Extended Bios from the Much Ado
Cast and Production Team
*denotes company member
^denotes producing board member
Emily Huntingford^ - Beatrice
Emily (she/her) is so excited to be working with Dacha on her very favorite Shakespeare play! She is a producer and actor throughout Seattle and loves classical works and new means of storytelling. You may have caught her in Dacha's digital shows, The Moors, many Dice productions, or shouting Shakespeare in the parks with GreenStage. When not working she enjoys chocolate, board games, and yelling at old episodes of Survivor. http://emilyhuntingford.com.
Casey Bowen^ - Benedick
Casey (he/him) is a theatre artist and an associate producer with Dacha Theatre. He enjoys collaborative storytelling, ill-advised art projects, and automating spreadsheets. Although this is Casey's first appearance on television, you may have seen Casey onstage in recent Dacha productions such as Dears in Headlights, Robot Face, and The Moors. You may have heard Casey talked about during Dacha's Trivia Nights on Twitch!
Samuel Edgren - Claudio
Samuel (he/him) is a dog-petter, tea-drinker, and hyphen-fancier from nowhere in particular. He works as an actor and carpenter, and in his more lucid moments thinks life could be a lot worse. Having worked with theatres across the country in a variety of roles, he is elated to work with Dacha on this production. When not distracted by work, he loves savoring rain, contemporary and epic poetry, strawberries, liturgy, and long walks on the beach.
Beth Pollack^ - Hero
Beth (she/her) is a Seattle-based actor, teaching artist, and arts administrator. Favorite Dacha credits include Princess (The Light Princess), Sonata (Who Killed Otter’s Babies?) and all 4 iterations of the Dice series. You may have also seen or heard her work with Seattle Shakespeare Company or Book-It. Beth has worked with Dacha since 2017, serving as an Artistic Producer, director, dramaturg, and fight captain. More at beth-pollack.com.
Stephanie Roman - Margaret
Stephanie (they/them) is super stoked to be working with Dacha Theatre for the first time! They are an actor, singer and occasional salsa dancer. When not spreading the hot gossip as Margaret, you can find them at your local Trader Joe’s stocking the cookie and candy section or watching “Friends,” with their roommate Tanner. Steph is super excited to be back in the theatre space and playing with this group of incredibly talented actors.
Ella Ruth Francis - Borachio
Ella Ruth (she/her) is an actor, singer and dog connoisseur originally from San Francisco. She is thrilled to make her Dacha debut with this incredible group of humans. She is a proud Theatre Bay Area award winner for Next to Normal at Los Altos Stage. Favorite past roles include Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Pamela (Head Over Heels) and Irina (Three Sisters). See more at ellaruthfrancis.com. Young hot thespian is the regime, the takeover is now.
Benjamin Symons* - Don Pedro
Benjamin (he/him) is an Actor, Sound Designer, and IT professional. He's so very happy to be back on the stage and particularly in a Shakespeare show! You may have seen him last in Dacha's Pride & PrejuDICE or the online interactive experience Yarn. He loves board games, reading books, and playing the guitar poorly. He'd like to thank his wife for going along with all the nonsense.
Mimi Santos* - Verges
Mimi (she/her) is an educator, an actor and an avid reader who loves learning new things! If you ever want to talk about anything Shakespeare, Mimi would love to chat!
Olivia Kridle^ - Props Assistant / Verges Swing
Olivia (she/they) has covered a plethora of roles in their career with Dacha thus far (asst. directing, acting, props, PR), and she’s ecstatic to be joining this cast & crew for her first Shakespeare show. A transplant from California, Olivia Kridle is an actor, writer, & director. In their spare time, she’s a film & music enthusiast who loves Christmas, tending to her plants, eating Korean food, and spending time with her loved ones.
Nathan Olson - Stage Manager
Nathan (he/him) is excited to be a part of his first show with Dacha as Stage Manager! Nathan recently moved back to the Seattle area after spending several years in New York, and has been spending his workdays filing paperwork and saying stuff. On those rare occasions where he is able to sneak away from the theater to the outside world, he enjoys audio books and a warm cup of coffee and tea!
Devin Petersen - Scenic/Props Designer
Devin (he/him) is overjoyed to be back making live theatre! Local credits include working with Broadway Bound Children's Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Annex, On-the-Boards, Seattle Musical Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre, and Whitman College. Upcoming productions: Intiman’s The Mystery of Irma Vep, Village Kidstage’s Matilda the Musical, and Broadway Bound’s The Little Mermaid. BA: Whitman College. MFA: NYU Tisch. devinpetersen.com
Jerik Fernandez* - Sound Designer
Jerik (he/him) is an actor, DJ, and Twitch streamer. He was last seen in Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet with Seattle Shakespeare. He has worked with Dacha on Pride and PrejuDICE (actor) and Dears in Headlights (sound design). He is part of the Young Hot Thespian collective.
Ryan Long* - Lighting Designer / Master Electrician
Ryan (they/them) is excited to welcome you into the world of Much Ado! Ryan is a playwright, dramaturg, and jack-of-all-trades theatremaker. You may have seen their technical work in The Light Princess and As You Like It. They can usually be found geeking about about Shakespeare, linguistics, or the next absurd mug for their collection. They are also a proud parent of two adorable rats.
Kyle Levien* - Assistant Sound Designer
Kyle (he/him) is thrilled as always to be working with Dacha Theatre once again! Past credits include Pride&PrejuDICE, Secret Admirer, and Star Play. Outside the stage you can find him composing for and playing characters on the Monster Hour actual play podcast, playing tabletop games, and reforming new habits.
Claire Stark^ - Production Manager
Claire (she/her) is a Production Manager and AEA Stage Manager originally from Indianapolis. She returns to Dacha after a fourth summer stage managing for Santa Cruz Shakespeare — this time, Richard II. Recent Seattle credits include the 5th Ave Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Dacha. Previously, Claire worked with the Indiana Repertory Theatre for three seasons. Claire loves coffee, Shakespeare, and a well organized tech schedule.
Emma Cady* - Camera Operator
Emma (they/he) is an actor, dancer, clown, contemporary circus artist, and multimedia creator. Their work explores the relations between different forms of story telling - from the movement arts and physical comedy, to theater and film. He delights in creativity that is seriously fun, rebelliously playful, and wide open. Their other delights include being near water, tea time, and solo dance parties. To see a sample of their work, please visit emmacady.com
Kevin Tanner* - Projections Operator
Kevin (he/him) is a company member with Dacha and performer all around Seattle. This is Kevin's technical debut. Kevin enjoys hitting the spacebar.
Michelle Lynn Conklin - Leonato
Michelle (she/her) is thrilled to be performing live again with Dacha. In addition to performing, she is also a writer, director, and producer through out Puget Sound. You may have seen her in Dacha's The Snow Queen as Bandit Queen or more recently as Falstaff in Greenstage's Henry IV part 2. When not creating theatrical mischief, Oh who are we kidding she is always creating theatrical mischief!
Kristina Roy* - Antonio
Kristina (she/her) has been a long-time lover of Shakespeare since taking on the Nurse (R&J) in 1st grade. Now, she makes a delightful return to Shakespeare's world as a Dacha company member. Previously, you may have seen her in Dacha's Ghost Party and Sorry I Missed You. Kristina has also ventured into directing, props, stage crew, and administration with theaters around Seattle. She enjoys baking for loved ones and meeting other people's pets.
Ben Swenson-Klatt - Don John
Ben (they/them) is thrilled to be back for their second show with Dacha! They are an actor, dancer, singer, choreographer and work full time in the arts supporting Seattle Rep and Washington Ensemble Theatre. Originally from Minneapolis, MN they graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A in Theater and Dance. They are an avid biker, and lover of all things coffee related and want to thank Leah, Bao and Westley for their love and snuggles.
Sara Jo Geiger - Dogberry
Sara Jo (she/they) is a Seattle-based actor, singer, improviser, and writer. You might have seen her in Netflix’s “American Vandal” or “Trinkets”, her one woman show “Pastor Chastity Joy”, Theater Schmeater’s “Pinocchio”, 18th & Union’s “Wormwood”, or Jet City Improv’s “Wretched Events”. Sara is thrilled to make her debut with Dacha Theater, and hopes you enjoy the show!
Nansi Dwendi - DJ / Balthazar
Nansi Dwendi (he/him) is a director, actor, poet, and cat lover interested in truth as told from the margins and the stimulation of empathy and compassion through the arts. He is a member of the Young Hot Thespian theatre collective where he has directed production such as Endgame and The Brother’s Size. He frequently publishes his poetry at reflectivesight.substack.com.
Nick O'Leary* - Director
Nick (he/him) is a New York based director, theatermaker and game designer. A Dacha company member, Nick has directed 4 previous shows with the company including :robot_face: and Pride and PrejuDICE. He has developed new work with companies like Guerilla Opera, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and The Museum of the Moving Image. Nick is also a board game player, a craft beer drinker, and an obsessive podcast listener. More at: www.nickoleary.com
Donovan Olsen* - Assistant Director
Donovan (they/them) is a director, writer, costume designer, and deep believer in accessible, community-oriented theatre. Much Ado is their third show with Dacha, after having costume designed Star Play earlier this year and assistant directed/fight choreographed The Moors in 2020. Outside of theatre, they enjoy baking complicated desserts, closely watching sunsets, and keeping up with their chaotic cat, Starling.
Mike Lion^- Cinematography Designer
Mike (he/him) is a director, actor, translator, and clown. He is the co-Artistic Director and the program associate and improv coach at Youth Theatre Northwest. Mike recently directed Dacha's summer tour of Dears in Headlights. He has spent the last year incorporating video into digital theatre projects and is excited to be exploring live in-the-room video in this hybrid performance model.
Evelyn Robertson Symons* - Projections/Graphics Designer
Evelyn (she/her) is an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, and multimedia jack-of-all-trades. This is her first show as a projections designer, and she's hoping you'll be dazzled. You may have seen her illustrations and eye for design in Secret Admirer or on the poster for Pride and PrejuDICE. When she isn't hunting down fonts or planning her next painting, she loves knitting and curling up with a good book.
Briana Schwartz - Costume Designer
Briana (she/her) spends her days among the pages and shelves of Arundel Bookstore and her evenings surrounded by beads, thread, and fabric scraps. Her previous Dacha designs include Ghost Party, Light Princess, As You Like It, and Dears in Headlights. She was thrilled to return for Much Ado About Nothing and took great joy in the mayhem of the masquerade!
Kate Drummond^ - Text Coach / Intimacy Director
Kate (she/her) is a director, intimacy director, and co-Artistic Director of Dacha Theatre. She works with the Pacific Northwest Theatrical Intimacy collective, and is passionate about good jokes, consent-based rehearsal rooms, and pep talks – her work is born of all three. She created and directed Dacha's STAR PLAY; recent intimacy direction credits include Christmas Carol (ACT Theatre), Queenfisher (Shattered Glass Project), and The Moors (Dacha).
Haley Thomas^ - Assistant Stage Manager
Haley (she/her) welcomes you to our studio audience! Haley is a stage manager, producer, singer, floral buyer and coffee enthusiast. Some of her credits include Stage Managing Dacha's Zoom performance of Secret Admirer and this summer's touring production of Star Play. When not in the studio Haley can be found exploring the PNW with her Partner Adam and their dog Dahlia.
Patrick Hogan* - Camera Operator
With Dacha, Patrick (he/him) has been a clown in Dears in Headlights, a celebrity judge in :robot-face:, movie mogul Reg Yaroz in Ghost Party – and many more. For Much Ado, Patrick is thrilled to explore new territory behind the scenes with the technical crew as a camera operator, moving in space with minimum waste and maximum joy. Favorite tech memory: working the hand-operated fly system at the Capitol Theater in Olympia for Amadeus.