Meet the Team
Benita Scheckel (Book / Lyrics)
Benita Scheckel is a San Gabriel Valley native, growing up in Alhambra and making Pasadena her home. After attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Benita toured with an opera company and performed musical improv at the Ice House in Pasadena. Some of her stage credits include,Camelot, Into the Woods, Evita, Music Man, The Secret Garden and Oklahoma. TV work includes Miracles and voiceover work on Disney Channel’s hit show, Phineas and Ferb. Ms. Scheckel started directing and producing in 2003 for local philanthropic organizations and in 2007 began her career as a director and teacher in the Pasadena Unified School District working with middle and high school students at Blair School. She has been honored for her work with children and has been recognized by the PUSD Special Education Department for her particular knack of including students with special needs both physical and emotional into performing arts programs.
Michael Upward (Music / Lyrics)
Michael Upward is a composer, pianist and musical director with a Master of Arts degree in Music Composition. He has written a Requiem Mass for chorus, soloists and orchestra and over 50 choral compositions which are currently performed throughout the U.S. In addition to Bend in the Road, Michael has written three other full-length musicals including Detention! The Musical, for young voices. He wrote two Nutrition Education musicals for Network for a Healthy California which are performed over 200 times a year in school districts across Southern California.
In addition to composing, Michael is a musical director having directed such shows as The Fantasticks, Guys & Dolls, Evita, Nunsense II, and Quilters, for which he won the an award for Best Musical Direction. Michael has been a voter for the Los Angeles Ovation Theater Awards and is currently the Contemporary Music Director at two Catholic Churches in Southern California. You may find out more about his music at www.michaelupward.com. He would like to dedicate Bend in the Road to his kindred spirits, Kelsey and Marta Upward.
Susan Lambert (Producer)
Susan Lambert is a writer, producer and director for indie theater, movies, video and mobile games. She is the founder of 134 West, LLC, a production entity and entertainment advertising consultancy for movies, television and digital agencies. Theatrical highlights include directing An Appalachian Twelfth Night, The Love Talker, South Pacific, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and producing/directing Poison Apple at the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival and 2012 New York International Fringe Festival. Her next producing project is a children’s album called O’ Baby Mine – songs and lullabies inspired by Shakespeare text http://obabyminemusic.com. She holds an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Follow her @susanlambert or visit www.134west.biz
Sarahbeth Grossman (Producer)
Sarahbeth Grossman is President of Sobelle Productions and a Managing Member of Brooklyn Basement Theatricals. She is currently Co-Producer of Ann starring Tony-nominated actress Holland Taylor on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center Theater. She was Associate Producer of Stick Fly on Broadway in 2011/12. Ms. Grossman is co-producing Bend in the Road, the Anne of Green Gables musical in the New York Musical Theater Festival in July 2013. Sarahbeth was on Nelle Nugent’s producing team on Time Stands Still and Ghetto Klown on Broadway and worked with producer Jane Dubin on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in London. Off-Broadway she produced the highly acclaimed comedy, The Irish Curse by Martin Casella, directed by Matt Lenz and the 60th anniversary revival of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at the Peccadillo Theater Company. Film/television work includes stints at Showtime Networks, Viacom Pictures, production work on Me and Veronica directed by Don Scardino, BOPHA! directed by Morgan Freeman, Strapped directed by Forest Whitaker, Three Wishes and Out to Sea (Associate Producer) directed by Martha Coolidge. She served as VP of Development & Production for Ozma Productions under a television deal with Pearson Entertainment. Sarahbeth was Executive Director of Global Brand Strategy & Business Development at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and VP of Marketing at Variety before forming Sobelle Productions.
Anne Lambert is an actor, director and regional theater producer, and founding member of Chickspeare, Charlotte’s all-female Shakespeare company. Producer for Chickspeare: As You Like It, Henry IV, Othello/Desdemona, Quickspeare, and Hop, Drop & Play. Producer/Director for Charlotte’s Off-Broadway: I’ll Eat You Last (also actor), Rapture, Blister, Burn (also actor), Stones In His Pockets, and The Smell of the Kill. Actor with: Chickspeare (Sir Toby Belch, Bottom), COB, Theatre Charlotte, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, BareBones, Davidson Community Players, CAST, and Warehouse Performing Arts Center.