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Graduate Ensemble

Class of 2026

Madalyn Baker

is an actor, illustrator, and musician originally hailing from Northern California. She earned her BA in Theatre from Fordham University, and has spent the last 9 years living and creating in New York City. In addition to being an actor, she writes music, and has her own illustrative art brand called Maddle Baddle. She draws everything from silly cartoons to her own custom deck of playing cards! To learn more about Madalyn, you can check out her work at, or @madmaddybaker.

Byron Johnson

is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the son of Trudy Johnson and the late Byron Johnson. He also has a sister named Destiny. Byron is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, where he was a collegiate football player and team captain. He enjoys playing sports, being outside, hanging with his family and friends, along with eating good food. Byron also writes poetry in his spare time and hopes to learn the piano and guitar. His acting credits include a Guest Star Recurring Role on SHOWTIME’S American Rust, along with roles on NBC’s Young Rock, and Walker on CW.

Brendan Lowry

is originally from Colorado Springs, CO. He has just finished his BFA in Musical Theatre from Colorado Mesa University, where he had the privilege of working on his dream role and show of Floyd Collins as the titular character in his final semester there. Other credits include Sky Masterson (Guys and Dolls) and Judas Iscariot/John the Baptist (Godspell). He is ecstatic at the opportunity to join the CWRU/CPH program and looks forward to being a part of the class of 2026. He'd like to thank the village of family, friends, and teachers it took to get him to this point. @bkylowry

Christina McSheffrey

(she/her) has spent the last few years in Phoenix, Arizona, where she got her B.A. in Theatre at Grand Canyon University. She has been seen performing in companies across the state, including Southwest Shakespeare Company and Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival. Some of her favorite roles include Adriana in Comedy of Errors and Miranda in The Tempest. She also has an extensive background in improv comedy, where she trained at The Second City in Hollywood. She went back to teach improv at GCU and has taught theatre and voice at Childsplay Theater, The Phoenix Theatre Company, and Phoenix Conservatory of Music.

Calder Meis

is thrilled to be starting this new journey. REGIONAL: 35 MM: A Musical Exhibition (Ben), Grease (Sonny), Joseph...Dreamcoat (Joseph u/s). Other favorite credits include The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Peachy Weil), Abigail/1702 (John Brown), and Footloose (Ren). He received a BFA in Theatre Performance from Baylor University. He would like to thank his girlfriend, Payton, for being his rock in this life. “Cleveland, this is for you!” -LeBron James

Brianna Miller

grew up in Gilbert, Arizona but considers the Midwest a home-away-from-home. She graduated from Earlham College in 2021 with a Bachelor's in Theatre Arts. Since then she has been a part of the acting ensemble at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for their mainstage productions and outdoor tours--yes, in the height of cicada season. Some of her favorite roles include Camae in The Mountaintop (Uptown Performing Arts Center), Matt/Mr. Burns in Mr. Burns; a post-electric play(Earlham College), and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Park Tour)

Meredith Nelson

is an actor, director, and educator from Denver, Colorado. She received her undergraduate degree from The University of Evansville and is thrilled to be pursuing her master's with CWRU/Cleveland Playhouse. Some favorite roles she's played include Prospera in The Tempest, Betty 1 in Collective Rage, and Julie in Miss Julie. She and her husband are delighted to make Cleveland their new home for the next three years!

Adam Ortega

was born and raised in Plantation Florida. He went to The University of Michigan where he earned his BFA in Acting. After graduating, he lived in New York City and performed Off-Broadway in Drunk Shakespeare. He's very excited to be moving to Cleveland to pursue his master's degree with CWRU/CPH.

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