The Faces of the Festival

The people bringing the Redwood City Play Festival to life

 

Click the button below each picture to see their full bio’s.

Stacey Ardelean - Fuse Theatre Artistic Director

Stacey Ardelean - Fuse Theatre Artistic Director

Kieran Beccia, Director

Kieran Beccia, Director

Nathanael Card,
Scenic Designer

Nathanael Card, Scenic Designer

Hedvig Flores
Playwright/Actress

Hedvig Flores Playwright/Actress

Bora

Bora "Max" Koknar, Co-Producer

Alika U. Spencer-Koknar,
Co-Artistic Director

Alika U. Spencer-Koknar, Co-Artistic Director

Stacey is the founding Artistic Director of Fuse Theatre. Her work includes theatre for social justice projects with local partners and creating collaborative performative experiences in and with the community.  Prior to founding Fuse Theatre in 2015, she served as the elementary drama teacher for a Bay Area private school for seventeen years.  Stacey also currently serves as the Board Chair of AATE, American Alliance for Theatre and Education. 

Kieran is a Bay Area director, producer, and actor focused on devised and ensemble performance, development of new work, and subversion of classics. Recent favorite directing credits include Sarafael (The Forum), Where the Boys Are (FaultLine Theater), Hidden: A Gender (Variance Festival) Pains of Youth​ (independently produced) and The Tempest​ (Barnstorm). They have assistant-directed around the Bay Area, including TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Magic Theatre, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz and produced for Playwrights Foundation and Variance Festival. They are a two-time CA$H Grant recipient, a company member at the Ubuntu Theater Project, a founding member of The Forum, a former artistic director of the U.C. Santa Cruz poor theatre performance lab, Barnstorm, and is currently sitting on the Literary Council for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

Nathanael Card (@ncardcreative) is a multi-disciplined theatre maker. His Bay Area credits include, as Scenic Designer: Dragon Theatre, Los Altos Stage Company, 3Girls Theatre Company, Youth Musical Theater Company, Epic Immersive; As Performer: New Conservatory Theatre Center, Epic Immersive, Mystic Midway; As Production Crew: Berkeley Rep, Cal Shakes, TheatreWorks, ACT. Additionally – both in and out of the theatre – he enjoys lighting, carpentry, photography, and painting. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with this team of talented humans who share his passion for exploring the critical social issue of gender identity, through the lens of theatre.

Hedvig Flores is a Fuse Theatre Ensemble Member. She is a skilled, purposeful and trilingual actress/playwright/director with extensive experience in theatre and film for more than 10 years in Hungary, Europe; where she played as an actress in one of Budapest’s most popular theatres and also founded the Teatro Surreal, an independent theatre ensemble. She holds a BA in Acting from Hungarian Acting Academy, GNM and learned dramaturgy at Hungarian Writers Academy. Before she moved to the Bay Area in 2015 with her family, she worked as an artistic director at Teatro Surreal, where two of her plays were presented with success, in 2010 and 2013. In the Bay Area, she worked in Fuse Theatre’s first devised production, The Unfinished Story Of Docktown and became a board of directors member at Dragon Theatre.

Bora “Max” Koknar is a Turkish-born actor, director, writer, educator, producer and the Co-Artistic Director of Dragon Productions. Over a professional career of 15 years, Max has entertained over a half million people as a performer; produced a touring program serving over 100,000 children a year across the west coast; founded an education program designed to increase language fluency and communication skills of at risk youth in partnership with the Ohio State University; created sold-out immersive experiences with Epic Immersive; and collaborated with Silicon Valley giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Box, Intuit, and Genentech as executive coach, training facilitator and experience designer.

Alika U. Spencer-Koknar is native to the Bay Area, who graduated from Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in 2006. She is honored to be working alongside her husband, Bora “Max” Koknar as Co-Artistic Director of Dragon Theatre. Some highlighted credits including; Dragon Productions as Judith in Equivocation, with Northside Theater Company as Maureen in The Beauty Queen Of Leenane, with City Lights as Johnna Monevata In August: Osage County with City Lights Theater Company. Alika also enjoys creating new and devised works and collaborated with companies like Golden Thread, foolsFury, First Person Travel, and Epic Immersive. Alika also teaches theater and has worked as an educator with companies like Broadway by the Bay, Tabard Theatre Company, and Theater of All Possibilities.

Leanna Keyes,
Playwright

Leanna Keyes, Playwright

Leanna Keyes is a playwright based in the Bay Area and Memphis, Tennessee. She recently completed her stint as a playwright in residence at Crosstown Arts. There, she completed her new snappy queer & trans Shakespeare adaptation, Two Ladies of Vermont, among other plays.

In 2018, her play Doctor Voynich and Her Children received collegiate productions at Rhodes College and Stanford University, with more productions coming in 2020. Previously produced plays include God Herself Could Not Sink This Ship in 2014. She co-wrote The Real World: Stanford with Olivia Haas, which was produced annually from 2015 to 2017.

Her work was featured at Carnegie Mellon in the curriculum of “American Women Playwrights of the 20th and 21st Centuries” in 2017.

Find out more at www.leannakeyes.com

Marquïse Walker,
Rosie

Marquïse Walker, Rosie

Marquïse, is a young transgender woman trying to make a difference in the film/theatre world. She’s been studying acting since she was in high school. Before acting she struggled to find her voice, strength, and identity. Once she started to do acting as a her true self, her passion for acting has blossomed enormously. She has been part of her college productions “The Vagina Monologues” & “Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide”. Also being an young LGBT Activist, she hopes her acting & roles inspire young transgender girls around the world. Marquïse is so thankful to be part of this wonderful production.

Marybeth Weider,
Mother and Judge in BIWT

Marybeth Weider, Mother and Judge in BIWT

Marybeth Weider (aka, “Mb”) is delighted to be making her adult debut with Fuse Theater and Dragon Productions. In her childhood, she dabbled with theater and since then has taken a handful of acting classes as an adult.  In the past year, Mb has rediscovered her childhood joy of acting and has begun taking classes at ACT in San Francisco, where she has done readings and scene work from a number of shows, including: Phyllis and Xenobia, Second Look, Angels in America, and Passion Fish.     Mb has a graduate degree from Fordham University and has an interesting and highly rewarding consultative practice where she provides psychological support for groups and individuals responding to a traumatic event.

Daniel Zafer-Joyce, 
“Bill” in Never Swim Alone

Daniel Zafer-Joyce, “Bill” in Never Swim Alone

Daniel is excited to be back at The Dragon. He was previously seen in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, and Caeneus & Poseidon. He holds a degree in Theatre Arts from Middle Tennessee State and has been working for the last decade across the US as a professional actor/director. Since moving to the bay area he has directed dozens of shows, taught workshops, film courses, and audition techniques. He loves playing shows with social messages such as Bobby Strong in Urinetown, Jesus in Godspell, and even Elephant Gerald in Elephant & Piggie. He believes theatre is more than entertainment, as it builds empathy and helps society to evolve. He thanks his creative, sexy wife Dia, for her unbelievable support, inspiration, and encouragement.

Karla Acosta,
Cast Member - Because I Went There

Karla Acosta, Cast Member - Because I Went There

Joyfully playing with Fuse and Dragon for the first time, Karla has played with other bay area theater companies such as Crowded Fire, recently, and Shotgun Players, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and Alter Theatre many years ago. She has also performed in the Philippines and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Armando Torres,
The Man in Because I Went There

Armando Torres, The Man in Because I Went There

Armando Torres (The Man/John Williams) is originally from Los Angeles, CA. He was most recently in Fuse Theatre’s production of Lily’s Wings (Vic). He also appeared in East LA College’s productions of Blood Wedding (The Horseman/Ensemble) and The Accrington Pals (Tom).

Kaz Valchev, Jayden in L-T LC

Kaz Valchev, Jayden in L-T LC

Kaz Valtchev is a Bulgarian trans actor who has been working in theater in the Bay Area for 3 years now. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in Theater and English and he now works with Bay Area Children’s Theatre as an Accounting Clerk. His most recent performance was in The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Show with BACT. He has also performed in the Queer as Fuck Festival at Bindlestiff Studios, the SF Olympians Festival, Monday Night Playground, Theater Lunatico, and Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley. This is his first time performing with Dragon Theater.

Bekah Lazar, Stage Manager

Bekah Lazar, Stage Manager

Hi! My name is Rebekah, Bekah for short. I’m a student studying theatre design & production at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. I feel so lucky to be a part of such a fantastic production that uses theatre so creatively to bring awareness to real-life situations and events that should be brought to light more often. I am so fortunate to work with and learn from such a passionate and driven team that inspires me to do what I do. I want to thank everyone who takes a bit of time out of their day to spend a few hours in a theatre; after all, a show is nothing without its audience.

Filip Hofman, Frank in Never Swim Alone

Filip Hofman, Frank in Never Swim Alone

Michelle Marin, Woman in BIWT

Michelle Marin, Woman in BIWT

Christina Diaz, Costume Designer

Christina Diaz, Costume Designer

Audrey Del Prete, Referee

Audrey Del Prete, Referee

Filip Hofman (Frank) is delighted to appear in his first show at the Dragon Theater! His recent work includes playing Oskar in the TheatreWorks Educational Tour and ‘Spending the End of the World on O.K. Cupid’ (Ensemble, Pear Theater). You may have also seen him in ‘The Changeling’ (Calico Jack, Epic Immersive), ‘The Hood of Sherwood’ (Guy of Gisborne, SVS), and ‘As You Like It’ (Orlando, SVS). He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from CALARTS. Enjoy the festival!

Michelle is excited to appear in her first play since high school. She couldn’t think of a more suitable return to the theatre than for this important and bold production. Michelle enjoys hiking, soccer, traveling, and exploring the Bay Area: her home for the past 2 years.

Christina is a member of Fuse Theatre, and a jack of all trades! Her main passion is acting. Most recently, she played “Rosa” is the Fuse Theatre musical production of “Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans”. When she is not acting or costuming, she is handling booking coordination for Fuse Theatre’s projects. She truly loves being part of the theater community, and is always looking for ways to get involved. In her personal life, she is an avid traveler, most recently returning from Africa! She is looking forward to some domestic travel this summer, and a trip to the Caribbean in the fall!

This is Audrey’s first performance at Dragon Theatre. Audrey has about 15 years of acting and modeling experience, performing mostly in her home state of Rhode Island. Audrey moved to California in 2014 to attend graduate school. After taking the time off to finish her degree and begin her career in Social Work, Audrey is thrilled to be back on stage. You can also find her “performing” at the gym as a Zumba and fitness instructor. Audrey is thankful for this wonderful opportunity and hopes to continue performing within her new community.