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Graduate Ensemble

Class of 2022

Isaac Baker

is an actor and EMC candidate who is excited to be continuing his work and training with Cleveland Play House. Isaac graduated from the University of Evansville in the spring of 2019, where he played Bruce Bechdel in the collegiate premiere of Fun Home. During his tenure at Evansville he also played Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma!, Georg Zirschnitz in Spring Awakening, Pa Joad in Frank Galati’s Grapes of Wrath, Albert Thornton in Horton Foote’s Lily Dale, and Antonio in Twelfth Night. Some of his other past credits include Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice with the Great River Shakespeare Festival, John Proctor in the Pheonix Theatre’s The Crucible, and Ansel in Brute Candor Production’s premiere of The Cyprus Hatley Chapel. Isaac made his Cleveland Play House virtual premiere last semester, playing Satan in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Isaac finds his continued work with Cleveland Play House to be the utmost privilege, and his heart has been touched by witnessing this community of theatre persevere.

Kristina Gabriela

is a second year student at the CWRU/CPH MFA acting program. Kristina is from Corpus Christi, Texas and received her BA in Acting/Directing at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Recent credits include, Sweetheart/F doctor/F tourist in Middletown CWRU/CPH, Gloria/Mother Teresa/Sigmund Freud in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Sophie in Mamma Mia, Ariel in The Tempest, Mimi in Rent. She would also like to thank her friends and family for their love and support. Enjoy the show! @quirky_kris

Sierra Grabowska

is originally from Shepherdstown, West Virginia though she came to the CWRU/CPH Acting Program by way of Boston. After earning her BA in Theater and English from UMass Amherst, she performed in Boston with multiple touring companies and is a company member of Magnificent Bastards, an international Shakespearean improv comedy troupe. Other theater credits include Juliet in Shakespeare Now’s Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet in Boston Theater Company’s Hamlet, and Puck in Boston Theater Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She also works as a director, fight choreographer, and teaching artist.

Bridget Kim

galloped over from Morehead, Kentucky, and is grateful to be in her second year of the CWRU/CPH MFA program. She received her BA in Political Science and a minor in Theatre Arts from the University of Louisville. While there, she found joy as LeeAnn in A Piece of My Heart, Rebecca in The Long Christmas Ride Home, Grace in Baltimore, and Ginny Yang in Smart People. She was last seen in the CWRU/CPH productions of Middletown as Mary and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Bridget is happy to share this weird moment in time with the audience, and she is especially happy that the show (sometimes) always goes on!

Gustavo Márquez

was born in sunny California and was raised in the almost just as sunny state of Colorado where he received a BFA in Music Theatre from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, a university that has just as long of a title as Case Western Reserve University. Gustavo has been living in the not so sunny state of Ohio for over a year now studying with the CWRU/CPH Acting Program. He is very grateful to his friends, mentors and family that have supported him in his pursuit of an artistic life. Professional credits: Sweat, A Christmas Carol, Native Gardens (Denver Center Theatre Company). Other Stage Credits: The Comedy of Errors, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, Middletown, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Metamorphoses, You Can’t Take It With You, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, American Idiot, Dracula, Grease.

Christopher Portley

is from Dallas, Texas. He earned his B.S. in Integrative Studies at the University of North Texas. Regional: Father Comes Home From The Wars parts 1, 2 & 3 (African American Repertory Theatre). Educational: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House); Middletown (Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House) The Tempest, Measure for Measure (Shakespeare Academy at Stratford); Stick Fly (University Of North Texas). He thanks God for this opportunity to be apart of this visceral story and his family and friends for their support.

Jordan Taylor

is originally from Ypsilanti, Michigan. She obtained her BFA in Acting from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. There she played Oya in In the Red and Brown Water, Shaunta Iyun in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, and Clytemnestra in Electra. Her debut in the CWRU/CPH MFA graduate program was as the Librarian/Female Date in Middletown. Following that, she portrayed St. Monica/St. Peter/Caiaphas the Elder in CWRU/CPH MFA virtual production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Most recently, she portrayed the role of Hermia in Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s staged reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Noah Williams

came to the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program from Alabama where he attended Troy University. While there, he performed in numerous roles. Notable credits include Tom in The Glass Menagerie, Petruchio in The Taming of The Shrew, and Black Stache in Peter and The Star Catcher. Noah made his CWRU/CPH debut in a one night only invited audience pre-quarantine special as The Cop in Middletown by Will Eno and then Judge Littlefield in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Noah wants to send a huge shout out to his family. Glad you all can see this one. Enjoy the show!

Class of 2024

Josh Bates

Originally hailing from the sunny shores of Southern California, Josh has spent the last four years attaining his BFA in Theatre Performance at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His most recent educational credits include Urinetown, Ordinary Days, and Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros. His professional credits include The Little Mermaid at Zilker Hillside Theatre and Legally Blonde at the Granbury Theatre Company. In his free time, Josh enjoys sports, writing/playing music, and being outdoors.

Madeline Calais

Madeline was born and raised in the smoggy yet mighty metropolis of Houston and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (summa cum laude) in Acting from the University of Houston's School of Theatre & Dance. Following undergrad, Madeline performed in theatres across the country with the American Shakespeare Center's national touring troupe based out of Staunton, Virginia, for two years. Madeline is thrilled to join Case Western Reserve University's class of 2024 graduate acting cohort in Cleveland this fall. Other notable companies Madeline has worked with include Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Red Bull Theatre, Mildred's Umbrella, and The Classical Theatre Company.

Ellen Diehl

Ellen grew up in central Pennsylvania and graduated from Messiah University where she received her B.A. in Theatre and minors in Dance and English. She also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland, and has trained in classical ballet from a young age. Her favorite theatre credits include Louise (Gypsy), Gigi (Gigi), Ariel (The Tempest), Sibella (A Gentlemans Guide), and Ariel (The Little Mermaid). Ellen is passionate about fostering the next generation of young artists and enjoys teaching and choreographing. She’s incredibly grateful to be joining the class of 2024!

Victoria Alev Duffy

Victoria is elated to join the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting class of 2024! A New Jersey native, Victoria spent all her childhood summers studying theatre at the prestigious Paper Mill Playhouse and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Those summers spent performing informed her decision to pursue a career in the arts. Last year, she received her BA in Theatre Performance from Fordham University. There she performed in shows such as Machinal, The Most Massive Woman Wins, God of Carnage, Eurydice, DIMES: A New Musical and more. She is excited to embark on this new adventure with her fellow classmates!

Dylan Ireland

Dylan is from High Point, North Carolina. He has plans to become a professional working actor and began his journey as a freshman in college at UNC Charlotte. Shakespeare, Commedia dell’arte, contemporary drama, and audio dramas are just a few styles Ireland had the chance to diversify his craft. This showed his peers, as well as himself, that he was capable of becoming a versatile actor and that this was what he wanted to commit the rest of his life to. Before acting, Ireland was a musician and athlete. These communities instilled some foundational qualities of self-improvement and discipline that blended seamlessly with his new journey as an actor. Dylan is also proficient at the saxophone, as he was a dedicated musician throughout middle and high school. The culmination of these qualities and what he felt he wanted to do with his life aligned with the theatre. A space where he can be himself, where he can express, where he can “just be.” Dylan has plans to continue his acting career in the hopes of becoming the best he can be and to show the world who he is and the story he wants to tell.

Shunté Lofton

Shunté is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance and is thrilled to be on this next journey! She’s had the privilege of growing up all over the world and comes to Cleveland from Houston. She is thankful to God and to her family for their continued support. A lover of the classics, she has performed her way through half of Shakespeare’s canon. Some of her favorite credits include: Ophelia (Hamlet) and Princess of France (Loves Labours Lost) with the American Shakespeare Center and Constance (King John) with Colorado Shakespeare Festival. In her free time, she enjoys playing the bass.

Gavin Michaels

Gavin is from wonderfully rainy Seattle. His stage credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Orlando in As You Like It (Bainbridge Performing Arts), The Prince in the musical The Light Princess (Dacha Theatre), Rolly in Mae West’s The Drag (Play Your Part Theatre), Ferdinand in The Tempest, and Hamlet in Hamlet (Kentwood Players). He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Communication and Rhetoric from the University of Washington.

AJ Ruiz

AJ was born and raised in Miami. After graduating with his BFA in Acting from Florida International University in 2018, he spent the next three years collaborating with a tight-knit collective of artists to create incendiary, manic works of film and music. He spent the rest of his time working in immersive regional theatre, teaching in his community, and releasing his own music under the moniker Adult Programming. AJ is thrilled to begin his graduate journey at CWRU/CPH. Upon graduation, AJ intends on transitioning into a major market for film and television with his wife.

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