CAST & PRODUCTION BIOS
Anna Lyles (Rosaline) is an actor, musician, and painter from Florence, South Carolina. This is her second journey with The Ballad of Romeo and Juliet. Prior to that, she produced and performed as Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Toy Boat Community Arts Space in October of 2017. She is highly passionate about collaborating with other artists in the Asheville area, and she is thrilled to be working with The American Myth Center.
Bill Chameides (Preacher) is thrilled to walk the boards with the extraordinary American Myth Center. Bill's theater credits include appearances Off-Off-Broadway and numerous regional theaters. Among his favorites: Permanent Collection (Paul), ITheater Collaborative, Phoenix; Fool For Love (Old Man) and All’s Well That Ends Well (King), Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival; and Peachtree Battle (Sherwood), the longest running show in Atlanta's theatrical history. In Asheville he was recently seen in the Montford Park Players' Shakespeare In Love. Movie credits include: Trois: The Escort and The Sugar Creek Gang. Bill holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, trained at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival.
Julia Christgau (Mercutio) is an actor, filmmaker, teaching artist and NYC native. She recently co-created and starred in her own short film, Whistle Down Wind, which is current on the festival circuit. Other recent work includes: Regional Theater: The Flick (The Warehouse Theater), As You Like It (NC Stage) NYC Theater: Svetlyachki (IVP), Three Sisters (HIT), Soul of the Sea (Linked Dance Theater), Lovesick (Project Y) and many more. Film: Kingsnake (2019), Lonely Road (2018), In the Hollow(2016), The Greenroom (Pilot, 2017), and Fish, Hook and Eye (2015). She’s also been seen on domestic and international tours with singer/songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling. She would like to thank this incredible family of artists at AMC for making her feel most welcome and supported. Playing Mercutio has been a wondrous treasure. She would also like to thank her partner and animals for making life so warm.
Claudia Sturgell (Understudy) - is proud to be back working with AMC for the second time. Some of her previous roles include Hermia in A Midsummer Nights Dream, and Margaret in Sense and Sensibility. She is an activist and avid reader, and is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of such a unique production.
Daniel Henry (Tybalt/Paris) is ecstatic to be returning to the American Myth Center as Tybalt/Paris again. Last year’s production was full of enjoyment and wonder, and this year has been even better! He is happy to be back home in Asheville. He moved back after a couple years living in Charlotte after graduating from Mars Hill University with a BA in Theatre Arts. He also recently returned from a summer intensive in New York City at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Some other roles you might have seen him in include: Jeff in Lobby Hero at 35 Below with Ellipsis Theatre Company, Juror 5 in 12 Angry Jurors with Different Strokes, Tommy in Doll with The Magnetic, Thomas in The Alabama Story with Different Strokes. He thanks all of his supporters, friends and family alike. Enjoy the show!
Simone Snook (Lady Capulet/Lady Montague) is a Co-Founder of the American Myth Center and played the Tour Guide in their inaugural production of An Appalachian Christmas Carol. As a member of Signal Ensemble Theatre in Chicago, Simone’s many roles include May in Fool for Love, Miss Amelia in The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Anita Pallenberg in Aftermath, Samantha Martin in Aces, Jennifer in Hostage Song, Daphne in Lascivious Something, and Elena in Butcher. Other Chicago credits include Dancing at Lughnasa with the Irish Theatre of Chicago, Noises Off! and The Melville Boys with Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with First Folio Shakespeare Festival, Hunger with Lifeline Theatre, and Escanaba in Love and Design for Living with Circle Theatre, the latter for which she was nominated for a non-Equity Jeff award. Simone studied theatre at Goldsmiths College at the University of London and earned her BFA in Theatre Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University. She also studied improv and writing at Second City and is a graduate of the Black Box Academy. Many thanks to her family and friends for their ongoing support, and especially to Aaron, Matilda, and Ralph.
Jeff Untz (Capulet/Montague) is honored to be a member of the ensemble production, The Ballad of Romeo & Juliet. Stage credits include Little Shop of Horrors, giving voice to Audrey II, Casanova in Camino Real and Interieur as The Old Man. Loves and passions are God, Life, his wife Carolyn, family and friends, his Golden Retriever Trooper, Carolina Basketball and acting. Pursuits: Happiness, guitar, living well and in the present and the perfect White Russian. Regarding this production: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." ~Abraham Lincoln
Ryan Patrick Miller (Understudy) is a student at UNCA and an actor in the Asheville community. This is Ryan’s second journey with The Ballad of Romeo and Juliet. Previous credits include Rapunzel's Prince (Into the Woods), Joe Pitt (Angels in America: Millennium Approaches), Jean Paul Marat (MARAT/SADE), and Lucientio (Taming of the Shrew). He'd like to thank the amazing creative team and cast behind this production!
Carter Bostwick (Juliet) is very excited to be working in the Asheville theater community! This is her second journey with The Ballad of Romeo and Juliet. Carter grew up with San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre and earned a BFA in Theatre Performance from Chapman University. Her stage credits include Spring Awakening, Rent, Merchant of Venice, and The Importance of Being Earnest. Thanks to all the awesome friends in Asheville who have supported Carter’s journey in the mountains!
Shawn Morgenlander (Romeo) is absolutely delighted to return to the role of Romeo with the AMC. Shawn attended Northwestern University, then lived and performed in Chicago and toured with the National Players and the Adirondack Shakespeare Company. She is currently based in the Triangle, where she most recently played #14 in The Wolves at Sonorous Road Theatre. Shawn can also be seen opposite good Mercutio (aka Julia Christgau) in "Whistle Down Wind," a short film by Julia Christgau and Andie Morgenlander, now on the festival circuit. Find her online at www.shawnmorgenlander.com.
Sonia D’Andrea (Benvolio/Nurse) is an Asheville native. Sonia has been performing in local theatre for over a decade. She has been previously seen with Different Strokes in Alabama Story, Othello, and The Clean House, and with the Montford Park Players in The Importance of Being Earnest, Troilus and Cressida, The Taming Of The Shrew, Timon of Athens, Othello, Coriolanus, Richard II, Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, Love's Labors Lost and Cyrano de Bergerac. When not onstage Sonia is an avid singer, cat lover and amateur cook. Thank you so much for being here; enjoy the show!
Cody Lovell (Monty) is excited to be involved in his first production at AMC! After moving to Asheville in 2017 and working as Music Director/Skszp for Hedwig and the Angry Inch with Toyboat Community Arts Space, he’s been performing as a singer songwriter around town and released his Different People EP in December of 2018. He is hopeful to start acting around town with regularity in the near future!
Aaron Snook (Adaptor/Director) is a North Carolina native who, prior to moving back to his home state, spent 14 years as a theatre artist in Chicago. With a BA from Duke University in Drama and English and an MFA from Northwestern University in Theatre Directing, Aaron co-founded the AMC in 2016. Love and gratitude to Simone, Matilda, and Ralph.
For more information: snooktheatre.com
Elizabeth Bagby (Petra, Music Director) is delighted to be returning to AMC. Previous music direction/composition: The Dancing Plague (Right Brain), The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen (Strange Tree/Steppenwolf Garage Rep; best of NY Fringe 2014), Shakespeare's King Phycus (Strange Tree), Practical Anatomy (Sansculottes). Stage: The Dead Prince, Goodbye Cruel World, The Spirit Play, The War Plays, Hey! Mr. Spaceman!, The Mysterious Elephant (Strange Tree); The Next Thing, ACES, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Ballad of the Sad Cafe (Signal Ensemble); Dead Children, People We Know (side project); The Illusion, Chalk, The Designated Mourner, The Castle (Right Brain); Matawan, All Saints' Day (The Ruckus); Patriot Act III: Rise of the Machines (Sansculottes); many others. TV: Chicago Fire. Bagby studied physical theater at the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy, and was one of 27 international artists to take part in the 2014 Arctic Circle Arts & Sciences Expedition, a residency aboard a tall-mast ship exploring the glaciers and fjords of Svalbard. She fronts Liz + the Baguettes (check them out on Spotify!) and plays bass for The Unswept.
Caitlin McLeod (Costume Designer) is ecstatic to be back bringing this story to life in Asheville, with the American Myth Center. Caitlin is a costume and scenic designer, puppet enthusiast, traveler, and dreamer. Most recent credits include: The Great God Pan (Chicago Fringe Opera), Chicago, Men on Boats (Hollins University), Seussical (Drury Lane), Stellaluna (Northbrook Theatre) , Beauty’s Daughter (American Blues Theatre), along with many assistant credits (Marriott, Drury Lane, Lookingglass Theatre). She is also a co-founder of the Chicago based costume crafts business Craftiga. Outside her work in traditional theatre, Caitlin utilizes art as a catalyst to break the mundane through street art, performance art, and toy theatre. She earned her MFA at Northwestern University.
John O’Neil (Stage Manager) is excited to be a part of The Ballad of R & J with American Myth Center! A 2016 graduate from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a Bachelors in Drama where he focused on design and stage management, John has most recently stage managed “Into the Woods” and “The Sunset Limited” in rep with Theatre UNCA. John’s other stage management credits include “Scrooge No More” at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” with Theatre UNCA. When not doing theatre, his job is to show middle school students UNC Asheville as the Junior Bulldog Program Coordinator with the Pre-College Outreach department of Admissions and Financial Aid. John wants to thank Aaron for this opportunity, his cast for their love, and his family and friends for their continued support.
Grace Siplon (Assistant Director) received a degree in drama from UNC Asheville in the Spring of 2019 and is pursuing a career in directing. In the Asheville community, she has directed Metamorphoses and Medea at UNCA, her original works The Stratford Sessions and A Giddy Thing with her own student company, and The Taming of the Shrew with Montford Park Players. She also directed The Art of Remembering at the Park Theater and Much Ado About Nothing with One Song Productions. She is honored to have worked with the American Myth Center and to have been a small part of its exciting future.
The American Myth Center would like to thank the following fine folk for this production: Garry and Sharon Snook, Stephanie Hickling Beckman, Alex Smith, Jon Fillman, Dana Frankel, Janelle Wienke and the rest of the Asheville Area Arts Council, the UNC-A Theatre Department, Erin Makara, Jamie McDowell, Jennifer Burger, Carla Hollar, the Awesome Foundation, and the many donors to the Show Truck GoFundMe campaign.
The AMC would also like to thank all those involved in the previous workshops at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Chicago, including the Midnight program at OSF and the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Finally, a super special thanks to Jessica Thebus and Michael Rohd whose mentorship made the AMC possible.