Cheryl L. West
) was born in Chicago in 1965. Her plays have been seen at Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Repertory, Indiana Repertory Theatre
, Arena Stage, The Old Globe, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Play House, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Off‐Broadway's Second Stage. Her plays include Last Stop on Market Street, Shout Sister Shout, Akeelah and the Bee
and Jar the Floor
She has written television and film projects at Disney, Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO, CBS, BET and is the Webby-nominated writer for the original web series Diary of a Single Mom
Lamont Dozier (music) I have written and produced over 54 #1 hits for The Supremes, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and a host of others, crediting me as one of the primary architects of the Motown sound. I am a BMI ICON Award winner, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame,
where I also received the 2009 Johnny Mercer Award. As a solo artist, I have earned platinum albums and also written songs for Alison Moyet, Simply Red, Boy George, Eric Clapton and Phil Collins, earning a Grammy Award, Brit Award, Ivor Novello Award, Golden Globe Award, and Oscar nomination for the song “Two Hearts.” You can find my complete bio at lamontdozier.com.
Paris Ray Dozier (lyrics) I am a composer/lyricist from Encino, CA. My credits include Hollywood Records, Disney (Singer/Songwriter, Producer); UPN’s “B InTune TV” (Musical Theme Writer, Co-Host); “Saturday Night Live’s” sports comedy website The Kicker (Composer). My father, Lamont, and I also collaborated on the musical Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money.
Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.
Kelley Dorney* (Madame Butterly/Grandma Posey)
I am so excited to be back at SCR after my run as Lucy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown this past summer. I’ve always been a huge fan of performing for young audiences and believe that y’all are the best kind of audience. I’m a member of the Imagination Machine and have spent the last 7 years teaching and encouraging students to write creative stories all over Los Angeles. So if you remember those paint splattered overalls, you might have already seen me! Several years ago I toured the United States with two other children’s shows: Click, Clack, Moo and Fancy Nancy/Duck For President. And I got to live out my own childhood dream by performing on Disney Cruise Lines with Mickey Mouse and my personal favorite, Goofy.
Karole Foreman* (Nana Teacake)
Hello, Karole aka Nana here. I was born in Morocco, Africa, and grew up in so many different places, including New Hampshire, Virginia, Pennsylvania, but mostly San Diego, California. My father was an officer in the Navy, and he and my mother were stationed in Morocco when I was born. Because of my father’s military service we moved around a lot when I was a kid. Because of the constant moving I was very shy and found it hard to make friends. I would spend a lot of time in my room making up stories and songs, drawing, and just living in my imagination. One day, for a school assignment, I wrote a detective story. I was really nervous to stand up in front of the class and share my story because I had never spoken in front of people before. Much to my surprise, everyone loved my story! They laughed at all of the jokes, gasped out loud during the suspenseful parts, and everyone applauded and cheered at the end. What a feeling! It was great to feel accepted and appreciated by so many people. When I got into junior high, I took a puppetry class and discovered the joy of creating characters and telling stories. I continued to take drama and music classes throughout high school, in addition to my academic courses, and discovered my passion for theatre and storytelling. I went on to get a graduate degree in theatre at Cal State Long Beach, and I have had a successful career as a professional actress. Theatre and the arts are wonderful ways for us all to connect as human beings and to learn more about ourselves and each other. Through the performing and visual arts, I think we can begin to see and imagine all of the wonderful possibilities of what our world can be!
Klarissa Mesee* (Teen Girl #1/Mrs. Chow)
It’s so nice to see you again! I’m thrilled to be back, performing live, at SCR! I fell in love with theatre at age 7, when my mom took me to see my first musical. I loved it so much that she signed me up for the next show at our community theatre. When I was 12, I started school at the Orange County School of the Arts, where I learned how to sing, act and dance. More importantly, I made my lifelong friends there. We even traveled together to New York City and took summer musical theatre classes at New York University. I graduated from UCLA, where I studied theatre, film and television. After that, I started performing all over LA at theatres like Moonlight Stage, The Magic Castle, McCoy Rigby Entertainment at the La Mirada Theatre, East West Players and Chance Theater. My top favorite shows were performed right here at SCR in Amos and Boris and 4000 Miles. I also used to be a principal entertainment vocalist at the happiest place on earth, where you could see me painting maps and hanging with my very good friend, Mulan, in Mickey and the Magical Map. When I’m not performing, I enjoy working with youth audiences! I’ll be assistant directing a production of Mary Poppins JR in the spring that I’m so excited for! I love being able to teach kids about theater and enjoy seeing their faces light up when they perform. I hope you enjoy the show! @MissKlariss
Christopher Mosley* (CJ)
I was born in the city of Houston, Texas, where I would spend summers with my friends playing football and putting on neighborhood performances. When I was in sixth grade,
I made puppets for a play and fell in love with theatre because it brought me so much joy. I continued to study musical theater at CSU Fullerton, and after that, have been able to travel the world singing, dancing, and acting in shows like The Little Mermaid. Believe in yourself, work hard, and follow all dreams!
Monika Peña* (Teen Girl #2/Jojo)
Hi, friends! I’m so glad you’re all here. I’ve always loved singing and dancing, and I’m excited I get to do just that for you today! You may have seen me at SCR before in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day or A Christmas Carol. Or maybe you’ve seen me as Rhonda in Fancy Nancy at Chance Theater! But today I hope you’re just as excited as I am to join my friend CJ on a ride to the Last Stop On Market Street! We’re going to have so much fun together!
Tony Sancho* (Tatted Man/Vernon)
Hi! A lot of people don’t know this, but I began my career as a visual artist. Just like in this play, my neighborhood didn’t have a lot. My school didn’t have an arts program or even playground. One day, a teaching-artist who gave us a sculpting workshop asked if any of us had a portfolio. I didn’t know what that was. She explained, “It’s a collection of your art work.” I had one and didn’t even know it! After that, she asked me if I’d like to take free art class. There, they taught me to draw, paint, and design murals, but I didn’t become an actor until later. In college, I took acting classes for fun, and I fell in love with performing, because I realized actors are a living piece of artwork. On TV, I’m usually cast as bad guys, which makes playing these characters fun. You may have seen me on “Bones,” “NCIS,” “East Los High” and “Snowfall.”
Dony Wright* (Mr. Dennis)
Hello, my name is Dony Wright, I am a proud Los Angeles native and am delighted to be joining the South Coast Repertory family making this stage home. I’ve performed in a number of plays and have had musical appearances around the West Coast, including Sister Act, The Little Mermaid and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. A few of my more recent and favorite credits include being Elsa’s and Anna’s father King Agnarr in Frozen Live, a season regular on the Showtime series “Roadies” and singing background vocals and appearing in Pharrell Williams’ smash hit “Happy.” After attending Santa Monica College with a heavy interest in vocal and theatre training, followed by Bellevue University, I’ve continued to focus on creating the perfect balance of sound and stage by marrying my deep passion for acting with my love for music. @donyvano
Oanh Nguyen (Director)
I am an Orange County-based director. Much like CJ does in Nana’s neighborhood, I found a community of interesting, fun, and kind people through my work and experiences in the theatre. Directing shows is like visiting a new neighborhood every time, allowing me to make new friends and build new communities for each story. As the director for this show, I was lucky enough to collaborate with all these wonderful artists onstage and off to tell you this lovely story today. In addition to directing, I have been a performer. In the film Two Brothers, I portrayed the role of a young, spoiled prince that found himself in the jungles of Cambodia, riding elephants and searching for wild animals, specifically two sibling tigers. I also played the role of a kung fu instructor for kids in the film Rush Hour 3, except one of my students was one of the tallest people in the world. And, a little while back, I did the voices of a variety of people in the video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Shammy Dee (Music Director)
Growing up, I loved making music and playing music. I taught myself how to DJ, make beats, and rap. I was always performing—school plays, youth groups, you name it. I kept it up when I went to UCSD for college. I performed with friends, DJ’ed lots of events, and worked on plays. Now I get to do these things professionally! My experience as an actor, artist, and DJ came together when I was asked to be a music director for a play a long time ago. I had to teach actors how to DJ, make beats, and perform raps. It was like the school of hip hop! For this play, I help the actors with what they are singing and make sure it all sounds good. That way, the music will sound great to you.
Kelly Todd (Choreographer)
I was born in Los Angeles and have lived here almost all of my life. I went to UCLA, where I studied theater, and now I am a professor of theater at Pepperdine University. I work mostly as a choreographer which means I get to be in charge of all of the dancing! I always danced as a little girl, but I didn’t start seriously studying dance until I was 15 years old, which is considered late in dance, which just proves you can try new things at any age and become successful!!!
Fred Kinney (Scenic Design)
I build the models and create the drawings that the carpenters and the painters make into the scenery that you see on stage. This is my 11th production at SCR. For past shows, I also designed various locations that Nate the Great traveled to in order to unravel the mystery. On another show it was a marsh for A Year with Frog and Toad, the scaffold playground that lit up for Pinocchio, the forest for Robin Hood, the Elephant for The Emperor’s New Clothes, New Duck City for Lucky Duck and three worlds and an evil brain for A Wrinkle in Time. When I was a small boy, I thought I might become a painter, sculptor or an architect. But in high school, I started to design the scenery for school productions and really enjoyed it—and I still do. I’m the proud father of Kate and Gigi, who will be seeing Last Stop on Market Street with their good friend Elizabeth.
Adriana Lambarri (Costume Design)
When I was a kid, my interests were drawing and all things theater-related. I also liked playing dress-up and took Halloween very seriously. (I still do!) Turns out, I could combine all the things I loved into a job, so I went to Academy of Art University in San Francisco to study fashion design. One day, an actor friend asked if I could help him design costumes for a movie he was making, which I did and LOVED. I haven’t stopped designing costumes since. Now, I get to tell stories with other designers through clothing. Sometimes, I design for theater, and sometimes for film. My first professional theater gig was sewing in the costume shop here at SCR. In addition to designing, I also illustrate for costume designers if they need extra help. (Sketching can be hard!) I hope you enjoy the show as much I enjoyed designing it!
Tom Ontiveros (Lighting Design)
I was first introduced to theatre when I performed in The Hobbit in my hometown of Whittier. In high school, I followed in my brother’s footsteps and volunteered to operate the lighting console for the school plays. I attended college at UC San Diego to study biology but found myself much more involved with my theatre interests and soon turned my attention to lighting and set design. After 13 years of designing and touring internationally from San Francisco to New York to Paris and Romania, I returned to UC San Diego and received my MFA degree in design. I continue to design lighting and projections for the performing and visual arts from my home base on Mt. Baldy, CA, where I live with my wife and 6 children. I teach design and theatre history at the University of La Verne.
Jeff Polunas (Sound Design)
I’m so excited to be sound-designing this production at SCR. I have designed many young audiences shows, most recently Naked Mole Rat and Nate the Great here at SCR. I love making new sounds from ordinary things to help create magical worlds and textures. I think it’s really fun to have sound come from speakers or from microphones that are smaller than my fingernail. I think sound is unique because it is the only design element that you can’t see. There are times when I am in some new place and I just close my eyes and listen to all the wonderful sounds our planet has to offer.
Leia S. Crawford* (Stage Manager)
I’m a stage manager, which is basically like a party planner, but instead of a birthday, I organize a whole show, like this one you are sitting in the audience for! Anytime you see the lights change, the set move, or hear a sound effect, I told someone to do that. Sometimes my job means telling actors when they need to be somewhere, kinda like a parent telling a kid to go catch the bus before it leaves. But sometimes my job just means taking lots and lots and LOTS of notes. I’ve stage managed the Story Pirates, who tell stories written by kids and Kaiser Permanente, who do shows at schools like, Amazing Food Detective and What Goes Around. My favorite subjects in school were geography and English. For fun, I like to read lots and lots of books and blow raspberries on my dog, Loh Loh’s belly.
(Assistant Stage Manager
I work in theatre today because I went to lots of plays when I was young, just like you are today. You can’t see me, because I’m backstage, dressed in all black, making sure everything that you do see works just like it’s supposed to work. I used to perform a lot, but then I decided what I love the best is helping ALL the parts of a show work together to tell a great story, which is what stage managing is all about. I’m also going back to graduate school right now, studying business and arts management, to help work towards a world of theatre where everyone can be included, everyone’s stories can be told, and artists and theatre workers feel great doing their jobs. I have two daughters who love theatre too, and am excited to be spending my semester break helping create this story for you.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.