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SAN DIEGO (November 13, 2020)—The Old Globe today announced the cast and creative team of its 23rd annual production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which this yearwill be presented by KPBS Radio in San Diego as a free audio-only production. Due to the ongoing pandemic, The Old Globe is unable to produce the San Diego favorite on its stage this year. The free audio production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radiowill pivot this San Diego tradition to a new form, giving San Diegans the chance to continue their holiday season visit with The Grinch, and introducing this beloved production to many for the first time. The performance can be heard on the radio in San Diego on KPBS 89.5 FM, and can be streamed live on the KPBS website, on the KPBS app, and on smart speakers on Thursday, November 26 (Thanksgiving Day) at 12:00 noon; Saturday, December 5 at 12:00 noon; Sunday, December 20 at 12:00 noon; and Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) at 6:00 p.m. All times are Pacific Standard Time (PT).
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radio is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. The family favorite features the songs “Santa for a Day,” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and “Welcome, Christmas (Fah Who Doraze),” the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays with the Whos and The Old Globe.
Edward Watts returns to the Globe after receiving critical acclaim and delighting audiences as The Grinch the last three years. Watts recently starred as Harold Hill in The Music Man at Goodspeed Musicals and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at Broadway Sacramento/Music Circus. His Broadway and New York credits include Scandalous, Finian’s Rainbow, It’s a Bird...It’s a Plane...It’s Superman, The Fantasticks, The Most Happy Fella, and the acclaimed PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” Show Boat. Tommy Martinez will once again scale Mt. Crumpit as Young Max. He has been seen in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, on the national tour of Kinky Boots, and on Broadway in Newsies. Returning to play Old Max will be John Treacy Egan, whose Broadway credits include My Fair Lady, Casa Valentina, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Sister Act, The Little Mermaid, The Producers, Jekyll & Hyde, and Bye Bye Birdie. And Leila Manuel will once again play Cindy-Lou Who this year. She previously appeared in local productions of Peter Pan and Willy Wonka.
Completing the cast are Grinch alumni Tyrone Davis, Jr. (Papa Who), Charlotte Mary Wen (Mama Who), Larry Raben (Grandpa Who), Bets Malone (Grandma Who), Taylor Coleman (Annie Who), Sophia Adajar (Betty-Lou Who), Alexander Dalton (Boo Who), Bobby Chiu (Danny Who), and Reanne Acasio, Nicholas Alexander, Kevin Hafso Koppman, Kyrsten Hafso Koppman, Janaya Mahealani Jones, Sarah Meahl, Nathan Andrew Riley, William BJ Robinson, Katie Sapper, and Lance Arthur Smith (Grown-Up Who Ensemble).
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radio isdirected by James Vásquez, with book and lyrics by Tim Mason and music by Mel Marvin. The original production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was conceived and directed by Jack O’Brien with additional lyrics by Theodor S. Geisel, additional music by Albert Hague, and original choreography by John DeLuca. This year’s creative team also includes Elan McMahan (Music Director), Paul Peterson (Sound Design), Mark Anthony Holmes (Audio Recording and Production), Anita Ruth (Orchestrator), Joshua Rosenblum (Vocal Arrangements and Incidental Music), David Krane (Dance Music Arranger), Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager), and Amanda Salmons (Assistant Stage Manager).
“It’s impossible to imagine the holidays in San Diego without the Globe’s production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and we were not about to let the coronavirus make a Grinchy move of its own and take this grand tradition away from us,” said The Old Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “With our friends at KPBS, we are taking a bold step into the world of radio theatre, and this bright, fun, and touching musical is a perfect way to start. The intimacy of radio and its broad, easy access will bring this great show to a huge, new San Diego audience and will spread the magic of theatre and the healing spirit of Dr. Seuss around our region at a time when both could not be more needed. Our virtual tree lighting and our virtual sensory-friendly work will extend The Grinch’s reach even further. We are pleased to acknowledge the generosity of the late Audrey S. Geisel as we make theatre matter to more and more people by transforming the challenge of the pandemic into an opportunity to bring the beauty of storytelling and the humanity of Dr. Seuss to the widest possible community.”
“KPBS is thrilled to partner with The Old Globe to bring Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radio to our San Diego airwaves,” said Tom Karlo, General Manager of KPBS. “It reminds me of when families would gather around the radio to listen to entertaining storytelling. Today the radio experience has expanded via smart speakers, web streams, the KPBS app, and traditional radio devices. I hope that in whatever manner families listen, they feel their hearts grow three sizes with joy in hearing this iconic story and sharing the experience alongside their community.”
The 15th annual Globe Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place virtually Sunday, November 22 at 6:00 p.m. PT on the Globe’s website and social media channels. The ceremony, which has also become an annual tradition for thousands of San Diegans as they kick off the holiday season, is a fun event for the whole family. This year’s virtual broadcast will feature special appearances and songs from this year’s Grinch, Edward Watts; director James Vásquez; Ariana Afsar, former Cindy-Lou Who and star of Hamilton and "American Idol"; and local favorites Steve Gunderson and Melinda Gilb and other exciting Grinch alumni; all leading up to the final countdown and the lighting of the tree. And who knows, that old green meanie may just drop in too!
Designed by Grinch scenic designer John Lee Beatty, the unique tree will be located in the center of the Globe’s Copley Plaza and will remain through December 31, 2020. Holiday photos can be taken in front of the tree each evening. Everyone is strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing on the Globe’s Copley Plaza.
This year The Old Globe brings its Sensory-Friendly Grinch AXIS event online. For the second consecutive year, The Old Globe is partnering with music group Jungle Poppins (who will give a very special musical presentation!), Autism Society San Diego, and Banding Together. This special event will be hosted by Old Globe Teaching Artist and Inclusion Specialist Samantha Ginn and by Reid Moriarty, lead singer of Jungle Poppins and Ability Awareness Ambassador. It will feature an inclusive workshop led by Ginn and a presentation of an original holiday-inspired play from our Sensory-Friendly Community Voices workshop. Join us live online on Sunday, December 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon PT on The Old Globe’s YouTube channel for some holiday cheer!
Additionally, The Old Globe is offering a special sensory-friendly Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! online social-story experience, limited to families that have attended past sensory-friendly performances at the Globe. For more information or to be added to the waiting list for this sensory-friendly experience, please contact Associate Director of Arts Engagement Katherine Harroff at kharroff@TheOldGlobe.org.
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radio is supported in part by Terry Atkinson and Kathy Taylor, The Binford Family, Ann Davies, George C. Guerra, United, Pamela Wagner and Hans Tegebo, and The Wickline Family. Grinch Free Student Matinee programs are supported by Dee Anne and Michael Canepa and Random House Children’s Books. An anonymous donor is supporting Edward Watts in the role of The Grinch.
Note: All in-person Globe productions and events have been postponed until further notice; all dates are subject to change. In the meantime, the Globe develops and presents a wide array of free online programs to continue reaching the San Diego community. These currently include a free commissioned short-plays project Play At Home and The Old Globe Coloring Book. Current arts engagement programs include the exploration of modern poetry The Poet’s Tree; Voces de la Comunidad, the Spanish-language version of Community Voices, our popular playwriting program; collaborative Mad Libs–style program Word Up!; and Creative Youth Studio, a series of professional development opportunities for youth and high-school theatre enthusiasts; new middle school and high school Globe to Go focused resources, a part of School in the Park, which offers free downloadable K–5 resources for teaching; season 2 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV, a digital version of the transformative initiative offered at prisons; and Behind the Curtain: Art of Protest.
Programs and videos archived on our website at www.TheOldGlobe.org and on our YouTube channel, available for viewing at any time from the comfort of your home, including the world premiere of Bill Irwin’s In-Zoom; On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group; outreach from familiar Globe artists in Act Breaks and Flashbacks; Soap It Up with students from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program; and Barry Edelstein’s hit presentation Thinking Shakespeare Live! and his series Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! Archived arts engagement programs include the Community Voices playwriting workshop; Behind the Curtain and its offshoots, the Spanish-language Detrás del Telón and Behind the Curtain: Technical Assistance forum; check-in program with Globe-commissioned playwrights Playwrights Unstuck; The Living Room Play Workshop; and season 1 of Reflecting Shakespeare TV.
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An updated guide to our free online theatre programs,
as well as videos of those programs, are available here.
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PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at www.theoldglobe.org/press-room.
The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional not-for-profit regional theatres. Now in its 85th year, the Globe is San Diego’s flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and the Audrey S. Geisel Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community’s understanding of theatre art in all its forms. The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres—such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!—have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.
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Reanne Acasio (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) previously appeared at The Old Globe in last year’s Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and in the world premiere of Clint Black’s Looking for Christmas. Her regional theatre credits include La Jolla Playhouse, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Diego Musical Theatre, The Barn Stage Company, OnStage Playhouse, and Asian Story Theater. Acasio received her B.S. in Psychology from UC San Diego. @reanneacasio on Instagram.
Sophia Adajar (Betty-Lou Who) is excited to join the cast of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: On the Radio this year. She is honored to be able to perform for The Grinch and The Old Globe for her third year. She is an energetic and passionate 11 year old who loves singing, dancing, and performing. In her spare time she enjoys performing in her school musicals, playing soccer, playing basketball, and football. Merry Grinchmas to all and a big thank you to James for this wonderful opportunity and window into Who-ville, considering the unfortunate circumstances of this pandemic.
Nicholas Alexander (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) is beyond excited to be back in Who-ville here at The Old Globe for his second year. His recent credits include Tom Sawyer in Big River, Enoch Snow Jr. in Carousel, Otto in Spring Awakening, Sonny in In the Heights, Flotsam in The Little Mermaid, Pepper in Mamma Mia!, and Simon and Jesus understudy in Jesus Christ Superstar (Performance Riverside), Diego in Candlelight Christmas and Sonny in In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions), Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar (Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater), and LeFou in Beauty and the Beast, Big Daddy in Sweet Charity, and Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar (Welk Resort Theatre). He thanks James, Elan, and everyone on the creative team for giving him a home to spread some Christmas cheer, and his beautiful wife Emily for always loving and supporting him.
Bobby Chiu (Danny Who) is excited to return to Who-ville! In previous holiday seasons here at The Old Globe, Chiu has performed as Danny Who and as Little Who Ensemble in The Grinch, and Billy Watson in the world premiere of Clint Black’s Looking for Christmas. His other credits include Tommy in Matilda the Musical (Moonlight Stage Productions), John in Fun Home (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Jerome in South Pacific (San Diego Musical Theatre), Eddie in the West Coast premiere of The Last Wife (Cygnet Theatre Company), Winthrop in The Music Man (Welk Resort Theatre), and Chip in Beauty and the Beast (J*Company Youth Theatre). When not performing, Chiu loves to play piano, tap dance, and rollerblade. He is 12 years old and in the seventh grade. Merry Grinchmas!
Taylor Coleman (Annie Who) is 14 years old and a freshman at Canyon Crest Academy. Most recently she filmed a few commercials in Los Angeles and a fun L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls unboxing episode on YouTube with almost 1 million views! Coleman grew up in Who-ville playing Cindy-Lou for three seasons and then Betty-Lou Who for another three seasons. Her other favorite roles are Young Diana in Diana (La Jolla Playhouse), Small Alison in Fun Home (San Diego Repertory Theatre), and Marta von Trapp in The Sound of Music directed by Jack O’Brien (national tour). Her national tour adventure allowed her to experience many incredible North American cities and included performing for five weeks at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Her other credits include Jane in Peter Pan, Young Fiona in Shrek The Musical, and Gracie Shinn in The Music Man (Moonlight Stage Productions). She was also seen as Minnie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun (San Diego Musical Theatre). Merry Grinchmas! @taylorcoleman5678.
Alexander Dalton (Boo Who) is a homeschooled seventh grader. He is thrilled to be back for a third year in Who-ville, where he previously played Boo Who and Danny Who. Most recently he filmed a fun commercial and did a voice-over project in Los Angeles. He continues to actively audition and loves it. He also played Bruce Bogtrotter in Matilda The Musical (Moonlight Stage Productions). His other roles include Mary Poppins and Seussical (Christian Youth Theater San Diego). When not performing or studying, he is script writing, singing, creating videos with friends, tap dancing, taking ballet, skateboarding, playing ukulele, taking acting classes, and writing and filming his newly created original IGTV series “Voices in My Head.” He would like to thank The Old Globe, director James Vásquez for believing in him, all of his coaches and mentors, and his mom, dad, and brother Nathaniel for all their support and encouragement. @alexanderdaltonofficial on Instagram and Facebook.
Tyrone Davis., Jr. (Papa Who) is thrilled to be returning to Who-ville! He appeared on Broadway in Waitress and in the first national tour of Shrek The Musical. His Off Broadway credits include The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Transport Group), Invisible Thread (Second Stage Theater), and Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe and King Lear (Classical Theatre of Harlem). His regional credits include Witness Uganda (American Repertory Theater), A Civil War Christmas (Baltimore Center Stage), Amazing Grace (Goodspeed Musicals), Stagger Lee (Dallas Theater Center), Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (Portland Stage), and Pure Confidence (Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse). He received his B.F.A. from New World School of the Arts/University of Florida. @tyronedavisjr
John Treacy Egan (Old Max) recently appeared on Broadway in My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater. He has many other Broadway credits, including the Tony Award–nominated Casa Valentina at Manhattan Theatre Club. He played Chief Berry in Nice Work If You Can Get It and created the roles of Joey in Sister Act and Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid. He played Max Bialystock, as well as Roger De Bris and Franz Liebkind, in The Producers. And he was an original cast member of Jekyll & Hyde and Roundabout Theatre Company’s Bye Bye Birdie. Off Broadway, Egan created roles in Clinton The Musical, Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly, Disaster!, and Bat Boy: The Musical. He has appeared on television in “Gotham,” “Younger,” “The Good Wife,” “The Knick,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Nurse Jackie,” “30 Rock,” “Cupid,” and “Law & Order,” and he was in the films Last Night and The Producers. He can be heard on many theatrical recordings as well as his own solo albums Count the Stars and On Christmas Morning, whichare available on iTunes and cdbaby.com.
Kevin Hafso Koppman (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) has been seen at The Old Globe in Twelfth Night (Globe for All), Hamlet, The Imaginary Invalid, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and Macbeth. He is a graduate of The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, where he appeared in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, As You Like It, The Seagull, and Acquainted with the Night. His recent regional credits include The Addams Family (Welk Resort Theatre), Young Frankenstein (San Diego Musical Theatre), Pride and Prejudice (Cygnet Theatre Company), West Side Story and The Foreigner (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Ether Dome and His Girl Friday (La Jolla Playhouse), Zoot Suit (San Diego Repertory Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and This Random World (North Coast Repertory Theatre), Birds of a Feather and Speech and Debate (Diversionary Theatre), and The Sunshine Boys and Deathtrap (Scripps Ranch Theatre). Hafso Koppman received the 2018 Craig Noel Award for Actor of the Year. He gives love and thanks to Kyrsten and Ivy.
Kyrsten Hafso Koppman (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) previously appeared at The Old Globe in Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2013–2019). She earned her B.A. in Vocal Performance from Whitworth University and her M.F.A. in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. She has performed in San Diego at San Diego Musical Theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions, Cygnet Theatre Company, Lamb’s Players Theatre, Intrepid Theatre Company, and Welk Resort Theatre. Hafso Koppman has music directed for Diversionary Theatre, The Old Globe, Grossmont College, The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, and San Diego State University, as well as for workshops at Moonlight Stage Productions. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is forever grateful for the love and support from Kevin and Ivy.
Janaya Mahealani Jones (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) (she/her/hers) is excited to be spending her holidays with The Old Globe this year. You may recognize her from her star turns as Esmeralda in Moonlight Stage Productions’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Queen Elsa of Arendelle inFrozen Live at the Hyperion, and Mel and Dee inPump Up the Volume: A ’90s Palooza and miXtape, respectively. She was most recently seen in Definitely Not Clue and Hocus Pocus: A Musical Cocktail Experience, both produced virtually by Pixel Playhouse and After Hours Theatre Company. She can be seen as Dime in theFive and Dime Jazz Band and DJ Dee Jay in Disney Junior Dance Party! in Disney California Adventure. Jones also works regionally in theatres such as Lamb’s Players Theatre, San Diego Musical Theatre, Rockwell Table & Stage, and Performance Riverside. She sends a huge thank-you to the wonderful creative team at the Globe for bringing them all together to make this possible!
Bets Malone (Grandma Who) celebrates Christmas once again with The Old Globe after being seen as Mama Who for six seasons and Grandma Who last year. During the 2020 pandemic she has created many videos and has taught herself to play the piano. Her regional credits include Victor/Victoria, Fun Home, Mamma Mia!, Aida, Titanic, Seussical, Big Fish, Pride and Prejudice, Mary Poppins, Next to Normal, Sweeney Todd, 1776, Once Upon a Mattress, Evita, Ragtime, Into the Woods, Annie Get Your Gun, All Shook Up, and Children of Eden. Malone originated the role of Suzy in the Off Broadway production of The Marvelous Wonderettes and can be heard on three Wonderettes albums. She is featured as Tallulah the monkey in Barbie as the Island Princess, as well as the singing voice of Velma in Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire. Malone is proudly married to Steven Glaudini, Artistic Director of Moonlight Stage Productions, and mom to Sami the wonder dog.
Leila Manuel (Cindy-Lou Who) is honored to be performing for her third year in The Old Globe’s production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! She is 12 years old and is in the seventh grade at Rancho del Rey Middle School in the Dual Language Immersion Program. She performed in productions of Peter Pan (2017) and Willy Wonka (2016) while in Heritage Elementary School. Manuel would like to thank her fellow cast member Kyrsten Hafso Koppman for her fantastic vocal coaching, piano lessons, and amazing support. Manuel loves to spend time with her family, enjoys practical jokes with her friends, likes to perform experiments, is fond of meeting new people, and has a blast making new friends with her only sister and best friend, Sasha. She wishes everyone in Who-ville a very Merry Grinchmas.
Tommy Martinez (Young Max) is thrilled to have a dream come true and get to work at The Old Globe again. You may have seen him in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, on the national tour of Kinky Boots, or on Broadway in Newsies. Thanks to Nimmy, Mom, Nana, Dad, and Cricket. @atleastimfunny on Instagram, @leastimfunny on Twitter.
Sarah Meahl (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) has appeared on Broadway in Kiss Me, Kate; Hello, Dolly!; and Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour. Her Off Broadway credits include Standard Time (The Duke on 42nd Street), The Golden Apple (City Center Encores!), and the one-night-only Thoroughly Modern Millie (Minskoff Theatre). Meahl recently finished the Broadway workshops for The Music Man (upcoming in 2020), The Secret Garden, and Clueless, The Musical. She has been seen regionally at Paper Mill Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Broadway Sacramento/Music Circus, Theatre Under The Stars, Theatre of the Stars, The Muny, Kansas City Starlight Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Walnut Street Theatre. Her film and television credits include Isn’t It Romantic?, Disney, and TruTV. She is a Point Park University graduate. Meahl teaches musical-theatre dance for 14 companies in New York City. She also teaches dance privates via Zoom. She is very happy to be working once again with her husband, Edward Watts (The Grinch). sarahmeahl.com, @happymeahl.
Larry Raben (Grandpa Who) returns to the role of Grandpa Who, and he previously appeared at the Globe as Sparky in the original Forever Plaid and Dolan and Ensign Pulver (understudied and played) in Mr. Roberts. He appeared on Broadway as Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks’s The Producers, and he also played Leo in the show’s entire Las Vegas run. Some of his favorite roles include Man in Dirty Blonde and Ross in Bright Ideas (Laguna Playhouse), Serge in Art and Robert in Boeing-Boeing (Coyote StageWorks), Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein (Moonlight Stage Productions), Felix in The Odd Couple (Norris Center for the Performing Arts), Man #1 in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Off Broadway), Patrick in The Andrews Brothers (Ovation Award) and Sir Robin in Spamalot (Musical Theatre West), Albert in Bye Bye Birdie (Music Circus), Lt. Frank Cioffi in Curtains and Gilbert in Betty Blue Eyes (Music Theatre Wichita), Forbidden Broadway Greatest Hits: Vol. 1 (Ovation Award) and Vol. 2 (Ovation nomination), and Sparky in Forever Plaid: The Movie on DVD. Raben is also the author of a children’s book, Ibby Makes a Wish, available on Amazon.
Nathan Andrew Riley (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) is thrilled to be back in Who-ville this year, having last performed with the Globe’s production of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in 2013 and 2014. As a Southern California native, Riley performed extensively in theatres and cabarets in SoCal and at Disney California Adventure before moving to New York City. He has appeared in multiple seasons of Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes; sung with symphonies around the world with Disney in Concert; and toured nationally with the Broadway touring productions of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and most recently, as a swing, Disney’s The Lion King. His favorite credits include Featured Ensemble in High Button Shoes starring Michael Urie and Betsy Wolfe (City Center Encores!), Haywood Patterson in The Scottsboro Boys (The Phoenix Theatre Company), and Donkey in Shrek The Musical and Benny in In the Heights (Poway Center for the Performing Arts).
William BJ Robinson (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) is happy to be part of the Who-ville magic again this year! While maintaining a private voice studio, he is the host of “KPBS Arts,” a weekly television program on KPBS, and of “Tough Talk,” a biweekly virtual discussion series that focuses around race relations. His theatrical credits include Superheroes Anonymous (as composer; Village Church Community Theater), Elizabeth Swados’s Alice in Concert (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Hall Pass (as actor and assistant music director; Blindspot Collective, with La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival), Puffs, Or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic (Poway Performing Arts Company), Godspell (as music director; Vanguard at Westminster Theatre), The Wedding Singer, Pageant, and Hair (OB Playhouse), O Wondrous Night (SeaWorld San Diego), Follies: In Concert (as music director), A Man of No Importance and Little Shop of Horrors (Coronado Playhouse), and Beachtown (as actor and music advisor; San Diego Repertory Theatre). His further artistic education and direction credits include Southwestern College, San Diego Junior Theatre, North Park Vaudeville and Candy Shoppe, Maraya Performing Arts, J*Company Youth Theatre, San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, Lamplighters Community Theatre, and OB Playhouse. Happy holidays to one and all!
Katie Sapper (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) is delighted to be a year-two Who! She made her first trip to Who-ville last year as Mama Who, and she had her Old Globe debut with Clint Black’s Looking for Christmas in 2018. Her regional credits include Crystal in the world premiere of Kingdom City (La Jolla Playhouse), Sophie in Mamma Mia!, Betty in Sunset Boulevard, and Kate McGowan in Titanic (Moonlight Stage Productions), Anne in A Little Night Music andMelody in Bad Jews (Cygnet Theatre Company), Gloria in Damn Yankees (San Diego Musical Theatre; Craig Noel Award nomination), Dyanne in Million Dollar Quartet andJune in Smoke on the Mountain (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Brenda in Catch Me if You Can (Musical Theatre West), and Ivy in bare: A Pop Opera and Nancy in A New Brain (Diversionary Theatre). She received her B.A. in Musical Theatre from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She dedicates this show to her husband Charlie and her brother, the ultimate Grinch fan, Stevenson. katiesapper.com.
Lance Arthur Smith (Grown-Up Who Ensemble) is an actor, writer, and fight choreographer who was last seen at The Old Globe as Frank understudy in Life After and Otis (and also fight director) in October Sky. His local credits include San Diego Repertory Theatre, Cygnet Theatre Company, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, Starlight Musical Theatre, ion theatre company, Intrepid Theatre Company, Vista’s Broadway Theater, Scripps Ranch Theatre, New Village Arts, San Diego Musical Theatre, Lamb’s Players Theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions, and Welk Resort Theatre. His other regional credits include Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival, The Ark Theatre Company, Pacific Conservatory Theatre, Musical Theatre Southwest, and African American Theatrical Ensemble. Smith is the author of the book Princess Geek. His commissioned plays include The Price of Peace (New Village Arts) and Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play (with Jon Lorenz, San Diego Musical Theatre). lanceasmith.com.
Edward Watts (The Grinch) is honored and delighted to be returning as The Grinch for his fourth time. Since last year, he revisited two of his favorite roles: Harold Hill in The Music Man at Goodspeed Musicals (Connecticut Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Actor – Musical), and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at Broadway Sacramento/Music Circus, where he shared the stage with his amazing wife Sarah Meahl, who is in this production! His Broadway and New York credits include Robert and David in Scandalous, Superman in It’s a Bird...It’s a Plane...It’s Superman, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Joe in The Most Happy Fella, and Steve in Lincoln Center’s Show Boat. He also appeared on tour as Joseph Smith, Jesus, and Mission President in The Book of Mormon; Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Enjolras in Les Misérables, and King Triton in The Little Mermaid. Watts’s favorite regional credits include Joe Bradley in Roman Holiday (Guthrie Theater), Javert in Les Misérables (Dallas Theater Center), Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music (Michigan Opera Theatre), Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Goodspeed Musicals), and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Shakespeare Theatre Company; Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical). He has been seen on television in “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Quantico,” “The Sopranos,” “Rescue Me,” “The Carrie Diaries,” and “All My Children.” He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. EdwardWatts.net, @Watts5th.
Charlotte Mary Wen (Mama Who) is absolutely thrilled to be returning to The Old Globe after spending seven holiday seasons in Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! as a child. Her other credits include Hamilton (national tour), Life After (The Old Globe), Ali in Mamma Mia! (Hollywood Bowl), American Idiot (La Mirada Theatre), Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (3-D Theatricals), and Anna in Frozen Live at the Hyperion (Disney California Adventure). Her film and television credits include Can You Ever Forgive Me?, “The Young and the Restless,” and “Just Add Magic.” She is a graduate of University of Southern California. charlottemarywen.com, @charmarywen.
Tim Mason (Book and Lyrics) has been represented at the Globe and on Broadway with Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! His other theatre credits include Levitation, Only You, Babylon Gardens with Timothy Hutton and Mary-Louise Parker, and The Fiery Furnace starring Julie Harris (Circle Repertory Company), In a Northern Landscape (Actors Theatre of Louisville), and his six-play The Young Americans Cycle, composed of Ascension Day, The Less Than Human Club, Time on Fire, Mullen’s Alley, My Life in the Silents, and The Life to Come (American Conservatory Theater’s Young Conservatory in San Francisco). His further credits include South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Jungle Theater, and Royal National Theatre in London. His historical thriller, The Darwin Affair, is published by Algonquin Books. timmasonauthor.com.
Mel Marvin (Composer) has composed Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Tintypes at the Globe. His Broadway credits include Yentl, A History of the American Film, Tintypes (Tony Award nomination), Fascinating Rhythm, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Lincoln Center Theater’sCymbeline. He has also had nine shows produced Off Broadway. His other credits include scores for many of America’s best-known regional theatres, including Arena Stage, Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, and Mark Taper Forum, where he was an Associate Artist and wrote the original music for the world premiere of Angels in America. Marvin’s other projects include Guest from the Future, an opera with libretto by Jonathan Levi that premiered at Fisher Center for the Arts in July 2004, and Buwalsky, an opera commissioned by Holland’s Opera Spanga that premiered in The Netherlands in August 2004 and toured the U.S. that fall. Their new opera, Truth and Reconciliation, was performed at Manhattan’s OPERA America in January 2020. Marvin is Head Faculty Composer and Producing Director of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is one of seven musicals for young audiences he has written for his daughter, Kate.
Jack O’Brien (Conceived and Directed Original Production) served as Artistic Director of The Old Globe from 1981 to 2007. His Broadway credits include All My Sons, Carousel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Front Page, It’s Only a Play, Macbeth, The Nance, Catch Me If You Can, The Coast of Utopia (Tony Award), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination), Henry IV (Tony Award), Hairspray (Tony Award), Imaginary Friends, The Invention of Love (Tony nomination), The Full Monty (Tony nomination), Two Shakespearean Actors (Tony nomination), Porgy and Bess (Tony nomination), and many more. He has also directed for national tours, the West End, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and San Diego Opera, as well as six movies for PBS’s “American Playhouse.” He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2008. Jack Be Nimble: The Accidental Education of an Unintentional Director, his memoir about the early years of his career, was released in 2013.
James Vásquez (Director) recently directed the West Coast premieres of Hurricane Diane and Tiny Beautiful Things and the world premiere of American Mariachi at The Old Globe, where he has also directed Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rich Girl, and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show and provided musical staging and movement for several additional productions. His directing and choreography credits also include work at Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Children’s Theatre Company, and Dallas Theater Center, as well as developmental workshops for La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. He is the recipient of the Craig Noel Award for his productions In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions) and Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). Vásquez is an amateur gardener, lover of dogs, and graduate of The Juilliard School.
Elan McMahan (Music Director) happily returns for her ninth season in Who-ville. Her other Globe productions include Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax and the 2012 and 2013 Summer Shakespeare Festivals. She is Resident Musical Director at Moonlight Stage Productions, with over 50 productions to her name. She has received three San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Awards for Outstanding Musical Direction: in 2012, for her body of work, including Moonlight’s Sweeney Toddand Fiddler on the Roof and the Globe’s As You Like It; in 2015, for Moonlight’s Big Fish; and in 2017, for Moonlight’s In the Heights. McMahan holds a B.Mus. from Brigham Young University and an M.Mus. from St. Louis Conservatory of Music.
Paul Peterson (Sound Design) has designed over 100 productions at The Old Globe, including Other Desert Cities, The Brothers Size, God of Carnage, Nobody Loves You, Odyssey, Engaging Shaw, Life of Riley, Plaid Tidings – A Special Holiday Edition of Forever Plaid, Welcome to Arroyo’s, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, The Last Romance, Lost in Yonkers, I Do! I Do!, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Kingdom, Six Degrees of Separation, The Women, Two Trains Running, Hold Please, Restoration Comedy, Pig Farm, Moonlight and Magnolias, Vincent in Brixton, Lucky Duck, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, Blue/Orange, Time Flies, Pentecost, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, The Boswell Sisters, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, and many more. His regional credits include designs for Milwaukee Repertory Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Center Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Sledgehammer Theatre (Associate Artist), Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, San Diego Repertory Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Malashock Dance, University of San Diego, San Diego State University, and UCLA. Peterson received his B.F.A. in Drama with an emphasis in Technical Design from San Diego State University.
Mark Anthony Holmes (Audio Recording and Production) is a filmmaker, photographer, editor, and producer. Co-founder of Daisy 3 Pictures, he served as executive producer for their feature films Ready? OK! and That’s What She Said, as well as director of photography for their first feature 29th and Gay and the short Feet of Clay. He provided video segments for the West Coast premiere of Rich Girl at The Old Globe and recently served as editor for the Thinking Shakespeare Live: Sonnets! finale. His recent credits include filming and editing the world premiere of Buzz directed by Carrie Preston at Alabama Shakespeare Festival and work with La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Diego Musical Theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions, and Broadway/San Diego.
Anita Ruth (Orchestrator) is an orchestrator, arranger, and musical director active in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. She has prepared over 150 musicals in the last 30 years. She was the musical director of the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres from 1968 to 1988. Since then she has been a freelance music director and orchestrator at Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Bloomington Civic Theatre, and Theatre Mu, among others. She has been the arranger/music director for three Shakespeare productions at the Guthrie in addition to music directing their production of A Christmas Carol for many years. In 2004 she orchestrated two operas composed by Mel Marvin: one presented in Holland and the other at Bard College.
Joshua Rosenblum (Vocal Arrangements and Incidental Music) has conducted 13 Broadway and Off Broadway shows, specializing in flying vehicles (Miss Saigon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!). He is the composer/lyricist of the smash hit revue Bush Is Bad, as well as the musicals Fermat’s Last Tango and Mark Felt, Superstar. His Off Broadway musical Einstein’s Dreams, based on the bestselling novel by Alan Lightman, was nominated for four Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics.As a pianist, Rosenblum has appeared with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, with the Encores! Orchestra at New York City Center, and in solo recitals at Symphony Space. A music faculty member at Yale University and New York University, he is a contributing writer for Opera News and the founder/music director of the Pit Stop Players.
David Krane (Dance Music Arranger) created the dance music and additional score for the Academy Award–winning Chicago and the film of Nine; created the musical score adaptation for Disney’s Into the Woods starring Meryl Streep; produced and arranged Michelle Williams’s vocals for My Week with Marilyn; and composed Aspire with Stephen Cole, the first American musical produced in the Middle East. Their musical comedy about that incredible experience, The Road to Qatar!, was produced in Dallas, New York City, and the Edinburgh Festival. It is licensed by josef-weinberger.com, and the album, produced by jayrecords.com, is available on iTunes. Krane’s many Broadway credits include Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and She Loves Me. His recent credits include Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, and his own new original musical Goin’ Hollywood will have its 2021 world premiere at the WaterTower Theatre in Dallas. goinhollywood.com, davidkrane.com.
Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager) has worked on over 40 productions at the Globe, including Hurricane Diane, Noura, As You Like It, They Promised Her the Moon, Familiar, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Imaginary Invalid, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Love’s Labor’s Lost, tokyo fish story, In Your Arms, Bright Star, Othello, Water by the Spoonful, Pygmalion, A Room with a View, and Robin and the 7 Hoods. Her regional credits include Noura (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Indecent, Side Show, Ruined, The Third Story, Memphis, and Most Wanted (La Jolla Playhouse), and Post Office (Center Theatre Group). She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Amanda Salmons (Assistant Stage Manager) has previously worked at The Old Globe on more than 40 shows. Some of her favorites include Life After, The Blameless, October Sky, Rain, The Metromaniacs, The White Snake, Inherit the Wind, Somewhere, and Lost in Yonkers. Her other credits include Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin (La Jolla Playhouse), Kiss Me, Kate (Hartford Stage), The Foreigner, See How They Run, The Music Man, and The Rivalry (Lamb’s Players Theatre), and The Gondoliers, The Pirates of Penzance, Candide, and Trial by Jury (Lyric Opera San Diego). Ms. Salmons is a graduate of UC San Diego.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. Dr. Seuss Enterprises is a leading global children’s entertainment company focused on preserving and enhancing the quality and dignity of Dr. Seuss’s body of work, thereby ensuring that each generation will experience the stories, characters, life lessons, and genius of Dr. Seuss. The company was established in 1993 and is based in San Diego, CA. Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ global endeavors complement Dr. Seuss’s iconic books and include films, TV shows, stage productions, exhibitions, digital media, licensed merchandise, and other strategic partnerships. Ted Geisel once said he never wanted to license his characters to anyone who would “round out the edges”—a guiding principle at Dr. Seuss Enterprises. For more information about Dr. Seuss and his works, visit Seussville.com and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.
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