Emma Gregory (Narrator/Phantom) is extremely excited to be a part of this cast and to work with the talented people at Minerva! Emma is a junior at Drury high school, and has been a member of the Drury Drama Team since freshman year. Productions she has been in with the team are Dracula (Vixon), and The Diviners (Norma). She has acted with the Starlight Stage Youth Theater playing (Tiger lily) in Peter Pan and the (dark witch) in Dark of the Moon. Other productions Emma has been in include Godspell, Just So, Alice in Wonderland, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Dancing is very important to Emma. She has been a dancer for 14 years and is currently on her dance school’s competition team. Emma would like to send big thanks to her Mom, Dad, and friends, but an even bigger thanks to her cast. “It was a night out they were to remember for a very- long- time!”
Michael J. Brames (Osric/Ensemble) is an alum of Agawam High, who partook in their theatre program. The spark that was created then finally ignited last month when he played the part of Judas in the retelling of the 1969 classic Godspell. He will also be in a new staged adaption of Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th Century masterpiece, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha that runs August 3rd to 13th at the MAC. Now that the spark has been ignited, he plans to continue acting for as long as he may.
Melissa Quirk (Gertrude) is delighted to make her Minerva Stage debut, and will return to the MAC next month in the title role in The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. Melissa portrayed Mrs. Van Daan in a national tour of The Story of Ann Frank. Locally, Melissa has performed in numerous Berkshire County productions including: Tongue of a Bird (Maxine) @ Main Street Stage; Talking With . . .(Big Eight), Rumors (Claire Ganz), As Bees in Honey Drown (Alexa Vere de Vere), Odd Couple (Florence Unger), and The Good Doctor (Nanny, Nina) @ Town Players; Glimpses of the Moon (Eldorada Tooker), Merchant of Venice (Ensemble), Taming of the Shrew (Biondello, Nathaniel), and Heroides (Hypermnestra) @ Shakespeare & Co; Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Meredith) and Gypsy (Miss Crachitt, Ensemble) @ Berkshire Public Theatre; Seduction Scenes: Cloud 9 (Victoria), Evening of Shakespeare: Henry V (Alice), Tennessee (lead: Old Woman) @ Williamstown Theatre Festival. Other productions include: Love Letters, Search for Signs of Intelligent Life, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (Sarah Jackman), Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Alice in Wonderland (Alice) and a one woman show, Foremothers in Faith. Melissa has directed numerous plays including: Macbeth, Hamlet, Midsummer Nights’ Dream, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, Anton in Show Business, and The Duke, the Bard and You All on a Midsummer Night, which featured the Duke Ellington band. Melissa was co-founder and co-producer of StageRight Productions, a NYC theatre company that features original works.
Meghan Deluca (Magenta) is a sophomore at Hoosac Valley High School. She was a Berkshire Idol finalist at this year’s event. Shows she has been in include her role as the Genie in Aladdin in 2008, also as Mrs. Bucket in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory in 2009 and High School musical in 2010. Meghan enjoys competitive swimming, singing and she loves to smile. Meghan loves Rocky Horror and being Magenta is making it about ten times the amount of fun she already thought it would be. She loves the cast as if they were her family.
Keith Edward Weil (Prologue/Ensemble), a newcomer to theatre, has found himself enthralled and intrigued by the strange world of acting. He began as the Boy in Waiting for Godot, then jumped right into the lead role of Jesus in Godspell. He will be seen in the upcoming The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha which opens August 3 and runs through August 13th at the MAC. The next project on the horizon for him comes this fall at the MAC: Night of the Living Dead.
Jon Marks (Preacher) is making his second appearance at the Minerva Arts Center; previously, he performed a humorous reading of Robert Benchley’s Christmas Afternoon: Done in the Manner, If Not the Spirit of Dickens. His theatre experience began in the late 1960s in Northern Ohio; for more than a decade, he has appeared intermittently on, in front of, or behind several area stages. Additionally, Marks has been featured in two nationally released television commercials. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Pittsfield Town Players and is thought by some to deliver a dynamic curtain speech. Marks works at a law firm, teaches martial arts, and enjoys fatherhood, dog ownership, and understated wit. He is delighted to work again with Edward Cating, following their collaboration on 1 John 4:20 in the 2010 Berkshire Fringe’s Emerging Playwrights program.
Jesse Lee Egan Poirier (Laertes/Ensemble) is a recent MCLA graduate (FPA-Theatre) who has found his way into the rich theatre community of the Northern Berkshires. Favorite roles in college included Macbeth, Prince Lewis, Angelo, Bassanio, Orlando, Tybalt, Aaron the Moore, and Prince Harry (in a production of Once Upon a Mattress). After college, Jesse was cast as Timmy Cleary in the The Subject was Roses (directed by Broadway veteran Peter Russell), and now Laertes in Hamlet, both at the MAC. Jesse’s experience in technical theatre ranges from costume to lighting design, stage management to carpentry, and he has even designed and directed a show here and there. However, today he is an actor, and entreats you to enjoy the show!
Jess Pillmore (Director). Jess offers a variety of professional workshops that focus on: physical theatre, movement, comedy improvisation, choreography, dance, stage combat, songwriting and creative writing. Co-founder of the physical theatre company, Creatively Independent, Jess tours 250+ days/year performing and teaching the performing arts. At 18, she was recognized for her dance and percussion skills by STOMP. Jess was a dance major at the prestigious performing arts high school, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and received her BA in Theatre at Florida State University. Jess has had the
privilege of studying with many Tony Award winning artists,
such as Ann Reinking, Gregory Hines, Susan Schulman and
Kathleen Marshall, as well as prestigious artists and
companies: Luigi, Pilobolus, Shapiro & Smith Co., Chet
Walker, John Parks and Bardy Thomas. Her professional work
is an expansive mix of national and international pieces,
including theater, dance, performance art and choreography
for dance, theater and stage combat (1999 National Best Female Actor/Combatant and 2000 Founder’s Award in Unarmed by Society of American Fight Directors). Her work has been performed Off Broadway as well as nationally at fringe theatre festivals, regional theaters, universities and high schools. In Chicago, Jess was co-director and choreographer for the Neo-Futurists’s award winning musical, “City Girl!”, winning Best Musical at the Minneapolis Fringe Festival. She has worked with students in elementary through college, seminars for teachers and multiple conferences: Florida State Thespians, North Carolina State Thespians, Florida Assoc. of Theatre Educators and Orff Schulwerk Teacher Training workshops. Currently, Jess is a member of the select list of teaching artists working for ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association). ISTA reaches students across the globe and is responsible for the IB Theatre curriculum. In the music industry, Jess has nationally released and toured three albums as a singer/songwriter. She produced the debut album “Speak True” for NY songwriter, Ron Morris. All four albums were released on the RoadWorm Music label, started by Bill Pillmore and herself. Her third CD, “Reveal” (recorded with industry heavyweights – Matt Chamberlain & Viktor Krauss), has received rave reviews and is playing across the country. Recently, she composed music for Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Greylock Project. Jess is writing the music and lyrics for a Montreal fringe show, Last of the
Pretty Girls, to be mounted in 2011. Her new folk rock musical, It’s All Right Now, co-written with label-mate, Ron Morris, is currently in the studio. Visit www.jesspillmore.com for more information. Jess is also a designer for an eco-lux clothing line, A Second Chance. Her articles and work has been featured in 3 national magazines, including GreenCraft & Scrappies. Fall 2011, Jess starts her MFA at Goddard College in Interdisciplinary Arts.
Jennifer Gorson (Player Queen/Ensemble) is returning to the Minerva Arts Center for her second role. Jennifer attended Colgate University and U. Mass. Amherst concentrating in Philosophy and Psychology. Some of her favorite roles include Angela, MSS 2010 Short Play Festival, Ensemble in the 2010 MAC premiere musical, Aliza. Jennifer is excited to be returning to the MAC and being a part of this summer’s schedule.