Stories & Cast Interviews
Mark Ayesh Is a cool guy...Just the right guy to play Roger in RENT! Read on to learn a bit more about him!
I grew up in the city in Kansas called Wichita. Kansas, though full of mostly rural communities, has a few "larger" cities and Wichita is one of those. I was lucky enough to attend a small high school that offered just about anything and everything in terms of extracurricular activities. At first I did the sport-thing spending almost all my time in either football, basketball, or track. My hobbies at the time were computers and being in a rock band. My goal in life was to be a computer programmer and go to MIT. Then one day my choir teacher asked me to audition for our school musical...FOOTLOOSE. That's when it all shifted gears. Getting to sing rock n' roll music and dancing (which turned out to be a lot harder than football ever was) on stage in front of hundreds of people was unbelievable. Thus, I caught 'the bug'. I tried to continue playing football while taking dance classes but at one point late in high school I finally decided to shift my focus solely to theatre and dance. I started doing my research, found a few, select schools to apply to, and auditioned for them. I finally ended up at the University of Michigan where I studied Musical theatre. I just graduated in May, and moved straight to the city. That is about where the story ends...for now :)
Steena Fernandez stars as The mesmerizing Mimi in RENT. I caught up with her at rehearsal...and learned a thing or two!
I grew up in Odessa, Texas. I used to sing around the house on a turkey baster when I was 3, so mom put me in dance and singing classes. She knew and I guess I knew at a very early age, I had the bug.
I didn't start acting until high school. I saw some posters advertising for Steppin Out auditions at my high school, so I went and auditioned for the show and for the drama department. I got a part in the show and enrolled in the theatre program there. After high school I went to Texas Tech University to further my studies in acting, singing and dance. Mentors include: John Gillas: voice, Dr. Johnathan Marks: acting, and Judy Gorlin: Dance.
I loved this show since college. I remember they had an open call in Austin, Texas around the time when it was getting so popular, and me and a group of friends drove from Lubbock, Texas to go audition. I did get a call back but no part. Then when I moved to N.Y. right out of college, I auditioned for the tour and got Alexi Darling, Mimi understudy. Touring this show was so much fun!
I did see the movie. GREAT! Basically if it says RENT on the cover I love it! In any production of this show, I can always find the magic!
Mimi is one of my dream roles...so excited to finally be playing her!!!! :) Some favorite shows: Cats, Miss Saigon, Hair, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Moon Over Buffalo, Ragtime and In the Heights.
When it's nice out, I love to ride my bike and go for a run outside. I try to go in the sun only in moderation, but I LOVE the beach and sun. Reminds me of going to South Padre Island as a child with family. Oh and I love food network, so I am picking up some good recipes and cooking more these days.
On my Ipod ..Oh I have anything from Van Halen, Johnny Cash, Coldplay: Viva La Vida one of my fav's, Jack Johnson to Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys. Right now as I type this, I am listening to The Beatles...can NEVER go wrong with that!
Patti Wilcox ... Back for RENT!
Patti Wilcox, the Brilliant Director/Choreographer will return to WBT to direct RENT. WBT theatre-goers may remember her outstanding directorial efforts in our Productions of Little Shop Of Horrors and Aida.I grew up in Decatur, Illinois with my parents, one sister and two Brothers. I had a great Midwestern upbringing and a wonderfully supportive Family.
It was the works of Kidd, Robbins, Fosse and countless modern choreographers that made me want to choreograph. I love the way story can be told through movement.I started out as a Choreographer and Assistant Director for a show in NYC called BLUES IN THE NIGHT. Sheldon Epps, who is a Broadway Director and was the Conceiver and Director of that show, greatly influenced the Direction of my career.
I have not seen the Film version of RENT. But I had the great pleasure to be at Opening Night on Broadway (1996) And was Invited to closing night but I was, unfortunately, unable to attend. My approach to Directing this ground-breaking piece is to simply tell the story!
As a Dancer, My favorite show to dance was WEST SIDE STORY. As a Choreographer, I seem to love best whatever I am working on at the time. I would like to do KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN because the movement possibilities are just endless. And what I look forward to most would be to work on the piece that has yet to be written.
When not on Stage I enjoy being with my husband and two children. Traveling, Tennis, and we all just discovered ZIP-LINING!What's on my Ipod? I wouldn't even know where to begin... About EVERYTHING!
Peter Pan?? Shh...he's really a girl!!
I attended Maria Regina High School, graduated with honors from Westchester Community College and received a BFA from Purchase College Conservatory. My first year of college, I had decided I would become a pharmacist. I thought that was a strong/reliable choice. I got a job working in CVS in the pharmacy so that I would be ready. I had a meeting with my academic advisor and he took a final glance at the courses we had chosen and said: "I’ve got an idea, how about you try taking a theatre class." I was a little surprised. Then I thought, " hmmm, maybe as a hobby". I signed up for an acting class. The teacher put actors in pairs and gave out one scene for each couple to perform. I watched couple after couple get up and perform their scenes. The day came that it was my turn to perform my scene. I sat in a wheelchair, my character was handicapped and began the scene. Something changed the moment I sat in the chair, I began to feel. And I forgot who I was for a moment. When the scene was over the whole class stood up and applauded. When I could finally focus again, on something besides the character I was playing, I saw everyone standing there, clapping, and I began to cry. It was a wonderful moment. I have pursued the theatre since then…..
I’ve worked in the children’s entertainment business for the last 7 years. I’m a party planner/entertainer. It’s a great job for an actor. I’ll dress up as a Princess, Pirate or whatever character a child could possibly desire for their birthday. We play games with them, give out prizes, face paint, make balloon animals, etc. It’s a lot of fun working with children and they ARE the toughest audience. Also, it provides a person with some of the funniest stories you’ll ever hear in your life. The birthday party business is chock full of entertaining mishaps