Ohio Shakespeare Festival prides itself on our multi-talented resident company. Our artists contribute more than just their acting abilities--often, they've dedicated themselves to many on and off stage aspects of our productions. Below, you can get a sense of just how many hats our acting company wears.
Tess was a founding company member with OSF at age 14, playing the unforgettable Shakespearean role of Third-Musician-from-the-Left. Throughout the following 16 years, her love for the company grew into a lifetime passion. Over the years, she designed and managed the box office system, supported customer service operations, managed website and social media content, developed and directed (and sometimes wrote) the Greenshows, and appeared in many roles onstage.
In 2013, she became an Associate Producer, and began her OSF leadership journey under the careful guidance of the Artistic Directors (a.k.a. her parents). She was instrumental in OSF's addition of Greystone Hall in summer 2016, and her full-time position involves the day-to-day management of the new, indoor space. She helps coordinate and expand the education programs offered by OSF, and she tours and teaches with the Student Matinee Series. Her outside teaching experience includes 3 years as a full-time Language Arts and Drama guide at Hudson Montessori School.
One of her biggest OSF passion projects is the Family Theatre series, wherein OSF brings new adaptations of classic stories to life, set to original music. So far, that library has included Robin Hood: An Adventure, with Music and The Three Musketeers: An Adventure, with Music. These re-tellings of familiar stories are completely original and use the talents of our resident company members (Ohio-based artists) to make classic stories accessible to all ages.
She believes in the ability of the theatre to celebrate and protect the human story. Inspiring and uplifting theatre does not always promise a joyful story (though sometimes that's exactly what we need), but it does promise to inspire a community to be its absolute best.
Ohio Shakespeare Festival is the non-human love of her life, and she loves nothing more than to share it with you.
Joe has been an OSF company member as an actor and carpenter for 8 years. With the move to Greystone, OSF is finally able to make many of the "maybe someday" dreams of its company members a reality. For Joe, that goal was to provide educational outreach in the form of Shakespeare productions and workshops for students.
As associate producer, Joe acts as on-site Technical Director, building sets and props as needed. Apart from the student matinee series of workshops, Joe also teaches some of the resident weekend workshops OSF is now able to offer, most recently a two-day physical comedy workshop. Joe is beyond thrilled to have such an active role in the exciting new programming OSF is now able to produce.
Resident Fight Director, Production Manager
Ryan is ever-proud to be the Resident Fight Director at Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Past work with OSF includes Macbeth, Robin Hood: An Adventure, with Music, Henry V, and Twelfth Night. He is one half of the Greenshow fight duo: Foilio Puckbottom & Bard Shakesberry. Every first Monday, he runs the Monday Fight Night at Greystone Hall.
He is so happy to be a part of the educational touring program which brought Macbeth to area schools this past year and will now add Romeo and Juliet to its catalogue. He also works backstage with Joe Pine, aiding in set construction, painting, prop making, and the occasional destruction of property.
Ryan and his wife Katie Zarecki head up the theatre department at Wayne Center for the Arts in Wooster. Ryan will be returning to Dobama Theatre to choreograph for their 2017-18 season (Baker Street Irregulars, Appropriate, and The Effect).
As an actor combatant with the SAFD, he has well over a decade of experience in stage combat, choreography, and fight direction. He continues his studies of weapon systems from small sword to Aikido. He is blessed to do what he loves and loves what he does. He lives in the Akron area with his incredible choreographer wife Katie, and their dog, Calamity.
Scott is a composer, musician and multi-instrumentalist with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival, where he composed music and lyrics for last season’s Robin Hood: An Adventure with Music; has written various parodies and settings for Greenshow and mainstage productions, and is currently collaborating on next season’s The Three Musketeers. Scott earned his Masters degree in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College. He is currently currently pursuing his PhD in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies with a focus on early modern staging practices and modern folk performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This season sees him collaborating with Chicago movement group The Seldoms, Australia’s Black Hole Theatre, and the Madison Shakespeare Company. Scott is an Equity Membership Candidate and an active member of the American Society for Theatre Research.
DJ Mo'Ballads has been with Ohio Shakes since 2013, but assumed the official title of Resident DJ in Summer 2017. Prior to her work at Ohio Shakes, Mo'Ballads honed her craft at The Globe (nightclub). A graduate of the prestigious Jazzy Jeff School for Vinyl at Harvard University, she has certifications in both Specialty Playlist Curation and Dancefloor Fire. Mo'Ballads has been a proud member of the Northeast Ohio Society for Shakespearean DJ's (NEOSSDJS) since last week. In her professional capacity at OSF, she specializes in party mixes and creating epic soundtracks for fight calls.
When not bumping beats, Mo'Ballads (alias: Sarah Coon) serves as an actor/stage manager with the company, as well as doing some dramaturgical and grant writing work. "Come, lay it by, and let's first see moe ballads!"
Specialty Props & Costume Design
Marty has been a costume designer since her high school theater days, and later when her daughter performed on the stage at Our Lady of the Elms HS. She was then invited to costume shows at the Coach House Theatre in productions including A Lion in Winter, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Custer. Marty joined the Ohio Shakespeare Festival team the summer of 2015 as costume and specialty props designer for Henry V. Since then her creative side was able to run wild while creating the mystical, fantasy creatures in The Tempest and Macbeth, as well as select specialty props for Coach House and OSF productions. She was recognized with a Superior Achievement Award by the Cleveland Critics Circlefor her work on The Tempest. Marty is a retired registered nurse who resides with her husband in the city of Green.
Greenshow & Family Theatre Music Director, Resident Vocal Coach
Jason is beyond proud to be a resident Music Director for OSF! Jason is a local professional performer and private instructor who holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Kent State University. He has been strumming guitar since 2010 and singing since long before that. On the OSF stage, you’ll see him leading the Greenshow as “Strummy McMoustache,” but behind the scenes, you’ll find him arranging songs, creating harmonies, recording lesson and backing tracks for rehearsals, and occasionally making up something new! Much love to his OSF family for the continuing opportunity to create and spread art. Huzzah!
John is honored and humbled to be even just a small cog in the machine that produces such incredible theater. After spending last summer at Stan Hywet doing box office for OSF, John is proud to be included in the operations at the Greystone Hall location. Recreationally, John is a fair-weather actor and amateur writer who one day aspires to appear on the Henry C. Bishop stage as a cast member and in the playbill as a playwright. Elsewhere he can usually be spotted as a part-time security guard at the Akron Art Museum or out-and-about the town as `that guy in the hat’.
Jerry Mirman is a constant figure at Ohio Shakes. He's likely greeted you as you walked by the merchandise tent or helped you find your seat at Greystone Hall. Perhaps he drove you on the Stan Hywet tram down to the lagoon or escorted you back to your car on a dark summer's night. He has been working with the company for over a decade, and he has worked with Artistic Director Nancy Cates on seemingly countless projects across the area, including Coach House Theatre and Weathervane Playhouse. While you will most frequently see Jerry selling swag for Ohio Shakes, he is happy to help all customers in all capacities. Jerry is a crucial volunteer at the theatre and intregal to the welcoming atmophere of our company.
Greystone Resident Lighting & Sound Designer, Shakespeare Music Director
Mark performed as an actor in his first OSF production in 2008, and brought his many talents to the Company as a full member in 2010. As Master Electrician (M.E.), he keeps our technical systems in good working order - even at our outdoor, summer location at Stan Hywet Hall, where the elements can present a unique challenge. As both M.E. and Lighting & Sound designer, he is regularly to be found at Greystone Hall either working on upcoming events or maintaining the systems we have there. As Music Director for the past several seasons, he has been creating the musical setting for all of our productions of Shakespeare's plays. In keeping with the Original Practice philosophy, he searches out early sources to use as a foundation, and has written many original compositions or new arrangements based on older tunes in order to best suit the musical talents of our actors.
Lead Technical Director
Buddy has been with OSF since 2003, and it continues to give him enjoyment and new challenges. Even though he moved to Texas in 2008, he still returns several times a year to design lights, design sound, build set pieces, or just add his two cents to a conversation. He is eager to find some time in his busy schedule to actually work on a show at the new Greystone Hall facility. Some of his favorite OSF productions (so far) are Othello, Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Comedy of Errors. Buddy also does design and production services in Texas for some schools and smaller local venues.
Resident Costume Designer
Kelsey's costuming career began in college and resurfaced during OSF's 2015 season. Since then, she has worked for two years with the Woodridge High School theatre program, as well as OSF and Coach House Theatre. Audiences may remember her recent design work in Coach House's Six Dance Lessons..., A Thousand Clowns and The Mousetrap. She also designed and created the new green Greenshow costumes, which made their debut at OSF's inaugural New Years Eve Gala. Along with costuming, Kelsey acts and sings onstage whenever possible.
Since graduating from Bowling Green State University with a B.M. in vocal performance, Katie has appeared at a variety of venues as actress and/or choreographer. Some of her favorite past shows are Evil Dead: the Musical, Cabaret with Blank Canvas Theatre, and Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks with Coach House Theatre. For the past four seasons she has been a part of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival appearing in and choreographing the Greenshows and plays. In whatever free time she has, Katie teaches dance and voice for Wayne Center for the Arts and Cleveland Heights High School.