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The 25th Annual
Putnam County Spelling Bee
Thank you all for coming out to see the show and for your lovely feedback!
We also want to give a BIG FAT thank you to the cast and crew who worked so hard for this production to shine the way it did! We're hoping to take this production to other cities and venues so stay tuned for more spelling bee's...
Photo credit: Steven Winston Photography
Allison Morse - Rona Lisa
Allison Morse is proud to be making her theatrical debut in Israel with The Stage. Allison hails originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but now calls Tel Aviv her home. Back in America, Allison received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She began her professional acting career in The States with her work in Shakespeare Festivals and Summer Repertoire Theatres throughout the country. If you can't find Allison singing, on stage, or doing something else ridiculous, you can probably find her meditating at the beloved Ashram in the Desert.
Maya Ben-Yaacov - Olive
Maya Ben-Yaacov, originally from Philadelphia, studied voice at the High School for Creative and Performing Arts and went on to get her degree from Ithaca College in Integrated Marketing Communications with a minor in vocal performance. After two years of teaching elementary school music in Philly, Maya made Aliyah in 2013. Here in Israel she has taught private voice lessons, performed in two musicals and an opera with Jerusalem's Encore theater company and has been part of the Tel Aviv based Acapella group Upstage for the past two years.
Shiri Epstein - Marcy
Shiri Epstein was born in Zurich, Switzerland and discovered her love for music and acting at a very young age. Epstein studied Music and Theatre at the Zurich University of the arts and performed in different Swiss musical and theatre productions as well as a singer/songwriter with her band. She moved to Israel five years ago and performed in The Stage’s MISCAST one and two.
Shmuel Goldstein - Carl Dad
Trained in his native Los Angeles, Shmuel is excited to be appearing in a musical/comedic role in The Stage’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This is Shmuel’s second production with The Stage, after appearing in their One Act Play Festival in 2016. Shmuel has also recently appeared (May, 2017) in a dramatic role as the King of Aragon in Theater and Theology’s Divine Right, which will be returning for additional performances in Jerusalem in mid-October. Shmuel is also working on and has appeared in many independent shorts and commercials, with Torah Live, Look&Listen, Manny Speir, and more in addition to doing voice-over work in both English and Hebrew. Among his stage appearances are: Oklahoma , Bell Book and Candle, Bye Bye Birdie, and the spoof Jews for Superman.
Yaniv Rozenblat - Barfee
Yaniv trained in Beit-Zvi - school of performing arts, since then he has acted and directed numerous projects including: Miscast for the Stage(acting), An Illiad for the English National theater of Israel(Directing) and The End Of The World For Advanced Players for Icon festival(Acting and Directing).
May Baum - Schwartzy
May Baum is 25 years old and lives in Ramat gan. May graduated from Lipper Academy Of Musical Theatre (Hamaslul) in 2015. She has since performed in several musicals and musical cabarets such as ‘Into the Woods’ (Jack's mom), ‘Company’ (Jenny) and the Factory Cabaret. Today, May teaches theatre at Rozin Center and is the executive producer of the musical ordinary days, at the Cameri Theatre.
Chaim Jacobson - Mitch Mahoney
Chaim Jacobson is 32 years old and he lives in Teqoa, Gush Etzion with his lovely wife Tehila. By day he works as a software engineer, for a hi-tech company, in Tel Aviv, and by night he teaches salsa and participates in productions like this one. He also participated in The Stage's production of “Miscast 2- Less Grease, More Hairspray” and in “Swan Lake- A Rock Opera”, written by Mirit Shem Or.
Darren Glick - Panch
Darren is not a stranger to the theatre. He studied it at school and, after, performed in many amateur dramatic productions. Upon making aliya, from the UK in 2005, he actively participated in the Tel Aviv Community Theatre (TACT) before it morphed into The Stage TLV. He currently teaches history at Tabeetha School, Jaffa.
Yuval Shwartsman - Chip
A graduate of the Nisan Nativ Acting Studio, Yuval Shwartsman, is a professional full time actor and a member of several professional theatre groups in israel. Yuval has also performed in several tv shows, commercials and movies in Israel. He teaches comedia del arte masks workshops for those who seeks to experience the world of theatre.
Idan Yechieli - Leaf Coneybear
After being rejected from medical school 3 years in a row, Idan took over his father’s SuperGlue company. On his free time, he enjoys writing poems and walking backwards.
Marlene Bachar - Leaf’s Mom & Jesus
Since moving to Israel from New York, Marlene has been actively involved in local theatre. She has appeared in Tel Aviv community theatre productions, improv evenings, and workshops. However, this is her first musical. Along with theater, Marlene’s passion is also teaching. Marlene is blessed with a very supportive husband and has three beautiful children as well as a grandchild on the way.
Maya Ben-Yaacov - Director (see bio under "Cast")
Hana Wimberley - Assistant Director
Hana Wimberley is thrilled to be assistant directing The Stage’s first musical. Since the age of 3 she found herself on stage and continued to pursue this passion throughout her life. She has performed in over 40 musical productions, as well as stage managed and assistant directed many. In 2012, Hana received her B.A in Musical Theater performance from Columbia college Chicago . Hana hopes that this will be just the beginning of English speaking musicals to come to life in Tel Aviv.
Tal Minkov - Music Director
Composer, arranger and singer-songwriter, Tal Minkov, is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He is a Répétiteur at the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio and has worked and composed music for the Khan, Aspaklaria and Beit Avi Chai theatres.
Samantha Burd - Co-Producer
Samantha received her degree in Broadcast Journalism from Penn State and shortly after began a career in Radio broadcasting. She moved to Tel Aviv from New Jersey, in January 2016, and has never looked back. She has always had a passion for musical theatre and was excited to get involved with The Stage’s first musical. With her radio production background, she is thrilled to take part in this play as a co-producer.
Noah Harel – Choreographer
Musical theater and dancing are Noah’s two passions. This is her first time working with The Stage.
Amateur dance experience: Flamenco – over 11 years with teachers including Sonia Garcia, Idit Suslik and Michal Natan; Hip-Hop; Twerking; basic Salsa and Bachata.
Noah is a second-year student of Computer Science and Linguistics in Tel-Aviv University.
Ossie Kishlanski - Co-producer
Originally from Israel, Ossie Kishlanski has gained her experience in producing both in Los Angeles and Tel Aviv. With a BFA in film production from Chapman University in California, she has been paving her way in the entertainment industry by working for talent agencies, production companies, and most recently, an Israeli-based television conglomerate. Ossie, Director of Arts and Production at The Stage, has been part of the community since ’14. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is the 3rd show she is producing for the organization.
David Herrera - Stage Manager
David Herrera is proud to be working with The Stage as the Stage Manager for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This is his first foray into backstage work having spent the last 13 years on stage as an actor. Herrera's credits include Hamlet, Hamlet; Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing; Malvolio, Twelfth Night; Princeton, Ave. Q; and Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well as other plays, musicals, and operas. David is originally from Northern California, and studies culinary arts at the Bishulim School in Tel Aviv.
Hannah Antoni - Set Designer
Born in Paris, Hannah R. Antoni began her training at the Atelier Annette Huster, after which she attended the Fine Arts School of Lyon. In the second year, she went to the Design of Space to specialize in the set design of theatrical shows. In 2015, she collaborated with the dancers of the CNSMD of Lyon and created the set design of Mum is Down with Clémentine Iaia, show presented to the Subsistences, to Lyon. The same year, she collaborated with Le Croiseur - theater of Lyon - for the play Mushi. In 2016, she worked with the company the SPLEEN THEATER and made the set design of La Caverne - a contemporary play written and staged by Alex Adarjan, represented in more than seven Parisian rooms and Yvelines.
Yuval Lev Ari - Pianist
Yuval Lev Ari is a Tel-Aviv based pianist and composer, with his unique brand of music, combining classical, jazz and groove influences in different shades and blends. After performing and collaborating with many Israeli artists across the nation, in major festivals and classical music halls, as well as intimate jazz clubs, Yuval recorded his debut album "Motus" (2016) with long time friends and trio members Michael Edwards (doublebass) and Dor Biran (drums). The Album, derived from the latin word Motion, takes the listener to a journey along different atmospheres, through eclectic musical genres, while remaining in the classic piano jazz trio orchestraion.
Michael Landis - Clarinet
Michael has played clarinet since the budding age of 7, from down under in Sydney to Disneyland to Carnegie Hall (seriously!) When he's not brushing up on the latest papers in Nanotechnology, cheering on Liverpool FC or shaking his upraised fist at Tel Aviv drivers, he can be found schmoozing on Rothschild Blvd with an Iced Coffee. Cheers mate!
Paul Berkowitz - Sound Engineer
Becca Gomby - Assistant Choreographer
Liz Ben-Yaakov - Prop Master
Shelly Yair - Marketing Manager
Sarah Groner - Marketing Manager
Danhia Eskenazi - Videographer & Editor
Steven Winston - Photographer