THE ARTISTS

Kate Rhoswen

(director) 

Kate is thrilled to be returning to Reno theatre and making her directorial debut at the same time. She is also honored to be working with such an amazing and talented group of artists on a fantastic, new piece of theatre. Her next project will be directing Murder Ballad the musical with VVE3 Productions, performing in The Basement in downtown Reno this September. Select acting credits: Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival); Shiner, King Lear, The Nether, Evil Dead: The Musical, Psycho Beach Party, Clown Bar, The House of Yes, The 5th Wind*, The Importance of Being Earnest (Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Co.); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Ubu the King, The Charm of Preparedness (Nevada Repertory Co.); Macbeth, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Wonder of the World, Compleat Female Stage Beauty (Brüka Theatre of the Sierra); Cahoots, Talking With…. (Theatreworks of Northern Nevada); Love Song (Reno Little Theatre); Mattress of the Heart* 

(Potentialist Workshop). Kate is a member of the Equity Membership Candidate program with Actors’ Equity Association.

Liz Strekal

(production manager)

Liz has primarily worked backstage in the Carson City, Reno, Douglas County area, managing several small and large productions since 1996, notably:  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum; Peter Pan; West Side Story; A Christmas Carol Revisited; Funny Girl; Assassins; Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll and Hyde and Music Man at Piper’s Opera House; and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  She has also been involved in many varied capacities of show production and was on the Board of Proscenium Players, Inc. for several years. 

Gary Cremeans

(Laertes)

Gary Cremeans hails from a long line of Irish railroad men, coal miners, and carpenters in the Ohio River valley. Born in West Virginia, as a young boy he never would have dreamed of the myriad of worlds that theater would ultimately take him to, and an awareness of the beauty and truth, the consistency and incongruity, the small and the stupendous nature of the human spirit that it has brought him with it’s broad and yet often extremely precise perspective. 

Gary credits theater as being that “bright star that was as far from my small world as I could see, and which, in chasing it, opened up the veritable universe to me”. And opened him up to true love and understanding when he met his beautiful wife Annikki on stage. Gary is so very honored to be part of the staged reading Jeanmarie’s uniquely comedic and insightful vision of the dark Dane and Friends in Purgatory, and to do so with such an amazingly incredible cast! And he absolutely cannot wait to see the unquestionably forthcoming stage production in the future.

Jeanmarie Simpson

Jeanmarie Simpson

(playwright, Gertrude)

Jeanmarie is the founding artistic director of Arizona Theatre Matters and is remembered in Nevada for her work co-creating and artistically directing for 20 years the Nevada Shakespeare Company and for her play,  A Single Woman, about the life of Jeannette Rankin. She reprises her role as Gertrude after playing the character twice for NSC. Additionally, since the turn of the century, she has played Ladies Capulet and Macbeth, Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Marjorie in Amigas, Elsa in The Road to Mecca (directed by Zakes Mokae), Anne in 

Shakespeare’s Will (directed by Leonard Nimoy), 19 roles in the solo Coming in Hot 

and, for the past 12 years, Mary Dyer in Heretic. Her new plays include Pineapple and Other Options, The Jewish Question, and 

Bambino Mio – Bright Little Flame, about the life of Maria Montessori. 

John Frederick

(Hamlet)

John is excited to bring Hamlet ‘back to life’ in Jeanmarie Simpson’s witty original play, When Churchyards Yawn. John’s long history of performances on stage and screen include Hair 

(Berger), Wild Party (Burrs), 

The Heiress (Morris), 

Glengarry Glen Ross (Roma),  and The Black Warrior 

(Billy).  You can also catch him in VVE3 Theatre’s upcoming production of Murder Ballad as Tom. 

Tom Strekal 

(Hamlet Sr.) 

I met Jeanmarie years ago when she was Nevada Shakespeare Company and we did A Christmas Carol Revisited in Reno and Minden.  We became instant and fast friends.  I also performed in Julius Caesar with NSC in Reno.  I’ve followed Jeanmarie’s career — catching those rare performances when she’s in town — and marvel at her artistry, creativity, and passion.  I was President of Proscenium Players, Inc. in Carson City for five years, and President of Carson City Community Concerts for three years.  I have emceed the annual Robert Burns Dinner in Reno for several years.  I mainly perform in dramas and comedies, though I’ve also appeared in several musicals (negotiating with the director to allow me to sing with the microphone turned off).  Santa Claus becomes me and I him:  V&T Polar Express, Train of Lights, and Candy Cane Express; Sparks Hometowne Parade; and numerous fundraisers and private appearances throughout the region; people refer to me as “the real Santa Claus.” Oh, and…I was Santa Claus in the 2020 Lifetime Christmas movie, “Once Upon a Main Street.”

Phil Harriman

Phil Harriman

(Guildenstern)

Phil Harriman is a native Nevadan and a teacher since shortly after the Earth cooled. He’s been doing theatre even longer, and some of his favorite roles include King Arthur (Spamalot); Sir Toby Belch (12th Night) and Hysterium (Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum). He played Polonius for Good Luck Macbeth. Phil is a member of the Nevada Gay Men’s Chorus.

Cori Lynne Cooper

Cori Lynne Cooper

(Ophelia)

A veteran of Reno theatre and film, Cori has appeared in such productions as The Music Man (Marian Paroo), RENT (Joanne), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena), As You Like It (Phoebe), and the award winning Next to Normal (Diana ~ Best Actress in a Musical, Forte awards). “Having the good fortune to have worked with Jeanmarie on earlier projects, I am over the moon to be included in the reading of this delicious piece alongside this brilliant cast! Many thanks and much love to Jeanmarie, Kate, and all of you.” 

Jeffrey Bentley

Jeffrey Bentley

(Rosencrantz)

Jeff is a Northern Nevada Actor and Voice Over Artist who is known for his versatility, hard work and impersonations, including such celebrities as Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Eddie Izzard, Patrick Stewart and Christopher Walken, just to name a few.  Jeff studied live performance at TMCC as well as Millikin University in Decatur, IL.  He has starred in many local musical productions including “Evil Dead: The Musical” (2014), “The Producers” (Spring, 2015), “The Full Monty” (Summer, 2015), “The Rocky Horror Show” (Fall, 2017), and “Young Frankenstein: The Musical” (Fall, 2018).  He also has lent his voice talents to the plant, Audrey II, in “Little Shop of Horrors”. He has been featured in such Indy films as “3 Tickets to Paradise” (Now Streaming) and “Dinner With God” (2016) where he really did “play God”.

Kirk Gardner

Kirk Gardner 

(Claudius) 

Kirk is a CPA with Eide Bailly LLP. When not doing taxes, he has appeared with Nevada Repertory Company, Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company, Sierra School of Performing Arts and (mostly) Reno Little Theater. Having long enjoyed Shakespeare as a student, audience member, and actor, he is excited to take this different journey through one of the Bard’s works as his first post-pandemic in-person performance. And to Julie, he says, as always “jt.”

Annikki Larrson

(Gatekeeper)

Annikki has had a burning passion for all things music and theatre since she saw her first play at an early age. She never looked back (though she now has a career in an entirely different industry). Favorite roles include Judy in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (GLM), Clarice in SILENCE! The Musical (GLM), Linda in Evil Dead the Musical (Vaude Villain), Rachel in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Bruka), Belinda in Noises Off! (RLT), Bianca/Montano in  Othello (Bruka), Witch/Lady MacDuff (Bruka), and Elmire in Tartuffe (RLT) opposite her then-future husband, Gary Cremeans II. As a lifelong lover of Shakespeare’s work, she could not possibly be more thrilled to read this wonderful new play amongst such esteemed colleagues! Many thank yous to Jeanmarie Simpson for creating and exploring this exquisite story!