Theatre KAPOW
train. explore. challenge. inspire. create.

The past never returns, what returns is not the past,  but a present that has distant roots.
Luigina Sgarro

 

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Meet the company of Dance Nation

Deirdre Hickok Bridge (Sofia) is honored to be among this incredibly talented and exciting cast and production team. Her previous theatre KAPOW productions include the ensemble of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play; Emma Arkadina in Stupid F%cking Bird; and Euridyce in The Burial at Thebes. She is particularly proud of her 2019 performance in the titular role of Bo-Nita: a Play for One Woman, which she also co-produced. Other favorite roles include Veronica in God of Carnage (SquarePeg), Lady Croom in Arcadia (Glass Dove), Marie in Wonders (Phylloxera), Lady Bird Johnson in All the Way (VIPA), Carla Albanese in Nine (MAC) and Marie Tremblay in Sputnik: A Love Story (NTG). She is a five-time NH Theatre Award finalist for Best Supporting Actress. Deirdre has also periodically trained with tKAPOW through their monthly Open Training sessions, as well as Shakespeare & Company’s Weekend Intensive. She holds a BS in Textile Science from the UMASS Dartmouth College of Engineering. When not on stage, she is a full time mom and vintage clothing collector and seller. This play has reminded her that, no matter how many decades removed from ballet class, she will always consider herself a "former dancer."

Carey Cahoon (Ashlee) was seen last season with tKAPOW as Odd Nansen in The Boyg. For tKAPOW’s 2017 production of Living in Exile as Briseis she won the NH Theatre Award for Best Actress (Professional). She also won the 2017 NH Theatre Award for Best Actress as Queen Marguerite in Exit the King, and in 2014 for her roles in tKAPOW’s 3-person Macbeth. Other favorite roles include Sarah Goodwin in Time Stands Still, Cassandra in Agamemnon, Julie in Miss Julie, Hedda Tesman in Hedda Gabler, Jessie in ‘night, Mother, the Pilot in Grounded and Penelope in The Penelopiad. Carey has also performed, directed or designed with Glass Dove Productions, Boston Playwright’s Platform, Stage One Productions, the Palace Theatre, and the Anselmian Abbey Players. She holds a BA in Classics from St. Anselm College, and trained at the Atlantic Acting School, Shakespeare & Company, and with SITI Company. Careycahoon.com

Matt Cahoon (Producer/Technical Director) is the Artistic Director of theatre KAPOW.  Matt has directed many productions for the company including:  The Boyg, Agamemnon, A Dream Play, Raining Aluminum, and The Penelopiad  His work with theatre KAPOW has resulted in three NH Theatre Awards for Best Director.  Matt has directed for a number of other companies including the Winnipesaukee Playhouse (Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Miss Julie), Jean’s Playhouse (Kimberly Akimbo), and LaMaMa ETC. (The Life and Times of Lee Harvey Oswald in NY and Me and Bea at LaMaMa International in Spoleto, IT). Matt’s theatre training includes work with Double Edge Theatre Company, SITI Company, the New England Center for Circus Arts, and Range of Motion Arts. In 2013, Matt attended the International Symposium for Directors at LaMaMa Umbria in Spoleto, Italy. In addition to his theatre work,  Matt serves as the Director of Cultural Programming at Pinkerton Academy, an independent high school in Derry, NH. In 2011, Matt was named to the New Hampshire Union Leader’s “40 Under Forty” program. 

Raphael Campos (Luke) is a Brazilian born artist. From a very young age, he has always loved to perform for an audience or for the camera. To entertain people and make them feel the same joy that he feels is what he loves the most. He loves dancing so much that at the age of eighteen, he enrolled himself in a dance school where he stayed until the age of twenty-four. It was during this time that he studied ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap dance, singing, and musical theater. Additionally, he participated in school productions of Wicked, The Wizard of Oz, and Cinderella. Raphael has also performed as a dancer for the Disney Magic Moments Parade in Brazil. After moving to the United States, Raphael kept finding ways to advance his art. He has taken classes with Julia Boynton, Sarah Reich, and Dianne Walker. He has also worked closely with his singing coach, Jessica Tasucu. Raphael also studied as a theatre major at Bunker Hill Community College. He had the pleasure to learn from and work with amazing teachers and professionals of the arts like Robert St. Lawrence and Proshot Kalami. During these studies, Raphael collaborated on Bunker Hill productions as a movement specialist for Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph and performed on a Radio Drama The Persians by Kaite O’Reilly. Raphael has also worked as a model for commercials and as a voice-over actor. When not dancing, singing, or acting, you would find Raphael either traveling, watching a scary movie at home, or playing with his English Bulldog.

Lorraine Chapman (Choreographer) danced professionally with Eliot Feld Ballets/NY and Ballet British Columbia as well as for several Boston-based choreographers including Amy Spencer, Richard Colton, Diane Arvanites, José Mateo, and Marcus Schulkind. As a choreographer she has received several grants and has created works for numerous venues, festivals, and companies. She officially formed LCTC in 2002, a New England-based, dance-theater company (www.lorrainechapman.org). Her awards include three New England States Touring Grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts, a Live Arts Boston Grant and a Brother Thomas Fellowship from The Boston Foundation, a Boston Dance Alliance Rehearsal & Retreat Fellowship, a Boston Center for the Arts Dance Residency and a Summer Stages Dance/Baryshnikov Arts Center Residency as well as being featured in Dance Magazine as one of "25 To Watch". She received her training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and L'Ecole Superieure De Danse Du Quebec as well as from Frances Kotelly and Samuel Kurkjian, and teaches dance at Urbanity Dance, Northeast School of Ballet, and Ballet Arts Centre of Winchester. Lorraine frequently collaborates with New Hampshire Dance Collaborative and most recently was the dance-artist-in-residence at Canterbury Shaker Village. Dance Nation is her third time working with theatre KAPOW and she is very thankful to Matt, Carey, and Wanda, the cast and crew, and everyone who supports the arts in NH, MA, and beyond!

Katie Collins (Maeve) is delighted to be working with Theatre Kapow again, having previously appeared in Mr. Burns and Circle Mirror Transformation. With over 35 years of theater experience, Katie has worked with several other companies including Milford Area Players, Community Players of Concord, Nashua Theater Guild, and the Majestic Theatre. Her favorite roles include Vivian Bearing in W;t (2013 NH Theater Award for Best Actress); Marty in Circle Mirror Transformation; Hannah in Spitfire Grill, and Maude in Bakersfield Mist. Katie is in her 17 th season as the Director of Development at the Capitol Center for the Arts and lives in Manchester with her adorable wife Kelly and several cats, where they enjoy frequent guest appearances by their talented daughter Liza. On the side, she is a contributing writer for the website Grown and Flown, where she has published over 40 essays and articles. Katie wants to thank Wanda and Theatre Kapow for taking a chance on a show that celebrates the tremendous power of girls and embraces the beautiful diversity of this powerful cast.

Tajoura Davis (Amina) is a native of Stamford CT, and is a singer/songwriter who fronts a local R&B/Rock cover band, TJXpress.  Her regional acting credits include “American Son”(Kendra - Hatbox Theatre), "Doubt" (Mrs. Mueller - Concord Community Players), "The American Plan" (Olivia - Yellow Taxi Productions) and "The Buddy Holly Story" (Apollo Singer, MC - Seacoast Rep) and "To Kill a Mockingbird" (Calpurnia - Palace Professional Productions and Winni Players). She is looking forward to working with Theatre Kapow  for the first time with such a fun and talented ensemble cast. She would like to thank her family and friends for being so supportive of her passion for the arts over the years.

Lali Haines (Connie)  is honored to make her theatre Kapow debut in “Dance Nation,” among such a talented group of actors and a visionary creative team! Some past favorite shows include Into the Woods (Witch), Children of Eden (Mama Noah), Seussical (Mayzie, Sour Kangaroo), Pippin (Fastrada), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rona Lisa Peretti), and most recently All Night Strut (playing herself as Alto). Lali is a physician at Mass General Brigham, practicing gynecology, empowering girls and women to take charge of their reproductive health. What a gift it’s been to create, perform and tell this story. Thanks to Matt, Carey and Wanda for this theatrical opportunity, and thank you J, for the rest.

Barbara Holbrook (Costume Designer) has a BA in Theatre, an MFA in Costume Design, and a passion for creative collaborations on stage and off. She’s delighted to be working with Theatre Kapow for the first time. Past projects with special places in her heart include Pippin, The Secret Garden, Annie, Godspell, The Imaginary Invalid, Merrily We Roll Along, Candide, Shadowlands, The Good Person of Szechwan, and The Man of La Mancha. Her career path has taken her through various positions in theater, retail, consulting, and being an at-home parent. Barbara’s a certified meditation instructor, Reiki Master, yoga teacher (Yoga Alliance RYT-500), and serial pattern disruptor. She lives north of Boston in a multi-generational household where she hones her practices of love, humor, resilience, and unapologetic self-care. She’s grateful to her family for their patience and her dogs for their endless amusement. She respects and admires the company of Dance Nation for their courage. Finally, she invites you, the audience, to let this show inspire or embolden you in perhaps unexpected ways.

Heidi Krantz (Assistant Director) is beyond excited to be working once again with tKapow. They have worked on numerous shows with this company, including Penelopiad, I Used To Feel (ROOM), and The Boyg. They are also an NHETG award winning actor for their performance as Velda in The Amish Project. When they aren’t rehearsing, they are more than likely spending all their time with as many dogs as they can. They want to give the entire company at tKapow a huge thank you for keeping theatre alive during what feels like a relentless, never-ending pandemic. 

Gary Locke (Dance Teacher Pat) has been working on and around theater stages since dirt was new. He is a semi-professional hyphenate, having served as actor-producer-director-writer-designer for a wide range of shows across the decades with his own company, Phylloxera Productions, as well as for various theaters in New England including The Players Ring and The Seacoast Rep in Portsmouth, and Hatbox Theatre in Concord. Gary has directed productions as diverse as the Gershwin musical Crazy for You, Jean Genet’s psychological thriller The Maids, and Holmes and Watson by Jeffrey Hatcher. As an actor, his favorite roles include the Marquis de Sade in Marat/Sade, Henry in 2017’s production of The Fantasticks at Hackmatack, and Richard Russell in All the Way. He and his wonderful, if long-suffering, wife Jan will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year.

Rachael Chapin Longo (Vanessa/Moms) received her BS in Theater from Skidmore College and her MA in Educational Theatre from NYU.  She is an actor, director, educator and playwright.  Rachael has dedicated herself to educational theatre and has worked as a professional teaching artist and education director; creating curriculum and teaching classes in acting, directing, playwriting and movement.  Her directing credits include The Wizard of Oz, The Laramie Project, The Death of a Caterpillar, West Side Story, The Tempest, South Pacific, Sister Act, Singin’ in the Rain, The Ash Girl and Silent Sky (for which She was a finalist for a NHTA “Best Director” Award in 2019).  Acting credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, The Crucible, Desdemona, Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play, The Penelopiad, The Burial at Thebes, Natural Shocks and Gideon's Knot.  Rachael is currently an adjunct professor of acting and theater arts in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Merrimack College and the owner of Shawsheen Arts Studio in Andover, MA.  She is also a company member and actor with theatre KAPOW.  She most recently appeared in the premiere of A.J. Ditty's play, The Boÿg.  She is grateful to have the support of her KAPOW family as she continues to train and learn and feels very lucky to work with the amazing artists on the Dance Nation team.  Special thanks her incredible family for all their support and cheers.

Wanda Strukus (Director) is a theater-maker and movement artist who focuses on ensemble-building, collaborative creation, site-specific performance, and participatory practices. Her theater and dance work has appeared in theaters, galleries, parks, and abandoned buildings throughout New England and the Midwest, through collaborations with The Revolving Museum, Shakespeare in the Valley, Another Country, Chamber Theatre Productions, The Young Company of Greater Boston Stage Company, theatre KAPOW, The Yellow Springs Theater Company, Babes with Blades, Chicago Women’s Theatre Alliance, and others. She has taught, directed, and choreographed at colleges and universities throughout New England, and was the founding director of the BFA in Contemporary Theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She is an alumna of the Jacob’s Pillow Choreographer/Director Lab and performed for many years with Daniel McCusker Dance Projects and Brian Crabtree and Dancers. Past directing projects with theatre KAPOW include the 24-hour Theater Festival, Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief, and Natural Shocks. She is thrilled to be collaborating again with the Theatre KAPOW team and this fiercely talented cast!

Helen Hy-Yuen Swanson (Zuzu) is a mixed-Asian actor and violinist based in Boston. She graduated in 2019 from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) with an M.A. in Classical and Contemporary Text (Acting), which included a residency at Shakespeare’s Globe. She’s also studied extensively at the Michael Chekhov Actors Studio Boston and is a Feldenkrais ATM® Teacher. Along with acting in numerous short films, her selected theatre credits include: The Draft (Hibernian Hall, Best Ensemble Winner at the Arts Impulse Awards); Yellow Face (O.W.I. Bureau of Theatre); Hindsight 2020 (Those Women Productions); As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe/RCS); The Witch of Edmonton, Three Sisters, Blackout, and The Age of Blindness (RCS). During her time at RCS, she developed a solo performance, titled ‘Mixed Up,’ based on her own experience as a half-Asian woman and the disconnect between others’ assumptions about this experience with how she actually sees herself. This work is intrinsically connected with her desire to support underrepresented stories and be the representation for others that she lacked when growing up. Helen is honored to be part of this fierce, feral, and absolutely not cute group of collaborators working on Dance Nation. Connect with her on IG/Twitter @thehelenswanson. helenswanson.com

Kayla Marquis Williams (née Fernekees) (Stage Manager) is a middle school theatre teacher by day and is back to creating live theatre, in person, by night (for which she is eternally grateful). She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Theatre Arts and a Dance Pedagogy Minor from Plymouth State University in 2015. Post-graduation, Williams has worked with theatre companies all over the United States in a multitude of roles, including as a stage manager, playwright, choreographer, director, and as a performer. Her choreography has been enjoyed at Salem High School's productions of All Shook Up, Cinderella, and The Sound of Music, and most recently, Kayla choreographed Mamma Mia with the Pentucket Players. She spent the summer of 2016 writing and directing the shows for the IMPACT touring children's theatre troupe at Jean's Playhouse in Lincoln, NH, and has had her plays used in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Now, she directs her students in the annual stage production at Parthum Middle School in Lawrence, MA (Annie, Jr. is coming this Spring!). Stage management credits include: Catch Me If You Can (Arizona Broadway Theatre); The Addams Family; Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks; Man of La Mancha; Lend me a Tenor; Same Time, Next Year (Jean's Playhouse); and three National Tours of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (PerSeverance Productions). Kayla would like to thank her mother- for supporting her no matter what; Leah- for making her feel like she finally belongs in the theatre profession; and her loving husband, Brian, for picking up the slack at home while she's at endless rehearsals.

Tayva Young (Lighting Designer) is in her 11th year with tKAPOW. She is very excited to be working on the 14th season of: Return  and more importantly to be bringing The Boyg, to you! She considers tKAPOW her theatre family and could not have asked for a more talented, supportive and imaginative group of people to work with. She has been honored with two NH Theater Awards for best Lighting Design for Time Stands Still and Living in Exile. Some of her favorite tKAPOW productions are: Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl, Living in Exile by Jon Lipsky, Grounded by George Brant and Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson. She enjoys the collaboration process with so many talented individuals, bringing the magic of live theatre to all audiences. She lives in Maine on a small homestead with her husband Steve and 2 children, Nolan and Norah. She thanks each and every one of you for supporting the arts, during this time of uncertainty and distance. Welcome Back and Enjoy the Show!

Dance Nation