Actors: Tanya Dougherty, Jon Froehlich, Rachel Kodweis, Rob McFadyen, Jan-Peter Pedross
Musician: JP Schlegelmilch
Playwright: Dave Hunsaker
Composer: Neal Kirkwood
Tanya Dougherty: This will be Tanya’s third season as a company member for the Mettawee. Previous shows include Archy and the Underside (Mehitabel) and The Old Boat Goddess – Songs of the Ainu (Boat Goddess). Regional theatre credits include The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Endgame (Nell) and Shakespeare and Company, The Merry Wives of Windsor, (Nym).Brandeis Theatre Company credits include The Three Sisters (Masha), Sunday in the Park with George (Yvonne/Naomi), Funnyhouse of a Negro (Queen Victoria), Everything in the Garden (Jenny), Siddhartha (Sarasvati) and Hecuba (Polyxena). She holds an MFA from Brandeis University and a BFA from The University of Southern Queensland in Australia.
Jon Froehlich is a New York based actor, writer, director, teacher, and co-founding member of the experimental theater company, Cloud of Fools Theater Company. His first play, The Whistling Mortician, a silent-film-inspired comedy with original songs, premiered in New York City and has subsequently toured to Concord, MA and Baltimore, MD (with plans for an incarnation in Luxembourg). Recently, Jon played Ursus in Stolen Chair Theatre Company’s Drama Desk-nominated adaptation of Victor Hugo’s The Man Who Laughs, and Jean-Marc in Dangerous Ground’s staging of Jacques Rivette’s French New Wave classic, Paris Belongs to Us. Jon loves developing and leading workshops that explore the expressive potential of physically-based theater, and is a proud teacher of Movement at Pace University in New York City. MFA Columbia.
Rachel Kodweis is a New York based actor and vocalist. She is a former resident acting company member of the Off-Off Broadway theater The Flea. Originally trained in classical acting, Rachel developed a passion for physical theatre while studying the highly stylized form of Commedia dell’Arte under the tutelage of American Mime Theater’s Stephen Legawiec, and Dana Wieluns; an accomplished movement coach and former student of Anne Bogart. It was this introduction that led her to further studies in experimental and movement theatre, in addition to working with companies such as PUSH Physical Theatre (Arc of Ages), the Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble (Fafalo!, Aquitania), the Ume Group (A Mass for Isis, The Union of Opposites), Venture Productions (The Venetian Twins, The Years, Charlotte’s Web, 4.48 Psychosis), and the aforementioned Flea Theater (The Honest Whore). She is also a Commercial Copywriter and Radio Persona for WBKX fm. http://www.rachelkodweis.com/
Rob McFadyen is a NYC-based actor. Previously he has been seen at Portland Stage (Wittenberg), Berkshire Theatre Festival (Macbeth, Candide, A Christmas Carol), Brandeis Theatre Company (Three Sisters, Love’s Labours Lost, Everything in the Garden), Michigan Shakespeare Festival (Julius Caesar, Henry V, All’s Well that Ends Well), Performance Network Theatre (Candida), The Planet Ant (Dr. Seward’s Dracula), and Primary Stages (Little Monsters) among others. He holds an MFA from Brandeis University. Special thanks to Ralph and Casey.
Jan-Peter Pedross: Previously with Mettawee: Valentyne & Orson, Peace, Nanabozho, Beyond the High Valley and numerous other gigs. With Astoria Performing Arts Center: Allegro, Blood Brothers, The Secret Garden, The Human Comedy. With Secret Theatre: Urinetown. With Gallery Players: Tommy, Man of La Mancha, Urinetown, Reckless, The Drowsy Chaperone, Violet, Chess. With NYC Fringe: The Nightmare Dream. With Judith Shakespeare : Coriolanus, Richard III and marathon reading of eight “history” plays. Much downtown/experimental theater, some film/TV/commercials. http://janpeterpedross.weebly.
JP Schlegelmilch (musician) is a Brooklyn-based pianist, accordionist, electric keyboardist and composer. His bio will be posted here very soon!
Dave Hunsaker (playwright) is an Alaskan screenwriter and playwright based in Juneau, Alaska, and Venice, California. He has written many plays for Mettawee: in 1985 (The North Wind), 1986 (Papyrus), 1987 (The Wildman) and 2004 (Karagiozis). He had a long list of credits as a playwright and director before becoming a screenwriter, including work with Perseverance Theatre in Douglas, Naa Kahidi Theatre with the Sealaska Heritage Institute, and La Mama Experimental Theatre in New York. As a screenwriter, he has written for directors Robert Redford, Norman Jewison, Julie Taymor, Stanley Donen, Carroll Ballard, Arthur Hiller, Guillermo del Toro, Mel Gibson, John McTiernan, and Roger Donaldson, among others. He has written for Fox 2000, Fox Searchlight, Warner Bros, Disney, and HBO. Hunsaker is a recipient of the Alaska Governor’s Award for the Arts and a Fellowship for the Arts in New York. He is a Fellow of the Sundance Institute, a member of the Writers Guild of America and is an adopted member of the Lukaaxadi Clan of the Tlingit Nation.
Neal Kirkwood (composer) is a composer, pianist, arranger and bandleader living in New York City. His ensembles include the Neal Kirkwood Octet, a “little big band” featuring some of the top improvisers in New York City. Experimental yet swinging, the Octet performs Kirkwood’s original compositions and arrangements of jazz standards. He also leads the Chromatic Persuaders, a quartet featuring violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Lindsey Horner, and drummer Tom Rainey. He recently debuted a new trio with Allison Miller on drums and Lindsey Horner on bass.
As a composer, Neal Kirkwood has received has received numerous commissions, including a 2007 New York State Music Fund commission for “Village Songs,” a song cycle for children’s chorus and a ten-piece jazz ensemble, with a text drawn from the writings of 4th grade students in New York public schools. In 2000 he received a New York State Council for the Arts commission for “The Future of Futurism,” a five movement work for jazz orchestra. Other commissions include “Voices” for children’s chorus, 2008, for the Children’s Aid Society chorus, and “The Mirrored Self” and “The Enchanted Realm” for the Belgian ensemble Octurn. His composition for jazz orchestra “Goldberg’s Variations” was winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Competition in 1996. He has composed music for symphony orchestra, jazz orchestra, chamber ensembles, and voice. He holds a master’s degree in composition from Mannes College of Music, where he studied with Charles Jones.
In addition to his activities as a bandleader and composer, Kirkwood has performed and recorded with Pony Poindexter, Bobby Previte, Lindsey Horner, Mark Feldman, Mike Clark, among others, and has toured with vocalists Michel Hermon, Chris Connor, Abby Lincoln and Bobby McFerrin.
He has also been deeply involved performing and composing for some of New York’s most creative and experimental theater ensembles. For 12 years he has composed scores for Ralph Lee’s Mettawee Theater. He has contributed to many of playwright Jim Neu’s productions, often in collaboration with saxophonist Harry Mann. He has also worked with Otrabanda Company, the Talking Band, Anne Bogart, Joseph Chaiken, and Louise Smith.
He has released four CDs as a leader: “The Neal Kirkwood Octet,” “The Chromatic Persuaders,” and “Extrospection” on Timescraper Records, and a solo piano CD “Time’s Circle” on Present Eye Music. He is currently on the faculty of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and Third Street Music School in New York City