Tobias J. Turner=Romeo
April Rose Krack=Juliet
Patrick Mannle=Lord Capulet
Sean Dietz=Mercutio/Friar John
Eleni Fragopoulas-Davis=Lady Capulet
Steven W. Gwilt=Friar Laurence/Chorus
Casey M. Fox=Benvolio
Marcia Lee=Prince Escalus
Katie Davis=Lady Montague
Dave Johnson=Lord Montague
Desiree Duncan=Sampson, Apothecary
Max Magura=Gregory, Peter, Page,
(Citizens, Servants, Masquers, Gentlewomen, etc.)
Priya Nikki Mahajan, Hannah Johnson
Mirrah Johnson, Reid Johnson
Kenny Payne, Anthony Herd, Jessica Howard
Leslie Jones, Callie Higgs
Directed by Mark Harry Creter
Stage Manager…….Dana Grantham
Assistant Stage Manager…….Liv Sinclair
Backstage Coordinators…….Amy Byrne, Merry Davis
Producers…….Chad McDonald, Steve Gwilt
Costume Design & Construction.…
Additional Costume Construction…..Anthony Herd, Kenny Payne,
Liv Sinclair, Virginia Sinclair, Madge Davis, Mrs. Eskander
Props…….Colin Forsyth, Dana Grantham
Lighting Design. & Engineer……Brandon Walls
Fight Choreographer…….Aaron Peipmeier
Dance Choreography…..Jennifer Dotson-Creter
Set Construction…….Chad McDonald, Brandon Walls,
Poster & Program & Artwork…….Wayne Hogan
Poster & Program layout……..Steve Gwilt
Presented by The Dept. of Leisure Services,
Cultural Arts Division
The Cookeville Drama Center, in conjunction with
The TTU Backdoor Playhouse
TTU Backdoor Playhouse,
Kathy Gilpatrick, Wesley Foundation Arena Theatre
Dave Johnson, Jim Herrin, Clear Channel,
Camille Fliss, Herald Citizen, Cookeville Arts Council,
Tennessee Arts Commission
***Please turn off all pagers, cell phones, and other infernal noisemakers***
A Few Thoughts from the Director
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet holds a
special place in my heart. It was the very first play of
Mr. Shakespeare’s that I read at the tender age of 14
at Thomas Alva Edison Junior High. I later performed Lord Montague in a college production (not so fun) and Mercutio in a production for Shakespeare in the Park in Knoxville (one of my favorite performances). A few years ago I had the great good fortune to direct four very talented performers in a four-man version of the play called Shakespeare’s R & J. I fell in love with the play while directing that production; the poetry is so beautiful, and the character’s plight so tragic. This summer it is my pleasure to bring you this production of Romeo and Juliet for the 2nd annual Shakespeare in the Park. I have taken a more traditional approach to this production both in staging and casting. The look of the production is rather “Shakespearean,” and the performances are traditional as well. I find that sometimes the power of a play can reveal itself differently in a traditional production from an experimental production. Anyway, thank you for coming out to the show tonight and please continue to support the arts in Cookeville.
-Mark Harry Creter
Amira Eskander (Rosaline) is no new-comer to local theatre. Her various roles include “Guinevere” in Camelot, “Grace” in Annie, “Tuptim” in The King and I, “Under the Burga” in The Vagina Monologues, and other roles. Thanks for everything. It’s been great!
Desiree Duncan (Sampson, Valentino, Apothecary, Watchman #3) is happy to be able to spend her summer working with such a remarkable cast. She’d also like to thank Mark for giving her a chance to cut her teeth on Shakespeare. Desiree’ has been seen as “The little coochie-snorcher that could” in The Vagina Monologues, “Jill” in Equus and “Calpurnia” in To Kill a Mockingbird. She would also like to let everyone know that she’s not as angry as she appears on stage tonight. She’s just “using her acting.”
Max Magura (Gregory,Peter) was previosly seen in last year’s Shakespeare in the Park. He would like to thank this year’s cast and crew for a wonderful experience and his mom and dad for their love and support.
Priya Nikki Mahajan (Balthasar, 2nd Watchman, Attendant) is very grateful to be able to perform with such a talented cast and director. She is a newcomer to the stage and would like to thank everyone for giving her such a great experience.
Katie Davis (Lady Montague)is excited to be returning to Shakespeare in the park! She was seen in last summer’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as “Helena”. More recently, she’s been at the BDPH as “Clarice” in A Servant of Two Masters, and in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues 2005. Katie would like to thank the following: her parents (both sets), Merry, the cast and crew, Jennifer (for the awesome costume), Mark (for casting and creating a scene for me), Carrie (I missed you!), Patrick (I love you…more!), and Phil, Mary, and all the people that make Thursday pool parties wet and wild!
Dave Johnson (Lord Montague) is an Associate Professor of English and Communication at Volunteer State Community College in Livingston, and hosts radio programs at Clear Channel Communications in Cookeville. His acting experience includes productions at the Tennessee Tech Backdoor Playhouse, Wesley Arena Theater, Cookeville Summer Theater, Drama Center Backstage Series, as well as other shows around the region. He will be directing the Drama Center Backstage Series fall production of Escanaba In Da Moonlight. He would like to express his appreciation to Mark for giving him and his children this priceless opportunity to be in this wonderful play together, along with this incredibly talented cast. These are memories we shall cherish forever. “We are such stuff / As dreams are made on and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep….”
Tobias J. Turner (Romeo) is very pleased to have been able to spend his summer working with such a talented director, cast, and crew. His thanks go out to his parents for their support in his pursuing this role. He especially thanks Merry, who made even the worst days worth reliving.
April Krack (Juliet) was seen here as a fairy in last summer’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and in several shows at Tennessee Tech’s Backdoor Playhouse. She feels honored to have a chance to portray such a dynamic role and only hopes she can do it justice. She would like to thank Mark for giving her the chance and thinking her worthy of the part.
Patrick Mannle (Lord Capulet) is honored to be a part of the second annual Dogwood Shakespeare in the Park after appearing in the inaugural production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in which he met his soon-to-be-wife Katie. He wishes to thank Chad, Steve, Brandon, the City of Cookeville for affording this opportunity, thanks to Mark for the chance to play such a dark character, and to Dana, Liv, and Jen for all of their hard work. Love to both sets of parents; Jay, Nayda, Sarah, and Merry. Most of all love to Katie who makes all wonderful things even better.
Sean Dietz (Mercutio & Friar John) was born on September 29, 1547, in Alcala de Henares, Spain. At twenty-three he enlisted in the Spanish militia and in 1571 fought against the Turks in the battle of Lepanto, where a gunshot wound permanently crippled his left hand. He spent four more years at sea and then another five as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates. Ransomed by his family, he returned to Madrid but his disability hampered him; it was in debtor’s prison that he became an actor. He died on April 23, 1616.
Daniel Flatt (Paris) notes that two years has been too long since last being on stage as “Fagin” in Cookeville’s 2003 production of Oliver! A junior English major at TTU, Daniel devotes his time to singing for Tech Chorale and to the calluses on his fingers from guitar. He thanks his mom, dad, and brother for shortening vacation so he could be here.
Rob Wheeler (Tybalt) is pleased to be back at Shakespeare in the Park. Last year, Rob played the Duke in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and looks forward to a successful run of Romeo and Juliet. This isn’t Rob’s first experience with summer Shakespeare, as he was a company member of the Tennessee Stage company’s Shakespeare in the Park Festival for a number of years-participating in shows such as Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard III, and Taming of the Shrew. In Cookeville Rob has held principle roles in productions such as Waiting for Godot, Faustus, Lysistrata, Heathen Valley, I Hate Hamlet, and several others. In real life, he is Regional Marketing Manager for MMA Creative and the Cumberland Business Journal. Rob would like to thank the MMA crew, DE 2, Mark Creter and Dana
Grantham. Rob would like to dedicate his performance to his family and sends his love to Beth and lots of hugs & kisses to his pride & joy, his son Graham.
Eleni Fragopoulos (Lady Capulet) was seen in the inaugural Dogwood Shakespeare in the Park as Titania. She studied theatre at the University of Tennessee and is happy just to be able to do her craft. She would like to thank her family for their support.
Beth Thompson (Nurse) is surprised to be playing the Nurse in this year’s Shakespeare in the Park following last year’s appearance as a rowdy drunk. Big thanks to Mark, Steve, Chad, and Brandon; the Cookeville Arts Council, the City of Cookeville, and all wondereful sponsors. “Love you Brian and Lain!”
Steven W. Gwilt (Friar Laurence & Chorus) is delighted to finally be typecast. Steva has been engaged in a few Shakespearean enterprises; Richard III, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Henry V, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (x2), Hamlet, Loves Labour’s Lost, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (if that counts). Happy B-day Amy!
Casey M. Fox (Benvolio) is the pseudonym of a well-known author who makes her home in San Fransisco.
Marcia Lee Lorance (Prince Escalus) is appearing at the Dogwood Pavilion for the first time but has previously been seen in Nights at the Round Table in the Drama Center Backstage series and at the Backdoor Playhouse in The Vagina Monologues. Thanks to Mark for the opportunity to dominate again. “Holy Fransiscan Friar! What a good time!” Marcia is an instructor at Vol State in Livingston and employed by Clear Channel Communications.
Mark H. Creter is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Tennessee Technological University as well as the artistic director of TTU’s Backdoor Playhouse. This past year he directed successful productions of Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni and The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler as well as performing the role of Dr. Dysart in the BDPH Fall 2004 production of Equus for the 50th season of the TTU Tech Players. Last summer he directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the first annual Shakespeare in the Park at the Dogwood Performance Pavilion in Cookeville.
He received his Bachelor of Arts in Theatrical Production from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia and his Master of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After finishing his college training he spent a number of years performing professionally in regional theatres and dinner theatres from Greensboro, North Carolina to Omaha, Nebraska. He is co-founder of the Tennessee Stage Company and the company’s annual East Tennessee Shakespeare in the Park in Knoxville, Tennessee where he has worked as an actor, director, and producer. Favourite roles include King Richard in Richard III, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Banquo in Macbeth, and Antony in Antony and Cleopatra for which he received a Best Actor award from the Knoxville Area Theatre Coalition. In the summer of 2002 he directed a critically and commercially successful production of Much Ado About Nothing that featured five actors portraying fifteen characters. The KATC awarded this production Best Show of 2002 and Mark, Best Director.
Although primarily a director, Mark also appears periodically on local Cookeville stages in order to “keep his saw from getting rusty”. Recent performances include the role of Marc in the Cookeville Drama Center Backstage Series production of Art by Yasmina Reza and Pato Dooley in their production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh.
He is professionally associated with the Tennessee Theatre Association, the South Eastern Theatre Conference, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
He sends love and thanks to his beautiful wife Jennifer for her constant love and support and to his beautiful blue-eyed son Gus.