Meet Charleston Stage’s new 2016-17 Acting Company. These talented actors from the Charleston community are the first of many to join us in our core company ensemble. They’ll perform in leading roles throughout our 39th Season at the Historic Dock Street Theatre.
Lara appeared in Charleston Stage's Hairspray (Velma VonTussle), Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, Catch Me if You Can, 9 to 5, Legally Blonde, Cabaret, and Joseph. She performed in the Village Repertory Co.'s Xanadu (Kira), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Hallie), Marvelous Wonderettes (Cindy Lou), Winter Wonderettes (Cindy Lou), One Man Two Guvnors (Pauline), London Wall, Spamalot, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Ring of Fire. She also choreographed their Spamalot and Wild Party, for which she won a Theatre Charleston Award. Some of her other performances include Christine in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Footlight), Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker (Footlight), Charity in Sweet Charity (Flowertown), Laura in The Glass Menagerie (Threshold), Lily St. Regis in Annie (Charleston Music Hall), Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress (Lazy Susan) and the original Angela in Perfectly Normel People (Footlight, Threshold, NY International Fringe Festival) for which she won a Theatre Charleston Award. Lara is a member of Charleston Stage's Acting Company.
Kyle has been a member of the Charleston Stage family dating back to Season 21 (1998 - 99) where as an intern he first appeared at the Dock Street as Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein. After many years working at theatres around the country such as Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square, he returned to Charleston where he became the Founding Artistic Director of What If? Productions where he has directed productions that include The Cannibals, Amadeus, Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche and Evil Dead: The Musical. Charleston Stage credits include: The Monster (Young Frankenstein), Mr. Hart (9 to 5: The Musical), Versati (The Underpants), Ernst Ludwig (Cabaret), Richard Hannay (The 39 Steps), Nick (Shear Madness), Cpt. Hook (The Original Peter Pan) and Malvolio (Twelfth Night). Charleston Stage directing credits: Steel Magnolias, The Foreigner and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. By day Kyle is also the Executive Director of Charleston Horticultural Society. This season with Charleston Stage, Kyle will be starring as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher.
Samille is happy to be returning to Charleston Stage as a nun in Sister Act. A native Georgian, Samille has been performing since she was a child. She is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and a retired teacher and medical librarian. Samille has appeared in a variety of memorable roles with many wonderful theatre groups in Charleston including Charleston Stage, Footlight Players, Woolfe Street / Village Playhouse, What If ? Productions and Threshold Theatre. This season with Charleston Stage, Samille will be starring as Sister Mary Theresa in Sister Act.
John has been performing for local audiences for over 15 years, having been nominated for several awards including “Best Supporting Actor” for his portrayal of Saeed in Blood and Gifts at the Woolfe Street Playhouse here in Charleston. Amongst his favorite roles: Drew in Rock of Ages, Martin in Seminar and Jinx in Forever Plaid. Love to his stunning wife Sarah, empowering family and irreplaceable friends. This season with Charleston Stage, John will be starring as Ezekiel Foster in White Christmas and Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher.
Sarah Callahan Black
Sarah is a Charleston native and has appeared in several Charleston Stage Musicals including The Producers, Catch Me if You Can: The Musical, Young Frankenstein, Legally Blonde, Chicago and West Side Story. She also choreographed the Charleston Stage production of Little Shop of Horrors and was assistant choreographer for Catch Me if You Can: The Musical. Other roles include Sherrie in Rock of Ages, Miss Bufton in London Wall, and Flossie in Happy in the Poorhouse (Village Rep.), Andy in Addicted to Love (34 West), Fraulein Kost in Cabaret (What If? Productions), Little Red in Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella in Cinderella, and Goldilocks in Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Sprouts Musical Theatre) and Chava in Fiddler on the Roof (Threshold Rep). Other choreography credits include Rock of Ages (Village Rep), Cabaret (What If? Productions), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Footlight Players), Pippin (Midtown Productions) and Fiddler on the Roof (Threshold Rep). This season with Charleston Stage, Sarah will be starring as Rita in White Christmas and choreographing Sister Act.
Letty was born and raised for the 1st half of life in Southern California, but has come to call beautiful Charleston, SC, home for the last 20+ years. She holds a BS Degree from Southern Wesleyan University and is currently working towards an MS from Charleston Southern University. She has previously appeared on stage in Charleston Stage’s The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein and Gershwin at Folly, as part of the ensemble casts, and most recently in The Seat of Justice as Viola Pearson and Cora and Mary Poppins as Mrs. Corry. Letty credits her introduction to the Charleston Theater community to the invite she received to be a part of the ensemble cast of the 2012 performance of Porgy and Bess, performed the first time ever at the Historic Dock Street Theater. Some of her hobbies and interests include traveling, watching movies, laughing, enjoying life and spending time with her beautiful and talented daughter, Zariah, extended family, close friends and her growing theater family. This season with Charleston Stage, Letty will be starring as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray and Viney in The Miracle Worker.
Victor is honored to be a member of Charleston Stage's Acting Company! Other Charleston Stage credits include: Judge Waties Waring in The Seat of Justice, Old Man in A Christmas Story, Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, Hank in Inga Binga, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Lloyd in Noises Off, 11 different characters in Greater Tuna, Jim in All My Sons and Paul in Born Yesterday. Other favorite roles while in Charleston include: Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy, Dr. Sanderson in Harvey and Bill in On Golden Pond. This season with Charleston Stage, Victor will be starring as the General Henry Waverly in White Christmas and Keller in The Miracle Worker.
Beth is a Charleston-based actress and has performed all over the Charleston area, most recently appearing with What If? Productions as Frankie in the World Premiere of The Cannibals as well as Mrs. Brill at the Historic Dock Street Theatre in Charleston Stage’s Mary Poppins. Other Charleston Stage credits include: The Seat of Justice (Mrs. Elizabeth Waring), Catch Me If You Can: The Musical (Carol Strong), The Diary of Anne Frank (Mrs. Frank), Gershwin at Folly (Dorothy Heyward), Inga Binga (Betty) and The 39 Steps (The Woman). Other What If? Productions credits include: Cabaret as Fraulein Schneider, Baby With the Bathwater (Helen), Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche (Wren), Hearts Full of Blood (Allison), Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette) and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Yitzhak). When not on stage, Beth is the Director of Marketing/Resident Graphic Designer for Charleston Stage. This season with Charleston Stage, Beth will be starring as Martha Watson in White Christmas and Mother Superior in Sister Act.
With Charleston Stage, David played Robert Figg, John W. Davis, Isaac Woodard attorney and Rep. Garrett in The Seat of Justice. He also played three of those roles in the original 2004 production. From 2001 to 2008, David was a member of the Blackfriars Resident Troupe of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, playing over 90 roles including Shylock, Prospero, Richard II, Cassius, Claudius, Lord Capulet and Ebenezer Scrooge. He toured for six years with Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, National Shakespeare Company and Chamber Repertory Theatre of Boston. He studied acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, NY, and the National Shakespeare Conservatory. Other Charleston roles: Gabe in Dinner With Friends (Charleston Stage); Sidney Bruhl in Deathrap (Footlight Players); Lyman Wyeth in Other Desert Cities (Pure Theatre); Kerry Max Cook in The Exonerated (Midtown Productions); Walter Barnes in Blood and Gifts (Woolfe Street Playhouse). David lives on James Island with his wife, Rev. Kristen Barner, and their two dogs, Monty and Viva. This season with Charleston Stage, David will be starring as Professor Van Helsing in Dracula and Lord Leonard Astor in Peter and the Starcatcher.
Derek T. Pickens
Derek, a former Charleston Stage Resident Actor, is thrilled to be part of his fifth season with Charleston Stage. He was most recently seen in Shear Madness (Eddie) last season. Local credits include Avenue Q (Princeton/Rod), The Producers (Franz), Catch Me If You Can: The Musical (Agent COD) and The Foreigner (David) with Charleston Stage, as well as Rock of Ages (Franz), Monty Python's Spamalot (Sir Robin) and The Lyons (Curtis) with Village Rep. Other favorite shows include: Shrek the Musical (Lord Farquaad) at the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, the national tour of Horrible Harry (Harry) and It's Like That Way for Everybody at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Derek received his MFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a BA in Theatre Education from Greensboro College. This season with Charleston Stage, Derek will be serving as Assistant Director for Hairspray and starring as Alf in Peter and the Starcatcher and Featured Ensemble in White Christmas.
Ryan is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in Theatre for Youth. Favorite credits include: Robertson Ay in Mary Poppins (Charleston Stage), Carmen Ghia in The Producers (Charleston Stage), Pinocchio in Shrek the Musical (Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival), Phil d'Armano in Wild Party (Village Rep.), Mitch Maypole in Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens (What If?), Ed Carmichael in You Can't Take It With You (Charleston Stage), DuBose Heyward in Gershwin at Folly (Charleston Stage) and President Roosevelt in Annie (Charleston Stage). This season with Charleston Stage, Ryan will be starring as Male Authority Figure in Hairspray, Grempkin/Fighting Prawn in Peter and the Starcatcher and Monsignor O’Hara in Sister Act.
Brian has been with Charleston Stage for over 5 years and serves as the Director of Administration. Some of Brian’s favorite Charleston Stage acting credits include: Shear Madness (Tony Whitcomb), The Producers (Roger De Bris), Catch Me If You Can: The Musical (Roger Strong), Gershwin at Folly (Uncle Angelo), Anything Goes (Elisha Whitley), Inga Binga (Lemoyne “Lem” Billings), A Christmas Carol (Ebenezer Scrooge, 2010), Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (Clown, Man 2) and Cabaret (Emcee). Brian has also appeared on stage with What If? Productions in Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens (Saucy Jack), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Hedwig), Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story (Richard Loeb) and Cabaret (Emcee). This season with Charleston Stage, Brian will be starring as Wilbur in Hairspray and Smee in Peter and the Starcatcher.
Andrea was born and raised in Southern California and is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Charleston Stage credits include: Bird Woman in Mary Poppins, Shirley Markowitz in The Producers, Mrs. VanDann in The Diary of Anne Frank and Ensemble in The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein. Andrea is also an educator in the Charleston area working with Storytree Theatre! She is honored to be a part of the Charleston Stage Acting Company and looks forward to her 3rd season with Charleston Stage. Special thanks go out to her amazing husband Mark, her two wonderful sons Logan and David and to her very supportive parents! She would also like to thank Charleston Stage for the opportunity! This season with Charleston Stage, Andrea will be starring as Female Authority Figure in Hairspray and Sister Mary Lazaraus in Sister Act.
Jesse is Charleston Stage’s Associate Director of Education and a proud member of the Charleston Stage Acting Company. Jesse holds a B.A. in Theatre Education from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. Over the past five years, he has taught and performed all over North and South Carolina, most notably at Flat Rock Playhouse (Flat Rock, NC) and South Carolina Children’s Theatre (Greenville, SC). At Charleston Stage, Jesse wears many hats (like the entire staff). Whether he’s teaching classes in the TheatreSchool, heading the High School/Middle School Acting Programs, helping guide RAs in their educational development, leading Charleston Stage’s in-school workshops, directing or acting, he stays very busy. Favorite Charleston Stage roles include: Leo Bloom (The Producers), Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Young Frankenstein), Henry (Next to Normal), Benjamin Cohen (The Underpants), Joe (9 to 5: The Musical), Dr. Watson (Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure) and Jacob Marley/Topper/Fezziwig/Butcher (A Christmas Carol). This season with Charleston Stage, Jesse will be starring as Corny Collins in Hairspray, Phil Davis in White Christmas and Pablo in Sister Act.