Playwright/Composer: Guinevere Govea
Playwright: Anna Pickett
Director: Julia Flood
Stage Manager: Elana Treiser*
Dramaturg: Megan Alrutz
Sound Designer: Casey Deiter
Scenic Design Response: Sonya Smith-Tembe*, Jeanna DelVecchio*
Lighting Design Response: Alex Russell*
Costume Design Response: Karina Rodriguez-Toledo*
Guest Designer: Michelle Habeck, Adriana Serrano
Choreographer: Giana Blazquez Bultman, Julia Veiga*
Music Director: Chandler Caroccio*
Music Advisor/Pianist: Deborah Wicks La Puma
*Theatre UCF student
Finley: Bethany Post*
H.S. Crank: Drew Stark*
Dad/Pirate Captain: Andre Braza*
Shopkeeper/Mermaid/Elixir/Sea Monster: Renita James
Princess/Townsperson (Kid)/Pirate #1: Madilynn Crown*
Teacher/Assistant To Pirate Captain/Townsperson #2: Hannah Schorr*
Doctor/Queen/Townsperson #1: Mia Hammond*
Pearl/Stage Directions/Understudy: Bellamy Kopesec*
* Theatre UCF student
Assistant Stage Managers: Toni Ghirardo*, Bridgett Rojas*
Assistant Director: Chanel Gomaa*
Assistant Dramaturg: Gabby Lawlor*
Producer: Megan Ann Rasmussen
Sound Designer: Casey Deiter
Assistant Producer: Christian Anderson*, Cory Kennedy*
Community Engagement: Clarie Derriennic, Xinyue Zhang, Sage Tokach*
Crew: Angelina Buck*, Laura Ferreira de Carvalho*, Samfritz Del Valle*, Sonya Smith-Tembe*
* Theatre UCF student
Andre Braza (Dad/Pirate Captain) is a proud Filipino-American theatre artist and musician. Some of his favorite roles include Spring Awakening (Moritz), Peter and the Starcatcher (Ted), The Grumpiest Boy in the World (Zachary Briddling). He was most recently seen in UCF’s production of Indecent joining in the ensemble and playing the accordion. He plays other instruments, including ukulele and 10+ years of experience with piano. He loves to experiment with improvisational forms of music. He plays piano for Playback UCF, an improv troupe at the University of Central Florida dedicated to retelling stories in hopes to heal and connect. He helps underscore stories on the spot, finding freedom and truth in spontaneity. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a BA in Theatre Performance, and a Minor in French Studies. Currently he is working on his Master’s Thesis and is expecting to graduate with an MFA in Theatre in the Spring of 2023.
Madilynn Crown (Princess, Pirate #1, Kid) is a third-year transfer student in the UCF BA Theatre Studies program. Madilynn is very excited about Spells of the Sea being her first project at UCF. Some of her favorite past roles include Joy in Cinderella, The Witch in Into The Woods, and Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly. Madilynn is excited to be a part of more UCF projects and productions in the future!
Mia Hammond (Doctor/Queen/Townsperson) is a second-year in the BFA Acting program. Her previous UCF credits include Project Spotlight: Poltergeist (Jacqueline/Kennedy). Some of her previous credits include Black Comedy (Clea) and The Seagull (Nina).
Renita James (Mermaid/Shopkeeper/Elixir/Monster) is a second-year grad student at the University of Texas at Austin. Renita was recently heard in a radio play Kimmy at the University at Texas at Austin. Other Professional credits include Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood ( Petite Rouge) and The 12 dates of Christmas ( Mary). She also works as a director, teaching artists, and arts administrator.
Bellamy Kopesec (Pearl/Stage Directions/Understudy) is a freshman majoring in Kinesiology with two minors in dance and theatre. Spells of the Sea will be her first Theatre UCF production! Some of her favorite credits include 42nd Street (Maggie Jones, Dance Captain), Elf (Charlotte Dennon, Dance Captain) and Anything Goes (Chastity). She works with a youth theatre program, and is passionate about spreading joy through the arts!
Bethany Post (Finley) is a second-year student in the MFA Theatre for Young Audiences program. She has served numerous roles in both education and performance through the Missoula Children’s Theatre, the National Theatre for Children, the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Repertory Theatre. Favorite theatre credits include Giggle Giggle Quack (Chicken), Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook (Mrs./Mother/Parrot), and Hansel and Gretel’s Gingerbread Games (Hoopoe).
Hannah Schorr (Teacher/Assistant To Pirate Captain/Townsperson #2) is a Junior in the BFA acting program. Her Theatre UCF credits include Indecent (U/S Vera), Scaramouch in Naxos (Bacchante ensemble), and As It’s Written (Stage Directions). Some of Hannah’s other favorite onstage roles include Uncle Fester (The Addams Family) and Kate Keller (The Miracle Worker). Hannah also enjoys mentoring kids through educational theatre.
Production Team Bios
Megan Alrutz (Dramaturg) is an artist, educator, and scholar with over 20 years of experience in theatre, media, and interdisciplinary performance for youth and families. Her visually dynamic work has been produced or presented by the Alliance Theatre, The New Victory, Kennedy Center, Orlando REP, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Arts on Horizon, and Metro Theater. Megan is currently a producer and dramaturg on Mo Willems’ artistic residencies and productions with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and HBO Max. She is also a professor and associate chair at The University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
Giana Blazquez Bultman (Choreographer) is a director, choreographer and teaching artist from Milwaukee, WI. As a Theatre for Young Audiences professional and advocate for young voices, Giana strives to empower young people through theatre that challenges them artistically, fosters justice and inclusion and cultivates artistic agency. Giana holds an MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from The University of Texas at Austin. As a teaching artist she has worked for Pink Umbrella Theater Company, ZACH Theater, First Stage and the Orlando Repertory Theater. Regional Directing and Choreography credits include Radiance (UT Austin), Nate the Great (First Stage), Nobody Knows (First Stage), Lovabye Dragon (First Stage) and Welcome to Bronzeville (First Stage). Giana has also performed professionally at First Stage.
Claire Derriennic (Community Engagement) is a second-year MFA student in Drama and Theatre for Youth at the University of Texas. A multidisciplinary theatre-maker, Claire has written several plays exploring health education, including The Princess and the Period and Taste Buds: The Adventures of Cake and Broccoli. Her adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood, a choose-your-own adventure performance about catcalling, was recently staged at Georgetown University.
Julia Flood (Director) has served as Artistic Director of Metro Theater Company in St. Louis, MO since February 2014, and looks forward to producing Spells of the Sea as part of MTC’s upcoming 50th anniversary season. Prior to moving to St. Louis, Julia was artistic director of a professional TYA touring company based in Clearwater, FL for 16 years. A graduate of Northwestern University, Julia went on to study with famed acting teacher Alvina Krause and was a resident member of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in PA for the ensemble’s first seven years. Julia’s 40+ years of experience in the professional theater as an actor/director/playwright/teaching artist has led to a passionate belief in the power of theater to change the course of a young person’s life. She is committed to nurturing, commissioning and producing new voices for the theater, particularly for TYA. Julia has participated in new work development around the country, including at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices new play development symposium, and served on the national board of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA from 2011 until 2019.
Chanel Gomaa (Assistant Director) is a poet and teaching artist based in Orlando Florida. Chanel holds a BA in Theatre Studies from the University of Central Florida, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences there as well. Past credits as an assistant director include Into the Woods, The Super Variety Match Bonus Round, Aladdin Jr., High School Musical 2, Madagascar Jr, and Magic Treehouse: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr.
Michelle Habeck (Guest Designer) is an artist, educator, mentor, and storyteller. Her design work is seen nationally at CenterStage Baltimore, Alliance Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and many others. She has shared collaborations with many fine artists including Julie Taymor, Twyla Tharp, James Still, and Kwame-Kwei Armah to develop new work and reexamine works that prove momentous to our immediate present. Michelle was lighting associate on numerous Broadway collaborations. Michelle is faculty and co-area head for Live Design and Production at The University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
Corryn “Cory” Kennedy (Assistant Producer) is a second-year MFA Graduate Candidate studying Theatre for Young Audiences at the University of Central Florida. In addition to spending almost a decade as an educator; Cory has been privileged enough to work with leaders in the entertainment field including Universal, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Old Globe San Diego. Most recently, she was seen in Les MiserABBA (Yvette) which was awarded "Patrons Pick" at the Orlando Fringe. Next she will be associate directing Interference in the upcoming UCF season.
Gabby Lawlor (Assistant Dramaturg) is a second-year graduate student in the MFA Theatre for Young Audiences program here at UCF. This is her very first time working with Pegasus PlayLab and is thrilled to have been a part of this very special process! She is a proud alumnus of Florida State University where she earned her undergraduate degree in Theatre and Education. Favorite creative experiences include completing a semester abroad with FSU’s Theatre Academy London in 2017 and most recently serving as the dramaturg for Theatre UCF’s spring production of Indecent. Coming up, she will be literally and creatively immersed in summer fun as the Assistant Director for High School Musical 2 at Orlando Repertory Theatre.
Anna Pickett (Playwright) is a theatre artist originally from Dallas, Texas. She is a recent graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, holding a B.S. in Applied Learning and Development: Youth and Community Studies. She aims to create endearing work for young audiences and families, focusing on theatrical spaces, museums, and immersive experiences.
Megan Ann Rasmussen (Producer) is an award-winning Producer. Broadway: (Co-Producer) Joy on Broadway. Off Broadway: (Investor) Harmony. Regional: Heaven Come Home, FREE PLAY: Open Source Scripts Towards an Antiracist Tomorrow. She creates theater that uplifts and strengthens. Director: Señora Tortuga, Cinderella East Rice and Beans: A Salsa Fairy Tale. Educator: Brigham Young University, Utah State University, Utah Valley University. Founder/Producing Artistic Director, Firehouse Theater for Youth. International: US Representative to the International Association of Theater for Children and Young People (Denmark/Sweden.) Editor: ASSITEJ International newsletter for 85 countries. Her articles and photography can be found in Stage of the Art and TYA Today. Ann Shaw Fellow. President, Theater for Young Audiences/USA (2010-2012.) BFA, Emerson College; M.A, Brigham Young University.
Karina Ali Rodriguez-Toledo (Costume Design Response) is a third-year transfer student in the BFA Theatre Design & Technology Program. Other Credits include Shrek: The Musical (Draper/Milliner/Puppetry), Welcome to the Moon and Other One Acts (Draper/Stitcher) and First Date (Draper/Stitcher) at Theatre UCF.
Bridgett Rojas (Assistant Stage Manager) is in her first year of the BFA Stage Management program. Her previous Theatre UCF credits include Orlando Repertory Theatre’s Youth Academy: Magic Treehouse: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr (Production Assistant), and Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (Production Assistant). Other stage management credits include Art at the Funky Dog Theatre.
Adriana Serrano (Guest Designer) is a production designer, recognized for her versatile and strong aesthetic work in the narrative world. She has designed numerous features, shorts, commercials, music videos, and new media content. Her films have been shown in major film festivals like Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, and Toronto, and have streamed in platforms like HBO, Netflix, ABC, and Amazon. Her credits as a production designer include, among others: Afternoon Delight, directed by Jill Soloway (Best director in Sundance), Arcadia (Best film at the generation K in Berlin), and Entre Nos (Honorable mention at Tribeca). The Obituary of Tunde Johnson directed by Ali Leroi, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was the opening film off the Austin Film Festival in Austin. Adriana was trained as a visual artist at Universidad de los Andes in her native Colombia and received her MFA in Set Design at Brooklyn College in New York. She currently teaches Production Design at the University of Texas in Austin. She is part of The Art Directors Guild and is represented by APA.
Elana Treiser (Stage Manager) is a third-year BFA Stage Manager. Previous UCF credits include Shrek the Musical (Assistant Stage Manager), Welcome to the Moon (Assistant Stage Manager), various Stage Manager roles for UCF Celebrates the Arts 2021, and Birdbrains (Stage Manager) with Project Spotlight.
Julia Veiga (Choreographer) is a second-year Theatre for Young Audiences MFA candidate at Theatre UCF. She is a proud alumna of the University of Evansville with a B.S in Theatre Education. Her directing and assistant directing credits include Red Bike, Fabulation, Welcome to the Moon, Violet, and Small Mouth Sounds. Julia is passionate about fostering young artists at the Orlando Repertory theatre as a teaching artist in courses ranging from Stage Makeup, Costume Design, and Story Drama.
Deborah Wicks La Puma (Music Advisor/Pianist) is a composer, music director, orchestrator, and one of the most produced Theatre for Young Audiences artists working today. Her most popular TYA musicals include Ella Enchanted (based on the book by Gail Carson Levine) with Karen Zacarias, She Persisted (based on the book by Chelsea Clinton) with playwright Adam Tobin, and Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In A Play and Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus: The Musical with best selling children’s author Mo Willems. As a music director and orchestrator she has worked with major regional theatre companies across the country, including the Guthrie, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She received her MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and her bachelor's degree from Stanford University. Her honors include an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Musical, the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, an NEA New American Works Grant, two Parents' Choice Awards, and a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Musical Adaptation. A proud Mexican-American and "Navy brat" who grew up in Brazil, Portugal and California, La Puma is a member of TYA/USA, ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild.
Xinyue Zhang (Community Engagement) is a second-year M.F.A. student in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities (DTYC) at The University of Texas at Austin. As a performer and teaching artist, Xinyue worked with Stages of Peopel’s Palace Project (London, UK), A4 Art Museum (Chengdu, China), Art Space for Kids (Shanghai, China). Her research and practice are located at the intersections of drama-based pedagogy, storytelling, early childhood education, and museum studies. Xinyue holds an M.A. in Theatre and Performance from Queen Mary University of London (First Class).
“We can fight monsters and we can find treasure. All we need’s right here inside us.” - Finley and Crank
When faced with tragedy and unknown circumstances, how do we lean into our greatest fears? How do we find the courage to keep loving each other and ourselves? Spells of the Sea raises all of these questions as Finley Frankfurter sets out on the most daring journey she’ll ever take. And like Finley, Spells of the Sea has had a formative and collaborative journey. Spells of the Sea began its quest amidst the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Guinevere “Gwenny” Govea as its captain. Gwenny imagined this story in response to the extreme isolation, loss, and uncertainty people were feeling at the time, especially kids. Gwenny’s first mate Anna Pickett came on as the director for Spells, which first premiered as a podcast series at the University of Texas at Austin’s New Works Festival. After several months of development for the stage, Spells of the Sea has now docked here at Theatre UCF’s Pegasus Playlab (for a short while at least). The staged reading you will see today has been workshopped for a little over a week with many creative voices in the room, including an awesome group of Orlando-based kids. With this creative team as their crew, Gwenny and Anna have been imagining and writing a magical and thought provoking story. As you watch and listen to this story unfold, we invite you to embrace the monsters and treasures inside of you and write your own beautiful adventure.
- Gabby Lawlor and Megan Alrutz, Dramaturgs
PEGASUS PLAYLAB/Theatre UCF
Artistic Director: Julia Listengarten
Associate Artistic Director: Sage Tokach*
Design Advisor: Vandy Wood
Sound Design & Production: Casey Deiter
Stage Managment Advisor: Claudia Lynch
Production Manager: Gary Brown
Box Office Manager: Bridget Parry
Marketing Coordinator: Jessica Compton
Costume Shop Manager: Allison Rexrode
Technical Director: Tramaine Berryhill
Assistant Technical Director: Michael Waldron
Production Electrician: Beth McAshan
* Theatre UCF student