A Midsummer Night's Dream Cast

David Baker (THESEUS, Duke of Athens)
When not acting in 'Midsummer Nights Dream," David Baker teaches it and other Shakespeare plays at Rutgers University. Before Theseus, he played the Archbishop of Canterbury in "The Man for all Seasons" (Westfield) and a late-blooming lover in "Mollie and Harry" (NYC).
Richard Dwyer (EGEUS, father to Hermia)
Dwyer has given life to characters ranging from law enforcement to a mobster, a psychiatric patient and a counselor; Lurch, “The Addams Family;” an elf (yes, elf), a not so pretty stepsister; a pig and a Big Dog. Some of his favorite roles are The Creature, “Frankenstein;” Riff Raff, “The Rocky Horror Show;” Ghost of Christmas Present, “A Christmas Carol;” and The Mikado, “The Town of Titipu.” Dwyer is a public address announcer for special events, parades and athletic competitions who once had the privilege of announcing in Yankee Stadium. Dwyer is thrilled and grateful to work in the new theatre with the talented and committed cast and crew of WHATCo.
Frankie Perez (LYSANDER, in love with Hermia)
Frankie Perez (Lysander) is so very excited to be on stage and running through fire for thy sweet sake as an absolute lovesick fool in Midsummer Night's Dream. Some of his favorite roles include Schroeder (Charlie Brown), William Barfeé (Spelling Bee), Shrek (Shrek the Musical), Beast (Beauty & The Beast), and many more. Adulting is hard folks, it stops you from doing some of the things you love, BUT YOU MAKE IT WORK. Frankie wants to thank his friends for making this an almost six month experience that he won't soon forget ... unless a weird love potion gets involved and he loses a bunch of memories, he can't help that.
Carlos A. Caban (Demetrius)
Carlos is a theater actor with over a decade of experience performing in Puerto Rico. He’s participated in multiple classical Puertorican dramas, as well as contemporary comedies and sketches throughout the years. This will be his second performance on the mainland, since making the decision to move just last year, and his first time performing Shakespeare.
Allyssa Hynes (PHILOSTRATE, master of revels to Theseus)
Allyssa Hynes thinks it's a dream to work with such a talented cast and crew! Her previous Shakespeare experience includes adapting Shakespearean comedies for children in South Jersey for ten summers. Allyssa could be seen on stage at WHATCO in shows such as "Rumors" (Chris), "The Jungle Book" (Mother Wolf / Cobra), and "The Stinky Cheeseman" (Old Lady/Wolf/Red Hen.) She previously wrote and directed the WHATCO murder mystery dinner fundraisers "Trivia Night Murder," "Unlucky Clovers," and "Bridesmaid Murder", as well as the children's show "Monster Princess Tales". She is currently directing the heartwarmingly magical and hilarious "Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic" by Matt Coxat WHATCO and hopes you'll return to see it in October!
Edmund Shea (PETER QUINCE, a carpenter)
This is Ed’s 15th WHATCo production and is excited to be performing in the role of Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as he can now tell his friends and family that he is a Shakespearean actor! Ed is delighted to be working with the talented director Matt Masiello and the wonderful & talented cast and crew of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, especially his fellow Mechanicals - Nick Bottom, Francis Flute, Robin Starveling, Thomas Snout, and Snug. Ed’s other recent stage appearances at WHATCo include Almost Maine (Chad) and Trivia Night Murder (Dan). Ed has also been Stage Manager in an number of WHATCo productions and will be co-Stage Managing the October production of Puffs. He will also be a co-Producer of The Best Christmas Pagent Ever in December. He hopes you enjoy A Midsummer Night’s Dream and thanks you for your support of WHATCo.
Brian Sullivan (SNUG, a joiner)
Brian is excited to work with WHATCo for another season! His prior building credits include set design and construction for Little Shop of Horrors, Rhinoceros, and Bat Boy the Musical with 20 Cent Fiction Theatre Company. His prior work with WHATCo includes You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Great Gatsby, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Outside of theatre, Brian enjoys weekly donut trips with his wife, Samantha, and exploring with their dog, Winston.
Anthony Cornatzer (NICK BOTTOM, a weaver)
Anthony Cornatzer (Bottom) is an actor, writer, and technical artist. A graduate of the class of 2021 from Stockton University, he is blessed to be able to get to work with such a fun and talented community. Credits include: “Tecumseh!” (Sikes/A/T, The Scioto Society, Inc.), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Puck, The Scioto Society, Inc.) “The Alice” Immersive Cocktail Experience (Philadelphia) (Mad Hatter/Judge-White Rabbit-March Hare, Viral Ventures), and “The Merry Wives of Windsor (Ohio)” (Doctor Caius/Sound Editor, The Scioto Society, Inc.). He also serves as the Giving and Promotions Manager with the Haaf Family Arts Foundation, Inc.
Dylan Meyers (FRANCIS FLUTE, a bellows mender)
This is Dylan's second production with WhatCo. Prior to this, you may remember his role as Drools the butler in "Drop Dead!". He will also be featured in the upcoming production of "Puffs".
Nelson DePasquale (TOM SNOUT, a tinker)
Nelson is proud to lend his body to the craft as the "mechanical" Tom Snout (the Wall). Working with this group over the past few months has been a pleasure. This summer was Nelson's first foyer into the world of Shakespeare and he has loved every minute of it. An amazing director and crew and a crazy talented cast made it easy for him to navigate the bard's work for the first time. Nelson has had an exciting 2023, being fortunate enough to act in the following WHATCo productions: Othello (Cassio), PUFFS (Certain Potions Teacher, and others), The Great Gatsby Live Radio Play (Tom Buchannon), and Trivia Night Murder (Sammy the Host).
Amanda Castro-Conroy (ROBIN STARVELING, a taylor)
Amanda Castro-Conroy first studied acting at the Regional Center of the Performing Arts in Bridgeport, CT, later graduating from Ramapo College with a BA in Theatre with a concentration in Acting, Directing, & Stage Management. While studying at Ramapo she was President of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theater Honor Society. Her most recent acting credits are: Helena (All’s Well That Ends Well, Rockland Shakespeare Company), Jacquenetta (Love’s Labour’s Lost, Rockland Shakespeare Company), Cicero (Julius Caesar, Rockland Shakespeare Company), Charrette (Dracula, Smiling Rhino Theatre), Sister Mary Leo (Nunsense, West Milford Players), Racheal (Freedom Summer, Shades Repertory Theater), Sai (Trojan Women 2.0, Ramapo College), and Katherine (Taming of the Shrew, Ramapo College) for which she received an Irene Ryan nomination from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Mandy's voice first came to the WHATCo stage in the offstage roles of Martha (Rumors) and in the company's first ever Virtual Ones Acts Festival (Last Virtual Supper). She appeared on-stage as Rhonda in the 2022 production of Almost, Maine and recently directed WHATCo’s production of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. Thank you to the cast and crew for all your hard work on this show! Break legs, everyone!
Tara Spinelli (HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus)
Tara couldn't be happier performing Shakespeare with such a talented production staff, cast, and crew with the support of the incomparable WhatCo team! Recent productions include St. James Players' Antigone (Muse); WhatCo's The Great Gatsby (Jordan Baker); Studio Playhouse's Peter and the Starcatcher (Lord Aster) and Miracle on 34th Street (Bloomingdale); and Teaneck New Theatre's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (Ensemble) and The Farnsworth Invention (Ensemble). Much gratitude to family and friends for their support!
Samantha Egge (HERMIA, daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander)
Samantha is honored to share the stage with this incredible cast! This is Samantha's second production with the theatre, earlier this year she made her WhatCo debut in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown (Peppermint Patty, U/S Lucy). Prior to moving to New Jersey, Samantha acted in numerous local and community theatre productions in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Some of her favorite roles include Soupy Sue (Urinetown), Mayor Maggie (Bat Boy), and Esther (Cartoon). Samantha would like to thank her husband, Brian, and their pup, Winston, for their support.
Holly Stefanik (HELENA, in love with Demetrius)
Holly Stefanik is thrilled to be returning to the WHATCo stage! Recent performance credits include Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), Carrie (Miss Gardner), Almost Maine (Gayle), Charlie Brown (Violet, Blanket, Sally U/S) and Legally Blonde (Margot). Recent directing credits include: 21 Chump Street and Tony Ricci Has Acid Reflux at Drew University where she graduated from Drew with her B.A. in Theatre Arts and M.A in Teaching. She also won the Oxnam Playwriting Award and worked off-off-Broadway stage managing Bro-tox in 2020. She is currently a preschool teacher and also works with the WHATCo Spotlight in Education program. Huge thank you to everyone who has supported and helped me grow along the way! Enjoy the show
Romana Schaeffer (OBERON, King of the Fairies)
Ro Schaeffer is excited to be returning to West Hudson Arts & Theater Company for the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, having recently appeared in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Lucy van Pelt). Previously she took to the stage in Gypsy (Tessie Tura) with the Brundage Park Players and Man of La Mancha (Antonia) with the Theater League of Clifton. Previous credits include: Cinderella (Ensemble), Play On (Louise), La Traviata (chorister), The Barber of Seville (Ensemble), Madame Butterfly (chorister), Joseph and The Technicolor Dreamcoat (Ensemble), Ragtime (Ensemble), Noises Off (Belinda Blair), M*A*S*H* (Captain Bridget McCarthy). Coming this fall Ro will be playing in Puff Shirt Productions performance of Anna Bella Eema (Actress #2) at Prototype237. In addition to staged shows, Ro regularly sings with the paraprofessional choir, Ember, and studied Classical Vocal Performance at Seton Hall University.
Jessica Jones (TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies)
Jessica Jones would like to thank her director Matt for the amazing opportunity to play this role. She adores Shakespeare and has previously played Kate in Taming of the Shrew and Connie, a gender-swapped Conrad, in Much Ado About Nothing. She would like to thank everyone who poured love into this show. So many people worked diligently to make it come together. Jessica has her MFA in acting from Savannah College of Art & Design. Other WHATCo shows Jessica has done include Rumors, Drop Dead, Great Gatsby, and she is currently working on Puffs!
Bay Area Transplant Bong Dizon is ecstatic to make his WHATco stage debut l after having recently choreographed You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown this past spring for this wonderful company. As a Jersey City resident of 16 years, Bong is elated to have been able to perform (and sometimes choreograph) in the Tri-State area in countless projects and various dance companies. Stage Credits include: Messenger (Antigone), Club Owner/Ensemble (Miss Saigon), Angel/George (The King and I), and IQ (Hairspray), just to name a few. Choreography Credits include: Seussical-The Musical, Peter Pan, and Hairspray all at Woodminster Amphitheatre in Oakland, CA and Starting Here, Starting Now, The Taming of the Shrew, Sondheim VS Webber and Alice In Love? at Cal State Hayward. #GoPioneers! For more info: www.bongdizon.weebly.com Thank y’all for comin!
Genevieve Lambo (PEASEBLOSSOM, a fairy)
Genevieve is an 8th grader at Veterans Middle School in North Arlington where she played Aquata in the school's production of The Little Mermaid. She has been involved with the WHATCo Education program for several years, performing the roles of Jasmine in Aladdin Jr., and Frenchie in Grease, as well as Wendy Parker in the WHATCo production of Yes, Virginia! There is a Santa Claus. Recently, Genevieve has been cast in several short student films, a favorite is the role of Roxy in the NYU student film Good Morning, Ms. Sunshine. In her spare time, she creates videos for her YouTube channel Genevieve's Filmz. Genevieve is excited to be in her first Shakespeare production as the fairy, Mustardseed, and says that you should "defo come see the show!"
Riley Bennett (COBWEB, a fairy)
Riley is an 8th grader at Lincoln Middle School in Kearny. She has participated in the WHATCo Education program for several years and also enjoys science and volunteer work in addition to theater. Riley is excited to volunteer at the Meadowlands Environmental Center this summer.
Jasmine Viera (MOTH, a fairy)
Jasmine is a Sophomore at Kearny High School. She has been involved with the WHATCo Education program for several years, appearing as Kassim in Aladdin, Jr., and as Rizzo in Grease. She was in the cast and a stage manager for the recent KHS production of Shrek. Jasmine is excited to be a part of WHATCo's (and her!) first ever Shakespeare production. After high school she hopes to attend Boston University and study law.
Lainey McKenna (MUSTARDSEED, a fairy)
Lainey is an 8th grader at Lincoln Middle School in Kearny. She has played Rafiki in the Lion King and Patti Simcox in Grease with the WHATCo Education program and was Max Mayfield in her school's haunted Hallway. She is excited to play Cobweb in A Midsummer Night's Dream and hopes to work with WHATCo again in the future.