Meet Charleston Stage’s 2021-22 Acting Ensemble. These talented actors from the Charleston community are members of our core company ensemble. They’ll perform in leading roles throughout our 44th Season at the Historic Dock Street Theatre.
Lara appeared in Charleston Stage’s Mamma Mia (Tanya), Hairspray (Velma Von Tussle), Beauty and the Beast (Babette), Noises Off (Belinda), Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, Catch Me if You Can, 9 to 5, Legally Blonde, Cabaret, and Joseph. With Village Repertory Co. she performed in Daddy Long Legs (Jerusha), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Hallie), Xanadu (Kira), Marvelous Wonderettes (Cindy Lou), Winter Wonderettes (Cindy Lou), One Man Two Guvnors (Pauline), London Wall, Spamalot, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Ring of Fire. 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), Princess Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress (D.C.’s Lazy Susan), and Angela in Perfectly Normel People (Footlight, Threshold, NY International Fringe Festival). Lara and her husband, Ian, recently welcomed their first child, Abel James.
A native Georgian, Samille has been with Charleston Stage since their 19th season when her first show was Glass Menagerie. Some of her favorite shows with Charleston Stage are All My Sons, Moon Over Buffalo, Ballyhoo, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, Gershwin at Folly, Steel Magnolias, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Foreigner, and Helium. Samille has appeared with Footlight Players (favorites include I Hate Hamlet, Sisters Rosensweig, Dearly Departed, Rumors, Lion In Winter, Quartet, and Suddenly Last Summer). She has performed with Midtown Acting Company (favorites include Shadowbox, On Golden Pond, Driving Miss Daisy, 4000 Miles, and Collected Stories) and with Village Rep at Woolfe Street Playhouse (favorites include August Osage County, Suddenly Last Summer, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Grace and Glorie, Mornings At Seven, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Enchanted April, Trip To Bountiful, The Lyons, and Marjorie Prime). Samille has also appeared on stage with What If? Productions in House of Yes and Kimberly Akimbo and with Threshold Company in Becky Shaw and Uncle Vanya. Samille most recently appeared as Ouiser in Charleston Stage's Steel Magnolias. Samille is honored to have had so many acting opportunities with Charleston Stage and to be a part of the Ensemble.
Marybeth is Charleston Stage's Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education. Marybeth started acting, teaching, and directing for the Charleston Stage in Season 20 and joined the staff full-time in Season 22. She created and oversees Charleston Stage's Resident Acting Intern Program which has employed almost 90 young professional actors to date. She directs multiple shows each season, favorites include Young Frankenstein and Mary Poppins. She has appeared on stage in multiple shows including The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Moon Over Buffalo, A Christmas Carol and You Can't Take It With You. In addition to overseeing the TheatreSchool classes and TheatreWings High School Apprentice Program at Charleston Stage, she also creates the curriculum for Charleston Stage's in school residencies and is a popular presenter at teacher inservices and arts education conferences. Clark has a degree in theatre/performance from the University of South Florida and has worked as an actor in professional theatres throughout the Southeast. Most recently seen as Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare In Love, this season she will be in Noises Off.
Victor is honored to be a member of Charleston Stage's Acting Ensemble! Other Charleston Stage credits include: Sir Robert De Lesseps/Barman in Shakespeare in Love, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Keller in The Miracle Worker, General Henry Waverly in White Christmas, 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. Victor most recently appeared with Charleston Stage as Maurice in Disney's Beauty and the Beast and as Candy in Of Mice and Men.
Rylee is excited to be a member of the Charleston Stage Acting Ensemble! Rylee is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Dance.Laugh.Learn. a music, movement, and drama program for kids, aimed at sparking an early love for the arts. Rylee has performed regionally and internationally with such companies as; Sesame Street Live, Joey Casella Productions,, Roxy Regional Theatre, and RWS and Associates. Charleston Stage credits include: Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time (Judy), Mamma Mia! (Donna), White Christmas (Tessie/Mrs. Snoringman), Sister Act (Sister Mary Patrick), and Avenue Q (Ensemble). Rylee can be seen this season as Vi Moore in Footloose and Mama Murphy in Bright Star. Rylee currently teaches private voice from her James Island studio, www.ryleecoppel.com. Big thanks to the Charleston Stage team for being her amazing theatre family, and to her husband Ben and daughter Vivian for always being so supportive!
Liz Butler Duren is an award-winning author and playwright and a proud recipient of the Best of Charleston 2020 for the play she wrote and performed at last year's Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Liz has been acting for Charleston Stage since 1985. Her favorite roles have been numerous but if she had to choose it would be Annie Sullivan in the Miracle Worker, M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias, and most recently Dotty in Noises Off.
Chad has been acting around the Lowcountry since 2007 including with the Flowertown Players, Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre, Threshold Repertory Theatre, What If? Productions, and the Actor’s Theatre of South Carolina. Chad is very excited to be back once again with Charleston Stage as a member of the Acting Ensemble. Some of Chad’s favorite productions he has been part of include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Seat of Justice, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Odd Couple, Don’t Dress For Dinner, The Red Velvet Cake War, Dearly Departed, The 39 Steps, Amadeus, Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare In Love, the Pearlstine Theatre’s debut show Shear Madness, and Noises Off. He would like to thank his wife Sharon and daughter Sacha for their love and everlasting support for the chance to be involved with such a great organization and community and hopes to be back on stage very soon!
In the past two seasons with Charleston Stage, David appeared as Editor Webb in Our Town, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and Richard Burbage in Shakespeare in Love. From 2001 to 2008, David was a member of the Blackfriars Resident Troupe of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, playing roles such as Shylock, Prospero, Richard II, Cassius, Claudius, Lord Capulet, and Ebenezer Scrooge. He toured the US for six years with Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the 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: Lord Leonard Aster in Peter and the Starcatcher; Prof. Van Helsing in Dracula; Robert Figg, John W. Davis, Isaac Woodard attorney, and Rep. Garrett in The Seat of Justice; and Gabe, Dinner With Friends, with Charleston Stage; Macbeth and King Lear with Actors’ Theatre of SC; Sidney Bruhl, Deathrap, Footlight Players; Lyman Wyeth, Other Desert Cities, PURE Theatre; Kerry Max Cook, The Exonerated, Midtown Productions; Walter Barnes, Blood and Gifts, Woolfe Street Playhouse. David lives on James Island with his wife, Rev. Kristen Barner, and their dog, Tia.
Luciana has thoroughly enjoyed performing and choreographing for Charleston Stage over the last 20 years, especially the shows Pippin, Guys and Dolls, Anything Goes, Chicago, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sister Act, Beauty and the Beast, Footloose and Elf. Favorite roles locally include Nikki in Sweet Charity and Mavis in Stepping Out with Footlight Players, and the ensemble in Hair with WhatIf? Productions. An exercise physiologist by trade, she is an international public speaker, presenter and Master Instructor for the Spinning® indoor cycling program, in addition to her roles as Senior Advisor and Global Team Manager for the company. She holds a BA in Sociology from Duke University and an MA in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Florida. Much love to her husband Chris and kids Zen and Kalea for continued support while Mommy spends late nights singing and dancing.
Melonea most recently performed with Charleston Stage as Mrs. Shubert in Shear Madness at the Pearl Theatre and as Clairee in Steel Magnolias at the Dock Street Theatre. Other performances with Charleston Stage include Last Night of Ballyhoo, Brighton Beach Memoirs, All My Sons, Omnium Gatherium, and To Kill a Mockingbird. In real life, Melonea is the Coordinator of the Berkeley County Guardian Ad Litem program. She’d like to thank her husband, Mike for all his love and support.
anthony t. matrejek
Anthony is a USC Alum with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He has performed since he was 9 years old with many theater companies including AFY (Wilson,NC), Playhouse (Wilson,NC), Paramount Theater (Farmville, NC), Imperial Centre (Rocky Mount,NC), NCT! (Raleigh,NC) , Town Theater (Columbia,SC), and portrayed the mascot Cocky while a student at USC. In Charleston, Anthony has performed with Threshold Repertory Theatre, Footlight Players, and was last seen on stage at the Dock Street Theater in Footloose. He would like to express his gratitude to all patrons and participants in Charleston’s Theater community for their support; his friends for their excitement and dedication to seeing him perform anywhere and everywhere; and most importantly to his parents, family, and everyone he considers family (you know who you are).
Derek, a former Charleston Stage Resident Actor, is a theatre teacher at the Charleston County School of the Arts. He was most recently seen in Elf the Musical (Walter Hobbs) and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth). Charleston Stage credits include: Mamma Mia! (Bill Austin), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Scuttle), Peter and the Starcatcher (Alf), the 2016 production of Shear Madness (Eddie), the 2012 production of Avenue Q (Princeton/Rod), and The Producers (Franz). Derek has also been seen on stage in Charleston in Rock of Ages (Franz), Monty Python’s Spamalot (Sir Robin), and The Lyons (Curtis) at Village Rep, where he is also a member of their Acting Ensemble. Derek received his M.F.A. in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a B.A. in Theatre Education from Greensboro College.
Ryan is a Charleston native and graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in Theatre for Youth. Favorite Charleston Stage credits include: Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Lumière), Mamma Mia! (Harry Bright), Shakespeare in Love (Wessex), A Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit), Disney's The Little Mermaid (Chef Louis), The Producers (Carmen Ghia), Noises Off (Garry Lejeune), Mary Poppins (Robertson Ay), Peter and the Starcatcher (Grempkin/Fighting Prawn), and Gershwin at Folly (DuBose Heyward). Ryan is a Kindergarten Teacher at The Cooper School in Charleston.
letty richey (formerly clay)
Letty was born and raised for the 1st half of her life in Southern California, but has come to call beautiful Charleston, SC, home for the last 25+ years. She holds a B.S. Degree from Southern Wesleyan University and a M.S. from Charleston Southern University. She has previously appeared on stage at the Dock Street in many wonderful Charleston Stage productions and has been blessed to perform as both ensemble and a principle cast member. Letty credits her introduction to the Charleston Theatre community to the invite she received to be a part of the ensemble cast of the 2012 performance of Porgy and Bess, performed for the first time ever at the Historic Dock Street Theatre, though written in Charleston depicting a well-known local Charleston Rainbow Row Native. Some of her hobbies and interests include traveling, watching movies, laughing, enjoying life and spending time with her Handsome Husband, Anthony, their blended family of 5 to include Charleston native & WAHS 2015 Alum, daughter Zariah, extended family, close friends, and her growing theatre family. Letty most recently appeared in the Ensemble of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, as Voice Six: Mrs. Alexandria/Posh Woman in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and as Professor Williard and Ensemble in Our Town.
Cody, originally from McMinnville, TN, graduated from the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN, with a B.F.A. in Theatre with a double emphasis in Musical Theatre and Technical Production. This is his 4th season continuing on after being a Resident Actor for the 40th Anniversary Season and is his second year in the Acting Ensemble Company. When he’s not on stage you can see him as the Resident Designer and Paint Charge for the company. Some favorite past credits here at Charleston Stage include Buddy the Elf in Elf the Musical, Rod/Princeton in Avenue Q, Sam in Shakespeare in Love, as well as being in the ensemble in Footloose, Beauty and the Beast, Mamma Mia!, and The Little Mermaid. Other favorite credits include Moritz in Spring Awakening, Orin in Little Shop of Horrors, Sonny in Xanadu, and Pinocchio in Shrek. He would like to thank the Charleston Stage family for giving him this opportunity, his family and friends for their continued support, and Scooter and David for putting up with his rehearsal and work schedule. He hopes you enjoy the season!
Maggie is thrilled to be back in Charleston and to join the Acting Ensemble. You may recognize her from her time as a Resident Actor with the company in various performances including Hairspray (Tracy Turnblad), The Miracle Worker (Annie Sullivan), and Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon). She currently teaches for Dance.Laugh.Learn and is also the Outreach Coordinator for Charleston Stage Company. She can be seen this season in Elf as Mrs. Claus, Our Town as Mrs. Webb, and Bright Star. She would like to thank the Charleston Stage family for welcoming her back with open arms and her mom for her constant support.
Jesse is Charleston Stage’s Associate Director of Education. Jesse holds a B.A. in Theatre Education from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. He has taught 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 helps run and teach the Performance Troupe Classes, serves as the TheatreWings High School Apprentice Program Coordinator, heads Charleston Stage's in-school arts integration workshops, helps coordinate and train the Resident Actors, directs, and acts when he can! Directing credits include: The Best Christmas Ever (two times...so far), Sheer Madness (Two times...so far), The Miracle Worker, Anne of Green Gables, The Giver, To Kill a Mockingbird, Number the Stars, and Steel Magnolias. Favorite Charleston Stage Roles include: Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Young Frankenstein), Henry (Next to Normal), Benjamin Cohen (The Underpants), George (Of Mice and Men), Dr. Watson (Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure), Jacob Marley and Others (A Christmas Carol), Phil Davis (White Christmas), Corny Collins (Hairspray), and William Shakespeare (Shakespeare in Love).
After two years in the Resident Acting Company, Colin is ecstatic to be returning to Charleston Stage as a member of the Acting Ensemble Company. Originally from outside of Cincinnati, OH, Colin got his B.F.A. in Acting and double minor in Musical Theatre and Arts Administration from Western Kentucky University. Some of Colin’s favorite Charleston Stage credits include: Of Mice and Men (Lennie), Footloose (Willard), Beauty and the Beast (LeFou), A Christmas Carol (The Ghost Of Christmas Past), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Voice 4), Shear Madness, (Mikey), and Elf (The Manager). Other credits include: Guys and Dolls(Nicely Nicely Johnson), Into the Woods (Jack), and Little Shop Of Horrors (Seymour). Colin was most recently named the best actor of Charleston in the 2020 "Best of Charleston Awards." He can't wait to be back on the stage again, with his favorite theatre company!