creative team | the players

THE PLAYERS

The following are the people who have given freely of their time, talent and opinions in the development of Believe. The creative team is extremely grateful for their generosity and passion.

Robert Armin (Director/Lyricist/Librettist/Musical Theatre Historian)

Role with Believe: Advisor

NY: What Makes Sammy Run (Director/New Book), Letters From the Inside (Writer/Director), Stalking the Nightmare (Writer/Director), Madly In Love (Writer/Director) at The York Theatre, Side By Side By Seymour Glick (Concept/Director), Say, Darling (Director of 1996 Revival).
robertarmin.com


Richard Bacon (Performer/Director)

Role with Believe: Advisor

Richard has been collaborating with Believe Bookwriter George Barthel for over 10 years. During that time he played the lead, Dennis, in Barthel’s critically acclaimed The Naked Enemy, which went on to become one of the highest grossing plays in the history of Wings Theatre were it was produced and also collaborated on a screenplay adaptation. He then reprised his role in Enemy’s sequel Channel Crossings; played King Philip Augustus in the medieval drama, Richard and Philip and co-directed and was the sound designer for Uncovering Eden. Also at Wings Theatre, he appeared in Attic, 30,000 Pigs Roamed the City, The Strange Case of the Lascivious Transformation of Mr. X and In A Land Far Away. Other New York Theatre credits include the world premiere of the musicals Shubert’s Alley (Producers Club), Kerouac (Theatre East), Belles of the Mill (Midtown International Theatre Festival) and he was in the long-running off Broadway cult hit, Co-ed Prison Sluts: The Musical. Regional Theatre and National Tour credits include Barefoot in the Park, Company, A Man for All Seasons, Tribute, Beauty and the Beast and Working. Film credits include leading roles in Champ, Steel Crossings, The Last Stop, The Enemies and co-wrote and starred in To Whom It May Concern.


Tiffany Bartok (Performer/Make-up Artist)

Role with Believe: Eurydice in 2002 Staged Reading (as Tiffany Weigel)

Arriving in New York from her hometown of Portland, Oregon with her BFA in Musical Theatre from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Tiffany appeared in several productions around Manhattan, her favorite being the starring role in Eurydice at the Storm Theatre. She has achieved success as a makeup artist, painting the faces of a variety of celebrities from Daphne Rubin-Vega to Rue MacClanahan. Her latest achievement is starring as Hayley Mills' daughter in Red Sky Pictures' and
Vinyl Foote's debut collaboration, "Stricken", a short film written and directed by Jayce Bartok. Her most recent work was as co-director/producer of the documentary Altered By Elvis which premiered at the Memphis International Film Festival March 26, 2006. makeupbytiffany.com


Michelle Lynn Bates (Performer)

Role with Believe: Girl #1 in 2002 and 2003 Staged Readings, 2002 Developmental Reading and on the Original and 2002 Full Cast Demo Recordings.

National tours: 1776, (Abigail Adams), Footloose (Lulu), Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Snow White). Regional: Titanic (Kate McGowan), The Sound of Music (Artpark), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Artpark), Barnum (Chairy Barnum), Phantom (Belladova), Once Upon a Mattress (Lady Larken), The Music Man (Zaneeta Shinn) and Godspell.


Gil Benbrook (Musical Theatre Historian)

Role with Believe: Advisor

Gil Benbrook has always been a fan of musical theatre - from listening to the cast albums of Sweeney Todd and Evita when he was in High School in the 80's to recently giving what little advice he can to his buddy Brad on Brad's many musical endeavors. When he isn't listening to, going to, or figuring out how he could fix what was wrong with various musicals, Gil is the current VP of Finance for Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, responsible for all financial management of the Nick and NAN brands. He has worked for MTV Networks for 18 years in various roles including being the production accountant for the Beavis and Butthead movie as well as overseeing the $25 million budget for the musical version of A Christmas Carol's premiere engagement at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden. After dealing with all of the unions, overtime, meal penalties, etc. attached to Christmas Carol he now fully understands why Broadway musicals are so expensive.


Eric Collins (Performer)

Role with Believe: Orpheus in all Staged and Developmental Readings and on all Demo Recordings

Off-Broadway: The Wind and the Willows (The New Victory Theatre). Other NYC credits: Millenium Man (Theatre Row Theatre), Signs and Wonders (NYU Black Box Theatre). Regional: Fishwrap (Adirondak Theatre Festival), Little Shop of Horrors (Meadow Brooke Theatre), Jaques Brel...(Syracuse Stage), Sweeney Todd (Pennsylvania Center Stage), The Who's Tommy, Grease and Godspell (Cherry County Playhouse). BFA Musical Theatre Syracuse University. Eric is very pleased to be involved with this project and wishes many thanks to family and friends.


Laura Dekkers (Performer/Producer/Fashion Design/Entrepreneur)

Role with Believe: Woman/Girl #2, in 2003 Staged Reading and in 2002 and 2003 Developmental Readings and on 2002 Full Cast Recording.

Broadway: The Woman in White. Other New York credits include Caligula (The Zipper Theatre) and Dangerous Beauty (New York Stage and Film). Regional credits include 1776 (Reprise!-LA), Listen to My Heart (Miramar Theatre), Rockne (by Lawrence O’Keefe – Morris Performing Arts Center), Show Boat (Lawrence Welk Theatre), Evita (Moonlight Amphitheatre), Oklahoma (Curtain Call Theater) and Wonderful Town (O’Malley Theater).
lauradekkers.com


Scott Denny (Performer)

Role with Believe: Waiter in 2002 Staged Reading and on Original Demo Recording

National Tours: The Music Man (Directed and Choreographed by Susan Stroman), Footloose, 1776. Regional credits include Stage One Wichita (Paper Moon, Silver Dollar), Self Family Art Center (Anything Goes) and Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars (Evita).


Ryan Dietz (Performer/Casting/Production Manager)

Role with Believe: Production Manager and Casting for 2002 and 2003 Staged Readings

Ryan is a member of Actors' Equity Association and a graduate of the musical theatre program at the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music under the direction of Victoria Bussert. A strong believer in new works, Ryan has performed, cast, production managed, stage managed and read the stage directions for many new plays and musicals throughout New York City. Some credits include the benefit concerts of Chess (starring Josh Groban) and A Wonderful Life (with David Hyde Peirce), She Loves Me at the Paper Mill Playhouse and the films The Joke and Target Audience. For more information on what Ryan is up to please visit his website,
ryandietz.net.


Lesleh Donaldson (Performer)

Role with Believe: Mother in 2002 Staged and Developmental Readings and on all Demo Recordings

Lesleh hails from Toronto where she had the pleasure of originating the roles of Sandy Miles in Criminals in Love by George Walker, and Evelyn Dick in Doug Rodgers’ How Could You Mrs. Dick, at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre. Other favorite roles include Anna in Burn This, Alice in You Can’t Take It With You, and Anne in The Diary Of Anne Frank, all at Manitoba Theatre Centre. She also had the pleasure of appearing in the North American premiere of Declan Hughes’ Digging For Fire as Emily. In New York, she has appeared Off-Off Broadway as Angela in Perkasie Productions’ Wonderful Tennessee. Film and T.V. credits include Top Cops, Night Heat, Friday The 13th, Special People, The Undergrads, Hurt Penguins, Happy Birthday To Me and Running. Lesleh is pleased to be reprising her role as the Mother, which she played two years ago for Storm Theatre’s (non-musical) production of Eurydice. These days, Lesleh enjoys playing the real life role of Mother to her four-year-old son Gavin and 22 month old son Liam.


Anne-Caitlin Donohue (Performer)

Role with Believe: Elsie in 2003 Staged Reading and in April 2003 Developmental reading.

Anne-Caitlin Donohue is originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and has her BFA in Acting from the Marymount Manhattan College in NY. Her credits include The New Hopeville Comics (NY Fringe Festival), Camelot (staring Debbie Boone), Smokey Joe’s Café, Nine, Hair, South Pacific, The Foreigner, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, and Etan. Anne-Caitlin is also a featured vocalist on the original cast recordings of both Etan and The New Hopeville Comics.
annecaitlindonohue.exploretalent.com


Ryan Duncan (Performer)

Role with Believe: Mathias in 2003, 2004 and 2005 Developmental Readings and on the 2005 Demo Recording

National touring credits include Fiddler on the Roof and Man of La Mancha and the pre-Broadway company of I'm Not Rappaport starring Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen. Off-Broadway, Ryan originated the role of Juan in the hit Altar Boyz (Drama League nomination: distinguished ensemble; cast recording). Other Off and Off-off Broadway include the title role in Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (TW/USA), theAtrainplays, Dancing Straight, Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'! (cast recording) and numerous readings. Regionally, Ryan has appeared in the Helen Hayes Award winning productions of Side Show (Signature, VA) and Hair (Studio, D.C.) as well as 1776 and A Christmas Carol (Ford's, D.C.), The Harvey Milk Show (Source, D.C.), Forever Plaid (Temple, NC) and Sex*But (L.A. cast). Film and TV credits include Stand By, Sentience, Forrest Gump, Washington Square and 'SNL'. Ryan can be also be seen in fabulous purple on the Celebreality promos on VH1.
ryan-duncan.com


Christopher Economakos (Theatrical Consultant/Producer)

Role with Believe: Advisor

Currently a graphic designer at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Chris first came to New York to pursue an internship with Disney Theatrical Productions working on their production of The Lion King nine years ago. After his stint in the "pridelands" Chris worked in the Production Management department at Manhattan Theatre Club, working on their productions of Corpus Christi, Captains Courageous, and The Wild Party. For the past seven years, Chris has been employed at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS working on the production team of such events as This Is Your Song: Broadway Sings Elton John, Neil Simon At The Neil Simon, Nothing Like A Dame, Broadway Bares, and Broadway Bears, amongst others, and as graphic designer on such events as Jennifer Holliday: Romance in the Dark, An Evening of Latin Rhythms with Chita Rivera, The Remember Project, The New York City Festival of Dance, Deborah Voigt On Broadway, Nothing Like a Dame and Broadway Bares.


Kelly Griffith (Performer)

Role with Believe: Alexis in 2005 Developmental reading and on 2005 Demo Recording.

Kelly Kay Griffith grew up in Germantown, TN. They knew she was serious when she cropped her waist-length hair to play the title role in The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Poplar Pike Playhouse. From there, she honed her skills at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and received her BFA in acting from The University of Miami (FL). After a summer at The Georgia Shakespeare Festival (u.s. & perf. Luciana, A Comedy of Errors) The Westchester Broadway Theatre brought her to NY (u.s. & perf. Mallory, City of Angels.) Favorite roles: Meg, Crimes of the Heart & Queen Aggravaine, Once Upon a Mattress (Ring Theatre, Miami, FL) Sara Jane Moore, Assassins (The Gallery Players, NY.) Miss Lovely Loveland/Boot (nominated best actress Strawberry One-Act Fest. 2005,) Mama, Daddy.....Stagemother in Texas (w/Ron Pallilo in the 2004 NYC Fringe Fest.) home.earthlink.net/~kkgriffith/


Mark Hartman (Composer/Musical Director/Musician)

Role with Believe: Accordion player for 2002 Staged Reading and Musical Director/Accompanist for “NEO” concert which featured a song from Believe.

Mark Hartman is currently the Music Director of Avenue Q on Broadway. He has been happily associated with the show since its off-Broadway production at the Vineyard Theater. With the Broadway transfer, Mark became the Associate Conductor, and is now keeping Gary Adler's conductor chair warm while he is on leave. During his time at Avenue Q, Mark has been lucky enough to be able to work on several other projects, including The Streets of New York and Finian's Rainbow, both directed by Charlotte Moore, both for the Irish Rep, and (later) Westport Country Playhouse; Noel Coward's After The Ball (dir. Tony Walton) also for the Irish Rep; Joy off-Broadway at the Actors' Playhouse (dir. Ben Rimalower); and Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life at the Old Globe in San Diego, CA. Prior to Avenue Q, Mark had a long-standing relationship with the Irish Repertory Theatre, Music Directing and appearing in The Irish...and How They Got That Way on the road and in New York, The Hostage, and The Streets of New York, as well as their annual benefit galas since 2000. His other off-Broadway work includes The Fantasticks at the soon-to-be-criminally-demolished Sullivan Street Playhouse. Regionally, Mark was the arranger/orchestrator for The Baker's Wife (dir. Gordon Greenberg) at Goodspeed-at-Chester. He first created the bass/triangle double for A Little Night Music, which he MD'd and arranged for seven players at PlayMakers' Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC. Also with PlayMakers' (and also for director David Hammond), Mark scored The Visit and Othello. Other regional credits include Walking Across Egypt, Raney, Nunsense, Song of Singapore (actor/pianist/MD), Into The Woods and The Devil's Dream, all for director Paul Ferguson; Night Songs, Street Songs, Blue Window, The House of Blue Leaves, and Carousel for director Jeff Storer; and productions of Pump Boys, Oil City Symphony, Smoke on the Mountain, and Eccentricities of a Nightingale. Recent concert conducting includes the New York premiere of Children of Eden (a benefit for the National AIDS Fund and the York Theatre Company) with Norm Lewis, Julia Murney, Jonathan Dokuchitz, Darius DeHaas, Kate Shindle, and Jai Rodriguez. It featured a 100-voice choir and orchestra, and was produced and directed by Jamie McGonnigal. The following year, Mark conducted a concert of Pippin (a benefit for the Storm Theatre as well as NAF) which was directed by Gabriel Barre and starred Michael Arden, Rosie O'Donnell, Billy Porter, and Ben Vereen. This concert sparked the revival directed by Gabriel Barre at Goodspeed Opera House slated for Summer, 2006. Smaller revival concert readings include Greenwillow for York Theatre's MUFTI Series, and Let It Ride, Dearest Enemy, So Long, 174th Street (twice), Goldilocks, That's The Ticket, Watch Your Step, Face The Music and several others that Mark forgets for Mel Miller's wonderful company, Musicals Tonight! All were directed by Thomas Mills. In cabaret, Mark has been music director for Natalie Douglas (seven-time MAC Award winner and Bistro Award winner) for seven years. He has also been privileged to work with Scott Barbarino, Aaron Lee Battle, Bobby Belfry, Baby Jane Dexter, Lina Koutrakos, the Bev-Naps, Anne Runolfsson, Rick Skye, John Tartaglia and others too numerous and talented to mention. Along with friends and partners John Pinckard and Brian Nash, Mark is one-third of B Major Productions. Their first venture was the sold-out, award-winning stage premiere of Jon and Al Kaplan and Hunter Bell's Silence! The Musical for the 2005 fringeNYC festival. An off-Broadway transfer is in negotiation. Mark was raised in Arcadia, NC and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked briefly for Greenbriar Academy, the North Carolina Boys' Choir, and Duke University before moving to New York in 1997. Mark has received two MAC Awards and the Backstage Bistro Award for Music Direction. He is a proud member of Actors' Equity and the American Federation of Musicians. markhartman.net


Marnee Hollis (Performer)

Role with Believe: Mother in the 2003 Staged Reading

Marnee Hollis most recently was seen in the 2006 Easter Bonnet Competition modeling the bonnet for the Off-Broadway production of Menopause, The Musical! Her numerous credits include: BROADWAY: My Fair Lady with Richard Chamberlain; NATIONAL TOURS: The Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady, Evita; OFF-BROADWAY: We’re Still Hot!, Menopause, The Musical; REGIONAL: Carousel (Nettie), The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess), The Desert Song (Clementina), High Society, Here’s Love, Me & My Girl, Annie Get Your Gun, Man of La Mancha, 1776, Picnic, The Tempest, Annie, Cole and Oklahoma, at such theatres as Goodspeed Opera House, Stages St. Louis, Westchester Broadway Theatre, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, ArtPark, Northshore Music Theatre and Ogunquit Playhouse. Marnee has also performed her solo cabaret act at several New York area clubs and is hoping to do some concert and cabaret work around the country in the near future.


Michael D. Jackson (Playwright/Director/Performer/Producer)

Role with Believe: Vincent in 2003 Staged Reading and April 2003 Developmental Reading in addition to being a Dramaturgical Advisor.

Michael D. Jackson directed some 20 productions in California before relocating to New York City in 2000. He earned his Masters degree in Theatre Arts from CSU, Sacramento, where he restored and directed the first production of Rodgers and Hart's Jumbo since its original Broadway run in 1935. Michael's strong interest in rare theatre works lead him to direct the first production of The Captive since 1927, and the 1937 version of Babes in Arms for the Woodland Opera House. He directed a celebrated production of The Student Prince for the Gallery Players in Brooklyn and the newly restored Rodgers and Hart musical Dearest Enemy for Village Light Opera in Manhattan. While in California, Michael worked in various capacities for the Sacramento Music Circus. He worked on 16 productions as Assistant to the Director with the likes of the late Laurie Beechman, Donna McKechnie, Harold Nicholas, John Davidson, Sam Harris, Marcia Lewis and Joanne Worley. Michael developed and taught programs on Musical Theatre for the company's Theatre Education Project. Michael is also a playwright, having seen productions of his plays, Three Women, Coffeehouse, See You in Yosemite, Hidden People, Astor and Irving and A Taste of Heaven brought to the stage, the latter winning the "Excellence in Playwriting" honor at the NYC International Fringe Festival in 2003. As an actor, Michael has performed in over 50 productions, including his one man show about the life of Walt Disney, My Magic Kingdom. Michael is the Co-Producer of the Firsthand Theatre Project, a company dedicated to providing opportunities for emerging artists. He is a licensing agent with Music Theatre International and has adapted several musicals for the company's educational programs. Michael is an Associate Member of SSDC andThe Dramatists Guild. mysite.verizon.net/vzepor8q


R. Steven Kadish (Sound and Web Designer)

Role with Believe: Technical Advisor and Programs for 2003 Staged Reading

R. Steven Kadish created the entire sound design for Firsthand Theatre Project's inaugural production, GENESIS: 7 Breakthrough Plays. Previous designs include a four-director, three-cast adaptation of The Great God Brown with Director's Eye; We're Not Crazy (Everyone Else Is), which was conceived, written, and performed entirely by students at New York's Hetrick Martin Institute; a one-man adaptation of the Irvine Walsh novel Bad Blood for the New York Fringe Festival; and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for the Village Light Opera Group. Steve has also worked with the Players Guild of Leonia, and spent a year as audio committee chairman for the Bergen County Players.


Stephen T. Kaiser (Performer)

Role with Believe: Vincent in 2002 Staged and Developmental Readings, Original Demo and Full Cast Recordings. Dulac on 2005 Demo Recording

A former classical actor, Steve’s favorite roles include Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Higgins in Pygmalion, Edgar in King Lear, the Ghost and Claudius in Hamlet, Gerry in Dancing at Lughnasa, and Ketch and Major Ross in Our Country’s Good. Steve studied at Gately/Poole Acting Studio, Actors’ Movement Studio, and The Royal National Theatre of Great Britain. Steve now practices law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP in New York.


L.J. Kleeman (Playwright/Historian)

Role with Believe: Dramaturgical Advisor

Kleeman has directed numerous plays in the New York area including The Naked Enemy, Channel Crossings, Richard and Phillip, Uncovering Eden and Through a Naked Lens, all at Wings Theatre. When not directing and reading scripts for Wings, she teaches English at the College of Staten Island and Hostos College. She’d like to thank her theater “family” and her parents for their support.


Megan Lewis (Performer)

Role with Believe: Eurydice in 2003 Staged Reading, April 2003, June 2004 and 2005 Developmental Readings, and on the 2002 Full Cast and 2005 Demo Recordings

NY: Grey Gardens (u/s Bway), Forbidden Broadway: SVU (Cast Recording), The 60s Project (Cap21), Mask (the latter two directed by Richard Maltby Jr.) The New Hopeville Comics (New York Fringe Festival – Original Cast Recording); Tours: The Wizard of Oz, Fame; Regional: Shenandoah (Ford Center in Washington D.C. with Scott Bakula), Peter Pan (Winston-Salem Little Theatre), Grease (Barn Dinner Theatre).


John Mainieri (Performer/Theatre Historian)

Role with Believe: Advisor and supporter


Alli Mauzey (Performer)

Role with Believe: Woman/Girl #2 in 2002 Staged Reading and Original Recording

Broadway and National Tour: Hairspray (Penny); Regional: Musical of Musicals: The Musical (Laguna), City of Angels (Reprise-LA), 110 in the Shade (Pasadena Playhouse). Other shows include Evita (Mistress), The Fantasticks (Luisa) and Joseph and the Amazing... (Narrator). Alli also originated the role of Julia in the pre-Broadway reading of The Wedding Singer.


Frank McClain (Performer)

Role with Believe: Dulac in 2002 Staged Reading

Frank currently lives in Orlando, FL where he works full time for the Orlando Opera as a stage director and production manager. He has recently directed The Elixir of Love and The Marriage of Figaro for Orlando Opera and assistant directed The Tales of Hoffman in Augusta, GA, Carmen in Tampa, and The Merry Widow in Kansas City. As an actor/singer, he recently performed in The Hunchback of Notre Dame show at The Disney/MGM Studios. On other stages, some of his recent roles include Father Welsh in The Lonesome West, George in La Cage Aux Follies, and Andrew Borden (Lizzy Borden’s father) in the workshop production of the new musical Lizzie. Frank is a graduate of Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa with a degree in music.


Jas McDonald (Film Director/Editor/Writer)

Role with Believe: Advisor

Jas McDonald has been making films since childhood when he received a super 8mm camera as a gift from a family member, remaking such epics as Earthquake, The Exorcist and The Wizard of Oz in his backyard. He went on to study film at Emerson College in Boston and at The New York Film Academy. He co-wrote, directed and produced the short film To Whom it May Concern. He is currently working on a short film in tribute to and based on a monologue by the late NY playwright Bill Baumer. Along with filmmaking Jas also dabbles in graphic arts creating catalogs and logos for various organizations.


Jamie McGonnigal (Performer/Director/Producer)

Role with Believe: Directed and Produced “NEO” concert which featured a song from “Believe”

Jamie McGonnigal is best known for his work as a producer and director with his World AIDS Day concert productions of Pippin (starring Rosie O’Donnell and Ben Vereen), Children of Eden and The Secret Garden (named in top ten theatre events for 2005 by Playbill.com and TheatreMania.com). He has also produced and/or directed benefit concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (Standing Ovations I, II & III), The Matthew Shepard Foundation (Embrace! 2004, 2005, 2006), God’s Love We Deliver (Miracle Concerts), the Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation (FLOPZ, FLOPZ 2, CUTZ), The York Theatre (NEO, Oscar Hammerstein Award), The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre (SNOOPY! With Sutton Foster), Parkinsons Resource Organization (Broadway PROs) and victims of Hurricane Katrina (With Love, From Broadway to the Bayou). In his concert work, he has had the honor of working with such luminaries as Betty Buckley, Chita Rivera, Alan King, Robert Altman, Jennifer Holliday, Mike Nichols, Helen Gurley Brown and Tammy Grimes. Jamie is also a founding producer of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. As an actor, he has appeared on stages regionally and in NYC in a number of roles, but is most known for his voice-acting roles on on WB’s Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh! and 4Kids/The Cartoon Network’s One Piece, F-Zero and Kirby. Jamie has been named Best Male Comic Voice Actor and Best Voice Actor by AnimeonDVD.com and The Anime Society. jamiemcg.com


Stefani Miller (Performer/Music Teacher)

Role with Believe: Mother in 2005 Developmental Reading

Stefani has performed in a variety of roles both in New York and regionally. In New York, she most recently was featured in But I'm a Cheerleader which had a smash-hit sold-out run at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Regionally, she was seen as Frau Schmidt in the recent Broadway National Tour of Sound of Music. Other regional credits include A Wonderful Life, Nunsense, Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof and My Fair Lady. Stefani has a strong interest in being involved in new theatre works in NYC which has lead to her performing in many readings, workshops and demos including Warsaw (Makor Center), Alice (York Theatre), and Nirvanov (The Flea Theatre). Besides being a musical theatre performer, Stefani is an accomplished voiceover artist and television actress. She currently is the Front of House Manager for The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC as well as an owner of her own internet unfranchise business www.searcygirl.com.  Stefani is also currently working on her cabaret that she is hoping to perform in October.


Clark Mims (Performer)

Role with Believe: Eurydice in October 2003 Developmental Reading

Clark Mims is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida. Her first post-college appearance was in the National Tour of Rent. She also was seen in Loud at the New York Fringe Festival. Past credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, and Crazy For You.


Steve Minow (Performer/Director)

Role with Believe: Father in 2002 and 2003 Staged Readings, in 2002 and 2003 Developmental Readings and on Original and 2002 Full Cast Demo Recordings

Steve Minow most recently worked in the capacity of publicist for the critically acclaimed Crave by Sarak Kane for Bosley Theatrical Productions. Acting credits: New York: Screwups (Buffalo Bridge Productions) Bellamy (The Fantasticks) GENESIS (Firsthand Theatre Project) Dr. Engel (The Student Prince, Gallery Players) Favorite regional roles include Considine in Jumbo, George in Sunday In the Park w/ George, Saunders in Lend Me A Tenor and Whizzer in Falsettos. Producing Director of The Workshop Play Reading Series (Firsthand Theatre Project) MFA in acting/directing from the University of Arizona. Film: Across the Universe, dir Julie Taymor (Revolution Pictures - release Nov. 2006). By day Steve works in advertising sales.


Jessie Nelson (Performer/Musician/Lyricist/Librettist)

Role with Believe: Violinist on 2005 Demo Recordings

Jessie Nelson hails from the Land of 10,000 Lakes (Minnesota!) and has been performing in New York for almost 7 years as a singer, violinist, and actress. Jessie was trained classically on the violin, but enjoys playing & teaching all types of music, including jazz, rock, reggae, folk, country, and bluegrass.  She has taught privately for many years in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, New York, and has also played with several solo acts and bands in NYC.  She appeared this past December on the CBS Early Show, playing Vince Guaraldi music on her violin outside the CBS studios in below freezing weather. Her strings went kaput and her fingers nearly fell off, but she got to meet the REAL Charlie Brown!!! Jessie is a lyricist in the Advanced BMI musical theater songwriting workshop where she currently is collaborating with Believe composer Brad Howell Houghton on the new musical Robyn. She has also recently started a business hosting kids' parties as Princess Palombo, a Princess from Tennessee who loves singing, dancing, painting, & pigeons. 


Raffael Pacitti (Performer/Producer)

Role with Believe: Monsieur Henri in 2002 Staged Reading, in 2002, April 2003, June 2004 and 2005 Developmental Readings, and on Original and 2002 Full Cast Demo Recordings.

Raffael has appeared in such regional productions as The Tempest (Mill Mountain Theatre), The Heiress and Grannia (Shadow Lawn Stage), Pterodactyls (Mercury Theatre) and Hamlet (Canadian Stage). His NYC credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, Macbeth, Lion in the Streets (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet (National Shakespeare Theatre). Principle roles in film include The Answer, Delila and Bad Company. Training: London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Ryerson Conservatory.


Melinda Parrett (Performer)

Role with Believe: Eurydice in “Beautiful, Elegant” on Original Demo


Sharon Perlmutter (Theatre Critic)

Role with Believe: Advisor

Regional (Los Angeles) critic for Talkinbroadway.com and current President of Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. Sharon is also an attorney who practices law to support her theatre habit.


Amy Picar (Performer)

Role with Believe: Elsie in October 2003 Developmental Reading. Performed “Always” at Genesius Guild event.

Amy is currently doing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at Cornwell Dinner Theatre. She just appeared in Miracle or 2 Productions of Are We There Yet? at both Charles W. Eisemann Center in Richardson, TX. and Queens Theatre in the Park in Queens, NY. This past fall she performed in Justin Warner's award winning comedy Bum Steer at the Manhattan Theatre Source. Other recent credits include Corrie in Barefoot in the Park, Pearl in The Scarlet Letter, Bonnie in Anything Goes all at Festival 56 and Diana in Lend Me A Tenor at November 10 Productions. Amy holds a Bachelor's Degree in Musical Theatre from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music.


Larry Picard (Performer)

Role with Believe: Dulac in 2003 Staged and Developmental Readings, in 2003 and 2004 Developmental Readings, and on Original and 2002 Full Cast Demo Recordings. Father in 2004 and 2005 Developmental Readings and on 2005 Demo Recording.

Larry Picard's life in the musical theater includes many regional productions, among them Titanic, Ragtime and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Recordings include The Music of Gershon Kingsley and the opera The Birth of George. He is featured in writer/director/composer Keith Snyder's short musical film, Credo, which is currently being seen in film festivals across the country. Keith's most recent film, I Love You, I'm Sorry and I'll Never Do It Again, in which Larry plays a featured role, is currently in post-production. Larry just completed a run of the Off-Broadway musical, Infertility, the musical that's hard to conceive.


Eduardo Placer (Performer)

Role with Believe: Mathias in 2002 and 2003 Staged Readings, in 2002 Developmental Reading and on Original and 2002 Full Cast Demo Recordings.

      Currently pursuing MFA in Acting at UCSD. Regional Credits: Zhivago (La Jolla Playhouse) world premiere, Senor Discretion Himself (Arena Stage) world premiere, A Man's A Man (Arena Stage), Camelot (Arena Stage), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Theatre), The Mineola Twins (Woolly Mammoth), Follies (Signature Theatre). UCSD Credits: Gum, Arms and the Man, Citizens of Rome, and As You Like It.


Sara Ramirez (Performer)

Role with Believe: Eurydice on Original Demo Recordings

Sara is currently appearing in Grey's Anatomy, after a great year as The Lady of the Lake in Monty Python's Spamalot for which she won both The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical and The Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding featured Actress in a Musical. Sara made her Broadway debut as Wahzinak in Paul Simon's The Capeman, starred in The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, for which she received an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best Actress, and was in Broadway’s A Class Act as Felicia. Off-Broadway she had the honor of performing The Vagina Monologues with Tovah Feldshuh and Suzanne Bertish. Regionally Sara was in The Game as Marquise de Merteuil at The Barrington Stage Company, Anna Deveare Smith's Piano as Alicia at IACD and starred as Josie in Barrio Babies at the Denver Center. Sara spent part of her 2004 summer at The Williamstown Theatre Festival and then returned to the role of Hannah on As the World Turns. In the 2004 season finale of NYPD Blue titled "Who's Your Daddy?", she guest starred as Irma Leone. Her other television credits include Baseball Wives (series regular an HBO pilot), Law & Order SVU (twice), Welcome to New York, Star Patrol (Fox Pilot), Third Watch, Spin City, Talk To Me, As The World Turns (twice). Her involvement in NY workshops includes: Lennon workshop directed by Don Scardino, Carnival (for Radio City Music Hall), The Laura Nyro Project, and MTC's The Wild Party (Kate). If you've seen You've Got Mail! you've seen Sara as the Zabar's Cashier. She can also be seen in Spiderman (Cop) and in Washington Heights (Belkis) and the film Going Under. She is a Graduate of The Juilliard School's Drama Division. sararamirez.com


Raquela (Performer/Songwriter)

Role with Believe: Elsie in 2002 Staged and Developmental Readings and on Original and 2002 Full Cast Demo Recordings. Mother in 2003 Developmental Readings. 

Raquela is an exciting artist that hails from Sacramento, CA. She studied voice (Opera) and Drama/Music in Los Angeles, which eventually lead her on to Broadway. Some of her credits include the Acid Queen in Tommy, Julie in Show Boat as well as originating roles in Off-Broadway’s Bat Boy. Raquela also had the incredible honor of working one-on-one with George C. Wolf, Steven Schwartz, Des McAnuff, Wayne Cilento, Susan Stroman, and Harold Prince. Today Raquela transforms her talent onto the pop/dance scene. Her obsession with dance music really began after seeing a t-shirt that read, "DISCO IS DEAD!" Disco inspired Raquela to venture artistically into different Electronica and Dance Music styles of today! Her unique vocal style and song writing skills have given her the opportunity to work with Chris “The Greek” Panaghi, Matt Sietz, Damien Oakes-Francis, Manny Rivera, Rick Savage and many others. Her first two releases in Europe are songs written by Chris Panaghi and Jeff Hanc and produced by DJG Productions (Liquid Music/Sony). She continues to team up with many other electronic producers from Europe to the U.S. as their vocalist and lyricist and has been compared to Groove Coverage, Felix Da House Cat, Donna Summer and Tina Turner. She is a proud member of the Believe family and wishes to thank Brad with all her heart for allowing her to be a part of his life and incredible works. raquela.com)


Lisa Riegel (Performer)

Role with Believe: Margarite/Veiled Woman in 2005 Developmental Reading and Demo Recordings.

Lisa Riegel recently played Lizaveta in Theater Ten Ten’s A Month in the Country. She also appeared as Emilie in My Three Angels at the Producer’s Club, a production she co-produced. Other NYC credits include Leila in Theater 1010’s Iolanthe, the Battery Park Concert Series, and readings of several new musicals. Regionally she has appeared in roles ranging from Sister Amnesia in Nunsense II to Balthazar in an all-female version of Romeo and Juliet.


Andres Romero (Photographer)

Role with Believe: Photographer and production assistant

Andres comes to New York from Bogota, Colombia. He has been thrilled to watch and support the development of Believe over the years.


Francesca Russell (Stage Manager)

Role with Believe: Stage Manager for 2002 and 2003 Staged Readings.

Broadway/Tours: Shining City; Wicked; Spamalot; The Full Monty. Off-Broadway: The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Dodger Stages); Bare: A Pop Opera (ATA); Dessa Rose (Lincoln Center); Fat Pig (MCC); Two Noble Kinsmen (NYSF/Public); As You Like It, Henry V, Twelfth Night (all NYSF/Delacorte); others. Regional: 17 productions at ACT in San Francisco (favorites include Fool Moon with Bill Irwin and the pre-Broadway tryout of High Society); Mabou Mines’ Peter and Wendy at Berkeley Rep; Shakespeare Santa Cruz.


Michael Schilke (Performer/Theatre Historian)

Role with Believe: Advisor/Supporter


Crystal Faith Scott (Performer)

Role with Believe: Girl #1 in 2003 and 2004 Developmental Readings. Therese in 2005 Developmental Reading and on 2005 Demo Recordings

Crystal is originally from Southern California. She has traveled the U.S., Canada and Mexico with national tours of Evita and The Wizard of Oz. In New York she appeared as "Alice" in The Spickner Spin at the New York International Fringe Festival, in Bohemia On Wry at Theater for the New City, and in Red Sky at Henry St. Theater. Regional credits include Godspell, Li'l Abner, Oliver, Through The Picture Tube, A Christmas Carol, and The Buddy Holly Story. Crystal can currently be seen in MTV Networks' Dukes Of Hazzard spoof as the "Renaissance Faire Chick".


Martha Summey (Director/Drama Teacher/Writer/Performer)

Role with Believe: Advisor

Martha Summey has been an actress/mime/director/teacher in Birmingham Alabama since 1975. She had the privilege of directing and mentoring Brad H. Houghton at Ramsay High School, where Brad created a program of student directed plays called Ramsay After Hours. Having "retired" after 28 years in Alabama public schools, she continues to work in community theatres and teaches and directs at The Altamont School. Martha was named Alabama Thespian Director of the year in 2005 and was the recipient of the Marion Galloway Award for Excellence in Theatre in 2006. Martha also holds a bachelors degree in French with post-graduate study at the University of Nice, France. She acted as a linguistic source for Believe in its early stages.


Michael Thomas (Musician/Musical Director)

Role with Believe: Rehearsal Pianist for 2002 Staged Reading

Michael Thomas has extensive credits as a Musical Director and pianist for Off-Broadway, regional theatre and summer stock. For the National Musical Theatre Network he served as pianist for Jack Eric Williams' Swamp Gas and Shallow Feelings, winner of the Richard Rodgers Development Grant. Michael spent 4 years as Musical Director of the Jekyll Island (GA) Musical Comedy Festival. He has accompanied singers in concert at Merkin Concert Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Great Hall of the Cooper Union. He has played extended cabaret engagements at Don't Tell Mama and Rose's Turn with singer Beth Free. He is most closely associated with the Village Light Opera Group where he has served as resident pianist since 1995.


David Tillistrand (Performer)

Role with Believe: Dulac in 2005 Developmental Reading

David will be singing the role of Pooh-Bah in The Singapore Mikado in April '06. This version of The Mikado is set at the British consulate in Singapore, 1941 on the eve of the Japanese invasion. On the eve of what will become known as one of the most disastrous defeats in the history of the British Empire, officers, diplomats, and merchants perform The Mikado at a dinner party. Prior to that he played The Reverend James Morrell in Candida by G. B. Shaw at The Jean Cocteau Repertory. A regular at Theater Ten Ten he has performed in the critically acclaimed A Month in the Country as Arkady; OOBR award winner Iolanthe as Private Willis; The Apple Cart as The American Ambassador/Bert Balbus;  A Little of What You Fancy: An Authentic British Music Hall (Innovative Theatre Award nominee for Best Musical) and The Divine Divas in concert.  He has understudied with The Pearl Theatre Company and performed in over 40 NYC productions including the OOBR Award winners Vincent (Gauguin) at The Wings Theatre and Medea (Jason) with North Star Productions. Regional Credits: The Shadowland Theatre, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Northern Stage Company, Cortland Repertory Theatre, Mt. Washington Valley Theatre, Bloomsberg Theatre Ensemble and The NJ Shakespeare Festival's touring company.


Elisa Tornow (Playwright)

Role with Believe: Librettist and dramaturgical advisor for October 2003 and June 2004 Developmental Readings


Christopher Tulysewski (Director/Producer/Set and Lighting Designer)

Role with Believe: Director for 2002 and 2003 Staged Readings


Allyson Turner (Performer)

Role with Believe: Girl #2/Veiled Woman in 2004 Developmental Reading

Broadway: The Boys From Syracuse. National tours: Guys and Dolls, Sunset Boulevard. Regional leading roles: Violet; Big River; Best Little Whorehouse...; The Revolution of Betsy Loring (Casa Manana); Lady, Be Good! (Connecticut Rep.) Other: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, guest soloist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Love to my family!


Max von Essen (Performer)

Role with Believe: Performed a song from Believe for “NEO,” a benefit concert for York Theatre that was recorded and released by Jay Records

Broadway: Dance of the Vampires, Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Secret Garden (World AIDS Day Concert). Off-Broadway: Finian’s Rainbow, John & Paul, The Fantasticks; Regional: Cabaret and Joseph & the Amazing… (Sacramento Music Circus) The Baker's Wife and My Fair Lady (Paper Mill Playhouse) Auntie Mame and Hair (Bay Street Theatre) Dorian (NoHo Arts Center), The Pirates of Penzance (Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera), A Christmas Carol (Mill Mountain Theatre). maxvonessen.com


Tony von Halle (Performer)

Role with Believe: Monsieur Henri in 2003 Staged Reading, October 2003 Developmental Reading and 2005 Demo Recordings. Mathias in April 2003 Developmental Reading.

NY: SubUrbia (OOBR Award, Abingdon Theatre), Twelfth Night (Feste, Urban Stages), Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio, Greenwich St. Theatre), Caligula, the musical (Senator, Zipper Theatre), The Fantasticks (El Gallo and Fight Choreography, Stella Adler Studios), To Kill a Mockingbird (Cunningham, Nicu’s Spoon), Undiscovered Treasures (NY Comedy Club), Dillinger (Dargen, 42nd St. studios), 9/11 Testimony Project (EMT, Worklight Theatre). Regional: A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre, NJ), The Fantasticks (Barnstormers, NH), Thief River (Mark Lamos, Dir; Arena Theatre, MI), I’ll Be Seeing You (Kimmel Center, Philadelphia; World Premiere), Hamlet (Michigan Shakespeare Festival), The Tempest and Henry V (Power Center, MI), The Tape Recorder (Bailiwick, Chicago), The Miser (Idyllwild Arts, CA). A native to Phoenix and Los Angeles, Tony studied theatre in Idyllwild, California, and then went on to study the classics at the University of Michigan. He can be seen dancing in Bollywood films, as well as lottery commercials in Spain…not to mention his upcoming project called ‘guess my ethnicity’ to be aired eventually on The Movement Channel. Tony enjoys eating and sleeping, but most of all, drinking. Shasta!


Gwen Walker (Performer)

Role with Believe: Mother in 2004 Developmental Reading

Gwen has most recently been in a string of off-Broadway shows at the York Theater in New York City, where she sang the lead in the new musicals Orphan Train and Songs My Mother Taught Me and was also seen in How Now, Dow Jones with David Garrison in their Musicals in Mufti series. She toured the country as the delightfully witchy Lady Beaconsfield in Jekyll & Hyde, was actually paid to shamelessly goof off as Woman #2 in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, spent the summer at the shore singing in Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World, had the joy of performing the role of Anna in The King & I and was in Goodspeed Opera House’s recent production of Lizzie Borden, to name just a few. Gwen's new favorite and now most performed role is playing the indomitable Patsy in Always, Patsy Cline... Gwen is actively performing and teaching voice in Pittsburgh where she lives with her husband and new puppy, Dusty.