Leyla is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s BFA Acting Program. She will be moving back to New York in the fall to pursue her acting career. Leyla’s favorite Shakespeare roles she has played include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Olivia in Twelfth Night.
Tracey E Collins (Aemilia)
Tracey E Collins has been trodding the boards in and around New Orleans for more than 40 years. She was last seen at Tulane “Summer Shakes” as Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest. She most recently played Mrs. McGillicuddy in the 2019 Tennessee Williams Theatre Company’s (TWTC) A Period of Adjustment, Irene Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces for the 2019 Tennessee Williams Festival and had a Big Easy Award winning turn as Mrs. Wire in 2018 in Vieux Carré for the TWTC. She was also seen at Le Petit in 2019 as Miss Marietta Shingle in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
BC Brian Coogan (Duke)
BC Brian Coogan has made his living playing a variety of music in small dives and big halls, but has always loved the intimacy of the theatre. He is no stranger to Tulane Shakespeare audiences, having composed and performed the music for 2017’s The Taming of the Shrew from the rafters above. He now returns to stage level to reunite with director Jon Greene on another Elizabethan drama––the two worked in the same roles on Lux et Umbra’s Faustus––after collaborating in recent years with local companies Cripple Creek (Sueño), Radical Buffoons (Baloonacy), and Southern Rep (Song of a Man Coming Through). He maintains a busy music career as a keyboardist and singer, having toured nationally with several projects. A particularly fruitful collaboration came with EDM producer Pretty Lights, yielding a Grammy nomination for the album "A Color Map of the Sun."
Michael Forest (Antipholus of Ephesus)
After a very strong stage debut in 2019 as Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun (Voices in the Dark/Ashe), Mr. Forest has returned to live performances in his first Shakespeare production. The 2020 Big Easy Entertainment Award winner (Best Actor), has held leading roles in multiple stage productions since his debut which include The Wedding Party,Le Code Noir, and Twylite. Other credits include upcoming local films such as Rosebud,Milk Man,None of Your Business,The Chase,Betrayl, and A Frantic Love III.
Annie Gaia (Merchant)
Annie is a writer, filmmaker, actress, singer, and spoken word artist from Memphis, TN, receiving her BFA in theatre at the University of Mississippi while living in New Orleans studying screenwriting at the Creative Writing Workshop for Film Graduate MFA Program at UNO (which awarded her a 2020 Uddo Scholarship). She has published poetry and short stories. Her recent stage acting credits include Noises Off (Brooke) at Le Petite Theatre, and Mama Mia (Donna), Sister Act (Sister Mary Lazarus), and Hairspray (Velma Von Tussle) for the St. Bernard Theatre Company. She also performed in several musical theatre productions at Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square (Big River, Peter Pan) as well as at Bigfork Summer Playhouse in Montana (Cats, AnnieGet Your Gun, 42nd Street). She then moved to Los Angeles and joined Vesper Theatre Company where she wrote a musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland called The Alice Project and performed in Twelfth Night. She helped various web series projects and landed small roles in TV and film, including an appearance in Oscar-winner The Artist. Annie departed Tinseltown for the Big Easy where she landed a role in the cult horror feature Devil’s Due and became the frontman for experimental noise band Sea Battle. Other accomplishments include working with film education program TimeCode NOLA for a production workshop with high school students. She has led the Freestyle Workshop for the Kid’s Tent at Bayou Boogaloo Festival.
Mack Guillory III (Antipholus of Syracuse)
Mr. Guillory was recently seen as Smoked Cheese in Mother Courage and Her Children with Southern Rep Theatre. Other credits include Egungun in In the Red and Brown Water (No Dream Deferred), La Resistance (Melange Dance Company), Haydn Seek (Goat in the Road), Uncle Vanya: Quarter Life Crisis (Goat in the Road). Other Shakespeare credits are the Boatswain in The Tempest (Promethean Theatre/Rockfire Theatre).
Monica R. Harris (Luciana)
Monica R. Harris is a stage, tv, film, and haunted attractions actor with a BA, Theatre Arts from Loyola University New Orleans. She is represented by Action Talent Agency (Southeast) and 24Seven (NYC). Directing credits: The Drifter (Loyola University, Theatre for One, Dir.), La Putain Respectueuse (Loyola University, Dir.), 9 Parts of Desire (Loyola University, Asst. Dir.), Airline Highway (Southern Rep, Asst. Dir.), This Property Is Condemned (Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, Dir.), On An Average Day (Co-Producer, Dir.). Acting credits: Claws (TNT), Preacher (AMC), and Broken Down (Best Louisiana Film, Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival), All’s Well That Ends Well (New Orleans Shakespeare Festival), Harry & The Thief (The NOLA Project), Maria Kizito (ArtSpot Productions: New Orleans Fringe and Kampala, Uganda Theatre Festival), and Big Easy Award Best Musical winner, The Cradle Will Rock. See her in August at the CAC Artists-in-Residence Program as Emma in Born of Mischief.
Matthew Raetz (Dromio of Syracuse)
Matthew Raetz is a veteran of New Orleans theatre. A graduate of NOCCA’s Drama program and the Meadows School of the Arts, Matthew has been seen in Macbeth, The Tempest, and A Winter’s Tale with the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival, and in A Rose Tattoo, Suddenly Last Summer, and The Glass Menagerie with The Tennessee Williams Theatre company. He was nominated for a Big Easy Award for his performance in The Glass Menagerie. He also plays the Conductor in the Warner Bros. live action Polar Express. Matthew is a circus artist and co-founder of YellowBoxCircus with Reid Williams, a circus company that performs at events and festivals in the South. Book them for all your circus needs!
Pamela D. Roberts (Luce/Pinch)
Ms. Roberts is very happy to be saying words on stage in front of people again. It's been a long road...
Gavin Robinson (Officer)
Mr. Robinson is thrilled to be returning to the stage with The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. Previous credits include Harry & The Thief (The Nola Project), Camino Real, Not About Nightingales, and Small Craft Warnings with The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company, Sweet Bird of Youth and All The Way with Southern Rep, Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party (Rockfire Theatre), or any number of festivals, one-off performances, & a few hundred other small stages. His credits before that include theatres in Chicago & Baton Rouge.
Emily C. Russell (Courtesan)
Emily is a southern California native who moved to New Orleans in 2009. Since graduating from Tulane University with her BFA in performance, she has been pursuing a career both on stage and on screen. Last seen on the Shakespeare Festival’s stage in Hamlet (Rosencrantz), other local credits include the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival’s Romeo & Juliet (Juliet), Southern Rep’s The Wolves (#2), and the Tennessee Williams Theatre Co. of New Orleans’ Weird Tales (Isabel). Look for her in feature films Breaking News In Yuba County, Easy Does It, and in USA Network’s The Purge.
Philip Roderic Yiannopoulos (Angelo)
Philip is just happy to be back on stage after he spent many proud years working with Cripple Creek Theatre Company. Away from the stage, you can also catch him podcasting, walking on stilts, and playing with power tools.
Reid Williams (Dromio of Ephesus)
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Reid is excited to return to the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival. Credits include: The Tempest, (New Orleans Shakespeare Festival), As You Like It (Monomoy Theater), Measure for Measure (NOLA Project), and Henry V (Hartford Stage). He was also featured in the film The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (Directed by Mark and Jay Duplass). Other performance credits include work with The Zurich Classic, Carl Mack Presents, Trixie Minx Productions, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Muses Parade, Voodoo Festival, New Orleans Tomato Festival, Merriment on Magazine, International Festival, and Yellow Box Circus. Reid is a BFA Graduate of the Hartt School of Theater.