Bright Now Beyond Cast & Crew

Will Davis returns to Austin to direct this world premiere, featuring an Austin-based cast that includes Heather Hanna as Jellia Jamb, Robert Faires as the Scarecrow, Robert Pierson as the Tin Woodsman, Florinda Bryant as Mombi, Carla Nickerson as Glinda, Cami Alys as General Jinjur, Jarrett King as the Highly Magnified Woggle Bug, T.E., ensemble members Alexis Scott and Nitra Gutierrez, with Jacques Colimon making his Salvage Vanguard debut as Tip. Guest artist Jomama Jones, creator/performer of last summer’s award-winning production of JOMAMA JONES: RADIATE, returns to Austin to play the roles of Jack Pumpkinhead and Ozma.

For Tickets and more info about Bright Now Beyond.


Lead artists and collaborators

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Daniel Alexander Jones

Playwright

Daniel Alexander Jones has dissolved boundaries and exceeded expectations for over 20 years through his dynamic, interdisciplinary art practice. His body of work encompasses a wide range of formal expressions while being unified by its consistent regard for human complexity and belief in the power of live art to foster radical, empathic communication. Daniel’s plays include Phantasmatron, Phoenix Fabrik, Bel Canto, Hera Bright, and Earthbirths, Jazz and Raven’s Wings. His performance pieces include Blood:Shock:Boogie, Clayangels, Cab and Lena, Qualities of Light, the ongoing, long-form project, The Book of Daniel, which, thus far, has eight evening-length chapters, and his award-winning, critically acclaimed work as his alter ego, Jomama Jones. 

Daniel Alexander Jones directed the world premiere of E. Patrick Johnson’s solo performance project, Sweet Tea, in Chicago. He has directed world premiere plays and performance pieces by Erik Ehn, Renita Martin, Shay Youngblood and Amparo Garcia-Crow, among others; and is currently developing, Relativity, a new solo project written and performed by Rhonda Ross. Jones received the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts. He was an inaugural Creative Capital Artist. He has been the lead artist on five projects supported by the MAP Fund. Jones’s work has received support from the Jerome Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation. He was a Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute at NYU; and a Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute at Columbia College, Chicago. He was named the 2014 Hume Fellow in the Arts at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Daniel’s writing is anthologized in volumes published by Redbone Press, Callaloo/Johns Hopkins University Press, Brown University, and The University of Texas Press. Daniel Alexander Jones is one of three artists profiled in the forthcoming first book-length exploration of the theatrical jazz aesthetic, Jazz, Aşe, and the Power of the Present Moment, by Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones. 

Daniel Alexander Jones teaches creative writing and performance workshops across the country at theatres, universities and alternative institutions. He has traveled widely as a part of Creative Capital’s national Professional Development Program for Artists since 2003. Daniel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Visual Arts at Fordham University and previously served on the Faculty in the Theatre and Dance Department at The University of Texas at Austin, the Theatre Program at MIT, and both the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing programs at Goddard College. Jones holds an undergraduate degree in Africana Studies from Vassar College and a graduate degree in Theatre from Brown University. Daniel Alexander Jones is based in New York City.


Bobby Halvorson

Composer

Bobby Halvorson is a Doctor of Musical Arts having earned his degree from California Institute of the Arts in "Performer-Composer" in May of 2013. Emphases include-- extended vocal technique, contemporary concert music, orchestral and chamber music, folk music, pop music, and country music. Bobby Halvorson arranges music for ensembles with a distinct strength in vocal arranging and vocal harmony. He currently directs the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble at California Institute of the Arts and the Santa Clarita Men of Harmony Barbershop Chorus. He also teaches undergraduate tonal music theory, songwriting forum, a composition course on techniques used in composing for voice, composition, theory and voice lessons.


Will Davis

Director

Will Davis is a director and theatre maker focused on physically adventurous new and devised work.

Will has developed, directed and performed with New York Theatre Workshop and the 2050 Fellowship, The New Museum, The Alliance Theatre, The Brooklyn Art Exchange, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark Play Development Center, The Fusebox Festival, Salvage Vanguard Theater, The New Harmony Project, The Orchard Project, The Duplicates, Red Tape Theatre, Performance Studies International at Stanford University, The Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights Workshop, and Southern Rep. Will is a company member with The Ballez, a queer ballet company and holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from DePaul University and an MFA in Directing from UT Austin.

Upcoming projects include COLOSSAL, a play about football and feats of strength and A RIDE ON THE IRISH CREAM, a play with music about a magnetic pontoon boat and the young girl who loves him.


Cast in Order of Appearance

Jomama Jones

Ozma of Oz and Jack Pumpkinhead

Jomama Jones’s show, Radiate, was created in collaboration with Dr. Bobby Halvorson. Radiate, which premiered at Soho Rep, has played in Minneapolis, Austin, Los Angeles and Boston was a critics’ pick of the New York Times, Time Out New York, The New Yorker and Time Out Chicago, among others; was named on Hilton Als’s Best Of 2011 List for the New Yorker; and won a 2014 Austin Critics’ Table Award for best touring production. Jomama Jones has performed in concert at Joe’s Pub, Symphony Space, JACK, and Los Globos in LA. On the Aries Records imprint, Jomama Jones has released three CDs of original music, Lone Star, Radiate and Six Ways Home and is finishing a fourth album, Flowering, for a late 2014 release. An essay about the project, “The Radiant Desire of Jomama Jones” will be featured in the next issue of TDR.


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Jarrett King*

Wogglebug

Jarrett King is honored to have been scooped up to participate in Bright Now Beyond’s journey. Recent regional credits include Heddatron at SVT, MuseumAccidental Death of an Anarchist, and The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler (2012 Austin Critics’ Table Award – Outstanding Acting in a Supporting Role). Film credits include ABC Family’s The Lying Game and the upcoming horror film Lumberjack Man, where he stars alongside Michael Madsen. Jarrett holds a BA in Theatre Arts from St. Edward’s University and is a founding member of A Working Group, where he studied for three years under renowned acting teacher Richard Robichaux. Thank you Daniel and Bobby for inviting me along on this journey, Will, Jenny, the entire cast and crew, and Mommy for being the absolute best. 

*appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association


Jacques Colimon

Tip

Jacques Colimon graduated from the University of Texas at Austin this summer with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Radio, Television, and Film. During his time at UT he performed in several productions at the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre, the Iden B. Payne Theatre, and the LAB Theatre (UTNT, New Works Festival) while acting in several short films inside and outside of the university. A cultivator of new work, Jacques has workshopped roles with the Austin Film Society, New York Theatre Workshop, Dallas Children’s Theatre, and Script Works. Originally from Los Angeles, California, he looks forward to returning to his musical theatre roots with Tip in Bright Now Beyond!


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Wesley Bryant

The Crow, The Waiters, The Sunflowers

Wesley will be starting eighth grade in the fall. This is his third production with Salvage Vanguard Theater. He was in the production In This House Is You at the Eponymous Garden, From The Pig Pile this spring, and now is happy to be playing the role of The Crow in Bright Now Beyond


Nitra Gutierrez

Mouse Minister, The Girl Army, The Army of Oz, The Waiters, The Sunflowers, Design and Construction of Shadow Puppets

Nitra Gutiérrez is an interdisciplinary teaching artist with an MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin. Nitra is an active improviser, actor and playwright. She was a charter member of the 3Graces Theatre Co. (NYC), who received the 2007 Lucille Lortel Award  for the achievement of women in theatre.  She is also the co-creator of the Kidnapped by Craigslist play series, nominated for an Emerging Comedy New York Award.  Kidnapped by Craigslist has been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Austin and Phoenix. Her last performance with Salvage Vanguard was playing Cal in A Brief Narrative of an Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits. This past spring she directed NEVER HAVE I EVER for Heckleher Productions in the SVT Studio Theater.


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Alexis Scott

The Queen of the Mice, The Girl Army, The Waiters, The Sunflowers 

Alexis Scott has done a bunch of things and still likes theatre the most.  She recently spent the year in New York and is pleased to be back in Austin making new plays in the sunshine.  (MFA UT Austin, represented by Heyman Talent)


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Florinda Bryant

Mombi, The Sorceress 

Florinda is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. She has worked with Creative Action since 2005 and has been working with at-risk youth for over ten years. She is the Artistic Director of the Austin Project Performance Company, supported by the Center for African and African Americans Studies Department at the University of Texas. She directed and performed in the Artspark Festival 2008, award winning play “HUSH” and starred in the world premiere of Sharon Bridgforth’s new work delta dandi. She has performed with Salvage Vanguard in: In This House, Civilization (All You Can Eat), From the Pig Pile, and will be playing Justine in this falls AM I WHITE by Adrienne Dawes.


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Cami Alys

General Jinjur

For the last three years, Cami has been touring as Foley Artist with The Intergalactic Nemesis. Austin shows include Breaking String's, THREE..., The Rude Mechanical's, I'VE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY, and her current project, INDUSTRY NIGHT, a new old-school variety show. 


Heather Hanna in Salvage Vanguard Theaters CIVILIZATION, All You Can Eat

Heather Hanna in Salvage Vanguard Theaters CIVILIZATION, All You Can Eat

Heather Hanna

Jellia Jamb

Heather Hanna is the mother of two amazing boys. This is Heather's second show with Salvage Vanguard Theater.  She has been an actor in Austin for ten years and served as the Salvage Vanguard Business Manager from 2009- 2014.  She is currently a company member with the Rude Mechanicals and has worked with them on Cherrywood, Have You Ever Been Assassinated, Decameron, the Method Gun, and most recently at the Lincoln Center with Stop Hitting Yourself. She would like to thank her incredibly supportive husband.  His support makes it possible for her to be both an actor and a mother.


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Robert Faires

The Scarecrow

Robert Faires has been active in Austin theatre since 1980 and worked on 60 productions across the city as an actor, director, and writer, most recently acting in Advance Man (UT Theatre & Dance), Fixing King John (Rude Mechs), and The Importance of Being Earnest (Mary Moody Northen Theatre); and directing Moonlight and Magnolias (Penfold Theatre). In September, he will reprise his one-man adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V at the Long Center for Austin Shakespeare and Red Then Productions. By day, he is Arts Editor for The Austin Chronicle, where he's been covering the local arts scene for 25 years. American Theatre Magazine named him to a list of 12 of the nation's most influential theatre critics.


Robert Pierson in Salvage Vanguard Theater's Heddatron. 

Robert Pierson in Salvage Vanguard Theater's Heddatron. 

Robert Pierson

The Tin Woodsman

Robert Pierson is an educator, actor, director, writer, and musician from Austin whose recent stage work includes Pinkolandia and Dream Cabinet with Salvage Vanguard, and The B. Beaver Animation with Rude Mechs. Robert holds degrees in Performance Studies and Special Education from the University of Texas, and he teaches English and Theatre at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He is a co-producing artistic director of TILT Performance Group. He writes and plays in the band The Able Sea.


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Carla Nickerson*

Glinda The Good

Carla Nickerson began her thespian adventure as a senior fine arts major, when she auditioned for a production of Prairie View A&M University's Charles Gilpin Players many, many, many, many years ago. Very recent projects in Carla's decades of work include: Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (Zach), Love, Loss & What I Wore (Hourglass Productions) and The Best Lesson (JW Hill Productions & winner Best Staged Reading, ATL Black Theatre Festival '13). Having worked with and around many of the SVT family for years, Carla is ecstatic to make her first appearance at Salvage Vanguard and grateful to witness first hand the creative process of Daniel Alexander Jones and Will Davis. Carla is thankful to Willis & Sigele for their patience, love and support.

*appearing courtesy of the Actors Equity Association


Musicians

Joseph Shuffield (Violin) was terrified of flying monkeys as a small child, but grew to love the Wizard of Oz, and read the original book several times.  He loves musical theater, and has helped bring several Austin productions to life, including I've Never Been So Happy, The Red Balloon, and Genghis Khan. You can hear him on the soundtracks of Bernie and A Scanner Darkly, and also on Grupo Fantasma's Grammy-winning El Existential.

Rose Valby (French Horn) maintains a private horn studio in the Austin area and is pursuing the Doctor of Music Arts degree at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is the horn teaching assistant.  Valby is third horn in the Round Rock Symphony and has performed with Austin, Brazos Valley, and Fort Smith symphonies, among others.  She previously held positions with the Beloit-Janesville Symphony and Ash Lawn Opera.  Originally from Buffalo, NY, she holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Ithaca College. 

Henna Shih-Han Chou (Cello) is a reformed vagabond, lover of sounds, and canine enthusiast. Originating from Tucson, Arizona and eventually obtaining a B.A. in Environmental Science from Iowa State University in 2002, she has traveled the world over the past decade as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst and musician. She is currently the managing director of Church of the Friendly Ghost, a community organization dedicated to the proliferation of creative musics, future-minded expressions and experiments in sound. http://www.leisuretourniquet.com/

Christopher Whittemore (Clarinet) is an active performer, teacher, and clinician in Austin, Texas.  He has performed as soloist with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Symphony Orchestra and has studied and performed aboard in programs such as the Corso Internazionale di Musica da Camera in Tuscania, Italy and at the Royal College of Music in London, England.  He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Texas at Austin.  Christopher maintains a healthy independent studio in the Austin area.

Cullen Faulk (Percussionist) is a founding member of the Austin based percussion trio line upon line percussion, whose main goal is to vigorously commission, perform, and promote new music in the percussion genre locally, nationally, and beyond. He attended the University of Texas, studying under Dr. Thomas Burritt and Tony Edwards. Also an active local freelance performer and teacher, Cullen enjoys collaborating with various musical acts in both the "art music" and rock/pop scenes in Austin.


Production Team

Taylor Kulhanek (Stage Manager) has a BFA in Theatre Design from Baylor University. Stage Management roles include Radiate at SVT, Middletown, Tigers Be Still, Circle Mirror Transformation at Hyde Park Theatre, DAYBOYNIGHTGIRL and Heron & Crane for DA! Theatre Collective, The Mommy Confessions, Fusebox Festival (Production Manager), ScriptWorks'Out of Ink Festival and FronteraFest (Short Fringe Coordinator).

Caleb Britton (Assistant Director) is a theatre director from Austin, TX finishing his last semester of undergrad at UT-Austin. After graduation he intends to move to Chicago and be involved with the theatre scene there. His work bears the characteristics of precision, wit, and idiosyncratic text under duress and pressure. Upcoming works include a production of Lila Rose Kaplan's Wildflower and a devised piece concerning the complex nature of natural disasters.

Kathryn Eader (Lighting Design) is most happy to finally be able to call Austin home following her time in NYC, Houston, Chicago and Oklahoma City.  She’s currently a faculty member at St. Edward’s University teaching design where she regular designs for the Mary Moody Northen Theatre.  You can also see her work with Austin Lyric Opera and the Butler Opera Center.

Charlie Llewellin (Sound Tech Design) has been involved in music and sound production for more than thirty years. A founding member of Austin's Gourds, he picked up the art of sound mixing by watching British dub masters Adrian Sherwood and Dennis Bovell. He worked on the Rude Mechs' "I've Never Been So Happy" and last year's SVT production of "Radiate."

Mercedes O'Bannion (Costume Designer) is a 2015 MFA Costume Design Candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. She has designed costumes for Our Country’s Good, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Refugia (The University of Texas at Austin). Other projects include Church of the Passionate Cat (Underbelly Theatre Company) and Bright Now Beyond (Salvage Vanguard Theatre). She is currently working on her thesis installation, This Emotional Closet, for the Cohen New Works Festival April 2015.

Leilah Stewart (Scenic Design) is a freelance scenic designer and performance artist. She collaborated with Daniel on the Pillsbury House production of “Phoenix Fabrik.” She is a company member of the Rude Mechanicals, an experimental theater collective. Her stage designs for them have traveled throughout the world.

Julia Phipps (Assistant Stage Manager/Props Mistress) is ecstatic to be working at SVT again! She was last seen at SVT as the back end of the dinghy in From the Pig Pile. She graduated from TCU in 2011 with a degree in theatre and moved to Austin later that year. Now, Julia works at ZACH in the prop shop and backstage, and is a local set designer who designed Out of Ink 2014 and Teatro Vivo's production Vecinos. 

Lisa Laratta (Painter) has her MFA in Theatrical Design from the University of Texas at Austin. When not freelancing as a Scene Designer, Model Maker or Scenic Artist for such companies as Rude Mechanicals, Salvage Vanguard Theater and Saint Edward’s University, Lisa produces, designs and directs with paper chairs.