Cast & Crew

Kelsey O’Keeffe

Kelsey O’Keeffe, Stage Manager

Kelsey O’Keeffe is very honored to be the stage manager of such an amazing production. She graduated in May from Muhlenberg College with a major in Theatre and a double minor in Music and Dance. She also studied dance in Italy. She has a been involved with musical theatre for 11 years in such roles as lead and supporting actor, choreographer, dance captain and stage manager. Kelsey just finished her 2nd summer being artistic lead, vocal and dance instructor for a traveling children’s theatre camp.

Darrell J. Clark

Darrell J. Clark (Lighting Designer) Darrell is an Ovation Award winning lighting designer, winning for his design of Miss Saigon in 2008. Darrell has illuminated over 150 musical productions, including Light in the Piazza, The Music Man, Jesus Christ Superstar, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Wizard of Oz, 42nd Street, Seussical, Oklahoma, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Oklahoma, Anything Goes, Carousel, The King and I, Bye Bye Birdie, My Fair Lady, and Hello Dolly.

Darrell has an extensive background in theme park design. He was fortunate to be on the opening production teams of Disneyland’s Fantasmic! and Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools. Darrell helped create new technical advances as Fibre Optic production coordinator for Disney’s Light Magic, then as an Imagineer for Walt Disney’s Imagineering Research and Development Darrell helped develop new technologies for the Disney Theme Parks.

As a Technical Director, Darrell has traveled around the country for many industrial productions and musicals such as Will Roger’s Follies, South Pacific. Jekyll and Hyde.

Susan Lambert

Susan Lambert (producer) 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

Michael Upward

Michael Upward (musical director/co-writer) 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 (Indy Jo and the Template of Health and Mission Nutrition, the Musical!) which are performed 300 times a year by Southland Opera in school districts across Southern California.

In addition tocomposing, Michael is a musical director having directed such shows as The Fantasticks, Guys & Dolls, Evita, Nunsense II, and Quilters, for which he won the Inland Empire’s Best Musical Direction. Michael has been a voter for the Los Angeles Ovation Theater Awards and is currently the Contemporary Music Director and Pianist at two Catholic Churches in Orange County. You may find out more about his music at www.michaelupward.com. He would like to dedicate Bend in the Road to his kindred spirit and daughter, Kelsey Upward.

Benita Scheckel

Benita Scheckel (director/co-writer) 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.

She made her ABC television debut as a guest star on Miracles in 2003, and works as a voiceover actress 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.

Her “Bend in the Road” occurred when fellow touring companion, Michael Upward asked her to consider writing lyrics for a new musical he’d been contemplating based on the beloved children’s novel, Anne of Green Gables. This collaboration brought together an exciting blend of two perspectives that resulted in the show now being produced for the Carrie Hamilton Theater at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Ms. Scheckel has been honored for her work with children and her particular knack for including students with special needs both physical and emotional. She has been awarded certificates of appreciation from the Special Education Department within PUSD yearly since 2007.

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1587027/

Melinda Porto

Melinda Porto as Diana

Melinda is very excited to be a part of this wonderful new musical! Recent and favorite credits include Monica in ROOMS: a rock romance (Chance Theater), Maureen in RENT (UCLA Freud Playhouse), Miss Saigon (McCoy Rigby Entertainment), 42nd Street (Plan-B Entertainment), and the “Brave” movie pre-show at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre. Melinda is a proud graduate of UCLA’s Ray Bolger Musical Theatre Program. A huge thanks to everyone involved in this fresh and imaginative project, especially Benita and Michael for their unwavering heart and dedication. Lots of love to the Porto fam, and kudos to YOU for supporting live theatre!

Alison Woods

Alison Woods plays Anne Shirley

Alison Woods (Anne Shirley) is honored to be part of this brand new production! A Los Angeles native, Alison has performed in many theaters around town, and is excited to make her debut here at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre. Most notably, Alison starred opposite Eric McCormack in Reprise Theatre Company’s The Fantasticks, directed by Jason Alexander. Other favorite theater credits include 42nd Street and The Sound of Music (Liesl) – both with Cabrillo Music Theatre; Rocky Horror Picture Show (Janet), Into the Woods (Cinderella), and Cabaret (Sally Bowles). Film and TV credits include “CSI: NY”, “90210”, “Big Love”, “Superhero Movie”, “Safe Harbor”, “An Accidental Christmas”, and the new indie cult hit “Detention”. Alison has also performed in various projects for Disney, and most recently lent her dancing, movement, and mannerisms to Walt Disney Pictures as the animation reference for Rapunzel in the animated feature film “Tangled”.

Tyler Scheef

Tyler Scheef plays Billy/Salesman #2

Tyler Scheef (Billy/Salesman #2) is beyond excited to be a part of this production! He was last seen performing in The Twelve Tenors at Chicago’s Riverfront Theatre and as a soloist in Cats for Cats at The Orpheum Theatre. Some of his favorite roles include “Steve/Seasons of Love Soloist” in Over the Moon’s Production of RENT, “Judas” in Godspell, “Hugo Peabody” in Bye Bye Birdie (twice), and “Tommy Djilas” in The Music Man (twice). He would like to thank his friends and family for believing in him. Believe in LOVE!

Zoe Berger-Davis

Zoe Berger-Davis as Gertie Pye/Minnie Mae understudy

Zoe Berger-Davis (Gertie Pye/Minne Mae understudy) is 11 years old and a 6th grader at Barnhart School in Arcadia, California. She loves playing basketball, soccer, volleyball and most sports, but what she really loves to do is act! She has been attending La Canada’s Summer Acting Camp for three years studying Shakespeare, sword fighting, tap dancing and singing. She also has taken classes at Theatre 360 in Pasadena. After her first audition for a play ever, she was cast as Violet Beauregarde in Theatre 360’s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Last year during a trip to Toronto, Canada she attended a one-week improv class at Second City. She has appeared on NBC’s The Firm and done voice-over work on TV shows Close to Home and Chase.

Cade Anderson

Cade Anderson as Samuel Dicksen
Cade Anderson (Samuel Dickenson) is a seventh grader at Sierra Madre Middle School. He has performed in Placebo at The Carrie Hamilton Theater, Happily Ever After, Spoonful of Fairy Dust, Junior Follies, and Annie. He enjoys soccer, reading, and video games. Many thanks to his parents and grandparents for their support and the opportunity to be in Bend in the Road.