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.
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.
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.
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
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).
TONY DUNHAM - ACTOR / PLAYWRIGHT
Tony Dunham is a playwright who has written more than 30 stage plays. His works have been staged in the US, the UK, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and all over Germany. He is resident in Cologne and there he is mainly associated with the Theater am Sachsenring, which premieres all of his plays in both English and German, and the Horizont Theater.
Tony is also an actor and director. He is currently writing a play about the infamous Second World War Nazi propaganist, William Joyce, better known as Lord Haw Haw.
DEVON NICKEL - ACTOR
Devon hails from Phoenix, Arizona, USA and has always dreamed of performing in Europe, and more specifically, Germany. His work extends across regional theatre and tours, to world premiers. His favourite roles include Alan Strang in Equus (Phoenix New Times Best Actor), Huckleberry Finn in Big River (Arizona Best Actor-Musical Nomination), Leo Joseph-Connell in 4000 Miles, Arles/etc. in Greater Tuna, and John McClain in Die Hard Christmas with a company near and dear to his heart, All Puppet Players.
JAMES M. ATKINS - ACTOR
James Michael Atkins studied at The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London, England. After his first professional dance job traveling and dancing around the world on a German Cruise Ships, James decided to settle down in Düsseldorf. Since then he has toured Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in La Cage aux Folles, My Fair Lady, and Cabaret. James has danced as a guest artist in musicals and opera productions in Düsseldorf and Duisburg for The Deutsche Oper Am Rhein, Theater Der Stadt Bonn, Staats Theater Nurnberg and in Gelsenkirchen (Musik Theater im Revier). James recently celebrated his debut as Choreographer with The Addams Family and the Creative Arts Group in Düsseldorf. This will be James' second project with English Theatre Düsseldorf.
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.
ANAÏS DAHL - ACTRESS
Anaïs Dahl recently graduated from East 15 Acting School in London, where her credits included The Cherry Orchard, Action, Macbeth and The Bacchae. She is trained for theatre and screen. Anaïs also trained dance at CBS London, and her musical theatre and singing credits include the CBS Cabaret at the Phoenix Arts Club London. She is originally from Düsseldorf and discovered her passion for the stage while growing up here. At the age of 11, she had her first experience on stage dancing the lead in a performance of the school Ballett am Schloss Benrath. A year later, she was asked to write a musical for the school choir of Gymnasium Hochdahl, in which she played the lead. Anaïs has not stopped acting, dancing and singing since then.
SUSAN BONNEY-COX - ACTRESS
Susan Bonney-Cox is an African-born British actress and director who has spent the majority of her life living and working in Germany. She trained as an actress at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and then as a director at the Drama Studio London. In 1986, she was (along with current artistic director of the Deutsche Schauspielhaus Hamburg Karin Beier), a founding member of the Cologne-based English language Shakespeare theatre group Countercheck Quarrelsome. After nearly a decade in London, she returned to Cologne. Having spent the last twenty years as a voice over-artist, broadcast journalist and gender-equality representative, she is delighted to be returning to her first love, the stage.
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.
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 ;)