At the Rita: Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities

There will be one fifteen minute intermission.


Fabrice Conte-Williamson

Scenic Designer
Jody Sekas

Costume Designer
Leslie Vaglica

Lighting Designer
Jessica Baker *

Sound Designer
Kevin Gray

Makeup Designer
Isabella Cernuska *

Properties Master
Bianca Gonzalez *

Stage Manager
Star Howard *

Technical Director
Joshua Christoffersen

Scenic Charge Artist
Lynsey Gallagher *

Emily Moisant *


* Indicates undergraduate BA student


Fabrice Conte-Williamson

Last season, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UW-Parkside continued producing live theatre by embracing multi-camera streaming technology. In these extraordinary conditions, seven memorable productions successively unfolded on our stages—a true testament to the dedicated work and many talents of our students, faculty, and staff. Although this past year was filled with rich and fulfilling human and artistic experiences, it is with incredible pleasure and unmatched trepidation that we are preparing, once again, to welcome you in our home. To celebrate the long-awaited return of a live audience, we have selected Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, an exciting contemporary play that embraces the most fundamental aspects of our art form: imagination, collaboration, and community. 

In The Penelopiad, Atwood boldly reimagines the ancient myth of Penelope, a character portrayed in Homer’s Odyssey as a patient and faithful wife awaiting the return of her illustrious husband, Odysseus, who has been away fighting in the Trojan War. In her re-telling, however, Atwood subverts the traditional narrative by empowering a dead Penelope—now haunting the halls of Hades—to tell her side of the story as she recalls her childhood, her marriage to the Greek hero, and her secluded life in Ithaca. Yet the author doesn’t allow Penelope to ruminate indefinitely on the unfairness that defined her royal life. Atwood rather surrounds her protagonist with a chorus of twelve maids who died while protecting her from the relentless suitors looking to replace Odysseus in her bed and on the throne. In this way, Atwood introduces yet another competing narrative: the unsettling perspective of young women—slaves—who, unlike Penelope, did not benefit from the advantages and protections offered by social and political power. If Penelope’s voice has been undeniably muffled by centuries of patriarchal traditions in storytelling, the maids’ voices have been erased altogether. Atwood wants everyone to speak up.

The artistic freedom inherently granted by a play like The Penelopiad demanded that our production process reflect our commitment to an uncompromisingly collaborative approach. Actors, designers, and technicians engaged in repeated workshopping sessions to create, devise, and refine every element in the show. As a result, our Penelopiad is the unified echo of many voices, a promenade through the crowded hallways of mythology, literature, and theatre, and the humble companion to the stories that have unfolded on stages across the world, every night, since the dawn of time. We’re glad you’re back in the theatre. We’ve been waiting for you.  

Fabrice Conte-Williamson



Delaina Kuzelka

Ben Compton

Kalyn Diercks

Erin Dillon

Emma Foley

Aren Goodwin

Matt Gould

Allison Hayes

Janet Jurado

Talia Last

Jordan Mcgraw

Hans Pfrang

Daniel Reed



DELAINA KUZELKA (Penelope) is a junior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. Previous credits at UW-Parkside include Silent Sky (Williamina), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Stupid F##king Bird (Nina), and Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Ensemble). She is immensely grateful to give a voice to Penelope and to take on a role that advocates for suppressed voices.


ERIN DILLON (Maid / Helen) is a senior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting and a passion for both Lighting Design and intimacy choreography. Previous credits at UW-Parkside include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged] (Actor 1), Midnight and Moll Flanders (Ensemble), My Barking Dog (Melinda), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Siobhan), Cinderella (Fox / Ensemble). Recently, Erin played Ophelia in Fleeing Artists' production of Hamlet. She has also worked with First Stage Children’s Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, and the Southwest Shakespeare Company.


MATT GOULD (Maid / Odysseus) is a sophomore Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. He is a North Texas native and a veteran of the United States Navy. He has no background in Theatre whatsoever but is hopeful in his endeavors that it will all work out. His previous experience includes training at The Actor's Place in Meisner technique under the tutelage of Keith Flippen and was also an extra on the film Last Moment of Clarity.


TALIA LAST (Maid / Eurycleia) is a senior Theatre Arts major with concentrations in Acting and Musical Theatre. Recent credits include Rosencrantz in Fleeing Artists Theater's Hamlet, Madame in UW-Parkside's Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chiffon in the Lakeside Players' Little Shop of Horrors, Anne-Marie in UW-Parkside's FreshINK of A Doll's House: Part II, Juliet in the Lakeside Players' The Comedy of Romeo and Juliet...(Kinda Sorta), and Maria in the Fleeing Artists' Twelfth Night.


DANIEL REED (Maid / Suitor) is a first-year Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting and Directing. Daniel is making his debut on the university stage.


BEN COMPTON (Maid / Oracle) is a senior Theatre Arts major. While his primary focus is in performance, he has also grown to become a costume designer and fight choreographer while training at UW-Parkside. Previous acting credits at UW-Parkside include Stupid F##king Bird (Conrad), Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Ensemble), and The War of the Worlds (Richard Pierson). He attended the College of Lake County before attending UW-Parkside where he played Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has also acted for The Fleeing Artists as Chiron in Titus Andronicus and created the fight choreography for their recent production of Hamlet.


EMMA FOLEY (Maid / Anticleia) is a senior with a double major in Communication and Theatre Arts, and a concentration in Directing. Acting credits at UW-Parkside include The Glass Menagerie (Amanda Wingfield), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Maria), and Urinetown (Soupy Sue). This upcoming spring, she will be directing Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker as part of the ParksideSTUDIO series.


ALLISON HAYES (Maid / Iole) is a junior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Musical Theatre who recently transferred from State Fair Community College in Sedalia, MO. Previous credits include James and The Giant Peach (James), She Kills Monsters (Farrah) at SFCC, and The Addams Family (Pugsley) at Next Generation Performing Arts Camp.


JORDAN MCGRAW (Maid / Icarius / Antinous) is senior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. Plans furthering his acting career include working internships in Chicago after graduation, as well as exploring film work. Some of his previous credits at UW-Parkside include Cinderella – (Sound Board Operator), Little Women – (Laurie), The Government Inspector - (Director of Schools), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot - (Crew). He has also worked as professional mascot characters competing in NCAA/National Competition. He is excited and happy to have everyone in the audience, and thanks everyone for coming.


AURTHUR WEIME (Swing) is a first-year Theatre Arts major making his debut on the university stage.


KALYN DIERCKS (Maid / Naiad Mother) is a first-year student from Port Washington, WI pursuing a BA in Theatre Arts at UW-Parkside. She has been active in theatre in the Ozaukee County area, and some of her favorite credits include Working: A Musical (Sharon Atkins) and The Addams Family (Grandma) at PWHS, as well as the Cedarburg Children’s Theater’s adaptation of Rapunzel (Queen Vanessa). She is also in her third year serving as an assistant director and teacher for Cedarburg Children’s Theater programs.


AREN GOODWIN (Maid / Telemachus) is a junior Theatre Arts major from Warrensburg, MO, with a concentration in Acting. Previous credits include Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Mr. Burns), Oedipus Rex (Oedipus), and Crimes of The Heart (Barnette Lloyd).


JANET JURADO (Maid / Melantho) is a sophomore with a double major in Theatre Arts and Communication, and a minor in Digital Media and Production. Previous credits include Proof (Claire). Janet also served as spotlight operator for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.


HANS PFRANG (Maid / Laertes) is a senior Theatre Arts major with a double concentration in Acting and Musical Theatre, as well as a minor in Sociology at UW Parkside. Previous credits include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Jean Michel, Topher U/S), A Number (Salter), Urinetown, The Musical (Senator Fipp/Ensemble), Water by the Spoonful (Fountainhead), A Doll's House Part 2 (Torvald). Hans has worked with Southwest Shakespeare Company and recently attended the Open Jar Institute in New York City.


AIDAN JOHNSON (Swing) is a senior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. Past acting credits at UW-Parkside include Hope and Gravity (Marty), 3 Sisters (Chebyutkin), and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Sebastian).


House Manager
Olivia Springsteen

Director of Craft Services
Keith Harris

Marketing Coordinator
Oliver J. Johnson

Program Layout
Oliver J. Johnson

Poster Design
Kim Sekas

University Photographer
Alyssa Nepper

Department Administrative Assisstants
Joe Lambin, Edson Melendez

Assistant Stage Managers
Travis Siepl, Megan Schaut

Stage Management Faculty Advisor
Kendall Phillips

Fight Choreographer
Ben Compton

Fight Captain
Talia Last

Intimacy Choreographer
Erin Dillon

Assistant Lighting Designer
Kammi Kringle

Lighting Faculty Advisor
Kendall Phillips

Master Electrician
Jenny Bauer

Assistant Sound Designer
Lucero Martinez

Sound Faculty Advisor
Kevin Gray

Props Faculty Advisor
Jody Sekas

Costume Shop Supervisor
Leslie Vaglica

Assistant Costume Designer
Ben Compton

Light Board Operator
Abby Kubik

Sound Board Operator
Sawyer Edwards

Spot Light Op.
Ben Brewer

Janet Jurado
Samantha Feiler
Samantha Jaworek

Aj Lance
Chalena Williams
J Lofty
Joe Schwaller
Maddison Crecchio

J Lofty
Joe Schwaller
Maggie Jay
Savana Andershock

Ariele Santos
Elise Sparks
Michelle Catalan

Wardrobe Supervisor
Jesse Ocampo

Allison Hayes
Ben Compton
Elise Sparks
Jesse Ocampo

Aren Goodwin
Ben Brewer
Bianca Gonzalez
Jenny Bauer
Lynsey Gallagher
Matt Gould

Aidan Johnson
Colton Smith
Delaina Kuzelka
Emma Foley
Garrett Allen
Hans Pfrang
Lynn Bryant
Tianyu Liang
Tomer Proctor-Zenker

Alexis Beyer
Bianca Gonzalez
Daniel Reed
Elise Sparks
Erin Dillon
Gigi Castellon
Joe Schwaller
Kammi Kringle
Kaylyn Dierks
Maggie Jay
Petr Jaros
Savana Andershoc
Sawyer Edwards
Shamoon Mian
Star Howard

Alex Ortiz
Aurthur Wieme
Emily Moissant
Emily Schinkowitch
Kiley Leroy-Stowell
Liz Manzanera
Michelle Catalan

Jordan Mcgraw
Ilsa Lofty
Lucero Martinez
Sawyer Edwards



FABRICE CONTE-WILLIAMSON (Director) is a director, actor, and theatre educator, teaching courses in directing, theatre history, dramatic literature, and dramatic criticism at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Fabrice received a Master of Performing Arts from the University of Nice, France, as well as an MFA in Directing and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma Helmerich School of Drama. His primary research focuses on post-modern French dramatic literature and performance theory, the role of literary myth in dramatic literature, and the development of multilingual and cross-cultural theatre movements. From 2007 to 2013 Fabrice was Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at St. Gregory's University. He also taught acting and voice and movement at the University of Oklahoma where he became actively involved with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VI, serving as State Chair for Oklahoma and coordinator for the Arts Management and Administration Initiative (ASPIRE). Recent projects include directing Stupid F###ing Bird by Aaron Posner for UW-Parkside (KCACTF Region III Invited Production) and co-translating Stormy Weather on Mount Olympus by Nobel Prize winner Ismail Kadare for the 50th Neudstadt Literature Festival.


LESLIE VAGLICA (Costume Designer) Leslie Vaglica is a costumer whose foundation in fashion and art has enriched her focus in theatrical costuming. She has worked as a costume technician for companies such as American Players Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the Florentine Opera Company, Skylight Music Theatre, and Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Professional regional design credits include work for The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Chamber Theatre, Sugar Creek Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Florentine Opera Company, Luminous Theatre, UW Milwaukee Dance and Musical Theatre, Peter Stathas Dance, and Renaissance Theaterworks. She has also worked as Costume Shop Manager at Hope Summer Repertory Theater in Holland, MI. Leslie is a graduate of UW-Eau Claire and holds a certificate in Apparel Product Design and Development from Mt. Mary University.


JESSICA BAKER (Lighting Designer) is in her fifth year at the UW- Parkside, pursuing a double major in Theatre Arts Major and Geoscience. She received the Lighting Design Excellence Award at the Region 3 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) for The War of the Worlds, her first lighting design. She was awarded again for her lighting design of Romeo and Juliet. Other credits include lighting design for Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. During the summer of 2021, she had an internship with the Wyoming Dinosaur Center as a Dig Site Tour Guide and Museum Tour Guide.


EMILY MOISANT (Dramaturg) is a first-year transfer student with a major in Theatre Arts and a concentration in Directing. Previous credits include In the Next Room (Wardrobe Crew) at UW-Milwaukee.


JESSE OCAMPO (Wardrobe Supervisor) is a senior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Design and Technology, who originally transferred from the College of Lake County. UW-Parkside credits include wardrobe crew for Romeo and Juliet and The Glass Menagerie. At CLC, Jesse worked as Assistant Costume Designer for many productions, including Cabaret, Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook, A Doll’s House, She Kills Monsters, and Cinderella. Other credits include wardrobe crew for CLC’s productions of Everyman, Cabaret and The Addams Family the Musical.


KENDALL PHILLIPS (Production Manager) is thrilled to joining the UW-Parkside Theatre Arts Company as their Production Manager, as well as serving as the instructor for lighting & new media for entertainment design. Ken earned his M.F.A. in Lighting Design & his B.F.A. in Stage Management from the University of Arizona. He has designed lighting and projection content all around the country, mostly working in Musical Theatre & Opera. Most notably he was the Resident Lighting Designer & Supervisor for the nationally renowned Jacobs School of Music Opera & Ballet department at Indiana University. He has also served as a Production Stage Manager for many years and is a member of Actors Equity Association. To see a more complete list of his work, you can visit his website at Ken would like to thank his wonderful wife Alex for all her support.


STAR HOWARD (Stage Manager) is a junior working towards a bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Stage Management. Their previous experience includes Cinderella (Assistant Stage Manager), Romeo and Juliet (Assistant Stage Manager), Stupid F##king Bird (Assistant Sound Designer), and Silent Sky (Deck Chief).


JODY SEKAS (Scenic Designer) is a production/scenic designer for theatre & film, having worked for such venues as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Door Shakespeare, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Dell’Arte International, Rochester Civic Theatre, Omaha Theatre Company for Young People, The Western Stage, and on several independent films. He taught Scenography for Theatre, Film, & Dance at Humboldt State University in northern California; Scenic/Lighting Design & Technology at UW-Eau Claire, and was the resident scenic & lighting designer for the Sioux Falls Playhouse in South Dakota. He recently received a KCACTF National Scene Design Award for his design of Stupid F##king Bird. He is now in his tenth year at UW-Parkside as Associate Professor of Scenic Design & Technology and is a core professor in the Digital Design & Fabrication program.


BIANCA GONZALEZ (Properties Master) is in her junior year Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting. Previous credits include Proof (Catherine), Stupid F##king Bird (Properties master), Pretty (Madeline), Romeo and Juliet (Properties Master), and Hope and Gravity (Narrator).


ISABELLA CERNUSKA (Hair and Makeup Designer) is a senior Theatre Arts major who originally transferred from the College of Lake County. Past credits include Shirley Kaplan in Street Scene, Servant in Oedipus The King, and Grandma Addams in The Addams Family all at The College of Lake County. Last season, Isabella served as Hair and Makeup designer for UW-Parkside's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Other experiences in hair and makeup include several productions at the Round Lake Area Park District and working as a makeup artist at Six Flags Fright Fest.


KAMMI KRINGLE (Assistant Lighting Designer) is a junior Theatre Arts major from Kimberly, WI. UW-Parkside credits include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged] (Master Electrician), The Glass Menagerie (Assistant Stage Manager), and Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella (Master Electrician). She was also part of the 2020 Summer Shakespeare series produced by UW-Parkside and the College of Lake County


LUCERO MARTINEZ (Assistant Sound Designer) is a junior Theatre Arts major who recently transferred from the College of Lake County. Previous credits at CLC include Twisted Tales of Poe (Prisoner/Musician/Mourner/Cat), As You Like It (Lady/Musician), and The Little Prince (Live Artist). She has also created original music works for CLC’s production of The Emperor's New Clothes.


MEGAN SCHAUT (Assistant Stage Manager) is a senior Theatre Arts major with a concentration in Acting, a minor in History, and is also pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing. Her previous technical experience includes the FreshINK production of Pretty (Stage Manager), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Deck Crew), and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare-Abridged (Wardrobe Crew). Acting credits include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Racoon, Ensemble), 3 Sisters (Olga), and Hope and Gravity (Nan). Later this fall, Megan will be playing Beverly in The Mad Ones.


KEVIN GRAY (Sound Designer) is the Sound Manager & Instructor for the Theatre and Music departments at UW-Parkside. He received a BA in Sound Design with a minor in Music Composition from Michigan Technological University in 2014. Kevin has designed and/or composed music for productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Anon(ymous), Cinderella, Picnic, and more; recently receiving a national award from the Kennedy Center for his design and composition on UW-Parkside’s production of Stupid F##king Bird. Kevin is excited to continue working with students at UW-Parkside, who are a constant inspiration.


JOSHUA CHRISTOFFERSEN (Technical Director) is very excited to be the new Technical Director for University Productions at UW-Parkside. Most recently, Josh has worked as the Technical Director for the Brown University/Trinity Repertory company MFA program and a Carpenter for Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI. Josh has also worked multiple summers in Spring Green, WI as a carpenter at the American Player’s Theatre, building and sculpting scenery for their exciting outdoor productions. He has also toured for multiple years both nationally and internationally as a Crew Chief and Head Carpenter for Sesame Street Live! and the World Premier Tour of Curious George, The Musical, Live! Josh earned his BFA in theatre from Emporia State University and completed an MFA in Theatrical Design at the University of Iowa. He currently lives in Kenosha, WI with his wife and his cat, Bogart.


LYNSEY GALLAGHER (Scenic Charge Artist) is a senior Theatre Arts major, who transferred from St. Norbert College. UW-Parkside credits include Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (Assistant Scenic Designer & Scenic Charge Artist), The Glass Menagerie (Prop Master), Stupid F##king Bird (Master Carpenter & Scenic Artist), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Prop Master, Carpenter, & Deck Crew), Romeo and Juliet (Carpenter, Scenic Artist, Stitcher), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Carpenter), Silent Sky (Carpenter/Electrician). Lynsey served as Assistant Stage Manager and Head of Props Run Crew for On Golden Pond at the Racine Theatre Guild. Over the summer, she worked at Interlochen Center for the Arts as a carpenter for The Tempest, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. She has worked for the Entertainment Department at Six Flags Great America for three years and is currently a UW-Parkside Scene Shop Assistant.

Travis Siepl

TRAVIS SIEPL (Assistant Stage Manager) is a sophomore Theatre Arts major with a double concentration in Directing and Stage Management from Twin Lakes, WI. Credits include Stupid F##king Bird (Sound Board Op), Proof (Stage Manager), and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Stream Team).


Casa Capri for ongoing support and Dana Oswald


The College of Arts and Humanities with the UW-Parkside Foundation gratefully acknowledges the following individuals for their investment in the Theatre Arts Department and students.

Susan M. Cable, D.D.S., '81*

Susan M. Cable, D.D.S., '81*
Dr. Donald A. Cress*
Marie Kohler & Brian Mani*
Patricia Petretti*

Laurie & Steve Feiler
Shirley Warter

Debra Karp & Stephen Smiley
Kim and Jody Sekas

Darleen Chiappetta
Barbara DeLaney
Ruth A. Frear
Dr. Claire M. Hicks
Lisa & Mike Humke
Karen MacKinnon
Jeff & Lynn Skatrud
Melissa Smyth

You can enhance Theatre Arts Education.

In the same way that mounting a play requires a team, funding it is likewise a team effort. To produce our amazing shows, we rely on a combination of sources—ticket sales, the University, and private funding.

Play a part in advancing the student experience through your one-time or recurring contribution to the Dr. Donald A. Cress Theatre Production Enhancement Fund.

Donate today

Donations listed were received Jul 1, 2020-Sep 30, 2021. For omissions or changes to this donor list, please contact

*Denotes members of the UW-Parkside Chancellor’s Society.

This production is entered in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). UW-Parkside is very active in the Region 3, the largest region of the Kennedy CenterAmerican College Theatre Festival

We regularly accrue a significant number of Merit Awards (in Design, Direction, and Tech) as well as Acting Awards, including what we consider to be the highest accolade, The Ensemble Acting Award. At festival, our students compete and succeed. 



The Thanksgiving Play

By Larissa FastHorse
Directed by Brian Gill

Main Stage Theatre
Dec 3-12

More Info 

The Mad Ones

A Musical by Kait Kerrigan and Bree Lowdermilk
Directed by Rachael Swartz

The Rita, Studio A
Nov 19-20

More Info

About UW-Parkside

Since 1968, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside has continued to build a reputation as an outstanding liberal arts institution with particularly strong fine arts programs. With The Rita Tallent Picken Center for Arts & Humanities, our state-of-the-art instructional facilities and stunning performance venues match our award-winning academic programs and provide even greater community access. UW-Parkside offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as specialized online programs. Each year, more than 100 College of Lake County graduates transfer to UW-Parkside to pursue a four-year degree. The award-winning Theatre Arts program is a popular destination for transfer students.

Theatre Arts Major  |  Theatre Arts Department  |  The Rita

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