LAURA LUNDY-PAINE (Artistic Director)
Laura is the Artistic Director for Virago Theatre Company, where she directed the inaugural production of Threepenny Opera. Other Virago credits include Candide, A Taste of Honey, and Sonia Flew, along with the world premieres of A Bed of My Own, The Afterlife of the Mind, and Beekeeper. Other directing credits include the 20th anniversary Bay Area production of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches for Theatre Shark, Sight Unseen for Lunacy Stageworks (Portland, Oregon), the world premiere of Anatomy at The Next Stage, the staged reading of original musical Wink by Maureen Bogues at Theatre Rhinoceros, and Shivaree for Paula Productions (Portland). Laura is also an actor, she performed most recently in Virago’s 2013 production of George Pfirrmann’s AROUSAL and Harold Pinter’s The Lover. In March 2014 Laura will direct Top Girls for Custom Made Theatre Company. Laura received her training at Pomona College and through the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
ANGELA DANT (Managing Director)
Angela is one of the founding members of Virago Theatre Company. She has performed in several Virago productions - as Jiggy in Mankind’s Last Hope, as Creosote the Clown in The Death of Ayn Rand, as Mrs. Peachum in Three Penny Opera, as Clovis in Dream of a Common Language, and as Linda in The Hermit Bird. Angela has also directed staged readings of The Edge and An Hour in Time for Virago’s New Play Reading Series. Angela received her theatre training at Cal State East Bay, and has performed around the Bay Area and abroad since leaving college. Some favorite Bay Area roles include Jessie in ‘night Mother, Susie in Wait Until Dark, Jack’s Mother in Into the Woods, and Ismene in the U.S. premiere of Maria Lampadaridou’s Antigone. An acting highlight for Angela was performing at the 1994 Edinburgh Theatre Festival in Beauty and the Beast and The Commander of Ocaña. Angela teaches Physical Theatre and Improvisation for Virago’s Theatre Conservatory, and has taught theatre classes for Alameda Children’s Musical Theatre, California Theatre Center with Will Huddleston, and various elementary and high schools in the Bay Area.
ROBERT LUNDY-PAINE (Resident Director)
Robert is an actor, director, puppeteer, playwright and a founding member of Virago Theatre Company. As a puppeteer Robert toured throughout North America with Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre as Baba Yaga, Petrouchka, and was the Frog Narrator in the UNIMA citation-winning production of Jumping Mouse. Robert’s acted with Portland Center Stage, Tygres Heart Shakespeare Co., Shakespeare in the Parks, San Jose Stage Co., Shakespeare at Stinson, Altarena Playhouse, The 450 Geary and many others. Robert toured Florence, Italy with Shakespeare et Firenze in productions of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Robert’s spent many years teaching and directing young actors including Alameda Children's Musical Theatre’s Production of Peter Pan and wrote an original musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. In Portland, Oregon, Robert wrote and directed the original productions of Hayhurst in Cyberspace and The Dragon of Hayhurst using over 100 young actors. Robert wrote and directed An Original Christmas Carol for the Altarena Playhouse and Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus for the 2001 San Francisco Fringe Festival. Robert directed Virago Theatre Company's production of Orphans, and the world premieres of John Byrd's The Death of Ayn Randand Zombie Vixens from Hell the Musical, Dan Brodnitz and Jeff Green’s Mankind’s Last Hope, William Shakespeares Taming of the Shrew, and the Operas, La Boheme and Madama Butterfly.
SUSAN DUNN (Development Director)
Susan has a varied background in Bay Area Theatre, having served on the boards of the Hillbarn Theatre and Altarena Playhouse where she has also served as president. She has held the following staff and managerial positions at Altarena and Berkeley Playhouse: Patron Services, Box Office, Volunteer Coordination, Concessions, Grant Writer, Events Planning, House Management and Historian. On the artistic side she has been a Production Manager, Stage Manager, Props and Costumes Assistant on productions at HIllbarn and Altarena. Her most recent project was the 75th Anniversary Events for Altarena Playhouse, for which she delivered a completed archives library, a Fundraiser Gala Reunion, and a museum exhibit at the Alameda Museum. Susan’s professional background is an extensive career in IT Systems Design and Management for Airlines and Banks, with a speciality in
reservations systems design.
LISA BUSH FINN (Resident Choreographer) Lisa created choreography for Virago Theatre’s productions of The Threepenny Opera, The Death of Ayn Rand, Mankind’s Last Hope, and Candide as well as for Alameda Children’s Musical Theater’s productions of Peter Pan, Alice and High School Musical, and for Jasper Productions’ Anatomy. She is also a performer and has appeared in the works of several Bay Area choreographers, including Nina Otis Haft, Carol Kueffer Moore, Dana Lee Lawton, Randee Paufve, Jill Randall, and Alisa Rasera. Lisa earned her B.A. in Dance from Bennington College. Subsequently, during her 15 years in New York City, she was a member of the Wendy Perron Dance Co. while also performing nationally and internationally with many other choreographers and performance artists there. In NYC, her own choreography was presented at Movement Research and at University Settlement. Lisa currently teaches early childhood music in Alameda for East Bay Music Together® and is also a teaching artist at local schools through the Creative Education Institute. Lisa would like to thank her kids, Connor & Emma Finn, and her husband Chris Finn for their generous support.
DONALD CURRIE (Resident Artist)
Donald is a Resident Artist at both Virago and Boxcar Theatre. Credits include productions at Virago, Theatre Shark, Theatre Rhino, Boxcar Theatre, and New Conservatory Theatre. Donald's most recent role was Sandy at The Cutting Ball Theater's production of Sidewinders.
EILEEN MEREDITH (Resident Music Artist)
Eileen, a soprano, is a co-founder of Virago Theatre Company. Eileen has sung lead roles in Virago's Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, La Boheme, Candide, and The Threepenny Opera. Next Eileen will sing Leonora in Il Trovatore, 2014. Eileen's performing credits include San Francisco Opera, West Edge Opera, Verismo Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, and more. Concert highlights include solo engagements with San Francisco Sinfonietta, and with the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall. She performed in Yosemite's Bracebridge Dinners for several years, and has won awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Eileen teaches private students, music classes in school, and directs musicals for young people. Soprano Olivia Stapp is Eileen’s teacher.Clips of her singing are available on YouTube.
GARY QUINN (Technical Director/Resident Stage Manager) Gary Quinn is the Technical Director and Stage Manager for Virago Theater. Gary taught theater arts (practical technical theater and design) for fifteen years at Skyline High School, Oakland’s magnet school for the performing arts, and supervised the renovation of what became the Rawley T. Farnsworth Theater with Tom Hanks’ support. Gary studied history at UC Berkeley (and later earned an MA in history from SFSU), but was also very active in Cal’s Theater Department. Gary has worked for such theater companies as Theater Rhinoceros and Berkeley Opera. He has been clowned at by students of the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theater in Blue Lake, CA. Gary lives in Oakland with his little dog Scooter.
Dennis Chowenhill Ed. D. (Resident Dramaturg)
Dennis began working as dramaturg in 2010, after retiring from a three-decade career teaching college English and literature. His first theater work was on productions at Chabot College—Frank Galati’s The Grapes of Wrath (musical director and dramaturg), Othello (dramaturg), and Particulate Matter (dramaturg, writing coach working with the playwright/director Rachel LePell). He has also worked in children’s productions, assisting in the adaptation of a text of Macbeth, and as assistant director of an adaptation of Louis Sachar’s Holes, for which he wrote and performed original music. This spring he was dramaturg for the Virago production of Melinda Lopez’s Sonia Flew. Dennis received training in dramaturgy at the Berkeley Repertory Theater. In his post now as Resident Dramaturg for the Virago Theatre Company, Dennis is eager to deepen his study of theater and continue assisting company members with the contexts, cultures, and language of dramatic literature
VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM AND SLEEPING BEAUTY OR COMA! By Charles Busch
LIVE OAK THEATRE, BERKELEY MARCH 29-APRIL 19TH
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