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By Brian Robin

Veterans, Newcomers Create “Wonderland”

When he was working as a founding Artistic Director of Davis Shakespeare Festival, Rob Salas was named one of the best young directors in the region by Sacramento News & Review. Before then, Salas worked as an assistant director for three SCR productions—One Man, Two Guvnors, Completeness and Doctor Cerberus.

Now, Salas makes his SCR directorial debut with Alice’s Wonderland, book, music and lyrics by Julia Riew and J. Quinton Johnson, conceived by Linda Chichester and David Coffman. The Theatre for Young Audiences and Families production runs Feb. 10-25 on the Julianne Argyros Stage.

Currently SCR’s Artistic Coordinator, Salas is a Mexican American director who has directed plays at Capital Stage, Play On! Shakespeare, Stockton Civic Theater and New Village Arts. He has worked as an assistant director at Berkeley Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Utah Shakespeare Festival. The Harvard (BA) and UC Irvine (MFA) graduate leads a talented artistic team that is a blend of newcomers and SCR veterans.

Music Director Shammy Dee returns to SCR two years after directing the music for the 2022 Theatre for Young Audiences and Families production of Last Stop on Market Street. He also served as music director for Poor Yella Rednecks by Qui Nguyen. Dee has also music-directed and composed for productions at East West Players, American Conservatory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and The Old Globe. Primarily known as a DJ, Dee has played for such brands as Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Dior, Adidas and Burberry, along with sharing the stage with Grammy Award-winning artists Kendrick Lamar and Diplo.

Shaun Motley (Set Designer) last designed scenery at SCR in 2012 for August Wilson’s Jitney. That was Motley’s second Wilson play at SCR, with Fences in 2010. In between, he designed the set for Topdog/Underdog. Motley has designed sets at many of the country’s regional theatres, including Signature Theatre in New York, East West Players, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory, Chance Theater, the Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, among others. Motley has also worked as an art director and production designer for television, including numerous game shows such as “Spin the Wheel” (FOX), “Card Sharks” (ABC), “Let’s Make A Deal” (CBS) and “The Wall” (NBC).

Costume Designer Alexis Chaney makes her SCR debut. She believes in the power of costume as a tool for storytelling. Her theatre credits include Lookingglass Theatre Company, Indiana Repertory, Pittsburgh Playhouse, IAMA Theatre Company, Geffen Playhouse, East West Players and Raven Theatre, among others.

This is Lighting Designer Jesse Portillo’s first SCR production. He has designed for Pioneer Theatre Company, Arizona Broadway Theatre, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, PURE Theatre and Ancram Opera House, among others. Portillo was the resident lighting designer at Plan-B Theatre Company for 10 seasons and is currently an assistant professor at Cal Poly Pomona. Previously, Portillo served on the faculty of the University of Utah and the College of Charleston.

Sound Designer Andrea Allmond returns for her second SCR production, after making her SCR debut on Nina Simone: Four Women in the fall of 2022. The UC Irvine graduate has also worked at Center Theatre Group, Geffen Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, Theatre Aspen, Village Theater, McCarter Theatre Center and Fountain Theatre. She has designed off-Broadway at Daryl Roth Theatre. Allmond is also a composer, DJ and music producer.

Projection Designer Hannah Tran makes her SCR debut. Her credits include Lincoln Center, National Queer Theater, Huntington Theatre Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Laguna Playhouse and the Ojai Playwrights Conference, among others. She will return to SCR in the spring as the assistant projection designer to Yee Eun Nam on Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical.

Brigette Dunn-Korpela brings a deep and varied background to her role as choreographer, adding SCR to a list of credits that includes works at L.A. Dance Festival, REDCAT, Day for Night Geffen @ MOCA, Echo Society-Family VI, Taste of Soul/Dance All Day Festival, BlakTina 5 Dance Festival, Visual Artist Group, Plaza Del Sol Performance Hall, Jazz on the Lawn, Multicultural Arts Center-Cambridge and Mobius-Boston. As a performer Dunn-Korpela served as dance captain and dancer swing on the first National U.S. Tour of The Lion King, and as part of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, performed at the Kennedy Center, Guggenheim Musium, Brooklyn Academy of Music, NJPAC in New Jersey, Aaron Davis Hall in New York and the Gomhouria Theatre of the Cairo Opera House in Egypt, among others.

About the author

South Coast Repertory

South Coast Repertory is a Tony Award-winning theatre is known for producing classics, contemporary hits and world premieres, for having the largest new-play development program in the nation and for advancing the art of theatre in service to the community. 

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