Rotate Theatre Mini Fest - Collaborator Bios

For more information about the festival, go to the Rotate Theatre Mini Fest main page.

photo of Stephanie Albrecht Stephanie Albrecht (mainstage cast) has a bachelor of arts from UW-Madison in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She lives in Madison, WI and works as a Project Manager for a contract research organization.

photo of Ashely Bagot Ashely Bagot (mainstage cast) is a director, actor, and costume designer. In addition to her frequent directing work with Rotate Theatre, her previous acting work includes There Might Be... Stumble, What Happened to the Quiet Kids, and Fox in the Snow. Ashely also works assisting people with mental illness access housing and recovery services in Chicago.

photo of Marie Charles Marie Charles (mainstage & special event cast) grew up in Milwaukee, WI where she had the opportunity to gain early exposure to (and fall in love with) the performing arts at an early age. Marie (Vee) Charles has training in theater, musical theater, and numerous dance styles and performed for several years with First Stage Youth Theatre. They are also involved in film and enjoy singing, playing guitar, and gardening. Vee hopes to continue creating and performing and building community here in Madison/WI and beyond.

photo of Huan-Hua Chye Huan-Hua Chye (music) is a musician based in Madison, WI, currently active in the indie pop band Gentle Brontosaurus and the transatlantic synthpop collaboration Vowl Sounds. Huan-Hua also creates solo recordings under the name miscellaneous owl and performs in tribute and cover projects of artists such as Liz Phair, Hall and Oates, The Go-Go's, The Beach Boys, and Elvis. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduated from UC Berkeley in linguistics, and when she's not playing music, painting, writing, cooking, sewing, knitting, or otherwise creating, she works in translation and volunteers in wildlife rehabilitation.

photo of Maria Dahman Maria Dahman (mainstage & special event cast) has been performing in Madison since moving here in 2017. Recent performances include LACONIA (2022) and LYSISTRATA (2019), both at Broom Street Theater. She really enjoys new works and experimental theater that incorporates music and dance, and is so happy to have the opportunity to work with Rotate Theatre.

photo of Autumn Yael Fearing-Kabler Autumn Yael Fearing-Kabler (mainstage cast) grew up in Los Angeles where they were involved in theater arts for many years and they are SO stoked to be getting back to it with Rotate Theater. They hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Environmental Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have been engaged with community organizing and mutual aid efforts throughout their time in Madison, have worked as a professional cook, and recently began working with the Jewish Social Services of Madison where they are passionate about continuing a housing first approach with newly arrived families and individuals, and eager to bring more of the community into the process of refugee resettlement. Autumn Yael still often cooks at home, and loves being in nature with their life partner, Fawzy, and 2-year-old Pitbull, Romy.

photo of Bernie Hein Bernie Hein (mainstage cast) is thrilled to be making her debut with Rotate Theater! Bernie has been an active community theater member for ten years, playing roles in the Janesville, Beloit, and now Madison area, and recently was thrilled to star in a film called "Meeting Dad" that was shown at the Beloit Film Festival. Bernie lives in Madison with her two dog children, Rocky and Rambo. She sincerely hopes everyone enjoys the show!

photo of Melvin Hinton Melvin Hinton (special event cast) has performed and worked behind the scenes with many organizations, including The Madrid Players, Donna Hightower's gospel music ensemble, CTM, the Bartell, Fermet's Last Theater, Tennessee State University, WORT-fm (Radio Literature), WPR (Chapter a Day), and Madison Public Library. Melvin is Nashville born and bred, a graduate of historic Fisk University, completed a paid internship -- and turned down a full-time job offer -- at The New York Times News Service before going on to graduate school. Melvin was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, then a Fulbright Fellow, spending two years in France before moving to Spain, where he lived for many years. He has taught Spanish language and literature at the UW-Madison, Texas A&M University, The University of the South, and elsewhere.

photo of Peter Jurich Peter Jurich (mainstage cast) is a writer, actor, and producer. He has worked on various short films with the 48-Hour Film Project since 2019, won Best Villain in the 2022 Twisted Dreams Film Festival in Milwaukee, and performed stand-up for many years. Peter is passionate about using narrative storytelling and humor to educate; social issues; workers rights; and creating a more accessible world for people of all abilities.

photo of Erika Kachama-Nkoy Erika Kachama-Nkoy (mainstage cast) was born in Kinshasa, Zaire, she grew up in Maine, went to college in Chicago and has made Madison her home since 2000. She was last seen in Broom Street Theater's 2018 production of BEG PARDON (Sally Hemings). Erika is a user experience designer at PBS Wisconsin, UW-Madison.

photo of Nick Kaprelian Nick Kaprelian (mainstage cast) has been active in the Madison theater community since 2008. Past productions include BAD IN BED (Madison Theater Guild), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Strollers theater), TALLEY'S FOLLY (Rankin theater Guild), SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS (Madison Theater Guild), PROM (Broom Street Theater) and RHINOCEROS (Strollers Theater).

photo of Safina Klepzig Safina Klepzig (mainstage cast) loves all types of theater from classic plays like Death of a Salesman to contemporary musicals like Hamilton and Spring Awakening. She is a New York Fashion Week runway model and has been published in international and domestic media. Safina grew up as a competitive horseback rider and now works as a veterinary assistant at a small animal clinic.

photo of Sarthak Kumar Sarthak Kumar's (mainstage cast) fascination of good storytelling has always motivated him to explore, appreciate, and perform theatre. Sarthak's experience includes writing and directing for the theatre during his undergraduate studies in India. He has also worked in translation and editing of plays from English to Urdu, informed by his deep passion for Urdu and Hindi poetry. When bringing characters to the stage, Sarthak also draws on his extensive scientific background and deep interest in behavioral psychology.

photo of Rhea Leman Rhea Leman (playwright) was born and raised in New York City where she studied dance and theater before moving to Denmark in 1981. There, she formed and directed theater company Teater Tango and has worked as an independent playwright, screenwriter, and theater, radio, and TV director. Her plays have been performed throughout Europe and the US, enjoying public and press acclaim. Leman has been nominated twice by The Reumert Committee as best playwright of the year. The Danish Cultural Minister appointed Leman as the chairwoman of The Danish Theater Council and as a member of The Danish Arts Council. In 2009, Leman formed Dramafronten to promote and produce new Danish plays in new ways and new places.

silhouette of a woman Aisha Leverett (playwright) has been active in writing and comedy for nearly 20 years. Her work includes comedic sketch, short plays, audio, and the occasional performance as a favor for good friends. She is excited to be a part of Rotate Theatre Mini Fest and congratulates Rotate Theatre on their next chapter!

photo of Kathleen Nichols Kathleen Nichols (mainstage cast) found a home on the stage and screen in the Twin Cities theater community at a young age and then went on to study Theater & Drama, as an acting specialist, at UW-Madison (and was fortunate to meet, and now return to play making, with incredible actors/directors Brea and Cyra). Kat has also worked as a teacher in NYC and NJ K-12 schools facilitating student learning and elevating student voice in improv, plays, musicals, spoken word, documentary video-making, playwriting, and arts-based social activism.

photo of Wi-Moto Nyoka Wi-Moto Nyoka (playwright) is a horror and sci-fi writer. She is the founder of Dusky Projects, creating and producing horror & sci-fi projects for young adult and adult audiences. Awards and honors include: Stowe Story Labs selected project, Puffin Foundation grant recipient, Awesome Foundation grant recipient, Velocity Fund grant recipient, Scribe Video Finishing Grant recipient, Nightmares Film Festival Best Short Screenplay Award Winner, 13 Horror Screenplay Award Winner, Oregon Short Film Festival Best Horror Teleplay Award Winner and more. Published works can be found in Midnight & Indigo's Speculative Fiction collection, Terror Unleashed: Volume 2, The Seelie Crow and The Last Girls Club. IG: @duskyprojects,

silhouette of a woman Kristin P. (playwright) is a midwest-based playwright. Their work often uses everyday circumstance, naturalistic dialogue, and humor to explore the absurdity and insidiousness of dominant expectations, compulsory behaviors, and systems of control in contemporary United States.

photo of Richard Paro Richard Paro (director / playwright) is an award winning theatre and film director based in Madison, WI. Richard uses highly collaborative techniques throughout the artistic process and much of his work emphasizes coalition-building, as seen in theatre productions like There Might Be... Stumble. In addition to his work with Rotate Theatre, he has worked with many companies in Chicago, including Stage 773, Arc, Theatre-Hikes, Prologue, Tympanic, Dandelion, and Stockyards Theatre Project, and his feature-length and short films have screened at film festivals in 22 states and 15 countries. Always excited to share his favorite theatre, movies, and music with new audiences, Richard has worked in festival programming and organizing for years in Chicago, Milwaukee, and surrounding areas.

photo of Breahan Eve Pautsch Breahan Eve Pautsch (director / special event cast) is a director, actor, and writer. In addition to her work with Rotate Theatre, Breahan has collaborated with Raven Theatre, The International Voices Project, Wildclaw Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre, Speaking Ring Theatre, Halcyon Theatre, Theatre Entropy, North Lakeside Players, Scriptworks, and Akvavit Theatre where she served in many roles including artistic director. Breahan is frequently called upon for her expertise directing contemporary Nordic plays for audiences in the US. Breahan grew up in Cadott, Wisconsin, graduated with a BA in Theatre and English from UW-Madison, and was based in Chicago for many years before recently returning to Madison.

photo of Valentina Perdomo Valentina Perdomo (mainstage cast) moved from Venezuela to the United States in 2015. She has taken theatre and acting classes in the Appleton area, where she also participated in plays and musicals including The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Jungle Book, and Still I Rise: A Play About Surviving Abuse. Most recently, Valentina performed in the Vintage Theatre production of Jake's Women (Sheila).

photo of Cyra K. Polizzi Cyra K. Polizzi (mainstage & special event cast / director) is a theatre actor with a wide range of experiences in other specialties (directing, writing, facilitation, etc) and modalities (dance, music, film, etc). Whether exploring realism or other stylized approaches, from silent movement-based work to campy drag musicals, much of Cyra's work incorporates humor, queer possibilities, and multi-issue activism. Cyra grew up performing in the driftless area of rural WI, attended UW-Madison in Theatre Acting, Gender Studies, and Environmental Studies, and worked in Chicago for 15 years in storefront theatre and independent film before happily returning to Teejop / Madison. Cyra then attended a graduate program in Gender Studies at UW-Madison, formalizing their transdisciplinary research asking questions about accessibility, sustainability, and wellness in theatre practices.

photo of Olivia Rose Olivia Rose (mainstage cast) is a graduating senior at Edgewood College majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Theatre Arts Education. Previous productions include She Kills Monsters (Vera and Choreographer), 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress (Georgeanne), Sister Act (Deloris Van Cartier), Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play (Winnie), As You Are (Celia), Theory of Relativity (Amy), Well-Intentioned White People (Cass), Sweat (Cynthia), and The Drowsy Chaperone (Trix the Aviatrix). She'd like to thank her family and friends for supporting her.

photo of Maggie Schenk Maggie Schenk (mainstage cast) is a musician, theater artist, educator, and community health advocate. Maggie grew up in Madison playing a lot of flute and reciting a lot of Shakespeare, and has found music and theater to be lifelong companions and teachers. Maggie currently performs musically with the East Side Acoustic Ensemble and Salamander Sunday, and theatrically with Fermat's Last Theater. When not in rehearsal or on stage, Maggie enjoys dreaming, being outside, going on walks, eating yummy food, being cozy, and petting the best cat in the world, Lisa.

photo of Rini Tarafder Rini Tarafder (playwright / stage manager) is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies at UW-Madison. Her research is about political theatre in India. Rini's plays have been performed at festivals in Madison and in educational spaces in India. She also experiments with poetry, musical instruments, photography, sewing, and digital forms of performance art. Rini's ideal day would include walking through the woods, looking at birds.

photo of Megan Tennessen Megan Tennessen (mainstage cast) is from St Louis, MO and is passionate about acting and creating art. She is a junior at UW-Madison studying Theatre & Drama and Communication Sciences & Disorders. University Theatre credits including Macbeth, Bonnets (How Ladies of Good Breeding Are Induced to Murder), and Peter and the Starcatcher. Magan especially enjoys playing with movement based storytelling and experimental theatre.

photo of John Weagly John Weagly (playwright) has had over 100 plays receive nearly 200 productions by theaters on 4 continents. A collection of his short sci-fi/fantasy scripts, Tiny Flights of Fantasy, has been taught at Columbia College and is available through Amazon. His latest collection of plays is available from Next Stage Press.

photo of Kelly Noel Zeva Kelly Noel Zeva (mainstage cast) (they / them) is a writer, Reiki Master Teacher, holistic sex coach, and entrepreneur who's had a lifelong love affair with performing arts. Kelly Noel is excited to make their Madison-area theatre debut with Rotate Theatre. Favorite past credits include Elaine in Night Watch (Janesville Little Theatre) and David Attenborough in Time Flies (North Central College One Acts). Kelly Noel's published works include Approach (2022) and evolve (2023, forthcoming).

For more information about the festival, go to the Rotate Theatre Mini Fest main page.