Performers 2017-06-18T14:03:09+00:00

Cast of The Tempest

Fisher Alexander
Boatswain in The Tempest

Mr. Alexander joins the Festival as a member of the All Things Shakespeare intern program. Fisher is a rising senior at Benjamin Franklin High School and at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (where he studies Drama). He has participated in All Things Shakespeare three subsequent times, but this is his first main stage show with the Festival. Some of his favorite roles include John Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility, Hortensio and Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Joe Mitchell in Waiting for Lefty.

James Bartelle
Gonzalo in The Tempest

Mr. Bartelle is the Associate Artistic Director of The NOLA Project where he has appeared in over 30 productions including The Wind in the Willows (Badger), 4,000 Miles (Leo), Marie Antoinette (A Sheep), It’s Only a Play (Ira Drew), The Winter’s Tale (Antigonus/ Old Shepherd), and Robin Hood; Thief, Brigand (Robin Hood). With The Festival James has appeared in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Speed), Romeo & Juliet (Mercutio), Twelfth Night (Fabian), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Sir Hugh Evans), What, Has This Thing Appeared Again Tonight, (James), Macbeth (Thane of Ross), As You Like It (Orlando), and The Importance of Being Earnest (Jack).

Brendan Bowen
Stephano in The Tempest

Mr. Bowen is a graduate of the Tulane University Political Science Program. He has been working as an actor with the Festival since he was ten years old. Most recently he appeared as Launce in the Festival’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Other Festival credits include The Gentlemen in Cymbeline, Ensemble in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, and as Horatio in Hamlet. He recently performed in the NOLA Project’s Oskar and the Countless Costume Changes.

Danny Bowen*
Prospero in The Tempest

Mr. Bowen has been an active member of the New Orleans theatre community since 1977. In the real world he is a physical therapist at University Medical Center.

Graham Burk
Trinculo in The Tempest

Mr. Burk was recently seen as Old Maxpanthus and Snorp The Ogre in The Spider Queen (NOLA Project). Festival credits include Thurio in Two Gentleman of Verona, Pleribo/Adraste/Prince Florilame in The Illusion, and Cloten in Cymbeline. Recent New Orleans productions include Minister Lindstrom in Leaving Cottonwood (generateINK), Polixenes in The Winter’s Tale (NOLA Project), The Revolutionary in Marie Antoinette (NOLA Project), and Fred in A Christmas Carol (Southern Rep). Other credits include Husband-He in 1914 Machine (Traverse Theatre), Robert Sideway/Harry Brewer in Our Country’s Good (Tron Theatre), Dave in Redcross Way (The Arches), Parolles in All’s Well That Ends Well (Globe Education), and Balthasar in Comedy of Errors (Bard in the Botanics). He holds a Masters in Theatre from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

Celeste Cahn
Ariel in The Tempest

Ms. Cahn graduated from Brown University in 2015 with a double concentration in Theatre and History (with a focus on Radical Social Change). She now lives in New York City, where she recently performed Alternative Facts Madlibs at the Tank and directed GlenGary Glen Escalator at the PIT Underground. She returned from Minneapolis, working with 10,000 Things on their production of Intimate Apparel. This is her third season with the Festival.

Annie Cohen
Spirit in The Tempest

Ms. Chohen joins the Festival as a member of the All Things Shakespeare intern program, and is a rising sophomore at Emory University. She graduated from Metairie Park Country Day School in 2016 where she participated in theater – including playing Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Cinderella in Into the Woods, and Sandy in Grease. She has also worked with Rivertown Theater and JPAS. At Emory University Annie was in the Ensemble of Theater Emory’s production of Romeo & Juliet. She is majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and hopes to continue doing theater both at Emory and in New Orleans.

Jane Cooper
Spirit in The Tempest

Ms. Cooper joins the Festival as a member of the All Things Shakespeare intern program. She is a recent graduate from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (where she studied Drama) and Benjamin Franklin High School. She participated in the All Things Shakespeare program two years ago, but this is her first main stage show with the Festival. Other roles she has played in high school include: Elinor in Sense & Sensibility at NOCCA, Miranda in The Tempest at Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp and School in Steamboat Springs Colorado, and Dr. Benjamin in Waiting for Lefty at NOCCA. She plans to attend a four-year college to study Acting in the fall.

Sarah Grace Donnelly
Spirit in The Tempest

Ms. Donnelly joins the Festival as a member of the All Things Shakespeare intern program and is a recent graduate from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, where she studied Drama. She participated in the All Things Shakespeare program two years ago, but this is her first main stage show with the Festival. Some of her favorite productions include Sense and Sensibility as Marianne, Ancestral Voices which she co-wrote, and Waiting for Lefty as Dr. Barnes. In the fall she will attend college in pursuit of a BFA in Drama.

Casey Groves*
Antonio in The Tempest

Mr. Groves last performed with the Festival in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Romeo & Juliet. His other local theater appearances include Lombardi and Death of a Salesmen at Le Petit, A Moon for the Misbegotten with Inner Compass Theatre, Equus with Promethean Theatre, and The Tempest with In Good Company. He wrote a one-man play called Seelos: Doctor of Souls which he has toured nationally. The filmed version of the Seelos play aired numerous times on the New Orleans PBS station, WYES. Casey’s television and film credits include roles on Law & Order, DamagesAstronaut Wives ClubThe Big Short, I Saw the Light, and LBJ. Casey is the Talented Theater Teacher at McMain Secondary School, and he is currently writing a screenplay which brings particle physics together with classical Indian dance and Walt Whitman’s life and poetry.

Leicester Landon*
Sebastian in The Tempest

Mr. Landon is a New Orleans native who received his MFA from Brown University, is a member of the Chautauqua Theater Conservatory, and a is a founding member of the non-profit international outreach theater company Stories for Strength. Recent theater credits include: The Glass Menagerie (Jim) – The Williams Project – Seattle; Return to Grey Gardens (Jerry) w/ Jinkx Monsoon – Seattle/Provincetown; Ugmo and Eenie… – Dixon Place, New York; Snow White and the Seven Bottoms (Prince Charming) – Gold Dust Orphans – New York/Provincetown; The Tempest (Caliban) – Harwich, MA; Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio) – WordPlay Shakespeare – iTunes, New York; Bank Job (Russell) – Amphibian Stage Productions – Fort Worth, TX; Ugly is a Hard Pill (Demon) – Theater for the New City – New York.

Varland Owens
Spirit in The Tempest

Ms. Owens joins the Festival as a member of the All Things Shakespeare intern program. She attends St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge and will be starting her senior year this fall. Some of her most cherish roles include Maria in Twelfth Night, Kate in Taming of the Shrew, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and most recently Kim in Bye Bye Birdie.

Tirol Palmer
Spirit in The Tempest

Ms. Palmer is currently a Junior attending Tulane University studying Performance and English. Born and raised in the UK, she is of New Zealand decent and fluent in Mãori. Recent Tulane credits include Marc Antony in Julius Caesar, Regan in Storm, Still, and Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa. Classically trained in singing, some of her musical credits include Éponine in Les Misérables, and Cinderella in Into The Woods. This is her first show with the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival.

John (Ray) Proctor*
Alonso in The Tempest

Since coming to New Orleans last July, Mr. Proctor has appeared as Jim in the Tulane Summer Lyric’s Big River, and was a member of the Ensemble for the Southern Repertory Theatre’s production of Airline Highway. In February Proctor directed the Tulane University production of Joe Sutton’s Voir Dire. Prior to coming to New Orleans he appeared as a member of the Ensemble for Ain’t Misbehavin’, as Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, and ensemble member of Between Men & Cattle, Peter in Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs, and Shylock in the Merchant of Venice. He has performed in the national tours of Big River and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. He has performed the title role in Othello in St. Louis, West Virginia, and Chicago. Proctor also co-authored (with Ms. Olivia Dawson) Out Loud, which opened at eta Creative Arts Foundation on Chicago’s south side where it garnered nominations from the Black Theatre Alliance for Best Play, Best New Script, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Ensemble. 

Matthew Raetz
Francisco in The Tempest

Mr. Raetz is a Senior at the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas Texas, and is a graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He has appeared around town in the roles of Jack Hunter in A Rose Tattoo with TWTC, and has performed in the Festival’s All Things Shakespeare Program. Outside of NOLA he has appears as Judas in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Antonio in Twelfth Night at SMU. After graduating he plans on moving to Los Angeles to peruse a career in film/television.

Payton Smith
Miranda in The Tempest

Ms. Smith is a junior studying Theater and Performance at Bard College and a graduate of New Orleans Center for Creative Arts’ Drama department and Academic Studio. She appeared on the Festival Stage in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in the All Things Shakespeare production of A Winter’s Tale. Other credits include Iphigenia in Iphigenia Among the Taurians (Bard), Charlotte in Don Juan (Bard), Elmire in Tartuffe (NOCCA), Meg in Little Women (NOCCA), and several independently produced works which premiered at NOLA Playhouse.

Burton Tedesco
Caliban in The Tempest
Fight Director for The Tempest

Mr. Tedesco is proud to be spending his 7th season with SFT. His Festival fight direction credits include: Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar. As an actor he has played such roles as Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, Dr. Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Cinna the Poet in Julius Caesar. Currently Burton is the Chair of the Department of the Arts and Professor of Theatre at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT. He is a Dueling Arts International Associate Instructor of Stage Combat and Teacher Trainee of Michael Lugering’s Expressive Actor Technique.  

Reid Williams
Ferdinand in The Tempest

Mr. Williams is currently a student at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre. He is also a graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. His stage credits include You Can’t Take It with You (Hartt School) and Spill (Tectonic Theater Project). He was also featured in the film The Do-deca-Pentathlon. Other performance credits include work with The Zurich Classic, Carl Mack Presents, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Muses Parade, Voodoo Festival, New Orleans Tomato Festival, Merriment on Magazine, International Festival, and Yellow Box Circus.


* Denotes members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.