EZEKIEL BASKIN -- Governing Member
Ezekiel Baskin is a stage manager, director, and lighting/sound designer. Companies he has worked with include Pauline Productions, New Century Theatre, and five seasons at Paintbox Theatre, where he currently serves on the board. Favorite productions include Good People, For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls, Crimes of the Heart, Parallel Lives, Zorro, The Master and Margarita, and The Real Inspector Hound. He is currently a student at Hampshire College, where his areas of study include directing, theatre design, psychoanalysis, group dynamics, theatre education, and psychodrama. He is especially interested in the nature and dynamics of artistic collaboration, and is delighted to be a part of Real Live Theatre.
TOBY VERA BERCOVICI -- Governing Member
Toby Vera Bercovici is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She has also taught theatre at Smith College, Holyoke Community College, American International College, UMass Amherst, Northampton High School, and the Stoneleigh-Burnham School, as well as for Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble and Act Now. She has directed at The Majestic Theatre in West Springfield, The Looking Glass Theatre and The Circus Warehouse in NYC, and for Silverthorne Theatre, Ashfield Community Theatre, Hampshire Shakespeare, Northampton Center for the Arts, Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble, Pauline Productions, and of course Real Live Theatre. Productions include The Life and Death of Queen Margaret, A Doll House, Spring Awakening: A Sin of Omission, The House of Bernarda Alba, Night on the Galactic Railroad, Of Turlygods & Time: The Tale of King Lear, O Yes I Will (I will remember the spirit and texture of this conversation), Our Town, Genesis, Red State of Marriage, Hand Grenades, Offering It Up, The Skin of Our Teeth, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, 4,000 Miles, and The Master Builder. She holds a BA in Theater from Smith College and an MFA in Directing from UMASS Amherst. She was a participant of the 2012 Shakespeare & Company Month Long Intensive, is an associate artist for Pauline Productions, and has collaborated on three productions with The Talking Band at La Mama E.T.C. www.tobyverabercovici.com
MONICA GIORDANO -- Associate, Founding Member
As an actor: International: Marta the Divine* (Marta). Regional: The Tempest ft. Olympia Dukakis, Tartuffe (Shakespeare & Company), Othello (Real Live Theater), King Lear (Serious Play!), Die Klienen (Gan e Mead Theatre). Educational: Closer (Anna), Suitors* (Rosaura), Midsummer…Dream (Titania), How He Lied to Her Husband (Her), Urinetown (Ensemble), Love the Doctor* (Estefania), Twelfth Night (Curio), Night on the Galactic Railroad*(Giovanni’s Mother/Conductor), House of Bernarda Alba (Maid). *Original English Cast
As Director: Romeo & Juliet, Stop Kiss, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, Casanova (asst. Director), Machinal (asst. Director).
Monica has worked as a costume designer and sound designer both regionally and in New York.
For more information about Monica as a playwright, please visit sheagiordano.com. She’s really much more eloquent when not writing a biography.
Monica is, as always, constantly thankful for her wonderful and patient teachers, her wonderful and even more patient friends, and her incredible family. She enjoys adjectives.
JEANNINE HAAS -- Associate
Jeannine Haas has been a member of Actor's Equity Association since 1982. She spent her early 20's working in NYC theatre in the 1980's which included a year as an actor-in-residence at LaMama ETC performing in plays and meeting actors she had just read about and studied in college. At age 28, she relocated to Western Massachusetts as an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith College where she received a BA in Theatre ('86) and a Doctoral Degree from Umass, Amherst (’96). In 2006, she founded Pauline Productions Theatre Company, now celebrating its tenth year (PaulineLive.com), producing theatre with a focus on strong roles for women onstage and behind the scenes. Jeannine directs and acts with other theatre companies in MA and NY besides PP, including Real Live Theatre.
RACHEL HALL -- Associate
Rachel has been doing theatre since she was like, thirteen or fourteen or something. She is a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst pursuing a BA in theatre. She has trained with The Drama Studio, Shakespeare & Company, and Hampshire Shakespeare Company. She works as an assistant theatre teacher at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. Some stuff Rachel super enjoyed working on include being the text coach for The Drama Studio’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, stage managing Alice in Wonderland at City Stage, and playing parts such as Electra in The Murders at Argos, The Cat in Pinocchio, Marina in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, and of course Krissy in RLT’s production of The Lion & The Clown.
KATE HARE -- Governing Member
Kate Hare's preoccupation with theater was passed down genetically by a beautiful line of compulsive actors and goofballs. Originating from New York City, she received a BA in Theater from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She became the Communications Director of the All For One Theater Festival in New York, working with a wonderful team there to build the company in its inaugural years. Theatre: The Life and Death of Queen Margaret, The Lion & The Clown (Real Live Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors (Hampshire Shakespeare Company), Variations of Emily (The Emily Dickinson Project), The Reason for Play (The Secret Theatre), By the Light of a Match, Romeo and Juliet (Snorks & Pins Productions), My California (The Drama League). Film: Hank (Say It Loud Productions), Sitters (BrickBurns Productions). She has also performed several solo works at the Fresh Fruit Festival, Emerging Artists Theatre, the Estrogenius Festival, The Wild Project, and Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She is a proud member of Real Live Theatre.
TRENDA LOFTIN -- Governing Member
Trenda Loftin is most interested in theater's ability to raise awareness, inspire action, question patterns, and build community. She is an actor, teacher, and group facilitator. She has performed in Flirting With Danger: Power and Choice in Heterosexual Relationships (a film by the Media Education Foundation), The Lonely Soldier Project, Nickel and Dimed, and The Sexual Liberation of Mammy. She is a co-facilitator of Caught Off Guard, an educational theater troupe at Northampton High School, an acting teacher at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School, and a happy member of Real Live Theatre.
DAN MORBYRNE -- Governing Member, Co-Founder
Dan Morbyrne is an actor, director, teacher, writer, fight-choreographer, and fool. He co-founded Real Live Theatre in 2013 with his amazingly talented wife Ellen, and played the role of Iago in the company’s debut production, The Tragedy of Othello. In addition to his work with RLT, Dan is the Artistic Director of the Drama Studio, a non-profit theatre conservatory for young people in Springfield, MA, where he has directed over twenty productions including Antigone, The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, Cymbeline, Pinocchio, and Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom. Dan also spent many years as a member of the Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble, including a stint as their Associate Artistic Director. Dan has also worked with Hampshire Shakespeare, Chester Theatre, State of Play Productions, and the North Star Players. Dan has taught acting classes and workshops at multiple high schools and colleges including HCC, Smith College, Wilbraham and Monson Academy, Central High School, Northampton High School, and PVPA. Dan has been lucky enough to play a great many characters in his life thus far, but a few of his favorites would have to be; Iago, King Lear, and Captain Hook.
ELLEN MORBYRNE -- Governing Member, Co-Founder
Ellen Morbyrne has been staging performances since she was two years old (according to her parents). She is an alumna of the Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble, with whom she worked extensively as an actor and teacher for several years. Ellen has also trained with Shakespeare & Company and has a BA in Theatre from Smith College, where she was privileged to direct Chuck Mee’s Big Love as a mainstage production. She has run the theatre program at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens since 2003 (and co-directed that program with her colleague and former student Nia Steiner since 2010), where she has directed dozens of productions by authors as diverse as Shakespeare, Ionesco, Ives, Churchill, and Ruhl, as well as her own adaptations of The Last Unicorn and Through the Looking Glass, and her own original scripts Persephone, a re-telling of the Greek myth, and The Lion and the Clown: A Rumi Lovesong for Beauty and the Beast. She has also twice been an invited director for the annual 24 Hour Theater Project in Northampton. Ellen’s favorite acting roles include Lucy in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me, Lily in The Skriker, Lady Macbeth in Supernatural Solicitings, Cressida in Troilus and Cressida, and Goneril in Of Turlygods and Time: The Tale of King Lear. After years of dreaming of their own theatre company, Ellen and her husband Dan Morbyrne co-founded Real Live Theatre in 2013. She adapted and directed their debut production, Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Othello, which opened in August of that same year. In addition to her work in the theatre, Ellen is also a passionate yogini, having been a student of yoga since she was thirteen and a yoga teacher to adults, teens, and pregnant women since 2009. Ellen is always grateful for, and humbled by, the exceptional instruction and guidance of her teachers, mentors, friends, family, colleagues, her two beautiful and hilarious children, and her life-mate Dan.
ALBERTO CARLOS PEART -- Associate
Alberto Carlos Peart is happy to be part of Real Live Theater. Alberto has trained with Shakespeare & Co, Serious Play!, and Mimoda Dance Co in Los Angeles CA. He graduated from Westfield State University in Mass Communications and has recently started a film production company, JYA I AM Productions (jyaiamproductions.com). Alberto has been involved in various dance, theater, and film productions here in the Valley, New York, California, and Spain.
MYKA PLUNKETT -- Associate
Myka Plunkett studied music theater at the University of Central Oklahoma and resides in Northampton, Massachusetts. Shows include: Seminar, A Year with Frog and Toad, and Laughter on the 23rd Floor (New Century Theater), Uncle Vanya and Soldier's Heart (Academy of Music), The Life and Death of Queen Margaret and Hand Grenades (Real Live Theatre), An Inspector Calls and Iris (Majestic Theater), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (ACTh), Macbeth and King Lear (Hubbard Hall), and Annie Get Your Gun (Jewelbox Theater).
JULISSA RODRIGUEZ -- Associate
Julissa is an actor, teaching artist, and Latin percussionist with more than fifteen years of experience in the arts. She is half of the percussion duo called PUERTOMINICANA with Iréne “I-Shea” Shaikly, focusing on Afro-Caribbean Latino cultural roots and rhythms as well as youth development and women empowerment. Julissa is currently an IDP student majoring in Theatre and Dance at Trinity College. She is a member of Real Live Theatre Company based in the Pioneer Valley and trained with Serious Play! Theatre Ensemble with whom she toured to NYC, London, and Edinburgh, Scotland where she performed at “The Fringe,” the largest theatre festival in the world. Her travels also include Cape Town, South Africa, where she was part of an artist exchange that afforded her the opportunity to work and teach with some of the most incredible artists, performers, and students she has ever met.
EMILY TANCH -- Associate
Emily Tanch is a singer and actor currently studying theater at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with concentrations in performance and costume design. Recent favorite productions include: The Life and Death of Queen Margaret (Earl of Warwick, Witch), The Glass Menagerie (Laura), The Liar (Lucrece), A New Brain (Nancy D), Peter Pan (Jane), Company (Amy), Fissures (Casey), Donny Johns (Ann), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitl), Words Words Words (Kafka), The Universal Language (Dawn).
LINDA TARDIF -- Associate
International: Milosevic at the Hague (JaokimInterfest, Serbia/Serious Play!) National: FoodPlay (FoodPlay Productions). New York: Sleep No More-Inferno (Punchdrunk/Emursive), Marcellus Shale, Hot Lunch Apostles (Talking Band/ La MaMa etc.), AliceGraceAnon, The Brink of Us (New Georges), African Drum (Shadow Box Theater). Regional: Voices In Conflict (New Century Theatre), 4,000 Miles (Pauline Productions),The Skin of Our Teeth (Silverthorne Theatre Company), Raggedy Ann, Three Pigs, Puss in Boots (PaintBox Theatre), The Winter's Tale (Eggtooth Productions), Grace for President (PaintBox Theatre), and The Life and Death of Queen Margaret (Real Live Theatre). B.A: UMass Amherst.
RICH VADEN -- Associate
Rich majored in theatre performance at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, MA and studied abroad at the London Dramatic Academy in England. You may have seen him acting in productions with Smith College, UMass, Serious Play Theatre Ensemble, Hampshire Shakespeare Company, and the Majestic Theatre. Rich is also a Realtor® with Century 21 Hometown Associates in Holyoke.
JULIA WHALEN -- Associate
Bio coming soon!
CYNTHIA ZAITZ, Ph.D -- Company Member
Cynthia Zaitz is an English, music, theatre, and dance teacher, as well as a painter, director, playwright, choreographer, and composer. She holds a BA in Drama from University of California, Irvine, MA in Consciousness Studies (Philosophy) from John F. Kennedy University, and a Ph.D. from Florida Atlantic University in Comparative Studies - Music, Theatre, Art, and Dance. She has been a teacher for the last ten years - last year she taught English, Music, and Dance in Beijing, China. She is listed in Who’s Who in America. One of her favorite roles was as The King of The Zzorgs in the original production of Captain Crash vs The Zzorgwomen, Chapters 5 and 6, which ran at the Vine Street Theatre a thousand years ago. www.cynthiazaitz.com
LISA ABEND -- The Life and Death of Queen Margaret, 2017
Lisa’s 35 years+ experience as a professional stage and voiceover actor includes: Silverthorne Theater’s STUPID F&^%NG BIRD, (Toby Vera Bercovici, dir.;) Commonwealth Opera’s MY FAIR LADY (Eliza,) THE KING AND I (Anna;) Northern Stage Co.’s MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Helena,) ANNIE (Lily St. Regis;) New Century Theatre, (11 seasons,) including: HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES (Bunny Flingus,) LEND ME A TENOR (Maria,) ANTON IN SHOW BUSINESS (Holly,) THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (Lorraine Sheldon,) KONG’S NIGHT OUT (Bertrille,) NOISES OFF (Brooke,) PVST’s LEND ME A TENOR (Diana,) BLITHE SPIRIT (Ruth,) LOVE LETTERS (Melissa;) STMHC’s PRESENT LAUGHTER (Joanna,) SANDBAG, STAGE LEFT (Penelope Pacemaker,) FRANKENSTEIN (Elizabeth.) NYC appearances include: Naked Angels, Playwrights Horizons, Colossal Theatre, The Americas Society. IN STYLE WITH ELLE for Elle Magazine, U.S. tours (National Spokesperson;) Many 100s of regional and national animation, commercial and narration voiceovers.
As an artist/designer, Lisa has created costumes for John Jasperse Dance Co.; props for La Mama, ETC; won Grand Prize in two national competitions for soft-cloth dollmaking; has had her beadwork jewelry sold in galleries in Westchester County, the Hamptons and the American Museum of Natural History; and hand-gilded the altar, apse and chancel of a church in Kingston, NY. Lisa has also worked extensively as an acting, audition and dialect coach; and as an executive leadership trainer with DramaWorks Interactive; Van Ness & Co., and her own business, Firebird Coaching & Consulting. Originally from NYC, Lisa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, The Coaches Training Institute and Woolger Training International, and is a proud member of Actors Equity Association (AEA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA.) She is absolutely delighted to be working as a guest artist with this wonderful company!
ANNELISE NIELSEN-- The Life and Death of Queen Margaret, 2016
Annelise Nielsen is a Brooklyn based choreographer and actress, where she has worked briefly with Ann Bogart, Paulina Jonsdottir, and famed choreographer Sean McLeod. Recent credits include: The Dream Play (Lina/Ugly Edith), Closer (Alice), The Brink of Us (Liz), Merchant of Venice (Portia), and her first starring film role as ROSIE in The Samaritans. For updates and more information visit: AnneliseN.com