Welcome to the 2021 ACA Repertory Season.

The Cherry Orchard, directed by Aaron Posner
Julius Caesar, directed by Craig Wallace

Julius Caesar generously sponsored by Arthur and Shirley Fergenson.

A note from the ACA Director.

It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the Academy for Classical Acting, and to our 2021 Summer season. This is the first time this intrepid cohort has rehearsed and performed together, all in person, and marks a welcome and exciting shift in what has been an arduous year of online training. Though it hasn’t been easy, this group has used the time of the pandemic to study, to learn, to grow. We’re proud of them, and we know you are too.

Aaron Posner is back with us this year to direct The Cherry Orchard, Chekhov’s timeless exploration of the teetering aristocracy and cultural life of nineteenth century Russia. Though Aaron has adapted Chekhov’s work as a playwright (Stupid F***ing Bird, Life Sucks: Or the Present Ridiculous, No Sisters), this is his first time actually directing one of Chekhov’s plays. We’re thrilled to have Aaron bring his great knowledge of Chekhov to this production.

Craig Wallace, whom most of you have seen on stage during his remarkable career as an actor (Folger Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Everyman Theatre, and many others regionally), was deeply excited about a gender-reversed Julius Caesar, in which women took the fate of the Roman republic into their own hands. Craig’s long experience as an actor has given him a great deal of insight on the craft of performance, and we couldn’t be happier to have had him guiding our students through this production.

Finally, if you’re new to the ACA, I encourage you to find out more about us, and to join us throughout the year for all of our productions and events. And when you see me at the theatre–or one of our faculty, alumni, or students–please come up and say hello!

Thanks so much for joining us. We look forward to seeing you here again.


Alec Wild
Director of the ACA

The Class of 2021

Cerra Cardwell

(The Cherry Orchard: Yepikhodov; Julius Caesar: Casca)

THEATRE: Emma Arkadina – Stupid F*cking Bird, Arkadina – The Seagull (Little Foxes NYC) Oberon/Hippolita – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (LAMDA) Irene, Lost Sock Laundromat (The Secret Theatre NYC) Hedda – Hedda Gabler,  Lead – Love & Information, Galatica – Scenes from an Execution (Rose Bruford) Shepard – The Winters Tale (AVA) FILM: MIssing Persons  TV/WEB: Doin’ Great, Reality Sets In (Amazon) COMEDY: Stand-Up & Sketch (Caroline’s Comedy Club, NY Comedy Club, UCB New York, The People’s Improv, Broadway Comedy Club, East Village Comedy Club, The Stand)

SAG-AFTRA Eligible 


Madalaina D'Angelo

(The Cherry Orchard: Gaev; Julius Caesar: Lucius/Ensemble)

DC: Ensemble- Romeo and Juliet Free for All; Ensemble- An Inspector Calls (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Asmodeus- (super)friends (Capital Fringe Festival), Asst Choreographer- Little Shop of Horrors (Constellation Theatre Company- Helen Hayes nom) REGIONAL: Ensemble- Carousel (The Media Theatre), Barbara- The Rock n Roll Summer; Molly Ivins u/s- Red Hot Patriot (Cape May Stage) TELEVISION: Who Killed Jane Doe? (ID Network). TRAINING: BM Musical Theatre, Catholic University; London Dramatic Academy. Proud EMC.

@ madalaiad

Emily Erickson

(The Cherry Orchard: Vagrant, Musician; Julius Caesar: Brutus)

Emily is a multi-hyphenate actor based in DC and NYC. DC: Antigonus – Winter’s Tale (ACA). NEW YORK: Margery – Vinegar Tom, Political Snorts (La MaMa), LORDES, Lady Capulet – Romeo and Juliet (NYU)REGIONAL: Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens (Peregrine Theatre Ensemble), The PiTCH at Rev Theatre Co. Emily is also a composer, theatre educator, musician, and vocal coach and has worked at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, NYU, and Atlantic Theater Company. TRAINING: NYU Tisch & Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Company.


Nicholas Gerwitz

(The Cherry Orchard: Petya Trofimov; Julius Caesar: Portia/Cinna the Poet)

At the ACA in the fall virtual production of The Winter’s Tale he played Polixenes, and in the spring he was a writer and performer in The Decameron radio play. He feels incredibly grateful to his Professors for all their inspiring dedication, care and insight, his Directors for their guidance and curiosity and his classmates for their hard work and devotion this last year. Finally he would like to thank his fiance Kelsey for all of her love and support especially in this last year. Enjoy the Show!

Claire Kennedy

(The Cherry Orchard: Lyubov Ranevskaya, Julius Caesar: Trebonius/Ensemble)

With the ACA: The Winter’s Tale (Hermione), ACA Radio Plays: The Decameron. NEW YORK/REGIONAL select credits: Twelfth Night (Viola, The Human Race Theatre Company), The Tempest (Ariel, Tank NYC), Welcome to America (Sadie, New Worlds Theatre Project), The Glass Menagerie (Laura, HRTC), The Cake (Jen, HRTC), Constellations (Marianne, Lake Dillion Theatre Company), Hail Mary! (Mary, HRTC), Lend Me a Tenor (Maggie, HRTC), A Christmas Carol (Belle, HRTC), Shakespeare’s Words (Hamlet/Wall, HRTC), The Cake (Jen, LDTC), Infinitely Yours (Tasha, Presque Isle Stage), Signs From God (Ruth, The Puzzle Festival), The More Beyond (Sugar/The Ship, The Puzzle Festival), Macbeth (Macduff/Lady Macduff, Manhattan Shakespeare), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena, Eureka Suitcase Classics), Romeo & Juliet (Juliet, Sharonville Shakespeare), Into the Woods (Florinda, NightWindNY), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania, The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), Taming of the Shrew (Katherine, STNJ), The Odyssey (Circe, STNJ). FILM/NEW MEDIA: A Streetcar Named Desire (Blanche), Life in a Box, Amnesia Party, The Better Half, Sushi Tushi, Snowflake, A Christmas Short, Tell Tales, Mood Music, Traffix, History Webs, Egg Party (actor/writer/producer – Audience Choice Award Cinequest Film Festival). Upcoming: Small Victories, SomeFANG. TRAINING: BFA Acting, Wright State University Professional Actor Training Program.


Shannon Lynch

(The Cherry Orchard: Charlotta; Julius Caesar: Calphurnia, Titinius, Ensemble)

DC: Young Shepherd- The Winter’s Tale (ACA), Ellis! (LoNotes, staged reading). REGIONAL: Madam- Beauty & the Beast (Chicago Kids Co.), Jolene- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Garden Theatre, FL), Sweetheart- Dreamgirls (Mad Cow Theatre), The Bartender- The History of Alcohol in Chicago (Public House Theatre), Mrs. Cartero- The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, and other understudy roles in a dozen shows including Titus Andronicus, Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and To Kill A Mockingbird (Orlando Shakespeare). TRAINING: Rollins College, The Second City Chicago, and the Matthew Corozine Studio. Shannon is a member of Actor’s Equity and based in DC.

Instagram @shannon_next

Lorena Monagas

(The Cherry Orchard: Dunyasha; Julius Caesar: Flavius, Caius Ligarius, Octavius, Ensemble)

DC: Isabel, Jurácan, Sanchez, Woman- Tales of Borikén (ACA), Paulina- The Winter’s Tale (ACA). NEW YORK: Adela- The House of Bernarda Alba (Cherry Lane Theatre), Guadalupe- Women Behind Bars (The Alpha Theater Company), Juror #4 – Twelve Angry Women (The Alpha Theater Company), Multiple roles- A Sketch of New York (The Producers’ Club). FILM: Dry, Tuggit, My Beloved Wife, Japanese Borscht, Betrayal of a Nation. MULTIMEDIA:  The War On Drugs (Holding On – music video), Trading Faces, Babbel Spanish Contest, Comcast commercial, Yaucromatic. VOICE-OVER: Understood for All, Inc., Yauco Theater Project, Desperate Nightmares. TRAINING: The Academy for Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theatre and George Washington University, Shakespeare & Company, The William Esper Studio, The Barrow Group, Casa Cruz de la Luna (Teatro del Oprimido workshop), Nieves Latin Dance Studio, Fred Astaire Dance Studio.


Allison Paranka

(The Cherry Orchard: Lopakhin; Julius Caesar: Metellus Cimber, Pindarus/Fight Captain)

DC: Camillo, The Winter’s Tale (ACA) REGIONAL: Titania – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lady Percy – Henry IV Part One, Adriana – The Comedy of Errors, Witch/Lady Macduff – Macbeth, Bagot – Richard II (Shakespeare at Winedale); Penny – When We Were Young and Unafraid (Filigree Theater), Lady Macbeth – Shakespeare in the Dark: Macbeth (Past is Prologue Productions); Sara – Stop/Kiss (Smith College Theater), Shelby – Steel Magnolias (The Nomad Theater)

OTHER TRAINING: Shakespeare and Company Summer Institute (2015)

Dee Dee Popper

(The Cherry Orchard: Station Master; Julius Caesar: Cassius)

LOS ANGELES: Katherine – The Taming of the Shrew (Ophelia’s Jump Productions), Desdemona – Othello (Long Beach Shakespeare Company), Viola – Twelfth Night (Homespun Players), Honey – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Ophelia’s Jump Productions) NEW YORK CITY: Juliet – R+J (TheatreLab), Lady Macbeth – Macbeth (Open Space Theatre, SLC), Julie – Miss Julie (Downstage Theatre, SLC), Alice – Closer (SLC Theatre), Darcy – Shapeshifter (Manhattan Rep. Theatre) Alice/Boy – Henry V (Access Theatre), Tybalt/Paris – Romeo and Juliet (Howling Moon Cab Co.) LONDON: Bertha Mason – Jane Eyre (Oval House Theatre), Ismene – Antigone (Oval House Theatre)

TRAINING: Sarah Lawrence College, and the British American Drama Academy.

William Ryder

(The Cherry Orchard: Simeonov-Pishchik; Julius Caesar: Julius Caesar)

THEATRE: King of Hearts- The Love of Three Oranges (Santa Fe Theatre Festival), Harold Mitchell- A Streetcar Named Desire (Tri-state Actors Theatre, Newton, NJ), Pompey- Measure for Measure (The Riant Theatre, NYC), Ensemble- Oedipus Rex (The Actors Studio, NYC). TELEVISION: All My Children, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. FILM: The Good Shepherd, The Tavern, Visions of Sugarplums, Terror Firmer.  Representation: actors talent group, inc. (Chicago). Registered Rodenburg Teacher (Voice & Speech), Programmer/Facilitator (Shakespeare Behind Bars), Certified Public Accountant. 


Jordan Slattery

(The Cherry Orchard: Anya, Julius Caesar: Marallus, Marcellus, Servant)

DC: Kitty – Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes (Signature) Esther – The Consul, The Tramp and America’s Sweetheart (Best Medicine Rep) NATIONAL TOUR: Matilda – Encore! (Chamber Theatre) FILM: Veronica – HardCore (Astray Prod.)

TRAINING: Atlantic Acting School, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (Theatre, Film and Media Studies MA)

Katy White

(The Cherry Orchard: Yasha; Julius Caesar: Mark Antony)

With the ACA: The Winter’s Tale (Perdita), ACA Radio Plays: The Welsh Tales – The Mabinogion. REGIONAL: Crimes of the Heart (Babe, Hamilton Civic Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (Gwendolyn Fairfax, Mason Players). Film/New Media: Friends Without Benefits (Actor, writer, director).

TRAINING: Actor’s Studio of Cincinnati. 


Stephanie Wilson

(The Cherry Orchard: Varya; Julius Caesar: Cinna/Ensemble)

LOS ANGELES Favorite Roles: Puck – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Kingsmen Shakespeare Co.), Rosemary – Outside Mullingar (Electric Lodge).

TRAINING: Playhouse West, Larry Moss Studios

Jennifer Wintzer

(The Cherry Orchard: Directing Observership: Julius Caesar: Assistant Text Coach)

Jennifer is the Artistic Director of Theatre at COCA-Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis and adjunct acting faculty at The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. She has held artistic leadership and teaching positions at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Lincoln Center Theater, Second Stage Theatre, MCC Theater, and the Chekhov Theatre Ensemble. Upcoming projects: Producing: Billy Elliot at COCA; Directing: A Christmas Carol youth ensemble director, RepStL; Real Talk by Colin McLaughlin.

Represented my West Model & Talent, St. Louis.

Yuqi Yang

(The Cherry Orchard: Firs: Julius Caesar: Soothsayer, Decius)

ACA: Florizel – The Winter’s Tale; Radio play: Decameron. New York: Girl – How Could You Slap A Girl. Beijing: Mrs. Smith – The Bald Soprano.



Production Team

Aaron Posner

(Director, The Cherry Orchard)

Aaron Poser is a director, playwright, teacher, former Artistic Director of two major regional theatres, and an Associate Professor of theatre at American University. Professionally, he has directed more than 150 productions at major regional theaters including Arena Stage, ART, American Players Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Round House, Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, The Folger, Ford’s, Studio, Signature, and many more. As a playwright, his re-imaging of Chekhov’s The Seagull, entitled Stupid **king Bird, was one of the ten most produced plays in the country in 2015 and has had more than 200 productions worldwide including productions in Australia, Sweden, Luxembourg, Canada and elsewhere. His other plays include The Heal, JQA, Life Sucks, No Sisters, District Merchants, Who Am This Time? & Other Conundrums of Love, The Chosen, My Name Is Asher Lev, The Gift of Nothing, ME…JANE, and more. He lives outside of D.C. with his wife, actress Erin Weaver, and his amazing daughter, Maisie.

Craig Wallace

(Director, Julius Caesar)

Craig is excited to make his ACA directorial debut with this unique production of Julius Caesar. Craig is an affiliated artist with The Shakespeare Theatre Company and has appeared in numerous productions over his more than 20 year association with theatre. Craig is grateful to Alec Wild, Lisa Belay and the Class of 2021 for the opportunity to participate in this rewarding experience. Enjoy!

Jason Arnold

(Lighting Design)

ACA: The Duchess of Malfi, Measure for Measure, The White Devil, All’s Well That End’s Well, The Atheist’s Tragedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Maid’s Tragedy, King Lear, Women Beware Women.  DC: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Theatre, Assoc. Design), Emergence-See! (Arena Stage), The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Electile Dysfunction, Zero Hour, Honey Brown Eyes, Talley’s Folly (Theatre J), The Juliet Letters (Urban Arias), The Arabian Nights (Constellation Theatre), Legally Blonde, Chicago, Hands on a Hardbody (Keegan Theatre), The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, Beauty and the Beast, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Little Mermaid, The BFG, Double Trouble (Imagination Stage), Boeing, Boeing, Intelligence, A Shayna Maidel (Rep Stage), The Pillowman (Forum Theatre).  

Training: Brandeis University (MFA), Vassar College (BA).
Professorial Lecturer at American University.

Rebecca Bailey

(Assistant Stage Manager)

Educational stage management credits include, American University: Too Much Unhappy, Overture 200222020.  Rebecca is a senior at American University and will receive her BA in Musical Theatre and BA in Public Relations this upcoming spring.

Lisa Beley

(Text and Vocal Coach)

Lisa Ann Beley is head of Voice and Text at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. She obtained a BFA from the University of British Columbia and as an actor worked in theatre, film and television as well as established herself as one of Vancouver’s top voice-over talents. She can be heard in numerous animation series, commercials, and corporate videos. She received her MFA and Voice Teachers Diploma from York University. She has taught voice, speech and text at Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Film School, Tooba Physical Theatre, as well as many workshops for private and corporate clients. Lisa has spent over 15 years on faculty with Canada’s National Voice Intensive where the focus of the text work is on Shakespeare. She is a member of Vasta and of the Guild of Embodied Practice. Much in demand as a dialect coach in feature films and television she has worked with notable actors such as Paul Bettany, Freddie Highmore, Sam Neill, Daniel Radcliffe and Christina Hendricks. Lisa is passionate about the process of the actor, valuing the integration of the physical, vocal and mental rigour demanded in the actor craft and training.

Ileana Blustein

(Production Assistant)

Educational credits include, American University: The Birds– Assistant Director, Doctor Faustus– Director, The Dybbuk– Dramaturg, Pippin– Assistant Stage Manager, A Funny Thing… Forum– Wardrobe Crew, and Little Women– Head Wardrobe Crew.

Training: American University & British American Drama Academy

Jeannette Christensen

(Costume Design)

Jeannette Christensen is delighted to be making her debut with ACA. Previous design credits include: The Kennedy Center – Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, How to Catch a Star, and Earthrise. Theater Alliance – The Trans-Atlantic Time Traveling Co., Day of Absence, Protest in 8, and City in Transition: The Quadrant Series, and The Blackest Battle. Gala Hispanic Theater – Que las Hay!, Picasso, El Perro de Hortelano, and Ella es Tango. Monumental Theater’s digital production of Songs for a New World. Adventure Theater MTC –  Elephant & Piggie: We are in a Play! (Helen Hayes Nominated – Outstanding Costume Design), Blueberries for Sal, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 4615 Theater –  Lion in Winter, King John, Separate Rooms, The Infinite Tales and Museum 2040. Other regional credits include Pointless Theater,  Olney Theater, Keegan Theater, Infinity Theater, Imagination Stage, Mosaic Theater, Roundhouse Theatre, Folger Theatre, Wolf Trap Opera, and Studio Theater. She has worked as a costume designer and mentor with Arizona State University, University of Maryland, Bowie State University, American University, and George Washington University and is a current artist in residence at 4615 Theater. Education: BA in Design & Production from Arizona State University, MFA in Design from the University of Maryland.

Find more of her work at jchristensendesign.com.

Cidney Forkpah

(Assistant Costume Designer)

Cidney’s previous work is with Folger Theatre for shows such as Merry Wives of WindsorAmadeus, Henry IV Pt. 1, Saint Joan, Sense and Sensibility, and Antony and Cleopatra, GALA Hispanic Theatre’s Ella Es Tango, and Cortland Rep. Theatre’s 1776 and The Addams Family. This is Cidney’s first two shows with STC’s Academy for Classical Acting.

Robb Hunter

(Fight Director, Julius Caesar)

Robb Hunter is a member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and is a Certified Fight Director and Teacher of Stage Combat for the Society of American Fight Directors. As a professional fight director he has choreographed violence/movement for many DC theatres including The Shakespeare Theatre, Arena Stage, Center Stage, Washington National Opera, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, The Studio Theatre (where he has received multiple Helen Hayes Award nominations for his choreography), Olney Theatre, The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Rep Stage, and Washington Shakespeare Company. Robb holds an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy from the Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently Artist in Residence at American University where he choreographs, directs and teaches movement, mime, stage combat, acting and various sections of theatre history. He also teaches stage combat for McDaniel College and for the MFA program at Catholic University.

Jen Jacobs

(Assistant Director, The Cherry Orchard)

Jen Jacobs (she/her) was most recently one of the Directing Fellows at Shakespeare Theatre Company. EDUCATIONAL: Vassar: O,Hysteria!, Safe Hands: A New Musical, Godspell, File 29-1796, Powerhouse: Honey, she’s home…, The Stream, ASSISTANT: Nora’s Playhouse/The Tank: whatdoesfreemean? (Amy S. Green), Alliance Repertory Theatre Company: The Realistic Joneses (Michael Driscoll). Training: Vassar College: BA in Drama and History, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art: Classical Acting Semester Program, Powerhouse Theatre Training Company: Directing Apprentice. PERSONAL: Jen is a director, actor, singer, and overall creator, promoting stories by and for women.


Gordon Nimmo-Smith

(Sound Designer, The Cherry Orchard)

Gordon is the Audio/Video Supervisor for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, where he recently provided additional sound design for All The Devils Are Here. Other sound designs include In The Middle Of The Fields (Solas Nua); The Last Five Years, The 39 StepsCaucasian Chalk Circle (Helen Hayes Award nomination), Avenue Q (Constellation Theatre Company); The Toxic AvengerSing to Me Now (Rorschach Theatre); Marie and Rosetta (Mosaic Theater Company); Legally BlondeParade, Hands on a HardbodyChicago (Keegan Theatre); Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible…Day (Adventure Theatre MTC); The Realistic JonesesThe Man WhoThe River (Spooky Action).

Heather Janay Ogden

(Production Stage Manager)

Professional stage management credits include, Shakespeare Theatre Company: The Amen Corner, Peter Pan & Wendy (world premiere), Everybody . Seattle Children’s Theatre: Heathers the Musical, HS Edition, 101 Dalmatians/The Aristocats. Virginia Rep: Atlantis. Westport Country Playhouse: The Understudy, A Flea in Her Ear, Flyin’ West, Minor Fantastical Kingdoms (reading), Torera (reading). Heather has also done event work with The Kennedy Center, Westport Country Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Broadway Method Academy. BFA in Technical Theatre, concentration in Stage Management, and minors in Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jasmine Rush

(Assistant Director, Julius Caesar)

Jasmine M. Rush is a Brooklyn based African American actress, director and writer born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. Classically trained, she has worked nationally on stage, film, and television. She holds a BA from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and earned her MFA in Classical Acting from Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy of Classical Acting at George Washington University. She is a proud member of both SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity Association.

Christopher Tait

(Sound Designer, Julius Caesar)

Christopher Tait is a freelance Sound Designer and Event Technician based in the Northern Virginia area. He is also a recent graduate of George Mason University where he earned his B.A. in Theatre. During his time at GMU, he worked on a variety of both staged and virtual productions for the Mason Player’s as their sound intern.

Katherine White

(Production Manager, ACA Program Coordinator)

Katherine White is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist who has been working in arts administration, production, and management for a decade. In addition to the ACA, Kat serves as the literary director for Theater Alliance and as the producer of the Hothouse New Play Development Series. As a playwright, she has collaborated with Gorilla Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Blind Pug, Taffety Punk, Avant Bard, The Actor’s Center, and many more. Kat holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Catholic University of America.