THE FOURTH MESSENGER ALBUM CREATIVE TEAM
VIENNA TENG (Composer/Co-Lyricist/Mama Sid) is a singer, songwriter and pianist who has released four studio albums and one live album on the Virt and Rounder labels. Her 2013 album AIMS received four Independent Music Awards – for Adult Contemporary Album, Pop Song, A Capella Song, and Social Action Song – the most awards any artist has received in a given year. AIMS debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Heartseekers Albums Chart and was included in the Best of 2013 lists of the Huffington Post, NJ Star-Ledger, and Glide Magazine. Her albums Waking Hour and Warm Strangers both reached the top five of Amazon.com’s bestseller list, and she won the 2010 Independent Music Awards’ Vox Pop vote for her album Inland Territory. She has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, NPR’s Weekend Edition, CBS’s Early Show, and CNN’s News Night with Aaron Brown, and has toured with Joan Baez, Brandi Carlile, Duncan Sheik, Madeleine Peyroux, Joan Osborne, Sarah Harmer, Marc Cohn and the Indigo Girls, among others. In addition to her performing and composing career, Vienna recently received an MB/MS from the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. She is a native of Saratoga, California, and holds a Computer Science degree from Stanford University. viennateng.com
TANYA SHAFFER’s (Playwright/Lyricist/Clara/Water) plays have been produced by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, TheatreWorks, and the Eureka Theatre, and have toured to more than 40 cities nationwide. She has co-written two shows for the Tony-Award-Winning San Francisco Mime Troupe, including 2014’s Ripple Effect. Her solo show Let My Enemy Live Long! ran for six sold-out months in the Bay Area and was awarded a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for solo performance. Her play Baby Taj, which premiered at TheatreWorks in 2005, was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Oakland Tribune as one of the Top Ten Shows of the Year and nominated for a National Theatre Critics Association Steinberg Award for the best play to premiere that year outside of New York City. It has since been published by Samuel French, Inc. She’s also the author of the critically acclaimed travel memoir, Somebody’s Heart is Burning: A Woman Wanderer in Africa. Her stories and essays have appeared on Salon.com and in numerous anthologies. She recently completed a four-year residency at the San Francisco Playwrights Foundation. Website: tanyashaffer.com.
MATT AUGUST (Director) recently directed the critically acclaimed Geffen Playhouse and NoHo Arts Center productions of Gospel According to Jefferson, Dickens and Tolstoy: Discord and the Falcon Theatre production of The Trouble We Come From, produced by Garry Marshall. On Broadway, he directed How the Grinch Stole Christmas (and 10 Nat’l Tours, Pantages Theatre, Madison Square Garden); Other Broadway as Associate Director for Jack O’Brien: Henry IV, Imaginary Friends, Invention of Love, Full Monty (Nat’l Tours). Off Broadway: Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Acting Company and Nat’l Tour); Sixteen Wounded (Cherry Lane Theatre). Regional Credits include: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Pig Farm, Time Flies, Food Chain (Old Globe Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, In the Heights (Pioneer Theatre Company); Intelligence Slave, The Real Dr. Strangelove, Speech and Debate, 40th Anniversary Gala (LA Theatre Works); Liberty Smith, Christmas Carol (5 seasons) Meet John Doe as Co-Author (Ford’s Theatre); Baby Taj (TheatreWorks); Fourth Messenger (Ashby Stage); Complete History of America Abridged, All in the Timing, Tempest (Hanger Theatre); Sixteen Wounded (with Martin Landau, Long Wharf Theatre); Full Monty (Australian Tour); Short Film: How to Get to Candybar; Upcoming: Dracula (LATW); Gospel/Discord (Arizona Theatre Co.); Two Dollar Bill (Pioneer); Grinch (Grand Ole Opry). Matt’s productions have been recognized by Ovation, Helen Hayes, Bay Area Critics, Broadway World, Utah Theatre, and Australia’s Helpmann Award nominations, and appeared on Year End Top Ten lists in the L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News and NPR/KQED. He has mentored upcoming directors through the Drama League Director Fellowship and SDC Observership Programs and guest taught and lectured at many universities across the country. He is a member of the SDC LA Ad Hoc Committee and is a Drama League Fellow, Oregon Shakespeare Killian Fellow, Robert Wilson Watermill Fellow and Panavision New Filmmaker Grant recipiant. He splits his time between LA and NYC and holds an MFA from CalArts. mattaugust.com
RYAN O’CONNELL (Orchestrator/Music Director/Piano/Keyboards) served as music director on Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (George Street Playhouse), The Grammy Experience (Norwegian Cruise Line), Nightline: JFK Anniversary Special (NBC), Midsummer Night (LA Premiere), Bronies (Hollywood Fringe), Real Housekeepers of Studio City (Hollywood Fringe), and Edges (LA Premiere). Orchestration credits include Loch Ness: The Musical (Chance Theater), Browsers (Amazon), Bronies (3rd Street Theater), and Wild Things (NRDC Films). As composer/arranger, his credits include: Dragons: Defenders of Berk (Cartoon Network), I Am Big Bird (Copperpot Pictures), Calgary Stampede, The Freddy Awards (State Theatre), Learning Town (Geek & Sundry), Ladies Knight (USC) (Annie Award nominee), choral arrangements for Shawnee Press and Alfred, and two original musicals – Horror High and Horrible Shakespeare. ryanomusic.com
BRAD DOLLAR (Producer/Engineer) is an inspired producer, engineer and guitarist. A Bay Area native, he has been cultivating art & community through music since his youth. His passion for merging our human connection into sonic landscapes that move people has carved out a place for Brad to help others achieve their greatest creative visions. This has lead him to elevate artists such as Bob Weir, Finish Ticket & The National to new musical heights. Brad accelerates music with a deep desire to infuse new energy, ideas & heart into reclaiming value for art. braddollar.com @bradkdollar
Cailan Rose (RAINA) recently wrapped on the feature film Akron playing the role of Julie. Credits include: Broadway/1st National: HAIR (Tribe/Crissy u/s), Miss Saigon. NY workshops: How the Great Grapefruit… (Jamie), A Lasting Impression (Simone), Damascus Square (Dalit/Ensemble), Our Town (Actor’s Fund). International/Regional: Tommy (Sally Simpson – EWP), South Pacific (Liat – MTW), HAIR (Hollywood Bowl/Adam Shankman), Miss Saigon (Macau, China), Spring Awakening (Thea – La Mirada), Beijing Spring (Ling – EWP), Freedom Machine (Morgan), Tanglin’ Hearts (Celia), Cabaret, Bare, Romeo and Juliet (Juliet). Film/TV: Akron, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Plea, Connected, Raymond & Lane, Something About Last Night. She recently shot a promo for E! Network . Love and gratitude to Mom, Dad, bros, M, the besties, the fam, teachers, KMR Talent, AEA, Ryan, and everyone involved with this amazing project. Follow on Twitter/Instagram: @cailanrose
ALSO FEATURING (in alphabetical order)
CHRIS ACEVES (Ensemble) is beyond excited to be a part of the Fourth Messenger team! He is so grateful for such an awesome opportunity and hopes many more like this present themselves in the future. Some of Chris’s favorite credits include Lamar in “Godspell” with OMG Productions and Tony in West Side Story with Stars 2000 Teen Theatre Company this past year. Chris thanks all of his family and friends for their continuous love and support for his musical theater career! He will continue to perform throughout his life and move to New York City in hopes of pursuing a career on the Broadway stage!
PIERCE PETER BRANDT (Andy) is thrilled to be part of bringing this music and story to life. He has performed leading and featured roles in Cameron Mackintosh’s touring Broadway productions of Les Misérables and Martin Guerre (original New York cast), and in the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as at professional theaters throughout the country, including Arena Stage (Candide), TheatreWorks (Side Show), Guthrie Theater (Martin Guerre), 42nd Street Moon (Fanny, Redhead), Festival Opera (The Most Happy Fella), Woodminster Theater (Joseph…Dreamcoat, Sayonara), Hillbarn Theater (White Christmas), Olney Theater Center, American Conservatory Theater, and American Musical Theatre of San Jose. He has performed frequently as a guest soloist with the California Pops Orchestra and Symphony Silicon Valley, and is also a voiceover artist. He is the recipient of two DramaLogue/Backstage West Awards, a Goodman Critics Award, and American Conservatory Theater’s Distinguished Artist Mentor Award (for teaching).
ROBERT BREWER (Derekh/Ensemble): An acclaimed Bay Area actor, Robert has most recently performed in The Secret Garden (Albert Lennox) at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. He also appeared in Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour) at Contra Costa Musical Theatre and Avenue Q (Nicky/Trekkie Monster) at San Jose Stage Company. His other regional credits include Long Story Short at San Diego Repertory, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at the Marin Theatre Company, Merrily We Roll Along (Charley) and Into the Woods (Jack) at TheatreWorks, and Hank Williams: Lost Highway (Hank) at Center Repertory as well as multiple new musical workshops for TheatreWorks and Playwrights’ Foundation. Mr. Brewer currently teaches Physical Science at Montera Middle School in Oakland, CA.
NOEL ANTHONY ESCOBAR (Sam) has spent the last 18 years performing in over 60 productions throughout the Bay Area. It has been a blessing to have been afforded so much opportunity in the theatre community. For more info go to noelanthonyescobar.com
ANNA ISHIDA (Harmony/Ensemble) has been involved in the development of The Fourth Messenger for many years, including originating the role of Raina in the 2013 world premiere. Other San Francisco Bay Area credits include American Conservatory Theatre (Mr. Burns: a post-electric play – co-production with Guthrie Theater, Venus in Fur, Orphan of Zhao), TheatreWorks (Water by the Spoonful), Central Works (Red Virgin: Louise Michel & The Paris Commune of 1871), Crowded Fire Theater (The Hundred Flowers Project), Impact Theatre (Titus Andronicus), Boxcar Theatre (Hedwig & The Angry Inch), Shotgun Players (Beardo), and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (Comedy of Errors). Regional and international touring credits include Beowulf —A Thousand Years of Baggage (featured in the New Yorker’s “2009 Top 12 Best Off- Broadway Shows” and recipient of the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Herald Angel Award). She starred I Am a Ghost (starring). Anna is a 2012 recipient of the San Francisco Bay Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Award for Theatre and a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award (Best Actress in a Musical 2012), and a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory Theatre and Mills College (English BA).
BARNABY JAMES (Yasha/Ensemble) is an actor and musician based in Los Angeles, CA. He holds a BA in Theater from UC Berkeley and enjoys performing in many different art forms. Some of his favorite theatrical roles include; the Duke of Bedford in Henry IV with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Jimmy Lane in Reefer Madness with San Jose Stage Company, and Yasha in the world premier of The Fourth Messenger at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley.
MARIA MIKHEYENKO (Ensemble) is a cross-over artist, performing opera, musical theatre and contemporary music, as well as cabaret, jazz, and rock. Recent shows include Where’s Charley? (42nd Street Moon), Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill (Masquers Playhouse), The Lariat (premiere chamber opera by Lisa Prosek), A Little Night Music (Hillbarn Theatre), and CHICAGO (Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre). As a member of Pacific Mozart Ensemble, Maria collaborated with Dave Brubeck, Bobby McFerrin and Meredith Monk. A former member of the Bracebridge Dinner in Yosemite, Maria has studied Commedia dell’Arte in Italy, is a composer and voice-over artist for PuppetART (Detroit Puppet Theatre), and is a member of Her Rebel Highness (original Opera/Rock Trio). This fall she makes her Cinnabar Opera debut as Alaura Kingsley in City of Angels, and will return to 42nd Street Moon next season for the West Coast premiere of Noël Coward’s Sail Away. MariaMikheyenko.com
DANIEL OLSON (Mike) is a San Francisco Bay Area actor and singer and a member of Actors’ Equity Association. He has performed with several readings of The Fourth Messenger playing roles such as Mike and Sunny and other ensemble characters. He has worked with TheatreWorks in Silicon Valley, Contra Costa Musical Theater in Walnut Creek, Woodminster Summer Musicals in Oakland, and Symphony Silicon Valley in San Jose. Before arriving in the Bay Area, Daniel lived and performed in Humboldt County, CA for 25 years and has a theater degree from Humboldt State University.
ANNEMARIA RAJALA (Myra/Ensemble) Originated the role of Mama Sid in the Bay Area premiere of The 4th Messenger at the Ashby Stage. She was most recently seen by Bay Area audiences as Mrs. Anderssen in the A.C.T production of A Little Night Music and as Hedwig #5 in the Boxcar production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Her regional stage credits include over a dozen leading roles, including Joan of Arc in Saint Joan, Imogen in Cymbeline, Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Meta in Times Like These (Carbonell Nomination: Best Actress) at the New Theatre in Miami, Florida where she was a core company member. She performed with many other Florida companies as well, including Actors’ Playhouse, Women’s Theatre Project, Miami Light Project, Mosaic Theatre and Hollywood Playhouse. Rajala is a native of Finland and she earned her B.F.A in Musical Theatre Performance from New World School of the Arts.
LEANDRA RAMM (Ensemble) is a versatile actress and singer with an “extraordinary voice” (Anderson Cooper). Leandra has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, La MaMa, New York International Fringe Festival, and 59E59 Theaters among other venues. In addition to completing four contracts as a lead vocalist on Celebrity Cruises, Leandra has performed with numerous theater and opera companies throughout the world. Her favorite roles performed include: A for Adultery (Hester Prynne) at The Little Times Square Theater, The Full Monty (Estelle) at The Media Theatre, Iolanthe (Leila) at The Buxton Opera House (UK), Mario and The Magician (Silvestra) with Center for Contemporary Opera (also on the CD of the work under Albany Records Label), Hell’s Kitchen the Musical (Annie) at Hudson Guild Theatre, Man of la Mancha (Antonia) with Diablo Theater Company, and The Endless Road by Kurt Weill (soloist) with The American Symphony Orchestra. Leandra is especially proud that she produced and performed her solo show “One Night With You” to a sold out crowd off-Broadway at Theatre Row as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC. Leandra is currently a professional regular member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. In addition to her stage work, Leandra has released many albums, all available on iTunes, amazon, and CD Baby. For more information, please visit LeandraRamm.com.
CATHLEEN RIDDLEY (Hag) has been involved in workshops of The Fourth Messenger for many years and was so proud to see this amazing work finally come to fruition as a full production, and soon as an album! Cathleen has performed in leading and supporting roles in Bay Area theaters including Theatreworks, SF Playhouse, Central Works, BRAVA!, AlterTheater, Marin Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, American Conservatory Theatre, and in Best of Playground 2012. She can be seen in the movie La Mission and in an episode of the television drama Trauma, and can be heard in voiceovers in a variety of media. She is currently proud to be working on a restorative justice project called No More Tears/Healing Circle with incarcerated men at San Quentin State Prison. Cathleen is a TBA member, a PlayGround company member, an AlterTheater Associate Artist, an alumna of The Juilliard School, a certified Sign Language interpreter, and has an MA in Sociology.
DAVID RODWIN (Sunny) founded the NY-based Raw Impressions, Inc. through which he produced 170 ten-minute musicals and 60 short films. He wrote and composed 10 evening-length theatrical pieces from the one-man, hyper-opera Virtual Motion to the avant-garde musical WARNING!: eXplicit Material. A winner of The Moth StorySLAM, his 5th monologue, Total Novice, is being turned into a feature film. His first book, Never Meet Your Idols, about spending a month living with Spalding Gray, will be published at the end of the year. And David is thrilled to return to performing now that he’s moved to San Francisco. More at: jadelake.com
FRED ROSS (Bread) a native of San Francisco, started performing professionally at the age of 16 and has played with some of the best musicians in the Bay Area & abroad. He spent 14 years at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room with the Starlight Orchestra and Fred Ross Project. Fred has done countless recording sessions and tours with the likes of the J.B.Horns (PeeWee Eills, Fred Wesley & Maceo Parker ), Narada Michael Walden , Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs, Tower of Power, Members of Santana, & Sly and the Family Stone. The Heart and Soul Of San Francisco…Fred Ross. fredrossproject.com
ASHLEY SIMMS (Ensemble) holds a BA in Vocal Performance from the University at Albany. His Regional credits include: The Secret Garden, (Theaterworks), Altar Boyz (Juan), and Sunset Boulevard (Joe Gilis) for Palo Alto Players, and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, (Encore Theater Productions).
NOE VENABLE (May) is a singer-songwriter and composer. Over the course of her career, she has released seven albums of original music, which have earned her a loyal international following. The SF Chronicle describes Noe’s music as “spellbinding musical poetry.” As a performer, Noe has opened for many well known artists, from Ani DiFranco to They MIght be Giants. Her song, Midsummer Night’s Dream, was covered by Vienna Teng. In addition to her work as a musician, Noe is a Waldorf teacher and choral leader, working with children and adults in a variety of settings. Two such groups are the Mother Daughter Chorus, a group for mothers and their adolescent daughters, and Sylvan Hearth, a free outdoor playgroup for toddlers.
REGGIE WHITE’s (Delilah) credits include the off-Broadway shows For The Last Time (Clurman) The Snow Queen (Signature), and Dogsbody (La Mama). He has also performed in the following regional/world premieres: Berkeley Rep’s Party People (dir. Liesl Tommy), Z Space’s Hundred Days (dir. Anne Kauffman), Crowded Fire Theatre Company’s Exit Pursued By A Bear (dir. Desdemona Chiang) and Ashby Stage’s The 4th Messenger (dir. Matt August). Other regional credits include Theatreworks, Marin Theatre Company, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, San Jose Rep, The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, and others. Film: Medias Res, Rebound, Return, and Stranger In Blood. Reggie is a recipient of the Theatre Bay Area TITAN Award, and the RHE Foundation’s Artistic Fellowship.
KEN BERGMANN’s (drums) percussion credits include Pippin (National Tour), Anything Goes, Dogfight, Dreamgirls, 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story and many more. He has performed throughout the world including the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, Royal Albert Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Symphony Hall in Toronto and Minneapolis, as well as New York and Berlin. Ken is best known for his one-man show Percussion Discussion percussiondiscussion.com. When he’s not beating on things, Ken heads to the mountains to fulfill his passion for snow skiing. He is an active member of the National Ski Patrol and works at Sugar Bowl ski resort.
ANTHONY BLEA (violin) started playing the violin at age eight and was accepted to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music at age eleven as a full scholarship student. Anthony went on to receive a Bachelors Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Raphael Bronstein. He got his Masters Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory where he majored in String Quartet performance. Having played with Afro-Cuban bands in San Francisco and New York City, Anthony continues to play a wide variety of music in the Bay Area and internationally. He has played and recorded with artists such as and including, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, Ray Charles, S.F. Opera Orchestra, John Santos Ensemble, Jazz Mafia, Anthony Blea y su Charanga, Charanga 76, Orquesta Broadway and many more. Anthony is a professor of Music at San Francisco City College where he teaches Orchestra, Violin and Community Choir.
FREYA SEEBURGER (cello) has been an active performer in both classical ensembles and rock bands since moving to California in 2010. She has recorded and performed with independent rock, hip hop, and classical groups including Van Dyke Parks, the Awesöme Orchestra Collective, Grammy nominated artist Tanya Donelly, and The Coup (as a member of Classical Revolution). As a solo cellist and the artistic director of the music and music and event production company Juxtapositions, Freya’s penchant for performing music in unconventional spaces, and her devotion to collaborating with artists across mediums has led her to create unique performances and events that incorporate elements of classical music, improvisation, popular culture and visual art.