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TLP’s Guest Artists of 2018

Posted on Jun 28, 18 in TLP Guest Artists

Timber Lake Playhouse invites talent from the spectrum of theater from directors and choreographers to actors to designers. We welcome our 2018 Guest Artists.

Chuck Smith (Director- Born Yesterday)

Flight of the Lawnchair Man, returns to TLP for his 16th consecutive year and is a Resident Director at the famed Goodman Theatre where credits include The Death of Bessie Smith, Proof, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, A Christmas Carol, The Amen Corner and Ain’t Misbehavin’. An associate producer of Legacy Productions, he recently directed Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Victory Gardens in Chicago and Indiana Rep in Indianapolis, and directed/produced New York’s critically acclaimed production of Charles Smith’s Knock Me a Kiss for the New Federal Theater and Legacy Productions. Mr. Smith served as Editor for the published anthologies “Seven Black Plays” & “Best Black Plays.” He is a 2001 Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year, the proud recipient of the Chicago Emmy Award, The League of Chicago Theaters’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Paul Robeson Award, plus the 1997 Award of Merit presented by the Black Theatre Alliance of Chicago. Mr. Smith is a board member of African-American Arts Alliance of Chicago.

Will Taylor (Director- Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery)

WILLIAM HAYES (Director- Fiddler On the Roof)

William Hayes

is a founding member of PBD and the 2017 recipient of the Florida Professional Theatre Association’s Richard G. Fallon Award for Excellence in Professional Theatre. A short list of his many directing credits includes PBD’s acclaimed productions of Billy and Me (world premiere), The Night of the IguanaLong Day’s Journey Into Night, PicnicMy Old Lady (starring Estelle Parsons,) The Lion in WinterExit the KingA Delicate BalanceAmerican Buffalo, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  Also a playwright, Bill is the recipient of the Charles M. Getchell Award, and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.  Locally, he adjudicates the drama portion of the annual Pathfinders Awards sponsored by the Palm Beach Post, is a member of the board of directors of the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County, and served on the City of West Palm Beach Cultural Affairs Council. He and Sue Ellen Beryl are the recipients of the 2015 REMY Pioneer Award (South Florida Theatre League). Bill also received the 2014 Clyde Fyfe Award, presented by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, and a 2014 Silver Palm Award, presented by the South Florida Theatre League “for his outstanding work as Producing Artistic Director” of PBD. He served two terms as president of the Florida Professional Theatres Association and is a national ambassador for The Actors Fund. 

JESSICA CHEN (Assistant Director/Choreographer- Fiddler On the Roof)

Widely traveled, Jessica is Artistic Director of J CHEN PROJECT. She holds a B.A. in Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara. After college she continued her dance training at The Ailey School.  Her work has been awarded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2016), Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in NY (2016) and the Jerome Foundation (2016-17). Her choreography credits include International Human Rights Arts Festival (2017, 2009), Off-Broadway Minetta Lane Theater (2016), Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2015, 2016), Brooklyn Museum – Art Off the Wall (2014), TEDx Semester at Sea (2014) and World Expo in Shanghai, China (2010).

Gregory Daniels (Director/ Choreogrpaher- Forever Plaid)

Directing at TLP for the first time, Gregory has been the head of the dance program at Baldwin Wallace University since 2010. When he is not at the university or teaching master classes, he is choreographing at theaters across the country. Credits include My Fair Lady, Secret GardenLes Misérables, Cabaret, all at ISF and GLT, The Fantasticks and Forever Plaid at LTSF, the regional premieres of Sondheim On Sondheim, In The HeightsDogfightCarrie: The Musical (2012 Cleveland Critics Circle award for Best Choreography) and Spring Awakening (2014 Cleveland Critics Circle award for Best Choreography). Some other choreographic credits include Anything Goes (TUTS), starring Tony nominee, Dee Hoty; the world premiere of a new musical, My Own Song by Clint Holmes (Flatrock Playhouse); Putting it Together (Syracuse Stage), starring Tony Award winners Lillias White and Chuck Cooper; Dreamgirls; Lizzie; Murder Ballad and Saturday Night Fever.  He also had the rare honor of creating and choreographing a brand-new number for The Rockettes for The Commerce Bank Wow Awards. At Baldwin Wallace he has choreographed many shows including A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Titanic, Follies and Anything Goes. He is a proud member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers.

Lena Gabrielle (Music Director- Beauty and the Beast/ Full Monty)

Lena is a music director, arranger/orchestrator, and composer/lyricist specializing in the development of new works and family theatre.  Her latest original musical, Tink, was featured at NYMF 2016 and received an award for excellence in family theatre.  In 2017, Lena was music director and arranger for Endangered: The Eco Musical, which boasted a six-month run off-Broadway. She continues to serve as music supervisor and orchestrator for The Most Miserable Christmas Tree, which is slated for additional productions this holiday season. Lena is an advocate for mental health awareness, and is currently developing a musical based on experiences (of her own and others) with mental illness. IG: lenagabriellemusic

Michael Ursua (Music Director- Fiddler On the Roof/ Forever Plaid)


Ben Danielowski (Guest Performer- Beauty and the Beast)

Performing for his first time at TLP, Ben’s prior TLP credits have been behind the scenes as Lighting Designer (Ring of Fire) and Tech Director (2015 Season).  HIs favorite character roles include Luther Billis in South Pacific, Javert in Les Miserables, and Che in Evita.  A graduate of Illinois State University, Ben now lives in New York City, where he owns Boum Creative, an audio, video and lighting company.

Allison Keith-Shipp (Guest Performer- Beauty and the Beast)

Allison hails from Fulshear, TX near her home town of Houston.   Arriving at TLP for the first time she let out a “Yeehaw!”  “Mom” to her children Noah & Riley is her most prized role.  But she has a BA in theater, a graduate of the University of Houston’s School of Theatre,   grew up performing all around Texas, including T.U.T.S. (Theatre Under the Stars) in shows such as Annie, Carousel, and Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby.  Offstage, Allison is mostly known for her 20 years of voice-over work.   She has lent her voice to more than 40 characters in many Japanese Anime cartoons, TV series and films.  Most notable is her character “Misato” from Neon Genesis Evangelion, and recently Leone in Agame Ga Kill which aired on Toonami on the Cartoon Network. 

Darren Mangler (Guest Performer- The Full Monty)

Darren worked at TLP for 6 summers, and then graduated from Western Illinois University. He toured the country for two years with The Repertory Theater of America and the Missoula Children’s Theater. In Los Angeles he has booked over 25 national commercials, TV shows and movies including Switched at Birth, 1000 Ways to Die and The Longest Yard. His award winning short film, The Whole Person, can be found on YouTube. His web series, 2 for Stew, was Biggest Trend on Funny or Die for 10 weeks straight.  He is currently touring his stand-up comedy show called Stay Fat.

RICHARD E. WAITS (Guest Performer- The Full Monty)

Richard started his career dancing with the legendary Ginger Rogers! But he believes his best notices were for his character portrayals of ‘Feste’ in Twelfth Night,  ‘Ol Mister’ in The Color Purple, the Cop in the cult hit, The View Upstairs, King Achashverosh in The Whole Megillah, The Master Gardener in Orchid, the Show, Coalhouse in Ragtime, George in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Horse in The Full Monty, and Sweet Daddy in Best of Both Worlds directed by Tony Award winning Diane Paulus. Other credits include, the French productions of La Cage Aux Folles and Ain’t Misbehavin’, and the heralded Showboat at Goodspeed Opera House. As a playwright, his show, Mama Rose (directed by Paul Stancato), for which he also wrote the book and score.  As a composer, Richard’s work has been commissioned by Maxwell House Coffee, Pioneer Theatre Social Media handle: @RichardEWaits

Michelle McKenzie-Voigt (Guest Performer- The Full Monty)

Michelle is delighted to make her TLP debut. With roles ranging from Shakespeare to Sondheim, recent credits include Four by Tenn (AstonRep), Billy Elliot (Porchlight Music Theatre), Coriolanus (Commission Theatre), Mame and Guys and Dolls (Music Theater Works), Beautiful Thing, The Children’s Hour, and The Boy from Oz (Pride Films & Plays), and the Lady Macbeth of musical theater: Rose in Gypsy (Harper Ensemble Theatre). She has been a soloist with the Southwest Symphony Orchestra, and she was a game show champion on The $100,000 Pyramid, winning $23,350 and a trip for two to London.

Rhonda Rae Busch (Guest Performer- Fiddler On the Roof)

Based in Milwaukee, Rhonda Rae performs in theatres throughout Wisconsin, including Skylight Music Theatre, Fireside Theatre, Northern Sky Theatre, and First Stage.  Favorite roles include Madame Thernardier in Les Miserables, Jack’s Mother in Into the Woods, Martha in White Christmas, Widow Paroo in The Music Man, Stepmother in Cinderella, Miss Hannigan in Annie,  and Mavis in Church Basement Ladies. This marks Rhonda Rae’s sixth production of Fiddler on the Roof; the first was in 1982, when she played the role of Tzeitel.

Amy Gorelow (Guest Performer- Fiddler On the Roof)

This is Amy’s first season at TLP.  Some of her favorite roles include Dr. Goebbels (Hitler On The Roof), Ranevskaya (The Cherry Orchard), Bottom (Midsummer), Katherine of Aragon (6 Dead Queens and an Inflatable Henry), Gertrude (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead), Witch 2 (Macbeth), Lydia (All My Sons), Margherita (Low Pay? Don’t Pay!), and Masha (The Seagull). She co-wrote Hansel and Gretel: The Panto! for Piccolo Theatre.  Amy plays bass, piano, guitar, and ukulele. She tours her one-woman show, The Just So Show, for schools and libraries. Sate any curiosity at

Kristen Martino (Scenic Designer- Beauty and the Beast)

Kristin is a freelance scenic designer based in Chicago.  Recently, her work has been seen at Piven Theatre Workshop, Gulfshore Playhouse, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, Farmers Alley Theatre and at Indiana University, where she completed her MFA in Scenic Design. She has upcoming productions at theatres that include Music Theatre Works, Red Twist Theatre, and Marriott Theatre.  Kristen is an Associate Scenic Designer for XL Scenic and Kevin Depinet Studios in Chicago, where she has had the opportunity to assist with designs at theatres internationally.  Kristen is a part of the team selected to design the USA’s Emerging Artist Exhibit for the 2019 Prague Quadrennial.

Joe Cantalupo (Lighting Designer- Beauty and the Beast)

Joe is a NYC-based designer of fixtures, stage, and live events.  Recent design credits: Danger Signals (New Ohio Theatre), Rachel Platton (Live on TODAY Show), Wet Clutch (Seaport Music Festival, South Street Seaport), The Rise and Fall of Marcus Monroe (Gural Theatre, A.R.T.), The Red Room (Barrow Group Theater), Samsung HFC Gala with Flo Rida and Bon Jovi (Skylight Clarkson Sq), The Other Side of Paradise (Green Room 42), The Dance Cartel (R2R Festival, Pier A Harbor House), You Do Not Look (Columbia, Signature Theatre), The Addams Family (SJU Little Theatre), Lincoln Center Gala (Alice Tully Hall, LC), Shorty Awards with Lizzo (Playstation Theatre).


Matt Hamel (Scenic Designer- The Full Monty/ Fiddler On the Roof)

Matt is a national-award winning scenic designer based in Chicago. At TLP last summer he designed Mary Poppins, and is returning to TLP for The Full Monty and Fiddler on the Roof. Recent credits include productions with The Omaha Playhouse, The Rose Theater, The MUNY, CCM, Cincinnati Opera, and Weathervane Playhouse. Matt is the recipient of the 2018 Rose Brand Scene Design Award as part of the USITT Young Designers Awards. MFA: College-Conservatory of Music, BFA: Creighton University. Instagram: MatthewHamelDesign

Tanner Simpson (Lighting Designer- The Full Monty)

Mark Jansen (Lighting Designer- Fiddler On the Roof)