Cabaret (hosted by Graham Sobelman) at Sacramento Capital Stage. In 2018, she performed in downtown Los Angeles as a lead Angel vocalist in the 16th annual performance of La Virgen de Guadalupe: Dios Inantzin (written by Evelina Fernandez and directed by José Luis Valenzuela). Coca made her Actors’ Equity debut in March 2019 in American Mariachi at Arizona Theatre Company.
Matthew Henerson* (Ladislov Sipos)
is delighted to return to SCR, where he was last seen in Shakespeare in Love and Hamlet. His local credits include the Ahmanson Theatre, A Noise Within, Deaf West Theatre, East West Players, International City Theatre, Main Street Theatre Company and Musical Theatre West. Regionally, he has appeared at ACT, Ensemble Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, New Fortune Theatre Company, Northern Stage, North Coast Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, West Virginia Public Theatre and at Shakespeare festivals in Arizona, Colorado, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Utah. He spent 2013 on the first national tour of Flashdance the Musical. His film and television credits include “The Bernie Mac Show,” “Hung,” “The Fosters,” “One Day at a Time,” Torn Apart (Lifetime), Ticking Clock (Sony) and A Christmas Carol, Mars Needs Moms and The Jungle Book—all for Disney. His recent theatre work includes 12 Angry Men at the Laguna Playhouse, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Mark Taper Forum and Cabaret for Celebration Theatre Company. Henerson has an MFA from UC-San Diego and a BA from Yale University.
Branden Holzer (Ensemble)
is pumped to be making his SCR debut! He is a proud graduate of the University of Miami’s BFA musical theatre program. His past credits include Fender in Hairspray (Palos Verdes Performing Arts) and LA’s Next Great Stage Star 2018 (El Portal Theatre). He wants to thank Diane Feldman, his family for their unwavering love and support, and his team at Connor Ankrum & Associates. For Brad and Elisheva. Go Canes! @brandenholzer; brandenholzer.com
Jonathan Kim* (Busboy)
extends his gratitude to South Coast Repertory and the production team of She Loves Me for having him perform—something he enjoys almost as much as writing about himself in the third person. When he’s not busy dancing as a corpsman in The Corps Dance Crew, he can usually be found lollygagging in online games or making too much food for himself in the kitchen. Sometimes, he even leaves the house and he has left the house to perform in productions such as Stiles and Drewe’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Baby Bear) with MainStreet Theatre Company, La Cage Aux Folles (Bitelle) and Beijing Spring (Ensemble) with East West Players, and The Red Car Trolley News Boys (Shorty McGuire) at Disney California Adventure Park. He would love for everyone to check out his company, The Corps Dance Crew, on YouTube or at thecorpsdancecrew.com
Robert E. Knight* (Ensemble)
formerly known as Robert Eugene Collins, is excited to be returning to SCR after appearing in the Theatre for Young Audiences Production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day earlier this season. He recently returned from Arizona, where he was nominated for a Broadway World Regional Best Actor Award for his role as Jim in Big River (Hale Centre Theatre). His other regional theatre credits include Jim Conley in the Ovation Award-nominated and LA Times Critics Choice production of Parade (The Chance Theatre) and Officer Lockstock/Barrel in Urinetown (Couerage Theatre Company). He recently won the title of LA’s Next Great Stage Star 2018, a musical theatre showcase, as only the second male to win in 12 years. He is a SoCal native and graduated with a BA in theatre from California State University, Northridge.
Sam Ludwig* (Steven Kodaly)
is making his SCR debut. His other theatre credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical), On the Town, Avenue Q, Big River and 1776 (Olney Theatre Center); A Little Night Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, Midwestern Gothic, Titanic (Helen Hayes Award nomination Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical), [title of show], Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Show Boat and Les Misérables (Signature Theatre); Sons of the Prophet (Theater J); 1776 (Ford’s Theatre); The Farnsworth Invention (Helen Hayes Award nomination for the Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play) and Proof (First Stage); Speech and Debate (Rep Stage); Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Metrostage); Monsters of the Villa Diodati (Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical, Creative Cauldron); and The Secret Garden (3D Theatricals).
Erin Mackey* (Amalia Balash)
was born and raised in Fullerton, Calif., and is delighted to return to South Coast Repertory where she previously appeared as Clara in The Light in the Piazza. Her Broadway credits include In Transit (Ali), Amazing Grace (Mary), Chaplin (Oona), Anything Goes (Hope), Sondheim on Sondheim and Wicked (Glinda). She played Johanna in the New York Philharmonic’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at Lincoln Center, which was also broadcast on PBS. Regionally, she has worked at the Guthrie Theater in South Pacific (Nellie) and Sunday in the Park with George (Dot/Marie), Encores! in Lady Be Good (Shirley), Papermill Playhouse in South Pacific (Nellie) and Annie (Grace), and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera in Phantom (Christine), among others. She can be heard on the original cast albums of In Transit, Amazing Grace, Chaplin, Sondheim on Sondheim and Lady Be Good. Her film and television credits include The Intern, “Blue Bloods,” “Gossip Girl” and The Parent Trap.
Marlene Martinez* (Ilona Ritter)
previously appeared at SCR in the Pacific Playwrights Festival concert reading of Prelude to a Kiss and as Mrs. Popper in the Theatre for Young Audiences’ production of Mr. Popper’s Penguins. She most recently appeared in the contemporary comedy Native Gardens (as Tania, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley). Her favorite credits include the Broadway national tour of Mamma Mia! and West Side Story (Anita, La Mirada Theatre). She has performed with Theatre for Youth Audiences at Walt Disney Concert Hall, at the Broad Stage and the Hollywood Bowl. She had the pleasure of appearing in concerts with Kristin Chenoweth, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Doobie Brothers and Chicago. Her film credits include Grandma and A Single Man. @marlenevmartinez
Marlene Montes* (Ensemble)
is thrilled to be back at SCR after debuting earlier this season in American Mariachi. Originally from Tucson, Ariz., Montes has more than 25 years of experience performing professionally in the arts, working on both coasts and many cities in between. Her most recent notable credits include Soyla in Arizona Theatre Company’s production of American Mariachi (the best-selling play in ATC’s history), In the Heights (as Daniela, Moonlight Stage Productions, 2017 Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Resident Musical) and Legally Blonde (as Paulette, New Village Arts Theatre, nominated for Best Actress in a Musical by Broadway World). Some of her other favorite regional credits include In the Heights (Performance Riverside); Gypsy, Cabaret (Cygnet Theatre); The World Goes ‘Round, South Pacific, Tommy, Miss Saigon (Moonlight Stage Productions); The 1940’s Radio Hour, The Return to the Forbidden Planet (New Village Arts Theatre); and The Marvelous Wonderettes (The Music and Theatre Company). Montes received her BFA in musical theatre from the University of Arizona and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. marlenemontes.com
Gregory North* (Mr. Maraczek)
last appeared at SCR in The Fantasticks and recently starred in Grumpy Old Men the Musical for McCoy Rigby Entertainment. A Broadway veteran of Into the Woods, The Secret Garden (Archibald Craven), A Christmas Carol (with Tony Randall) and Grand Hotel (the Baron, opposite Cyd Charisse), he toured in Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Show Boat and was in the premieres of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Rock of Ages and Sting’s The Last Ship. His regional appearances include The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Hollywood Bowl (Amadeus, Into the Woods), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Captain Hook), Pasadena Playhouse (12 Angry Men, Ragtime), La Mirada (Pride & Prejudice), Mark Taper Forum, Sacramento Music Circus (Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music), Starlight Theatre (The Phantom), Arizona Theatre Company (King Charles III), Pioneer Theatre Company (Comedy of Tenors), North Coast Repertory Theatre, Laguna Playhouse (Harvey), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (as Frollo) and the title role in Barrymore. Among his screen credits are Stephen King’s 11.22.63, Elizabethtown, “Law & Order,” “ER,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “In Good Company,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” and “Kidding” with Jim Carrey. gregorynorthactor.com
Danny Scheie* (Head Waiter)
previously appeared at SCR in SHREW! and The Monster Builder (both by Amy Freed); One Man, Two Guvnors; The Wind in the Willows; and as Nero in the world premiere of Amy Freed’s You, Nero (also at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and at Berkeley Repertory Theatre). He most recently played in Rhinoceros at ACT in San Francisco, The Music Man at Arizona Theatre Company (directed by David Ivers) and Richard III at California Shakespeare Theater. His other credits include Pasadena Playhouse, A Noise Within, Trinity Repertory Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Folger Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Asolo Repertory Theatre, Merrimack Repertory, Two River Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Z Space, Aurora Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, and Theatre Rhinoceros. Scheie holds a PhD from UC-Berkeley and is on the faculty at UC-Santa Cruz. He received his Equity card playing Damis in Tartuffe at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Danny Stiles* (Keller)
is making his SCR debut. On Broadway, he appeared in Wonderland, Sister Act and Leap of Faith. His regional theatre credits include Sister Act (Pasadena Playhouse), The Full Monty (San Diego Musical Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (Performance Riverside), Spamalot (Music Theatre West) and Hairspray (3-D Theatricals). He has appeared on television as part of the Emmy Awards, and in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” He had a 20-year run in entertainment at The Disneyland Resort, including 12 years as Genie in Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, at the Hyperion Theater and was featured at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Currently, he is an acting and audition coach for young actors in Orange County, an improvisation teacher and acting advisor for South County Performing Arts and an adventure guide with Adventures By Disney. He is a longtime member of Arts-Teach and performs in the a cappella sextet, Vybration.
Katy Tang* (Ensemble)
returns to SCR after having made her debut last season in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Her regional credits include Cunegonde in Candide (San Bernardino Symphony), Anne Egerman in a A Little Night Music (East West Players), Maria in West Side Story (understudy, Broadway by the Bay), Ilse in Spring Awakening (Cygnet Theatre), Independent Shakespeare Company, Pacific Opera Project, Fullerton Civic Light Opera, MainStreet Theatre Company, Sacred Fools, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Palm Springs Opera Guild, Orange County Opera and extensively with the prestigious LA Opera Outreach Department. Internationally, she has performed operatic roles including Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mediterranean Opera Festival, Italy), Sophie in Werther and Amour in Orphée et Eurydice (La Péniche Opera, France). She trained at UCLA and école Normale de Musique de Paris. Tang began her performance career on the ice, as a junior Olympic figure skater.
Dekontee Tucrkile (Ensemble)
is so excited to be a part of this fun show! Her most recent credits include Mamma Mia! at East West Players, Invisible: A New Musical at Feinstein’s/54 Below directed by Marc Kudisch and The Music Man starring Adam Pascal at 5-Star Theatricals. The short film Friends with Awkwardness that Tucrkile wrote, produced and starred in, was screened at the Fort Worth Film festival. She studied at The Second City (Hollywood) and is an alumna of Open Jar Institute and Vanguard University.
Brian Vaughn* (Georg Nowack)
is thrilled to make his SCR debut with She Loves Me and this exciting team. He is currently the artistic director of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where he has appeared in countless productions over 20 years including the title roles in Hamlet, Henry V, Cyrano de Bergerac, and this upcoming summer as Richard III. His other theatre credits include more than a decade as a resident company member at The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, PCPA Theatrefest, Red Bull Theatre and Skylight Music Theatre. His musical credits include Harold Hill in The Music Man, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Javert in Les Misérables, The Baker in Into the Woods, King Arthur in Camelot, The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Leo Bloom in The Producers and Smudge in Forever Plaid. His recent and upcoming directing credits include two productions of Hamlet, Henry V, One Man, Two Guvnors, Shakespeare’s Worst! and the regional premieres of Shakespeare in Love and Peter and the Starcatcher.
David Ivers (Director and Artistic Director) is responsible for the overall artistic operation of the theatre. He started at SCR this past March and the 2019-20 season is the first that he has programmed here. Prior to SCR, he was artistic director for Arizona Theatre Company and, before that, served more than 20 years as an actor and director at Utah Shakespeare Festival, with the last six as artistic director. He was a resident artist at Denver Center Theatre Company for a decade, acting in and/or directing more than 40 plays and has helmed productions at many of the nation’s leading regional theatres including the Guthrie Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and South Coast Repertory. His early career included serving as associate artistic director of Portland Repertory Theatre and he appeared in productions at some of the nation’s top regional theatres including Portland Center Stage and the Oregon, Alabama and Idaho Shakespeare festivals. He taught at the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Southern Utah University and Southern Oregon University. He earned his BA from Southern Oregon University and his MFA from the University of Minnesota.
Jaclyn Miller (Choreography) is a native Southern Californian and thrilled to be working at SCR for the first time. She has worked around the country as a choreographer and/or movement director for the past decade. Her regional credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Hairspray, Twelfth Night, Roe (world premiere), Book of Will, Yeoman of the Guard, My Fair Lady, Fingersmith (world premiere), Shakespeare in Love (U.S. premiere), Oklahoma! (associate choreographer); Arizona Theatre Company: Cabaret, Music Man; Idaho Shakespeare and Great Lakes Theater: Emma (upcoming), Julius Caesar, Mamma Mia!, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Taming of the Shrew; Guthrie Theatre: The Cocoanuts; and Baltimore Center Stage: Fun Home. Other theatres include Asolo Repertory Theatre, Portland Opera, Ogunquit Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Kirk Douglas Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, The Colony Theatre Company and Parker Playhouse.
Gregg Coffin (Music Director) returns to SCR after music directing One Man, Two Guvnors. Off-Broadway, he was the composer/lyricist of Five Course Love (Minetta Lane Theatre). Regionally, his work has been seen at the Alley Theatre, American Players Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Denver Center Attractions, Denver Center Theatre Company, Geva Theatre Center, Guthrie Theater, Human Race Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, PCPA TheatreFest, Pioneer Theatre Company, Unicorn Theatre and the Oregon, Utah, Alabama, Georgia, Great River, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, and St. Louis Shakespeare festivals. He has worked internationally in Canada at the Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre, National Arts Centre, Manitoba Theatre Center, CanStage, Theatre New Brunswick, and in Seoul, South Korea, at the ChungMu Art Hall. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Society of Composers and Lyricists and the American Federation of Musicians.
Jo Winiarski (Scenic Design) is a set designer and art director. Her off-Broadway credits include Accidentally Brave, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; multiple shows with The Pearl Theatre Company; The Jewish American Princess of Comedy; and I Love You Because. The other New York theatre companies she has designed for are New Georges, The New Group, Keen Company, Clubbed Thumb, Relentless Theatre Company, and Roundtable Ensemble. Her regional design credits include The Old Globe, 12 seasons and more than 30 shows at Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pioneer Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Geva Theatre Center and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Winiarski was the original art director on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” for its first five seasons. She received an Emmy Award nomination for art direction for “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.”
Alex Jaeger (Costume Design) previously designed at SCR for Amadeus, Office Hour, Zealot, Goldfish, What They Have, Skylight, But Not for Me, All My Sons, True West, Nostalgia, Play Strindberg and Two Sisters and a Piano. His additional credits include Mr. Burns for Guthrie Theater; A Parallelogram and Other Desert Cities for Mark Taper Forum; The Nether, Eclipsed and The Paris Letter for Kirk Douglas Theatre; Major Barbara for Theatre Calgary; Arcadia, Rock ’n’ Roll, Maple and Vine, Once in a Lifetime, The Homecoming and more for American Conservatory Theater; Two Sisters and a Piano for The Public Theater; All’s Well That Ends Well, A Wrinkle in Time, A Streetcar Named Desire, Romeo and Juliet, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and August: Osage County for Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Extraordinary Chambers, Love, Loss and What I Wore and Third for Geffen Playhouse; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance for Rubicon Theatre; The Legend of Georgia McBride for Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara, 15 productions at Magic Theatre, San Francisco; Romeo and Juliet, Gulls, Light and Gilgamesh for Boston Court Pasadena.
Jaymi Lee Smith (Lighting Design) is thrilled to be at SCR again after working on Photograph 51; SHREW!; Shakespeare in Love; Orange; All the Way; Vietgone; Peter and the Starcatcher; The Stinky Cheese Man; Topdog/Underdog; Lucky Duck; and Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. She has been designing around the country for the last 20 years at theatres including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Alley Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Goodman Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Court Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Hartford Stage, Alliance Theatre, Getty Villa, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre Company. Her work also has been seen in China, Italy, Spain, Scotland and Ireland. Her awards include the 2003 Michael Merritt/Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award, a 2014 Column Award, 2016 Sage Award and 2010 Joseph Jefferson Award. She currently is a professor of lighting design at UC-Irvine. Her website is jaymismith.com.
Jeff Polunas (Sound Design) is thrilled to be designing on the Segerstrom Stage for the third time, having previously designed Shakespeare in Love and The Sisters Rosensweig. Polunas received his MFA in sound design from UC-Irvine and is currently the production sound supervisor at the university’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. He has designed more than 140 productions during his career including Venus in Fur, Nate the Great, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, Ella Enchanted, Flora & Ulysses, Ivy+Bean: The Musical and Between Us Chickens (SCR); Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Antaeus Theatre Company); Silent Sky, Fences, Abigail/1702, A Walk in the Woods and Uncanny Valley (International City Theatre); Passion Play, Seminar and A Bright New Boise (Chance Theater); The Full Monty, Peter Pan, The Wedding Singer and The Producers (Summer Repertory Theatre); and Company, Much Ado About Nothing and The Importance of Being Earnest (PCPA Theaterfest). He received Scenie Awards (StageSceneLA) for Sound Design in 2015 and 2017 and has been nominated for NAACP, Stage Raw and Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival awards.
Jamie A. Tucker (Stage Manager) is excited to return to SCR. He completed his MFA in dance, specializing in stage management, at UC-Irvine (1994), and his MBA in marketing from the University of Redlands (2014). He is currently a professor of stage management and production management at CSU-Fullerton. At SCR, he has stage-managed or assisted on more than 60 productions. Some of his favorites have been the world premieres of Three Days of Rain, The Violet Hour, The Dazzle, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow and Mr. Marmalade. His other favorites include Elemeno Pea, Jitney, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Crimes of the Heart, Fences, Anna in the Tropics, The Trip to Bountiful, A View from the Bridge, Chinglish, Death of a Salesman, Hamlet and The Light in the Piazza. He had the pleasure of working seven seasons on La Posada Mágica and six seasons at the helm of A Christmas Carol. If you can’t find him in the theatre, he is likely to be riding his bike through the canyons of south Orange County. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Moira Gleason (Assistant Stage Manager) is pleased to assist on this, her fourth production at SCR. She was recently production stage manager for American Maricachi, M. Butterfly and Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike. Gleason has worked in professional theatre for more than 20 years. She first worked at the Old Globe Theatre as education coordinator, in the shop building sets, as master sound operator and then settled into stage management. She has credits as production stage manager from San Diego Repertory Theatre, Molelo, as well as seven seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.