Written in 1921 by Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill, this iconic piece of expressionist drama is a searing social commentary on the divide between the rich and poor. Yank, an unthinking laborer, embarks on a search for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the wealthy. His journey from the bowels of a transatlantic ocean liner to the wealthy neighborhoods of New York society serve as a metaphor for the struggle between the working man and the industrial complex found at the heart of the play.
Directed by the award winning Ian Wolfgang Hinz.
"The subject here is the same ancient one that always was and always will be the one subject for drama, and that is man and his struggle with his own fate. The struggle used to be with the GODS, but is now with himself, his own past, his attempt to 'belong'." -Eugene O'Neill.
November 17th | December 10th
THE HAIRY APE CAST & CREW
Joe Milan (Yank) was last seen at ConCon for Ionesco's timeless and timely Rhinoceros. Previous appearances at Ensemble Theatre include Slow Dance On The Killing Ground, by William Hanley, and The Chairs by Ionesco. He is honored to portray “Yank,” a not-so-fictional character whose sacrifices, here portrayed, form a large part of this actor's personal inheritance. He would like to dedicate his performance and love to his brother Andy, to the machinery he lived and endured.
Alan Branstein (Paddy) is very happy to return to the mainstage at Ensemble and to work with Ian again. He last appeared here as Bailey in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail and has been in such classics as Ages of the Moon, The Iceman Cometh, Frankenstein and Anna Christie to name a few. He has performed with Dobama, Red Hen, Working Theater, Great Lakes, Bang and Clatter and many others. He was last seen onstage with the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival as Banquo in a wonderful production of Macbeth. He has been in a few films, performed in the vaudeville act The Mike and Al Show, and he would like to thank Paula because he can.
James Rankin (Long) is overjoyed to be a part of this production, he is also very excited to be working with such a lovely new group friends. James has worked for various theaters around town, including Ensemble Theatre, Dobama Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Ohio Shakespeare Festival and a few others. Some of his past roles are Nick in The Great Gatsby (Ensemble), Betty Bumbrake/Teacher in Peter and the Starcatcher (Dobama), and recently The Duke of Buckingham in Three Musketeers (OSF). James is also very excited to be returning to Ensemble's Main season this year in both parts of Angels in America. He would also to thank his family, friends, and certain others, but most importantly he would like to thank his father. Love to all. Enjoy the show!
Brittany Ganser (Mildred Douglas) is excited to make her debut at Ensemble Theatre! She is currently a junior at Baldwin Wallace University where she studies theatre and web programming. Recent credits include Mayme in Intimate Apparel at BW, Martha in Arsenic and Old Lace at The Chagrin Falls Performing Arts Academy and Samara in the staged reading of Twice Told Tales by Simone Barros at Playwrights Local. She would like to thank Michael and her grandmothers for their endless support in her career as an artist and for Ensemble Theatre for welcoming her with open arms.
Mary Alice Beck (Mildred's Aunt) is a Cleveland actor who has performed in many area theatres: among them, Beck Center for the Arts, Cesear’s Forum, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Karamu House and Mamai Theatre Company. Past roles at Ensemble Theatre include: Anna Christie (Marthy Owens) and Death of a Salesman (Linda Loman). Other favorite roles are: Lanford Wilson’s Brontosaurs (The Dealer); The Pitmen Painters (Helen Sutherland); Titus Andronicus (Tamora) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Blanche DuBois). Her favorite role of course is that of mother to Tommy Uhlir – Thank you Tommy for all your encouragement and support.
Keith Kornajacic (Secretary/Ensemble) is delighted to be making his "full" Ensemble debut with The Hairy Ape, having recently appeared here in the Ensemble co-production of Scott Miller's Medea at Six. He has worked with small theaters all over the Cleveland area, including: Bad Epitaph, Beck Center, Charenton, Karamu, and others. He is probably best known as a regular company member with the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, with whom he has performed for 15 years. When not treading the boards, Keith can be seen fronting avant-rock band Home and Garden. He would like to thank Barb and Scott Krauss and the ever-lovely Rochelle.
Santino Montanez (Ape, Yank Understudy, Ensemble) is proud to be appearing in his third show at Ensemble. Last spring he appeared as Khadim Azman in The North Pool by Rajiv Joseph and prior to that he appeared as Tio Villaneuva in The Bloodless Jungle by Peter Lawson Jones. Santino has been acting from a young age and studied theatre arts at John Carroll University. At John Carroll he appeared as Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, as A Player in Pippin, and as Patrick O'Reilly in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. He is looking forward to continuing his work in Cleveland's professional theatre scene. He would like to thank Director Ian Hinz for the opportunity to work alongside and learn from such a talented group of individuals. He would also like to thank all of his family and friends who have come to see the show. Most of all he would like to thank you , the audience, for without your patronage there would be no show.
Whit Lowell (Ensemble) is excited to be back at Ensemble Theatre and to be working with a top rate cast and crew. Last season he played Sam Staples in Ensemble's run of The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail and he's gratefully taken part in numerous other productions here. Whit does some commercial and film work but these days appreciates good theater more than anything else. Much love and thanks go to his family, friends, Ian and Celeste for the support always.
Kyle Huff (Ensemble) is elated to be doing his second O'Neill production at Ensemble Theatre! Kyle has been involved at Ensemble Theatre for many seasons, both on stage and behind the scenes. He directed Farragut North and Assistant Directed The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail. Kyle was seen on stage at Ensemble as Artax in The Never Ending Story, Ensemble in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Ensemble/Chester in The Great Gatsby, and Lee Piper in Jerusalem. He has also worked at Beck Center, Actor’s Summit, and French Creek Theatre, and is a Care Lite Instructor for Cleveland Playhouse. Kyle's most recent production endeavor was opening the new Shahrazad Theatre Company with Kayla Davis and August Scarpelli, and directing it's inaugural show, Caucasian Chalk Circle. Kyle would like to thank Becca (his new fiancé!,) Ian and Celeste, his folks, his friends, and everyone else.
August Scarpelli (Ensemble) loves little more than being on the ensemble stage, and the opportunity to do an O'Neill with Ian and this crew is incomparable. His first introduction to Ensemble was in the audience of The Iceman Cometh, and he knew then that this was the place for him. He has been an Artistic Associate/Carpenter for Ensemble since the beginning of the 2016 season. and seen onstage in Death of a Salesman, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Jerusalem, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, and The Phantom Tollbooth. He is also Co-founder of Shahrazad Theatre Company which Ensemble theatre has been gracious enough to incubate.
Aziz Ghrabat (Ensemble) is a very confused little boy. Ever since a bizarre gardening accident, when he tried to prune the leaves of a tomato plant and the plant yelled ‘Stop!!’, he believes that he can telepathically communicate with plants. His favorite vegetation to talk to are pine trees. Aziz can often be found in the forest singing the score to West Side Story with the pines. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a soundtrack? Yes. Yes, it does. Aziz also believes that rodents are a synthetic form of life, and they cannot be trusted especially by the plants. So for the safety of all involved please do not throw tomatoes at Aziz during his performance as it may trigger flashbacks."
Steve Vasse-Hansell (Ensemble) has appeared numerous times on the stages of Ensemble. Some MainStage acting roles were in Anna Christie and Beyond The Horizon, as well as Run Kingsbury Run, and A Kind of Courage as part of Ensemble annual Colombi New Plays Festival. He has directed Ages of the Moon, The Chairs and Oakley Hall III 's adaptation of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein for Ensemble and has built and/or designed more sets for Ensemble than he can count. As an actor, designer and director, he he has worked in the theatre for over 40 years. Thanks and love to my beloved Nancy.
MEET THE CREW
Ian Wolfgang Hinz Director/Sound Design
Becca Moseley Production Stage Manager
Andrew Eckert Lighting Designer
Meg Parish Costumes
Steven Vasse-Hansell Technical Director
August Scarpelli Carpenter