JAMES RANKIN (Nick Carraway) is ecstatic to again be working with Ensemble, and with such a great cast & crew. Some of James’ past roles include Ben Harcourt in The Mercy Seat, Robert Mayo in Beyond The Horizon, and Don Parrit in The Iceman Cometh with Ensemble, Malvolio in Twelf Night for Tri-C West, Benedick in Double Heart at Great Lakes Theater Festival, which also took part in the New York International Theater Festival. He has worked for CPT, CVLT, Clague Playhouse, and other theaters through out the Ohio area. He would like to thank, Eva B, Ian H, Celeste C, Robert E, Frank P, Doug F, Bronwyn H, andl his family.
KYLE CARTHENS (Jay Gatsby) most recently played the role of Macduff in Voodoo Macbeth and Jimmy Luncefore in Knock Me a Kiss at Ensemble and is glad to be back again in this amazing role! Kyle won an Emmy Award for his role in the television program Crimestoppers Case Files: Northeast Ohio, and can be seen in the High School Football Film Underdogs. You can also see him in the films Draft Day, and Jenny's Wedding filmed here in Cleveland! Kyle finished his first season with the Great Lakes Theater Festival last year, with Ensemble roles in Shakespeare's A Winters Tale and Much Ado About Nothing. Other show credits include Romeo in Michael Oatman's adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, Citizen Barlow in Gem of the Ocean, Trombone 7 in God's Trombones, Drawer/Lightbulb/Window in Closure, African Student in The Great White Hope, Bass Reeves in A Solitary Voice, and Zero in Holes all at Karamu. Other Shows include Private Anthony Smalls in A Soldier’s Play, Abe Smith in The Gospel According to James, Lowboy in Lower Ninth and Torry in Huck and Holden at Ensemble Theatre. He has also shot industrial videos for Best Buy & Travel Centers of America. Kyle is a proud graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts in 2009 and is represented by the Docherty Talent and Model Agency. He would like to thank the Ensemble Theatre for inviting him back to perform, and would also like to thank his mother Wendy, and his family, for always believing in him. Kyle recently received the "Rising Star 2014" award for Karamu's Hall of Fame this past June.
REBECCA MOSELEY (Daisy Buchanan) is excited to be back for another season at Ensemble Theatre! Previously, Becca stage managed Ensemble's productions of The Iceman Cometh, Animals Out of Paper, Prelude to a Kiss, The Chairs, Beyond the Horizon and Anna Christie, as well as serving as ASM for Knock Me a Kiss. She appeared on the Ensemble stage as Effie in Zebediah and Walton/Mary Shelly/Elizabeth in last year's production of Frankenstein. Becca has been lucky enough to have been involved in theatre for most of her life, both behind the table and treading the boards. Some of her favorite credits include Rosalind in As You Like It, Cunningham in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Dorine in Tartuffe, Edward/Betty in Cloud 9, Company in Twelfth Night & Macbeth, Phoebe in HAIR, and Maggie in A Chorus Line. She sends a big thank you to Celeste and Ian for giving her an opportunity to do so much at Ensemble, hugs to her ever supportive and patient family, and as always, love to Kyle for everything.
AARON D. ELERSICH (Tom Buchanan) has been a familiar performer and director in the Cleveland area and beyond for the better part of the last decade. Aaron joined Ensemble in 2010 with a performance in Howard Sackler's The Great White Hope. Since then he has been seen on stage with the company numerous times, and was named Artistic Associate in 2013. Favorite Ensemble performances include Dividing the Estate (Son), The Iceman Cometh (Chuck Morello), and Prelude to a Kiss (Peter). In addition to performing with the company, Aaron served as assistant director to Celeste Cosentino on Ensemble's production of The Gospel According to James by Charles Smith, and directed Rajiv Joseph's All This Intimacy as the inaugural production in Ensemble's new "Playground" theater. Aaron would like to thank Ian Hinz for another great opportunity to work with some of the finest actors, artists, and technicians on the planet. He would also like to thank his Carrie, London, and Catie.
SIDNEY PERELMAN (Jordan Baker) a Cleveland native, is currently a Music Therapy student at the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, and brand new to the Ensemble scene! She has most recently been seen on stage at Cain Park as Virilla, in Steven Sondheim's "The Frogs". Some additional credits include Helena in Midsummer, The Mother in Blood Wedding, The Narrator in Joseph...Dreamcoat, and The Stage Manager in Our Town. She has also been a featured soloist with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra and in her "spare time" you can find her singing in BW's Motet Choir, or dancing on the Urban Dance Team. She is absolutely thrilled and humbled to be making her debut on the Ensemble stage, and is incredibly thankful to all of the terrific people involved who have made it possible.
CASSANDRA MEARS (Myrtle Wilson). This is Cassandra's second show with Ensemble Theatre, she recently was Assistant Director for Anna Christie, and she is thrilled to make her acting debut with such an amazing cast. She was last seen in A Chorus Line as Val, and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Rona. Previously she has performed in Pippin (Player), Grease, The Fantasticks (Luisa), and The Producers. Her favorite hobbies are eating, football, and karaoke. She would like to thank her family and SC friends for being supportive beyond belief as she sprints towards her dreams.
JOSEPH MILAN (George Wilson) is very happy to be back at Ensemble! His recent credits include Arcadia(Captain Brice) at Mamai, The Chairs(Old Man) at Ensemble, and 12 Angry Men(Juror 6) at Blank Canvas Theater. Joe also plays an accordion in a small musical ensemble stuck in the 1920s.
JUSTINE ZAPIN (Mrs. McKee/Chorus) is thrilled to be a part of this fantastic production and back again at Ensemble Theatre! Most recently Justine appeared in Frankenstein at Ensemble and in the World Premiere of Titus: A Grand and Gory Rock Musical at Cleveland Public Theatre. She is looking forward to the spring and her role as Hadia/Prostitute in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, again at Ensemble! In addition to her acting pursuits, Justine is the director of Stagcrafters Broadway Buddies - Share the Stage with a Friend. The most fantastic role she plays on a daily basis, however, is the role of new mommy to 5 month old Atticus - anybody want a peanut?
KYLE HUFF (Mr. McKee/Chorus) is an actor and director who just moved into the area. He is a recent graduate from Hiram College, getting his BA in Dramatic Arts, and is excited to be working with such a talented group of people. His past productions include Ensemble Theatre’s Anna Christie as a Longshoreman, and The Iceman Cometh as Moran; Cleveland Shakespeare Festival’s Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Lucius in Measure for Measure and the last production he directed was Doubt by John Patrick Shanley at Hiram College. He recently Stage managed Ensemble's production of The Mercy Seat. You can see him again on stage in Ensemble's production of The Neverending Story in January, as well as in Bad Jews at Actors Summit in April.
*U/S for Nick Carraway
GREG WHITE (Meyer Wolfsheim) is glad to be back at Ensemble so soon, having just played Chris Christopherson in Anna Christie and Banquo in Voodoo Macbeth. Some recent roles include Crooks in TrueNorth's production of Of Mice and Men, and Denson, the emasculated husband of a rising political spouse in CPT's Big Box production of Armature. Other performances include, Rawl Cheeks in No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs, Paul in Karamu's Cut Flowers, and Doug in Dividing The Estate for Ensemble's last season as residents in the former Cleveland Play House.
RHIAN VIROSTKO (Chorus/Aerial Dancer/Movement Coach) is a Company Member with Antaeus Dance, recently performing modern dance works at the Palace Theatre, the Idea Center at Playhouse Square, Cleveland Public Theatre, Allegheny College, Tiffin Ritz Theatre, and various Cleveland festivals. As an AntiGravity Instructor, Rhian regularly teaches classes, workshops and private sessions in aerial yoga and suspension fitness. She also works with DanceCleveland as an instructor in the preschool outreach program, Read to Learn…Dance to Move. Rhian holds a B.A. in Zoology with a Minor in Theatre and Dance from Ohio Wesleyan University. This is her first project with Ensemble Theatre.
HILLARY WHEELOCK (Mrs. Michaelis/Ensemble) is a former Actor-Teacher with Great Lakes Theater and graduate of Case Western Reserve University. In college, she studied contemporary and classical acting overseas at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the British-American Drama Academy. Hillary is an alumna of IMPROVment, Case Western Reserve University’s premier short-form improv comedy troupe. She has studied long- and short-form improv with Jet Eveleth (iO Theater – Chicago), Brandon Gardner (Upright Citizen's Brigade – NYC), and Christopher Bohan (Something DaDa – Cleveland). This is Hillary's second Ensemble production having just made her Ensemble debut as Walton/Elizabeth/Ensemble in Frankenstein. She will return to the TheatreCLE season in March and April as Viola in Twelfth Night. Recent acting credits include: The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival – Twelfth Night (Olivia, Sir Andrew), Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Silvia), Measure for Measure, As You Like It (Jaques), Henry VIII, Love’s Labours Lost (Rosaline); CWRU – The Crucible (Abigail Williams), Blood Wedding (La Madre), The Tempest (Ariel), The Seagull, Dancing at Lughnasa, Top Girls.
TIMOTHY YOUNG (Policeman/Chorus) was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He is excited to be back at Ensemble having recently played one of the Murderers in Voodoo Macbeth. After graduating high school Timothy attended Cuyahoga Community College, where he studied political science and xray technology, but his passion always was in the theatre. After attending the Broadway musical "Memphis" Timothy decided he would pursue a career in acting . He has had mutiple roles on the television show "Crime Stoppers Case Files" and recently had a guess appearance in the Web series "The Cardinal". By age 25 Timothy would like to be a working actor in California.
LEAH SMITH (Chorus, Photo to come) is thrilled to have Gatsby as her first Ensemble experience. Recently she was seen as Logainne in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The Blithe Spirit at Willoughby Fine Arts Association. While attending Saint Louis University she was seen in The Vagina Monologues and graduated with a BA in Communications. Many thanks to the cast and Ensemble for their talent and spirit, and much love to her family for their support and heart.
CELESTE COSENTINO (U/S Jordan Baker) has served in one "role" or the other at Ensemble for most of her life. She has also worked with The Cleveland Play House, Dobama Theatre, Cain Park, Bang and Clatter, The Illusion Factory, Karamu House, and has worked as a theatre teacher for Willoughby Fine Arts and Weathervane Playhouse. She is a graduate of the Ohio University School of Theatre and returned to Cleveland, after living in New York City. Some favorite roles include Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice, Katherine in The Secret Rapture, Marela in Anna in the Tropics, Alice in Closer, Desdemona in Othello, Donna in The Colorado Catechism, and Kayleen in Gruesome Playground Injuries. She recently played Abby Prescott in this season's TheatreCLE opener, The Mercy Seat. She is the daughter of Ensemble Founder, Lucia Colombi and has returned home to support her mother's mission as the newest Artistic Director. She was raised by Ensemble Theatre and has a special dedication to it's continuation for many years to come. She will be directing the season finale, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo which opens in April. She dedicates her every step into a theatre space, and in life, to her mom.
Ian Hinz, Director, is a graduate of the Ohio University School of Theatre holding a B.A. with an emphasis in playwriting. He has studied under Charles Smith, David McClendon, Robert Winters and Vince Cardinal. Ian’s most recent directing credits for Ensemble include Anna Christie, The Iceman Cometh, The Colorado Catechism, Waiting for Lefty, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, & Miracle and Wonder. He has designed projections for Wating for Lefty, Lower Ninth, Song for Coretta, The Normal Heart, The Gospel According to James, Animals out of Paper, Prelude To A Kiss, Beyond the Hoizon, and Voodoo Macbeth at Ensemble as well as Pitmen Painters, 33 Variations,Carrie, and Young Frankenstein at Beck Center. He would like to thank his family and friends for their love. He is the newest Artistic Director for Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, as well as Facilities Coordinator and Stage Production Specialist for the Cleveland State University School of Music. For his family.
Sam Landgraf, Stage Manager, is eager to start her second season at Ensemble Theatre. Last season she did various jobs around the theatre including Assistant Stage Manager/ run crew for Animals out of Paper, assisted with lighting design for Ensemble's productions of The Chairs & Exit the King, assisted with set design of Frankenstein (2013), and was the Stage Manager for Frankenstein, Zebediah, and Knock Me a Kiss. She has been excited to work on this production of The Great Gatsby since Ian first brought it up and is thrilled to be Stage Managing it with such a great cast and crew. Sam can't wait to see what the rest of this season has in store for her! She would like to thank everyone who supports her and the thing she loves to do most. .
Andrew Eckert, Lighting Designer, recently designed The Normal Heart, Miracle & Wonder, The Gospel According to James, The Iceman Cometh, Animals Out of Paper, Prelude to A Kiss, Beyond The Horizon, Voodoo Macebeth, Anna Christie, as well as the 2012 & 2013 Colombi New Play Festival shows. He recently served as Master Electrician for CAIN PARK’s 2012, 2013, & 2014 Summer seasons. A recent graduate of Hiram College, Andrew is thrilled to be working with such a great cast and crew. He would like to thank Rick Hyde, Ian Hinz, Carl Skorepa, and Mum.
Meg Parish, Costumes, can be found, when not on stage, lurking in the wings with measuring tape and pins. A self-proclaimed “theater gypsy,” her designs have appeared in productions across northeast Ohio over the last thirty years. For Ensemble she has recently costumed Beyond The Horizon and Anna Christie. Favorite projects include The Miser at Clague Playhouse and A Free Man of Color at Ensemble. She has designed all of Charles Smith's work at Ensemble having designed last years Knock Me a Kiss as well as the previous seasons production of The Gospel According to James. She thanks the cast for wearing her “deconstructed” costumes with such distinction.