Holly Nicola (Witch Team 6/King)
Becoming involved in 2014, after retirement, in theater with Sacramento City College, Holly has since been cast in 12 of its major productions. twice before in its Shakespeare Festival, in The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. Her first experience in Cannery Row got her hooked! Holly enjoys minor roles and being part of the ensemble. Other productions in which she has been cast include The Great Gatsby, The Music Man, Carrie – the Musical, Miracle on 34th Street and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and two British pantos, Alice in Wonderland and Snow White. Her involvement has increased her appreciation of theater, due to becoming more aware of all the hard work that goes on not only on the stage, but also behind the scenes.
Ollie Stokes is a new student at Sac City College, studying theatre. They have previously been in shows such as Carrie the Musical and Much Ado About Nothing at Butte College.
Joy returns to the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival from Michigan, where she spent several years building a children’s community theater program. Performing on stage is a rare experience for Joy, who is usually listed in programs as a stage manager or technician. Joy is also a novelist, journalist, and playwright whose stage and screenplays have won awards locally and internationally.
Brandon is elated to appear in Sacramento Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth. Brandon is a proud Alumnus of the Acting Apprenticeship Program at Capital Stage, where he appeared in the company’s production of Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, and various other roles. Previous credits also include The MotherF**cker With The Hat(Big Idea Theatre), Brilliant Traces (Ovation Stage), The Grapes of Wrath, and Julius Caesar(Sacramento Theatre Company).
Sarah is grateful to be on stage at the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival again. Most recently seen as Mr. Shepherd/Mrs. Croft in BEYOND PERSUASION, she also enjoyed performances as Horatio in SSF’S production of HAMLET and Gertrude in Sac State’s production of the same.
This is Cuautli’s first show with SSF and is excited about the opportunity. Cuautli mostly has been performing with Falcons Eye Theater most notably in 𝘔𝘪𝘥𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘕𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵’𝘴 𝘋𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮 where they played Puck and recently 𝘈𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘦 where they were part of the chorus. Cuautli plans to continue studying acting at ARC to work towards becoming a professional actor in the future.
Dennis started in theatre taking courses at the University of Hawaii and later the University of Montana. After a long break he returned to performing in his first show with City Theatre, the 2013 production of After Juliet. Since then he has been active with both City Theater and the Sacramento Shakespeare festival productions of Much Ado About Nothing, The Uninvited, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, Henry V, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Lauren is making her Sacramento Shakespeare Festival debut. She is elated to be back at Sacramento City College where she recently performed as Segismundo in Life is a Dream and Rose Red in Snow White: A British Panto. You may have also seen her at the B Street Theatre in the 24 Hour Play Festival’s Norwegian Death Cleaning. Lauren is grateful to be working with Christine and Luther again and with Lori-Ann for the first time- I appreciate your kindness, vision, and leadership. Lauren would also like to thank the Devised Artist Julianna, the Fight Choreographer Dave, the Costume Designer Nicole and her team, and a resounding thank you to our stage managers Hannah and Erika! Above all, Lauren is thankful to her support system of family, friends, and coworkers who make it possible for her to continue to hone her acting skills and pursue her passion for theater arts.
McKenna is thrilled to be a part of yet another Shakespeare production. She graduated from Sacramento State last spring with a BA in Theatre and has long dreamed of finding a career in acting and teaching. After directing the department’s senior production of Spring Awakening (1906), McKenna plans on pursuing directing as well. Favorite performances include Hamlet (Hamlet, Sacramento State), Bev/Kathy (Clybourne Park, Solano College Theatre) Lady Macbeth (Macbeth, Solano College Theatre), and Christopher Boone (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Solano College Theatre). While theatre is her passion, McKenna has also acted in several short films. She hopes you enjoy the witchy business, and does not apologize for spooking you.
Petra has been acting in plays for a year now. You have seen her in ROMEO AND JULIET, as Head Guard in LIFE IS A DREAM, as Prince Charming in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DUDES, and as Captain Harville and Charles Hayter in BEYOND PERSUASION. She also house managed for THE ALCHEMIST.
Jim is jumping back into acting after a decade’s hiatus. This is his 2nd show in 2023, after performing in Clue with Village Stage Productions in Elk Grove. He previously studied theater in high school and college, with roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and West Side Story. His impossible dream is to write, direct, and/or perform in a movie that is one day labeled “classic” by film snobs like himself.
Shelby Elizabeth Saumier is overjoyed to be returning to the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival. Previous acting credits include: Anne Elliot in BEYOND PERSUASION (City Theatre), title role in HENRY V (SSF), Florinda in THE ROVER (Big Idea Theatre), Narrator/Engineer/Ensemble in STORIES TO BE TOLD (CSUS), Elinor Dashwood in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (City Theatre), Phantom in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Green Valley Theatre), Jane Bennet in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (City Theatre), Yvonne Chandel in A FLEA IN HER EAR (ARC), Claudio in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Wildflower Ensemble), and Sandrine/Glory/Hope in ALMOST, MAINE (CSUS). Shelby proudly attended Sacramento State University, where she received her BA in theatre, her teaching credential, and her MA in teaching. Shelby would not be where she is today without the love and support of her friends, family, and life partner Reilly.
Bethany is an actor/singer/dancer from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. A 2021 graduate of CSU Sacramento, she has previously worked with director Christine Nicholson on The Bald Soprano. She was most recently in Matriarchy Theatre’s production of Quantum directed by Nicole C. Limón and before that with Green Valley Theatre Company in The Rocky Horror Show as Janet. She’d like to thank her friends for being stinky and remind her family to RWYA. May the melancholy god protect thee✌.
This is Tim’s sixth production with the Shakespeare Festival. Previous plays and roles include Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Love’s Labour’s Lost (King Ferdinand), Othello (Brabantio), Measure for Measure (Provost), and The Merry Wives of W345indsor (Master Page). He was most recently seen as Master Lovewit in City Theatre’s The Alchemist. He has a B.A. in Theater Arts from U.C. Santa Cruz (1974). He is a retired elementary teacher who worked at Leonardo da Vinci School where the arts are integrated throughout the curriculum.
Angie relocated to Sacramento California from Colorado just a couple of years ago. She is excited & thrilled to return to the theater after so many years away from the theater world as her life focus was on raising 3 children, obtaining master’s degree, and full time career as a Speech Language Pathology. She did use theater during in her position as a speech therapist at the Colorado mental hospital – wrote and directed plays to help patient’s improve their lives.
After a long hiatus from the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Sinead is thrilled to be back. Her last show in the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival was Mid Summer’s Night Dream (Oberon Fairy). The previous shows she was in are Sacramento City College, The Alchemist (Gossip), Beyond Persuasion (Servant 1/Servant 2/ Butler), and Snow White: A British Panto (Baloney). For her day job she works for the Office Assistant over at California Department of Veterans Affairs, and she teaches the youth the art of theatre with On Stage Theatre Arts over at Leonardo da Vinci K-8. She would like to thank her family and friends for their support and would like to give a shout-out to the directors, stage managers, fellow cast members, and crew for being awesome. enjoy the show.
Nicholas will be performing this year as one of the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and has previously performed as Gregory in Romeo and Juliet and Oliver in Another As You Like It Reunion during last year’s Sacramento Shakespeare Festival. He is also an avid performer of choral music and has recently performed in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Sacramento Choral Society. Nicholas credits his older sister as his inspiration for pursuing community theater and choir, as she has performed in several plays/musicals across the greater Sacramento area and always encourages him to audition.
Matthew has acted with the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival since 2012. He appeared in the festival last summer as Hamlet in ANOTHER AS YOU LIKE IT REUNION. He has also played Sam in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, Dr. Pinch in THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, and Flute in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. He is excited to help bring the magic to MACBETH as one of the witches.
Jackie was previously seen at the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. She is a company member with Big Idea Theatre and has been seen with the company as Olivia in Twelfth Night, Bianca in Othello, Mrs. Marchmont in An Ideal Husband, Orangutan in Water by the Spoonful, and Valeria in Coriolanus.
by Kathleen Poe
Let me begin by saying that it is always a pleasure to work on Shakespeare. Whether it is the timeless nature of his stories or the delicious taste of his words dripping off my tongue, I have had a lifelong love affair with the Bard.
Specifically, this play. Macbeth.
We read it aloud in my 10th-grade English class. I can still remember reading the part of Banquo and falling in desperate love with the story, the characters, the themes, the verse – all of it. We delighted in the Witches and their super-rad (to coin a term from high school) prophecy, we marveled at the wild, audacious ambition of the Macbeths, and we cheered for the miracles of nature that bring the story to its unexpected conclusion.
We laughed at “I am slain”, as you do. To be honest, I’m still laughing at it. The ridiculousness of announcing one’s own death never ceases to send me into a fit of giggles.
(Side note: as I am now a veteran of dying a Shakespearean death, I far prefer, “Thou hast slain me”. It just hits differently.)
I spent my late teenage years obsessed with The Scottish Play. During my junior year, in my English class, we were asked to write a diary of a famous person, and I chose Macbeth. That summer, I spent my babysitting money to go see a production of Macbeth at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. It was amazing. They performed it in the round, and I was up close and personal. The Witches pounded thick ropes on the stage while giving their prophecies, and one of them ended up in my lap (the ropes, not the Witches). Mac and Lady M swapped an outrageous amount of spit. I was even more enthralled. How could I not be enthralled? I promise it wasn’t because of the spit.
In college, I took a Shakespeare class that only fueled my fire. Not only did I passionately love Macbeth, but now that adoration stretched to King Lear, Henry V, and Richard II (it took longer for me to love Hamlet, to be honest, but now I do, with all my heart).
When I first started doing Shakespeare on the stage, about eleven years ago, I couldn’t believe that I got to speak those words, and actual people would come to see and hear me do it. I also couldn’t get enough. I’ve now done 18 Shakespeare plays. Yes, 18.
Including my favorite – Macbeth.
But, strangely, up to this summer, I’ve never been able to participate in a fully staged, full-scale production of Macbeth.
My first experience was in a staged reading that we performed on Halloween. I read the role of the First Witch, and I couldn’t believe that I got to speak those words – “Double, double, toil and trouble”. That experience kept my Macbeth fire blazing.
A few years later came two nights as Macduff and the Second Witch, as part of our all-female Wildflower Women’s Ensemble. We performed in a park in midtown, with minimal staging, surrounded by traffic noises, beer bikes, and live, amplified, tonally suspect covers of Beatles tunes blaring from the café across the street. Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, it was a wonderful experience. I dearly loved playing Macduff and hoped for another chance at the role.
I got another crack a few years later, during the pandemic, when we put together an online version of The Scottish Play, complete with online sword choreography. It was an optimistic idea that didn’t quite work, but we gave it a good try. Whatever the case, it kept me in contact with my most cherished of all Shakespeare plays.
And now, here we are – the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival 2023. Macbeth, Macduff, we meet again…
When we first started our tech run-through on Saturday, some of us were dancing around backstage, almost giddy with excitement, as we saw the world that we’ve been working so hard to create begin to take a more complete and vibrant visual form.
Cast of Macbeth Kathleen Poe as Macduff, Gabriela Llarena as Witch 1, Jackie Martin as Lady Macbeth, Brandon Lancaster as Macbeth Kathleen Poe, Brandon Lancaster, Christine Nicholson, Petra Tafoya
Good grief – the colors are going to be spectacular (and I’m not just talking about the vivid bruises on my arms from sword battles and stage combat)!
I am floored by the talent involved in this project, both offstage and on. It is such a thrill to be a part of it, and to share the stage with such amazing, hard-working actors. How lucky I am.
In a way, this is some intense full-circle stuff for me. It is my lifetime obsession come to fruition.
And I can’t freakin’ wait for everyone to see it.
Kathleen Poe (Macduff/Cawdor)
Kathleen is a Music professor at Sacramento City College but loves doing theater in her copious free time. She was last seen as Lady Russell/Mrs. Musgrove in BEYOND PERSUASION (City Theater). Some favorite previous roles include The Narrator in WOLVES (Big Idea Theater), Judy Boone in THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME (City Theater), Polonius in HAMLET (both at CSUS and Sacramento Shakespeare Festival), and Colleen/Edna in MR BURNS – A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY (City Theater), and Jaques in AS YOU LIKE IT (Sacramento Shakespeare Festival). She is a proud original company member of Wildflower Women’s Ensemble, an all-female Shakespeare ensemble.
Sean Thomas Olivares (Ross)
Sean Thomas is making his return to the stage for Sacramento Shakespeare after a 6-year sabbatical. He is a graduate of Sacramento City College. His previous credits include Florindo in Servant of Two Masters, Don Armado in Love’s Labours Lost, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, A British Panto, Solyony in Three Sisters, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Rochefort in The Three Musketeers, and Leandro in Scapino! all for Sacramento Shakespeare or City Theatre. As a director, his most recent work was as co-director of The Three Musketeers by Ken Ludwig last summer for ACME Theatre Company in Davis.
Deandre Fritz (Donalbain/Fleance/King)
Deandre is super honored to perform in Macbeth and would love to thank his parents and peers for supporting him along the way. Deandre recently performed as Pseudolous in the musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Phil in the play The Fisherman And His Wife with other selected credits including: Much To Do About Nothing, Little Shop Of Horrors, Pajama Game, Almost Maine, and You Can’t Take It With You. He hopes to someday act in more film and theater productions!