WHO IS ZIV AUERBACH???
It’s three days before Christmas. While wrapping gifts, an obsessive-compulsive kindergarten teacher receives jarring news from a stranger setting off a series of events involving missing relatives, a drunken drag queen, broken hearts, Bette Davis movies, mistaken identities, Midrashic parables and why Jesus is having a really bad day.
A heart warming holiday COMEDY not to be missed!!
TALK BACKS WITH THE PLAYWRIGHT & DIRECTOR of MIRACLE & WONDER
on the following dates: 11/18, 11/24, & 11/30.
MEET THE CLEVELAND PLAYWRIGHT!
JONATHAN WILHELM -PLAYWRIGHT-has had his work performed at Cleveland Public Theatre (G.S.; Big Box, Public Displays; Little Box), John Carroll University (Household Tales; Mainstage Production) and Chagrin Valley Little Theatre (Girl Story, Let Me Tell You Something, When All Is Possible; 10-10 Festival). His play The Opponents was a 2011 Heideman Award Finalist at the Humana Festival's Ten-Minute Play Contest. As his alter-ego Mr. Hatbox, he has performed at schools and libraries across the country and at the White House Easter Egg Roll. He lives in Cleveland Heights with his partner Michael and cat Edgar Allan Poe. The playwright would like to thank Charlotte Bensusan, who taught him the meaning of the phrase in loco parentis and Rabbi Steve Seger, who taught him to see unexpected moments of strength and beauty. Miracle & Wonder is dedicated to Majid Brown, may her memory be for a blessing. The conversation never ends Majid.
MEET THE CAST & CREW OF MIRACLE & WONDER.
IAN HINZ -DIRECTOR-
Ian previously directed Ensemble’s fundraising performance of Sexual Perversity in Chicago as well as last season's critically acclaimed Waiting for Lefty, the inaugural show of our first season in our new home! Ian is also the person behind Ensemble's Stagewrights workshop, from which Miracle & Wonder will be the first script to have a mainstage production! Many other new scripts from this workshop will be showcased in our Colombi New Plays Festival in March so stay tuned! Ian has served in numerous volunteer and staff capacities at Ensemble Theatre since 2000. Previously, Ian has worked for performing arts organizations and large scale entertainment venues. He was the Arena Supervisor for the Schottenstein Center at The Ohio State University and is currently the Operations Manager at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. Ian worked in New York as a producer for a city wide theatre festival, and in Business Development for Realmatch.com, a new media employment website. He will be directing The Iceman Cometh for the finale of the 2012-2013 Season!
LAYLA SCHWARTZ -ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-
This is Layla’s first time serving as an assistant director and she thanks Ian for the tremendous opportunity! Normally Layla is onstage, and she will appear in The Iceman Cometh (Margie) here at Ensemble in April/May. She previously appeared onstage at Ensemble in Sexual Perversity in Chicago (Deborah), Waiting for Lefty (Edna/Dr. Benjamin) and the Colombi New Plays Festival last March. Other credits include An Ideal Husband (Mrs. Marchmont) at Great Lakes Theater, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Boyet) with the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Kid-Simple (Moll) at con-con, and Crave (C) with Theater Ninjas. Love to Stuart for his support. Love and thanks to her friends and fellow artists.
LISSY GULICK -NOREEN- Lissy is overjoyed to return to Ensemble, having last appeared in Carpetbagger’s Children (Grace Anne), the last show directed by Lucia Colombi. She has performed in most area venues: Great Lakes Theatre Festival’s A Christmas Carol; Cleveland Opera’s H.M.S Pinafore (Cousin Hebe); and Playhouse Square’s Shear Madness (Mrs. Shubert) and We Gotta Bingo! (Helga Vokel); and Carousel’s Fiddler (Yente). At Beck Center, Lissy played in the eyebrow-raising Jerry Springer – the Opera (Irene), and several shows at Cain Park: Music Man (Mrs. Shinn), The Robber Bridegroom (Salome), and Violet (Old Lady). At Porthouse Theatre, Lissy played in Oklahoma! (Aunt Eller), Bye Bye Birdie (Mae Peterson), and Sound of Music (Sr. Margarethe). In film, Lissy had pivotal 5-line roles in Antwone Fisher (nice social-worker), Welcome to Collinwood (mean nun), and the upcoming Jack Reacher (sassy waitress) with Tom Cruise.
AGNES HERRMANN* -BERNADETTE- is a graduate of AMDA in NYC, and was a backup singer for Elly Stone. After performing in dinner theater and summer stock, she continued her acting career as a voice-over artist in commercials, cartoons, documentaries and audio books. Then, her guardian angel sent her to Cleveland. "Cleveland?!" she gasped. The angel said, "Just shut up and trust me!" Lo and behold she found a family at Ensemble Theater. She also has had small roles in the films "The Road," and "Riddle" to be released in December. Her angel gave her another nudge and she began writing a play under the guidance of Ensemble's Stagewrights unit which will have a reading in 2013. Agnes would like to thank Celeste, Ian and Martin for their warmth and encouragement, her husband and son for their patience and love, the wonderful cast, and her real-life guardian angel, Jonathan, who has become the brother she always wanted. Agnes is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.
JOHN BUSSER -ZIV- most recently performed at Ensemble Theatre in The Good Doctor directed by Jacqi Loewy. John has appeared on many Cleveland area stages, among others, The Beck Center, Cleveland Public Theater, and Convergence Continuum. He is a part of the long-running improv show, Flanagan's Wake. He also helps run CPT's Dark Room, a writer's workshop, and has been a contributor of 17 one-act plays, some of which have been produced in the area.
ANNE McEVOY -RUTH- Always happy to spend time at Ensemble Theatre, Anne’s grateful to be working with Ian, Jonathan, and this wonderful company. Previous work here includes Destroying the Light last spring, and Dividing the Estate (2010.) Elsewhere she’s performed at Actor’s Summit, Beck, Center, Blank Canvas, Cleveland Playhouse, Dobama, Great Lakes Theatre, Karamu, and Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Anne looks forward to being back at Ensemble after the holidays to work with Celeste on Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James which opens in January.
CURT ARNOLD -LUKE- is pleased to finally be onstage at Ensemble, having stage managed The Price, About Time, and Three Tall Women during their tenure at the Cleveland Play House. Most recently, he appeared in the Cleveland premieres of The Texas Chainsaw Musical and the critically-acclaimed Next Fall, both at Blank Canvas Theatre, and as Michael in Boys in the Band at convergence-continuum. Since 1995, his work as an actor, director, and stage manager has been seen at most Cleveland area theatres. For the last 10 years, he has been proud to direct and co-produce an annual musical production to benefit AIDS service agencies in Cuyahoga and Summit counties, raising over $88,000 for these charities.
TIM TAVCAR -MALCOLM/POLLY ESTHER- began his musical and theatrical education at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and devised courses of study with a concentration on theater and opera direction. He became a singer/actor/director, touring across the country in a variety of venues including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Following that peripatetic career, he turned to arts management and held a variety of positions including General Manager/Artistic Director of Vermont’s Vergennes Opera House and as an administrative and artistic company member of Montpelier’s Lost Nation Theater. He is a recipient of a Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the NEA for his Chamber Music /Readers Theater Project – WordStage, which recently presented its fifth season of programs about things literary and musical at the T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center in Montpelier, VT., and is beginning its second season in Northeast Ohio. He is currently working as a freelance actor and director in both Vermont and the Greater Cleveland area, where he has directed and performed for the Cleveland Public Theater, the Beck Center, Dobama Theatre and Blank Canvas Theatre. He is currently working on his second commission from the Lakewood Public Library for a piece on Walt Whitman for their 2013 National Poetry Month Celebration. He is thrilled to be making his debut at the Ensemble Theatre in Jonathan Wilhelm’s wonderful play.
KATIE WILKINSON -SARAH- Katie is happy to be making her second appearance at the ensemble theatre. Last season she played Florrie in Waiting For Lefty. Katie is currently a sophomore at Shaker Heights High School. Most recent credits include Cleveland Public Theatre’s Springboard staged readings playing Phoebe in Broken Wings and Miranda in the Tempest through the Dobama Emerging Actors Program at the Dobama Theatre. Katie would like to thank Ian, Celeste, Jonathan and Layla.
LAURYN HOBBS -ALIYAH- 14 year old Lauryn Hobbs is a 9th grader at Shaker Heights High school. She does many community theatre shows and activities. Her first show was Annie at Heights Youth Theatre back in 2006 where she played an orphan. Some previous credits include Les Miserable, Beauty and the Beast, Fame, and All Shook Up. She is an active member in her girl scout troop, and enjoys spending time with her friends. Lauryn is very excited to be doing her first show at ensemble theatre, and looks forward to working with these professionals in the future.