Jeanmarie (Simpson) Bishop was born in rural Arizona in 1959. Her family moved to Toronto in 1970 and she fell in love with the theatre after seeing, with her 7th grade class, the legendary production of Godspell (featuring Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy and Martin Short).
She performed dozens of roles in regional theatre and stock in the US and Canada and began directing while still in her teens. Jeanmarie is Founding Artistic Director of the Nevada Shakespeare Company (NSC), from which she retired in 2008. With NSC she directed many projects, wrote original works and played myriad parts including Maude Gonne in Sailing to Byzantium, Gertrude in Hamlet, Lady M in Macbeth and Elsa in The Road to Mecca, directed by Zakes Mokae.
Jeanmarie wrote and performed 263 times (including a run Off-Broadway) the play A Single Woman, about the life of first US Congresswoman and lifelong pacifist, Jeannette Rankin. She also starred in the film version that featured Judd Nelson, the voices of Martin Sheen and Patricia Arquette and the music of Joni Mitchell.
In 2007, she appeared at the historic Beverly Hills Theatre 40 in the American premiere of the solo tour-de- force Shakespeare’s Will, produced by Leonard Nimoy.
Jeanmarie is a lifetime member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). While attending a December 2008 meeting of WILPF’s Tucson branch, she met Shannon Cain, co-editor of the anthology Powder: writing by women in the ranks from Vietnam to Iraq. The two quickly agreed that the book could make a fine theatre piece, and Coming In Hot was conceived. Following an adaptation and rehearsal period of nine months, the play opened at Tucson’s Rhythm Industry Performance Factory. Simpson began an international tour of Coming In Hot in March of 2010, taking it throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
She was commissioned by the Be the Change project to create a piece based on interviews with Dreamers; Liberty’s Children premiered at the Potentialist Workshop in Reno, Nevada in March 2014.
She toured with Mary’s Joy from 2011-2014. She was denied entry at England’s Heathrow airport in February 2015, after which she took a hiatus from theatre for 18 months. She now performs the play under a new title, The Joy. Jeanmarie is a retired member of Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and the Dramatists Guild of America. She lives with her husband, Dan, in a cottage with a garden in Glendale, Arizona.
Andrew Donnellan is associate artist of UAP. He is an aspiring independent filmmaker with a bachelor’s degree in media arts from the University of Arizona. His genres of choice are dark comedy and psychological films; although he is also interested in documentary filmmaking. He also happens to be a C3 – C4 quadriplegic, the result of a gymnastics accident when he was 16. Despite the fact that he is in a wheelchair, Andrew still pursues his passion for filmmaking and hopes that through UAP, he and other disabled artists can find an outlet to express their creativity.
Bill Robison is distinguished associate guest artist of UAP. For over 25 years, he has charmed audiences young and old around the world with his unique and masterful style of physical comedy. Using his rubber-like face,elastic body and limitless energy, he transports audiences to a zany, unpredictable and hilarious world. His performances are a synthesis of outlandish comedy, a penchant for the absurd and a reckless sense of abandon. His extensive background in all types of theatrical and physical performance allows him infinite creativity in creating countless comic situations, seamlessly combining the timeless feel of old Vaudeville with European style clowning
A native of Tucson, AZ, Lindsey McHugh, a founding member and the music supervisor of UAP, is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in music education at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music, where she received her BME in choral music education (Magna Cum Laude.) She is a regular featured soprano soloist with the Tucson Pops Orchestra, the Arizona Symphonic Winds, and Sons Of Orpheus-the Male Choir of Tucson. She has recently returned from a concert tour with Sons Of Orpheus in Paris and Angers, France, where she performed at the Notre Dame Cathedral, L’Eglise de la Madeliene, The Church Of St. Pierre, and the Castle of Angers. While participating in a local opera/musical theater scenes program, she has sung such roles as Violetta in “La Traviata,” the Second Spirit in “The Magic Flute,” and Guenevere in “Camelot.” In addition to her classical singing, Miss McHugh is also featured regularly as a pianist and vocalist performing parodies and comedic numbers such as those written by Tom Lehrer, in various Cabaret/dinner theater shows, the most recent being “Wild West Burlesque” at Hacienda Del Sol’s Casa Luna Ballroom, and the Dusty Monk Pub (Downtown Tucson’s Piano Bar.)
Miss McHugh is the musical director and pianist of the Arroyo Café Players, which produces “The Old Pueblo Radio Show”, starring local celebrities, including the Arizona Daily Star’s David Fitzsimmons, 94.9 Mix FM’s Marty Bishop, and Channel Four’s Lupita Murillo. She has directed, accompanied, and arranged music for many theatrical productions in Tucson with casts of both children and adults, and co-produced an album, “Winter Scenes,” with local pianist and composer Russell Ronnebaum.