The Monster Builder
by Amy Freed
directed by Art Manke
May 5, 2017 - June 4, 2017

The Monster Builder logo

Rita and Dieter are thrilled to meet Gregor, the world’s most celebrated architect. His buildings rise from the earth like twisted post-post-modern megaliths. So why has he taken on the remodel of a decaying boathouse, a project that was supposed to go to Rita and Dieter? They’re ready for a confrontation, but nothing prepares them for the heart-stopping truth about their idol. Another outrageous comedy from the author of The Beard of Avon.

Previews: May 5-11, 2017
First Night: May 12, 2017
Regular Performances: May 13 – June 4, 2017

Recommendation: Suitable for high school and above. Contains adult language, smoke, fog and haze effects.

Running Time: Approximately ​​two hours and 10 minutes including one ​20-minute intermission.

Amy Freed is the author of The Monster Builder, Safe in Hell, The Beard of Avon, Freedomland and You, Nero, all commissioned or performed at SCR. Her other plays include Them That Are Perfect, Restoration Comedy, The Psychic Life of Savages, Still Warm and Claustrophilia. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (Freedomland) and the recipient of both the Joseph Kesselring Award and the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award (The Psychic Life of Savages). Freed’s work has widely been produced in a variety of houses including Arena Stage, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, The Flea, Goodman Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, The Canadian Stage Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. She lives in San Francisco, where she is an artist-in-residence at Stanford University.
Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Annie Abrams* (Tamsin) is making her SCR debut. Her recent theatre credits include Miss Mackintosh in The Sunshine Boys, opposite Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch (Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre), Vanda in Venus in Fur (Ensemble Theatre Company), Brooke in Noises Off (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts), Ursula in Tickled Pink with Rita Rudner (Laguna Playhouse), Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Reprise Theatre Company), Clea in The Scene (Ensemble Theatre Company), Shana in Going Going Gone by Ken Levine (Hudson Theatre), Sybil in Private Lives (Grove Theater Center, Burbank) and Myrrhine in the premiere of Amy Freed’s Lysistrata (Stanford Summer Theater.) Her television credits include “Major Crimes,” “Weird Loners,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “True Blood.” She is an L.A. native and received a BA in drama from Stanford University.

​​​​Aubrey Deeker* (Dieter) is making his SCR debut. He has appeared internationally in Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company) and off-Broadway in The Liar (Classic Stage Company). He is an affiliated artist at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., where he appeared in 13 productions including Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Stacy Keach’s King Lear (directed by Robert Falls) and the world premiere of The Liar by David Ives. His other regional theatre credits include the title role in Hamlet and Tom in The Glass Menagerie (Denver Center Theatre Company); Prior Walter in Angels in America (The Wilma Theater, Barrymore Award nomination); Boom (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Helen Hayes Award nomination); The Walworth Farce (Studio Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination); A Fox on the Fairway (Signature Theatre, Ken Ludwig world premiere); The Grapes of Wrath (Ford’s Theatre, directed by David Cromer); Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment (Round House Theatre); and productions at The Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Everyman Theatre and Theater Alliance, among others. His film and television credits include “The Man in the High Castle,” “True Blood,” “The Wire,” “The Mentalist,” “Backstrom,” “Castle,” “Crisis,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” Peter’s Plan, Distance, Leave No Marine Behind and The Seer. He received his training at North Carolina School of the Arts.

Colette Kilroy* (Pamela) previously has been seen at SCR in Absurd Person Singular, Silent Sky, The Homecoming, Safe in Hell, Tom Walker, Dimly Perceived Threats to the System, The Triumph of Love and Night and Her Stars. Her other West Coast credits include Lend Me a Tenor (La Mirada Theatre), Nighthawks (Kirk Douglas Theatre), Christmas on Mars (The Old Globe), Quills (Geffen Playhouse), The Real Thing (Pasadena Playhouse), The Scene and The Clean House (Ensemble Theatre Company), Two-Headed (John Anson Ford Theatre), Life During Wartime (La Jolla Playhouse) and Life Is a Dream (Los Angeles Theatre Center). Her East Coast credits include Julius Caesar (The Public Theater), Neddy (American Place Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (Baltimore Center Stage), Measure for Measure and The Winter’s Tale (New Jersey Shakespeare Festival) and The Miser and Sarcophagus (Yale Repertory Theatre). Her film and television credits include Finding Amanda, Me and You and Everyone We Know, David and Fatima, The Ice Storm, “Married,” “CSI: Miami,” “Numbers,” “Without a Trace,” “Medium,” “Judging Amy,” “The Profiler” (recurring), “Ally McBeal” and “Shannons’ Deal.” Kilroy received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

Danny Scheie* (​​​Gregor) previously appeared at SCR in 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, for which he won the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Award for leading actor). He played Lord Foppington in Freed’s Restoration Comedy at both The Old Globe in San Diego and California Shakespeare Theater, where he has acted for the last 13 seasons. He has acted at Pasadena Playhouse, A Noise Within, Trinity Repertory Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C., Asolo Repertory Theatre, Merrimack Repertory, Two River Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Zephyr Theatre, Z Space, Aurora Theatre Company, TheatreWorks, Magic Theatre, The Marsh, Marin Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre and Theatre Rhinoceros. He is the former artistic director of Santa Cruz Shakespeare, a professor at UC Santa Cruz, and holds a PhD from UC Berkeley. He received his Equity card playing Damis in Tartuffe at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

​​​Susannah Schulman Rogers* (​​​Rita) appeared previously at SCR in Three Days of Rain, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Man from Nebraska, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, On the Mountain, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Dazzle, Nostalgia, The Taming of the Shrew, Six Degrees of Separation and A Christmas Carol, as well as Pacific Playwrights Festival and NewSCRipts readings. Her recent theatre credits include All the Way on Broadway and at A.R.T., and the American premiere of You Will Remember Me at Hudson Stage Company. Her other theatre credits include Amy Freed’s You, Nero at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Arena Stage and productions at Yale Repertory Theatre, Roundabout Theatre, Hudson Stage Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Geva Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Barbican Theatre and the national tour of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Her film and television credits include “Younger,” “Mr. Robot,” The Diary of a Teenage Girl and the upcoming Trouble.

​​​​​Gareth Williams* (​​​Andy) has a career that stretches back 36 years, having gained his Equity card in a 1981 production of Little Mary Sunshine at the Burt Reynolds Theatre. He studied there with Charles Nelson Reilly, who insisted Williams move to New York City to study at HB Studio with the legendary Uta Hagen; he remained there for six years. A founding member of Naked Angels Theatre Company, he has worked with actors such as Laurence Fishburne, Marisa Tomei, Lili Taylor, James Gandolfini, Paul Giamatti and Matthew Broderick. He has been in world premiere plays such as Beth Henley’s Signature at The Actors’ Gang, Richard Greenberg’s Hurrah at Last at SCR and, most recently, The Last Vig with Burt Young. He has been in the West Coast premieres of Warren Leight’s Side Man with Mare Winningham at Pasadena Playhouse and Keith Curran’s The Stand In with Kristen Johnston. His film credits include Love After Love with Andie MacDowell and Chris O’Dowd (Tribeca Film Festival) and Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women with Annette Bening. Williams’ extensive television credits include “This Is Us,” “Masters of Sex,” “The Mentalist” and “Deadwood.” Two years ago, he started the production company Detroit Street Films.
Creative Team
Art Manke (Director) directed the world premiere of The Monster Builder at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland and its second production at the Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley. In 16 seasons at SCR, Manke has directed Peter and the Starcatcher, Bach at Leipzig, Noises Off, Taking Steps, three musicals for young audiences, numerous new play readings, and created choreography for half-a-dozen other productions. Elsewhere, his work has been seen at the Denver Center Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Pioneer Theatre Company, Laguna Playhouse, American Players Theatre and at A Noise Within, where he was a co-founder and former artistic director (1991-2001). A frequent guest lecturer at theatre schools across the country, he also directs for television, holds an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater, and is a five-time winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award. This summer, he will direct The Two Gentlemen of Verona for Santa Cruz Shakespeare and will continue to develop Pearl’s in the House, a new musical he has written about Pearl Bailey, with workshops at Ten Chimneys and Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Thomas Buderwitz (Scenic Design) previously designed The Whipping Man, Tartuffe (co-design with Dominique Serrand), The Whale, The Prince of Atlantis, The Trip to Bountiful, Three Days of Rain, The Weir, Crimes of the Heart, Collected Stories, The Heiress, Doubt, Pig Farm, Bach at Leipzig, Proof, A Delicate Balance, A Christmas Carol (15 seasons), But Not for Me and the 2007-16 Galas for SCR. He has designed for other theatres including the Shakespeare Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, Portland Center Stage, Intiman Theatre, Indiana Repertory, Artists Repertory, Laguna Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Reprise Theatre Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Rubicon Theatre Company, The Theatre @ Boston Court, A Noise Within, Antaeus Theatre Company, PCPA Theaterfest and San Diego Repertory, among many others. Buderwitz has received six Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation awards and three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle awards. His television designs include specials and series for every major broadcast and cable network. He has been honored with three Emmy Award nominations and an Art Directors Guild Award nomination. He is a proud member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829, and is adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts.

Angela Balogh Calin (Costume Design) returns to SCR where she has designed costumes and/or sets for more than 40 productions including Abundance, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Whipping Man, Rest, The Whale, The Trip to Bountiful, The Weir, Circle Mirror Transformation, Crimes of the Heart, Ordinary Days and The Happy Ones. She has designed more than 60 productions for Chautauqua Theater Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Old Globe, Pasadena Playhouse, Georgia Shakespeare, A Noise Within and many local theatres. She has worked extensively in film and television in the U.S. and Romania and has design credits with I.R.S. Media, Cannon Films, PBS, Full Moon Entertainment and Romanian Films. Calin is a resident artist at A Noise Within Theatre. She graduated with an MFA in set and costume design from the Academy of Arts in Bucharest, Romania.

Kent Dorsey (Lighting Design) is excited to return to SCR. His passion is co-creating new work. He has designed more than 30 world premieres for theatre, opera and dance and created more than 300 designs nationwide and internationally including scenery and/or lighting on 98 productions for San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. His New York theatre productions include Alligator Tales, About Time, The Cocktail Hour, Yankee Dawg You Die, Suds, Another Antigone and Silence. He has worked as both lighting and/or scenic designer for such notable directors as Jerry Zaks, Jack O’Brien, Ellis Rabb, Oskar Eustis, Adrian Hall, John Hirsch, John Tillinger, Brian Bedford, Edward Payson Call, John Rando, Tony Taccone, Richard E.T. White and Sharon Ott. He also has designed for most of the major resident theatre companies including The Kennedy Center, Ahmanson Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Los Angeles Theatre Center. His opera work includes scenery, projection and lighting design for the world premiere of The Conquistador (San Diego Opera). He also has designed for Chicago Opera Theatre, Palm Beach Opera, Opera San Jose and Virginia Opera.

Rodolfo Ortega (Original Music and Soundscape) is making his SCR design debut. He composed music and designed sound for Artist Repertory Theatre’s productions of Trevor, The Liar, Feathers and Teeth, Exiles and Intimate Apparel. For Profile Theatre, his credits include Blue Door, Lips Together Teeth Apart and Master Harold … and the Boys. Additionally, he has composed several musicals for Northwest Children’s Theater including Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and El Zorrito, which was recently published by Dramatic Publishing. He has composed for many of the productions at Santa Cruz Shakespeare including its recent productions of Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. He was commissioned to compose an all-Spanish language musical Óye Oyá for Teatro Milagro, which premiered this spring. Ortega was the composer for Denver Center’s productions of The Three Musketeers and Romeo and Juliet and Aurora Theatre Company’s production of The Monster Builder (San Francisco Drama Critics Award). For Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he composed the music for The Tenth Muse. He received his BA in music from the University of Arizona and his MA in music from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied piano and composition.

Ken Merckx (Fight Chorography) has choreographed fights and taught actors combat for film and television, theatre and at universities all across the country. He is presently a faculty member at AMDA College and Conservatory of Performing Arts (Hol lywood). He is the resident fight choreographer for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theater (Cleveland), Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and A Noise Within (Los Angeles). Merckx received his MFA in acting from University of Illinois and his BA in theatre studies from the University of Washington.

Ursula Meyer (Dialect Coach) is very happy to be back at SCR, where she worked on Pride and Prejudice, The Taming of the Shrew, Our Town and Cyrano de Bergerac. Her other regional credits include Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., The Old Globe, Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Santa Cruz Shakespeare festivals, San Diego Repertory and 15 seasons with Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Meyer received her MFA from University of Washington and an advanced diploma in voice studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she graduated with distinction. She is a current board member of the Voice and Speech Trainer’s Association and a designated Linklater teacher. She has taught at University of Washington, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz, Yale School of Drama and currently at UC San Diego, where she received the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007.

Lora K. Powell* (Stage Manager) is pleased to return to SCR after a long hiatus, having begun her career here as a production assistant almost 30 years ago. In the meantime, she has done several national tours including Blithe Spirit (starring Angela Lansbury) and Wicked. She also stage-managed An Act of God in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her Los Angeles area credits include Amélie, For the Record: Scorsese, Carrie The Killer Musical Experience, Wicked, The Producers, The Lion King, Harmony, The Scottsboro Boys, Backbeat, Seminar, Follies, Parfumerie, Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life, Satchmo at the Waldorf, Disney’s Aladdin—A Musical Spectacular and Scary Musical the Musical. Powell’s New York and Broadway credits include Annie Get Your Gun, Chicago, The Life, Annie and The Wizard of Oz. She also spent five seasons as production stage manager at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.

Sue Karutz* (Assistant Stage Manager) has been part of the stage management team at SCR for 20 productions, her favorites being the recent Moby Dick from Lookingglass Theatre Company and last season’s One Man, Two Guvnors. Elsewhere, she has toured with Robert Wilson’s The Black Rider (London, San Francisco, Sydney, Los Angeles), Wicked (Chicago, L.A., San Francisco), Les Misérables (U.S., Canada, China and Korea) and Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo (Russia and Belgium). She earned her Equity card off-Broadway on Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly. Karutz has stage-managed for Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Opera, Pasadena Playhouse, Falcon Theatre, Deaf West Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Alpine Theatre Project and The National Theatre of the Deaf, and is a staff stage manager at Disneyland.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Danny Scheie in THE MONSTER BUILDER. Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Annie Abrams and Danny Scheie in THE MONSTER BUILDER. Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Susannah Schulman Rogers, Colette Kilroy and Gareth Williams in THE MONSTER BUILDER. Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Susannah Schulman Rogers and Aubrey Deeker in THE MONSTER BUILDER. Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Susannah Schulman Rogers and Danny Scheie in THE MONSTER BUILDER. Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Susannah Schulman Rogers, Annie Abrams, Aubrey Deeker and Danny Scheie in THE MONSTER BUILDER. Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
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​Jean and Tim Weiss
Timothy and Marianne Kay

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