Nile Curtis graduated from UCLA film school in production in 1998 and went on to work in the Los Angeles film industry, mostly behind the camera, but also as an actor and dancer. He last performed Shakespeare as Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew at the Northern California Renaissance Faire in 2004.
Makena Duffy last performed in HSF’s 2019 Tempest as Ariel. In addition, she trained for two years with the Young Actor’s Ensemble at the Hawaii Theatre, where she played Gratiano in Othello (2016) and Paris in Romeo and Juliet (2015).
Jason Kanda has been seen performing on many Hawaii stages. He directed Edward III, Twelfth Night nad 2019’s award-winning Much Ado About Nothing for HSF.
Victoria A. Kashiwai is thrilled to be making her first appearance in a Hawaii Shakespeare Festival production. She has previously acted in many Kennedy Theatre shows at UH Mānoa including A Midsummer Night’s Bollywood Dream (Titania/Tarana Understudy) and most recently, The Last King of Bali (Puppeteer). She can next be seen in Kennedy Theatre’s 2020 season opener, Eddie Wen’ Go: The Story of the Upside-Down Canoe as Kaleo Koholā.
Stephanie Keiko Kong has been performing since the age of 16, though her mother would argue that her theatrical career began at least a decade earlier. Stephanie holds numerous Po‘okela Awards from the Hawai‘i State Theatre Council for her portrayal of male roles, most notably the title character of Richard III for HSF. She is known for her formidable stage presence, compelling voice and what Hana Hou Magazine calls “pitch-perfect Pidgin.” In this landmark online production, Stephanie eschews all three of her theatrical strengths —live audience connection, Hawai‘i vernacular and playing male roles—hopefully not ill-advisedly. Stephanie would like to thank director Tony Pisculli for his advice on this production.
April Lichtman is thrilled to be making her HSF debut! She is a junior BFA Acting major at the University of Connecticut. Theatre credits include Antigone (Antigone), The Wolves (Soccer Mom), Men On Boats (Old Shady), Much Ado About Nothing (Leonato) and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Various) —a 2020 Kennedy Center College Theatre Festival nominated production. Film credits include: Shades and The Last Resort. Directing credits: These Shining Lives, Antigone, Little Women and Hillary and Clinton. Special thanks to Nick Roesler!
Matthew Miller is an improviser with 15+ years of experience. Born and raised in Hawaii, he previously studied improvisation at The Annoyance, iO, and The Second City Conservatory program in Chicago, IL. Matthew most recently appeared in Diamond Head Theatre’s Murder on the Orient Express. Credits also include Manoa Valley Theatre’s Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding and Cinderella Waltz for TAG—The Actors’Group in 2019. Matthew also performs in the duo improv puppet show Extra Creature with Aaron Pughes. Fun fact—Matthew is certified in beer, wine, and spirits! This is his first show with the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival.
Jim Murphy is the Executive Director of Honolulu Habitat and serves on the boards of Kumu Kahua Theatre and the Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations. He appeared last year in Macbeth at the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival and recently at Kumu Kahua Theatre Way of a God and 38 Minutes.
Eden Lee Murray is a professional actor / director /producer / artist-educator. Since coming to O‘ahu in 1992, she has directed or performed in every major venue on O‘ahu, earning fifteen Po‘okela Awards for her work. From 2009–2016, she served as Education Director at the Hawaii Theatre Center, producing, directing, performing and teaching at that beautiful historical venue. For ten years she ran the Hawaii Young Actors Ensemble, the pre-professional training program in classical theatre for high school students from across O‘ahu. Over the years her students have won roles in Hawaii Shakespeare Festival productions, and this season, are prominently featured in all three.
Eden Lee has performed in a number of Hawaii Shakespeare Festival’s productions: Antony and Cleopatra, Henry V, Pericles, The Tempest, Richard III, A Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (invented language!), and most recently as The Fool in King Lear. She is presently the Theatre Instructor at La Pietra—Hawaii School for Girls and directed Twelfth Night there this past February. She hopes to establish a Shakespeare in the Park tradition at the school, possibly grooming future HSF performers.
Eden Lee would like to thank Tony Pisculli for trusting her with this iconic role, and husband Roger Jellinek for hours of patient, line-buddy work.
Suhaila Ng is a current student at Punahou School. She has worked behind the scenes on several musicals, although this is her first time acting in a production. She enjoys reading and has been a fan of Shakespeare since she first read his works.
Burton Tedesco is excited to spend his first season with HSF. In addition, he has been a company member and resident fight director at the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival for nine seasons. His fight direction credits include Macbeth, Cymbeline, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar. As an actor, he has played such roles as Macduff in Macbeth, Caliban in The Tempest, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Dr. Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Cinna the Poet in Julius Caesar. Currently, Burton is an Assistant Professor of Movement and Stage Combat at the University of Miami in Miami, FL and vice president of Dueling Arts International.
Chris Teves was recently the state winner of the English Speaking Union’s Shakespeare Competition. He has trained in acting at Mid-Pacific Institute’s School of the Arts. He recently performed as Orgon in Tartuffe, Armado in Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Azdak in The Caucasian Chalk Circle all at Mid-Pacific School of the Arts and may also sometimes be seen in the light booth at TAG in Dole Cannery. This is his first production with HSF.
Karen Valasek, originally from Sunnyvale, California, has been on O‘ahu with husband and fellow thespian, Richard, for 32 years. She has been on stage in various theaters for 30 of those years, having received 4 Po‘okelas for acting. She was last heard in HSF’s production of King Lear providing sound and has been part of the Mission Houses Pupu Theater playing the roles of Sarah Pierce Emerson (First Woman Doctor in the Sandwich Islands) and Cherilla Lowrey (Founder of the Outdoor Circle). A Kindermusik Preschool music teacher by trade, she has gone into early retirement due to Covid-19. She is so grateful to HSF and Zoom technology for allowing the show to go on!
Richard Valasek This is Richard’s third appearance in the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival having most recently portrayed King Lear and prior to that Nestor in Troilus and Cressida. He was most recently seen in TAG’s production of The Sons of the Prophet. Richard has a cluster of Po‘okela awards, some for ensemble acting and some for sound design. Richard is also a behavioral health nurse, specialized in the treatment of PTSD and addictions. He is also an advanced instructor of Ortho-Bionomy.
Benjamin Walsh is an actor, voice-over artist, and stage manager currently working towards his Theatre B.A. at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He has most recently been seen in Manoa Valley Theatre’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as Christopher Boone (Understudy). He served as the assistant stage manager of UHM’s production of The Maids / The Moors and starred as Prince Hal in a parody of Henry IV, Part I which he co-wrote and co-directed.
Victoria Wei recently relocated to Honolulu from the Washington, DC area, where she had several stage, industrial, and voiceover credits, in addition to her day job as a Federal employee. Her Shakespearean roles have included the Princess (Love’s Labour’s Lost), Constance (King John), Ophelia (Hamlet), and Mistress Quickly (Henry IV, Part 1). She was also the first winner of the English Speaking Union’s National Shakespeare Competition. Victoria is delighted to return to the (virtual) Shakespeare stage as a new member of the Hawai‘i theatre scene.
Iris Wilhelm-Norseth has been an active member of the community theatre and improv scenes in Hawaii since 2012, performing on the Manoa Valley Theatre, Kumu Kahua and TAG Theatre stages as well as playing with Think Fast and On the Spot improv groups. This is her second appearance in the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival.
Jordan Cho has performed in several productions with HSF (as Jordan Clara Ihilani Sasaki), appearing as Lysander in the invented-language version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Lafew in the 2018 musical version of All’s Well That Ends Well. She directed The Tempest for HSF in 2019 and was the assistant director for Chekhov’s Seagull and recently directed Lifeboat for Hawaii Opera Theatre.
Tony Pisculli is the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival and a Master Instructor with Dueling Arts International. He has received multiple Po‘okela awards for directing and fight choreography.
Jonathan Reyn is a veteran HSF actor, first appearing in Taurie Kinoshita’s As You Like It in 2013. He was most recently seen in Jason Kanda’s 2019 production of Much Ado About Nothing as the dancer for Beatrice (voiced by CJ Valle). His production credits include several benefit shows for Leeward Theatre (most recently Freakshow, 2018), and production and design for Kumu Kahua Theatre (most recently Fa‘alavelave: The Interruption, 2019).
Carlynn Wolfe has been creating costumes in Honolulu for over a decade. She has designed and constructed for many Oahu theatres as well as Mission Houses Museum, Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre, and independent film. Carlynn has received six Hawaii State Theatre Council Po‘okela awards for her costume work.
Mia Yoshimotois a Hawaii-grown Wig/Makeup Artist. Her most recent productions include The Phantom of The Opera (Broadway in Hawaii), Marriage of Figaro (Hawaii Opera Theater), and Allegiance (Manoa Valley Theater). Mia has her Associates in Applied Science from Honolulu Community College’s cosmetology program. She spends her free time telling her cats, Felix and Fuji, how much she loves them. She’d like to thank her instructors, family, and friends for all their love and support. It’s been an honor to design for the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival!