“Rent” Cast Members

ArcherAUSTIN ARCHER (Mark Cohen) Austin is thrilled to be making his debut with Utah Rep in a role he has drooled over for years! A Utah native, he started on the stage studying at Weber State University. Credits include “Saturday’s Voyeur,” “Click, Clack, Moo,” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” at SLAC; “Cowboy Mouth” with Good Company Theatre; “Next to Normal” with the Ziegfeld Theatre Company; and “Assassins” with Dark Horse Company Theatre. Austin also co-created and starred in “LOVE: a mixed media cabaret” at the Leonardo. Up next is the Cat in SLAC’s production of “The Cat in the Hat.” “Thanks to my wonderful family for all of your edifying support. Enjoy the show!”

ArteagaALEKSNDR ARTEAGA (Tom Collins) Aleksndr hails from San Antonio, and is elated to be involved in his second Utah Rep production. Aleksndr has performed with Tuacahn Center for the Arts, The Egyptian Theatre, Dark Horse Company Theatre, Midvale Main Street Theatre, and the Sandra N. Lloyd Theatre. Credits include: “Side Show” as Terry Connor (regional premiere), “Jekyll & Hyde” as Sir Archibald Proops, “Rent” as Tom Collins (previous production), “Songs for a New World” as Man 1, “Bye, Bye Birdie” as Conrad Birdie, “Hairspray” (regional premiere) as Edna Turnblad, and “High School Musical 2” (regional premiere). “Remember LOVE> hate. This one is for the fam!” www.aleksndr.com

SONY DSCNNEKA BARCELONA (Joanne Jefferson) Nneka is thrilled to play such powerful character in “Rent.” She is passionate about music and the peace it provides to the discouraged and downtrodden. She is an advocate of kindness and peace and feels blessed to share her voice with you. Her most recent role was a Harlem woman in “Ragtime” at Hale Centre Theatre. Her favorite roles have been as Harriet in “The Civil War” and Belle in “Beauty and the Beast.” “If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.”—Michael Jackson

CarterSEAN J. CARTER (Benjamin Coffin III) Sean is very excited to make his debut with Utah Rep! He has performed in several venues along the Wasatch Front, including Hale Centre Theatre, Grand Theatre, Egyptian Theatre, and Salt Lake Acting Company. He was most recently seen in HCT’s production of “Ragtime.” Some of his favorite theater credits include Papa Ge in “Once on This Island” (HCT), Belize in “Angels in America” (SLAC), and Willie Johnson in “Miss Evers’ Boys” (The Grand). Sean would like to thank the production team, cast, and crew for this wonderful experience, and his friends and family for their continued support.

ENGLISHTRENT ENGLISH (Roger Davis) Trent is thrilled to be making his debut with Utah Rep! Roger has been a dream role of his from the moment he first heard “One Song Glory” 10 years ago.  He is extremely grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with such an amazing cast and crew.  Recent roles include Radames in “Aida,” Joseph in “Joseph…Dreamcoat,” and Ozzy in “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” He would like to send out a special thanks to his family and friends for their incredible support.

 

Derek 2DEREK GREGERSON  (Angel Dumott Schunard) After Derek graduated from Idaho State University last winter, he traveled the country and made his was to the Great Salt Lake. This is his second time in “Rent,” but his first time portraying the character of Angel. He feels honored to be a part of this production and hopes for many more with this company and within this city.

 

 

LowryKARLI ROSE LOWRY (Maureen) Karli Rose is currently working toward her BFA in Musical Theatre at the University of Utah. She was last seen on the Egyptian Theatre stage in “Evita.: Previous roles include Squeaky Fromme (“Assassins”),  Mrs. Lovett (“Sweeney Todd”), Crissy (“Hair”), and Ado Anne (“Oklahoma!”). Very sweet Xoxo’s to her loved ones, especially her #1 fan.

 

 

Norton

CONNOR NORTON (Mimi ) Connor is thrilled to be a part of “Rent.” She is currently pursuing a BFA Musical Theatre Performance at the University of Utah and is a Reno, Nevada, native. Previous credits include “Saturday’s Voyeur 2013” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” (SLAC), “The Wild Party” (Studio 115), “Aida” (Interlochen), and Lagoon’s 2012 Summer Broadway Revue. She would like to thank her family for their continued love and support.

 

BrunnerJOHN BRUNNER (Ensemble) It has been John’s dream to be in “Rent” ever since he saw it on Broadway in 2001. This literally has been a dream come true and it is an honor to share the experience with such a talented cast and crew. He is originally from Kansas, but also loved living and performing in Saint George. He has always had a passion to perform, attending Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts and appearing in several shows with Saint George Musical Theater, including “Bye, Bye Birdie,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” He is so happy to be back on stage again after almost six years.

CastroFRANK CASTRO (Ensemble) Frank has been performing professionally and locally for over 13 years. Moving to the state seven years ago, he’s proud to call Utah his home. Some of his favorite roles include LeFou in “Beauty and the Beast,” Armand St. Just in “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” Frankincense in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” and Aladdin in “Disney’s Fantasmic!” Frank has also had the chance to work many great companies and theaters over the years including Disney, Dana Morris Productions, and Utah’s own Sandy Amphitheater. He’d like to thank his parents and family for always being there to support him over the years. “Enjoy the show.”

FullertonSTEWART FULLERTON (Ensemble) Stewart is a junior in the BFA Musical Theatre program at the University of Utah where she was last seen as a featured dancer in “The Wild Party.” Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, where she performed primarily at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, she is thrilled to be in Salt Lake City and in her first production at Utah Rep. She dedicates this performance to her mother who was a famous drag queen in New York in the ’90s.

 

Brandon HansenBRANDON HANSEN (Ensemble) This is Brandon’s third show with Utah Rep, as he was first seen as the Reptile Man in “Side Show” and most recently as Enoch Snow Jr. in “Carousel.” Some of his other favorite roles include Cinderella’s Prince in “Into the Woods,” Bernardo in “West Side Story,” and Javert in “Les Misérables: School Edition.” Brandon has several years of experience in gymnastics and dance, and he is currently being trained in Aerial Silks with Darla’s Aerial Arts. He is attending Eagle Gate College, studying massage therapy.

 

 

KellyJUSTIN KELLY (Ensemble) Justin is finishing his senior year at Brigham Young University in preparation for a career in publishing. His participation in “Rent” marks his first experience with a local theater company. He would like to thank the Utah Rep for allowing him the opportunity to take part in this amazing endeavor, as playing in “Rent” has been a dream of his since his early teens. Though he does not have a background in theater, Justin has danced with the BYU folk dancers for several years and is a member of the current reining national champion Extreme Rhythm Cloggers.

MARC NIELSON (Ensemble, Swing) Marc is very excited to be working with such a talented and loving group of people. “Rent” has been a show close to his heart for years and now the opportunity to perform the show it is a dream come true. Previous roles include Sir Robin in “Spamalot,” Ralph in “Reefer Madness,” and Adam Long in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” “Hope you enjoy the show.”

Rodriguez2KAREN RODRIGUEZ (Ensemble) Karen is a University of Utah student studying theater and political science. Past credits include “8,” “The Vagina Monologues,” “Two Girls and Parking Lot,” “Elephant’s Graveyard,” and others. The mezzo soprano actress is also a regional publicist looking to work for Roundabout Theatre in the near future.

 

 

SONY DSCBRITTANY SHAMY (Ensemble) Brittany is from Salt Lake City and majored in Musical Theatre at Weber State University. Her most recent role of, Elena in “Shelter: A New Musical,” took her to the Off-Broadway Pearl Theatre in New York City. Other credits include Miranda in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” Jane in “Jane Eyre the Musical,” and Ariel in “Footloose.” With singing and acting her biggest passions, Brittany has had the opportunity to train in film and musical theater around the world. She is pleased to be a member of this spectacular cast and is grateful to have the opportunity to express herself while spreading messages of life and love.

RachelRACHEL LYNN SHULL (Ensemble) Rachel is thrilled to finally be part of a show that she always thought was “out of her league.” As a graduate of Weber State in Musical Theater, she’s enjoyed being in such shows as “Xanadu,” “Lucky Stiff,” and “Nunsense.” After six years, she’s still a beginning guitar player, but can play the spoons really well.

DEE TUA’ONE (Ensemble) Dee is an amazing talent with a penchant for spewing his own vanity. He is new to the theater scene, and at 30 he is too old to be an ingénue. You might have recently caught him blurring gender lines at the Off Broadway Theater as Toshiba in “Dr. U” or probably just taking tickets with the Voodoo Darlings. His passion lies in singing, having studied with the fantastic teachers and vocal coaches at both SLCC and the University of Utah. Dee would like you all to know he is here to serve it for your nerves.

VESSELOLIVIA VESSEL (Ensemble, Mimi U/S) Olivia recently graduated from the University of Utah’s Actor Training Program. Previous experience includes “A Flea in Her Ear” (Lucienne), “All My Sons” (Ann Deever), “Vernon God Little” (Leona), “Adding Machine,” “Hair,” “Macbeth,” “Alcestis,” and “The Would-Be Gentlemen.” Her work in theater has allowed her to intern with a Bunraku Puppetry company in Japan, stage manage a production in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and teach various theater and dance classes in France, Jamaica, and London. She is very excited to be in her first production with Utah Rep.

VoLARA VO (Ensemble) Lara is ecstatic to be a part of “Rent” with Utah Rep. She is currently studying Musical Theatre at Weber State University. Some other shows she has been in are “Seussical,” “Les Misérables,” “Working,” and “South Pacific” She would like to thank Coop for the opportunity to be in this show and to her cast for making it such a wonderful experience.

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