Meet the Cast – Moby Dick: A British Panto

Meet the Cast – Moby Dick: A British Panto

Matthew Malone (Nomo) –
Matthew performed with Splinter Group for the first time in January, as Tea the Fairy/SLEEPING BEAUTY: A BRITISH PANTO. Most recently, he played a Witch in Sacramento Shakespeare Festival’s MACBETH. He has also acted in the Shakespeare festival as Sam/SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (2019), Dr. Pinch/THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (2017), and Flute/A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (2016). His first Panto experience was as Serious Bark/ROBIN HOOD IN THE FOREST OF FROGWARTS (2017) with City Theatre. Matthew can’t wait for his third adventure in Pantoland.

Mia Matista (Ishmael) –
Mia is thrilled to be a part of the remount of MOBY DICK: A BRITISH PANTO, playing the role of Ishmael. She’s been in quite a few Pantos with Splinter Group Theatre, kicking off her Panto journey as Panto Horse+Dragon/BEOWULF: A BRITISH PANTO and garnering her first “Buttons” role as Jo/LITTLE WOMEN: A BRITISH PANTO. She also appears as Jack/MOTHER GOOSE: A BRITISH PANTO this season, marking her second year in a row playing two “Buttons” characters simultaneously. She’s happy to be a part of a wonderful holiday tradition here in Sacramento, and hopes to be in many more!

Joy Gee (King Dragon) –
This is Joy’s first time on stage for Splinter Group Theatre, but you may have seen her play Hecate this summer in the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival production of Macbeth. Joy is not often seen on stage. She is better known as a writer, or for working with the tech/stage crew.

Jim Laferriere (Writey McWriteface) –
Jim is getting back into acting after a decade’s hiatus. This year, he has performed in CLUE (Village Stage Productions, directed by Betsy Longoria), MACBETH (Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, co-directed by Christine Nicholson and Lori Delappe-Grondin), and EURYDICE (Sacramento City Theatre, directed by Christine Nicholson). He previously studied theater in high school and college, with roles in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and WEST SIDE STORY. His impossible dream is to write, direct, and/or perform in a movie that is one day labeled “classic” by film snobs like himself.

Jonathan Plon (Captain Ahab) –
Jonathan Plon is ecstatic to be reprising the role of Captain Ahab in the remount of MOBY DICK: A BRITISH PANTO. He earned his Theater BA this past Spring 2023 from Sac State University, and then he completed the Irish Summer Theatre Programme at the Gaiety School of Acting. Jonathan has performed in other Splinter Group Theatre productions: Beowulf/BEOWULF: A BRITISH PANTO, Tim/SLEEPING BEAUTY: A BRITISH PANTO (2016) and as Captain Ahab in MOBY DICK: A BRITISH PANTO (2018)

Kacie Isosaki (Knotty Pine) –
Kacie is making her return to the stage after a long hiatus. In her day job, she is a Respiratory Therapist for UC Davis Medical Center. Her past credits include Le Beau/AS YOU LIKE IT, Messenger/MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Sassy/CINDERELLA: A BRITISH PANTO (2014 and 2015), Chai Spicey/PETER PAN: A BRITISH PANTO, Mrs. Fezziwig+Ensemble/A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and Stella/THE UNINVITED.

Shannon Poe (Qua-Quadrephenia) they/she
Shannon is a current Sac State student and former Sac City student studying Theatre and Dance. At Sac State, Shannon has been seen in roles like Hench/HAMLET and Glenn Cooper/RUMORS. They’ve been performing in Sac City shows since the age of 15, taking on roles such as Gracie Shinn/THE MUSIC MAN, Tilly/SHE KILLS MONSTERS, Rosalie/DECISION HEIGHT, and most recently, Eurydice/EURYDICE. Shannon is also acquainted with Shakespeare, having played Romeo for the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival in 2022 and Juliet for Wildflower Women’s Ensemble in 2018. They’ve been involved with Splinter Group Theatre Pantos for the past few years, playing half of the Panto Horse in LITTLE WOMEN: A BRITISH PANTO and Prince Poolboy+choreographer/SLEEPING BEAUTY: A BRITISH PANTO (2023). Shannon is excited to return to Pantoland, this time on the sea!

James Gilbreath (Moby Dick) – 
James has long dreamed of playing a Panto dame. He was a touring performer with Splats Circus, a puppeteer with Blind Summit, and an improviser at London’s Canal Cafe. Previous credits include Vanya/VANYA SONIA MASHA & SPIKE,  George/MOON OVER BUFFALO, Trigorin/THE SEAGULL, Loveborg/HEDDA GABLER, & Dr. Seward/DRACULA. He donned a frock performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in a Channel 4 documentary. He graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama and trained with Philippe Gaulier and Misha Usov. James teaches theatre and film at Yuba College.

Jonathan Blum (Starbucks) –
Jonathan is a community actor who also plays piano once in a while. Past Splinter Group credits include King Al/SLEEPING BEAUTY: A BRITISH PANTO (2023), Music Director for WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG (2022), Old Man Lawrence/LITTLE WOMEN: A BRITISH PANTO (2019), and Starbucks in MOBY DICK: A BRITISH PANTO (2018). He summers in Fair Oaks with the Fair Oaks Theatre Festival; credits include George Banks/MARY POPPINS (2018), Mr. Mayor/SEUSSICAL (2015 and 2008), Mr. Feldzieg/THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (2014 and 2013), and Willy Wonka/WILLY WONKA (2012). Other favorites include Sweeney Todd/SWEENEY TODD (2012) with ARC Theatre, Prince Herbert/MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT (2013) with Runaway Stage Productions, Mario Scarpoletto/ITALIAN OPERA (2015) with California Stage, Sammy Sax/SAUCY JACK AND THE SPACE VIXENS (2016 and 2017) with Sutter Street Theatre, Music Director for CARRIE: THE MUSICAL with City Theatre (2019); and Rudolfo/NAUGHTY MARIETTA with Samantics.

Kathleen Poe (Sebastiana) –
Kathleen is a Music professor at Sacramento City College but loves doing theater in her copious free time (and Panto every holiday season!).  She was last seen as Father/EURYDICE at City Theatre.  Some previous favorite roles include Macduff in this past summer’s production of MACBETH (Sacramento Shakespeare Festival), The Narrator/WOLVES (Big Idea Theater), Judy Boone/THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME (City Theatre), Polonius/HAMLET (both at CSUS and Sacramento Shakespeare Festival), Colleen+Edna/MR BURNS – A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY (City Theater), and Jaques/AS YOU LIKE IT (Sacramento Shakespeare Festival). She is a proud founding company member of Wildflower Women’s Ensemble, an all-female Shakespeare ensemble.

Sean Thomas Olivares (Schmee) –
Sean Thomas is a graduate of Sacramento City College (2016). His previous credits include Orpheus/EURYDICE, Ross/MACBETH, Florindo/SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, Squirrely The Blue Fairy/SLEEPING BEAUTY: A BRITISH PANTO (2016), Demon Rum/CINDERELLA: A BRITISH PANTO (2014 and 2015), Captain Hook/PETER PAN: A BRITISH PANTO (2015), Selfie the Dwarf/SNOW WHITE: A BRITISH PANTO (2013), Romeo/ROMEO AND JULIET, Rochefort/THE THREE MUSKETEERS, and Leandro/SCAPINO! all for Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, City Theatre, and Splinter Group Theatre. Sean is thrilled to be back in Pantoland for MOBY DICK.

Tem Huerta (Panto Horse) – 
Tem Huerta is a freshman at Sacramento City College and this is Tem’s first show with Splinter Group Theatre.  Previously Tem was enrolled at CKM McClatchy and was a part of the VAPA theare and orchestra program. Tem did a total of 4 shows while attending McClatchy two of which were on tech. Enjoy the show!

Veronica Dressel (Panto Horse) –
Veronica is a 2nd year student at Sacramento City College. She has been The Very Quiet Stone/EURYDICE, Panto Horse/MOTHER GOOSE: A BRITISH PANTO, and is excited to be in this new show!!

Breanna Reilly (Pip) –
Brea is incredibly honored and excited to be back on stage with Splinter Group as Pip for the second time! She was seen most recently as the titular role in Sacramento City Theatre’s EURYDICE. Previous roles for Splinter Group include: Laurie/LITTLE WOMEN: A BRITISH PANTO, Princess Hrothmund/BEOWULF: A BRITISH PANTO, Sleeping Beauty/SLEEPING BEAUTY: A BRITISH PANTO (2016), and Fairy Gaga/CINDERELLA: A BRITISH PANTO (2014 and 2015). She has also been seen in various other shows at City Theatre as: Quincy+Lisa Simpson/MR. BURNS: A POST ELECTRIC PLAY, Pam/THE UNINVITED, Ann/ALL MY SONS, and various roles in the City Theatre Pantos such as The Magic Mirror/SNOW WHITE: A BRITISH PANTO (2013), and Merida/ALICE IN WONDERLAND: A BRITISH PANTO (2012).

Robin Sanchez (Sad Faced Bob) –
Robin is excited to be a part of her 3rd Panto. Previous Panto credits include: James Bond/SNOW WHITE: A BRITISH PANTO, and Ballerina+Finger Prince/SLEEPING BEAUTY: A BRITISH PANTO (2023). She has also appeared in productions with City Theatre such as Ensemble+Ned Flanders/MR BURNS: A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY, Various Roles/ZOOM FOR THE HOLIDAYS. And as Weasel/ADVENTURES OF MR. TOAD with Eaglet Theater.

Vernon Lewis (Director) –
Vernon is very excited to finally be able to direct a Panto with Splinter Group! For the past 15 years, Vernon has been able to be a part of many thrilling productions such as a list of British Pantos, multiple Shakespeare Festivals at Sacramento City Theatre, and assortment of supporting and lead roles in BOOTYCANDY, A CHRISTMAS CAROL and CANNERY ROW. Recently, Vernon has been gaining experience Directing and Assistant Directing with shows such as THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED, THE MAGIC LAMP, and BAD TASTE IN BOYS

Christine Nicholson (Deery) –
Christine has been teaching Theatre at the University/College level for over twenty years, directing professionally over twenty years, and has been a working actor since the 1980s. She is Associate Producer/Director for the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, founding member of Splinter Group Theatre, and member of Wildflower Women’s Ensemble. For Splinter she was Queen Pookie/SLEEPING BEAUTY: A BRITISH PANTO (2016) and Evil Stepmother/CINDERELLA: A BRITISH PANTO (2014 and 2015), Mrs. March/LITTLE WOMEN: A BRITISH PANTO, Hench/BEOWULF: A BRITISH PANTO. Christine has directed 12TH NIGHT (twice), ROMEO AND JULIET, 3 MUSKETEERS, COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, HAMLET and 7 A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAMs She played Feste/12TH NIGHT at Big Idea Theatre; Rosalind /AS YOU LIKE IT at Tahoe Shakespeare; Antipholus/COMEDY OF ERRORS, Emilia/OTHELLO, Lady Macbeth at Sacramento Shakespeare; and title roles in KING LEAR and MACBETH, Angelo/MEASURE FOR MEASURE, Dogberry/MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Friar Lawrence/ROMEO AND JULIET for Wildflower Women’s Ensemble.

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