Meet the Cast: "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"


by 
Tania Thompson
 | Nov 12, 2019
The Cast of Alexander
THE CAST: Mitchell Gerrard Johnson, Austyn Myers, Cristina Gerla, Janna Cardia, Ricky Abilez, Robert Collins and Monika Peña.

Seven actors portray nearly 20 different characters in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Nov. 8-24, 2020, Theatre for Young Audiences). The cast members love singing, dancing and acting—and the magic and joy of telling stories on a stage. They bring a range of credits and experience to their performances here at SCR including working at Disneyland in Mickey’s Magical Map and on Broadway and in the national tour for Les Misérables. Read on to meet the cast.


Abilez,-Ricky

Ricky Abilez
I portray Paul. He’s a sassy firecracker—full of energy and he likes to be the best at everything. He has a lot of friends, but his best friend is Philip. It used to be Alexander. But his best friend changes all the time. It will probably be Alexander again soon.
My SCR credits include
The Velveteen Rabbit.
My other credits include
Frederick at MainStreet Theatre Company.
I love being in young audiences shows
because they’re always a blast to work on and performing for kids is the most fulfilling experience! The best part is hearing what kids think after the show! It makes all our hard work worth it.
The fun thing about this show
is working with this cast and crew—they’re all super talented. We show up ready to work, but more importantly, we’re ready to have fun! We make each other laugh and we’ve become a family pretty quickly. It’s hard to have a terrible, no good, very bad day at rehearsal!
When I was growing up, I loved the Dr. Seuss book,
Green Eggs and Ham, mainly because I love the color green and was obsessed with the idea of green eggs. But, as I've grown older, the story to me is about embracing the unknown. Sam-I-Am teaches us that being open to things that seem foreign or different is essential to living a happy, full life and that a simple meal can be commonly shared among creatures of all shapes, colors and sizes.
My most vivid memory from first grade
is my friends and I playing The Wizard of Oz every day at recess! There were no limits to our imagination! I was always the scarecrow. We’d follow the yellow brick road while everyone else was on the playground or playing kickball.
My worst day as a kid
was the day my parents told me they were getting a divorce. I didn’t understand what they meant at the time and I thought I had done something wrong. The idea of having my mom and dad in separate houses seemed like the most awful thing that could happen. But, everything turned out okay—it had nothing to do with me or my siblings. My parents love us more than anything and they’re so much happier now! I have two wonderful step parents and they all get along. I’m blessed to be loved so much.
“If I were in charge of the world, I would….”
get rid of hate, solve world hunger, stop climate change and destroy cockroaches!


Cardia,Janna

Janna Cardia
I portray Alexander’s mother. She’s very sympathetic, loving and nurturing. She’s also stressed out at times, frustrated other times and constantly multitasking as she tries to keep the household running smoothly.
I also portray Mrs. Dickens
, the creative arts teacher. She is deeply passionate about teaching and encouraging her students to sing, draw, and be kind and respectful to others. Even though Mrs. Dickens is supportive of her students, she sometimes becomes impatient with Alexander’s erratic behavior.
This is my SCR
debut!
My other credits include
The Music Man, Cinderella and The Wizard of Oz (all national tours), Victor/Victoria, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Fiddler on the Roof, Into the Woods, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” and 12 Days of Christmas.
I love being in young audiences shows
because the crowd is so excited and energetic! For some of these audiences, it is their first time ever seeing theatre and I feel so grateful to share the gift of theatre with them.
The fun thing about this show
is that it’s not a fairy tale, like most kid shows, and I like that. I like how Alexander deals with a very universal experience and, at the end of the day, there is no genie or fairy godmother to fix it. I think it is a realistic portrayal of things maybe not going perfect and yet tomorrow is another day, so you can always pick yourself up and try again!
When I was growing up, I loved the Where’s Waldo book
series. I loved looking at all the little pictures and scenarios. And, of course, I loved it when I could find Waldo.
My most vivid memory from first grade
was because I didn’t know how to spell “Girls” on my first day of first grade…and I walked into the “Boys” bathroom!
My worst day as a kid
was when I begged my mother to wear my white Easter dress to school and I accidentally got red marker all over it. The dress was ruined and I got in big trouble!
If I were in charge of the world
, I would….” have parents not be in a bad mood for no reason!


Collins,-Robert

Robert Collins
I portray Dad, Dr. Fields and the Shoe Salesman. All three of these characters are completely different and are supposed to be representations of how kids see certain adults in their life. Dad is definitely this all-American, loving father figure whom the kids always run to when Mother tells them no. Dr. Fields is the neurotic, scary dentist whom kids don’t like going to see. Let’s be real though, even adults don’t like going to the dentist! The Shoe Salesman is the coolest guy you will ever meet. He is the flashiest, slickest and smoothest cat who ever lived. He makes all the kids feel powerful and confident with the new kicks they can show off at school.
This is my SCR
debut!
The fun thing about this show
is that we get to explore how it was to be a kid again. Even though I play an adult through the whole show, it is still fun to help create a life for the kids and remembering what it used to be like being a kid.
When I was growing up, I loved the classic Dr. Seuss books.
The pictures were always what captivated me because I love drawing.
My most vivid memory from first grade
was when we got painting time for being good in class. I always would try to be on my best behavior so that I could get time painting because it’s what helped me express myself.
My worst day as a kid was
—OUCH!—when I was playing tag at recess, I wasn’t looking and I ran into a tether ball pole. I ended up having the biggest knot on my forehead because I hit it so hard. I still have an indentation on my forehead because of it.
“If I were in charge of the world, I would….”
make it so that every school had an amazing arts program so that kids could express themselves creatively.


Gerla,-Cristina

Cristina Gerla
I portray Audrey, Philip Parker, a koala bear and a shoe sales clerk. Audrey aspires to be the top student in Mrs. Dickens’ first grade class. Later at recess, I play Philip and while he loves the cupcakes his mom packed in his lunch, he doesn’t share with Alexander, which is not so nice. I have a lot of fun as a friendly koala in our Australia adventure and as a sassy sales clerk at the shoe store.
This is my SCR
debut!
I love being in young audiences shows
because being creative is really important for us and for our community. Theatre, especially, helps us practice working together, listening to each other and exploring both failure and success in a safe and supportive environment. So it’s a joy for me to share my passion for theatre with young audience members—some of whom are attending a performance for the first time—and, hopefully, get them excited about theatre too!
The fun thing about this show
is that everyone is so talented, enthusiastic and kind. We have a great time together on and offstage.
When I was growing up, I loved the book The Little House
by Virginia Lee Burton. I made my parents read it to me almost every night and I always carried it with me on family trips. I must also give honorable mentions to The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and Grandma and The Pirates by Phoebe Gilman.
My most vivid memory from first grade
is the bi-weekly science unit we had. I learned how to take care of our class vegetable garden, plant seeds in soil, clean pennies and track the progress of the chicken eggs we hatched. Every science lesson was a bit of an adventure!
My worst day as a kid
was on a whale-watching field trip. A seagull swooped down to the boat and stole my brown bag lunch. And, even though I didn’t eat, I still got seasick. I don’t think we ended up seeing any whales, either. Overall, it was a pretty unfortunate day.
“If I were in charge of the world, I would….”
make certain that we all took better care of each other and of our Earth.


Johnson,-Mitchell-Gerrard

Mitchell Gerrard Johnson
I portray Nick and Albert. Nick is Alexander’s brother and picks on him constantly with their oldest brother, Anthony. Although they tease Alexander a lot, at the end of the day, they love him. Albert is a kid who likes to have everything planned out.
This is my SCR
debut!
My other credits include
Mickey’s Magical Lamp (Disneyland).
I love being in young audiences shows
because I love being able to tell a story that kids can relate to. It really allows us to have fun while we create the show!
The fun thing about this show
is working with the cast and Kari Hayter, the director. We all have so much fun together!
When I was growing up, I loved the book
Mitchell is Moving by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. It was about a dinosaur that was moving and his best friend and next door neighbor was upset about it but it ends with the neighbor building a hut right next to his! I mainly liked it because my name was in the title!! I still have this book and read it every time I move.
My most vivid memory from first grade
is playing with my toys for hours and creating stories with them—and I was constantly told to put them away.
My worst day as a kid
was when I went on a trip with my family and my parents kept scolding me because I was being bad. I remember going to look at something and, when I turned around, my family was gone! I thought they forgot about me or left me on purpose. I was lost for what felt like hours, but it ended up being only 15 minutes. I was SOOO happy to see my family again. I was good the whole rest of the trip.
“If I were in charge of the world, I would….”
have free French fries for everyone every Friday!


Myers,-Austyn

Austyn Myers
I portray Alexander.
This is my SCR
debut!
My other credits include
Les Misérables (national tour, plus the 2004 Broadway revival), Newsies, Meet Dave (opposite Eddie Murphy) and performances at The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, La Mirada Theatre and Moonlight Amphitheatre.
I love being in young audiences shows
because I love storytelling and getting to create theatre.




Pena,-Monica

Monika Peña
I portray Anthony, Becky and a kangaroo! Anthony is one of Alexander’s older brothers and, although he may like to tease Alexander, I think he also cares for him a lot. My second character, Becky, is Alexander’s classmate. They’re friends at school, but she doesn’t quite care for some of his antics. And lastly, I play a happy, hopping kangaroo living the good life in Australia!
My SCR credits include
A Christmas Carol (2018).
My other credits include
Fancy Nancy (Chance Theater).
The best thing about being in young audiences shows
IS the audience! Seeing and hearing the kids' reactions are the best. Especially when they leave the show not just entertained, but inspired.
The fun thing about this show
is the music. The score has a lot of variety when it comes to style and is incredibly silly and fun!
When I was growing up, I loved Jon Scieszka books
due to their dark illustrations and odd, silly stories. But, my favorite book in sixth grade was a spooky one by Betty Ren Wright called The Dollhouse Murders.
My most vivid memory from first grade
is playing with little plastic shapes, no bigger than two quarters stacked in your palm. There were pentagons in green, squares in blue and triangles in yellow, and I liked them so much that I wanted to take them home and play with them so I put them in my pocket. My teacher saw and told my mom and that's when I learned what stealing was! Oops!
My worst day as a kid
was at summer camp when we went on a field trip and played team games. First, my team didn’t win the scavenger hunt and I was super bummed. Then, on the bus ride back, one of the older girls took my spot on the bus AND I got in trouble by my teacher for telling her it wasn't fair! Hmph!
“If I were in charge of the world, I would….”
make every school have an arts and music department.

Learn more about Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and purchase tickets.