Guest Cast and Creatives
CAST AND CREATIVES
We are SO lucky to work with such fantastic and talented artists! We feel as artists ourselves it is important to let others know who is out there....
TOM ZAHNER - ACTOR
Tom Zahner is American born, British educated with a Swiss passport. Born in 1956 in Connecticut, the son of a Pan Am pilot, he grew up traveling the world and was educated in England, Germany and California. He spent two years in a cloister in the wine country of the Golden State learning to be a Catholic priest, but theater life got the better of him. Back in England at the renowned theater school "Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art" he learned the fine art of the thespians. Among the over 90 professional theater productions he has appeared in were the German Premieres of Stephen Sondheims "Into the Woods", Jean Michel Schoenberg’s "Les Miserables" and the British Jaques Brel project "Anonomous Society“ earning him the coveted "Barclays Bank Award for best Musical in Britain“, Edinburgh Fringe First and The Total Theater Award.
Tom is also a voice-over artist and has become the international media voice of many global players including Deutsche Bank and Porsche: be it German or English; from "Very British" through globally understandable "Mid- Atlantic" to "Hard American“. The list of companies furthermore includes Henkel, Haniel, The Metro Group, Allianz Insurance, Thyssen Krupp, STEAG, Evonik, Adidas, DHL, Bosch, Siemens, Bayer, Mc Donalds, Wella, Caterpiller, Liebherr, RWE, Swarowski, SAP, Toshiba, Zeiss, Roche and Air Berlin.
OLEG KARPENKO - ACTOR
Oleg Karpenko is a film actor and voice-over artist from Odessa, Ukraine. He studied acting for film at the Odessa State Film Studio, played in a number of Ukrainian and international films and TV shows, among which are the American sitcom "Next Stop For Charlie", and the Israeli TV series "Mossad 101". In 2018 Oleg played in the American-Ukrainian historical action film called "The Rising Hawk" with Robert Patrick in the leading role, as well as in the German war drama "Heroes And Cowards" by Düsseldorf's own film director Harald Franklin. Oleg has always loved working in international teams and is now looking to expand his acting experience internationally, which is why he was absolutely thrilled to get cast in THE ZOO STORY with The English Theater Düsseldorf. Oleg appreciates the hard work of an artist yet always keeps his boyish love for acting at hand as he considers it the moving force in the art.
Oleg speaks Russian, Ukrainian, English and basic Spanish and excelled in stage combat at the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat.
JAMES BUNYON - ACTOR
Born in Kent, England James started at Stagecoach Theatre Arts and this lead to studying Theatre Studies at Hurtwood House under the direction of Adrian Rawlins (James Potter in the Harry Potter Franchise) and Mike Friend (Lyttelton Arts Factory, New Zealand). At the age of 16 James earned a work experience placement with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Really Useful Group” focusing on theatre production in the West End of London. James gained a BA (HONS) degree in Acting at The Birmingham School Of Acting in 2005. Joining The White Horse Theatre, Soest in 2005 James is the longest working actor for the company touring Germany, Denmark and France. He is working alongside The Euro Dance Centre, Troisdorf taking ISTD dance exams in Ballroom and Latin obtaining an Honours in Samba and Cha,Cha,Cha.
Theatre Credits include Shakespeare plays “Othello” (Iago), “Comedy Of errors” (Dromio), “A Midsummer Nights Dream” (Bottom/Demetrius), classic British drama “The Private Ear” by Peter Shaffer (Ted), “Teechers” by John Godber (Mr Nixon). “The Adventures of Mr Toad” (Chief Weasel). Trey Parker’s “Cannibal! The Musical” (Edinburgh Fringe).
MALCOLM GILES - ACTOR
Besides acting, Malcolm works mostly as a life-coach and business communications trainer He most recently performed the title role in two plays about the life and work of Charles Darwin, at the Theatre Museum Düsseldorf. Before moving to Germany, Malcolm worked as a youth theatre director as well as an actor in a Leeds-based Europe-wide touring theatre company – Leeds Laughing Stock, with satirical shows plotting the birth and growth pains of the EU.
LARA SCHITTO- ACTRESS
Born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany, Lara moved to Hamburg to study Musical Theatre as a scholarship student at Stage School Hamburg. After graduating the course in 2016 as one of the top ten of her year she was awarded with a scholarship for the Musical Theatre Conservatory course at NYFA, New York. During the year in which she studied with Broadway actors like Deidre Goodwin she was also cast as ‘Luisa Contini’ in NYFA’s production of ‘Nine’. Other theatre credits include Maria in 'The Sound of Music’, Hodel in ’Fiddler on the roof’ and Verity in ‚Find Me’. Lara also teaches dance around NRW and spends her free time baking goodies for friends and family. For more on Lara check out her website www.laraschitto.de
JAPHETH MYERS - ACTOR
Japheth Myers was born in London into a theatrical family.
After a classical ballet training and short career he moved into musical theatre having played in such productions as Cats or The Hunting of the Snark in Londons West End.
Cats brought Japheth to Hamburg which was followed by Joseph and the amazing technicoloured Dreamcoat, Chicago, Miami Nights, Saturday Night Fever, Kiss me Kate, Jesus Christ Superstar and many more.
Japheth has recently finished playing the role of Professor Porter in Disneys Tarzan production which he originated in Hamburg back in 2008.
ÇIĞDEM SPICKERMANN - ACTRESS
Çiğdem was born in Istanbul. After 6 years of Ballet training from Meggie Arman and recitals, Çiğdem had her first stage experience. From the age of 13, she started to act in School shows and took part in courses and workshops from the actors of Adana State Theater. Although she studied ‘International Relations and Politics’ at Marmara University, Çiğdem never stopped studying theatre - from different artists and courses in Istanbul, Adana and North Cyprus, as well as performing in various plays. Çiğdem moved to Germany in 2013 and since 2014 she has been performing with turkish theatre company, 'Tiyatro Frankfurt’. Çiğdem also worked as a moderator for 2 different TV programs - live (Tahta Kaşık and Avrupa İzdivaç) in ‘Kanal Avrupa’ (Channel Europe). She also teaches ‘Creative Drama’ in Essen to kids.
JAN FREDE - ACTOR
Jan was born in Germany's rainiest city, and dabbled in many professions before stepping onto the stage with the "only connect!" Theater Ensemble under the direction of Julie Stearns, where he was an Ensemble member for five years. He performed in several original productions, amongst them; Bills Nuts!, The Machine, The Power of Pussy, Not to Be and A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Rocky Passages and Takeshi Verschwunden. Jan has also appeared in commercials, promotional and music videos. He enjoys building sets and is rather fond of cats and books.
SAMIRA GHASEMI - ACTRESS
Samira was born in Iran and raised in London since the age of five. She has performed in School plays and dance performances since the age of 13 where her passion for the stage grew and pushed her to take on her Major subject in Theatre studies and English literature prior to University. Samira graduated with honours in Media Performance with Performance in the UK and then trained for television. She started hosting on Persian Satellite channels in 2010 and has since produced and hosted over 45 shows for Tv Persia as well as being a member of a jury panel for THE NEXT PRESENTER IN DUBAI 2014. She took a break to write her first book and the true story novel "No Coin for Shirin", which was published in 2018.
LIZ MANNING - COSTUME
At twenty Liz thought about becoming a costumier. By the time she was close to graduation from university, she just had too many other paths she wanted to explore. When she started teaching she found herself doing drama and then started - or resumed - her interest in costumes, as well as set building, lighting, blocking. When she started working at the International School, she was immediately thrust into working with kids in drama. Throughout the years she often directed kids, painted sets and costumed shows, sometimes sewing or finding costumes at flea markets. Part of what makes clothing an actor so satisfying is that it is often a journey into a particular historical era and it requires a sense of what a character is or does as interpreted by the actor.
MIKE MCALPINE - ACTOR
Mike McAlpine is a British actor based in Germany. He trained at East 15 Acting School in London and performs in both German and English language productions. Recent work includes “Educating Rita” (Director: Ilya Parenteau, Text: Willy Russell), “Wie Steht’s, Mata Hari?” (Director: Anne Simmering, Text: Tony Dunham), “Hotel Happy German” (Director and Text Aydın Işık), “Eine Sommernacht” (Director: Ivana Langmajer, Text: Greig and McIntyre) and “Der Kleine Lord” (Director and adaptation Aydın Işık). Mike is one half of the comedy/Kabarett duo Mike & Aydin (“Nord-Süd-Gefälle”, “UN – Unvereinte Nationen”, which regularly tours throughout Germany, with the odd venture onto UK soil. Mike lives with his family in Leverkusen.
PRISCILLA TAYLOR - ACTRESS
Priscilla is an award-winning Canadian-based actor and theatre maker. She graduated from the Classical Theatre program at George Brown College in Toronto in 2015. Favourite roles include Emily (Our Town, Theatre Rusticle), Young Woman (My Child, Haus of Casati Theatre), Betty Paris (The Crucible, Kindling Collective), Sarah (Raghead, InspiraTO festival), Gretchen (Faust, Theatre by the Bay), Mary Stuart (Mary Stuart, GBTS), Anna's Shadow (Anna Karenina, GBTS), Ase Gynt (Peer Gynt, GBTS), Livia (Women Beware Women, GBTS), Paula Tanqueray (The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, GBTS), Maureen (Rent: The Musical, ESA), and Anne (Anne of Green Gables, OSLT. Awards: 2016 My Entertainment Theatre Award for Outstanding Production (My Child, Haus of Casati Theatre), 2015 InspiraTO festival Jury's pick (Raghead).
DANIEL WANDELT - ACTOR
Daniel is a Düsseldorf based German actor and voice-over Artist. English Theatre Düsseldorf have had the pleasure of working with Daniel in “100 Mothers”, playing the role of Lou.
More information on Daniel’s work can be found at www.daniel-wandelt.de
GIZZA STREIT - ACTRESS
Being on stage is where her love for acting began over 20 years ago. Gizza, a Los Angeles, California native, trained at the Actors Circle Theatre and Santa Monica College. Some of her theatre credits include “Anna in the Tropics,” “Proof” and “Even the Stones Bled”. She hosted a Spanish language music video show, “Tu Ritmo” and has guest starred on “CSI Miami,” “The Unit,” “Entourage” and most recently Lifetime’s “We Have Your Husband.” Gizza is also a qualified yoga teacher, and food aficionada ;)
ALEX KUPSCH - ACTOR
Alex is a passionate actor and musician. As an actor and performer he appears regularly in productions of the free theater scene of North Rhine Westphalia and most prominently in those of Only Connect! On stage he has portrayed characters such as Kurt Cobain (4.48 Psychosis), Jesus (The Master and Margarita), Jerry (The Zoo Story), and Lysander (A Midsummer Night's Dream). He has also composed original songs and sound cues for theatre productions such Zeit der Kannibalen (Theater glassbooth) and The Machine (Only Connect!) and appears in image, promotional and music videos. As musician he has participated in Patrick Grand's Tilted Axes project with the fft in Düsseldorf.