• Role Call: Meet the Cast of "A Christmas Carol"

     | Nov 15, 2018

    A family reunion of sorts happens each year at this time—when more than a dozen actors return for A Christmas Carol. Hal Landon Jr. (Scrooge) and John-David Keller (director; Mr. Fezziwig) have marked all 38 years of this iconic production. The years add up for other Christmas Carol veterans, as well. Continue reading to learn more about your favorite cast members and the main characters they portray.

    Blinkoff,-Daniel-castNAME:​ ​Daniel Blinkoff

    Role: Bob Cratchit
    Notable: 1​6th consecutive year.
    Backstory: “I had been cast in my first SCR show (Nostalgia by Lucinda Coxon) in 2001 and we shared the backstage area with the Christmas Carol cast. I remember walking into the theatre to get ready for my show and it was like a wave of holiday cheer came rolling over me. The hallways were filled with kids and excitement and laughter. Parents were wishing their kids good luck for the day’s performance and leaving treats in the Green Room and there were snippets of stories drifting out of the dressing rooms. To put it simply: it felt magical. Sometimes, I would watch the show from backstage. So when the call came from SCR a year or two later offering me the part of Bob Cratchit, I jumped at the chance.”
    Bob Cratchit is: “One of the things I love about Bob is how grateful he is for his family. They are his world, the moon and sun to him. But the key for me, that allowed me to fully understand this overwhelming gratefulness, was Tiny Tim. Just within the story itself, as it is written, the idea that Tim might not get better, that this innocent boy might not be blessed with a full life, has always informed me of the heart that Bob carries. Another key for me, in figuring out who Bob is, comes from the kids we have in the show each year. The qualities they bring to their characters and their unique portrayals make our family complete. And my wonderful partner, Jennifer Parsons (Mrs. Cratchit), and I get a new set of kids every year! We always have a lot of fun as a family in rehearsal and performance. We feel pretty lucky to receive that gift every year.”
    How A Christmas Carol speaks to me: “The meaning of this play gets deeper every year and the relationships grow; so what started out for all of us, at some point, simply as a job, ​has now become a tradition. The relationships ​expanded out to include the ​theatregoers who come every year and the kids who came to the show when they were young and now are bringing their own kids. So it’s more than just the play; A Christmas Carol has become a tradition in all of our lives, our Christmas celebration and everyone associated with it has become our family.”
    Favorite Memory: “One year, during the final performance, Tiny Tim pulled my costume sleeve and asked me not to go on. When I asked him why, he said, ‘If you go out there it will mean it will be over soon.’”
    Most Delightful Aspect: “The joy in this show starts with John-David Keller, our director. He sets the stage for it, literally and figuratively. I have never known a person who takes more delight in the telling and sharing of stories. His laughter is contagious and his heart is always open."

    Melody ButiuNAME:​ ​​Melody Butiu

    Role: Toy Lady, Sally, Scavenger
    Notable: Her Christmas Carol debut.
    SCR credits include: mainstage and young audiences productions including the world premieres of Shipwrecked! and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow. She also was in the musicals Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells and Ivy + Bean. On Broadway, she appeared in Doctor Zhivago and off-Broadway in Here Lies Love.
    Other credits include:
    “NCIS,” “NCIS: LA,” “The Kominsky Method” “Gotham” and “Modern Family.

    Sol CastilloNAME:​ ​Sol Castillo

    Role: Fred, Gentleman
    Notable: His Christmas Carol debut.
    SCR credits include: Castillo is well-known to SCR audiences for his appearances in the eight-year run of La Posada Magica. He also appeared in several young audiences productions here.
    Other credits include: the national tour of Veteranos: A Legacy of Valor, CalShakes, Plaza de La Raza, Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Pasadena Playhouse.

    Daniel,-Gregg_CastNAME:​ ​Gregg Daniel

    Role(s): Jacob Marley’s Ghost, Gentleman
    Notable: His ​eighth season.
    Backstory: I joined A Christmas Carol​, when my daughter was eight years old. I was touched, grateful and terrified as I took on the role of Jacob Marley, whom beloved SCR actor Don Took had been doing for decades. Of course, director John-David Keller and the cast could not have been more inviting, supportive and kind.
    Marley’s Ghost is: “Lost. He’s a lost, tormented soul who has damned himself as a result of his avarice, selfishness and pride. He occupies a torturous place in the afterlife in that he can find no rest. What torments him is that he can see all the things he might have done to help ease the suffering of others while alive, but he merely stood idly by and did nothing. The pity is he no longer has the power to change anything. Yet, with all his failings, Marley is given one more chance to save his friend, Ebenezer Scrooge.
    Challenges and Opportunities: “As an actor, I want to make sure each performance is as fresh, compelling and uplifting as it was when I first took on the role. Many of our audience members have made A Christmas Carol part of their holiday traditions, so I’m humbled and inspired to be part of that. We also have a new group of children every year. While undoubtedly the kids are having the time of their lives, I also want them to understand the discipline, professionalism and hard work that go into delivering eight shows a week. In my own way, I try to be a role model for them through the work I do.”
    Best memory: “When my daughter first came to see the show, with several of her school chums no less! There was an undeniable pride she took in seeing her Dad (as dreadful as I look as Marley!) helping to tell this wonderful story in such a splendid production. Since then, she has learned all the songs in the show as well as all of my lines. I think she stands ready to replace me when I retire!”
    How A Christmas Carol Speaks to Me: “The play reminds me of the charity, good will and humor that individuals display to one another during the holidays. A Christmas Carol reinforces my belief that humankind can be startlingly generous and capable of magnificent acts of kindness.”

    Doyle,-Richard-CastNAME:​ ​Richard Doyle

    Role(s): Solicitor, Spirit of Christmas Past, Gentleman
    Notable: His 3​5th year.
    Backstory: “​I first took the roles of The Ghost of Christmas Past (originally played by John Fredrick Jones), a solicitor and a guest at Fred’s Party. Later, I played many different roles including Fred, Mr. Fezziwig and Joe, the cider man.
    Spirit of Christmas Past is: “​The first of the spirit guides, who ​starts Scrooge on his journey of self-discovery. He awakens in Scrooge an awareness of all the goodness in his life and that those whom he encountered may have been positive influences. The Ghost foreshadows what is to come and, though there are heartfelt moments that Hal and I enjoy exploring, there also are difficult memories that Scrooge must confront—about his own complicity in the life he has had. The goals of The Spirit of the Past are summed up in his opening dialogue, as he states, ‘I have come to reawaken your Humanity. Let me but touch your heart and you shall be upheld in this and much, much more.’ This is a rewarding and challenging set of objectives for me to pursue each performance.”
    Challenges: “Coming back to the show each season and reinvesting in its goals and objectives, has the same effect on me that I hope it is having on our returning and new audiences. Oh, plus getting the bulk of my holiday shopping done before we start performances.”
    Favorite Moment: “Surely you jest—there are so many over the course from more than 30 years! But, one that does stand out for me, with a clear impression and moment of existential clarity, was the year that my daughter, Sarah, and Hal’s daughter, Caroline, both appeared in the show. OMG! Sarah now has her own child, whom I am sure will be attending A Christmas Carol in the not-too-distant future.”

    Knox,-Alex-castNAME:​ ​Alex Knox

    Role(s): Undertaker, Ebenezer as a Young Man
    Notable: His sixth show. First cast while an SCR Theatre Conservatory student.
    Backstory: “The first time I was in the show, I was 12 years old and played Peter Cratchit. Then in 2012, some 19 years later, I reconnected with John-David Keller when he saw me here in Eurydice. A couple years later, I was asked to join the cast as Ebenezer as a Young Man. It’s truly a dream come true to return to the same production and company where I learned to love theatre.”
    Ebenezer as a Young Man is: “In my mind, he is driven by a deep need to belong. As a kid, he’s an outcast. As he gets older, he pursues work and financial gain, believing that success will somehow shield him from the pain of not being loved. Working at Fezziwigs, he embraces Marley’s ruthless business practices. He falls in love with Belle, but his obsession with work, which he thinks will protect him, ironically drives away the person he cares about. After that, it's clear why he forgoes human relationships—they’re too painful.”
    Challenges and Opportunities: “I love finding ways to make the scenes new for myself. I try to surprise myself or put a new thought in Young Ebenezer's head before coming onstage. I’ll give Young Eb a mantra or a specific goal for a specific performance. I also love when new people join the cast.”
    Most Delightful Aspect: “Being in rehearsal is wonderful! J.D. [Keller] is engaged with every run through and inspires me​. Hal [Landon Jr.] also gives it his all with every rehearsal. He sets the bar high. I love getting to watch him and model my version of Ebenezer off of him. It’s wonderful to see family and friends who come see the show and visit with them after. Working with the kids is special, too. When I played Peter Cratchit, I looked up to the adults in the cast. Now that I’m on the other side of the equation, I hope I can be a good mentor and resource for those just starting their journeys!”
    Favorite Memory: “I remember being in the show as a child and the quiet backstage before the show would start. I remember noticing the distinct shift from the lighthearted energy backstage to focus and reverence, followed by the burst of life and playfulness when the lights came up onstage. Something about that in-between space felt so powerful and sacred. It still feels that way.”
    Message of the Play: “To me, this play is about what it means to be alive. It’s about finding ways to make life better for those around you—that is what frees us from pain and fear and lets us open our hearts.

    Koustik,-Art-castNAME:​ ​Art Koustik

    Role(s): Joe, Ensemble
    Notable: His 38th year. An SCR Founding Artist
    Backstory: “My history with A Christmas Carol began with the adaptation that was written by Jerry Patch for the 1980 holiday season. [Founding Artistic Directors] David Emmes and Martin Benson cast the production and I originally was Mr. Fezziwig and Joe, the cider man.
    Joe is: “Definitely a man of the street. In the days depicted in this production, nothing was easy for people on the street. There is an element of being a thief among thieves in Joe and he’s definitely a conniver. Every one of that stratum of life in Victorian England was out to get whatever they could by any means. Joe, however, did have a soft spot for the people he dealt with. As Joe says, ‘Hard on the outside, soft and warm on the inside.’ I guess that’s one reason they cast me as Joe; I looked like Joe more than anyone else!”
    Challenges and Opportunities: “This play has given me an opportunity to give back to the community; a gift, if you will, for audiences’ loyalty and recognition of our work to bring great theatre to everyone. The challenge comes in keeping it true and joyous.”
    Most Delightful Aspect: “Every year there are new people who jump aboard our beloved steamrolling train. They add so much to the production and that makes their contributions priceless. I also find delight in the consistency of Hal Landon in this awesome task as Scrooge every year and, ​in every performance, ​in John-David’s joy and commitment to the production and, in particular, with the younger members of the cast.
    Message of the Play: “The message is universal about the hope and transformation of the human spirit.”

    Landfield,-Timothy-castNAME:​ Timothy Landfield

    Role(s): Wreath Seller, Spirit of Christmas Present
    Notable: His 1​9th year with the show.
    The Ghost of Christmas Present is: “​The essence of pure joy and abundance. He represents the joy and goodness and spirit of generosity that Christmas can be. His mission is to make Scrooge realize the potential for these things, to get him to change his ideas about what Christmas means, and hopefully, have Scrooge embrace this spirit of goodness and generosity and, yes, even love. Oh, and I’m part of the ensemble ​and portray a chimney sweep, a wreath seller, a basket seller and an inebriated gentleman in the street.”
    Challenges: “As I have matured in the role, the performance has become more challenging physically. I used to enter through the trunk upside down, but then SCR built a new and heavier costume for me, so I had to change my entrance. ​But, even though I am older now, the character still permits me to dance and be a little silly.”
    Opportunities: “Every year I get to embrace the Christmas spirit earlier than most people, as we begin rehearsals in early November. When I first started performing in the show, my daughters were ages 3 and 5. Christmas means so much to our family, but with young children, it means even more. When I remember Christmas morning with my children, I am immediately moved by the capacity for human beings to feel so much love and joy in their lives. It’s important to remember that this feeling can endure throughout the year.
    Most Delightful Aspect: “When we start rehearsals​, there is a sense of family…a new family that gets created every year to spread good cheer every night. The audience takes a journey with us as they watch one man transform from someone who is stingy and uncaring to someone who is generous and kind. This potential is within all of us: to be kinder human beings. What an honor it has been to spread this message on an annual basis.”
    Favorite Memories: “Some of my favorite moments in the show are when Scrooge and I are together watching the other characters in their scenes. No one knows this….but Hal Landon and I improvise quietly in character during our time together on stage. It helps us both focus and we get to express our character’s inner feelings about the real meaning of Christmas. In addition, I bring a group of my students from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts to the show each year and it has been so validating to have my students in the audience. They get to see a sillier side of their mostly serious acting teacher, Mr. Landfield!”

    Landon-Jr,-Hal-castNAME:​ ​Hal Landon Jr.

    Role: Ebenezer Scrooge
    Notable: Originated the role of Ebenezer Scrooge 39 years ago; is an SCR Founding Artist
    Challenges and Opportunities: “The main challenge now is keeping the performance fresh after all these years. Being in A Christmas Carol has been a great lesson in the value of living in the present moment, of not being concerned with past moments and not anticipating future moments. This has helped me not only in this long-running show, but also in all of the other parts I play.”
    Most Delightful Aspect: “What delights me most is the delight that audiences get from seeing the play and the fact that adults, who saw the play when they were children, are now bringing their children.”
    Favorite Memory: “My favorite memories come from the two years that my daughter, Caroline, was in the play as the Girl About Town. And this year, my granddaughter, Presley, is cast as Tiny Tim."
    Message of the Play: “The message of this play is the same for me as it is for everyone: that there are people in need and we who are able must help them. This is particularly evident now in the light of all the recent natural disasters.”

    McGuire,-William-castNAME:​ William Francis McGuire

    Role(s): Gentleman, Mr. Fezziwig
    Notable: His 11th year in the show.
    Backstory: “I first did A Christmas Carol nearly 20 years ago and played the Ghost of Christmas Present. I had a wonderful time with the role and it was the first show I was ever in at SCR. About 8 or 9 years ago, I was asked to play Fred this year, I've taken on the role of Mr. Fezziwig."
    Opportunities: “Because so many performance components are already in place, I am able to explore individual moments more deeply and look to discover fresh and deeper truths. It’s a great opportunity to revisit moments that I feel can be improved and uncover new understandings in the text. Also, as new people join the show in different roles, the energy of a scene will shift and moments will change based on the different choices they make.”
    Best Memory: “Something that really stays with me is not so much a memory, but the feeling of camaraderie I experience with our cast. We all come back and do this show year after year because we love doing it and we love sharing it with our audience. I think we all feel honored to part of something we consider pretty special.”

    Jennifer ParsonsNAME:​ ​Jennifer Parsons

    Role(s): Mrs. Cratchit, Rich Woman
    Notable: Her 1​6th year.
    Backstory: “I am a little afraid to tell you my history with A Christmas Carol, because I was first cast in it in the 1980s as Belle. This probably tells you that I might be a little long in the tooth to play Mrs. Cratchit, but I figure they aged more quickly in Dickens’ time, right? In 2004, my good friend Devon Raymond, who had been playing Mrs. Cratchit​; moved away. I think they called me because I could fit the costume. We are very close in size.”
    About Mrs. Cratchit: “I like to think of Mrs. Cratchit as a warm, loving and fun Mom who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She tries to make the best of things, knowing full well their situation is bleak. There isn’t much detail written into the role of Mrs. Cratchit in this play, but over the years some of the kids have helped me with her back story. Suffice it to say, I think Mrs. Cratchit’s real name is ‘Katniss’.”
    Challenges and Opportunities: “Let me start with the opportunity part. It seems every year something has ​happened in the world that is coloring the psyche of the audience in a specific way. Some nights you can feel it. We get to tell this story and give them hope that goodness and understanding will eventually win the day. The biggest challenge is to open some closed eyes. My fear is that the folks who really could make the ‘Scrooge adjustment’ in their own life will feel absolved of their sins for simply enjoying Hal and the rest of us for a couple hours. ​Another fun challenge for me is recognizing some of the kids who have graced this production in prior years! They come backstage to say, ‘Hello,’ and while I look basically the same and am pretty easy to name, they keep morphing into these terrific young adult people. Last I saw some of these grown-ups they were hoping for a Hello Kitty thing or Star Wars Legos for Christmas!”
    Best Memory: “My favorite memory is not that wholesome, but here it goes: One year in rehearsal, my Cratchit kids and I decided we were tired of walking the straight and narrow, so we pretended to be smoking cigarettes around the Cratchit table. The plan was that when we heard Bob come in, we would quickly toss our ‘cigarette butts’ into the fireplace lest we be discovered. However, when Bob came home, our Tiny Tim was found with a cigarette still in hand. Bob exclaimed, ‘Tiny Tim! Do you smoke?’” And Tiny Tim replied, Sam Spade-style, ‘Sure, I’ve been smokin’ all my life. That’s why I’m so tiny.’”
    Most Delightful Aspect: “​Comes from working with the kids that come through this production. I am grateful they share some of their life with us backstage each year​; I learn from them. I also love working with some long time, great friends…and with my spouse, Richard Doyle!
    Message of the Play: “Don’t be a greedy, selfish old miser who punishes all who cross his path. Scrooge is a universal phenomenon and, if we are truly looking, we see it played out all around us constantly. Scrooge is lucky though, he gets a warning, a ‘karma preview’ if you will, and is moved to change his ways. I hope the show moves the audience to be introspective and spend some time considering how we treat the ‘least of these.’”

    Schindele,-Erika-CastNAME:​ ​Erika Schindele

    Role(s): Laundress, Belle, Scavenger
    Notable: Her ​eighth year with A Christmas Carol.
    Backstory: “I’m a native of Orange County and grew up seeing this beautiful show with my family. I never dreamed I would be so privileged to join the cast one day”
    About Belle: “As with most of his characters, Dickens makes a statement just by her name: Belle, which is French for beautiful, lovely or good. Like most of the people who inhabit Scrooge’s life, characters like Belle are there to highlight specific moments, shed light on his choices and, perhaps, be a cautionary tale. Belle is love—pure and romantic. She helps Ebenezer as a Young Man look past himself, if only for a brief time, to someone else. She gives the audience a window into the potential of his heart and his humanity. She is strong and fights for both of them, even as she sees him slipping away. The two scenes with Belle are so starkly contrasting; the more human and vulnerable she makes Ebenezer feel—at the Fezziwig’s party where they fall in love—the more inhuman and cold it is to see Scrooge choose money over their love.”
    Challenges and Opportunities: “I take great pride in trying to be open every year to the newness of it all. And there are new things, including new children and young actors; I want to be receptive to them—who they are​ and what they bring to the show. Hopefully, I’ve grown as a person and an actor in the span of a year and I try to bring that to the table with me. Also, I look to Mr. Patch’s text and ​Dickens' book to find words and phrases that might bring new life to my performance. I read somewhere that Hal rereads the book every year. I love that tradition and have tried to do that as well. I can still learn things about Belle that’s what can give me more insight.”
    Most Delightful Aspect: “What brings me absolute delight from being in this production is a sense of the Christmas spirit, family and celebration. Those who know me, know how I much I love Christmas and that this holiday is about traditions; so many families have made this production their family tradition and it is an honor for me to be a part of that. Also, to be able to spend the Christmas holiday in a cast and at a theatre that feels like home is special. I look forward to this every year.”
    Message of the Play: “Hope, transformation and redemption. Scrooge’s journey throughout this story is humbling.The compassion Fred has for his uncle is profound, the sacrifice and love the Cratchit’s share as a family is admirable and the humanity and love that Belle finds in Ebenezer as a young man is hopeful. It seems to me, now more than ever, the message of this story is much needed.”

    Kimberly ScottNAME:​ Kimberly Scott

    Role(s): Solicitor, Mrs. Fezziwig, Scavenger
    Notable: Her second time portraying these characters (made her Christmas Carol debut in 2016)
    SCR credits include: The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Our Town and the Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of Curve of Departure
    Other credits include: on Broadway in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (created the role of Molly and nominated for Tony and Drama Desk awards), Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theater, eight seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Love and Other Drugs, World Trade Center and The Abyss.

    Learn more and purchase A Christmas Carol tickets.

  • Meet "Nate the Great" Author Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

    Christina Cordano and Beth Fhaner
     | Nov 09, 2018
    Nate the Great Logo and Marjorie Sharmat

    Author Marjorie Sharmat.

    The History of Pancakes

    It’s no secret that Nate the Great loves pancakes. But did you know pancakes have been around for thousands of years and enjoyed all over the world? The earliest references to pancakes are in the plays of fifth-century BCE Greek poets Cratinus and Magnes. These pancakes were made for breakfast with wheat flour, olive oil, honey and curdled milk. In fourth-century BCE China, people enjoyed fragile cakes made from wheat flour. Playwright William Shakespeare even mentioned pancakes four times in two plays (in As You Like It and All’s Well That Ends Well)!

    Check out this link for more information on the history of pancakes.

    Born in Portland, Maine, in 1928, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat dreamed of becoming a writer. Little did she know that she would be the author of more than 130 books for children of all ages, which have been translated into 17 languages. Another of her childhood dreams, that of becoming a detective, has also been realized in her most popular Nate the Great series, begun in 1972. Many of Sharmat’s books have been Literary Guild selections and chosen as Books of the Year by the Library of Congress. Several have been made into films for television, including Nate the Great Goes Undercover, winner of the Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival Award. Nate the Great Saves the King of Sweden has been named one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. Sharmat lives with her husband in Tucson, Arizona.

    More on the Nate the Great Book Series

    The series of more than two dozen children’s books features Nate the Great, a boy detective who famously sports a trench coat and a plaid sleuthing cap. He solves mysteries with his dog, Sludge, who was introduced in the second case, Nate the Great goes Undercover (1974), when Nate finds him eating a stale pancake in a field. Both Nate and Sludge love pancakes.

    Author Marjorie Sharmat based the title character of the young sleuth on her father, Nathan Weinman, who was often called Nate by his friends. Other characters are named after some of Sharmat’s other relatives, and she’s admitted that many of the events in her books have been inspired by things that have happened to her friends and relatives.

    Books in the Nate the Great Series

    Learn more about Nate the Great, and buy tickets.

  • From Humbug to Hope: Anybody Can Change

    Tania Thompson
     | Nov 08, 2018
    Hal Landon in A Christmas Carol

    Hal Landon Jr. as Ebenezer Scrooge in SCR's first production of A Christmas Carol in 1980.

    During nearly 40 years portraying Ebenezer Scrooge, Hal Landon Jr. has logged more than a thousand performances in A Christmas Carol (Nov. 24-Dec. 24, Segerstrom Stage). But he says he’s never done working on the role.

    “I’ve spent time trying to figure out why Scrooge is the way he is and what makes a man shut down like that in terms of relating to the rest of the world and his obsession with money,” he says. “Over the years, I created an entire backstory for Scrooge. For example, he’s not just lonely when we see him on that Christmas Eve; he has felt the same loneliness throughout his entire life, which is something that, as an actor, I need to understand and respond to.”

    Landon imagines that Scrooge’s life totally changes after we leave him at the Cratchit home on Christmas Day.

    “He has a lot of money that he starts using for the common good. I like to think that his relationship with the Cratchits and with his nephew, Fred, becomes very close and brings all of them a lot of joy. Scrooge is a symbol of hope for all of humanity because he proves without a doubt that anybody can change.”

    Learn more about A Christmas Carol and buy tickets.

  • A History of Women in Politics

    Danielle Bliss
     | Nov 05, 2018

    Tracey A. Leigh ​as Rep. Sydney Millsap in Kings.

    In Sarah Burgess’s political comedy, Kings, currently playing on the Segerstrom Stage (through Nov. 10, 2018), women take on strong and important roles. While the plays' lobbyists and congresswoman are fictional, women have played pivotal roles throughout history shaping the world we currently inhabit. Read on to learn about the history of women in politics.


    Abigail Adams (1744 - 1818)

    Wife of President John Adams, she opposed slavery and was a strong advocate for women’s rights and education. Adams’ famous quote, “remember the ladies” led her to influence her husband not to “put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.”

    Hattie_Caraway_cph.3b11365Hattie Wyatt Caraway (1878 - 1950 )

    She became the first woman elected to serve as a United States Senator for a full term representing Arkansas. Caraway was the first woman to preside over the Senate and won the reelection to a full term in 1932 with the active support of Senator Huey Long of Louisiana.


    EleanorRooseveltEleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962)

    She served as First Lady for 12 years, the longest in history. Her work promoted Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration and her own public policy interests through the use of nationwide press conferences, radio segments and opinion pieces in newspapers. She ​created the activist role of the First Lady, and was later appointed a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly by Harry S. Truman (after FDR died). She also served as the first chairperson of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

    220px-Margaret_Chase_SmithMargaret Chase Smith (1897 - 1995 )

    She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress (House & Senate). She was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 1964 presidential election and the first woman to be placed in nomination for the presidency at a major party's convention. To date, she is the longest-serving Republican woman in the Senate.


    LandonNancyNancy Kassebaum (1932 - )

    Kassebaum was the first woman ever to be elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate without her husband having previously served in Congress. She was also the second woman elected to a Senate seat without it being held first by her husband. She was the first woman to represent Kansas in the Senate. 

    SandraDayOConnorSandra Day O'Connor (1930 - )

    Nominated by President Ronald Reagan, she was the first female Supreme Court ​justice. She was widely known for upholding states’ rights and was often a swing vote. She’s ​known for letting Roe v. Wade stand in a woman's right to abortion cases, rejecting challenges to the use of affirmative action in higher education and for writing the opinion reiterating that all U.S. citizens are entitled to due process in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld—in which she stated that “a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation’s citizens.”

    DianneFeinstinDianne Feinstein (1933 - )

    Feinstein has been California senator since 1992. During her time in the nation's capiral in this role, she’s helped create AMBER alerts and the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. She was the first woman to chair the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She ​was the first woman mayor of San Francisco.

    ruth_bader_ginsburgRuth Bader Ginsburg (1933 - ) Ginsburg was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She was the first woman to serve on two major law reviews (Harvard Law Review and Columbia Law Review). She was also the first tenured female Columbia Law School professor and co-author of the first casebook on sex discrimination. 

    madeleinealbrightMadeleine Albright (1937 - )

    Albright became the first woman to be U.S. Secretary of State, the first highest-ranking woman in the U.S. government. She used her position to advocate for human rights, ​for NATO to intervene in Kosovo in 1999 and to help U.S. relations with China and Vietnam. She became the first Secretary of State to travel to North Korea.

    NancyPelosiNancy Pelosi (1940 - )

    Pelosi became the highest-ranking elected female leader in the U.S. when she was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2007. She played a big role in pushing through President Obama’s health care law as well as the law that raised fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles for the first time in 32 years. She pushed for the first federal minimum wage increase in a decade as well as the largest college aid expansion since the G.I. bill.


    HillaryClintonHillary Clinton (1947 - )

    Clinton was the first woman to be nominated by a major party for the office of President of the United States in 2016. She was the first First Lady to have an office in the West Wing and she successfully worked with members of Congress on the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Before running for the White House, she was the first woman to serve as a U.S. Senator from New York (2001-09) and served as Secretary of State (2009-13) in the Obama Administration.

    Learn more about Kings and buy tickets.

  • Meet the Cast of "Nate the Great"

    Tania Thompson
     | Nov 02, 2018
    The Cast of Nate the Great

    Xavier Watson, Luzma Ortiz, Daniel Bellusci, Domonique Paton and Erika Schindele in Nate the Great.

    From Mr. Monk to Scooby Doo to Nancy Drew, detective stories and mysteries are favorites of the cast of Nate the Great (Nov. 2-18, 2018, Theatre for Young Audiences). That’s probably a big reason why they’re drawn to this fun, new musical that helps kids see the world in a new way. Read on to meet the cast.


    Daniel Bellusci
    Character: Nate (as in “The Great”!)
    Acting: I started acting in the eighth grade.
    SCR credits: Last season, I was in two shows here—one for young audiences, Ella Enchanted: The Musical (as a prince!), and one called Little Black Shadows.
    As a kid, what I found mysterious: Music. I come from a family of musicians so I was always surrounded by it. I was curious about why certain sounds made me feel a certain way. I am still investigating this great mystery!
    As a kid, I had a favorite detective: It was a TV show called “Monk” starring Tony Shalhoub. I fell in love with the characters, especially Mr. Monk and the eccentric ways that he solved his cases.


    Luzma Ortiz
    Character: Rosa​mond
    Acting: I grew up in a very musical family so, as a kid, I loved to sing and dance. But, then I realized that what I loved most about singing was pretending to be someone else, so…acting!
    SCR credits: This is my first show here!
    Other things I’ve done: Played Dora in Dora the Explorer Live!, Jan in Grease, Eva Perón in Evita and Maria from West Side Story.
    As a kid, I was curious about: How tadpoles became frogs. I grew up by a lake, so one summer my sister and I collected some tadpoles and watched them grow. It was awesome!
    As a kid, I had a favorite detective: Inspector Gadget.


    Domonique Paton
    Character: Annie
    SCR credits: I’m making my debut here!
    Other things I’ve done: Look for me at Disney’s California Adventure, where I play Princess Anna in Frozen—Live at the Hyperion.
    When I was a kid, what I found mysterious: Cats! I didn’t understand how they had nine lives.


    Erika Schindele
    Characters: Mom, Fang and The Hexes
    Acting: I have always loved playing in a world of make-believe!
    SCR credits: I’ve been in Ella Enchanted, The Stinky Cheeseman, Jane of the Jungle, A Year with Frog and Toad, The Brand New Kid and other shows.
    As a kid—and an adult—what catches my attention is: Storytelling! I’m curious about it and intrigued by it. All kinds of stories including mysteries! I would write stories like novels and plays and make my brothers help me act them out. I loved the adventures you could go on in books and plays; following characters and their epic excursions into new and thrilling situations.
    As a kid, I had a favorite detective: Nancy Drew! I read all of the books.


    Xavier J. Watson
    Character: Harry
    At SCR: This is my first time here!
    Other things that I’ve done: I’ve been in shows like Anne of Green Gables and Hairspray and in TV shows like “Henry Danger” and “Around the Verse.”
    As a kid, I was curious about: Why people would always ask me if my sister and I were twins. We never really wore the same clothes or anything—even though we wore uniforms at school. Plus, I always thought that twins had to be the same gender: two boys or two girls. Later, I found out that we weren't twins, but just really close as brother and sister (we were two years apart in age!).
    As a kid, I had a favorite detective: The gang in “Scooby Doo.” Of course my favorite line was always, "And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids."

    Learn more about Nate the Great and purchase tickets.