Meet the Cast: "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience"

Tania Thompson
 | Feb 04, 2019
The Cast of Naked Mole Rat

Melody Butiu, Daniel Bellusci, Gina D'Acciaro, Joel Gelman, Nicole Cowans and Marqell Edward Clayton in ​Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience.

Six actors transform into a colony of naked mole-rats in the fun musical Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience (through Feb. 17, Theatre for Young Audiences), adapted by Mo Willems from his book. He’s the author of other beloved books including Knuffle Bunny and the Elephant and Piggie series. The cast members love the songs, the fun costumes, the cool set that looks like an underground tunnel—and they love bringing this story about acceptance to life.


Daniel Bellusci
Character: Wilbur J. Mole Rat Jr.
SCR credits:
This season, I was in another young audiences show called Nate the Great and I played Nate, a kid detective! Last season, I was in two shows here—one for young audiences, Ella Enchanted: The Musical (as a prince!) and one called Little Black Shadows, where I played a teenage boy in the American south just before the Civil War.
What I like to wear:
My most favorite fashion choices include light-colored Adidas soccer pants, with a button-up shirt with any kind of fun pattern. I love to combine casual with a bit of class!
My favorite animal:
Lions! When I was a kid, I thought they were so beautiful and majestic (I still do!).


Melody Butiu
Character: Grande
SCR credits:
A Christmas Carol, Ivy + Bean: The Musical, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment (where I played a mom, a sea captain, a native girl and an octopus expert!)
Other things I’ve done include:
“NCIS: LA,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Gotham” and “Modern Family.”
What I like to wear:
My fashion choice for rehearsals is usually colorful pants, my pink tennis shoes and a comfy sweater. I like comfortable clothes I can dance and rock out in.
My favorite animal:
I didn’t have many pets growing up but, for a brief time, I had a turtle that I named Badger because we found him on a camping trip in Badger Lake in Oregon. I brought him to school for show and tell and even shared custody of him with my friend, Bert.


Marqell Edward Clayton
Character: Venti
SCR credits:
I’m making my debut here!
Other things I’ve done include:
Disneyland and a pre-Broadway national tour of Ain’t Too Proud.
What I like to wear:
I love wearing boots with cuffed jeans. I wear this combo everywhere—including to parties, church, work and even on holidays! It’s my #1 g​o-to outfit. It’s often accompanied by various forms of collared shirts. My favorite collared shirt has elephants and giraffes on it and reminds me of a safari!
My favorite animal:
I didn’t have pets growing up, well, except for a few fish that the biggest fish in the tank ate. I’ve always loved tigers though; love their size, stripes and subtlety.


Nicole Cowans
Character: Tall
SCR credits:
I’m over the moon to be making my debut here!
About me:
I have an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, and studied lots of theatre elements including acting, singing, clowning, masking and dancing. I’m Afro-Latina and speak English and Spanish.
What I like to wear:
My favorite fashion choice is an earth or jewel tone off-the-shoulder shirt, dark or black capris​-cut exercise pants and classic Converse shoes. I like to be comfy and active, but still feel sexy and stylish!
My favorite animal:
When I was a kid my favorite animal was the mythological creature called the Phoenix. Why? Because it's magical and can be reborn from its own ashes. It’s still one of my favorites!


Gina D’Acciaro
Characters: Weather Mole, Potential Customer, Secret Service Mole
SCR credits:
The Light Princess, another young audiences show.
Other things I’ve done include:
“Nip/Tuck,” The Sticks, “The Agency” and “The Fur is Gone.”
What I like to wear:
Heels and hoop earrings shaped like hearts! If I’m wearing jeans, a fun colorful pair of high heels and my heart hoops make for a very good day!
My favorite animal: My favorite pet as a kid was my cat named Guido. She was my best friend. She had a crooked tail and her head always tilted to the right. And she was perfect.


Joel Gelman
Character: Stark Naked Mole Rat, Grand-Pah
SCR credits:
Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and two young audiences shows, The Light Princess and Ella Enchanted: The Musical.
Other things I’ve done include:
“Modern Family” and “Henry Danger.”
What I like to wear:
I'm most comfortable and confident in jeans and a sweatshirt—and some wicked-cool sneakers!
My favorite animal: I've always loved the duck-billed platypus because they look like a mythical creature, but they're real!!

Learn more about Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience and purchase tickets.