Meet the Cast & Creative Team: Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly


 
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Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway • May 4—June 2, 2019

A microscopic musical!

Is Spider getting too big for his own skin? Will Fly find her superhero powers in time to save her Aunt Rita from peril? Will Worm learn to stand on his own two feet...even though he doesn't have feet? Take a look at the world from a bug's perspective and you'll see that their lives are a lot like ours.

Based on the best-selling children’s book series Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss, Diary of a Spider, a Worm, and a Fly, the production was originally commissioned by OCT and performed on the Newmark stage in January 2011. Artistic Director Stan Foote chose to remount the production this year because the themes in this enduring children’s story reflects on many fears and challenges young children face in their daily lives. “These themes are universal for children and adults,” he explains. “We all have experiences feeling scared and excited about changes in our lives, and it’s a valuable reminder that what makes us different from one another also makes us unique, and these differences strengthen our community.”

The majority of the cast are also members of the Young Professionals Company, OCT’s mentoring program for teens ages 14 to 18 years old. YP Company Director Dani Baldwin is proud to see such great Young Professionals presence in the cast of Diary. “I’ve watched these talented actors grow through the YP Company, and it’s exciting to see it all come together on stage. The Young Professionals Company offers training and professional experiences which have paid off in their auditions, their dedication in the rehearsal hall, and their stellar performances. These are amazing individuals to work with, and I’m excited to see them take their YP experiences to the OCT Mainstage.”

About the Cast

About the Creative Team

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Francisco Garcia (Director)
Francisco Garcia is a director, actor and educator. His recent directing credits include the wold premiere of Emilio Rodriguez's Swimming While Drowning (Milagro Theatre), the touring productions of Olga Sanchez’s Broken Promises (Milagro Theatre) and Jose Cruz Gonzalez’s Tomás & the Library Lady (Oregon Children’s Theatre), Qui Nguyen's She Kills Monsters (Lincoln High School) and Naomi Iizuka’s Anonymous (Lewis & Clark College). Francisco’s recent acting credits include NBC’s Grimm, IFC’s Portlandia, A24 Film’s Lean on Pete, and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. He loves working with students of all ages and has taught theater classes at Lewis & Clark College, The Mark Taper Forum, CalArts' CAP Program, and Oregon Children’s Theatre. He dedicates this performance to his eight-year-old daughter Audrey. 

 
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Kemba Shannon (Choreographer) 
Kemba Shannon received her BFA from Towson State University and trained at the Alvin Ailey American Theater, Martha Graham School, The Edge, Lula Washington, Peridance, and Morgan State University. She has taught dance classes at UCLA, Loyola Marymount, El Camino College, Portland State University,and others. Kemba's stage credits include: The Lion King (LA cast), The Color Purple (Broadway cast), Cirque du Soleil (Zumanity), Aida, and Fame. Kemba's ambition and drive have won her world recognition with icons Madonna ("Drowned World Tour"), Pink ("Try This World Tour"), Celine Dion ("Taking Chances World Tour"), Rihanna (Nike "RockStar World Tour), Kanye West, and Fantasia, just to name a few. Her television credits include: American Dreams (NBC), Oscars (Chicago Performance), MTV Music Awards (Pink performance), the Emmys (Kristin Bell performance), World Music Awards (Kanye West), NAACP Awards, and the Grammys.  

Jeffrey Childs (Musical Director)
Originally from Chico, CA, Jeffrey has been music directing for Oregon Children's Theatre for nine seasons. He was the co-founder of Theatre, ETC, a musical theater program for children. He has also helped to develop shows with the Broadway Junior program at Music Theatre International in New York. Jeffrey music directs around town for The Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, and Robert Grey Middle School. Special thanks to Dani and Jeffrey D. 

Daniel Meeker                                Composer

Previous designs for OCT include Ella Enchanted, Judy Moody and Stink, Pinkalicious (2017), James & The Giant Peach, Ramona Quimby, Fancy Nancy, and The Stinky Cheese Man. Additional design credits in Portland include numerous productions with Portland Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Portland Opera, Artists Repertory Theater, CoHo, and Profile Theater Company. Daniel is the lighting director for the Pickathon Festival, a three-day music festival, every August. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and The Yale School of Drama, and a member of United Scenic Artists. 

Jenny Ampersand                                Costume Designer

Jenny Ampersand is a costume and scenic designer based in Portland, OR. Previously at Oregon Children's Theatre Jenny designed costumes for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Flora & Ulysses. Jenny is an associate artist with PETE (Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble) and since 2013 has been making work with them, from building extinct birds out of zippers and velvet, fashioning ocean creatures who work in an office, to turning Chekhov's Yelena into a disco ball. Other local credits include Third Rail (Revolt. She Said. Revolt again., The Realistic JonesesAnnapurnaLungs, and Men on Boats), Profile (Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, Bright Half Life), Shaking the Tree (Doll's House and Head, Hands, Feet), and Liminal (Our Town, Gertrude Stein, The Ressurectory, and 7Deadly Sins). Recent highlights include creating lighted headdresses for local choir In Mulieribus' performance of Hildegard Von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum and collaborating with Wobbly Dance on oceanic costumes for their newest dance film Tidal.  She is often a guest designer at Reed College and guest teaches with Institute for Contemporary Performance, Lewis & Clark, and Western Oregon University.  

Phil Johnson                                    Sound Designer

Phil Johnson is a visual and theatrical artist based in Portland. His recent productions include The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors (Oregon Children’s Theatre) Cop Out, Hands Up (Red Door Project), A Doll’s House pt 2Everybody, The Humans and An Octoroon (Artist Repertory Theatre), Elliot a Soldiers Fugue, The Antigone Project (Profile Theatre), Worse Than Tigers (ACT Theater/Red Stage), Watsonville, Lydia,Contigo Pan y Cebolla (Milagro Theatre). Phil Has a BFA and MA from Ohio University. If you enjoyed the show please comment @philjohnsonlive or visit philjohnsondesignstheworld.com for more content and show playlists.