The Merchant of Venice (2013)

Cast and Crew

Sam Adrain (Gratiano) is a sophomore theater studies major at Ithaca College with a minor in art history. IC credits include: The Dream of the Burning Boy and The Dirty War Project. Professional credits include: A Christmas Carol with Trinity Repertory Company, Tour Actor/Director with Missoula Children's Theater, numerous touring fairy tales with Kaleidoscope Theater, and This Is How at Perishable Theater.

Amara (Scene Designer) is pleased to be returning for another show at Ithaca Shakespeare Company. Since the summer, she has found a job as a visual designer at Mackenzie-Child's in Aurora, where she helped get their distinctive mannequins ready for a restore opening in NewYork. Amara was married to her long time fiance, jk, in a ceremony they designed at their Livery Barn home in Triangle, NY. In collaboration with her new husband, Amara premiered new works in a 4 room installation at the Bundy Museum in Binghamton in January. The opening brought artists and art lovers from as far away as Buffalo together and has met with popular exclaim. For this show, Amara delved into the simple lines of Venetian architecture and the complexity of natural stone for her inspiration.

Paige Anderson (Lucia) is thrilled and honored to perform for the first time with the Ithaca Shakespeare Company. She is a sixth semester student with Actors Workshop of Ithaca, and has appeared in a number of AWI productions. Paige wishes to thank her family and friends for their love and encouragement, most especially her husband Michael, who makes everything possible, always.

Danielle Bates (Portia): This is Danielle's third production with the Ithaca Shakespeare Company. She was last seen as Viola in ISC's very successful production of "Twelfth Night." Recently, she played violin in the orchestra pit for the musical "1776: Days of Revolution" performed by J.G. Hertzler's, New Mercury Theatre Co. Hailing from Binghamton, with a BA in Theatre, she has done numerous shows with local groups including, Know Theatre. She's delighted to be involved again with ISC. Huge thanks this superb cast and crew, to Gavin for his patience and love, and to her family for their endless support.

Lauren Cowdery (Costume Designer) came to costuming as a second career after being an English professor and editor for over two decades, and now does dressmaking and alterations in her home. She began costuming for the Red Bull Players'/Ithaca Shakespeare Company's first out-of-doors production, Antony and Cleopatra in 2003, and has done every one since. Since 1997 she has designed productions for the Ithaca City School District and has costumed two short films and many plays and operas. She is most proud of her work with Artists in the Schools, bringing Baroque costumes into regional high school classrooms, and with Family Reading Partnership, bringing book characters to life for small children.

Dave Dietrich (Old Gobbo, Jailer) lives in rural Enfield with his dearly loved wife and two only slightly less loved dogs, one of whom is named after the murdered king, Duncan, of Scottish play fame. He is one of the owners of Ithaca's Moosewood Restaurant. Dave is proud to say he has performed in all of Ithaca Shakespeare Company's productions in its ten year history! The sense of achievement the growth of the Company has given him is beyond his imagining. Deepest gratitude to everyone who has even lightly brushed the Company in its life.

Michael Donato (Shylock) joins us again at the Ithaca Shakespeare Co. after appearances last year as Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night and Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew. He has appeared on stage recently for the Wolf's Mouth Theatre Co., the Homecoming Players, and the Actors Workshop of Ithaca Theatre Co.; and in several locally-produced films. Michael thanks ISC for this opportunity to play one of Shakespeare's truly great characters, his teachers at AWI for a great start, and his wife for more than he can say here. He hopes that you find the show both greatly entertaining and deeply thought provoking, but he asks that you not prick him in order to find out whether he will bleed.

Kelly Fairbrother (Jessica) is a sophomore Acting major at Ithaca College. She is honored to be a part of her first Ithaca Shakespeare Co. production. She has recently played Pat Monday in IC's Man From Nebraska and Juliet in IC's Measure for Measure. She would like to thank Stephen, the cast, her family, and Dan for their endless support and love.

Rachel Fichter (Nerissa) is thrilled to be in her first show at Ithaca Shakespeare! Some favorite past roles back in her home state of Ohio include Cordelia in King Lear, Evelyn Nesbitt in Ragtime, Liza in Peter Pan, and Eileen in Moon Over Buffalo. Much thanks to the new Spouse for being a theatre widower for a few months.

Paul Hansom (Hortensio) studied stagecraft and voice development at Santa Monica College in Los Angeles, and has since performed in many exciting productions, from the Greek classics to contemporary masters like Brecht and Pinter. He was recently in ISC's staged reading of Richard III as Buckingham. When not treading the boards, you can hear him on local radio, very early in the morning!

Lloyd Harris (Lorenzo): This is Lloyd's debut performance with the Ithaca Shakespeare Company. He would like to thank the director for giving him this amazing opportunity, the cast and crew for their hard work and dedication, his family and friends for their love and support and most important, a huge thank you to everyone who has come to watch the show! Enjoy!

Stephen Ponton (Director) is the Artistic Director of the Ithaca Shakespeare Company and has directed all but one of their shows so far.

Kyle Schantz-Hilton (Salarino) is a local Ithaca Actor who has been in over a dozen Shakespeare plays. He is happy to once again join the Ithaca Shakespeare Company. He thanks all his friends and family for their wonderful support.

John Triana (Bassanio): In between his studies at Suny Cortland's Kinesiology department John pursues his other passion, Shakespeare. He is very excited for the opportunity to play Bassanio and to make his debut performance at the Ithaca Shakespeare Company. Other Shakespearian roles that he has had the pleasure of playing include Cassius in Julius Caesar, Antony in Antony and Cleopatra, Laertes in Hamlet, Second Merchant in Comedy of Errors, Antonio in Twelfth Night, and Lord Montague in R&J. This performance is dedicated to his family. Their support and love has been an invaluable pillar to lean on.

Dan Tubman (Prince of Morocco, Tubal) is an Ithaca local who enjoys food, books, and dark humor. Having been a delivery boy, buss-boy, boy-toy, and a slew of other things wants to go to school to become a teacher and eventually open his own charter school. He started working with the Ithaca Shakespeare company in 2009 as Robin Starveling and has been delighted to be part of the theatrical world ever since, I had just come out of a bad patch of my life where I had to give up one of the most influential people in my life so following their advice to help myself before trying to help others I started acting and teaching, now it is my guiding star. Many thanks to them, they are greatly missed.

Melanie Uhlir (Assistant Director) is a founding member of the Ithaca Shakespeare Company who also does their graphic design. Favorite Shakespearean roles include Queen Margaret, Mistress Quickly, and of course, Puck. When not acting, Melanie plays bass and spends time with her wonderful husband and their charming felines.

Bryan VanCampen (Lancelot Gobbo) just directed Neil LaBute's The Mercy Seat for the Readers Theatre; he also played Marc in Art for RT. He also played the adult male roles in Cornell Melodramatics' production of Spring Awakening. Some of his favorite roles have included different characters in productions of Larry Shue's The Foreigner, Sir Chiffley Lockheart in Gasping, Moon in The Real Inspector Hound, Col. Pickering in My Fair Lady, Charley in Death of a Salesman and Harry in The Time of Your Life. Directing credits include Woody Allen's Death and God; Trial By Jury; Tartuffe and Much Ado About Nothing. He also directed and co-produced a series of award-winning digital short films with screenwriter Aaron Weiss and Paul Smith. He has been the film critic and arts writer for the Ithaca Times since 1991. He is a big fan of music, guitar and painting. Also, puppets. His spiritual guru is late-night icon Geoff Peterson.

Scott Whitham (Duke, Prince of Arragon) was so intent on crafting the perfect bio that he missed the deadline for getting one into the program!

Matt Winberg (Antonio) studied acting at studios in NYC and Chicago, and in Ithaca as a member of Icarus Theatre Ensemble. Some recent and favorite roles include: Jonathan Waxman (Sight Unseen) with the Readers' Theatre of Ithaca; John Dickinson (1776); Feste (Twelfth Night), Touchtone (As You Like It), Rafe (Knight of the Burning Pestle), and Porter (Macbeth) -- all with the Ithaca Shakespeare Company; Abner Brownell (The Resurrection of the Publick Universal Friend); and the Ghost of Jacob Marley (A Christmas Carol). In addition to working with ISC, Matt has also performed locally with Black Umbrella, Wolf's Mouth Theatre Collective, Theatre Incognita, Bad Dog! Productions, and at the Cornell Schwartz Center. He works as an editor/videographer at PhotoSynthesis Productions, here in Ithaca. Love to SHJ.