Meet The 2022 Cast

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Dalton Carroll

Dalton is elated to join Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre in their production of Much Ado About Nothing! He is currently finishing his bachelor's degree in theatre at the University of Central Arkansas. Favorite roles include Tis Pity She's A Whore (Ensemble), From Up Here (as Charlie), and Medea (as Jason). He is also excited to have begun his journey to become a certified actor combatant, having received certifications in single-sword, broadsword, and most recently rapier & dagger. He has recently come off production of The Piano Lesson (Lymon) at the Studio Theatre in Little Rock as well as a study abroad trip to London in the spring where he attended various workshops at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), and William Shakespeare's The Globe Theatre- having boosted his love and understanding of the arts more than ever!

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Gabriel Franco-Kull

Gabriel is a Graduate student at UARK. He is excited and grateful to be here! Some of his most recent credits are Tortuga and the Hare and he played the role of Tortuga, Love Labours Lost and he played the role of Holofernes, In the Book Of as the role of Bo Sr, Ride the Cyclone as "the Amazing Karnak" He is a Texas native, from El Paso. He received his BFA in performance from the University of Texas of El Paso. He would like to thank his mentors, friends, Lauren, family, and mother for everything they have done to help get me here. Love y'all! Enjoy the show!

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Chris Fritzges

Bio

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Edwin Green

Edwin Green is a third year acting MFA at the University of Arkansas from Houston, Texas. Previous Shakespeare Credits include: Much Ado, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Othello, Macbeth, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cymbeline and Love Labour’s Lost. He received his BFA in Acting & Directing from Sam Houston State University.

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Alex Horn

Alex Horn is an undergraduate theatre performance student at the UofA. Past credits include The Mastiff in The Moors, MD/Photographer in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Garrett in S1ST3RS, and Coach Ripper in Heathers. Last year he performed his own cabaret titled “Voice Lessons”. He sends his love to his friends, family, and teachers for their constant love and support.

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Elizabeth (Betsy) Jilka

Elizabeth (Betsy) Jilka is grateful to be a part of this amazing cast. A few of her favorite regional credits include Ruth in "Dessa Rose" (Fourth Wall Theatre) and Charwoman and Fred's Wife in "A Christmas Carol" (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey). Betsy has performed in various roles regionally and locally. At Theatresquared, she was seen in "Rabbit Hole," "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," and "A Christmas Carol." She has performed with Trike Theatre of Bentonville, in "Peter Pan,”
“Turning Red,” and “A Year With Frog and Toad," which toured to Indianapolis and Notre Dame, Indiana. Additional local credits include "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (NWA Shakespeare) and "The Soldier's Tale" (Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra), among others. In addition to acting, Betsy teaches private voice and acting. She has music-directed shows with Trike Theatre, several schools in New York City, and Denton, TX. She is a faculty member of the University of Arkansas Theatre Department (Fayetteville). She holds training in Musical Theatre from Catholic University in Washington D.C., a BA in Music, and an MFA in Acting from the University of Arkansas. She is the proud mom of Oliver and Gus.

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Bret Kagebein

Bret Kagebein is a film/theatre major at UCA. This is his first professional acting role, having previously played in his high school production of Grease and in UCA’s Little Shop of Horrors, as well as in a few UCA short films over the last couple years (including Double Trouble!). He is excited and proud to be a part of AST’s production of Much Ado About Nothing.

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Steven Marzolf

Steven Marzolf - Regional credits: The Old Globe Theatre, Notre Dame Shakespeare, Riverside Theatre, TheatreSquared, La Jolla Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he was a part of the original production of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County. He has directed for Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, The Side Project in Chicago, Stella Adler Institute in NYC, NWA Shakes and several productions for Opera Fayetteville, University of Tulsa and University of Arkansas. He holds an MFA in acting from The Old Globe Theatre and he is the head of undergraduate acting at University of Arkansas.

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Riles Newsome

Is delighted to be a part of this Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre production! You might’ve seen him on the UofA stage in Tartuffe(Tartuffe), In The Book Of(Bo.Jr), or as Noel in Ride The Cyclone. Some other favorite or recent theatrical credits include, The Seagull(Treplev) with Evergreen Theatre Collective, Hand To God(Pastor Greg) and Romeo and Juliet(Murcutio) with Oconaluftee Little Symphony, Macbeth(Macbeth) with Distant Drama, The Christians(Associate Pastor), Twelfth Night(Sir Andrew Aguecheek) With First Pres Theatre, and Isaac’s Eye(Isaac) with Little Corner Theatre Company.

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Bill Rogers

Bill Rogers (Leonato) is thrilled to join Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre’s Much Ado About Nothing. He has appeared in numerous TheatreSquared productions. Other regional credits include Virginia Stage Company, Trike Theatre, North Dakota Shakespeare, Block St. Theatre, Tent Theatre, and Ceramic Cow Productions. He received his MFA from the University of Arkansas.

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Audrey S. Romero

Audrey S. Romero (she/they/them) is a Mexican-American multidisciplinary theatre artist. They graduated this Spring with a B.A. in Theatre Performance, B.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies, and a minor in Communication. New play development credits include: Madeinusa in This Bitch: Esta Sangre Quiero (B Street Theatre & In the Margin; University of Arkansas), Carley in Earning (University of Arkansas), Isabel in I’m F*cking Tired of Writing Plays About This (University of Arkansas). Children’s theatre (Trike Theatre) credits include: Imogene in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Hare in Tortuga & the Hare, the goats in 3 Billy Goats Gruff. Romero is so grateful to be Hero alongside this wonderful production team and cast. Gratitude and thanks to their family, friends, and mentors for all their support.

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Scott Russell

Scott Russell is an AEA actor, SDC Fight Director, educator, and a Full Instructor with Dueling Arts International; he currently divides his time between Northwest Arkansas and Indianapolis, IN. Scott received his MFA from the University of Arkansas and is a graduate of The Conservatory at Act One Studios - Chicago. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biology from Belmont University and spent many years as a cancer biologist.

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Baaqir Salaam

Baaqir Salaam is 23 year old sound designer and musician. In his free time he enjoys longs walks on the beach and staring off into the uncharted ocean. Live, laugh, love!

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Leah Smith

Leah Smith (Margaret) is so excited to be in AST’s Much Ado! Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Leah is currently pursuing her MFA in acting at the University of Arkansas. She has recently been seen on UARK’s stages as Ocean in Ride the Cyclone, Huldey in The Moors, Catherine in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Coco Wawa in THIS BITCH, and an Ensemble Member in The Laramie Project. Leah’s also recently been seen in Big Kid in Matilda (TheatreSquared) and was an understudy for A Christmas Carol and At The Wedding (TheatreSquared). Favorite credits include: Kate Monster in Avenue Q (Blank Canvas Theater), Rosie in Slow Dance on the Killing Ground (Ensemble Theatre), Tessie Tura in Gypsy (Beck Center for the Arts), Gail Portman in In The Book Of and Dorine in Tartuffe (University of Arkansas). Gratitude and love to my family and my GDB, all my heart.

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Grace Taylor 

Grace is going into her 4th year as an MFA: Theatre Performance student at the University of Arkansas. Originally from Bloomfield, MO, she has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Southeast Missouri State University. Select UARK productions: Ride the Cyclone, Marisol, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Heathers, and Tartuffe. Select professional theatres: Holland-America Princess, Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Children’s Theatre, Ozark Actors Theatre. Big love to Mom, Dad, Rebecca, and Riles for their support!

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Emma Williams

Emma Williams (Sexton/Ensemble/Hero U/S) is so excited to be making her professional debut with AST! She is currently double majoring at the University of Central Arkansas in theatre and linguistics with the hopes of becoming an ESL/theatre teacher. She would like to thank her family and friends for their support, and all glory to God. (Romans 8:28)

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is beyond excited to be a part of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre festival this year! 3rd year MFA Acting student at the University of Arkansas Jordan Williams is a proud Crenshaw District Los Angeles, CA native. Jordan held an Acting Apprenticeship with New Stage Theatre as he completed his undergraduate degree at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi before his efforts led him to the U of A. His roles have included James Goodin in Marcus Gardley's Hell in High Water, Cory Maxson in August Wilson's Fences and Berowne in Shakespeare's Loves Labours Lost. You may have seen Jordan performing standup comedy at your local comedy club! Follow Jordan on all platforms @ImportantJordan to keep up with his journey!