Trivia Night Murder Cast

Lauren Proda (Jeanette)
Lauren is thrilled to be in Trivia Night Murder! Previously with WHATCo, Lauren has performed in Bridesmaid Murder, Almost Maine, and Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play. Lauren is a 6th grade math teacher. While not working, she thoroughly enjoys following her childhood dream of acting and looks forward to any and all future opportunities. She even recently made her directorial debut! Recent acting credits include: One Act Play Festival (Old Library Theater), The Holi Poly Plays (D.S. Burrows), The Last Pastrami Sandwich (Apricot Sky), Oct Act Play Jamboree (Rhino Theatre), LUV: Short Play Festival NYC, Godspell (West Milford Players), and Twelfth Night (Viola, Momenti Productions). Special thanks to everyone involved in this production!
Alexis Saarela (Malloy)
Alexis Saarela is thrilled to return to WHATCo for another round of Whodunnit! She previously appeared in WHATCo's Bridesmaid Murder and Unlucky Clovers. Other recent productions include Miracle on 34th Street (Studio Playhouse), The Farnsworth Invention (Teaneck New Theatre) and others. Alexis has studied, taught, and performed improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade, The PIT, The Magnet Theater, and currently with Montclair Improv Comedy. She is grateful to her wonderful family, including her two daughters who generously tolerate her missing bedtime for rehearsals.
Matt Masiello (Jeremy)
Matt is thrilled to be appearing on the West Hudson Arts and Theater Company stage again. This is Matt’s fourth time on the WHAT stage. Previously Matt could be seen in NOISES OFF (Gary/Rodger), Unlucky Clover (Tim) and Almost Maine (Dave). Other acting credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick), Drop Dead (Chaz Looney/Drools), Dracula (Arthur Holmwood), Loves Labour’s Lost (Longaville), The Real Inspector Hound (Moon), Merry Wives of Windsor (Doctor Caius), Taming of the Shrew (Christopher Sly) and A Soldiers Play (Lt. Byrd). Matt as also directed for WHAT Co. before. Directed credits include Neil Simon’s Rumors, Virtually the Last Super as part of West Hudson Arts and Theater Company’s virtual one act festival, and most recently WHATS previous Stage production Drop Dead. Other directing credits include Much Ado About Nothing with Babbling Brook Player’s, Hamlet with Secret Notebook Productions, and Quite Contrary, which was a part of the Barn Theaters Summer One Act festival. Matt has a BA in Acting from Ramapo College of NJ. he is also a member of the American Fight Directors where is certified in unarmed combat, single sword, small sword, sword and shield, quarter staff and knife fighting.
Paula Baratta (Ethel)
Kearny native, Paula is happy to be appearing once again in a WHATCO production. She has also performed with several other Hudson County theatre groups. Some of her favorite roles have been Grace Farrell in Annie, Fiona in Brigadoon, Aunt Sue in No, No, Nanette and Aunt Abby in Arsenic and Old Lace. When not on stage, she spends her time as a Chief Outreach Librarian where her favorite activities include classroom visits for Career Days and Celebrity Reads.
Jessie Thiele (Tara)
Jessie is very excited to return to the stage after a 3 year hiatus, and has had so much fun working in her first WHAT production. This show might make her reconsider her stance on improv, which she used to dread and avoid whenever she could. Previous theater credits include Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (interACT Theater Productions), Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream (AlphaNYC Theater Company), Jamie in Canarsie (premiered at NY Theater Festival), film and TV credits include Billions, The Trial of the Chicago Seven, and The Irishman. Huge shout out to the cast and Allyssa for making this such an enjoyable return to in-person acting for me. Happy mystery solving!
John Fraisinnet (Winston)
John is pleased to be returning to a WhatCo show where patrons don't leave hungry. Last time he watched an audience eat was during WhatCo's "Unlucky Clover" murder mystery. But he also played Martin Scorsese's cousin, Inspector Mounds in WhatCo's recent "Drop Dead!" show. He has been active in NJ Community Theatre for almost 20 years producing, directing, and acting in more than 30 productions and now is on the Board at Studio Players in Montclair and Teaneck New Theatre. On the stage, some favorite roles have been Robert in "Boeing Boeing" and Avram in "Fiddler on the Roof" at Theatre League of Clifton; Charlie in "August: Osage County" at Old Library Theatre; the Emperor in "New Clothes for the Emperor", Krojack in "Don't Drink the Water", and the Magistrate in "Fools" (Perry nomination) at Studio Players; Gage Holland in "Clark Gable Slept Here" at Nutley Little Theatre; and the Snail in “A Year with Frog and Toad” for TNT. Love to talented, beautiful Donna.
Roman Koster (Chip)
Hello everyone, my name is Roman and I am excited to make my debut with What Co! I have just moved here from Florida where I performed for 6 years as a scare actor in haunted houses and as an extra in a couple local short films. I currently work as a professional cosplayer/costume maker. I look forward to playing Chip in Trivia Night Murder and hope to perform in future What Co productions.
Denise Organisciak (Shelby)
Denise is so happy to be performing with WHAT in tonight’s show. Her past credits with WHAT are Bridesmaid Murder (Fiona), and Unlucky Clovers (Amber). Audiences have also enjoyed Denise in TNT’s production of Laughter on the 29th Floor (Helen), and Studio Players original Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Officer Shuckworth). Her favorite role, however, remains as devoted mom to her number 1 love, Kody. Denise is an active volunteer for The American Cancer society with her fundraising team, Team Daisy Waltrip- which promotes awareness and raises money for breast cancer research and services. Professionally, Denise is a Commercial Insurance Underwriting Associate.
Ed Shea (Dan)
This is Ed’s 14th West Hudson Arts & Theater Company (WHAT) production, having previously been in A Christmas Story (The Old Man), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (Hysterium), A Fairy Tale Christmas (Philip Charming), The Jungle Book (Father Wolf), Noises Off (Tim Allgood), Unlucky Clovers (Gary Van Horten), The Stinky Cheeseman and other Fairly Stupid Tales (Foxy Loxy), Momma Mia (Bill Austin) and two productions of Old Time Radio.  Ed also served as Stage Manager for the October 2019 production of Monster Princess Tales as well as playing the role of Monster Frank and providing the voice for Jack the Pumpkin.  Ed’s most recent roles were last Spring in Bridesmaids Murders (Uncle Howie) and Almost Maine (Chad).  This past February he was co-stage manager along with Michelle Almedia in the production of Drop Dead. Ed’s delighted to be have been cast in Trivia Night Murder (Dan) and excited to once again be working with writer and Director Allyssa Hynes and his fellow cast members.  Thanks to our audience for their continued support of WHAT and our productions and hope they enjoy our new stage home at Holy Cross School!   
Deborah Vartan (Gina Graham/Ms. Tully)
Deborah Vartan (AKA Gina Graham) After a Covid Break Debbie is happy to be back performing.Since retiring from teaching she checked off one item on her bucket list by getting involved in community theatre.Over the years she has been involved both behind and in front of the stage.She has starred and worked in productions of The Little Mermaid ,A Christmas Story,Alice In Wonderland,The Jungle Book,Noises Off,Princess and The Pea and our first murder mystery Unlucky Clovers. Thank you for support from family and friends. Love you all. Congratulations to a great cast and especially Alyssa for writing such a unique and fun script .All you trivia buffs enjoy the night.