Cast - Jack and the Beanstalk

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Marisa Ship - Jack (Choreographer)

Marisa Ship - Princess Lotus FlowerA graduate of Sheridan & UofT’s joint Acting program, Marisa has been involved in a variety of theatrical productions, workshops, television series, and general shenanigans. Highlights include being named the 2008 recipient of the Robertson Davies Playwriting Award, training in Nightwood Theatre's Emerging Actor Program, workshopping her one-woman show language|math at Summerworks, and directing a stellar cast in Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead at YPT.

Favourite credits include: The Trojan Women, David Copperfield, One Good Marriage (Theatre Erindale), Ashes to Ashes (New Ideas Festival), and Nil Darpan (workshopped at Soulpepper).

A Jill-of-few-trades, Marisa has served as an Artistic Council member for Fly By Night Theatre, a not-for-profit theatre company and licensed charity that raises funds for a Ghanaian orphanage (seriously). She has also spent time as a casting assistant, working on such shows as Degrassi, The Listener, Being Erica, and Camelot.

Marisa enjoys long walks on the beach and is available to DJ your Bat Mitzvah (but not really.) In Aladdin, she was thrilled at the chance to live out her childhood dream of being a Princess.  This time around, she's playing a boy..and living another childhood dream of slaying giants and climbing foliage (she had a lot of weird childhood dreams). Many thanks to Rikki and Francesca for this amazing opportunity. Enjoy the show!

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Steve Ivings - Dame Lumpydrawers

Steve Ivings_-_Dame_Lumpydrawers

Steve Ivings was born, far enough away, in Victoria, British Columbia.  While still in high school, he began the dual careers of stand-up comedian and radio announcer.  True, his high school work suffered but he didn’t care because he was going to be in show business.  And he still is, lo these many years later.  

With his stand-up act, Steve has performed in nightclubs, in hotels, on cruise ships and on stages through Canada and the United States (including the MGM Grand in Reno and Las Vegas).   His comedy album, cleverly titled Steve’s Record, was nominated for a Juno Award in 1980; the album features Steve’s novelty song, The Twelve Daze of Christmas, which still gets played frequently on radio stations every holiday season.  

As a stage actor, Steve has appeared in The Odd Couple, Noises Off, Same Time Next Year, Arsenic and Old Lace, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, The Music Man, Anything Goes and Anne of Green Gables. He has written, produced and performed in dozens of variety shows as well.   Along with his wife, Lena (and daughter Isabella) Steve owns and runs a small theatre in Etobicoke (nothing like guaranteed work).  Steve is a comedian, an impressionist, a writer, a director, a producer, a musician and lyricist, but enjoys acting the most.   One hopes, tonight, you’ll enjoy his acting too.  (If not, too bad.  He’s doing the best he can).

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Rikki Wright - Simple Simon (Writer/Producer)

Rikki Wright - Simple SimonRikki fell in love with pantomime as a child growing up in England.  Upon moving to Canada he realised that pantomime wasn't a huge part of the Canadian culture and he accepted that.  Then when his own kids started to grow up, he knew they were missing out and so decided to change that and formed Zeus Entertainment and began writing and producing shows of his own.  First Cinderella in 2011, then Aladdin in 2012 and now Jack and the Beanstalk.  Having been in a number of other pantomimes including playing Georgie Porgie in Tom the Piper's Son, Granny Verruca Gubbins in the Dragon of Wantley and last year playing the Hairy Godmother in Cinderella he is excited to finally be in one of his own shows as Simple Simon, Jack's somewhat dimwitted brother.

Rikki is no stranger to the stage, in addition to the above roles, other select stage credits include Henry Horatio Hobson in Hobson's Choice, Deputy Governor Danforth in The Crucible, Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew and Mr. Welch in the award winning short play Future Tense written and produced by our very own director Francesca Brugnano. More recently, Rikki has expanded his portfolio to other media including video with roles in Discovery Channel's TV show Close Encounters (airing Feb/Mar 2015) and a National Geographic docudrama Gold: The Eternal Quest.  His voicework includes playing various characters (inc. Jack the Ripper, Dr Watson, Daleks and Davros) in Doctor Who: Dark Journey (Season 2 to be released early 2015), a fan-produced  audio drama (AM Audio Media) and as part of sketch comedy troupe Radio Project X.

Rikki is thankful for the talented cast and crew around him and looks forward to sharing fun times with everyone.

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Lynne Scott - Witch Thunder (Music Director)

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Lynne Scott studied drama at an early age under the direction of the late Marjorie Purvey at the Toronto School of Drama. She then went on to obtain her degree in English/Theatre from McMaster University.   After graduating from University, she attended improv classes at  Second City in Toronto. Lynne’s love of music led her to form her own band in 1989 called “Skaface”. They were a highly successful indie band playing many venues across Canada and the USA and appearing on TV on CBC, CFTO, and CITY TV.  “Skaface” are currently in the studio recording their third album.   She is also the co-founder of the band, “Hotsy Totsy”.  In addition to her bands, Lynne has directed and written children’s theatre plays that were performed in the GTA and she has appeared on YTV doing character roles on “System Crash” and in TV commercials. She was also co-founder of two different musical comedy theatre troupes that were featured acts at the Ontario Renaissance Festival, Buskerfest Toronto/ Port Credit  and on CBC’s Elvira Kurts Adventures in Comedy. For the past 14 years, Lynne has taught ballet, musical theatre and vocals. She currently teaches pop/rock vocals to children from her home and is the co-founder of the Aldershot Performing Arts Camp.  She is thrilled to be acting as Music Director and Witch Thunder for Jack & The Beanstalk this year, working with such a talented cast and crew!

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Pamela Farrauto - Witch Rain

pamela farrauto enchantress of the ringPamela's love of acting began at an early age and continued to grow while she worked as an OR nurse and developed an on-going semi-professional career as a stage actress. Pam’s stage credits include such roles as Sister Sarah in Guys and Dolls and Josepha in the operetta, White Horse Inn and in many musical revues and dinner theatre productions with the Marquee Players of Burlington where she produced as well as starred in the shows. Most recently, Pam has focused on Film and Television and her credits include many principal roles in both feature films and shorts as well as commercials. Pam has also had principal roles in several TV productions such as In Dreams, Forensic Factor, Urban Legends and has appeared on such shows as The Ron James Show, Murdoch Mysteries, Nikita, Saving Hope, Warehouse 13 and Flashpoint. Pam’s returned to the stage in Zeus Entertainment's ‘Cinderella’ as the Wicked Stepmother and followed that up in 2012 with the Enchantress of the ring in Aladdin!  Pamela is a true professional and really captures the audiences attention... let's hope they don't get too close this year as she plays Witch Rain, one of the Giant's evil entourage.

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Janine Heaven - Witch Lightning

Janine Heaven - Empress

Janine has been performing for over 25 years. This is her second pantomime with Zeus Entertainment, having previously performed the role of The Empress in 2012’s Aladdin.  Recent and past performances include  Love, Loss & What I Wore by Nora Ephron, Hamilton Fringe Festival one-person play, Drive Up Counter of the Universe by Leslie Strutt, Kate in You Can’t Dance to Mozart; Lane in Sara Ruhl’s, The Clean House, and Pfeni in Wendy Wasserstein’s The Sisters Rosensweig.  She has been in several Neil Simon classics such as California Suite, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Prisoner of Second Avenue and The Dinner Party.  Other favourite female characters include Lucille in Ivan Menchell’s The Cemetery Club, Amanda in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie, Melissa Gardner in A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters, Doris in Bernard Slade’s Same Time, Next Year, Jessica in Joanna Glass’ If We are Women and Clare in Carol Shield’s Thirteen Hands.  When she isn’t  being witchy, she can be found trying to be more angelic performing wedding ceremonies as a licensed Officiant.

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Luis Arrojo - Giant Green

Luis Arrojo - Giant GreenLuis Arrojo is excited to be a part of his first pantomime, and his first Burlington show! Luis has been involved in the Hamilton Theatre scene, with Hamilton Fringe Festival entries (A Home for Margaret, Rise of the Prickly Pear, Gore Misfits, Paul & Marie), HamilTEN Festival (The Bird's Nest), Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew, Midsummer Night's Dream, Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Macbeth), McMaster (La Ronde), musicals (Full Monty, Evita, Slainte, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie Get Your Gun), original productions (Santa's Big Sleep, White Water, Boris Chemanski, The Circus, Sons of Sisyphus) and not so original (Self-Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, Odd Couple, Creeps). Luis has recently dipped his hands into directing (Amigo's Blue Guitar, Rise of the Prickly Pear, Santa's Big Sleep) and hopefully soon, will churn a script out. Luis has had lots of fun with such an array of talent in Jack and the Beanstalk. Luis wishes everyone a Merry and Safe Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

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Michael Newsome - Landlord Grantham

Michael Newsome

This is Mike’s first appearance with Zeus Entertainment and he’s delighted to be working with the talented production and performing team on Jack and the Beanstalk. Mike previously performed in pantomime as an Ugly Sister at the Waterloo Stage Theatre. Selected theatre credits include Toronto productions of The Rocky Horror Show and Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and regional productions of Oliver!, Carousel, Chicago, The Fantasticks!, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado. Mike has also appeared in many Film and TV productions including The Artists, Christ in Wood, Regenisis, Murdoch Mysteries, and F2: Forensic Factor.

As a council house lad from South Yorkshire, many of the words uttered by Landlord Grantham remind him of conversations with his father-in-law to be. Forty years on, and still very happily married to the same bonnie lass, he feels vindicated.

Mike lives in Burlington with his wife Joy and has two sons: John, a mathematics and physics high school teacher in Vietnam and Adam, a stockbroker in Ontario. He hopes that his four year old granddaughter, Mackenzie doesn’t recognize him!

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Rebecca Lamarche - Lady Mary

Rebecca-LamarcheRebecca Lamarche is thrilled to channel her power-hungry bossy side as her first (almost) bad guy in her first PANTO!  Having more experience in classical theatre, dramatic film and television, this pantomime has been a refreshing, fun and entirely new experience.  Rebecca hopes  this production inspires families to keep up their rental payments and to heed the council of young, blonde, business heiresses (never the brunettes, you just can't trust them). She also hopes you enjoy this interactive traditional British holiday experience as much as she has!  If you'd like to keep tabs on Rebecca's different projects, you can check her out at http://www.imdb.me/rebeccalamarche xoxo "Lady Mary"

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Stephanie-Lynn Russell - Georgina Goose

stephanie-lynn-russell-aladdinOnce upon a time there was a young girl name Stephanie-Lynn who danced, sang and performed around her house to the delight of her family. When she was in her eighth year her grandfather took her to her first rehearsal in a pantomime called Dick Whittington and his Cat, where Dick Whittington was portrayed by a young woman. At this tender age Stephanie-Lynn and her family realized that she was destined to become an actor.

She attended the University of Guelph where she received her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Studies and Anthropology. She was also introduced to her first professional stage performance. She followed her heart to Northern Ontario where she continued her education in Science Communication, but the call of the stage and the big screen were too strong and she travelled back home to answer it.

Stephanie-Lynn has appeared in numerous Canadian Indie films, a number of staged shows and performed in several Renaissance Faires. In her first show with Zeus Entertainment she took audiences on a magic carpet ride as Aladdin, but a terrible curse was cast during Aladdin’s honeymoon to Princess Lotus causing a year of lost stories. During the dark ages of 2013 the pantomimes were cursed with bad luck (or scheduling). In retaliation Stephanie explored her piratical side and sailed the seas landing in the landlocked village of Dry Bluffs (aka Milton). With a map in hand and several commercials and short films to fund her next adventure she found a deserted island where she became proficient in Goose husbandry and Alchemy. With her new expertise, she was finally ready to return to the Burlington stage, again with Zeus Entertainment, to show the world what she is made of. Come and get it!

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Godfrey Apap - Stephen Harp

Godfrey ApapGodfrey has been performing for audiences, mostly in a comedic role, for over 30 years (starting at the tender age of two if you're guessing age  EDITOR: sure and I suppose that grey hair is actually a mishap from painting the ceiling!)  He refined his craft while performing with street drama troupe "4 Crying Out Loud" developing various skills in comedy, drama, dance and corporal mime.  His street shows garnered performance offers from Chicago and Barbados.  Godfrey has a talent for character voices and accents and has put this talent to use entertaining audiences in the development and production of curriculum for chuch kids proving that you don't have to be crude crass or cussy to be really funny.

In addition to roles in The Bathroom Door, and as Chet Dixon (complete with southern accent) in Bootroots: A Christmas Tale Godfrey, joined Zeus Entertainment's production of Aladdin where he played a Scottish butcher.  This year he gets to turn his talents to Stephen Harp the Giant's magical instrument (who just so happens to suffer from a form of musical tourrettes).  He is thrilled to be working with such a talented cast and looks forward to showing you what he can do. 

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Gabriella Wright - Lady Edith


Gabriella Wright - Lady EdithGabriella is thrilled to be in her second pantomime after playing a Horse called Radish in Class Productions "The Dragon of Wantley".

She leads an active life away from the stage including playing for Oakville Crusaders Rugby Club and the Green Goblins team in the Oakville Hornet's house league.  She also enjoys being involved in Clearview CRC's GEMS program.  Gabby is very creative and loves to write stories, shoot videos of her dolls, make crafts and sing.

She is looking forward to playing Lady Edith, the younger daughter of Landlord Grantham, a sassy tweenager!  Somehow she manages to pull the attitude off pretty well... must be lots of practice.

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Joseph Maniccia - Ensemble

joseph-maniccia-ensemble Joseph is an aspiring young actor and musician. He has been studying and performing live on stage for 7 years. His most recent roles were Draco in an Operetta production of Harry Potter and the Magic Flute, Mike TV in Willy Wonka and, Guiseppino in Sheridan College’s ‘The Most Happy Fella’. Joseph won first place, playing ‘The Boy’ in Cat in the Hat at Stratford’s 2012 Kiwanis Festival of the Performing Arts. He plays in the Clearview Church Youth Band, as a singer and guitarist, and recently began studying keyboards. Joseph has appeared in a music video, and after being involved in Aladdin, he is so excited to be part of Jack and the Beanstalk.

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Jessica Peña - Ensemble

Jessica PeñaJessy was born very far away in Monterrey, Mexico and brings flair to the dance lines. She is a graduate of Monterrey University Psychology program. She has been involved in a number of theater productions including The Last Day I Love You and The Lady on the Balcony. She has also been in a number of short Canadian films and is very excited to be in her first show with Zeus Entertainment and share laughs and fun with the audience.

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Charlotte Brooks - Ensemble

Charlotte Brooks - EnsembleIt’s not unusual to see Charlotte preforming. With a spunky personality her creativity is part of her everyday life. It was her talented vocal teacher Lynne Scott that brought her to this hilarious Panto experience.

Charlotte spends her summers outside catching salamanders and frogs at her family cottage, she is a star player on the Burlington Barracuda Stingers girls hockey team, she swims and sings her heart out at her weekly vocal lesson.

It is thrilling to start her first live performance this year with the cast and crew of Jack and the Beanstalk! We know you will enjoy the show

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Madison Carby - Ensemble

madison carby

Madison is 10 years old and has been dancing on stage since age 4. She is currently performing in numerous dance competitions across Canada.  Most recently she was a finalist for the Junior Title Soloist at a National Competition and spent the summer training at the National Ballet School, Toronto. She is expanding her love of the stage to theatre and is so excited to be part of Jack and the Beanstalk, which is her first pantomime!

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Kate Denney - Ensemble

Kate Denney - EnsembleKate's first foray into the arts was ballet at 2 1/2 but she knew that it wasn't going to stick. Irish dancing was also fun (especially all the noise she could make with her hard shoes) but again, it just didn't cut it. After playing Jasper in her local musical theatre group's 101 Dalmatians last year and going to performing arts camp two years running it seems that musical comedy is where her heart is.

Kate is in grade 4, loves music and is currently taking piano and voice lessons (with the hope of moving onto drums as soon as her parents allow it). Kate is an avid reader, skier and also loves art - especially cartooning. This is Kate's first pantomime and she is delighted to be part of such a great cast. She hopes you enjoy the show as much as she has enjoyed being part of it.

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Ella Jensen - Ensemble

Ella JensenElla is an active Grade 3 student having taken ballet classes and performed in recitals, at the Oakville Academy for the Arts and Oakville School of Classical Ballet and jazz classes at Grace Academy.

She is a member of 14th Oakville Brownies and a junior member of Oakville's Speed Skating Club.  In her spare time, she enjoys singing, swimming, skiing, playing Minecraft and Animal Jam with friends.

She is excited to be part of this Production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

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Karah Jensen - Ensemble

Karah

Karah is a Grade 5 student who is no stranger to the stage, her first experience on stage was in Oakville Children's Music Theatre production of 'The Music Man'.  She has taken also taken jazz and ballet classes and performed in recitals at the Oakville Academy for the Arts.

She likes to keep active and is a member of 7th Oakville Guides, and is currently a right winger for Mississauga's Lorne Park team.  In her spare time she enjoys singing, reading, swimming and hanging out with friends.

She is thrilled to be part of this Production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

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Grace Johnson - Ensemble

Grace Johnson - EnsembleGrace’s passion for singing was very apparent at an early age. She loved to entertain her family as much as they enjoyed her musical talents. At the age of 5, Grace began taking piano lessons and at age 8 added singing lessons.

She attended the Aldershot Performing Arts Camps and it was immediately clear that she has a passion for the stage.

When not singing and acting, Grace can be found practicing her gymnastics. She is currently an Advance Circus Gymnast with Prestige Circus.

This is Grace’s first pantomime and she is very excited to be part of this great cast.

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Alina Kowalchyk - Ensemble

Alina Kowalchyk - EnsembleAlina is thrilled to be a part of Jack and the Beanstalk! Alina loves performing and began at a very early age putting on shows for her family. At 4, Alina began taking dance, and by 6 she had moved on to theatre with Burlington Student Theatre as well as Summer Arts Camps. Alina has most recently been taking singing lessons, and really enjoys performing for her family and friends. Alina has found being a part of this production very exciting and she can’t wait for opening night!

Alina is a grade 6 student, and in her spare time she enjoys singing, reading, swimming, camping and hanging out with friends and family.

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Grant Vernile - Ensemble

Grant VernileGrant's love for performing has started every since he took his first steps. He has excelled his way into competitive dance at the Burlington Dance Company for ballet, jazz, hip hop and acro. This year he will be performing in the Burlington Christmas Parade with his fellow competitive dance team members and will be competing in two upcoming dance competitions in Ontario this Spring.

At 9 years old, Grant looks forward to continued success in the future with dance and acting as he loves the stage.

He is very excited to be among the junior ensemble in his first ever theatre performance.

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Patrick Wright - Ensemble

Patrick Wright - EnsembleHaving seen his sister have so much fun in a pantomime, Patrick decided he would like to tread the boards himself.

Like his sister, Patrick also plays rugby for Oakville Crusaders Rugby Club and plays hockey for the Penguins in MOHA house league.  Patrick enjoys video games... way too much.  Minecraft, Clash of Clans and Growtopia are listed among his favourites... at least this week.  He also belongs to Clearview CRC's Cadets program.

He is looking forward to playing a child villager and a skeleton and scaring the wotsit out of Jack and Lady Mary.

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Francesca Brugnano - Director

Francesca Brugnano - DirectorFrancesca is thrilled to be directing an 'unmitigated eruption of talent' in this clever and hilarious pantomime! She is a Hamilton-based playwright, actor and director and the recipient of the 2013 Production Award for her portrayal of Jennifer Crawford in 'Hide and Seek' (Burl-Oak Theatre Group). Francesca's original play, 'Future Tense', was selected Audience Favourite at the 2014 HamilTEN Theatre Festival. She is an alumnist of the Musical Theatre Program at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, and has most recently appeared as Maria in 'Man of La Mancha' (Hamilton Theatre Inc.), Mrs. Peacock in 'Clue: The Musical' (Shooting Star Theatrics) and as Queen Beatrice in 'Cinderella' (Burl-Oak Theatre Group). Francesca's first original musical, 'Cave 10', is hoping to be featured at the Hamilton Fringe Festival in July 2015.

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Annalee Flint - Stage Manager

Annalee Flint - Stage ManagerAnnalee Flint is a graduate (with honours) of the Algonquin College Theatre Arts program in Ottawa, ON. On stage since the age of three, originally as a competitive dancer, Annalee has loved to perform for as long as she can remember. She knew her true passion was acting when, at the age of 14, she played Juliet in the Hamilton Urban Theatre Association’s Romeo & Juliet. She has acted in many productions since then, recent credits include: Jehanne of the Witches (St. Margaret- Algonquin College Theatre), Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Young Sissy- Toto Too Theatre), Waiting for the Parade (Catherine- HUTA), Plainspeak (Young April- 2012 HamilTen Festival), The Merchant of Venice (Portia- HUTA) and La Ronde (The Actress- McMaster Thespian Company), Dream Home (2014 HamilTen Fest).

Additionally, Annalee has acted in college films Girls at 44 (Giampasta Productions) and Wells Grey (TWH Media) as well as independent films Anno Domini 3048 (Finnigan Productions) and Billy Boy (Goodtyme Productions).

Most recently she has been seen playing (a very different) Juliet in the 2014 Hamilton Fringe Festivals Critics Choice Award winning Romeo and Juliet: An Escapist Comedy. This show played to packed houses during the Fringe and was remounted in Toronto for one night only this fall. You can catch it this upcoming February at the Enchanted Theatre Company in Woodstock for a special Valentine's Day show.

While predominantly an actor, Annalee occasionally works in the production side of theatre. She has tried her hand at directing- the dreamer examines his pillow (Algonquin College Theatre), stage managing- A Leave of Absinthe (Montreal and Ottawa Fringe Festivals) and Conservatives in Love (Arts Court Theatre), as well as designing costumes and props for various shows.
This is her first show with Zeus Entertainment and she is excited to be part of such a great group of people.

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